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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. While these are fair points, I think that there’s something to be said for the US offering (limited) support on behalf of a western-oriented nation that is being invaded for the crimes of a) being free, b) seeking good relationships with other free nations, and c) having resources (including women and children) that the invader wants. And in an LDS context it’s worth pointing out that Ukraine has a temple, an out-in-the-open church presence, and a government that lets us operate with a relatively free hand. Russia doesn’t. When Russian troops move into a town with an LDS presence, the LDS membership—as one Russian official (in Donetsk, IIRC) put it—“melts away”. Not that Church interests ought to be the final determinant of international legal issues or jus ad bellum arguments, of course . . . but there are certainly worse determinants being proposed. Putin‘s forces need to lose; and if they lose in a way that teaches us how not to get our carrier groups neutralized by drones—so much the better, as far as I’m concerned.
  2. “Sure, we can do the tent thing. But there will be blood. And smoke. And the screeching of livestock having their throats slit.”
  3. I think a big liability that Kamala has with her party (at least the semi-reasonable ones) is that people are going to ask how it was that she, as VP, whose one job is to take over for the president when he’s incapacitated, failed to notice or raise the alarm when he was clearly incapacitated. Either she was part of the cover-up, or Biden (when he was still competent) and his staff considered her so dotty that they made a point of keeping her out of the loop. Neither makes for a very reassuring presidential nominee.
  4. This particular controversy was amusing to me because the current lot in its undeveloped, desert-y state appears (at least, from Google) to be a rather spectacular eyesore; and the landscaping of the nearby houses is pretty barren. I’m sure the temple will employ some degree of xeriscaping, given its location; but it’s hard to imagine a temple doing anything but improving the aesthetic of the neighborhood. Next time people raise phoney complaints like this, the Church should immediately concede and donate the proposed site to the city on the condition it be developed as high-density, low-income housing.
  5. We had the legacy of those disputes in my mission in Brazil 20 years ago. Missionaries were doing crap work at prepping investigators, baptizing them, and then abandoning them; and then blaming ward leadership when they went inactive. Ward leaders were pleading “we have sixty active members, and you’re about to baptize ten children because you schmoozed them into saying they’d be baptized, and we do not have the capacity to minister to these people’s needs!” And the DLs and AP’s would literally tell the bishops “you have no authority over us, and if you can’t retain converts that’s on your head, not ours”. On the spirit prison thing: I was taught that spirit prison had a subcategory (“Hotel Hell”, as one teacher called it) of people who were being purged of their sins; but that others in SP were where they needed to be spiritually except that they were still waiting to have their proxy ordinances done. My inclination is that these sorts of distinctions are largely artificial—either one is in spirit prison, or one isn’t; and the reasons an individual is in spirit prison, the pain or frustration (s)he is experiencing, and the things that need to happen before that individual can “cross over” into the realm of the righteous are tailored to the individual. (And frankly, I’m not even convinced that the difference between the spirit world/spirit prison is physical/geographical. It may simply be a matter of one’s state of mind, the degree of communion they are able to enjoy with the Spirit, and the degree to which their memories of premortal events have been restored.)
  6. 1. I just sort of embraced the acronym because it’s shorter (my handle was initially intended as a throwaway because I didn’t think I’d be here long). 2. @zil2 Ha! 3. @pam I expect you to remember my not taking the bait on this one, the next time you’re distributing monthly bonuses to the mod staff.
  7. Yep. Unless there are thunderstorms this evening, I’ll be out sailing on Utah Lake.
  8. I think Biden is probably a bit more mentally “there” than we’ve been led to believe. (I still have concerns, but I don’t think he’s a complete vegetable). I think he’s slyly lowered expectations to the point that if he utters three coherent sentences and doesn’t soil himself on national television, it will be a strategic victory for him.
  9. 14th Article of Faith: “We believe in meetings; we hope for meetings; we have endured many meetings and hope to be able to endure all meetings.” As I get older, I find myself having less patience needing more charity for Church leaders who set meetings that have no discernible purpose or do not substantively accomplish the meeting’s stated objectives.
  10. I’m not sure the Hebrew text, or the Jews or Christians who read it up until the last century or two, recognize that distinction. My understanding is that Christians even into Elizabethan times considered charging interest to be morally suspect, if not exactly verboten (which is why the protagonists in the Merchant of Venice have to seek out Shylock the Jew). Banking was supposedly one of the few professions open to Jews, because many good Christians just couldn’t imagine earning a living that way.
  11. Just to be a smidge contrarian: there’s nothing wrong with being a “gold digger” per se. Women have a right to expect a husband who can support them; and if they are initially a bit unrealistic about the style in which they can expect to be supported—well, if you don’t aim for the moon, you certainly won’t hit it The trade-offs, as has been discussed, are positioning oneself in a place where suitable potential mates are actually likely to be; striking the right balance of idealism and realism as one gets increasingly exposed to the dating pool; and in being the sort of wife who’s worth supporting in any kind of style.
  12. Plus they’re basically getting a $180K education for $24K, with the Church’s tithepayers making up the shortfall. The entitlement boggles the mind.
  13. I think one of the significant nuances here is that MGTOW aren’t really done with women. They are done with interacting with women. They are still straight; and they still largely . . . errr . . . have no problem interacting with images of women. From an LDS standpoint, rampant porn use and justifications thereto among MGTOW make the movement deeply problematic. I think both hardcore feminists and MGTOW have sort of deceived themselves into thinking that the other gender doesn’t have anything they themselves really *need*; and I think generally speaking, folks who embrace this kind of thinking are setting themselves up for a lot of loneliness and frustration later on life (to say nothing of feeding into social dynamics that aren’t conducive to a healthy, harmonious, sustainable society; and especially in an LDS sub-community that lionizes the principles of the Proclamation on the Family). One other observation that seems to have some application in response to some of the posts (and I’m sure @LDSGator will note that I’m engaging in a bit of pearl-clutching here): I was on BYU campus the other day, and the number of apparent-students of both genders who were dressed very much outside the parameters of the Honor Code, really surprised me. In my day of 2002 (harrumph! harrumph!) everybody toed the line, at least on campus. Certainly people have been complaining about “kids these days” for millennia; but at the same time, there does seem to be a higher proportion of modern LDS YSAs who have openly rejected an awful lot of traditional LDS orthodoxy and orthopraxy. That’s got to make the dating game even harder for the kids who are looking for a truly converted and faithful future spouse.
  14. I don’t think modern legal trends make it clear that federal anti-polygamy legislation was unconstitutional (some of the remedies provided by that legislation—denying the vote, liquidating entities that promoted polygamy, etc—sure; but not the notion of the feds regulating marriage itself). Conservatives were fine with the federal DOMA; and when it was stricken down I believe the grounds had less to do with concerns about federal overreach than that sexual orientation had been deemed a “protected class” and that DOMA failed under an equal-protection analysis. I believe (going from memory here) that the Reynolds decision said that Congress can pass generally-applicable laws even if they happen to conflict with the mores of individual religious groups; and IIRC that holding still gets cited from time to time in modern cases. I do think we are moving towards a society where polygamy is legally tolerated; but I think the route to that will come via federal legislation as a sop to increasing numbers of immigrants from Islamic countries where polygamy is de rigeur. Even then, the tolerance won’t really be social. People will still consider it inherently oppressive to/exploitative of women; it’s just that - as is currently the case with other antisocial behaviors - progressives will insist that ethnic or racial minorities be given a pass and that the rest of us must either look the other way or make obeisance for our having caused the situation through our “whiteness”.
  15. They can if it invokes constitutional issues (double jeopardy, for example). If the state court trial is not fundamentally fair or somehow falls foul of “due process” requirements, SCOTUS can absolutely review it. That’s why the left is throwing such a hissy fit about Thomas’s and Alito’s supposed ethical violations right now—they want to prep the playing field before the case makes it there.
  16. Me too. Carrie Underwood has a version out that’s hauntingly beautiful - has some verse transitions that evoke “Sunrise, Sunset” and work surprisingly well.
  17. Not licensed in New York and I don’t practice anything like the sort of law being applied here; but criminal sentencing can routinely take months. In a run-of-the-mill criminal case in Utah the convict would be expected to meet with Adult Probation and Parole, which would do an evaluation and make recommendations to the court prior to the sentencing hearing. The defendant could then theoretically bring in witnesses/experts to dispute the report and/or submit their own competing report.
  18. In the long term (10+ years), I don’t think Taiwan is defensible by the US against invasion by a peer (or, as the Chicoms are likely to become soon, superior) military power—the geography is against us. IMHO the US should offer political asylum for any Taiwanese national who wants it; incentivize their tech industries to set up additional factories on American soil, support Japan, South Korea, and Australia becoming open nuclear powers; and scale back our own military engagement in the region.
  19. Anyone wanna summarize the arguments, for those of us without the patience to watch the video? 🙂
  20. In a previous life, I could have gotten you guys alimony for that. Just sayin’.
  21. Just_A_Girl and I toured the Cailler chocolate factory in Switzerland last year. Apparently, when evaluating hoity-toity chocolate, one of the criteria is supposed to be the sound it makes when it breaks.
  22. I like Hardy a lot. His “Understanding the Book of Mormon” was illuminative for me. He was also involved in the Maxwell Institute’s BOM study edition a few years back (which I own and love); I believe the Annotated is an expanded version (but the Annotated uses the 1920-something text whereas the MI edition uses 2013–the Church has stopped authorizing the use of the 2013 text, and the MI edition is now out of print).
  23. Losses inexorably change the nature of the battlefield. Thanks to inflation fed in part by a labor glut, what was once attainable for the vast majority of families who put their minds to it (specifically, subsisting and even thriving on a single income), no longer is. I’m not sure what you mean by pivoting or suggesting that it’s a rare thing. Every time the left “wins” on a particular issue, they tend to open up a new front; and the right feels it has to fight it. Got sex ed in schools? Great, now hide the curriculum from parents. Got legalized abortion? Great, now offer it at taxpayer expense and make it legal up to 39 weeks. Got gay marriage? Great, now get dudes in drag to do strip shows in schools. Got legal equality for racial minorities? Great, now let’s institutionalize reverse-discrimination. I don’t think the right “pivoting” is odd or surprising at all; it’s just conservatives trying to conserve.
  24. In one respect it isn’t. The Americans would likely have made their way to a consulate eventually and found a way out, after a great deal more inconvenience and possibly suffering than they otherwise endured. On the other hand, I have a book about the evacuation of the German mission (this one); and those involved recalled some truly remarkable things happening around this time that they could only consider “miraculous”. Why God would have intervened on such a micro scale to help some relatively privileged people, while allowing enormous catastrophes to play out in the lives of thousands of others, naturally brings us back to larger problems of theodicy and the divine plan. (I was going to ask here if it wasn’t a Britisher who coined the aphorism about God for some reason taking especial care of fools, drunks, and Americans; but come to think of it, wasn’t it Bismarck who came up with that one?)