Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flush Phones....


It used to be in the "old days" (whatever they might be) that to get updated in the latest news and world events I just had to stop in at my in-laws. There, in their formidable reading room, I would be able to read the best of Readers Digest behind the solitude of a locked door.
(retrieved from:

Having younger children, and normally with nieces and nephews, running around it never can be overstated the importance of locks on doors with-in the confines of a home.

There, upon one of the few thrones I know, I would review the events in Laughter, the Best Medicine; Life in These United States; and, probably my favorite, Humor in Uniform. It was peace and solitude that only a father can enjoy.

Alas, as the kids got older, so did the age on the Reader's Digest issues in the library. Eventually reading the same article, joke, or anecdote for the sixth time wears thin. I needed to find an updated alternative to my library. Along came the "SMART PHONE."

(retrieved from:
What a wonderful idea. Somewhere in the midst of that technology I was able to download books, newspapers, and magazines to a device that I could take with me anywhere-even behind the locked door of my library. I didn't have to search through the magazines to see which article I hadn't yet read for the sixth time. I could find the current news, humor or what ever and read to my hearts content.

But....I am a little concerned now. I don't think the lock on my library door is effective anymore. Being in the Philippines insulates us somewhat from the happenings back home. Reading the news can be depressing (thank heavens for a wife who is a therapist!) but being 8,000 miles away I can put off dealing with it until it's time to return home. Then I got to thinking....

If they can do that with conversations what can they do with the video and camera capabilities of my phone? Suddenly the concept of being alone on my throne has vanished. For years I have been able to keep the kids out of my library through the means of a simple locked door knob. Unfortunately, it appears that 'BIG BROTHER' has picked that locked and made my time now a shared commodity.

I propose a possible solution to the problem. Most who watch TV know the terminology of a "burn phone." It is a phone purchased with cash with x amount of minutes on it that can't be traced back to you (theoretically...probably not anymore). I believe it is time now for the "FLUSH PHONE."  Sit in the comfort of your own personal library. When through just simply...flush! I think it will catch on....


(as a historical note-it adds meaning to "White House Plumbers." Google it...perhaps appropriate for the times...)
(pss-E/S H-think about buying a "Flush Phone" when you get home!!)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Remember....D-Day (part 4)

It was back in December that I made these remarks:

              " I have come to realize that the conscience of a nation isn't necessarily the historians who spend hours, days, and years studying the past. They are the chroniclers of time and past. No- the conscience of a nation is its veterans. Those who have made some of the history of a country while defending its principles and freedoms over the years." (Click here to read the full post)

Today marks the 69th anniversary of D-Day. It is when the Allied forces began to land on the beaches in Normandy, France what was the beginning of the end of the power known as Nazi Germany.
(retrieved from

A young man who may have been 18 on those beaches would be 87 today. Our WWII veterans are dwindling fast from this life. These were true heroes.

I can't imagine the fear, the anxiety that a young man had as he waited for that door to drop on the sands. The bombardment had stopped moments before to allow the troop transports to travel without worry of friendly bombardment knocking them out of the water. The only sound was the noise of the engine of the LCVP and the waves as they splash the front of the boat over the gate. Soon the Germany batteries start their bombardment. They can see what is coming at them from a distance. It is not easy to hit a target that moves quickly, but they try.

(retrieved from )
The LCVP starts to scrape the sand at the rise of the beach. The front ramp drops and as it does the men begin to surge out of what for only moments had been a tenuous safe haven. The men in the rear were saved the onslaught of machine gun fire as the first wave of men stormed the beach. The men in the rear, though, weren't saved from the sight of seeing their comrades in arms floating in the sea, the first of many casualties that would rise that day.

On "Omaha beach" ..."the official record stated  that "within 10 minutes of the ramps being lowered, [the leading] company had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and sergeant had been killed or wounded [...] It had become a struggle for survival and rescue". (retrieved from

There was no turning back for these men. They didn't have the convenience of modern technology that would allow a smart bomb to take out a cement bunker that was raining death on their unprotected comrades. It took individuals working as teams to take out those bunkers so that their comrades and friends could continue forward. They saw their friends fall. They could not mourn. They had to keep moving forward. That is what we do as US Military personnel.

If you see a Veteran thank him or her for their service and for their love of country. A free country is never free-it is paid with the blood of its young men and women who believe in its principles, believed in its religion, and believed in their loved ones.

To see further information on the D-Day landings go here.  


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

"Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it" Winston Churchill

Serving a mission does lend itself to some downtime. At times my downtime is constructive, and at other times not so much. Where ever I am and with what I am doing it leads me to read something. 

Last night was a long night in our office. Marcia was counseling several missionaries and interacting with two different Mission Presidents. That left me some downtime. One of the blessings of technology is the amazing storage capacity that is found in these small cell phones. I have a new phone that allows me to download some pretty cool apps. One of those apps is Gospel Library that is put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was able to download on to my itty-bitty phone 42 years of General Conference talks! Perhaps it leaves me little excuse to squander my time since now I can go way back to read what modern Prophets and Apostles have said over time.
Elder Mark E Petersen

In a talk given in April of 1971, titled Warnings from the Past, Apostle Mark E. Petersen details to what happened to other civilizations living in this hemisphere. It is a very interesting read. I'll quote directly from his talk as an introduction: 
                    "Three great civilizations have occupied the Western Hemisphere. Two have passed into oblivion.Those that disappeared died by virtual suicide. They brought about their own extinction as they defiled the land and defied their God by extensive crime, sexual deviation, and other loathsome sins of almost every kind."

What follows are some quotes directly from his talk that some say could be prophetic in nature.
From Roger Babson- at one time a leading economist: 

                   "Only religion can prevent democratic rule from developing into mob rule. A nation can prosper only as its citizens are religious, intelligent, capable of service and eager to render it."

                    "Every great panic we have ever had has been foreshadowed by a general decline in observance of religious principles."

Abraham Lincoln:

                    "(America) need not fear no danger from without....If danger were ever to threaten the United States, it will come from within. 'As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide...."

                    "We have grown in numbers, wealth and power. ...But we have forgotten God. ...It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins,and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

George Washington:

                     "...we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. ...." (First inaugural address, April 30, 1789)

Daniel Webster

                     "If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no one can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

It is not too late to remember....


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Remember....(part 2)

What is the collective memory of a society? Does it wither away as our ancients pass through the "valley of the shadow of death?" Is it shrunk to data size bits and bytes to be shelved away in a database to be extracted....whenever? Can it be conveyed down to the size of 140 characters- the maximum amount for a 'tweet?'

Memorial Day brings up many memories in my mind. As a young boy I remember as local veterans (I'm not sure if they were VFW or Legion or good ol' boys with guns) performed a Memorial Day service beginning at St. Clement's Catholic church in Hammond, Minnesota. Words were spoken and a gun salute was given at the cemetery at the church. Then a small parade walked down the hill to the bridge spanning the Zumbro River.
Hammond Bridge over the Zumbro River
There a wreath was dropped commemorating those who died at sea. I remember today these events.

Later, as we lived in Fishers, we would take our children to Crown Hill National Cemetery in Indianapolis. Every Memorial Day a wonderful ceremony was presented remembering those who fought for our country over the years. The first service at Crown Hill had over 10,000 people in attendance. This was just a few years following the devastating Civil War. Fittingly both Union and Confederate soldiers are buried on that sacred ground. Each year individuals come dressed in period costumes remembering those who gave their all during that tragic war.
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

Each year a somber roll-call is presented. All branches of the service are represented. The names of those who have died in the past year from Indiana are read off. As their name is called out their service branch representative acknowledges his/her name vicariously.

Sadly the number that come to witness this service has dwindled down to less then 500 each year. The echos of those who have sacrificed all wonder why?