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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment 1086

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."

+ - The EPA admits it doesn't have the data to justify its environmental regulations-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "In a stunning admission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency neither possesses, nor can produce, all of the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans via the Clean Air Act.

The EPA was subpoenaed by Congress for the data it uses, and they responded to say that what they have doesn’t really provide any proof that their regulations are necessary. But they then add that they are going to continue imposing their regulations anyway."

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Comment: Re:What if we overcorrect? (Score 1) 335

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:Lobbying aside (Score 5, Insightful) 400

by XxtraLarGe (#46760721) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

While that sounds nice in theory but for most people it doesn't make any different. For example say you get back $2,000 from your tax return. If you intend on saving you could keep in your weekly check that money and put it in an interest barring account and come out ahead. but when your saving account is paying 0.1% interest you are making less then $2 by doing so. $2 a year for most people isn't even worth time time to figure out the proper withholding. And don't tell me about the stock market or similar where i am putting my money at risk. so until interest rates go to a sane level its just not worth it.

Unless of course you're one of the unwashed masses that has an abundance of credit card debt. Using that extra money to pay off your debts more quickly can give you a great return, at least in the sense that you'd LOSE less money.

Comment: Re:Lobbying aside (Score 5, Insightful) 400

by XxtraLarGe (#46758567) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

On the one hand, filing Return-free filing would be a nice option...on the other, I like that people have to take the time to notice how much money Uncle Sam is taking.

Most of them only look at how much they're getting back, which is the majority of people. If you really wanted it to sink in, you'd need to end paycheck income tax withholding and actually have them write a check on April 15.

+ - Intuit, maker of Turbotax, lobbies against simplied tax filings-> 1

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Or that, under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. Or that the concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe.

Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

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+ - System Administrator vs Change Advisory Board 1

Submitted by thundergeek
thundergeek (808819) writes "I am the sole sysadmin for nearly 50 servers (win/linux) across several contracts. Now a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is wanting to manage every patch that will be installed on the OS and approve/disapprove for testing on the development network. Once tested and verified, all changes will then need to be approved for production.

Windows servers aren't always the best for informing admin exactly what is being "patched" on the OS, and the frequency of updates will make my efficiency take a nose dive. Now I'll have to track each KB, RHSA, directives and any other 3rd party updates, submit a lengthy report outlining each patch being applied, and then sit back and wait for approval.

What should I use/do to track what I will be installing? Is there already a product out there that will make my life a little less stressful on the admin side? Does anyone else have to go toe-to-toe with a CAB? How do you handle your patch approval process?"

+ - This 1981 BYTE magazine cover explains why we're so bad at tech predictions->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "If you remember the golden age of BYTE magazine, you remember Robert Tinney's wonderful cover paintings. BYTE's April 1981 cover featured an amazing Tinney image of a smartwatch with a tiny text-oriented interface, QWERTY keyboard, and floppy drive. It's hilarious--but 33 years later, it's also a smart visual explanation of why the future of technology so often bears so little resemblance to anyone's predictions. I wrote about this over at TIME.com."
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Comment: Re:What if we overcorrect? (Score 1) 335

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

+ - IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay A Relative's Debt

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Just in time for the April 15 IRS filing deadline comes news from the Washington Post that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds are instead getting letters informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check — sometimes on debts 20 or 30 years old. For example, when Mary Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them. Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. “It was a shock,” says Grice, 58. “What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can’t prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.”

The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, says Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam. The Federal Trade Commission, on its Web site, advises Americans that “family members typically are not obligated to pay the debts of a deceased relative from their own assets.” But Social Security officials say that if children indirectly received assistance from public dollars paid to a parent, the children’s money can be taken, no matter how long ago any overpayment occurred. Many of the taxpayers whose refunds have been taken say they’ve been unable to contest the confiscations because of the cost, because Social Security cannot provide records detailing the original overpayment, and because the citizens, following advice from the IRS to keep financial documents for just three years, had long since trashed their own records. More than 1,200 appeals have been filed on the old cases but only about 10 percent of taxpayers have won those appeals. "The government took the money first and then they sent us the letter," says Brenda Samonds.." We could never get one sentence from them explaining why the money was taken.”"

Comment: Re:Technically if an NSA backdoor existed (Score 4, Interesting) 171

by Charliemopps (#46752243) Attached to: First Phase of TrueCrypt Audit Turns Up No Backdoors

The problem with the NSA is we have no idea what their capabilities are, technologically or legally. They are clearly violating the constitution already and there seems to be no one willing or capable of stopping them. So if they did come to you with a NSL, no matter how ridiculous or unconstitutional it was, what choice would you have? You could go to the media, but how embedded in the media are they? Do they have standing NSLs with all the media organizations out there? You could go outside the country, but those newspapers are government by their own countries version of the NSA who's working in close relationship with ours. This really is a Global totalitarian secret police state. They haven't started herding people into camps or anything, but really... what's to stop them?

Comment: Re:Doesn't matter if it gets funded. (Score 1) 155

by Charliemopps (#46750443) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Not if the flight mode is totally autonomous. Lets say you don't need interstates anymore. If you want to travel a large distance you drive to a platform somewhere and set your destination. The computer takes over and off you go. Once it lands a few hundred miles away you take over again.

+ - Comcast-Time Warner merger - FCC approval is just a matter of formality->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "
  • Comcast CEO and president Brian Roberts is Obama's golf buddy. He's donated thousands to Obama, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and numerous high-profile Democrats, including Steny Hoyer. Roberts is also an Obama fundraiser to the tune of $2 million and has visited the White House 14 times since 2010.
  • The Comcast Foundation has funneled more than $3 billion — with a "b" — to Hispanic, black and Asian groups that make up the Democrat's primary voting bloc.
  • Comcast owns NBC and NBC News. NBC's entertainment programming skews left, and has always been ready to promote things like the Left's green campaigns. NBC News and MSNBC have provided a fully-staffed news team and network solely devoted to protecting the Democrats, its agenda, and attacking its opponents.
  • Time Warner, has been greasing the palms of Democrats like Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry to the tune of millions.
"

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