Just_A_Guy

Senior Moderator
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Just_A_Guy last won the day on November 18

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About Just_A_Guy

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    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday December 2

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    Male
  • Location
    Utah County, Utah, USA
  • Religion
    LDS

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  1. Just_A_Guy

    Make the Forums Great Again

    As much as I enjoy talking politics—that’s been behind most of the major bannings / withdrawals that I’m aware of over the last year. Maybe we need to reconsider bringing back the ban on political discussion?
  2. Just_A_Guy

    The election

    You can PM Pam, Scott. Personally, I’d hate to see you go; but it’s your call. I apologize if I’ve contributed to an environment that made you feel unwelcome.
  3. Just_A_Guy

    The election

    On this business of “loving America”, I’ll engage with one possible controversial broad over-generalization, by offering another even more-controversial broad over-generalization: Republicans love America the way a newlywed man loves his wife: for what she is, and which he hopes she will eternally remain. Democrats love America the way a newlywed woman loves her husband: for what he may become, if properly managed.
  4. Just_A_Guy

    The election

    I don’t think it was really Trump that has held the GOP largely together over the last 4 years; it was the hard left’s increasing vocalness (not to say violence), and the unmasking both of the more radical parts of their agenda and the nominally-“impartial” institutions that are willing to make that happen. If the Democrats can set firm boundaries between their mainstream leadership and the party fringe and make a convincing case that Biden is simply a return to “normalcy”, I think most of Trump’s base will drop their paranoia and go back to (what I like to think is) the GOP’s natural position of elevating ideas over people, and being patient enough to believe that the strength of their policies will win out in the end. But if Biden appears poised to enact additional dramatic and irreversible changes to the leftwards that are seen as threatening conservatives’ liberty or their prospects for education or employment—single-payer health care, or court-packing, or fiddling with RFRA, for example—there will be a lot of scared Republicans whose knee-jerk reaction will be to stick with the “fighter” they know.
  5. Just_A_Guy

    General Authorities

    You broke the code, man. Two goons carrying violin cases will be on your doorstep shortly.
  6. Just_A_Guy

    The election

    Here’s my reaction to the first ten minutes or so: —Giuliani’s tone and asides suggest that he’s less interested in converting his opponents (or even the open-minded), than in confirming the suspicions of those already sympathetic to him. —Yes, it’s significant to now have apparent documentation of various forms of fraudulent electoral behavior; especially to contest the smug academics who keep assuring us that it Never Happens. —Yes, hopefully this will make some more open-minded Americans consider the issue and think “golly, if there were election fraud, what would it look like and what kind of evidence would it take to demonstrate it?” That’s always helpful. —Ultimately, I am not equipped to make any kind of rational, informed judgment on the overall significance of Giuliani’s claims. He talks of hundreds of affidavits—but there are tens of thousands of precincts, in hundreds of counties, in half a dozen contested states, and each with their own laws and rules and procedures. My understanding is that at least a couple of the affidavits have been cross-checked and that some of the affiants didn’t see what they thought they were seeing. —I’m glad this is going to the courts. I hope they take a careful, detailed, comprehensive analysis and are able to quantify the scope of the problem. But this is an incredibly complicated case (several incredibly complicated cases, really) and there’s no way we are going to have a definitive answer before the electoral college meets in December. Biden will be inaugurated in January. If Trump starts getting victories in state supreme courts, they will come piecemeal over the course of the next 3-5 years and will be almost universally ignored by the media and hushed up by Facebook and Twitter.
  7. Just_A_Guy

    Rending the Veil of Unbelief

    I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky—I don’t mean for it to. But . . . if it’s *possible* to have a corporeal body without being born into one, then why do we have to be born into one? I can think of a couple of ways that this manifestation might have been (at least, under the cultural standards of Mahonri Moriancumer) qualitatively superior to those seen by Adam, Noah, Enoch, etc, without the idea that Jesus somehow transformed Himself for the first and only time into a physical form that He wouldn’t take again for another two millennia.
  8. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    1. Sure, so long as "the process" isn't some extraconstitutional, ahistorical claptrap specifically invented with the goal of getting Puerto Rico admitted. 2. There is nothing "constitutional" or "legal" about that. The Constitution is silent on the issue; it doesn't establish a formal progression from unorganized territory to organized territory to state. The statutes are not universally applicable; they were tailored for the needs and conditions within the various territories to which they applied. 3. Your assertion that "But congress is supposed to vote on it and have a good reason for voting not in favor of doing so" is incorrect. There is no requirement that Congress decide on statehood through an actual vote. In fact, Congress decides a lot of things by choosing *not* to bring the issue to a vote. The Constitution offers no guidance on what is or isn't a good reason; and enabling acts like the Northwest Ordinance were drafted with the presumption that certain cultural conditions already existed in the areas where states were being set up. 4. That verbiage, "free inhabitants", is interesting. Slaves didn't count. Native Americans didn't count. Why? Because, as I've already pointed out in an earlier quotation from the actual Northwest Ordinance, the act was intended to give Congressional representation to people who embraced a certain set of cultural values, which slaves and native Americans (allegedly) did not. Statehood isn't just about us governing them. It's about them governing us; so you'd darned well better chose your "them" carefully. 5. . . . And? 6. First off, your choice of words is a little artful here. The fact that there's no express constitutional or statutory reason why they shouldn't be a state, doesn't suggest that there's a constitutional or statutory reason that they should. Nor does it mean that Congress is barred from considering factors not explicitly mentioned in law or constitution. Factors like culture, values, economy and self-sufficiency, past track record of self-governance, reaction of the international community, defensibility, and--yes--how it would tip the balance of power in Congress (Missouri Compromise, anyone?). You still haven't given me a reason, under your preferred paradigm, as to why the US shouldn't have granted statehood England in 1800--or China today--if those people had, in a deliberate attempt to subvert traditional American values, jumped through the hoops you propose and demanded statehood and congressional representation. And second, let us reiterate: there are no constitutional or legal "requirements" for Puerto Rico to become a state. None. There has never been a universal procedure for any region desiring statehood. All there has been, is what Congress has deemed appropriate under the particularized set of circumstances of each would-be state at the time the application was made. To suggest that there is a standard process that all other states have gone through, and that Puerto Rico should be allowed to go through, that allowed and allows prospective states to disregard political realities and bypass any scrutiny of their own political and cultural and economic dysfunction, is a historical fairly tale; and at a certain point, repeating that fairy tale only reveals an underlying political agenda. 7. The fact that a significant portion of Americans embrace of Puerto Rico's political corruption, bureaucratic incompetence, and apparent disregard for individual liberty and personal property; speaks to a larger issue of American cultural and ideological decay. If this is about political parties, then it's because one political party has chosen wholesale to embrace that decay and foist it upon the rest of the country.
  9. Just_A_Guy

    More BSA misery

    It’s worth noting in these types of situations that many sex abuse perpetrators are enormous recidivists. It’s not at all rare for a single perp to have ten or twenty victims, or more, by the time he is caught. I could well believe that the traditional close-knit, trusting, hierarchical nature of LDS communities allowed a far smaller-than-average pool of perpetrators to victimize a proportion of the community’s children that is nevertheless comparable to other communities where perpetrators are more prevalent but where they just don’t have as easy access to as many potential victims.
  10. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    Of course, Mormondom has lots of stories about members being “assigned” by their bishops to the Republican or Democratic parties as Utah neared statehood; because Republican congresscritters were afraid that Utah would be a solidly Democratic state and opposed Utah’s admission partly for that reason . . .
  11. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    The federal Constitution would require that a state legislature agree to its own partition; and neither Sacramento, nor Salem, nor Olympia would ever give up their strangleholds on their eastern territories. Not as autonomous regions, and certainly not as sister states. Opponents of Puerto Rican statehood, at least, are willing to cut the island loose and let it govern itself. But the colonials in the backwoods of California, Oregon, and Washington will just have to learn their place.
  12. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    1. Utah wanted statehood so that it could choose its own local officials, rather than having federal appointees filling their executive branch and judgeships. They would have been happy with independence, had the federal government been so inclined; and even under the statehood rubric their primary wish was to be left alone. Puerto Rico has an elected governor who appoints their local judges. Statehood, for them, is not a step towards self-rule. It is a step towards letting them rule over the other states and diverting a bigger chunk of federal spending in their direction to help them cope with issues they can't, or won't, resolve on their own. 2. My friend, this is a bit of a straw man. My position isn't that a would-be state must have "no problems". My position is that with regard to Puerto Rico, "there are serious questions about their culture’s commitment to values like rule-of-law, noncorruption, individual rights, and sound fiscal management—not to mention a troubling affinity for Marxist dogma and a penchant for voting themselves money that was accumulated by people more prudent than themselves." It simply isn't true to suggest that there are universal "requirements for a territory to become a state". The Constitution merely states The Northwest Ordinance did set a precedent, but it was not a universally binding one; and there have been deviations from that pattern throughout history--sometimes for political reasons, and sometimes (as in the case of the Mormons, as well as the proposed indian state of Sekuoyah) because there were concerns about whether the locals could or would govern themselves in accordance with the underlying principles of the Republic. The Northwest Ordinance itself affirmed that "religion, morality, and knowledge" as " being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind". Certainly, if in 1800, the UK had said "Okay, America; we, with our population of ten million, declare ourselves to be subject to you and your population of five million. Now, give us our 2/3 of the votes in your House of Representatives, and our majority in the electoral college, and we promise we'll uphold the values on which you founded your revolution!", Congress would have the right to say "hey, wait a second . . .". Indeed, if China did the same thing in 2020--your logic would suggest we have to admit them, giving them over 80% of the House and an electoral college majority of their own. That, of course, is nonsense. Culture and values and prevailing notions of civic virtue in a would-be new state are a legitimate--in fact, a key--point of congressional inquiry. 3. Had Hawaii--or Utah--been nearly bankrupt within the past five years, and demanded a bailout from the federal government? Were they rife with corruption? Infested with a political ideology that has killed a hundred million people and poisoned both the economy and individual liberties of every nation-state it dominated? Had a per capita income less than half of the rest of the US? Had they repeatedly misappropriated federal relief aid and bungled disaster response after disaster response? These are not mere temporary problems to be worked through. These call into question the fundamental notions of what exactly the prevailing values in Puerto Rico really are. Back around 2003-2004, progressives had no problem acknowledging that some peoples (*cough IRAQIS cough*) just weren't culturally fit for American-style democracy. Why, then, do we accept this assumption that Puerto Rican culture can mesh seamlessly into the American experiment; especially when we have so much tangible evidence to the contrary? By your own figures, an overwhelming majority of Puerto Ricans don't want to be governed by Puerto Ricans. Why, then, should I? 4. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the ultimate arbiter of the decision is a plebiscite of either the would-be state in question, or of the American people as a whole. To the contrary, the Constitution vests that decision with Congress; and Congress has considered statehood for Puerto Rico. Some folks just don't like the results of that consideration, because a) it makes it harder for Puerto Rico's kleptocratic political class to get its hands into the pocketbooks of people living outside its own jursidiction; and b) it leaves the Senate--for the moment--in Republican hands.
  13. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    By being such a dysfunctional armpit that anyone who can get out, does?
  14. Just_A_Guy

    More BSA misery

    Perhaps. The three questions/concerns I have are: 1). My experience with bankruptcy is limited to handling a couple dozen clean Chapter 7s and a couple of relatively simple Chapter 13s, all of which was nearly ten years ago. But AFAIK, the proof of claim process usually precedes dickering over the size of the bankruptcy estate, the nature of any exempt assets, or the details of the repayment plan. In fact, the whole point of the proofs of claim process is to identify the people who might have standing to be heard and/or object as these other issues are hashed out. I find it very unlikely that the bankruptcy judge would have assured the BSA at this early stage of the process that its camps and operational accounts are safe. 2). AFAIK, when this process began most estimates were that the PoC process might ferret out as many as 5,000 more claimants. The 92,000 figure is absolutely staggering. I don’t think anyone dreamed it would be that high, and it’s quite possibly a game-changer. The idea of a chapter 11 bankruptcy is that you get enough breathing room to pay off your “non-dischargeable” debts in full, while “dischargeable debts” may get paid at pennies on the dollar or not get paid at all. otherwise you’re forced into liquidation. But debts arising from “intentional torts” (ie cases where conduct was deemed “willful or malicious”) are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. These sex abuse claims (if meritorious) may very probably have to be paid in full by the time the case ends, which I believe is rarely longer than two years; whereas it’s looking like it would take *decades* for the BSA to pay off these claims. If there are simply aren’t enough assets in the pot to pay them off in full in a timely way, BSA will have no choice but to liquidate. 3). The BSA leadership lies. Sad to say, but it’s true. They told the Church they wouldn’t do certain things, and then did them; which I suspect was a big part of why the Church got out. They told the Girl Scouts they wouldn’t do certain other things, and then they did those things; triggering a lawsuit. I would take any assurances they offer to their stakeholders with a *huge* grain of salt at this point.
  15. Just_A_Guy

    Trump 2024?

    1. I’m talking about culture; I’m not sure why you’re responding with statistics about race. And I’m talking about Puerto Rico specifically, not Hispanic culture as a whole. Have you been looking at Puerto Rican politics over the past decade? When we look at the way Puerto Rico has governed itself of late, as well as the values espoused by prominent Puerto Rican politicians like AOC, I think there are serious questions about their culture’s commitment to values like rule-of-law, noncorruption, individual rights, and sound fiscal management—not to mention a troubling affinity for Marxist dogma and a penchant for voting themselves money that was accumulated by people more prudent than themselves. The fact that the Democratic Party (or even, to a lesser extent, the GOP) has degenerated into the same sorts of issues, does not mean that Puerto Rico deserves a seat at the congressional table in allocating the resources that are generally husbanded by other, more functional states (Puerto Rico’s per capita income, by the way, is barely half of Mississippi’s, the poorest US state). Mormon Utah consistently ranks among the best-run US states/territories. Puerto Rico . . . does not. 2. Be that as it may, their ability to bloc together in a geographical area and vote themselves benefits from the public purse is currently limited. In their diaspora, they have not been able to turn any American jurisdiction into quite the sort of dysfunctional morass that Puerto Rico itself currently is. Cripes, Puerto Rico was on the edge of bankruptcy and screaming for a federal bailout not five years ago! No ones saying that individual Puerto Ricans should, or constitutionally can, lose their US citizenship if PR attains independence. If they want to remain Americans and have their children enjoy birthright citizenship, they are free to immigrate and see firsthand how a successful American state functions, and make their voting decisions accordingly. But as for the island of Puerto Rico: I have no duty to buy what they have broken. Puerto Rico is likely to be even more of a drain on American resources as a state, than it is as a territory. It’s residents themselves understand this. Even as a territory they’ve got a pretty sweet gig—which is why they don’t want independence. To paraphrase Kennedy: they aren’t interested in what they can do for America. They’re interested in what America can do for them. 3. Fortunately, while “what the people want” is a major factor in US governance, it is not the only factor. As Latter-day Saints, our own history should make us particularly attenuated to the pitfalls of majority rule.