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Football, CTE, and Agency

Athletes, especially football players, have been involved in some high-profile violent incidents.

  • Dec 16, 2009.  Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry had a domestic dispute with his fiance Loleini Tonga.  She tried to get away by getting into a pickup truck.  He climbed in the back, and while she was driving, either fell or jumped out of the truck,  and died as the result of massive brain trauma.
  • May 2, 2012.  Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau died after shooting himself in the chest at his home.
  • Dec 1, 2012.  Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher killed his girlfriend, drove to the Chiefs’ Stadium, talked to his coaches and then killed himself in front of them.

Football, in particular, seems to breed violent behavior.   Continue Reading »

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Masonic Ceremony

George Washington wearing a Masonic apron while laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building

I recently watched an interesting documentary, Secrets of the Freemasons.  Many of the early U.S. revolutionaries were freemasons; many masons helped plan the Boston Tea Party, although the Tea Party had non-masonic members as well.  (Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, in addition to George Washington were masons.)  Masons were influential in the founding of our country, helping write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; however, masons were a minority.  For example, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, was NOT  a mason.  There is even a painting showing George Washington III wearing a Masonic apron while setting the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building.

It was interesting to see how many U.S. Presidents and other famous people have been freemasons over the years.  Some of these include: Continue Reading »

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Several Thoughts on Mother’s Day

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about Mothers Day, not all of them related.  Let’s start on a positive note.

My Mom

My mom is the best ever.  She is one of the most patient people I know.  While I have lots of acquaintances, I’ve never really been very good at making friends. Throughout high school, she was probably my best friend and confidant.  I don’t know how she puts up with my dad’s ill-temper–that alone should qualify her for the Celestial Kingdom.

Mom is feeling the effects of age, and her congestive heart failure is definitely slowing her down.  I wish there was something I could do to help her get more energy. Continue Reading »

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Can BYU afford to avoid Sunday play?

football is the revenue generator for all college sports

It has been more than 30 years since BYU won a National Championship in football.  Things have changed quite a bit since 1984.  Many of the larger schools were upset that the undefeated BYU team (who played in the Western Athletic Conference-WAC) played a 6-6 Michigan team in its final game, and changes soon followed.  Power conferences originally set up the Bowl Alliance where they tried to pit the #1 vs #2 teams to play.  It was definitely an improvement, but the Pacific 10 (Pac-10) Conference refused to participate for a few years, and sometimes the Pac-10 had one of the two best teams.  This led to the Bowl Championship Series that included the Pac-10 teams.  It was basically a coalition of the largest conferences who tended to dominate college football.  Besides the Pac-10 Conference, the conferences who participated included the Big Ten, Big Twelve, Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and the Southeastern Conference (SEC.)  These conferences generally left out teams like BYU and Boise State (members of the Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West Conference), so the system was tweaked again to allow teams from other conferences to participate. Continue Reading »

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Have We Lost the War on Drugs?

Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs as a campaign issue to show Republicans were the “law and order” party.  Have we won the war on drugs?  It seems the answer is “no.”  Is it time to re-assess our strategy?

Despite the fact that thee United States has just 5% of the world’s population, we hold 25% of the world’s prisoners!  We have more prisoners per capita than North Korea.  (So much for calling ourselves “the land of the free”!)  In the world of supply and demand, supply of drugs has gone up (despite U.S. efforts), resulting in prices for drugs being cheaper than ever.  There is even a documentary on Netflix, The Drug Wars, that indicates that the government is actually providing help to drug dealers, and it has crossed both republican and democratic administrations. Continue Reading »

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Mormon Nazis

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”, states the 12th Article of Faith. So how does the LDS Church respond when missionaries are in a country where Nazis take over the government? David Conley Nelson gives a fascinating history of Mormons in Nazi Germany with his newly published book, Moroni and the Swastika. Continue Reading »

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Dan Vogel takes on Mormonism Unvailed

Mormon scholar Dan Vogel and Signature Books have teamed up to produce a scholarly update to the first anti-Mormon book ever written, Mormonism Unvailed.  The book is due to be released on April 20, and Tom Kimball was nice enough to send me a pre-release version to review.   Continue Reading »

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