Joe Everett is a genealogist at FamilySearch working to help people discover their family history. He recently returned to FamilySearch, after spending 7 1/2 years at Ancestry.com, working to put new databases online. Joe is currently managing an international team of research consultants who assist people at the Family History Library and worldwide through Internet learning tools. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years there as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been a member of various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on Germanic & Slavic family history and Central & East European historical geography and migration.

12 March 2008

Meridian Magazine: Two Latter-day Saints Shine on “American Idol”

I NEVER thought I would get into American Idol, but these two have won me over--even before I found out that they share my faith. If their nerves don't get the better of them (as David's did last night) they could wind up as the top two, but even if they don't, they will have everything to feel good about, because they sang fabulously well (at least most of the time), and showed integrity to their faith.

06 March 2008

Why does Crist care about seating Democratic delgates?

Speaking of the controversy over seating delegates, why does Governor Crist care so much, as a Republican, that he has become one of the most vocal supporters for seating delegates to the Democratic convention? I question his integrity for supporting this. I think that the position is insupportable. (See my last post.)

I believe Crist cares less about the enfranchisement of Florida Democrats than he does about the opportunity for his own polical gain. By speaking out in favor of seating them, he gets three potential political gains:

1. He has a chance to dig at Democrats in general, by drawing attention to the rift within their party, and chiding party bosses for silencing the voice of the people. Making Democrats look bad is good for aspiring Republicans like Crist.

2. He gets to boost his already high approval ratings among Floridians, including Democrats, as he is seen helping them fight the battle to let their voices be heard. (Do I hear Crist 2012?)

3. He gets his face on national TV and the Internet again. It's hard for lesser known, but aspiring politicians to find such opportunities to boost their name recognition. The last chance he had was when he made a late endoresement for McCain that helped catapult McCain to frontrunner status. (I'm waiting to find out what kickback he gets from McCain for that endorsement.)

Don't be fooled. Crist is just out to earn some political capital. And he is willing to flaunt rules and written agreements to do so.

Why is the media spinning for Clinton?

I don't get it, but the media seems to be helping the Clinton campaign spin two big stories.

First, that Clinton's wins in Texas and Ohio have "leveled the playing field" and marked a comeback, when the net gain in delegates was only between 5 and 15, depending how the caucases go, which Obama seems set to win.

Second, that it is legitimate for Clinton to argue for Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated.

Regarding the first story, in terms of delegates, which are what counts, Clinton gained virtually nothing. And her margin of victory in the Texas primary was so slim (barely more than 1%), and likely to be offset by a caucus victory for Obama, that one could argue that Obama, not Clinton, was the winner in Texas.

As for the second, why is there so little outrage in the media about the very idea of seating those delegates? Why is it being reported on as if it were a perfectly legitimate and fair question?
The argument that you can't change the rules in the middle of the game is one thing. I think a more fundamental question is, how could it possibly be considered fair to either candidate to seat them based on how the votes were cast back in January? How many people stayed home in both states, because they knew that no delegates would be awarded? At least everyone was on the ballot in Florida, but seating Michigan would be ludicrous, because only Hillary's name was on the ballot.

05 March 2008

Don't Listen to Limbaugh

I am angry at Rush Limbaugh's call for Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton. I believe that people should choose whom they want to vote for, and do so, and not treat a vote as a strategic play. It seems inherently dishonest to me for someone to vote for someone whom they are really against. If Republicans hope that a vote for Hillary is ultimately a vote for McCain, I think that they may find this strategy blowing up in their faces.

What also bothers me is that Limbaugh and his followers are blindly supporting the Republican side without even giving any consideration whatsoever to the possibility that one of the Democrats might actually be a better candidate than the presumptive Republican nominee. This is not a sports contest, where the die hard fan supports their team no matter what. People need to listen to the different sides and make an informed choice, and not just vote strictly by party.

Personally, I lean Republican, but have been listening to what Obama is saying and I think that I could potentially vote for him over McCain. I feel that I know enough about Hillary to know I don't want to vote for her. I'm hoping for Obama to be the Democratic nominee, because I want to have that choice open to me in the general election. I still don't know for sure whether Obama would have my vote, but I would hate to see him lose his party's nomination because of Republicans dirty tricks.