|Date:||Friday, November 7, 2008 -- 08:53 am|
(Coming out of Friends-Only hiding for this one. Don't worry - I'll be back to Friends-Only status after this.)
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I'm stealing this post whole-cloth from Loosh. I don't think he'll object one bit. PLEASE read this and take action. Yes, it is petty, but people must be reminded that the church and state should be separate. If one wishes to influence the other, that is a choice they make but their are repercussions, namely that they will no longer be counted as a church for tax reasons. PLEASE read this and take action.
If you want to do something against Prop 8 and the desperate bit of hate-mongering that it is, please read the following.
Here's something everyone can do to take the Mormon Church to task on its support for Prop 8.
According to IRS Publication 1828 "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations" (page 5):
All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
■ their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual,
■ they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests,
■ they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation,
■ they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and
■ the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.
Specifically: A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.
1. Take 5 minutes to print these articles out and any others you can find (to include as evidence):
Church's stand on California's Prop. 8 marginalizes Mormon Democrats
LDS Church donates to back Proposition 8
You will notice on the pdf below that these websites are already listed there...however, printing them out makes it tougher for the IRS to ignore.
2. Then, print out this pre-filled form here:
3. Mail the form and the printed articles to:
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888
You're done! ...or if you prefer to fill out the form yourself...
2.1 Download the form from the IRS at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf
2.2 List the taxpayer as:
Thomas S. Monson, et al
50 East North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
2.3 List his occupation as President and the business as the ridiculously full name of the church (same address).
2.4 Check the boxes for False Exemption and Public/Political Corruption.
2.5 Then in the Comments section demand that the LDS Church be fined and their tax-exempt status revoked for repeated and blatant violations of the IRS's separate of church and state rules, and for conspiring to interfere with a state's political process.
2.6 Check Yes under "Are books/records available?" and write in "campaign finance records."
My first article submission to Slashdot and it has to be bad news about The Watchmen movie...
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In other news, from now on, my LJ will be friends-only. Due to too many incidents of people abusing my LJ and fucking me over through it, I'm done with public posts. I've purged a majority of previous posts (again). From now on, if you're not on my friends list, you'll see nothing here.
This is my last public post.
|Date:||Saturday, August 7, 2004 -- 10:07 pm|
|Subject:||A quick update|
This will be a short update.
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Today was the funeral. It was a heart-wrenching affair. Jimmy, Janine, and then John (my two cousins and my uncle) all spoke. I wasn't able to look at them because I knew if I did, any remaining vestige of control and composure that I was remotely holding onto would vanish in a torent of tears.
I was stunned that Jimmy was able to get through his speech - he has been the most distraught over the events - he's been a zombie the past few days. Janine is still in some sort of denial phase - her mind has intellectually understood what's happened but her mind hasn't yet come to emotional grips with things. Still, all three of them spoke beautifully and said all the right things. Joan would have been tremendously proud of them.
Monday, first thing in the morning, she will be cremated. The plan is to then take her ashes up to their cottage and bury them beneath a to-be-planted blue spruce X-Mas tree. Christmas was Joan's favourite time of year, bar none. Thus, they will bury her ashes beneath the tree so that each Christmas they can decorate the tree and remember her. Also, she will be where she loved to be, with a view of the water. There will be a very private "ceremony" (more a family gathering) and I intend on being there - it'll be my final goodbye. It'll help wrap up this entire weekend and put it to rest.
I've missed a good chunk of work being here for all of this but when my nanny died - my father's mother - I missed her funeral because of work (we were just about to leave for the GenCon at which we were going to release Silver Age Sentinels). I carry that regret with me and I know it will never go away. I refuse to ever add to that guilt. My family comes first now. As many people have said, work will always be there - family won't. I regret missing nanny's funeral. I am happy that I've been here for pretty much the entire process of Joan's funeral.
Anyhow, enough writing online - time to get back to my family.
|Date:||Saturday, August 7, 2004 -- 09:34 am|
Well, yesterday was a tough day - it was the first viewing for the family and friends - today will be the second, followed immediately by the funeral. I was talking about things with Kevin earlier. Normally, I deal with bad shit either by sleeping or by doing something utterly trivial to distract myself (such as playing a video game) so that I don't have to think about whatever the bad thing is. Everyone has their own way of dealing with bad things and that's my way. Thus, throwing myself into the heart of the matter by coming here for the past couple of days is really counter to my normal way of dealing with something of this sort. It's made it harder, in many ways. At the same time, it's helped put a proper sense of closure on things.
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Yesterday, at the viewing, was tough. Real tough. I knew it would be.
Loosh said, rightly so, the body that's in the coffin is not my aunt. He's right. In both the literal sense and the figurative, spiritual sense. Looking at Joan in the coffin, she looked nothing like I remembered her. It was that sort of wax statue kind of thing. Sure, it might look a bit like her, but it wasn't right - it was some representation of her to symbolize her passing. Also, in the obvious spiritual sense, she wasn't there (I'm not religious - I am, however, spiritual in a loose, undefined way). She was moving about the room, in the way Joan would, and trying to make sure people were ok. She would be going to talk to the funeral director to tell them that the colour of lipstick on the body was bothering the daughter tremendously and it had to be changed as soon as possible, because that was the sort of stuff Joan did. She took the burden of everyone around her and carried the load so that others wouldn't have to. There was a lot more to Joan than that, obviously - little things like John cleaning up the kitchen this morning and coming across two cans of spagetti. Nobody eats that stuff, right. Joan did. And loved it. She was known for it. It was "her." The obvious symbology of those two cans hit John.
Anyhow, I'm rambling.
Basically, this is a message to thank everyone for their kind words. While things have been tough, and they have been, I'm doing ok. As well as can be expected in a situation like this. I have my moments where everything comes pouring out but it's "part of the healing process."
Like I said, being here in the middle of things is not how I normally deal with bad shit. Normally, I would fire up a video game and play until I reached complete exhaustion so that I could just fall asleep without thinking about any of it. Still, while this isn't how I normally deal with things like this, I'm glad I'm here. It was the right thing to do.
Again, thanks for all the kind words. I haven't replied to any of the individual posts and emails, but I do want to make sure you all know I very much appreciate it. Take care and best wishes.
Ok, I'm going to try to get through this...
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I'm currently at my uncle's place helping get ready for the funeral, spending time with family, and all that associated stuff. Last night, John talked about the last moment's of Joan's life. Clearly, he's trying to work through the process. Here's the account:
The day before her death, Joan had spent the day shopping with her mother and other stuff like that. She and John went to bed and read together. At the same time, they both turned off the lights, cuddled, and fell asleep. Some time around 1:00, John woke up to Joan "snoring." She snored, but it never woke him up previously. He poked her and told her to roll over -there was no reaction. Sensing something wasn't quite right, John turned on the lights and immediately knew something was terribly wrong.
John was in the fire department for 20-ish years so old habits kicked in immediately. He pulled her off the bed and began CPR and all of that stuff. He called 911 and asked for an ambulance to be sent. The operator tried to keep him on the line (as they always try to do) at which point he told them he was a retired fire fighter and had worked the emergency response team - he was going to go back and continue trying to resusitate her.
He mentioned that, as most people know during a situation like this, the emergency response team will often apply pressure to pain centers to, basically, test if the person is still alive. He was saying that, on a stranger, this is easy to do but he had a hard time doing it to Joan - he was afriad to hurt her, but that was the point...
He got no response...
Jimmy, his son, was running up the stairs to help and then being ordered to go back down the stairs to wait for the ambulance - John did not want Jimmy's last image of his mother to be John pumping her chest, trying to keep her alive.
The ambulance arrived and, normally, they would usher out family members and begin their jobs. Knowing that John was a retired fire fighter, they left him doing compressions and began hooking up IVs and installing breathing aids and all that stuff. They then took Joan away in the ambulance. John did not ride in the ambulance because he knew, from his past, that having a family member riding in the jump seat was often just a body in the way and he wanted to give the crew all the space they needed to do their job.
The level 3 response member, who is the only member of the team certified to proclaim death on-site, told John "I'm getting flatline - I'm sure you know what that means."
He had known since it all began.
With Joan gone, the police began locking up the bedroom as a potential crime scene. When someone that young (47) dies, they have to investigate it just in case it was due to unnatural causes. John wasn't even allowed in to get some clothes to head off to the hospital. John had the typically mixed emotions of knowing that they were doing their jobs as they had to do but also furious that he was being considered as a criminal. Anyhow, he headed off to the hospital with Sheldon, his best friend, driving.
Jimmy and Coleen (Sheldon's wife) remained behind, answering police questions. One of the police hadn't turned his radio off - just turned it down. The "failure to revive" call came over the radio. That's how Jimmy found out his mother had died.
The autopsy discovered that Joan died of a brain anurism. She died in her sleep and almost certainly died instantaneously. Given the circumstances, that's the best anyone could ask for.
The sound that woke John was Joan's last breath.
Call your family. Tell them you love them.
|Date:||Wednesday, August 4, 2004 -- 07:02 am|
|Subject:||My Aunt Died|
I just got a call from my mother. My aunt died. My brain is still having troubles wrapping itself around this news. Sudden and unexpected barely begins to describe this.
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Everyone says they don't have favourites, but John and Joan are my favourite aunt and uncle. During my teens, I often went to live with them for a couple weeks during the summer to work with John. They were like second-parents while growing up.
When I got up to write this, I also got a way-late LJ notification of a message from a discussion from some time ago - as all LJ users seem to be getting this week. This was a no-fun discussion between Chris Pramas and I - I can only assume the message that came through was from him since it was part of the discussion we were having. To say it put me in a fouler mood is an understatement. I'm not going to bother to delete my snap-reply to the comment because it's there. Why bother deleting it... I am, however, going to say this much (and pardon the sappy shit that is going to follow): I have been having an epicly shitty year. Really, one of the worst years I can remember. I've lost a couple very dear and close friends and I doubt there's anything I can do to repair the damage to those friendships. Despite all the bullshit that has gone on between us, I do still care about them and hope they enjoy all the happiness they deserve. I'm sorry for all the bullshit and I hope they do know that I still care about them.
And I hope everyone else that I care about knows how much I do care about you.
Joan Carleton was my favourite aunt. She died last night.
|Date:||Wednesday, April 7, 2004 -- 10:33 pm|
|Subject:||Pyramids at Giza|
Ok, people that know me well know I'm a bit of a goob for Ancient Egypt. Well, a few years ago I was watching a Discovery Channel special on Egypt where they were discussing the Pyramids. The abridged version of it is as follows:
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The pyramids were constructed with a precision that is staggering. The three pyramids of Giza are built perfectly square (which is an incredible feat, given the scope of the task) with the sides perfectly matched to the north-south/east-west axis (a mind-boggling feat). Two of the pyramids are the same size and in perfect alignment. The third, however, is smaller (about 53% smaller) and slightly off the center-line created by the other two. Below is a picture of the three main pyramids, taken from above.
Given then incredible precision with which the pyramids were created, this last fact had people confused for a long time. How do you create structures with such precision and accidently build one of them smaller and off-center?
Well, at some point, someone finally clued in to what the Egyptians were up to. You see, the Egyptians were very influenced by the stars. Their ability to perfectly align the pyramids to the north-south/east-west axis was due to their focus on the heavens and ability to notice what was happening up there. Well, if one takes a close look at Orion's Belt (which, to the ancient Egyptians, was the constellation Sah, a constellation for their god, Osiris), a cluster of three very bright stars that are almost in a line, with one smaller star (which appears about 50% dimmer) just a smidge off the center-line create by the two larger stars, one can see the obvious influence behind the pyramids.
Now, for those that know the stars, the interesting thing about Orion's Belt is that if one follows it, you will find Sirius, the brightest star in the southern sky.
Now, are you asking yourself the same question I've been asking since I first saw this report: what are the pyramids of Egypt pointing at? If one follows the pyramids the same relative distance as one goes from Orion's Belt to Sirius, what is there?
I don't know.
Nobody has ever mentioned it. To my knowledge, nobody has even checked. It seems so obvious to me that the Egyptians were pointing at something given how much they knew about the stars - they obviously knew that if you followed Sah's belt you would find the brightest star in the sky. When they built the pyramids in the image of Sah's belt, they did so very intentionally. That can only mean, to my mind, that they were pointing at something.
I'm so intensely curious what they were pointing at. If I were to do it all over again, I think I'd go into archeology with a focus on Egypt...
There are other mysteries of ancient Egypt that I would cut off an arm to be allowed to explore but I was watching the Discovery Channel and they were talking about this one again, thus this post.
My sister just bought a house.
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My baby sister just bought a house.
My baby sister just bought a house before me.
Yeah, my pride for her buying her first house is tinged with a hint of "but she bought it before I bought a house..." but it's all good.
Well, I'll be the first to admit that the paint job isn't as good as Privateer's professional paint jobs (um, DUH!) but I'm really happy with how the first mini turned out. Below are kinda fuzzy images (taken with adamjury's dying digital camera).
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One down. 14 to go...
|Date:||Monday, March 8, 2004 -- 09:28 am|
|Subject:||Rockin' on Toast|
Sometimes my job just rocks on righteous toast!
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Despite my quick vent over the weekend about hating "that" book, I've had a bunch of artwork coming in for various other books I'm working on and, with the exception of one batch from one artist (which isn't bad - it just isn't good...), the artwork is just beautiful!
I love it.
Rockin' cool way to start the week!