June 29, 2015

Waiting for the new Supreme Court cases! UPDATE: They're done for this Term.

Watching the live-blog at SCOTUSblog.

UPDATE 1: Glossip — the death penalty wins. Alito writes the man opinion [TYPO retained/should be: main opinion], with concurrences by Scalia and Thomas. The 4 liberal Justices dissent.
The Court rules that the death-row inmates have failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits on their claim that the use of midazolam violates the Eighth Amendment.
Here's the PDF of the opinion, which I'll do a separate post about.

Scalia's concurrence is a response to Breyer's dissent, which calls for the abolition of the death penalty.

UPDATE 2: The redistricting decision is 5-4 with RBG writing for the majority, allowing the people of Arizona to take the process of legislative redistricting away from the legislature and give it to an independent commission.
Background on the AZ decision: The Constitution’s Elections Clause provides that the “Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for . . . Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof.” In 2000, Arizona voters amended the state’s constitution to give control over redistricting of federal congressional districts to an independent commission. This case is a challenge by the state legislature to that transfer, on the ground that it violated the Elections Clause....

From the final paragraph of the majority opinion: "The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering and, thereby, to ensure that Members of Congress would have “an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.” The Federalist No. 57, at 350 (J. Madison). In so acting, Arizona voters sought to restore “the core principle of republican government,”namely, “that the voters should choose their representa­tives, not the other way around.” Berman, Managing Gerrymandering, 83 Texas L. Rev. 781 (2005). The Elec­tions Clause does not hinder that endeavor."
UPDATE 3: The EPA case is written by Scalia. 5-4, split the way you'd guess.
... This case arises from the EPA’s efforts to regulate pollution – and in particular mercury – from power plants. The question before the Court was whether, when determining whether to regulate the emissions from power plants, the EPA should take into account the cost to the plants of complying. States and industry groups had argued that the EPA must do so, while the EPA argued that it does not have to consider costs until later in the process, when it issues specific pollution standards. Today the Court agreed with the states and industry groups, holding that the EPA’s refusal to consider costs when deciding whether to regulate was unreasonable.
UPDATE 4: The Court slinks back into the shadows, not to reemerge until next fall. Writing that sentence, I feel the influence of Justice Scalia's writing in Glossip: "Welcome to Groundhog Day." But he meant the movie "Groundhog Day," a reference to repetitiousness, not the annual emergence from darkness into sun — the Bill Murray perspective, not the hairy beast's.

63 comments:

Sharc said...

"Alito writes the man opinion."

Sounds about right.

EMD said...

So, the Court works 2 weeks a year? That's what this steady volley of decisions makes it seem like.

Gabriel said...

From Glossip:

"Cole murdered his 9-month-old
daughter after she would not stop crying. Cole bent her
body backwards until he snapped her spine in half. After
the child died, Cole played video games. See Cole v. State,
2007 OK CR 27, 164 P. 3d 1089, 1092–1093. Grant, while
serving terms of imprisonment totaling 130 years, killed
Gay Carter, a prison food service supervisor, by pulling
her into a mop closet and stabbing her numerous times
with a shank. See Grant v. State, 2002 OK CR 36, 58
P. 3d 783, 789. Warner anally raped and murdered an 11-
month-old girl. The child’s injuries included two skull
fractures, internal brain injuries, two fractures to her jaw,
a lacerated liver, and a bruised spleen and lungs."

These are the men that are trying to avoid the death penalty. Note that one of them was already in prison for life, and yet found a way to murder someone else and earn a capital sentence.

Gabriel said...

I bring these men up not because I am so eager to see them executed, though I think that would be more than just. It's because of the ratchet. The people who are working to save these mens' lives also oppose life in prison, they oppose supermax, they oppose solitary confinement. The method of execution they oppose is already the result of a ratchet: hanging wasn't humane enough, gassing wasn't humane enough, electrocution wasn't humane enough, and this lethal injection drug oppose now is the third one; they lobbied to get the other two off the market.

And it's not for babies or old people they go to these lengths; it's the wolves in human shape who prey on them. I will never understand it.

who-knew said...

Nice to see the random preferences of our unelected rulers lead to a decision (in the EPA case) that curbs one of the other unelected, unrepresentative, branches of our ruling elite. But it's important to remember that the occasional case where the Judge Dumpty and company appear to enforce the rule of law, is just brownian motion. Meaningless in the larger scheme of things.

Birkel said...

The gerrymandering case seems wrongly decided.

MayBee said...

I'm going to have to read up on the Elections case. How can the voters amending the state Constitution violate the Constitution?
So it seems rightly decided, but many are objecting to it.

garage mahal said...

If the "free market" determines the earth should be uninhabitable and ingesting mercury is just part of the deal, who are we to argue?

Skyler said...

So I take it that Ruth wants the people's voices to be heard. Yet not when it comes to homosexuals.

MayBee said...

If the "free market" determines the earth should be uninhabitable and ingesting mercury is just part of the deal, who are we to argue?

That "if" is doing a lot of work there, buddy.

Owen said...

garage mahal said: "If the "free market" determines the earth should be uninhabitable and ingesting mercury is just part of the deal, who are we to argue?"

I thought trolls lived on mercury?

Gabriel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel said...

@garage mahal:If the "free market" determines the earth should be uninhabitable and ingesting mercury is just part of the deal, who are we to argue? .

That's why you've given up your car and all other fossil-fuel emissions, right troll? Because you care so much about the earth. So you have no electricity there in Wisconsin.

That's why you only eat what is produced locally in your area, so you never have coffee, or oranges, right troll? Because you care so much about the Earth, you don't participate in "free markets".

CarlF said...

The redistricting case confirms recent cases by the Liberals on the Court that feelings, not language, dictates results.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that there are all these Catholics on SCOTUS and yet every decision, whether on abortion, marriage, capital punishment, is the exact opposite of what the Vatican would choose.

sean said...

Were there any cases that didn't "split the way you'd expect"? That's why I object to the phrase "legal reasoning." It would better be called "legal rationalization": a rhetorical mode employed to justify decisions already obtained by other means.

PB said...

The gerrymandering case would seem fine for state districts, but for representatives to Washington it seems unconstitutional.

garage mahal said...

If you question coal plant operator's ability to spew as much mercury pollution that means you can't drive a car eat food outside your garde. What beautiful scientific mind. That Gabriel is allowed to teach at any public institution is a frightening indictment on society.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

garage mahal said...
If the "free market" determines the earth should be uninhabitable and ingesting mercury is just part of the deal, who are we to argue?


I am no longer surprised when I see people blame a problem caused by a lack of property rights (and a functioning market made possible thereby) on the market itself, but it's still wrong.

mccullough said...

In other words, the Obama EPA gets caught ignoring the law, again.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

garage mahal said...
If you question coal plant operator's ability to spew as much mercury pollution that means you can't drive a car eat food outside your garde.


Wait, is that what happened in this case? Is that a position anyone takes? No and no? Ok, moving on.
Or in your mind is saying "hey, you've got to take the cost of a regulation you want to put forward before you decide it should be undertaken" equivalent to saying "no one can question a coal plant's ability to pollute as much as it wants?" Seems like either a pretty ridiculous strawman or a pretty sloppy excuse for thinking, garage.

Birkel said...

The wanton burning of straw men as demonstrated on this thread by "garage mahal" should be banned by the EPA.

The loss of any First Amendment protections need not be considered by the Agency under thee APA.

/sarc

SGT Ted said...

It means the EPA has to actually follow the law and Court precedent, garage.

If Congress wants to change the law and allow the EPA to not consider cost at all when issuing regulations, it can do so. Until then, the EAP must follow the law as written.

That you buy the Enviro-kook panic over mercury from coal plant emissions and want their wishes enforced is irrelevant.

SGT Ted said...

garage should have to pay a carbon tax for burning all those straw men.

Gabriel said...

@garage mahal:If you question coal plant operator's ability to spew as much mercury pollution that means you can't drive a car eat food outside your garde.

You're the one who denied the possibility of trade-offs; I merely point out that from that standard you are just as bad. Piss off, troll.

Yes, you would rather spew mercury in the air from your tailpipe, or other people's tailpipes, than go without oranges or coffee. You would rather see children drink mercury-laden water than give up your exotic, non-Wisconsin fruits and vegetables. You would rather value the convenience of flipping a switch to light your house with filthy coal, than do the right thing and give it up.

Troll.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Waiting for the new Supreme Court cases! UPDATE: They're done for this Term."

But stay tuned for more excitement next year--maybe they'll decide if a baker can be forced to bake a cake with a Confederate flag on it!

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
If you question coal plant operator's ability to spew as much mercury pollution that means you can't drive a car eat food outside your garde. What beautiful scientific mind. That Gabriel is allowed to teach at any public institution is a frightening indictment on society.


Quit whining you little girl. You know that coal plant in Kenosha? It was supposed to be a nuke plant, but you people couldn't have that. nuclear is bad. Grow up. Unless you want to generate your own power.

Gahrie said...

HMM...seems there was a four vote bloc that voted together on every major case this week.

I wonder what they had in common?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Can we stop pretending that Kennedy is Catholic, at least? It seems like if the Church has a stated moral position on the subject, he chooses the opposite.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Can we stop pretending that Kennedy is Catholic, at least? It seems like if the Church has a stated moral position on the subject, he chooses the opposite.

damikesc said...

Can we stop pretending that Kennedy is Catholic, at least? It seems like if the Church has a stated moral position on the subject, he chooses the opposite.

Given the new Pope, give them time. They will side with Kennedy eventually --- and then wonder why attendance is cratering.

Alex said...

So we can't burn coal, can't operator nuclear. What's left to generate baseload capacity? Fairy dust?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Alex said....So we can't burn coal, can't operator nuclear. What's left to generate baseload capacity? Fairy dust?
Hot air spewing forth from Leftists shouting down any contrary opinions? The unlimited power of Leftists' good intentions? The rotational force of generations of dead scientists spinning in their graves over repeated assertions that "the Science is settled?"

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Harnessing vacuum energy from regions of the skulls of prominent environmentalists?

Michael K said...

"nuclear is bad. Grow up. Unless you want to generate your own power."

Garage is the equivalent of natural gas. Methane I think.

Original Mike said...

"In other words, the Obama EPA gets caught ignoring the law, again."

Not to worry, Josh Earnest says they intend to do it anyway.

n.n said...

The problem for Obama's EPA is the "green" industry practice of polluting nations without comparable environmental protection standards. The current ruling reduces the incentive for those corporations and their environmentalist lobbying to secure practices of shared responsibility, penalizing domestic businesses, and outsourcing American jobs.

The problem with capital execution is that the convicted individual may be innocent. The liberal justices cannot apply a pro-choice doctrine unless the individual is denied due process and is known to be innocent beyond a doubt.

Does redistricting really matter? The Court ruled that civil rights cannot be restricted to illegal aliens and people without identification. After Obama spent $14 trillion dollars in debt, raised taxes, and borrowed from granny's health care, there are still unidentified Americans.

n.n said...

With over 400 civilian reactors operating world-wide, with 375 GWe of total capacity, and several hundred more in academic and military applications, nuclear technology produces over 10% of the world's base-load electricity.

It's ironic that petroleum is one of the few actual green sources of energy that may be renewable, is biodegradable, and is a basic nutrient in some ecosystems (e.g. Caribbean Sea).

Rhythm and Balls said...

The WaPo's comments described (an apparently non-actionable) "cost" of those 11,000 lives lost to the effects of mercury of 6 million dollars, equaling a value of just ~$535 per life.

The industry won a stay of judgment until EPA shows that those 11,000 dead people and their $535/person lives aren't worth more than the temporary economic displacement of 20,000 people's jobs.

11,000 people's lives aren't worth temporary impacts 20,000 people's immediate economic security, so ruled the court. Despite the fact that coal is a dying industry giving way to gas and other energy sources.

Why can't we just kill the 20,000 coal plant operators, take $12 million from them in wages and distribute $535 to each family affected by a coal plant emission-related death? That would be the sensible thing to do, by SCOTUS-Gabriel reasoning.

Gabriel said...

@Rhythm and Balls:those 11,000 dead people

What are their names?

Oh, you don't know? Because that figure corresponds to excess mortality, all else being equal, and not any specific people actually killed, and also has a high error bars.

That coffee you drank this morning? Brought to your door by fossil fuels. Let's calculate the excess mortality from that and compare it to what you paid. Then we'll know what your curiously selective conscience can be bought for.


Rhythm and Balls said...

What a euphemism, Party of Creationism and AGW Denial Educator. "Excess mortality". Hahahaha!

I don't drink coffee, douchebag.

I also buy local.

And I don't pretend that individual virtue and effective collective action or political change are interchangeable.

Anyway, if one's mortal life can be considered excessive, and should never be nameless, I nominate you for fatal mercury poisoning! You do have a name, right? Is it just "Gabriel" these days or still "Gabe Hannah"?

In any event, the great thing about the party that kills the people and converts them to cash equivalents (apparently at very cheap rates; either that or it must be a pretty short span of time to clip off one's life to say it was only worth $535 more), is how the damage wrought by their Macchiavellian cruelty and cynicism are clustered in the red states that vote for the douchebags clamoring for and nominating these judicial activists in the first place. Red states still stuck on a dying energy source, it's their people who will die ("excessively") because of this.

So I say we offer a big cheer! Your patrons get to make money running uncompetitive energy infrastructure into the ground, delaying any transition to cleaner and more competitive industries, and kill a bunch of Republican voters in the process. Win-win!

Who says karma is dead? What comes around certainly goes around. At long last.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Oh, you don't know? Because that figure corresponds to excess mortality, all else being equal, and not any specific people actually killed, and also has a high error bars.

Yes, because when it comes to irreversible antagonism of crucial enzymes that can't be cleared of their bonded mercury complexes in the brain, one with as illustrious a history of poisoning people as mercury, a high degree of certainty should be allowed to accumulate first.

So, how much strychnine do you think should be an acceptable amount to intrude into the food supply then, Gabriel? Give us your liberal estimate, since it's not certain how sound and well powered the studies are on "lethal doses" and all that. Maybe 0.05 isn't good enough. Add in a few more thousand and dose-escalate until you get a p of 0.01. You know that conservatives like yourself can't stand educated heuristics and need everything in the form of absolute truth, which is what science is all about anyway. Fuck this provisional system of knowledge crap! Science should be like religious dogma! No more conservative precautionary principles when it comes to protecting us from known poisons. We should await iron-clad proof and assume chemicals known to kill and maim us are safe in small amounts, first. Besides, it's not like the industries making and profiting from them have EVER put profit over public safety - EVER. Love Canal, Agent Orange, Three Mile Island - all lessons not worth learning from. We should have to die before we can ever put industries profiting from deadly byproducts in the position of providing the burden of proof as to their safety.

You'll make a good corporatist shill someday. I say get out of academia, or even R&D entirely, and go straight to the "political communications" department.

SGT Ted said...

11,000 lives lost. You can tell by the smell that the EPA and the enviro-kooks pulled that figure out of their asses.

Gabriels question is spot on:

What are their names? Listing "Mercury Poisoning" on their death certificates. Oh can't name them, can you? Because it isn't happening, is it? Just another bullshit assertion by leftist Luddites, seeking to shit on the working class yet again while claiming to be their advocate.

SGT Ted said...

R&B claims that demanding actual proof of death by poisoning is to be against science. How retarded is that?

SGT Ted said...

The usual leftist bile is to be expected of course, because it is what is considered "reasonable discourse" when a leftists makes an assertion.

SGT Ted said...

Nevermind the actual point: That the EPA is required to follow the law and not make up shit as they go along, or enact the unlawful demands of an out of control President who see's himself as a King.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I don't know, Teddy Bear. But you tell me how much mercury you want to eat as the so-called "safe amount" and get back to me on that.

We're both demanding actual proof. The difference I (and every non-idiot) is demanding proof of safety and fuckwits like you and Gayby are demanding proof of harm. Even when it comes to a long, well-known poison with no biologically useful role. Why? Because you're a shill to some CEO that you don't even know and a pocketbook of his that doesn't even impact your livelihood. (And because you're scientifically illiterate). That's how serfs like you roll.

You know what's pulled out of one's ass? The implied assertion that retaining old utilities is more cost-effective than replacing them with rapidly improving industries. You dorks seem to fight war after war on the battlefield of the "cost effectiveness" of ways to stay uncompetitive. It must be why Republican voters are so poorly educated and stupid.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The usual leftist bile is to be expected of course, because it is what is considered "reasonable discourse" when a leftists makes an assertion.

Your assertion, toy soldier-dress up GI Joe boy, is not only that a "safe exposure" level of mercury exists, but that you have privileged access to that information. But that is because you are a scientific illiterate.

It really never occurred to you that being trained to run across fields and kill people actually left you ignorant of a lot of things - including how much you have no fucking clue about.

I bet a guy like you could be poisoned pretty easily. How much mercury would you allow me to add to your coffee? Remember, the safe exposure level is intimately known to you, so I expect you to answer with ease.

ATTEEEEEEEEENN-TION!

SGT Ted said...

Fuck off R&B.

Gahrie said...

If the coal power industry is shut down, far more people will die from lack of access to affordable energy than will ever die from mercury pollution.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Whatever you say, soldier boy.

Go off and fight to protect "my freedom" from all those who invaded/directly threatened the U.S. in the last 48 years. You know, like when Saddam Hussein attacked us, or when Ho Chi Minh invaded us, or the North Koreans did. Or Grenada. Or Lebanon. Or post-war Germany. All great endeavors to be involved in, giving you a belligerent sense of purpose, unlike the actual WWII vets who understood what shared sacrifice actually meant and adored the man, FDR, who protected us from actual threats at home and abroad. A guy who knew that there's something to be said for caring for your fellow man, rather than just taking out a misdirected imperialist hostility on him.

Don't guys in your position higher rates of suicide? Careful what you do with all that thoughtless anger. It's too bad I won't allow you to take it out on me, but if you don't address it, you could end up taking it out in ways that are just as reckless.

Or maybe you'll just grow up and do the right thing.

Phil 3:14 said...

Why do you guys respond to R&B? You're going to get the same crap every time.

I have to believe you all just love to write ad hominems and rants.

Gabriel said...

@Rhythm and Balls: You're just trolling. If you actually believed that mercury poisoning was a moral issue and no economic value could justify it, you would not be bragging about "buying local" using the Internet, you'd be a hermit eating what you could raise outside a cave using only pointed sticks.

The fact that you are here trolling shows that you have a revealed preference for technology that kills through mercury emissions, provided you get to use it to be a troll.

Everything that everyone does kills other people, or extends other people's lives, to some degree. So the fact that you haven't killed yourself means that you have used some kind of unstated argument to balance utility for yourself over life for others.

It's a reveled preference, and the only way to show that I'm wrong about you is for you to stop commenting.

Gabriel said...

@Rhythm and Balls: 30,000 people died last year due to automobile accidents. Do you drive, or use products that require road transport? (You're using the Internet, so yes.)

Because whatever economic value you got from those activities is the price you put on human lives.

I'd say Internet trolling is worth a lot less than $535 per life, but YMMV, as the saying is.

Rhythm and Balls said...

If you actually believed that mercury poisoning was a moral issue…

How would poisoning people not be a moral issue?

...and no economic value could justify it,…

I don't know of anyone who believes that killing/poisoning people is justified on behalf of some ridiculous "economic value". If it were, we would make the hit man industry legal, because they need to feed their families, too. And think of what a boon that would be to the body guarding industry!

You have to accept that you guys are basically corporate mobsters. I don't doubt that Tony Soprano (or whomever inspired him) got very rich doing what they were doing. Or that his economic "activity" supported all sorts of other economic activity. Just that it was wrong.

you would not be bragging about "buying local"…

You're the one who demanded this standard of me, goalpost shifter. But I can see you're just trying to get me to agree with your sense of futility over anything being a good enough start.

using the Internet,

Which is powered by wind.

...you'd be a hermit eating what you could raise outside a cave using only pointed sticks.

Again, with the fallacy of the false alternative. Unless you're perfect, your contribution is worthless, you say. How depressing it must be to be of your conservative mindset! No social goal is worth pursuing because you've already decided on the foregone conclusion that every contribution is pointless.

The fact that you are here trolling shows that you have a revealed preference for technology that kills through mercury emissions, provided you get to use it to be a troll.

Anyone can call anyone a "troll". I can even call you a troll. Troll! See? Look at that. I just decided your points were pointless and not worth listening to, either! Wonderful. But then, if you had a non-political purpose for being here you'd actually care to listen to points that you weren't preemptively wedded to at the soul.

Everything that everyone does kills other people, or extends other people's lives, to some degree.

This is a philosophical point, akin to the "butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon" bit. But it doesn't apply, and it doesn't account for the contributions made to helping or extending or improving people's lives, in the balance.

So the fact that you haven't killed yourself means that you have used some kind of unstated argument to balance utility for yourself over life for others.

Given how rejection-worthy your stupid premise was, and how obviously belligerent your statement is, it's not worth taking seriously. Or else, you could apply it to yourself, seeing what a moral perfectionist and empirical absolutist (at least if it's in the service of a dead and dangerous industry) you are.

It's a reveled preference, and the only way to show that I'm wrong about you is for you to stop commenting.

Of course, you don't believe this either. And that's because you've devolved to making purely rhetorical points - just as a true "troll" would do. Especially when making novel meanings for words like "reveled".

But if you weren't just here to be an obvious partisan shill (which some could just as justifiably classify as a "troll"), you'd listen to the other side of what you're dead-set on preemptively dismissing.

Rhythm and Balls said...

@Rhythm and Balls: 30,000 people died last year due to automobile accidents. Do you drive, or use products that require road transport? (You're using the Internet, so yes.)

False analogy. Some drivers are safer than others. Some potential accident victims are more defensive than others. Whatever the case, people have a lot more control over their potential for injury or death by auto than they do by chemicals poisoning their resources.

Because whatever economic value you got from those activities is the price you put on human lives.

My and their insurance policies already do that. Where is the insurance policy for deliberate and unavoidable poisoning?

I'd say Internet trolling is worth a lot less than $535 per life, but YMMV, as the saying is.

I guess this bit just had to be thrown in, given how new you are to differentiating between rhetoric and logical argumentation. Hope you got some nice practice out of it. But I'll wait until you try again with an actual point.

Gabriel said...

@Rhythm & Balls, Ritmo, whatever...

Which is powered by wind.

Fail. Look up "fungible" some time. Servers need reliable baseload power, which is coal, hydro, nuclear, natural gas. If they were powered by wind, they'd be off when the wind blows.

I don't know of anyone who believes that killing/poisoning people is justified on behalf of some ridiculous "economic value".

When you get in your car, is the chance of your killing someone zero? No. Yet you drive. Are you depraved? No. You've done a cost-benefit calculation with other people's lives...

My and their insurance policies already do that.

And frankly admitted to it here.

As the Senator said to the Duchess, we've established what you ARE, we're just haggling over the price.

Incidentally, Ritmo, why the interest in my first and last name? Going to gin up a Justine Sacco style Twitter mob to get me fired?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Fail. Look up "fungible" some time. Servers need reliable baseload power, which is coal, hydro, nuclear, natural gas. If they were powered by wind, they'd be off when the wind blows.

Another failure on your part to recognize the importance of consumer demand and how not everything less than perfection is a disaster. Again, this goes to your faulty programming where you, in your robot-like way, fail to understand that human progress occurs in steps. You belong on the circuit board of Tron, not a vibrant society that changes over time in ways that benefit it more and more, including in ways that ameliorate and change the direction of the damage that it does to itself.

Your stubborn refusal to recognize that people have more individual control over how they drive and how exposed they are to other drivers than they do over exposure to environmental toxins is, again - I'm assuming, the product of your robotic, conservative failure to acknowledge the importance of human agency in deciding the amount of risk they want to take for themselves. You hate individual choice, you hate comprehension and acknowledgment of the ecological and social ways that people are connected to each other and to their environments. You're the best example yet of the psychological, nearly autistic and sociopathic nature of modern reactionaries (you're not really conservatives, after all) in America today. Living in a system of binary code that requires a programmatic fidelity to assumptions that cannot be controlled, rather than working around the things that we do know.

Listen, assuming there's any human sensibility left in that partisan robotic shell of yours, I'll break it down to you as simply as can be done to another ideologue. We simply differ on what needs to be proved. You require proof of a longstanding, dangerous poison's actual harm. I require proof of its safety. Further, you want to place the burden for proving that harm on a defanged and defamed regulatory agency charged with protecting the people. I'd place the burden for proving that safety on the industry with the power and money (certainly none of it lost on lobbying) with the history of harming people and caring more about profits than the communities they serve.

Just acknowledge that, and it would save a lot of time - getting us closer to a productive conversation. Aside from your inhuman robot-mind, you're not stupid (except when it comes to people). We're probably two of the most scientifically literate people on here. So stop willfully ignoring points, acknowledge what the actual differences are, and reclaim your place as one of the only cons on here (if you're who I thought you were) with an actual interest in honesty and science.

Or prove the opposite case and be a partisan shill. But if you do, you might want to ask what you can possibly be getting out of that.

tim in vermont said...

Listen, assuming there's any human sensibility left in that partisan robotic shell of yours - R&B


Ha ha ha. Something about a pot and a kettle just cracked me up.

Rusty said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
The WaPo's comments described (an apparently non-actionable) "cost" of those 11,000 lives lost to the effects of mercury of 6 million dollars, equaling a value of just ~$535 per life.


At least it's an improvement over the "tens of thousands" of lives lost as stated by the other environmental scare mongers.

How many people die of mercury poisoning in the US every year?

How many people die from misdiagnoses, misprescriptions, bad surgeries every year?

This, of course, does not take into consideration those products that are solely derived from coal and the burning of coal.

Gabriel said...

@Rhythm and Balls: You're the best example yet of the psychological, nearly autistic and sociopathic nature of modern reactionaries

Well, tim in vermont just called me a liberal in another thread. Both of you are wrong. My position is best described as "libertarian", with the caveat that libertarians are a herd of cats that delight in casting one another out of libertarianism for lack of purity, so the label doesn't tell you much.

You hate individual choice, you hate comprehension and acknowledgment of the ecological and social ways that people are connected to each other and to their environments.

What you are doing here is ascribing evil motives to my disagreeing with you. None of these things are true. What is true is what you say here:

We simply differ on what needs to be proved.

Yes, this is correct. It applies not just to this specific case--which I have not actually said I agree or disagree with, by the way, that's something that you just assumed. What I objected to is the selective couching of economic arguments in moral terms, and that is all I was saying that you were doing wrong.

I'm saying that if pollution is evil you have to apply that across the board to your own lifestyle, to the seen and the unseen, since you can't isolate yourself from coal power without radical changes in lifestyle.

If pollution costs more than it benefits, now there's the possibility of reasoned discussion. But I think you were trying to have it both ways--the moral fervor of condemning evil for what you disapprove, and the cost-benefit analysis for what you do approve of, and that's bogus argumentation.

The howler about the internet running on wind doesn't help you much either, but How Wind Power Works is even further off topic than where we were.

Rusty said...

Trade offs.
Energy is all about trade offs.
Maxwell proved this.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'm saying that if pollution is evil you have to apply that across the board to your own lifestyle, to the seen and the unseen, since you can't isolate yourself from coal power without radical changes in lifestyle.

But there's where your purity standard is marring your view of science and public policy. I don't know what it means for pollution to be "evil". I do know that it's generally some sort of artificial hazard introduced into a public resource - at the expense of public health and healthy resources, though. Can we have threshold levels for safe amounts? Sure, I don't rule that out. But with mercury this has never AFAIK been done. Surely you've taken a chemistry lab. Some hazardous compounds require more precautions than others. I've seen a mercury spill in a physical chemistry lab. They don't leave anything to chance. Guys donned in protective clothing and eye gear use a sort of industrial shop vac and get to work. Just for a tiny few droplets rolling around on the tiles. Like I said, some things have never been assigned a low safe threshold, and it's my semi-informed understanding that this must be the case with mercury.

If pollution costs more than it benefits, now there's the possibility of reasoned discussion. But I think you were trying to have it both ways--the moral fervor of condemning evil for what you disapprove, and the cost-benefit analysis for what you do approve of, and that's bogus argumentation.

I'm sorry, but having things both ways in this context means equating utility profits with lives, which I can't accept. You concluded that no one would have energy if the change proceeded, which wasn't proven at all - and you stretched that into a hasty conclusion about how these people who no longer supposedly had energy would die. Yet, that's the fear upon which you predicate your stance against change and implementing higher safety standards. It's a bunch of sloppy slippery slopes that have no evidentiary basis, even though the evidence that monopolies (which most utilities are) care more about their profits than about their customers is legion.