Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

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max129
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Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#1 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:15 pm

I have been a member of TLGC for about a year. I live in the Free State of Nevada. And other than being too darn hot and dry, I love Nevada.

I lived in California for 20+ years and never learned to love the place. (Sorry)

I was born and raised in Virginia, went to a "Public Ivy" college as a math major (honors math) and joined the Military (USN/USMC) due to the recession of '74/'75

Now I own a growing high tech business which I run from Nevada. I am a mathematician with several advanced degrees in computational math and computer engineering. I live in a complicated world.

When I lived in Alaska, I carried a .44 Magnum with a 6.5" barrel. This was considered the minimum safe weapon on Kodiak Island. But now I prefer the general .357 and 9mm calibers for practical, lower 48 self defense.

Other things: I dislike our current divided polity. I am a 'radical centrist' and I believe most solutions to ugly issues are in the messy, comprise-ridden middle. If either 'side" is happy with a solution, it will fail over time. I belonged to the NRA as youth and I loved it. (Remember when the NRA was about marksmanship and hunter safety training?) I resigned my NRA membership in 1992 out of disgust. Since then, I think that formerly honorable organization has sold their soul to firearms makers (and the Rooksies? who would have thought the NRA would take Russian money?)

I have a Nevada CCW, and when I am in NV or a reciprocity State, I carry. As I tell my wife: Yes, I was in the Military, and Yes, in theory, I know how to defend myself and my loved ones. But I am now in my early 60s. Go ahead, get down on your hands and knees to get something from under the bed. Now, how quickly can you get up from your hands and knees when you are 63? I know many people in their 60s, and perhaps 1 out of 100 is a really agile person. You can be in good shape and still not be that agile. Well self defense requires that if you are knocked down, you can get up RIGHT NOW FAST. Me? Not so fast.

So I compensate by carrying an 'equalizer'. I certainly hope to never use it. Heck, I hope to never have it leave it's holster urgently. And I do avoid troublesome places. But sometimes trouble comes to you, and you need Sam Colt's 'made them equal' tool of choice.

Is all of the above consistent? Heck no.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I must admit, I dislike the word "Liberal" in TLGC's name. I am an economic liberal, and a social liberal, but I am very much a financial conservative. While I strongly disliked Margret Thatcher, I do agree with her statement: "The problem with spending other people's money is that eventually, they run out of it." But I do like the words I am seeing written here. I guess that is because anyone who belongs to "The Liberal Gun Club" is as aware of the issues as I am myself; and is in possession of a a sense of the irony of it all.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#2 Post by senorgrand » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:21 pm

Welcome! Great intro.

I am currently enjoying the wonders of Tahoe.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#3 Post by FlyGuy » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:50 pm

Howdy From Houston!

Agreed, Nice intro. I like you already.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#4 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:55 pm

Hey! Thanks for the kind welcome. Much appreciated.

- Max
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#5 Post by highdesert » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:25 pm

:welcome:

I was in Nevada last month doing some exploring, can't get over how it's growing. More and more building in Lost Wages, Trump's hotel looks shrimpy compared to the mega hotel complexes there. Drove to Reno via US 95, roads are better in NV than CA. Reno has spread out, UNR has expanded and Carson City is a great small town. NV is great for CCW, seems like there are very few places you can't carry and "no guns" signs aren't legal.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#6 Post by bigbass4me » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:03 pm

Welcome from NC


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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#7 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:05 pm

@highdesert:

Yes - I live in Las Vegas (on the Strip), but Reno has grown a lot. UNR is actually a very good school, complete with a Medical School. I lived in Reno for a while and I prefer the weather there to Vegas, but Reno has a joke for an airport and Vegas has a mega airport, so for my lifestyle, Vegas is a much better choice.

And you are also right about the roads. Drive from Vegas to Lake Havasu. The roads are really good until you get to the 5 miles maintained by California.

I cannot speak for the rest of Nevada, but in Las Vegas, right after the Mandalay Bay incident, signs started popping up on Casinos for "No Firearms". But it is really just an option for them to assert you are "trespassing" if they catch you. I have an attorney who specializes in firearms law. He has told me that I can carry inside these casinos legally, but if I get caught, they can ban me. But if they do catch me carrying, there is no law or regulation broken.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#8 Post by Marlene » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:53 pm

OK. You got me. I gotta ask: What is an economic liberal vs a financial conservative? You mean proper taxes and social programs but not the social programs without the taxes? That'd make you more like a socialist, which Ms Thatcher was calling "other people's money". Sounds like you mean something else. Care to explain more?









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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#9 Post by Hiker » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:04 pm

Welcome from Lexington KY
All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.-Henry Clay
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.—Aristotle

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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#10 Post by Eris » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:05 pm

:welcome:

Welcome to the forums!
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#11 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:01 pm

> What is a Social Liberal and Fiscal Conservative?
@Marlene - that is a fair question.

A "Social Liberal" believes that government and to some extent society need to stay out of people's personal lives and lifestyles. And, while not everyone likes this, some aspects of being a Social Liberal are aimed at creating a more fair and decent society.

If you look at the "rights" issues for Gay people, Civil Rights, etc., you soon find that the problems began when government decided that the Constitution allowed regulations differentiating "married" people from others. (BTW, I am very happily married.)

Then the slippery slope allowed there to be "rights" that were not extended to lesser people (as I recall, Brown People and Female People could not vote until 1860s and 1920s respectively.) So many "Conservative" people seem to argue that the originalist Constitution, with its 3/5ths compromise to count Black People, was a perfect document. Me? Not so convinced.

Social Liberalism, like any curve, can be extended to what we mathematicians call an asymptote. The curve can get to a funny place. One reason the last Federal Election had the results that it had was that some "Social Liberals" left the common sense path a long time ago and are lost in the very long slope of the curve (rights for transgender bathrooms lost me - just go to the potty, will you?)

At the same time, some of the fundamental issues for Social Liberals are still in place. There are efforts to de-list voters who have not kept up all their paperwork (don't kid yourself, this is targeting brown people - that is not sporting and it is not OK.)

In our country, women on average earn 70 cents on the dollar for men doing similar work. (That is not sporting and it is not OK.) I work in high tech (really high tech) - women data scientists seem to be earning 85% of what men earn with the same qualifications earn.

So I feel like a Social Liberal fighting a rear guard action. On the one hand, many Social Liberals want to go down the curve to the point where everyone gets to be "special" - the rear guard Social Liberals want Government to stop discriminating against anyone and protect the common rights of all.

Getting the balance right between a "fair" society and a "just" society is tricky work. We are not there yet.

BTW, it had never occurred to me to conflate "Social Liberal" with "Socialism" they have no relationship. But part of the cross product of being a Social Liberal and a Fiscal Conservative is that (for example) I prefer the Dutch Social Security system better than ours. Why? It is not PAYGO - it is an actual fund! When we sent the Chicago Boys to Chile to fix their version of Social Security, the results were far better than our own system. (It is not PAYGO = Pay As You GO). [For the record, our US Social Security system is PAYGO and it will break one day.]

That is what should result from being a Social Liberal and a Fiscal Conservative: common sense government programs that solve problems people seem to be unable to solve themselves, and are not a tax burden.

There was a time in my twenties when I tried to be a Libertarian (hard Libertarian). It doesn't make sense to me at all now. Clean water, provided by a government regulated utility, is better, cheaper and safer than "public/private" water systems. I have done the research. I have read the studies. I have reviewed the numbers. Public water systems are cheaper and better with very few outliers. This sense of "the commons" extends to Police, National Defense, Courts, (and IMO) Roads, Airport Traffic Control, and a few other areas. I know people still disagree, and there is a wistful part of me that wanted David Friedman to be right. (I have read "Machinery of Freedom" twice cover to cover.)

So unlike a Libertarian, SL/FCs would tend to believe there is a basic and fair level of taxation (when the Government takes your money and threatens you with jail if you don't give it up.) Just look around you and ask what life would be like if you had to stop and pay tolls every 1/2 mile as you traversed someone's "private road" (protected by your own private guards) or had to deal with some profiteers in a drought. Study what happened to unregulated power markets in the early 2000s. Wow, the "Libertarian" ideal is not so good for the little people. So a SL/FC believes we need to agree on the gross level of "taxation" we need for the commons and live within our means.

This is a good place to look:
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/sp ... t_Spending

Expressed as a percent of GDP, we have grown Federal spending from 7% of GDP to 35% in about 100 years. The Fiscal Conservative in me is not happy. We need a big, general agreement on the percent of GDP that the Government should spend. BECAUSE the Federal spending is not the entirety of taxation now is it? We also pay sales taxes, value added taxes, fuel taxes, state and local taxes and property taxes. (In my case, business taxes.) So while I cannot calculate the actual burden as a total, I suspect that about 45% to 50% of all I earn goes to "taxes" somewhere. In my ideal world, we would cap Federal spend at 20% or so and State/Local at 10% or less. Of course, some of the Federal Spend is load balancing between the States (such as InterState Roads) but the total numbers need to be a daily conversation between us all. And when we want to spend more on one area, we need to spend less on others. BTW, the GDP does go up, we do get collectively wealthier, so spending increases, just not as a percent (in an ideal world.)

We have had a recent bad spell with the US State Department. Turnover, bad morale, you read the news. No one seems to mention the real news: the US Department of State hires 68,000 people in its entirety. Sorry, with modern Computers and IT systems, I bet we could do the whole job with fewer than 20,000 people.

And this is the risk of demagogues and populists: they like to distract us with their "big issues" so we ignore the "little issues" such as 35% of GDP going to the Feds.

Thanks for asking.
Last edited by max129 on Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#12 Post by Marlene » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:17 pm

Oh. That bullshit.

You wrote something else, which was what I asked about. I know what "socially liberal fiscally conservative" means. Seen it a thousand times before. It means you think you're a good person but don't actually want things to change.

As far as trans rights are concerned, you're completely ignorant. Your description of what you think is someone gone too far is a total jumbling of what the issues at hand have been in that arena. You have dismissed the notion of people wanting rights, but then scoffed at what you imagine they are asking for by suggesting that they just do what they are asking for. You literally appear to have no idea what you're talking about. I'm sure that won't stop you talking about it.

As far as your lack of understanding of how money works on a large scale, take comfort in the fact that you don't actually have to know how those things work for your business plans to succeed.

You originally wrote "economically liberal and fiscally conservative" that was an interesting thing I wanted to hear about. This crap I have heard a hundred times too many.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#13 Post by sikacz » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:27 pm

Well....welcome. I recommend reading some of the past topics and posts.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#14 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:42 pm

@Marlene "economic liberal" means in favor of free trade. Anti Corn-Laws and all that.

"economic liberal" means don't impede trade

"fiscal conservative" means don't spend more than you have

I must admit, I -love- this forum. Smart, snarky people at every turn.

"How money works at a large scale" - hmm, Economics is called the "dismal science" for a reason. It is great at sorting over last years garbage and does a terrible job of seeing into next year.

@sikacz - been reading weekly for more than a year now. Finally felt like I knew enough about the folks here to step into the pool.

As for trans rights and related - I actually mean no offense, truly. I live part time in San Francisco and I have a large number of "which ever" friends - BTW, they don't agree on what needs to change either :-) I have trans children. I am simply stating that in the larger fight for social liberalism, the "politics of identity" left the road IMO. Others disagree. If we had really solved the legacy of Jim Crow laws, that would be one thing. I really like the progressive social model, (part of being a social liberal) but progressives are at risk of being a child that drops one toy to play with the new one, leaving the last toy in some undressed fashion. I believe a better society is a long game.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#15 Post by Marlene » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:52 pm

Lol “some of my best friends “
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#16 Post by sikacz » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:10 pm

Then why the rehash of old subjects... Never mind. I'm not interested in a rerun.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#17 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:18 pm

OK, charge me with political incorrectness. Probably guilty. The best man at my wedding is a very dear friend. Happens to be gay. Frankly, the part of San Francisco where I have a small loft seems to be 75% gay. And most of the talk is about rising rents, not other issues.

This will not be the first time I have been accused of seeing the world through a white, het (and older) set of eyes. My intentions are good, but I am a social ignoramus. As I stated early on, I am a mathematician. That covers a lot of socially awkward ground in one word.

My primary goal on this forum is to find a new set of ideas to get behind WRT firearms regulations in a multi-State life style.

While these issues lack some of the social impact of a progressive society, that is my intention here.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#18 Post by CDFingers » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:55 pm

Hi from northern California, max.

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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#19 Post by sikacz » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:00 pm

How about root cause mitigation and supporting community based programs to address violence instead of trying to rehash and create new laws and requirements.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#20 Post by max129 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:50 pm

@sikacz

Your suggestion gives me a lot to think about. I confess my starting point has been the conundrum of being a person who spends a lot of time in multiple States, and wants all that to be more uniform.

Your input urges me to take up a higher cause. I am reading up on it. At first glance, it looks like a Sisyphean task. But that is how change happens. I will keep reading on the mitigation issues.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#21 Post by Bisbee » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:21 pm

Hi Max129. I've enjoyed reading your intro and thoughtful explanation for your views. I think your strong suit is your ability to take in new information without the emotional entanglements which snafu most folks before they get to the heart of the matter.

I'll not speak for anyone else here but myself, a cis-male 1st-gen (Asian) immigrant. I enjoy a relatively secure life, though not exactly economically stable due to circumstance, I am far more "safe" than the average immigrant living here in The States. I have also backpacked extensively throughout the world in my 20's and have seen with my own eyes the level of corruption and true, grinding 3rd World Poverty on the necks of the little people. I know the value of social-safety nets having both contributed and drawn from it myself. In other words, I know how it feels to be the underdog and experienced having racial power and corruption used against me in the courts. -I know what it feels to lose in a system of "might-is-right".

Having said that, in some ways we all look at social issues from the vantage point of our own hill. And though we have minds that are able to take in information like numbers and employ other technologies of language to imagine the terrain in the valleys, I believe it takes traveling to and spending time the low parts to really understand what it is that other people experience. Many folks don't care to do that. It is messy, uncomfortable work: to see unfairness, witness injustice, and ultimately feel impotent to help. At the same time, I can say from experience that you can be rewarded with a kind of beauty that clarity and Truth can reveal about our shared human condition. Scientists describe that feeling when they hit upon a unifying theory and prove it true time and time again in rigorous testing. I associate that feeling with one of the heart, of seeing something that was previously hidden from me. The feeling is almost... religious.

At any rate, in answer to your own views on society and economics, I agree that people should be allowed to do anything that doesn't injure others and that money can and should be used to better the lives of more people than less. If you think you currently pay too much taxes, consider that you would have paid much more in years past based on a more progressive tax model. And really, from the point of view of those who work several part-time jobs just to scrape by each month you should just enjoy the privileged and security of your work and achievements rather than focus on the theoretical waste of government social programs which you don't need. Because until you step in the shoes of someone who benefits from such programs, everything -including your own ideas about governmental waste- are merely theoretical. You yourself admit you don't have hard numbers to back up your assertion that money is wasted on government programs. So why use that metric of efficiency to measure the benefits of something you've not personally experienced? Why not just accept inherent inefficiency in any system when other human beings clearly are benefiting from it. (Just ride public transportation every once in a while to do social research). Money is not tangible while human lives are (or can be).

I know a lot of conservatives in the gun world and within my own extended family. I understand where they come from fiscally because of my own family's background of immigrant small-business owners. Within my own extended family members are those who pay accountants big bucks for tax-havens (a cat & mouse game really) and those who are perfectly happy to pay more taxes because their businesses are doing better. In the end, I see those folks who use government inefficiency as an excuse to bemoan their tax burden are always one's who don't need Social Security for their own retirement. And if you haven't studied the lives of people prior to a system as straightforward as Social Security you don't know what it means to live in fear of hunger/homelessness in a land of plenty.

Glad you joined, Max. Hope you stick around and continue to contribute more of your well written views.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#22 Post by Eris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:05 pm

Hi Max!

I haven't said much because while I don't seem to agree with you on everything, I understand and sympathize with your ideas, anyway. I tend to be "socially liberal" and "fiscally conservative" myself, for instance. Also, although I work as software engineer (for a loose value of the word "engineer") my degree is in mathematics, so it's nice to see someone else with the same background. *fist bump*

However, one thing you said has been gnawing on my mind:
(rights for transgender bathrooms lost me - just go to the potty, will you?)
I am "transgender" in the modern parlance, though I actually prefer the older term transsexual (transgender is a bit too nebulous and wishy-washy to me), so proposed bathroom laws worry me. I don't want to be forced into a men's restroom where the predictable outcome is that I would be either beaten, raped, killed, or at least have the police called on me.

As for "just go to the potty", that's exactly what I've been doing since I transitioned in the 90's Only one time did I have anyone complain, and that was someone who knew me before I transitioned, and she dropped it when I stood firm on it. Most transsexuals have the same experience: no one notices, no one cares, we do our business just like everyone else and get on with our lives.

The people who have a problem with it are the extreme right wingers. As trans people became more visible of the past 20 years, the right wing - which had previouly ignored us as inconsequential - seized on our existence as another front in the culture wars and started attacking us. Here in Houston they challenged a generic LGBT anti discrimination ordinance with fear mongering about men going into women's restrooms, all the while ignoring the fact that trans people had been using public restrooms without incident for decades already. Their only interest was to present us as a target of hatred and vilification in order to further their Christianist agenda.

Trans people didn't start this fight, so please don't blame us for defending ourselves.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#23 Post by Marlene » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:31 pm

But Eris, don't you know that some of his best friends are?
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#24 Post by max129 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:27 am

Marlene, actually, through happenstance, I have only gay and straight friends. To my knowledge, none of my friends are transgender. Just the accidents of who you meet.

I did dance with a really tall woman with large hands a few years ago, but did not catch her name.

I acknowledge my flippant summation on an issue (bathrooms) which for some people is truly important. I am happy if we take all the gender signs down. I also realize that the many folks left who do not yet have fully assured rights don’t wish to ‘wait in line’ while prior waves of unfinished civil rights need some finishing up.

But most of all, in national elections, I want practical politicking that remembers that all our elections are won or lost by the confused 5% in the middle. I might wish for a better system; we don’t have it.

So ‘yes’ that is where I stand. I would have preferred more focus on central 5% issues in the 2016 politicking process and have had a better sort win so we could get in with cleaning up all the issues, including a fair bathroom solution.

So please, call me by my true nasty name: I am a disgusting pragmatist. I wear that badge of shame in the open. I am willing to play to the confused 5% in the middle to win a majority.

If the future of our common good is a fish, we are all fishing with a really light line. We watched that line snap in November of 2016.
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Re: Sort of New Member from NV ... it's complicated

#25 Post by max129 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:46 am

As for your comment, Eris, of course you are right. The moral wackos baited us all. And naturally, and certainly within your rights, you and like minded folks defended yourselves.

Perhaps in the context of this thread you can clearly see that we needed a longer timeline defense plan, because by reacting the way we did, harm was done to that mushy 5%.

Everyone who plays poker knows that when you go to a poker game, there is a chump at the table. If you cannot tell who the chump is, find a mirror.

Well we were all played for chumps in 2016 by some really, truly bad people. And my comment about potties was some of the sting I still feel about being outplayed by The Beverly Hillbillies (mean version).

I am probably way off topic in the “say hello” forum. But if this explicit summation does not clear it up, I give up.
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