Yeah, Guns

22 April 2018

Kid goes into restricted space at White House, gets gun license and guns (yes plural and including the famous AR-15 style) taken away by Feds. Feds give guns to kid’s dad. Kid’s dad decides kid has right to guns, says so in the 2nd Amendment after all, and gives guns back to kid. Kid, while naked it seems, kills 4 people at Waffle House with one of those guns. I truly hope he is found before he hurts anyone else.

But the true villan here, the person that should be charged, is the dad. The law should make him, as the guns were his responsibility, fully culpable for all four homicides. The last legal owner for each gun, wether it be the manufacturer, dealer, straw buyer or stupid dad, should be as guilty of the crime as the person who pulled the trigger. Then maybe people will properly secure their weapons and not give them to obviously psychotic kids.

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Opinion of Robert Mueller

17 April 2018

Why exactly would one have a negative opinion of Robert Mueller? Should they not instead have a negative opinion of the people his team have indicted? Robert Mueller is just doing the job he was appointed to do. It is typical shoot the messenger when you don’t like the message mentality. It would be so much better if we could all be as upset with actual illegal activity as some are currently with Robert Mueller. I certainly hope we have not become so desensitized to corruption.

I don’t know Robert Mueller personally but from what I’ve read he seems to be as fair a prosecutor as they come. I certainly hope he is allowed to prove that to all of us.

Gear Fit 2 and the missing floors

6 January 2018

Months ago my smart watch stopped being so smart when it came to floor counting. Weeks would go by with 0 floors even though I live in a 2-story house. I figured it was a bad software update that redefined a floor to just more than a typical home floor. But no, it wasn’t something so sinister. Instead it was something more basic, I’d forgotten to clean my watch. Or, more accurately, I didn’t realize I needed to. Seems that they hid the hole for the barometer, which it uses to determine altitude changes (ie. floors climbed), under where the strap connects to the watch body. Now I can’t say there was much to clean, but after a cleaning it registered 2 of 2 flights of stairs climbed after going weeks of measuring nothing. Cleaning, yeah, didn’t expect something like that.

Horrible Men

16 November 2017

As a member of the male gender I want to apologise for all the inappropriate actions men, including myself, have taken. This in no way absolves the sins but serves as a promise that I will strive not only to do better myself but also to demand better from those men who act horribly in my presence.

Robert E. Lee

16 August 2017

It isn’t General Lee that is drawing groups of protesters. What draws the white supremacists is an idea which they wrongly attribute to General Lee. Robert E. Lee considered the subjugation of African-Americans to be a moral and political evil, antithesis to the belief of your average white supremacists. But the statue was erected by other white supremacists and it is that heritage which now draws the protesters, both the white supremacists who wants to spread the idea of white domination and the counter protester who wants to spread the ideals of civil rights for all. There is no place in this enlightened age for those who still cling to racism and bigotry. It isn’t a matter of Rights to free speech, that isn’t speech – it is just hate and fear. There can be no statue for the white supremacists to venerate now just like there is no grave for Hitler.

Climate Science

31 July 2017

I met a climate change denier the other day. He refused to believe in climate science. Recently, in a conversation about solar evolution, I was compared to a climate change denier and it struck me how easily we can fall into that hole. Personally, if anything, I think we need to not only reduce carbon emissions but also to plan for the worst potential effects of climate change. I think it is time for communities to invest in infrastructure to help mitigate flooding as well as store more fresh water and backup power. Cisterns could be used to not only help prevent flooding but also store months of water for the local community. Backup power can be in one of many forms including battery but also pumped-storage hydroelectric (related to that cistern), or thermal or flywheels, whatever. Forward thinking communities that begin the work now will have a much better quality of life in the next generation.

Over Trained?

24 July 2017

Paid and volunteer civil servants such as firefighters and police deserve respect and praise for their efforts to maintain public safety. Those that have sacrificed to save others should be memorialized to an even greater extent than they are. But here is the difficult question, how many police officers have died from using too little violence? We, sadly, regularly hear of those that have died by police action, with the most notable cases involving unarmed women and children. Maybe those officers were over-trained to pull out and fire their weapon. An action removed from the consequences maybe easier to perform but lacks morality. It is more like the action of a soldier on a battlefield than a police officer in a playground. Maybe police need to train in more non-lethal methods. We live in such a gun crazy country, it would be good to consider how to deescalate potentially deadly situations on both sides of the conflict.

Fiscally Conservative What?

26 May 2017

How exactly is it being fiscally conservative if the budget isn’t actually getting any smaller? On top of that add the eventual tax cuts which decrease revenue thereby​ increasing the debt. More defense spending (which only matters on the international stage) at the expense of lots of good and important domestic programs does not seem to put ‘America First’. For example, wouldn’t more infrastructure spending be more ‘America First’? Or how about more research spending, wouldn’t being the leader in a technology be more ‘America First’?

Of course I personally don’t advocate ‘America First’, I think that is short sighted to reduce funding of international aid programs. I’d rather increase revenue by things like eliminating investment tax loopholes. Though I’m sure there is some bloat in government spending that could be cut.

Pre-K, Full Day Kindergarten and the Studies

3 May 2017

I am told that the studies are inconclusive as to the benefits of pre-K and full day Kindergarten when examined at later grades, such as middle school. I think there is a failing in these studies, though I am no expert. My issue is how we teach to the lowest common denominator. The lack of funding for teaching to accelerated students basically means that they would, in general, be slowed down from what they could potentially achieve. We cannot ask one teacher to be an expert at teaching three or four different levels in the same classroom but without more funding there isn’t the money available to add additional educational resources in each classroom. Of course there are socioeconomic issues here as well. I don’t have a solution to school funding but I would like it if the broad consensus on the initial benefits of pre-K and full day Kindergarten were not watered down with studies showing what happens later when we underfund schools in general.

Nuclear Option

27 March 2017

Aside from the one they keep talking about related to Senate rules, there is the much more deadly version which the current administration believes needs to be enhanced rather than eliminated. This is a huge mistake. Having more nuclear weapons only increases the risk of people dying, it does not save people from nuclear attacks. MAD made sense when the state actors were rational. Now, however, if a rogue actor or group uses a nuclear weapon who would the state counter attack? Do we kill 100 million people for the actions of 1? No, that is an act of collective punishment of the level of crimes against humanity. Besides, conventional weapons can kill just as much. No, we need to move away from the nuclear option. Less nuclear weapons, not more.