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Comment: No reference to him in the Congressional Record (Score 2) 445

Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun's energy can largely explain recent global warming.

I can find no reference to him in the recent Congressional Records. I am a skeptic of the phrase "One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon" as this is the first I've ever heard of him. And you would think the Congressional Record of floor debates and speeches would be the place to find a mention of him if "elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to [him]." Does anyone have a reference to back this statement up?

Comment: Re:Plan A: Abundance & conflict resolution for (Score 1) 313

Las Casas tells how "two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys." ..."

And the Iraqi Republican Guards pulled babies out of incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals and threw then on the floor to die, right?

Sometimes historical "facts" are made up to discredit the other side.

Comment: Marijuana is still illegal everwhere in the US (Score 2) 484

by Derling Whirvish (#48632499) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

... this is similar in nature to same sex marriage, and women's reproductive rights.

It's legal some places and banned in others.

No, it's not. Marijuana is still illegal throughout the United States due to federal law. In no state (including Colorado) is it legal. It's simply that Colorado has removed any state law criminalizing it. The federal prohibition remains. That is not the case with same sex marriage and women's reproductive rights. The next president could easily tell the DEA to go in and shut down every marijuana dealer and grower in Colorado if he/she orders it.

Comment: Re:MAD (Score 2) 342

by Derling Whirvish (#47971089) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal
<quote>

<quote><p>MAD prevented WWIII. I don't care whether the people who build them or the people who authorize their construction are corrupt, or worship a giant statue of a sexually aroused Beelzebub, the fact is that we are kept largely secure from would be Napoleons, Hitlers and Stalins by the mere fact that these weapons exist.</p></quote>

<p>Hitler would have pushed the button just before he pulled the trigger.</p><p>MAD only works when all the owners of knukes are reasonably sane.</p></quote>

Not entirely plausible. Hitler had vast stores of chemical weapons that he refused to use because of the mass destruction that he knew they would cause and even he didn't want that because he remembered the horror they caused after being attacked by chemical weapons when he was a soldier in the trenches in WWI. He could have utterly destroyed hundreds of thousands of invading Russian troops daily for a few day or weeks, until the Russian counter-attacked with the same weapons. But he didn't. If both sides had nuclear weapons, I'm sure the same rationalization would have taken place even if he was going to suicide the next day.

Comment: Re:Faster than the global average? (Score 1) 182

This manifests most discernably in the relatively huge sea level differences between the pacific side the Panama canal and the Atlantic side.

There isn't a "huge" difference. It's a matter of a few inches (eight I think on average). It's mostly as a result of wind and current pushing the water up on the Pacific side as the prevailing winds there blow onshore on the Pacific side and offshore on the Atlantic side.

Comment: Re:Faster than the global average? (Score 4, Funny) 182

I just want to point out that many people learn at an early age that the Panama canal uses locks to raise and lower ships passing through, and that these are absolutely necessary because the sea levels on the two ends are different.

WTF? You make this statement in a post where you're trying to make someone else seem uneducated and unknowledgeable? The sea levels on the two ends are not different. They are the same. The locks are there because the water in the canal comes from rivers that feed into it and the canal is not at sea level the whole way across-- it rises to cross the terrain. Incoming river water fills the locks to raise the ships and it is released when the locks are drained to lower the ships.

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 348

by Derling Whirvish (#46793829) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Secondly, it does not cover any communication where the sender or receiver has an expectation of privacy. If he is emailing someone who is not being paid to work on that particular project, such as a graduate student or another person in his field or department, that information is not going to be covered by the FOIA as it violates the expectation of privacy of the person outside the project sending or receiving the email, unless the person is specifically informed that their email may be subject to public disclosure.

His lawyers did not make a privacy argument. The made a "proprietary information" argument.

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 348

by Derling Whirvish (#46793821) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

IIUC, his lawyers requested that certain materials not be produced, and in doing so quoted a section of the state law which exhempted a particular category of material from being required to be produced. If you don't like the phrasing, talk to the people who wrote the law. His lawyers were just doing their job, and making it easy for the judge.

His lawyers cannot quote the part of the law dealing with a particular category of material that is allowed to be suppressed and use it to suppress a different category altogether that is not exempted from disclosure. The phrasing has nothing to do with it if they are ignoring the statutory language of the law to begin with.

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 348

So if he texts, "I'm sorry I am not going to be in for work today I am receiving medical treatment from my mental health provider," that should be public records?

If he emails, "I am sorry Mrs. Channing, but there is no work you can do in Physics 102 to avoid a failing grade," that should be public record?

Releasing the first email would be a violation of federal law (respecting medical confidentiality) and the second one would likely violate State law or university code on student confidentiality.

The Supreme Court has ruled that American citizens have a reasonable expectation that the contents of their email will be kept private, just like their phone conversations.

But he didn't make that argument -- the argument that some of the emails should be withheld because they have private information. He made the argument that emails discussing the data relating to climate models should be withheld because they contain proprietary information that could cause the university to be less competitive with other universities in obtaining funding. That's completely different. And if he made the argument you made I might agree with him, but he made a different argument that I disagree with.

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