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Comment: Re:Enceladus (Score 1) 56

It's not 100% certain that there's geysers on Europa, and if they exist it's likely that they're only sporadic. But it is 100% certain that they exist on Enceladus, and probably constantly.

Anyway, what I'm really wondering is: does this guy want to give extra funding to NASA for an Enceladus mission, or does he just want to rob other programs?

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 237

by Rei (#48433749) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

First off, get your facts straight. This is not an extradition case. It's a surrender case. Mixing up extradition rules and surrender rules is stupid because they're not the same.

Secondly, if you think Sweden's judicial system is so comparably terrible, you should complain to the peer-reviewers who passed the World Justice Project's methodology for ranking countries' judicial systems. Then you should complain to pre-charges-Assange for talking so highly of the Swedish system based on what he saw in the leaked cables. Then you should talk to the hundreds of US military deserters and other fugitives living in Sweden protected by Sweden's extradition law. For starters.

Concerning questioning, from the sworn statement of the prosecutor to the British courts: "Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be launched with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries."

It's pointless. He can't be åtalad outside of Swedish custody, and the prosecutor is already ready to åtala him, and has the Svea Court of Appeals' formal court findings against Assange of probable cause for rape as backup. So yeah, she could do this little embassy stunt, but why?

Not to mention that the regular prosecutor dismissed all these charges, but they were then reopened by the current prosecutor who works at a national unit for exploring legal boundaries.

Surely you know that about one in 8 cases in Sweden are reopened in exactly the same manner as this one was. It's a very good thing that Sweden has a process for victims to appeal a decision not to prosecute to a higher prosecutor. And are you seriously going to claim that Finne's handling of the case was proper? Heck, I find it bloody hilarious to see Assange's defenders pointing to Finne as a defense of him when in the beginning they were the ones who were bloody furious at Finne, first the info about him being under investigation leaking on her watch, then her issuing a warrant for him when he hadn't yet refused to cooperate. And then just the opposite, she dropped the SW-rape charge (but I should add, the AA charges were *never* dropped) in order to cancel the warrant after the (very justifiable backlash). Not to mention that the victim statement wasn't even in the computer system yet when she did that. Do you really think her handling of the case was appropriate and didn't warrant review? That's a bloody stretch.

Then, a special prosecutor somehow gets wind of the case

This doesn't even remotely resemble the actuality. The case was brought to Ny via an appeal from Borgström.

Comment: Re:Moderator and AC are MORONS! (Score 1) 237

by Rei (#48433559) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Wow, if paulcraigroberts.org says it, then clearly it must be true!

It's a reprint of a Pilger article, Pilger being one of Assange's main misinformation spreaders. First off, there's not even rape charges (yes, they're on the EAW as charges, in the charges section, enumerated as charges, and ruled by the British court system to be equivalent to charges) concerning the "women" plural. There's a rape charge (singular) concerning one woman (SW) and three lesser charges concerning the other woman (AA). AA has said she was not raped, but there are no rape charges concerning her. She has however said that she was a victim of a sexual assault, and reaffirmed that on her blog earlier this year (after being silent since the incident). SW told several people she'd been raped, according to the testimony collected by the police, before she went to the police. The fact that her goal of going to the police was not to press charges doesn't translate to "she says she wasn't raped"; the testimony is quite clear to just the opposite, she had been telling close friends and confidants that she had been raped, right after the incident. Also frequently distorted is the end of her interview, which Assange fans often misstate as her "refusing to go on". It actually very clearly states that the interviewer thought she looked shaken and decided to terminate the interview (it was nearing the end of the shift anyway). SW is then asked if she wants a legal representative (not exactly an attorney, it's a state employee who pushes the case forward for you), and she said yes (her representative, Clæs Borgstrom, was very aggressive about pushing the case forward, although AA, who he initially also represented, felt that he was more in it for attention for himself later fired him and chose another). SW was also asked if she would do a rape kit and she also said yes.

There've been subsequent interviews since then, but they haven't leaked, so we don't know what they say.

Comment: Re:Stop hitting yourself! (Score 1) 237

by Rei (#48433485) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Every level of the UK court system up to and including the Supreme Court has affirmed the Swedish legal system's actions concerning Assange. So try again.

By the way, you apparently don't even know that what's being discussed here is surrender, not extradition. And if you think there's no difference, you're quite wrong, the two terms are absolutely not interchangeable.

Comment: Re:Swedish Puppets (Score 1) 237

by Rei (#48433473) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

From the sworn statement of the Swedish prosecutor to the British courts: "Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be launched with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries."

The questioning is indeed a legal requirement to move the case forward, don't get me wrong. But it's not the point. The point is to åtala him.

Neither Assange nor anyone else will ever be "charged" with rape in Sweden because, it should go without saying, "charge" is an English term and the Swedish judicial system uses Swedish. This may sound like pedantics but it's a key point. The two terms in question here in Swedish law are "anklagad" and "åtalad". Look them up in a Swedish dictionary - there's about a dozen different ones online. Each word can mean "accused", "charged", or "indicted" - but there is a difference in a legal sense.

Being formally anklagad is the first stage. The prosecutor brings said charge to a court of law, where a judge issues warrants for the accused's arrest. The accused can appeal being anklagad to have the warrant overturned and have a court hear their case. They can even appeal that ruling, all the way up to the Swedish Supreme Court. What it doesn't lead directly to is a trial. That is what being åtalad is for. In fact, once åtalad, the accused *must* be tried within a matter of weeks, by Swedish law. Being anklagad is to attempt to get the person in custody so that they can be åtalad. Being åtalad is to attempt to convict the person.

Assange *has* been formally anklagad. The prosecutor took the case and evidence to a judge, who reviewed it and issued warrants for his arrest. A EAW was issued because being anklagad is legally considered equivalent to being charged for the purposes of a warrant. Assange appealed to the Svea Court of Appeals, where a full court hearing was held, including testimony from his lawyers and a full review of all of the evidence. [i]He lost[/i]. The court found probable cause that he commited 1 count of unlawful sexual coersion, 2 counts of molestation, and 1 count of rape. He appealed to the Supreme Court. They refused his appeal, having found nothing wrong with the lower court trial.

Assange, is of course, pretending that only being åtalad means being charged. But he *can't* be åtalad until he hands himself over to Swedish custody. In short, he's using his very run from the law to justify his run from the law.

Comment: Re:Rape Apologetics Go Here (Score 4, Informative) 237

by Rei (#48433443) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

If allegedly lying about wearing a condom counts as rape

It doesn't, and that's not why he's anklagad for rape. The charges section in the EAW is filled out thusly:

1. On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.

2. On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.

3. On 18th August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.

4. On 17th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.

#4 has the checkbox for raped ticked, and #4 alone. #1 is unlawful sexual coersion and concerns AA. #2 is molestation and concerns AA. #3 is molestation and concerns AA. #4 is rape and concerns SW.

Given that you're so ignorant of the case that you don't even know the basic facts of what he's actually charged with (really, how much less about the case could you possibly know than that?), mistaking a minor molestation accusation (#2) for the rape accusation (#4), perhaps you should think before spouting off publicly about how the guy's clearly innocent and the accusers are just lying sluts?

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 3, Interesting) 237

by Rei (#48433399) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Why thank you, Amazing Kreskin, for your profound legal insights.

After reviewing the evidence, of the three investigating officers, two (Wassgren and Gehlin) wanted him investigated for what would eventually be five charges (2x rape, 1x unlawful sexual coersion, 2x molestation), and one (Krans) wanted him for four (1x, 1x, 2x). The first prosecutor (Finne) first wanted him investigated for five (1x, 1x, 2x), then reduced it to what would become three (0x, 1x, 2x). An appeal from one of the victims was reviewed and found with merit (not unusual in Sweden, there's a strong victims' rights process), and a new prosecutor (Ny) was brought in, and the investigation resumed for all five (2x, 1x, 2x). A judge charged / anklagad him on all five counts (2x, 1x, 2x). Assange appeled the warrant and the Svea Court of Appeals held a full court hearing, with a jury, a review of all the evidence, and testimony from Assange's lawyers; they upheld four (1x,1x, 2x). He appealed to the Swedish Supreme court; they refused his appeal. The British lower court heard Assange's appeal (arguing malicious prosecution, flaws in the Swedish process, and an invalid EAW). The British lower court ruled against him on all counts. The case was heard by the British high court, which also ruled against him on all counts. And again, the British Supreme Court heard the case, and ruled against him on all counts.

But no no, who needs a pesky legal system when we have Amazing Kreskin here to tell us about how it's all a setup! Screw those lying b****s, right?

Heck, Assange's attorneys have all but admitted that he did it. Check out Emmerson's court statements, where he bloody admits that Assange started F*ing SW unprotected while she was asleep. Let it not be forgotten that the courts have SW's SMS records from that night where she's bitterly complaining about about how Assange keeps trying t F* her unprotected despite her telling him again and again and how annoyed she's getting about that), testimony from a friend and a family member she chatted with right before the event while she was out buying breakfast, and on and on, making it pretty unambiguous that she'd been refusing unprotected sex - something that neither Assange nor his attorneys have contested. Emmerson tries to argue that consent is implied because she didn't immediately push Assange out when she woke up to him F*ing her. But that's of course a nonsense legal claim. One, you can't get "retroactive consent", it has to be present from the beginning. Two, F*ing a sleeping person is explicitly illegal in both Swedish and British law; the fact that it was done in a manner she had been explicitly refusing is merely listed as an aggravating factor. Three, the reason she'd been refusing unprotected sex was paranoia about STDs, and it was already too late, she'd have to go to the hospital either way (just ignoring the "shock" aspect, which I can tell you is *very* real; it was already too late. As her ex boyfriend of 2 1/2 years testified, she was so paranoid about unprotected sex that she not once allowed it in their entire relationship, and *still* made him get an STD test.

His freaking *defense* attorneys are admitting that he did it, so why should anyone be surprised that court after court keeps condemning him? And it's not like this is anything new for Assange. He had allegations of stalking against a 17-year-old before he got famous. Even whistleblowers he's worked with for Wikileaks have accused him of sexual aggression. This is a guy who wrote on his own blog about how womens' brains can't do math and how he's a god to women, and how his ghostwriter who spent months with him documented (with recorded transcripts) an unending litany of creepy sexual behavior, such as (to pick an example among many):

The three of us went to a very pink café in the town and ordered sandwiches and cakes. We sat outside, and Julian got distracted by some young girls walking past. ‘Hold on,’ he said, and turned his gaze. ‘No,’ he said. ‘It was fine until I saw the teeth.’ One of the girls was wearing a brace. When Sarah came back and asked what we were talking about, Julian said he’d been admiring some 14-year-old girls, ‘until they came close’

I could go on and on and on. But oh no. We don't have to worry our minds with that because, thankfully, the Amazing Kreskin is here to inform us that it's all just a setup, so back to your regular scheduled program of heaping praise of the guy and sending death and rape threats to those lying slut accusers!

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 3, Informative) 237

by Rei (#48433249) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

There is precisely one case you're referring to. A decade and a half ago. And they weren't surrendered to the US, they were surrendered to Egypt via the US. After receiving bogus information from Egypt that the two illegal immigrants weren't legitimate asylum seekers but were rather convicted terrorist fugitives and a signed pledge that they wouldn't be tortured (Egypt promptly broke the pledge after they arrived). Here's the aftermath of that:

1) It turned into one of the biggest judicial scandals in Swedish history, receiving widespread protest and condemnation.
2) It led to a reform of not just Swedish but EU-wide extradition law, making it so that a mere promise of not torturing isn't enough, the country has to have a track record of not torturing.
3) The victims were offered by Sweden a large financial compensation package and Swedish residence.
4) Swedish attitudes against the US rendition program (which had worked in conjunction with Egypt on that case) that in 2006 outright had their special forces disguise themselves as airport workers to break into a CIA plane to get the proof they needed to shut down the extradition program through Swedish airspace, creating a major diplomatic incident between the two countries. And how do we know about this incident? Why, Wikileaks of course!

There's a reason why Assange was applying for a Swedish residence permit and moving Wikileaks' base of operations to Sweden when the incidents he's anklagad for occurred. No country has a spotless record, but Sweden has among the highest ranked judicial systems on Earth. Sweden has the world's best whistleblower protections and one of the most restrictive extradition treaties in Europe, flatly forbidding extradition for intelligence or military crimes (which is why, for example, the US couldn't get Edward Lee Howard, the most damaging CIA defector of the Cold War). Assange repeatedly referred to Sweden as his "shield". Funny how Sweden suddenly turned from "shield" to "evil US lackey" when he faced accusations of rape, isn't it? Just ignoring the fact that, if surrendered to Sweden, both the UK *and* Sweden would be able to block an extradition to the US (under EU law on surrender of fugitives), while he had no problem being in the UK with only the UK between him and the US.

Again, funny how that all works.

Comment: Re:I'm quite surprised it wasn't (Score 1) 493

by Rei (#48425447) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

And a lot better than Huygens, who they weren't even trying to keep alive at all and whose mission wasn't even designed suchly that Cassini could stay in touch with it until its batteries died.

The results of this mission have been invaluable in learning more about the challenges of landing on a low-gravity body. I look forward to whatever mission turns out to be the next followup that learns from all of the lessons of this mission. :) Maybe some sort of "hopper" probe that can sample all over an asteroid or comet by deliberately bouncing around?

Though to be honest, what I look forward to more than anything is the next dedicated Titan mission.. whether it's a hydrogen blimp, hot air balloon, helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, tilt-wing aircraft, or whatnot, it's going to be bloody amazing. My favorite approach is that of a tilt-wing aircraft, which gains the high-speed / long range capability of an airplane, but can easily land and do surfacescience while its batteries are RTG-charged for the next flight. Even a sample return stage is a possibility, although difficult... an aerial vehicle can get extremely high in the atmosphere and the gravity's not very intense, so the escape stage requirements should be manageable, and then the escape capsule can use reverse gravitational slingshots and aerocapture to get samples back to earth with minimal additional delta-V. Can you imagine that - samples of the shoreline of an organic sea or cryovolcano from Titan, back on earth? Regardless of what sort of mission profile it has, though, the next Titan mission will have to be nuclear powered.

Comment: Re:I'm quite surprised it wasn't (Score 5, Informative) 493

by Rei (#48424593) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

The entire system is designed to operate in peak loads much of the time with long idle periods between, you can't downsize the battery that much.

And RTGs are heavy compared to their output in the inner solar system. A SNAP-19 fits the generation bill (30 watts at beginning of life) but that's 12 kilograms, which is almost certainly heavier than the solar panels.

But the real reasion is, what others have mentioned, cost. And no, it's not a case of "the cost part itself is largely due to politics", it's that plutonium-238 is simply expensive, period. You're talking a product only produced in a few parts of the world from a raw material (neptunium-237) that's only extracted in a few parts of the world in very small quantities from a raw material (nuclear fuel rods) that's already very expensive and difficult to transport. The neptunium takes years to accumulate in its reactor and must be handled with extreme safety protocols during the extraction, and properly secured against misuse. It then must be irradiated for long periods of time, converting it one atomic collision at a time to plutonium 238 using a tremendous amount of energy. Only then can the plutonium be extracted - and once again, you're talking the need for extreme safety protocols during the process, and proper security. None of that is "politics", it's simply the way it is plus very rational handling procedures.

Comment: Re:mined and refined profitably (Score 1) 27

by Rei (#48422771) Attached to: CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video)

I personally feel the solution to the "exporting pollution to other countries" problem is PAT - Pollution-Added Tax, implemented in exactly the same manner as VAT except for taxing the pollution emitted during that stage of manufacturing (based on a standardized set of rates) rather than value added at that stage. "Pollution" being everything from arsenic dumped into rivers to carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere. Just like VAT, goods produced outside the PAT zone would get PAT levied upon import, and goods inside the PAT zone would get rebate upon export - hence, there's no "I can make goods cheaper by producing them somewhere with little environmental controls" advantage. And because we know that VAT is legal and functional in today's global environment, we can be comfortable that PAT would be as well.

Comment: Re:Chinese cornering the market? (Score 2) 27

by Rei (#48422731) Attached to: CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video)

That would be because the problem was by and large resolved.

Metal prices can fluctuate by several orders of magnitude in the short term. They can fluctuate to a moderate degree in the mid-term. But the long-term trend of metals as a whole is almost always downward (excepting "investment metals", which are inherently distorted by investors). There's no shortage of anything in the crust. The crust is unimaginably massive. It's always a question of what you've found, what extraction processes you've gotten mature enough to compete, and what infrastructure you've actually built. As a general rule, most resource "reserves" rise over time, not drop, because each tech advancement tends to put exponentially more resource into play.

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