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Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 1) 1013

Speaking of which, automatic firearms are already banned, unless you go through a rigorous screening process. Nearly all handguns today, and many rifles, are semi-automatic (one trigger pull per shot). It's "semi" because although the gun automatically loads the next round, it will not automatically fire that next round.

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 3, Informative) 1013

It's fairly well understood that the sound of racking (that's the proper term, I believe) a shotgun actually will not scare away an intruder. I wish it did--I'd much rather have the bad guy run away than have to shoot him.
Secondly, if you want a larger spread, you don't get a larger barrel--it's 12gauge (or 40, or whatever) all the way down. You can get barrels with different chokes, which constrict the opening at the end of the barrel to various degrees.

Comment Re:Just another cautionary tale (Score 3, Informative) 164

For perspective, the tax breaks given to oil companies amounts to about $2.4 billion/year (in the form tax breaks which are similar to the same tax breaks that every other industry gets for investing in expansion). Loan guarantees like the one A123 got totalled $90 billion in the "stimulus" bill passed in 2009.

Government sticking its thumb on the scales of the economy is always a bad idea--whether it be bailing out banks or perpetual ethanol subsidies + ethanol mandates + import tariffs.

Comment Re:This isn't a bad thing. (Score 0, Offtopic) 567

I'm afraid the data doesn't match up with your perceptions. The rich already pay a higher effective tax rate than those in lower income brackets on average (about 24%), while the bottom 50% pay an average of less than 2%. Yes, by all means, let's let the wealthy pay their proportionate share of taxes, by reducing their tax rates!

Comment Re:If you are young(ish), save for yourself (Score 1) 567

The current projections are for the Social Security Trust Fund to be depleted around 2037, last I checked. At that point, assuming the government only pays out what it brings in, benefits will be reduced by about 25%. I would assume with current demographics, the payroll taxes will pay for an ever-shrinking percentage of the original benefits, until the baby boomers die off in significant numbers.

I don't know anybody under the age of 55 who is planning on receiving benefits from SS when they retire.

Comment Re:Calm before the hyperbole (Score 5, Insightful) 566

Good point. It also sounds like at least some of the folks at Fox were trying to prevent the footage from going live, and they apologized immediately afterward. Buzzfeed, on the other hand, deliberately posted the footage with full knowledge of its contents.

I think Fox has the moral (relative) high ground here.

Comment Pipeline on wheels? (Score 1) 124

This smacks me as being a bit odd and inefficient. Given the volume being produced, wouldn't a pipeline make more sense? It'd be safer and cheaper in the long run. Of course, given the troubles the Keystone XL pipeline is having, maybe it's more economic to truck it than to try and get through all the red tape for a pipeline.

Comment Re:Private security theater is no better than publ (Score 1, Interesting) 585

I used to travel abroad at my previous job, and I had similar, though often worse, experiences in other countries. For example, when leaving Luanda, Angola, here was the process:
  1. Arrive at airport, get in line
  2. Go through metal detector, have your itinerary checked against your passport
  3. Get in line for the check-in desk. Start filling out a passenger information sheet
  4. Get interviewed for a few minutes by a security person who again checks your itinerary against your passport
  5. Airline checks your itinerary against the passport and the passenger information sheet
  6. Move to the next line to actually check in
  7. Stand in another security line, bags get xrayed, you go through the metal detector
  8. Go into a small room to be interviewed to make sure you're not carrying any Angolan currency out
  9. Go wait in waiting area (not by the gate) until it's about time to board
  10. Go through another check of boarding pass vs. passport
  11. Bag search to *really* make sure you're not carrying currency
  12. Pat-down to *really* *really* make sure you're not carrying currency
  13. Another check of boarding pass against passport (by airport security)
  14. Another check of boarding pass against passport (by the airline)
  15. Go out the door to board a bus which takes you to the airplane

Comment Arbitrary efficiency standards lower costs? (Score 4, Insightful) 153

Uh, perhaps there's some measure in the law which places tariffs on higher-polluting sources, but I can't recall any time when mandatory, arbitrary efficiency/emissions standards have lowered costs. If higher efficiency truly creates savings, then the mandates aren't necessary. Witness the boom in demand for fuel-efficient cars as gas prices go up.

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