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Comment: Re:Lessons not learned (Score 1) 198

I went across the street and told my elderly neighbours (both have since passed) who had survived the great depression and served in world war 2 that no, they had seen worse in the world, and it wasn't going to end, all they had to do was change the batteries in their smoke detectors and get a good nights sleep.

Well THERE'S the problem right there! Your neighbors were in charge of fixing the DMV's software!

Comment: Re:I think the next step will be more interesting (Score 1) 14

by Qzukk (#47369251) Attached to: Why the Hobby Lobby Decision is good for the Left Wing

what happens if no insurance companies want to offer a plan that does that?

The solution that Alito cited that was in place for religious non-profit and church organizations was for the insurance company to be required to pay for the drugs out of their own pockets and establish a separate pool of money for doing so, that the religious institutions would not pay into. The government considered this to be acceptable because the drugs are cheaper than pregnancy care so the insurance company would save money. The next step will be Christian Brothers Services (a religious health insurance company) suing against being forced to pay for this from their own pocket.

Once that plays out, this decision may end up having little to do with contraception or abortion. In the majority opinion, authored by Alito, he claims their decision only covers contraception, but the only citation he has to prove this is his say-so. The RFRA does not specify any limits on the ability to practice religion (indeed, that was the point of it, it originally existed so that Native Americans can ignore the Controlled Substances Act when it comes to peyote) beyond a "compelling government interest".

Alito's decision that "for-profits should be given the same religious options as non-profits" is an obvious one with respect to this particular case where the government has already given an alternate option to other companies, but it's clear from the situation leading to the passage of the law (Native Americans smoking peyote) that when there is no "alternative option", the intent of the law is to allow "the religious" to ignore laws that would prevent them from practicing their religion.

What will likely happen is one of three things:

1) Nobody pushes their luck. The elephant just sits there, in the corner of the room, and nobody ever mentions it again.
2) Someone declares ___ is preventing them from practicing their religion and sues. A court of appeals cites the text of Alito's decision that this can only apply to abortion and squashes it, SCOTUS refuses certioari.
3) Someone declares ___ is preventing them from practicing their religion and sues and ends up heard by the supreme court. Either
A) The court has to decide that Alito was wrong and the RFRA/First Amendment protects more than just your stance on abortion, and places no limit on it
B) The court cites the text of Alito's decision and denies that practice with no further explanation. Or perhaps the court decides that "interstate trade" is a "compelling government interest".
C) The court has to establish a yardstick by which the sincerity of your beliefs are measured. You skipped church for the Superbowl? Mmmhmmm, I see...

Comment: Re:how is that supposed to work? (Score 2) 578

by Qzukk (#47367797) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Actually, I've personally witnessed drivers screw up at these intersections by watching the wrong cues. A few months ago a driver rolled out into the middle of the intersection because they thought that when the cross traffic light turned red, our light would turn green (no, the left-turn only lane light goes first after cross traffic). I know that's what they did because I was watching the light too, except this is the last intersection before I get home so I know what the light pattern is. Because the light pattern changes depending on time of day and whatever bug crawled up the traffic engineer's ass that week, when you're watching the other lights, you still have to verify your light before you go.

Ideally we'd get our own countdown timer to let us know whenever the signal is going to change. Staring at a red light for 45 seconds is boring, you can go ahead and insist that we change human nature, or you can go with human nature and give us something to pay attention to.

Comment: I suspect not. (Score 1) 14

by Qzukk (#47363293) Attached to: Why the Hobby Lobby Decision is good for the Left Wing

have to actually be ethical and live by the ethics of the entrepreneurs who created them.

Nice optimism. As soon as it's convenient to separate the corporation from its owners (eg, when it gets sued) suddenly the soul's responsibility for the corporation's actions will evaporate again.

Also, I'm not entirely thrilled with Alito leaving open the government to decide what beliefs are "sincerely held".

Comment: Apples and Oranges (Score 5, Insightful) 186

by Qzukk (#47333903) Attached to: Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

The number of people who don't get hired because the shrub in their front yard is trimmed crooked is considerably lower than the number of people who don't get hired because they have MS, cancer or some other chronic disease that will cost the company's insurer big bucks and drive up the cost of insurance and cost the company in lost productivity when they're incapacitated. Oh sorry, I meant, don't get hired because they "aren't a good fit with the company culture".

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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