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Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 949

by clarkkent09 (#47932139) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Iran is not a democracy. Iran is a theocratic dictatorship run by the Ayatollah and the mullahs surrounded by a ridiculous complicated system designed to superficially resemble a democracy.

I don't know about you personally but I notice a miserable failure of perspective in many people in the west especially on the left. It seems that a lot of the same people who throw a fit and scream fundamentalism when some Christian group in the US pathetically tries to insert a disclaimer in some book about evolution or put up a religious monument on public land will happily give a pass to countries that are frigging controlled by religious clerics at the highest posts in government and with elements of Sharia as the law of the land! Iran has laws on the books right now that cause women to be arrested and whipped for not covering their head. Thieves are still getting amputations as punishment, woman's testimony is legally worth half of man's testimony, and a woman needs a written permission from a male in her family to work outside the house or travel, adultery and homosexuality is punishable by death etc etc. A lot of Iranian legal system is straight from Sharia. Apparently stoning to death (using small stones to prolong the suffering) was on the books until 2010.

Name a major Islamic country other than Turkey which has a meaningful separation of church and state, and even in Turkey that separation is crumbling under assault from the Islamists.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 4, Interesting) 949

by clarkkent09 (#47928149) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Let us not forget that there's nothing inherent to either Christianity or Islam when it comes to fundamentalism. Christianity generated the Crusades, after all...

I think that's an example of cultural relativism that is as dangerous to the West as the people who are anti-math or anti-science. It is part of the deluded unscientific mythology of the left just as intelligent design is on the right.

There are obvious differences between Christianity and Islam that make Christianity able to coexist with a modern secular state while Islam is showing all over the world that it can't. For example Sharia is a comprehensive legal framework that observant Muslims are supposed to put above the secular laws (you know the ones brought about by a democratic process). There is no such thing in Christianity.

Also, Jesus mythology beats Muhammad mythology hands down as an example to follow (regardless of how much if any of it is true). Jesus' teachings were generally peaceful and kind and never attempted to spread Christianity by force, preferring to suffer himself instead. Muhammad slaughtered and enslaved thousands, explicitly permitted murder, stealing and lying (as long as directed against non-Muslims), kept 13 wives, including a 9 year old one, in addition to sex slaves.

Yes, there are obvious differences in the implementation at the present time which can possibly change: can you imagine the Pope leading a frenzied crowd in the St. Peters square in chants of "death to infidels" the way legitimate Muslim leaders do, rather than urging them to love and respect their neighbor? But there are also many doctrinal differences that make Islam more dangerous which is why in literally every place in the world where Islam is in contact with another civilization there is conflict. Just look at the map.

Comment: Re:People like you... (Score 3, Interesting) 643

by clarkkent09 (#47770835) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Ok, so here are some counter arguments to cop cameras:

1) Officer discretion is gone. Jay walking? Have a tiny amount of pot? Prosecute everything since it's on camera and cop might conceivably get into trouble if he lets it go.

2) Potential for privacy invasion. The cameras don't just record the cops actions, they record everything in their line of sight. 800,000 cops in the US = 800,000 cameras on the street and inside people's houses with data stored on government servers.

3) Slippery slope. If you can put camera on cops, why not put them on other government employees? How about post office workers - mail theft is a serious crime. How about private sector employees.

4) More criminals let out on a technicality. This footage is a gift to the Saul Goodman type lawyers who can now pore over every single thing an officer does or says.

5) Cops are people too. How would you like wearing a camera on your job? Would you behave differently? Idk, I think this has subtle implications on good officer retention and also performance as they avoid every even smallest risk in everything they do.

This is more or less off the top of my head. There are probably many more. I'm not even saying we shouldn't do it, but it's ridiculous to say this is obviously a good idea, no discussion necessary.

Comment: Re:Edward Snowden's Plan B? (Score 1) 167

by clarkkent09 (#47587335) Attached to: Law Repressing Social Media, Bloggers Now In Effect In Russia

It's a place to put enemy combatants to whom you don't want to allow the status of POWs (which they are not under international law) but at the same time you don't want to give them access to the US court system by charging them as common criminals (which realistically they also are not as they are waging war on the US). Not really a bad idea.

Comment: Re:theres no money in procedural rigour. (Score 4, Informative) 166

by clarkkent09 (#47570561) Attached to: The Problems With Drug Testing

FDA does actually require testing of the efficacy (in phase 2) as well as safety (phase 1) so you are wrong there. Testing drugs in the US is nothing but thorough. It takes on average 12 years and $350 million dollars to test a new drug and in some cases even longer and over a billion. After the 12 years of testing, the application for final approval (100,000+ pages) takes the FDA on average another 2.5 years to process.

The reasons for this excruciating process are obvious: approve an unsafe drug and your ass is on the line. Delay a life saving drug by years and you are just ensuring safety. People die in both cases but one is a lot more career threatening to than the other.

I'm not saying that testing drugs is not necessary but you have to look at both side of equation. Excessive requirements for testing and bureaucracy involved mean:

1, more expensive drugs
2. fewer drugs brought to market as many are not worth the expense
3. more people dying while waiting 15 years or more for a life saving drug to be approved
4. drug research is cost prohibitive for smaller companies leading to less competition

Comment: Re:Put it another way... (Score 1) 160

by clarkkent09 (#47538379) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

The interesting part is are some people really born with the ability to "do it". There is a lot of research that disputes that. Even studies of child prodigies like Mozart show that they have actually put in their 10,000 hours, it's just that they started at a very young age and had an opportunity for a very high quality practice (Mozart father was a famous music teacher and he started from the day Mozart was born).

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 0) 184

by clarkkent09 (#47528571) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

We plan to buy roughly 2,400 of them, plus our allies are buying a whole bunch, so they will hardly be outnumbered by the enemy the way Tiger and Panther were. Also, it is not about speed and maneuverability, its about combination of sensor fusion and advanced networking to maximize situation awareness, also combined with denying the enemy the same through stealth and most advanced electronic warfare ever built into a fighter.

Situational awareness is what warfare is about. Think about how US infantry in Iraq routinely routed Iraqis in ground battles and city fighting especially at night with 10-1 or better ratio. Are US soldiers 10 times faster than Iraqis or is AR-15 10 times better than AK-47? No, it's the fact that our guys from the command down to squad level knew where they were and where the enemy was and they could choose the time and place of engagement and the enemy had no clue what was going on that made all the difference. Night vision equipment made more difference than guns.

I think building this from the ground up sets us up better for the next 50 years than trying to hang more and more stuff off the existing platforms. Now, was it worth this much money. Idk, maybe not, maybe something else could have been built that wasn't quite so expensive but its kinda too late now.

Comment: Re:Wait for it... (Score 4, Interesting) 752

by clarkkent09 (#47478575) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

I highly doubt that this would be a deliberate act by pro-Russian separatists. If it does turn out that this was done by them, this is a HUGE PR disaster for them. They have nothing to gain by it. I see three possibilities:

1 - separatists shot it down accidentally (unlikely as a crew trained to use a highly sophisticated SA-11 system would also know how to tell a civilian airliner from a military transport turboprop)

2 - false flag operation by Ukrainians in order to blame pro-Russians (unlikely as they are too incompetent to pull this off without the word leaking out)

3 - Ukrainians "tricked" the separatists into shooting down the plane. Only couple of days ago separatists shot down an An-26 military transport plane and warned Ukraine not to fly over the region anymore. Two days later a civilian airliner is sent (by the Ukraine flight-control?), 100km away from it's usual flight-path and straight over the separatist area. (Most likely in my opinion)

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.