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United States

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment 1581

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the invest-in-crossbows dept.
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.'

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names 'the People' as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious about his other 5 suggested changes, but I guess we'll have to wait until the end of April to find out."

Comment: Re:What if we overcorrect? (Score 1) 341

by BlueStrat (#46766097) Attached to: Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

Any scientists care to produce data on how much cooling that hunting the large numbers of truly enormous herds of buffalo that covered many square miles to near-extinction produced? The temperature records I've seen do not show any such corresponding result.

There are about twice as many bovines in the US now. Estimates of the population of bison in the 1500s are 30-60million. There are 90million cattle in the country now. The biomass of a bison was commonly 300-1000kg. The biomass of a beef cow at slaughter is about 600kg average: So I what you're seeing is a replacement of one bovine with another, with a increase in population and biomass.

So you're saying in effect that if the buffalo herds had grown to ~30% larger that it would have had a significant effect on global warming? That's quite a leap.

If global climate is so delicate we're all doomed no matter what we do.

I'm all for solidly-based, practical, cost-effective, common sense, and pragmatic efforts to protect the environment. This whole CO2 and climate-change alarmism is not any of that.

The Earth is in a warming cycle that will continue until it peaks and reverses back towards another ice age, no matter what we puny humans do. We can only make tiny-to-the-point-of-irrelevance changes in the rates of those changes.

Rather than attempt to put chains on the growth of civilization and the freedom of men, why not trust that humans will do what they've always done? Adapt, survive, overcome, and prosper. With the growth of civilization also comes a growth in our ability to adapt, overcome, and mitigate.

Also, with the growth of civilization will be a growth in our ability and desire to move problem-making industries like energy production and many other types of industrial operations. Once humans start moving such activities off-planet, there will be a chance for Earth's natural processes to abate and recover from the damage we may have done on our way to maturity. Humans can't advance as a civilization and live like they're afraid to walk on the grass.

You can't have humans totally proscribed from causing any potential damage to the environment or climate. It's going to happen no matter what, and no matter how many laws are passed or treaties that are signed. Not saying I favor a free-for-all. As I stated above, pragmatic and cost-effective rules that can reasonably be enforced, and that don't do more damage than they're intended to mitigate.

"The secret is to bang the two rocks together, kiddies!" - MC at The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.

Strat

Comment: Re:What if we overcorrect? (Score 1) 341

Point of precision: Cow flatulence isn't a significant source of greenhouse gasses. Cow digestion makes methane, but it is released at the front end of said bovine.

We must work to eliminate the large numbers of carbon-producing buffalo immediately!

Oh, wait...

Any scientists care to produce data on how much cooling that hunting the large numbers of truly enormous herds of buffalo that covered many square miles to near-extinction produced? The temperature records I've seen do not show any such corresponding result.

If curbing the bovine population were to have any meaningful effect on warming, we should be able to identify and quantify the data that would tend to confirm or disprove this from the time periods before and after the time of the disappearance of the buffalo herds.

As a matter of fact, I find the lack of this comparison being used to bolster the case for bovine carbon regulations/laws conspicuous by it's very absence.

Strat

Earth

UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the its-getting-hot-in-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a study that concluded there was less than a 1% chance that current global warming could be simple fluctuations, U.N. scientists say energy from renewables, nuclear reactors and power plants that use emissions-capture technology needs to triple in order keep climate change within safe limits. From The Washington Post: 'During a news conference Sunday, another co-chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri of India, said the goal of limiting a rise in global temperatures "cannot be achieved without cooperation." He added, "What comes out very clearly from this report is that the high-speed mitigation train needs to leave the station soon, and all of global society needs to get on board."'"
Government

FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-hire-some-people-who-understand-technology dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For about a decade, Gene Robinson has been putting cameras on remote-controlled model aircraft and using them in search-and-rescue missions. But now the Federal Aviation Administration has shut him down, saying his efforts violate a ban on flying RC aircraft for commercial purposes. Robinson doesn't charge the families of the people he's looking for, and he created a non-profit organization to demonstrate that. He also coordinates with local authorities and follows their guidelines to the letter. The FAA shut him down because they haven't designed regulations to deal with situations like this, even though they've been working on it since 2007. 'So it's difficult to argue that his flights are more dangerous than what goes on every weekend at RC modeling sites throughout the United States, which can include flights of huge models that weigh 10 times as much as Robinson's planes; aerial stunts of nitromethane-fueled model helicopters; and the low-altitude, 500-kilometer-per-hour passes in front of spectators of model jets powered by miniature turbine engines.'"

Comment: Ah, Crony-Capitalism! (Score 4, Interesting) 223

by BlueStrat (#46681915) Attached to: Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.

Where government creates regulations and laws to favor "connected" businesses and interests. That's how the established ISPs have come to have so much power.

."..one has to wonder how long before the U.S. recognizes the internet as a utility and passes laws and regulations accordingly."

Now the author of TFS thinks *more* laws & regulations from the *same* crooks that have intentionally worked long and hard to *create* this situation are suddenly going to help!?

If there's enough crap stirred up to occupy the news cycle for more than a day or two, they'll do what they always do. Put together some Bill with a great-sounding name and at a quick glance looks good, but there will be sub-clauses and sub-paragraphs buried deep in the weeds of the Bill that actually make things *worse*.

Hmm, on second thought, where did I put that property title to that bridge? I may have found a prospect!

Strat

Comment: Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 2) 328

by BlueStrat (#46667709) Attached to: Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

It's not defamation of character if what you say is true.

Basically, if you're not photoshopping someone's head onto another body, revenge porn is not defamation.

LK

I would think that simply requiring a signed & notarized release form to release video/photographs of individuals nude and/or engaged in sexual acts would reduce the amount and viciousness in many cases of these revenge videos and those who upload them, and the damage they often inflict on women whose biggest crime was choosing to trust a sleazy and heartless SOB.

I see no need to pass legislation which impacts basic civil rights. There are already numerous legal precedents and laws/regulations on the books that could be slightly tweaked, possibly as I outlined above, to solve this type of attack and violation of privacy.

What has been proposed in this Bill is nothing but a power grab by government.

Strat

Comment: Re:Sure, but... (Score 1) 392

by BlueStrat (#46667413) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

/There is the small issue of nuclear fallout being scattered throughout the atmosphere.

LOLwut? You think anyone would seriously consider touching off an ascending string of air-burst nukes at Kennedy Space Center? Or even at White Sands?

Something that massive would have to be built in orbit, possibly even lunar orbit or one of the La Grange points, far away from Earth, with materials obtained from captured asteroids and/or lunar mining and use of solar-powered electromagnetic rail systems to launch materials off the lunar surface to orbit.

A space-going ship of that scale makes it not practical to be climbing out of deep atmospheres and gravity wells with, never mind trying to soft-land such a large mass on same using nuclear explosions. Ships at such scales would necessarily travel from a "parking" orbit at the origin to a "parking" orbit at the destination, and use auxiliary craft for planetary landings.

Capture an asteroid of sufficient size and a suitable composition consisting of a mixture of rock and water & methane/etc ice, hollow out the interior, and with some work you have a ship with it's own integral micrometeorite and radiation shielding, plus a built-in propellant and oxygen supply.

We have the technology right now to begin, and the growth of our knowledge and abilities will accelerate with demand and use so that we will achieve the ability to complete the most difficult parts as the time for doing those things comes up.

The spin-off technologies and knowledge gained from such a project would make life back here on Earth much safer, cleaner, and healthier for everyone.

Strat

Comment: Re:EU bans most GMOs & labels all (Score 1) 509

by BlueStrat (#46667119) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

What about giving me basic information on the labels about where my food is coming from so that I can decide for myself what I want to eat?

Then we agree that the act of banning, and therefor removing the ability to make that *choice* as opposed to allowing people to choose for themselves, is a bad thing.

Thanks for your support.

Strat

Security

TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA 149

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-lash-for-the-whipping-boy dept.
chicksdaddy writes: "The pervasiveness of the NSA's spying operation has turned it into a kind of bugaboo — the monster lurking behind every locked networking closet and the invisible hand behind every flawed crypto implementation. Those inclined to don the tinfoil cap won't be reassured by Vint Cerf's offhand observation in a Google Hangout on Wednesday that, back in the mid 1970s, the world's favorite intelligence agency may have also stood in the way of stronger network layer security being a part of the original specification for TCP/IP. (Video with time code.) Researchers at the time were working on just such a lightweight cryptosystem. On Stanford's campus, Cerf noted that Whit Diffie and Martin Hellman had researched and published a paper that described the functioning of a public key cryptography system. But they didn't yet have the algorithms to make it practical. (Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman published the RSA algorithm in 1977). As it turns out, however, Cerf did have access to some really bleeding edge cryptographic technology back then that might have been used to implement strong, protocol-level security into the earliest specifications of TCP/IP. Why weren't they used? The crypto tools were part of a classified NSA project he was working on at Stanford in the mid 1970s to build a secure, classified Internet. 'At the time I couldn't share that with my friends,' Cerf said."

Comment: Re:EU bans most GMOs & labels all (Score 1) 509

by BlueStrat (#46657713) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

There is not in any way "consensus" that "GMOs are safe"

The EU bans most GMO foods and requires labels on the others....they have plenty of peer reviewed published research to base that decision upon

Again the facts say otherwise.

The consensus is that they are safe.
American Medical Association [ama-assn.org]
National Academy of Sciences [nap.edu]
World Health Organization [who.int]
Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission [euractiv.com]
Department of Agriculture [usda.gov]
Food and Drug Administration [fda.gov]
Environmental Protection Agency [epa.gov]

Scientific consensus is that GMOs are safe.

Yes, the reactionary, anti-science Progressives in *both* major Parties who sees a chance to grab more power and control by corrupting the entire field of science in order to use it for political purposes (the ends justify the means), wants to see most people (except themselves, of course. THEY are far too important!) freezing and starving in the dark, willing to do anything they say to receive basic necessities rationed out by them as they see fit.

It's all about control.

We're living in a giant KFC farm for people, with ever-smaller cages built of the ever-growing amount of laws, regulations, taxation, licensing, bureaucracy, and destruction of civil rights along with increasingly-militarized local police forces financed and therefor controlled by the central government.

With national fiscal crisis occurring across the globe, the impending collapse of the US Dollar, and the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, we are at the precipice of a global sea-change which will herald-in the beginning of a new age of war, tyranny, genocide, and poverty worldwide.

Hang on to your ass kids, it's gonna get bumpy!

Strat

Privacy

NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the we're-all-shocked dept.
Charliemopps writes: "According to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, 'There have been queries, using U.S. person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.' Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant, according to the NSA."

Comment: Re:At least it's on our side! (Score 0) 123

by BlueStrat (#46609527) Attached to: Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

It neglects to consider that the government gives as well as takes.

Pull that bus over right now.

Government gives *nothing*.

All government is, is force. It has no wealth of it's own. Anything it "gives" in entitlements/benefits/bread & circuses/etc comes from taking wealth, under threat of lethal force and imprisonment, from those who worked to produce it and transfer it to someone else or to some other group.

TANSTAAFL

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Even more so with layer upon layer of government red-tape, incompetence, ideological social-engineering foolishness, and bureaucracy.

All that government has and all the powers it exercises are voluntarily granted to government temporarily, with the sworn & solemn agreement that the government will not exceed the bounds of that which is loaned to them, in exchange for the privilege of exercising those agreed-upon powers using the agreed-upon wealth exclusively for the agreed-upon purposes.

Furthermore, the citizens have a right and a duty to alter or abolish a government that violates that trust.

Government is a necessary evil. The less the better.

A powerful central government, necessary to support and administer/enforce a centrally run government entitlement infrastructure, even if run benevolently *now*, only requires a change of politicians/party for that same power to be used for corruption, oppression, and tyranny.

Strat

Comment: Re:At least it's on our side! (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by BlueStrat (#46608759) Attached to: Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

Have you noticed that not too many years ago, Americans would hear about some neat new technical military thing and think, "Wow, I'm glad that's on OUR side!" And now, they just expect it to be used for domestic purposes.

And yet, many of these same people will attack you and call you all sorts of names if you dare suggest reducing the Federal government's size, power, & scope. They just seem incapable of connecting the growth of government size, power, and scope to the government abuses of their civil rights that they're becoming increasingly aware of.

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

All governments get their power from the citizens. The more power the government has, the less power and protections from government abuse the individual citizen will have. All governments get their wealth from their citizens. The more wealth the government has/spends, the less wealth citizens will have or be able to borrow for homes, businesses, schooling, raising kids, giving to charities, etc.

Strat

The Courts

Weev's Attorney Says FBI Is Intercepting His Client's Mail 109

Posted by timothy
from the men-in-the-middle-attack dept.
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "The FBI is intercepting the prison correspondence of infamous Internet troll Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, including letters from his defense team, according to his attorney. 'He's sent me between 10 and 20 letters in the last month or two. I've received one,' Tor Ekeland, who had just returned from visiting Auernheimer at the federal corrections institute in Allenwood, PA., told the Daily Dot in a video interview.

Last March, Auernheimer was convicted of accessing a computer without authorization and sentenced to 41 months in prison. As a member of the computer security team Goatse Security, Auernheimer discovered a major security flaw in AT&T's network, which allowed him to download the email addresses of some 114,000 iPad users. Goatse Security reported the flaw to Gawker and provided journalists with the information, who then published it in redacted form."

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

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