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Comment Re: I think it's pretty obvious (Score 1) 136

People have sued because they got their hands run over trying to steal hubcaps. (Terrence Dickinson I believe is the name) Saying a lawsuit on record is shady means your misinformed. People sue for anything.

The hubcap guy was a different person. Terrence Dickson was the burglar who cashed in when, after robbing a house, he got himself trapped behind a self-locking door in the attached garage and was locked inside for eight days until the homeowner returned from vacation. Dickson subsisted on canned Pepsi and dry dog food stored in the garage.

Dickson sued the homeowner and won $500,000. Nice work if you can get it.

Comment Re:I think it's pretty obvious (Score 1) 136

"The words Liberal, Conservative, Left, Right have pretty must lost all meaning. They've pretty much fallen into "no true scottsman" territory."

These terms have not become meaningless, but what they do mean is dependent on national culture. Even when you can establish a correspondence for a term in different cultures, the specific issues being argued will differ. One example: European "liberal" corresponds generally to American "libertarian" but without guns.

Comment Re:Proposal: Itty-bitty International Mouse Statio (Score 1) 156

"Surely pigs would be better anyway."

Yes they would be better subjects, but a rotating porcine torus wouldn't fit on the ISS, aside from the whole problem of ferrying up pig feed. The one big advantage to your idea would be the satisfaction of being able to jettison fig feces loads over the Middle East.

Comment Re:A thoroughly ridiculous concept (Score 1) 94

'If civil suits required a unanimous jury verdict ... and ... an evidence standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" ... the junk suits would melt away'
-- Correct, as would a very large number of non-junk suits, which is not such a good idea.

I would like to make civil suits more difficult to file without having the government pass judgement on what level of damages are 'good' or not outside the settlement of a given case. This goes beyond individual squabbles: with such a reform, perhaps we could start building large-scale public infrastructure again. My Exhibit A is California high speed rail.

Comment Re:A thoroughly ridiculous concept (Score 1) 94

"Well, a government or corporation should never be permitted to use civil procedure against individuals anyway. The government in particular only uses it to circumvent a person's legal rights, like a unanimous jury decision and reasonable doubt, the IRS and civil asset forfeiture being the prime example. "

Good point, but civil asset forfeiture is not an example of civil trial procedure because there is no suit/charge and no trial at all: the cops just take your stuff without any legal recourse at all. They even get to use the loot for themselves, an incredibly obvious conflict of interest. I would rather require that all forfeiture proceedings begin with filing of a criminal charge. The police have to have probable cause to do so, you as an accused have rights, and court action decides whether you are guilty and have to forfeit anything.

There are no circumstances that justify taking property without due process. None whatever.

Comment Re:A thoroughly ridiculous concept (Score 1) 94

We need the law's version of universal health care, public defenders for civil cases also. There are too many innocent victims who can't afford to defend themselves from trumped up charges and lawsuits.

I would rather address the same problem by tightening up civil procedure to match the stiffer standards of criminal trial procedure. If civil suits required a unanimous jury verdict rather than a majority and on an evidence standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" rather than "preponderance of evidence" the junk suits would melt away.

Comment Proposal: Itty-bitty International Mouse Station (Score 1) 156

This study could not separate the effect of microgravity from radiation. But a mouse centrifuge on the ISS could be used to test for space radiation at Earth, Mars and lunar gravitation levels. You could even test for all these levels at once with a "three story torus."

Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 5, Informative) 124

Notice how news sites like CNN are gradually going all video? And not the good videos that explain a lot succinctly or put you into a snippet of the news action, but those excruciating new wastes of bandwidth that just display story text, in a giant font, screen after screen, backed by nothing but a musical bed, until you realize that you have spent ten minutes watching one paragraph of text.

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