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Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

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Culture that is easily consumed is easily discarded.

The tools used to easily consume content do not contribute cultural value. Touch pads are designed to consume content, not produce it. IPods make it easy to store and consume vast quantities of production music. Digitized images can be churned out and copied with almost no effort.

Our culture, meaning the arts, are increasingly intended to be easily distributed rather than offer a deeper insight into the human condition. There is no money in content production, but there is a boatload of cash to be made in distributing content that is easily consumed. The more easily it is consumed, the more the consumers will want to replace it. Thus we have production music designed to be earworms with hook lines, lol cats, blogs that are written to go viral, and McRibs.

If you want to actually get something out of an image, go to an art gallery or a museum. If you want to appreciate music, attend a live performance. If you want to read a book, go to a book store and invest in a book that has content you want to keep.

But truly, the best way to appreciate and enjoy culture is to produce it yourself. The producers of cultural content do so because they want to explore, but they are not special, magical shamans who have some insight into the human condition any more than anybody else. They have just given up the luxury of having others answer those questions for them. Anybody can do it. The human voice was designed to be able to sing. Human eyes are designed to make sense of the world around us. Our ears can hear just the right note. All it takes is practice and sacrifice.

Every firearms dealer has a 'bound book' that is a record of every gun he has bought and sold.

The BATF can walk into his store at any time and demand to see his bound book, and god help him if his inventory doesn't match up with his records. That's how businesses get regulated.


Bob and Alice have been married for twenty glorious years. Bob wants to take up target shooting so Alice decides to give him a gun for his birthday. Alice goes to the store with the make and model of the gun he wants, fills out the paperwork pays for the gun and leaves. She gives him his present over dinner that evening.

Bob and Alice have been living together for five years. The neighborhood is going downhill and they can't afford to move, so they decide to get a gun. Since Bob is a truck driver and is often away from home, he tells Alice what to buy and she makes the purchase.

Bob and Alice hooked up at a rave and fell madly in love. Bob thinks guns are cool so Alice goes to the store and buys him one.

Bob and Alice broke up because Alice found out about Cathy. She kicked Bob's cheating ass out but kept the gun. Alice meets John and falls madly in love with him and gives him the gun as a gift.


I could write scenarios like that all night. There is no way the guy selling the gun to Alice will know what kind of relationship she has with Bob or anybody else. There is almost no way to distinguish a legitimate relationship between two people and a straw purchase at the point of sale.

Now, if you want to require background checks on firearms transfers between private parties, you have to record chain of custody. Which is to say, you have to turn every firearm owner into a firearms dealer with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. Even if you make access to the NICS system available to private citizens, anybody who wants to circumvent the system will do so unless you attach some means of verification and penalties for non compliance. Otherwise when the cops come knocking people will just say "I gave it away/there was a tragic boating accident/it was stolen/I dunno what happened to it" or whatever other lie they can think up and nobody will be able to prove otherwise or prosecute them for selling the gun to the wrong person.

Remember the bound book? If you turn every firearm owner into an FFL you will have to allow the BATF to have access to their private residence at any time. The government can walk into your home at any time and demand to see your records. That idea will go over in this country like a turd in a punchbowl. Any political party responsible for that law will get a one way bus ticket to the political wilderness.

Corrections and amplifications of how the firearms distribution systems works are warmly solicited.

It doesn't matter what I think.

It matters what the court thinks. As I recall, you have to be adjudicated mentally incompetent to lose your right to own a gun. But that could vary from state to state. In California they could "5150" you.

The concept of mental health is fungible. That makes it difficult to adjudicate. It also creates an opportunity for political oppression.

Psychiatry possesses an inherent capacity for abuse that is greater than in other areas of medicine.[10]:65 The diagnosis of mental disease can give the state license to detain persons against their will and insist upon therapy both in the interest of the detainee and in the broader interests of society.[10]:65 In addition, receiving a psychiatric diagnosis can in itself be regarded as oppressive. In a monolithic state, psychiatry can be used to bypass standard legal procedures for establishing guilt or innocence and allow political incarceration without the ordinary odium attaching to such political trials.

Now, that was the Soviet Union, one of the most repressive dictatorships in one of the most barbaric eras in human history, so the concept of political oppression through psychiatry is absurd, right? Thomas Eagleton ran into some difficulty because of allegations regarding his mental health. Running against a guy named Richard Nixon. Remember Daniel Ellsburg?

In August 1971, Krogh and Young met with G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt in a basement office in the Old Executive Office Building. Hunt and Liddy recommended a "covert operation" to get a "mother lode" of information about Ellsberg's mental state in order to discredit him. Krogh and Young sent a memo to Ehrlichman seeking his approval for a "covert operation [to] be undertaken to examine all of the medical files still held by Ellsberg’s psychiatrist." Ehrlichman approved under the condition that it be "done under your assurance that it is not traceable."

Given the realities of the George W. Bush administration and the even more disquieting reality that the Republican Party ran an outright fascist for president in the last election, the importance of properly adjudicating the rights of people in a court of law that depends on proper representation and the presentation of evidence to a judge should be obvious.

So, to answer your question whether or not you should be able to own a gun I would say I don't have a clue. Nor should I. It's none of my business. I think a court of law should make it my business. If you're having trouble, I would that you had a proper support network including friends, family, a functioning health care system and a culture that values something more than how much money it can make off you.

We all have more in common than we think.

We're all human. I think sometimes we forget that. I think we have a tendency to defend ideology over humanity. We think we know how to make the world a better place and we become so attached to our plan we think it will do anything. And we would be wrong. But in an effort to apply a solution where it doesn't belong we treat others unjustly. There are very few truly evil people in the world, but there are plenty of misguided consumers.

I guess I've heard the entire spectrum of gun control ideas here in the last four years. I haven't heard a single one that would work. Not one. And most every proposal was presented with the fervor of a tent revival with hosannas all around. Unfortunately, the praise was not for the efficacy of the proposal, but for it's expression of liberal ideology.

The left has been the inspiration for every sociocultural advancement in this country since it's founding. It will continue to do so, and the need for change is increasing every day. The basic social contract of nurturing, compassion, and equitable contribution to the group are liberal ideals and the way a successful society is run. But it isn't perfect, nothing made by human hands is. And when the fight starts, liberal ideology as it is currently understood does not apply.

If you are ever unlucky enough to be confronted by someone who intends to do you harm, the social safety net will have failed. There won't be any help. You won't nurture your way out of an assault. Most people who live in dodgy neighborhoods, work in crappy jobs with no rights, who are stuck in abusive relationships with no way out, or just generally deal with what they call the real world know this. That's because every act of violence is a societal failure. And when society fails, uncivilized behavior is the rule of the day.

There is an inherent classicism in the way portions of liberal ideology are expressed and applied. Gun control legislation is one example. The solutions offered for "gun violence" often as not sound as if they come from someone in a gated community sipping Merlot and sniffing at the crude heathens that can't solve their differences in a more genteel manner. It costs us elections. Here are some examples if you care to have a look.

Well, at last count

people were buying a little over a million guns a month in this country, adding to a total of just over three hundred million guns. And they aren't all being bought by teabaggers. In fact, the last I heard the fastest growing segment of gun buyers by political affiliation was Democrats. There are certainly a whole bunch of moderates and centrists who are gun owners. The political realities simply won't allow banning guns, banning semi automatic guns, assault weapons or anything of the sort. It ain't gonna happen. And any political party that proposes such will be handed a one way bus ticket to the political wilderness. Here's why:

If you put a thousand people in a room and told them that three of them would be assaulted, raped, robbed or murdered in a week, five hundred of them would go out and buy a gun tomorrow. A gun has tremendous symbolic power. It is a last line of defense against any threat, real or imagined. People take their personal safety and the safety of those close to them more seriously than anything, and concerns about close threats (like assault) however unlikely, loom much larger than remote threats (global warming/banking crisis) that are more likely to occur. That's just how people think.

Add to that the symbolic power of guns in politics. Guns symbolize everything that is bad to Democrats and good to Republicans. Liberalism is a nurturing ideology. It is defined by the support of others in cooperation to make society work. Conservative ideology is authoritarian in nature and depends on the concept of self reliance. Now 99.9% of the time, nurturing and cooperation are the best way to organize a society. But if you get assaulted, try nurturing your way out of that. It will be just you and him, and self reliance is the name of the game. That's where the other ideology works best. And that's why Republicans idolize guns the way they do. It is a totem to their ideology. It's also why Democrats hate them so much, because guns are an anti totem.

That's why every time a Democrat cooks up an unworkable firearm regulation, it's just giving strength to conservative ideology and pushing those in the center to the right. Whatever law gets passed has to make sense in the real world, and workable firearms laws have been few and far between lately. That's because firearms laws are about as good as we can make them. We can only support people so much, but sometimes they will be left to their own devices no matter what we do. No matter how well or tightly you build a support net, there will always be a few lunatics who will step right through it and hurt somebody. And when they do, there won't be anybody to help you but you.

Well, like i said in #158

the inclusion of those terms would not be out of place.

But what would including them actually do? The TOS forbids porn as well. The debate about recognizing porn has raged on and off for decades, and it all depends on whether or not those who would eliminate it are able to accurately judge the emotional responses of others to certain images.

Yes, we know what what the words misogyny and sexism mean. Do we know it when we see it? If we want to recognize misogyny in the speech of others, we have to evaluate their intent. If we decide someone is using misogynistic language, we are evaluating how they feel about women. We are telling other people how they feel. Sometimes their feelings are easy to discern, other times it is not. And on an anonymous internet message board when two hundred words is a Russian novel, fine emotional distinctions are especially problematic.

The only way you can really understand someone is to actually interact with them. Creating increasingly specific restrictions on what may or may not be said is merely outsourcing the evaluative process to others. That's not fighting for yourself, it's demanding others winnow down who you interact with to avoid differences of opinion. Remember, the more you allow others to define the feelings of others for you, the more you allow them to define your own feelings.
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