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Comment: That is OK when... (Score 1) 153

by SuperKendall (#49503445) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

They were under constant watch of the Stasi

The difference is that the Stazi was not under constant watch from the people, as is the case now with citizens filming police.

Omnipresent monitoring is OK if there is enough monitoring to ensure captured video is not taken out of context, and can reveal abuse from the state.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 1) 278

by Idou (#49503133) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?
Don't take this the wrong way. This is for your own good, but. . . get over yourself. You stopped being happy as soon as you stopped seeing yourself as an underdog. You are a hairless monkey that occasionally leaves shit stains on your underwear. Be happy that you can feed yourself without help and without getting most of the shit you stuff your face hole with all over your lap. Your "I am awesome but I could have been so much more awesome" lament shows the true reason you are not happy. You are clueless. The dumbest humans are so, so much smarter than the monkeys with fur. The difference between the smartest and dumbest human is just a rounding error in respect to that. "Smart" people are so unhappy because they forget how "stupid" they really are. "Stupid" people are happier because they are more realistic about their lot in life. Understand that if you accomplished anything worth noting in this very big universe, it was being a little less stupid than your genetics and environment destined you to be. Forgetting that you are an underdog is becoming a self-entitled SOB who wastes precious time lamenting about forgone endless potential. . .

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 296

by quantaman (#49502707) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Are you so mentally deranged that you claim a blog post is evidence? No, it's not! Instead of wallowing in your pathetic OPINION step back and review FACTS.

Uhh, the blog post was by a medical doctor, and it was filled with facts.

Was he reprimanded in any way by any medical board? NO

Was he found guilty of any form of malpractice? NO

Probably because his actions on a talk show aren't covered by malpractice.

If the doctors want to claim he is a quack they must provide evidence. If you claim he's a quack YOU must provide evidence. No evidence == delusional opinion.


For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%.

Comment: The EU does not get a pass (Score 1) 34

True I would say places in the U.S. like NYC, SF, and Miami have especially bad cab drivers.

But I did not have good experiences in Rome, Belgum (also Brussels), and in fact in Germany also (Berlin).

I will agree the black cabs in London are very good, and actually I did have a great cab driver also in Turkey now that I think about it so I do feel a bit sorry for maligning them all in a blanket statement.

But I still stand by the statement that on average the Uber drivers have been much nicer, the cars in much better repair (even the taxi drivers that were friendly in Turkey still had pretty beat up cars).

Comment: Re:Haven't used it... but these laws are ridicules (Score 2) 34

We should not have to register vehicles, obtain drivers licenses, social security numbers, license plates, or submit to other forms of identification. It's not impossible to arrest someone for committing murder in a system without driver licenses or taxi licenses. Such licensing doesn't stop or reduce the murder rate either. All it does is add costs to running a business.

Just last month I watched a truck rear end a minivan at a stop light then decide to make a run for it. In the process he forced a girl to jump out of the way (or get run over) then flew over a sidewalk around a blind corner (if anyone had been walking there he could have killed them).

Fortunately several people caught the license plate, he had a record already and with this latest infraction he'll likely be off the roads for a while. That most definitely could save lives.

you do have a right to drive people without being licensed. At the same time people have the right to refuse business with unlicensed drivers. Uber I imagine actually reduces risk to drivers and passengers alike by enabling individuals to select safer drivers.

What you don't have it the right to arbitrarily declare the laws we don't like to be unjust. There are times when there's real rights involved and civil disobedience is justified, I don't think a novel way of running a taxi service qualifies.

Should the law be changed to allow Uber-like services? Probably.

But that doesn't mean Uber can simply ignore the current laws.

Comment: What's bad about Uber drivers? (Score 2, Informative) 34

The Uber drivers I have used have all been great. Complaints I've seen have all been about Uber the company, not the drivers... the drivers are just normal people trying to earn a living by making use of what they have.

Most taxi drivers I have encountered on the other hand, have ranged from standoffish to incredibly rude and sometimes hostile, frequently lying about fares to get more money. Taxi drivers can be that way in most places because they have no competition, no reason to provide anything like good service at all - and it doesn't hurt that in a number of areas they are tied to organized crime.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 296

by quantaman (#49501001) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

And yet, there is one thing - one single bit of information - that the chemical industry has spent billions making sure never gets on that package.

That doesn't mean they know it's dangerous, it just means that they know it will make people think it's dangerous.

I've already stated that the health concerns are not what's driving my opinion on GMOs.

I don't think your concerns are the factor that's pushing the GMO labelling movement. And there are other regulatory ways to address your concerns that have nothing to do with labelling.

Shall we have a little conversation about which chemicals "Science" has told us are completely safe? And especially the FDA? You really wanna go down that road with me? []

That's the question of a chemical designed to have a pharmacological effect that they didn't know how to properly test at the time.

With GMOs we're talking about chemicals that we're already ingesting as part of other foods.

And yes it's possible that it will contain some compound that will turn out to be harmful, but that's absolutely true of any food. It could even be safer since we're going to know a lot more about the chemicals in a GMO apple than the chemicals in the countless varieties of normal apples.

Or my personal favorite in the category of "Scientist who tells you something is completely safe but runs away when it comes near him":

Meh, there's a lot of things that wouldn't harm me but I really wouldn't want to drink (particularly when handed to me by a hostile interviewer). He was stupid and a bit misleading in how he brought up the drinking example since he implied it wasn't just non-toxic but actually drinkable, but he was fundamentally truthful.

There's also the question of what he means by harm, it might not cause hospitalization or serious side effects, but it might cause him to throw up and have a horrible taste in his mouth for days.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 296

by quantaman (#49500557) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

And, I'm also more than a little offended by people who say that consumers don't have a right to know the provenance of the food they eat. As if you've become some new arbiter of what information consumers may be allowed to base their purchasing decisions on. If I don't want to buy green socks, I don't have to buy green socks, even though they are every bit as safe as the grey socks I prefer. Does that mean that sock consumers must now not be allowed to see the color of the fucking socks in the package, because after all, green socks are functionally the same as grey socks?


So knock if off before you get someone hurt. And just put the goddamn label on the package, OK? If you're so ashamed of where that food comes from, well that tells me something, too.

Lets look at those socks. You can see the colour, what about the cotton? Was the cotton from a GMO cotton plant? Did it come from an organic farm? Which pesticides did they use? Were the trucks used to transport it carbon neutral? Was the farmer independent or part of a conglomerate? Did they use dye X that some random blog claimed was a carcinogen? etc

There are thousands of things the consumer might want to know but they can't all possibly fit on the package. Instead the government mandates a few pieces of information they think you need to know, if the government puts GMO labelling on foods then the government is suggesting that the GMO status is so important (ie potentially dangerous) that the consumer needs to be informed.

Yes I know a lot of people want to know if the food is GMO, but their desire to know is based on faulty science.

Also, the studies on GMO safety have been extremely narrow, looking for toxicity and certain types of cancer-causing effects. There have been no studies at all on people who've eaten GMOs for 20 years, because they've only been selling GMOs to people for 20 years. Further, no studies on the overall health of people eating GMOs or life expectancy of people eating GMOs or effect of GMOs on developing children or senior citizens. Not a fucking one. And I don't know what's up where you live, but judging from the people I see walking the streets who eat the foods most likely to come from GMOs (ie: prepared foods), I would say it's not a shining endorsement of the health-giving benefits of GMOs.

I've got concerns about the corporate influence or the monoculture that GMOs create. But the health concerns are bogus.

What's the difference between a GMO and non-GMO food? The GMO food can potentially create a slightly different set of chemicals. We can assess it's safety the same way we assess the safety of any piece of food, look at what those chemicals are and see if any are dangerous. Pretending the GMO origin of the food creates some mysterious threat without any plausible mechanism is anti-science.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 296

by el_chicano (#49499841) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

For example, there is a bicycle manufacturer that has added the warning to their bikes of "Not to be consumed" all because some F-N moron apparently decided to try and eat one of their bikes, and then sued the company because they didn't tell him not to.

Citation please? And pretty please, use a mainstream media source and not some right-wing crank website.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 3) 296

by el_chicano (#49499811) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Don't want to eat GE crops? There are only 8 species of food crop that are GE; if doing five minutes of research are so hard then perhaps you don't care that much anyway.

You know what would really help consumers a lot? If there were LABELS to tell which were GE crops and which weren't. Why are you so anti-consumer on this issue?

I'll believe you care about 'knowing what's in your food' and not just fearmongering when you demand all other methods of crop improvement (which most people outside of plant & agricultural science [that's you] don't even know about) be labeled and demand labeling for the hows, whys, and benefits of what has been genetically engineered.


Maybe when you give me a reason to suspect genetic engineering, instead of arbitrarily singling it out, I'll ignore all the safety data that shows no problems. So, lets talk biochemistry; what is it you find uniquely suspicious about genetic engineering, and be as specific as possible.

No let's talk "all the safety data that shows no problems" instead. Citation please?

So you write a post slandering the flawless safety record of GE crops, reflecting the multitude of misinformation on the internet, then wonder why farmers and seed companies don't want them labeled? Gee, I can't imagine why.

LOL according to the law you can only slander humans beings and not inanimate objects. BZZT try again!

And again, concerning the "the flawless safety record of GE crops", citation please? It would be nice to know that in this imperfect world a single pool of perfection exists: GE crops.

Also how do we know that in the past a farmer has not been crushed/suffocated by a pile of GE crops? Given the number of farm accidents annually world-wide the odds are good that GE crops have been involved in at least one farm accident.

But of course we would never find out about the linkage given the industry's fear of "Killer GE Crop" headlines...

Comment: Re:Is banishment legal? (Score 1) 262

by el_chicano (#49498869) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

(Anyone with two braincells to rub together would know what landing your contraception on the white house lawn would get you nabbed by guys in black vans in full view of press cameras)

The White House would most likely freak out if everybody started landing condoms and birth control pills on their lawn!

Comment: Re: America! Fuck yeah! (Score 1) 262

by el_chicano (#49498843) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

There is no non-felonious murder or car theft.

Wrong, at least for car theft in Texas:

In Texas, the value of the property will generally control the level of the offense. The higher the value of the vehicle, the higher the range of punishment for the vehicle theft.

An inexpensive vehicle theft, (under $1500), is punished as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail.

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 296

by quantaman (#49498793) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

There's a billion links on Google but as a quick specific piece of evidence here's a blog post by a doctor from 2011 that among other things covers Dr Oz's dalliances with reiki, Deepak Chopra, and the endorsement of a quack who claims baking soda cures cancer.

So yes, Dr Oz endorses quackery and he's been known to do it for years.

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 296

by quantaman (#49498631) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I see no substance to the claims of quackery, just empty claims. Yeah, he pissed off Monsanto or Bayer or one of those, because that is the only thing they will firmly claim.

Ask the important question: How long has he been on TV and just now someone want's to claim he's a quack? Sorry, his format has not changed, nor the advice he is giving out. Then look at cui bono, and it's obvious what is going on.

People have been calling him a quack for years, even before he got his own show.

The astounding thing is it took his colleagues this long to really call him out.

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.