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Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 286

by felrom (#47896369) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

"What moral authority," you ask? The moral authority granted by decades of Californians begging for more government at every opportunity. Now they've got it and they're realizing they don't like it.

But it's okay; instead of admit the mistake and start working to reign in the overlords they've manufactured, they'll just move to other nice states with smaller governments, functional economies, good jobs, and affordable standards of living, where they'll promptly begin to recreate the same mistakes they made in California.

It's already happening in Oregon, Washington, and especially Colorado. Austin is getting a good dose of it too, and Utah is in for a rude awakening in the next couple of years.

Comment: Zuk Don't Care (Score 2, Insightful) 254

by felrom (#47796323) Attached to: Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Funny that the Ukrainians think Zuckerberg cares. He's the worst kind of anti-freedom, in-bed-with-the-government, limousine socialist there is. Mr. Open-All-The-Borders hides behind his armed guards at his gated mansion so he wont have to be burdened with the consequences of his actions. Appealing to Zuckerberg to stop blocking their social media efforts is going to have about as much effect as appealing directly to Putin to stop invading.

Comment: Re:Baltics are next if the West fails to respond (Score 1) 848

by felrom (#47780369) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

And at the helm of the only NATO country that matters: Obama. NATO members with 1% and 2% of their budgets going towards defense are in for a rude awakening when they realize that the US isn't coming to their rescue. Obama doesn't have a strategy for confronting ISIS; do you think he has any plan for dealing with Russia? The only thing he knows for sure are his tee times for the next month.

This must be that flexibility he told Putin he'd have after the 2012 election. It's the flexibility to let his own foreign policy chickens come home to roost and the world go to shit while he ignores it from the golf course.

Comment: Simple Solution.... (Score 5, Insightful) 140

Turn the EFF into the NRA of online rights. If the EFF had 5,000,000 dues paying, donating, voting, vocal, invested members, we wouldn't be having these discussions about ISPs writing their own laws. The hardest part is already done: organizing some people who know what they're doing into what is now the EFF.

People just need to decide that their rights are worth at least $25/year.

Comment: What! A reasonable plan for CO2 reduction!?!?! (Score 2) 155

by felrom (#47443595) Attached to: Fighting Climate Change With Trade

Actions like this are how you get the other half to agree to do things to reduce CO2 emissions.

Good step: Offer to eliminate tariffs on solar panels and other things.
Bad step: Call anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING a denier.
Good step: Get behind building LOTS of modern nuclear plants. LOTS.
Bad step: Say that anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING should be arrested.
Good step: Get behind building LOTS of electric cars, and the technology to increase batteries' energy density.
Bad step: Say that anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING should be killed.

Much of the political opposition that the Global Warming people get is because they believe that all of their solutions are so good that they should be mandatory. They come to you and say that you'll have to give up your money, your freedom, your independence, and your quality of life. This is all demanded at the barrel of a gun with the implication that if you don't capitulate, you'll also have to give up your life itself.

Environmentalists have made many great missteps, the two largest being not loudly denouncing those among them that call for murder of anyone who dissents, and continuously pushing plans that they know half the population will never get behind.

You want to reduce CO2 emissions? Suggest plans for it that everyone can support. Leave the death threats at home. ; )

Comment: Re:redundant aircraft (Score 1) 103

Bell Helicopter is developing a tilt rotor aircraft for this competition:

If you take the V-22, and remove the Marine Corps' requirements for blade-fold-wing-stow and rotors small enough to launch off of a Marine helicopter ship, you free up a huge amount of design room to increase performance.

Comment: Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (Score 2) 103

The Army doesn't want Apaches. They want a medium lift technology demonstrator that will replace their Blackhawk fleet while providing much more capability by exploring new vertical lift technologies. Then they'll run separate competitions to scale the technology up and down in size to replace their Apaches, Little Birds, and Chinooks.

Comment: Re:You think? (Score 3, Informative) 385

Today on /. we find out who doesn't know the difference between subsidies, tax deductions, tax breaks, and taxes.

From the linked CNN article above:

Among other things, the measure killed on Thursday would have ended oil production's categorization under the tax code as a form of domestic manufacturing eligible for a deduction worth 6% of net income, according to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, the bill's author.

The measure also would have prevented oil companies from claiming foreign royalty payments as a credit against American taxes, and cut the ability of companies to deduct numerous costs associated with the drilling process.

So we have a bunch of tax deductions that literally every company in the country is eligible for, but when the oil industry takes them they become subsidies and are bad.


Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by felrom (#47335009) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Welcome to the world of fighting for gun rights, where among other things:

"Children" killed by guns includes people up to age 35 in some studies.
"School shootings" includes gang violence that just happens to take place close enough to a school.
"People killed by an acquaintance with a gun" includes rival drug dealers who knew each other, one of which kills the other.
"Victims of gun violence" include Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
"Gun deaths" include suicides, lawful homicide (cop-on-criminal) and lawful self-defense (citizen-on-criminal).

MADD and gun-grabbers have much in common when it comes to creative use of statistics.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by felrom (#47334903) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Nobody talks about restricting access to guns for your personal health.

The CDC does. It spent much of the 80s and 90s putting out politically motivated research trying to whip people into a frenzy over the dangers of gun ownership.
The VA does it too. It's been expanding its definitions of mentally defective, all the way to veterans only having slight sleeping problems from PTSD, in order to then prevent them from owning guns.
Hell, not two days ago in Colorado a court upheld the state's 15-round magazine capacity limit under the pretense that it contributes to public safety, only a single thinly veiled step away from claiming it's for your health.

Maybe you're not steeped in the gun rights fight that way I am every day, but that doesn't mean these things simply aren't happening.

Comment: Re:War of government against people? (Score 1) 875

by felrom (#47201487) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'

There are many ways to obtain a gun in America, with varying levels of records of it being recorded:
1. Buy or transfer a gun through an FFL, in which case a Form 4473 is filled out and kept by the FFL. The ATF, in the course of an investigation can get a copy of this form to see who bought the gun. The ATF cannot legally go around making copies of all 4473s to create a database. The information from the 4473 is required to be kept on file with the FFL for at least 20 years, at which point he can start purging it. If he quits being an FFL before then, he turns it all over to the ATF to keep the records for future investigations. So a few guns that are sold through an FFL will eventually have no record, if he holds the FFL for 20 years after the sale AND decides to destroy the record.

2. Buy a gun in a private sale, assuming your state doesn't require this to go through an FFL (in which case, see #1). Most states require no record keeping for this. Where I live, my only responsibility under the law is to be reasonably sure that the buyer is not prohibited from owning guns. That means I ask, "Are you prohibited?" and if they say no, I can sell it to them with no liability.

3. Receive a gun as a gift. Most places treat this the same as #2.

4. Make your own gun. Most states don't require you to register a gun you made yourself. You must be making it yourself, for yourself. If you later decide you don't want it, you're supposed to transfer it to its new owner via an FFL. Making a gun yourself is much easier than it sounds; I've built an AR15 for myself, it has no serial number on it, there's no 4473 for it anywhere, and it's 100% legal.

So, methods 2,3 and 4 can create new gun owners with no record of it, and method 4 can create new guns with no record of it.
Method 1 can make new owners with no record assuming certain rare events: FFL in business long enough to start purging his books, or his store goes up in a fire and the records are destroyed, or thieves steal the records. In this case the ATF can only learn that a gun existed at some point; they have no idea who the original retail owner was, so their information that it existed is useless.

With home made guns, they don't even have that information.

So, NOT every gun in the US has paperwork for it somewhere, and NOT every gun buyer is on paperwork somewhere, and what paperwork does exist for some guns is 100% useless with regard to locating the gun or its owner.

This whole discussion doesn't even touch on the subject of a more important question: What good do records and serialization do when most guns used in crimes are stolen to start with? Despite what you learned by watching CSI, the answer is a resounding, "Not a whole hell of a lot."

Comment: Re:Does Slashdot suddenly support States' Rights? (Score 1) 96

States no more have the power to regulate guns than the federal government does. Making that lack of power explicit by incorporating the second amendment under the due process clause deprives the states of nothing. Fundamental rights are fundamental rights, whether it's a state government or the federal government who seeks to take them away from you.

The whole Bill of Rights and the idea of natural rights would all become a silly notion were states in possession of the legitimate power to restrict them. I'm talking political theory here, not practice because we all know in practice the government at all levels shits on your rights without the legitimacy to do so.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten