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Comment Bad Summary (Score 1) 98

The summary leaves out several very important limits on this new law:

1. It does not apply to business that don't sell directly in interstate commerce. (This is narrower than the usual "affecting commerce" language Congress likes to use.) So your local lawn-care service for example may be exempt.

2. It only applies to businesses that use "form" contracts.

3. It only applies to those "form" contracts if the customer does not have a meaningful opportunity to negotiate.

Comment Re:Unconstitutional (Score 2) 545

I think you're right. The SCOTUS in United States v. Lopez ( see ) ruled that Congress cannot constitutionally regulate who can walk into a school zone carrying while a gun, because this is not interstate - commercial activity. It seems likely the same reasoning would apply to walking into or out of a school zone at all. But who's going to challenge the constitutionality of this kind of law?

Comment Re:Who cares about some damage to a few cars... (Score 1) 375

Soil is mostly organic material. Dirt is mostly minerals.

I think you have those two words defined exactly backwards.

Also crops are still regularly rotated between soybeans, alfalfa, and corn even among farmers who sell corn for ethanol production.

Beyond that, I suppose you're technically correct. Heaven knows most of us would benefit from eating a little less food.

Comment Re:Of course it looked dangerous (Score 1) 437

Actually, if you do have evidence, don't bother citing it.

In my own meandering experience, it seems to be a waste of one's time to try and argue with anyone who:

1. Starts their comments by throwing profanity at you,
2. Makes assumptions about your affiliation with a specific political group,
3. Calls you deranged, or
4. Apparently thinks they're your teacher or college professor, such that they can place expectations and demands on you regarding the nature of any response you post.

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 1) 368

Some problems with this approach:

1. "Oh please. If this kind of "freedom" is important to you, then have you also sworn off commercial aviation, gotten a pilot's license, and purchased a Learjet" This assumes one can afford a Learjet. Lots of people can afford a truck, even if they only use it a few times per year. Most people cannot afford a Learjet. Most people, however, are willing to spend some extra money for some extra freedom and time savings.

2. "That's the whole reason we have places that rent cars, trucks, tow/hauling equipment, industrial equipment, etc" So if one plans a weekend trip to the state park, one should spend half of that time driving 100 miles to the nearest rental business, renting a truck, drive it 100 miles back home, picking up the camper, and then driving 50 miles to the park so he can enjoy the 1/2 of his weekend that remains?

3. "An even better solution is not dragging a crappy hotel room around on wheels, and simply renting a permanently-built hotel room at a hotel." Hotels are not generally built in the remote parts of the wilderness where people like to take campers. One could find a hotel nearby, but then half the weekend is lost in transit.

I think the problem all comes down to time. If I have a camper and a truck, I can spend more of my precious weekend actually relaxing in the woods, and less time filing out rental agreements.

Comment Geography Problem (Score 1) 291

This is a neat idea, but it would suffer from a lack of geographic unity.

How exactly will an Internet-based political party handle issues like where to build the school in my neighborhood, how high the bridges should be, or what the penalty should be for selling small quantities of marijuana? Wouldn't joining such a party actually harm my ability to influence the laws that actually affect me on a daily basis?

Also, why is it every new political party seems to charge right for the presidency? Why not state legislatures or even Congress first?

Comment Re:I'm not a nationalist, so I really don't care. (Score 2) 365

That is, they could use statistics to show that believing in Jesus Christ over Mohammed or Buddha or Gandalf does not produce a detectable intrinsic benefit to a believer. A very long-term study could be conducted to show the same for entire nations. The end result will be much worse than any disproof of the existence of God: religions will be exposed as harmless superstitions at best, or deliberate scams at worst.

I see two problems with this assertion:

1. It assumes that the study would demonstrate that there is no difference. Define "intrinsic benefit" by specific standards, and certain faiths will probably do better than others. For example, if I followed Jewish dietary restrictions, I'd probably live longer.

2. Most "believers" expect that they will be persecuted for their faith. They go into it knowing full well that they may be worse-off this side of heaven. How would the study change this?

Good luck on starting your religion!

Comment Ask Slashdot (Score 1) 163

What phone should I move to now?

I bought a PALM centro because it was easy to sync with Evolution on my Ubuntu Desktop. Palm began to lose market share rapidly. Then palm abandoned local sync with the Pre. Then palm got bought by HP, and has apparently disappeared.

So instead, I bought a Blackberry Bold, because it was almost as easy to sync with my Ubuntu desktop. Then Blackberry began to lose market share...

So tell me, slashdot, what phone can I move to now that will allow me to sync easily and locally with evolution on my Ubuntu desktop. (Local ethics rules and security concerns prevent me from using cloud services like google calendar)

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