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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

felrom Simple Solution.... (140 comments)

Turn the EFF into the NRA of online rights. If the EFF had 5,000,000 dues paying, donating, voting, vocal, invested members, we wouldn't be having these discussions about ISPs writing their own laws. The hardest part is already done: organizing some people who know what they're doing into what is now the EFF.

People just need to decide that their rights are worth at least $25/year.

about a month ago

Fighting Climate Change With Trade

felrom What! A reasonable plan for CO2 reduction!?!?! (155 comments)

Actions like this are how you get the other half to agree to do things to reduce CO2 emissions.

Good step: Offer to eliminate tariffs on solar panels and other things.
Bad step: Call anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING a denier.
Good step: Get behind building LOTS of modern nuclear plants. LOTS.
Bad step: Say that anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING should be arrested.
Good step: Get behind building LOTS of electric cars, and the technology to increase batteries' energy density.
Bad step: Say that anyone who so much as questions ANYTHING should be killed.

Much of the political opposition that the Global Warming people get is because they believe that all of their solutions are so good that they should be mandatory. They come to you and say that you'll have to give up your money, your freedom, your independence, and your quality of life. This is all demanded at the barrel of a gun with the implication that if you don't capitulate, you'll also have to give up your life itself.

Environmentalists have made many great missteps, the two largest being not loudly denouncing those among them that call for murder of anyone who dissents, and continuously pushing plans that they know half the population will never get behind.

You want to reduce CO2 emissions? Suggest plans for it that everyone can support. Leave the death threats at home. ; )

about a month ago

Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

felrom Re:redundant aircraft (103 comments)

Bell Helicopter is developing a tilt rotor aircraft for this competition:

If you take the V-22, and remove the Marine Corps' requirements for blade-fold-wing-stow and rotors small enough to launch off of a Marine helicopter ship, you free up a huge amount of design room to increase performance.

about a month and a half ago

Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

felrom Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (103 comments)

The Army doesn't want Apaches. They want a medium lift technology demonstrator that will replace their Blackhawk fleet while providing much more capability by exploring new vertical lift technologies. Then they'll run separate competitions to scale the technology up and down in size to replace their Apaches, Little Birds, and Chinooks.

about a month and a half ago

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

felrom Re:You think? (385 comments)

Today on /. we find out who doesn't know the difference between subsidies, tax deductions, tax breaks, and taxes.

From the linked CNN article above:

Among other things, the measure killed on Thursday would have ended oil production's categorization under the tax code as a form of domestic manufacturing eligible for a deduction worth 6% of net income, according to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, the bill's author.

The measure also would have prevented oil companies from claiming foreign royalty payments as a credit against American taxes, and cut the ability of companies to deduct numerous costs associated with the drilling process.

So we have a bunch of tax deductions that literally every company in the country is eligible for, but when the oil industry takes them they become subsidies and are bad.


about a month and a half ago

The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

felrom Re:Don't mention the tree-planting thing! (228 comments)

The entire IRS needs an enema from top to bottom. Gut their mission, strip their power, and reduce them to the few functions we actually need them to do.

Then repeat with the ATF, DEA, DOE (both of them), EPA and FDA.

about a month and a half ago

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

felrom Re:So....far more than guns (454 comments)

Welcome to the world of fighting for gun rights, where among other things:

"Children" killed by guns includes people up to age 35 in some studies.
"School shootings" includes gang violence that just happens to take place close enough to a school.
"People killed by an acquaintance with a gun" includes rival drug dealers who knew each other, one of which kills the other.
"Victims of gun violence" include Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
"Gun deaths" include suicides, lawful homicide (cop-on-criminal) and lawful self-defense (citizen-on-criminal).

MADD and gun-grabbers have much in common when it comes to creative use of statistics.

about 2 months ago

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

felrom Re:So....far more than guns (454 comments)

Nobody talks about restricting access to guns for your personal health.

The CDC does. It spent much of the 80s and 90s putting out politically motivated research trying to whip people into a frenzy over the dangers of gun ownership.
The VA does it too. It's been expanding its definitions of mentally defective, all the way to veterans only having slight sleeping problems from PTSD, in order to then prevent them from owning guns.
Hell, not two days ago in Colorado a court upheld the state's 15-round magazine capacity limit under the pretense that it contributes to public safety, only a single thinly veiled step away from claiming it's for your health.

Maybe you're not steeped in the gun rights fight that way I am every day, but that doesn't mean these things simply aren't happening.

about 2 months ago

America 'Has Become a War Zone'

felrom Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

There are many ways to obtain a gun in America, with varying levels of records of it being recorded:
1. Buy or transfer a gun through an FFL, in which case a Form 4473 is filled out and kept by the FFL. The ATF, in the course of an investigation can get a copy of this form to see who bought the gun. The ATF cannot legally go around making copies of all 4473s to create a database. The information from the 4473 is required to be kept on file with the FFL for at least 20 years, at which point he can start purging it. If he quits being an FFL before then, he turns it all over to the ATF to keep the records for future investigations. So a few guns that are sold through an FFL will eventually have no record, if he holds the FFL for 20 years after the sale AND decides to destroy the record.

2. Buy a gun in a private sale, assuming your state doesn't require this to go through an FFL (in which case, see #1). Most states require no record keeping for this. Where I live, my only responsibility under the law is to be reasonably sure that the buyer is not prohibited from owning guns. That means I ask, "Are you prohibited?" and if they say no, I can sell it to them with no liability.

3. Receive a gun as a gift. Most places treat this the same as #2.

4. Make your own gun. Most states don't require you to register a gun you made yourself. You must be making it yourself, for yourself. If you later decide you don't want it, you're supposed to transfer it to its new owner via an FFL. Making a gun yourself is much easier than it sounds; I've built an AR15 for myself, it has no serial number on it, there's no 4473 for it anywhere, and it's 100% legal.

So, methods 2,3 and 4 can create new gun owners with no record of it, and method 4 can create new guns with no record of it.
Method 1 can make new owners with no record assuming certain rare events: FFL in business long enough to start purging his books, or his store goes up in a fire and the records are destroyed, or thieves steal the records. In this case the ATF can only learn that a gun existed at some point; they have no idea who the original retail owner was, so their information that it existed is useless.

With home made guns, they don't even have that information.

So, NOT every gun in the US has paperwork for it somewhere, and NOT every gun buyer is on paperwork somewhere, and what paperwork does exist for some guns is 100% useless with regard to locating the gun or its owner.

This whole discussion doesn't even touch on the subject of a more important question: What good do records and serialization do when most guns used in crimes are stolen to start with? Despite what you learned by watching CSI, the answer is a resounding, "Not a whole hell of a lot."

about 2 months ago

California Legislation Affirms Privacy Rights Against NSA Spying Methods

felrom Re:Does Slashdot suddenly support States' Rights? (96 comments)

States no more have the power to regulate guns than the federal government does. Making that lack of power explicit by incorporating the second amendment under the due process clause deprives the states of nothing. Fundamental rights are fundamental rights, whether it's a state government or the federal government who seeks to take them away from you.

The whole Bill of Rights and the idea of natural rights would all become a silly notion were states in possession of the legitimate power to restrict them. I'm talking political theory here, not practice because we all know in practice the government at all levels shits on your rights without the legitimacy to do so.

about 3 months ago

California Legislation Affirms Privacy Rights Against NSA Spying Methods

felrom Re:Does Slashdot suddenly support States' Rights? (96 comments)

McDonald v. Chicago incorporated the second amendment under the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment, to apply to the states too.

about 3 months ago

California Legislation Affirms Privacy Rights Against NSA Spying Methods

felrom Does Slashdot suddenly support States' Rights? (96 comments)

Certainly everyone applauding this will agree that similar laws meant to reaffirm second amendment protections are equally necessary, equally valid, and equally worth fighting for!

From the article:

"The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is very clear. It says the government shall not engage in unreasonable search and seizure," said the bill's author, Democratic State Senator Ted Lieu, of Torrance.

Let's try a little modification....

"The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is very clear. It says the government shall not infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms," said no one in California's legislature, ever.

Just remember, when you erode one part of the Constitution, you erode them all. Feinstein wants ALL of your rights. Buuuuut... let's hear your reasons why this is different.

about 2 months ago

Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

felrom Re:Bad move (280 comments)

I didn't see the funding option for, "Donate $500 and we'll pay your electric bill for a decade." If they think they're so close to such a breakthrough they should be offering more than t-shirts and posters.

about 3 months ago

Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

felrom Re:Pretty chilling honestly (548 comments)

This is a slippery slope situation and should get folks on both sides of the aisle riled up

Frankly, the sheer number of of illegal things that are slippery slopes and should have had people on both sides of the aisle riled up, that this administration has overseen in the last 5 years is so large that I have no confidence that anything will come of this.

I could name a dozen of them, but I know that for each one I'll be bombarded with responses from drones who can only make excuses for why it was legal, or why the people who died as a result weren't important, or why the president admitting it happened doesn't mean it really happened.

This scandal too, will fall by the wayside as the true believers come to the administration's defense.

about 4 months ago

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

felrom Re:Article is Short Sighted (401 comments)

Sure there are other possibilities. We're not constrained to only two states: those of an out of control central bureaucracy, or anarchy.

The chief problem we have is people surrendering their power to the government where one of two things then happens: the government abuses that power (ie, recent scandals and abuses at the NSA, CIA, BATFE, IRS, etc), or companies come in and bribe/lobby to gain control of that power and abuse it (ie, the revolving door of executives to administrators, regulatory capture, favorable rules from regulatory agencies; the FCC, EPA, and DOEnergy are big offenders of this type).

If you want to prevent that, you have to stop giving powers to the government. To make an extreme example, let's talk about the IRS targeting of conservative political groups in 2011-2012. How would this have been preventable? Don't have such a labyrinthine tax code that required jumping through flaming hoops. Without a monstrous tax code, there would be no bureaucrats to selectively apply it in order to abuse their enemies.

I don't want to sound flippant, but if you read the constitution you'll see what a limited government looks like. Sadly, two centuries of perversion of the document have brought us where we are today. Congress has surrendered its duty to legislate and instead delegated it to over a million bureaucrats who make rules without votes. The 16th and 17th amendments stripped a lot of the protections we had against an ever-growing and out of control centralized government. The destruction of the commerce clause in Wickard V. Filburn has caused inestimable damage all on its own.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. ; )

about 5 months ago

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

felrom Re:Article is Short Sighted (401 comments)

1. Implement policies that any Econ 101 student can tell will exacerbate income inequality.
2. Tell people that the income inequality you've created will destroy society.
3. Get people to beg you to fix it.

The government has become a feedback loop unto itself, fooling people into giving it ever more power to fix the disasters it caused when it used the last round of powers people gave it.

about 5 months ago

NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

felrom Re:NASA 1946 - 2011 (401 comments)


NASA lives on, reaching out to Muslims to make them feel better about themselves, and doing pseudo social science research!

We can't have NASA be the bastion of national pride and accomplishment that it once was. It's now just another government jobs program intended to promote the government.

about 5 months ago

Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

felrom Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

You are required to keep a record of the transaction with the serial number. If the weapon you sold were used in a crime later, it will be traced back to you. The original retail sale is on record, that person (if not you) will then produce the name of the person he sold it to, which is either you or will lead to you via reiterating the same process. If you cannot produce the weapon or produce a receipt showing who you sold it to, then you're in trouble. But until and unless there is a criminal investigation to justify the intrusion, that information is no one's business.

What state do you live in where that is the law?

In Texas, your only responsibility when conducting a private firearm sale is that you must not have any reason to believe that the buyer is a prohibited person. You don't need to know their name, record anything, get a signature, or any of this.

I've sold in this manner the one time I was seeking to get rid of two handguns I no longer wanted. I took them to the gun show, and before I even got into the convention center a guy approached me and asked what I had in the cases. He looked them over. We haggled on a price for about 2 minutes. I asked if he was a prohibited person, to which he responded no. We exchanged goods and parted ways. The whole transaction took less than 5 minutes. 100% legal.

Heck, even assuming he was the head of a drug cartel, what *I* did was still 100% legal.

As far as what happens if those guns are ever used in a crime: I was the original retail purchaser of them, so the ATF will trace the guns back to me, and probably look and see that I live in a normal middle class neighbor hood in a low crime area, have a nice paying job, no debt, and haven't even had a traffic ticket in 13 years. If they even bother to contact me, I'll give them whatever details I remember about the guy I sold the guns to, and that'll be it.

There's no requirement that I have a record of who I sold to.

about 5 months ago


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