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Vort last won the day on April 16

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  1. We say that it fulfills the prophecies because we have to. We have no alternative if we are to (1) believe the scriptures to be the word of God and (2) accept that Jesus was crucified on Friday. If it were to be revealed to us that the ideas given in the TH article are true and that Jesus was actually put to death on Thursday, we would very soon roll our eyes at the whole manufactured "28 hours is actually three days if you know how to count right" argument that has traditionally been put forth.
  2. Because it puts homeschooling under the thumb of the state. "Common core" is a good example of that. As for so-called public funding, I'm in favor of that. But I'm even more in favor of not taking the money in the first place by giving homeschooling families tax credit.
  3. This is non sequitur. If I create a computer program, that doesn't mean I define the rules of logic on which the program runs, or the machine op codes into which the program is decoded. Foreseeing is a different matter. Certainly God foresees everything; it may be that he experiences the future in a "present" way. I mean, I don't know, because I'm not God and I'm not a celestial person. But yes, God foresees everything. And if God creates something ex nihilo (that is, from nothing), then without argument God is responsible for how that thing operates, be it a rock, a star, or a human being. But the common Christian/Jewish/Muslim doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is self-negating nonsense. God doesn't create "from nothing". That includes us. We ourselves are self-existent beings, and in that sense, we are co-equal with God himself. God created our spirits, and he created our bodies; but the essence of ourselves, which in LDS doctrine is called "intelligence", is uncreated. Doctrine and Covenants Section 93 teaches us: Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. We are not God's puppets. We are beings of agency, gifted with the ability to choose our paths. We do not forge those paths; we simply follow them. The choice is ours, and by that token, we must choose carefully, at the peril of our eternal happiness. There's a quick lesson in LDS Doctrine 101.
  4. When I grow up, I wanna be like JAG. Or maybe I wanna be a JAG. (Never thought of it before, because I'm kinda super slow on the uptake, but are you a JAG? Or a JA, as the case may be?)
  5. Vort

    Eat Your Heart Out, Tony Stark

    Or the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.
  6. Vort

    Why we still have Democrats

    The harsh truth: The typical slightly-above-average conservative can explain what liberals believe and why they believe it, and do a fairly accurate job of it. The typical well-above-average conservative can give the liberal argument more convincingly than most liberals. The conservative won't agree with the liberal argument, of course, but he understands it—not just the words, but the motivations behind it and the intent of those who proclaim it. The typical slightly-above-average liberal has no real idea why conservatives believe as they do, and can give only leftist parodies of conservative thought, things that any conservative would roll his eyes at. ("They hate brown people! They are afraid of women having power! They're unevolved angry white men!" That sort of thing.) The typical well-above-average liberal—and this is true—still does not understand why conservatives think the way they do. Seriously. They're mostly clueless. When asked, they literally throw up their hands and respond, "Who knows why they think the things they do?" Then they fall back on the same stereotypes as their 65th-percentile compadres. I know whereof I speak. I see this every day of my life. And it is not a Seattle-area-only phenomenon. Go to the eastern part of the state, which is much more conservative, and you will see Exactly The Same Thing. Go to ANY major college campus in the US not called BYU and you will see Exactly The Same Thing. Go to any large software corporation, where the average IQ skews at least a standard deviation above the norm, and you will see Exactly The Same Thing. Note that I'm not talking about the average or below-average liberals or conservatives. The 50th percentile and below typically neither knows nor cares about their opponents' arguments. I'm talking about the people who should know what the other side thinks. In general, intelligent conservatives understand what liberals think. In general, intelligent liberals do not understand what conservatives think. Probably more frighteningly, in my experience most intelligent liberals do not care to understand why conservatives think as they do. And why not? Because they are convinced of their own moral superiority. They don't need to understand conservative thought any more than they need to understand Nazi thought (a comparison they're happy to make). In the liberal mindset, conservatives are Nazis. They're evil. Not every liberal thinks this way, of course; but it's terrifyingly common among liberals, and not just the bottom half. Dialog is a good second step. But the first step has to be education—specifically, education of liberals about conservative values. I guess the zeroeth step would have to be cultivating a willingness to understand the empathize with someone you don't agree with, an area in which (astoundingly enough) conservatives appear to be much more adept than liberals.
  7. Vort

    Want some Mores?

    Ah, you mean you can't very well take less. You can always take more than nothing.
  8. Interestingly, my daughter-in-law just completed a year of teaching in the second grade in Provo. At the beginning of the school year, she took a dim view of homeschooling. After only one year of teaching elementary school—in Provo, Utah, remember—she was so shocked and disillusioned by what she saw among her fellow teachers and the administrators that she is now more insistent on homeschooling her children than her husband is. She loved her students, and she loved teaching, but she was appalled by how the school system works. So it's not just me, and it's not just Washington state. I also don't get how homeschooling can be considered "a part of the Florida Public Education System." Pretty much by definition, homeschooling is not public education.
  9. Vort

    Eat Your Heart Out, Tony Stark

    Let's see. Just brainstorming here. What if...we use that square meter to grow wheat, which we feed to a hamster, which we allow to run on a hamster wheel, which we hook up to a small bicycle generator, which extrapolation from this Reddit suggests could produce AN ENTIRE WATT of power! That's 5000 TIMES more efficient! Oh, wait. You can't grow wheat in the snow. Never mind.
  10. Vort

    Eat Your Heart Out, Tony Stark

    Two-tenths of a milliwatt per square meter, huh?
  11. Sure. That makes the person a liar. Liars don't do well in the patterns of existence. Liars are constitutionally incapable of receiving the things of God. So they don't. God is not mocked. From earlier: Why do you suppose the above bolded part? I see little reason to believe that's the case.
  12. You have made many good points, anatess, but I have to disagree very strongly with you here. The public schools institutionally promote themselves over all other alternatives. There can be no argument on that point. The teachers' unions unabashedly denigrate homeschooling to keep jobs for their union members. Not just homeschooling, but direct parental involvement in the child's education outside the limited roles that the school has determined parents ought to play. For the vast majority of school administrators and teachers, what children learn at home is the problem with the child, the bad issue they're seeking to resolve. Public schools are not now and probably never have been primarily concerned about educating the children. That's their raison d'être, certainly; but where the rubber meets the road, it is not Concern #1, or even Concern #2. To say that public schools don't historically (and today) encourage parental disinvolvement in student education is naive in the extreme. Even today, when "parental involvement" is the buzzword in public education, you can be sure that the schools want only a certain type of parental involvement, and that any involvement outside that narrow band is unwelcome and almost certainly prohibited on school grounds.
  13. I speak as one with many public school teacher family members, including my wonderful daughter-in-law. I am painting with a broad brush that does not fit many individuals, but most of the public school teachers I know and admire actually agree that many teachers are bozos. I had my share of very good public school teachers, and perhaps more than my share of the other kind. Remember me?
  14. Vort

    Oh Yeah, I Knew That. A Rant

    Pfft. Took him long enough.