1:51 PM yesterday
commented on Rightwing Anti-Gay French Activist Commits Suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral
Count me among those who aren't going to pretend that this somehow sad.
Although I would much rather he change his attitude and realize that trying to make other people unhappy and interfering in their lives is wrong, if that isn't going to be the case then this is an acceptable alternative.
I try not to wish anyone dead, but I am not going to pretend to regret it when those who hurl their hatred on others decide to do the deed themselves. Although when you throw in that he was a racist terrorist on top of being a raging homophobe it gets hard not to wish for it.
I'm reminded of a quote often mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain, but is actually from Clarence Darrow: "I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction."
9:04 AM yesterday
commented on Youth Pastor Watch
@5, it is a fine line and a sting can turn out to be entrapment depending on how it is conducted.
In this case it is not entrapment.
For it to be entrapment the sting would have to be conducted in a way that actually induced the person to engage in criminal activity that they otherwise wouldn't.
Placing an ad in a paper is not entrapment. It doesn't induce activity a person wouldn't otherwise engage in. In this case if that ad weren't there it is reasonable to assume this person would have chosen a different ad to respond to, so it's not entrapment. They didn't lure him into doing something he wouldn't have done. They lured him into trying to do what he was going to do anyway with a police officer instead of a real 14 year old girl.
commented on New Gun Enthusiast...
@41, "That they can't, won't make that mistake. Or that it won't be used against them in a domestic dispute. Can't happen to me! Maybe other people, but definitely not ME."
Exactly. Particularly that part about domestic disputes. When emotions run high people can become irrational and do things they otherwise wouldn't even consider. Things they can regret greatly later.
What really makes me on the anti gun side (and I agree with the anti gun folks on a few things to be honest) is that everyone has the potential to be irrational and crazy to the point of violent under the right circumstances.
I have know otherwise perfectly rational and non-violent people become maniacs. I once saw a simple argument over who was in the wrong end up with one of them pulling a knife on another.
I have seen friends get into fights and resort to fists.
I know a guy who had a gun pulled on him due to an argument over a parking space not because he threatened anyone, but because he is big and scary looking.
I once had a car accident in a bad rainstorm where my car hydroplaned, and the guy I hit came out of his car like a madman and I had to lock myself in the car until the police got there (luckily there was a cop right across the street at the time). He was going to hit me, and if he had a gun he probably would have shot me because I lost control of a car in a downpour and damaged his car.
And yes, I have had moments where, even though when I am thinking rationally I detest violence for anything but self defense, have had moments where I really think I could have killed someone if I had lost it by just a fraction more.
Anyone has the potential to lose their grip and become violent, and making it easier for people to turn violence into out and out murder doesn't make sense to me.
I don't trust anyone carrying a gun, period. Even if I know them. Even if they seem perfectly rational. Even if (and some times especially if) they are wearing a badge. If they are human they have emotions, and if they have emotions they have the potential to become violent. Violence may still happen, but I much prefer my chances against a fist or even a knife than against a gun.
commented on They Need More To Do On the International Space Station
I disagree. If nothing else it is the only way to observe the effects of weightlessness on humans, plants and other organic matter that we will need to understand in order to survive in space.
I don't agree with those who say that no real science is being done on the ISS. Rather, no science with an immediate application is being done, but a lot of data is being collected. Data that IS being used by researchers here on earth. But data that can only be gathered in specific environments not easily, or impossible to be, replicated on Earth.
And we also do need to keep the PR aspect in mind. The ISS reminds people that we CAN go into space, and that there IS reason to go into space. It drives public support behind the idea of putting money and effort into these things. Otherwise out of sight, out of mind. When we are talking about the incredibly long amount of time before we can be sure something needs to be done it is easy to become complacent with the assumption that we don't need to even start thinking about it for thousands of years. But we really have no idea how long it will take us, so starting now, even just getting our feet wet in space, is a good thing.
commented on They Need More To Do On the International Space Station
Like it or not, we have to go to space. It's not maturbatory fantasy to talk about colonizing space. It is an absolute necessity if we hope for the human race to survive.
The Earth will eventually become uninhabitable. And it will happen long before the 4-5 billion years left before our sun expands to engulf it. Even if we discount man made scenarios, like man made biological weapons or human induced global warming, or plague due to overpopulation, and also discount some catastrophic event like a asteroid strike or the eruption of a supervolcano, the Earth will lose it's atmosphere in about a quarter of the time we have before the Sun eats us.
Yes, it's still an unimaginably long time away, but we have a lot to do before then. It's not about getting to other planets even for colonization, and not about being able to travel great distances faster, although those things will certainly happen at some point. It is about being able to get off the planet with the ability to adapt to new environments. It will take genetic tinkering to allow people to exist in low or zero gravity environments (experiments with genes related to excess bone density are already being conducted). Being able to study people in low gravity environments may not have any immediate benefits, but they are one step closer to figuring out how we can live off planet.
And we will either have to find a way or the human race will no longer exist. Some may say, "so what?", but I think the fact is that the majority of humanity see the continued existence of the human race for as long as possible as a positive goal. And that continued existence is entirely dependent on the space program.
commented on Your Dog Sucks
The dog's owner was probably there, just didn't want to have to show themselves since they let their dog run off leash and now it was missbehaving. Or they were just doing something else and not paying attention.
While I don't have a problem with giving a dog a smack when it is not behaving, in this day and age when dog nuts will have you arrested for even a light whack to a missbehaving animal, hitting the dog is more likely to get you into trouble.
I would have stood up and shouted, "The person who owns this dog better come get it now, or they can go get it at the pound because I'm calling animal control".
Then you take out your cell phone and call animal control and have them come take it away to the pound. The owner can then go pay a fine to get it back.
commented on More Advice for Kids From the NRA
@14, Interesting idea. As an archer myself I was thinking something similar. Because despite your friend's experience, archery is much safer that target shooting with guns. Not completely safe, since no sport is completely safe, but archery is actually one of the safest sports, with the majority of archery related injuries directly related to bow hunting (people cutting themselves with the broadheads on hunting arrows, which aren't used for target archery). Even then it is far safer than, say, football or even soccer and baseball in terms of number and severity of injuries directly related to playing the sport.
Yes, people occasionally get hit with an arrow, it takes a supreme degree of negligence to manage that. Most of the more serious injuries in archery are related to equipment failure (an arrow breaking on release and piercing the bow hand for instance), and are very rare and easily prevented by proper misalliance and inspection of equipotent before use.
That said, a bow and arrow IS a dangerous thing if used carelessly, but much safer than a gun, and is a good way to introduce kids to target shooting sports and weapons safety in a less dangerous scenario.
I'm all for shooting sports. I have no problem with the idea of people using guns for sport, either target shooting or hunting. But there is such a thing as too young for a gun. I learned to shoot a bow when I was seven. I didn't learn to shoot a gun till I was about 12 or 13. I wasn't allowed to own a gun, or have unrestricted access to a gun, until I was 16, and even then I was given a strict set of rules to follow. My father had a gun he often carried for his work (special investigator for the DA's office), and that gun was NEVER left out. If it wasn't on his person it was locked up in a metal box that was then put in a safe.
Most injuries in shooting sports come from carelessness, and that comes from lack of respect for the potential danger of the equipment being used. Little kids simply lack the necessary degree of understanding to sufficiently respect the potential danger of a gun. Some never develop that degree of understanding no matter how old they get.
That said, if you have the space / large enough property to set up a shooting range that is safe, and that is only used under proper supervision, I don't see a problem with that. Living in a city I have to haul my gear three or four times a week to a public archery range to practice. When I bought a second vacation place in the country that will also be my retirement home some day one of the criteria I used in picking it was that it had enough land to set up a safe, competition distance archery range. I could easily have a safe gun range if I really wanted to, but that doesn't interest me.
commented on Savage Love
"I guess you're just presuming that all families live in big spacious buildings where sound doesn't carry. "
Oh please, don't presume to know what I presume. I LIVE in a major city. I can hear when my neighbors fuck.
All I'm saying is that this blanket rule of NO SEX IN MY HOUSE isn't necessary nor is it what you suggest, some neutral approach.
Also that your experiences that you seemed to love so much having to run around and sneak may have been great for you, but are not universally pleasant experiences for all teens.
If you go back and read what I have written in this thread previously you sill see that I did exactly what you said. I had sex at home when my parents were out. But that still sucked because my straight siblings were able to have their boyfriends and girlfriends over. And I'm pretty sure they were having sex, although being rational people they were discrete.
If I felt I could have been out of the closet at that age I could have done the same, but I didn't so I had to sneak, and it sucked.
It's not some grand adventure to run around and sneak. It's just being sneaky. And so what if you are a little squicked out that your kid may be having sex with someone in the next room. In this day and age when a mistake sneaking can get you labeled as a sex offender it's better to just suck it up and be an adult about it then foist some romanticized version of your sneaking past on your kids.