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Messages - Frag Magnet

Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
November 06, 2018, 07:58:50 PM
Quote from: thesmokingman on November 06, 2018, 07:42:32 PM
it is easy to throw Florida Man out there as your ad absurdum argument ... I'll offer a counter. It is generally accepted both inside and outside of America that the country's education system is in decline and has been for some time. If being informed is your yardstick, one could argue that there's a systematic quality issue regarding the conversion of raw data into information due to a decline in the quality of the education that is meant to sharpen your ability to apply critical thinking to any given problem. One side calls it alternative facts, the other calls it fake news.
I've argued for a long time now that our education system needs to do significantly better on teaching civics and critical thinking .

Quote from: thesmokingman on November 06, 2018, 07:42:32 PMIf this poor quality of information is to be turned into wisdom to be applied at the polls the results may well be better off in the hands of a bunch of well-meaning idiots rather than fools convinced they are right. The idiots won't know why the clock is broken but the fools will insist the time is always half past three.
If what I saw in combat is any indication, it's actually (at least in the short term) better to take a single course of action and with a purpose than it is for everyone to mill around aimlessly as individuals. The fools are right twice a day, even if by accident; the random gaggle is (in aggregate) always wrong.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
November 06, 2018, 07:47:15 PM
Quote from: midwayfair on November 06, 2018, 05:27:34 PM
Everyone's version of "informed" is different.
Agreed. This is an inherently subjective observation on my part.

However when you look at the percentages of Americans who can't name all three branches of government (or even one branch), tell you how the government works (and forget about the Liberal (in the John Locke sense of the word) principals the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written under), I think it's clear that there's a fundamental problem here.

Quote from: midwayfair on November 06, 2018, 05:27:34 PMFor some people, that's playing team politics because they've decided that enough of their personal beliefs are tied to the goals of a particular party.
And depending on the individual, that may or may not be a 'correct' answer.

Quote from: midwayfair on November 06, 2018, 05:27:34 PMFor some people it's researching every candidate and calling the office of the judges in the city to demand their political orientation if they want a vote.
It would be excellent if more of us had the time to do this.

Quote from: midwayfair on November 06, 2018, 05:27:34 PMNPR had interviews with people from [a state] today. One of them said that her vote was based on her kids losing their freedom to "do what they want" if a particular party's candidate were in office, and then she said that she was voting for the same party because she wanted them to prevent [certain minority group] from enjoying [a particular institution] because she doesn't approve of their lifestyle, with zero indication that she understood that she was, essentially, saying that she wanted freedom only for her kids and not someone else's.

I bet that person thinks they're informed, but their level of introspection makes them sound, to me, about on par with the species of FloridaMan you posted.
I'd agree.

Quote from: midwayfair on November 06, 2018, 05:27:34 PMBut they should absolutely be allowed to cast their vote.
I agree on the grounds that the law is what it is today and we must follow the law.

However, the more history I read, the more I think that if not quite on the exact correct path, the Framers of the US Constitution and thinkers like Heinlen were headed in the right general direction.

What exactly the best path is? I don't know.

EDIT: And regardless of what the 'perfect' answer might be, it could be possible that there's no just way for us to arrive at that answer now and we need to figure out how to make the best of the status quo by working out carrots to encourage more voters to know who they're voting for and why.

That being said, I don't think "even if you don't know what you're doing, just go out and vote for for somebody!" is a constructive approach to this debate. Not saying anyone here is advancing that idea, but I've definitely seen it multiple times on social media today.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
November 06, 2018, 01:50:16 PM
Quote from: thesmokingman on November 06, 2018, 01:29:30 PM
while being informed should improve the quality of the result, there's a more serious lack of quantity that makes any result less representative.
Do we really need this guy's representation?

(tl;dr, Florida Man broke into a crocodile park, jumped in with the crocodiles, was bit, got out, then jumped in again.)

Frankly, I'm far more concerned with the quality of the candidates than how many people decide to vote for them and lately the two major parties in the US seem more concerned with serving shit sandwiches than they are with fielding high caliber candidates.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
November 06, 2018, 01:06:38 PM
Quote from: somnif on November 06, 2018, 02:09:58 AM
Hey, American folks out there.

You should Totally vote today.

All the cool kids are doing it. So you should too!
*If you're informed.
My apologies in advance if this thread should go somewhere else.


I've had in mind an idea to get a patch made to give and/or sell to customers which kind of acknowledges my EOD past without appropriating any insignia so closely that my customers are getting accosted by veterans on a warpath over Stolen Valor. I went to Redwire Designs because I like a lot of their previous work and also because of their EOD background with essentially some really vague, useless ideas.

They've got back to me, and I've gotta say, they knocked it out of the park. Highly endorsed.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
October 26, 2018, 01:45:48 PM
500% unsurprised about any of this.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
October 25, 2018, 01:46:00 PM
Quote from: alanp on October 24, 2018, 09:11:49 PM
Frag, IIRC, you used to defuse these?

How accurate is that picture? Because it looks like something straight out of the Mission Impossible movies.
Yep, I was US Army EOD for just under five years.

And, yeah, my first impression was "this looks like something a Hollywood prop department would come up with." That doesn't mean much, though; if you're a moron and you're going to make an IED, where are you going to get your design tips from? Likely, movies and TV. Memes (in the original 'Dawkins' sense of the word) guide these things over rational design far more than you think they would.

Quote from: somnif on October 25, 2018, 03:03:49 AM
Apparently the analysis did show live explosives in them (at least the one sent to CNN), so "fake" is a relative term. Not a lot of info though, just "unidentified white powder" and "live explosives". The one sent to Soros was reported as containing a low explosive and shrapnel. Not the most sophisticated of designs, but it would do the job I suppose...

And just read some more detail on the one sent to CNN. Its... oh god its got a meme on it. A parody of an ISIS flag with "Get ER Done" on it. Ugh.

Some more info: The CNN bomb did contain low explosives.... BUT no blasting cap/detonator. Just wires running from a digital timer into the explosive, like they expected that to be enough. We have a very dumb bomb maker on our hands (not that the meme left any doubt to that).
While I haven't checked the news since I left for work this morning, I've heard a lot of conflicting information on if/what was filling these items as of last night (no explosives, gun powder, "pyrotechnic powder" (which is what's used in fireworks), "low-ordnance explosives" (not even a thing), etc). I'm not taking anything as gospel until I hear it from an FBI SABT. To date, the news coverage I've seen has been utter garbage.

Quote from: somnif on October 25, 2018, 01:06:28 PM
Quote from: lars on October 25, 2018, 07:26:38 AM
Again, looking at the picture, notice the packing tape used to attach the labels? We've all attached labels to packages using packing invariably leaves perfect prints of our fingers in the tape! If this was the work of some lone bomber, they would easily have them in custody by now.

Fingerprinting doesn't really work that way I'm afraid. They may have some prints (assuming the sender didn't wear gloves) but that only helps if the sender was printed and is in a database somewhere. Also, not all prints can be OCR'd and digitized like you see on TV, quite often its down to someone trained in the field comparing them by eye and saying "yes these are similar" or "no they are not". Its not an overnight process.
1. This. Same with DNA evidence.
2. I'd bet a case of beer the FBI has recovered either fingerprints or DNA from this and the other items. Likely both. Whoever did this is fucked when the FBI figures out who they are (and the FBI will figure out who they are).

As to the idea of the government doing this... lol, no.

EDIT: Just checked the ol' news feed and all the articles I see on this have clickbait and speculation in their headlines... didn't even waste my time on it.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
October 24, 2018, 06:03:46 PM
Just gonna leave this here...
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
October 16, 2018, 03:52:07 PM

That's gotta come from somewhere; she's learning it from someone or she's maybe being bullied. I guess you get to have a really awful conversation and get to the bottom of this.
Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
October 16, 2018, 01:44:11 PM
Quote from: midwayfair on October 16, 2018, 07:43:16 AM
Dude, she's six. She probably heard it from someone and has no idea what she's saying. Just talk to her, ask her where she heard it, and you'll figure out what needs to be done.
"The reason the American Army does so well in war is because war is chaos and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis."
-an unknown German officer
Open Discussion / Re: Oh, good....
October 05, 2018, 08:29:01 AM
Quote from: alanp on October 04, 2018, 11:48:47 PM
While it seems to be the 'in' thing, the Russians blaming the Russians for NATO goings-on would be a bit much.
No, but the Kremlin accusing the US/Jews/NATO of what they're guilty of would be long-standing Chekist SOP.

Quote from: alanp on October 04, 2018, 11:48:47 PM(A university study came out, recently, blaming them for the bad online reception for The Last Jedi.)
While the idea isn't necessarily 100% implausible (generally speaking RIS are trying to find as many ways to ratchet up divisions in the West as possible and antagonize them as much as possible (see: obvious ties to the altright but also a bunch of very popular Black Lives Matter pages being run by GRU))...

That 'study' is utter garbage. Like, seriously, look at their methodology. The sample size is pitifully small and there's no confirmation whatsoever on their "Russian accounts" being Russian.

Quote from: alanp on October 04, 2018, 11:48:47 PMAnd TBH, while countries can claim anything they like, I would be very surprised indeed if they didn't have some kind of biological weapons research going on.
Defense, yes. That's just prudent for a variety of reasons.

The US (and I'm sure most western countries) abandoned offensive biological defense research early in the Cold War because we determined it was too difficult to effectively weaponize biological agents and they'd be impossible to control on the battlefield, anyway.

The Soviets were a different matter entirely... they actually stuck with it---something we didn't begin to appreciate until Col. Kanatzhan "Ken" Alibekov defected (his book, Biohazard, is a fantastic read if you never want to sleep again, BTW). Their offensive biological weapons program was only abandoned when Communism collapsed.
Open Discussion / Re: Pedalboard rebuild Time!
October 04, 2018, 03:42:26 PM
After all the pedals I've built/acquired, I keep going back to a version of the OG Kingslayer for my main overdrive.

Open Discussion / Oh, good....
October 04, 2018, 03:39:53 PM
Russia claims US has a biological weapons program running in Georgia (the country).

Based on this, I think we can reasonably presume the following:
-Biopreparat (or a version of it) is back up and running
-mysterious biological incidents are going to be blamed on the CIA and/or the Jews in the coming weeks, months, and/or years
Quote from: EBK on October 04, 2018, 02:58:00 PM
I feel like I'm being left out of an inside joke.  Very odd sequence of posts there.

Also, I got a thought in the back of my mind that goes 'is this another one of those situations where my sense of proportionality is all skewed by the year where people actively tried to kill my friends and I?'