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Comment Re:Here _I_ come? (Score 1) 216

I think I see where some data discrepancy may be coming from. The CDC data groups rifles with shotguns and "larger firearm" (and has separate statistics for various firearms relating to assault vs. intentional self-harm and a few others; I'm only looking at the assault category). Those numbers are 10-20x that of "assault by blunt object." The FBI data seems to be a bit more precise in that shotguns and rifles are separated out individually, and also kept separate from "large firearms." I note that the "firearms, type not stated" value for the FBI data is rather large. So I suppose your statement about rifles, specifically, is correct.

Comment Re:Here _I_ come? (Score 1) 216

Where are you getting your data regarding more hammers being used to kill than rifles? I've looked over the CDC database for all causes of death, and while they do not have a specific category for "hammers," they do have a category for death by assault with blunt objects. Guns are separated into different categories, and the "death by blunt object" value is an order of magnitude lower than deaths caused by rifles. I'll grant that this doesn't specifically look at crimes (assault isn't always crime-related), and I agree with your overall message that the link with crime is pretty weak, but the real data is worth knowing.

Comment Re:"Obviously" not Last Pass or 1Password (Score 1) 445

1Password has been around for years. We can't get around the fact that it's closed source, but they often write articles about their encryption implementations and participate in the encryption community. They're a good company.

The big debate about password managers like 1Password is a bit philosophical. A password manager represents a single point of failure where you could lose everything in one go. On the other hand, it makes generating, managing, and routinely changing other passwords a breeze. Which is more likely to be breached? If you're a high-profile figure then a password manager could be pretty dangerous. If you're an average user then it's more likely that a password of yours will be cracked in a database breach. Having a password manager makes it easier to ensure that your passwords are all unique, that they don't contribute anything of value to password-cracking dictionaries, and it's a quick process to generate a new, random, long password to replace the old one.

Comment Re:Fucking rednecks (Score 1) 1030

Oil came into its own without a ton of federal help, so why can't alternative forms of energy?

There are a few possible reasons. For one, oil was arguably a low-hanging fruit compared to "green" energy. Harvesting something and burning it (to put it into overly simplistic terms) is far easier than engineering and manufacturing devices to convert solar or other power into electricity. The next reason is that oil is currently what society has built around. Even though we're now extracting oil from areas of the Earth that require more effort and sophistication, it would be costly to make changes to our infrastructure and operations to support "green energy" (which is partly why you're seeing push-back against green energy from utility companies).

Comment Re:uh-oh. (Score 1) 147

The term "chromosome" really just refers to the structure of nucleic acids and proteins. While we often associate it with nucleated cells, bacterial DNA is referred to as being in a circular chromosome. If you had referred to multiple chromosomes then the implication would have been perfect, since bacteria only have one strand of DNA (one chromosome) :)

Comment Re:Jack Thompson is already on the case (Score 1) 1719

You draw the line when it starts to affect other people. The government (and society in general) ration resources when they become scarce - this isn't new. Similarly, the concept of speed limits and driver alcohol testing came about for safety, because enough people weren't able to handle themselves responsibly that measures were put into place for the good of everyone. On the topic of guns, I can say that I do not care for them and do not own or intend to own any. However, I also don't care if my neighbors want to have five guns for every room in their house, and if they want to go to the shooting range every day - they can do what they want.

The problem arises when we have people using guns to kill large numbers of people. Statistically speaking, our country is the most violent of any developed nation (see point #5), and we also have the most guns. Further, you'll find that the most violent region of the United States (the South - see point #6) correlates with the greatest number of guns, according to self-reported gun ownership. Correlation doesn't imply causation, but there's a trend that I'm sure you're noticing.

Additional regulations and restrictions is a raw deal for responsible gun owners, but we have a problem that unfortunately is affecting many people. I respect the rights of gun owners, but their rights end where mine begin. Sadly, the focus of their hobby is a factor that puts me, my family, and my community at risk. Hopefully we can come to an agreement such that the gun owners can still enjoy their hobby, and the threats that guns pose are greatly reduced.

Comment Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (Score 1) 442

What note-taking apps have you tried? I use Notability, which allows you to split the screen into the normal view and a "zoomed up" view when using the writing mode. This allows you to write characters and figures with large strokes, which gets around the inaccuracy of the fat-tipped iPad styluses, but because you're writing in a magnified box, what you're writing doesn't appear large when you're viewing the document in the normal view. You can scale the magnification box so as to alter the "font size" of what you're writing, as well. You can also set a region in the magnified box such that when one of your written strokes touches it, the magnification box shifts to the right, allowing you to continue writing on the same line. Using this program, I'm able to take written notes about as quickly as if I were writing on paper. It may take some getting used to and I don't imagine that it could work for everyone, but I've been very pleasantly surprised with how well it works. (And if you use a Bluetooth keyboard, Notability does have a typist mode as well, and you can easily switch between the writing and typing modes.)

Comment Re:Bad juju? (Score 1) 560

Do you understand why Israel does what it does? If Israel doesn't respond, or if they give a very weak response, Hamas will seize the opportunity to loudly proclaim that what they are doing is working. It would be a rallying cry to increase their attacks and recruit even more, with the idea that Israel was close to being beaten. Sometimes Hamas makes announcements like this even when Israel is viciously fighting back, but I'd imagine that most residents of Gaza have a harder time believing it when destruction is all around them.

And "constant oppression" in Gaza? We both know very well that Hamas is actively smuggling in weapons. The number of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza makes that pretty clear. Those weapons aren't being brought into Gaza because Israel is locking down the borders, either. Hamas wants to remove Israel entirely, and they are up front about this goal of theirs. Open the borders, and what will happen? It will be even easier for weapons to be brought into the region.

I am not going to say that the Palestinians have nothing to complain about, historically. I don't think that they were treated in a completely fair manner by their Arab neighbors nor by the international community. But the reality is that Israel has a population of close to eight million people, and they're not going anywhere. The Palestinians need to completely reject this notion that Israel and its inhabitants can somehow be removed, and stop regularly attacking Israel. Israel has no interest in armed conflict, and if they are not threatened, there will be no need for them to keep Gaza locked down.

Comment Re:Add to that, NYI... (Score 1) 231

I don't think this has anything to do with behaving like a business. Most hospitals that I'm familiar with aren't exactly awash with money. Plenty struggle to maintain their daily operations. I agree that they should be prepared for disasters, but it makes little sense for them to put money into staving off a potential future disaster when they're battling against one major disaster every day: their bankruptcy and shutdown.

Comment Re:Maybe Christianity, but the rest? (Score 1) 1113

Sometimes I need to remind myself that your religion is the reason my genitals were mutilated, and your religion is the reason I spent 10 years in pain (you know, they physical kind that doesn't go away when you sleep and wakes you up in the middle of the night) thinking that was normal fo a guy. Yeah, basically I just said that I'm anti-Semite.

I don't think that makes you an anti-Semite, I think that makes you someone who is rightfully upset about suffering that was experienced and that seemingly could have been avoided. However:

You can have your sky wizards and imaginary prosecutors, but what gives you the right to cut off part of my body and pretend that nothing can possibly go wrong? It did go wrong.

You're not assigning blame properly. You ask what gives me the right to cut off a part of your body, but I wasn't the one who cut it off (nor, for that matter, would I have a right or desire to). Additionally, I (and other Jews) do not go around dictating that people must undergo circumcision. While I don't know the circumstances of your birth (when I presume you were circumcised), in most cases it is the parents' decision to have their child undergo circumcision. Mind you, that decision isn't always religiously motivated, and there is even some debate about whether it started with Judaism or elsewhere. Regardless of its origins, at this point in time circumcision is viewed and presented as a hygienic procedure, it is considered to be a low-risk procedure (which doesn't mean no risk, as your case may show), and is entirely optional (except for the infants who are circumcised, whose guardians make the decision for them).

Who should get the blame for your misfortune? Assuming it was done when you were an infant, we could blame your parents for putting you through it; we could blame the rabbi or who ever performed the circumcision for botching it; we could blame any medical professionals who saw you and didn't properly deduce what was going on; we could blame the man who thought up circumcision thousands of years ago. We could put blame on any number of people, ideas, or institutions. Even if I think it's misguided, I certainly don't hold anything against you for blaming Judaism, though - if that's what you need to do to make peace with your suffering, so be it.

Comment Maybe Christianity, but the rest? (Score 2, Interesting) 1113

Christianity seems to center around the idea of who's going to heaven and who's going to hell, but that's not the case with Judaism. (I can't speak for Islam.) It's true that "the wrath of God" is detailed in the Jewish texts, but I've never heard it mentioned as a means to frighten people. If you're Jewish, the interpretation is one of history; that God made a contract with the Jewish people, then did these things to save them from enslavement. Sure, the Jewish people screw up and incur some of God's wrath, but it's nothing like suffering in hell for all eternity. The interpretation I learned was that God's feats represented God fulfilling His part of the contract, and now it's our turn to fulfill our part. There's no threat implied in any of that, it's just stated to show that something was done for you (through your ancestors), and now you have a responsibility to uphold.

Another big difference between Judaism and Christianity is in personal responsibility, and the purpose of life. Christianity seems to dictate that we're all powerless vessels floating on a sea dominated by currents of good and evil. Satan lures you one way, but you need to believe to be saved and reach heaven. The purpose of life is simply to find that belief and stick with it, avoiding the temptations of Satan. By comparison, Judaism focuses on more "practical" things. According to some texts, God left Earth to Man; that is, we're tasked with turning Earth into a paradise. Satan exists in Judaism, but he isn't a source of evil. Rather, the belief is that when you die, your soul goes before a "spiritual court," where Satan is the prosecutor who points out all of the evils that you committed. Basically, while Christianity views evil as some external force, Judaism recognizes that evil can come from within, and claims that everyone should take responsibility for it themselves.

Honestly, it all sounds pretty silly if interpreted in a literal manner. Being Jewish (although "spiritual but not religious") I am obviously biased, but one of the things that I really appreciate about Judaism is that it seems designed to be a guideline to living and finding meaning in life. The focus is on being a better person, improving the world around you, appreciating and enjoying your life. If you can do all of that without reading the Bible or praying to God, wonderful! Formal religion may not recognize you for it, but there's a line in the Bible which claims that you would be considered Jewish simply for that. This is one reason (among others) why you don't see Jews going around trying to convert people. Not pushing the beliefs on people, I might add, is another appealing factor to the Jewish belief set.

TL;DR: What you say accurately describes most forms of Christianity, but there's at least one religion (Judaism) that doesn't quite fit it. I don't think anyone needs religion, but please keep an open mind and don't condemn all religious beliefs just because Christianity can get a bit nuts.

Comment Re:Post bigotry here (Score 2) 1113

Actually, this makes me wonder if he's developing a disorder of some sort. Perhaps a psychiatric condition, or perhaps a brain tumor that is altering his personality and beliefs. Granted, being a physician doesn't automatically make someone well-versed in science... but consider that he's 66 years old. That's not exactly "old" by today's standards, but not so young that those concerns would be invalid. I suppose we could figure it out by looking at his track record and history of statements.

Comment Re:If it is his brand of liberty. (Score 1) 616

How did this get modded informative? Ron Paul has stated many times that he is anti-abortion, BUT he believes that it should be up to the individual states to decide whether they want to allow it or not for themselves. That's about as close to "let the people decide" as you can get. I'm sure many of us here wish that he said "abortion should be legal all over the country" but 'here's my personal view, I don't believe I've been granted a mandate to force it on everyone' is pretty damn good for a politician (or a person in any leadership position) to have.

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