• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by PolarVortex

  1. But by that argument, U.S. states with strongly regulated firearms control should have lower rates of gun violence than states with light firearm regulation. That's not the case. Furthermore, there are countries in the world with very liberal gun laws that have low rates of gun violence (e.g., Switzerland and Israel). If you boil away the fiction behind these arguments, you're left with the core question of whether increasing gun control in the U.S. will lead to lower rates of violence in the U.S., and for that I refer you to a sarcastic bumper sticker I see all the time: "Let's just make guns illegal and nobody will use guns, just like we made drugs illegal and nobody uses drugs." Britain and the United States are very different in many important ways. Our British friends didn't have to deal with frontier justice, hostile Indians, rattlesnakes, cattle thieves, and robbers the way 19th-century Americans did, and those things still run in many Americans' blood. Violence in the U.S. is regrettable, but guns are used in self-defense all the time in this country, in numbers far greater than the number of gun-related acts of violence. I too am sick at the level of gun violence in this country, but any solution has to make things better, not worse.
  2. I'm telling you, Milka chocolate with whole hazelnuts is the most otherworldly confection I've ever eaten. It makes all other chocolate taste like stale bird seed in comparison. Hard to find in North American stores, but it's available on Amazon. Truly I can say that if I die tomorrow, I will die happy having eaten Milka chocolate on occasion.
  3. Or the undercover vice cop who consummates a transaction with a hooker just to make sure she is doing something unlawful? I actually read about a case like this... the cop was gently counseled to lower his threshold for deciding whether criminal activity had occurred.
  4. Perhaps I'm just getting in touch with my inner contrarian, but I'm bothered a bit by this talk of private justifications before God. Just a bit. If a father decides to take a part-time job on Sundays to earn money to pay for his kids' college, and he justifies it before God as a valid way to keep the Sabbath, then he's golden and good to go? This is a sincere question. I'm not trying to poke out some rocks just to start an avalanche.
  5. This debate pops up now and then in various forms. I remember when the movie The Last Temptation of Christ came out and many Christians were bitterly criticized for opposing a movie they had never seen. The contents of a movie or a book can become known to people who never see the movie or read the book. Or, to stretch it a bit, it's not hypocritical to oppose smoking if you've never puffed a cigarette.
  6. Please go to Amazon.com and read the top two user reviews for this book. That's what I did a while back, and I feel perfectly qualified now to dismiss this ludicrous book as something bad even without cracking the book cover.
  7. I face the same issue, except with me it's my job that robs all my free time. Here's how I am treating this question. This is just my opinion, and I'm not basing it on any specific teachings from the Church. Others may disagree. On Sundays, ordinary exercise of any kind that is comparable to something I'd do on other days is okay. I would not train for a marathon on those days, nor would I take time to exercise that would take time away from family responsibilities. And if I could combine it with something spiritual, that would be good. (I used to go on long hikes or runs and listen to the Mormon Channel from my iPhone.) Within the correct bounds, exercise is more like rest than work to me. And if I may offer a bit of advice... 3 or 4 short workouts during the week are better than one big workout on Sunday morning. I'd say aggressive time management could be your real friend here.
  8. Yahoo Groups is similar to an online forum. Wikipedia has a good description: "Yahoo! Groups is one of the world’s largest collections of online discussion boards. The term Groups refers to Internet communication which is a hybrid between an electronic mailing list and a threaded Internet forum, in other words, Group messages can be read and posted by e-mail or on the Group's webpage like a web forum." Members can post messages, which are then posted to a common area that all other members can browse. IIRC, members can set up their account to have all new messages emailed directly to them, or have a single daily update mail with all new messages from that day, or no email notification at all. It can be closed so the messages are not visible to the public. I don't believe you can use it for commercial purposes, though. It's good for some small clubs, like a 50-member hiking club that wants to publicize upcoming events or do simple discussion. You can just go to groups.yahoo.com and set up a group with 3 or 4 test members and try it out. If you decide you don't like it, just delete it and move on. I'm not a huge fan of Yahoo stuff, but I know several nonprofit organizations that use Yahoo Groups a lot. The big advantage is that it's free and very easy to use. Good luck...
  9. What specifically do you need that a free solution (e.g., Facebook or Yahoo Groups) won't give you?
  10. I just had lunch with a friend. He went to his dentist yesterday and the dental light bothered him a lot (he was recovering from a head injury and was very sensitive to light). So they found a surgical mask and put it over his eyes like a blindfold. Then one of the dental technicians asked if they could tie his wrists together and photograph him. He agreed, and they printed out the photo, put a caption of "Fifty Shades of Dr. Grey" underneath, and posted it in the dentist's waiting room, where all the patients reportedly got a good belly laugh. Has the world gone mad?
  11. As a man also, I can tell you it's closer to the truth than I originally wrote... but I wanted to be nice...
  12. A woman friend once told me that she had figured out men completely. They date and date, and then they date some more, and then at some random, unexpected time a little bell goes off in their head and they suddenly grab the nearest woman and propose, and they're devastasted if the woman declines. It's an unfair stereotype, but it has a few streaks of truth.
  13. How I loved Jonny Quest when I was a kid...
  14. Perhaps they should have named it "Rear Window."
  15. That's unfortunate, but why not make it work for you? Take your mom aside and tell her your situation, with an emphasis on "we're getting back on track for the TR" and not "we stopped attending." Then tell her you're really sorry you can't attend with everyone at this time and that you don't want to discuss this further with anyone else. Your statement above leads me to think that your situation will be common knowledge within your entire family within hours if not minutes, and nobody will bug you further. If you lie or deceive now and the truth comes out later, people you love could be really hurt. Truth is the best way to go 99.9% of the time. There are exceptions, but this is not one of them. And telling loved ones that you have to work when you really don't is... well, it's just not right. I have my own issues around returning to the Church, so I feel for you, really. Best wishes! Edit: I would do this only if your family absolutely insists on a reason for your not attending. If you can make a generic "no, thanks" work, go for it, even if you have to say it cheerfully a hundred times.
  16. I don't have to stop you... the city of Hamburg will. Pedestrians aren't allowed on that bridge. Let's stop joking about bridge jumping... I have nightmares of falling from high places.
  17. I agree with Vort, but I'm assuming that you don't have the option just to not accompany them... that if you decline with a cryptic "No, thanks," they will start pestering you to explain why. I can see where that would worry you. I guess if it were me, I would simply start by declining any invitation to accompany them. If they start drilling down into my reasons, I would drop the truth-bomb on them but spin it carefully in a way to minimize damage: "Because we went through a period of not attending sacrament meetings, and we are not yet finished fixing all that." If your relatives look shocked, simply add, "Well, you asked me, and I certainly can't lie to you, can I?"
  18. Well, we certainly can't have that. fwiw = For what it's worth
  19. I certainly hope you don't jump, but if you do please do it in June 2017 or later. The suicide nets will be installed by then. I read recently about a young man who started talking to an LDS missionary online in some Church-approved chat thing. (Missionaries with modest physical limitations are really good for that kind of thing, I hear.) After many discussions and conversations, the young man converted and decided to fly to Utah to surprise the missionary in person, who was ending his mission and would be speaking at a sacrament meeting. From what I read, the meeting was very awkward. After the initial grin and bear hug, it wasn't clear what to do next, and soon everyone scattered like billiard balls leaving the young man alone. He had traveled to Utah at his personal expense, too. On the other hand, my own conversion took two teams of missionaries separated by three years. When I was baptized, the bishop tracked down one of the sister missionaries from Team #1, who had settled in a nearby state, to join the sister missionaries from the winning Team #2. It was a wonderful surprise to see her. So yeah, I think contact with missionaries is very nice, provided it's done in a way that doesn't create awkward moments.
  20. I see. I wasn't doubting your story, but when I dealt with the missionaries in Virginia in the 1990s they were just one step below Siamese twins. One bitterly cold snowy night they realized that they had left something in their car, and they both went out to fetch it. As they both put their coats on, I told them I could be trusted for ninety seconds alone with one of then, but they said they had to follow the rules. Yes, that must be difficult in the early stages of one's mission. I once heard a podcast about missionaries in Russia. They had just spent a few short months in language study at the MTC and could barely say "Mormon" in Russian. They arrived in St. Petersburg, met the mission president or whoever at the airport, and they all took the bus and then subway to their new home. The way they described it, they were told to start proselyting on the subway. Yikes. Sink or swim, I guess.
  21. At what types of places do these get-togethers get together?