Reply to Government vs Rocketry Article

I came across this reply to the Wall Street Journal article. Thought someone else might like to read it.
Bill C.
<<    To the Editor of the Wall Street Journal:
    As a longtime hobbyist and owner of a hobby store that sells rocketry and R/C supplies I read with great interest the May 7 front page story "Government Launches a Crackdown On Model Rockets." While the facts in the story are correct Mr. Block only scratched the surface of a larger story.     The BATFE has regulated APCP for years, 9/11 only gave them an excuse for such regulation and more. APCP as used in hobby rocket motors is not explosive, however the BATFE refuses to accept this proven fact. Unfortunately our government has become "terrorist happy" and uses terrorism or national security as an excuse for anything it wants to get away with. Now the government sees model rockets as well as R/C aircraft as terrorist devices capable of "intercepting commercial and military aircraft" as well as being used "in light antitank weapons" with a range of "five miles." This is utter nonsense as anyone who has ever flown a rocket can attest to. While no surprise to many people, I believe the larger story here is that government bureaucracies are trying to regulate things that they simply don't understand. Any bureaucrat knows the more things you can regulate the more power you have.     A case in point: We were asked to supply 45 motors to a contractor working for the government at a test range in Wendover, Utah and at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. When asked a few simple questions it became obvious the contractor knew very little about the items they were purchasing and yet regulations would be based on tests performed by them. We also learned that the motors would be "modified" in a way that would prevent them from functioning as they were designed. Such modification is a violation of the safety rules the vast majority of hobbyists adhere to and in some states such as Ohio could possibly be illegal.     The bill that Sen. Enzi sponsored was legislation that was written by someone who is actually knowledgeable about the hobby and addressed both the needs of the hobbyists and the Homeland Security community. The bill however was dismembered in committee and then finally killed by Sen. Schumer of NY and Sen. Lautenberg of NJ. The outrageous press release by Sen. Schumer announcing the death of the bill was so full of distortions and outright untruths that I could hardly believe my eyes. Lying to the public is not a good way to "balance civil liberties with homeland safety." Fortunately the BATFE recently lost part of a federal lawsuit brought against it by rocketry associations that will provide some relief at least temporarily.     I also find the statement by a federal law-enforcement official that rocket hobbyists are "fanatics and nerds" to be highly offensive but it is also telling as to their attitude and understanding of the hobby. These "fanatics and nerds" are my customers, they are not terrorists, they are honest, hard working, tax paying citizens who deserve better than that from their government.
    Robert Fiffik     Owner     Great Lakes Hobbies     Kirtland, Ohio>>
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Nice response, and a good reason to support Great Lakes Hobbies!
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RayDunakin) wrote:

POINT!!
May I give him free product?
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Only IF
"free" ? $40,000
OK, OK, it was a joke, it was a joke...

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bill C1075) wrote:

God bless Robert. May he live in infamy.
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Jerry Irvine wrote:

What's wrong with living in Ohio?
;P
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I LIKE Ohio!
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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wrote:

Us residents do too. Else, um, we'd probably be in Kalifornia...
Yick.
<g>
tah
--
Tod A. Hilty
Hilty Information Systems
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I have been to Cincinnati (Chili and beer rocks)
I have been to Cleveland (rust rocks) Okay, it IS the industrial center of the planet too.
I have been to Medina (never saw someplace that was green EVERYWHERE before that.
Jerry
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Jerry Irvine wrote:

I grew up in northern Ohio, and I never saw green till I spent two years in Alabama. Even things that aren't SUPPOSED to be green were growing! Now I live in New Mexico, where if you want something green you paint it. ;)
Mark E. Hamilton
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:)
ROFL.
Jerry
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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Mark Hamilton wrote:

At least you save on watering bills. :)
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I live in SW Washington state and last month I weedwhacked enough green to cover all of Alabama... ;-)
Twenty miles NE of where I live there's a place where you can drive down the road looking at the roadside and think "My, that's nice, bright green grass!" and then realize it's MOSS. Moss growing on the rocks, moss hanging from the trees, moss growing on top of the freakin' moss...that's what 90 inches of rainfall a year will do. We typically get 50...local microclimate thing.
Last summer I hacked my way up to the NE corner of our farm behind the fir trees and wandered around in bracken ferns eight feet tall. They're usually only about five, maybe six feet.
Nevada is SO shockingly brown and barren! And the air is so dry and dust-laden my nasal lining is scabbed over for a month afterwards.
+McG+
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Kenneth C. McGoffin wrote:

Sheesh. If we get 10% of that in Albuquerque it's a wet year. We had 2.5" last month and nearly set a record. OTOH, I haven't lost a rocket to a tree since Alabama. I flew at El Dorado Dry Lake in Nevada about 12 years ago, and that was impressively dry and flat, but it was way to hot (115 F in the shade.) Where I fly here we may not have as much flatness or space, but we also don't get that hot. I've met some great rocketeers from Nevada and Arizona, but you couldn't pay me to live there. I'd like to visit your area, though. I've never seen 6 foot ferns.
Mark E. Hamilton NAR #48641-SR ARSA #418
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The normal rainfall pattern here is different than the in the south. Parts of Texas will get 20 inches of rain a year and half of that in one day. Here IIRC the record for Portland(30 miles south) was 37 consecutive days of rain, but maybe only a few hundredths to half an inch per day. Constant drizzle alternating with showers. The record here is something like 2.5 inches in a day.
I'm going to try to remember to get some pics of the ferns later this year and post them on my web site. Some people just can't believe it. Doesn't look like it's going to be a banner year for ferns, though, we're behind in rainfall this spring. +McG+
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On Thu, 13 May 2004 11:06:29 -0700, David Weinshenker

Betcha miss your Skyline, huh?
<g>
Tod "Just had four White Castles for lunch" Hilty
--
Tod A. Hilty
Hilty Information Systems
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