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Comment Place of manufacture doesn't predict quality (Score 2) 329

I recently bought some very expensive Armstrong (made in USA) ignition wrenches, hoping I'd get some very precisely formed tools. They were crap. Now days, Tekton tools are better quality than most consumer-grade tools.

I go through quite an ordeal to find quality tools for reasonable prices. For screwdrivers, its German made Wiha. For wrenches, sockets, and some other things, Tekton has taken the limelight.

For a .0005in resolution dial test indicator, I tried a Chinese one. It was crap. So I bought a second B&S BesTest on Ebay and got a good one.

Electronic pliers: Tronex (the very best there is), Erem, Xuron. Even the German brands have become crap now: CK and Xcelite. Larger wire cutting pliers by Swanstrom are very nice.

I just opted to not buy another set of cheap needle files, and instead bought a $70 set of Grobet/Teborg ones. Very worth it!

I tried an economy model Mitutoyo caliper to have a 2nd pair in addition to my good Mitutoyo calipers. It was crap. Now iGaging makes calipers for $40-$60 that are as repeatable and solid as good Mitutoyo. Maybe I won't trust them when .0005-.001 accuracy really matters, but for routine measures, they are great.

Comment Re: This was _outlawed_ in the USA? (Score 1) 545

Police get paid to arrest people. That is all there is to it. Oaths and ideals are irrelevant. People act according to incentives. Period. Police are just as comfortable arresting people and subjecting their children to very real trauma (as being forcibly kidnapped by the state from normal, non-abusive parents IS a serious trauma) as soldiers are, and as we are as a nation, wrecking whole countries, killing a million people, etc. just because they "might" be a "threat."

Comment Re:This was _outlawed_ in the USA? (Score 1) 545

My wife decided that she wanted to go to 1st grade at the better school which was also farther away from her suburb of Bangkok, necessitating that she take two public busses (and the songtao ride out of the village to the main road bus stop) every day. She often fell asleep on the bus, and strangers who got familiar with her presence and where she let off, as well as the bus driver, would wake her up.

Comment Laywer emails me this morning... (Score 1) 62

"I'd better send him my final rev. of the application due tomorrow within a few hours" after I got to work. I had expected to have until the end of the day. The night before I had almost given up in despair, that the thing could ever be made so that his way of saying what I tried to tell him was invented could ever make sense. And that he covered the important shit, instead of the irrelevant stuff.

By some miracle I was able to send it off within a couple hours.

My first and hopefully last experience with patents (though his Claims are still completely looking the wrong way, so we'll have to amend those later.)

I basically hate patents. My boss made me do it. Yesterday came close to being my last day working there. And I still haven't decided if 2015 will have been my last year there. Thankfully, I've got a couple weeks off to think about it.

Comment Re:It was a "gun free zone" that got hit. Again. (Score 1) 1134

We are a society in transition. Ancient systems of belief are failing. These were the (weak) basis of our (crude) morality, yet are unsupported by evidence. We need a new basis for absolute moral principles. Democracy is a threat to the stability of society because ethics can no more be decided democratically than can scientific matters. Utilitarianism that denies individuals and tries to optimize statistical parameters on society, including by the use of mass coercion and even war produces large numbers of disenfranchised who's individual suffering is ignored and who have no legal recourse. And we wonder why so many people snap. Idiots!

Comment Re:Another reason to ban rifles (Score 1) 1134

Ironically, it is in the concept of "militia" where an innovative new idea for a solution may be found. Notice that people seem to believe that the policeman's badge, much like the priest's robe, confers some magical power of noble goodness. Almost no one wishes there would be less cops around when someone starts acting violently, because they know the police have guns and can stop it. Yet the pro gun ban people see the members of the "gun culture" as latent mass shooters. This is an irrational belief. Lawful gun owners should instead be thought of as latent police!

Thus, what may help to deter mass shootings would be to have a program to create a larger population of "deputies" of law enforcement (or perhaps a new term, such as "community security volunteer") with the restricted yet purely voluntary role of being on guard for incidents of deadly violence. They would be armed and could choose to use their weapon to stop a deadly violence situation. However, they would report to no one, nor would they be expected to enforce any other laws, make arrests, etc.

This would amount to a "shall issue upon completion of training" CCW program, where, unless there are clearly defined reasons under the law why a person must be prohibited from owning and carrying a gun, they may take the training. Training would emphasize de-escalation and violence prevention tactics. Followed by understanding of the laws relating to use of force. Finally, gun safety and shooting proficiency. Upon successful completion of the training, they would receive a CCW permit. It is possible they could also receive a special badge after taking an "enhanced" training. That badge would have to be displayed in order to "open carry" guns (loaded or otherwise). Yearly re-certification would be required to maintain this badged status.

Ie., this is an economical way to dramatically increase the number of officially sanctioned "police" whose duties are a restricted subset of normal law enforcement, and in no way obligatory.

Anyone who doesn't take this training may still own guns but may only carry them loaded and outside of locked containers in a place of residence, business, a shooting range, or in the wilderness. All gun ownership to be preceded by background checks with strictly defined conditions under the law which preclude gun ownership.

There is no way to make this perfect, because our culture is what it is--we have the US Constitution. That is very unlikely to change any time soon. So we have to be pragmatic, yet consistent with our legal principles which hold up gun ownership as an individual right. My idea bridges the gap between the "only police should have guns" and the "more people should be carrying guns" positions, with a sincere attempt to find a practical way to actually reduce violence and the likelihood of it.

It is a new idea. We need new and actionable ideas. There may be better ideas. There may be complementary ideas. But surely we can do better than to keep repeating and arguing over the same non-actionable ideas. We can't make progress by approaching this ideologically. We must think logically and creatively.

What are the goals? What are the constraints? Then, what are the possibilities?

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To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton