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Comment Re:Mandate (Score 3, Insightful) 555

The answer to your question is probably, "yes."

I don't want this technology on any gun I own, certainly not in its current state, and maybe never. But neither do I object to to furthering R&D on something that may reach beyond the capabilities we foresee now. The reason I, and may other gun owners, don't want them in stores explicitly derives from the regulatory history of Washington, DC: today's "good idea" becomes tomorrow's requirement, and like many of the solar projects, far prematurely to the technology's maturation.

The reason, however, politicians like Bloomberg and Obama want this technology likely stems from something other than a motivation other than making a gun safer: a motivation to price common people out of the market. Smart gun technology has a high price tag, and the mentality that common people shouldn't have certain things runs through Washington consistently. And this way of thinking has pervaded us for a long time. Consider Prohibition. Most of the politicians who voted for Prohibition consumed alcohol during its time. Their reasoning: the upper crust of society can suavely dodge the law and harmlessly so while the common man won't make a mess of society with drunkenness. The wealthy and influential can have their armed escorts because they can afford expensive guns, while by raising the cost quite substantially they have not technically infringed upon your rights, but have effectively priced you out of exercising them.

New Jersey probably did it for that reason, and so would Obama.

Comment Re:Not ill timed... (Score 2, Informative) 633

I don't think anyone could write this any better than cayenne8, so I won't try. But I will add a few of my own points that I think support it.

* Not only has a mass murder happened in CA which has amongst the strictest of gun laws within the US, gun massacres have happened in France, which has restrictions far greater. * These massacres have happened in places that by and large prohibit the carry of guns.
* I read roughly 1-3 stories per week of people using guns to prevent bad things from happening, many times without even the pulling of a trigger.
* My parents' generation as students commonly carried a firearm to school without incident so they could use it recreationally afterwards while today, many children's first exposure to the concept of firearms happens via repeated role playing in violent video games and other entertainment.
* While the USA ranks #1 in _gun_ murders, the USA ranks #111 in murder. Excluding the most restrictive US locales w.r.t. gun ownership would make that number significantly higher.
* By a per-capita comparison of 2009-13, Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland exceed the US in mass murder by guns and have much more restrictive laws.
* Gun control laws have enabled harm brought to innocent people, e.g. Carol Browne, Amanda Collins, and Shaheen Allen.
* An evil person wishing to inflict mass casualties can do so without a gun: e.g. Oklahoma City, Waco, 9/11, Boston Marathon.
* The same politicians who call for new gun restrictions vehemently oppose expanding effots to control who and what crosses US the border. (Narco terrorists have their own submarine fleet for smuggling to the US. Think about that for a few minutes.)
* Prosecution of gun law violations has dropped by 25% in the current US presidential administration.
* In comming years 3D printing will become more accessible and thereby make the fabrication of gun parts possible without the thought of legal restrictions. (Related note: the San Bernadino terrorists modified guns that complied with the laws at the time of their purchase to function in ways the laws prohibit.)

I have no illusions about the touchiness of this subject. You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to mine. Mine is that these facts signal that more gun restrictions will not decrease violence, but rather pose risk to increase it due to responsible people having reduced access to firearms for protection. I don't own a gun because of paranoia or a desire to fulfill any fantasy of heroism. I simply would rather have it and not need rather than need it and not have it. I didn't join the NRA because another member encouraged me or because a purchase bundled a membership. I joined after listing to my local representatives talk about gun control.

Comment NSIDC Has More Data to Show (Score 1) 422

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/index.html shows an overall growing Antarctic ice cap. (Make sure you click on the Antarctic tab.) Looking at illustrated and graphed data, one can identify some western areas where the ice cap has receded, albeit only ~15% of the western coast by a rough eyeball guess; however, the eastern side has not remained largely stagnant as the article of this post states. It has grown slightly, as it has also done in the south. Areas of the north have grown yet more significantly. Also, the running mean between 1980 and 2015 reveals a steady increase in overall extent.

Comment Re:Why does it seem (Score 1) 653

Holi, spot on. While we are arguing over whether a gay couple should have the right to a pizza joint to catering their wedding, our president just green-lit a nuclear program for a nation that practices female genital mutilation and considers the testimony of two women less than or equal to that of a man.

Comment NASA's Charter (Score 1) 416

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Space exploration embodies its charter, per the 1958 Space Act: "To develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go". Climate change research just doesn't fit. Ted Cruz in his chairmanship wants to re-align the agency with the purpose assigned to it upon its creation. These actions do not politicize NASA, but rather center it on non-political matters. Similarly, the Center of Disease Control now studies gun homicides, which does nothing to further our knowledge of disease. And only to reveal a bias in such research, those studies do not include lives saved by defensive gun use. The community most insistent that manmade CO2 causes climate change hasn't convinced much of the American population. In fact, they have lost ground in the space of public opinion due to a lack of transparency in their research as well as outright hostility towards other credible research that may challenge theirs. If you look at the re-tasking of NASA or other administrations seemingly out-of-scope re-tasking, it should raise your suspicions. Politicians haven't gotten the traction they've wanted promoting a narrative, and they seek to hijack the good name of something unrelated to lend credit to what hasn't earned credit on its own merit.

Comment Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

Spot on, BlueStrat. But of course there is consensus, and the science is settled. If by consensus you mean a small exclusive group of UN funded researchers who block any ideas challenging their from publication. And if by settled you mean simulation models that have never undergone a transparent Independent Validation & Verification (IV&V) process and predictions based upon such models having spotty accuracy. The creators of some of these models (including Mann) refused to share raw input data because they just didn't want to keep it when they moved their operation from one facility to another. What could warrant such an inquiry? Perhaps skyrocketing energy prices across the globe at the mercy of a little exclusive club who will dish carbon credits through a good ole boy network might. But other scientific opinions get in the way of all that, such as the Indian Science Congress (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/environment/global-warming/fears-of-man-made-global-warming-exaggerated/articleshow/45786412.cms) or an engineer of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs (http://therightclimatestuff.com). I mean, what could they know? There does exist a reason why the notion of human induced climate change appeals to the American Left and socialists. It provides a perfect reasoning for centralizing governance (not that governance is not a synonym for government) and a perfect albeit moral validation (false sense thereof) for channeling hate and vitriol at anyone who dares to challenge the premise of the belief.

Comment Re:News For Nerds? (Score 2) 401

US military R&D spending has brought you the technology that is the Internet. It has also introduced the world to numerous capabilities that companies have productized into things you use every day. The smartphone persists as a perfect example: DRAM, touch screens, GPS, microprocessors, and liquid crystal displays name only several of many. Beyond R&D, some really sick and twisted evil exists in the world, and I sleep better at night knowing a kickass US military can confront it. Those things may not mean anything to you, but they mean a lot to many of us. This election will not decide who serves as president, so the Electoral College versus popular vote issue does not surface here. Each district and roughly 2/3 of the states will each send a representative to Congress.

Submission + - Ssatellite images show summer ice cap is thicker (dailymail.co.uk)

dcbrianw writes: At the close of 2014's Summer, the Arctic ice cap's growth has surged by 63% by some measurements and 43% by others. This marks 1.71 million square kilometers of growth since 2006. US National Snow and Ice Data Center and the University of Illinois's Cryosphere project have each captured and analyzed satellite imagery to produce this data.

Comment Net Neutrality (Score 1) 158

I can't help but point out two observations I've made reading today's Slashdot headlines: (1) There is a post accusing the Kochs of being astroturf for spending money to oppose Net Neutrality (2) This map shows the US as one of the few "free" uses of Internet around the world. Maybe giving due attention to those who express reservations about heavier regulation on the Net is better than slandering them. That's just a thought I'd like to post here on the free and open Internet.

Comment Re:What's so American (Score 1) 531

Nobody is going to challenge the premise that special interests influence how things work in Washington, and of course the rest of the nation down stream of that, typically with a yellow tint for the rest of us if you catch my drift. So called Net Neutrality will be up for grabs to the special interest because it is quite subjective what, "neutral," means when left to a lawyer or regulator, and they can bend that term to fit any agenda Our government has been caught in one of the worst lies to its citizens in history with, "If you like you health plan, you can keep you health plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," and, "The VA is an outstanding model for health insurance." There is no reason to have faith that if you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet with Net Neutrality. In the current state of affairs, most consumers have multiple options: cable companies, FIOS, DSL. And they all have to compete for business. However dissatisfied you are with your current options, you as a consumer will have less power of what Internet delivers to you when politicians begin appointing those who shall mandate what's best for the rest of us. Your pick for who should occupy the White House and make such appointments will not always be whom you want.

Slandering the Kochs as astroturf has no real merit. Grass roots of any form has money behind it, whether it is they, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Hollywood, or Tom Steyer.

Reason calls for opposing Net Neutrality.

Comment Thoughts on The Outcome (Score 1) 619

I'm going to qualify what I'm saying by stating that this is a guess. Without further interviewing or reviewing the profiles of the population of the study, I don't think anyone could seriously speak more strongly. Capitalism is founded on the rules applying equally to all. If Alice creates a widget that outperform's Bob's, she's going to earn more money. Both were free to produce whatever they wanted according to the same rule of law, but one performed better than the other. It's natural that willing participants in such a system observe that for the system to work, law must be followed to create the closest state reasonably possible to an operational environment equal to all who participate. The mentality of socialism places an emphasis in closing the gab between the inequalities of outcome. Here, Alice may produce a widget that outperforms Bob's, but others will frown upon a wide income gap between the two, regardless of how much better Alice's widget is. There are negative impacts perceived in such a wide income gap. In these circumstances, one who subscribes to the ideas that underpin socialism would tolerate working outside the protocol of the rules of producing widgets for the sake of preventing Alice from outperforming Bob to some extent. And if one happens to be Bob, breaking the rules of the game of economics is actually contributing to the greater rule of keeping the income gap from becoming what such a person considers too wide. It may strike Bob in his view of what's fair to break the rules. As for some final thoughts, I don't think anyone can reasonably conclude that people who advocate capitalism are people who respect rules and those who advocate socialist ideas are not. Rather I think that the operational environment entices people to behave in certain ways. Put a raving capitalist in a socialist system, and he may not behave according to the rules. Additionally, in a system, such as socialism where execution of the rules and control of resources resided more so in a centralized authority, the most pertinent rule is learning to gain favorability with that centralized authority. All other rules are subordinate to that. Just for the sake of full disclosure in case you've read this far and are still wondering, I mostly prefer a capitalist economic model over a socialist one. Cheers, and happy Slashdotting.

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