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Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 122

by _Sharp'r_ (#47717869) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

This argument doesn't make any sense, and certainly wouldn't to a strict-constructionist.

Either the Constitution was intended to cover any type of travel when originally written, or it wasn't.

If it was, then any type of travel is protected, because nothing in the Constitution authorizes the government to restrict travel.

If (as you argue) it wasn't intended to cover, say, flying, because it didn't exist at that time yet (silly, no one really argues that but let's go with it...), then still, nothing in the Constitution authorizes the government to restrict travel via flying.

The fallacy you seem to be falling into is thinking that the Constitution needs to explicitly permit or protect a particular freedom (like travel) or else the government can do what they want in regards to it. The Constitution doesn't grant people rights and doesn't protect only enumerated freedoms. It enumerates specific powers for the government and reserves everything not specifically granted to the States and the people.So if the Constitution doesn't apply to something, then the Federal government doesn't have any authority whatsoever in regards to that something.

In actual fact, the courts have ruled that any limitation on the fundamental right to travel must pass strict scrutiny. See a few hundred thousand links from Google.

Comment: Re:PL = Honorable Institution. (Score 1, Informative) 226

So because Suarez is in the UK, when speaking in his native tongue, he uses a word that sounds like nigger, he is automatically a racist? This word negrito, btw, a word Suarez's grandmother still calls him.

So much for the most cosmopolitan league in the world. It's no wonder that all the best players are leaving for Spain. I never thought the country of Wilberforce would be so racist in the 21st century as to make the USA look tolerant in comparison.

Comment: Re:PL = Honorable Institution. (Score -1, Flamebait) 226

The Premier League / FA is a bunch of racists. The hitjob they did on Luis Suarez for the use of his non-offensive word negrito (ie blackie, a South American equivalent of calling someone Red) smacks of the worst of Jim Crow. England should and eventually will be ashamed of this.

The Premier League / FA should also be ashamed that they allow so much corrupt Russian money to go flowing into Chelsea. That football club was bought and paid for by the blood of the Russian people. They have allowed Abramovich, the good buddy of dictator Putin, to run riot with stolen money.

Comment: Re:Money pit (Score 4, Informative) 322

by Stargoat (#47623835) Attached to: With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

I think you might want to review your history. The first French attempt under La Société internationale du Canal interocéanique almost brought France to its knees. It also was in large part responsible for a disturbing wave of antisemitism that swept France, as Jews were blamed for so much of the corruption.

A Nicaragua canal would in many ways be better than a Panama canal. Although the distance is quite a bit longer, there would be less of a need for locks than are used on the Panama canal.

Comment: Re: Disengenous [sic] (Score 1) 306

by _Sharp'r_ (#47583613) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

There are maybe 4 authors that are obviously right wing and published by the big 6 in fiction.

And none of them got started in the last 15 years or so, they're all established names who sell too many books to justify dumping. You know TOR's editors hate that Card is their biggest selling author, but they can't come up with an excuse to drop him as long as he still sells well.

Anyone newer than that will be with Baen, or one of the smaller or indie imprints.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 282

by Stargoat (#47581441) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

It has not occurred to you that the hate directed towards Israel is a natural result of the actions the Israeli government has taken over the years? The wholesale slaughter, indeed genocide, of the Palestinian people? The high seas piracy they commit frequently with without consequence? The assassinations, the hit jobs, theft of land, war crimes, etc etc.

Don't create your anti-free speech stance entirely on your pro-Israel anti-Islam bigoted belief.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 282

by Stargoat (#47577277) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

Words have an impact.

In the case of bullying it has led to multiple deaths. In the case of terrorist advocacy, it has led to repeated violent/racist protests that has led to countless people getting hurt and in some cases dying. No one should have the right to advocate violence against all members of an ethnic group. Just look at what's happening in France.

What you are proposing abridges freedom of speech. If a person decides to jump off a bridge because someone called them fat, too bad. We should have learned as a society that restrictions on actions do not make us safer unless those particular necessarily lead directly to harm of others. Advocating violence against an ethnic group, while reprehensible, should be protected speech. Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater necessarily leads directly to the harm of others, so restrictions are acceptable.

What invariably ends up happening is government takes too much control. Just look at what's happening in England (to Tottenham's Yid Army or the ridiculously racist hit job the FA did on Luis Suarez for using the perfectly acceptable by South American standards word negrito). If you give government power, they will abuse it. Every time. The question should be: is the abuse worth it? In this case, definitely not.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 5, Insightful) 306

by _Sharp'r_ (#47571235) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

As an author, I can tell you that Amazon and their eBook pricing means more money (overall) for Authors. Maybe not for the "best seller"s who don't actually sell many books, but their publishing house prints lots of them and sends them out to stores, so while they end up on the bargain rack or destroyed, they still make the NY Times list based on the lay-down. Yeah, the authors people don't actually want to read will ultimately make less money, but the real authors that people like and want to buy from will make a lot more.

There is currently a battle going on in the industry between the special favorites of the big 6 publishing houses and the midlisters and independents. There are very few authors who can get a reasonable deal out of one of the publishing houses. Everyone else is getting contracts which require them to sign away their works forever, sign away any future works in the same genre, sign away all electronic rights, etc... for a $5K advance on a one or two book contract.

The midlisters and indies are running to ebooks and small publishing houses as fast as they can. It's not a mystery why. Amazon will pay 70% on an ebook. A publisher will typically pay maybe 15% (on poorly documented bookscan sales numbers, even on eBooks, which should be exact!) Where they used to purcahse only limited publication rights, which expired after they took the book out of print, now they want contracts where the author will never get their book back, even if the publishing house isn't actually doing anything with it.

If you are a well-known celebrity, or you sell millions of copies, then a big 6 publisher may work with you on somewhat fair terms. Otherwise, they won't edit you (it's gotten much worse over the last few years), they won't market you and they'll barely make sure your latest book stays on store shelves for a month.

The big 6 publishers are not only an issue in terms of IP rights and author payments, but they are also a very bad gatekeeper. Ever wonder why so many old SF authors stopped publishing and much of what is out there now is crap? It's because they're being picked by a publishing house with a NY "editor" who probably doesn't even like SF. They literally drove popular authors (who wrote what people actually wanted to read) out of the business. If an author sold too much (i.e. more than the editor projected), did they reprint and push the book? No, they'd keep the same print run and just stop publishing it when it hit the number projected as the max, usually tiny. Baen was the only real exception of any size in the industry. Jim Baen also did eBooks right from the start (gave old ones away in order to promote newer books in the same series/by the same author). That's all just starting to turn around because of Amazon, on-demand publishing and eBooks. Old famous authors are even starting to put out the books their publishing house stopped selling, or that they couldn't get published in the first place because it wasn't the editor's latest fad.

Also, the big 6 publishing houses have a massively left-leaning bias. They've spent decades now killing the sales numbers of entire genres because the authors were required to toe the line of the latest politically correct movement. You can date books in some genres by the issues and characters the editors required. Many books that adults like have been pushed into YA categories, just because if it it's not "edgy" enough, the NY editors don't want to buy it. Forget about what will sell, they buy what they'll want to tell their NY publishing friends about at the next cocktail party.

Scalzi is the poster-child cheerleader for the big 6 publishing houses. He's on the "inside" of the publishing establishment and does everything he can to defend them. He could care less about SF authors, just about his publishing buddies.

You want the real scoop on Amazon and Authors? Go look at Mad Genius Club, or According to Hoyt.

Comment: Re:It's a shame (Score 1) 288

by _Sharp'r_ (#47540375) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

If it weren't for them, we'd have the environment of China because businesses do not care. Pollution is the tradgedy of the commons - folks pollute and the rest of society pays for the costs.

The "businesses" in China, in contrast to the environmentally cleaner portions of the world, are essentially part of the government. Chernobyl wasn't exactly a private enterprise either.

The solution to the tragedy of the commons is private ownership and liability in order to change the incentives, not more government government regulations. You complain about the Atlanta area, but last time I checked, Georgia Power was a regulated government-granted monopoly.

I agree that it makes sense for people to do things that save them money (and resources in the process), but I object to the idea that solutions to environmental problems is what more government control produces. The worst environmental offenders are government agencies and tightly government controlled industries around the world.

Who do you think takes better care of a forest? Tree farmers who own the land and want to get the most long term value out of it, or government bureaucrats who are marking time until their pension kicks in?

Most of the current fashion in environmentalism is a way for some people to tell themselves they're morally superior to the less "environmentally conscious" while they do ridiculous things like sorting and recycling glass, with the other side of the movement profiting handsomely by selling them what they want to hear and using it all as an excuse for the government officials to reward their friends.

Comment: Re:Peak Water (Score 1) 377

by _Sharp'r_ (#47536955) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

The natural price of a commodity is the clearing price, AKA the price where the available supply matches the available demand when those in the market for that commodity aren't prevented from agreeing on a mutually satisfactory price.

The government agencies setting the price artificially (which is why the reference to naturally) have tended to set it too low. That results in a shortage of water as more water is purchased for immediate use (vs among other things, storing for sale later, in forms such as an aquifer) than would be if the price were higher.

We've been using prices to ration scarce goods for thousands of years. They work very well at it. They lead to the situation where the most economically efficient use is made of the resource.

If you think the only cost of ground water in the west is digging a well and pumping it out, you likely don't live in the west. Essentially all the water in most western States is used by whomever owns the water rights. Most of the water rights are currently owned by government agencies, water boards, etc... which have been accumulating them for a long time (If you don't use your water rights continuously, the government will take them and add them to their own rights. If there is a water rights title dispute, the government purchases them for pennies on the dollar because then they can legally resolve the dispute in their own favor and claim the water rights, where a private citizen couldn't, etc...). They then turn around and sell the water at artificially low prices to the politically powerful. In CA, that's the farmers.

I happen to own (along with 500 acres with a well on it) a significant portion of 860 acre-feet of water rights in a rocky mountain state and I grew up in CA, so I'm fairly familiar with the way water works out west.

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller

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