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Comment Free Speech is Dead (Score 1) 410

I read through a lot of comments here but didn't see this thought yet, so I apologize if it's a repeat:

This ruling means that there is no such thing as free speech anymore. The first amendment is null and void. Why? Because if something becomes illegal to say on the basis of "national defense", then the government just needs to define more and more things [that they don't like] as a danger to national security/defense. That line is arbitrary, and the courts seem to always agree with the Executive and/or Legislative branch when they place something in the national security bucket.

If SCOTUS doesn't overturn this, then the day will come when speaking in a way that disagrees with the President will land you in jail because the Federal Government will have defined that as treachery and a clear danger to the security of the State. You see, what you said "is not merely tangentially related to national defense and national security; it lies squarely within that interest."

The whole freaking point of the 1st Amendment was to have the right to say things that the Government squarely disagrees with. If we've lost that, this country is legitimately doomed.

Comment Re:Asinine. (Score 1) 410

Actually, you probably can sell legally sell it, but right now it's worth the risk. It all has to do with intention and protocol, but since that's always open to interpretation, it's probably not worth doing.

As long as you create a firearm with the intention of owning and not selling it, then you are not violating the law. That means that one day you might decide that you should sell that firearm. As long as you follow all the firearm transfer laws properly, then nowhere along the way have you broken any laws.

The reason it's risky is that a prosecutor would argue that you built the firearm with intention to sell it, and it's basically their word against yours. Who do you think the judge and jury will listen to? The respected prosecutor or the vigilante firearm builder?

Comment Going to Backfire (Score 5, Insightful) 65

If I were Charter, I would embrace this. I would make the base internet price the current price, then tack on $10/month to renters of cable modems. I would include a letter in the bill that says, "The FCC has mandated that we start charging for the rental of your cable modem...yada yada, it's the government's fault your rate just went up."

They'll make a killing and not really lose many customers. The FCC is creating a golden opportunity for them.

Comment Re:Popcorn. (Score 1) 381

Sorry, you're not allowed to afford a comfy chair and popcorn. That would flaunt too much success [for a peon], so your resources are being confiscated to:
1. Pay for someone's socialistic wet dream
2. Pay for domestic spying, war and cronyism

Unfortunately, there is no option three. You cannot keep what you have earned.

Comment Re:Just an onion on my belt! (Score 1) 324

I understand the sentiment, but it's about as practical as gun control.

It's still ridiculously easy to murder someone with chemicals you could get from retail stores. Perhaps access to prescription drugs could make it easier to mask the killing as an accident, but all that would really change in the set {motive, means, opportunity} would be the universe of means. Locking drugs up behind the counter does not currently make means an empty set itself.

It's also relatively easy to get cocaine today if you want it. Not "walk into a drugstore" easy, but putting substances onto a control schedule does not stop stupid people from being stupid.

Look, I appreciate some of what the FDA does for us. I'm glad biotech companies can't sell us snake oil. But it's also not hard to see that the FDA exerts far more control than what is good for us. That you can't get EpiPen (the official, registered trademark one) from Canada for the $100 it would cost you is insane. It's the exact same product manufactured to the exact same specs required in the US. But because the FDA has overreach, US customers get the privilege of spending an extra $500 per dose.

There has to be a space where intelligent patients are allowed to study, research and decide what's best for them. Yes, some people might die, but as long as there was a clear communication of the risks and an informed decision being made, that's really not a whole lot different than what happens now. People die from unexpected side effects of drugs all the time. I don't have a problem with a person being allowed to make that decision for himself or herself.

What we have now is broken, and we honestly need more ideas like EpiPencil.

Comment Re:One up (Score 2) 539

Hypocrite.

I'm going to skip over the abortion debate, because that's a separate issue (is all human life worth equal protection under the law, or isn't it?).

But you present a caricature of religious people, "I don't like gay marriage, no gay shall get a marriage license." And no doubt there are some of those out there. But most religious people say, at least these days, "I don't agree with gay marriage, so I don't wan't to have anything to do with it." And then the gay marriage patrol comes out and "imposes their [religious] opinion on others" by forcing them to participate. Right now it's cakes and pictures, but there are many in this group who want to force churches to open their facilities and their ministers to participate in the ceremony. If anyone is imposing their will, it's the gay marriage group.

When the religious groups were the majority, the minority called for tolerance, and got it. Now that the non-religious are in the majority, the religious are asking for the same benefit of tolerance, and they're getting a huge "fuck you".

Comment Does Zoning Abrogate First Amendment? (Score 4, Insightful) 305

This is what I've never quite understood: why does it seem that zoning laws are allowed to ignore constitutional freedoms? Banning research and development, "including software coding" would seem to ignore the right to free speech, free assembly and the right to privacy (if it's my property and I'm not doing anything dangerous toward my neighbors, why does the city care what I'm doing inside?)

Look, I understand that we don't want coal factories building next to residences. That all makes sense to me, and I could see an argument that this doesn't restrict constitutional freedom. But where does a city get off telling a person they can't run a business (e.g. sole proprietorship) out of their home?

So while I'm afraid that Palo Alto could follow through on this threat, it boggles the mind how it could in the USA. I also think it would be royally dumb for them to kick out all of these businesses too, but that's a different discussion.

Comment Quora does something similar (Score 3, Interesting) 308

I used to think Quora was cool, but there was a day that they started censoring replies to Hillary Clinton's answers to question (well, probably her staff's answers).

I read through her answers and found one of them to be particularly deceitful...beyond normal political spin. So I replied with a stern but thoughtful and truthful post. I did not engage in ad hominem or say anything derogatory. I was clearly not trolling and the follow-up discussion under my thread was outstanding.

After about an hour, the post disappeared without a trace. No communication to say that the post was flagged or in violation of their terms of service. I've seen very edgy and far more provocative pieces stand in comparison to what I wrote.

It's become clear that they were only interested in being a mouthpiece for Clinton and her platform. Quora was unwilling to communicate about the censorship despite my repeated attempts to contact them, even to employees who had previously reached out to me. It was utter silence. Since then, I've seen extended invitation to the liberal side of the political aisle to promote their "answers" (read: agenda) into the feeds of their readers. They're supposed to be interest and preference driven, but oddly enough I get all of Clinton's rhetoric despite having signed up for math and science subjects.

Anyway, I know that Quora isn't Twitter, but it is alarming how hard these social media companies feel compelled to censor the dissent against their prospective. What are they afraid of? I also find it disgusting that they act so anti first amendment in the country and culture that allowed them to thrive. Flaming hypocrites, all of them.

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