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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   2901. Tilden Katz Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4325319)
Understanding of the brain, the science of mental illness, the lack of stigmatization of schizophrenia, medicine, data of violent outbursts, etc. Try and ignore the black helicopters over your house and you might grasp what else besides citing a dystopian film might be involved, science-wise.


This. There is a huge difference between the scientific approach and the "force schoolchildren to pray to (the Christian) God" approached advocated for by Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer, and their fellow travelers on the right.
   2902. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4325322)
I really dislike the use of this term in the discussion of both this and the Colorado shooting. .223 semi-automatics are neither high powered (they actually a relatively low powered) or assault rifles (select-fire, generally fully automatic or burst fire). These guns are modestly powered hunting and sport shooting rifles, which are still really dangerous, but not nearly as scary sounding. An fully automatic AK-47 is a high powered assault rifle.


I agree with this. Every gun, even if it looks menacing or intimidating, is not high powered or an assault rifle.
   2903. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4325323)
I like the list on #2898 quite a bit.
   2904. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4325324)
I like the list on #2898 quite a bit.

Except #8. Anyone against blowjob healthcare does not deserve any votes. Or anything.
   2905. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4325325)
Understanding of the brain, the science of mental illness, the lack of stigmatization of schizophrenia, medicine, data of violent outbursts, etc.

First of all, I'm unaware of any big movements among conservatives to halt mental health research or treatment. Second, no amount of the above will inoculate society from deranged people. In almost every case, these shooters were already well-known to have mental health problems, but our "don't judge" and "no snitching" society has made people reluctant to make a phone call until it's too late (and even when calls are made, law enforcement and mental-health professionals are often handcuffed by laws and regulations).

You're hopeless. "Breakdown of the family" was where in what you quoted? Making. Crap. Up.

Give me a break. He said, "Start with treating gun violence like a health issue. Act like it is something that can be limited with the proper application of data and the scientific method …" Are you familiar with the data with regards to who commits the vast majority of gun crimes and where those crimes are committed?
   2906. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4325328)
First of all, I'm unaware of any big movements among conservatives to halt mental health research or treatment.


Well except for the constant drumbeat against funding for any sort of MHCD treatment expansion including Obamacare which expands the treatment of such things. In fact pretty much every time liberals have tried to expand healthcare the conservatives have done everything possible to slash money for treatment.

So in theory I guess conservatives might possibly be OK with pure research in the area and perhaps you know treatment for rich people in need, but the rest of society that can't afford it, well I am pretty sure conservatives are behind a real big movement to limit treatment.
   2907. RollingWave Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4325330)
nah, we should just give all the kids a gun too so they can shoot back, yes siree bob.
   2908. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4325331)
2906 — Obamacare doesn't even have enough money to cover all of the people with preexisting conditions, which was the primary rationale for the ACA's existence. Where's the money supposed to come from to pay for mental-health coverage for everyone in the country? (And not giving X to everyone for "free" is not the same thing as being opposed to X.)
   2909. Tilden Katz Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4325333)
Obamacare doesn't even have enough money to cover all of the people with preexisting conditions, which was the primary rationale for the ACA's existence. Where's the money supposed to come from to pay for mental-health coverage for everyone in the country?


Ending the drug war and cutting our military spending in half is a good start.
   2910. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4325339)
The idea that this is seen as a gun control issue is bizarre to me. I mean, I don't know what to say.... the idea that gun control was going to stop a crazed maniac intent on shooting 20 kids is something that just doesn't compute for me. Gun control is of course a legitimate issue in the abstract, but it does not rationally apply to these sort of crazy mass murderer situations.

The cold hard reality is this:

What can we do to stop this? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing can be done, because crazy that hasn't shown itself yet cannot be stopped by policymaking. People just don't want to face that. But it is just the hard reality of life, just like we can't stop people who have terminal illnesses from dying.

   2911. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4325343)
Joe - You don't get to be against all revenue (taxes) and then wonder helplessly where the money could come from for treatment. Things cost money. It is not a mystery where the money comes from. Your party is completely and totally against raising that revenue.

So I answered your questions, what is your plan Joe? DO you have thoughts for what to do? As far as I can tell it doesn't involve gun laws and doesn't cost any money (which would mean more taxes), so what should society do? Nothing?
   2912. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4325345)
Solution. Bolt action required on all firearms
   2913. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4325346)
But it is just the hard reality of life, just like we can't stop people who have terminal illnesses from dying.


And still with the medical analogies. You know what was terminal 30 years ago isn't necessarily terminal anymore. Progress is made. It takes money and will power. You clearly don't have the will power and are unwilling to spend any of your money.
   2914. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4325347)
"we have to do something...we have to do something..."

You want to do something?

1. Bring the troops home, all of them from Iraq and Afghanistan.
2. Cut our bases in half.
3. Reduce the military budget from five times second place to second place.
4. Stop the war on drugs.
5. Close Gitmo and release everyone who doesn't have enough evidence to stand trial, house the rest in Leavenworth.
6. Establish normal relations with Cuba.
7. Cut foreign aid by a huge amount.
8. Provide reasonable healthcare, not blowjob/tax healthcare.
9. Stop imprisoning more people than any other country.
10. Make more restrictive gun laws.
11. Stop the war on terror
12. ala Warren Beatty in 'Heaven Can Wait': "Let's be the good guys! Let the other countries make mistakes!"

There I fixed the country and got myself assasinated before my inaguration.
Sorry about that. Hell of a convention, though. Everybody got laid.

Not that anyone asked, but...

1. I'd consider trying to maintain a safe harbor (with all the risks and the possibility of needing to escalate just to maintain that entails) in Afghanistan, while acknowledging that one of the biggest threats to world peace is the chance of Pakistani nukes falling into extremists' hands. I believe this is the rarely stated part of why Obama has been so adamant about a US presence in Afghanistan even as he's held a completely different view of Iraq since the latter's invasion was only a gleam in Dick Cheney's mendacious eyeball. It's also a position that is impolitic to state with the frequency necessary to persuading an ignorant electorate of its virtue.

2. Yep. It's been a while since I looked at this issue carefully, but there a large number of bases whose existence is impossible to justify in the absence of the USSR.

3. Cutting bases means also cutting the hardware those bases are outfitted with. There's not much point to having a base with 10,000 soldiers and no guns, tanks, planes... The big thing a decade ago was being prepared to fight a major war on two fronts. I think we've learn the inadvisability of that. What's the biggest plausible threat we face?

4. Decriminalize, or legalize? Heroin and Meth too?

But, yeah, for nonviolent drug 'offenses', with generous allowances for personal use? Prison is ridiculous. I assume our conservative brethren are in accord with this move to get government out of our hash pipes and back into baseball locker rooms, where it belongs.

5. Yep.

6. Yep. If we can have fairly normal relations with China, why the hell not Cuba?

7. Less sanguine about this. We don't give per capita what many other wealthy nations give, it's a tiny fraction of the budget, and we often get real bang for this particular buck. I'd probably increase foreign aid, especially nonmilitary related aid.

8. Canadian style health care would be fine with me. Private clinics for the wealthy would thrive, as would everyone else. Also agree with Lassus: keep the blowjobs.

9. Immediate parole for nonviolent drug offenders, with records expunged. End of crack/powder cocaine distinctions. Violent felony or no violent felony, once you've served your time, you get to vote again. Keep a stake in the system. Speaking of which, you turn 18, if you get registered for the selective service, you get registered to vote.

10. Better background checks, limit magazines, ban assault rifles... still feels like nibbling at the margins.

11. Yep, though serious trials in absentia are allowed. Take away Obama's list. Do you end all drone strikes? How do you deal with admitted terrorists in fact plotting to bomb/kill US citizens within the US border?

12. Yep. Time for a change.

.
   2915. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4325348)
For someone complaining of "performance art," you just provided a rousing example of it.

Nothing in Ray's comments suggested that vaccinations don't prevent disease. The point was that there aren't vaccines for all diseases and problems.


Right. It wasn't that hard to see I was talking about terminal illnesses.

I lost someone close to me to metastatic melanoma last year. That is the kind of thing I was thinking of.
   2916. OCF Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4325349)
If this is true (which we never seem to know with this story so far),

Where "this" refers to the notion that there was an "armed teacher", the shooter's mother, and it was her guns. Manny Coon was wary enough to put that "which we never seem to know" flag in there. In fact, from what I've seen lately, it looks like the shooter's mother was not a teacher at that school. Oops.
   2917. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4325350)
Too true Ray.

Tornadoes, and people dying from heart attacks and plowing into school kids doesn't enable anyone to point fingers and scream. (well except for those people who have decided that tornadoes can be blamed on climate-change deniers). Kill 30 5-year olds with guns for..oh ..the first time in forever and you can point at a group and scream murder. Kill 1,000 children a year with drunk drivers...

...where's the outcry to go back to prohibition?

I should clarify: For me, there's just a huge disconnect between "Today a deranged man killed 32 people" and "Burn in Hell NRA!! Their blood is on your hands!!"
   2918. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4325351)
Credit where credit is due, according to this survey Joe is right and Hispanics just plain prefer D to R.

So amnesty would likely not help much at all in the near term. It might be a step on a long road to getting Hispanic voters, but since they pretty much across the board prefer team blue it would be a long road indeed.

From a tactical standpoint Joe you are right and the GOP should probably hunker down oppose amnesty (and perhaps all increased immigration) and retrench.
   2919. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4325352)
Whenever I hear someone say they want to cut foreign aid I translate that in my head to, "I have no real idea about foreign aid and what it is"
   2920. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4325357)
Kill 1,000 children a year with drunk drivers......where's the outcry to go back to prohibition?


Because nothing at all could ever be done about drunk driving fatalities except prohibition. Oh wait ...

In 2010, the rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 3.3, representing a 64% decrease since 1982, when record keeping began, and 48% since the inception of The Century Council in 1991. What this translates into is, for every 100,000 people in the US in 2010, slightly more than three people were killed in a drunk driving fatal crash, a rate that has been cut almost in half over the past two decades - down from a rate of 6.3 in 1991.


You guys with your "gosh, just a fact of life, nothing could ever be done" analogies are pathetic because in each case you bring up things CAN be done and have been done. You are proving the point that these issues can be dealt with. It is like you are trying to sabotage your own argument with dumb analogies.

Drunk driving fatalities, almost certainly reduced by mandatory air bags. Yet another safety measure insisted on by Liberals (and fought by conservatives) that has turned out to be a great idea.
   2921. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4325358)
Whenever I hear someone say they want to cut foreign aid I translate that in my head to, "I have no real idea about foreign aid and what it is"


Perhaps. But I have a hard time continuing aid to Uganda in light of their recent situation. And if Uganda doesn't pass the smell test, I think a lot of other countries would fail too.

So i take it a worst case scenario is that a crapload of countries fall to religious extremists who cut off our oil and help terrorists acquire nukes?
   2922. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4325359)
Cutting bases means also cutting the hardware those bases are outfitted with. There's not much point to having a base with 10,000 soldiers and no guns, tanks, planes... The big thing a decade ago was being prepared to fight a major war on two fronts. I think we've learn the inadvisability of that. What's the biggest plausible threat we face?


I'm pretty sure less than 10% of the population could come close to guessing the number of US Troops stationed in South Korea or Japan, never mind the 80,000 or so that are stationed across Europe.

edit: my guess, there were 30ish thousand in South Korea in the 90s when my brother was there, I assume a few thousand less. I think Japan is over 40k still. Kuwait still has 12-15k I think.
   2923. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4325360)
Mouse that whooshing sound isn't between your ears, it is indeed over your head.

Yet another safety measure insisted on by Liberals (and fought by conservatives) that has turned out to be a great idea.


Uhm...cool?



   2924. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4325361)
There's also no recognition on the right, afaik, that SOME measures might well cut fatalities by, say 5%. Even if that's all that better background checks, limited magazines, an assault rifle ban, and some of the other good suggestions on this board that don't involve prying guns out of cold, dead fingers manages, that's not worth it? Who the hell takes the approach that because a problem cannot be solved absolutely, it should not even be addressed?

You guys with your "gosh, just a fact of life, nothing could ever be done" analogies are pathetic because in each case you bring up things CAN be done and have been done. You are proving the point that these issues can be dealt with. It is like you are trying to sabotage your own argument with dumb analogies.

Drunk driving fatalities, almost certainly reduced by mandatory air bags. Yet another safety measure insisted on by Liberals (and fought by conservatives) that has turned out to be a great idea.
Tell it, brother.

So i take it a worst case scenario is that a crapload of countries fall to religious extremists who cut off our oil and help terrorists acquire nukes?
Yeah, that's helpful.
   2925. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4325364)
Who the hell takes the approach that because a problem cannot be solved absolutely, it should not even be addressed?




While I haven't delved through nearly 3,000 posts, I have not seen anyone say that,
   2926. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:55 AM (#4325365)
So i take it a worst case scenario is that a crapload of countries fall to religious extremists who cut off our oil and help terrorists acquire nukes?Yeah, that's helpful.


It was a question. It's not my fault your internet sarcasm reader is permanently stuck to 'on'. Either answer it or get out of the way.
   2927. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4325367)
There's also no recognition on the right, afaik, that SOME measures might well cut fatalities by, say 5%. Even if that's all that better background checks, limited magazines, an assault rifle ban, and some of the other good suggestions on this board that don't involve prying guns out of cold, dead fingers manages, that's not worth it?


you mean like laws against the theft of a firearm purchased legally?

kidding, I don't think its fair to say there's no recognition, I think what's influencing the reality of the debate over these laws or ideas is the influence of people and groups who are very organized and passionate about the issue are simply dominating and winning the meaningful debate on 'the hill' or in state houses. This strategy works and is used by people and groups in other 'pet issues' as well.

I can't imagine a candidate/incumbent going down for opposing or not outright supporting an aggressive or even weak gun-control measure.
   2928. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:07 AM (#4325369)
I'm pretty sure less than 10% of the population could come close to guessing the number of US Troops stationed in South Korea or Japan, never mind the 80,000 or so that are stationed across Europe.


http://www.vetfriends.com/US-deployments-overseas/

is a very fine site that has comprehensive information on deployments, including a map with a sliding bar that shows changes every year from 1950 through 2011.

Portugal is 14th with 700 US troops. I think our last troops left Kuwait in 2006 or 2007. One interesting note: do you classify the 100,000 or so troops on the water at any given time 'overseas'? Oh, and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany account for about half our troops overseas, counting those on the water as overseas.

I see Boehner canceled the Republicans' weekly address. Good for him. It's the right move.

@2628: ooh. Internet tough guy. But, yeah, it seemed you were pointlessly mocking BM's well-made points, so it was impossible to read your post as sarcasm.

Who the hell takes the approach that because a problem cannot be solved absolutely, it should not even be addressed?

While I haven't delved through nearly 3,000 posts, I have not seen anyone say that

What can we do to stop this? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing can be done, because crazy that hasn't shown itself yet cannot be stopped by policymaking. People just don't want to face that. But it is just the hard reality of life, just like we can't stop people who have terminal illnesses from dying.

Not too difficult to find, either. Just try delving through the last 20.


   2929. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4325371)
LOL. Short of the Minority Report scenario being brought to market in a foolproof manner, it's all but impossible to prevent deranged people who are hellbent on killing people.


So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?
   2930. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4325372)
@2628: ooh. Internet tough guy.



What an odd thing to say.


2628. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4324617)



regarding 1 and 2 in 2619 i think the primary responsibility is on the individual to adapt. i think it's a pretty ridiculous burden on a society to have to contrive roles that provide tangible compensation no matter the workers abilities. this concept of 'make work' is an exercise in futility


HW, thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear it sounds like the part of #1 you think is controversial is: "it is in our best interest to arrange our policies so that there are good jobs for the whole range of worker capabilities".

And in #2 is: "The range of capabilities is somewhat fixed."

Am I correct? These are fairly complex statements and I want to make sure I am correctly communicating and understanding your response.

Because I don't think I suggested "make work" or "contrived" jobs. What I tried to say was it is in societies best interest for there to be a good (where good is meaningful job that pays well enough to support a family) jobs for all those willing and able to take them. I don't think that part is controversial at all, though of course accomplishing it without make work jobs, huge deadweight costs, reducing incentives to work with super great safety net and so on are tricky perhaps not possible even).

   2931. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4325373)
Luke Woodham. That's the guy, hat tip to my father. That's the kid who stabbed his mom at home, then grabbed a rifle and ammo and went to his Mississippi school to kill kids who wronged him. After he killed several he got back into his car and was to drive to another school to resume shooting when the Principal stopped him (with the help of his own .45) in the parking lot. He asked him 'why did you shoot my kids?' Can't imagine the thoughts in the principal's mind as he's got a gun pointed at the head of a kid who just shot and killed several students.
   2932. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4325374)
So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?


all people want is to find a boogieman and point a finger. To find 'what's broken about this country'. What's broken?

We live in a country with a history of subjugating other nations, deposing democraticaly elected people who didn't kow tow to our leaders whims. We give away billions to murderous regimes, and bombed six different countries in the last four years. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth. We lead a ridiculous 'war on drugs', a 'war on terror'...and live in a culture where it's always THEM at fault and not ME. A country where sex is taboo, but violence isn't.

That's what's broken about this country. There are also 100's of million more people. Is it really that far-fetched that under those conditions and much much more that I didn't mention that people go crazy every day and try and kill others?

Cue: Some idiot to erect a strawman and say..."well, let's just not do anything about it then."
   2933. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4325377)
But, yeah, it seemed you were pointlessly mocking BM's well-made points, so it was impossible to read your post as sarcasm.


noooo...I was responding to the person I actually quoted.
   2934. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:31 AM (#4325378)
all people want is to find a boogieman and point a finger. To find 'what's broken about this country'. What's broken?

We live in a country with a history of subjugating other nations, deposing democraticaly elected people who didn't kow tow to our leaders whims. We give away billions to murderous regimes, and bombed six different countries in the last four years. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth. We lead a ridiculous 'war on drugs', a 'war on terror'...and live in a culture where it's always THEM at fault and not ME. A country where sex is taboo, but violence isn't.

That's what's broken about this country. There are also 100's of million more people. Is it really that far-fetched that under those conditions and much much more that I didn't mention that people go crazy every day and try and kill others?


Huhwhat? It's not that people don't go crazy in countries like Japan. It's that crazy people don't get access to guns because no one has access to guns.

You don't have to fix mental illness to fix school shootings. Japan had 2 deaths by gun in all of 2006.
   2935. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4325379)
Huhwhat? It's not that people don't go crazy in countries like Japan. It's that crazy people don't get access to guns because no one has access to guns.


Yet the swiss have one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, but their firearm death rate (which includes suicides) and gun crime rate is very low.

It's not as simple as saying access to firearms = more gun related crime.
   2936. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4325380)
Huhwhat? It's not that people don't go crazy in countries like Japan. It's that crazy people don't get access to guns because no one has access to guns


I would say it's a matter of culture, access to guns and better healthcare. The Japanese are indoctrinated to take personal responsibility for their failures, and rather than kill a bunch of others and then themselves...they just kill themselves.

Switzerland, which *requires* people to own guns at one point or another, is a completly different beast.
   2937. madvillain Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4325385)
The Japanese are indoctrinated to take personal responsibility for their failures


Are Americans "indoctrinated" to slaughter a few innocent kids on the way out?
   2938. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4325386)
Dale Sams for President!
   2939. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4325389)
The idea that this is seen as a gun control issue is bizarre to me.

I do not take this as a given either. I'm more willing to be convinced than Ray, obviously.


What can we do to stop this? Nothing. Nothing at all.

This, however, is just embarrassing.


Yet the swiss have one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, but their firearm death rate (which includes suicides) and gun crime rate is very low. It's not as simple as saying access to firearms = more gun related crime.

To repeat, I'm not yet convinced that gun control eradicates crazy. That being said,the drumbeat of Swiss gun ownership is getting a bit tiresome to hear. Why the lack of gun crimes in this one country is more compelling somehow than all other data combined is mysterious to me.


I lost someone close to me to metastatic melanoma last year. That is the kind of thing I was thinking of.

I'm sorry to hear this. You also know that cancer, AIDS, diabetes, all the certain death sentences have lessened from 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 25 years ago.
   2940. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4325393)
i own a lot of guns. as in lots

that being stated in a world where you have to sign umpteen forms to get fertilizer in the spring and sudafed takes an act of god to get at a pharmacy why just any schmuck can purchase a semiautomatic weapon baffles me

one, tehre is no useful purpose other than to see things desstroyed in spraying bullets all over the place

two, guns are by definition dangerous. why make it easy to acquire something that is exponentially more dangerous than its lesser sibling, the single shot?

all i got. i grieve for those who were affected by this tragedy

   2941. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4325394)
The contrasts between Japan and Switzerland, and the United States couldn't be more pronounced.

Switzerland has been studiously neutral in the world's conflicts for centuries, thus the concepts of having an enemy and using violence to accomplish national ends are completely foreign to it and, by derivation, its citizens.

Japan acculturates its citizens to have a deep sense of personal honor, and with it the capacity to intelligently regulate one's actions in accord with this widely-understood code. Failure to live up to the code is understood to be a personal failure. In contrast, our culture has essentially outlawed shame, in favor of an ethic of doing whatever one wants whenever wants to do it -- and then blaming everyone but oneself for the adverse consequences of poor decisions. Not only are people empowered and acculturated to adopt this ethic, but other people and groups of other people are hectored for even presuming to interfere in the unlimited personal autonomy afforded individuals. There's no cultural impulse or code interfering with the mental process that unfolds along the lines of, "I want to shoot up this school, I badly want to shoot up this school, therefore I am going to shoot up this school."

This is a coarse and violent nation. Our interactions are coarse, our politics are coarse, our economic mores are coarse, the physical and visual geography of our suburbs and exurbs are coarse, and we're absolutely marinated in violence and depictions of violence. We're now roughly 20 years into the era of perpetual mass shootings, which are themselves becoming examples and lodestars of action for the alienated.
   2942. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4325396)
Cue: Some idiot to erect a strawman and say..."well, let's just not do anything about it then."

2771. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4324972)

Some things you just can't prevent (like disease) or even effectively guard against. Crazy is one of them.
So let's not do anything?


I don't see what there is to do that would be effective. That's my point.
So if there's nothing to do, then yes, let's not do anything.


Straw what, Dale?

   2943. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4325399)
All the profiles indicate that the shooter was a virtual case study -- the apotheosis -- of the atomized (*), alienated American. We're expert at creating those. He was also assiduously left to himself, by all accounts -- we're expert at that, too. He just sort of passed through life and school unacknowledged and never bothered.

(*) According the the NYT, he had literally no associates.
   2944. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4325401)
You know, re-reading what I quoted, I am wondering, is it still creating a strawman if what one said was 100% accurate and agreed with? If so, I suppose I may have my internet debate terms incorrect.
   2945. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4325405)
I think having a lot of armed people is silly. I qualified as marksman in the army using a 9 millimeter. It is not the highest ranking (expert and sharpshooter). I went to a range a few years ago. I could barely hit the target. You would need to be trained and keep up. You would also need to be quick and cool under fire.

The only time armed people helped was with the Texas Tower. But Whitman was up there for a long time which allowed the Texas boys to get their guns. The guns that helped were hunting rifles. They didn't get him, but kept him pinned down.

Also, the more armed people you have, the more George Zimmerman types you have, being aggressive.
   2946. Chip Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4325406)
   2947. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4325407)
I'm probably using that term too much, and incorrectly these days. Yesterday, I said that inserting 250,000 new guards into schools across the nation was a knee-jerk, and someone posted a list of every major shooting incident since Columbine and asked, "Is that a knee-jerk?". I said, "No..it's a Wicker Man".

Maybe just an illogical disconnect? Some sort of appeal? No, maybe it is a strawman.
   2948. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4325421)
So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?

all people want is to find a boogieman and point a finger. To find 'what's broken about this country'.


Or maybe figure out what's working in those other places?

that being stated in a world where you have to sign umpteen forms to get fertilizer in the spring and sudafed takes an act of god to get at a pharmacy why just any schmuck can purchase a semiautomatic weapon baffles me


Wisdom from on high once again. Harveys for President. And Mrs. Harveys for Veep -- balance the ticket, you know?
   2949. Gamingboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4325422)
Rupert Murdoch

@rupertmurdoch

Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.


But then again, this "Rupert Murdoch" is probably some kind of socialist-commie-hippie.

(BTW, I think the "similar tragedy" is this, the "Port Arthur Massacre" in Tasmania)
   2950. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4325427)
Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.


Were automatic weapons used? Can you see my disconnect if they wern't?

And the hypocrisy of using dead children as an excuse to point across the aisle and scream "NOW is the time to politicize!! I hope the NRA burns in hell!" when a few months ago it was, "How dare you use these four dead people to further your agenda!!"
   2951. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4325429)
And the hypocrisy of using dead children as an excuse to point across the aisle and scream "NOW is the time to politicize!! I hope the NRA burns in hell!" when a few months ago it was, "How dare you use these four dead people to further your agenda!!"

I admit to not really seeing a lot of the latter crowing, but I assume it happened somewhere

In general, either direction, I have always found any carping/whining/complaining/bemoaning about politicizing and exploiting tragedy to be confusing. People talk about what's going on in the world. If it's relevant, it's relevant. For me personally it's the relevance rather than the application that becomes the sticking point.

Full granting of subjectivity. I can see why it upsets people.
   2952. DKDC Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4325437)
Other than Whitman, hasn't virtually every mass shooter in the last 100 years used an automatic weapon?
   2953. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4325439)
All the profiles indicate that the shooter was a virtual case study -- the apotheosis -- of the atomized (*), alienated American. We're expert at creating those.

And even more expert at making sure that they'll be able to get access to weapons that no sane country would ever allow any civilian to own.

Or, what Harvey says in 2940.
   2954. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4325441)
What can we do to stop this? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing can be done, because crazy that hasn't shown itself yet cannot be stopped by policymaking. People just don't want to face that. But it is just the hard reality of life, just like we can't stop people who have terminal illnesses from dying.


In some way, to some extent, at a certain point there's something to this, but why should that stop us from taking measures? It never has in parallel instances. It didn't stop Wyatt Earp or Bill Hickok, and I'm sure in some instances someone got hold of a gun.

We may not be successful, but making it harder (or harder) discourages some, is the idea, one that has merit. It has been said that if someone really wants to assassinate the President of the US it can't be stopped. We still take extreme protective measures, and there are some, every now and then, who are stopped in the process of assassination.

Same with, say, State and Federal courthouses. Used to be not too long ago you just walked into them. Now, you only enter them at a couple of designated places and go through a metal detector. Same with airplanes. It want discourage everyone, but I don't think you can say it doesn't discourage anyone.

   2955. Greg K Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4325445)
Same with, say, State and Federal courthouses. Used to be not too long ago you just walked into them. Now, you only enter them at a couple of designated places and go through a metal detector. Same with airplanes. It want discourage everyone, but I don't think you can say it doesn't discourage anyone

Growing up my dad always said, "if someone really wants to break into the house and kill you there's not a lot you can do about it...but it's still a good idea to lock the door when you go to bed".
   2956. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4325457)
Growing up my dad always said, "if someone really wants to break into the house and kill you there's not a lot you can do about it...but it's still a good idea to lock the door when you go to bed".


Exactly. If we didn't do anything unless it was perfectly and completely effective in every possibility we can conjure, we'd never do anything.
   2957. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4325467)
Close the gun show loophole.

Expand the same-day background check to a seven day background check that includes a basic psych screen.*

Require safety and training courses before purchase and on a four or five year renewal requirement of the license.**

How is that so hard?

*I have to go jump through more hoops to get a contractor's badge for most corporate cube farms than I would have to jump through to get a new assault weapon.

**If you can require that people recertify to drive every four years, certainly you can require that they recertify to own and operate projectile weaponry.
   2958. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4325469)
What can we do to stop this? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing can be done, because crazy that hasn't shown itself yet cannot be stopped by policymakin


You misapprehend the question, Ray.
   2959. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4325475)
And you guys can't have it both ways. If the reason poor people continually make decisions to keep them in poverty year after year isn't because they're stupid, then they're smart enough to make better decisions and at least give themselves a chance at economic independence.

While I wait for maintenance to come in and fix the shower in my hotel room, I figure I can jump in here.

Putting aside the difficulty of measuring intelligence, there are three primary factors that determine how "traditionally intelligent" a person is: natural ability, exposure to knowledge, and environmental factors. I do not think that poor people are particularly distinct from non-poor people in terms of natural ability, but poverty is extremely limiting in terms of exposure to sources of knowledge and also contributes to significant negative environmental factors (lead exposure, poor nutrition, social conditions that hinder effective learning, etc.).
   2960. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4325479)
Other than Whitman, hasn't virtually every mass shooter in the last 100 years used an automatic weapon?

do you mean a semi-auto AND fully auto?

Chai Vang in Hayward, WI area woods killed six, don't recall if that was a bolt action or not.
   2961. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4325486)
Putting aside the difficulty of measuring intelligence, there are three primary factors that determine how "traditionally intelligent" a person is:


1. Are they Canadian?
2. If so, why are they still alive?
3. I like potatoes.
   2962. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4325488)
Chai Vang in Hayward, WI area woods killed six, don't recall if that was a bolt action or not.

It was not. Semi-automatic rifle.
   2963. spike Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4325491)
Vang used a Saiga 7.62 semi auto - basically an AK clone without an automatic fire option.

Saiga - Around $500 - 600 nowadays
   2964. Greg K Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4325506)
1. Are they Canadian?
2. If so, why are they still alive?
3. I like potatoes.


Finally, a survey I can fill out!

1) Yes.
2) Otherwise my mom would be sad.
3) The starting rotation of the 1987 Cleveland Indians.
   2965. Manny Coon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4325512)
That being said,the drumbeat of Swiss gun ownership is getting a bit tiresome to hear.


And Japan is an even more tiresome to hear example on the other side. Switzerland like Japan is one the more extreme outliers so it's used to make a point. But places like Germany, France, most of Scandinavia, Austria, etc... while they have more strict gun control than the USA, do allow people to own guns and don't have the same problems we have here. Sure you might need to get a hunting or sport shooting license in those places, but would that really stop most of these people committing these attacks in the USA? Belcher for example was regularly going to a shooting range, Holmes was very methodical and planned well in advance and had a clean record, so it likely wouldn't have been a problem, the Oregon mall shooter stole a weapon from someone else.

Bringing up the Swiss is basically the obvious counter to the shallow argument that access to guns is what causes these things to happen. Guns certainly make these attacks more deadly than Chinese knife rampages, but we shouldn't be having nearly as many of these attacks in the first place.
   2966. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4325516)
To repeat, I'm not yet convinced that gun control eradicates crazy. That being said,the drumbeat of Swiss gun ownership is getting a bit tiresome to hear. Why the lack of gun crimes in this one country is more compelling somehow than all other data combined is mysterious to me.


Lassus, I mentioned Swiss gun ownership in a reply to tshipman because just a few posts before post #2934, he also said:

So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?


He had already picked two extreme examples of gun ownership rates.


And also what Manny Coon in #2965 said.
   2967. DA Baracus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4325521)
This just happened

Authorities in Alabama say a man opened fire in a hospital, wounding an officer and two employees before he was fatally shot by police.

Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams says the officer and employees suffered injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

Williams says police were called because a man with a gun was walking through St. Vincent's Hospital on Saturday morning. When he was confronted by officers, he started shooting and wounded one of the officers. That's when the second officer shot and killed the man.
   2968. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4325522)
Bringing up the Swiss is basically the obvious counter to the shallow argument that access to guns is what causes these things to happen.


But it's a stupid counter made by idiots. The Swiss keep guns in depots, not in the house (this does vary canton to canton, but the vast majority are in depots). In general, access to guns is highly restricted outside the home, and licensing requirements are strict.

Switzerland is an excellent example of how gun culture can be wedded to policy to create more responsible gun ownership.
   2969. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4325523)
Bringing up the Swiss is basically the obvious counter to the shallow argument that access to guns is what causes these things to happen. Guns certainly make these attacks more deadly than Chinese knife rampages, but we shouldn't be having nearly as many of these attacks in the first place.


If the question is "how do we make the world golden and innocent, like it was when we were children, instead of going to hell in a hand basket like it is with these kids today, who are always on my lawn, shooting babies!" the answer is "the world is not notably worse today than in previous generations, grandpa."

If the question is "how do we decrease the effectiveness of potential crazy mass murdering types," a good start would be to "make them come at me with a knife, bro."

Lizzy Borden had to use a hatchet.
   2970. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4325525)
A couple of questions:

1. Has the per capita rate of mass murders increased in any notable degree?

2. How does the fact that we haven't had a good, old-fashioned, kill-a-generation-of-violence-prone-young-men-almost-entirely war impact the murder rates?
   2971. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4325530)
The answer to 1 is that it has, but it's a dumb question because these are fat tail, not bell curve events. They shouldn't really be dependent on population. As noted upthread, Japan, a nation of 130M people, had 2 gun murders in 2006.

   2972. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4325532)
If the question is "how do we make the world golden and innocent, like it was when we were children, instead of going to hell in a hand basket like it is with these kids today, who are always on my lawn, shooting babies!" the answer is "the world is not notably worse today than in previous generations, grandpa."

Your banal cliche aside, the culture has declined since roughly the late 1970s -- as evidenced by the acceleration in events like yesterday's. These kinds of things are properly viewed as oppositional acts, and the culture is spawning far more of them.

Which isn't to say the NRA and rightist gun nuts aren't ridiculous -- they are. Stern gun control laws should have been enacted decades ago.
   2973. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4325533)
The Mensa Society doesn't have a damn thing on BTF.

This was meant as a joke, but I think it's very likely to be true. IIRC, Mensa's standard is "top two percent." I would not be surprised if the overwhelming majority of posters here met that standard.

Just because you are better at taking a test doesn't NOT make you smarter.

Of course it doesn't. My full-time job is to make people better at taking standardized tests. I can consistently take students willing to put in a little effort from the 35th percentile to the 70th percentile, and often do better than that.

Also, there are a lot of ways to prepare for an IQ test that don't involve intentionally doing so. Read frequently, and your vocabulary will improve. Do crossword puzzles and your knowledge of obscure facts will improve.

Here is an example of an analogy on the Titan test, which is one of the hardest IQ tests available:

SWORD : DAMOCLES :: BED : ??

I'm guessing the answer is Procrustes, but I don't see how that measures anything other than your knowledge of mythology. I'm not thrilled with the answer, because I can justify a number of other reasonable connections on other grounds.

Here's a math question:

Suppose 27 identical cubes are glued together to form a cubical stack as illustrated to the right. If one of the small cubes is omitted, four distinct shapes are possible; one in which the omitted cube is at a corner of the stack, one in which it is at the middle of an edge of the stack, one in which it is at the middle of a side of the stack, and one in which it is at the core of the stack. If two of the small cubes are omitted rather than just one, how many distinct shapes are possible?


I don't see this as a particularly hard question so much as a nuisance to calculate. Since you have no time limit, I also fail to see how this provides any sort of measure of one's intelligence; it is primarily a measure of one's patience and attention to detail.
   2974. rr Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4325536)
Steve Martin on MENSA:

http://www.maxilyrics.com/steve-martin-how-i-joined-mensa-lyrics-8fbb.html

Joining Mensa instills in one a courtly benevolence toward nonmembers, who would pretend to know what you know, think what you think, and stultify what you perambulate.

I worried about the arbitrary 132 cut-off point, until I met someone with an I.Q. of 131 and, honestly, he was a bit slow on the uptake.


Their cut-off is apparently still 132.
   2975. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4325537)
SWORD : DAMOCLES :: BED : ??


Clearly the correct answer is MONSTER. As the sword hangs over Damocles, so to does the bed lie above monsters.
   2976. Jay Z Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4325543)
And Japan is an even more tiresome to hear example on the other side. Switzerland like Japan is one the more extreme outliers so it's used to make a point. But places like Germany, France, most of Scandinavia, Austria, etc... while they have more strict gun control than the USA, do allow people to own guns and don't have the same problems we have here. Sure you might need to get a hunting or sport shooting license in those places, but would that really stop most of these people committing these attacks in the USA? Belcher for example was regularly going to a shooting range, Holmes was very methodical and planned well in advance and had a clean record, so it likely wouldn't have been a problem, the Oregon mall shooter stole a weapon from someone else.

Bringing up the Swiss is basically the obvious counter to the shallow argument that access to guns is what causes these things to happen. Guns certainly make these attacks more deadly than Chinese knife rampages, but we shouldn't be having nearly as many of these attacks in the first place.


Perhaps "regularly going to a shooting range" should be an indicator of future behavior. Mrs. Lanza apparently took her mentally diseased son to shooting ranges in addition to keeping multiple weapons in the home with same son.
   2977. Manny Coon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4325544)
In general, access to guns is highly restricted outside the home, and licensing requirements are strict.

Switzerland is an excellent example of how gun culture can be wedded to policy to create more responsible gun ownership.


Which is why makes it a much better example for the USA to look at than Japan.

Instead of suggesting the USA advance a policy similar to Japan, where guns are basically banned which is politically impossible in the USA, potential gun control would better focused on the types of laws made in places where people actually own guns: licensing, registration, safety and training, storage and transport rules, etc... things could actually work within the context of the second amendment, not banning all guns of certain types or banning all guns in general.

But even if we add tons of new rules, we still need to realize that this isn't going to stop the most dedicated killers and that still we have a culture of violence in this country that at least seems to create more potential killers than other parts of the world and that needs to be addressed as well.
   2978. Manny Coon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4325545)
Mrs. Lanza apparently took her mentally diseased son to shooting ranges in addition to keeping multiple weapons in the home with same son.


Why would anyone do that with someone who by all accounts was obviously mentally ill? I hate to sound like I'm blaming the victim, that seems like some really dubious parenting.
   2979. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4325548)
Instead of suggesting the USA advance a policy similar to Japan, where guns are basically banned which is politically impossible in the USA, potential gun control would better focused on the types of laws made in places where people actually own guns: licensing, registration, safety and training, storage and transport rules, etc... things could actually work within the context of the second amendment, not banning all guns of certain types or banning all guns in general.


Ray's claim was that there was nothing that could be done w/r/t gun control that would prevent killings like what happened in Connecticut. Japan is a clear counter-example. Public policy clearly has prevented a large amount of death.

We absolutely could stop gun violence in the United States with public policy. The fact that it is politically impossible isn't really relevant. Gay marriage used to be politically impossible 50 years ago.
   2980. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4325549)
2972. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4325532)

Your banal cliche aside, the culture has declined since roughly the late 1970s -- as evidenced by the acceleration in events like yesterday's. These kinds of things are properly viewed as oppositional acts, and the culture is spawning far more of them.

2971. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4325530)

The answer to 1 is that it has, but it's a dumb question because these are fat tail, not bell curve events.

An evaluation of a culture on the basis of 'tail events' says more about the evaluator than the culture.
   2981. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4325551)
The answer to 1 is that it has, but it's a dumb question because these are fat tail, not bell curve events.


You've mastered begging this question, no doubt.
   2982. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4325555)
How was he obviously mentally ill? He had Aspergers.

Which isn't really much worth arguing about, as any parent regularly taking any child, mentally ill or not, to a ####### shooting range is ####### deranged.
   2983. bobm Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4325556)
SWORD : DAMOCLES :: BED : ??


The answer is obviously "Murphy." :-)
   2984. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4325558)
SWORD : DAMOCLES :: BED : ??


ROSES.
   2985. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4325561)
SBB's answer is logically valid, actually.
   2986. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4325569)
SBB's answer is logically valid, actually.


One can not support the argument that western civilization is in decline by assuming that western civilization has declined.

Why should I believe his bald assertion that these are "fat tail" events? Why should he be allowed to assume his premise of decline without argumentation?
   2987. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4325570)
SWORD : DAMOCLES :: BED : ??


Clearly the correct answer is MONSTER. As the sword hangs over Damocles, so to does the bed lie above monsters.
Yup. These tests are often very frustrating, as you're trying to figure out what some bright, but not-bright-enough guy thinks the right answer should be. The narrow-mindedness and right-thinking fair oozes off the pages of standardized tests.

We live in a country with a history of subjugating other nations, deposing democraticaly elected people who didn't kow tow to our leaders whims. We give away billions to murderous regimes, and bombed six different countries in the last four years. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth. We lead a ridiculous 'war on drugs', a 'war on terror'...and live in a culture where it's always THEM at fault and not ME. A country where sex is taboo, but violence isn't.
Given this, a reasonable question might be, 'why don't these shootings happen more often than they do?'
   2988. bobm Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4325572)
From the NYT online:

Officials said the killing spree began early on Friday at the house where Mr. Lanza had lived with his mother, Nancy Lanza. There, he shot her in the face, making her his first victim, the authorities said. Then, leaving her dead after taking three guns that apparently belonged to her, he climbed into her car for the short drive to the school. Two of the guns were semiautomatic pistols; the other was a semiautomatic rifle.

Outfitted in combat gear, Mr. Lanza forced his way into the school, apparently defeating an intercom system that was supposed to keep people out during the day unless someone inside buzzed them in. This contradicted earlier reports that he had been recognized and allowed to enter.

"He was not voluntarily let into the school at all," Lieutenant Vance said. "He forced his way in."

The lieutenant said the authorities were "investigating the history of each and every weapon" that Mr. Lanza carried to the scene of the rampage and said that the guns were found in the school, "in proximity" to where Mr. Lanza shot himself to death.

A federal law enforcement official said the three guns recovered at the school - Glock and Sig Sauer pistols and an M4 .223-caliber Carbine - were bought legally by the gunman's mother and registered in her name. Other weapons were recovered from her home, the official said.


EDIT: The mother owned a lot of guns. Wow.
   2989. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4325574)
Which isn't really much worth arguing about, as any parent regularly taking any child, mentally ill or not, to a ####### shooting range is ####### deranged.


What?!?
   2990. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4325575)
Ray's claim was that there was nothing that could be done w/r/t gun control that would prevent killings like what happened in Connecticut. Japan is a clear counter-example. Public policy clearly has prevented a large amount of death.


Ray starts, as in it is an axiom, an article of faith, with the idea that public policy (the government) can never help in any situation. If you start there (you know by ignoring a huge amount of actual evidence and history) then of course there is nothing that can be done about gun violence.
   2991. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4325579)
I can consistently take students willing to put in a little effort from the 35th percentile to the 70th percentile, and often do better than that.


Ho do you do with students who start at the 70th percentile?
   2992. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4325580)
One can not support the argument that western civilization is in decline by assuming that western civilization has declined.


I believe he was referring to SBB's answer to the analogy question.
   2993. Manny Coon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4325584)
How was he obviously mentally ill? He had Aspergers.


One of the more common problems with Aspergers (if that is the case here, this story has changed a lot) a is lack of empathy for others, which to me sounds like a pretty bad mix with guns.

The mother owned a lot of guns.


This is another thing that I think is more common in US. In other places people have access to guns, but I don't think it's nearly as common for people to have big piles of guns laying around. Does anyone know of any data out there about this issue?
   2994. tshipman Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4325591)
One can not support the argument that western civilization is in decline by assuming that western civilization has declined.

Why should I believe his bald assertion that these are "fat tail" events? Why should he be allowed to assume his premise of decline without argumentation?


I believe he was referring to SBB's answer to the analogy question.


The dinosaur is right. It was a reaction of shock based on his posting history.
   2995. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4325594)
I don't see this as a particularly hard question so much as a nuisance to calculate. Since you have no time limit, I also fail to see how this provides any sort of measure of one's intelligence; it is primarily a measure of one's patience and attention to detail.
No time limit doesn't makes sense. (Iirc the ones administered when I was a kid had strict time limits.) You won't know whether successfully solving this indicates the diligence of a file clerk, or the leap of a geometer.

This is another thing that I think is more common in US. In other places people have access to guns, but I don't think it's nearly as common for people to have big piles of guns laying around. Does anyone know of any data out there about this issue?
My personal data point was friends, a married couple, who had guns everywhere. In the glove compartments of their various vehicles, in the night table, on the night table... Something like 50, overall. One night they were drinking, argued, he slapped her, she went for the nearest gun, which just happened to be on the kitchen table, shot, and killed him.

The dinosaur is right. It was a reaction of shock based on his posting history.
And yet, despite this reasonable answer, he'd get the same zero as if he'd said, "Napkins".
   2996. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4325602)
The dinosaur is right.


Not a dinosaur. Just a little green monkey.
   2997. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4325604)
Not a dinosaur. Just a little green monkey.


Holy Monkeys Batman! All this time I also assumed we had a dinosaur in our midst, but it is a Grivet (or green monkey).

Color me shocked.
   2998. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4325616)
I'll put it bluntly. If you are opposed to gun control you have no place in civil society. None.

I wonder if our society qualifies as civil.

I think there should be two classes of weapons: military-grade and civilian-grade. Nobody outside of the military should have military-grade weapons, including the police. Any weapon the police are able to have should be available to a civilian that demonstrates physical and psychological competency, and passes a reasonable background check. Within those boundaries, I don't much care where the line is.
   2999. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4325627)
Nobody outside of the military should have military-grade weapons, including the police.


This would likely require that the military confiscate a whole of weapons from the police.

Color me shocked.


Really? I'd have thought the "pitchecus" part would have been a pretty dead giveaway, at least among "primatologists."

   3000. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4325628)
Not being a fan of that Chosen People stuff, or whatever other form of superiority is implied by the above, I figure it's in the numbers, baby. Put as many Jews as there are Christians on the planet and you'll hear an equal amount of unbelievably stupid stuff.

I highly doubt it. The practice of Judaism is relatively private, and Jews generally do not proselytize. I think it's absolutely true that there are unbelievably stupid opinions within Judaism, but culturally, expressing those opinions to outsiders is frowned upon, at least in my experience.
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