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Comment: Re:You don't understand, yep! (Score 3) 149

by rjh (#46730045) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

I'm not weighing in on that one. I'm only correcting the original poster, who said the U.S. rarely waives sovereign immunity. In fact, the opposite is true: it rarely invokes it. Tens of thousands of tort claims against the U.S. government are underway even as we speak, all of them with waived sovereign immunity.

Comment: You don't understand, yep! (Score 5, Informative) 149

by rjh (#46729651) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

One cannot simply sue a branch of the government without asking permission from the government to allow it to be sued - guess how often THAT happens?

Glad you asked: it happens all the time, ever since the Tort Claims Act of 1948 substantially waived the sovereign immunity doctrine. You can read more about it at Wikipedia.

People sue the government all the time. It's literally an everyday occurrence.

Comment: Not in any way the same! (Score 1) 307

by rjh (#46668189) Attached to: Should NASA Send Astronauts On Voluntary One-Way Missions?

Patton told his troops they were strictly forbidden from dying gloriously for their country, but were instead expected to make the other poor bastard die gloriously for his.

When we send soldiers off to battle we expect them to win and come home alive. We accept that reality will not always permit this, but that's the nature of the beast. If we send people on a one-way trip to Mars, we are demanding that they die gloriously for us -- which is exactly what Patton forbade his soldiers to do.

Your comparison, not to put too fine a point on it, is crazy.

Comment: Great job in critiquing the models (Score 1) 560

by rjh (#46298313) Attached to: How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

Nowhere is it written that your critique can only be taken seriously if you fix the problem you discover, propose an alternate model, or solve the problem outright. By your logic, all the people from the 1800s on into the early 20th century who said, "You know, Newtonian mechanics has a serious problem: it cannot correctly describe the precession of Mercury" were doing a poor job of critiquing Newtonian physics.

Rubbish. They were doing a superb job of critiquing Newtonian physics by pointing to something in the Newtonian model that was clearly, unambiguously, wrong. They may not have been able to realize why it was wrong or able to construct a better model, but they pointed out an important anomaly. Later on, Einstein came along and proposed General Relativity, and one of GR's greatest initial successes was its ability to correctly model the precession of Mercury.

If John Christy's reading of the facts is in error, then that's ample grounds to say he's made a poor critique. But to say that he's made a poor critique just because he hasn't fixed the models, put forward a new model, or explained the differences between model and observation, betrays you as a very poor scientist.

Comment: Re:Posted by a typical American? (Score 1) 598

by rjh (#45687391) Attached to: UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire, you have taken a safe situation and turned it into an immensely dangerous one.

If you yell "fire" in a crowded theater where there is a fire, you are attempting -- as best you can -- to mitigate the risk of an immensely dangerous situation.

The law prohibits shouting "fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire present. There is no law against alerting your fellow patrons to the fact the building is on fire.

Comment: Re:Posted by a typical American? (Score 3, Informative) 598

by rjh (#45687375) Attached to: UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

I agree with you. I get quite irritated when people in the UK tell me we should emulate them in gun control laws, healthcare laws, or their habit of dropping random 'u's in words where they clearly don't belong. Courtesy requires I refrain from telling the UK how they ought pattern their free speech laws on our First Amendment.

It is enough to say that I am pleased to live where I do, and that I believe the evils of generally-unregulated free speech are far far outweighed by the good.

Comment: Re:Cancer cured! (Score 4, Informative) 175

by rjh (#45633017) Attached to: Killing Cancer By Retraining the Patient's Immune System

The reason why progress has been so slow is because there is no one single disease, "cancer." Instead we have a few thousand different diseases which we collectively call cancer. Many of them look extremely similar, even to professional oncologists. First we have to identify all of these different cancers, and then we have to discover effective treatments against them. Some cancers will have common weaknesses; many (most?) do not.

There's a reason why cancer is called "the Emperor of Maladies". Cancer is probably the hardest scientific problem the human race has ever wrestled with. It makes the moon shot and the internet look like pikers by comparison.

Cancer is hard, and every day we don't have a cure more people are going to die in horrible ways. The first part makes us want to give up on cancer research, or to say that it's too hard, or to say that we haven't made any progress... but the second part will always keep us coming back to do more research and make another attempt.

My dream is that cancer might be cured in 100 years. I think it's a dream worth working for.

Comment: Re:Cancer cured! (Score 4, Informative) 175

by rjh (#45632967) Attached to: Killing Cancer By Retraining the Patient's Immune System

I'm reminded that when President Truman had his heart attack in 1956, the official prescription from his physician was bed rest accompanied by Mrs. Truman to keep him warm.

That was the whole, complete prescription.

Anyone who says medicine hasn't improved since 1952 simply isn't paying attention.

Comment: Re:You what? (Score 1) 726

Look, I was in my teens when I saw it in the theater, and I was not a fan or defender of Heinlein's (still have not read any of his books).

I still thought the movie sucked.

I got that it was satire, in fact I thought it was trying too hard to be satire. There was no subtlety and none of it was clever or funny. Nor did it lampoon the military in ways that actually challenged militarism or war on an intellectual level, it just made fun of the surface aspects of it (hurrr grunts are dumb, look at this parody of propaganda, etc). It felt like the director was just trying to bash his views onto the viewer without any introspection or intellect. Basically my reaction.

You know your movie sucks when a teenage boy thinks it lacks subtlety and intellect.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.

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