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Comment: Re:Huh (Score 1) 112 112

If sentences like that were dished out like candy, you might have a point. They, however, are only for the worst of crimes. Personally I'd call it more practical and humane than the death penalty, and safer than leaving these people back out in public.

If someone is cleaning a firearm and forgets to unload it and shoots someone, they're dumb, not evil. If someone is talking an a cell phone and accidentally hits someone, they're careless, not evil. Torturing a child is not something you accidentally do, it is something you make a conscious, knowing, willing decision to do. Maybe you're fine with someone who makes that choice out and free. I'm not. You say you have sympathy for the victim? You sure don't show any for the next victim.

And by the way, the first couple lines of your post are a big strawman designed to make the parent poster look bloodthirsty for simply wanting justice. Nice try.

Many rape victims also seem to feel that - 13% of rape victims attempt suicide. Think about that. These are people, a large number of people, who genuinely believe that it's better to be dead than raped. That's a problem, a big one, and it's a problem of perception.

Holy shit dude, you really don't see the reason people would compare long terms psychological trauma and PTSD with death? I guess this is what is meant by the term 'rape culture'.

The courts only reinforce this, if they're handing down life-ending sentences over rape offenses, and that feeds the problem further.

And what's your alternative? Preferably on with no more victims, ever. Hey, I'm playing the world's smallest violin for the scumbags who have decided to inflict horrific pain on another human being, I really am, but at the point you make that decision, you're far to risky to be let back into civilized society. I've got more sympathy for one needless victim than all the perpetrators put together. This isn't about punishment, well deserved on not; it's about pragmatism. If you've got a better idea that has a zero chance of additional attacks, then let's hear it.

Comment: Re:Alarming Freedom (Score 2) 253 253

Democracy should not mean that one person's ignorance is equal to another's expertise. I certainty wouldn't want issues like medical regulations, environmental welfare, or food safety determined by popular vote, prone to the misinformation of professional activists or corporate ad campaigns, why would these topics be any different? Do you really think that in a technical or scientific topic like, for example, proper surgical guidelines, everyone should get equal say? I sure don't. I want a team of experts exercising complete authority over it, and I don't particularly care what Joe Schmoe has to say.

Comment: Re:Alarming Freedom (Score 2) 253 253

And also, those people vote and act within society. When denying climate change becomes a politically beneficial platform, that's a problem. When teaching the basic biological facts of evolution becomes controversial, that's a problem. When vaccine preventable diseases start to make a resurgence because people think vaccines are dangerous, that's a problem. I work in plant science, and I can't help but mention that the very first thing in the survey relates to the gap in acceptance of genetically engineered crops...don't tell me that hasn't had a very real negative effect on the world, because it has. Yeah, you're free to stand where ever you like on these issues, no one is disputing that, but when people are taking factually incorrect stances on very important topics with very real consequences, you bet I find that troubling.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 1) 305 305

It was chosen because it is one of the best, if not the best, site in the northern hemispheres for observation.

The environmental impact statement, which is freely available for all to see, was conducted over many years and came back clean. If you wish to claim that it is ecologically damaging, you are completely wrong. The claim of ecological destruction simply does not hold up.

If you think that astronomers, of all people, are part of some grand money making conspiracy to spend millions building telescopes on mountain tops so they can get a vacation, completely ignoring how much of this stuff is done remotely anyway, then I just don't know what to tell you.

Comment: Re:Glaing Error (Score 1) 305 305

You're not alone in those observations. People say it is against Hawaiian culture and/or religion, but they never explain how or give any historical basis, and it seems like you're just not supposed to ask if you're not 'local.' I think it is funny that this protest really kicked up during the last Merrie Monarch festival, named for King David Kalkaua, who supported astronomy in Hawai'i. It really reeks of the whole 'there are parts of the Bible I like and parts I don't like' kind of hypocrisy that some groups like to use to justify whatever their present course of action happens to be.

Comment: Re:The protesters complaints are NUTS!!! (Score 1) 305 305

Next range over has Kitt Peak Observatory, which is ugly and destroys the natural mountain's ridge line.

When I saw the telescopes on Maunakea a while back I didn't think that at all. It took nothing away from the beauty of the Mauna. If all you can focus on are percived flaws, and not the beauty of the whole, maybe you're the one with the problem. At any rate, good thing we live in a society where aesthetics and legality are separate.

Just say no to earth-bound observatories. Put 'em in space. I bet the scientists would like that too.

I'm sure they would. Do you have any idea at all how insanely much that would cost? The Hubble Space Telescope has a 2.4-meter mirror and cost $10 billion. This one is has a 30 meter mirror. Do the math.

Comment: Re:In other words (Score 1) 305 305

It's not just about money; it's largely about the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. There are people who believe that the State of Hawai'i is not a US state, but rather an occupied kingdom, and that the islands should become an independent Kingdom of Hawai'i again. They are using this to draw attention to themselves. Not that holding science hostage for the petty power struggles and race based nationalism make makes it any better, in fact, I would find it less distasteful to deal with appeals to religion or demands for payouts, but there it is.

The beauty of this whole thing is they picked a target which benefits all of humanity, one which they have no legal grounds whatsoever to block. So when they rightfully lose, the leaders get to point to their followers and claim Hawaiian voices are not heard and claim oppression.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 1) 305 305

I respect the beliefs of people, even if I myself do not hold them. For example, I will respect the Islamic principle of abstaining from alcohol, even if I myself do not hold that view. However, if someone tries to stop me from drinking a beer on that basis, then we have a problem.

Some people feel that the Mauna is sacred, and you know what, I agree with them. It is a sacred place, and it should be treated with respect. However, it does not follow that building this telescope, which has been positioned with just that point of view in mind, is desecration, or that the blocking of the telescope is justified. I understand the sacredness aspect, and while people should be mindful of history and culture and the environment, that just isn't sufficient justification for what we're seeing.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 4, Insightful) 305 305

They are fighting for their land, sovereignty, and culture.

Their land? I was unaware that land could be racially owned, I'm sure that xenophobic nutjobs around the world will be overjoyed to hear that. I have French genetics in me; does that mean I can tell a Frenchman of Nigerian descent what they can and can't do with 'my' land because he is not of the native ethnicity?

And sovereignty? Sovereignty is derived form the will of the people, not genetic happenstance. If people want to claim that Hawai'i should declare independence, they're free to do it. I don't see that though, I see a push for race based nationalism, and that's always a bad thing.

It's all being stripped from them day in and day out. Not 500 years ago, still today.

Bad shit happened in the past, and that was wrong, but you know what? Two wrongs don't make a right. The villains and victims are dead. And even if we do accept that point of view, what the hell does that have to do with a telescope? And furthermore who, exactly, is going around stealing the land of Hawaiian people and preventing people from freely expressing Hawaiian culture? Because you should report them to the police.

Comment: Re:GMOs have so many different problems (Score 1) 187 187

No, GE crop labeling has failed, and rightfully so. Labels on patented crops were never an issue. Many non-GE crops are also patented. If you don't like them, don't grow them. If you want no interaction of any sort with anything patented, well, good luck with that. Even the non-GMO organic grown with patented stuff from John Deere.

Comment: Re:Bash transgenic foods all you want (Score 1) 187 187

The first sentence says exactly what I already said, which is how inserts overcoming the crop's resistance can lead to an erosion of already provided benefits, which is quite a well documented and easily explained phenomenon. That is very different than the claim that GE crops lead to more insecticide use.

Comment: Re:GMOs have so many different problems (Score 1) 187 187

Eventually it will be a bit difficult to avoid the altered genes.

Well, kind of. All genes do that in an outcrossing species (a crop that pollinates others readily, like corn or squash). In a natural population, selection pressure will influence the spread of the gene throughout the population, however, crops are not a natural population. For example, I have seed of blue, red, white, and yellow corn, and seed of all sorts of heirloom squash (orange and lumpy, bright red and smooth, pale and long). How is it possible that each of those still manages to exist, if genes inevitably spread throughout the population? Simple, controlled crossing. Genes inserted though biotechnology are no different. If you are preserving a population of, say, heirloom crops, you don't want any crossing anyway, and if you are simply buying hybrid seed every year, which many farmers do, it doesn't matter what they get crossed with.

but to have plants that resist Roundup get big doses of Roundup to kill other plants.

That is a misconception. They do not have to withstand 'big doses' of the herbicide; do you honestly think that farmers are spending extra money on seed so they can spend extra money on herbicide? The gene inserted is an alternate form of an enzyme found in all plants; the amount you need to spray is not a 'big dose' but rather enough to kill the weed.

That's arguably an irresponsible use of GMO.

Fair enough, I suppose you have a better method of weed control then? Your options, realistically, are tillage (very damaging to soil health), hand weeding (completely unfeasible), or harsher herbicides. Not good options, but that's what we've got, and if you're going to criticize crops resistant to glyphosate, which is one of the better herbicides out there, you are going to need a viable alternative; this is not a case of herbicide resistant crops versus nothing, it is a case of them or something else.

Certainly it makes Roundup a short lived herbicide, as plants develop resistance to it. And they will.

Well, yes, just like weeds developed resistance to other types of herbicides. This does not mean you don't use them, it means we need to use them better to mitigate resistance by using multiple modes of action instead of over-relying on one mode of action (EPSPS inhibitors in the case of Round-Up). Additionally, conventional breeding is also used to make herbicide resistant crops; are you going to criticize conventional breeding as well?

Comment: Re:GMOs have so many different problems (Score 2) 187 187

No one says when hessian fly resistance genes in wheat are overcome by the pest, or when late blight genes in tomato fail (both being non-GE), that it means conventional breeding is of questionable benefit. But when the GE crops have the same problems non-GE crops do, then suddenly they're of questionable benefit? The problem is people don't know how much they don't know, and rather than assuming maybe there's a reason plant scientists aren't in revolt against genetic engineering, they assume they've got the whole story. Fact is, this is basic population genetics, you apply selection pressure to a large fast reproducing population like pests, weeds, or pathogens, you risk genetic shifts which might not be what we as humans want, and nature really doesn't care if that pressure is coming from breeding, genetic engineering, chemical controls, or what. You are using a universal problem as an argument against a specific thing.

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