Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Dcnjoe60 Re:Dang... (139 comments)

You evidently don't understand what science is. Science is "right", because the point is that falsehoods are verifiable, and the established truths are verified by the process of peer review. Science is also getting more "right" with each new discovery. This discovery doesn't invalidate previous discoveries: it bolsters them, and adds new information.

We used to think the Earth was the center of the Universe. New discoveries led to new insights. These changes to the scientific understanding didn't change the model of the motion of planets across the sky. It helped improve them.

Conversely, I don't see anyone blaming creationist parks.

There are also museums of natural history dotted around the world, which collectively contain (I would say) tens of thousands of models, which would either have to be replaced or reworked, or reinterpreted as being an artefact of an earlier, less complete understanding.

Say what? There is very little in science that is right. Take the atom, if we accept what we know today about it, then pretty much everything for the last century or two is wrong. Same with dinosaurs. If they were all covered in feathers, then what we knew about them before is wrong.

If scientific ideas really were right, then there wouldn't be changes in understanding. Such a concept wouldn't make sense. Math is right or wrong. 2+2 = 4 is either right or it is not. Our understanding of higher mathematics doesn't change our understanding of prior concepts. Science, for the most part is applied mathematics. How we apply math may not be right and therefore the scientific theory is wrong. That is why science uses models, which again, are mathematical. If enough models point to the same conclusion, then the probability of the science being wrong is reduced. If it is reduced enough, then it is no longer theory but fact.

Creationists have their theory on how the world came about and so do evolutionists. There are more models to support the scientific theory, but even then, there are something like 35 competing theories of evolution. So, until we can refine the models to narrow the results, all we can say is that we know evolution occurs, but we don't really know how. That's not a lot different from what the creationists say.

For the record, I disagree with the creationists. However, if one wants to be totally objective (or at least minimize biases), one has to admit that science doesn't always have the answers. The idea that science can eventually explain everything is as an untestable hypothesis as a deity creating everything. Neither can be proven.

BTW, science is not about proving falsehoods wrong. It is about describing the world/universe around us and doing so with greater and greater precision. Quantum theory states that everything is based on probability. The goal of science is, in any field, is to refine the methodology so that the probability increases that what is modeled most likely represents what is actual.

5 days ago
top

Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

Dcnjoe60 Re:But what IS the point they're making? (327 comments)

I'm not convinced people in mud huts were numerous enough or destructive enough to manage the megafauna extinctions. A lot of this hysterical screaming about how we're destroying the planet seems a lot like hubris.

On certain level, the idea that we have that much power pleases the egos of some people.

I am quite confident in stating that primitive peoples (ie. living in huts and the like) were not the cause of megafauna extinctions. One only has to look at similar peoples today in the rain forests and the outback to see that they live in balance with nature. As I stated in a separate post, it takes technology to live beyond what the ecosystem can sustain and those primitive people simply did not possess enough of it to make an impact.

Take the American Buffalo. It wasn't the Native Americans that caused their extinction. It was the intentional slaughter of them by others as a means to wipe out the Native Americans that did.

5 days ago
top

Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

Dcnjoe60 Re:But what IS the point they're making? (327 comments)

People who lived in mud huts or worse were responsible for most of the megafauna extinctions, not technology. Humans who can't see or don't consider the consequences of their actions are destructive with or without advanced tech.

I'm pretty sure that in the Amazon, it's not the tribal people there bulldozing down acre after acre of rain forest. As society can only sustain so many people living in huts. It takes technology, of some sort, to allow the population to expand beyond what the ecosystem can support. Left to nature, things tend to balance out. It is technology that allows the scales to be tipped.

5 days ago
top

Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

Dcnjoe60 Re:no problem (327 comments)

I had no idea we were supposedly responsible for the extinction of mammoth.

Why not? We've had evidence that we ATE them going back to the 1800's.

The early 1800's

We also eat cows and they aren't going extinct. Correlation is not causation.

5 days ago
top

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Dcnjoe60 Re: name and location tweeted... (885 comments)

Did he tweet her full name, or just Kimberly S, as the article says?

Just Kimberly S, like the article says as that was the only information he had.

5 days ago
top

Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

Dcnjoe60 Simple reason (223 comments)

There is a simple reason for this - economics. Early adopters went with iPads as they were really the only choice at the time. Now that the rest of the schools are going to jump on the bandwagon there are other choices and price comes into play. You can buy twice as many chromebooks as you can iPads for the same money.

Of course, that is assuming that their is educational software on the chromebooks that fit the students needs.

about a week ago
top

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Dcnjoe60 Re: name and location tweeted... (885 comments)

Kimberly did not volunteer the information for internet signage. Harassment.

Nor do businesses and people reported to the better business bureau, angie's list, amazon.com, ebay and similar rating services. While the tweet seems harsh based on the given information, the father didn't do anything but report tweet her name that was visible on her publicly displayed name badge. Airlines, just like stores, have employees where such badges so the public knows who has done them wrong or right and can report to management the actions.

While the tweet seems harsh given the limited information presented and probably foolish, it isn't harassment. Likewise, over-reacting to an airline employee normally will get you removed from a plane and possibly arrested, so he should be happy that he was only delayed in his trip.

about a week ago
top

Brazil Nut Effect Explains Mystery of the Boulder-Strewn Surfaces of Asteroids

Dcnjoe60 Re:Just buoyancy (58 comments)

Why is this called the "Brazil Nut Effect?" This is just normal buoyancy, science teachers have been doing demonstrations like this for years. You can do the same thing if you put a golf ball in the bottom of a container full of shredded bark and shake it.

Because in a can of mixed nuts, the Brazil Nuts are almost always on the top. Thus, the Brazil Nut Effect. It actually has nothing to do with buoyancy which involves mass. It's all about size. Put your golf ball in a container and cover it with marbles and then shake it up. The golf ball will rise to the top as the smaller marbles fall beneath it.

about two weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but...yes in fact. (302 comments)

But Mr and Mrs Green are not the ones paying for the employees' health care. Rather, those checks are from the corporation.

No, they are a privately held corporation. They are taxed on the companies total net income just like they were a partnership. As such, if paying for the IUDs and morning after pill costs the company, it costs them directly. It was specifically because of this direct pass through of income and its treatment by the IRS that the courts found in favor of Hobby Lobby. If Hobby Lobby were a publicly traded corporation, they would have lost the case, because only dividends are passed through so it is just an investment and they could chose to invest in other companies. But that is not the case.

Maybe you don't understand how employer health care works. The reason an employer provides health care is because an employee works for them. So, in a very real way, the value of the health care has already been earned by the employee. Thus, it's not Mr and Mrs Green paying for the health care at all is it? It's the employees who pay for it, with their labor (and also direct deductions from their paychecks). Employer health care is not charity.

I understand exactly how employer health care works as I am responsible for it of our organization. However, the Hobby Lobby case is not about employer health care, it is about the HHS mandate of the affordable care act. Now, it is possible that the Greens don't subsidize any of their employee's health care and the employee pays 100% of the cost. It is possible, but very unlikely.

I do agree that employee health care is not charity, it is part of the benefits provided to workers, since WWII. This isn't about health care. It is about the government saying that the Greens must pay for something that is contrary to their religious belief. The belief in question is that they believe that life begins at conception and making them pay for IUDs means they are being forced to pay for abortions. We may not agree with their belief, but that doesn't matter. The government cannot force somebody to violate their religious beliefs, even if it is for the common good, if the government can achieve the goal through other means that don't violate the persons religious belief.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but...yes in fact. (302 comments)

Oh, and you are absolutely wrong about Hobby Lobby being "just like it was a sole proprietorship". A closely-held corporation is not like a sole proprietorship. They are granted a level of exemption to liability by the government that sole proprietorships are not. That means there is a "veil" between the individual and the corporation.

Apparently, the five (male) justices on the Supreme Court who comprised the majority in the Hobby Lobby case believed that the veil is impervious to all but the Judgement of the Lord God Jehovah, based upon absolutely nothing but their own religious beliefs in the Lord God Jehovah.

As I said, it will be looked back upon with embarrassment.

I should have been more specific and said sole proprietorship and partnership, but got tired of typing that out. There are limited liability partnerships (LLPs) that are not corporations so your exemption to liability arguments still isn't correct. But even if it was, are you saying that if you want to start a business and protect your family assets, you must give up your religious freedom? It would seem that would violate the establishment clause of the constitution, but maybe you have a different spin on it.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but (302 comments)

I agree that's what they are saying, however my argument is that it is incorporation itself which is the dividing line rather than the private/public divide.

Incorporation, itself, is not the issue and doesn't really mean anything. There are numerous types of corporations, many of which don't even use the term corporation or incorporated. Corporations are defined by tax law. Does the US really want the IRS to determine what rights people have or not?

The reason most shareholders lose their "rights" is because they are just one of many that have an interest in a public endeavour (corporation). That is not the case with a privately held family corporation. The opinion on the Hobby Lobby case specifically addressed this when it acknowledge the difference between investing in a corporation and actually owning and operating the corporation. If Corporation A does things a shareholder disagrees with, they can divest their shares and invest in something in line with their views. The actual ownership is on paper and the value is the investment. However, with Hobby Lobby and other privately held corporations, the owner value is the company itself and divesting in it is basically forcing them to sell the family business. The courts said you should not have to choose between your faith and selling the family business because of a government requirement that could be met through other means.

Again, corporations are defined by tax law.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but (302 comments)

As a private corporation, all profit from Hobby Lobby flows directly to the owners and is taxed just like they were a partnership. As such, forcing Hobby Lobby to pay for IUDs for its employees reduces the profit and effectively has the Greens paying for it. If they were a public corporation, then the court would have ruled differently.

As for starting your own corporation, you are free to do that. You don't even have to object for religious grounds to keep from paying taxes, just form a not-for-profit. Of course, you will be taxed, like everyone else on your personal earnings. Just like the Greens are.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but...yes in fact. (302 comments)

It's not their faith telling them they are abortifacients, It is the US Government Department of Health and Human Services. HHS says the 2 IUDs in question and the morning/week after pills in question keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Their faith says that life begins at conception, so being force to pay for something that keeps that life from implanting in the uterus is a violation of their religious belief.

So basically, you're just saying what I'm saying, "It's their faith that tells them these are abortifacients."

Further, when you talk about the "they" in "their religious beliefs", you are not talking about individuals, but a corporation. Now, we can argue whether or not corporations are people, my friend, but I'm pretty sure you will agree that "Inc" does not have religious beliefs.

As you can clearly see from the National Review article (and the National Review is the mothership for anti-abortion types), this is NOT about abortifacients, but about absolutely anything that someone can say violates their religious beliefs. And if you recall your history, you will note that at one time people found religious justification for owning slaves, refusing to serve blacks, gays, Catholics and Jews.

That's why Hobby Lobby is this era's Plessy v Ferguson. It will go down as one of those decisions about which people will someday say, "That wrong-headed case was decided during the bad old days". And not because of anything having to do with abortion.

I'm sure there were people back during Plessy, that made rational-sounding arguments just like yours for why segregating the races was God's will.

When I talk about "they" I am not talking about a corporation, but Mr. and Mrs. Green who own Hobby Lobby.

Look at it this way. The Green's never provided IUDs and the morning after pill to their employees. The Greens already paid for birth control for their employees, just not 4 specific products. The ACA said that your employer must pay for your birth control. People are acting like Hobby Lobby employees are somehow harmed by not having their employer pay for something they never paid for in the first place.

The government has determined that it is in the best interest of the country for every woman to have access to birth control. HHS' own data shows that 90% of woman were on birth control prior to the ACA. Is making employers pay 100% of the cost going to change that? Even so, is it the only way the government could achieve its goal?

Yes, Hobby Lobby is a private corporation. As such, all profits and loss flows through to the Greens, just like it was a sole proprietorship. Forcing Hobby Lobby, the corporation to pay is equivalent to forcing the Green's to pay. .The SCOTUS determined that the government had other options available to providing woman access to the 4 types of birth control in question and therefore could not force the Green's to pay for something they were opposed to on religious grounds.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but...yes in fact. (302 comments)

The courts found that since this is a valid religious belief AND the government could provide the 4 questioned contraceptives through other means

Why are certain beliefs privileged? Could a non-religious person decide they "believed" in not providing certain healthcare to their employees and just let the government pick up the bill instead?

No, they could not, because religious freedom is a protected right under the constitution. Also, the government is not going to pick up the bill for the 2 IUDs and the morning after pill and the week after pill that was all this case was about. Assuming they use the same accommodation that they made available to religious non-profits, the private insurance company will pay for it.

Now, the religious non-profits argue that the accommodation doesn't work because those same insurance companies will simply pass the cost back to them in higher premiums, so effectively they are still paying for it. However, the court was not asked to rule on the accommodation, itself.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but...yes in fact. (302 comments)

If they were a privately held company and not incorporated, i would not have an issue with the ruling. If you are going to insulate yourself from the company, then your religious beliefs should not dictate what the company denies its employees.

All privately held companies are incorporated. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are not. The owners of privately held companies are only partially insulated in that their personal assets cannot be attached by creditors. They are not the same as regular corporations. The ruling only applies to privately held companies that have 5 or fewer owners. It basically treats them like sole proprietorships and partnerships, which is how the IRS treats them.

Basically, you can't have the government pick and chose how it wants to view a business, at least not if what the government is trying to cause people to do something that violates their religious beliefs (or any other constitutionally protected right). Put differently, the government can't say when its convenient for them, you are an individual and when its not, you aren't.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but (302 comments)

The actual law in question is the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) passed by congress during the Clinton Administration. It basically says that the government cannot force a person to violate their religious beliefs unless it is for the common good AND there is no other reasonable way for the government to accomplish the goal.

The Hobby Lobby case did not question the common good part of RFRA. However, the courts ruled that since the government made an accommodation for private religious corporations, it could also make the same accommodation for other private corporations so as not to infringe on the religious rights of the owners. There were also some restrictions imposed in that it only apply to private corporations with five or fewer owners. These are not your big Walmart type of corporations, but family controlled businesses.

As for LGBT, this case has nothing to do with it. LGBT rights are already protected and regardless of what an individual's religion says about it, doesn't matter. It would be like saying the Hobby Lobby case will allow corporations to not hire blacks. It is simply false.

There is no oppression occurring with the Hobby Lobby case. Employees of Hobby Lobby will still have access to all of the contraceptives that everybody else will. If they are prescribed one of the four in the case, Hobby Lobby's insurance company will pay for it, not Hobby Lobby -- that is assuming the government uses the same accommodation that the religious corporations got.

The two owners of Hobby Lobby don't have their religious belief infringed by forcing them to pay for something they believe to be immoral and the workers still have full access like everyone else. Where is the oppression?

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:B.S. (302 comments)

It is a lie that the only viable form of business is as a limited-liability corporation. There are thriving businesses using many other forms, including sole proprietorships http://www.sba.gov/content/sole-proprietorship-0 where the business *is* the person and so personal liability is unlimited.

Now that's a reasonable condition for a business to be afforded all the legal rights of a natural person because in that case the business has no additional rights that are unavailable to natural persons.

The Hobby Lobby decision was just another instance of the Roberts court letting corporations have their cake sand eat it too.

So, Hobby Lobby should remain a sole proprietorship and somebody slips and falls and sues the Greens and they potentially lose their personal assets, too? What you are saying is that if you want to exercise your religious rights you are not permitted to form an LLC or S Corp? If Hobby Lobby were a public corporation, then what you say would be true. But, if you are proposing that people who want to exercise their constitutional rights, to religion or anything else, must give up other rights and privileges, well the SCOTUS disagrees with you.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but (302 comments)

These are family corporations, mainly LLCs and S Corps. They are not public corporations. They are basically partnerships that provide limited liability to the partners. The court ruling is specific to corporations that are not publicly traded and have five or fewer owners. Walmart can't benefit from this ruling, only family run businesses.

about three weeks ago
top

Wireless Contraception

Dcnjoe60 Re:yes but (302 comments)

Which is why it's a bad ruling. Corporations are a specific grant of public privilege and as such should have different rules than a sole proprietorship or partnership. A corporation is a public institution not a private one and thus has to be held to a higher standard. As a libertarian I completely agree that private institutions should be able to do exactly what the owners of The Hobby Lobby desire, a corporation should not. The correct response would be to revoke their corporate charter and require them to reform as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

The courts would agree with you, however, Hobby Lobby is not a public corporation and the ruling specifically talks about this. The law allows a family to incorporate a family business for liability and tax purposes. The position you are taking, and what the courts disagreed with, is that you are making somebody chose between their religious freedoms and full participation in business. Effectively, you are saying that if you want to practice your religious beliefs and run a business, you can only do so if you are willing to put your personal assets at risk and pay higher taxes.The SCOTUS said that was a violation of their freedom because, and this is important, the government had other means available to provide the service in question that would not infringe. If there had not been other alternatives, the court might have ruled differently.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

Dcnjoe60 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Dcnjoe60 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>