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Comment: Re:Intent matters. (Score 1) 312

Your interpretation makes no sense in a few different ways. First: The Federalist Papers are arguing in support of the core Constitution at a time before the Bill of Rights or 2nd Amendment existed or had even been proposed. Second: Once again, the argument by Hamilton is not that random ownership of guns will protect liberty, but actually the exact opposite. Federalist No. 29 is specifically in support of the the fact that the Federal government needs to be in charge of an elite armed forces, and that this is "the best possible security", that the people as a whole cannot possibly be up to the task. The only question here is whether this well-trained and Federally-organized "select corps" is a full-time army or a part-time militia. Here's your quote in context of the full paragraph:

"But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

I recommend that anyone read the whole paper, it's pretty short and highly illuminating to the true purpose of a Federally-run armed force, specifically in contrast to disorganized and undisciplined random mobs.

Comment: Re:Bureaucrats (Score 1) 312

"how many of those would find other successful ways vs would never attempt (or be successful at) killing themselves?"

Significantly less. Sample paper on the subject by Yip et. al., Lancet, 2012:

"Many empirical studies have shown that such means restriction is effective. Although some individuals might seek other methods, many do not..."

Comment: Re:Bureaucrats (Score 2) 312

"Some even go further and claim that guns make you more likely to try to kill yourself (as opposed to merely more likely to succeed, two radically different concepts that they don't quite 'get')"

There is in fact pretty consistent support that even a brief barrier from effective means of suicide will result in someone not ever attempting it. Example paper: Yip, et. al., "Means restriction for suicide prevention", Lancet, 2012.

"Abstract: Limitation of access to lethal methods used for suicide--so-called means restriction--is an important population strategy for suicide prevention. Many empirical studies have shown that such means restriction is effective. Although some individuals might seek other methods, many do not; when they do, the means chosen are less lethal and are associated with fewer deaths than when more dangerous ones are available."

Comment: Re:Science requires a certain agnosticism (Score 1) 480

by dcollins (#49598973) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

"The only appropriate response is 'Hmmm interesting, let's look into this'."

Sometimes the appropriate response is, "I don't have time for this nonsense". There's always a cost/benefit assessment with one's time about how likely a claimed effect is to be real -- or how important.

Comment: Re:This isn't only happening in America. (Score 2) 355

by dcollins (#49571421) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

Sure, in theory you're right. Schools aren't run by teachers anymore, the power has taken away by PHB administrator management who want to run it like a business. (Just like hospitals aren't run by doctors, etc.) I have a hard time seeing the trend reversing course, however; that's the trajectory of our political economy.

Comment: Re:Should use "Guerrilla Teaching" (Score 4, Informative) 355

by dcollins (#49571397) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

The guy's a temporary adjunct (as most college instructors are nowadays). He probably gets paid about $3000 for all the work all semester for this course. He may not even know 6 other people at the college, never mind have any way of getting them to work for him as proctors. Is all the extra work and re-design worth the $1K left in the semester? Just walking away seems at least arguably better for one's mental health.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang