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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!


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Everything posted by Vorlonagent

  1. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    An article came across my FB about an offshore wind turbine farm being retired that has existed in Danish waters. The Old hack, being a Dane would naturally know everything about it. https://www.thegwpf.com/worlds-first-offshore-wind-farm-retires-a-post-mortem According to the article, the actual power generated by the turbine farm over its 25-year lifespan was 22% of its rated maximum. It would be unreasonable to expect it to constantly produce at its rated capacity for 25 years for many reasons. Still 22% still seems a bit underwhelming. Maybe the rated capacities of wind turbines need to come down to something more approximating their expected or likely performance? ToH, do you know of anything important that the article omits? Do you know of any factual errors in the article?
  2. Things you have no idea how to feel about

    [snicker] What's the elevator pitch for your book?
  3. Things you have no idea how to feel about

    Just shy of 3 years ago, I wanted to show a friend a video (mild NSFW warning) that disappeared off youtube. Since I had it downloaded, I uploaded it to my account. Not wanting trouble, I didn't give it any search tags or put it in any playlists. I thought "that should keep it nicely anonymous". Not quite. It got found (or gets periodically found) by a group of Japanese speakers. It has over 25,000 views. It has 38 comments (all in Japanese). A few of them are subscribing to my channel. I'm not sure what to do about that. Part of me wants to give them more content. Another part reminds me I don't owe anybody anything just because they subscribed. It's not like I'm monetizing my channel. I'm not looking for subscribers. These days I just collect videos I like and upload videos of my friends 4th of July fireworks. It's just odd.
  4. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    When I first got into this topic, I was not the most civil. But since I stopped myself, apologized and reset my rhetoric, I have not attacked you or in any way been rude or disrespectful to you. There doesn't need to be an evil dark shadowy "conspiracy" of any sort. There just needs to be a straightforward, push against gun rights.. The whole discussion is phrased in terms of what restrictions to adopt or not. There is no considerations for innate rights granted by the 2nd Amendment. There is no consideration for how to target people instead of classes of weapon. Solutions from gun control advocates have seemed to always turn to banning classes of weapons and otherwise tightening restrictions uniformly everywhere. If we accept that we cannot eliminate mass-shootings no matter what we do and also accept that each shooting will prompt calls for further restrictions and that some of these calls will succeed, there is only one endpoint. Total ban. I do not see how this labels anybody as an extremist besides those who can be counted on to demand restrictions at every turn and as you rightly point out those are a minority, not a majority. This is why "where does it end?" is an important question. If you have no clear idea what "too far" is, you can be moved there by people who know no such limits.
  5. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Your ideas sound fine to me. The problem of course is the people who do not take the safety courses. That's where well-meaning people might demand the safety course be mandatory before purchasing a gun. I understand you were not proposing this. It's something that has been mentioned in this topic before.so it seemed appropriate to address since we were in the neighborhood anyway. To be honest I am not sure how effective an involuntary safety course would be in any event, for more or less the same reasons why any involuntary education, training or therapy is likely to be ineffective. At some point the individual has to choose to buy in or there's no effect. It might surprise you to know that I do not own a gun personally. My reason comes from understanding the responsibilities involved and respect for the inherent deadliness of the things. I [can't/choose not to] put the time into responsibly owning a gun, so responsibility dictates I forego. Doesn't mean my rights under the 2nd aren't important even if I am not currently exercising them.
  6. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    It's a good start. Education would probably bring down accidental gun deaths the most. I'm wary of it as a precondition for buying any gun (if nothing else it incentivizes selling the most certificates for the least education) but it's on the table. As I posted replying to Scotty, any measured response takes time, which means resisting the "Do something now!" impulse. Important questions are still unanswered in the wake of Vegas, such as how the shooter evaded detection as a problem case, which we need to know before we figure out how to plug that hole without creating too many false-positives. How do we target the people who are problems and leave alone the people who aren't? No system is going to be perfect. Any system we create is going to falsely point at some people and miss some others. It may well be that buying too many guns over too short a time should be a red flag to be paid attention to. Even here some care must be taken. Depending on how the system works, psychological examination of a potential buyer could be used as a way of blocking gun access.
  7. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Not straw men. If you think so, explain how.
  8. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    This should already be illegal. It should constitute assault. But then US police have been way too lax in enforcing the law in the case of political protests. The problem here is without a clear idea of how much is too much restriction, the Second Amendment will continue to be eroded a little bit at a time. It's a "death of a thousand cuts" answer that will lead to an activist-driven total ban, which is the only thing you have said would be too much. There will be barely anything left by the time a true total ban will be in place. This is why the moratorium part of my proposal is important. It stops the death of a thousand cuts Your goal of "putting the brakes" on mass-shootings and gun deaths is noble but also undefined in practical terms. You're never going to eliminate these things, just reduce them. Even a total gun ban won't eliminate mass-shootings as the wave of terrorism across Europe these last few years amply demonstrates. So you have to do that nasty inhuman things of asking how many deaths is acceptable. Saying "none is acceptable" leads directly to death of a thousand cuts. We have to ask if this change some group of activists and media figures are screaming for is really going to do anything or if it's just "never letting a good crisis go to waste". There is also a question of trust. Setting an indistinct and ultimately unachievable goal combined with putting a low emphasis on 2nd Amendment rights means you can have completely good intentions and be swept up in each frenzy of gun restrictions to come down from those who really do desire a total gun ban. Your good intentions could not amount to anything useful to me. You do not mean to but you are essentially saying "you get what little rights (if any) that remain when we finally finish the gun control crusade." Which, given the activist mindset of always pushing and never accepting anything but total victory means I can expect to be left with nothing. This is why I was on about the activist mindset so much at the start of this discussion. The central thesis by which most gun control legislation operates seems to be, "guns are the problem". Eliminate guns and everything will be fine. I tend to think this is a faulty assumption similar to Prohibition or the War on Drugs, but as long as that is the received wisdom, we are at a stalemate.
  9. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    That's not my understanding. What I get is a strong distrust of government and its ability to become toxic and invasive.
  10. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    This is at least partly flawed in that there is no Constitutional Right to Drive. It is a privilege that can be given or take away entirely at the whim of the States. In 40 years, states may abolish driver's licenses for humans entirely and demand people utilize AI-driven vehicles exclusively. There are many ways that law could fail, but constitutionality is not one of them. Licensing as a precondition to any kind of gun ownership would have to pass a US Supreme Court test. At the very least SCOTUS would be asked whether licensing of this sort would put an "undue burden" on the 2nd Amendment and would have to rule "no it doesn't." There's a good argument to be made for "yes it does". Licensing, as I have noted before, can be used to create that undue burden in the same way poll taxes and literacy tests were used to create an undue burden on black voting in the South. Moreover, Free Speech can still lead to harm all the way up to loss of life. Directness or indirectness of the threat is not that important. The Supreme Court has hard limits on what a government can do thwart free speech and what kind of speech government can address. The Obama Administration went outside those boundaries by harassing its political opponents. Some were put on terrorist watch lists and others were audited by the IRS where practical. Either action could have and should have been challenged under the First Amendment, but that stuff takes time to push through the courts and is expensive to do, so it may never have been done. Now, then. You have a pretty complete idea of what gun legislation I would support and what I find acceptable and not. Can you now answer "where does it end?" What would constitute 'enough" gun restrictions to you? What constitutes "too much?"
  11. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    In addition to criminal penalties, mishandling, receiving or possessing database information is considered a violation of 2nd Amendment rights. Those responsible may be sued by anyone whose information is mishandled. The US government waives its usual "you can't sue me." privilege.
  12. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Proposal: Federal rules should form a minimum standard. Individual states should have some freedom to make changes of their own Access to this system is blocked to anyone who has committed a violent felony for 10 years per violation, and they stack. Creation of an independent Federal Firearms licensing Authority, to be supported by licensing fees and government if necessary. It is a nonprofit corporation run in the public interest, but not under the command and control of the Executive Branch. Its exclusive function is to grant federal gun-related licenses and run federal background checks. All other government agencies are to cooperate with this agency are not allowed to duplicate its work and must defer to its authority keeps an encrypted database of background checks, current licenses and other information as needed to administer laws. Police and government must have a valid warrant or congressional subpoena to look at information and must have a separate one for each individual. Disclosing database information without a warrant is a felony, , fines, jail time, blah,blah, blah Government may not surveil this agency, interfere with its normal operation or compile lists that in any way duplicate this agency's. Felony, fines, jail time, blah,blah, blah for anybody involved. Individuals may request activity sheets which detail if government has been asking about them. Government may have specific queries temporarily sealed by court order. Rules for semi-automatic and slower-firing weapons at or under 10Kg unloaded weight. (Casual sport and self defense) May be purchased with a certificate of having passed a basic gun safety class within the previous two years, plus a background check, plus a minimum waiting period, no exceptions. The internet is everywhere people. There's no excuse. Weapons may not be modified in any way such that a trigger pull fires more than one round. Magazines for such weapons may not be sold with a higher capacity than 10 rounds. Ammunition may not be sold that has increased body armor penetration. Rules for weapons under 10KG in weight and accessories not covered above (Enthusiast) Illegal without a Restricted Weapons license. Can't use someone else's license, other commonsense stuff, violators get Felony, fines, jail time, blah,blah, blah Having a Restricted weapons license enables the purchase of Restricted weapons and accessories with valid confirmation of the license. No "yes" means no. Restricted items include but are not limited to Automatic weapons 10Kg or under Magazines with a capacity above 10 rounds round types not listed above. modifications to semiautomatic weapons 10KG or under to make them fire faster Purchaser is responsible for any damage or loss of life related to items purchased using the license. Private sale of Restricted stuff are identical to those of a new sale. The parties must use a 3rd party broker to run background checks, hold weapons for cooling off periods etc. Once the selling party releases control of the Restricted stuff, they are no longer responsible. Must renew license each year or certify that all Restricted items have been sold or destroyed. Rules for weapons over 10Kg unloaded weight (military grade) You need a damn good reason to want a working one of these. Exceptions include museums and very SERIOUS private collectors. Not going to go into detail here because it's really outside the scope of the current discussion. Just note there are some special cases I'm not covering. National Concealed Carry License Only covers carrying Self Defense grade weapons. Wearer is licensed with one weapon. Additional weapons are licensed individually Valid within the borders of the US, supersedes state carry laws. Issued after owner demonstrates ability to shoot well, good knowledge of state and federal laws that have jurisdiction within 50 miles of their residence, knowledge of safety and maintenance. State law may restrict concealed carry on transports such as (but not limited to) planes, busses and trains. A concealed carry does not mean the licensee can ignore reasonable "gun-free zone" rules or laws. Moratorium For the next 10 years, no law may be introduced, regulation changed or introduced or executive order enforced that impacts the 2nd Amendment or laws pertaining to it without a 60% consenting vote from both houses of Congress, or 50% congressional vote plus president's signature After 10 years the threshold drops to 55%, or 50% congressional vote plus president's signature. The idea is to give something to get something. Restrictions tighten for self defense uses but open up for enthusiasts. Gun owners concerned about being on lists know that at the very least, the lists aren't in easy reach of the government.
  13. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Of course. That's not in dispute. What that means in practical terms is the issue, You wouldn't. Because Kaepernik wasn't doing anything new. The US became drenched in the race issue since early into Obama's first term. Kaepernik did not add any new insights to the discussion. He simply made race that much more inescapable (and preserved his "starting quarterback" status through the 2016 NFL season. He's out of work now because he put in a dismal performance) There's no easy fix. Inner city blacks are poor. The poor get lesser treatment regardless of skin color. That's not changing any time soon. If I'm black and I'm conditioned to see any slight as racism, slights that occur to me because I am poor will look like racism. This is not to say that there is no racism in the US but that not everything perceived by blacks as racism need be racism. The high black participation in many sports argue for an advantage to blacks in some kinds of athleticism. No matter how we slice it, no two humans are equal, let alone two races. We have to navigate advantages and deficits in upbringing, education and talent every day. There is no way to make things come out even that doesn't do more harm than good. Bullies are also something that are always going to be there as long as humans are humans. Some people with power will abuse that power, and some abusers delight in harming others. This is the first time I have seen gun legislation that expands rather than contracts the rights gun owners have. The trajectory of the last 40 years of gun legislation has been toward more restrictions. Questions to ask are what actual "silencers" and what "armor piercing" ammunition are being allowed. Past gun legislation has famously played fast and loose with the definition of "assault weapon" and "assault rifle." because they were scare words for a while. I do not know definitions are being massaged in this case but it is a common opposition tactic. Who initiated violence last time neo-nazis and KKKers marched? The extreme-left "anti-fascist" activists. They were absent this time, and a non-violent demonstration resulted. Activists hate being ignored too. Activism also escalates provocation until its desires are met.
  14. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    One can argue there is a matter of degree. Neo-nazis are an extreme fringe group. The neo-nazi/KKK march only had long legs in the 24-hour news cycle because a liberal group decided to commit assault and battery on a large scale turning the protest into a riot. The kneeling thing is in-your-face and is so not just once but every sunday. We can hypocrite-hunt all year if we want and I can give as good as I get because hypocrisy is a universal. It happens to liberals and conservatives in equal measure. But playing the game is divisive so I'd rather go elsewhere. I think the NFL as an umbrella organization is non-profit. I believe NFL teams are for-profit and players are simply employees. Are we talking about gun rights or racism here? Or both? Open carry is not a universal right in the US. AFAIK, states and localities can ban open-carry and do. There are states where it is allowed, such as Washington or Texas, but I doubt you could do it in California or New York. To understand police reactions to blacks one must look at the plight of blacks. Their situation is messed up in about every way they could be and one of the side effects is police are conditioned by a combination of received wisdom, confirmation bias and genuine experience to look with greater suspicion on blacks. It's a rift that won't easily or quickly heal. I completely agree with Martin Luther King's dream of judging people by the content of their character not the color of their skin. But people are people and human brains make decisions on more than objective logic. That's not what I said. I was asking what you thought the obligation would be because it was unclear. So what obligations (legal or otherwise) do you see for a gun-owner in the wake of the vegas shooting? I've done my best. The NFL players kneeling is intrusive, directly and pointedly disrespectful and ongoing. Charloteville occurred once, was only in the news, and offered no commentary on the nation. I can go into detail but I don't really see other reasons.
  15. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Missed this above. It's simple. They're the same. There's no more or less political about either action. They're both innately political. The NFL players plan, if only within each individual players' own minds, to kneel at the anthem. They know there's TV cameras to broadcast their actions. It is a straightforward, intended PR stunt. Mike Pence had to plan in advance to leave the game when players kneel. He also knows there are cameras to record his actions. His is a straightforward, intended PR stunt as well.
  16. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    I was well aware that I had skipped over Scotty's post. Let's take care of that oversight... Agreed. The time frame is the thing. Doing things fast means doing things sloppily. Doing things carefully means no substantive changes while emotions run high and the shooting is in the 24-hour news cycle. Really you can't do any genuine legislative business UNTIL the furor dies down. I would point out that there is no massive pressure for anti-terror legislation every time there is a terror attack in the US. Even if there were pressure to do a bunch of new laws, I would still want to slow down and do things right, not fast. I can agree to disagree with your definition of terrorism. Certainly the vegas shooter's intent was to terrorize. It doesn't have to be aimed at the military. Aimed at the country is enough. This is nothing new. Colin Kaepernik (sp) was kneeling this time last year. And it was already spreading. Opinions are set in stone by now. The only reason kneeling is in the news is that it's not a one-season fad. It's looking to be a permanent part of the NFL experience. And it is not wanted. Just because the viewing public know why NFL players are kneeling, doesn't mean they must like or even tolerate it. They're turning off the TV or changing the channel and the NFL is losing money. I have to admit I take a dark satisfaction in this. Like many publicity-dependent institutions, the NFL has a corrupt side that prefers to hush up problems in the name of ratings instead of dealing with bad behavior as bad behavior (looking at YOU, Bill Belichick!). The NFL finally has a problem they can't just make go away and all sorts of unrelated dirt is coming out. I didn't realize, for example, that the NFL was a tax-exempt nonprofit. I'm not at all certain it should be. The way I frame the question is price vs. performance. What benefits does the 2nd provide vs what deficits. Weighing the 2nd means weighing both. I'm not sure what you mean by "everyone, EVERYONE, should be held responsible for the safety of not only themselves, but their fellow citizens". What does that mean in practical terms? What obligations should be legal vs what should be traditional? Where are the actual problems? If I live in a gun-friendly red state, what is my obligation to the vegas shooter's victims? What is my obligation to the huge amount of gun deaths in the inner city? I completely agree that people should be held responsible for their actions and should take responsibility if they choose to collect articles that are dangerous. Generally speaking the responsibility of red-state gun owners is borne out by the low amount of gun-related incidents in those states. Again I'm not sure what in real terms you are looking for that doesn't already exist.
  17. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    My participation is going to be spotty this week. I am helping my mom recover from knee-replacement-replacement surgery. I really try to keep myself grounded, reasoned and reasonable and fact-based. I don't always succeed (and when I fail I tend to fail big), but I do try... Newton's law of politics. The harder you feel pushed, the harder you feel like you have to push back. The more uncompromising the other side looks, the more uncompromising you feel you have to be. Escalation and de-humanization can bounce back and forth between two sides of any disagreement, which I imagine is the basis of Godwin's Law, where all internet conversations eventually lead to someone calling someone else a nazi. These conflicts can be de-escalated but its not easy especially with the internet in play. It's really easy to perceive the extremity of the other side as being genuine, but like you posted, bell curve of behavior and outlook. How many people just want things to be "better" in some way and how many are really committed to an absolute end-goal? The first paragraph of Don's post is something of concern to me as well. I can't remember any serious push to broaden gun rights anytime in the last 40 years. The push is always toward restriction after restriction. And it does appear that compromise only fuels the next round of restrictions. This is why I asked "where does it end?" This is a question that has also not been adequately answered. Gun owners have been dealing with a "death of a thousand cuts" sort of situation for a while now. Any meeting of minds must include a cessation of legislative hostility or at least a point where gun owners begin to pick up allies who previously were adversaries. Don''s second paragraph, however, was less than helpful, as was the first paragraph of Critterkeeper's reply. People convicted of crimes are legally presumed to have signed away some constitutional protections as it is. An individual with a history of violent crime convictions has (or should have) signed away his 2nd Amendment rights as well. We obviously want to makcommonsense exceptions to the 2nd Amendment. We can work out a set of reasonable circumstances for who *shouldn't* be allowed to own a gun without too much trouble, though I have personal knowledge of one case where this was abused. A civil war historian with a collection of antique guns was having trouble with the administrators of a college he was working for. He has a history of some non-violent psychological issues. Admin called the police, they took all his guns and had destroyed them by the time the historian got his name cleared. The real rub is banning guns by classification. It is really troubling is when government says "you can't own this class of gun". It can be seen as convicting the entire population of a crime without trial or representation. As I have posted before there are wide ranges of military hardware where this is reasonable: Combat-capable artillery, tanks and airplanes are on any reasonable no-go list. I am willing to support class restrictions especially if there are reasonable exceptions, such as perhaps licensing. I can't own an M-16 (full auto weapon) unless I have a license, though there should be guns I can own without one. The terms of the license is touchy stuff. Some gun owners would feel they are signing up for a visit from government thugs should government go full-on authoritarian. Also licensing fees and other hoops to jump through could be used to create a de-facto ban like literacy tests and poll taxes were once used to de-facto ban black voting in the South. Does this seem like a good starting point for discussion?
  18. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    I apparently owe you an apology for misreading you. I didn't realize it even as I sat down to write this reply. Unfortunately I do not have the time to address the substance of your rather long post at the moment. It was not my intent to characterize all those on the left as I did, but looking over my post I can see how that came across. I would have addressed that last post but I oped to keep things simple so as to focus on me-you and not get distracted in issue-stuff. We have already seen how well that went. I already posted That really was intended to suggest flexibility on specifics. I was waiting for a "Cool! let's get into the details!" As i say, it wasn't my intention. I have an explanation, which is not the same thing as a justification. I erred at least twice by you. And maybe a third time by not expanding on more common ground. I honestly thought I was meeting you halfway. I would have been if I was perceiving you properly, which I was not, so that's on me. I communicated poorly with that post and things just got worse from there. At that time I did not understand why you were telling me that I was saying something that I knew I wasn't saying, so the rest of your yesterday post came across as a superior -> inferior lecture, with you casting yourself as the superior of course. I now realize you were not doing anything of the sort. You were trying to draw me out into a proper discussion. I hope we can get back to that or at least agree to disagree amicably. The final line of your post still reads more like an ultimatum than an invitation to a civil discussion. As I said my one-line reply was intended to not get caught and deflected by issues. I definitely thought I had obviously been mistreated and misunderstood and that was reflected in what I said. I apologize for misreading you.
  19. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Completely agreed. It's entirely warranted to ask how this guy got through the system and make changes to keep someone else from falling through the same crack. To be honest I'd think that goes without saying. We don't? So a major natural disaster happen, that kills hundreds or thousands of people and millions or billions in damage, and we shouldn't try to think of ways to prevent it from happening again? If an office building collapses despite conforming to building codes, shouldn't those codes be revised? If hundreds of people get sick because food/water was contaminated, should we not look at improving quality control and sanitation protocol? In all your examples change is warranted. But if a building is "up to code" and still falls down, I would want to know what part of the code failed and amend that. Ideally I might also pick up any smaller issues and throw addressing them into the process. Same for sanitation issues and the same for people who pass background checks that shouldn't. We need to know where and what to change. I also want to see laws crafted that the public and private entities can live with. That all takes time. The whole point of "Do Something" legislation is to placate the public. My interest is solving problems, not politicians looking good for the cameras. What you're seeing is pushback against tightening gun regulations. There were always mutually-agreed-upon limits to the Second Amendment. the US Supreme Court has ruled many times that there are always commonsense limits to every constitutional right. For the 2nd Amendment, private citizens do not get to own combat-capable military hardware such as tanks, artillery, jet fighters, etc. That's completely common sense and nobody is arguing differently. The rub comes when you talk about guns that an individual can carry around. Of myself I'm inclined to not allow .50 cal or .30 cal machine guns or other extreme stuff without a lot of explanation and licensing. The smaller the gun the more individual rights become important. Also newton's law of politics: The more extreme the push to regulate, the more extreme the pushback. But that the same time guns are collectibles like anything else. One person owns 147 guns for the same reason another owns 10,000 Magic cards (Something scary easy to do. Magic has been continuously printing cards and coming out with new ones for 22 years now). The is also the real fear that an increasingly controlling and intrusive US government may go over the line into tyranny and need to be opposed. The definition of "militia" is the subject of a lot of debate. Some people define "militias" as only state national guards, but the Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd broader than that. I try to keep my personal definition of "terrorism" on a tight leash. It's very easy to plaster the "terrorist" label on anybody I don't like and "terrorism" on any action. The target has to be civilian and there has to be a political motive. Actions taken against a military unit are asymmetric warfare, but not "terrorism". Even if the primarily purpose to scare and destroy morale, it is not terrorism per se even though the actions might be undertaken by people who have also acted against civilians in the past or belong to an organization that has (i.e. terrorists). So far as I know, the Vegas shooter had no political motive for what he did so at the very least *I* would not define him as a terrorist. Were one to be unearthed, then he would be. Race, religion and country of origin do not enter into it. Completely agreed. The Vegas shooter should not have been able to bring that many (really any) guns into a gun-free casino. That's all poor casino security, however. It may be that the concert was a "gun-free zone" by extension of being held at a gun-free casino. I understand the motive behind the football player's actions, but they have no control over how their actions are seen or interpreted. The knowing and intentional nature of the disrespect makes a strong distinction between football player actions and people wearing the flag for casual fun and maybe casual patriotism. People don't work that way for the same reason they don't react to violent cartoons or violent video games that way. As with all sweeping generalizations about people, there are exceptions. But they're rare. In the main, people are simply people. Gun people are no different.
  20. Star Trek DS9 versus B5

    Koenig guest-starred as Chekov on one of the fan-produced Trek series. I forget which one or the episode. It was a short bit but he did reprise the character one last time after the movies.
  21. Things That Are Just Annoying

    I just had the unpleasant experience of opening up a HP ENVY 15t laptop. I needed to upgrade its hard drive from 1TB to 2TB and it was priority work. The 15t is a few years old. My lab maintains a backlog of laptops going back about 7-8 years. The 15t looked to be built intentionally to frustrate, as if the designer took a sadistic joy in making the laptop hard to work with. And it's not like it's a thing with HPs from that era. I got a HP 14t in the same order and it's easy-peasy to open up. First you get at the guts by popping up the keyboard. That's never good. If there's one thing you don't think about but should when buying a new laptop, this is it. You always want to take the back off to get at stuff like drives and memory. The best case is only needing to remove a relatively small access plate on the back. HP secured the back with no less than 15 screws. The back is a shotgun blast of screw holes. Some screws are hidden. Two screws sit under the back two rubber feet. You have to pry up the stickyback feet themselves. The feet come off revealing two more screws to be pulled off after that. There's yet another screw hidden under a thin stickyback piece of plastic and one final screw you can only get at by popping open the optical drive. But that wasn't enough. Several of the screws were a wide short flat-head design which had an unnecessarily tiny Phillips screw slot. My fine-work screwdrivers don't give me the grip to move them and the screwdrivers that do are too big. I managed to find one that did both and the screw didn't budge. I had to wiggle the keyboard back and forth while attached to the case to loosen up the screw and broke part of the case doing so. But I was able to remove the screw. This is all before we find out that the keyboard is inset into the laptop body. Most keyboard deigns have it flush to the back, not dropped that little bit into the back. Prying the keyboard up just got to be extra fun and I never got it entirely free. A part of the keyboard and the broken case just wouldn't separate. The hard drive had an unrelated ribbon cable running right over top of it. The cable had to be detached, which is easy to do but something you really shouldn't have to do. The hard drive itself was connected by a really narrow ribbon cable which came out because the SATA power + data plug did not want to come off the old drive or go on the new drive easily. The final touch came after I tried to power the lap top up. Nothing. HP gave the power button its own ribbon cable and it had come out of the connectors on both ends. the motherboard connector was easy enough to do but because I couldn't entirely detach the motherboard, attaching a narrow ribbon cable to the back of the keyboard was especially annoying. This was the single most annoying laptop I have ever had to take apart...and I've worked on 30 or 40 machines.
  22. Story Friday October 6, 2017

    Susan: One of the last people to ever get an "indirect kiss"...
  23. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    ...but they don't try to rewrite the licensing rules every time there's a road accident. Or even if a truck is used as a weapon. The individual case is dealt with as an individual case. The legal structure changes according to need, not high-volume pressure groups. Of course not. We even want to adapt and evolve the rules and laws to adjust for the times. We do NOT want to do that fresh on the heels of a tragedy because that's when impulsive, "act in haste, repent at leisure" sort of lawmaking is done. But fresh on the heels of a tragedy is when all the pressure is on to "do something". That's at the heart of Rahm Emanuel's now-famous aphorism, "never let a good crisis go to waste". As an aside, that is the mechanism by which terrorism operates. To make you afraid of going about your business as normal, but with a political demands list attached. Most terrorist/lone gunman sorts of attacks in the US are ended by a civilian on the scene with a gun. I do not know if the Vegas concert was a "gun free zone" but those are the places I would suggest thinking twice about going to. If one must have a gun-free zone, there needs to be armed security. Vegas casinos can afford it, though not all public places can. Police response times are simply too slow to be save many lives. There's some point to it and if we want to be stick-up-out-butts about it, this would really have to go. In actual practice people are not intending disrespect. And certainly aren't aware of the law you cited. Intent counts for a lot. Your picture is showing people in a casual, probably celebratory mood. They are not going out of their way to be disrespectful. Quite the contrary in fact. The football players that kneel or stay in their locker rooms during the national anthem are being pointedly and intentionally disrespectful. That is not a second amendment problem. It's a sloppy casino security problem. The US gun culture has changed primarily because some well-meaning and very insistent people are trying to change things. Newton's law of politics: For every push there's a pushback. Leave the gun enthusiasts alone. The problems aren't by and large happening in the red gun-culture states but the blue inner cities. Vegas is high profile because it is rare. Inner-city gun violence is the big problem. There's no crisis mentality around it because it is so everyday. The webcomic Schlock Mercenary has a set of 70 maxims of maximally effective mercenaries. Maxim 37 reads "There is no overkill. There is only open fire and time to reload." The EVE online forum you are talking about may be quoting Maxim 37. The comic's creator, Howard Taylor, is no hard-right gun nut, yet he penned that maxim for his humor webcomic about 30th century mercenaries going around hurting people and breaking things for fun and profit. The fact that these gun-porn pictures were posted on a private forum is so much the better. Why should I not let them have their fun?
  24. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Sure. But you have to talk to me not at me. You have to understand my concerns not dismiss them. I will give you the same courtesy.