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Comment Re:Trust the jury ... (Score 1) 192

The jury doesn't send people to jail: they vote guilty or not guilty and the judge decides the sentence, expect possibly in death penalty cases. And, in the U.S. at least, the jury isn't allowed to be told what the possible sentence is.

Close, but not *quite* it.

Jurors are finders of fact. They determine what happened, "as a matter of fact.", so to speak.

Judges are finders of law. They determine a conclusion, "as a matter of law."

Judges can also be finders of law, where there are no jurors and in other situations.

So a juror can find, as a matter of fact, that someone intended to and actually killed someone else, and thereby committed homicide. A judge can find that as a matter of law the act of homicide is a punishable offence, and compel this person to incarceration for a requisite period of time.

In that sense, jurors do indeed determine the presence or absence of culpability, or wrongful guilt.

Sentence can vary depending on the facts found by the jurors. Jurors can determine whether there was intention to murder, whether it was planned, an act of emotion, or self-defence.

What jurors find, in other words, is not strictly limited to the presence or absence of guilt.

Comment More sinking in Miami (Score 4, Insightful) 239

People will keep flocking to one of the fastest growing city in the USA, even though it will continue to have increasingly devastating consequences from regular flooding for the population and industry, particularly farming.

Wall street, on behalf of rich people, will short-sell (via complex derivatives that mask their intent) the Florida property and life insurers, mortgagees, corporations, and property owners.

Florida will continue to deny the existence of climate change at the popular and official levels.

Comment A couple points (Score 1) 424

First, the best treatment of the prequels, and one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen period, is the Star Wars prequel reviews by Red Letter Media. They're here:

I found something meaningful in those reviews, they just captured a sentiment for me â" and I totally recommend checking them out.

Second, maybe the title should be "Disney: George, you're done with Star Wars."? :)

Comment Re:Just starting now? (Score 5, Interesting) 373

Seriously, has this ever been a problem?

There have been a half-a-dozen incidents of planes overrunning runways on takeoff or otherwise crashing because of the difference between the expected average weight of passengers and their actual (obese) weight, most notably Obese passengers could have caused plane crash, May 2003, aka Air Midwest 5481.

Further reading: The true costs of heavier passengers: Part one

Comment Re:Crown and Mail Lands Major Ad Campaign (Score 2) 174

Not to take away from your point that Monsanto is paying for branding via a newspaper, but the amount ($400k) is pretty miniscule. Last I checked the G&M annual revenues were over $250 million. They've written off CAD$400,000 accounts receivable without batting an eyelash. I'm not sure how much influence $400k will buy.

Comment Handy article on the Globe and Mail (Score 5, Insightful) 247

This is one of the more insightful bits of investigative journalism I've read in a long time:

Some quotes:

[...] one of the most compelling investigative projects ... in the Toronto taxicabs that I rode in so often on my way to assignments. I discovered that almost none of Torontoâ(TM)s city-issued taxi licenses â" known as âoeplatesâ â" were in the hands of working cab drivers. Instead, they were held by people who made others pay to use them.

[Taxi] plate holders included an airline pilot, a dentist, investors who lived in Florida and Israel, and estates that had inherited the licenses after the holder died. The problems created by the plate system were mind-boggling. At least 30 per cent of the industryâ(TM)s revenues went to people who did nothing but milk income from their licenses.

So the Toronto Taxi system is a cesspool of entitled leeches, and Uber â" which nonetheless seems to have a shady side to it â" seems to be doing some overdue jostling. Hence the ridiculous class action.

Comment Re:Tinfoil hat on (Score 1) 517

Just another anecdote:

I just whipped out my iPhone 1, and it is downright snappy compared to my iPhone 4s, and from a usability perspective in terms of "snappiness" comparable to my wife's iPhone 5s. Of course the iPhone 1 does a lot less than the newer models, but certainly appears to me that it did the core things just as fast (calling, messaging, etc).

Comment Re:Principles (Score 3, Insightful) 145

Well, the US has divided its authority into houses to maintain a balance of powers, so that no single authority can dominate the decision making process.

The executive is charged with being the head of state, namely a single person to negotiate treaties. The senate, or the "upper"/"elder" house, must ratify those treaties before they become law.

The congress, the "lower" or "junior" house, was meant to deal with day-to-day issues of the younger folk, those with a future.

In general it was originally decided that any two of the congress, senate, and executive are needed to make a law.

The judicial branch is intended to resolve disputes based on judicial principles. Except where there is a legal vacuum they cannot create law ("stare decisis" / "ratio decidendi").

It would that the balance of the division of powers is mulching of late, and I agree it is a problem â" not just on principle, but in sticking with the design choices of the founders of the United States.

Comment Re:Mitt Romney Deux? (Score 1) 553

What socialism is going on?

You mean what socialized programs are in the states? The list is pretty long, inluding e.g.

- Military
- Medicare
- Police
- Public education
- Food assistance
- Road infrastructure
- Air traffic control

Of course there is also the socialization of losses on Wall Street, with the bailouts of the big banks by taxpayers.

Just some examples. Or have I misunderstood the question?

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