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Comment Re: Basic liberals propaganda (Score 4, Insightful) 281

Basically they're trying to limit what the expert witnesses for the prosecution can say. Those people are not scientists, they're defense lobbyists.

The courts have always limited what expert witnesses could say. It's called "Admissibility."

Start with Frye v. United States, which applied to a criminal case, where the Supreme Court ruled that lie detector tests couldn't be admitted as evidence because there was no scientific evidence for them.

That was superseded by Daubert, a civil case, where the judge decided to throw out evidence of birth defects against a corporation,

Read the article again:

In September, a White House science panel called on courts to question the admissibility of four heavily used techniques, including firearms tracing, saying claims about their reliability had not been scientifically proved. The Justice Department last year also announced a wider review of testimony by experts across several disciplines after finding that nearly all FBI experts for years overstated and gave scientifically misleading testimony about two techniques the FBI Laboratory long championed: the tracing of crime-scene hairs based on microscopic examinations and of bullets based on chemical composition.

The issue here isn't whether the commission gets renewed. The issue here is that this is a prosecutor's wish list to keep giving juries unproven and disproven "scientific" evidence with the authority of "FBI agents."

These prosecutors are the same ones who ( while they smoke cigarettes) insist that marijuana is so dangerous that users should go to jail.

They want to be free to use bullshit evidence because that way they can get convictions, and advance their careers, whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. DNA testing exposed that whole fraud.

At one time there were intelligent, principled conservatives who understood logic and science, and were even committed to justice, not convictions, and sometimes the weight of the evidence would convince them to change their minds. There were also liberals like that.

Today, as Chris Mooney documented in The Republican War on Science, some of the Democrats are ignoring the scientific evidence, but almost all the Republicans have followed the Republican party line.

Think about it. The Trump administration rejects global warming, and hasn't even hired scientific advisers. How can they be competent to understand the scientific validity of criminal evidence?

Sadly, it's a waste of time to argue with you, because you have your position and I don't think any evidence would convince you. I'm writing this for the benefit of the other readers of Slashdot who want a better understanding of the issues.

Comment Re:Slow day in tech, then? (Score 1) 575

Sounds like they're trying to have it both ways.

They would lose a lot of revenue from empty seats if they absolutely had to guarantee a seat to everyone who bought a ticket.

They would gain a lot of revenue if they overbooked and then -- in the 0.01% of cases where the overbooked passenger showed up -- they got a passenger to give up the seat by auction, for as much as it cost.

Since it only happens 0.01% of the time, and they save a lot of revenue by overbooking, they would still come out ahead if they auctioned it for whatever it costs. For $10,000, they'd almost certainly find somebody. http://heelsfirsttravel.boardi... Hell, you could take a cab from Chicago to Louisville for $10,000.

But United cut off the bidding at $1,000, and then called the Chicago cops, who are trained in de-escalation (just kidding).

It's like what the gambling casinos do when a really good poker player comes in and wins a lot of money. They say, "You misunderstood. This is just a game. We're not really playing poker for high stakes (unless you're losing)." And they kick him out and bar him from casinos ever again.

Or it's like what the insurance companies do when your house burns down. They say, "We only collect money. We don't like to give money back. It's in the fine print in your contract."

Comment Re:The guy who cleared clinton ? (Score 1) 537

Whatever was the problem with Clinton was surely of much lesser magnitude than Trump's people having secret dealing with foreign state entities.

What? So, Hillary Clinton and her husband personally rake in millions of dollars selling access to foreign dictators

I don't like to see Hillary selling access to foreign dictators, any more than I like her selling access to Bear Sterns and domestic corporations. I am not a Hillary fan.

Trump, however, did things like personally change the Republican platform from supporting arms to the Ukranian resistance to pro-Russian factions. At the same time Trump had business deals with Russians like the "Fertilizer king" which got him hundreds of millions of dollars. This was documented pretty well by Rachel Maddow and others and, if you prefer the other reality, even the Daily Caller

So Trump was taking hundreds of millions of dollars from a country run by a dictator and adversary of the U.S., and he subsequently changed U.S. policies to favor that adversary and go softer on him (and defended Putin's killing of political enemies).

If he is serving the interests of a foreign adversary against the interests of his own country, because of his financial benefit, that's treason.

Hillary did something similar with her Clinton charity, Bear Sterns speeches, and other corporate favors. However, unlike Trump, she didn't take money from countries that were U.S. adversaries, but from "friendly" middle eastern dictatorships. And while I think that corporations like Bear Sterns are enemies of the American people, U.S. law doesn't support me on that.

Hillary sold out the working class (which should be a crime but isn't).

Trump sold out the whole country to a foreign enemy in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars laundered as business deals. That's treason.

Comment Re:Comey? (Score 3, Informative) 537

Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System

The relevant part:

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.

So, what she did was wrong and illegal (mishandling of classified documents), and that it's very likely someone doing this would be punished (administrative sanctions like getting fired, losing security clearance, etc). However, in his opinion, they would not be subject to criminal prosecution. And remember this is all the FBI can do...say that there is a case or is not a case. They can't find you guilty as that's the purpose of a trial.

to say Comey and the FBI determined that Hillary did nothing wrong is completely false. It is wrong and illegal for a person with a security clearance to have classified and SAP information on a private server in their bathroom, the FBI says that's what Hillary did, but not so egregiously that it merits prosecution.

Comey says here that there are "potential violations," but that's not "violations."

"Potential" can mean that you might find a violation after investigating more facts and more laws (but you might not), and you weren't able to find it so far. In other words, it's a prosecutor's speculation that a violation might (or might not) have occurred.

Saying that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case" is legal-speak for saying that he found no provable violations, or in simple language, as far as the legal system is concerned, she's innocent. It's not just that she doesn't "merit" prosecution, but that the prosecutor doesn't think a prosecution could succeed. If the courts would never accept a situation like this, then in our legal system of common law and precedent, it's not illegal.

BTW a "violation" is not the same as a "crime."

Comment Re:Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 2) 429

My point is that the Israeli right wing (and their American supporters) started out censoring "Holocaust denial" as anti-Semitic.

Then, once they established their ability to censor, they started censoring everything critical of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic.

That included the Goldstone report. Alan Dershowitz said that it would be acceptable under Jewish law to kill Goldstone, because Goldstone was like a collaborator in WWII.

I went to a meeting at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue to hear Ron Dermer, the new Israeli ambassador to the US. I asked him about the killing of the children of the Rabbo family described in the Goldstone report. His answer? The Palestinians are lying. They made it up. So did Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, and others, who (unlike the Israeli government) sent investigators and reporters to the scene and talked to eyewitnesses.

So Dermer was lying, and denying a massacre just like the ones my mother described to me in her village in the Ukraine.

Should we refuse to allow Dermer to speak and write his lies Do we have a right to shout down Dermer? I don't think so. But if you deny David Irving the right to speak, why shouldn't we deny Dermer the right to spout his clearly refuted lies as well?

My belief, of course, is that we should allow both of them to speak.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 3, Informative) 281

The "fatal car accidents" is not because people don't use a seat belt. It is because the seat belt DOES NOT WORK.

If it actually worked, only the un-seatbelted people would die .... but that is not the case.

I just looked up this citation yesterday, the classic study which explains exactly how seat belts work. Bohlin found that only the un-seatbelted people died in accidents below 60mph.
Paper #: 670925
Published: 1967-02-01
DOI: 10.4271/670925
Citation: Bohlin, N., "A Statistical Analysis of 28,000 Accident Cases with Emphasis on Occupant Restraint Value," SAE Technical Paper 670925, 1967, doi:10.4271/670925.
Author(s): N. I. Bohlin
Pages: 14
Abstract: The value of the three-point safety belt has been evaluated by a statistical analysis of more than 28,000 accident cases, which concerned mainly two cars only and in which 37,511 unbelted and belted front-seat occupants were involved. The safety harness concerned is the Volvo three-point combined lap and upper torso harness with a so-called slip-joint. The average injury-reducing effect of the harness proved to vary between 0 and 90%, depending on the speed at which the accident occurred or the type of injury. Unbelted occupants sustained fatal injuries throughout the whole speed scale, whereas none of the belted occupants was fatally injured at accident speeds below 60 mph. Slight injuries only, mostly single rib cracks, bruises, etc., caused by the safety belt were reported in some cases. The three-point belt proved to be fully effective against ejection out of the car. Almost all cars involved were equipped with safety belts, of which, however, only 26% on an average were used. The frequency of use increased with the age of the occupants.

Comment Re:Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

Look we *know* it is a lie. However, the idea they can censor things they do not like is very troubling.

How do we know that something is a lie? How do we know what we know? How do we figure out the truth? The branch of philosophy that answers that question is called epistimology.

In the Western tradition, the way to answer that question is to examine all viewpoints, and debate their strengths and weaknesses. When I went to college, they taught me that from the dialogues of Socrates and John Stuart Mill.

Once you censor viewpoints -- any viewpoints -- you've destroyed the system for finding out the truth.

Comment Re:Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

They're blatantly incorrect facts, not "something they do not like". While there may be overlap these are in no way the same thing.

How many people did Stalin kill? Some people say he killed more than Hitler. Some people say he killed fewer. Some people say he was just fighting a war, and the deaths were unfortunate but inevitable.

What is the established fact? Who decides?

Comment Re:Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 2) 429

Look we *know* it is a lie. However, the idea they can censor things they do not like is very troubling.

Move past the thing and look at the possibilities. What if suddenly they do not like fuzzy kitties. Is that going to be censored? What is next? Are they going to take on the legal responsibility if someones precious snowflake sees boobies?

One of the things they censored next was the Goldstone Report of Israeli atrocities during the Gaza war. As many Jews will tell you, the Israelis are now doing things that remind us of the stories our parents and grandparents told us of their treatment by the Nazis and Russians. For example:

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.

The Israeli government, and their American sycophants, are trying to claim that all criticism of Israeli policy is anti-semitism, and they are trying to suppress these reports. Since most of the prominent human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, were founded by Jews, they are accusing Jews of being anti-semites. In Wikipedia, you can see an aggressive Israeli effort to suppress these reports. Fortunately, these efforts are not successful, and sometimes, by challenging weaker arguments, and leaving the stronger arguments, make a better case against Israel.

Comment Re:Google as gatekeeper of truth (Score 1) 429

The best argument for free speech is John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.

On Liberty was standard freshman reading in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Some of my teachers had to leave Germany for their political ideas, because of the Nazis and Hitler. Some of my teachers had to leave the U.S. for their political ideas, because of HUAC and Joe McCarthy. On Liberty was their way of telling us what free speech was and why it was important.

Bottom line: If you don't have free speech for offensive, wrong ideas, you don't have free speech.

I didn't have to read the Nuremburg transcripts. I heard it first-hand from people who were there.

John Stuart Mill (1806–1873). On Liberty. 1869.

Chapter II: Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion

We have now recognised the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all their other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion, on four distinct grounds; which we will now briefly recapitulate. 40

First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. 41

Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied. 42

Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds. And not only this, but, fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but cumbering the ground, and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience.

Before quitting the subject of freedom of opinion, it is fit to take some notice of those who say, that the free expression of all opinions should be permitted, on condition that the manner be temperate, and do not pass the bounds of fair discussion. Much might be said on the impossibility of fixing where these supposed bounds are to be placed; for if the test be offence to those whose opinion is attacked, I think experience testifies that this offence is given whenever the attack is telling and powerful, and that every opponent who pushes them hard, and whom they find it difficult to answer, appears to them, if he shows any strong feeling on the subject, an intemperate opponent.

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