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Comment: Re:Embryonic ability (Score 1) 71

by Zirbert (#46123785) Attached to: Acid Bath Offers Easy Path To Stem Cells

I do understand it.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm supporting you. You said he didn't do anything to hinder adult stem cell research; my intention was to bolster your argument. I.e.,"Not only did he not hinder adult SC research, he didn't even ban embryonic research."

I'm on your side here. Sorry if that wasn't clear!

Comment: Re:Embryonic ability (Score 2) 71

by Zirbert (#46103471) Attached to: Acid Bath Offers Easy Path To Stem Cells

Please point out to me where Bush did anything to stop research on adult stem cells,

There's also the not-negligible issue that declining to pay for something (which is what Bush did with embryonic stem cell research) is not remotely the same as banning it. I don't know how poorly informed and/or indoctrinated into statism you'd need to be to fail to recognize the distinction, but it's depressing how many of those folks are out there. Worse, many of them vote.

Comment: Re: maybe he's in a secret CIA torture prison... (Score 1) 138

by Zirbert (#45532127) Attached to: Kdenlive Developer Jean-Baptiste Mardelle Is Missing

The point is, torturing can only make it worse. That's pretty indisputable, isn't it?

I don't think it matters in most cases. Once stories are being told for propaganda / recruiting purposes, it's a negligible bonus if they turn out to be true. Veracity has a statistically insignificant effect.

I may be a wee bit cynical.

This is a minor quibble, though, and I agree with your point in the main. Torturing can theoretically make things worse from a PR perspective. I wouldn't say "only", and I don't think it's indisputable, because I think the effect is usually going to be zero. I can't think of any way it could make things better, though.

Comment: Re: maybe he's in a secret CIA torture prison... (Score 1) 138

by Zirbert (#45523017) Attached to: Kdenlive Developer Jean-Baptiste Mardelle Is Missing

It's dangerous to throw that out when it comes to stateless groups - if you treat their people inhumanely, they use it for recruiting purposes. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are cases in point.

But people prone to savage acts (which can be almost anyone given the right circumstances) are going to claim that the Other are doing horrible things regardless of whether it's true. Saying anything necessary to rile your people up against the enemy has been an everpresent tactic since, well, whenever human beings were first able to muster up the strength to attack the other guys. European Jews didn't need to actually drink the blood of a single Gentile baby to become hated and feared.

It wouldn't matter if America gave every prisoner in Guantanamo a massage and ice cream sundae every day, Al Queda would still say they were skinning them alive and drinking their blood. No doubt the reverse is true to an extent as well. In fact, I may be doing it here. Hm.

Propaganda will be promulgated regardless of the facts. I'm not saying for one second that we might as well do our worst anyway, but there's no reason to expect the enemy to appreciate your restraint. We won't be hearing a Taliban representative say, "You know, Americans and Israelis aren't so bad after all" anytime soon.

Comment: Re: maybe he's in a secret CIA torture prison... (Score 0) 138

by Zirbert (#45511933) Attached to: Kdenlive Developer Jean-Baptiste Mardelle Is Missing

the main reason not to torture is not to avoid being prosecuted, but to avoid having ones own personnel tortured when they are captured.


Those who are going to indiscriminately torture, behead prisoners, drag the bodies of enemy soliders through the streets and post the videos online, etc., could not possibly care less what their opponents do or don't do.

The main reasons not to torture, in order, are:

1. It's morally wrong.

2. It's usually tactically ineffective. You can't trust the vast majority of torture-obtained info to be accurate, and there's no way to tell whether you lucked out and got a reliable sliver of info.

Comment: Re:I've always wanted... (Score 2) 456

by Zirbert (#44980983) Attached to: Social Networks Force Barilla Chairman To Apologize For His Anti-gay Remarks find a way to boycott the boycotters. "Fine, it's your right to boycott Barilla (or Florida or whatever the cause du jour is) but fuck you, we're all going to boycott YOUR business because of it. That's MY right."

The problem is that the most enthusiastic and noisiest boycotters tend not to do anything economically productive that could be boycotted in return.

I can't cite the exact source or wording offhand, but P.J. O'Rourke, when asked why liberal causes can generally bring out more marchers, ralliers, and volunteers activists than conservative ones, said, "Because we have jobs."

Comment: Re:FFS (Score 3, Insightful) 456

by Zirbert (#44980831) Attached to: Social Networks Force Barilla Chairman To Apologize For His Anti-gay Remarks

If you are a photographer, you cannot be forced or coerced to take photographs of somebody's wedding. That is your choice (the same would not be true, if you were a doctor, though). Purchasing health insurance is also a personal decision and who you decide to purchase it from does not violate anybody else's rights.

OTOH, if you are a photographer, and other people disagree with your decision on which weddings you chose to photograph or not, they are free to choose other photographers and there isn't anything you can do about that, either, as it is their right to do so.

Ahh, if only that were true:

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A commercial photography business owned by opponents of same-sex marriage violated New Mexico's anti-discrimination law by refusing to take pictures of a gay couple's commitment ceremony, the state's highest court ruled Thursday....Justice Richard Bosson wrote that the business owners "have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different."

Comment: Re:Go ahead (Score 1) 156

In essence if you are working in a team the sum of what all the members together create is greater then what each individual can do by themselves.

In real life this doesn't happen so much.

In practice, groups work at the speed of the slowest member and at the intellectual level of the dumbest.

I've watched buzzword-spouting HR drones running workshops and trying to get people to demonstrate syergy. It's good for a laugh, until I remember that the HR drone probably makes more than I do, at which point I get deeply depressed.

Comment: Re:And the story is...? (Score 5, Informative) 453

by Zirbert (#44327841) Attached to: TSA Orders Searches of Valet Parked Car At Airport

in Canada this would actually make it _more_ illegal (oddly enough). By welding it so it is non-functional, that changes the class of firearm from Non-restricted (loosely: rifles) or Restricted (loosely: handguns) to Prohibited (it's now a replica firearm....). Be sure to consult appropriate legal advice before attempting this stunt.

Under Canadian law, deactivated firearms (i.e., those welded up to be non-functional) are a separate legal category from replica firearms. Replica firearms are prohibited devices, deactivated firearms are chunks of metal with no legal status. They have very different legal consequences, despite being indistinguishable without close physical examination (which most police officers will not be trained or interested enough to do).

This makes no sense whatsoever, but is how Canada's firearms laws actually work.

Verification sources: Canada's Firearms Act and the Canadian Firearm's Program's call centre (1-800-731-4000 from Canada and the U.S.).

Comment: Re:This is here, because? (Score 1) 931

You asked a question, I answered it. Sorry for not realizing your question was apparently rhetorical. I didn't mean to interrupt your monologue.

It's fun watching the goalposts get hauled down the field. My post said only, bearing the anaiology in mind, that non-stamp-collecting is indeed an active hobby for some. The followups arguing why that is the case - when I said not a word about the reasons, many of which as cited seem quite reasonable - each serve to prove my point.

By all means, carry on.

Comment: Re:This is here, because? (Score 1) 931

by Zirbert (#43569823) Attached to: Belief In God Correlates With Better Mental Health Treatment Outcomes

join non-stamp-collector organizations

Pray tell, what would that non-stamp-collector organization be?

Since Google apparently wasn't working for you when you asked:

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.