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Welcome to /townhall/! This is an anonymous-only board for debates, dialectics, and discussions of a serious nature.

As the topics discussed on this board may deal with sensitive or controversial subject matter, we expect a higher standard of conduct than elsewhere on the site, and will enforce the board's rules with a greater degree of strictness. Inability or unwillingness to follow the rules will result in a /townhall/-only ban.


1) All posts in a given thread must contribute constructively to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing. Off-topic, contentless, inflammatory, or hostile posts will be deleted and result in a ban.

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1c) Be as willing to "lose" as you are to "win", and above all else, be willing to learn and understand. You will not get the most out of this board if your only goal is to persuade, and you will not even be effective at that unless you understand what you are arguing against.

2) Ad hominems and other uncivil behavior will not be tolerated. You may have a significant personal stake in some subjects discussed here, and it is normal to be frustrated when someone cannot relate; however, lashing out is not an effective way to engender sympathy for your position, and will not advance the conversation in a constructive way. Even if you find someone's argument morally abhorrent, there are constructive ways to express this.

2a) Attempting to deliberately provoke an uncivil reaction is prohibited, even if it is done within the letter of the law.

2b) Snark and other forms of mockery are strongly discouraged and may result in warnings or bans.

2c) "Strawmanning" an "opponent" deliberately will be regarded as uncivil conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. This will not apply to genuine misunderstandings.

3) While we do not claim to be arbiters of absolute moral or empirical truth and aim to moderate this board in a fair and even-handed, politically agnostic manner, the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward, including attempts to "hint" or dogwhistle:

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If you had a magic button that would repeal all gun-control laws and prevent enactment of any gun-control laws for 20 years, would you press it?  For purposes of this question, a "gun-control" law is a law that criminalizes the keeping or bearing of ordinary small arms by free adults or restricts free adults from acquiring such arms (including ammunition).  It does not apply to laws that restrict children, prisoners, inmates of mental asylums, etc., nor does it apply to laws restricting bombs, nuclear weapons, etc.  Also, it doesn't apply to policies of denying entry to sensitive places for persons bearing arms.
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Again only for on public roadways.
But that aside, the only limiting factor as I understand it are necessary components for safe operation on the road.

Do those taxes carry with them the penalties of years in prison with a felony if you have merely the components to make it shorter, and thus the "intent to construct"?

You're right that there are import restrictions, but I think it obvious to say, they're no where near as heafty as the requirements and restrictions on importing firearms.
And of course, once again, these restrictions you mention only apply to their use on public roadways.

>Sure the laws and regulations aren't identical but that's because nobody has been on enough cocaine to regulate the magazine size of a Misubiti or the caliber of a Dodge, or the rear view mirror angle and passenger side air bags deployment zones of a Browning.
Right. Because that would be absurd and would accomplish nothing.
Just as it has done for guns.

Nobody worries about a "shoulder thing that goes up" on a car, because it's obviously meaningless and changes next to nothing.


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Reminder: most early gun-control laws were explicitly racist and "applied only to particular groups, such as slaves, Blacks, or Mulattos".


It seems to me that the fundamental problem behind all of this is that the United States has an extremely "flat" justice system - almost, almost everybody goes through a nearly identical ringer no matter what they chose to do and gets out relatively soon-ish.

For example, the average punishment for murder or manslaughter is about nine years in prison.

This means that, ethically and morally, if you're arrested for something like selling bags upon bags of weed out of your house full of weed such that you get placed in the same cell alongside a man who intentionally ran over a child with his truck... maybe you receive three years in prison. You eat the same food. Sleep in the same bed. Get the same health care. Exercise in the same way using the same equipment. You're only as safe as he lets you be. You're getting the same essential punishment except in time duration.

Thus, the life of a dead child in the United States is legally equal to three houses full of weed.

This is even worse when you think about how something like stealing a computer set can get you a year in prison, so then a murdered child is the same as nine laptops.

Is it any wonder why normal people living their normal lives think of U.S. law enforcement and criminal justice as a complete joke? The most likely outcome if I get shot in the head walking home one of these days is that nothing happens to the criminal that did that. The alternative is them getting a stint in what's basically Crime University for a few years only to be right back out there. America, ladies and gentlemen.


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This is a thread for ponies who have no political opinions.  Ponies that just respect and obey the state without getting upset over anything related to state power or government.

We can talk about how nice it is to be apolitical.  Or maybe just say hi to each other.  The topic can be whatever you like other than political discussion.
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>But first I need to genetically engineer muffins to grow on trees.
Sounds like an interesting project.  What plant do they grown on now?

Thank you.

Hello, Kind Octopus.  Urban dictionary says "side piece: a guy that does anything you want that isn't your boyfriend and you can still get with other guys. the best thing a girl can ever have."

Personally, I don't see knowing the precise contract present in another's marriage or relationship, or enforcing that contract, to be any of my business in general.  On the other hand, it's not impossible for someone to do something sufficiently clear cut and insensitive that I would avoid their channel.  I'm guessing there's a news story I'm not aware of yet.


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>What plant do they grown on now?
They don't; they have to get baked!


Then you will need something for baking.


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Should children learn a foreign language (such as Japanese or Finnish) in elementary school?
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Yeah, but why would you want to converse with oranges?


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I am pretty sure they already do.


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Gender Egalitarianism a movement for equal opportunity for the different genders, as applicable.  I don't think that people of different genders have to be equal, just that they should have the option if they prefer equality.  Are you in favor or do you have negative opinions about this general notion?
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Honestly, a bounty system might be more productive, or at least, it might be a reasonable way to encourage dissolve.


I'll be more flatly open.

If you're a straight white cisgender woman in America today who's not disabled and is also middle-class or upper-class, to be blunt, then you're more advantaged, blessed, and gifted by the society around you more than basically any other collection of human beings in world history other than literal royalty and nobility.

It's hard enough to accept this extreme superiority complex in the abstract, but in practice hearing the likes of Ivanka Trump, Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner, and Taylor Swift being brought up like "OH! NO! THEY"RE SO OPPRESSED!" and "THEY SUFFER SO MUCH!"... it's all too much.

If you wanted a fairer society, then you'd be taking from (certain) women and giving it to (certain) men at the exact same time as (certain) women. Which is a fact. Even if you basically aren't allowed to say this.

Agreed with every word. Absolutely. It's such a shame.


I think you're talking about feminism.  This thread is not about feminism.


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Context: "Starfield is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks." - Wikipedia

I just see this peculating down to Facebook, but I gather a controversy has formed over the freedom of a player to select gender pronouns.

I think this goes back to the notion of consent.  The ability to select pronouns is going to be seen by some as unethical, inappropriate, or a restriction of their religions freedom.  If an environment exists that would allow choice or preference of this kind, people should be informed ahead of time and be allowed to opt out.  People buying this game were not given this information, I gather, and are quite upset, feeling this optional menu item is being forced on them.  I guess it goes back to not making assumptions about others and allowing choice.
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Thank you for your consideration.  I find it best if I avoid the mental health industry.


I think that if political conservatives want to play video games without transgender people, black people, without Jews, without gay people, without disabled people, and so on, then there should be customizing options so that you can go about your game without encountering characters with darker skin shades or otherwise having your politics offended. Games are supposed to be fun. I believe.

I can't disagree more with their beliefs, but if this is them expressing them personally in private association and consuming private media, well, it's their right. That's that. Same thing with how going to a church or a book club or a ski lodge means the ability to kick out anybody for any reason no matter the justification. And how TV channels can refuse different things.

And, of course, if somebody walking down the street chooses to refuse to speak to any feminine man or any woman in a wheelchair, we would say that that's the individual's right? Yeah? I would think so.


>n there should be customizing options so that you can go about your game without encountering characters with darker skin shades or otherwise having your politics offended.

It would be charitable of a game developers to always create a non-political version of games for those who prefer.  We have to accept that some people's existence is going to be political, but in my opinion nobody has the duty to not exist, even in fiction, so game developers don't have to make a game without some potentially offensive class of human.  But we also should try to be empathetic, minimize offense, and respect freedom, which is the basic idea behind your post.  I do agree with that.


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Would you like to discuss ideologies and political theory broadly or more current events?

Would you like to talk about issues of social and environmental justice or more business and economics?

Futurism?  Tech? More about elections?  Wars?  Less of something?

Or do you want to discuss the politics in the MLP universe?
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Also fewer weird baiting threads would be nice.


So just the removal of the board?


OK.  Are there topics that are not political that you have in mind instead?

Hmm...I take it none of the threads are acceptable.  That is unfortunate.

I guess less of everything is an answer to the question.  But you'll have to recommend site changes to staff.


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Is the NFA tax on sound suppressors unconstitutional under the Second Amendment?
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Have to agree. Suppressors funnily enough are perfectly legal in Europe, by large, without any kind of issue.
The movie trope of untraceable silent murder that nobody notices is just not realistic.
Honestly, even if we did go by movies, it isn't like they're used by criminals, anyway. It's almost always state actors. Spies, assassins, agents of the powerful. Funny how that works.

But, yeah. All that's functioned with this is the creation of felons for no real cause, and significant distrust by the American people in the federal government thanks to events like Ruby Ridge.



>Ruby Ridge
Why you should own guns a case study.


I would operate under the inherent, default assumption that any regulation of firearms given the 2nd Amendment has to pass an inherent sense of legal scrutiny in terms of rationality. And these rules don't work. They don't pass the bar. They should be gotten rid of.

I've yet to see any factual evidence whatsoever provided that imposing a de facto kind of quasi-ban on sound suppressors reduces violent crime. This idea kind of just comes out of whole cloth. Even without evidence, really, I don't get the logic. A firearm with a suppressor on it is noisy. Less noisy than otherwise. What does that matter, actually? Would this actually change the plans of violent criminals doing what they want to do? I don't think so.


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Racial equality is assertion that racial differences are cosmetic and not substantive in terms one's abilities, character, or rights.  Is this general idea good, bad, or offensive in your opinion?  Is there any reason to try to be racially egalitarian (or I suppose to try to be less if your opinion is that racial equality is unwise)?
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>Ideal Conceal pistol
It is a nifty idea, but the sights suck, and so does the ammo capacity (it only holds 2 rounds).  I suppose it would be adequate if you're going jogging and want to be able to neutralize a dog who bites you, but I wouldn't rely on it to deal with two-legged threats.


>If I'm a police officer in an urban location, finding out that local criminal groups, especially dangerous gangs, are arming themselves with this will mean that I'm at a far greater danger than otherwise.
Not really.  With a good IWB holster and baggy clothing, it's easy to conceal normal compact pistols and sometimes even full-size pistols.  Gang members arming themselves with only an Ideal Conceal pistol would probably put cops at *less* risk, due to the very low ammo capacity.


It really has to be asked whether the concealability of such a gun is that much better than your typical derringer.
They aren't especially large, and ultimately, that seems to be all these are.


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If you have a heterosexual relationship, you can identify that in public.  If you have a homosexual relationship, it's controversial, but maybe.  And if your relationship involves some kind of weird kink thing -- nobody wants to see or hear about that, keep it private.

Society is roughly a place for the normal. The assumption is that when people go out in public they consent to seeing normal things.  They don't consent to seeing weird things -- that should be done in private where people can opt in or out.

So some process determines what presentations, activities, things, and ideas may be public and what ought to be private.  What is this process?

I'm thinking of forming a science and tech society and have been thinking a lot about consent.  The more things we consider private business, the more we can give people the option to consent or not, possibly reducing conflict.  For example, should people's exposure to science happen only following consent?  Would that make people happier about science?
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I doubt too many people would object to a police officer shooting an armed robber, at least under most conditions.


>Either you destroy the freedoms of certain politically and religiously motivated people by preventing them from hurting their perceived enemies, or you grant those freedoms and therefore in term allow the liberties of those opposed enemies to die instead.

Some religious people prefer to destroy or harm others.  Religious people must at least remember God is not above the state, but religion should be granted as much freedom as possible.


That's fair, but then most people would lament that the entire situation had to happen in the first place.

Similarly, doctors would celebrate a car crash victim successfully having a piece of a steering wheel or the like removed from their body and that individual walking around happily recovered, while at the same time lamenting that the person had their vehicle slammed into to begin with. Somebody with a cancerous tumor successfully removed would wish that they could've spent the entire hospital time with their families relaxing instead in the first place. And so on.


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Should elderly U.S. politicians who've publicly suffered mental and physical impairments such as Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Diane Feinstein, and Mitch McConnell be kept from further public office? Is it time to work out tough legal changes?

Or is that fundamentally a terrible idea? What exact legal tweaks would you want if they do happen?

r.e. the OP image, https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/7/27/23810222/mitch-mcconnell-health-retirement-senate
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Adding such an additional qualification would require a constitutional amendment.  


I personally agree with this.

Context is indeed important. And "what counts as having suffered a mental or physical impairment" is a fuzzy concept. I agree as well. Your observation about "bigger problem of inadequate representation" is logically sound, but I personally don't know what to say about that.

This seems rather logical, but I don't know the issues about U.S. law in this area personally.


Age isn't the issue. Impairments are.
If you aren't physically capable of doing the job, you shouldn't be in it.
Though really, this ought be something the voters solve.


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Did the West Yorkshire Police behave inappropriately in this incident?
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First, it's not necessary for there to be an ethical line between two acts for there to be a good reason that one act is illegal but the other is 1A-protected.  The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to constrain the power of government.  If there is significantly more risk that the goverment will abuse a power to imprison people for one category of speech than another, then that might be a good reason for a difference in legal treatment between the two speech categories.

Second, saying something like "I will kill these people" is much more direct evidence of one's propensity to commit a crime than merely stating one's emotional response to an event that already happened.



I think this topic has gotten too complicated for it to continue to make sense to me. On the one hand, speech is fundamentally just soundwaves that travel through the air and evoke certain impressions in our minds. Therefore, nothing that is said can actually hurt us. So, on this basis, all speech should be legal.

Yet, your speech does have an effect - both on yourself and others. This is undeniable. Therefore, you shouldn't just go around saying anything you happen to think...

But should the government have the authority to say what is and isn't allowed? If so, to what extent? There are other societal systems in place that regulate speech that don't involve punishing someone for saying the wrong thing. So, in the tradition of freedom, the U.S. government, at least, mostly tries to stay out of making laws against such things. The exceptions are limited to the most egregious situations. I think a lot of it has to do with the culture, as well... for exxample, the U.S. only attained independence after a war, yet the founders clearly articulated their reasons for the war. So, maybe all of this depends a lot on the reasonableness of a person's actions, as well. There are also a lot of Christians in the U.S., so its laws are going to reflect the myth found in the Christian religion.


At a practical level, if I'm forced to censor myself and am unable to do a gigantic number of things due to coercive intimidation from others, then my own freedoms are being impaired.

If you let these other people with violent political preferences be 'more free', then I will become 'less free'. I want to be able to go to a local religious institution without there being police presence nearby. I want to be able to wear certain clothes without there being the increased risk of sexual assault. And so on. The fact that I cannot do all that is a clear-cut harm. The better off those with coercive ideologies are and the freer they are to try to harass and intimidate their victims, the harder life is for those victims.

I don't think it's logical at all to just view this as citizens versus the government. It's governments at different levels (including federal versus local divisions) facing off against citizens that're opposed to each other (especially on religious lines, ethnic lines, racial lines, and so on).  The core reason why we have a government system at all instead of living in anarchy is in order to oppose the 'state of nature' of 'all against all' so that it's not possible for one person to just eliminate the right to life, liberty, and property of another. Right?

I agree certainly, though, that governments are at best a necessary evil and practically tend to be just plain evil. It's a difficult situation. There's no such thing as a 'good government'. There's a fumbling around for the 'least bad government'.


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This year, I’ve dabbled in theology. Last March, I even attended a Church service for the first time in 18 years, at a Greek Orthodox cathedral. The only reason I’m agnostic is because I don’t know which denomination to belong to. But I do respect the tradition-rich high churches like Orthodox, Catholic, and even Lutheran and Reformed Protestants.

Your experiences and thoughts?
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Some thoughts...

1. If you're agnostic, wouldn't you also be considering other denominations and religions, atheism, and humanism?

2. Even though I didn't grow up with a lot of religion outside of my family and I am now technically atheist, I have always found it hard not to have a respect for those denominations because of their rich history, even if they did do some bad things in the past.

3. As an agnostic, perhaps a more liberal tradition such as Unitarian Universalism or United Church of Christ would make the most sense. UU people are generally open to many different spiritual beliefs (including outside of Christianity, agnostics, and atheists), while UCC people are generally open to many different interpretations of Christianity.

4. Of the general denominations you listed, I suppose Lutheran would probably be considered the coolest (if you like tradition), since they had the courage to break from the Catholic tradition's claimed authority, while retaining a lot its traditions (I think)?. Even so, there is a UCC church around where I live that seems to have a lot of its own tradition and emphasizes a surprising amount (I thought) of ritual stuff for it being a liberal denomination. I guess it also depends on the church and community.

(Another (mostly similar) version of the song I posted that I liked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CMclLT_Hjg - I think there is also a UU version, but I believe it's called something else.)


This guy did open my eyes and clarify several Church doctrines and beliefs. In fact, he even pointed out that as a Presbyterian himself, he believes in evolution and how science and religion can coexist-despite the zeitgeist stating the opposite. Did you know the Big Bang was first theorized by a Catholic priest?


If, for whatever reason, you're interested in delving into religious thought on YouTube, there's a lot there related to the famous musical (which you can basically just watch for free):



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We all know it's a human's duty to obey state power.  I was told in school America was founded mostly because British colonists were upset about taxes and political representation, and when the King didn't seem to care much, the colonists rebelled and created a new nation [the best nation in the world, by the way].

But...when the redcoats came to enforce order on the rebellious colonists, they were basically like the cops.  And hurting a cop is the worse thing a human can do.  Wouldn't that make the revolutionary war very evil?  People seldom seem happy about taxes or government, but these feelings are not an excuse to resist the state -- we know that now, why was it different then?

Shouldn't, respectfully, America's official start date be no sooner than it pleased the King to grant independence?
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I think before discussing subjects like Locke or Hobbes, we might first ask whether it could ever be appropriate for a philosophy or text that we might discuss here to motivate resistance to state power.  My answer is no.


My stance is a rather firm and unabashed "yes".


Thank you for the provided links.  Hobbes believed anarchy was treacherous, and any state that was less harmful should be respected, I think.  But a state that set out to destroy you needn't be obeyed.

Locke believed that anarchy was not the best for human rights.  Any state that seemed to fail to be an improvement to the state of nature in securing human rights should be resisted.  I think any state that did not form from a valid social contract (constitution) or deviated from the mandate of that document should be resisted, as well.

I understand the US founders believed some of what Locke believed.

Both these ideas contrast with the idea that it is a human's duty to obey and respect the state (and appears to contrast with the state's mission to resist existential threat).


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This problem is not solvable by the internet because of the ambiguous notation.


Do you think clearer notation can solve issues like these for mathematicians and "the internet"?
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>Do you think clearer notation can solve issues like these for mathematicians and "the internet"?
Mathematicians have clearer notations, would never write this, and are not usually unclear on ambiguous notation. Non-mathematicians just don't tend to use it.

First, mathematicians would never write an expression as written here. Second, if for whatever reason they did, the meaning of the expression as stated would be clear and ambiguous under the notation universally used by mathematicians. The problem is that that notation is not PEMDAS; it is something with a bit more subtlety to it, of which PEMDAS is an imperfect approximation, which in this particular case disagrees with the system it approximates, hence the confusion.

Which means that no, clearer notation evidently cannot solve these issues. There is a clearer notation, and people aren't using it.




1. Follow PEMDAS.
2. Work left to right.

My Extra Rule: If the spacing clearly indicates to use a different order of operations, then use the spacing to help determine the order of operations.


Spacing: single spaces between each letter/symbol; therefore, work left to right
Parenthesis: 8/2(4)
Working left to right: 8/2 = 4; 4(4) = 16.

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Seems easy enough to me.

More seriously, I'd agree with the result due to always doing left first, as with reading.
Parentheses of course being a separate matter that is universally done first.

For those as I who wish to read the article without the bothersome popups;

Fundamentally, I think this is an issue of phonetics.
Too many people refuse to read out the problem.
When you do so, it finds itself very simple.
"Eight times four divided by two" is equivalent to 8x4/2. But it's clear how you'd solve the problem by the verbiage.

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