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Friday, October 26, 2012

Next they'll come for the weathermen

So, you know, this happened:

Six Italian scientists jailed for six years each for failing to predict 2009 quake that killed over 300 people

Which of course has resulted in scientists in Italy saying "This is the end of scientists giving consultations to the state." This is a nicer way of saying The next time there's an earthquake you're all fucked, because you won't get notice from us.

Which, you have to admit, is fair. After all, if you were a weatherman and one of your contemporaris was convicted of manslaughter because he failed to predict a tornado that killed an entire midwestern town, you'd quit the biz as well.

But, see... because I'm just bent, I am seeing a different route here. If I had been on the defense team, you know what I would have done?

I'd have sued the Catholic Church for punitive and compensatory damages.

You see, earthquakes are Acts of God. And while the Heavenly Father cannot be criminally prosecuted, His kingdom on earth can certainly be fined.

I mean, if we're going to be absurd here, let us reducto the absurdam. if a scientist is criminally responsible for deaths caused by not properly predicting an earthquake, then let's indict God for all those destructive acts. Suck on it, Roman Catholic Italy.

Would this make it to trial? Of course not. (I doubt those scientists will see any jail time, either, as any decent court of appeal will throw it out for these very same reasons.)  But it would highlight just how ridiculous this whole thing is, and the Vatican would probably start exerting pressure on the Italian government to Make This Go Away Now.

Come to think of it, this would make an awesome idea for a movie. Who's a good modern version of Jimmy Stewart?


  1. I admit, that sounds like a devious plan.

    Too bad it'll all fall apart when the Pope, as God's agent, invokes . . . 

    [shades on]

    Sovereign immunity.

  2. Tom Hanks is probably the modern equivalent to Jimmy Stewart.

  3. Yeah, but he's linked to that Da Vinci Code bullshit. I'd prefer someone without that baggage. Otherwise, he'd be perfect. 

  4. How about George Clooney?

  5. Does this mean we can imprison politicians for fraud for every program they sold us that they said would cost [x], and ended up being [x]+[over run]

    Each dollar it goes over they PERSONALLY lose a dollar.  Bet we'd get better cost estimates then.

  6. Google "Ernie Chambers sues God".

  7.  Ernie's running for office again.   He was term limited out, but after sitting out an election cycle, by law he can run again. 

    He's very, very bad news for gun owners in Nebraska.  The only reason we got CCW was because of term limits and he was forced to step down, out of the way. 


    It was my understanding that conviction wasn’t for making a
    wrong prediction, but rather, for caving to political pressure and saying that everything was going
    to be fine, when they highly suspected otherwise. 

  9. Let's face it, Humans are very stupid. I'd say my people's take over would be easy except we've decided not to invade. It isn't worth the hassle.

  10. [url=]Billy Connolly?[/url]

  11. No. That is not it. They said that they could not, based on science, recommend an evacuation of the town as microquakes do not accuratly predicts "the big one", because science can't predict quakes (volcano eruptions yes, quakes no).

    So basically some low italian court decided to cave in to public pressure and prosecute. A higher instance is going to throw it out the window...or I will have lost all faith in the italian justice system.

  12. Talysman the Ur-BeatleOctober 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Oh, they already went after the weathermen back in the '60s and '70s. But you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing...

  13. I lol'd.

    In my pants.

  14. That is a very corrupt government and legal system. Not surprised.


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