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Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 1) 275

Nation-wide railroad network: To incentivize its' construction, the US government gave away huge land grants (much of it land of various Indian tribes) to corporations. The US maintains a federal bureaucracy to support rail transportation.

The rail companies kind of cheated this idea, too. If you've ever explored the American West, you probably came across various and sundry ancient rail sections inexplicably placed haphazardly all over the place. These rails were never connected to the rail network system, and were certianly ever useful to anyone in any meaningful way. Want to know why? Railroad land grants. You see, the rail companies initially would got an odd section of land on each side of the track for every mile of track built, resulting in a kind of checkerboard pattern if you looked at it on the survey.

The idea being the rail companies would subsidize track building through selling real estate near the track. Seemed sensible enough, right? What happened was this: in any place that was reasonably habitable (water, fertile land, the usual things that make life nice), the rail companies would build track alongside the main track such that the checkerboard was filled in, giving them 20 miles on either side of the main rail. They received the deed to the land, and often came along and recuperated their materials to use on yet another section of track, repeating the process. This allowed them to quickly and cheaply become the legal owners of huge swaths of land.

Eventually, they'd sell the granted land, making a tidy profit. They'd usually retain the mineral rights, however. Interestingly, the several rail companies to this day retain more mineral-acres than anyone, and still make insane amounts of cash on mineral leases to this day.

Comment's the LAW! (Score 1) 423

And how. It wasn't so long ago that being gay was thought to be a mental illness, and not long before that, having a vagina and being subject to the estrous (the word even implies being driven mad) cycle was basically an open indictment against one's mental state.

In a fit of circular logic, a certain subset of the anti-2A crowd pretty much imply that wanting to own a firearm for whatever purpose is equivalent to being crazy.... and so... Oh, you want a gun huh? Oops. DENIED. I bet if we were to come up with an ultimate political Venn diagram, these folks would strongly overlap with uber-feminists who believe that having a penis means you're a rapist, you just haven't been caught yet.

Comment Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 1) 271

Ms. Clinton was then "able to seize on loopholes" to help who she represented.
Indeed, this seems to be an ideal trait to have in Washington. Whether or not she would chose to be representative of "us" except for increasingly limited definitions of "us" is, however, another question entirely.

Comment Re:Hell No Hillary (Score 2) 676

trying to put together some sort of scandal or conspiracy, or even flat out making things up ("Obama is coming for your guns!")

Whatever your views on the issue, I find it curious that of the laundry list of nasty things the Rs said/did to smear Obama's campaign, you pick the one that was, by all metrics, objectively true.

His views prior, and up to his bid for president contrasted to...four days ago The same man who in 2008 promised among other things to increase government transparency, eliminate domestic spying, and not to go after guns...did what again? Did his part to make government more opaque, tolerated if not tacitly endorsed increased domestic spying, and went after guns at every major opportunity (often impotently).

Comment Re:Could be promising (Score 1) 82

I have a set of Logitech G930 wireless headsets, which I rather like except for the fact that they're advertised as "7.1", which couldn't be a more false statement. Sure, the software interface presents itself as 7.1 discreet channels, but you still have only two drivers. They're reasonably good as stereo headphones, but for "surround" mode they use some Dolby surround psychoacoustics nonsense, which as far as I can tell, basically ups some reverb in the software preamp and makes everything sound like you're in a steel drum. What an advancement. Not.

In comparison to a much older Turtle Beach headset which actually has 5.1 drivers (with the requisite squid like mess of input leads) Logitech with Dolby space magic falls flat on its face. That headset actually gives you positional audio, and doesn't make you feel like room mate to Oscar the Grouch. Still, I put the Logitech on for more casual use, because they don't have a cord to get caught in the wheels of my chair.

I expect this "new" binaural 3D sound to be equally uninspiring. Good stereo will always be better than bad surround, and judging by everyone listening to their white earbuds, they don't care enough to get the most out of stereo.

Comment Re:FedEx is a private business, isn't it? (Score 1) 320

You're right, I remember reading that FedEx Ground now operates as independent operator contractor / broker. Still, if a train / roller coaster at Disney qualifies as common carrier, I find it difficult to believe that service offered by FedEx Ground d/b/a/ FedEx (Green Ex, not Red Ex--that's some significant distinction) could reasonably escape common carrier status even though it sure as hell checks all of the other boxes.

Comment Re:FedEx is a private business, isn't it? (Score 1) 320

FedEx (non freight) is a common carrier. They actually do not have arbitrary authority to discriminate against what items they convey; hazardous, unreasonably heavy or bulky cargo, etc. not withstanding. If there is no law against the transport of some item, and it fits into their rate schedule and service area, they should be obligated to perform their service.

Comment Re:DOJ Oaths (Score 1) 112

And if we are making generalizations a lot of the second amendment people love to use their rights to intimidate people exercising their first amendment rights.

The only thing a lot of your so-called second amendment people choose to intimidate on a regular basis are criminals and thugs, such as their representatives in Congress--and sometimes, other miscellaneous miscreants.

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

My sources do not include anyone from Detroit, at least that I know of; perhaps the boys in blue from Detroit are better behaved than the cops I've met.

I will say this however: my current job often places me adjacent to current and former police officers from around the country. My sources are the anecdotes (and I acknowledge them to be just that) and self-admissions I've heard over last few years from numerous people. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard something like "If I did the shit I used to do in the old days, I'd be thrown in jail.", often as other officers cackle on in agreement.

I'm not being anti-cop or police-antagonistic, just relaying my experience. So, take that for what you will.

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

Violence by Police departments has escalated drastically in the same time as criminal violence has gone down

I disagree. The violence was always there. What has changed more than anything is the visibility of the violence. Everyone packs a cell phone with a camera, everyone is connected to the net and social media, which in turn filters into the mainstream news. If a cop uses or abuses their power these days, it's covered six ways from Sunday, and twice even then. Just a few years ago, the only evidence of police malfeasance would be eye witness reports, and some beat-up individual.

Back in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and to a lesser degree the 90's, big city police regularly used violence with relative impunity, which would result in dismissal and criminal charges today. My source? Conversation with former policemen. I will agree the types of force any given police department might use has escalated. Where someone might have been clubbed silly back in the old days, in this day, they get tazered and riddled with bullets instead.

As for MRAPs, many departments have had armored vehicles for decades. Tanks with the main gun taken off--and frankly, MRAP armor doesn't compare to that. I support SWAT having access to these kinds of things. They come in handy in exigent circumstances. Like when that nutball was shooting at firemen. Or when someone gets held hostage. Like firearms, they are morally inert; tools that are only as good or evil as the user who bares them.

Comment Re:Wrong idea (Score 1) 261

Yeah. You say that until the advertisers figure they can turn elements of their ads up to 1k-10k Lux, in your 50 Lux living-room, the same way they compress their audio so any conversation BECOMES A VIRTUAL YELLING MATCH. Yeah. Goodbye retinas.

Comment Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

Again, the problem is the same companies making the biometric and electronic safeties are lobbying governments around the world for the mandatory adoption of that technology for all new civilian owned guns, often also arguing for retrofitting of older guns, with the addition of an electronic bore-lock.

Do you deny that Anchutz and Armatix are not out there doing both? Since when does a seperate, immoral activity not indict all of the activities of that firm? Nazi doctors made scientific advancements using real, live, unwilling participants in their experiments. We don't like to use their data, even if it's relevant to modern research, because it's ethically tainted.

Here's the computer analogy: you have to wear a watch with a unique code to log in to a computer, and to access sites that are arbitrarily deemed to be 'unsafe' to some segment of the population. The new technology is both made by Intel, and actively lobbied for mandatory adoption.

Remember Processor ID? Clipper Chip? Boot loaders that won't start unsigned operating systems? The bottom line: if the something like this were happening in the computer world, nerds the world over would likewise act as if their hair was on fire. Also, social problems arenâ(TM)t amenable to technological solutions.

Comment Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

Nobody is forcing them to buy one....Nobody is preventing them from buying a different make or model.

Actually, that's exactly what's at issue here, and that's exactly why gun owners are pissed. You have companies that are lobbying the varying state (and Federal, and international) legislatures, with the idea that all guns should have this technology, in the name of safety, crime, muh chillunz, or whatever they think will sell it. Same thing with the companies that are promoting firing pin and breech microstamping technology, never mind that it can be defeated in a matter of minutes with some fine grit sandpaper.

They're not invested in making the world safer, they're invested in making their wallets fatter, and they bribe representatives toward that end. They don't just want to put a new product on the market, and promote it for what it is. Heck no. They want state-sanctioned mandatory monopolies. They want to outlaw these devices as they traditionally exist, in favor of their own monetary interest. Is that a threat? I say yes!

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky