Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I've read some highly interesting passages this week that intrigued me for different reasons: an evaluation of Pres. Nixon by someone who listened to the entire White House tapes, an apostle's impression of the recent inauguration, a tongue-in-cheek assessment of Freddie and Fannie, and a call to something better.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson -- Confirm Thy Soul in Self-Control
(This one from the Friday Forum reading this week. To find out more, come join us.)
My first job out of law school was as law clerk [during the Watergate saga.] ... When President Nixon finally did produce the subpoenaed recordings of White House meetings and telephone calls, ... the judge and I listened to hour after hour of meetings between Nixon ... and others. In the course of listening in on these discussions, I became convinced that Richard Nixon had not had prior knowledge of Gordon Liddy's scheming nor John Mitchell's acquiescence in those schemes. Not long after the arrests ..., Nixon was informed of the relationship between the burglars and his reelection committee... . It was at this point, I think, feeling the expediency of helping a friend and of avoiding embarassment to his reelection campaign, if not to himself, that the president of the United States committed a criminal act... . And so, in succumbing to the pressures of the moment, he stepped off the rock of principle.

Elder M. Russel Ballard -- At the Obama Inauguration
I left with a feeling that the people of America are going to unite behind this new president and his administration and that we need to pray for him. We need to exercise our prayers and help him accomplish the great objectives that he has set.

John Carney -- Fannie and Freddie: Mission Accomplished
Affordable housing has allegedly been at the heart of the mission of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since the government set up the mortgage entities. In the decades since, Fannie and Freddie have been attempting to help Americans become homeowners by meddling in the credit markets to create cheaper home loans. And, as it turns out, that meddling may now be closer than ever to accomplishing it's goal. ... There are now so many unsold homes on the market that home prices will likely go below historically normal levels. In short, we're getting close to a historically unprecedented level of home affordability. Fannie and Freddie played an important role in achieving this. ... Mission Accomplished.

Socrates (with some substitutions by Adam Kissel)
My friend, you are an American. Your nation is the greatest and most famous for wisdom and for strength. Aren't you ashamed to worry about money, getting as much as you can, and about prestige and status, instead of intelligence and truth and the soul, getting it to be the best it can be? You don't worry about that; you don't even think about it.
(from Plato's Apology at about 29).

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