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halconero

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About halconero

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  1. Huh, that aspect totally slipped my mind. I’m getting married on Friday.
  2. Tbf, while I’m aware there’s a BLM organization, I’ve generally been aware of them as being of secondary, if not tertiary importance with regards to the push for police reform. I would guess most people shouting BLM are doing so with zero-to-no affiliation with the organization.
  3. It’s a hard needle to thread. Yes, there are certainly groups out there who seek to appropriate many worthy causes, and plenty of bad causes. The needle I mention is because I’ve come to realize that I don’t give enough credence to randomness and chaos as an explainer. Sometimes things happen, and sometimes they happen all at once. Many times there are groups trying to appropriate the chaos of the moment to further their ends, except their objectives are on full display and their membership rolls are open to the public - the exact opposite of a secret combination. That doesn’t make them good, just unsecretive. I’m not sure what I’m getting at here, other than to say I’ve been pondering a lot the balance between understating the influence of conspiratorial groups, and overattributing the world’s ills to them. Funny enough, it was an interaction on this board that caused this self-reflection. I work in areas of immigration and refugee policy, and in stating a combination of facts, trends and opinions on the subject they accused me of being a subversive individual funded by George Soros. I sat back in my chair, reflected on my quite boring life and banal funding sources (mostly government grants + some program funding from some non-profits). Made me wonder if I had misattributed the actions of others to conspiracy when much more parsimonious and banal explanations were sitting in front of me instead. All that is to say that yes, these groups exist. Yes, they influence plenty of initiatives. And yet, they still must contend with random events, other groups that openly appropriate movements they themselves wish to influence, and the sometimes banal agency and motivations of individuals.
  4. Why you gotta do my boy Paine dirty like that?
  5. Not a general conference talk, but this is an interesting passage in the journals of James E. Talmage: January 9, 1919: "There is every evidence of a very serious recrudescence of the influence trouble, there there is a manifest disinclination on the part of the newspapers to publish the full facts. This is said to be the result of pressure brought upon the papers by the business men, who insist that the enforced suspension of public assemblies and free business operations is bringing to them a loss that cannot be longer endured. Lives are being sacrificed in the interest of dollars. While the physicians freely admit that the present scourge is a mystery disease, they are all agreed upon the fact that it is spread by contact, and that close assemblies are the principal means of communication. Today we have to mourn the departure of Bishop Edwin F. Sheets, Bishop of 33rd Ward, Liberty Stake, and Secretary of the General Board of Religion Classes. His wife and two children became infected with the influenza, and he contracted it in waiting upon them. He was one of our most useful men, and is cut off in the very prime of his activity, a victim of the dread scourge that is sweeping the land." January 10, 1919: Regular church business; dealing with a disciplinary council regarding plural marriage. Talks about a completing a manuscript on Church doctrine. January 11, 1919: Deals with administrative business, but then follows with this: "Notice was published in the papers today that all Church meeting are to be suspended until further word is given out, this owning to the rapidly increasing number of influenza cases in this city and in many of the towns of Utah. The instructions are to the effect that in communities wherein the disease is not prevalent meetings may be held at the discretion of the local authorities. Special arrangements have been made for the reopening of the Tabernacle tomorrow, but these were all cancelled in consideration of the prevailing danger." January 12, 1919: “Another Sabbath without public meetings. I devoted part of the day to reading and study in my office, and the rest in association with the family at home. In the evening we held a family service, comprising singing, Scripture reading, prayer and informal discourse, together with the administration of the Sacrament.” https://cdm15999.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15999coll20/id/55215
  6. Counterpoint: using the functional definition of religion as opposed to the substantive one, religion is just as pervasive today as it has been in any other era. The substantive view defines religion as the belief in deity. This view, commonly held in the Enlightenment era, began to fall apart in the Early Modern era as British and American researchers began to more thoroughly investigate Therevada Buddhism, Confucianism, and atheistic forms of Hinduism. These all, to a greater or lesser extent “walked like a duck and quacked like a duck,” but made little-to-no mention or emphasis on gods, angels, or a creator. And so, they developed the functional definition. The functional definition posits that religion serves various human functions by bringing together groups of people over shared rituals, worldviews (raison d’être), ethics, and common leaders, texts, or figureheads. I’ve described this in the context of civil religion before, wherein states politics subsumes some of the functional religiosity that used to be the purview of churches. Founding Fathers take the role of saints, documents such as the Communist Manifesto or the Constitution take on an almost scripture-like reverence, informal temples (or formal, if you see the inscription on the Lincoln Memorial) serve to celebrate the nation’s worldview, and national holy-days and hymns (anthems) help members of the civil religion enact group rituals (placing hands over hearts and saying the pledge) together. Using BLM, for example, we see similarities. George Floyd as a martyr and saint-like figure, complete with artistic renditions that sometimes take on a shrine or memorial-like status with candles, picture, and flowers. People gathering together to enact group rituals (lying down and chanting in unison “I can’t breathe”). A shared worldview built on direct action, with goals including defunding law enforcement. I say all of this uncritically. It just is. Humans like our rituals, our worldviews, our rituals, our sacred texts and figures, however related or unrelated they are to deity. Some of us enact violence on behalf of those, while others accomplish great strides towards human progression. Most of us just wanna go to church or enjoy the holy day fireworks.
  7. Most of those statues are relatively new, when groups like the Daughters of the Confederacy funded them to go along with their push for "Lost Cause" education in school. During the war, the soldiers of one side did not consider themselves citizens of the United States. It really was. As outlined by the cornerstone speech and several Confederate state constitutions, the power the CSA sought was to maintain slavery within its borders. When they felt that power was threatened, they first tried to exercise authority over the Northern States by overriding their laws with federal legislation like the Fugitive Slave Act, which undermines the idea that it was ever about state sovereignty. The Executive Branch of the CSA was also far more powerful than the EB in the Union, with one of the most striking examples being the the line-item veto by the President. Confederate military victories also concentrated on expanding slavery. Confederate war hero Robert E. Lee enslaved free blacks during his invasion of Pennsylvania. He also considered slavery to be a moral evil for white people more than black people, with the former being burdened to carry out the education of black people. When his father-in-law freed his slaves upon his death, Lee went to court to keep them as slaves so he could pay off debt. When some tried to escape, he whipped them fifty times each, and poured brine onto their backs. Put up statues to Southern Unionists or Abolitionists. I can think of several: - William G. Brownlow - Governor and then Senator from Tennessee. Used the state government to enfranchise Black Americans and fought the Ku Klux Klan. - William Crutchfield - Union spy from Tennesee and later Congressman there. - Andrew Jackson Hamilton - Governor of Texas. Born in Alabama, aligned himself with the Radical Republicans, criticized slave power and opposed re-opening of the slave trade, fought with the Union. As Governor, he used state power to support suffrage and economic emancipation of Black Americans. - William Woods Holden - Governor of North Carolina. Impeached because he formed a state militia to fight the Ku Klux Klan. Posthumously pardoned for his impeachment. - Joseph Holt - Judge Advocate General of the US Army. Born in Kentucky. Kept Kentucky in the Union and became a vigorous supporter of emancipation. - Newton Knight - Founded the "Free State of Jones" in Mississippi. Married to a freedwoman, overthrew the Confederate government in his county. Fought a guerilla campaign against the Confederacy. - John Ancrum Winslow - US Navy Officer, born in North Carolina. Abolitionist, and famous for sinking the CSS Alabama. - Montgomery C. Meigs - Career US Army officer and engineer. Quartermaster General, and probably the one who can be most credited with winning the war. Born in Georgia. Detested the Confederacy, and confiscated Robert E. Lee's property to form the Arlington National Cemetery. Insisted that the design of the Pension Building include a teamster who was a plantation slave freed by the war, and must be centered over the entrance. - Francis Pierpont - Founder of West Virginia, in which he also abolished slavery. - Elizabeth Van Lew - Prominent Virginian, who built and operated a major spy ring for the Union during the war. Freed her father's slaves immediately upon his death, paid them to work for her, and used her entire inheritance to purchase the relatives of these former-slaves-turned-employees. Regularly went to the slave market to look for families about to be split up, buy them up, and then free them. - John Harlan - SCOTUS Justice. Kentuckian. Called the "Great Dissenter" for writing the dissenting opinion on cases that went against integration, economic emancipation, expanding income tax, or expansive use of antitrust. The US Civil War was a tragedy for many reasons. Honouring those who fought to uphold slavery dilutes, rather than strengthens the tragedy of it. Lives were lost defending a horrid institution that split up families, sought to extend its power West and North, and had aggressive tendencies both in its initial attacks as well as it subsequent offensive actions. The US would do well to celebrate the heroes that upheld Union and Abolition, and mourn the loss of soldiers and the history of slavery through less-heroic monuments and more-mournful ones akin to the Vimy Ridge Memorial, Auschwitz, or the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. There's little use honouring men like Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, or Robert E. Lee.
  8. In related news, my wedding plans continue to be a moving target. The only constant is the date, come high waters, pandemics, or the premature pronunciation of death upon peninsular dictators in East Asia.
  9. Agreed with all of this. My parents lived in China for years, and given all the non-Church-related business stories they have about the country's dealmaking culture, nothing about this story is surprising. Things will move forward, I have no doubt.
  10. I have written multiple op-eds before. Your kid's teacher is wrong in one major aspect, and right in another. https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/robert-falconer-the-open-society-canadas-best-response-to-immigration/ https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/the-u-s-might-be-about-to-send-us-these-two-immigration-and-refugee-problems https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idees/576929/faire-tomber-les-barrieres The term op-ed, was meant to signify an informed opinion "opposite the editorial page," which is the origin of the name. It's supposed to signify an informed opinion, that may even contrast with the editorial bent of the page. It's usually left to subject matter experts or workers in a particular area. The paper is not supposed to police the piece too much, just edit it for grammar or spelling issues. So, with that context in mind, you teacher should not be policing the opinion of your kid. That's the point of an op-ed. They're meant to express opinions to the public without much policing. French op-eds are particularly fun to write, because they're explicitly about this, and usually are published under headlines such as "debats" or "idees. That said, most editorial boards will require references for any submitted op-eds. This is usually pretty informal - hyperlinks, links, and just book/journal/document titles and dates are fine. More than anything, the editorial board is just making sure they're not publishing unsupported twaddle. So the teacher is well within the norm for asking evidence. Perhaps I have misunderstood the assignment, but if I were in your shoes, I'd have your kid put together a short age-appropriate opinion piece, and find 2-3 links to credible sources. If her teacher pushes back on this, feel welcome to share this post, and I'll DM you my email and contact info.
  11. The context of the Dubai is interesting. To put a slight damper on the "invitation" part, it's part of an aggressive campaign by the UAE to transition the country's economy away from oil and towards long-term finance and shipping capital of the Middle East, sorta like a desert Singapore. Part of this involves the expansion of some civil liberties, particularly for foreigners. It's easier to attract non-petrol capital and investment if others can come and worship whatever they may from around the world. With regards to other religions, this has expressed itself in Pope Francis' visit to the country last year, and the invitation to the Catholic Church to build an expansive Cathedral there. The UAE ambassador to the US wrote a nice op-ed about it in Politico talking about how their invitation to the Pope was expressly about indicating the need for pluralism and tolerance in the Middle East. Now, despite that damper, this should not diminish the miracle that will be the UAE temple, the first on the Arabian Peninsula. It's an extremely positive move, and very relevant for the work in places like Kuwait, the KRG in Northern Iraq, Pakistan, etc. If Luke 16 has anything to say about it, the Lord has no problem with members making "friend with mammom" for the purposes of expanding the work. The Pope can come too.
  12. My guess is that it will be something akin to the Manhattan or Hong Kong temples, which are built on, or have non-temple facilities attached. Manhatten "The original building...still houses a church public affairs office on the second floor and a chapel, cultural hall, baptismal font, and classrooms on the third floor." Hong Kong "The six-story building is designed to house not only the temple, but also a chapel, mission offices, and living quarters for the temple president and several missionaries." Given the above precedents, it seems reasonable that the Church may include things like a quiet government affairs office, a chapel for local (non-expat) saints, etc. Agreed with the others here. I don't see the Church using this as a temporary spot. Given some personal anecdotes I know about the Chinese saints and the local non-expat Church in China, it is more likely that the government wants to keep this temple a generally quiet affair, under the watchful supervision (not control) of Beijing, etc. I would not be surprised if its location is not advertised online, and the dedicatory service is kept rather small and quiet.
  13. Hey ya'llz. Currently I'm self-isolating at home due to some recent international travel, the fact that my fiancée and her family all have factors that put them in higher-risk groups, and that I'm currently hosting my recently returned parents from Asia. A bit of background - I grew up rural, have a refugee parent, who also served in armed forces. So I grew up with a lot a semi-prepper mentality. Thankfully, I have the type of job where I can work from home for a good chunk of time, and during one of my breaks, I decided to put together a preparedness checklist, divided into the following categories: - General Guidelines - Beginner Stuff - Intermediate - Advanced - An addendum on firearms GENERAL GUIDELINES 1. Emergency preparedness is an act of solidarity. It is community building. Your plan should not center around selfish-isolationism. The more prepared you are in an emergency, the more able you are to aid your friends, family and neighbours, all of whom will be among your closest allies. Something something lone wolf. 2. Having your finances, insurance, and estate planning in order is way more important than having a bug-out bag or buying an AR-15. 3. Take regular walks if physically possible. 20-30 minutes a day. 4. You can start studying emergency preparedness right now, pick up some skills, and do some financial planning, but do not invest in any supplies at the moment. Price gouging is rampant right now. Do not reward it. When things settle down, do not buy pre-organized emergency or food storage kits. They are usually over-priced, filled with garbage food, or more frequently, meet both of these criteria. 5. Review this checklist, but do not get overwhelmed by it. Preparedness comes in stages. BEGINNER 1. Review your finances. This flowchart may aid you in deciding how to allocate your wages (Canada version). 2. Rental insurance explainer (if you do not have home insurance) 4. Dried Beans Conversions and Measurements. Should be a staple along with rice in any long-term food storage. INTERMEDIATE (also fun!) 1. Urban Foraging Guide 2. A Prepper’s Guide to Pickling 3. Freezing Vegetables ADVANCED 1. Emergency Medicine Podcast 2. The Survival Doctor's Guide to Wounds (Book); Online version 3. Bushcraft 101 4. Street Medic Guide 5. Military Medical ADDENDUM ON FIREARMS I've gotten a lot of normally anti-gun friends contacting me about purchasing firearms. That's fine, but it should not be the basis for long-term preparedness. Having your finances in order and a decent supply of dried beans will increase your ability to survive and thrive in an emergency far more than having a firearm will, as most emergencies will involve natural disasters and pandemics (like now) than they will involve invasion or violent looters. Even then, as I'll point out below, the type of firearm most useful to you in an emergency is not the kind you may expect. 1. DO NOT BUY A FIREARM RIGHT NOW. There is pretty rampant price gouging going on, both for guns and ammo. Do not reward or buy into it. You are fine. Chill out, review the above links first, and then come back to this section in a couple months. 2. Lear the safety rules first. DO NOT go anywhere near a gun before you learn how to safely interact with one, whether or not you are holding it. Weirdly enough, one of the best manuals I've found on gun safety comes from the Socialist Rifle Association of America. You might even have a chapter near your house, maybe under the John Brown Gun Club label. Many of them offer to show people how to handle a firearm for free. I don't feel like getting into politics, but I'll state right now that these people are generally far more friendly than some typical gun clubs, and no, I'm not a socialist in the least. 3. The first gun you should buy is not an AR-15. Not a shotgun. Not a handgun. You will want to buy a .22 long rifle. Yes, the one with the small bullets. You can usually purchase a starter .22 at a pawn shop for roughly $100 USD, and rounds are about $40-60 for 1000 of them. This is a very handy gun to train on, and relatively cheap to do so. In a disaster situation, it will be far more useful to you than an AR-15 will, because it will allow you to hunt small game like birds and small mammals for some protein. If you are determined to get a firearm, and I'm not saying you should be, start here. 4. IF you decide you want to purchase something far more lethal, please be aware that lethality applies to you and your family as well. Plenty of gun-related deaths occur within families due to unsafe storage and handling of firearms, leading to both accidents and suicides. I'm not trying to warn you off. I'm trying to make sure you know just how dangerous this is. Please be aware of the trade-offs. 5. Stick to guns that utilize the NATO variety of ammunition. That is 9mm, 7.62x51mm/.308, .223 Rem./5.56. That, or a shotgun with shells. Don't get weird with unique firearms with odd ammunition types. There are billions of these rounds and shells in the United States alone. 6. Trigger warning: a note on suicide. If you experience suicidal ideation, frequent moments of depression or anxiety, or other mental health struggles, I strongly discourage you from owning a firearm right now. Please do not get one, and please focus on recovery in partnership with a trained mental health professional, family members, and church leaders (if appropriate). Okay, now having said that, some folks here might be determined to minimize or get one anyways. IF you do (and you should not!), then take the top-half of your firearm, called an upper-receiver, and give it to a trusted friend. The deal here on after is that you only get to train or use your firearm when you are together. Okay, that last bit seems to have swamped the rest, but I would start with the emergency preparedness checklist. I feel like this pandemic may have awoken a lot of folks to the realities of preparedness. Good! Above all, I want to reiterate how preparedness is an act of community building, not isolation. I also want to state how following the counsel of the prophets on preparedness, and having a testimony of God, Christ, and the Restoration can help us not only feel peace in troubled times, but inspire in navigating it with confidence, while blessing the lives of those around us.
  14. These are not the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lions share being kept at the Israel Museum in East Jerusalem. These are recently bought by the Hobby Lobby family for their museum dedicated to proving an Evangelical Christian interpretation of the Bible. In buying them, it’s almost certain that they helped fund the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. So I guess you could say the implications here are that a set of forgeries bought by the Hobby Lobby owners helped export terrorism and commit genocide, but the implications for Bible scholarship are close to zero.
  15. An in-depth study into the Greek language and cultural context of the New Testament may be worth while when it comes to concepts of faith, grace, and works, amigo. I suggest a particular focus on the New Perspective on Paul, Patronage, and Fidelity. 16th century concepts of faith that have been mixed with Enlightenment philosophies of empiricism and modernity aren't exactly the best paradigms with which to understand salvation.
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