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Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 146

by sjames (#49498593) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

*IF* that pesticide has no biological mechanism of interacting with humans, being scared of it is stupid.

The pesticides in the plants we eat now other than the GMOs have had a thousand years of human testing. Further, if they were at all inclined to cross with some wild non-food species to gain something more toxic to humans, they more than likely would have by now.

Compare to something that has had zero years of human testing and in some cases no animal testing.

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 2) 146

by sjames (#49498469) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

There are actually a few differences that can have real consequences. For example, simple cross breeding is a fairly slow and limited process that gives us time to see if a problem is developing. It is further limited by the need to stick with plants that can cross-breed in the first place.

Another factor is that not all genetic modification techniques lead to the plants breeding true. The next few generations may be substantially different from the original.

If the work was being done in a verifiable cautious manner, it might be OK, but there is a history of modifications that "can't escape to the wild" being spotted in the wild. It's somewhat amusing the number of weeds that gained roundup resistance from roundup ready canola. Also amusingly, in spite of Monsanto's claim that only their transgenic techniques could have produced roundup ready crops, traditional breeding has managed it in a few cases including in coca.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 5, Insightful) 146

by PopeRatzo (#49498271) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

or do you just stand against genetic engineering as we currently practice because you have an ignorant fear of what you don't understand?

I stand against genetically modified crops because I don't want fucking multinationals to own the intellectual property rights over basic foodstuffs.

this is what you represent:

And this is what you represent:


Because make no mistake, those are the people who will own those rights. And they're the people saying GMOs will feed the hungry when GMOs are mainly targeted to countries where there are no hungry people.

I personally don't give a shit whether or not GMOs are safe. Hell if I cared about whether or not my food is safe, I wouldn't have eaten that burrito this afternoon from a street cart on Milwaukee Avenue run by the lady with prison tattoos. I care about what kind of sleazy motherfuckers are going to be gaining even greater wealth and political power from their iron grip on our food supply.

And, I'm also more than a little offended by people who say that consumers don't have a right to know the provenance of the food they eat. As if you've become some new arbiter of what information consumers may be allowed to base their purchasing decisions on. If I don't want to buy green socks, I don't have to buy green socks, even though they are every bit as safe as the grey socks I prefer. Does that mean that sock consumers must now not be allowed to see the color of the fucking socks in the package, because after all, green socks are functionally the same as grey socks? And if I don't want to buy GMO food, and you are hell bent against me finding out whether my food is from GMOs, we have a problem. Not because I'm denying some eternal law of Science, but because fuck you, I'm the one paying for that food. My purchasing your food is not some part of the social contract, and Monsanto making profit beyond the dreams of avarice is not part of some social contract, it's a simple consumer transaction. So if I want to know whether that sweet corn has been soaking in some Roundup lab experiment shit that has to be used in greater and greater amounts just to make the cockroaches drop dead, you'd better be prepared to tell me or no goddamn sale.

It's funny that our consumer economy has made a fucking religion out of people's purchasing preferences, but as soon as someone says, "Hey, I'd like to know if this food product came out of Doctor Motherfucking Frankenstein's lab" he is told, "No, you are not allowed to have that information. Just purchase and believe. Even worse, when a company did decide to state on their label that their products did not contain GMOs, motherfucking Monsanto sued them. Fortunately, they lost, but I don't think for a minute that this won't be revisited. When someone is so desperate to hide a single fact, to the point of spending billions fighting legislative and grass roots efforts just to make sure there is this one, single, scientifically-verifiable fact, that food product X contains genetically modified organisms that makes me suspicious as hell. Because when did it become "pro-science" to hide information from people?

Also, the studies on GMO safety have been extremely narrow, looking for toxicity and certain types of cancer-causing effects. There have been no studies at all on people who've eaten GMOs for 20 years, because they've only been selling GMOs to people for 20 years. Further, no studies on the overall health of people eating GMOs or life expectancy of people eating GMOs or effect of GMOs on developing children or senior citizens. Not a fucking one. And I don't know what's up where you live, but judging from the people I see walking the streets who eat the foods most likely to come from GMOs (ie: prepared foods), I would say it's not a shining endorsement of the health-giving benefits of GMOs.

So knock off the ad hominem attacks on people who want labels on food or who don't want to pay license fees for sweet potatoes. The use of "anti-science" accusations for this kind of thing is actually devaluing peoples' respect for science. That's how you get these whacko anti-vaxers and people who think the earth revolves around the sun. To a great extent the arrogant attitudes of scientific mouthpieces in fields as diverse as astrophysics, climate science and the gold-plated jackoffs who do "agricultural sciences" in campus buildings named after the owners of chemical companies who have created some of the deadliest substances on earth are actually causing people to lose respect for "Science" (as if it were some monolithic council of elders), and that's a bad outcome.

So knock if off before you get someone hurt. And just put the goddamn label on the package, OK? If you're so ashamed of where that food comes from, well that tells me something, too.

Comment: Re:Why waste time on robots? (Score 1) 73

by PopeRatzo (#49498143) Attached to: Drought and Desertification: How Robots Might Help

Think instead of huge sprinkler systems that spray millions of gallons you had a few solar powered robots running around spraying just the right amount of water on each plant right when the needed it, not too much and not too little.

Robots, bitches.

Anything not to admit what's happening.

Comment: Re:So (Score 2) 135

Not sure what reagan has to do with racisim

1. Reagan opposed all civil right legislation.

Reagan's transformation from actor to serious political figure began in the 1960s, first with a nationally televised speech on behalf of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and then with his election as governor of California. This was also the decade in which the civil rights bills that ended legalized racism were passed ... and Reagan was on record opposing all of them, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Reagan continued this pattern as president by gutting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), fighting the extension of the Voting Rights Act, vetoing the Civil Rights Restoration Act (which required all recipients of federal funds to comply with civil rights laws) and initially opposing the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (he changed his tune when it passed Congress with a veto-proof majority).

2. Reagan vetoed and anti-apartheid bill.

Reagan further tarnished his record on racial equality when he vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which imposed economic sanctions on South Africa that could only be lifted when that country abolished apartheid. Although Reagan argued this was because he worried the sanctions would prompt the South African government to respond with "more violence and more repression," critics pointed to his administration's close relationship with the apartheid regime, well-known belief that anti-apartheid groups like the African National Congress were Communistic, oversight of the decision to label Nelson Mandela as a terrorist and weakening of a UN resolution condemning apartheid.

Ronald Reagan was one of the most racist presidents we had in the post-WWII period. He and Nixon are 1a and 1b on that list.

Comment: Re:Think walls of steel... (Score 1) 135

I'm having flashbacks to grammar school

Well, consider yourself lucky. I'm having flashbacks to the time I took three hits of yellow double-dome and thought I was Doctor Octopus. When I finally came down, I was naked under a railway crossing and covered in a substance that was eerily similar to sweet and sour sauce.

But enough about the good old days.

Comment: Re:I'd Like To See Electronic Voting Work (Score 1) 104

by sjames (#49497257) Attached to: The Voting Machine Anyone Can Hack

The simplicity of a salt isn't the issue, it's the size. More salt confounds the process.

As for the question of your ballot being void, you can't know. Any more than you can know that your ballot didn't somehow end up in the river or burning in someone's fireplace before it made it's way to be counted (as I said, not perfect).

However, the election officials and press observers can know if a lot of void ballots get checked from residential addresses (remember, validating void ballots triggers an investigation). Presumably, the large number of void ballot validations after the election might cause such measures as enabling voters to check if their ballot is void or not (now that the election is over and the controversy is starting to boil).

At that point, nobody will be able to prove that their particular ballot was meant to count but was issued void, but there will be enough people complaining that it becomes evident something is wrong and likely of a criminal nature.

Comment: Re:Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 1) 250

by sjames (#49496787) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

You seem really desperate to see him as public enemy #1. I can see that nothing short of major brain surgery can change your mind. Certainly the absence of anything happening and their apparent inability to get a warrant hasn't convinced you.

If law enforcement walked past you, stopped, then turned and looked right at you, you're saying you are too clueless to guess you are of interest to them? Sorry to hear that.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.