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Old 2012-02-17, 10:30   Link #19701
Endless Soul
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Interracial marriages reach a new record in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by the Article
Marriage across racial and ethnic lines has reached a new high in the U.S. amid fading social taboos in an ever more diverse society.

About 15% of new marriages in the U.S. in 2010 were between individuals of a different race or ethnicity, more than double the share in 1980, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. Among those married in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married outside their ethnic or racial group.

"Intermarriage in this country has evolved from being illegal to being a taboo to being merely unusual," said Paul Taylor, the Pew official who edited "The Rise of Intermarriage" report. "With each passing year, it becomes less unusual."
Growing up in Southern California, and going to a school where the student population was half East Asian, I never really noticed. Mixed couples were everywhere.

Endless "Merely Unusual" Soul
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Old 2012-02-17, 10:34   Link #19702
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Come to think of it, you would be right if you are talking about a sole type of industry - primary, secondary and tertiary industry; all the countries you have mentioned got most of their GDP from tertiary industries and HVA (high-value-added) secondary industries, so technically speaking, if we are to talk about manpower affecting the contribution to economy in the tertiary industry, these similarities could serve as a thorn in the flesh to the GDP.

What I meant was that Singapore's HVA secondary industry is too weak and small to fall back on, despite it contributing greatly to the number of jobs here. The root of the problem is land size - unlike Germany, we don't have the land to let Heckler and Koch test their toys or Lufthansa to build those gigantic overhauling/assembly hangars without digging underground.
You need more Lebensraum, obviously! Here, I'll let you have these shiny Leopard 2 tanks for a special price.

Personally, I think immigration can be good, and Singapore might be one of the few countries that is able to manage it. Other countries (basically all Western/Central European countries) have failed miserably.
The question is: is growth really that important? Countries like Japan are stagnating if you look at their GDP, but the really important thing is standard of living, which does not necessarily decrease, because of a shrinking population.
Some thoughts I find very interesting:
http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-all-righ.aspx

I think it's better to accept GDP stagnation/decrease, than to encourage ethnic conflicts by a too liberal take on immigration.
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Old 2012-02-17, 10:48   Link #19703
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
You need more Lebensraum, obviously! Here, I'll let you have these shiny Leopard 2 tanks for a special price.
Does the air conditioning come free? If not, can we get a discount if we take out the AC units?*

Quote:
Personally, I think immigration can be good, and Singapore might be one of the few countries that is able to manage it. Other countries (basically all Western/Central European countries) have failed miserably.
The question is: is growth really that important? Countries like Japan are stagnating if you look at their GDP, but the really important thing is standard of living, which does not necessarily decrease, because of a shrinking population.
Some thoughts I find very interesting:
http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-all-righ.aspx

I think it's better to accept GDP stagnation/decrease, than to encourage ethnic conflicts by a too liberal take on immigration.
The problem with GDP is that it directly contributes to the technological standards of the country, and indirectly, the standard of living. Unfortunately, the standard of living is directly related to the cost of living, which relates to inflation, then GDP again.......I think we all get how this capitalistic cycle is killing us.

Though if we do it the communist way, it is no different because we'd still end up getting killed. Either way is a slow death, in a gulag or in a hospital.

With regards to the article, Japan CAN become like Hong Kong with a sustainable property industry if :

1. They stop letting the Yakuza control their real estate.
2. They stop making their own people grossly monolingual and overhaul their education system to make biligualism compulsory.
3. They stop electing senile old men into the Diet.

Domestic economy is fine and dandy in Japan. The real problem of Japan today is that it is not as competitive as before. Outsourcing is not the real issue - Japan has got a heck load of talent and skilled labour (and loyal too! Where else can you find dedicated workers like them?); see Comiket for details. Foreign participation in world industries, IMO, is set back by their ability to exchange experiences with foreign talent, partly due to language barrier. If it wasn't for that, Japan would have pwned Hollywood since 1990 and given Hong Kong industrialists a run for their money.

* - In joke : the Germans sold us the Leopard tanks without the air-conditioning units. We had to buy the units AFTER we bought the tanks, but there is no hoo-hah about it. Rumour is that the representatives who went over negotiated for a discount by giving up the AC units thinking that the crew can handle it the same way of the AMX-13. Big mistake : the Leopard 2 powerplant generates more power to keep that piece of metal rolling, and the laws of Thermodynamics and equilibrium HAVE to be followed.
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Old 2012-02-17, 11:08   Link #19704
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
* - In joke : the Germans sold us the Leopard tanks without the air-conditioning units. We had to buy the units AFTER we bought the tanks, but there is no hoo-hah about it. Rumour is that the representatives who went over negotiated for a discount by giving up the AC units thinking that the crew can handle it the same way of the AMX-13. Big mistake : the Leopard 2 powerplant generates more power to keep that piece of metal rolling, and the laws of Thermodynamics and equilibrium HAVE to be followed.
Isn't the air-conditioning a central part of the NBC protection? Or do they only lack the cooling ability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
The problem with GDP is that it directly contributes to the technological standards of the country
But with a decreasing population you may get both technological advancement and a decreasing GDP. Increasing the GDP is not a goal worth aiming for on its own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
2. They stop making their own people grossly monolingual and overhaul their education system to make biligualism compulsory.
Wait, learning foreign languages is not mandatory in Japan? Or are you talking about e.g. university lectures held in other languages?
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Old 2012-02-17, 12:00   Link #19705
GundamFan0083
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Talk about jumping the gun.

ICE Agent Shot Dead at California Federal Building


http://news.yahoo.com/ice-agent-shot...-abc-news.html

FINALLY! A step in the correct direction.

Canada has woken up and started to roll back its gun-control laws.
They still have a long way to go, but at least this is a start.

Conservatives and enthusiasts cheer the end of the long-gun registry


http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02...-gun-registry/
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Last edited by GundamFan0083; 2012-02-17 at 12:19.
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Old 2012-02-17, 12:48   Link #19706
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
The increase in the population density, as you have said, increases resource demand and drives up inflation, adding to the weight of the cost of living. Now people can't even feed themselves in the long term, how are they going to set aside money to raise a child?
There is an important reason I wrote "many Singaporeans are getting fed up with the perceived competition for resources", because as monsta666 correctly observed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
But we got to remember that immigration or more precisely immigrants are not in themselves causing inflation...

...Also another issue that cannot be dismissed is out of border factors namely other countries surrounding Singapore also have increasing population or/and increasing levels of affluence. That all creates greater demands for resources which will drive costs up.
As I've pointed out earlier, headline inflation (that is, the kind of inflation measured by the CPI) in Singapore over the last few years peaked at 6.6% in 2008. Now, recall a few global events unfolding at the time:
1) Food price shocks of 2007/08

2) Quantitative easing in the United States

3) 4 trillion yuan stimulus package launched in China
From a global perspective, the world stumbled into a "perfect storm" of sorts between 2007 and 2008. We were dealing not only with the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, but also with supply shocks in commodity/food markets, followed by a wave of stimulus measures aimed at jump-starting shaky economies lurching towards a depression.

So, what we had was a combination of supply shortage and a deluge of cash that mega funds worldwide were seeking to invest. There was no way Singapore could have avoided any of these external factors, and the CPI figures reflect their impact.


In short, immigration was not the sole cause of rising prices in Singapore between 2007 and today. Actually, it's hard to tell the extent to which immigrants affect domestic prices, though no one denies that they probably do play a significant role.

Take housing prices for example, usually the first of the bugbears raised by disgruntled Singaporeans (housing comprises 25% of the CPI; it is the largest component). More immigrants, higher demand for homes, hence higher prices right? Seems like common sense... except that it isn't completely true.

First of all, over 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing that foreigners cannot buy. Yes, it's true that public-home prices have been rising, with apartments in "mature estates" — which are typically closer to work places or to parents' homes (most Singaporeans want to live near their parents, for a variety of reasons) — spiking at the craziest rates but, still, this trend has more to do with the greater spending power of Singaporeans than anything else (2008 was actually a good year for Singapore).

But many would then argue that the prices of public homes were rising in tandem with those of private homes. This argument has some merit, but only to a certain extent. Recall that a great deal of hot money was sloshing around in the aftermath of QE1 and QE2, as well as China's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus measures. Well, a good deal of it went into property speculation, the effects of which we can now observe in major Chinese cities and Hong Kong. Singapore was not immune.

Now, while foreigners can be blamed to a certain extent for driving up Singapore private-home prices (rich Singaporeans do their part, too), don't forget that a good number of these foreigners aren't actually immigrants. Also, don't forget that the vast majority of immigrants who settle here aren't going to fork out S$1,200 per sq ft (US$950 psf) for a private home. That's the going rate for mass-market private real-estate today. High-end private homes can be as high as triple that average price. If they were that well-off to begin with, they wouldn't need to settle in Singapore.

To be sure, the truth about immigrants and their impact on prices is very complex, and both policymakers and media have done a poor job explaining it. Hence, angry Singaporeans — and the opportunistic politicians using the issue against the government.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2012-02-17 at 13:05.
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Old 2012-02-17, 14:01   Link #19707
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Talk about jumping the gun.

ICE Agent Shot Dead at California Federal Building


http://news.yahoo.com/ice-agent-shot...-abc-news.html

FINALLY! A step in the correct direction.

Canada has woken up and started to roll back its gun-control laws.
They still have a long way to go, but at least this is a start.

Conservatives and enthusiasts cheer the end of the long-gun registry


http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02...-gun-registry/
Now I know you meant that step in the right direction bit for the second story, but it can easily be read as an endorsement for killing federal agents, so you might want to clarify a bit, add some blank lines to separate the stories or something.

Also, I disagree that it's a step in the right direction, but Canadians do face issues fighting off polar bears, so they need to be well armed.
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Old 2012-02-17, 15:33   Link #19708
Ithekro
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Well the Canadians will need to be ready for illegal American immigrants should the United States start to really fall apart.
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Old 2012-02-17, 16:19   Link #19709
SaintessHeart
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Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
There is an important reason I wrote "many Singaporeans are getting fed up with the perceived competition for resources", because as monsta666 correctly observed:

As I've pointed out earlier, headline inflation (that is, the kind of inflation measured by the CPI) in Singapore over the last few years peaked at 6.6% in 2008. Now, recall a few global events unfolding at the time:
1) Food price shocks of 2007/08

2) Quantitative easing in the United States

3) 4 trillion yuan stimulus package launched in China
From a global perspective, the world stumbled into a "perfect storm" of sorts between 2007 and 2008. We were dealing not only with the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, but also with supply shocks in commodity/food markets, followed by a wave of stimulus measures aimed at jump-starting shaky economies lurching towards a depression.

So, what we had was a combination of supply shortage and a deluge of cash that mega funds worldwide were seeking to invest. There was no way Singapore could have avoided any of these external factors, and the CPI figures reflect their impact.


In short, immigration was not the sole cause of rising prices in Singapore between 2007 and today. Actually, it's hard to tell the extent to which immigrants affect domestic prices, though no one denies that they probably do play a significant role.

Take housing prices for example, usually the first of the bugbears raised by disgruntled Singaporeans (housing comprises 25% of the CPI; it is the largest component). More immigrants, higher demand for homes, hence higher prices right? Seems like common sense... except that it isn't completely true.

First of all, over 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing that foreigners cannot buy. Yes, it's true that public-home prices have been rising, with apartments in "mature estates" — which are typically closer to work places or to parents' homes (most Singaporeans want to live near their parents, for a variety of reasons) — spiking at the craziest rates but, still, this trend has more to do with the greater spending power of Singaporeans than anything else (2008 was actually a good year for Singapore).

But many would then argue that the prices of public homes were rising in tandem with those of private homes. This argument has some merit, but only to a certain extent. Recall that a great deal of hot money was sloshing around in the aftermath of QE1 and QE2, as well as China's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus measures. Well, a good deal of it went into property speculation, the effects of which we can now observe in major Chinese cities and Hong Kong. Singapore was not immune.

Now, while foreigners can be blamed to a certain extent for driving up Singapore private-home prices (rich Singaporeans do their part, too), don't forget that a good number of these foreigners aren't actually immigrants. Also, don't forget that the vast majority of immigrants who settle here aren't going to fork out S$1,200 per sq ft (US$950 psf) for a private home. That's the going rate for mass-market private real-estate today. High-end private homes can be as high as triple that average price. If they were that well-off to begin with, they wouldn't need to settle in Singapore.

To be sure, the truth about immigrants and their impact on prices is very complex, and both policymakers and media have done a poor job explaining it. Hence, angry Singaporeans — and the opportunistic politicians using the issue against the government.
You missed a very crucial point when talking about economy : there is such a thing called movement in sympathy, any change in prices of any kind of property will influence a similar change in property prices islandwide.

Also, immigrants can buy homes by converting to PR. Before the cooling measures got in place, a favourite trick is to convert to PR to buy flat, flip it, then use the cash to buy a real nice property back at their homelands. And most of them aren't interested in being Singaporeans - they are just here to get work experience and money and go back home as an elite. And the Malaysian/Indonesian PRs have been doing this for the past 2 decades so their kids could enter NTU and NUS, then after their kids graduate, they sell the flat and go back to their homeland as well-off retirees - I had relatives across the causeway who did that. Apparently some assholes got wind of it and turned it into a money-making scheme - buy property in Singapore, flip it, then take the money to buy another property, flip again, while renting a property from someone else.

It is the upward prices of private homes that dragged along the prices of HDB flats, which then combined with the property agents encouraging their clients to flip property driving the prices up. It has not much to do with the spending power of locals - more of that of the spending power of expatriates who need not pay tax or CPF. What encouraged people to buy/sell homes starting from 2008 after the subprime picked up is probably an anticipation that housing prices will be at their lowest, and people would want to use the time to get their money into something that is long-term, namely a home. With so many buyers - it became a bloody trade war.
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-02-17, 17:51   Link #19710
DonQuigleone
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You can't really apply arguments that apply to countries like Japan or Germany to Singapore, because Japan and Germany are fully fledged nation-states. Singapore is a city-state. It is, simply, a single city that happens to be independent of any country.

It is also true that there is no "singaporean nation", Singapore is a hodge podge of 4 or 5 different communities, there is no "singaporean people". Furthermore, your average city depends on being able to bring in fresh labour from rural areas and smaller towns in order to fuel growth. In a single city, there is always a significant portion of residents that were not born there. In a standard country, those residents can be drawn from the entire country, the country being a catchment area containing people and resources to fuel the city.

Singapore does not have this benefit, so it must bring in more people via international immigration, and it must compete on the international market for resources to feed and sustain it's population. By contrast, a city like New York can sustain itself on food and other resources coming from an area of land stretching a few hundred miles, and likewise it can draw new labour from across the USA, making international immigration less of a necessity (though New York is notably international anyway).

Singapore, as far as I can see, has to focus on production that is not tied to space constraints, and perhaps needs to focus on having an educated but smaller population, rather then a large one. One tiny island can only support so many people.
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Old 2012-02-17, 22:42   Link #19711
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Now I know you meant that step in the right direction bit for the second story, but it can easily be read as an endorsement for killing federal agents, so you might want to clarify a bit, add some blank lines to separate the stories or something.

Also, I disagree that it's a step in the right direction, but Canadians do face issues fighting off polar bears, so they need to be well armed.
LOL!
Hehehehehe...I didn't even notice that.

That was written very poorly on my part, funny, but poorly written.
I was saying that Canada is taking a step in the correct direction.
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Old 2012-02-18, 00:09   Link #19712
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Also, I disagree that it's a step in the right direction, but Canadians do face issues fighting off polar bears, so they need to be well armed.
Farmers, hunters and conservative nutjob are happy of the dissaperance of the registery, but most peoples, especialy the cops, would had keeped it. It id cost too much to start it but at the end it was efficient and helpfull for the cops.
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Old 2012-02-18, 09:45   Link #19713
Tom Bombadil
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@TinyRedLeaf,

Thank you for a very detailed info on the challenges that Singapore faces on the population issue.

As I study in the US, I can see the amount of talent that it attracts from the rest of the world: China, India, Thailand, Brazil, and many European nations. I am naturally envious of the US and hope that one day China will be as open to foreign talents. An open society is much more likely to be prosperous than a closed one. So it is not just a population issue. Of course, I am aware of all the negative sides of this equation. The government need to realize that it is more than a few stamps on paper works, that it has to make efforts to make sure the new blood is assimilated with the local ones. I heard some criticism of the German government for not doing a very good job in this aspect to their Turk immigrants.
But as Singapore is a multicultural society to begin with, it should be easier. On the other hand, IMO, reliance on cheap foreign labor is not such a good idea. If they are denied of residence, it feels more like exploiting tricks, and if they are given residence, the income difference is a sure way to get the society segregated (which is actually a big issue in China between the urban and rural population).

As for the population issue, sure, a large population will probably grant higher tax income for the government and higher GDP. But as individuals, why should anyone want a huge population? In large population nations, the competition for resources like education, health care, decent paying jobs are too intensive. In this aspect, I might be more biased, if the over all population decline, so what? As long as the individuals can enjoy a better living, I don't see a big problem. If the life pressure is the many reason for the low birth rates, introducing more immigrants probably won't help but to crank such pressure.
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Old 2012-02-19, 08:31   Link #19714
ganbaru
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Iran stops oil sales to British, French companies
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...81I07W20120219

Why east Europeans chose internet piracy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...81G1VL20120217
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Old 2012-02-19, 13:03   Link #19715
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Why east Europeans chose internet piracy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...81G1VL20120217
Oh Reuters, you so transparently misframed the debate with that article title. Corporatist whores
One has to read past the first few paragraphs to get something like the real story... but everyone who ever studied newspaper craft know most readers rarely get past the first 5 paragraphs.

Last edited by Vexx; 2012-02-19 at 13:14.
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Old 2012-02-19, 22:59   Link #19716
aohige
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Hmm... The young man who was been the center of controversy in Japan for the past decade is finally getting his last sentence by the supreme court in 2 hours.
He burglized a neighbor in 1999, killed her, raped her corpse, then grabbed her infant daughter and slammed her on the floor repeatedly, then choked her to death. He took some cash from the house and fled.

Due to the brutality of the crime, and his complete lack of remorse afterwards (he repeatedly taunted the victim's family arrogantly) he's been sentenced to death many times.
But a group of lawyers have decided to use this case to spearhead the abolishment of death penalty (due to massive media exposure) and appealed the case over and over. It also gained public attention from some of the most unconventional defense heard in court, such as the lawyer claiming his client thought "Doraemon will fix everything, so he had no intention of murder" and that raping her corpse was just his expression of love.

It's finally reached he supreme court, and we'll see if he'll be sentenced to death again.

As you can imagine, most public outcry is something similar to pitchforks and public burning.
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Old 2012-02-19, 23:03   Link #19717
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
Hmm... [..]
But a group of lawyers have decided to use this case to spearhead the abolishment of death penalty (due to massive media exposure) and appealed the case over and over.
It's finally reached he supreme court, and we'll see if he'll be senrenced to death again.
Sounds like a terrible case to have chosen to spearhead with O.o
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Old 2012-02-19, 23:06   Link #19718
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Also, I disagree that it's a step in the right direction, but Canadians do face issues fighting off polar bears, so they need to be well armed.
I would assume registered rifles and shotguns are just as effective against polar bears as unregistered ones.

(Also, you're more likely to run into other kinds of bears in the parts of the country people prefer to live in.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
I was saying that Canada is taking a step in the correct direction.
Having to register your rifles and shotguns is that onerous, huh?

(I'm assuming you've read enough coverage to know that the bill does nothing except turf the unrestricted rifle and firearm registry and mandate the destruction of the data it contains.)
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Old 2012-02-19, 23:11   Link #19719
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post

Having to register your rifles and shotguns is that onerous, huh?

(I'm assuming you've read enough coverage to know that the bill does nothing except turf the unrestricted rifle and firearm registry and mandate the destruction of the data it contains.)
Yep it's that onerous and I've read the coverage, it's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
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Old 2012-02-20, 00:16   Link #19720
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Yep it's that onerous and I've read the coverage, it's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
A victory for some, a waste of already spend money or a leap backward for others.
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