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Messages - cherrypoptart

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General Comments / Re: GOP nutbag of the week
« on: August 09, 2022, 03:49:49 AM »
I saw that story and wasn't impressed with the spin which seemed misleading. Nothing was given to China. We just licensed the technology. But we still own it. And apparently there weren't enough American companies willing to take advantage of it. Also, I didn't see anything about exclusivity in the story meaning that if American companies wanted to also license that technology and make use of it that should be fine.


"How is it that the national lab did not require U.S. manufacturing?" Skievaski asked. "Not only is it a violation of the license, it's a violation to our country."

Now that the Department of Energy has revoked the license, Skievaski said she hopes Forever Energy will be able to acquire it or obtain a similar license.


So apparently we can revoke the license and give or sell it to someone else. This battery technology goes hand in glove or hand in hand or something with renewable energy to help fight pollution and conserve fossil fuels (I'm not so much into man-made global warming but there's that too if that's your thing). To me that's up there with such a benefit to mankind, for instance along the lines of the Covid vaccines, that hoarding and hogging the technology is going to hurt us more than it helps. As long as it's not an exclusive license given to the Chinese, more good will come out of them making these batteries than harm. And we should be making them too if now we're willing and able since the Chinese have already proven its value when according to the story American funding sources weren't ready to make the long term commitment necessary to get the ball rolling.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 08, 2022, 04:10:14 PM »
Admittedly this is totally speculative but one of my issues with Covid is that we don't know the long term consequences of getting it and one of the rare problems associated with it is vasculitis which Ashton Kutcher apparently suffered a serious bout of with timing remarkably coincident with Covid. One has to wonder if there's a connection. Whether his instance is connected or not, it is accepted that it can be caused by Covid. The point? The point is just that it's another example of how this is not "just the flu". Although it's true that the flu can also cause it, if someone like Ashton got "just the flu" it's hard to imagine he would have picked vasculitis up from it.

General Comments / Re: GOP nutbag of the week
« on: August 06, 2022, 12:24:15 PM »
For this week I'm nominating Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney attacks Donald Trump as ‘greatest threat to our republic’

Trump may have his flaws but he's hardly the greatest threat to our republic.

Biden's incompetence is a much greater threat to our republic. The open borders, the rampant inflation, losing Afghanistan to the Taliban which is now supporting al-Qaeda to nullify over twenty years worth of sacrifice trying to destroy the group that hit us on 9-11 not to mention setting back to the stone age both human rights and women's rights over there.

What will be funny though is if Democrats now come out in support of Dick Cheney the way they have for George Bush despite how much they hate them both just because the enemy of my enemy is my friend and Trump is the common enemy of all of these swamp creatures and Dick Cheney is their great grandfather.

General Comments / Re: What are some things that Biden gets right?
« on: August 03, 2022, 10:32:42 AM »
We still have to see what happens. If we get hit by another major terrorist attack like on the scale of 9-11 because we let al Qaeda regain its power, it may turn out that it was better to stay in terms of American lives and money saved. To be sure, the money is a big deal though. We are so far in debt right now that if there wasn't massive cost sharing agreed to by the Afghan government, then there's no way we should have stayed, and I realize they can't afford it so it would mean letting us develop their mineral resources to cost share the military burden as we share the mining profits. Those rare Earth metals look like they're going to China now instead to help fund the government of the Taliban which is cooperating with al Qaeda. I'm looking at the costs of staying in Germany, South Korea, and Japan, and those are quite significant too. Those countries share the costs and if they refused we would no longer be there. The Philippines went that route though the issue wasn't costs so much as real independence. Having us in these countries is a mixed blessing for the hosts too at best, or a mixed curse. I wonder how the Filipinos feel about their decision and how it worked out. They haven't invited us back yet so that's some indication that they're okay with it. The Afghan government differed from the Philippines and Iraq though in that it seems like they didn't want us to abandon them, at least not so fast.

General Comments / Re: What are some things that Biden gets right?
« on: August 03, 2022, 01:00:06 AM »

So this is something Biden gets right coupled with something he got wrong.

It's right that he took out an Al Qaeda leader or maybe even the leader of Al Qaeda. It's good that Biden didn't inform the Taliban about his plans too.

But there's obviously a but coming which is that "A further 36 hours of intelligence analysis would follow before U.S. officials began sharing that al-Zawahri was killed, as they watched the Haqqani Taliban network restrict access to the safe house and relocate the dead al-Qaida leader’s family. U.S. officials interpreted that as the Taliban trying to conceal the fact they had harbored al-Zawahri."

Meaning that Biden kept our end of the deal Trump apparently made to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban under the conditions that they wouldn't shoot us in the butt as we ran for the exit and the Taliban wouldn't provide a safe haven for terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIS. Biden was wrong to think the Taliban would abide by that agreement and he was wrong to abandon Afghanistan if he knew that they wouldn't. Mind you, this isn't the Taliban fighting the good fight but failing like we did to control al Qaeda. This is the Taliban full on cooperating with them just like the government of Pakistan. Just another example of a massive Biden failure touted by the media as a brilliant success.

General Comments / Re: The Biden Economy
« on: July 14, 2022, 12:06:53 AM »
Okay, this will never ever happen and I know that but what I'd do is use the military to drill for oil and gas on federal lands. I know they don't currently have the expertise for it but it's not rocket science or operating a nuclear reactor and we actually do have our military doing both of those jobs. They can be trained. All of the oil and gas and the money from it would belong to the taxpayers. Producing it and selling it would fill the treasury and lower the global price by putting more oil on the market. So what about all the oil companies? Nothing needs to be done about them at all. Let them do their thing. This will just be extra oil just like a lot of countries when they produce oil it belongs to their government, for instance Saudi Aramco which is primarily state owned. Why can't we have some nice things too? It obviously hits inflation by lowering the price of oil and gas which reduces the price of everything and maybe helps reduce the national debt if the Democrats don't get their hands on that money first and spend it all and then some like a wife getting new credit cards after her husband gets a promotion. I'm actually with the Democrats a bit on the environment so would even be okay with increasing taxes on oil and gas, let's say for gas to keep it around $3 after taxes a gallon when it would normally go down to $2 a gallon after taxes so we lower inflation a bit from the over $4 a gallon we're paying now and the Democrats get a little something to show for it politically for the environment as a compromise. But obviously none of that will ever happen.

If Republicans get in charge, we could see renewed leases on federal lands but what I'd like to know is would the taxpayers be better off if we did it ourselves? Could the military or a new state owned oil and gas drilling company working only on federal lands be more profitable for tax payers than leasing those lands out to the current experts?

Getting back to Biden now, totally agree that he is an absolutely clueless total disaster. He has no idea what is going on and no plan to improve anything at all. As far as Biden is concerned, the solution to inflation is resignation, either his or we have to resign ourselves to it. It's not going to get better as long as his ilk are in power. Nothing will improve. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get even worse than that. Prediction for the future? One word. Pain.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: June 29, 2022, 12:47:18 AM »
Just a brief clap back here against Biden for leaving Tesla out of the EV summit.

"While President Biden has now referenced Tesla when discussing the future of EVs, that wasn’t always the case. President Biden lauded the likes of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) for being American made and the future of the county.

Knowing what we know now, the praise feels especially tone def and exclusive, given the recent reports from, citing Tesla, as the most American made manufacturer, who landed more cars in the top ten of ‘American Made Models’ than any other manufacturer.

Musk has also said in an interview that “In case that wasn’t enough, then you have President Biden with Mary Barra at a subsequent event, congratulating Mary for having led the EV revolution.” Musk continued “I believe it was in the same quarter that GM delivered 26 Electric Vehicles, and Tesla delivered 300,000.”


Biden let his politics and personality issues get in the way of progress.

Usually someone like that would get accused of talking one way and acting another, but Biden talks one way and then talks another way too. He's nonsensical. And small minded, petty, along with grudging too. No better than the last guy and in most ways a whole lot worse.

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 25, 2022, 07:06:44 PM »

The armed rebellion fantasy isn't well addressed by the gun grabbers though. It's like there's not even any attempt at persuasion. It's just called crazy talk. "You could never win." The Taliban just did. "It could never happen." Democrats just told us what a crazy megalomaniac Trump was and how he tried to illegally and violently hold onto power. "Trust your government." Democrats don't even make that argument. They can't even use math because the numbers are far more weighted against mass murder by governments being much more dangerous, millions dead instead of tens of thousands. Foreign countries can't even be pointed at because for every Iceland there is a Mexico. All we hear is Nike, "Just do it."

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 25, 2022, 06:53:34 PM »
The Japanese Americans weren't being sent to ovens though. Though many of them did die that wasn't the point of it all. It was wrong but it wasn't genocide. As for the Native Americans, being able to go down fighting and take some of the people trying to wipe you out or drive you out isn't the same thing as being guaranteed a victory, or having any chance of victory at all. But at least you can take some of the enemy down with you when you die instead of just getting slaughtered anyway while you're defenseless. Look at many of the pogroms and genocides and mass murders governments have committed. Not being able to defend yourself often only guarantees you no mercy at all. It's hard to say if the Native Americans would have been better off being totally helpless and pleading for mercy or if they are better off now because their ancestors put up a fight. At least they got some reservations out of it. Some peoples no longer exist at all or were totally driven out of their lands.

Not to say there aren't times where peaceful protest or going along aren't better. It worked for Gandhi. The Japanese Americans didn't have the numbers to effectively resist so certainly as bad as things were for them and as much as they lost they were better off not fighting in that case. But it didn't work for the Jews in Germany. "Never again." You don't have to be a Jew to take that to heart.

Now I've lived in Japan and have visited Singapore. Never felt safer. You're walking around in the middle of the night there and compared to in America it's like a weight is lifted off of you, the shadow of sudden death from a violent thug doesn't follow you around. There's certainly something to be said for a mostly or totally gun free society.

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 25, 2022, 10:56:04 AM »
It's a bit like in the "When is vigilantism justified?" where it really comes down to it being justified when an individual is willing to sacrifice their life, either in prison or by dying, to take the law into their own hands. It's up to everyone to decide for themselves. I'm not saying that's necessarily the optimal way to go about it, but that's just how it is, the reality of it, for all practical purposes. If you could take away that ability by banning guns then when the government starts sending all Jewish people or whatever the demographic is to gas chambers, the point at which most people hopefully would be willing to stand up, they won't be able to. And you might have made it more likely because now the government is less afraid. If the millions of Jewish people murdered by the Nazis had been armed, could they have resisted better? Would Hitler have been tempted to find a different "solution"? I don't know but what we do know is what happened after they had their guns taken away.

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 24, 2022, 09:37:34 PM »
Nobody has better locks on their doors than a thief.

Maybe that's why they are so worried about the danger, because they know what they'd do if they had the power.

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 24, 2022, 07:45:41 PM »

Better to have 'em and not need 'em than need 'em and not have 'em.

The other part of that mentality is that having a highly armed citizenry makes a Hitlerian or Stalinist type pogrom very unlikely. You have it because you might need it. But there is only a very miniscule chance you'll ever need it precisely because you have it. And so if you don't have it, your odds of needing it just went way, way up and then of course you're not going to have it when you do need it. That's the mindset you're dealing with. The tens of thousands dying of gun violence every year may be saving tens or hundreds of millions down the road because there is no violence more deadly than that which comes from a government.

Kind of like, "See, our government will never turn on us so we don't need guns."

"Um... the reason they won't turn on us is only BECAUSE we have guns."

Democrats don't help their argument much when they mark the police as an institution out to be corrupt racist murderous thugs either. It basically confirms even Democrats agree that the government is violent, evil, and cannot be trusted with the power to kill. If those are the type of people we have running around now just imagine if an evil madman gets hold of power. And then add on all the stuff about Trump and Democrats pretty much make an iron clad case for the second amendment all on their own.

General Comments / Re: SOP
« on: June 24, 2022, 06:53:46 PM »
The rationale for using guns against the federal government is if, and I'll have to hit Godwin's Law on this, the government starts doing something like sending masses of people to the ovens, or acting like Stalin and murdering people suspected of not liking him on social media (just making it modern times relevant there), or going Pol Pot or Mugabe or any one of numerous examples throughout history in which the rulers turned on the people. It may be that the pro and anti second amendment people are divided by whether or not they think that could ever happen here.

But anyway, that's the situation in which you're going to use your guns to fight the feds, or whatever government jackboots are coming for you which could also be the national guard or the police or even some of the citizen militias because all of them could be co-opted by the forces of evil. You'd hope that there are enough like minded citizens, or would be victims, on your side including elements in the military and police and national guard and other militias that you'll be able to successfully defend yourself, but even if not at least you might have a chance to go down fighting instead of being a helpless lamb ripe for slaughter.

Bottom line, the 2nd Amendment is there for the worst case scenario.

Of course, that makes it tough to get rid of by persuasion because you have to convince people that's never going to happen. Not now, not in the next few generations and not in several hundred years. It's tough enough to prove a negative and it becomes pretty much impossible to prove that a potential future can never occur. So that's what your up against in getting rid of aka "reinterpreting" the second.

General Comments / Re: God Exists
« on: June 16, 2022, 11:37:35 AM »
"The accelerating expansion of the universe requires an explanation, and thus far none is even being entertained as a mainstream idea."

My theory is it's accelerating because of gravity.

The pre-big bang singularity was a black hole that contained all of the matter in our universe. It had an event horizon and outside that event horizon was matter going on about its business, without a care in the world, the same way matter in our universe goes about its business every day as long as it's beyond any black hole's even horizon.

So that matter, which is so much greater in volume than what's in our universe, has its force of gravity acting on us, everywhere, all the time, pretty much a constant though there are minor fluctuations in distribution as the matter outside our universe moves around just as it does inside.

Since the force of gravity between two objects increases at a greater than linear rate the closer they get to each other, as the outer perimeter of our universe approaches the inner boundary of the outerverse, multiverse, omniverse, megaverse, or whatever you want to call it, naturally both groups of matter will accelerate their approach to one another until they collide, intermingle, and we again join with the matter outside of universe in eventual equilibrium. As long as we avoid getting sucked into another pre-big bang singularity. It's said that there is a star going super-nova every two seconds in our universe. In the outerverse, there may be a pre-big bang singularity (PBBS, I pronounce it PiBBS) reaching critical mass and temperature and exploding into a new universe every two seconds as well, kind of a universal, or omniversal as it were, constant. Those are the heartbeats of God.

What we see, all that we'll ever see or know, is the tiniest fraction of all that's out there. We're less than frogs looking up out of a well. All the matter in our universe is to all the matter in the outerverse as a neutrino is in mass to the PiBBS that birthed us.

One thing that I'll mention about proving God, as nice as it would be if we could, is that it kind of misses the whole point of faith.

General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: June 13, 2022, 03:46:11 PM »

I have to admit to not knowing as much about the utility of cryptocurrencies as I should, but supposedly those are the ones to look for when investing. I've read articles about some of them but I still don't totally get it. By the Buffett school of investing that means stay away. But those are the questions to ask. What is the utility of this? What problem does it solve? What does it make easier?

Many seem to be built around bitcoin and making bitcoin transactions smoother. Some may be trying to serve the purpose of saving electricity or speeding up processes. Obviously on a day like today none of that is helping very much but if there is some legitimate utility to some of the cryptocurrencies then at least those ones might have some staying power. Obviously if they have no utility, serve no function, then that's pretty much the definition of being useless which is only one small step away from being worthless.

General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: June 13, 2022, 02:50:37 PM »
I've heard the rationalization is that some companies have to build in extra profits because of the expectation that prices will keep rising and they'll have to use those to acquire more raw materials at higher prices or offset higher transportation and operating costs. It's more about future projections and contingencies than just banking a steady consistent profit margin. And course if prices don't keep rising then they can keep that contingency margin and put it in their pocket. But their point is that it's not as simple as a company setting a certain profit margin and deciding that they won't go beyond that because it's gouging, although in the end that's certainly what it looks like. Or maybe it is just gouging and this is all their after the fact rationalization.

The other part of it is that there's not supposed to be fixed profit margins and companies are supposed to charge the highest price they can for their products. Unless the government comes in and sets price or profit caps, or until the consumers decide not to buy, which admittedly can be tough when there are inelasticities of demand and it seems like whole industries are raising prices simultaneously without collusion, then we are in for a rough ride. And of course the government coming in with price controls often just makes everything much, much worse.

On the real estate and housing issue, there are even more forces at work such as our increasing population, domestic and foreign investors buying up properties to turn them into rentals, and the price of rents going way, way up which is an incentive for more people to buy properties just to rent them out so we're in the opposite of a death spiral, unless by death we mean prices are going to keep going up.

General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: June 13, 2022, 12:34:50 PM »
I agree to a large extent that the U.S. is in a much better position than most countries but if we'd stayed crazy with dollar printing we could still join the club. It looks like we're finally going to bite the bullet now and give the printing presses a rest for a little while. It's going to be painful but much better than if we'd kept ignoring the problem and hoping it would go away on its own.

General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: June 13, 2022, 12:07:46 PM »
It's a question of trust really, the same as with fiat currencies.

Right now, the trust is gone, more so for crypto than for fiat but to some significant extent with fiat too.

I don't think it was all doomed to failure. There are flaws in the system(s) but it wasn't inevitable that those would lead to the catastrophic failure that we saw and see. It took a series of unfortunate events and if those hadn't happened it could have worked out much differently. But it didn't.

If it's all a ponzi scam rug pull then it shouldn't recover but just as I don't think it was inevitable that it would collapse I don't think a recovery is impossible either. Only time will tell but there is no fate except what we make for ourselves.

As for Terra Luna, it looks like it was just a bank run. Some of the whales like at Celsius pulled out, and the collateral to help support UST was in bitcoin and that was falling at the same time, and then supposedly the peg still could have been maintained but the 2.7 billion in bitcoin collateral wasn't used early enough when it could have made a difference. It wasn't like there was no collateral behind it though. There just wasn't enough for the level of black swan it experienced and it may have been a victim of its own success, getting too big for its britches, diseconomies of scale or something. What may have worked with a market cap of 6 billion didn't work at 18 billion or whatever the numbers were.

When you look at our own banking and monetary system, and go behind the curtain, you see some things that don't inspire a lot of confidence either with some people saying the same thing about fractional reserve banking being another type of Ponzi scheme and our government minting currency, trillions of dollars out of thin air the way Luna was minting trillions of coins out of nothing. And then you factor in the even worse monetary policies of a lot of other countries like with Venezuela's hyperinflation and crypto doesn't seem like it's necessarily the worst Ponzi scheme out there anymore. If you're in Venezuela and you bought bitcoin at the high you're still probably better off now than if you'd kept your money in bolivars.

Luna oddly enough is down, way down, and I mean way, way down. But not out. For the moment it's holding up a little bit better during this crash than some others, down to 2.6 or so. This is the new Luna 2.0. Again, we just have to wait and see what happens. I doubt it'll even get back up where it was but there's a small chance in a few years it could see some recovery. Of course, it could go to zero again and there are people joking about how if that happens there will be a Luna 3.0, all for the whales to get a chance at new bag holders.

General Comments / Re: Cryptocurrencies
« on: June 13, 2022, 10:02:23 AM »
Even the "I'm George, we're all George" guy is finally calling it.

I wouldn't link to him if he was still filled with his bull around the corner hopium but since it seems like he's finally capitulating, in his way, I feel it's safe. It feels a lot worse to recommend that someone buy something like crypto and then have it crash and you lost them a lot of their money than it does to warn them about the dangers and maybe dissuade them from buying because even if it does eventually go back up it doesn't feel like you lost them any money that way, just maybe kept them from gambling even if they might have gotten lucky and won. And if they buy anyway against all the warnings hopefully at least they don't buy with leverage so they can hold long term and don't get liquidated in a squeeze.


Celsius network may have had a hand in the Terra Luna collapse.



His answer was no, he's not cashing out and he'll just continue to dca into it and hold long term but even the fact that he's asking the question is something for him. It means things the situation looks extremely painful.

Yup, dire indeed. Stocks are also falling terribly so there goes the idea that crypto would be some kind of safe haven or hedge against inflation and the stock market. Everyone is running for the hills.

Some might say that now is the time to buy. Not me though. I'm as scared as the rest of them of trying to catch a falling knife or a dead bouncing cat. On the other hand, I would never short either as that's another recipe for disaster. There may eventually come a time to buy back in though.

On the other hand, if people are hodling you don't want to be the guy who convinces them to sell because sure enough it seems like that point will be the low and right after that it bounces. I guess the take away is it's okay to talk about the markets but never give investment advice.

But one bit of investment advice I heard is that a successful investor always buys too late and sells too early, basically don't expect to hit the highs or lows and if you walk away with more than what you started you're doing well.

General Comments / Re: Inflation, Gas Prices, and what have you.
« on: June 13, 2022, 09:54:47 AM »
I wouldn't put politics past the oil companies either. Keep prices up to keep their profits up and it also has the added advantage of hurting the Democrats in the elections to get a more fossil fuel friendly administration next time.

But if so that brings it back around to Biden. His antagonism of the fossil fuel industry gives them the incentive to get someone with a different mindset in there and that gives them another reason to keep prices high, as if profit alone wasn't enough of a reason by itself, which of course it is too.

General Comments / Re: Inflation, Gas Prices, and what have you.
« on: June 13, 2022, 09:18:03 AM »
That's some coincidence that we get a President who is hostile to fossil fuels and then the price skyrockets. How specifically?

So you get one article bemoaning the assertion that oil production dropped under Biden and you get the New York Times asserting that even flat or just slightly increasing oil production under Biden won't help because of the international supply issues specifically with Russia so without a massive ramp up in domestic oil and gas production, a ramp up that Biden with his rhetoric has discouraged, high prices are what we get.

“You had this bombastic, chest-pounding industry touting itself as the reincarnation of the American innovative spirit,” said Jim Krane, an energy expert at Rice University. “And now that they could be leaping into action to pitch in to bring much-needed oil to the world, they are being uncharacteristically cautious.”

The biggest reason oil production isn’t increasing is that U.S. energy companies and Wall Street investors are not sure that prices will stay high long enough for them to make a profit from drilling lots of new wells. Many remember how abruptly and sharply oil prices crashed two years ago, forcing companies to lay off thousands of employees, shut down wells and even seek bankruptcy protection.

Executives at 141 oil companies surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in mid-March offered several reasons that they weren’t pumping more oil. They said they were short of workers and sand, which is used to fracture shale fields to coax oil out of rock. But the most salient reason — the one offered by 60 percent of respondents — was that investors don’t want companies to produce a lot more oil, fearing that it will hasten the end of high oil prices."

General Comments / Re: Inflation, Gas Prices, and what have you.
« on: June 13, 2022, 09:00:38 AM »
Increasing the money supply too much is probably the biggest one. So how does that explain inflation around the world? Other countries did the same thing with their currencies too. When our government gave out all that "free money", where did it come from?

There are many other inflation drivers as well but that's the one our government had the most to do with. Biden's hostility to fossil fuels is also in play.

There's no doubt that plenty of other factors are in play as well like China's Covid lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, supply chain problems, and more, but the money supply and the war on oil are big ones our government instigated.

General Comments / Re: Inflation, Gas Prices, and what have you.
« on: June 11, 2022, 01:03:03 PM »
Yeah I agree with you about the very wealthy and apologize for not putting in the asterisk referring to the fine print that stipulated this evening of wealth inequality doesn't apply so much to the very wealthy as it does to the mid-range wealthy, the hard working normal Americans who have a few hundred thousand to a little over a million saved up for their retirements. The billionaires aren't going to notice this inflation at all. It's not even going to be a rounding error as far as having any impact on their lifestyle or quality of life. But for the millionaire next door, or the retired teacher or cop or engineer who can live comfortably but not extravagantly, who can afford a vacation or two every year and a nice house and have enough left over to put their grandkids through college and eat out a few times a week, it's likely they are going to have to make some cutbacks. I'm not celebrating it at all. This looks like it's going to be painful. Entirely predictable based on our government's policies, and it's going to hurt those mid range comfortable people quite a bit as they see the value of the dollars they worked so hard for, scrimped and saved to hold onto, fall in purchasing power with very high inflation.

General Comments / Re: Inflation, Gas Prices, and what have you.
« on: June 11, 2022, 12:03:40 PM »
I can understand how the Biden folks want to blame Trump for everything from inflation to Afghanistan to Covid but the problem is that Biden opened his mouth and proved that he didn't see any of this coming. We can't blame him, apparently though, at least according to him because nobody saw any of this coming. Nobody in the world. All of it was inconceivable.

Kabul is unlikely to fall. Boom. It fell. It's safe for the vaccinated to take off their masks. Bam. Delta. Inflation is transitory. Slap upside the head. It's super high and only transitory in the sense that in the grand scheme of things everything is transitory. If the guy can't even see these freight trains barreling down on us how can he do anything to stop them, or slow them down, or at least get off the tracks? He proves his incompetence every time he opens his mouth. It doesn't prove he caused any problems, though he has been in government for decades, but it does prove that he isn't the right person to be leading this country because he's living in some delusional la-la land instead of clearly seeing reality as it is.

But on the bright side, this super high inflation will help to reduce wealth inequality.

They say most people don't even have enough money saved up to cover a $1000 emergency. Inflation will hurt them sure every time they buy something, but it's not going to hurt the wealth they've accumulated over a lifetime of hard work because they have no wealth to speak of. It will hurt the people who have saved up for their retirement though. They are looking at losing more than 8% in their purchasing power this year and maybe for some time to come and there's not really anything they can do about it. Put their money in the stock market, you say? Yeah... no, then they'd lose a lot more than 8% in purchasing power as they'd be losing that plus principal too if today is any indication. Sure, long term it could go back up. Long term inflation will go down too. Long term we'll all be stardust again. Maybe that's what Biden meant by inflation being transitory, just like everything in the universe in transitory.


yagate shinu keshiki wa miezu semi no koe

soon to die
yet no sign of it
in the cicada's cry


General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 11, 2022, 11:02:27 AM »
And the other side sees things in exactly the opposite way. Most of the major problems we're experiencing now are caused by Biden undoing the things that Trump was getting right. I could list them all again and maybe I will but it's obvious we'd just be going around and around in circles.

I will admit that on school shootings I haven't seen anything from the Republican side that would help very much and it seems like they're pretty much resigned to them being the new normal a lot like the Democrat side seems to be resigned to high levels of crime being preferable to doing what it would take to lower it. The cures are apparently worse than the disease, getting rid of the 2nd Amendment and tough justice, respectively.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 11, 2022, 07:58:04 AM »
So we're just going to play the blame game?

Who's a fault is important though because until people take responsibility for their actions, and until they are held responsible for their actions, we're not going to see positive change.

I suppose nobody wants "their guy" to be responsible for the things that go wrong because if it's ever admitted then it affects the entire agenda including hurting the things they are doing right.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 10, 2022, 06:00:07 PM »
It's not so much that Democrats don't care as it is that they aren't going to do anything effective to improve the situation on school shootings either here or abroad.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 10, 2022, 05:56:06 PM »

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 10, 2022, 02:57:35 PM »
So this was all known?

And Biden did what he did anyway?

If that was the deal, it seems like Biden should have made a new deal because that deal was really dumb.

"Alrighty then Taliban, we'll leave and give you Afghanistan and in return you agree not to hit us in the butt on the way out."

So Biden knew all that and he said yeah, well a deal's a deal so we don't want to look like welchers now do we?

If Trump knew that what happened was what was going to happen then it makes perfect sense not to pull out, so he didn't. Maybe he was rope a doping the Taliban to buy time and security for a while. In any case, Biden going along with that deal is still Biden's fault because he could have set his own conditions but chose not to, for instance we'll get out of the country but if the Taliban stays out in the tribal areas but if they try to topple the government then we'll surge back in. But nooooo... Biden made it clear that we're getting out come hell or high water and to hell with Afghanistan. That's on Biden.


Bringing it back to school shootings (somehow), the Taliban's official policy is to shoot little girls who are going to school in the head like they did to Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala.  And the Democrats are okay with giving the same guys who did that control of the whole country. Kind of like how the police weren't willing to go into a dangerous situation to save those children (unless it was one of their children in there), Biden felt no differently about the girls in schools in Afghanistan. Biden gave the whole country to an organization whose official policy is school shootings.

General Comments / Re: machine learning and creativity
« on: June 04, 2022, 09:21:01 AM »
Do these sites just show you what is possible or do they let you put in the terms and then they give you a free picture?

Although it's pretty different, an experience along these lines is Hatsune Miku, who "has traveled an interesting path from vocal synthesizer product to beloved collaboratively constructed cyber celebrity with a growing user community across the world."

Eventually AI might get involved in the music and songwriting process and the whole thing can be done independent of human interaction so all we'll be doing is sitting back to enjoy it.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 02, 2022, 01:32:04 PM »
I just went to the Japanese supermarket and everyone was wearing masks so good for them, just like in Japan I hear they have opened the country back up to tourists but they are making it very clear that everyone is expected to wear masks in Japan the way the Japanese do. So it can be done. We just choose not to.

I guess almost everywhere else it's going to be "one-way masking".


"One-Way Masking

The country is probably never going to come to a consensus on masks. They have become yet another source of political polarization. Democrats are more likely to wear masks than Republicans, and Democrats who identify as “very liberal” are more likely to support mandates.

Fortunately, the scientific evidence points to a reasonable compromise. Because masks work and mandates often don’t, people can make their own decisions. Anybody who wants to wear a snug, high-quality mask can do so and will be less likely to contract COVID.

If anything, that approach — one-way masking — is consistent with what hospitals have long done, Doron of Tufts said. Patients, including those sick with infectious diseases, typically have not worn masks, but doctors and nurses have.

“One-way masking is how we have always used them,” she wrote.

The same system can work for COVID outside of hospitals. Wachter, for example, believes that the time for mandates has passed but still wears one at the supermarket, in classrooms, on airplanes and elsewhere. Different people can reasonably make different choices."


And I suppose that's going to have to do for the people who want to protect themselves but the problem is in the aggregate, big picture, we're setting ourselves up for a lot of pain if the wrong variant pops out. It's also not good for the hundreds of people still dying every day and the thousands every day who will get long term problems.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 02, 2022, 08:34:42 AM »
As I suspected...

Pretty good article here as it articulates exactly what I've been thinking was happening.

"The idea that masks work better than mask mandates seems to defy logic. It inverts a notion connected to Aristotle’s writings: that the whole should be greater than the sum of the parts, not less.

The main explanation seems to be that the exceptions often end up mattering more than the rule. The coronavirus is so contagious that it can spread during brief times when people take off their masks, even when a mandate is in place.

Airplane passengers remove their masks to have a drink. Restaurant patrons go maskless as soon as they walk in the door. Schoolchildren let their masks slide down their faces. So do adults: Research by the University of Minnesota suggests that between 25-30% of Americans consistently wear their masks below their nose.

“Even though masks work, getting millions of people to wear them, and wear them consistently and properly, is a far greater challenge,” Steven Salzberg, a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins University, has written. Part of the problem, Salzberg said, is that the most effective masks also tend to be less comfortable. They cover a larger part of a person’s face, fit more snugly and restrict the flow of more air particles."


Mystery solved. I'm pretty sure I've said as much previously.

Taking a mask off to eat or drink in public indoor places is the same thing as not wearing a mask at all, ever. Okay maybe an overstatement but for all practical purposes not by much, if even at all.

Doesn't matter much anymore though as the vast majority of people aren't wearing masks, ever, anywhere. And while I just heard Dr. Walensky on NPR reiterating the official CDC recommendation that people continue to wear masks, not many people listen to NPR. I saw another story that NPR is sticking to their guns and is still requiring masks for everyone where they work. Good for them. Of course the dumb news story about it made it seem like that was a bad thing. Biden could say something but as usual he licked his finger and put it up into the wind to test the direction and decided not to use what little influence he has to do anything that might be useful.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 01, 2022, 02:38:22 PM »
If nothing else it seems like they could at least charge them with disturbing the peace. Of if they didn't pick up their shell casings then at least get a fine for littering.

If it was so obvious that the OK Corral gang shouldn't be charged then why would Mayor Lightfoot get publicly outraged about it and express her vehement disagreement?

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 01, 2022, 02:17:49 PM »
If that were the case then there would be no need to mention "mutual combat" at all.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 01, 2022, 02:09:33 PM »
Honestly, it's stuff like this that tells people they need to keep their ability to protect themselves because the police and the judges and the district attorneys just will not do it. The judges and the district attorneys often aren't even trying. In fact, their priority is to keep young men out of prison no matter how dangerous they are. I understand it's against the law to say that but that's the truth.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 01, 2022, 02:05:39 PM »
Evidence of what?

There was plenty of evidence that these people were shooting at each other in the street.

The thing the DA was saying is that there wasn't enough evidence that shooting at each other in the street was against the law as long as they all agreed with each other that it was okay which is why she used the term mutual combat. Shouldn't they also have to get the consent of everyone else around there who might get shot by a stray bullet? And if there are children they can't give consent so their parents have to do it and in writing in the presence of a public notary. I highly doubt that all of the necessary protocols were followed to get a mutual combat public shootout duly authorized in accordance with the law.

They must have some very interesting gun laws in Chicago because even in Texas that wouldn't fly. Surely charges of reckless endangerment are the least we could expect. Not to mention checking to see that everyone who was firing a gun was able to legally possess one.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: June 01, 2022, 01:15:30 PM »
If you don't like that then how about this one:

"Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a group of City Council members urged Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Monday to reconsider prosecuting five suspects in a deadly gang-related shootout last week in Austin after they were released when prosecutors rejected charges against them.

Chicago police sought to charge all five suspects with murder and aggravated battery after they allegedly engaged in a Friday morning gunfight between two factions of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, the Chicago Sun-Times first reported.

The state’s attorney’s office, however, declined to charge any of them, calling the evidence insufficient. A police report further noted that prosecutors told investigators charges were rejected because the shootout involved “mutual combatants.”


So if these were gang members one would expect many of them to have felony records and not be able to legally possess a gun let alone engage in "mutual combat" on the street.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:35:50 PM »
The point is being concerned about people dying because of gun violence in general.

It's true though that there's nothing proposed so far that would stop someone with no criminal record from legally purchasing guns, or murdering his mother first and stealing her gun as happened in Sandy Hook, and then attacking children in a school.

The only proposal might be a total gun ban and then the point is to convince enough of the public that that's in their best interest the crime rate would have to come down a heckuva lot first, whether that's by being tough on crime or by being lenient on crime it's the results that matter.

As for religion, yeah okay I'm dodging the question as I honestly I haven't exactly worked it all out myself yet. I'll admit that I don't go to church so I don't have anyone I rely on to pin it all down for me. I lean to a lot of what Christianity preaches to have merit to it but one of the main no-no's is that you aren't supposed to kill yourself or even hurt yourself. I'd say that suicide by cop is not a valid work-around and by extension being so lenient with violent criminals that suicide and self-harm by purposefully allowed violent crime becomes more and more likely is also not acceptable, nor is allowing innocent people to be hurt and killed. Huge rationalization there perhaps but as I noted I'm working through it.

As for prison, I'm all for prison reform to make it less expensive and safer.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 30, 2022, 12:53:58 PM »
There's no possible way to know about deterrence.

All we know for sure is that while they are in prison they can't commit crimes.

I can see the point though in medium prison sentences acting to harden criminals instead of reforming them. Maybe you do the scared straight thing, or catch a young criminal and give him another chance instead of throwing him into hell and turning him into a demon.

But there are some violent criminals that just never need to be set loose again. The safest thing for innocent people is to keep what Hillary Clinton called the "super predators" locked up. Just so it's not racist, I'd count pedophiles amongst them and a lot of those guys are white. I mean we're worried about the children, right? And yet you can find all the pedophiles on the publicly available online maps who were caught, convicted, and then released easily enough, distributed throughout the country through all of our neighborhoods. Are we only worried about the kids when they get shot but not so much when they get raped? Frankly, just gonna be honest here, our society is kind of pathetic. We say that we care but our actions tell the truth about how little.

Anyways, here's Hillary laying it out. Isn't she the person the Democrats wanted to be our President?

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 30, 2022, 10:35:22 AM »
While I agree that not every criminal should be given a life without parole sentence, assuming that if more violent criminals were given life without parole, that we would have to fill the prisons to bursting with such criminals kind of misses the point. If the punishments were harsher then presumably there would be fewer people committing those crimes. For drunk drivers instead of life in prison perhaps a permanent loss of driving privileges would be more reasonable, and better for the environment too. It could be after the first offense, but not necessarily. Maybe after the second or third. Same with longer prison sentences and life sentences, just like the three strikes and you're out laws that reduced crime. And I understand the internet says the laws were ineffective but I'm not buying it because it makes no sense. If you've got someone that is repeatedly committing violent crimes then for at least the period of time that they stay in prison the community is safe from them. If they are released and commit more crime after that then it pretty much proves that it was better they were kept in prison and that for a while there at least, innocent people were safe from them.

Y'all talk about all these other ways to reduce crime and sure go for all of that. It's not either or but all of the above. But some people just can't be saved so it's more important to try to save victims from them instead of giving the already guilty the benefit of the doubt anymore when we know in the aggregate innocent people are going to be the ones who get punished.

None of that really applies to the latest school shooting though. However, it might have applied to the Parkland shooting where apparently that guy was given the light handed treatment that is being recommended and when it didn't work a bunch of innocent kids paid the ultimate price. What about their day in court? Their justice? The people against being tough on crime gave innocent kids a death sentence.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:49:11 AM »
As an aside, for anyone still taking the virus seriously, for instance if you have an immunocompromised person in your trust circle and you understand the vaccines won't stop you from infecting them and so you're up for some double N-95 masking with goggles, I finally did find what I think are some pretty good goggles. I was looking for something that doesn't make me look like a total freak, like literally having people laugh when they see me as has happened a few times, not harshly mind you, not like pointing and laughing, but just as a sudden involuntary reaction that I can't really blame them for, but still provides a total airproof seal with pretty good anti-fog capabilities, the best I've come up with so far are these:

I went with the dark black so with a ballcap on I'm hoping they almost look like sportswear sunglasses. At least so far there haven't been as many laughing outbursts and weird looks.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:36:46 AM »
The story goes on to highlight some vaccinated people who let their guard down or were around people who just didn't care anymore and they died even though it's pretty much only the unvaccinated who are supposed to be doing that now. It's kind of like how people thought AIDS was basically just a gay and IV drug user disease. I mean everyone does know at some level that anyone can get it but that's supposed to be exceedingly rare. Except it wasn't. Not for AIDS and not for the vaccinated with Covid. It's a lot more common than the let the good times roll crowd wants anyone to believe or maybe even admit to themselves, like it's going to harsh their vibe or something.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:19:31 AM »
"They are choosing to die."

I wouldn't put it quite that way but in any case it used to be the overwhelming majority of people dying whereas now it's not. Still the majority, but no longer the almost all of them as more and more of the vaccinated are dying too.

"WASHINGTON — Unvaccinated people accounted for the overwhelming majority of deaths in the United States throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic. But that has changed in recent months, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal data...

The vaccinated made up 42% of fatalities in January and February during the highly contagious omicron variant’s surge, compared with 23% of the dead in September, the peak of the delta wave, according to nationwide data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed by The Post. The data is based on the date of infection and limited to a sampling of cases in which vaccination status was known.

As a group, the unvaccinated remain far more vulnerable to the worst consequences of infection – and are far more likely to die – than people who are vaccinated, and they are especially more at risk than people who have received a booster shot.

“It’s still absolutely more dangerous to be unvaccinated than vaccinated,” said Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California at Irvine who studies COVID-19 mortality. “A pandemic of – and by – the unvaccinated is not correct. People still need to take care in terms of prevention and action if they became symptomatic.”

A key explanation for the rise in deaths among the vaccinated is that COVID-19 fatalities are again concentrated among the elderly.

Nearly two-thirds of the people who died during the omicron surge were 75 and older, according to a Post analysis, compared with a third during the delta wave. Seniors are overwhelmingly immunized, but vaccines are less effective and their potency wanes over time in older age groups.

Experts say they are not surprised that vaccinated seniors are making up a greater share of the dead, even as vaccine holdouts died far more often than the vaccinated during the omicron surge, according to the CDC. As more people are infected with the virus, the more people it will kill, including a greater number who are vaccinated but among the most vulnerable.

The bulk of vaccinated deaths are among people who did not get a booster shot, according to state data provided to The Post. In two of the states, California and Mississippi, three-quarters of the vaccinated senior citizens who died in January and February did not have booster doses. Regulators in recent weeks have authorized second booster doses for people over the age of 50, but administration of first booster doses has stagnated.

Even though the death rates for the vaccinated elderly and immunocompromised are low, their losses numbered in the thousands when cases exploded, leaving behind blindsided families. But experts say the rising number of vaccinated people dying should not cause panic in those who got shots, the vast majority of whom will survive infections. Instead, they say, these deaths serve as a reminder that vaccines are not foolproof and that those in high-risk groups should consider getting boosted and taking extra precautions during surges.

“Vaccines are one of the most important and longest-lasting tools we have to protect ourselves,” said California State Epidemiologist Erica Pan, citing state estimates showing vaccines have shown to be 85% effective in preventing death.

“Unfortunately, that does leave another 15,” she said."


But by all means, let's just throw all caution to the winds and see what happens.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 30, 2022, 12:05:34 AM »

"Are you a Christian?  If so how do you square those ideas with the teachings of Jesus about forgiveness and redemption?"

What ideas? Like the idea that we should protect innocent children from the people who prey on them?

And do we do that now?

I would say that the recidivism rate proves that we don't. You can't have recidivism without new innocent victims and allowing it to happen is a failure of our society. I'm pretty sure Jesus would be all in favor of protecting children.

That should include not just the ones who are specifically targeted but also the ones who get caught in gang war crossfires.

I don't see how keeping dangerous criminals in prison is anti-Christian.

The corporal punishment part? Yeah, I suppose Jesus wouldn't be in favor of that so much. If you go far enough though, it's possible he wouldn't be in favor of any punishment at all. Does turn the other cheek mean that if one of your children is raped, you let the guy rape your other children too? If that's what it means then I'm afraid I'd have to pass.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 28, 2022, 05:14:02 PM »
We still haven't come to the law that needs to be passed that would have prevented this school shooting.

Until now.

"A Supreme Court justice’s solution to gun violence: Repeal Second Amendment"

"Stevens’s op-ed came just a few years after he issued a proposal to amend the Second Amendment, in his book “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” which was excerpted in a 2014 Washington Post opinion piece. Stevens suggested adding five words (in italics below) to the amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”


I do have one question about that. So let's say that passed. Who then would be eligible to own a gun? Carry it around in public like to the supermarket? Who is the Militia?

But at least that's something that might have prevented this shooting. I haven't seen any other proposals. Sure take away the assault weapons which could make a difference in many shootings but that wouldn't have stopped this shooting since it could have been done with just about any gun.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 27, 2022, 11:52:34 PM »

"Japan will ask foreign tourists to wear face masks and follow other precautions against COVID-19 when they visit the country, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday.

Kishida's statement came a day after he said Japan will open its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in about two years, starting from June 10 for those on package tours with guides and fixed itineraries, amid receding fears over the coronavirus.

"We must have them follow Japanese rules of wearing face masks," Kishida said in a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee."


Meanwhile in America we've decided, depending on your point of view, on either Mission Accomplished against Covid with total victory or we just completely give up with total capitulation.

Pretty much nobody in our government on either side is talking about it anymore. Certainly not our President and after all the earlier drama. It looks like 300 Americans are still dying every day which would be over 100k a year. Good enough to move on and put it all behind us?

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 27, 2022, 09:02:51 AM »
I see the catch 22 there too. Can't give up guns for self defense with this high crime rate and can't get the crime rate down with all of these guns. So if there is no way to get the crime rate down while still having all those guns out there then we're stuck because the political support for making people helpless against violent criminals, whether the criminal has a gun or a knife or bare hands, will never happen.

I don't know if it's really true or not, but supposedly some of the countries that did end up with gun bans like Australia ended up with more violent crime afterwards as thugs had nothing to be afraid of from their potential victims.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 27, 2022, 07:32:36 AM »

"So much more limited. How about the Republican candidate for Senate from Georgia? Lock him up forever? He pointed a gun at his ex-wife's head."

It would depend on the details but assuming it wasn't self defense then yes. Why not? We are way too soft on crime. Nobody can take Democrats seriously on gun control while they are simultaneously, constantly, letting very dangerous criminals out of prison.

If Democrats were serious about amending the Constitution to get the gun laws they really want, part of the discussion and in the end the great compromise would be keeping people who have proven themselves dangerous locked up for good. Of course that doesn't do anything to address the main point of the 2nd Amendment which is to facilitate a successful revolution against a tyrannical government, but if you showed people that our society was safe, then a lot more of them would be willing to consider giving up their ability to defend themselves. I'm not promising I would, not yet, but I can promise most people won't even consider it with the crime rate we have today.

General Comments / Re: Whose cell/womb is it anyways?
« on: May 26, 2022, 01:08:59 AM »
Could allowing rape not to be an exception actually encourage rapists?

The urge to foster progeny is one of the strongest in every form of life. If it wasn't, most life wouldn't exist at all. Humans included.

And forcing a woman who was raped to carry her rapists child to term seems grotesque. But if the exceptions for all abortions including rape are at a cutoff of two or three months, that doesn't seem unreasonable, except of course to the ardent pro-lifers, then rape abortions get tucked into that time frame. Nothing against the ardent pro-lifers but if the consensus comes down to abortion is legal up to three months then that seems like a pretty good compromise for most people. Anyone who is raped should be on top of the situation as far as pregnancy goes so they catch it very early.

I'm sure there are pro-lifers who believe that abortion is equally wrong whether happens at conception or as a partial birth abortion, but the vast majority of people probably see it as getting more and more wrong the more developed the fetus becomes. Unless abortion becomes totally illegal, and even the states coming up with anti-abortion laws for the most part haven't gone that far, then the rape exception shouldn't be that much of an issue except in a relatively small number of exceptional cases where the pregnancy can't be discovered early on.

Bottom line, the rape exception doesn't lead to any contradictions if abortions are allowed up to two or three months post conception.

General Comments / Re: Thoughts and Prayers - Again...
« on: May 25, 2022, 09:43:13 PM »
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm talking about locking people up for life for violent gun crimes.

So that wouldn't include the dummy who forgets to take his gun out of his luggage at the airport. Or who had a child get ahold of a gun they didn't properly secure. Those crimes could have the same punishment they have now.

I'm talking about people who use a gun, whether or not it's fired, in the commission of a violent crime.

If you want to throw violent knife crimes in there too then I wouldn't mind, but not throwing it in wouldn't be a deal breaker if guns are the main thing concerning people. It wouldn't affect a crime like this one, but it would at least show we're serious about gun crimes and you could count on Republicans to get on board for that.

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