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Comment: Re:Obligatory Car Analogy (Score 2) 240

No, they're the bad guys because they (to use the car analogy) saw someone slightly speeding, pulled in front of them, jammed on their brakes in such a way that the guy couldn't avoid crashing into them, and wrote it up in the police report that the guy started chasing them and crashed into them unprovoked.

In short, they lied on the police report to make it seem as though the drone operators were at fault when the police were. Were the drone operators doing something wrong? Possibly. But if they were, arrest them/charge them with what they actually did wrong, not what the police did wrong to come up with something to charge them with.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1314

by Jason Levine (#47425451) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Hobby Lobby covers some forms of birth control. Other companies currently litigating against the mandate don't want to cover any form of birth control. For example, Wheaton College or Eden Foods. The ruling simply stated that "closely held" corporations with "sincere religious beliefs" could opt out of providing birth control. "Closely held" actually (by some interpretations) mean 90% of companies in the US and there is no real test for "sincere religious beliefs." The company can simply say "we believe in X" and the court would have to take it as fact.

Of course, the cases winding their way through court system will clarify this, but I'm not very optimistic that it will be a positive outcome for women's health care at the moment.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1314

by Jason Levine (#47423463) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

The Supreme Court majority - the day after the Hobby Lobby ruling - said that the ruling doesn't just apply to the 4 forms of birth control that Hobby Lobby objected to, but to any form of birth control that an organization "religiously objects" to. As far as birth control as medicine goes, the organization will still object to it because, while it is being used as a medicine, it is still serving its birth control function as well. So while they'll pay for insurance coverage of Viagra, they'll make a woman pay out of pocket for birth control.

Comment: Re:Download vs indexing (Score 2) 83

by MozeeToby (#47417689) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory

Instead, they would have to laboriously spend hours thinking about every single german word, and eventually teach themselves german, from the memories they had installed.

This could still result in learning German in a matter of days vs months. Perfect is the enemy of good, even if everything you say is 100% accurate (and I doubt there's any convincing evidence that the brain works like an indexed database) you could still see orders of magnitude improvement in the time it takes to learn new things.

Comment: Re:Buzz elaborated on his reasoning yesterday. (Score 2) 77

by MozeeToby (#47415523) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

It's a dream that can focus and revitalize the space program, whereas the asteroid visitation is simply aiming too low as the overarching goal for NASA.

I never understood this. An asteroid visit is the first and most necessary step to asteroid mining which is arguably the only way to open up the solar system with chemical rockets for propulsion. Go out and grab a water rich asteroid, ship up a few hundred square meters of solar panels and start cracking the water into fuel. Obviously there are challenges involved, but not having to haul all the fuel for your interplanetary burns from the Earth's surface would cut the difficulty of a Mars mission significantly.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 4, Insightful) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414863) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Don't forget a sense of purpose. You are fighting this extremely large group of powerful individuals who are conspiring to make the public believe a lie. (Be it AGW, the moon landing, vaccinations preventing disease, alternative medicine, Obama not being a secret Muslim lizard robot intent on world domination, etc.) Only you and your small band know the truth and must fight against overwhelming odds to battle the lie. I'm sure many conspiracy theorists feel like they are living in a movie and cast themselves as the dashing hero determined to save the day.

Comment: Re:If UVA and Mann have nothing to hide (Score 4, Insightful) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414805) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Beyond the "you shouldn't be forced to reveal private matters or be assumed guilty?" Then how about because nothing shuts up groups like this. Say he releases his e-mails and there is nothing incriminating in there. They will find one passage which, if taken out of context, will "prove" their point. Then they'll tout this out-of-content statement all over the place. Sure, some people will see the truth, but many more will believe the lie instead.

To put it another way, I suspect you of committing illegal acts. Send me all of your e-mail correspondence for the last 10 years. I'll pour through that and see if anything looks wrong. If you typed "I hope we don't get caught" in the context of throwing someone a surprise birthday party and sneaking the gifts past them, I'll take that line and use it to show how you're really a shady criminal conspiring to avoid capture for your crimes. I await you sending me all of your e-mails so I can use them against you in any way I see fit.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414725) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Why not both work to prevent (or if we can't prevent, at least reduce) Climate Change as well as work to adapt to it? Cover both our bases. I can understand if you take issue with specific means of preventing Climate Change because you think method X is better than method Y, but saying we won't take any preventative measures at all and instead just deal with it when it comes is short-sighted. If you own a home, should you allow the foundation to crumble, refuse to patch it, and just decide to deal with it when the house finally begins collapsing?

Comment: Re:That is not how conspiracy theories work. (Score 0) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414695) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Exactly. Look at how often the moon landing has been proven to have happened and how often President Obama's birth certificate was shown to be real. Yet, there are still people out there who think the moon landing took place on a sound stage on Earth (obvious clue: Not enough lens flare for it to have really been from space! What, J.J. Abrams doesn't make accurate space scenes?) and/or that the birth certificate was forged (thus proving that Obama is a secret Muslim who will abolish Congress, form an Empire, crush his enemies with the lightning that he can summon from his fingertips, and turn Joe Biden into a "more machine than man" dark side cyborg. (Oh, now Lucas isn't an authoritative source either?!!!)

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414625) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

The oil companies/heartland institute don't have to create spin anymore, because they've had the most important success possible: making denialism an important part of the identity of a lot of people.

In other words, the spin has become self-sustaining. It would be ironic if we could harass this self-sustaining spin to generate enough energy to stop using fossil fuels and reverse climate change.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 5, Funny) 384

by Jason Levine (#47414599) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

"Why this isn't climate change at all! It's *removes mask from monster* Michael Mann and 97% of the world's scientists!"

"We would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling billionaires!"

(Oops. Should have added a spoiler alert.)

Comment: Re:Using SSN? (Score 1) 74

by Jason Levine (#47410097) Attached to: Blue Shield Leaks 18,000 Doctors' Social Security Numbers

The person took my personal information (from where I'll never know) and opened a credit card in my name - in other words, using my identity. This damaged my credit rating. Granted, it wasn't damaged as bad as it could have been, but that's like saying someone took my car for a joyride one night and brought it back with just a dented fender.

Other people who have had their identity stolen haven't been as lucky as I was. The thieves can make off with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in a couple of days/weeks and the person won't find out about it until the collection agencies come calling for payment. Then, it can take months or years to get your credit rating back to where it was pre-identity theft. In the meantime, you might not be able to get loans that you need or credit cards that you'd like to open. So you can be deprived of access to things you would have had access to had your identity not been stolen. (Lest anyone try arguing that you still have full access to your credit rating the same as if the identity theft never happened.)

Also, if criminal identity theft occurs - criminal is arrested and gives your name/SSN/DOB - you could wind up on police watch lists for years which is a whole other kind of hell. Profiled because you are "a known felon." Failing background checks because of the crimes "you" committed, etc. Even if the error is obvious (wrong skin color, alibi about where you were when "you" were arrested, etc), purging it from the police systems takes years of effort. One system left with the error will start flowing it back to the other systems and start the process all over again.

So it's not that you lose all access to your identity, but rather that your identity becomes tarnished and damaged and it can take you a lot of time, money, and effort to fix it.

Comment: Re:yes but...yes in fact. (Score 3, Insightful) 299

by Jason Levine (#47410011) Attached to: Wireless Contraception

The Supreme Court majority can't even get their excuses for the Hobby Lobby verdict right. When the verdict came out, they said it was a limited verdict on just those forms of birth control and the form declaring the institution a religious institution was a good workaround. The next day, they said the verdict applies to all forms of birth control. (Apparently, the company just needs to "religiously believe" that something is wrong and they don't need to cover it in their health care plans.) The next day, they made a preliminary ruling in another case that said that the form declaring that an institution has religious issues with something wasn't good. The very form they pointed to 2 days earlier as a good thing. Now, merely requiring an institution to declare "we are religiously offended by X" is offensive.

Of course, Hobby Lobby apparently has no problem covering Viagra regardless of the marital state of their male employees.

I'd boycott Hobby Lobby, but we never shop there anyway as we've known about - and had issues with - the owners making personal religious beliefs into company policy for years. We much prefer Michael's or JoAnn's.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau