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Wolfhnd last won the day on February 16 2015

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About Wolfhnd

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  1. Evolution has no direction?

    This is a topic that has received a lot of attention from philosophers and scientist. Here is a book that supports the hypothesis. Evolution's Arrow http://www.evolutionarymanifesto.com/EvArrow.html
  2. Evolution has no direction?

    The answer here is to not over think the topic. Evolution is not random but "random" mutations drive it. If you want to get philosophical about it you have to deal with determinism and that really just muddies the water. I would recommend that everyone take a look at what Daniel Dennett has to say on free will to clarify their thinking.
  3. science vs religion. is it really a fight?

    The answer is dogma vs science not science vs religion.
  4. 515 so far this year...

    It may seem unnecessary to point out that people should be careful to be compliant with police officers even if they are innocent but it is a message that needs to get out there. We are not totally at the mercy of authorities who "cover up all instances of impropriety' just as when dealing with criminals there are strategies that are effective at reducing risks. You don't have to be trying to excuse or cover up the crimes committed by police officer to realize that it is going to be difficult to root out bad cops when the good cops often depend on each other for survival. If you are stranded on an island you are unlikely to criticize the moral character of a person with a boat. Most of us are never faced with that kind of moral dilemma and when we are how often do we do the right thing. I have been particularly disappointed with our current White House in regards to whistle blowers. The problems we face with reforming police departments extend to almost every institution in society. While nobody may like a "snitch" it is remarkable how seldom insider trading is exposed from the inside for example. I don't want us to become soviet era Russia where everyone is spying on their neighbor but stronger protection and encouragement for whistle blowers would be of considerable help in rooting out a number of evils.
  5. 515 so far this year...

    Cops Kill Many More Americans Than the FBI's Data Shows http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/police-shootings-fbi-data-missing-errors Whatever else you take away from the new interest in police killings the message is clear be very careful how you act around them. You don't have to be a member of a minority to run afoul of an angry police officer. There are a half million police officers in the U.S. and common sense tells you some of them are not nice people.
  6. The source of our rights (split from gun injury)

    I don't agree that the "2nd amendment was to empower local populations with the ability to police and protect themselves" taken out of historical perspective you could come to that conclusion but I think it is a shallow explanation. It's complicated but there are several factors that dominate. People did not want to pay for a standing army, people were concerned that a standing army would be used to establish a dictatorship, the already existing division between the north and the south made state rights a central issue, people at the time felt strongly that an unjust government was rightfully subject to armed revolt, there is no mention of people protecting themselves it only mentions the security of the free state, well regulated and militia means it is not a personal right but a collective, individual ownership and control were necessary to prevent the state from disarming the militia, that there is no mention of self protection means it was concerned with military not private matters etc. The argument that "Washington D.C. is a city with highways and public transportation that connects it to other cities which do not share its gun laws. It renders their laws pointless" is equally applicable to the country not being isolated from the rest of the world. In countries where private ownership of weapons is not allowed there has been many instances where the black market was able to supply the demand. This statement "It is hard for me to imagine the police being any more involved than they already are" completely turns the point I was making on it's head as I was talking about community involvement. There are severe impediments to community involvement however when many of the laws that are to be inforced don't have the active support of the citizens. I would point to marijuana as an example but other drugs are also widely used even though they are illegal producing a sizable chunk of the over incarceration you mentioned. If you want more regulation then do it the right way and amend the constitution. Keep in mind however that our security doesn't come from the government but from the cooperation of the majority of citizens. You need only look at the constitution of the Soviet Union to see that Laws are only as good as the faithfulness of those that enforce them and the ability of the population to resist abuses. Russia has always been amenable to top down authority and in many ways the people comfortable moved from the czarist dictatorship to the Stalinist dictatorship. In contrast the culture of the U.S. has always been to some degree hostile to authority which explains to some degree the relative violence in the U.S. compared to places like England. Even the U.S. constitution reflects a strong distrust of central authority. A mistrust of authority is likely to always lead to a degree of lawlessness because law enforcement is largely dependent on the participation of the population.
  7. The source of our rights (split from gun injury)

    1 The 2nd amendment limits a militia to being well regulated. 2 A decade of prohibition has little or no effect on the problem it was designed to solve and created new problems. In many ways the War on Drugs has a similar history. In both cases criminal gangs were or are the major beneficiaries of those laws. Prohibitionist gun laws in our culture seem likely to have the same effect. While I stated that strict gun laws in other countries took a decade or more to have a significant effect I was only discounting gun regulation as an instant fix to the problem. Reasonable people of course would not expect instant results and should not be a barrier to regulation. The area where those regulations are likely to work however remains a small part of the problem. Decades of prohibition and drug enforcement has proven however to not diminish gang activity. It is gang activity where the greatest proportion of gun violence happens. Going back to the experience of other countries the data clearly shows that the level of gang violence and gun violence in particular was never a significant problem in relative terms. Ignoring culture differences we are probably comparing apples and oranges so even the small reduction in overall murder rates is unlikely to be reproduced. 3 Draconian gun laws were meant as a hypothetical not in reference to previous post and what is clear from the data is that places like Washington D.C. that have stricter gun laws do not see a corresponding reduction in gun violence. To be effect the evidence suggest that regulation would need to include draconian measures such as unrestricted stop and frisk and other warrantless searches. Perhaps more importantly the existing regulation clearly violate the spirit of the second amendment as a militia would necessarily need military weapons. I'm not advocating the free distribution of military weapons only pointing out that considerable compromise has already taken place. 4 I don't recall advocating a tougher enforcement and incarceration regime? You asked I answered but I get the impression that you want a debate. I would be more interested in having you discuss the question I posed but it's alright either way.
  8. Why Does Water Make Me Sick?

    I don't know how it could be anything other than a reflection on my doctor as she prescribed probiotic for my acid reflux. I thought it was dubious myself but it seems to have helped. I offered it as a harmless alternative to try but if you have some reason to believe that it was a case of ignorance on the part of my MD then people should hear about it. Admittedly one case doesn't prove correlation yet alone causation but it also doesn't reflect well on the medical community if they go around insulting each other.
  9. The source of our rights (split from gun injury)

    You can make an argument that it is outdated but I don't think that the intent is ambiguous. Private ownership is clearly necessary or the government could easily disarm a militia. Where it stumbles in clarity is what a well regulated means. I sure what they intended was that they didn't want militias to become armed mobs every time a local population didn't like some law that had just been passed. I think we have to ask why so much of the Founding Fathers language was vague. For example life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not very easy to translate into law? I think every educated man at that time thought they were a bit of a philosopher. Anyone using the language they used would be laughed at today as grandiose, perhaps even mystical or at least metaphysical. The practical concerns of life were in many ways beneath the dignity of "gentlemen" I think that is why I consider Adams and in many ways a greater statesman than Jefferson. Over time we came to look for statesmen who were down to earth and practical. If you said that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." most people would think you rather radical. At the time however people saw tyrants everywhere and the enlightenment meant that the old social orders was not only to be questioned but violently overthrown. The fact that the "patriots" all had a different idea of what liberty meant was an inconvenient truth that had to be ignored for the greater good. We ended up with strong state rights because clearly some people were not worthy of liberty and sectarian issues couldn't be easily swept under the rug by a bit of fancy language. We have always had to struggle with making the idealism of the constitution into practical law. I have always thought that the second amendment had more to do with state rights than liberty but what kind of union would it be if the constitution itself allowed for interstate warfare or armed resistance to the Federal government? At the very least nobody wanted a standing army they had to actually pay for. In the end you get a compromise in the language that comes across as vague and unworkable. The problem is that no matter how vague the language of the constitution is if we are a nation of law then we have to amend it or live by it. 227 years later we can say that it would be nice to know what well regulated means but it certainly doesn't imply self defence as several supreme courts have erroneously and for politically convenience interrupted it. If we are going to abide by the constitution then the legislation should protect fairly unrestricted private ownership of weapons capable of being used by a militia in a military capacity. The best we seem to be able to do on the well regulated part is to restrict weapons being available to the insane, the criminal element, and crazy anarchy groups. The last one nobody has figure out how to define so Black Panthers and the White supremacist get to be equally well armed. I have studied statistic from the U.S. and other nations and have concluded that there is no way that any regulation that conforms with the constitution will have much of an impact on gun violence. Even if you ignore the constitution and enforce strict gun control it would take decades for those regulations to have a noticeable effect. There are too many guns out there and only a small percentage of gun violence is related to things like school shootings. Most of the gun violence is drug related or at least gang related. The one area it would have a significant impact is suicide rates as guns are simply more lethal than a lot of other suicide attempts. Suicides are in fact a sizable percentage of gun deaths so I'm not saying that is important. What I am saying is that regulation is not a magic bullet and most likely not even a bandaid in terms of solving gun violence. If you look at countries where gun violence is low it was low before draconian anti gun laws were passed. The total number of reduced homicides is not all that great. If you only have 100 gun homicides a year and you reduce it to 50 on paper it looks like a remarkable 50 percent reduction and a huge accomplishment but is it? Many people see the gun problem as the product of white guys with penis projection issues. In their mind it is the "gun culture" that is the problem as it is just one more example of a patriarchal society gone mad. The statistics simply don't support that view as most gun enthusiasts are not a homicidal group of people. The enthusiast surely are part of the well regulated problem as their distribution is unregulatable. I would argue however that there is already a huge black market distribution system in place that doesn't require legal private owners for it's maintenance. Like many aspects of the politically correct movement denigrations of gun owners may raise awareness but when it comes to practical solutions that don't have negative consequences I rate those efforts as nearly pointless. I know I have painted a gloomy picture but I hope that people can take a more liberal or if you like libertarian perspective. I truly believe that it is the culture not guns that are the majority of the problem. It just isn't the part of the culture that many so called liberals want to believe it is. While I said that the politically correct movement efforts were pointless I meant only that part that irrational blames gun enthusiast for homicide rates. The number of smokers in the U.S. has been reduced in half without any draconian anti smoking laws almost entirely by social censure. Shaming gun owners into securing their weapons surely would prevent some of the violence like school shootings. Over time it may even effect the way counter cultures like gangs view guns but that is much less likely. Social censure shouldn't just stop with twitter storms and protests or inflammatory speech which are of dubious value. Social censure requires that everyone take an active part in the problem. If you know a crazy person with a gun you need to tell the authorities. If you want gang violence to go down you may need to "rat out" you cousin. Complaining about a problem where there is such a divide of opinion and asking the government to fix it is not only likely to be ineffective it is not in our liberal democratic tradition. One thing that concerns me is how social censure could start to look like the kind of informer culture that so undermined the social fabric of the soviet union. I have reviewed the Blank Lives Matter platform and it sounds more like negotiations with an occupying army than community involvement. If petty criminals arm themselves because they are afraid of the police things look a lot more gloomy. Even worse for many people discriminating between the criminal or insane and the misguided is a difficult task that threatens individual liberty. I would love to hear other peoples ideas on how to make community involvement and social censure work?
  10. The source of our rights (split from gun injury)

    Anyone with even a modest understanding of history would conclude that the right to bear arms in the constitution is clearly related to militias and fortunately or unfortunately state rights and self determination. It is the nature of democracy that rights will always be in conflict and while it is supposed that no one can have a right that violates someone else's rights it is unrealistic to not expect that a hierarchy of rights will be necessary. The civil war established some limitations on state rights and therefor self determination but equating gun regulation with the gross violation of rights that slavery represents is not only unreasonable but demeans other basic rights. In the hierarchy of rights both gun ownership and gun regulation are not paramount. Freedom from violence is obviously a responsibility of the state that everyone has a right to expect but it is unclear and thus debatable what effect gun regulation would have on the issue of personal security. Regardless of how you view gun regulation self determination is a paramount right and holds a hierarchical position above state provided security within the following framework. When there is no clear evidence that the paramount rights of minorities are being violated by the self interest of the majority our legal traditions is to allow regulation as part of self determination. In the case of gun ownership the constitution has clearly decided that the right to bear arms and protect self determination overrides the right of the population to expect the government to provide security from gun violence. If you don't agree you should work toward having the second amendment overturned.
  11. Why Does Water Make Me Sick?

    You are being arrogant and presumptuous. If you were an MD I might let it slide but I'm pitting her experience against your arrogance at the moment.
  12. Why Does Water Make Me Sick?

    I thought my doctor was a quack too when she prescribed them.
  13. The source of our rights (split from gun injury)

    Anyone who believes that rights are protected by the government and the legal documents it is formulated under needs to read this utopian document. Constitution of the Soviet Union https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Soviet_Constitution Then read this article Human rights in the Soviet Union https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_Soviet_Union#Freedom_of_literary_and_scientific_expression That said democracy is not sufficient to protect human rights that is why we have a constitution in the U.S. that is suppose to protect the rights of minorities from the interest of the majority. Democracy can easily become mob rule and originally citizens were protected against mob rule by only allowing certain people of property and social status to vote in a representative system. Over time the right to vote has been more or less extended to all adults. My question is how we are currently protected from the failings of a democracy to ensure minority opinion rights?
  14. Why Does Water Make Me Sick?

    A meta analysis in the World Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that ‘The use of probiotics plus standard therapy was associated with an increase in the H. pylori eradication rate, and a reduction in adverse events resulting from treatment in the general population’.
  15. Why Does Water Make Me Sick?

    No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html?_r=0