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Comment: No more TSA... (Score 3) 181

by athlon02 (#39940301) Attached to: Homeland Security: New Body Scanners Have Issues

Yet ANOTHER reason to get rid of the TSA. We waste dollar after dollar on that stupid agency. And according to their own stats, we're no safer now than in 2001. Moreover, from a constitutional standpoint:

1. The Federal govt has the right to secure the borders -- this is the job for border patrol, NOT the TSA
2. Inter-state flights - not within Federal jurisdiction
3. That leaves flights that go across state lines, but do not leave the US.

The only place where the TSA arguably should have any authority is #3. And if we do #1, #2, and track & deport known terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, then the need for #3 becomes very minimal.

Let's face it, the TSA is filled with a bunch of inept, under-achieving goons, who have shaky justification for their jobs (at best) and should be replaced with private security companies. Such companies could be under appropriately laws to make sure they can be prosecuted for violating the 4th amendment, civil liberties, etc. and they'd have plenty of incentives to do things right...

OK, rant ended.

Comment: Re:"We can change this anytime" EULA didn't work? (Score 0) 166

by athlon02 (#39153373) Attached to: User Successfully Sues AT&T For Throttling iPhone Data

For Verizon at least, they have a clause for "materially adverse effect". If they change the contract in any way, that you find to be "materially adverse", and it can be reasonably shown to be so, you get out free and clear.

http://consumerist.com/2011/06/new-fee-lets-you-break-verizon-contract-without-early-termination-fee.html

Believe me, if I had seen that article prior to the change, I'd probably be free of them now. I'm almost counting the months until my latest contract renewal is up.

Comment: Re:Supremacy Clause (Score 1) 601

by athlon02 (#39140103) Attached to: State Legislatures Attempt To Limit TSA Searches

INACS (I'm not a Constitutional scholar) ... But, for flights that originate in Texas and only fly over Texas, would not Texas law trump federal law? The same kind of thinking is currently being used with guns (if the gun is made in a state, sold in a state, used in a state, and never crosses state lines, it remains a state issue). I would think the combination of the 10th amendment and commerce clause would apply in such cases for intra-state flights, thus leaving the TSA out in the cold for such flights.

And if so, that actually sounds like a decent solution for many (non-overseas) travelers... set up airports just far enough inside your border for people to fly across the state, get a taxi to another state, and fly over that state too if need be. Yes, it could be more expensive, and yes it could be more annoying... But, if all states basically told the TSA to "get out" for such flights & did their own security measures, you might actually still get to your destination faster than a flight where you have to go through the TSA first.

Anyone here know about the constitutionality of this?

Comment: Obligatory quote... (Score 1) 356

by athlon02 (#39137839) Attached to: Academics Not Productive Enough? Sack 'em

A quote comes to mind...

"Doctor... Venkman. The purpose of science is to serve mankind. You seem to regard science as some kind of dodge... or hustle. Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable! You are a poor scientist, Dr. Venkman!" -- Dr. Yeager

Comment: Re:News to me (Score 1) 672

by athlon02 (#39125103) Attached to: Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

GM has no money due to management issues. GM doesn't just make & sell cars, they had GMC financing. They played in the finance world too much and got bitten. The reason they failed is not due to quality, but bad upper management. And don't tell me that being in the IT world you cannot understand that or that it doesn't happen. How many programmers/engineers/etc have been bad-mouthed b/c a company tanked due to poor management?

Comment: Re:News to me (Score 1) 672

by athlon02 (#39125065) Attached to: Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

Stop listening to magazines and ratings companies! Like it or not, they're going to be paid to say some things. Find a mechanic friend who works at a shop doing a lot of business, who doesn't fix your cars, and thus has no vested interest in steering you in any direction, then ask them what cars they see the most. Moreover, ask them about cars with the Ecotec engine (Saturn L-series, Cobalt, Cavalier) and see if they don't tell you that's one of the best engines out there.

Comment: Re:News to me (Score 1) 672

by athlon02 (#39125025) Attached to: Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

Obviously you got a lemon... I bought a used 2000 Bravada with 82k miles on it -- only thing I replaced on it in 3 years (and ~35k miles) was a fuel pump and a hub assembly. Only reason I got rid of it was my wife had a blowout on the highway and it was totaled (mostly due to exterior damage, not the engine bay). I had a 2000 Saturn with 162k miles and sold it at 209k miles b/c I was moving and couldn't afford to take it with me. It had a few more parts replaced, but the power train, suspension, and electrical system (e.g., power windows, cruise, etc.) NEVER gave me problems even during a winter with several feet of snow in just a few weeks. GMC products have been good to me... far better than the Sable I used to own, or the 2001 Ford Explorer, or the 2000 Hyundai Accent, or the 2005 Kia Spectra. I only wish I had bought GM products to start with, would have saved me lots of headaches.

And I'm glad I've never owned a Toyota! ... a mechanic friend (ASE master mechanic for Midas) saw non-stop problems with them in their shop. He told me that Toyota is no more reliable than any other car. It's just that whereas most people realistically expect problems with their cars, Toyota owners are surprised.

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