Thursday, May 03, 2007


Okay, so recently I made mention that Mormons and what I perceive to be their weird religious beliefs kind of freak me out and I know that might sound religiously intolerant of me, but when I was perusing Dooce today she had a link to this article from the Daily Herald:

(Damn, I still can't figure out how to link)

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Convention ends with Satan and immigrants

CALEB WARNOCK - Daily Herald
Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants.

The group was unable to take official action because not enough members stuck around long enough to vote, despite the pleadings of party officials. The convention was held at Canyon View Junior High School.

Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.

In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.

At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."

Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as "Joe," said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because "they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do."

Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, spoke against the resolution, saying Larsen, whom he called a "true patriot and a close friend," was embarrassing the Republican Party.

"I agree with 95 percent of this resolution but it has some language that is divisive and not inspiring other people to its vision," he said. "This only gives fodder to the liberal media to give negative attention to the Republican Party."

Joel Wright, a member of the Cedar Hills City Council, was booed as he opposed the resolution.
"This might be the most divisive issue in the Republican Party," he said. "I support President Bush but he needs to support this issue harder."

When Wright said "the economic benefit (of illegal immigration) outweighs the downside" he was jeered. He warned that the Republican Party of California had "killed themselves" by taking a hostile stance against illegal aliens.

He also said the LDS Church has studied the issue and tried to determine whether illegal aliens could be given temple recommends and allowed to serve missions but "gave up" because the issue was too complex. He ended by saying "President Bush needs to fix this now" and was booed again.

Larsen was allowed to finish the debate with a one-minute speech.

"If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion and the Republican Party will go into extinction," he said. "Nancy Pelosi and the ACLU would oppose this (resolution)."

A member of the audience moved that the convention suspend its rules to allow the "objectionable part" of Larsen's resolution to be stricken, retaining only the final paragraphs of the resolution, which condemn illegal immigration. Eventually party officials counted all delegates in attendance, only to discover that, with 299, they were about 30 short of a quorum and could take no action.

"I did ask people to stay so we could have this discussion," said Senator Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who chaired the convention. Bramble had earlier asked those gathered not to thwart a discussion on the resolution, saying it would be "good for the party."

In other business, those gathered voted against removing some of the party's leadership.
Letters supporting the re-election of party chairwoman Marian Monnahan and secretary Susan Bramble were mailed in envelopes bearing the party's return address, causing delegate Russell Sias to demand they be removed from office. A spokesperson for Alexander's Print Advantage, which handled the mailing, spoke at the convention, saying employees had mistaken put the address on the envelopes and the company took full responsibility for the snafu.

In a speech, Enid Greene, state Republican Party chair, announced to applause that she will remarry in a few months. Greene's first marriage came to an infamous end during her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives when her husband, Joe Waldholtz, who was her campaign manager, was charged with embezzling. He eventually pled guilty to campaign fraud and other charges.

Greene said she was disappointed in BYU professors who protested Dick Cheney's visit to campus, calling them "self-appointed intellectuals."

"I'm not calling for BYU to fire them but if no one signs up for their classes ..." she said. "If they say the Vice President doesn't have anything to say we want to hear, I'm not interested in having my daughter learn from them."

All of the speakers praised those gathered. Lt. Governor Gary Herbert said Utah County Republicans are "guided by correct principles" and are the "best of the best" of the Republican Party.

Bramble assailed those who would called the local Republican Party "broken," saying the party was accountable and accomplishing good work, including the approval of school vouchers and granting UVSC university status.

Congressman Chris Cannon and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff both received a standing ovation from some members of the audience. Cannon said Democrats have just as many corrupt party members as the Republicans but the media does not report Democratic ethics violations.
Shurtleff said that while Americans are divided on the war in Iraq, Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson should not refer to President Bush as a war criminal.

Caleb Warnock can be reached at 443-3263 or

' );
//--> story appeared in The Daily Herald on page B1.

This brought to mind my viewing of the movie Borat. A couple of weeks ago Adi and I rented it and the whole time we were watching it he kept saying, "This isn't real. This is all staged."

He is so sweet and naive like that.

There were parts of the movie that made me laugh but most of it made me feel kind of sick. I know the people of Kazhakstan were upset, but I think the people of the United States might've been a tad more disturbed. The real freaks in that movie were everyday Americans reavealed in all of their obese, ignorant, rascist, self righteous fundamentalist Christian glory.

It freaked me out just like this article does.

I visited Salt Lake City a few years back and it's truly a beautiful city. I was unsettled the whole time. The people were unfailingly pleasant but it felt somewhat like being in a city full of animatronic people created by some kind of Mormon Disney overlord. There was a disconcerting homogeneity that was couched in bland, lemming like sameness. It kind of had that Stepford vibe.

I know that not all of the people living in Utah are like this. In fact it's definitely crossed my mind that this could be more of a Republican thing than a Mormon thing.

Or this could just be that when you add Mormon + Republican it equals Batshit Crazy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I love good food, I'm a good cook and I adore fine dining therefore it's very difficult for me to go out and eat just anywhere. It's the absolute worst to go out to dinner and pay top dollar for food that I know damn well would've tasted better had I made it at home.

My favorite places to eat are pretty much holes in the wall where the food is absolutely wonderful and the ambience and "scene" are non-existent. Los Angeles is a great place for restaurants like this. All the different cultures afford me multiple opportunities to pursue tatalizing gustatory experiences.

I adore Jonathan Gold's book CounterIntelligence because not only does he point me to places that I would never go (often in neighborhoods where I'm frightened to park my car), but his writing is divine. He just won the Pullitzer! For FOOD writing! That's how good he is.

Because it is my prediliction to eat good food rather than to ponder the see and be scene, I had sort of forgotten that Los Angeles can also be a mecca of mediocrity when it comes to those restaurants that celebrities are lured into during the first weeks they're open so that there is lots of press and the impression is created that the restaurant is "hot". Dolce and Spider Club come to mind when I think of places like this - places where you pay lots of money to eat so-so food in room full of people who are would be excited to breathe the same air as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, two young women who don't appear to eat so why anyone would follow their lead is beyond me.

There are also a lot of wonderful "foodie" restaurants in LA which are usually populated by old people. I don't know why this is true but it is. It's gotten to the point where if I don't see bald heads and bifocals when I walk through the door I seriously worry about what's coming out of the kitchen.

The other night I went out with a friend who wanted to go someplace where we might meet men. Ahem. The only men I've EVER met in a restaurant were bartenders or waiters, or on one occasion a busboy, but I figured it was better than a bar. I don't get my drink on so well anymore but I do eat dinner so this felt like a compromise. She could look for men and I could dine.

She mentioned The Lodge, a fairly new place in Beverly Hills. I really should've listened to that little intuitive voice in my head that said, "um, no," but I didn't. The place is modeled after a ski lodge and it is dark and cozy and comfy looking when you walk in. I think it used to be a coffee shop or pancake house and the lay out of the tables in the dining room pricked my memory of poassibly having a short stack there many, many years ago, but we ate in the bar. Because of the whole man meeting agenda.

As we walked through the mostly empty dining room I noted the low light glistening from a bald pate here and there and this made me optimistic. There was also a greasy pony tail sitting with a platinum blond that was pushing her food around on her plate, but she looked like a non-eater so I repressed the urge to flee to my favorite taco truck at Hoover and Pico.

I have to say that the wine list is quite good and although they were out of the Kunnin Zinfandel that I wanted, the Strange Syrah that I ended up getting was amazing. The food was not so good. I ordered the skirt steak and substituted sweet potato fries (my favorite). The meat was okay, a bit too seasoned without enough char to burn it off, but otherwise edible. The sweet potato fries on the other hand were a massive disappointment. They were bland! How is that possible? Where the steak had too much seasoning the fries had none. All I could taste was the oil they'd been fried in. I was sad.

My friend has been suffering from severe food allergies so she's pretty much eating steak or chicken with nothing on it and she'd ordered the Chicken Milanese. Now granted we didn't really know what that would be, but what showed up breaded and fried and it was perched like a hockey puck on the mountain of shiny sauteed spinach she'd requested instead of mashed potatoes.


We sent it back.

It's a good thing that our really nice waiter was also really patient.

Now you may be wondering about the man meeting. There were definitely people pouring into the bar. Mostly people who looked like they'd be tickled to hang out with Lindsey Lohan. Throughout our meal there was a tall, slender guy with dark hair who was lingering and looking, okay staring, at us. When my friend got up to go to the bathroom he made his move.

I've known my friend, we'll call her Jane, for years and I am used to the amount of attention she gets out in public. She's quite pretty and has a stunning body which motivates men to make utter asses out of themselves. She has always handled the attention with aplomb and often used to remind me of a cat playing with a mouse out in the garden. So this guy asks me if my friends name is Jane and I smile and tell him that it is.

He's actually very sweet without the usual predatory vibe that most of the men she attracts give off like radiant heat. He says he remembers her from about 10 years ago. I smile and nod. He asks how I enjoyed dinner and I tell him I am pretty much underwhelmed, but that I'm a food snob so don't mind me. He asks for more information like what I had and what didn't I like and I'm thinking that he is just killing time waiting for her to come back to the table.

Except that he kind of starts making excuses like, well you ate in the bar and ordered skirt steak and very slowly, excruciatingly slowly, I'm sad to say, it dawns on me that this guy may own the restaurant.

And of course he does.

I was completely mortified and I felt really bad for telling the truth although if I owned a restaurant I would want people to tell me what they really thought. He was actually very sweet about it and said he was glad I'd said something. He also said that if we came back and ate in the resaurant we would like the food better, but I'm thinking that's probably not so. At least not in my case because whoever is in the kitchen is cooking for both locations and I was not impressed with the foot that was being put in that food.

When Jane came back from the bathroom he was very sweet to her and seemed like an eminently meetable man because she doesn't really care what she eats.