America on the cusp?

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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby tlaero » Sat, 16Aug20 21:31

PinkVendeta wrote:
tlaero wrote:
PinkVendeta wrote:clearly, you do not want anyone in the white house in total control over the USA who may have parkinsons.


This is far from clear to me, and I would very much like to understand what you think a person with Parkinson's is and is not capable of. I don't care one way or another about Hillary, but, unless I'm misunderstanding you, your post sounds pretty offensive to anyone who does have the disease...

Tlaero

Lol as always tlaero, try and poke a stick into a hornets nest and see if you can stir up something with a generalization for others with parkinsons, who were not mentioned in the article about Hillary and the many clear things she has going on for all to see to which the mainstream media choose to ignore as they do not want Trump in at any cost, better a badly sick Hillary who has all the clear signs of advanced parkinsons, course they didnt want Bernie in either no matter what :lol: .


I'm going to say this once, and them I'm going to stop talking. You should think through how you're representing yourself, and you should take greater care to not be needlessly hurtful to others.

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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby PinkVendeta » Sat, 16Aug20 21:40

tlaero wrote:
PinkVendeta wrote:
tlaero wrote:
PinkVendeta wrote:clearly, you do not want anyone in the white house in total control over the USA who may have parkinsons.


This is far from clear to me, and I would very much like to understand what you think a person with Parkinson's is and is not capable of. I don't care one way or another about Hillary, but, unless I'm misunderstanding you, your post sounds pretty offensive to anyone who does have the disease...

Tlaero

Lol as always tlaero, try and poke a stick into a hornets nest and see if you can stir up something with a generalization for others with parkinsons, who were not mentioned in the article about Hillary and the many clear things she has going on for all to see to which the mainstream media choose to ignore as they do not want Trump in at any cost, better a badly sick Hillary who has all the clear signs of advanced parkinsons, course they didnt want Bernie in either no matter what :lol: .


I'm going to say this once, and them I'm going to stop talking. You should think through how you're representing yourself, and you should take greater care to not be needlessly hurtful to others.

Tlaero

I am only going to say this once also, next time read what I actually write pertaining to Hillary and do not try to turn it into a generalization chat, which it clearly is not.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby muttdoggy » Sun, 16Aug21 00:41

I live in one of the more conservative states and the reddest state of all is my neighbor. My views are towards the middle and really don't favor the democrat or republican views. I'm of the same mindset as LRM. I'll hunt down any drones I see flying around since they're causing so many problems with the fires popping up around here. Not to mention most have cameras and can look in your backyard and I wouldn't tolerate anybody flying over other people's yards watching the wives tanning and the kids playing.
The economy?? We largely depend on a credit system that isn't backed up with actual legal tender and when it collapses, it will do serious harm to the lives of all Americans. A good start would be simulating the economy by raising wages and revising the tax structure. It would help fatten individual bank accounts IF we incentivize savings accounts. But to really fix this problem, Congress would need to start writing and revising regulations to ensure that all credit is backed up with legal tender so it won't have the potential of collapse and any progress we make in that direction would reduce the severity of a collapse if it happens. Not to mention the myriad other regulations and trade agreements but that is a pipe dream.
I'm from a military family full of hunters. No matter who owns what, they've agreed that the true purpose of semi-automatic rifles is for killing humans especially when you consider the size and shape of the bullets and the weights of gunpowder that are used to propel those bullets. It's true that it's not the rifle but the finger on the trigger that kills. But think about the thoughts that made the finger pull the trigger... the individual chose a tool which was originally designed to kill humans and used it for its true purpose. And I'm also absolutely flabbergasted at the callousness of some of those people who shoot those weapons out in the backwoods where many veterans went to live in peace away from the city. Suddenly they're hearing those weapons firing and they know what they're hearing. This often re-traumatizes them and sets off flashbacks, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress reactions from those veterans who were actually were in a life-and-death situation in a war zone. I've come across a few of those trigger-happy guys and I've told them off warning them about a veteran being nearby becoming agitated from the gunshots. All but one shrugged me off and quoted the Second Amendment. I had to work so hard not to physically beat them to a pulp.
And I agree with Lrm's points about checking out who you're voting for. I don't like my choices and often find myself voting for the lesser of 2 evils. I really wish it wasn't like this but it's become a fact of life here. My primary concern is the retirement situation. All I have to do look at the situation my grandparents are in. That alone makes me really really angry. They saved and did well for themselves all their lives. BUT- in their twilight years, they are watching their money which started at over a million almost 30 years ago slowly disappear despite their retirement incomes and the fact they own their home free and clear. They have downsized homes 2 times to replenish their bank account. But their hard-earned savings accumulated over decades of wise spending is now down to 10% of its original value. It's all going towards taxes, prescriptions, medical bills, medical insurance, various banking fees, and the rising cost of living to pay for bills and food. We drive for them so they don't pay for anything vehicle-related. But what really saddens me is that they're more worried about their kids and grandchildren struggling to try and save not even 10% of what they had managed to save. Their income is being supplemented by us and we can't save for our own retirement. We know exactly what's going on and there isn't a guarantee in our own twilight since the government wants to cut it. Can you blame us for going stir crazy and grasping at straws?
Said "downsized 3 times" when they actually did that twice. And my google spellcheck needs new eyes.... Had to edit!
But I'm hoping you can see just a brief window in the lives of middle class to poor Americans. I only focused briefly on economics and spoke of retirement worries but that's only a small part of our concerns. Point in case - worries of race wars and the loss of a police force. This is part of an American perspective. You know, I recently told my kid "American Freedom is a rubber band, girl. It'll only let you get so far before it snaps back with disastrous results."
Last edited by muttdoggy on Sun, 16Aug21 06:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Greyelf » Sun, 16Aug21 03:47

@LRM: I am unsure how your comment relates to my own?
LRM wrote:The President (Obama) is not the problem here! ...
If you are not an American citizen... you do not have a dog in this fight!!! ...

... I was just pointing out that the individual holding the job of President does not need to be (and can not realistically be) an expert in all the different fields of knowledge that the job will require them to make decisions on, which is why the individual receives advice from others. I was not stating who should be the President, nor commenting on how well a past/present/future individual did/will do the job.

PinkVendeta wrote:Yea it is that simple, American Economics, this is why the USA is over 17 trillion in debt so far...

Another excellent example of moving the deck chairs. You went from talking about what personal attributes and subject matters an individual would possibly need to have / know to be considered a viable President candidate, to how complex a particular subject matter is.

Although your example of the complexity of the American Economics situation actual re-enforces that no single individual can have enough knowledge/expertise to know how it all works let alone how all the other subject matters that the individual will also need to make decisions on, which is why there are advisers and why the individual does not need to be an expert in anything.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby LRM » Sun, 16Aug21 05:24

@ Greyelf;
Sorry, the dog wasn't pointed at you. My frustration was getting high at the point I added that.
Please don't crank her up again. She's Irish and does not have a dog in the fight... She sure as hell has lots of internet backed opinion!
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby PinkVendeta » Sun, 16Aug21 08:44

muttdoggy wrote:I live in one of the more conservative states and the reddest state of all is my neighbor. My views are towards the middle and really don't favor the democrat or republican views. I'm of the same mindset as LRM. I'll hunt down any drones I see flying around since they're causing so many problems with the fires popping up around here. Not to mention most have cameras and can look in your backyard and I wouldn't tolerate anybody flying over other people's yards watching the wives tanning and the kids playing.
The economy?? We largely depend on a credit system that isn't backed up with actual legal tender and when it collapses, it will do serious harm to the lives of all Americans. A good start would be simulating the economy by raising wages and revising the tax structure. It would help fatten individual bank accounts IF we incentivize savings accounts. But to really fix this problem, Congress would need to start writing and revising regulations to ensure that all credit is backed up with legal tender so it won't have the potential of collapse and any progress we make in that direction would reduce the severity of a collapse if it happens. Not to mention the myriad other regulations and trade agreements but that is a pipe dream.
I'm from a military family full of hunters. No matter who owns what, they've agreed that the true purpose of semi-automatic rifles is for killing humans especially when you consider the size and shape of the bullets and the weights of gunpowder that are used to propel those bullets. It's true that it's not the rifle but the finger on the trigger that kills. But think about the thoughts that made the finger pull the trigger... the individual chose a tool which was originally designed to kill humans and used it for its true purpose. And I'm also absolutely flabbergasted at the callousness of some of those people who shoot those weapons out in the backwoods where many veterans went to live in peace away from the city. Suddenly they're hearing those weapons firing and they know what they're hearing. This often re-traumatizes them and sets off flashbacks, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress reactions from those veterans who were actually were in a life-and-death situation in a war zone. I've come across a few of those trigger-happy guys and I've told them off warning them about a veteran being nearby becoming agitated from the gunshots. All but one shrugged me off and quoted the Second Amendment. I had to work so hard not to physically beat them to a pulp.
And I agree with Lrm's points about checking out who you're voting for. I don't like my choices and often find myself voting for the lesser of 2 evils. I really wish it wasn't like this but it's become a fact of life here. My primary concern is the retirement situation. All I have to do look at the situation my grandparents are in. That alone makes me really really angry. They saved and did well for themselves all their lives. BUT- in their twilight years, they are watching their money which started at over a million almost 30 years ago slowly disappear despite their retirement incomes and the fact they own their home free and clear. They have downsized homes 2 times to replenish their bank account. But their hard-earned savings accumulated over decades of wise spending is now down to 10% of its original value. It's all going towards taxes, prescriptions, medical bills, medical insurance, various banking fees, and the rising cost of living to pay for bills and food. We drive for them so they don't pay for anything vehicle-related. But what really saddens me is that they're more worried about their kids and grandchildren struggling to try and save not even 10% of what they had managed to save. Their income is being supplemented by us and we can't save for our own retirement. We know exactly what's going on and there isn't a guarantee in our own twilight since the government wants to cut it. Can you blame us for going stir crazy and grasping at straws?
Said "downsized 3 times" when they actually did that twice. And my google spellcheck needs new eyes.... Had to edit!
But I'm hoping you can see just a brief window in the lives of middle class to poor Americans. I only focused briefly on economics and spoke of retirement worries but that's only a small part of our concerns. Point in case - worries of race wars and the loss of a police force. This is part of an American perspective. You know, I recently told my kid "American Freedom is a rubber band, girl. It'll only let you get so far before it snaps back with disastrous results."

Great read, very insightful, thank You for sharing.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby PinkVendeta » Sun, 16Aug21 08:55

LRM wrote:@ Greyelf;
Sorry, the dog wasn't pointed at you. My frustration was getting high at the point I added that.
Please don't crank her up again. She's Irish and does not have a dog in the fight... She sure as hell has lots of internet backed opinion!
LRM

I am one third Irish, one third French and the rest Oriental, and to say I do not have a dog in this fight is silly really, because once You all have voted in a new president there it then has the ripple in the pond effect outward and it effects every country in the world for the next 4 years of whoever is in office, and effects the rest of us all badly in reality.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Mimailia » Sun, 16Aug21 14:26

LRM wrote:W had a surplus when he took office... The United States was actually paying down the deficit. He cut taxes (Congress has a part in this too) and started the mess we are now in.

Most people don't even have a clue how he PAID for this. Federal reimbursements to the states dried up.

In Ohio, every fee - from court costs, incorporation fees, land transfers, etc - went up from 80% to 500%. The (state) constitutional income tax reductions due to the surplus (present for 9 of the prior 10 years) ended. Industry forums that I read, finance related, lead me to believe every other state was immediately feeling the same pinch. NO news agency reported this, this is my opinion only. But I am able to add 2+2 and come up with 4 most of the time.

LRM wrote:Raise the minimum wage! Give the majority of Americans some spending money and the economy will recover.

Too many people actually buy this. Everything in the economy is tied directly to minimum wage. If it goes up, the cost of everything goes up. As a side, every decision maker up the line takes a raise also, exponentially snowballing the effect. (As an example: Ohio jumped minimum wage from 5.25? to 7.30? a few years ago. I used to eat an $11 pizza at least once a week [really good pizza], same pizza is now $27.)

Manufacturing jobs (steel mills, auto assembly, etc) have been replaced by retail jobs (Wal-mart, Office Depot, etc). The answers are easy, but they will piss people off. And NO politician will piss off a voter.

That's why Trump. He may be a moron, but he isn't a politician!

We could also do well to institute some kind of a NATIONAL vote to throw out ALL of congress and the president. Such a vote shouldn't be easy, but if accomplished ALL members would lose pension and ANY right to hold elected office again. This might provide the incentive to, at least, do the minimum job they were elected to do.

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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby LRM » Sun, 16Aug21 18:59

@ Mimailia;
In my opinion (IMO)...

I can't see any way for a national recall system (wish there was but)... If your elected congressman is seen as a problem to the other states, but your state thinks he's doing a fine job, a recall probably would not be right, he is after all YOUR representative. There should be a system where YOU can recall your representative!!! There is not that I'm aware of.

I see no reason to completely disassemble congress ever!

I'd like to see a couple of changes to the current system, campaign funds that now become the representative's nest egg, should be given to the party of their choice when they retire. Why should any elected representative get to keep the millions of dollars in their reelection fund? Let them live like the rest of the citizenry! Along those lines add the current government retirement system to social security, and dissolve their system... When they have a stake in that retirement package they will make better decisions regarding it!!! Add Medical care to that... let them struggle with Medicare like the majority of citizens... Socialized health care, here we come! Free medical while in office is fair, call it a benefit. Once they retire they become just one more citizen, if all were equal.

Do you really think even sitting Republicans will work with Trump? Hell a goodly portion say they won't even vote for him for President. I see 4 more years of even more complete grid lock.

One last point... Was Reaganomics good for the country? Even he eventually said it sucked. If the MAJORITY of citizens can barely or not meet day-to-day living expenses there is no excess to spend, and the economy/nation suffers! an additional 0.10¢ in every citizen's pay is way more than will be freed up (IMO) with tax cuts (and lower taxes adds to our red ink). If that 0.10¢ can be spent on "nice to haves" it is a huge number to spur the economy. Please realize that 0.10¢ builds on itself. It gets spent over and over every time it goes from my pocket to yours, etc.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Mimailia » Sun, 16Aug21 19:28

LRM wrote:I can't see any way for a national recall system (wish there was but)... If your elected congressman is seen as a problem to the other states, but your state thinks he's doing a fine job, a recall probably would not be right, he is after all YOUR representative. There should be a system where YOU can recall your representative!!! There is not that I'm aware of.

I see no reason to completely disassemble congress ever!
<stows soapbox>
LRM


That's why I said it shouldn't be easy! It should be by a clear mandate of the people, that is all but impossible to accomplish. If these thieves had it in the back of their mind that they COULD lose everything, maybe they would do something. We need rid of career politicians. (And not with term limits. I don't want to be forced to give up a good congressman, simply because I'm too trifling to vote out a bad one.)

Never put away your soapbox, healthy discussion is how we learn.

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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby muttdoggy » Fri, 16Sep30 01:28

I'm am American and have been proud to be called American. But recent events have me concerned. America on the cusp? Yeah I think we are.
From colonial times until recently, the majority of Americans agreed on what the primary issues are and generally took a clear course of action. That mean that we had some idea of where we are headed and we put our collective hearts and souls into it. That's always been what we were told is the "American" way. For example, World War 2 broke out and we mostly agreed on "neutrality" but continued economically helping our allies to give them an advantage. When we got attacked, we declared war on 2 fronts and became a well-oiled machine that fought and won a war on 2 fronts.
As much as I can talk up how strong Americans have become, I'm not blind either. I'm acutely aware of the history of Americans committing massacres of our minorities. I'm talking about African-Americans, Mexicans, Japanese, and the Native Americans. Especially Native Americans and African-Americans - they were seriously mistreated by our government. However, since the 1950s, we've been taking baby steps in the right direction. Not strides.. let's be realistic - they're barely considered baby steps. Admittedly, it's not a lot of progress but it can be slow. However, at least we could say that were headed in the right direction in that regard.
I was born the 1970s and was raised knowing that since the 1950s and earlier, we've been making some progress at becoming a better nation. It's been a source of pride to me that I could say that we are trying to make it right. Nobody's perfect but we're trying hard to fight the good fight and we're all good-hearted, strong, and intelligent Americans. That is how I was raised. I could hold my head up in pride and say "I'm an American. Say what you will but as a country, we truly are a great people trying to do the right thing."
Notice for yourselves that I've been using the words "been' and "could". I recently had a falling out with a close friend I've known since childhood over the election. All I did was say "he's still got a job and he didn't get taken off the air for talking about a candidate's health. He was preempted so they can switch to another show covering the recent debate." This was what I thought was a discussion of this topic - http://www.snopes.com/michael-savage-removed/. I was immediately branded as a traitor, a supporter of a murderess, and a "kool-aid drinking drooling liberal idiot." It became clear to me then that this is not a discussion. In fact, she was preaching to me to make sure that I am no longer a "traitor". The problem is, she is throwing away a decades long friendship and forgetting the fact I saved her from being raped over 2 decades ago and asked for nothing in return. My unquestioning friendship meant nothing to her compared to her passion for her "leader". She's not the only one doing this. This is becoming rather widespread and it unnerves me to the core.
We as a people used to act in relative harmony. It was like our creed was truly that above all, our allegiance was to ourselves and our fellow Americans. Nothing mattered more that that.. And now it's gone. I'm seeing the police being attacked, black lives this, blue lives that, Hillary or Trump, Republican or Democrat, transgendered people are either mentally ill or misunderstood, etc. And it's becoming clearer and clearer by the moment that minorities are becoming targeted again. They being killed over religion, the color of their skin, and even school children are screaming "leave the country" and worse, etc. We're taking some real serious steps backwards in that regards.
We're now a nation of division multiplied by the pervasive divisiveness in the media and politics. Now subtract fact-checking and common sense and add to that the pressures of what's going on around the globe with terrorism and financial pressures. That equals up to a result that's less than clear and sometimes you can't even fathom how all this happening around you.
Old friends are saying "screw you cuz you're on the other side", "I hate you because you unfollowed me on facebook because I won't stop shit-posting", "you need to be saved from your evil overlords", etc. What ever happened to the old days where we'd just have a discussion then say to each other "you're a blithering idiot but I love you anyways", get each other a beer and hang out like the old friends we are? I have to say I'm completely and utterly dumbfounded at the seemingly rabid stuff going on.
Where we are headed is no longer clear to me.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Mimailia » Sun, 16Oct02 15:34

Sorry for your loss!
muttdoggy wrote:...subtract ... common sense


This says it ALL!

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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Mortze » Sun, 16Oct02 16:32

The President (Obama) is not the problem here! NO president can hire/fire members of Congress! Nor can you except for those members of Congress you vote to put/keep in office.
Congress passes/enacts all laws...
Congress writes/funds the budget...
Congress cannot/will not get off their ass, negotiate with one another, or agree on anything except their next pay raise...
The question I have for all Americans is, did you actually look at the voting record of your representatives before you blindly voted to put them back in office? That in my opinion is real problem in America today!!!
If you are not an American citizen... you do not have a dog in this fight!!!

W had a surplus when he took office... The United States was actually paying down the deficit. He cut taxes (Congress has a part in this too) and started the mess we are now in.
Raise the minimum wage! Give the majority of Americans some spending money and the economy will recover. Tax the 1%ers until they again make a contribution! Remove the tax breaks for the same 1% that make it cheaper for them to pay ridiculous fees to a tax lawyer to make sure they pay as little as possible! PS these ridiculous fees are tax deductible for them!
Why doesn't this happen? Because Congress are among the 1%!

Your parents work/worked their asses off. They finally retire, relax just a little and coast for a short period then one of them gets seriously ill... They have to sell their house and move into a tent to pay the damned medical bills, at a time they should really be enjoying life... We NEED socialized medical care!!! Without it there is no real retirement or security.
Lou


Lou, you explained perfectly what I think the USA politic panorama is about and should be. Fool the one who thinks the President has any real power in the country. Fool the one who thinks even people in Congress actually rule the country. Money rules the USA, money rules the world. Doesn't matter if the money is in the pockets of arms manufacturers (who are glad the Congress spends so much money on militarisation, and speak against gun strict legalization) or the Church, amongst many other examples. The arguments, the priorities may change, the goal is always the same; money. The USA Presidency is either for the ones who have ego issues, or for those misled in wanting to change things in the USA and the world. I believe Obama in the later. Trump and Hillary in the former. And I say misled for the later because when in office they get to see who really rules the country, and the world, and the rulers are the ones with the money, who want to keep their money or make even more money. Period. It is like that in the majority of the world, if not all the world.

Why isn't health care, education and justice free (or very cheap) and with high standards of quality? Because it isn't profitable of course. It seems the world (and in this particular case we're talking about the USA) and its citizens, do think it more acceptable to spend nearly 600 billions! dollars in military budget and not socialize health, education or justice. Something is very wrong with people's acceptance of that reality. And people do accept it, because Congress is elected.

Where I disagree with you Lou, in a certain mesure, is in gun policy. You say that gun restriction laws won't avoid crime. Of course they wont. But it will certainly lessen gun-related domestic accidents. If, as a hunter yourself, you have a gun at your house, that's a gun a kid could take from you, or your neighbour. That's a gun that some deranged kid could bring to school. Restricting guns won't stop crime no, but it will balance gun ownership back to the law abiding authorities. More guns into police hands, less bold ciminals to shoot back. I walk around in my country's capital and I see a clear difference between a policeman and any other citizen. He has a gun, I don't. And I know that the next citizen doesn't have a gun either. That makes me feel safe when I see a policeman around. That makes me trust the police with my safety, and if I trust them I respect them. If I respect them, they feel happy doing their jobs. In fact, in my country, almost everybody respects the police (if policemen are unhappy it is because of the government who doesn't support them, not because the population doesn't like them).
Trump said in the debate I saw that we need to take guns away from the bad people. There are 2 issues with that statement. First, how to control who is a bap or a good person. Criminal record isn't enough. Psicological instabilities are either hard to find or could develop after the purchase of the weapon. And secondly, if no bad people have guns, why do good people need them? Hunting is the only logical solution. But I think taking away guns from hunters or encouraging hunting with a bow, is a better solution to the actual gun policy. I'm sorry Lou, but I would prefer for you to find another hobby than having to watch another school mass murdering news.
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby tlaero » Sun, 16Oct02 19:54

It's not really about money. It's about power. Money is a means to an end, but the end is power. Want to fix the world? Find a way to make people feel powerful for doing goodthings. (I'm only half kidding.) Unfortunately, human nature is to feel more powerful for keeping someone down than for pulling him up. There are exceptions, of course.

As for guns, the laws in the US aren't about hunting. Gun rights in the US were written by people who had just overthrown their government. Gun ownership is about protection of the weak against the powerful, specifically the people against their government. Throughout human history, the officials, whether they held their position by birthright, religion, election, or force, have oppressed more than they've helped the populace. The US was founded on the principal that we defend ourselves against government oppression. You see it in the gun rights. You see it in the way that we're set up to have a non-violent coup every 4-8 years. You see it in the way we've got 3 branches of government each designed to stop the other two. That's the design, and said design has worked out decently well for a few hundred years.

However, the implementation has been faltering as of late. Even if every citizen had an AR15, they wouldn't be able to overthrow a government armed with tanks, predators, and smart bombs. But one citizen with an AR15 can hurt a lot of citizens. Gun ownership is not meeting the original intent while bringing about other negative consequences like school shootings. Neither of the two solutions I've seen proposed work, though.

One side says, "Ban guns." That won't work. You could stop selling them, but there are already hundreds of millions of them in people's hands. You could require that everyone turn in the guns they already have, but none of the criminals would comply. You could try to screen for them, but we can't even keep guns out of prisons. I doubt many people would agree to live under the rights of a prisoner in jail to be protected against people with guns, especially since it wouldn't work.

The other side says, "Arm everyone." That also won't work. My sister is a teacher in an inner city school system. We both know how to shoot and neither of us are in any way afraid of guns. But after one of the school shootings, I asked her if things would be better if she were armed at school. She said she couldn't be. She couldn't have a loaded gun on her hip while working closely with children. One would grab it, or it would go off accidentally, etc. She'd need to keep it locked in a drawer, and then wouldn't have access to it in a school shooting situation. Even with heavy training, I don't think this would work. The US military is one of the highest trained fighting forces anywhere, and a significant number of people are killed in accidents every year. I don't have my facts in front of me, but I have a memory that in the first Gulf War, more US soldiers were killed in accidents than by enemy fire. Arming people with even less training doesn't seem like it would solve the problem.

I'm open to ideas, but I don't see any non-technical solutions to the problem. Technology could come to our aide. Imagine a non-lethal tool (ie "phasers set to stun" from Star Trek) that you could realistically arm everyone with because the result of accidents isn't catastrophic. I'm not holding my breath for such a thing.

But, even more importantly, we need to get to the bottom of which problem we're trying to solve. Is it human deaths? The number of people killed by guns isn't even in the same ballpark as those killed by cars. Airbags saved FAR more lives than have ever been killed by guns in this country. Similar innovations will also save many more people than guns. A Tesla autopilot that kicks in automatically when it realizes you're drunk (easily doable in a year or two) will save more people than are killed by guns that year.

With guns, I think until we know what we're trying to solve and why, from a "forest for the trees" standpoint, we're not going to solve it.

Tlaero
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Re: America on the cusp?

Postby Mortze » Sun, 16Oct02 21:52

tlaero wrote:It's not really about money. It's about power. Money is a means to an end, but the end is power. Want to fix the world? Find a way to make people feel powerful for doing goodthings. (I'm only half kidding.) Unfortunately, human nature is to feel more powerful for keeping someone down than for pulling him up. There are exceptions, of course.

As for guns, the laws in the US aren't about hunting. Gun rights in the US were written by people who had just overthrown their government. Gun ownership is about protection of the weak against the powerful, specifically the people against their government. Throughout human history, the officials, whether they held their position by birthright, religion, election, or force, have oppressed more than they've helped the populace. The US was founded on the principal that we defend ourselves against government oppression. You see it in the gun rights. You see it in the way that we're set up to have a non-violent coup every 4-8 years. You see it in the way we've got 3 branches of government each designed to stop the other two. That's the design, and said design has worked out decently well for a few hundred years.

However, the implementation has been faltering as of late. Even if every citizen had an AR15, they wouldn't be able to overthrow a government armed with tanks, predators, and smart bombs. But one citizen with an AR15 can hurt a lot of citizens. Gun ownership is not meeting the original intent while bringing about other negative consequences like school shootings. Neither of the two solutions I've seen proposed work, though.

One side says, "Ban guns." That won't work. You could stop selling them, but there are already hundreds of millions of them in people's hands. You could require that everyone turn in the guns they already have, but none of the criminals would comply. You could try to screen for them, but we can't even keep guns out of prisons. I doubt many people would agree to live under the rights of a prisoner in jail to be protected against people with guns, especially since it wouldn't work.

The other side says, "Arm everyone." That also won't work. My sister is a teacher in an inner city school system. We both know how to shoot and neither of us are in any way afraid of guns. But after one of the school shootings, I asked her if things would be better if she were armed at school. She said she couldn't be. She couldn't have a loaded gun on her hip while working closely with children. One would grab it, or it would go off accidentally, etc. She'd need to keep it locked in a drawer, and then wouldn't have access to it in a school shooting situation. Even with heavy training, I don't think this would work. The US military is one of the highest trained fighting forces anywhere, and a significant number of people are killed in accidents every year. I don't have my facts in front of me, but I have a memory that in the first Gulf War, more US soldiers were killed in accidents than by enemy fire. Arming people with even less training doesn't seem like it would solve the problem.

I'm open to ideas, but I don't see any non-technical solutions to the problem. Technology could come to our aide. Imagine a non-lethal tool (ie "phasers set to stun" from Star Trek) that you could realistically arm everyone with because the result of accidents isn't catastrophic. I'm not holding my breath for such a thing.

But, even more importantly, we need to get to the bottom of which problem we're trying to solve. Is it human deaths? The number of people killed by guns isn't even in the same ballpark as those killed by cars. Airbags saved FAR more lives than have ever been killed by guns in this country. Similar innovations will also save many more people than guns. A Tesla autopilot that kicks in automatically when it realizes you're drunk (easily doable in a year or two) will save more people than are killed by guns that year.

With guns, I think until we know what we're trying to solve and why, from a "forest for the trees" standpoint, we're not going to solve it.

Tlaero

I strongly agree with most of what you say but some things I don't.
It must be clear that I'm strongly against guns in citizen's hands (not law enforcment or military). Let me try to explain to you my point of view.
In my country, Portugal, we have a way of thinking based on a "westernized" pole. Democracy, free speech, equal rights for men and women, etc. There are many things yet to be solved in both Portugal and USA but we have much more in common that we have differences. But regarding gun law, for instance, we differ very much. First, on the will to procure one. Here, it isn't ilegal to have a gun. There are many peoples with guns, and about 90% of guns owned by civilians are held for hunting purposes, like shotguns or hunting rifles. And there have been had accidents before too, or murders. But here people buy a gun for that sole purpose. Not for protection. There isn't a need for protection with a gun mentality here. People need protection here, they go to the police and there is a judicial process that starts. If you get mugged here, you hand over your goods and let the justice do its work. That's the best way to stay alive. The mugger won't feel threatened and won't shoot you (if he ever has a gun!). Secondly, you need to go through such a pandemonic administrative process to get a gun that most people won't bother. Only if you really really love hunting.
So when I say that USA gun policies could change I say it with the experience I have from my country. Change mentalities, and you solve the problem.
tlaero wrote:One side says, "Ban guns." That won't work. You could stop selling them, but there are already hundreds of millions of them in people's hands. You could require that everyone turn in the guns they already have, but none of the criminals would comply. You could try to screen for them, but we can't even keep guns out of prisons. I doubt many people would agree to live under the rights of a prisoner in jail to be protected against people with guns, especially since it wouldn't work.

Just stop making guns, and proceed to take those already on the streets from people. That will take lots of time and money, but if it works there will be no more guns around. You can't take guns away if the arms industry keeps releasing them.

tlaero wrote:The other side says, "Arm everyone." That also won't work. My sister is a teacher in an inner city school system. We both know how to shoot and neither of us are in any way afraid of guns. But after one of the school shootings, I asked her if things would be better if she were armed at school

It has been proved that having a gun for protection is the best way to be shot. If someone has a gun pointed at you he will feel empowered and less threatened if you don't resist. Put a gun against him and he'll shoot you for his life.

tlaero wrote:But, even more importantly, we need to get to the bottom of which problem we're trying to solve. Is it human deaths? The number of people killed by guns isn't even in the same ballpark as those killed by cars. Airbags saved FAR more lives than have ever been killed by guns in this country. Similar innovations will also save many more people than guns. A Tesla autopilot that kicks in automatically when it realizes you're drunk (easily doable in a year or two) will save more people than are killed by guns that year.

Human deaths of course. Rome had a fair share of crime back in the days and they didn't had guns. Crime will always be crime, either with guns or sticks. Removing guns will solve the Injury or Death by gunshots problem. Nothing more. Of course, there are also other problems to solve, not this one! Car accidents, smoke lung cancer, morbid obesity related diseases, those are what kills most americans every year.

tlaero wrote:Technology could come to our aide. Imagine a non-lethal tool (ie "phasers set to stun" from Star Trek) that you could realistically arm everyone with because the result of accidents isn't catastrophic. I'm not holding my breath for such a thing.

They shoot animals with anesthetic needles in zoos and preserve parks, or in the wild, to put them to sleep for a while. I don't think you'd need much technology to have needled guns to put people to sleep for a few seconds (enough for you to go call for help).

tlaero wrote:It's not really about money. It's about power. Money is a means to an end, but the end is power. Want to fix the world? Find a way to make people feel powerful for doing goodthings. (I'm only half kidding.) Unfortunately, human nature is to feel more powerful for keeping someone down than for pulling him up. There are exceptions, of course.

Money is power of course. That's where I was heading. Money without power is called numismatics :)
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