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  1. Your comparison doesn’t make sense. The TSA isn’t telling anyone to engage in a specific medical action or else be barred from boarding an airplane/bus/train/subway etc. If the government wanted max participation in vaccination, the mandates were a pretty bad idea. Tying a citizen’s ability to buy, sell, or trade to whether or not they decided to get vaccinated would be an even bigger mistake. Fortunately I don’t think that’s likely to happen here.
  2. You mean one of the three constitutionally protected things that the government isn’t allowed to deprive you of without due process? Yeah, sure. We have that.
  3. This policy doesn’t exactly make Canada look like the “free” country here. Whenever there is a real or imagined crisis and the government is handed more power as a result, they don’t exactly have the greatest track record with not abusing that power or handing it back when it’s not needed. Did we not learn anything post-9/11?
  4. Your government has a turn key system in place which is mandatory, extrajudicial, lacks due process, and whereby it can choose to allow or exclude citizens from traveling or participating in society based upon actions or inactions the government deems pro social or anti social? That’s neat. Be a real shame if all that power got abused later.
  5. I had the J&J vaccine 2 days ago. 9 hours later, felt a little "off". I had fever/chills overnight, and generally felt like crap for about a day. Two days later, no problems. I know I'm only a single data point, but I had already had covid, and the anecdotes about some vaccines negatively impacting people who've already had it definitely held true for me.
  6. Boiling water works. I drink about 40 ounces of boiling water every morning that I pass through coffee grounds, and I haven’t caught the virus yet. Science!!!
  7. I think we're headed that direction in the DOD. Our current base leadership is really pushing a few green initiatives, which I don't think is a bad thing. They have a ways to go with recycling, unfortunately. My attitude toward recycling REALLY changed after living in Japan for a while. I used to think I did well with recycling in the U.S., but I was wrong. There, we had to sort and clean all recyclables and put them in a clear plastic bag for pick up, and they would NOT pick them up if there was something unclean or sorted incorrectly. It's about a week's worth of headache until you figure out a system, and then it's easy. We came back to the States, and our recycling manager on base gives us a stern lecture for trying to recycle too much. It turns out they only take a few types of recyclable items.
  8. Bill, the base where I'm stationed is trying to incentivize people to drive EV's. It helps that we're in a location which can have harsh winters, so many parking spots already have electrical connections for engine block heaters. It takes forever for any kind of construction to happen, but dedicated charging stations are probably not too far off. In the mean time, EV's get preferential parking.
  9. To anybody who has some prejudice against the Model 3, I would strongly urge you to try one out and keep an open mind. It really is a pretty amazing car, and I'd have one if it were in the financial cards for me right now.
  10. It would be great if there were some antidote to transcend the fear of death and the fear of what happens after, but I think that everyone has to grapple with it in their own way. I personally used to fear it, but I think that the combination of growing older (I'm 33) and experiencing existential fear a few times has led me to accept and integrate the fact that death is inevitable and I am powerless to do anything about it. I think the real trick is to arrive at this conclusion without it becoming a paralyzing event. I can tell you that attempting to take the edge away with alcohol is a poor long-term strategy. Nihilism isn't the answer either, and I see it as the ultimate abdication of responsibility. Once you make peace with the fact that death is going to happen to you and everyone else at some point, you can get to work affecting the world you live in, hopefully for the better. What has worked for me is to look for meaning within my own realm of influence, and to constantly aim toward the "better" and the reduction of suffering. There is real meaning in trying to make the lives of those you care about better. With this in mind, the things that bother me the most nowadays are thoughts like "I wasn't as patient with my son as I could have been...I need to try harder next time" and "I need to be more understanding with my wife...she's had a rough day" or "I should try to be less grouchy at work" or "my diet sucks and I would probably have more to give if I looked after myself better". Several months ago, I was in a pretty dark place emotionally, but I have found more meaning in taking responsibility for bettering the things that I can control (myself and my reactions) than I ever thought possible. I've seen my reality go from stress and chaos to relative peace. It's imperfect and there is always room for improvement, but if I were to die tomorrow I would be sad that my family loses a husband and father, but I would know that I left my little corner of the world a little bit better. That's why I personally don't fear death. The best things in life are dangerous.
  11. One should immediately be suspicious of anyone or anything that tries to tell you how you "should" be feeling. The best things in life are dangerous.
  12. Yup, totally agree. We want an easy decision based on oversimplified labels which obscure the real issues, we want our labels on the headlines, neatly packaged, easy to digest, half the calories, for $5.99 in 30 minutes or less or your next one is free. The answer isn't a 1 or a 0? It's too much work to apply any critical thought, so people want others to do the work for them and make it easier to vote for a sound byte. I personally have 3 thoughts on political or international issues: 1) The truth is almost always more complicated than you think, 2) You need to apply a critical eye to EVERYTHING you read or see in the news and use multiple sources, and 3) Don't live in an echo chamber: if everyone around you and everything you read or hear agrees with your viewpoint, you should probably check yourself. The best things in life are dangerous.
  13. In my younger days, I was a lot more "pro 2nd Amendment", which I think is too broad of a term. I'm still pro-2nd Amendment, but I'm coming around more and more to some of the ideas put out here, specifically registration. If required to register, I would because I don't want to be a criminal. I don't buy the instantaneous breaking of the Godwin barrier referencing the Nazis and confiscation, either, because we are talking about two different times/cultures and I don't think that the United States government would risk the bloodbath and unrest that might result from such an attempted action. A couple of thoughts: I currently live in Japan, and I just completed the Japanese Compulsory Insurance for my wife's van and my car. This requirement is due every two years, and requires that you pay for insurance (separate from your normal auto insurance), a vehicle tax based on weight/engine displacement, registration fees, and take the vehicle through a pretty comprehensive and strict inspection. If there are ANY fluid leaks, you fail. If there is a burnt out bulb somewhere, you fail. If the emissions fall outside of the accepted level, you fail. If the headlights are out of alignment, you fail (both of my cars failed for this very thing the first time and had to be re-inspected). In short, it was a huge pain to complete, but it left me with a couple of thoughts on the process: the average car on the road here is probably in better mechanical condition than the average car in most other countries (good for safety and the environment), and I drive a bit more defensively here than I did before because I dread the even bigger headache of doing this process again inside of two years because I was careless and crashed my car. Bottom line, I'm required to register my vehicles and to maintain them to a certain level of safety, and I comply because I want to have the freedom to drive. This process makes me a bit more careful about how I use my car. Lately, I'm trying to bike to work more often. I understand that guns aren't cars, and the idea of a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms still gives me a small amount of trepidation. However, I'm willing to listen to others and have conversations about the idea, because I think that this is one of the symptoms which badly needs to be treated. This certainly isn't going to stop gun violence, and I don't think that gun ownership is the sole root cause of gun violence in America, but I'm also not satisfied with the status-quo. I think that the root cause lies somewhere in our cultural norms. To use Japan as an example again, the citizens here are very good at policing themselves. If you're sitting in the elderly/pregnant/handicapped seating on a bus or train, it's not unheard of for a random person to come up to you and tell you to move, since that space isn't reserved for you. When my family and I arrived here with a baby, our pets, and 10 bags, the airport officials not only helped us with our luggage, but ushered us to the front of every line to make sure we didn't miss our connection (we made it by 8 minutes). There is a cultural norm here for people to do what is right in order for everyone to co-exist, regardless of whether you like someone or not. I feel like I could walk around a run-down area here at 3am and be in no danger except for the danger of busting my military curfew! Japan certainly has its issues, but safety and peaceful co-existence don't seem to be among them. They're just a really easy and immediate yard stick (meter stick?) for me to use since I live here. I don't know how to go about effecting a cultural change like this in America, but I think that if this happened little by little, many of our violence (not just gun) related issues would be reduced. In other words, the unwillingness of many people to go-along to get-along is a root cause (not the ONLY root cause) of many of our problems in America, and gun violence is a symptom of that root cause. The best things in life are dangerous.
  14. Trump's entire salary comes nowhere remotely close to paying for his golf outings at taxpayer expense. Meh, I think that the "expensive (insert whatever activity) outings" are just a cheap and easy political dig no matter who the president is. Of course his salary doesn't pay for the cost of his leisure activities. His golf outings cost in excess of $15,000 per hour because transporting and protecting the president is expensive. It really doesn't matter what the activity is. A lot of people made a big deal out of Obama's golf outings/vacations/etc. I didn't care about those then, and I don't really care about Trump's golf outings now. There are more important topics which need to be addressed. The best things in life are dangerous.