* Posts by rpenner

7 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Dec 2009

Boffin-botherer's LHC doomsday case thrown out on appeal


proof vs. prove, etc

Sorry for the uncorrected typos. I should have taken extra time on that.


Legal know-how

"...nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb..."

Without a jury being called and empaneled, the defendants would not yet be in jeopardy, I believe. (Your results may vary from state to state.)

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Oi! Speak English! (And try to use facts and logic)

Your first sentence is unintelligible. Are you Luis Sancho?

1) Wagner's very own process server reported the service had problems. The Swiss mission to the US wrote a letter to the court helpfully outlining the International Law (Hague Convention) and legal methodology required by law. The US District court asked Wagner to explain how the service complied with relevant law, which Wagner didn't meaningfully address.

2) You are Luis Sancho aren't you? Sancho's bizarre courtroom lecture on "true science" was not from the witness stand, so it doesn't count as evidence. Wagner and Sancho have never passed voir dire, so what they say certainly doesn't count as expert evidence. http://sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=2571435#post2571435 When asked time, and time again to explain a concrete scenario where the LHC would be more dangerous than pouring water onto a plant, Wagner and Sancho dither and hand-wave. So everything is speculative and non-concrete on the plaintiff's side.

3) It's about demonstrable cause and effect. You failed to demonstrate, so regardless of the effect, it can't be blamed on the named causes. Being a foriegner without even pretensions of understanding the US Federal court system, Sancho is excused to a degree for not understanding the courts' limited role and the decades of balancing what the consequences of Article III of the US Constitution mean. Wagner, however has a J.D. from an unaccredited law school, and this may have given him delusions of competence.

4) You are confusing 18 USC § 831 (1982) with the various provisions of the Patriot Act. (See above link)

5) If true, this was Wagner and Sancho's job to figure out before they filed the case. Ironic that you claim CERN is the source of all truth. Nevertheless, 9% of CERN's total budget is far more money than the US's paltry contribution to operational expenses like keeping the lights on at US-staffed workstations.

6) Dismissing on technical points is less personally insulting then explaining that the case fails to meet any of the three legs of standing to sue under Article III because the plaintiffs spend more time posturing than thinking, hunting evidence, following procedure, knowing the law, using logic, and explaining a rational basis for their viewpoint.

I was in that appellate courtroom and Wagner and Sancho behaved like buffoons, insulting the center judge's years of experience, rocking back and forth in swivel chairs, acting chummy with the (teenage?) daughter of an attorney, and squabbling over the microphone in the final minutes.

What did they want? They wanted the LHC to shutdown.

Why did they fear operation of the LHC? No basis for this was ever communicated.

Who did they want to shutdown the LHC? A single judge in Hawaii.

What law did they cite? A possible requirement to do paperwork in 1997, over ten years before their lawsuit was filed.

Did the law apply to construction of the LHC? Judge Gillmor said no (September 2008)

Did the law apply to US funding of the scientists who work at CERN? No case made.

Is there any evidence today that plaintiffs were directly harmed by the lack of paperwork? no.

Is there any concrete case that any LHC disaster scenario is possible in this universe? no.

Is there any link between filling out paperwork and the discovery of a natural law that would render particle colliders more dangerous than commonly thought? No.

Is there any way a US judge can order a non-party to do something? No.

Did Wagner and Sancho try a legal back door to do something better done another way? Yes. The correct/honest/understandable way to sue someone for doing something that's allegedly dangerous to you is to do that directly. But Wagner and Sancho only wanted to proof that some paperwork hoops were not jumped through. They perhaps though having the whole burden of proof was too hard. They abandoned the effort to do science and demonstrate their claims. They even abandoned the effort to separate good claims from bad claims -- they took every line of speculation which they heard.

Why did Wagner and Sancho ignore their process server, the Swiss mission, and the judge who asked about the CERN process? Good question.

LHC pulverises previous record: 2.36 TeV surprise collision!


Heh, an expert

Not everyone who decides one morning to sue CERN can be bothered to look that up.


Not quite

Courtroom papers reveal the Hawaii lawsuit was filed by both Sancho and Wagner. Sancho didn't sign many of the papers, and Wagner has been scolded by at least one judge for acting improperly as Sancho's lawyer. But it is Sancho's name which is first on the case (dismissed, appeal has been fully briefed but no word on when it will be argued).

Original complaint:


'Doctor Dark Energy': The Ultimate LHC eccentric?


Wagner's only courtroom victory?

He did beat the charges of violating a court order in California. When he filed a (rejected) suit to claim damages for false prosecution, the court criticized the original prosecutor for undercharging. Specifically, the judge thought prosecution should have brought anti-stalking charges like the earlier bill you have pictured.


I've spent years talking to Wagner

As moderator of a science discussion board and long-time participant, I have spent years talking to Wagner and some time talking to Gorelik. There are differences.

Wagner wants the respect of being an authority, without the accomplishment.

Wagner may have a B.S. in Biology, but that wouldn't make him a botanist -- publishing research articles would. Someone who doesn't publish and still messes around with plants is a gardener.

Wagner may have gotten a certificate of a J.D. from an unaccredited law school, but he told the Federal judge in Hawaii who was scolding him for acting as Sancho's lawyer that he had never been admitted to the bar. So he is no lawyer and so far down the scale of people that have post-graduate training that actual lawyers see no reason to call him "Doctor."

Wagner gets huffy and defensive when his CV is compared to his claimed titles -- because he feels his arguments need that high ground of authority or they would seem empty and weak (c.f. Wagner's appearance on _The Daily Show_ ).

Gorelik, like the protagonist of _Soon I will be invincible_, simply assumes the authority and titles that he feels should be his. To Gorelik, the greatness of himself and his arguments is self-evident and you would be a fool to question any one of his claims. Since Gorelik finds himself surrounded by what he believes to be blind fools, he takes this as confirmation that he is moing in the right direction and writes even _more purple_ prose. So it's only natural, in Gorelik's self-styled role as apex predator, that bin Laden will fall under the sway of his natural greatness.

Wagner would never hang out with bin Laden the terrorist and potential supplier of nuclear arms. Bin Laden the owner of a diploma mill might be a different story.