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  1. "you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him." From Chapter One of the Hobbit At times I feel that this is the case with manys poster here. One can often Look at who is posting to tell you what they are going to say without actually having to read the post.
  2. So an accident investigator can never say that not wearing a seatbelt contributed to someone's serious injury or death? Wouldn't that be a bit dishonest? What about "if only they social distanced, if only they had been vaccinated?" Perhaps we can stop using the phrase "if only", but I highly doubt it would prevent people from placing blame
  3. Analysis without judgement. I think it is possible, though it may be difficult, to analyze without judgment. Obviously there is a time and a place for such analysis. When I was a fire fighter in my youth, we would often respond to vehicle accidents. These accidents had a variety of causes; drunk driving, inattentive driving, vehicle maintance issues, etc. Often the injuries were made much worse by people not wearing seatbelts. When we arrived on the scene, we treated the injuries and didn't spend our time trying to blame and judge the victims. It just wasn't the time or place. Often judgment came later in the form of deciding fault, lawsuits and even criminal charges. Often someone who didn't cause the accident was killed or seriously injured because they were ejected due to them not wearing a seatbelt? Is there some blame or judment that goes to someone who gets seriously injured or killed by a drunk driver because the victim wasn't wearing a seat belt? Fortunatly, because we were firefighters and not police, we weren't required to make these judgements and leave them to others. If I tell my kids to wear a seat belt is it victim blaming? If I tell people to not drive while distracted or drunk is it victim blaming? If I encourge people to properly maintain their car is it victim blaming? Even if people take these preventative measures, they can still, through no fault of their own, get in a car accident due to other people's actions. If I were to tell people these things right after they get in an accident, it probably would come accross as victim blaming. If I tell people these things before anything bad happens as a precaution to prevent accidents, it probably isn't. If I were to tell people these preventative measures to a group of people, some who unkown to me had just experienced a car accident, some of them might feal I was blaming them. I think it may be the same for sexual assult. There are many preventive measure that one can take to reduce likelyhood of assault. Sometimes people will get assaulted despite all of the preventative measures taken. Does this negate the usefulness of preventative measuress? Do we stop teaching preventative measures because they may cause someone to blame themselves?
  4. Limiting access is an important part of preventing theft and other crimes. Although I am not to blame for the thief's actions, where I put my stuff can have a big influence on whether or not it is stolen. I currently commute to work by walking, so I haven't communted by bicycle in a while, but when I did, I made sure the bike was stored in the building where I worked and not on the street. That isn't always possible for everyone, but there are better and worse places to leave ones stuff to avoid having it stolen.
  5. Although self-blaming is unhealthy, self reflection isn't. If someone offered me a cigarette, was it bacause I expressed interest in smoking? maybe I took that cigarette from him yesterday? If I get cut off in traffic, do I often get cut off in traffic? am i driving too fast? Am I hard to see (often happens with motorcycles). If someone stole form me. Did I leave a package in plain site in my car? Do I properly secure things? Am I in a dangerous part of the city? If a friend punched me in the face. Did I punch him first? Question his parentage? Blame him for getting offered a cigarette?
  6. Though I see Hyperbole in his statment (maybe I am seeing it as hyperbole when it isn't) the overall aproach of taking ownership of ones problems (even when they are caused by factors outside ones control) to be a useful one. The part about blaming yourself (or someone else) isn't very useful. It isn't about blame or shame. Blame and shame look backword toward the past, something no one can control. One may profit by looking at the past and learning from it to inform ones future. For example, when I was a student, I had a bicycle that was stolen from me. I certainly wasn't responsible for the theft, it was the actions of someone else. I can't even really blame the other person because I don't know who they were and maybe they had starving children or some other good excuse. I did invest in a better bike lock and was more careful in the future on where I left my bike. I haven't had a bycicle stolen since. Even though I had no blame for the bycicle theft, There were still things I could learn help me in the future. However if I had the attitude that I was right, the theif was wrong and I had no part in the thief's actions, I might not have learned anything and had many more bike's stolen from me.
  7. It's not about strengths and weaknesses, its about understanding ones problems and looking at opportunites. The weaknesses don't ever go away. but I can be more aware of them and look for ways to mitigate them. So with my ADHD, I can can usually do a good job doing 10 things sequencially, but when I get 10 things to do at once, I either ignore them all and go internet surfing or if things are really urgent, I just end up in the fetal position. I have had to train the staff to just give me one of the 10 tasks at a time. I also realized that I make a terrible employee, no one in their right mind would ever hire me, so I had to start my own business. I still have my weakness, and yes they do make me weak, but try to walk a path that minimizes the impact of my weakness and maximizes my strengths.
  8. You are right, it isn't the same. Often, the process of taking ownership does involve looking at causes. It isn't about blame. It is about gaining control. Often we use the same language to talk about both.
  9. I think there is a lot to learn by taking owership of ones problems. If we blame everything on our environment or others, then we are basically saying that we have no control over our situation. Admitting to ownership of our stituation leads to gaining power and control (at least partially). Nehor's example of ADHD. I too have ADHD. It gives me a certian set of strengths and weakness: the ability to hyperfocus on things and the difficulty with changing that focus and noticing things outside that focus. By understanding the condition I have, I have been about to hire people that can look after the things that I have difficulty with at work. I have also arranged the office so I don't get many interuptions. I have also been able to hijack the enhanced focus that ADHD brings to solve problems that other have difficulty with. Is it my fault I have ADHD? Probably not. I can't just stop there. I need to look at my situation and see if there are things I can do to make it better.
  10. I have heard it alot too. It just goes to show how sometimes someone can miss things that others think are common knowledge in the church. Kind of like polygamy in the early church, I've heard about it my entire life and it isn't a big deal to me, but sometimes there are church members who seemed to have missed it. It just goes to show that missing other think are obvious is a common occurance and we should not be hard on ourselves or others for missing something that seems obvious to us.
  11. At our home sacrament meetings we would set a timer for 15 minutes so we could enjoy quiet time after the ordinance to ponder and reflect.
  12. I wonder if your decade study of racism involves actually interacting with people of other cultures, socioeconomic groups and yes, races? I ask that question because it seems your comments focus on abstractions that seem divorced from actual real world interactions with real people. You definitely have a point of view, but maybe you see everyone as racist because studying racism is all you do? Maybe you haven't experienced people of different races interacting with one another without race being a consideration. People who love one another for who they are individually without considering, or even notice their different skin colors. You might not believe such a thing is possible if you haven't actually lived it.
  13. Generally living expenses cannot be given without it being reported as a taxable fringe benefit, the same with the tuition money. It would probably be a taxable fringe benefit. I looked at a link to the 2018 form 990 ( I don't have time to go over the others.) I looks like JDs salary is the major expense of the non profit. I would be curious to know where the other salaries are going (related to John?) but the 990 doesn't say much on that. When the IRS audit s a non profit they are usually looking for 3 things. 1. Payroll reporting and tax issues. This is usually the easiest fruit for an IRS audit since many non profits don't know how to do payroll. Are they reporting all of the income to the employees? The Tuition and living expenses should be reported on a W2 and the approprate FICA withheld. 2. UBI. Unrelated business income. This is a bit of a stretch, but is the company involved in money making enterprises that fall outside the scope of its non profit status (maybe the seminars could be looked at that way if they were brazenly commercial). Also that JDs compensation is 75% of the proceeds of the seminar might make them look like money making for JD instead of the exempt purpose of the organization. 3. Exempt purpose. Has the organization actually been furthering its exempt purpose? This the death penalty for a non profit. It would be highly unlikly for them to loose their non profit status unless JD stopped making podcasts and just sat there and took money from the organization.
  14. I am not going to go through all of the weeds in this particular case but a director of a non profit can take a salary, and as long as the salary is reported and taxes are taken out, that is legit. His salary should be reported on the form 990. The salary needs to be for services performed to the non profit The non profit still needs to be for its "exempt purpose" which is the purpose for which the non profit status was originally applied. In extreme cases, an organizations non profit status can be challenged if the company engages in "private inurement", meaning that the funds are just going to support an individual's lifestyle and not for the organization's exempt purpose. I always recommend that he director of the organization not set his or her own salary, that the board members review it reguarly, that he board members are independent and not related to one another to prevent the possibilty of this occuring. At the very least, he shouldn't be signing his own paychecks.
  15. I think the ones who don't want to wear a mask 1. Aren't convinced it is effective 2. Resent having people tell them what to do. 3. Think mask wearing as a performance over substance I would respond that wearing a white shirt and tie to church 1. isn't really effecttive in preventing sin 2. We do it because it is expected and are told to do it 3. It is performance over substance Probably the same people who object to masks are more than happy to wear a white shirt and tie. At least that is how I explain it.
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