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Comment: Rehab (Score 1) 914

I get it, but that's no excuse. You're right, though, that it's hardly the only consideration.

Since the point of this article was to bring up crazy ideas to reevaluate our current systems, why we use them, and what we might do instead - I have a crazy proposal for evaluation. This isn't something that I know will work, but something I'd like to see thought through. It does have a controversial aspect.

There has already been some research done into treating crime like an epidemic. Why not study it like an addiction? People participate in both because they get something out of it emotionally. They are less likely to feel shame and reform if their peers/family accept the behavior. They both breed distrust for societal norms which disapprove of the behavior, socially isolating them from those who might help.

So, how do we deal with addiction? It's not easy to do, but it is something that we have made progress with over the years. Locking people up in rehab for a period of time does help. But it is wholly insufficient on it's own. One of the best ways to quit is some type of 12-step-like program. Criminals today are told that they cannot associate with other felons, as a condition of their parole. This makes sense, but is it really the best way? What if there was an semi-anonymous sponsor program? Felons helping felons to stay out of jail by staying straight?

Comment: Re: Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

You're using the wrong perspective. Granted, they buried the lead. The end of the summary:

When we ask that question, the goal isn't simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments — the goal is to look at today's punishments through the lens of the future.

It's meant to be a conversation starter. Locking up prisoners for long periods of time isn't a good way to handle things, but I haven't seen one better. We might get there eventually. I see 3 distinct benefits, only one of which may be deemed punishment.

(1) Deterrence, both of recidivism and of new crime. Our current system does measurably bad on the former, and it's pretty hard to estimate the latter.

(2) Most critically, a locked up criminal can't commit more crime while they're behind bars (widely speaking). Playing the law of averages, this means crime is lower, and there are fewer victims.

(3) It gives time for victims to heal emotionally without being harassed by the perpetrator. Also in this category, it makes it harder to enact revenge, and helps prevent most blood feuds. (It only lightens gang wars, but we'd have far more Hatfield/McCoy problems without physically isolating perpetrators from their victims.)

Comment: Middle Men (Score 1) 330

by gd2shoe (#46480883) Attached to: What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

Probably still be required to buy it through a dealer though...

Can someone explain why that is the way it is?

It is a joke relevant to some of the political hijinks that car dealerships have been pulling lately to subvert Tesla. There are several states that now require any car sales to go through a dealer, specifically to prevent direct sales by Tesla.

Comment: Re: You don't get how it works... (Score 1) 89

by gd2shoe (#46450659) Attached to: How Tutankhamun's DNA Became a Battleground

Oscrivellodds was trying to moderate the position of Denzacar by stages. Denzacar, on the other hand, seemed ridiculous, and I can't be sure just how serious he was trying to be*. I'm not worried so much about Oscrivellodds' post, as he was actively trying to move the conversation toward moderation and tolerance (or at least, live and let live). Even if he was being facetious, Denzacar's was a more dangerous post, as it contains actively wrong information, probably heard across some other church's pulpit, if I were to take a guess.

*("And yet nobody is rounding them up into prisons and concentration camps under suspicion of conspiracy to kill everyone on the planet!" - the over use of exclamation marks in the vicinity is telling, probably of sarcasm, but not necessarily)

Comment: Re: You don't get how it works... (Score 2) 89

by gd2shoe (#46446103) Attached to: How Tutankhamun's DNA Became a Battleground

I think I am lacking context. I cannot tell if your post is profound, sarcastic, inane, or "pun-ny".

To give context back, one of the central tenets of our faith is given in AoF 1:11 - "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

Thus, if someone is wholly opposed to my belief system, yet they still consider me a harmless nut, they will be capable of honoring my agency to choose how I worship. It is a minimum state that permits inter-faith (and intercultural) cooperation.

This does not preclude calm, rational (preferably friendly) religious discussion (and even very sensitive debate), but it does absolutely require respect.

(Addendum: "Bible bashing" does not show respect, and is a really bad idea. The devil can quote scripture - Matt 4:6. Even if what is said is true, he enjoys conflict. Any two godly people who disagree should be able to do so with civility. The Internet makes that a bit harder because any disagreement is often read in an angry voice, even if the writer didn't so intend.)

Comment: Re:You don't get how it works... (Score 2) 89

by gd2shoe (#46435309) Attached to: How Tutankhamun's DNA Became a Battleground

And we're not sure either! ;-)

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." - Matt 24:36-37, reaffirmed in D&C 49:7

But since it could be just about any time, there's no sense in being caught unprepared. As the saying goes, a broken clock is right twice a day. (not strictly true, but whatever) We'll be right eventually. Until then, people can just chalk it up to eccentricity.

Comment: Re:You don't get how it works... (Score 2) 89

by gd2shoe (#46435229) Attached to: How Tutankhamun's DNA Became a Battleground

They are actively fulfilling a Biblical prophecy ONLY by determining genealogical lineage AND then baptizing the dead. Simply baptizing them just makes them Mormon. In the minds of the LDS followers.

No, no, no, no, no.

http://mormon.org/faq/proxy-baptisms
Jesus Christ taught that baptism is essential to the salvation of all who have lived on earth (see John3:5). Many people, however, have died without being baptized. Others were baptized without proper authority. Because God is merciful, He has prepared a way for all people to receive the blessings of baptism. By performing proxy baptisms in behalf of those who have died, Church members offer these blessings to deceased ancestors. These individuals in the next life can then choose to accept or decline what has been done in their behalf.

You're missing a very, very key element here. Nobody is making anybody else Mormon. That would violate agency. Baptism is a covenant, like a contract. It is a two sided promise. It is valid if, and only if the deceased accepts it. Thus, they are NOT recorded as becoming Mormon, but as having had the saving ordinances performed on their behalf. It is up to them to decide whether the ordinance is valid or not.

This misunderstanding has lead to a lot of unnecessary anger (and heated rhetoric) over the years. Please don't perpetuate it.

Further, it is widely accepted that there will be a thousand years of peace, called the millennium after the return of Christ during which angelic messengers will facilitate cleaning up records that are inaccurate, or no longer exist on behalf of those who still want ordinances performed. The reason to not wait stems from the desire not to make those who are eagerly awaiting the work wait any longer.

For more information on the motivation for Temple proxy work, see:D&C 137. (Note that the Biblical term "prison" is understood as a spiritual state regarding sin, and not a literal one, that baptism facilitates freedom from.)

Comment: Re:Lawyers (Score 1) 465

by gd2shoe (#46432233) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

Of course not, but even without a will, legal documentation should not be hard to get, nor should the family be charged by courts, lawyers, appraiser, etc. It should be routine. It's not like nobody ever dies. Instead, the judicial system uses it as a revenue stream (fees), and then the legislature uses it again in the form of estate taxes.

It's only when family members are bickering and can't settle the issues among themselves that the full weight of the judicial system should be brought to bear. But lawyers just can't see life happening without their involvement.

Comment: Re:Lawyers (Score 1) 465

by gd2shoe (#46426099) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

Court Fees... Personal Representative Fees... Attorney's Fees... Accounting Fees... Appraisal and Business Valuation Fees... Bond Fees... Miscellaneous Fees... After adding up all of these fees and costs, you can count on probate taking anywhere from 3%-8% of your assets away from your beneficiaries... [quoting from about.com]

Vultures, the lot of them.

Everyone pays taxes, and everyone dies. There ought to be no court fees. (There are now places where you need to pay the fire department if they every come to your property, despite paying taxes. Same thing.) Probate should not be an especially difficult process, nor should it involve fees or necessitate lawyers. Those should be for unusual circumstances.

The government exists to serve the governed, not the other way around. We have forgotten that and let bureaucrats and politicians "restructure" our society to please their own egos and line their pockets.

Comment: Re:Lawyers (Score 1) 465

by gd2shoe (#46417929) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

This is definitely part of the problem, but I think it runs deeper. There seems to be a philosophy that law should govern everything. And because only lawyers understand the law, they should be involved in every facet of life. It's sickening.

Throughout most of civilization, the average person couldn't afford a lawyer, and we managed inter-personal relationships just fine. Now, we can occasionally afford lawyers, but we can't sneeze without one?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them...

Sound familiar?

Comment: Re:Lawyers (Score 1) 465

by gd2shoe (#46417239) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

I didn't, actually. But not everything in real life is like a TV show. There are still plenty of families that manage to make it through the death of a loved one without tearing the family apart.

People who think that Lawyers need to be involved for each and every death must either have terrible family lives, or have friends and neighbors who do. (Or put too much stock into television episodes)

Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing. -- Roy L. Ash, ex-president, Litton Industries

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