"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Wolfram v.Kipars » Tue, 21 Dec 1999 04:00:00





Quote:
>), it would seem the MOST logical to have just gone ahead and sued
>them to begin with.

That depends on what the premise for suing the BATF actually is, John.
And the points you raise in this thread have missed the point.  

---
Wolfram v.Kiparski
NAR 28643

remove "spamnot" to reply

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by John H. Cato, Jr » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


OK, this is not meant to be 'argumentative' (is that it??), just another
observation that maybe we should think about (since this, yet again, should
yield some insight into how the *BATF* is (or could be) thinking about this
hobby's actions...)

Everybody (or nearly so) has said that, "Rocket motors are NOT explosive (and
you (meaning anybody else) is/are a fool for thinking so.)"

OK, quick 'historical review'...

For several years here (the great majority of the last five), 'The Hobby' has
been 'seeking exemptions' (broadly described as "regulatory relief") from the
regulations -- things like 'waivers' and 'variances' and 'special rocket
permits' (some actually proposed, some merely speculated).

Only recently have 'The Hobby' (seriously) considered the 'litigation
route' - arguing that, in truth, rocket motors are just NOT 'explosive' (in
their function or classification) and, thereby, should not (and, legally,
cannot) be "regulated."

Summarized actions (thus far):

    1) Seek exemptions (for several years)
-then-
    2) Sue the BATF for improperly classifying rocket motors as "explosives".

=-=-=

Question: "If rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', why didn't we (The Hobby)
just sue them UP FRONT (i.e. 5 years ago)?"

Why did we (The Hobby) waste all these years "seeking exemptions"?

If these motors are 'not explosives', why did this (magical transformation)
only recently occur?  If they are "not explosives" in the latter part of
1999, would they not (also) be "not explosives" back in 1994 (when the BATF
informed the hobby that they "were explosives" and (thereby) would require
permitting and proper storage)?

The very fact of 'The Hobby' spending several YEARS trying to seek
*exemptions* from the regulations is tacit acknowledgement that rocket motors
ARE "explosives", is it not??  I mean, WHY didn't our 'esteemed counsel' and
'insightful leaders' merely counter (in that meeting room in Salt Lake City
back in April 1994) - with the (rather obvious and categorical) statement
(when the BATF said that they could no longer afford to 'turn the other way')
that, "Well, Mr. BATF, since rocket motors are NOT 'explosives' and do not
'function by explosion', THIS is why we (The Hobby) have ignored your 'hints'
(for the last several years) and we see no reason to comply.  We are aware of
APCP being listed on your LoEM and figured you'd eventually realize it was
there improperly and would remove it -- but didn't want to embarass you here
by bringing it to your attention - and were just going to wait until you
realized it yourself.  However, now that you've brought this up, if you don't
remove that (improperly listed) material, we may have to 'pressure' you (i.e.
litigate) into understanding the obvious realities here."

I mean, let's look at it here:

Rocket motors are not explosive (according to 'The Hobby').  If so, then
rocket motors have NEVER been 'explosive' - and NEVER were legitimately
subject to regulation.

BATF says that they are and, therefore, must be regulated.

Would not the most *logical* approach be to challenge that definition (since
it's wrong (according to 'The Hobby')) -- RIGHT UP FRONT??

... and THEN 'seek exemptions' only AFTER the (most obvious approach) failed?

So.  WHY did this esteemed counsellor and these truly insightful hobby
leaders just completely MISS this most obvious approach (and do this
backwards from what LOGIC would suggest)??  Were they asleep (pardon the pun)
when BATF kept trying to get 'The Hobby' to 'wake up'?  It (meaning the
intent of the BATF) is (most definitely) NOT something that just 'sneaked up'
on 'The Hobby' (I know this, because BATF told me so back in 1994 -- that
they had been *trying* to get 'The Hobby' to realize this regulatory
imperative *for several years* (prior to that time)).

I mean, if we're to take 'The Hobby' as the voice of knowledge, then it seems
patently obvious that they would *immediately* counter any (firm) assertion
(as it would be that April of '94) from the BATF of the 'explosive nature
(and function)' of these rocket motors -- and challenge 'The BATF's'
understanding of the term 'explosive'.

Why were the actions taken here (by 'The Hobby') backwards??

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Because, you see -- by 'seeking exemptions' (as their FIRST tactic), 'The
Hobby' has clearly and unequivocally *acknowledged* that rocket motors ARE
'explosive' (why else would one 'seek exemptions'??).  I mean, one does not
NEED to 'seek exemptions' from something that is 'clearly' (per 'The
Hobby')... well... "exempt" and is not a 'regulatable item'.  But, to spend
several years here 'begging the forebearance' of the BATF MEANS that, "Yeah,
we KNOW that they ARE 'explosive' and we KNOW that you do have propriety on
your side to regulate these devices, but, hey, can't we work something out
here??"

As it stands, the very fact that 'exemptions' were sought AND THEN the
'hardnosed' stuff was taken seems clear that 'The Hobby' is not really
interested or concerned with 'The Question' (as to what rocket motors REALLY
are - because if you KNEW they weren't 'explosive', you would have said that
right up front).  They're only interested in NOT complying with any
regulatory encumbrance on their hobby (several NAR leaders have all but said
exactly that).  That (as seems clear here from documented history) is the
bottom line.

If rocket motors were (truly) not a qualifying device (to be classified as
'explosive'), then the LOGICAL approach would be to:

    1) Assert (in the courtroom, if necessary) that these devices are NOT
'explosive' (since you seem so convinced of that fact);

-if that fails, then...

    2) Seek exemptions (since 'The Assertion' (of non-explosive) failed);

-if that fails, then...

    3) Educate their memberships that rocket motors DO come under the
regulation and there is no need to continue to deny that reality and (then)
HELP them to come into compliance (with the regulations) --- while,
simultaneously, continuing to find 'regulatory relief' (with, however, an
*honest* and *forthcoming* advi***t to their memberships that this may not
ever happen).

While 'Step 3' may, indeed, STILL happen (in sequence)...

... it is clear that Steps 1 and 2 were reversed.

It (seems) equally clear as to WHY.

From my seat, if you folks ('The Hobby') KNEW (or were so convinced) that
rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', then your actions up to this point seem to
clearly indicate you are not very convinced of that 'fact'.

Think about it.

Think, also, about what those actions (and their sequencing) say about 'The
Truth' of this situation (as even resides in your own mind).

Everybody (it seems, in this day and age) ALWAYS is conscious of
'appearance'.  Look at 'The Appearance' of what you folks have done for the
last 5 years on this situation.

It "appears" you simply want to hide behind a 'semantic maze'.

-- john "Devil's Advocate position - to be sure -- but, DANG, guys....."
cato.

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Mark Daughtry S » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


John H. Cato, Jr. wrote

<snip endless drivel, whining, and just plain BS>

Hey John, why don't you go out and fly some rockets for a change (1/4A through
low G, of course)? We've all heard your (devil's advocate) side of the story
time and time and time and time and time and time again.
Lighten up a bit guy. You *can* be a wealth of very good information (and that
is why you are not in my kill file) *but* you can be a real PITA when you get
on one of your holy crusades.
Give it a rest man. Chill out. Build a cool or unique model. Fly it a few times
then write up a launch report and/or set of plans for us all to enjoy.
My 1/50 of a dollar......

Best Regards,

NAR 71556-SR. Insured L1
MSRS 0035-SR.
Remove ".SPAMNOT" in my e-mail address to reply

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Leonard Fehske » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00



wrote

[lengthy post about the "illogic" in the sequencing of "the Hobby's" actions
with respect to BATF recgulation of HPR]

Well, hindisght is 20/20.  I'm sure if we all had it to do over again, we'd
do it the "right" way.  Unfortunately, we're just human beings, and sometimes
the best or "most logical" strategies are not apparent until we've made a few
tactical blunders.

len.

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by John H. Cato, Jr » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


Mark Daughtry SR. wrote

Quote:
> *but* you can be a real PITA when you get
>on one of your holy crusades.
>Give it a rest man. Chill out

Mark, I'm just thinking out loud and asking questions.  "Questions" shouldn't
cause such 'upheaval' unless they reveal something that *should* be thought
about.

You don't have to 'answer' if you don't want to.

(Since you didn't (yet bothered to respond), what explanation do *you* have
for why they did this backwards??)

-- john.

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Rick Dickinso » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


On Tue, 21 Dec 1999 14:40:39 -0500, "John H. Cato, Jr."

Quote:

>OK, quick 'historical review'...

>For several years here (the great majority of the last five), 'The Hobby' has
>been 'seeking exemptions' (broadly described as "regulatory relief") from the
>regulations -- things like 'waivers' and 'variances' and 'special rocket
>permits' (some actually proposed, some merely speculated).

>Only recently have 'The Hobby' (seriously) considered the 'litigation
>route' - arguing that, in truth, rocket motors are just NOT 'explosive' (in
>their function or classification) and, thereby, should not (and, legally,
>cannot) be "regulated."

>Summarized actions (thus far):

>    1) Seek exemptions (for several years)
>-then-
>    2) Sue the BATF for improperly classifying rocket motors as "explosives".

>=-=-=

>Question: "If rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', why didn't we (The Hobby)
>just sue them UP FRONT (i.e. 5 years ago)?"

Simple economics, John.  Simple economics.  It is much cheaper to just ask
nicely "Mr. BATF agent, sir, can you please let us have whatever exemptions
it takes to let us use these materials (which have a proven safety record
and almost no incidence of abuse) in our safety-code regulated hobby?
Pretty please?"  Whether or not they are justified in regulating the
material in the first place is somewhat irrelevant, practically speaking,
if they are willing to waive the burdensome portions of the regulations.

For a number of years, that approach, for the most part, worked.  Yes,
there were exceptions, and BATF agents and local fire authorities were
rather capricious and inconsistent in what they did and didn't allow, but
most people were able to get the variances needed to comply with their
local agents' interpretation of the current regulations.

Recently, BATF has become more "hard nosed", and is not allowing any
variances to various storage requirements.  These changes in enforcement
policies have "forced" the issue.  Now, it seems that our only recourse is
to actually challenge their basis for regulating the material in the first
place.  This is an expensive proposition.  Lawyers cost money.

It is rather disingenuous of you, John, to lambaste the hobby for failing
to sue five years ago.  Lawsuits should *always* be a last resort.  If we
had gone to court against the BATF immediately, the first question any
competent judge would have asked is "Have you tried to work this out
without involving the courts in your dispute?"  It certainly wouldn't have
helped our position to say "Nope.  Just figured we'd file suit immediately,
to speed things along.  They're hard-nosed capricious bastards, as you can
see by our 5 minutes of experience with them prior to filing this suit."

Sheesh....

 - Rick "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."***inson

--
"Given an infinite amount of monkeys an infinite amount of time, an infinite
amount of drafting supplies, and an infinite amount of crack, they'd come
up with Downtown Chicago."
           -- David Jacoby, in alt.sysadmin.recovery

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Mark Daughtry S » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


John H. Cato, Jr. wrote.....

Quote:
>Mark Daughtry SR. wrote

>> *but* you can be a real PITA when you get
>>on one of your holy crusades.
>>Give it a rest man. Chill out

>Mark, I'm just thinking out loud and asking questions.  "Questions" shouldn't
>cause such 'upheaval' unless they reveal something that *should* be thought
>about.

>You don't have to 'answer' if you don't want to.

>(Since you didn't (yet bothered to respond), what explanation do *you* have
>for why they did this backwards??)

Sorry John. You're not gonna drag me into you devil's advocate/holy crusade. I
*do* have my own opinions and reserve the right to keep it to myself. BUT
rather that carry on in a manner that would label me zealot, mentally
disturbed, or just a plain crackpot, I think I'll build and fly some rockets.

Mark (I'm not crazy for wanting to build and fly rockets rather than engage in
useless banter am I?) Daughtry, SR.

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Steve Bloo » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00



OK, this is not meant to be 'argumentative' (is that it??), just another
observation that maybe we should think about (since this, yet again, should
yield some insight into how the *BATF* is (or could be) thinking about this
hobby's actions...)

Everybody (or nearly so) has said that, "Rocket motors are NOT explosive
(and
you (meaning anybody else) is/are a fool for thinking so.)"

OK, quick 'historical review'...

For several years here (the great majority of the last five), 'The Hobby'
has
been 'seeking exemptions' (broadly described as "regulatory relief") from
the
regulations -- things like 'waivers' and 'variances' and 'special rocket
permits' (some actually proposed, some merely speculated).

Only recently have 'The Hobby' (seriously) considered the 'litigation
route' - arguing that, in truth, rocket motors are just NOT 'explosive' (in
their function or classification) and, thereby, should not (and, legally,
cannot) be "regulated."

Summarized actions (thus far):

    1) Seek exemptions (for several years)
-then-
    2) Sue the BATF for improperly classifying rocket motors as
"explosives".

=-=-=

Question: "If rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', why didn't we (The Hobby)
just sue them UP FRONT (i.e. 5 years ago)?"

Why did we (The Hobby) waste all these years "seeking exemptions"?

If these motors are 'not explosives', why did this (magical transformation)
only recently occur?  If they are "not explosives" in the latter part of
1999, would they not (also) be "not explosives" back in 1994 (when the BATF
informed the hobby that they "were explosives" and (thereby) would require
permitting and proper storage)?

The very fact of 'The Hobby' spending several YEARS trying to seek
*exemptions* from the regulations is tacit acknowledgement that rocket
motors
ARE "explosives", is it not??  I mean, WHY didn't our 'esteemed counsel' and
'insightful leaders' merely counter (in that meeting room in Salt Lake City
back in April 1994) - with the (rather obvious and categorical) statement
(when the BATF said that they could no longer afford to 'turn the other
way')
that, "Well, Mr. BATF, since rocket motors are NOT 'explosives' and do not
'function by explosion', THIS is why we (The Hobby) have ignored your
'hints'
(for the last several years) and we see no reason to comply.  We are aware
of
APCP being listed on your LoEM and figured you'd eventually realize it was
there improperly and would remove it -- but didn't want to embarass you here
by bringing it to your attention - and were just going to wait until you
realized it yourself.  However, now that you've brought this up, if you
don't
remove that (improperly listed) material, we may have to 'pressure' you
(i.e.
litigate) into understanding the obvious realities here."

I mean, let's look at it here:

Rocket motors are not explosive (according to 'The Hobby').  If so, then
rocket motors have NEVER been 'explosive' - and NEVER were legitimately
subject to regulation.

BATF says that they are and, therefore, must be regulated.

Would not the most *logical* approach be to challenge that definition (since
it's wrong (according to 'The Hobby')) -- RIGHT UP FRONT??

... and THEN 'seek exemptions' only AFTER the (most obvious approach)
failed?

So.  WHY did this esteemed counsellor and these truly insightful hobby
leaders just completely MISS this most obvious approach (and do this
backwards from what LOGIC would suggest)??  Were they asleep (pardon the
pun)
when BATF kept trying to get 'The Hobby' to 'wake up'?  It (meaning the
intent of the BATF) is (most definitely) NOT something that just 'sneaked
up'
on 'The Hobby' (I know this, because BATF told me so back in 1994 -- that
they had been *trying* to get 'The Hobby' to realize this regulatory
imperative *for several years* (prior to that time)).

I stopped reading here when I realized I couldn't to go back in time and
change things.

Sincerely,
Steve Bloom
Seattle Area Rocketeer
Skunkworks West
http://www.everett.net/users/bloomer/index.htm
For email, make sure everett's got two t's

 
 
 

"Explosive" - or just "tactic"

Post by Robert Iannucc » Wed, 22 Dec 1999 04:00:00


So John in your modest opinion, not the Hobbies opinion, Are they explosives
or are they not explosives?

Just Curious

--

Robert Iannucci
NAR #75375 Sr L2
Superstition Spacemodeling Society
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

Quote:

> Organization: bCandid - Powering the world's discussions - http://www.FoundCollection.com/
> Newsgroups: rec.models.rockets
> Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 14:40:39 -0500
> Subject: "Explosive" - or just "tactic"

> OK, this is not meant to be 'argumentative' (is that it??), just another
> observation that maybe we should think about (since this, yet again, should
> yield some insight into how the *BATF* is (or could be) thinking about this
> hobby's actions...)

> Everybody (or nearly so) has said that, "Rocket motors are NOT explosive (and
> you (meaning anybody else) is/are a fool for thinking so.)"

> OK, quick 'historical review'...

> For several years here (the great majority of the last five), 'The Hobby' has
> been 'seeking exemptions' (broadly described as "regulatory relief") from the
> regulations -- things like 'waivers' and 'variances' and 'special rocket
> permits' (some actually proposed, some merely speculated).

> Only recently have 'The Hobby' (seriously) considered the 'litigation
> route' - arguing that, in truth, rocket motors are just NOT 'explosive' (in
> their function or classification) and, thereby, should not (and, legally,
> cannot) be "regulated."

> Summarized actions (thus far):

> 1) Seek exemptions (for several years)
> -then-
> 2) Sue the BATF for improperly classifying rocket motors as "explosives".

> =-=-=

> Question: "If rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', why didn't we (The Hobby)
> just sue them UP FRONT (i.e. 5 years ago)?"

> Why did we (The Hobby) waste all these years "seeking exemptions"?

> If these motors are 'not explosives', why did this (magical transformation)
> only recently occur?  If they are "not explosives" in the latter part of
> 1999, would they not (also) be "not explosives" back in 1994 (when the BATF
> informed the hobby that they "were explosives" and (thereby) would require
> permitting and proper storage)?

> The very fact of 'The Hobby' spending several YEARS trying to seek
> *exemptions* from the regulations is tacit acknowledgement that rocket motors
> ARE "explosives", is it not??  I mean, WHY didn't our 'esteemed counsel' and
> 'insightful leaders' merely counter (in that meeting room in Salt Lake City
> back in April 1994) - with the (rather obvious and categorical) statement
> (when the BATF said that they could no longer afford to 'turn the other way')
> that, "Well, Mr. BATF, since rocket motors are NOT 'explosives' and do not
> 'function by explosion', THIS is why we (The Hobby) have ignored your 'hints'
> (for the last several years) and we see no reason to comply.  We are aware of
> APCP being listed on your LoEM and figured you'd eventually realize it was
> there improperly and would remove it -- but didn't want to embarass you here
> by bringing it to your attention - and were just going to wait until you
> realized it yourself.  However, now that you've brought this up, if you don't
> remove that (improperly listed) material, we may have to 'pressure' you (i.e.
> litigate) into understanding the obvious realities here."

> I mean, let's look at it here:

> Rocket motors are not explosive (according to 'The Hobby').  If so, then
> rocket motors have NEVER been 'explosive' - and NEVER were legitimately
> subject to regulation.

> BATF says that they are and, therefore, must be regulated.

> Would not the most *logical* approach be to challenge that definition (since
> it's wrong (according to 'The Hobby')) -- RIGHT UP FRONT??

> ... and THEN 'seek exemptions' only AFTER the (most obvious approach) failed?

> So.  WHY did this esteemed counsellor and these truly insightful hobby
> leaders just completely MISS this most obvious approach (and do this
> backwards from what LOGIC would suggest)??  Were they asleep (pardon the pun)
> when BATF kept trying to get 'The Hobby' to 'wake up'?  It (meaning the
> intent of the BATF) is (most definitely) NOT something that just 'sneaked up'
> on 'The Hobby' (I know this, because BATF told me so back in 1994 -- that
> they had been *trying* to get 'The Hobby' to realize this regulatory
> imperative *for several years* (prior to that time)).

> I mean, if we're to take 'The Hobby' as the voice of knowledge, then it seems
> patently obvious that they would *immediately* counter any (firm) assertion
> (as it would be that April of '94) from the BATF of the 'explosive nature
> (and function)' of these rocket motors -- and challenge 'The BATF's'
> understanding of the term 'explosive'.

> Why were the actions taken here (by 'The Hobby') backwards??

> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

> Because, you see -- by 'seeking exemptions' (as their FIRST tactic), 'The
> Hobby' has clearly and unequivocally *acknowledged* that rocket motors ARE
> 'explosive' (why else would one 'seek exemptions'??).  I mean, one does not
> NEED to 'seek exemptions' from something that is 'clearly' (per 'The
> Hobby')... well... "exempt" and is not a 'regulatable item'.  But, to spend
> several years here 'begging the forebearance' of the BATF MEANS that, "Yeah,
> we KNOW that they ARE 'explosive' and we KNOW that you do have propriety on
> your side to regulate these devices, but, hey, can't we work something out
> here??"

> As it stands, the very fact that 'exemptions' were sought AND THEN the
> 'hardnosed' stuff was taken seems clear that 'The Hobby' is not really
> interested or concerned with 'The Question' (as to what rocket motors REALLY
> are - because if you KNEW they weren't 'explosive', you would have said that
> right up front).  They're only interested in NOT complying with any
> regulatory encumbrance on their hobby (several NAR leaders have all but said
> exactly that).  That (as seems clear here from documented history) is the
> bottom line.

> If rocket motors were (truly) not a qualifying device (to be classified as
> 'explosive'), then the LOGICAL approach would be to:

> 1) Assert (in the courtroom, if necessary) that these devices are NOT
> 'explosive' (since you seem so convinced of that fact);

> -if that fails, then...

> 2) Seek exemptions (since 'The Assertion' (of non-explosive) failed);

> -if that fails, then...

> 3) Educate their memberships that rocket motors DO come under the
> regulation and there is no need to continue to deny that reality and (then)
> HELP them to come into compliance (with the regulations) --- while,
> simultaneously, continuing to find 'regulatory relief' (with, however, an
> *honest* and *forthcoming* advi***t to their memberships that this may not
> ever happen).

> While 'Step 3' may, indeed, STILL happen (in sequence)...

> ... it is clear that Steps 1 and 2 were reversed.

> It (seems) equally clear as to WHY.

> From my seat, if you folks ('The Hobby') KNEW (or were so convinced) that
> rocket motors are NOT 'explosive', then your actions up to this point seem to
> clearly indicate you are not very convinced of that 'fact'.

> Think about it.

> Think, also, about what those actions (and their sequencing) say about 'The
> Truth' of this situation (as even resides in your own mind).

> Everybody (it seems, in this day and age) ALWAYS is conscious of
> 'appearance'.  Look at 'The Appearance' of what you folks have done for the
> last 5 years on this situation.

> It "appears" you simply want to hide behind a 'semantic maze'.

> -- john "Devil's Advocate position - to be sure -- but, DANG, guys....."
> cato.