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Nuclear Unicorn

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Member since: Wed Sep 16, 2009, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 19,077

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Massachusetts to tax ride-hailing apps, give the money to taxis

Massachusetts to tax ride-hailing apps, give the money to taxis

Massachusetts is preparing to levy a 5-cent fee per trip on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft and spend the money on the traditional taxi industry, a subsidy that appears to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the nickel fee into law this month as part of a sweeping package of regulations for the industry.

Ride services are not enthusiastic about the fee.

"I don't think we should be in the business of subsidizing potential competitors," said Kirill Evdakov, the chief executive of Fasten, a ride service that launched in Boston last year and also operates in Austin, Texas.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-massachusetts-uber-idUSKCN10U1ST


This is about the worst thing since the Kelo v New London decision.

Even if one does not approve of ride hailing apps that the government would take legally earned income from one legitimate private commercial enterprise and give it to another, competing private for-profit enterprise ought to have everyone up in arms. This is as much a threat to everyone as the Kelo decision.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:22 AM (3 replies)

New York man in court charged with murdering Muslim cleric, assistant

New York man in court charged with murdering Muslim cleric, assistant

A New York City man appeared in court on Tuesday and denied charges he shot and killed a Muslim cleric and his assistant on a street in the borough of Queens over the weekend.

Oscar Morel, 35, faces up to life in prison without parole if he is convicted of killing Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, in a brazen daylight attack on Saturday that horrified the neighborhood's Bangladeshi community.

Morel, who was shackled at the hands and feet and wore a tan button-down shirt with black pants, was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-york-shooting-idUSKCN10O0X4


Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Aug 17, 2016, 09:49 AM (3 replies)

Suicide Squad: I find the 41 metacritic score inexplicable and undeserved.

Even if someone doesn't appreciate comic book movies the movie was solidly acted, shot, and edited. The story was soft in some parts though I couldn't say in detail without 1) seeing it again and 2) revealing spoilers.

I'm totally willing to see it again and look forward to it coming out on disc, hopefully with a director's cut.

The very low score from the professional critics makes me wonder if there isn't some ideological axe-grinding going on here. They seem angry over something where no anger is warranted.

Will Smith didn't really sell it for me as Deadshot. He's a competent actor but he's more of a goofball than an intimidating, steely-eyed sociopath.

They redeemed the relationship between Joker and Harley, somewhat. In the comic books, video games and animated series he is the worst sort of abusive boyfriend. He never loves Harley, he only manipulates her love of him. In SS he is actually as codependent as she is -- as a good boyfriend ought to be!

I chortled every so often when Margot Robbie's Australian accent peeked out or she strained to hide it behind an accent from 1930's gun moll from Brooklyn.

Katana could have been an interesting character but she was very underdeveloped. They did her character a big disservice having her separate herself from the rest of the squad at the one moment they bonded together and decided to be the heroes. Perhaps they are grooming her for later appearances though I can see that falling away due to the fans' inability to grow to love her.

The costume for Enchantress was captivating! But I have to say even I can dance sexier than Cara Delevingne and that's saying something.

El Diablo brought a poignancy to the story, which I suppose is necessary. If the audience doesn't have a place to become emotionally invested in the characters lest the audience sit there like a bunch of Amanda Wallers.

Speaking of Amanda Waller. Holy crap! Sorry to be un-PC but she earned "Ruthless Bitch 2016." hands down, no contest, would the rest of the contestants please just get off the stage! Viola Davis crushed it. Tremendous actress in a powerful role.

Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang seemed to be padding the numbers to fill out the roster to make it a squad.

There were some decidedly heroic acts by normal humans, if members of the military could be considered such (and I mean that affectionately). While the metahumans are running around doing their thing the film depicted many acts of selfless service and self-sacrifice by the military, which is what they do. The movie would have been much, much stronger if it had given that aspect a bit more recognition ala Battle: LA.

So, while most of what I wrote may seem like a detraction the movie was fun. Which is what a movie -- especially a comic book movie -- ought to be. I enjoyed the fight scenes. Harley stole many scenes -- which is what everyone wanted. You wanted the squad to win. You even felt cheated knowing they wouldn't be released even though you also know they're the worst of the worst and for me that was the clincher.

Oh, and: Best soundtrack in a long time and I think the editors really enjoyed their work, especially in the first act.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Aug 9, 2016, 07:55 AM (13 replies)

I am uncompromising in my support for SANDERS!

So there!








Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going out to get some fried chicken.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Sun Jul 31, 2016, 04:50 PM (3 replies)

This election is too weird

This is only my 3rd presidential election I'll be voting in so I can't claim to have the wisdom of the ages. Take that for what it's worth.

My dad has always been a lifelong Democrat. Union member. Straight party ticket.

He's going for Trump.

My FIL is the straight laced businessman. Archetype of the GOP bedrock.

He'll be sitting this election out.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Jul 25, 2016, 02:58 PM (3 replies)

The loophole in the Mass. assault weapons ban

The following is a press release from the Attorney General of Massachusetts --

The loophole in the Mass. assault weapons ban

....

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/07/20/the-loophole-mass-assault-weapons-ban/eEvOBklTriWcGznmXqSpYM/story.html


Seems overly broad and will end up including weapons well outside the scope of the law. Moreover, it was decided by the AG's office, not the legislature. As such it seems ripe for judicial challenge.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 02:27 PM (45 replies)

Admittedly convoluted but honestly asked question, RE: registration laws

It is established case precedent that a person intent on using a gun to commit a crime cannot be charged with failing to register their gun because doing something would violate their 5th Amendment protections against being forced to incriminate themselves (Haynes v US)

But suppose someone intended to violate no law except the law requiring registration? What could they be charged with?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Jul 4, 2016, 04:04 PM (5 replies)

I can't help but think all of the angst over the UK/EU referendum is a bit overblown

It's not like the British navy will fire on Brussels or that trade won't normalize. Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand the market and currency response. It all seems much ado about nothing.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Fri Jun 24, 2016, 10:43 AM (38 replies)

Should someone on a no fly-no buy list also be restricted from working in sensitive professions?

By sensitive, I mean a job that requires them to carry a gun or be in control of large amounts of hazardous materials or be in charge of passenger safety on planes, etc.?

I have no direct experience but it's my understanding a background check is required to obtain a hazmat endorsement for a drivers license and I can't imagine the value of forbidding someone from buying weapons if their job requires them to carry a gun.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Jun 20, 2016, 05:09 PM (8 replies)

IT'S TIME TO MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN!




Who's with me?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jun 8, 2016, 12:17 PM (4 replies)
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