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Gramarye

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  1. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    Why do you ask questions with so many flawed premises and questionable assumptions? We may be on different topics here. The campaign finance issue, as I understand it, is the hush money to Stormy Daniels, not the potential real estate money issues. Those are not campaign finance issues, I agree. I don't necessarily know what they are, but I'd agree that whatever they are, it's not that. There is a difference between the issues of (i) the extent to which nondisclosure agreements should be binding in any circumstance, including regarding any matter of public concern, (ii) whether the payment provided by a corporation pursuant to such nondisclosure agreement should be considered a campaign finance contribution to a candidate when the payor is a candidate for elected office, and (iii) whether the campaign finance law affecting the resolution of (ii) is constitutional. It would be logically consistent to say that silence should basically never be able to be bought and still say that the attempt to do so is not a campaign finance violation. Remember the actual structure of this argument is that the Trump Organization violated the law by making a unauthorized corporate contribution, because the money apparently came from a company account. If Trump had paid the money personally, it would actually be safer under campaign finance law--and yet more directly precisely what you describd as "extremely wealthy individuals being able to pay others to lie or conceal for them for the purpose of gaining higher office."
  2. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    This isn't about what I like or don't like, it's about the fundamental structure of the argument being made. It's about basic integrity in argument. If we wouldn't respect the argument that someone who doesn't like bikes has bikes "pushed on them" by being legally required to share the roads with cyclist traffic even when they'd rather not and they find it enraging to drive behind people often going substantially slower than motor vehicle traffic, etc., then we also shouldn't reflect the fact that just because you wished people would give up their guns and start living more like you, that their decision to do otherwise is a direct imposition on you rather than simply an ordinary requirement of coexistence in a 330+ million person country. But yes, guns are weapons. Weapons have valuable purposes, because violence is not always wrong. That's kind of the point. In fact, one can even go further: In some circumstances, violence can even be morally obligatory--the failure to use violence is sometimes not dispassionate restraint but cowardice.
  3. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    Government. And guns are not "pushed on you" by the right simply by allowing your countrymen the right to own them. Do you use that phrasing with any other kind of personal property? Are bikes "pushed on you?" Wallets? Post-Its? Heck, even other potentially dangerous things like power tools? This is what we mean when we talk about the fact that you keep claiming to have reason and science on your side when in fact it's a completely emotional and biased double-standard, a personal opinion that guns are uniquely evil. You don't just see them as having no inherent value, you see them as having negative inherent value. Why in the world would we ever trust anything you have to say on the subject, any more than you would trust someone who considered one of your core values or parts of your identity to be inherently evil?
  4. Newsflash: There were House members from both parties at that committee hearing.
  5. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    "Assault rifle" is a surprisingly ill-defined term, and even many people who criticize "bump stocks" can't actually define what one is, or does, or at what point a stock becomes or stops being one.
  6. Gramarye

    The Trump Presidency

    So I'm willing to consider that the president may have violated criminal campaign finance laws by paying hush money to Stormy Daniels. That brings up a number of thornier issues, though, in addition to again going outside the scope of the Mueller investigation (which is fine, Mueller wouldn't be the one bringing these charges). Most importantly: Many conservatives have argued--for years before Trump became implicated in this breach--that most (or all) campaign finance laws are unconstitutional. I'm not sure if the specific one at issue here is one that has been in conservative crosshairs before because most of us who have made this argument don't even care about the substance of the law; we simply defend very broad views of what are permissible uses of our own private money and permissible use of paid media to amplify our messages around election time (or anytime), on principle. So how will this look when the Trump Justice Department is called upon to "defend" the current campaign finance law scheme in another case--any hypothetical other case that could be brought against any successful or unsuccessful candidate for the lowest position subject to the laws in question--at any level of the federal court system? Also, it seems likely that views on campaign finance law are now likely to become more salient in judicial nominations, especially in the Second and Eleventh Circuits (NY and FL). Or the Supreme Court, of course. This is going to get uglier. At least with respect to Russia and collusion, there was general agreement that if it were proven that Trump directed members of his team to coordinate with or assist Russian intelligence in penetrating American private computer networks for the purpose of gaining access to private e-mails, that's at least something that would be criminal. With respect to Russian oligarch money flowing into NYC real estate, people might generally know that there are laws regarding it out there, at least (though also might not know to what extent Russian money is allowed to flow into NYC real estate legally ... NYC is fairly friendly to foreign money ... or just about anyone with money, honestly). With respect to campaign finance crimes, we're dealing with one of the most polarizing issues in modern American politics, where a lot of people say that the laws criminalize far too much and the Supreme Court has been far too lax in striking them down, and others saying that the laws don't nearly go far enough and the Court is controlled by big money interests and shouldn't even have struck down the few campaign finance laws that it has, particularly vis-a-vis Citizens United.
  7. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    You stated the most hostile and anti-gun view of "the purpose of a gun," not to mention the Second Amendment as just legal cover for violence. Not a word about their legitimate use for defense of self, family, and country, for hunting, or for sport (leaving aside the issue of the "rogue government" scenarios that you don't take seriously, which I admit are problematic but I don't completely dismiss them, either--I just don't need them for this). It wouldn't have been much of a secret from your phrasing in your first paragraph that you say "no inherent value in guns" even if you hadn't clarified that with your second statement (but I at least appreciate you not dissembling on that point).
  8. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    And this attitude and belief is why no gun owner, or defender of the Constitution on principle, will ever trust your objectivity on the issue, nor respect your insistence that your positions are inherently rational and scientific and ours are simply based on emotion.
  9. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    There are some restrictions I wouldn't object to, and there are some that I would. But yes, I would generally object to ones that are clearly motivated by a negative bias against guns and gun owners per se, rather than safety consistent with widespread civilian ownership and carrying of firearms by people who aren't legal specialists (i.e., the elision-based argument that "this is just common sense safety legislation [... and we're safest when no one has any guns]"). And, of course, you say the restrictions are "lawful," but there have been a fair number of gun restrictions struck down as unlawful in recent years.
  10. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    Profile dropdown (upper right) > Ignored Users Used to be much harder to find on the old forum software.
  11. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    The arguments make sense to me. Rights do not always yield to safety concerns, and guns, like cars, are already very heavily regulated. The question from along the fault lines of gun rights regulation at the moment generally revolves around whether people who want to outlaw firearms ownership entirely, but have been prevented from doing so directly by a bare majority of the Supreme Court, can instead pursue "reasonable regulations" (regulations that they don't really need to care about the reasonableness of because they're not gun owners themselves) that make gun ownership, in practice, so burdensome that ordinary and decent people cannot in practice keep and bear arms and still live normal lives (i.e., ones that involve going out in public, traveling from city to city and state to state, etc.) without regularly breaking the law. This is the common thread linking state action to prohibit localities from making themselves into legal landmines for people from outside their jurisdiction, for laws barring discrimination against gun owners in places of public accommodation, and for nationwide concealed carry reciprocity. The resistance to tracking gun owners and gun statistics is based on a lack of trust in the motives of whose would would collect and control those statistics--or who might come to control them, and the levers of legislation, in the future. I think that there would be more resistance to tracking vehicular injury and fatality statistics if a large minority of US citizens, and a large infrastructure of activist groups seeking to activate and channel the interests of that minority, believed cars to be inherently evil and have no place in a civilized society, and constantly looking for ways to chip away at car ownership rights and vilify their owners (up to and including sending car owners to jail for simply owning one in certain towns).
  12. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    I hadn't responded to it because I've had KJP on ignore for a very long time now. And also, I fully agree that it was unjust. Not all of my posts need to be three-paragraph essays. Edit: That said, I consider bumping unanswered questions to be somewhere between trolling and postwhoring and I discourage it. That said, I'm aware some other mods feel differently on that issue.
  13. I mean it seems like no Congressmen are tech savvy--in a country with an enormous, technically complicated, morally complicated, globally operating, and growing tech sector.
  14. Gramarye

    Gun Rights

    jonoh, suppose I uncritically accept that states with more permissive gun laws have higher gun crime. (It certainly doesn't seem to work that way in many jurisdictions, particularly urban ones, but I'll just accept this for the sake of argument.) Even if it can be proven that banning human drivers and requiring everyone to use autopiloted cars would lead to fewer deaths, would you make that the foundation of a case for banning all human-driven cars? If not, then why doesn't the same principle apply with even more force here, when it's an actual constitutional right at issue? Suppose it were scientifically proven with at least the same weight as your gun deaths stats that free speech results in deaths, or that the existence of Islam results in deaths. Are those arguments for abrogating the First Amendment? Due process sometimes means that murderers walk free, because the protection of the people from the predations of the state that would be more likely without such protections are worth it. The Second Amendment would be fairly seen even in that light even if it were proven (which, but for the sake of argument, I don't consider it so proven) that gun control actually succeeds at reducing overall violent crime rates and/or homicide rates specifically.
  15. I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this but I didn't think it warranted a new one. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/420838-google-ceo-responds-to-steve-king-concerns-about-granddaughters-iphone Google CEO responds to Steve King's iPhone concerns: 'Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company' *facepalm* *headdesk* Congress has now basically botched two high-profile, high-visibility hearings with testimony from major tech company CEOs. They really ought to have a rule that allows them to simply cede their chairs to members of their staff or consultants that are more fluent in being able to ask relevant tech questions, rather than seeking the opportunity to get on camera themselves--and usually embarrass themselves in the process.
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