Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to God

That title comes from Thomas Jefferson. It was his suggestion for the US Motto.

This weekend has been the church’s annual indexing push, so if you haven’t done a batch, now is the time.

When I started using Porter’s phone, once or twice a week, I would receive an  automated call from some place in Chicago. Tired of this, I tried unsuccessfully to figure out how to block the number or get off their list. In desperation, i entered my number into the national do not call list the government operates. Mistake. They say it can take up to one month for my request to take place, and apparently in the meantime, my number is openly circulated. I’ve been repeatedly called and called and have thus placed my phone on silence for at least the near future. Only outgoing calls. The best was when some guy called with a number out of New Brunswick saying he was stranded in Puerto Rico and wanted to wish my Dad happy birthday, but didn’t have his right number and asked me to call back.

I have to choose my classes for next semester in one week, and therefore need to decide if I want to keep my job (and the resulting Tuesday-Thursday class schedule) or not. Honestly, I still don’t know. Its a good job, but I’d like to spend more time on campus and have the opportunity to attend more events. I was elated to find out the BYU entrepreneurship contest has grown significantly in my two years absence. BYU now offers 8 teams/individuals $15,000, mentoring, and office space to start a company. There are also cash awards given out, which enabled two of the aforementioned 8 companies to walk away with $55,000 and $22,000. These are completely free grants; no equity is given away. I’ve been salivating since finding out, and am working on ideas right now. I have a couple possibilities, but nothing I can say I’m truly passionate about. So, don’t have free time, but want to see your idea put into action? Talk to me! Deadline is February.

Cajoled by Tanner, I attended a lecture by Robbie George on Thursday. He is one of the leading individuals on religious liberty in the nation. He paraphrased Benjamin Franklin saying that a people who lack virtue can always be counted on to trade freedom for protection.

Friday morning, I took a day off of work and left before dawn to head to Colorado Springs for an ISI conference. Five other students from BYU went, but had already arranged carpooling before I RSVP’ed for the conference, so I went with some students from Utah State University, making the 9 hour drive to Colorado Springs. Its been an interesting and enlarging experience; I must admit, however, that academia simply is not for me. We discussed and learned about “Liberty and the Declaration of Independence.” I realized I currently feel much more comfortable discussing business than philosophy. That will be a  shortcoming I look to remedy. The conference is set up to allow many opportunities to network with other students. Try as I might, I couldn’t say I succeeded. Besides from a music performance major from Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, I did not really connect with anyone from outside of BYU. (I did not know them before, and did really enjoy conversing with them.) Not to step too high on the soapbox, I must admit that much of the difficulty in connecting can be traced to choice of drink. While not ignorant of the general college atmosphere, I was nevertheless surprised by the alcoholic intake. In a conference themed around the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams was celebrated in the hospitality room, and neglected to an afterthought as a founding father. One professor who spoke defined the pursuit of happiness  as having a keg on a weekend. My roommate for the weekend is a student from USU, and came in around 2 am, both nights seemingly hammered by Thor himself. Drinks being free, freely flowed. Needless to say it was a reminder to be thankful for the though imperfect, utopian by comparison setting of BYU. Overall, there was 45ish students from 20 universities. One insightful comment was made mentioning that it was roughly the same size group that drafted the Declaration. I am confident that they produced a much better result than what we could have. The keynote address was on the religious sympathies of the founders. The case was well argued and proven that besides for a small number of deists or heretics, the vast majority were orthodox christians and founded our nation with that in mind.

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