Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Athlete's Body Reaches a High Level, then, at Retirement, a Low One

   When Darryl Dawkins died the other day at the age of 58, I thought how athletes tend not to live long lives. (I could be wrong, for that is not a studied observation.)
  And, I wondered if it is because they beat and pound their bodies too much, or if it is also because sometimes they quit exercising when they retire. The body gets used to a high level of exercise, only to find itself with little to none. It does seem that could be dangerous.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Let Kim Davis Maintain her Religious Convictions

   I've considered in the past, that while church officials should not be required to accommodate same-sex marriages, those who are in government should. If you are a clerk, you should either issue the license, or get a new job.
  The case of Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, is making me think, though, that perhaps her religious rights should be honored. She should not be required to issue marriage licenses.
  When there are reasonable alternatives available, public officials should not be required to do something they do not believe in. In this case, the same-sex couples can drive to a neighboring town to get their licenses. Yes, it is not as convenient, but it is reasonable.
   When both sides can be accommodated -- the same-sex couples and the public officials with religious beliefs against same-sex marriages -- then that should be done.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chiasmus is Solid Evidence for Book of Mormon

   In this video (just released today), Greg Welch says his dad's discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon does not prove the book to be true. I'm not so sure. Maybe it doesn't prove it, but it certainly comes close.
   Proof is where you find it, though. Some will accept solid evidence, and others will reject it. I think of the phrase in the Bible: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Proof is for those who will endure sound doctrine. Others, with itching ears, will hear what they want to hear, and believe what they want to believe. You cannot force truth on a person.

Coddling Them or Cussing Them, Which Will it be?

   Aye, I see some would whistle over my suggestions for prison reform and dismiss them as being too much coddling of the prisoner.
   Never mind that I would have them work, every last one of them, if possible. Trouble with my suggestions is that I preach love for the prisoner, respect for the prisoner. I speak of bettering him and the path of life ahead of him, and some fancy that that means giving them advantages they don't deserve, things like education.
   I speak of giving them meaningful hobbies, so they will have interests to turn to when they get out, so they will have something purposeful to occupy them on the outside. Alas, my suggestion is dismissed as more coddling. Why should we show them to a good time, give them things they might enjoy doing, when the object is to make them so miserable they will never want to come back?

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Retain a Church Member Might be How to Reform a Convict

   If prison reformers were to look for advice on how to reform convicts, what might they find? What if prisons were to turn to other institutions to see what they are doing?
   I picked up one answer in Sunday School this week. The church I belong to, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has set three guideposts for retaining new members: (1) Give them a friend, (2) Give them a calling (an assignment), and (3) Provide them with the nourishing word of the Lord.
   A similar formula for working with prisoners would revolutionize the correction of our criminals.
  One, let's give them a friend. Everyone -- and I mean everyone --  needs a friend.  Everyone benefits when there is someone who loves them, and is there for them, someone who cares, and listens and advises. Where in all our prison system is this found? It might, perhaps, be there some. You might point to the counselors, to the church workers who come in each week, or even to friendly guards.
   But, I don't know that there is a prison system that designates a friend for every inmate, that assigns someone to be available on a daily basis, same a real friend is. I think there should be.
   Two, give them something to do. Let them develop a hobby. Give them a good and worthy pastime.
   Three, nurture them with teaching, and edifying, and direction. Teach them all the basics mothers teach, things like, if you can't say something nice, don't say any thing at all. Teach them to be the most civil people on earth. Wouldn't that be neat, if a prison could achieve this, if a prison turned out people who were more courteous and well-mannered than average people are? We may not achieve quite that much, but if we were to pursue such a goal, it might make a difference.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bullying Laws can be Good, but Why Must Bureaucracy Come with Them?

   I'm a little surprised at the posts I see on Facebook saying that instead of preaching against bullying, we ought to teach our kids to man up and fight the bullies. I replied to one of the posts, saying:
   "Maybe the answer is not an either or. Teaching kids to stand up for themselves can be a good thing. But, it is not wrong to teach kids not to pick on each other. I'm a little surprised at how people oppose teaching children not to bully each other. What am I missing? What is wrong with teaching this?"
  I then took a moment to study a little on what anti-bullying laws actually call for. Every state has one. I did not like a law I found in Utah. It requires local education agencies to develop plans of action against bullying. While having a plan of action against bullying can be good, it seems this law probably creates a burdensome bureaucracy, as the education agency has to spend time coming up with a program, and has to report on it and fill out so much paperwork.
   Why make it so difficult?
   Either just make the rules yourself, spelling out what is right and wrong and what the punishments are, or, just give the school agency authority to make the rules without either requiring that it make the rules if it doesn't want to, or requiring any paperwork showing it is compliant.