Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This Land We Love is not a Land of Love

   If we could do this, what a much greater nation we would be. What a wonderful place America would be, if, perchance, we could just remove this one fault . . .
   But, first you must have the desire to do something, or you will never do it. And, I see nary a person clamoring for the removal of this one fault. Second, you must believe you can do it, or it will never get done. And, who would seriously believe we could remove
  Let me define it for you. It is when one set of people picks at another, finding fault. It is when we hear a rumor, and buy it too quickly. It is when we create that rumor, and when we pass it along. It is when we find evil in others. (Sometimes, that might be justified, but usually, it is not.) It is when we turn friends against each other.
   He who is quick with his lips, and sharp with his tongue, and utters words to make one person think ill of another
   Is perhaps America's greatest problem child. Of all the flaws we have, being a nation given to judging, and condemning, and hating is -- to me -- our greatest.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Self-Employment Has its Benefits to Society

   If America were to increase its self employment, perhaps it would be good. Just off top, we should quickly see some of the benefits. One, If unemployed, the person doesn't need to wait for a job, but rather creates his or her own. Two, The person makes their own wage. The person is limited not by what an employer would pay him or her, but only by how much the open market allows. For those in lower paying jobs, self employment might be an avenue out. Three, Those blacklisted from many jobs (felons, for example), can step often step off that blacklist by simply cutting the cutting the disapproving employer out of the equation. A person often puts more fervor, and perhaps gains more satisfaction, from self employment. Four, If enough people were self employed, it would reduce the number of potential employees available, perhaps forcing wages up.
  Of course, there are reasons why people often do not choose self employment, primarily the stress. There is the stress of not knowing how to go about getting started. There is stress in keeping the business afloat, and there is stress in making the day-to-day decisions. There is stress is being responsible to the customer, for the customer sometimes experiences buyer's remorse, and comes back to give grief.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Train Those Who are Having Trouble Getting Jobs

   If you would stop crime before it happens, one thing you should do is get everyone in a good job. A portion of those who become criminals do so because it is the best way they have of making a living. Now, getting everyone in a good job will be a tall order, but there are a few things we can do. Tonight, I shall deal with just one.
   Train them.
   Some don't graduate. And some graduate, but still can't find a job. We need a restart button for them both. Currently, when a person is out of a job, they go to the unemployment office. That's good. But how about we also send them to vocational training centers? Train them to be welders, or whatever. Go heavy on the self-employment training, because if they are self employed, they don't have to wait for someone to give them a job. They step out of your class and open up for business and are employed. Teach them how to succeed, give them the courage to fly,and send them out into the world employed.
   So, I start this blog looking for a way to reduce crime, and end up coming up with an idea to reduce unemployment.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Every Prisoner Should have a 'Parent'

   If you want a successful prison, you should pattern it after a good home. And, that includes providing a parent, of sorts.
  Every prisoner should have a role model, a confidant, someone to look after them and correct them when they do wrong -- a person who fills the role of a parent. Every prisoner needs a person who becomes like family to them. Every prisoner needs a friend, a best friend. Just as good parents are often their children's best friends, so should be the relationship between this prison worker and the prisoner.

Friday, June 26, 2015

All of God's Children have the Same God.

   All of God's children have the same God.
   "So, do we have the same God?" I asked my Muslim friend today. And, he suggested we do. I don't know him perfectly, but know him reasonably well. He seems about as good as most any of us. I can't help comparing him to those of my faith, and, I must say, in some cases, he seems the better soul. Now, I have a tendency to want to label good people as Christians, but Christians believe Christ was the Son of God and the Savior of the World. Not so, with my Christian -- I mean, my Muslim -- friend.
   I mean no disrespect to him by calling him a Christian. It's just that I associate "Christian" with traits like loving others, caring about others, treating others right, honesty, integrity, pursuit of righteousness, integrity, fairness . . .
   I guess Christians don't have a corner on those things, though.
   I think of the Muslims who pray, what is it? Five times a day? I think of Ramadan, of how they fast every day, all day, sun up till sun down -- for a month, Such devotion. And, I want to emphasize this next part: It is not just devotion to a God, it is devotion to my God  -- our God -- for there is only one God. I think it wonderful, then, that they are so devoted to God. I think it wonderful.
   I'll see the Christian in the Muslim when he does the things of Christ. And, I'll see the devil in the Christian when he does not do the things of Christ.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Make Salt Lake City the First to Have an Interactive Tunnel

   Ahh, has this been invented yet? I don't believe so, so let's invent it and make Salt Lake City the first to have it.
   An interactive tunnel, where the electronic images of people interact with the person walking through the tunnel. He touches the wall, and various things happen. He breaks into a run, and the image breaks into a run alongside him. One of the tunnels would be a welcome tunnel, where the electronic character greets the person. The person yells, "Dog," and the image becomes a dog and says, "Hello," in the voice of a dog. He yells, "Duck," and the image becomes a duck and says, "Hello," in the voice of a duck. And so it goes, as fast as the person names an animal, the image says, "Hello," in the voice of that animal.
  The image carries on intelligent conversations with the person, asking him how his flight was, or whatever. The tunnel detects the tunnel-goers every move and mimics it, or responds to it,  At times, the electronic image changes into a likeness of the person, himself.
   You know, perhaps, that I wish we would create a welcome zone around the Salt Lake International Airport, a greeting zone heavy on entertainment and attractions. This could be one of the attractions, and, for a moment, until other cities started having them, it would be the only one in the world. You would have to come to Salt Lake City for the experience. Then, when interactive tunnels spread to other cities, Salt Lake could still advertise that it was home to the world's first.
   Here's the trick, since I am publishing this for all to read, it is possible someone will see the idea, patent it, and Salt Lake City will not only not be the first, but will be excluded from having it. 'Tisn't fair, 'tisn't fair.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Quick Overview on Some of My Beliefs on Guns

   I do believe guns have virtues. Also, I do not believe we should have the restrictions that we do upon them, simply because the Second Amendment says there should be no infringement upon the people's right to keep and bear arms. I believe, with the restrictions we already have, we have overstepped those bounds. If we look at any of the restrictions we currently have, anything from not allowing ex-cons to have guns to requiring guns to be registered, and we think those are laws we want to keep, then we should amend our Constitution. If we think our Second Amendment needs no amending, then we should allow convicts to have guns, and we should not register guns, and we should allow everyone both concealed and open carry, and we should not do anything that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms. 
   Now, I admit that this past week, I have begun to reconsider this, and am considering that maybe some of the laws we have are fine without changing the Second Amendment, this based on the thought that as long as the people, in general, have full right to keep and bear arms, then the spirit of the Second Amendment is being kept. I am guessing that when I am done rethinking the matter, however, I will still be of the opinion that what we are doing is an infringement. I will still be of the opinion that if we are to keep the Second Amendment, we should not have any laws on open carry, on concealed carry, or anything, as the Second Amendment says no infringement, and that means no infringement.
    Now, my friends, we come to the matter of things I have said that might seem at odds with your own beliefs. I hope they are not against you beliefs, but we shall see. Read what I write, and judge.
I believe there are virtues in guns and there are things that are not virtuous about guns. That they were created to bring about death, should give us fair warning that all is not virtuous. Just as it is with anything that can do harm, there are dangers. I believe we should look at what they are, and note, and try to steer clear of those dangers. A gun is not so unlike a car in that with it, come responsibilities.
   (Note: I had to go to bed and did not have time to finish this blog.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Each of Us has a Small Role in Preventing Another Charleston

   Guns don't kill, people do? Yes, but, by the same token, people do not kill except there be a hatred in them. Just as it takes someone to pull the trigger before a gun kills someone, so there must be a impetus before a person goes off -- and, usually, that impetus is hatred or anger. So, we could reduce the whole statement to, Guns don't kill, hatred does, or, Guns don't kill, anger does.
   If you would raise a society without murder, without mass violence, you must raise a society without hate. If you would cut back on how many murders there are, and how many mass killings, there are, you would be wise to look at the forms of hatred you have among you, and consider how yto reduce them.
   I would ask, what is the biggest hatred in the United States? What are the things each of us hates? Who do we hate? If we would reduce hatred, this is our part, to find some hatred in our hearts and let it go. No, it is not that we are killers, but that we help spread the spirit of hatred among others when we display and express feelings of hatred towards . . .
   Well, for now, I will leave it at that, leave it for you to ponder what it is you hate. If you would help foster a more loving society, play this wonderful role: Be an example to those around you of love, not hate.
   It's what you can do -- your small part -- in preventing another Charleston, SC.

Monday, June 22, 2015

From the Days of Cain, What Causes Murder has Been Clear

   We learn all we need to know about what causes murder from the very first one we have record of. That would be Cain killing Abel. "And Cain was very wroth," says the scripture, "and his countenance fell."
   While modern America society grapples with how to deal with gun violence, the answer has been before us ever since that first murder. If we would stop murder, we must stop hatred. Okay, it might be taking it a little too far to say that first murder taught us everything we need to know about what causes a person to kill. Still, that first killing served up the key element that leads to murder.
   If you would stop murder, you must stop hatred. If you would raise up a society free from mass murders, and gun violence, and racial killings, you must raise up a society that does not hate, and that is not given to anger one against another.

Calls Should Come for Mississippi and Georgia's Flags to be Changed

   Now, how many state flags will come down? All seven that either blatantly or mildly have relations to the flags of the Confederate States of America? Or should just four be changed?
   If South Carolina can no longer fly even fly a Confederate flag at its state capital, well, then, what of the states the incorporate features of flags of the Confederacy right into their design? Mississippi's is the most blatant, having the Confederate flag right on it. And, sure enough, today, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said the Confederate emblem must be taken off the flag.
   Then there is the Georgia flag. It pretty much is the same as the first Confederate flag. (The Confederate States weren't around many years, yet they had three official flags, meaning there were two others besides the one most similar to what we know today.) If Mississippi's flag must go, so must Georgia's.
   Florida and Alabama have crosses in their flags, same as the famous Confederate flag. Is that cutting it too close? I believe so, for there are not such crosses in the flags of other states, so it seems Florida and Alabama were casting a nod to their Confederate heritage. (The crosses in the two flags both came after the Civil War.)
   Some have also seen semblances of the first Confederate flag in the North Carolina flag and semblances of the third Confederate flag in the Tennessee flag.
   Finally, there is Arkansas. Its flag has four stars. Three represent France, Spain and the United States (the three countries Arkansas belonged to before gaining statehood), and a fourth represents  the Confederate States, to which Arkansas also once belonged.
   (Note: Source material for this blog came mostly from an online Washington Post article on the seven flags, but also from Wikipedia articles showing the flags of all 50 states and the three Confederate flags.)
 (Note: This article slightly edited June 27th, as I learned even the second official flag was not identical with what we know today as the Confederate flag. See "Not the Confederate Flag" on YouTube.)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Make Salt Lake City the Place Where, 'All Nations Flow Unto It'

   I think of that prophecy in Isaiah 2:2-3, of how, "it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
  It is said, by those of the faith I belong to, that this speaks of Utah, of people coming here, flowing from all nations. If so, perhaps the prophecy is already adequately fulfilled, and needs no more fulfillment.  People come from around the world to see the Salt Lake Temple. Never a day goes by without a host of international visitors. And, what of the visitors attracted to Utah for skiing, and to see the five national parks and other sites.
   Utah is not a home to the world, but it is a destination, already.
   Regardless, I do have a thought as to what Utah could do to vastly increase the flow of people here, should it want, should it choose.
   Build a better welcome. Built an All-Nations-Flow-Unto-It Center. Give the world reason -- even more than there is now -- to flow unto Salt Lake. And, I mean Salt Lake. I mean the area around the airport, which is near the Great Salt Lake. Make that our welcome district, for if people are to come from all over the world just to see Salt Lake, they will arrive by flight. The land around the airport becomes your welcoming zone.
   Oh, here is just a little bit of what to do: Place your finest businesses here. Save land there for large companies that may someday choose to come. Once here, they will fly people in and out, and they will attract visitors, themselves. Place novelty businesses here, such as chocolate shops, that can be offered as tourist sites.
   Then, make this a place to come to learn, a place where people can come to get a one-day degree, so to speak, a place where you can come and learn how to lay cement, how to make candy, how to weave, or how to teach a dog to obey, or whatever. Change up what you offer according to how popular each one becomes. The One Day Degree University, or whatever you choose to call it, becomes the world's place to come to learn.
   Have a House of Discussion, where you can come and join in live discussions on whatever the topic, on issues such as abortion and guns, on interests such as Star Wars and Shakespeare. Have a room for each, and have a request board, where a person can say, "I'm in town to discuss Civil War history. Is there anyone who wishes to join me?" Have as many hosts for as many topics as you can keep on staff, so when someone does want to discuss Civil War history, you have someone there to do it.
   But, don't just stop at having discussion rooms. For many interests, you can become the world capital. Why not, then, become the world capital for as many hobbies as you can? I think of chess, and how there is no place where a person can come in, and play a grandmaster in a blindfolded game, or come an play on a challenge ladder against some of the best chess talent. Why not have such a place here? Why not make Salt Lake City the place you come to test your talents as a chess player? Why not make Salt Lake City the chess capital of the world? Why not become the capital for as many hobbies and interests as you can?
  I think Isaiah was speaking of something else, other than the things I have just mentioned, when he said, "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths." Still, why not make Salt Lake City the place where people from all over come to learn, to learn almost anything?  While they are here to learn about their chosen interest, many will step next door to Temple Square and learn about God's ways.
   Most of all, make this a welcoming district. Have entertainment. Hail your entertainment. If you are home to some of the world's best organ players (whether they perform in the welcome zone or remain at Temple Square), advertise that. Advertise the daylights out of the wonderful talents, and then give as many as possible of those entertainers, stage right near the airport.
   Have a circus that never leaves town, a world-class museum, a destination-worthy amusement park. Keep the standards high, morally, though, for all you bring in. Bring in comedians, but not those with crude jokes. Bring in dancers, but not those with little clothing. Bring in musicians, but not those with songs having questionable lyrics.
   It may be a grand vision, of sorts, and you might wonder if we could pull it off. I say, try. One never succeeds without giving something a shot. If there is no such place in all the world, why not? And, why shouldn't it be here, in Salt Lake City? Why not make this home to the world, a place where the best of the world is all packed into one tourist and convention area?

Of Fireworks and Roller Coasters and a Night in Salt Lake

   So, if you read my past blogs, you know I would convert the airport area into a tourist zone. What about a roller coaster, then? I wonder if there exists such a roller coaster as I shall offer up, for I like the idea of one where images are cast into the view of the coaster riders at night. Do we have the technology for that? If such imagery could be done in the day, even so much the better. So, the coaster rider would be cutting through a sky with mind-bending, surreal light images. Neat.
   Another possible attraction would be to have fireworks every night, perhaps setting them off over the Great Salt Lake. That one might need to be ran by the habitat protectors to ensure the fireworks are not overly disturbing to birds and wildlife.
   The roller coaster could be positioned so the fireworks were in front of the coaster riders. That would have much of the same effect as casting light images into the air.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Love, as Much as Anything, is the Answer to This Kind of Violence

   If you would stop murder, you must stop hate. There never was a killer who didn't hate someone. As we reflect on what can be done to stop mass violence, perhaps we should see that hate is the motivation behind so many of these crimes and wonder if there is something we can do to stop it.
  Ir it is said, Dylann Roof almost abandoned his plan because the church people were so kind to him. I also heard of an exchange Roof had with a survivor, as he asked her if she had been shot. When, she said she hadn't, he said that that was good, since they needed someone to survive since he was going to kill himself. I don't know if he was out of bullets. But, if not, he opted not to kill her. I wonder why. I wonder if the love they showed him saved her life.
   Think on this: If Roof almost didn't go through with this because of their kindness. Love almost stopped a terrible event. Love is as much an answer as anything as we reflect on what can be done to stop this kind of violence.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Love is Part of the Answer in Dealing With the Mentally Challenged

So, Adam Lanza and other mass murderers had mental issues. Surely, then, we need to figure out a better way of dealing with mental disorders. But, I'm not sure our current answer -- getting more counseling for them -- is in and of itself the answer.
I think of what I said yesterday, of how you will never stop murder unless you stop hate. If hate and anger are the forces behind most every murder -- and they are -- then we must deal with them in whatever counseling we provide.
Also, I wonder if we can expect to get every person with mental disorders into a counselor. And, I wonder if we, as friends and neighbors, might be able to carry out some of the counseling. I know this, we can love, and love is something each of these people needs. It is a healing force and one that will reduce the chances of them going out and killing someone.
If we would reduce mass killings, we should love our mentally impaired. We should speak to them, softly, gently, and teach them not to hate, and not to get angry. The words of the old Beatles song come to mind. "Love, love, love -- Love is all you need." Love might not quite be the only thing, but it is a big thing. Love the mentally impaired and teach them to love. If doing that stops just one mass murder, it will be wonderful.

Show Us How 'Band-Aid' and 'Hodgepodge' are Not Unfair Characterizations

   I would love to see us have the best prison in America, but I think we should, just the same, re-examine what we have and be responsible with how we spend taxpayer money. I agree that we do not want a "band-aid" approach, or a "hodgepodge" of buildings, but those are characterizations. Are they fair? Are they true? Are these characterizations going to scare us into doing something that might not be wise, or are we going to insist that they show us what they mean and that those terms are factual? I want the very best of prisons, but it seems we should be able to do that on the very best of sites -- meaning right at Point of the Mountain -- instead of moving to a less-favorable location.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hate and Anger are the Cards of Death

  I read President Obama's words, speaking of the South Carolina killing of nine black church-goers. "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries."
  Is that so? I thought, and I wondered what was different about us. I felt an urgency that we dissect each mass murderer. Influences? What influences did Dylann Storm Roof have?  Was he raised with guns? Did he have a passion for them? He was a racist. How did he come to be so? He was an Xbox player? Does Xbox offer many violent video games? Did he have mental problems?
   The words of a song came to my mind. Don Henley. "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter." I looked up the lyrics, thinking of starting this post with them. As I scrolled down the lines, I found what might be the answer to gun violence. "But, I think it's about forgiveness, forgiveness."
   The person who can't forgive, builds up a hatred, and eventually it leads to something. Of course, it usually doesn't lead to killing, but with some, it does. Like the song goes on to say, "You keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you inside."
   Someone has insisted that guns don't kill, people do. Maybe we should rephrase that. Guns don't kill; Hatred does. He who deals in hatred and anger, deals the cards of death. He might not play the card, himself, but his example teaches others to hate and to be angry, and then  that person plays the cards of death, the killing cards.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today Was Lady Liberty Day; Should we Make it an Annual Observance?

   So, today was Lady Liberty Day, of sorts. I learned late in the day, that it was 130 years ago today that the parts of Statue of Liberty arrived unassembled on our shores.
  So, I think to dub it Lady Liberty Day. I don't know whether that term is being used, but it sounds to be a good term to me.
   We could make this a day to be observed each year, honoring America's role as a beacon to freedom for the world, and observing that America is a place where people come when they flee other countries.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Salt Lake Should become Home to the World's First Tourism Zone

   Tourist sites are usually scattered, and you must hop in the car or on the bus, and go from one to the other. No such thing as one-stop shopping.
   I would ask, Why not? Why not line up tourist attractions, one after another, so thick that you have a tourist zone? Now, when it comes to natural attractions, you are limited in what you can do, of course. You can't pick up Shoshone Falls in Idaho, Bridal Falls in Yosemite, and Niagara Falls in New York and place them altogether within a mile of each other. But, not all tourist sites are natural ones. Some are man-created.
   So why not bring the mall concept to tourism? Once was a day, stores weren't clustered together in malls. No one had thought of that yet. Then, someone got the bright idea of making it convenient for everyone to do all their shopping in one big place, and this thing called the mall came into being.
   Why not bring that concept to tourism? Have a circus that never leaves town, a world-class zoo, a great museum, and musicians aplenty, Have novelty businesses, such as one of the world's foremost chocolate makers.
    Pack 'em all together, one after another, and have the world's first grand center of tourism.
   Of course, if you're going to do it, you'd want to place it at a site convenient to the tourist, like say, right next to the airport.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Let the White-Collar Criminal, be a White-Collar Worker in Prison

   Supposing you let the prisoner work in prison, and supposing you let that work be self employment because you want him learn to enjoy his work and feel fulfillment in it . . .
   And, supposing you have a person in there for white-collar crime . . .
   Well, are we going to let those who landed in prison for fraud, keep on practicing that profession inside the prison walls? Are we going to let them continue to make their riches, and suppose that we are somehow punishing them?
   Yes, I say, to the first question. And, No, to the second.
   In fact, I would say definitely let the person ply his trade while in prison. I would say, perhaps more than any other prisoner, he needs to be practicing this kind of trade while within the prison walls.
   Only supervised. Only not allowed to cheat. Only required to be totally honest. Only taught to be totally honest.
   Once he exits the prison, he is going to go right back to his profession. Your assignment, if you are the prison, is to reform him. Your assignment, if you are the correction system, is to teach him how to do his job the right way.
   For, learning to do things the right way should be what a prison is all about.
   So, no, don't let him keep all the money, supposing he does make a lot while in prison. Plow most of it back into the prison. But, use the opportunity you have, use the time you have control over him, to teach him how to do his job the honest way, and the right way. Nothing taught, is nothing learned. You cannot expect the prisoner to learn how to be honest, if you don't teach him how to be honest.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Believe in the Christ and in His Modern-Day Church

   I believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in a third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. I believe in the prophets of old, and in their prophecies. I believe in the creation of the world, in Adam and Eve, and that we pre-existed before we were born here on earth. I believe Christ came and atoned for our sins, and I believe He will come back again, and rule on earth. I believe in the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, and that he was directed in translating the Book of Mormon from plates of gold. I believe in modern prophets, including a current one, Thomas S. Monson. I believe in prayer, and that I should pray in my heart throughout they day. I believe God watches over us and blesses us. I believe in miracles. I believe families are eternal through the blessings of the temple. I believe we will return to the God who gives us life, and there be judged and given a spot in that hereafter based on what we have done here.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

If We Would Change the Prisoner, We Must Change What He is About

   You must change a person's interests, hobbies and pursuits, or you won't change the person..
   If you haven't shown him a way of making a living besides committing crime, you should know full well you haven't reformed the prisoner.
   If you haven't given him something other than a life of crime to live for, then you haven't reformed the prisoner.
   So, how do you rehabilitate a prisoner? It starts with changing what they are about. Give them not only something to do, but something they love to do. Train them in a job they can enjoy. Give them a hobby they can pursue. Teach them to be interested in things that matter, not in the inane and frivolous. Groom their lives while in prison so that they are taking in wholesome entertainment, and learning to love it. Teach them that while many of today's movies and TV shows are chosen by many, they will be able to decline to view them, selecting instead the shows that are uplifting.
   Fill their lives with good while they are in prison, and teach them to enjoy these things, and when they are out, they will be more inclined to have positive pastimes and pursuits.

A Host of Questions Should be Asked in this Sexual Harassment Case

 Consider the current sexual harassment scandal that has brought down Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank. And, consider the Eighth Amendment, which says, "Excessive bail shall not be required, no excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
   The punishment should fit the crime, not exceed it.
   Bless the women harmed when Deputy Chief Rick Findlay reportedly stole and shared their pictures, reportedly showing two of them bikini-clad, and another naked. Was this a situation where they could not have been expected to work in an environment where he remained? I do not know. Perhaps we would have to study the case more to know. But, off top, I do wonder if they could have worked it out and continued to work together.
   I do say, though, I very much question whether a large amount of money should be fined Findlay through the lawsuit. I say this because the Constitution says "no excessive fines" shall be imposed. We would have to study what trauma resulted to the women, to know how much to pay them. We would have to ask questions such as, Who did Findlay show the pictures to? What were their reactions? Had the women, themselves, showed the pictures to anyone? Who? If the women took the pictures to begin with, how had they planned to use them? Had they not planned on anyone seeing them? How is it that those they would select differed from those who ended up seeing the pictures?
   There might well be very good answers to those questions, but they should be asked, the same.
   Other questions? How did Findlay come across the pictures? Had the women told him about them? Oh, there are many, many other questions that would need to be asked, and I cannot list them all here.
   All this would help us determine whether the punishment of Findlay was fair in order to consider whether the punishment to Chief Burbank was fair. Off top, it seems, to me, a cruel thing that he ended up losing his job. I realize the punishment Burbank received did not come from a court. Still, I do wonder if it, too, falls under the Eighth Amendment, as it says there shall not be cruel punishments.
   The women demand justice. They demand retribution. That is fair. But, we must be careful our wrath against Rick Findlay is not carried too far, for we have a mandate from the Constitution suggesting that the retribution not be out of measure with the offenses he committed.

Friday, June 12, 2015

It is the Land Around the Airport that has Potential Like None Other

   It is the land around the airport, not at Point of the Mountain, that is like none other. You cannot duplicate land around an airport. Once we have given the land to lesser uses, it will be gone, a resource wasted.
   Would be wonderful if we could only see the potential that land has, the opportunity it gives us. It should be developed as the entrance to our state, for as much as any other place, it is. It should be developed to cater to those who fly in and out.
   Alas, it seems it will be auctioned off cheaply like an old violin, so to speak. A prison? Additional industrial parks? I fear that is the direction the land is headed, unfortunately.
   Why not develop it to its potential? Why not develop it as the gateway to our state? For, that is what it is, whether we have the foresight to utilize it for that purpose or not.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Eighth Amendment Does Not Allow for This

    Today, Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank was forced to resign after not demoting his deputy for sexual harassment.
  I think of the Constitution, and how the Eighth Amendment says, "Excessive bail shall not be required, no excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." That has come to be interpreted, in part, to mean the punishment shall not exceed the crime.
   Sexual harassment is not something to be condoned, at all. But, is everything that fits under its umbrella to be punished equally? In theft, we have different gradations. If it is above $500, for example, it becomes a felony. 
   I think we should consider what should be the appropriate punishment in this situation. I know no more than what I have read today, but I understand Deputy Chief Rick Findlay shared bikini-clad pictures of the women, and that he said a picture of one of them showed the woman naked.
   What is the appropriate punishment? I do not know. Firing the officer? Maybe, but I consider heavily that that might be overkill. I do know this, I do not think an appropriate punishment is for the officer to be sued for an excessive amount. Could the women be expected to work in the same department with him after he had shown the pictures? I am not as certain as many that that could not have been achieved.
   We live in a litigious society. We live in society where finding an offense can lead to great persecution. We live in a society that sees it as a duty is to find a fault and poke a stick. I believe we should wonder at what the Constitution warns against -- excessive fines and cruel punishments. I do not know how much the women are suing for, but I question whether it is just. I also think of the punishment Chief Burbank has received for not demoting Findlay. Is it a cruel thing that he has lost his job over this? 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What is Important in Raising a Child, is Important for the Prisoner

   All the things that are important in raising a child, are important in correcting a criminal. You must love the child, for if you neglect him, he might be come a delinquent. Even so, if you neglect to love the prisoner, he is likely to remain a delinquent.
   You must constantly watch over the child, correcting him for each thing he does wrong, that he will learn the things he should do. Even so, you should watch the prisoner in everything he does, all day long, and catch him when he belittles another, catch him when he lies, catch him when he cheats at a game of cards. For, if you are to reform him, here is how you do it: He must learn right from wrong, same as a child.
   You must prepare him to make a living someday. Preparation for a vocation as always been part of a child's training, even before there were schools. So it is with the prisoner: he should be trained for a vocation lest he exit the prison without a way of making a living. It is as important to the prisoner as it is to the young person.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Give Him New Pursuits, or You Won't Reform the Prisoner

   I wouldn't mind seeing prisoners self employed, right there in prison.
   Oh, I would not allow them to become rich, but I do see value in letting prisoners develop their skills, or express the ones they already have, through self-employment while within the prison walls. I believe in a prison that rehabilitates prisoners. I dream of a prison that turns them out as productive members of society. I believe in giving the prisoner a dream, something to live for besides crime. I believe in giving his life meaning, purpose, and passion.
   If you would turn him from a life of crime, give him something else to pursue. When he exits that prison, make him a person who has purpose, who doesn't need to thief or steal or sell drugs because he has learned other and legitimate ways of making a living. Make him a person who has developed a passion for doing something else.
   If you don't develop him professionally, when he leaves prison, he will probably return to the same interests and pursuits he had when he got in. If a life of crime is all he knows, if making a living has always depended on it, and he wasn't taught anything else while in prison, what else will he have to fall back on?
   It is essential, if you are going to reform the prisoner, to change his life's pursuits. You don't reform a man unless you change the course of life he is on. You must change his interests, hobbies and pursuits, or you won't change the person. Part of that, is giving him a way of making a living that he will love, enjoy, and be able to pay the bills with.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Teach Them to Respond to the Situation Differently

   What if you decided that as part of reforming the prisoner, you need to teach him the right way to handle the situation that landed him in prison in the first place? I would guess, some counseling already does this.
    But, I would guess we only touch the surface of what needs to be done.
   If the criminal raped someone, teach them how to deal with their sexual urges. Teach them that they can be denied. I'm not talking just a lesson once or twice while the prisoner is there, but rather working with him throughout his time in prison.
  If the criminal struck his wife with his fist, teach him ways of responding when different situations arise that might lead him to anger. Teach him to control his anger. And, again, I'm not talking teaching just a little, but rather I speak of a committed, maybe even daily effort to show the prisoner how he needs to change.
   I guess we would call it, getting to the root of the problem. If we don't teach the prisoner to react differently next time, we probably should expect to get the same reaction when the next time does roll around.
   Why we don't provide in-depth efforts to train the criminal this way is beyond me. Nothing taught, is nothing learned. He won't learn to do differently unless we spend a huge amount of time teaching him how to react better to the situation that landed him there.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Best of Talent Should Never Lack for a Stage

   The best of talent should never lack for a stage. No, rather, the community should see the talent as one of its greatest resources and showcase the entertainers to visitors. When the airline drops off a load of passengers, greet them with invitations to step two feet to the right (so to speak) and hear one of the greatest violinists in the world.
   That would be Lindsey Stirling. She is actually from Arizona, I believe, but is part of the Utah culture, and it is here where much of her creative work is done. Not just her violin playing, but her videos are fantastic, viral sensations on the Internet.
   Let her have a stage near the airport. When the visitor touches down, make it easy and accessible to take in one of the quick such entertainment values such as Lindsey Stirling. Even make it so someone on a layover can catch a quick show.
   In turn, this would greatly benefit the careers of the entertainers. Regardless how good they are, if they are not given a place to showcase their talents, it is much for naught. They will go nowhere in life on talent alone if that talent is not placed before the public. Talent is no bigger than its stage. You might be the greatest in all the world, but if you are never given a chance to perform, who will know?
   What is the biblical expression? That we shouldn't hide our talents under a thimble, but place them on candlesticks? That is good direction for the entertainers, themselves, but it is also wise advice for the community. If the community wants to reap the benefits of its people's talents, it should seek for ways to place them on candlesticks.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Have the Area Around the Airport Give a Welcome Like None Other

    The land around an airport should have a value like none other, but doesn't. Instead, we place such things as industrial parks next to them.
   Would that Salt Lake did it differently. Would that Salt Lake saw the land as opportunity, and treated the land as a jewel. Why not place next to the airport those who use it most, to the extent that that is possible?
   Large corporations fly folks in and out. Why not leave land available near the airport for them to locate there, should they ever want to? Tourists fly in and out. Why not locate near the airport some of your tourist attractions? Convention-goers fly in and out. Why not have convention facilities there?
   The sky is an entrance gate to your city, and in some cases to your state. Why not roll out the red carpet in the land around the airport? Make it a jewel. Make it a showcase. Why not say "Welcome" by putting your best foot forward right when you greet those arriving from the skies?
   Put on your best face. Put on all your make-up and rouge, for you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
   Have everything well-landscaped, of course. But, that is just the start.
   Some of the businesses you seek to attract might end up being tourist attractions, themselves. I think of Hershey's, and how it attracts tourists to Pennsylvania. So, seek to place around your airport businesses that people might be excited to visit.
   Bring all the entertainment venues you can into your airport district. Concerts from national and international stars are a plus, but also curry and showcase your own entertainment. The best of your local musicians should never lack for a stage, as you are putting them forward as if to say, "Look what we've got!"
   Kind of a Branson, Missouri, or Austin, Texas, approach.
   But, you put some twists on it. Say, bring in the best high school or college choirs from across the land, and always have one performing. It occurs to me that many colleges have wonderful performing groups, yet there perhaps is no venue in all the country that caters just to them. Or, seek out the best child singers, and have a venue just for them. Or, showcase the best violin players, and/or best organists, and/or best banjo players in all the land.
   Make yourself the capital of the world for whatever does not already have a place that showcases and caters to it. Chess? Become the capital. Always have a grand master on hand willing to play the tourist in a blind-folded game. Make this the place to come to if you want to get a game against a grand master or to see how you fare on a ladder-board with the best chess talent in all the land. If the best chess players need a town to move to where they can perform daily, make this the place.
   Establish a destination-worthy museum. Maybe have a world-class amusement park. Have a circus that never leaves town.
  Have a smorgasbord- or potpourri-of-Utah visitors center, which showcases and teases all the outlying attractions in the state, and provides travel arrangements to get there.
    All nations flowing here? There are a lot of things Utah could do to capitalize on the tourist industry, and creating a welcome district near the airport seems to me a wonderful idea. Fortunately -- if only for the moment -- we still have a lot of land there that could be used for these things. Maybe it's best that we not let the land go to industrial parks and prisons.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Sift the Bad Out of the Prisoner's Life, and Leave the Good

    When you send a person to prison, you should not tear from his life the things he is doing that are good. Rather, you should remove the bad activities and leave the good.
   Is he going to church? Let him continue. Is he going to school, or studying? Let him study in prison? Is he working? Don't take work away from him. Don't slap a TV in front of him and teach him to be idle.
   Is he doing good things for his wife and children? Let that continue. If there are things that are wrong about his relationship with his family, you will want to correct or remove those things. But, let the positive aspects continue.
   There is an inventory that should take place as the convict enters prison. All the good activities he is doing, and all the good characteristics he is displaying, should be encouraged. There should be room made for them with him in prison.
   And, the bad? The bad friends, the bad habits, the wasteful hobbies? Those things should be removed, as much as possible.
  A good prison should be a sifting center, sifting the bad out of his life, and leaving the good.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If You Want Him to Become a Working Class Person, Work Him

  If you were trying to rehabilitate a person, would you take out of his life the things he was was doing that were good? If you had an image of who you wanted him or her to be, would it not include being a working-class person, taking care of his family, and engaging in meaningful activities?
  In separating the prisoner from society, sometimes we also separate him from activities we should want to foster, not remove from his life.
   So, why do our prisons take work away from the criminal?
  Enter, the work prison. Many prisons already have work programs. I understand Utah's Point of the Mountain facility has a wonderful work program. But, I wonder if more could be done. I'd rather guess that no prison, anywhere, has all its prisoners working eight hours a day.  But, if, per chance, there already exists such a prison, I hail it.
   The work prison then. In this prison, the person puts in an eight-hour day the same as he would on the outside. In this prison, the idea is to teach them to be productive members of society. Rather than slapping a TV in front of their faces for five years, or however long they are in prison, and training them in how to watch a TV, they are trained to work. And, not only to work, but to love work.
   If you want him to be a working class person once he gets out, work him while he is in there.
   Start him on ditch digging, perhaps. If you like, have them dig trenches and fill them right back up. Teach them that sometimes this is the type of work they get stuck in in life, and if they find no other work, to be satisfied in it, to be grateful for it, for it pays for them to make their way in life.
  Pay them for it, and watch as their families come visiting, and they turn the money over to the family.
   Have an assembly line business right within the prison. After they have experienced the ditch digging, graduate them to the assembly line.
  But, here's the trick. Be searching for more. Be searching for their talents, searching to get them doing something they will enjoy. Maybe they will become soda pop makers. Maybe they will become care givers. Find a way within those prison walls, to let them do things of interest to them. Develop their talents and skills, and let them do work that gives them a sense of accomplishment.
  All that you want the prisoner to be when he gets out, should be instilled in him while he is in the prison. And, this includes being a working-class person.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Don't Build a Prison There; Save Land Near the Airport for Other Uses

   While government might choose the site near the airport for the prison, it is that site that has the most potential for other uses. Land near an airport has a value like none other, as large corporations appreciate (well, they should) locating next to airports, since they are prone to fly people in and out. Land near an airport has potential for hotels and for convention centers. Salt Lake might not grow into needing the land near for these purposes for many years to come. Still, there is some wisdom to leaving that land for those uses, so it will be available when needed.
   Other uses for the land near the airport? If we could persuade entertainment endeavors to locate there, that would be helpful, as conventions often like having food and entertainment nearby. Corporations entertaining guests also appreciate food and entertainment endeavors being close by.
   Other uses? Locate a destination-worthy amusement park there, or a world-class museum of some sort. Right, now Salt Lake benefits from having so much land near the airport yet available, that it could be used for all these tourist-friendly things.
  Right now, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints benefits from having conventions so close, as the visitors can spill over and visit Temple Square. Should the church want to, though, it could develop a visitor's center right near the airport, plugging into visitors it is not reaching now. In turn, having the church represented there fits in with offering visitors tourist-type attractions to visit.
  A prison? I have a much grander vision of what the land near the airport should be used for.

(Blog slightly changed 6/7/15.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Model for a Good Prison is the Home

   The home is the best thing to model a prison after. It is in the home that values are learned, that character is molded, and that principles of right and wrong are stamped. It is the home that we, as society, have always relied on to teach people the difference between being a good person and being a bad person.
   So, how does our model translate when we operate a prison? For one thing, we will need one-on-one attention. Parenting is such a concentrated effort that one parent usually does not take a job, but instead stays at home because of the need to be constantly with the children. A nursery might have 20 children, but not a home (at least not usually). At any rate, if you got too many children, the parent would have difficulty attending to them all.
   So it is with a prison: We need someone with them constantly during waking hours, and there needs to be enough of these workers that the prisoners are getting one-on-one attention.
   What else does a home provide? While watching her children, the parent is on constant watch for misconduct. If the child swears, picks on another child, steals another's toy, or whatever, the parent is all over it, immediately telling the child that what he is doing is wrong.
   So it should be with a prison. The workers should monitor every interaction the prisoner makes with other prisoners and with visitors, correcting the inmate every time another person is belittled, every time a voice is raised in anger, and every time a cheating action is taken in a game of cards.
   The rules of conduct have ever been learned this way, by someone watching every move and offering a voice of direction each time the person does something wrong. Home taught us how to correct people, but we never learned, never got far enough to apply it to our prisons.
   There is one more element of home life that needs applied to prison life: love. It is the essence of what homes are about. The child learns as he is nurtured in love. He wants to learn because of the love. He wants to please the person who loves him.
   Do we suppose we can reform the prisoner if we don't teach him the values he needs? Do we suppose we can reform the prisoner without providing him a loving environment? Mother has ever been the master at teaching good from bad, and she has ever been known for her love. We should tip our hat to her, and learn her ways.

Note: Blog updated, added to, that is, 6/3/15.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Location, Location, Location also Bears Value with Prisons

   High-tech industries need location. Headquarters for large corporations need location. Malls and shopping centers need location. But, prisons? Shuffle them off to the side. Put them in out-of-the-way places. Give them the spots left over when every other place has been spoken for.
  Or, does prime real estate have just as much value to a prison as to a business?
  Make no mistake, off top, part of why I want the prison to have a prime site is, I believe we can do a number of things to make prisons more effective, but those things will require more volunteers and workers. And, they will need to be the best of volunteers and workers. Having the largest pool possible from which to select your workers, to me, is as important to a prison as it is to a business.
   And, having the best prison we possible should be of utmost importance to us. If we could rehabilitate our prisoners, would that not be about as great of thing we, as a society, could do?
   So, tell me again why location makes no difference for a prison?
   Prisoners need examples and they need love. Is is so easy to find those traits, that we do not need to select from a large pool of people? Do we not want to make it as easy for workers and volunteers to get to the prison? Do we not want to have every advantage in persuading them to work at the prison?
   Teaching the prisoner good principles of family life should be important. Do we not, then, not want the prison to be as close and accessible as possible so family members can visit?
   Oh, there are other things which make a prison important. You need to be close to the courts, the psychiatrists, and such. You need to have adequate infrastructure,such as roads and utilities. You need to have a large enough site for all your needs.
   But, being situated convenient to attract the best workers and volunteers is the real reason for landing a prime site. Just as it important to most businesses, so is it important to a prison.