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Comment: Re:That last sentence... (Score 1) 527

by ChromeAeonium (#49708347) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Solution: institute class based affirmative action. Affirmative action was instituted in an age after terrible racial discrimination. I disagree with it happening now, but it was a good idea then. How do you help the unfairly disadvantaged without race based policies? Base it on something that makes clear and profound differences in one's opportunities.

Though considering that universities like Harvard actually have legacy policies (aka affirmative action for the rich) I don't expect this anytime soon. Personally, I think there should be an academic boycott of any institute with such regressive policies.

Comment: Re:Treaty Violations (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by ChromeAeonium (#49703865) Attached to: House Science Committee Approves Changes To Space Law

This isn't about the US owning anything; it is about private ownership of something. If a company does make it into space, say to some asteroid or something, and you're telling them what they can and can't do while they're there (like claim mineral rights and mine it), who is trying to own the universe then? The way I see it, if someone can make space exploration profitable, that's great! If you're going to piss & moan about someone making property claims & making money while advancing humanity then I think you're the one with the problem. I don't care how we get to space, as long as it happens. Squabbling over money and ownership does not advance humanity; getting out there does. If this whole thing ever becomes an actual issue, then it means something wonderful is happening.

Comment: Re:This law will not stand... (Score 4, Insightful) 544

by ChromeAeonium (#49694259) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

Bollocks. Religious freedom exists within the bounds of the law, not outside it. It means no one can tell you that you can't do something otherwise legal for religious reasons, not that you get a free pass on illegal activities. You want to pray before meals, preach a certain thing, dress a particular way, wear a religious symbol around your neck, pass out books on the street, cool, that's freedom of religion, and that is part of living in a free society. You want to willingly put your children at risk of potentially fatal diseases (otherwise known as child neglect) then call it freedom of religion, nope, that's not ever remotely similar and that's not what freedom of religion means. Freedom of religion is not a pass to do whatever you want and then call it oppression when someone tries to hold you accountable.

If you want to do stupid things to yourself, that's fine. I'll be the first to complain about liberty and government overstep when laws are passed to protect people from themselves. You want to do something stupid that might result in your own demise, as long as you're not taking anyone else down with you, then have at it. It's none of my concern. However, this is not about what you do to yourself, it is about what you do to others. Child neglect is not a right, and you don't get to put your kids and other kids at risk and then shout 'But religion!' when you are expected to act like a mature reasonable decent human being and demand that the rest of the world respect your excuses as to why you put your kid at risk of easily preventable and potentially serious disease.

Comment: Re:Prefer support (Score 1) 286

The TMT people do want the support of the community. They have gone far out of their way to do so, to invest in local education, to invest in cultural affairs, to be respectful of cultural and environmental concerns, ect. The protesters conveniently ignore how much they have done, and misinformation and rumors can be found all over social media.

Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 1) 286

Poi is, um, an acquired taste.

Throw some Thai curry on top of it, taro and coconut go great together. Or just mix it up into some kulolo. I really can't see the whole 'tastes like paste' thing, but that's just my opinion. It's just like any other staple foodstuff, the flavor is somewhat mild so as to complement that which it is served with. That's a feature, not a bug. Now, pa'i'ai, if that was served up more, I'll bet that'd be a much more popular way of serving taro. Pa'i'ai kicks ass.

They were there because the Hawaiian Studies faculty told their students to go.

And could you just imagine the outrage if a science department told their students to go to a counter-protest.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286

That could be part of it. Anyone following the project knows that these protests have been going on for a while at low levels, but didn't really kick up until last month at about exactly the same time as when Canada chipped in $240 million.

There is another part though; the Hawaiian sovereignty issue. Of course, that's a bullshit line of reasoning in a lot of ways (as I discuss here). Is this a shakedown for money by activist leaders or way of inciting anger for their own political gains? Probably both, though the latter seems to be more of a clear goal. Then again, if its the former, that's not something one would openly admit.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 4, Informative) 286

Those are all good points, but the sovereignty activists don't care. Each of them envisions themselves the new king or queen; this is about petty attempts at grabbing power, nothing more. They really don't care if they are wrong about the telescope as long as it gives them something to rally around (Hawai'i resident here; I have actually heard this said by an anti-TMT activist).

They don't want the economic or educational benefits the telescope would bring; poor and uneducated are good for the leaders. They want racial discontent more than then want tolerance; perceptions of persecution are good for the leaders. You can point out to these activist leaders out that Hawaiian sovereignty is an inherently racist idea (it's no better than the scumbag white nationalist groups, not in my book; all race based nationalism is immoral bronze age bullshit). You can point out that everyone born in Hawai'i is an American citizen equal under the law. You can point out the economic problems that would occur the instant Hawai'i left the US, if that were to happen, and that life for their supporters would become much harder. They do not care, and they don't care if Hawai'i goes to shit, as long as they are the rulers of shit mountain.

That's what this is really about. They want people poor, uneducated, angry, and easy to manipulate for their own benefit. None of the benefits the TMT would provide to Hawai'i County's public education system (like the high school robotics program they fund) and economy? That's great to them. They sure as hell don't want other people educating kids. And they do want people to say stupid shit like 'Hawaiians are anti-science' because it creates an us vs them environment (DO NOT SAY 'Hawaiians are anti-science' as some people have; that's racist and not true. Hawaiian does not equal anti-TMT activist). So we are not talking about a benevolent group here. Keep in mind, every year people do off road racing and snow boarding and other things on Maunakea, and leave all sorts of garbage, and no one cares about that. The Mauna is only sacred in so far as a political point can be made, in other words, they don't really give two shits about mountain or the telescope or the supposed sacredness, only what they can gain from it. Or course, if they really cared, they wouldn't be doing shit like introducing invasive ants.

Additionally, I'd like to point out that if they were really all about ancient Hawaiian traditions, they would realize that there was nothing prohibiting building things on Maunakea and that ancient Hawaiians were active stargazers. There is nothing at all suggesting that this would be offensive. The protestors also seem to be ignoring the fact that their presence on the Mauna would, in contrast, be offense; only the ali'i and kahuna were allowed on the Mauna, not commoners like them (of course, in the modern State of Hawai'i, we are all equals and Maunakea is open to all; there are no castes of people). It's no different than the Christian groups that make up their religion as they go along and pick and choose what parts of the Bible they like in order to justify their current inane actions. It's just like a lot of stuff that seems anti-science on the outside; it's all about someone's power or wealth, you just have to find out who, and in this case it is the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

Hope that clear up some of the situation here. And the thing is, all of their legal, cultural, economic, scientific, and environmental arguments are complete fabricated bullshit. So whenever the telescope is built (because there is literally no good reason to block it) they are just going to use it as more 'proof' that they are being repressed, and that no one listens to or cares about Hawaiian voices (not true). The activists picked a target that gets them a win either way.

Comment: Re:We... (Score 4, Informative) 27

by ChromeAeonium (#49590033) Attached to: Second Ever Super-rare Pocket Shark Discovered

Well duh. It might have been packing a concealed laser in that pocket.

But really now, that's in TFA. It was collected and frozen five years ago as part of a study on sperm whale food, and was only later found among the frozen catch. So yeah, it's dead and people killed it, and that really sucks, but it wasn't intentionally and specifically targeted to be killed.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 341

by ChromeAeonium (#49524641) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

That's something I've also noticed. Internet conspiracies have very mobile goalposts, so while their conclusions are always the same, they frequently manage to adapt and change to continuously counter facts. If you hit on last years version of the conspiracy (in this case, autism as opposed to 'too many too soon' or some other such excuse) then you're the one they call a dummy because they're totally over that and on to something else now. Completely countering them (not that many will accept being demonstrated to be wrong anyway) requires that you stay up to date on the latest misinformation.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49502001) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I like how you're not even trying to counter my points, just saying that more people agree with you, therefore you're right. Fortunately, regulations are not decided by majority vote, and for good reason. Do you really think the opposite should be the case, that regulations should be decided by majority vote?

and they overwhelmingly want to know if there are GMOs in them.

Depends on how you ask them. Ask what they want, few say GE labels. Ask if they want GE labels, then they say yes. Of course, labeled products are already available, and consumers can already tell if something is GE or not as I explained in my previous post; that they either do not buy the former or do not educate themselves is no justification for a new law.

Don't you think that's an interesting development?

Not really; look at your own loaded questions for the reason. Even independent biotech information organizations are accused of being corporate propaganda.

Personally, I wan organic food labeled as having been grown in 400-700 nm radiation. What's wrong with letting the consumer know that?

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501855) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You know what would really help consumers a lot? If there were LABELS to tell which were GE crops and which weren't. Why are you so anti-consumer on this issue?

There are; they're called ingredient labels. Corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, papaya. Know that, and a few details behind them, and you can tel if something is GE or not. Why do you need a label to replace educating yourself?


Yeah, that's practical. You offering to pay for all the tracking necessary to do that?

No let's talk "all the safety data that shows no problems" instead. Citation please?


one. There's plenty of information if you are willing to search through the scientific literature and not just random blogs and activist rants. Can't say the same for the supposed dangers though.
Now how about you point me to a single person who has gotten so much as a headache from GE crops? I notice you surprisingly ignored my request to elucidate the biochemistry behind how or why GE is intrinsically dangerous. Given how much genetic engineering is used in basic research, if you're right then there's a lot more than food that needs re-evaluation; step forward and claim your worldwide recognition, please.

But of course we would never find out about the linkage given the industry's fear of "Killer GE Crop" headlines...

Oh look, it's the old 'industry controls everything' conspiracy card. Didn't take that one long to come out.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501783) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Are you saying that genetically modified food products are exactly the same as non genetically modified food products?

No. I am, however, saying that GE crops are no more different than those derived from hybridization, mutagenesis, bud sports, somaclonal variation, induced polyploidy, ect. all of which you eat unlabeled all the time, and you probably don't even know about them. I'm saying that unless there is a difference to the end consumer which is significantly different than what could otherwise be expected from the crop, then it should not matter for the purpose of labeling.

Why are you irrationally singling out one aspect of crop improvement, one that just so happens to be controversial (but not scientifically controversial [and yes, as a plant scientists, this stuff is about as controversial in my field as vaccines or the validity of evolution]), without demanding anything else be labeled (like other aspects of crop improvement and production, including but not limited to the other crop improvement techniques I mentioned, rootstock, PGR use, biocide use, fertilizer use [where's my poo label on organic foods?] date and location of harvest, ect) , without telling the details (such as gene inserted or what it does, ex NPTII, Bt, EPSPS, bar, CSPb, various cp genes, ect), without telling the benefits (ex. reduction in mycotoxins, reduction in insecticides, shift away from harsher herbicides such as atrazine, saving crops from viral infection, ect.).

You seem to want to be very specific and selective in what you tell the consumer, which is very fishy when we are talking about a thing that can be identified simply by knowing what you are looking for (corn, soybean, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beet, summer squash, and papaya are all the GE crops out there). I can always tell if something I'm eating is likely to contain GE ingredients; why can't you educate yourself enough to do the same? Millions of vegans, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus with religious or personal dietary restrictions do the same, and they don't deserve a special law catering to their beliefs. You don't either.

If so, how can they be patented?

The same way non-GE crop varieties such as Clearfield wheat, Beneforté broccoli, and Snowsweet apples can be patented. You do realize that non-GE crops can also be patented, yeah? My question is why you're trying to use a legal argument on a topic that should be decided on the scientific basis of the things; if they are scientifically different, th

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499549) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

There's noting wrong with truth in labeling. A lie of omission, however, is still a lie. If you tell consumers just enough about a single, arbitrarily selected manufactured controversy for them to be afraid, and don't give them any context whatsoever, then you're not really being honest, are you?

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499533) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Modifying it so that it can withstand being soaked with ever-increasing quantities and varieties of synthetic pesticides is another.

Let's think about this economically; do you really think farmers would have adopted this technology so rapidly if the only use for them was to spend more costly herbicides on crops, which detract from the farmer's bottom lines? Be real; your 'soaking' rhetoric is extremely misleading. The reality is that farmers apply what them need after the seeds come up, thus avoiding the need for pre- and post-emergent applications of herbicide cocktails. It's not ideal, but I don't here any anti-GMO groups coming up with better weed management strategies.

As for your point about weed evolution, yep, that's been going on for a long time, before GE crops were a thing. Saying we shouldn't use that technology because of it is pretty off base though. Better resistance mitigation strategies, yes, but not completely forging the technology simply because it exists within a biotic system. If that's your stance, I hope you never get something that requires any anti-viral medication, because by your logic, that viruses evolve means we just shouldn't treat them. Pretty bad reasoning, no?

There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx