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madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:38pm PT
It is empirically-known that the sun revolves around the earth, that doesn't make it true. If you have any more objective evidence for your claim, I'd like to know.

Well, you're right to note that empirical "knowledge" is never provable, but we always require this or that level of "certainty" depending upon context. I mean, we "know" a lot of things scientifically, but that doesn't make that "knowledge" metaphysically true. But, it's close enough for rock and roll, and for building microwave ovens and space shuttles that don't blow up most of the time. I didn't realize that we were using the bar of deductive knowledge for this sort of inquiry.

So, I'll recast my statement to say, "We have very strong empirical evidence demonstrating...." Are you after something stronger than that? In that event, you can forget about all forms of observation, statistics, or any other empirical metric we typically employ in these sorts of discussions. Honestly, if you're after deductive proofs, I can provide them, but to do so, we'd have to wade into, for example, Kantian ethics and Rawls' Theory of Justice--and that's some HEAVY slogging! Much more reliable, though, than just observing how things play out around the world.

It's of note that our founders really were depending upon political theory that was MUCH more deductive than how most argumentation typically goes (relying as it does on empirical observation). So, if you'd like to shift to pure theory, I'm happy to go there. But it is heavy slogging!

How do you explain successful countries with large social programs like Norway, Switzerland, Canada or any one of the dozens of others? Switzerland has almost as many guns per capita than the US, but a negligible gun murder rate. How? Strict regulation.

A LOT goes into play in answering this question.

First, "successful" is very relative. Are you evaluating personal freedoms, economic "stability," GDP, or what? Your metric will make a LOT of difference here!

When is the last time that neutral Switzerland had its people worry about overthrowing their government? When is the last time its people even thought about political theory? (Of note is that Switzerland was arguably the worst hotbed of political-religious persecution and abuse during the late reformation and into the period that formed the US. Think Zwingli. Ultimately, people fled here.)

Second, these countries you refer to are not really comparable to the US; it is often done, but there really is little comparison. These countries have populations and land-masses (and even GDPs) more like one of our states. Some are larger states, and others are smaller states. I mean, California alone is something like the 7th largest country in the world! So, what can "work" for a small, state-sized enterprise doesn't obviously map-onto or "work" for something like the US. Of note, long before there was a "west" like we know it now, the founders were planning for a continent-sized nation. So, this very point was one they contemplated. It is often overlooked, but they did not imagine us being anything like the tiny nation-states of Europe.

Third, "large social programs" can mean a whole lot of things! The fact that, for example, Canada (at least not a tiny Euro-nation, although still population-tiny!) has socialized medicine must be put alongside Canada's other expenditures. For example, Canada has almost no military. Why? Well, because they are joined at the hip to the US, and we WILL defend them against any threat, as they know. So, their military expenditures are quite insignificant. Even so, Canada's taxes are HIGH! I mean, really high!

We have customers in Canada and so often visit there. I always take the opportunity to ask everybody how things are going. Of course this is anecdotal, but I can tell you that EVERYBODY I talk to in BC wishes that the US would just annex BC. They HATE the taxes they pay, and they do NOT feel that they are getting any real value for what they pay. Furthermore, they do NOT like their healthcare. Not one person I have talked to there likes their socialized healthcare. In fact, the Registrar at one of our schools told me flat-out at lunch that he wished the US would look at Canada's healthcare program, see the vastness of the mistake, and not try to follow suit. And just look at how many Canadians stream across the border to have procedures done here. By contrast, Americans are not streaming across the border to have procedures done in Canada! Canada's healthcare infrastructure cannot even support the Canadian population.

Again, this is anecdotal evidence, but, believe me, I've seen and heard a LOT of it, and all consistent. So....

Fourth, "working" might not seem so good when assessed by the locals themselves. There are always trade-offs, and these large social programs only relatively-speaking "work." Which leads naturally to....

Fifth, the jury is still out on this one! Twenty years ago, most people would say that Spain and Greece were "working." But now we see.... NOT! The time-slice you are evaluating for any of these large social programs is really amazingly short in nation time-line terms. Even the US experiments on this front are relatively short-lived. Social Security, for example, is essentially bankrupt, and it's taken about 70 years for the pyramid scheme it always was to start becoming clear. 30 years ago, people could well call it a "success," but we see now that it was actually quite ill-conceived, and people would have done a lot better to never depend upon it. Ask ANY current SS recipient on fixed income if they think it was a net gain for them to pay into SSI all their lives. I know for a FACT that I have paid more in than I will ever, possibly get back out of it. That's net dollars; forget about "adjusted for inflation," and forget about "with interest!" So, it's really pretty ridiculous to call these "large social programs" successes, when the time-slices are so short! Again, think Spain and Greece.

I could go on and on, but this is already getting lengthy. I simply don't agree that comparing the US with these little European nation-states is legitimate. I don't agree that we have reliable evidence that the programs are "working." And I don't agree that we have even watched long enough to know how things are going to play out across these nation-states. The initial evidence, however, is very concerning!

Now, by contrast, we have seen big "socialist revolutions," and they have all been dismal failures! The Soviet Union imploded, and it was founded on socialist principles. In fact, the communism of that "socialism" was great for our purposes, because it revealed in a fairly short time-frame the results of socialism writ-large. They didn't go half-way, which really shortened the time-frame we had to watch to see the whole thing play out.

Next, check out China. Their grand experiment in socialism has already been virtually entirely replaced by capitalism (they LEARNED from Hong Kong). So, China is a classic example of how "communism" can come apart from "socialism" in its final stages. China has the political repression of communism, while trying to meld it with the economic robustness of capitalism. Now, note that this very capitalism puts constant and increasing pressure upon China's political system. Capitalism tends to promote individual values, and that is the opposite pressure that communism applies: elevating collective values over those of the individual.

Cuba? Socialist South American countries? Huh? They are "working?" They have revolutions and bloody uprisings (well, not Cuba, but do we want to emulate them) about as often as people change their underwear!

The American experiment in democracy has been quite long-lived by comparison to other modern nations. And our really significant problems (the ones that are threatening our very existence in anything like our previous form) have emerged in my lifetime; that is NOTHING in nation time-line terms. And you can clearly see a significant transition in political thinking starting in the late-20s and 30s. In my own lifetime I have seen this nation start sliding (in accelerating fashion) into the abyss.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
Yup. People use to have a lot less crap bombarding their brains back then. They would sit, and think, maybe drink, and discuss. Then think some more. It is fairly difficult to do that now, but especially for the younger folks who are use to having electronics and talking heads to fill their lives.

+10!

You nailed one of the major issues, imho!
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:07am PT
So, I'll recast my statement to say, "We have very strong empirical evidence demonstrating...."

Please point to any of that evidence, that's all I asked for. Evidence, not even proof.

It probably was easy to sit back by candlelight to consider at your leisure the existential implications of liberty and property rights when your every need was being attended to by dozens of slaves. Sure, I know the FF's mostly wanted to abolish slavery, but they were afraid of the immediate implications to society and industry etc. etc., but isn't that just another pragmatic compromise to limit a freedom for the greater good of the whole?

Like requiring background checks for all gun purchases?
Or requiring firearms dealers to keep accurate records of how many guns they "lost", with actual penalties for non-compliance?

TE

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Please point to any of that evidence, that's all I asked for. Evidence, not even proof.

Of what? LOL... I've lost track of where we are at this point.

It probably was easy to sit back by candlelight to consider at your leisure the existential implications of liberty and property rights when your every need was being attended to by dozens of slaves. Sure, I know the FF's mostly wanted to abolish slavery, but they were afraid of the immediate implications to society and industry etc. etc., but isn't that just another pragmatic compromise to limit a freedom for the greater good of the whole?

That's a pretty severe oversimplification of the state of affairs at that time. And this idea that we have to limit individual freedoms "for the greater good of the whole" is THE problematical way of casting the issue. The issue is NOT a conflict between individual freedoms and "the greater good." That presumes communitarianism! The issue is that negative rights cannot in principle come into conflict; only positive rights can. And the resolution of a positive rights conflict is always between individuals; never between individuals and some mythical "greater good!"

Like requiring background checks for all gun purchases?
Or requiring firearms dealers to keep accurate records of how many guns they "lost", with actual penalties for non-compliance?

About these points, I don't believe we are in disagreement. I have no problem with keeping guns out of the hands of convicted, violent criminals; and that implies background checks. NP
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 7, 2014 - 01:52pm PT
About these points, I don't believe we are in disagreement. I have no problem with keeping guns out of the hands of convicted, violent criminals; and that implies background checks. NP

My bad then. I thought you felt and were arguing that any such government regulation was inherently unconstitutional.

On the (almost) certain failure of Social Security, I don't see it as a failure of commutwhatever-ism, but an example of the inherent (hopefully non fatal) flaw in democracy - most (all?) people don't know what's in their best interest, and vote for politicians from both sides who are more than happy to increase spending and decrease taxes.

"... the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Benign dictatorship, that's what I'll have on my tropical island :-).

TE
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2014 - 02:03pm PT
Benign dictatorship, that's what I'll have on my tropical island :-).

Exactly what works in the "island" that is my home. (At least, so I like to think.) LOL

No, I'm not a laissez faire sort of person, either economically or in terms of government intervention as adjudicator between the conflicting positive rights of individuals. We PUT government in place SO AS to have such an adjudicator between us. It's ludicrous, then, to claim that government should stay out of everything. My point is that there are very principled ways that government is supposed to be involved, and those principles themselves have shifted from libertarian to communitarian over time.

Your point that the voters don't even know what's really good for them is very prescient on this very subject. In a very real sense, the Constitution was supposed to protect voters from themselves. That is why the majority SHOULD not always rule, and it is why we were set up as a Republic rather than direct Democracy.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 7, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
Sheesh!

It is like you guys have never read Plato's "Republic".



Damn weatherman said it'd be nice so I packed the 4X4 full of guns and targets yesterday and woke to winds gusting out of the NW at over 30 mph.

Not much fun for ultra-long range bench rest shooting so its feed the lizards and tap the taco.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2014 - 04:45pm PT
Yahh, Toker! That's what we really need: Philosopher Kings!

C'mon! Let's do it!

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
May 4, 2014 - 03:32am PT

‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/us/politics/smart-firearm-draws-wrath-of-the-gun-lobby.html

Maryland gun store drops plans to sell 'smart guns' after threats:http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/02/us-usa-maryland-smartgun-idUSBREA410SD20140502

TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 5, 2014 - 08:28pm PT
Really big gun!

Really long shot!

crankster

Trad climber
May 17, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Gun debate is over. Lunatics like Ron won. Won't change until the body count gets too high.
locker

Social climber
"Sh#t shack across from the city dump"
May 17, 2014 - 10:51am PT


"The craze of 22's is still being felt - as approx 20 million new shooters have entered the shooting world in recent years, and the 22 being a cheaper round is still in extremely high demand."...


So people are finally admitting that the shortage is due to consumer purchases and not the Government buying up all the stock???...




As for the "Stingers"...

I remember well when they came out...

It was the EXCITING .22 round that packed a decent wallop...




locker

Social climber
"Sh#t shack across from the city dump"
May 17, 2014 - 11:02am PT

So the paranoia was unwarranted...

As I figured...

All those freaks claiming Obama and crew were buying up ALL the .22's...

WHY the fuk would they???...

LOL!!!...





THANKS for confirming what I already knew...

;-)





EDITED:

It is the high cost of rounds these days that keeps me from going out, "Plinking"...

I miss the days of walking into a store and grabbing a box of .22's for $1.00 a box (I actually recall $.50, but at that time I was too young to purchase on my own)...


crankster

Trad climber
May 17, 2014 - 11:04am PT
That "government is buying up the ammo" lunacy is popular with the millions of Wingnuts gathered in DC this weekend. Oh, did I say millions? I meant dozens.
jonnyrig

Trad climber
formerly known as hillrat
May 17, 2014 - 08:24pm PT
Nice goin Ron! You,ll be ready for chukar season.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 20, 2014 - 03:03pm PT
The Armed Citizen:
A South Carolina man who donned a bulletproof vest and asked a friend to shoot him was lethally wounded when his friend followed through on the request, authorities said.

Blake Randall Wardell, 25, of Honea Path was killed Wednesday with a single gunshot by 18-year-old Taylor Ann Kelly, authorities said. The bullet missed the protective Kevlar entirely, hitting Wardell's heart instead.

"The bullet went through the top edge of the material. It missed the vest," Lt. Sheila Cole, spokeswoman for the Anderson County Sheriff's Department, told the Los Angeles Times.

Kelly, a friend of the victim, according to Cole, told authorities that Wardell had asked her to shoot him after putting on the vest. Local media reported that he had found the vest in a garage.

Cole added that nothing had been ruled out while investigations are ongoing, and that Kelly was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-bullet-proof-vest-fatal-shooting-20140515-story.html
jstan

climber
May 24, 2014 - 01:24pm PT


Edit:
Turns out when sheriff's department personnel interviewed the subject they had not viewed the videos he had posted.

Hard to avoid concluding the NSA will not now do keyword searches on all communications. Very simple to do that and then raise a flag with the appropriate authorities. Should not have been necessary, I think, in this case. Egregious.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
May 24, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
Son of a movie director.

No wonder the L.A. Times has been withholding the dude's name. Wouldn't want to be the one to report anything that could be seen to be negative to The Industry first.

The guy definitely had head problems. Look at his videos:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgsBey7KX53-0qm-FSGTOyQ/videos

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 24, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
OMG Gary, that is darwinism rather than 2nd amendment fodder.


I'm in a strange place with the lowly .22lr.
I still have plenty (including over 1K Stingers), but every time I shoot them I start thinking about replacing them @ at least 12 cents a round which, considering the miniscule ballistic performance compared to 9mm and .223 which go for little more, leaves me no longer having a taste for just blazing away with my plinkers.

It still has a place in my lineup but it is now more functional than useful for practice shooting.
I think that the .22 is on the wane, although there will always be afficionados, fools and cheapskates that make it the #1 round for homicides.

How much are Stingers going for online?
(probably more than factory 9mm)
crankster

Trad climber
May 24, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
You're a nut. Guns kill people. You're a nut. Every mass murder. Guns. Nuts. Nuts.
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