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Web Eight Hour Lunch

Eight Hours of Recommended Reading

(But only if you're really slow.)

Eight Hours Worth
of other Blogs

I've been to too many blogs to list them all in this column, but you can see the list here.

At Least Eight Hours Worth of Podcasts I'm Not Supposed to Like:

March 2007

Answering the Critics

I've apparently caused a little heartburn with a few readers over at the Salt Lake Tribune. My letter to the editor was the fifth most visited article of their online version yesterday.

A few people took this as an opportunity to search for a crack in the inpenetrable armor of my logic (ha!). I've posted my response, but I thought I'd save you a trip by posting it here as well.


Goneskiing, you make about one fair point and several pretty bad ones. I understand that your church uses trademark to protect an image from what it considers to be unsavory use. However, if your church is true, then it needs trademark protection about as much as Jesus (historical or mythical) needed bodyguards. In his own narrative, he didn't fight back. I don't think the phrase was, "turn the other cheek, that ye may consult with thine attorneys and smite thy enemies."

Besides, on the one hand you infer that the LDS actively pursue all trademark violations as a matter of principle (except the ones they don't have time for). On the other you say it's to squelch unfavorable press. What is it then?

Pete, I'm afraid you need to visit the Constitution again. It's clear that the church didn't want to allow this person to speak, purely on the grounds that they found the speech offensive. Because the shop owner is a little guy, his lack of financial defense excludes him from his rights. Even if he won a case, he'd end up broke. Large corporations (religions included) know this and use it to create their own law all the time.

Vesuvio, should we really respect all ideas solely on the basis that someone may hold them sacred? Are you willing to extend your reverence to the sacred symbols of all? How about the cross? The ying-yang? Cartoons of Mohammed? The *swastika*? Where do you draw the line?

Thlete, visit my Web site some day. I doubt you'll come to the conclusion that it has anything to do with the time of year as much as I am striving to discover truth.

It's interesting you’d bring up the Mohammed cartoon. I wonder—what would happen to a lone blasphemer in a completely Mormon country? I think the “kind” response has less to do with moral restraint than it does a contextual awareness of their limitations.

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Look! I'm (In)famous!

My letter to the editor made it to the Salt Lake Tribune! As to be expected in Utah, my reception thus far has been less than warm. So in the name of "fair and balanced" reporting (wink), head on over and leave a comment!

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Hypocrisy For Sale

Just an addendum to last night's podcast. I’d like you to try something for me. Head out to eBay and do a quick search for Moroni. If your results were anything like mine, you’ll probably end up with over one hundred hits.

Now to be fair, several of the items for sale actually meant Moroni, Comoros, a place whose name Joseph Smith very well may have ripped off when he was stuck for a character name in the Book of Mormon. On the other hand, lots of them weren’t.

I saw items for sale from a variety of vendors, including Moroni lapel pins, neckties and xmas tree ornaments. Am I to assume that all of these are legally licensed items that don’t infringe on the Mormon’s sacred trademark? If not, when can we expect the lawyers at LDS, Inc. to start shutting them down?

Telling Just Add Coffee to pull their t-shirts isn’t about protecting trademarks at all. It’s a lesson in what can happen when a single group has enough power, money and attorneys to exercise their absolute contempt for the First Amendment. Ironic really, when you consider they might not exist without it.

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EHL Podcast: Episode 13

What Harm Does It Do?

As you abandon your pursuit of happiness and keep others from theirs, throw in a few financial and medical problems. Add a generous helping of undeserved guilt. Then, for good measure, postpone justice and murder a few million people in countless religious skirmishes, wars and crusades. What harm, you say? Don’t get us started.

Download this episode. (14MB)
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Show Notes

EHL Podcast: Episode 12

Woo Woo

A lot of the people who don't subscribe to podcasts like this do subscribe to woo-woo. We'll tell you how to recognize woo-woo when you see it and even teach you how to make it. Hopefully our woo-woo is the only woo-woo you'll ever need.

Download this episode. (15MB)
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Show Notes

We were picked up again last night by the Carnival of the Godless. Thank you and welcome everyone! Here are the links from this show:

Look for our photographs here soon so you'll recognize us when you see us in that cheese sandwich or a tortilla. We want photos of your sightings!

Finally, Heidi presents (drum roll please):

Spicy Salmon Tacos

  • Boneless, skinless salmon fillet, 2-3 lbs
  • Tony Cachere’s Spice N’ Herbs seasoning
  • Olive oil

Using a very sharp knife, slice the salmon into ½ to ¾ inch wedges, and push the pieces back together to form one piece. Carefully place the reassembled salmon fillet on a cookie sheet lined with foil and greased. Drizzle with olive oil and coat with the seasoning blend. Broil on the top rack of a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until fish is opaque in the center and flakes with a fork.

To assemble each taco, layer the following ingredients in the order listed below.

  • 2 corn tortillas, toasted in a hot skillet
  • Shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix works great!)
  • 1 piece of the salmon fillet
  • Shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 slices of ripe avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Spicy cilantro ranch dressing
  • 1 lime wedge to squeeze over the taco

Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dressing

  • Buttermilk ranch dressing mix, dry
  • 1 ½ cups fat free sour cream
  • ½ cup low fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 jalapeño

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the dressing is too spicy, it may be diluted with additional sour cream. Best if made a few hours ahead and stored in the fridge. Use liberally on salmon tacos. Enjoy!

EHL Podcast: Episode 11

Parenting Can Drive You to Drink

Especially when grandparents get involved. Enough said. Of course that won't stop us, so tune in for one of Doug's vintage rants while you're at it.

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Show Notes

Not much this time. But we do have some photos of Mt. Pleasant, Utah and a link to the Native Wines Web site.

EHL Podcast: Episode 10

Speaking Objectively

Over fifteen years ago, I read a book that changed me forever. No, it wasn't the Book of Mormon. It was The Fountainhead. While I'd be hesitant to actually call myself an Objectivist, I do owe credit for a very large part of my philisophy to Ayn Rand.

Perhaps too often the word Objectivist conjurs images of intimidating arguments with angry philosophical types whose only motive is to prove their moral superiority by verbally beating their opponents into the ground.

That's too bad really, becuase while I've met my fair share of those people, they're certainly not all like that. So it's with that in mind, I'd like to introduce you in this episode to a good friend of ours, Gail Paquette. She's been an Objectivist for over twenty years, and what's more, she's nice.

Download this episode. (17MB)
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