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Comment: Re:False (Score 1) 376

by jd.schmidt (#48169617) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
You are factually wrong. Iraq was buying what they needed not just from the Europeans, but all over the world *INCLUDING* the U.S. That the U.S. only contributed non military items is a right wing myth. Further, I simply don't believe the intelligence communities didn't know what was going on. You can start reading about it in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Comment: Yes, we know Iraq HAD chemical weapons... (Score 1, Redundant) 376

by jd.schmidt (#48153781) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
...because Reagan sold them to them. This has been reported in left wing media for years, I am glad the right wing media if finally on to this story also. Perhaps because they hope by giving misleading headlines they can confuse people into thinking Iraq had an active WMD program, which they didn't, and to worry people about ISIS now having access to these weapons. On the bright side these weapons are decades old and poorly maintained, so other than the shock value of being able to say "ISIS has chemical weapons stolen from Iraq", don't be surprised if you see limited or no use of them. ISIS *MAY* find some use, but it won't greatly affect their combat effectiveness.

Comment: Anonymous vs. Non-Anonymous speech (Score 1) 716

by jd.schmidt (#48116693) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win
While the benefits of anonymous speech are often promoted, I have come to believe the dangers of it, more specifically the dangers of trusting anonymous information, are too often overlooked by our society. It seems people are too willing to give credence to rumors and anonymous tips. It isn't that I would eliminate anonymous speech, rather I wish there were forums for open speech where people actually stand behind their words and people could then decide for themselves which story seems to have a more credible backing. There are plenty of examples of both men and women being very unfairly and wrongly harassed and accused online (how on earth did the discussion go down that rabbit hole anyway). I just wish people would put a little more effort into checking out a story before believing it.

Comment: The Internet makes vcational training marginal (Score 1) 389

by jd.schmidt (#48074335) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?
Vocational training is really rote learning, a vocational program may include theory, but the more it includes the less it resembles classic vocational training. I think it is more important for our education system to adapt to the new reality of the Internet and easy access to information. So many of the jobs we want to do these days have a straight forward instructional video available, from setting up a server, to fixing an elevator and even medical procedures. I am unsure about pure vocational training today, students may not need to focus so much on the vocational how of a job and instead need to focus more on they why and where to get instructions. Also there are innovations happening in every field all the time, vocation skills may become out of date sooner than we think. Finally, a worker with background understanding, rather than vocational rote learning, is more likely to innovate in their field. I would be more worried about getting all students to understand the theory and why behind how things work so when they see the instructions they can quickly understand them. This may even apply to "intellectual" vocations like Lawyer. There will always be some place for vocational rote learning, but is has to happen only *after* the student has the tools to learn on their own. There IS a concern about the cost of education, many colleges justify their cost heavily on how much more money the student will earn by attending, but that is a different question than the type of learning students need.

Comment: Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 460

by jd.schmidt (#48039611) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans
Well, if you really want an answer let me clarify my point. It is not that I assert that all researchers are 100% honest and ethical at all times, but rather that there are clearly so many resources available for counter research that if real science was able to support this it would be found. Indeed the more the anti-GW side focuses and character attacks and innuendo rather than scientific research, the more hollow the their side seems to me. And frankly to me, it seems the burden of proof is on the AGW side anyway because CO2 is already known to be a greenhouse gas, so a simple back of the envelope calculation would suggest GW is a concern. Picking apart minutia of complicated climate models is not affirmative proof, all the models could be wrong yet GW could still be real, (again, note I say this only because CO2 *IS* a known greenhouse gas). The nature of the counter arguments combined with the knowledge that counter research could easily be funded pretty much blow apart the AGW credibility for me.

Comment: Re:Fox News? (Score 4, Insightful) 460

by jd.schmidt (#48020875) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans
Well, your scenario is exactly where you need to start using your real intelligence. Take for instance the conservative claim that climate scientists are just spinning their doomsday scenarios to get those "fat" research checks or to advance some other agenda. This is where you brains are supposed to kick in when you realize that energy companies are willing and able to fund their research in a lavish style that government research simply can't and won't match. Further, your brains should be able to tell the difference between honest attempts at research vs. simple attempts to delay and undermine research. So yes, don't trust everything you are told, but use your analytical skills to understand motive and source reliability.

Comment: Re:Should we jump to conclusions? (Score 1) 299

by jd.schmidt (#48004113) Attached to: Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography
Yes, setting up a tent for camping in a park costs more than simple day use, you need a camping permit. When we decided that people using the parks should help or mostly pay for them, guess what, people using the parks need to pay for them. The park service is trying to set rules such that the more you "use" the park, aka the more disruptions your presence causes to others and nature, the more you pay. That crazy thing about all this is the right wing can't even remember that they asked for this in the first place.

Comment: More Samzenpus flamebait (Score 1) 299

by jd.schmidt (#48003907) Attached to: Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography
Just to be clear, the $1500 cost is for major film production, think very disruptive to enjoyment of other park users (well, unless you went hiking to watch film being made, then again, you probably will get shooed away since they paid their fee). Less disruptive minor commercial shoots cost more like $30, kind of in the same cost range as your day use pass. Hikers and general public can take all the pictures they want with the cost of the day use pass. I know it is an outrage to pay for use of a public resource, maybe we could go back to the old days were parks were free and we just paid for them with taxes?

Comment: Re:Who gets access to the video? (Score 1) 170

by jd.schmidt (#47836363) Attached to: NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program
Let's be clear, does the policeman misremembering and event change what actually happened in anyway? If not then I guess, NO it isn't relevant. Look, you are making a leap that is very normal for people to make, but still incorrect. What is being unsaid is that you are accusing either side of lying to cover up and thus the lying person must be a bad person worthy of punishment for that reason, or at least unreliable in some other way. Someone mentioned that the defendant should be given access to evidence also before making a statement if the cops should. Funny thing is that isn't a gottcha against me, I agree completely. When you look at the most egregious cases of abuse and false imprisonment, the cops playing the same kind of tricks by deliberately withholding evidence are pretty much central to all of these cases. Trying to trip up people looks great on Perry Mason, but in the real world it is subject to abuse. It is a very dangerous tool to use in our justice system, even if it has good results sometimes, it dangerously undermines peoples confidence in the systems when it goes tragically wrong.

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