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Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 329

by LWATCDR (#46792577) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Funny thing is that people think that I am saying that outcome would be a good thing.
The simple truth is that the Supreme court ruled that marriage is in the hands of the state voters already when it overturned the defense of marriage act. The judges are exceedingly unlikely to change that ruling because if they do then it will also open up the door that polygamy is protected as well.
If same sex marriage was protected under the constitution then it would have over turned the Protection of marriage act on constitutional grounds.
Think of it more as a prediction of the weather than a desire of the result. It will have to come down to a constitutional amendment.

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 342

by Obfuscant (#46792499) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

So the goal is to allow a guy who made baseless claims to go hunting for a base?

No. The goal, as I said, is to allow the person being sued to defend himself. You want to take a public squabble to court and have a judge rule on it, you have to accept the side effects. You don't want those issues raised, let the character of the person making the statements you don't like speak for itself. Personally, I find it hard to believe that anyone in the climate science field would put much weight behind anything Mark Levin says, so it would be hard to prove there is much damage from it. I also find it hard to imagine that anyone will change their mind about Mann whether he wins or loses.

You're worried that whatever is discovered might be taken "out of context" or twisted somehow? Well, you're already going to court over the matter, it's not like you have to find a lawyer and file suit over that. It will be part of the proceedings THAT YOU STARTED.

Whether the claims that were made by the defendant are baseless or not is not entirely clear, and are a matter for the courts at this point. But also as I said, the fact that this is about AGW makes it a fascinating story but is really irrelevant to this issue.

Here's a bit of information that might shed light on the baselessness of the claims. I recall an email from a handful of years ago, after the initial appearance of the hockey stick, from NCAR scientists who were quite giddy with glee that they had been able to modify some of the parameters of the model to obtain a much more significant upturn in the rate of change. It was pretty clear from that email that the goal was not to accurately represent the physical processes involved but to get a scarier result. No, I don't have that email anymore so I can't quote it, but I do remember the message it conveyed. It wasn't "we understand the physics better and here's the new results", it was "we changed the parameters and got a higher rate of increase."

Now, I assume that Mann was on the NCAR mailing list that came out on, and I'd say that were I him, I'd really not want that email showing up in a trial.

Take that as you will.

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 342

by Obfuscant (#46791733) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

And yet, for decades after that original publishing of the US Constitution, those very tos and fros of negotiating were slowly trickled out, leading to some of the most foundational Supreme Court rulings which have preserved our country's freedoms.

This. It is called "original intent", and it is often the crux of cases before SCOTUS. What did the legislators intend? The only way to get that is to look at the work product and not just the final published result. The Federalist Papers are one bit of the puzzle, but not the only part, and limiting the determination of original intent to that one document is limiting oneself to one man's opinion of what was intended. And, of course, the FP cover only the founders and the Constitution, ignoring completely the legislation created over the last 240 years.

What were the arguments about the law in question? What were the compromises? What was never considered?

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 1) 342

by Obfuscant (#46791657) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

The goal here was to destroy the reputation of a scientist that came to conclusions that someone did not like.

The goal here is to allow someone to defend themselves against a lawsuit filed because someone who has made himself a public figure didn't like what some other public figure said about him in public. In this case, the person who filed the lawsuit is a scientist. The person who didn't like what was being said was the scientist.

Now, if you admit that releasing the scientist's email would destroy his reputation, that's a pretty damning statement about that scientist, I would say.

But as has been pointed out by another, the fact that this deals with AGW makes it interesting reading but has no relevance to the legal issues involved.

Comment: Re:Plenty of speculative finction to consider (Score 1) 153

Heh, tell that to the 39% of survey respondents who apparently believe teleportation will be "solved" by 2064.

And tell that to Jules Verne and his whacky idea that people could to to the moon, or to the nitwit who came up with the fictional idea of "waldoes".

Comment: Re:Personal Drones (Score 1) 153

"X is absurd" is a statement that X is false in an extremely obvious and ridiculous way. "Babies should be issued handguns for self defense" is absurd because it is such an obviously false and ridiculous statement. Or "Slashdot needs yet another car analogy" -- ditto. Therefore:
  1. As a consquence of this rule you've proposed X is true.
  2. X is absurd
  3. Because X is absurd, it is also false.
  4. It is also absurd that X is true and false at the same time.

Comment: Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 342

by Obfuscant (#46791061) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email
Actually it isn't sarcasm, it's reducto ad absurdum. "The final product is published, there is no reason to look into the thought behind how it was achieved" is the current argument. Scientists publish their work in journals, there is no honest reason to look into the process or thought behind how the results were produced. No scientist could ever fudge anything, so it is a waste of time looking. And if one does look, they'll just start colluding and conniving in private, which would somehow ruin a good communications medium for no gain.

Well, apply it to any other area where FOIA applies and see if we can't get rid of the pesky FOIA altogether. But wait, we immediately find an application where we do NOT want to get rid of FOIA, so maybe the goal isn't worthy after all.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1, Insightful) 329

by operagost (#46790867) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

its the fact they have no zoning laws

Slashdot, why is this modded insightful? Really-- why? HOUSTON is notable for having no zoning laws. Apparently, the town of West doesn't either, because it appears to be the town with the exploding fertilizer plant that alen is referring to. Zoning is not generally the duty of the state, but of the local governments. Do you really want the state telling you how your town must be laid out? Why do you, as a citizen, want some bureaucrats far away making blind decisions instead of being able to go to a town meeting and actually influence the decisions?

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