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Greg H.

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Posts posted by Greg H.


    America is an insecure nation borne of threats both real and imagined.

    Sadly, I have a hard time arguing with this part of your post. We didn't used to be, though. I'm not sure when that changed, but now we are a divided country full of scared people, electing even more frightened and divisive people to lead us - and you can see the results for yourself. Moderation is key, and we haven't had that in a long time.

    And we have evidence that waving a gun at a gang is actually making one safer?

    LOL, no, that's likely to get you killed. But if I see you on the street waving your gun around like a moron, I'm as liable to shoot you as any gang member. And that's part of the problem - the purpose of owning a firearm is not to wave it around like a damned idiot. But should said gang members decide to break into your home, the judicious application of armed response in a surgical manner may just save your life. Contrary to the popular media, we're not a nation of "spray and pray."


    There is a difference between gun ownership, and responsible gun ownership. We have the right to one, and, in my opinion,.the obligation to the other. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not share that opinion.



    I fail to see how MigL disparaged an entire nation by stating that there are crazy people all over the world, and that Americans can buy guns.

    Maybe because that's not what he said?


    "There are crazy people all over the world, but only in America are they [crazy people] (and their [crazy people, again] fellow citizens [those of us who, apparently, aren't crazy] defend this right) allowed to buy ... "


    Or does my understanding of how pronouns work fail me?

  3. Just don't get me wrong... I am not saying that it is your gun that is 'provoking' you to kill me. I am saying that it is my gun that is 'provoking' you to take out your gun and kill me. I am not saying that if you own a gun it makes you more kill-intended. It is my gun that makes you quicker to defend yourself (you cannot think that as fast as fast I can kill you, so you are forced to kill me faster than you can reasonably think).

    That's more of a training issue. You having a gun isn't going to make me any more likely to pull mine out and shoot you - but that's because I'm not scared of you simply for possessing a firearm, and I'm not scared of the firearm itself. It's like electricity. I respect it for it's ability to do damage, but I don't fear it.


    Fear, as they say, is the mind killer. It's what takes otherwise logical, rational individuals and turns them into raging, angry mobs of dangerous animals.


    Maybe we should ban people. They seem to be the real problem.

  4. Serious question... is US society really that dangerous that normal law abiding citizens need to be armed?


    And so far the very vocal pro-guns lobby is winning this argument.

    Unfortunately, the answer to that question depends entirely on where you live. In some of the inner city areas, yes, especially the areas which are heavily gang influenced. Our police forces are both chronically understaffed and underfunded. If you told me my choices were live in central Detroit without a weapon or leave the country, I'd be on the first boat out of here. Not out of fear for myself, but for my family, and most especially my kids. That is what drives that decision making process.


    As far as the gun lobby winning - they do have the most money. This is the problem when you have career politicians.


    And keep in mind, it's not all about protecting yourself from people. A good number of Americans live in areas where wild animals are the more pervasive threat, either to humans or to livestock.

  5. It always comes back to this...


    Anyway, your society seems to accept guns openly. The society had accepted the pros and cons. Or are things going to change?

    As opposed to...accepting them secretly?


    And things are changing. For the better, in my opinion. More people are coming to accept a more common sense approach to firearm regulations. It's not an all or nothing thing, and the bulk of the American populace understands that. We don't all gnash our teeth and stamp our feet when someone says that ownership of firearms should be regulated. It should be - and it is, and those regulations need to continue to adapt to the changing culture and environment of our society. But those regulations need to make sense, not be knee jerk reactions to the actions of a few.

    I really hope that this majority gets it voice.

    So do I. Because, ultimately, that's the fundamental right I chose to defend when I put on the uniform - the right of the people, as a democracy, to govern themselves.

    Here is what I think is wrong with such logic... If you take out your car keys, I will assume you are going to drive; If you buy some fertilizer, I will assume you need it for your lawn; If you start a chainsaw, I will assume you are going to cut a tree... but If you take out your gun, I am not going to assume you are going to scratch your nose. Guns are made for a specific purpose and they make other people nervous. They just make a society a bit more nervous.

    You're right, they do have a purpose. They're a tool, and that purpose is to kill people. Just like the purpose of a hammer is to drive nails.

    You are assuming, however, that the purpose of the one is inherently wrong, while the purpose of the other is not.


    But I can use that hammer and nail to crucify a martyr, or to build a house. I can use a gun to kill a man threatening my family, or I can use it to kill an innocent person minding their own business. Tools do not make decisions, regardless of their purpose, and the removal of a tool from the box doesn't mean people won't find a way to accomplish the same goal.

  6. Right now it seems that US society is okay with the children and babies that killed every year. US society seem happy that people have tools to remove another persons life. Fair enough.

    That's an extremely simple way of looking at it. Of course we're not happy that people get killed, any more than we're happy that terrorists bomb venues in the middle east or Europe. It's deeply troubling. But equally troubling is the idea of surrendering a right that's been enshrined in our government since its inception.


    And for the record - I can kill people without a firearm. I have a 3500 pound weapon sitting in my driveway that can take out an entire school bus of kids. I can make a deadly weapon out of the construction tools in my garage. I can craft a bomb powerful enough to bring down a skyscraper from the agricultural supplies found on any farm in the country (or any other in the western world, for that matter). You know why I don't? Because I have a reverence for human life and a respect for my fellow man, whether I agree with him or not.


    Frankly, people with firearms don't scare me. People with a willingness to hurt others and a casual disregard for human life, on the other hand, scare the shit out of me - whether they have a weapon or not.

  7. But you agree that a society can change rights into privileges? And in particular, the right to bear arms could be removed if US society accepted the benefits of doing so?


    Not that I think that this is the root to the problem we are discussing here - that is another deep cultural issue.

    Could it be changed? Yes, absolutely. That's what democracy and the rule of law are about. Should it be changed and, more importantly, would changing it fix anything? That's a deeper, much thornier issue, Many people view the Bill of Rights as inviolate - and if one of them can be removed, then why not another?


    Here's the crux of the matter - removing the Second Amendment requires a constitutional amendment, and those aren't governed by the people in general, but by the Congress and the state governments. The general population don't get a vote - and if the government gets the notion that they can remove one of those rights, what's really to stop them from removing - say - the right to freedom of religion? Or the right to freedom of the press (although some say that died out on it's own ) - or the right against self incrimination?


    Yes, it's a slippery slope argument. But in this case, it's a slope that may be best avoided in its entirety.

  8. A lot of good cops have been included with the bad in the eyes of black America and brought about the BLM movement.

    I now fear that a lot of decent black Americans will be lumped in with the two jackasses who opened fire on the police in Dallas.

    They will, and not through any fault of their own. It's the same mentality that leads to people being suspicious of Muslims because of the actions of a radical minority of the group. Fear can make people do ugly, terrible things. People, by and large, react to fear worse than almost any other animal on the planet. It's a primal instinct, one which we aren't trained to handle very well, and one that overrides every rational thought in our brains, usually at the worst possible moment.




    People are smart. They can handle it.

    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

  9. It just seems to me that there are crazy people all over the world, but only in America are they allowed ( and their fellow citizens defend this right ) to buy military grade weapons and perpetrate this kind of crazy sh*t.

    Yeah - those darned rights. It's so damned inconvenient when they apply to everyone.


    Oh - wait, that's why they're called rights, and not privileges. And actually, we don't let crazy people have firearms. But you have to prove they're crazy before you can strip them of that right. Because, you know, rights and stuff.



    Huh. Pointing out inconvenient truth is enough to get negative rep. But disparaging an entire nation because of the acts of a few is worthy of an up vote? Interesting.


    I thought the sabot were the outer casings that fit the bore of the launcher and then fragment away to reveal the actual projectile (the thin central part you're calling sabot). Have I had that wrong?

    You are correct, Phi, the sabot is the outer casing around the actual projectile. A modern version is the APFSDS rounds used by the military. The linked article shows an image of the sabot separating from the penetrator.

  11. Check https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/myisam-repair.html

    I'm not that familiar with mySQL, but this walks through repairing broken files within the database.

    It does include instructions for repairing the index file,

    Stage 2: Easy safe repair
    First, try myisamchk -r -q tbl_name (-r -q means quick recovery mode[/size]”[/size]). This attempts to repair the index file without touching the data file.

    But I would read the entire article and follow the steps as listed.

  12. Singular they has a long tradition in the English language dating back centuries, and using the correct conjugation for 'they' doesn't break agreement between subject and verb anymore than using 'are' for a single person breaks agreement when referring to them as 'you.'

    I sit corrected. 18 years of school and college and I was never taught that, I appreciate the lesson. Thank you.


    We always have been...but it is still going.


    I haven't read the article - but I am sure it has echoes of the use of discourse in mental health care brought up by Foucault in Madness and Civilization which was a deliberate reintroduction of the work of George Canguihelm etc.


    Twas ever thus -- and this is why we have an evolving living language rather than a dead static one

    I take your point. I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning behind giving up words with precision in favor of cumbersome euphemisms, however. Something about that just rubs me the wrong way.


    It's like people who want to be addressed as they or them, rather than he or she. Logically, I understand the reasons behind their request - they don't identify as either gender in particular. Since the only singular, genderless pronoun English has is "it", they decide to use the plural, because they find being called an it offensive. (Frankly, I would too, but it is more grammatically correct) But it leads us to syntactical inconsistencies where we have to use nouns and verbs that do not agree in number, such as "John Doe doesn't like steak. They prefers the fish."


    Now, you could write "They prefer the fish", but now you've broken the agreement between the pronoun and the noun it refers to, and we're not completely clear who the multiple they refers to, since we've only mentioned one person.


    Number of small squares AND number of squares made from groups of smaller squares (2x2, 3x3 etc) - I presume this as I have not checked the maths


    Ok, that makes more sense. I couldn't quite to what he was trying to do. Thanks!

  15. Why does it need to end? I have no problem with choosing new words when the use of old words has - completely naturally - become offensive. Would we really prefer to risk offence and demeaning others purely to preserve a language which we know changes fluidly and without pause anyway - it does not matter if my use of a term has no intention whatsoever to hurt someone, if it does hurt them then I am happy to paraphrase and reparaphrase

    It needs to end because we're losing our language. We're losing the ability to express ourselves clearly, concisely, and precisely because we're afraid to hurt someone's feelings. When clinicians are stumbling over words trying to accurately describe a patient's condition, we've gone too far. When we have people actually studying the harmful effects of politically correct speech on mental health practices1, it's time to stop and take a step back.


    Life's hard. Get a helmet.

    1 Cummings, Nicholas A.; Rogers H. Wright (2005). "Chapter 1, Psychology's surrender to political correctness". Destructive trends in mental health: the well-intentioned path to harm. New York: Routledge.

    I think that political leaders saying in public that the world should exist so that words like squatter aren't needed is a perfect solution.

    Your initial premise, that being that people listen to politicians, may not be entirely founded in reality.

  16. These words have no power. We give them this power by refusing to be free and easy with them. We give them great power over us. They really, in themselves, have no power. It's the thrust of the sentence that makes them either good or bad. -- George Carlin


    Words are just that - words. Many have very precise meanings that have become blurred over time and are thus rejected because of the new, more fuzzy meaning (e.g. retard/moron), Similarly, there are words that have fallen into disuse just because they sound like another word people don't like (e.g. niggardly). But these words only have the power to offend us because we allow them to have that power. And by grating them this power, we allow them to steal our language.


    On the subject of the word retard, for exmample,


    The terms used for this condition are subject to a process called the euphemism treadmill. This means that whatever term is chosen for this condition, it eventually becomes perceived as an insult. The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging, politically incorrect, and in need of replacement.%5B7%5D The term intellectual disability is now preferred by most advocates and researchers in most English-speaking countries.%5B3%5D%5B4%5D As of 2015, the term "mental retardation" is still used by the World Health Organization in the ICD-10 codes, which have a section titled "Mental Retardation" (codes F70–F79). In the next revision, the ICD-11 is expected to replace the term mental retardation with either intellectual disability or intellectual developmental disorder, which the DSM-5 already uses.%5B8%5D%5B9%5D Because of its specificity and lack of confusion with other conditions, the term "mental retardation" is still sometimes used in professional medical settings around the world, such as formal scientific research and health insurance paperwork.


    Where does it end?

  17. There are two solutions - neither of them very plausible (or, in truth, very nice).


    First, you isolate them and let them fight it out until there's a clear winner. Not a very palatable idea to most of the civilized world, but there you are.

    Second, you do away with religion completely. This is going to be about as easy as stopping the tides.


    The problem is they're fighting wars of ideology. Both sides fervently, deeply, and completely believe they are right, and you cannot reason with a fanatic. You cannot talk him off a ledge. These people are willing to die, indeed to kill themselves, for their belief. Diplomacy, sadly, is useless against that kind of all-consuming belief.



    So no evidence, then.

    I love it when people get anecdote and evidence confused.


    Wait, no I don't.


    Re light intensity.


    If reflected light is supposedly less harmful than projected light, then why does it make me cry to look at light reflected on the surface of a lake, but I'm fine when I watch my TV? I'll answer my own question (with apologies to the original Clinton campaign), "It's the intensity, stupid."


    Your eye is really just a fancy camera lens. It honestly doesn't care where the light is coming from - light is light, as someone so astutely posted earlier.

  19. For example, nutrition is a legitimate cure for cancer, not radiology or hemp.

    Please, please tell me you're not a practicing physician.

    And, on the matter of optical degeneration from staring at glowing screens too much...


    Turn off the screen and go outside. It's not rocket science.

  20. A colony of birds' beaks changing structure is a beautiful thing to observe, but the colony of birds hasn't changed into something other than a colony of birds with changed beak structure.

    That doesn't mean they haven't evolved into a new species. The Darwinian finches you're alluding to are differentiated by their beaks precisely because each one evolved to live in a particular ecological niche where there was less competition for food. Are they still birds? Of course they are - if you expected anything else, then you're sadly misinformed. But it's a bit like saying a goliath bird eater and a corn spider are the same "kind" because they're both spiders.


    The simple fact is, evolution happens. We have large numbers of examples - bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one currently (pardon the pun) evolving situation directly demonstrating organisms evolving to better suit their environment.

  21. Actually from what I understand, if they are truly red color blind, they will see red as black, They see mixed red colors, such as orange, as more yellow because they aren't picking up the red portions of the pigment.


    You can learn more about how it all works here: National Eye Institute


    Edit to add:


    Which is exactly what your color lines show - "red" is actually a very narrowly defined wavelength of light - in a red color blind person that would show up as black, and it would gradually lighten towards yellow as you move up to the shorter wavelengths (as indicated in your diagram).

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