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Prison

As federal prisons run low on guards, nurses and cooks are filling in

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Abuse of Power Facebook

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments

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Nuclear War Nuclear Weapons

Only 5 Nations Can Hit Any Place on Earth With a Missile. For Now.

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Christianity Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Churches Ethics Etiquette

The Kind of Church I Want to Belong To

I’d like to belong to a church that teaches its youth ethics, honesty, self-mastery, etiquette, charm, table manners, to smile and greet each other and strangers, fundamental principles to raise the bar, forgiveness, the importance of making friends for life, never-ending learning, that life is a fountain of opportunity, critical thinking, original thought and public speaking.

I’d like to belong to a church where members are encouraged to bless the human race, hire, mentor and train youth, volunteer as individuals and with groups outside of church assignments, temple ordinances and chapel cleaning, help those in need, care for the poor and needy, and to share knowledge and truth whenever and wherever one feels inspired to share it.

I’d like to belong to a church where members study original sources instead of materials whitewashed by committees.

I’d like to belong to a church that teaches its members to not support the involuntary redistribution of wealth, how to recognize truth versus error and cover-up, the proper role of government, the falsehoods of evolution and the awe of intelligent creation, righteous vs unrighteous dominion by discussing hundreds of case studies including the lives of religious reformers and heroes outside of religious history who didn’t murder, rape, commit adultery, steal or plunder.

I’d like to belong to a church that promotes tithing, giving and the sacrifice of the widow’s mite or to give when we know we don’t have enough to pay our bills because we know we’ll be blessed, but then rigorously and repeatedly examines their own spending to ensure the widow’s mite isn’t wasted.

I’d like to belong to a church where members become so refined that they jump at opportunities to help each other, especially when not assigned by their religious leaders.

by Robert John Stevens, February 13, 2018

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Churches Employment Robert John Stevens

It is Time for Church Members to Hire and Mentor Youth

by Robert John Stevens, February 9, 2018

I see a problem in our church that probably extends nationwide to all faiths: Many young, capable people can’t find jobs and older church members won’t take a chance on them.

When the U.S. dollar finally collapses, it will surely get a lot worse.

I have two sons who graduated from BYU in Provo and can’t find work. Tyler graduated in physics. Andrew later earned an MBA from UVU and still can’t find a job so he volunteers and films BYU’s innovators for Tech Transfer Director Mike Alder at BYU.

Andrew applied to more than 1,000 jobs. Several friends and career advisors reviewed his resume and cannot figure out why he can’t get interviews and a job offer. There is nothing wrong with him. I watch his self-esteem sink weekly.

Hundreds of times he’s asked himself why he is turned down repeatedly and what can he do to improve his resume and interviews. One problem is he didn’t graduate with a degree in the E in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

This begs the question, “Would it be easier to get jobs after graduating from college if job training began in their youth?”

Often I hear employees tell me their best employees grew up on farms. Whenever I hire, I want to know how they earned money in their youth.

When I was young it was easy to get jobs from neighbors and church members. They took a chance on me and were never disappointed. I worked eight months for Bob Rowe in Potomac, Maryland and picked up his house one piece at a time after it blew down and then hung all his interior doors and moldings without any previous training or experience.

My brother and I sealed Brother Colton’s asphalt driveway, sealed Bishop Rolapp’s driveway and then repaired it with cold asphalt and rolled over it with our parents’ yellow 1972 Ford Gran Torino Squire Station Wagon, painted the exterior of Brother Hart’s home, mowed lawns, raked leaves, washed windows and sealed driveways all over Potomac and Darnestown. I was so successful that my father often called me “money bags.”

During my 37 years living here in Utah Valley, I’ve never seen a teenager mow another man’s lawn. In the dozens of neighborhoods we’ve lived, I am not aware of any youth who were employed by church members other than babysitting and at their retail businesses.

It is common to hear, “Kids these days don’t want to work.” Perhaps, but would things be different if they were given opportunities in their youth?

I have always been disappointed that so many of my generation, even after they earned degrees from BYU and other colleges, were never given the opportunity to work for the previous generation of millionaires and billionaires of church members in Potomac, Maryland ; hence, few graduates could afford to return to Potomac where the median home value rose steadily and is now $848,600.

I suspect at some point in their careers, many wealthy members of my church did hire youth and other church members from their congregation but now don’t. I do not understand that. They must know something that I do not.

Has litigation made it too risky? Did they lose money? Or has one too many relationships resulted in bad feelings?

What good is our money after we are dead? At Judgment Day will we rather say, “I used my resources wisely and with my keen knowledge of business I started farms, factories, manufacturing ventures and for-profit businesses, trained and employed the youth of my church and increased their salaries proportionally as their combined labors increased my profits?”

From Gordon B. Hinckley: “A man out of work is of special moment to the Church because, deprived of his inheritance, he is on trial as Job was on trial—for his integrity. As days lengthen into weeks and months and even years of adversity, the hurt grows deeper. …The Church cannot hope to save a man on Sunday if during the week it is a complacent witness to the crucifixion of his soul.”

I don’t have an obvious solution for employing youth. My kids babysat and sold Christmas videos but when they travelled outside of our ward or congregational boundaries in the same neighborhood they were treated with disdain.

I’ve personally mentored, trained and employed more than sixty adults. Sometimes they produced and I earned back my investment and more; sometimes they produced nothing and I lost my entire investment. As a whole, women very much outperformed men.

It is time for church leaders to speak out in public and from the public to ask members to mentor, train and employ our youth. Maybe it is time for my church to direct a portion of tithing to assist in a wise and clever manner.

I know there is great pain in this area and that something heavenly could be done if inspired leaders urge members to act. What would Jesus do?

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Checkpoints China Facial Recognition

Chinese Police Add Facial-Recognition Glasses to Surveillance Arsenal

Watch this video from the Wall Street Journal. If you do not think we’re heading in this direction then look at the new surveillance cameras being installed on new black poles along University Avenue in Provo.

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Abuse of Power Monopolies Monopoly Robert John Stevens Utah County Utah Tyranny

Utah County Commissioners Create Earth Extraction Pit Monopolies

At today’s Utah County Commissioners’ January 23, 2018 Meeting, Commissioners Lee and Ivie voted to rezone many sections of land on West Mountain to a new grazing zone where no new mining or earth extraction operations are permitted to commence.

By doing so, they literally elevated the operations there to monopoly status. Pits are now free to raise their prices without fear of newcomers. The BLM and federal landowners were all excluded from the change because they asked to be. The small landowner probably didn’t have time to respond.

Although packaged and presented under the guise of protecting West Mountain for its beauty and natural resources, proof that this move was always intended to create monopolies is found in the UTAH COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT November 21, 2017 specifically says, “This new zone would maintain the grazing of livestock on the open range and the location of activities and land uses not appropriate near urban centers in the dry mountain and desert areas of the county, while preventing any new earth extraction operations and other potentially incompatible uses with residential and agricultural uses from commencing operation.”

By preventing new earth extraction options to commence, Utah County created cooperating monopolies. As Commissioner Greg Graves said in last Tuesday’s commissioner’s meeting, “Expect prices to go up.” Commissioner Graves today cast the only dissenting vote.

Under Utah’s Anti-Trust Laws, anticompetitive activities are illegal.

I’ve heard of government-created monopolies but until today I never witnessed their creation. Truly, today was a sad day for Utah County, liberty and free markets.

by Robert John Stevens, January 23, 2018

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Programmers Programming Robert John Stevens

Hiring Programmers is a Risky Venture

Architect/Programmers like Nate Allen in Mapleton, Utah are rare. They create a well-thought-out design that scales and then program the foundation very well for the first release.

Once code works you want programmers to fix bugs, enhance it safely and port it to new operating systems, languages and platforms when needed.

Hiring programmers is a risky venture. None of the full-time programmers I employed ever provided a return on investment. They came to work mainly to get a paycheck. When resources were low or their skills had improved they were lured away by other companies.

One contract programmer though did complete most of his tasks and we released and sold the products he ported to the Mac.

Programming sweatshops are the worst–their programmers are only dedicated to your project when you allocate bags of money and then abandon it to work on other projects. They often over-architect software and implement unnecessary design patterns that aren’t needed and make the software more difficult to work on. They have no passion or interest in your solution so unless you provide very detailed and prioritized specs, they will probably drain your monies.

If I could do life all over again I would have done all my programming myself or teamed up with a co-founder/programmer with passion and the resolve to weather difficult financial times.

Programmer David Pugmire once told me there were very good former Microsoft programmers who worked in the Seattle area that he felt made great contractors. He hired them as a manager at Microsoft so I am sure he provided them with very detailed specs, testing resources, held them to Microsoft’s rigorous standards and provided the finances for them to complete the job.

Programmers are better employees when passionately committed to your vision.

Although most programmers prefer to work alone, most work better in pairs because pair programming results in better designs, faster implementation, fewer bugs and better code.

by Robert John Stevens, January 23, 2018

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Ambassador Jon Huntsman Russia

Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jumps in Frozen River to Improve Russian Relations

Brilliant! When in Russia, do as the Russians do.

Ambassador Huntsman must be commended for following the principles taught in “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

How much happier and prosperous nations would be if we recognize and respect each other’s culture, promote non-intervention and compete with each other in games rather than war.

See Video: Jon Huntsman Jr. tries ‘shirtless diplomacy’ with Russia by jumping into frozen river

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Debt Presidents

U.S. Debt by President: By Dollar and Percent