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Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 288

A person's ballot is supposed/required to be anonymous to and secret from the people counting the votes or anyone who may ever look at the votes. It is reasonable to assume that regardless of how they are stored, the Kansas voting paper trail upholds that standard. If it is ever possible to tie a specific ballot to an individual person by the methods you propose, then Kansas has a lot to answer for.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

I refer you to a wikipedia article on "expectation of privacy" in which appears the following: "In general, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in things held out to the public. A well-known example is... ...what is observed pursuant to aerial surveillance that is conducted in public navigable airspace not using equipment that unreasonably enhances the surveying government official's vision;[7][8] anything in open fields..." Note that the limitation on "unreasonably enhances the surveying" applies to government, not private, surveying. I think we can both agree that its a good idea to keep the government, with its vast resources, out of close surveillance of citizens without a warrant. The whole article is worth a read. It's worth knowing where you can expect privacy and where you can't. For instance, the article says you can expect privacy IN your home. There was no assertion by the shooter that the drone was hovering outside his window looking into his home, only that it was hovering over his yard. Another point of contention is how high the drone was. The shooter gives what may be a self-serving estimate of 20 feet, although he as no way of measuring accurately. The drone operator says it was much higher, and may actually have more objective info, either from GPS data or an analysis of any video he may have captured. I don't know, and neither do you. But the FAA has recently asserted control over all airspace from the ground up, so that would seem to make all the airspace at least controllable in a public way. One may not like it, but that's the law.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 2) 664

I don't understand why you think the drone operator did anything wrong. Maybe the drone operator was pausing to get his bearings. Maybe he stopped because he was trying to figure out a message his controller was showing him. His camera might not have been on at all. (My son makes and sells an aftermarket device that allows turning on and off a GoPro camera from the user's controller.) If the camera was on, maybe he was just occupying a spot from which he could take a picture of something not on the shooter's property. THE SHOOTER DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE DRONE WAS DOING, BUT SHOT ANYWAY. The fact is, he does not control the airspace over his own property. The FAA has recently asserted control over the airspace from the ground up specifically in response to the drone phenomena. Of course, by law the landowner has control of the airspace at least up to 83' up and, somewhat more murky control up to 500', but that is for building, towers, flag poles, etc, things anchored to the ground. Here in Portland, OR, a major hospital on the hill errected a tram from down by the river up to the hospital. All the home owners under the tram's path objected on privacy grounds. But it was established that one has no expectation of privacy from the air over their own property while outside. Otherwise you could shoot down news helicopters, etc.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

Man, you guys are scary. What if I was hovering over my friends yard, which happens to be next door to you, showing it to my friend. The drone's camera is off, but you can't know that. There's a clear view from the drone of your back yard if the camera was on and the view of your back yard not much different than it would be if the drone was 10 feet over and directly over your back yard. Do you shoot? There really are two issues here: 1) privacy, and 2) guns. I understand the concern with privacy. But the problem with the guns is all too often, with the gun culture in this country, guns are a first resort. They should be a last resort. That's why (fact) since 9/11 more people have been killed by guns in the US than by all the islamo/pedophile/ISIS/terrorists in the US and Europe. If you are pro-life, guns and the culture surrounding them are a much bigger problem than terrorism.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

Tapping your phone and flying, even hovering, over your property are two different things. Firstly, you don't own nor can you control the airspace over your property. That's the law. (Interesting story, see below.) Secondly, police, news (with cameras), medivac and other helicopters fly over people's property and sometimes hover at low altitude all the time. Gonna shoot at them? Interesting story: The US had the technical means to put a satellite into orbit in 1955, but did not at the president's order because we were afraid that in those cold war times the Soviet Union would claim that we were violating their airspace in international law venues. When, in 1957, the Soviets put up Sputnik which orbited over US airspace, the issue became moot, and we started putting up more satellites, including spy satellites than they ever dreamed of.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 1) 664

So do you shoot at police helicopters who's indicia you maybe can't see when they might be hovering looking for a suspect? Do you shoot down medivac helicopters who might be hovering looking for a place to land? Do you realize you don't own nor can you control the airspace over your property from the ground up? This drone operator had a perfect right to hover over this guy's or your house as long as he doesn't touch ground. By any stand your ground law, if the drone was armed, it could shoot back. Why don't we all just disarm in these kinds of situations before someone gets hurt?

Comment Re:Deliverance? (Score 1, Insightful) 664

Two things: 1. So one could shoot at anything hovering over one's house? A police helicopter looking in backyards for a running suspect? A medivac helicopter hovering while looking for a place to land to rescue someone? Even a drone while it's operator is checking his flight controls? That's an easy way to take up 22 seconds. 2. So I could walk down the street shooting anyone who I even had fantasy about that they might be an pedophile or an ISIS agent? After this guy is a convicted felon, which he should be after this, he won't be able to own guns anymore, and that's probably a good thing for the rest of us.

Comment Re:But but but.. (Score 1) 278

Governments don't do bad things. People do. (Alas, you have to have governments, but not guns, but that's another arugment.) The people who released mining waste in the article you site made a mistake, but they are not the government although they were working for it. Maybe, depending on the actual facts, they should be fired and maybe, again, depending on facts, the government should be liable. (Maybe the mining company booby-trapped the pit the waste was stored in to make sure someone else, not them, solved their waste retention problem for them - neither you not I know.) But there are, or should be, accountability mechanisms for egregious errors committed by government employees. No or few such accountability mechanisms exist in the private sector. Proof: Not one, not one, of the financial executives who engineered the financial collapse in 2008 has gone to jail for all the misery they caused. Most are still employed, have rotated into government or retired with golden parachutes. We need laws to hold malfeasors punishable when it can be shown they acted with intent outside the public interest when they hold positions of trust.

Comment Worthy Bugs (Score 1) 285

I worked with a guy many years ago who coined the term "worthy bugs" that we used when we had a really good one. Two, in particular, I remember decades later. 1. This turned out to be a hardware bug that showed up in our software very intermittently. In the 1980's, National Semiconductor offered the NSC 880, a clone of the 8080: Same instruction set, mostly the same specs. This processor is spec'ed such that on the enable interrupts instruction, interrupts are not actually enabled for one instruction cycle so as to allow for a bit of cleanup (pop or whatever) without interruption. Without this, stacks could become confused, and did. Well, the guys at the fab across the street from where we were doing software development did not implement this one-instruction delay, but kept knowledge of it as a secret errata. When confronted about it after we had traces that proved the error in hardware, their response was "well, we didn't think it would ever come up." Bastards. 2. It turned out that one of the early Intel chipsets implementing PCI would, when doing 64K data transfers that fell exactly on 64K boundaries, deliver the first byte of the the range in place of the last byte. I was working on Ethernet device drivers at the time, so this just looked like data corruption in the driver or the network controller to us. It took a while and many logic analyzer traces to root cause this one to the chip set. Once we knew what was happening, the software work-around was easy, but it did slow down the driver just a bit. At least the chip set guys were unaware of this bug, and it never appeared in the many subsequent chip set implementations of PCI.

Comment "Not wanting to be forced to buy health insurance. (Score 1) 723

You might be interested to know that in 1792, a Congress chock full of members of the founding generation, passed a law to implement the 2nd amendment, the first sentence of which reads "A well regulated militia being necessary to the national defense", mandating that every able bodied person (they meant men) to own or acquire a gun and provide powder and shot for it and to present it for inspection by militia leaders on demand. So, the founders, who had just gotten finished ratifying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, were quite OK with mandating that the citizens buy or do something that they might not ordinarily do or want to do. Given the requirements of defense in 1792 and the requirements to not, for instance, leave folks on the road after an automobile accident if they can't prove they can pay for treatment, I don't think the founders would disagree much with a mandate to have health health insurance one way or another.

Comment Re:Come on. (Score 1) 90

Well, you may be right in an ideologically pure world, but that world doesn't actually exist, and you should perhaps think about what is required by the real world. (Further, government has a legitimate role in supporting the economy when the failures that you say Capitalism needs overcome Capitalism's ability to recover. Read up on the Great Depression, and remember that Capitalism's self recovery mechanisms were too feeble to get us out of the Depression. What got us out was the grand daddy of all government stimulus programs, WWII, after which the US was deeper in debt, as a percentage of post-war GDP, than it is today. We paid our way out of that one by raising taxes which coincided with a period of great American prosperity. Kind of knocks the wind out of the "lower taxes to create jobs" sails, dontcha know.) To return to the topic at hand, to keep America strong and competitive from a strategic point of view. Sure, most companies that can't justify themselves should and are allowed to fail, but we need some strategic capabilities that we can't allow ourselves to lose. There have been many examples where the government had stepped in to do things, including propping up companies, that were required for the strategic advancement of the countries. I'll start with the building of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860's, which was paid for by granting 10-square-mile alternating sections along the right of way through the great plains and elsewhere that the railroad companies then sold to farmers who would benefit from having a rail road close by to get their goods to market. The government then proceeded to essentially rebuild these railroads at taxpayer expense for WWI and WWII, to the benefit of the private railroad companies, because of national strategic need. The railroads certainly weren't and couldn't make the necessary investments. Good thing the government did this, or you might have learned German in high school instead of French or Spanish. For background, read "Hear that Lonesome Whistle Blow" by Dee Brown. There are other examples, but no room and little time to write about them.

Comment Re:Come on. (Score 2) 90

Good point. The whole country ought to be real glad the government got involved in saving GM rather than letting it go into liquidation or be bought by the Chinese. In addition to saving a whole lot of jobs, it also helped hold an important industrial base in American hands. And on top of that, the taxpayers made money on the deal as GM recovers and pays off what the taxpayers chipped in to safe this company.

Comment Re:The bigotry really bothers me (Score 1) 895

You asked how the Texas School Board was promoting revisionist history that was out of touch with the facts. I'll cite one example: The Texas School Board asserts that the founders didn't mean to have a strong seperation between church and state. The facts are they embedded in the Consitution in the last paragraph of Article 6 that there will be no religious test to hold any office reaching all the way down to state legislatures. And, as is much better known, the first amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. These mean that not only can a Bhudhist, a Hindu, an Athiest, a Jain or an adherent of any other religion can hold office and that they may not pass any law or regulation that respects or with respect to any religion. Further, many of the founders clearly were not fans of religion. One quote I remember from Thomas Jefferson (you may have heard of him and his impact as one of the founders, although the Texas School Board seems to want to eliminate mention of his influence) is: "In every day and every age the priests have been the enimies of liberty." It's not well known - one has to dig into the facts of the time, that is, do a little historical research - to know that until 1790, the residents of MA were being taxed by the gov't to support the Calvinist (Puritan) church, a practice that was stopped due to the founders insistance on a seperation between church and state. This is just one example of the efforts by the Texas school board to play fast an loose with the facts in order to promote their conservative religious ideology. There are other examples. For instance, the TSB wants to call the Atlantic Slave Trade the "Atlantic Triangle Trade." It was, in fact, a slave trade. To sugar coat these kinds of things prevents our children from leaning about the corrosive effects of slavery and racism in American history and how we can make this great country even greater if we are aware of our past, both the glorious as well as the inglorious aspects.

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