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About Stargazer

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    Observing the heavens since 1951.
  • Birthday 10/03/1951

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    Olympia, Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Computers (software development), Ham radio (callsign WA7MC), astronomy, science and technology, religion, history, and so on.

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  1. BYU rape case defendant aquitted

    Also written as: He who has the Gold makes the rules.
  2. Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

    I saw that after I posted. Sometimes it's rather hard to keep up with all the retractions, edits and posts that already say what one wants to say.
  3. Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

    Just because you know people who have left without a thought for furthering their careers doesn't mean it has never happened. Politics being seen as a particularly dirty field of endeavor, I don't doubt there have been and will be some people who would be willing to sell their souls, figuratively speaking, to advance what they see as their career or agenda.
  4. Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

    The reference to leaving the Church in Wikipedia says she did so in her 20s (abt 2005), which was four years before she entered parliament. Unless she had merely stopped attending and finally got around to formalizing it after she entered Parliament. Or did it in 2005 and only talked about it after she entered Parliament.
  5. Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

    I didn't say it was without merit, I said that I didn't know, being not omniscient, but that I suspected it might be the case, given what I thought were the circumstances. As for it being offensive? If it were true, why would it be offensive? Occasionally, I find reasons to change my mind. This will be one of them. Upon further investigation, it becomes clear that she resigned her membership over the Church's stance on homosexuality back in 2005, some years before she was elected to Parliament, and when she was only 25 years old. I think it is still possible that she regarded shedding her Church membership as a necessary step in ensuring that she not be questioned about it in the future (e.g. "How can you expect to represent your constituents, some of whom will be gay, and yet be a member of a homophobic church?"), especially when she didn't even believe in God for certain, let alone in the Church. But that this was done so early militates against it being a cynical career-enhancing move. There have been plenty of argumentation over things like "Forbidding children baptism is a really serious departure from the gospel that Christ taught." This thread isn't about that, so I shall forbear answering it. It's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. I disagree, and so there we are. As for being a Mormon being a member of a tainted religion? Good heavens, man, didn't you hear all the fuss and fuming over Mitt Romney's Mormonism? On both sides? There are plenty of people in the US who consider a Mormon to be unfit for public office, and plenty opposed Romney especially for that reason. That's not in dispute. But perhaps New Zealand is a land of tolerance and equality, as you suggest. I sure hope so -- it's the location of The Shire, after all. But one man's social justice is not another man's social justice. Edited to add: Just for information, here's the relevant text of an article that appeared in the New Zealand Herald in January 2017: She was in her 20s when she left the Mormon faith, mostly as a consequence of its anti-homosexual stance. "For a lot of years, I put it to the back of my mind. I think it was too unsettling. If something like religion is part of your foundation, and then suddenly you start questioning that - it's quite a confronting thing to deal with. "Even before the Civil Union Bill came up, I lived in a flat with three gay friends and I was still going to church every so often and I just remember thinking 'this is really inconsistent - I'm either doing a disservice to the church or my friends'. Because how could I subscribe to a religion that just didn't account for them? "It was one of the issues that became a real flashpoint. You drift along a bit, there are always going to be things you can't reconcile, but I could never reconcile what I saw as discrimination in a religion that was otherwise very focused on tolerance and kindness." I guess I'm OK with that, if that's what she truly felt and feels.
  6. receive the oath

    Looking at both of these posts, it appears that one may have been ordained, but has not yet received the priesthood until one has been endowed. This actually makes sense to me. This appears to parallel confirmation following baptism, in that when one is confirmed a member of the Church, the command is "receive the Holy Ghost", but at that moment one has not yet received the Holy Ghost. That usually comes later.
  7. Well aren't you a ray of sunshine, LOL! I should mention that it has already been six months -- the application was received by them in April. One of my wife's coworkers, a surgeon from Malta, suggested that the delay might have been exacerbated by the effects of Brexit. One of those effects has probably been long-term UK-resident EU citizens who are applying for settlement status in advance of the UK's departure from the EU. Patience is the order of the day.
  8. The easiest way to assume the identity would be to have the imposter assume the identity in his or her own location, via a move request. The actual member would not then not have to put up with any more home teaching visits! Everyone wins! I manage to avoid home teaching visits by living in a different country from my ward of record! No church calling (well, I have one, but can't function) either! And one of these days the darned British Home Office will finally give me leave to live there with my wife! Grumble.
  9. Wow! This guy Norton ought to go to work for the CIA or FBI! It would be a better use of his time and talents. That being said, again Wow! I wonder if this constitutes a form of identity theft? I guess not if the inactive member gives permission, but it still kind of constitutes fraud.
  10. I once imagined to myself that there was a surreptitious Church Intelligence Agency (CIA) that kept track of everything going on in the world. And then I remembered that there are news agencies around that could be tapped to get all that: UPI, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc.
  11. As to the OP and the news it reports: neat-o! I think I would be more effective serving one of these kinds of missions.
  12. Ha ha. My father promised to pay for my college only if I went there first, and then a mission. And he'd pay for the mission if I did them in that order, but if not, then neither. Didn't work. Fortunately. I'm pretty sure I would never have served a mission if I had gone to college first. Would probably have gotten married.
  13. For 2017, I suggest you have a look at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2017-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2017-BUD.pdf For 2018 there's this: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/budget.pdf There's plenty of transparency, actually. The problem is complexity. And size. Even clear glass, when sufficiently thick, appears murky.
  14. Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

    Yes, absolutely. And I can still hold an opinion as to those two things.