Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Businesses HP The Military Your Rights Online

'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP 277

Posted by timothy
from the pollyanna-buys-a-gun dept.
dcblogs writes "The City of Takoma Park, Md. this week granted a waiver to its public library to allow it to use some new HP hardware, whose products are otherwise banned under its 'nuclear free zone' ordinance. That law, adopted in 1983 one month after the Cold War-era movie 'The Day After' was aired, prohibits the city from buying equipment from any company connected to U.S. nuclear weapons production. The library bought new Linux-based, x86 systems from a Canadian vendor and didn't realize the vendor was using HP hardware. The hardware arrived in April and was unused until the Takoma Park city council granted it a waiver this week. The city's list of banned contractors was developed in 2004 by a now inactive group, Nuclear Free America, and hasn't been updated since."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP

Comments Filter:
  • Movies (Score:5, Funny)

    by AkaKaryuu (1062882) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:14AM (#40412747)
    Movies, not reason, dictates their city policy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to "democracy".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So the voice of the people isn't real democracy?

        Don't act like media influences are anything new. Go read Ben Franklin.

        Democracy doesn't mean sound, thought out logical ideologies. Which would often take literally forever for everyone to agree to. It's the current voice of the people.

    • Re:Movies (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Firethorn (177587) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:17AM (#40412793) Homepage Journal

      Not to mention -and has been since at least 1983.

      If I was in that town I'd be pushing for it's repeal. Just like I pushed for getting rid of the ban on selling alcohol to indians in my old town. Yes, the law called them Indians.

      • Were you successfull?
      • Re:Movies (Score:4, Funny)

        by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:27AM (#40412957)

        So given that Indians are no longer called Indians, does that mean that people descended from the indigenous population can be served but not the guys from India?

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          I was basically told that they were no longer enforcing it. It was just in the book I got when I moved in along with some $10 fee for running a dance hall, rules on dog registration, etc...

          I'm not sure anybody fron India has actually been within 10 miles of the town, or that the guy running the single bar cares.

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            I can't speak for the US, but such a law would be blatantly unconstitutional in Canada due to violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which is enshrined in our constitution). Does the US not have any part of the US constitution that forbids laws from discriminating like that? Does the bill of rights cover that, and is it part of the constitution? Not trolling, I'm not very familiar with the US constitution, only copyright law, ironically.

            • by d3matt (864260)
              equal rights amendment was not ratified by the states so no it's not in our constitution.
            • Re:Movies (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Zordak (123132) on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:20PM (#40414497) Homepage Journal
              Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

              All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

              The 14th Amendment was not part of the original Bill of Rights, which was only concerned with limiting the power of the federal government to infringe on people's rights. The states could do almost anything they wanted within the limits of their own state constitutions. The 13th (ending slavery), 14th (civil rights), and 15th (right to vote regardless of race) amendments were passed after the civil war, and the southern states were forced to ratify them as a condition of being re-admitted to the Union. Under the 14th Amendment, most of the Bill of Rights now applies to the individual states.

              This law is almost certianly unconstitutional under the current 14th Amendment jurisprudence, but somebody would have to challenge it first. Since it's apparently not being enforced, it's not likely that anybody is going to bother with challenging it.

              • Yes, it's blatently illegal even in the USA. Still, it's for a very small town with a population of like 50, which is all about as white as you can get in the midwest. It's also old. It's not on anybody's priority list, not even mine. I knew it was a non-enforceable law, but wanted to get rid of it to prevent it from being abused by some joker. Such abuse being unlikely unless things massively change there.

              • by fluffy99 (870997)

                No more unconstitutional than all the other procurement regulations that steer business to black, women owned businesses (often at significantly higher prices too).
                As much as I'd rather see regulations that forced the govt to buy american made products, I know all too well how much paperwork and micromanagement such BS rules create. I'm tired of filling out the paperwork to prove that the monitor I'm buying is handicap accessible.

                • Re:Movies (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by Zordak (123132) on Friday June 22, 2012 @03:28PM (#40416179) Homepage Journal
                  While I agree with you personally, the ladies and gentlemen in the black robes do not. (Or more precisely, at least five of them have disagreed with us enough times.) I am often disturbed by the logical contortions those judges go through to justify institutional racism. (And it's not even "reverse racism." It's just racism.) How they think we can cure racism with more racism is a mystery to me.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Since they come from Asia, the aren't "Native Americans" either.

        "Indians" is actually less inaccurate.

        • Re:Movies (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Immerman (2627577) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:01PM (#40413431)

          And before that from Africa, along with every other human on the planet. The term "native" has to have some cuttoff date or it's completely useless, usually a few (or few dozen) generations suffices. Or are we now classifying every single US citizen an "African American"?

          • Every singe world citizen should be "African". In quotes.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Actually, that's not necessarily completely accurate. I'm pretty sure I saw an article (probably here on Slashdot) a couple weeks ago that there's now a new theory that modern humans all came from Asia first, then all migrated to Africa for some odd reason, then some of those migrated from there out to everywhere else (including back to Asia).

            • That article was not that modern humans originated in Asia, but that an ancestor to all the African humans and proto-humans was in Asia, so it's just setting the cutoff point out further still.

              You can keep going back and now you're in the oceans, and the oceans have a different shape than today.

          • Why dont we start and end with "Classification: Human".
      • ahhh, Takoma Park, MD! If you lived in that town, you'd be pretty pissed about the waiver, actually.
      • Re:Movies (Score:5, Informative)

        by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:49AM (#40413269)

        Yes, the law called them Indians.

        Our largest local Indian confederation refers to itself as "Indians". The Indians I've known all call themselves Indians.

        The people I've known that get worked up about using "Native American" tend to be white and middle-to-upper class.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The people I've known that get worked up about it tend to be Indians, as in people from India. It's also confusing to pretty much anyone outside of the Americas, as people from India are pretty common while indigenous Americans don't go abroad as much. It can even get confusing in some parts of the US west coast where there are a lot of Indian immigrants. I don't think it's offensive; it just gets confusing if you spend a lot of time in California and Europe.

          • by wcrowe (94389)

            I'm part Indian (the American variety) and I used to roll my eyes when people would say "Native American". However, as you pointed out, there is a sizable number of Asian Indian immigrants in the U.S. now, and it can get confusing. I don't know what the solution is. I still don't like "Native American", it just has too many damn syllables to be practical.

        • I've known some folks from Mumbai who strive to make that distinction too :)

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          As the AC mentioned, it's a specificality thing. When all you have to go on is 'Indians aren't allowed to buy alcohol', is it refering to Natives(further explanation in the rules would make that obvious) or those from India, the country?

          When I was a kid, Indian = Native American. Now that I've traveled the world a bit, I use Indian to specify people from India enough that I have to use NA.

        • by Kozz (7764)

          Yes, the law called them Indians.

          Our largest local Indian confederation refers to itself as "Indians". The Indians I've known all call themselves Indians.

          The people I've known that get worked up about using "Native American" tend to be white and middle-to-upper class.

          Not always the case, either. I remember when I was in college about 10 years ago and was chatting with a classmate I didn't really know that well. He said that he and his family were going to a powwow that weekend. I said, "Oh, you're American Indian?" He gently corrected me, "Yes, Native American."

          (amusing sidenote: I checked dictionary.com to see if "powwow" was one word or two. The definition includes the phrase "North American Indian".)

      • My wife and son are enrolled members of the Seneca Nation of Indians. I don't think they have a problem with that term.

        http://www.sni.org/ [sni.org]
        • by Firethorn (177587)

          You might object to the phrasing of that rule/law though. Too bad I no longer have the books.

          Paraphrasing a bit: 'No alcohol will be sold to those under 16, habitual drunks, or indians.'

        • by PhrstBrn (751463)

          The only problem comes from the ambiguity of the word "Indians" when referring to Native Americans. Seneca Indians is fine, because I know that Seneca Indians came from America. Using the word "Indian" can be ambiguous or wrong depending on the context, since Indian refers to a group of people from Asia. Using the word Indian to refer to Native Americans just leads to confusion and is a poor choice of words.

          Seneca Indians - A native tribe from America
          Native Americans - Collection of native tribes from A

      • Just like I pushed for getting rid of the ban on selling alcohol to indians in my old town. Yes, the law called them Indians.

        Well if they were Pakistanis they probably wouldn't want to buy it anyway, it's haram.

      • That ban could be helping everyone. Our natives here in Canada could certainly benefit from it.

      • Yes, the law called them Indians.

        Why not?

        According to a 1995 US Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as American Indians or Indians

    • Re:Movies (Score:5, Funny)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:20AM (#40412835) Homepage Journal

      Movies, not reason, dictates their city policy.

      You should see the stockpile of shotguns and Patrick Swayze clones they have on hand just in case Red Dawn comes true...

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>Movies, not reason, dictates their city policy.

      It all depends upon your viewpoint. The Greeks believed that plays (which is what a movie is: a film play) can not just entertain but also educate the audience. If I recall my AP english terms correctly, they called it "catharasis".

      I guess the Maryland Democrats who run this city experienced catharsis after viewing the destruction of a nuclear holocaust, and decided to no longer be part of any weapon manufacturing business.

      • Re:Movies (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ferzerp (83619) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:29AM (#40412987)

        That word (catharsis) doesn't mean what you think it means.

        Catharsis is a purging of built up emotion/tension. It has absolutely nothing to do with education of any sort.....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cpu6502 (1960974)

          If you were living during the Cold War, and seen this movie, that's pretty much what it did. I've always thought an emotional purging was educational. That movie certainly made me "wake up" and realize how dangerous it is to toy with war (especially if our victims have nuclear-equipped allies like Russia).

          >>>"Just rammed it through" def'n: any legislation that passes that you don't like.

          Actually the Maryland Democrats do pass some good laws. Like the recent decision to allow a student to attend

          • by ebuck (585470)

            I've always thought an emotional purging was educational.

            That's where you are wrong. You don't have to learn anything from an emotional outpour. You just get a sense of relief after it is done.

            In fact, it would probably be safe to say you are less likely to learn something when experiencing an emotional outpur, but are more likely to do something about it. From my understanding, the only time that people are more likely to accept differing points of view are when they are personaly vulnerable; however, feeling vulnerable doesn't assure that the new point of vi

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            Socrates was given the opportunity to leave but chose to remain on principle. As was common at the time the sentence was in practice "GTFO or die", a fine example of Athenian democracy (the classic "elections" was for banishment rather than office, gave everyone incentive not to be the least-popular guy in town).

            As for the problems with majority rule, I'll grant you those freely, but the alternatives are minority rule (which rarely goes well for the majority) or consensus, which rarely gets anything done a

          • ...That's why Maryland and all the other States are REPUBLICS (rule of law & protection of basic human rights), not democracies.

            REPUBLIC doesn't mean what you think, either. From Webster: Republic - a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

            Our protection of basic human rights comes from the constitution, not from being a republic.

        • by steelfood (895457)

          You keep using that word (cartharsis). I do not think it means what you think it means.

          FTFY.

      • Re:Movies (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:29AM (#40412989)

        I guess the Maryland Democrats who run this city experienced catharsis after viewing the destruction of a nuclear holocaust, and decided to no longer be part of any weapon manufacturing business.

        Hmm, so the cure to war is to make sure that your side won't win if one happens?

        I've always preferred the "If thou would have peace, prepare then for war" POV....

        • Re:Movies (Score:4, Interesting)

          by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:37AM (#40413103) Homepage Journal

          I guess the Maryland Democrats who run this city experienced catharsis after viewing the destruction of a nuclear holocaust, and decided to no longer be part of any weapon manufacturing business.

          Hmm, so the cure to war is to make sure that your side won't win if one happens?

          I've always preferred the "If thou would have peace, prepare then for war" POV....

          You don't need nukes for that; just look at Switzerland. [wikipedia.org]

          Apparently arming the shit out of your populace (with automatic rifles) is a far greater deterrent to being attacked than stockpiling nuclear weapons.

          • Re:Movies (Score:5, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:43AM (#40413201)

            Apparently arming the shit out of your populace (with automatic rifles) is a far greater deterrent to being attacked than stockpiling nuclear weapons.

            Cool. Then we (US Americans) are covered on both counts.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Apparently arming the shit out of your populace (with automatic rifles) is a far greater deterrent

            The guns don't really matter much, except that an invader would be forced to treat the populace as combatants and inflict a high civilian death toll. Switzerland avoids attack because it is vanishingly small, protected by mountain ranges and devoid of natural resources. Politically and militarily irrelevant, in other words.

            Switzerland and its guns are like an 5lb dog barking at a 200lb mailman from behind a fence. The dog is brilliantly proud of itself when the mailman leaves the property.

            This situation

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Apparently arming the shit out of your populace (with automatic rifles) is a far greater deterrent to being attacked than stockpiling nuclear weapons.

            That's an interesting correlation, but the real reason is that they are smack in the middle of a continent that is connected to the main likely source of nukes (Russia), and I believe that the prevailing weather systems go that way, too. If Russia nuked Switzerland, it would be about a week (or less) before the cloud reached Moskva, and even less before the rest of the neighbors were overrunning Russia in retaliation.

            And, of course, if someone else nuked the clock makers, Russia would have a vested intere

            • Russia is not the only antagonist ever realized by Europe: Hitler abandoned plans to invade Switzerland years before nuclear weapons were even invented.

              So no, potential nuclear fallout has nothing (or at best, very little) to do with Switzerland's record of not being fucked with. I suppose it could be posited that Switzerland remains untouched because that's were the world's elite keep their wealth, but I would wager such a statement is putting the cart before the horse.

              I mean, just look at Achmed. He's scary (but not as scary as Walter).

              Tell me about it - I've got a Walter

              • by Obfuscant (592200)

                Russia is not the only antagonist ever realized by Europe: Hitler abandoned plans to invade Switzerland years before nuclear weapons were even invented.

                How did arming Swiss people stop Hitler from staring a nuclear conflagration if Hitler had no nukes?

                The statement was that arming the Swiss people was how they defended themselves, and cpu6502 started by talking in a nuclear holocaust context. I was pretty clear in saying that arming them could be a reason that conventional forces from their neighbors (e.g., Hitler and Germany) hadn't overrun them. Read all the way to the end of what you reply to, please.

          • You don't need nukes for that; just look at Switzerland.

            Bollocks. Not worth invading. Not on the easiest route between anywhere that's worth invading and anywhere likely to be capable of invading anywhere that's worth invading.

            There's a reason the Schlieffen plan was designed as a right hook, and it wasn't a bunch of bankers, chocolate-makers and horologists armed with pop-guns.

            • You don't need nukes for that; just look at Switzerland.

              Bollocks. Not worth invading. Not on the easiest route between anywhere that's worth invading and anywhere likely to be capable of invading anywhere that's worth invading.

              There's a reason the Schlieffen plan was designed as a right hook, and it wasn't a bunch of bankers, chocolate-makers and horologists armed with pop-guns.

              Non sequitur.

              My point was, and still is, a nation does not need nuclear weapons to be secure. Switzerland is merely the example I used.

              Your post only serves to further prove my words.

      • The Greeks believed that plays (which is what a movie is: a film play) can not just entertain but also educate the audience. If I recall my AP english terms correctly, they called it "catharasis".

        Nope, you don't recall your AP English terms at all, because that's not what catharsis (not "catharasis") is. Cartharsis is an emotional purging, not an educational experience.

    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      At least they didn't base their policy on Threads
    • Movies, not reason, dictates their city policy.

      Sometimes we call these "campaign shots", but yeah, that's pretty much how the system works.

  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:16AM (#40412769)
    How much funding does the city have set aside to fight off 'illegal restraint of trade' lawsuits?
  • Really? Can not buy anything from a company that is related to US nuclear weapons production? Really? What a stupid do nothing make everybody feel good while accomplishing nothing lets all hold hands and sing Kumbaya crap law!
    I guess they don't use any gasoline since the oil companies sell fuel used to move nuclear weapons. Or any Aluminum since they use Aluminum to build the missiles...
    Yeah this made such a difference....

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Really? Can not buy anything from a company that is related to US nuclear weapons production? Really? What a stupid do nothing make everybody feel good while accomplishing nothing lets all hold hands and sing Kumbaya crap law!

      No, wrong problem. The REAL problem is that HP is involved in US nuclear weapons production. And now Microsoft is making their computer manufacturing partners very very angry, and one of those manufacturers is HP...

      Stay away from the Redmond, WA area for the time being, is all I'm saying.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      At least they tried to use what little influence they had in a manner consistent with their values. I respect that. The boomers were still young enough at the time for America collectively to be tilted a bit towards idealism. Now everything is a sellout.
  • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgwNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:25AM (#40412929) Journal

    Maybe they should extend the ban to companies involved with biowarfare (agar, petri dishes, thermal control chambers), or to cyberwarfare (Microsoft, RedHat, and your son's best friend who became a script kiddy last night).

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:25AM (#40412935) Homepage

    "Nuclear free" is sooo 1980s. It's all about "greenness" now. You need to update your pc checklists monthly.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:37AM (#40413101)

    Takoma Park [wikipedia.org] has long been a center for the Seventh Day Adventist Church [wikipedia.org], and 7DAs tend to be pacifists.

    • Takoma Park Kid (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sampson7 (536545) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:49PM (#40414073)

      Takoma Park [wikipedia.org] has long been a center for the Seventh Day Adventist Church [wikipedia.org], and 7DAs tend to be pacifists.

      Just FYI, Takoma Park's liberalness (which includes a bead store, vegan restaurants and the rest) has little to do with the Adventists, who aren't really a force in town. Instead, Takoma Park has a long hippy tradition and is filled with aging boomers who moved to the community because of its reputation as a liberal enclave. It's often referred to as the "Berkely of the East" and other such monickers.

      My favorite nuclear free story growing up was that the police department looked for a while like it was going to have to buy Volvo squad cars, because every other major manufacturer had some toe hold in nuclear weapons. Not sure how they managed to avoid that, but they did. Similarly, when the transit authority wanted to build a major highway right through the middle of Takoma Park (which at that point was a sleepy middle class suburb full of WWII bungallos), the local community rallied together and killed the massive highway plan on the Maryland side of Washington, DC. Those techies in Northern Virginia who enjoy the Mixed Bowl during their morning commute see what could have happened to Maryland. Of course, nothing's that simple -- but it's refreshing that there's still a place that combates global warming by banning gasoline-powered lawn mowers.....

      Takoma Park was a great place to grow up. Crazy as they are, it's refreshing to have such a community of idealists. Even though it seems like the whole community has gentrified over the last few years, I still love it, even as I've transitioned to the Dark Side (business! Eeek!)

  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:40AM (#40413141)
    When Pixar was still a hardware company making graphics accelerators, Steve sold one to a DOD contractor. He had to get a security clearance to do so. Someone got the clearance data using FOI and posted a couple weeks ago. Both this and Nuclear Free Zones is some extreme government bureaucracy.
  • Would someone be in a position to tell us how much of their electrical power comes from nuclear reactors? I'm thinking they should disconnect form the grid until we know for sure...
    • by nomadic (141991)
      What does this have to do with nuclear weapons?
    • For the USA on average, it's about 20%. If you live in a city serviced by a nuclear power plant, then it would be ~80-95%. Otherwise 0%.

  • How about Taxes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:43PM (#40413979) Homepage Journal

    Do they refuse to accept tax payments from any residents who are employed by any company with ties to the nuclear industry? Because that would be blood money, yanno?

  • Say what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:54PM (#40414171)

    Say what? ANY company "involved"?

    I suspect to make nuclear weapons, you need, like, EVERYTHING. Bricks, mortar, screwdrivers, voltmeters, paper, pencils, pens, pipes (lots of pipes), cars, gasoline, welding rods, drill presses, lathes, etc, etc, etc, etc..............

    I think you'd be blocking the buying of almost everything, except maybe nail salon services.

  • nuclear power is NOT the bomb!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:11PM (#40414385)

    How do they handle smoke detection, since the radioactive americium detectors in them are all manufactured by defense contractors that also work with other nuclear materials, including bombs?

  • It really is impossible for government (local, state, or federal) to kill a program, isn't it?

    Just for SOMEONE to say "you know, this may have been a good idea, but now it's just stupid, let's stop this"?

    Please note that the Rural Electrification Administration - a 1935 New Deal office set up to bring electricity to US farms - still exists.
    1935 11% of farms had electricity
    1949 mandate was expanded, to allow the REA to offer federal loans to local telephone co-ops
    1952 98% of farms had electricity...agency s

  • This is a bold, assertive policy that will have a major impact on world peace and stability. You go, Takoma Park, all 17,000 and 2.36 square miles of you.

  • This is what happens when you have ONE legislative body or even two that are elected the same way.

    Ideally you want at LEAST two that are elected in a different enough way that there would be a culture difference between the two houses. The only legislation that gets passed is what can be agreed upon by BOTH bodies.

    Checks and balances.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

Working...