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Comment Re:ObXKCD (Score 1) 90

So you're saying it'd be really hot if math and biology got together?

Not if he thinks that math is male. Then it would just be math wanting to screw biology, which would want nothing to do with math.

Now if biology got together with exobiology . . . (lascivious grin)

Comment Re:The bar is too high. (Score 1) 345

Wrong. 1% of 1% is far more than enough to kill any company that would try to market something, unless, like some vaccines and orphan disease treatments, the government indemnifies the companies producing the drugs against all but blatant mistakes and deliberate malfeasance.

If you read the 1632 series of science fiction books, the West Virginians transported back in time to the Thirty Years War introduce a simple-to-make antibiotic that works against siege plagues like typhus, but which was never used in our timeline because of 1/100,000 chance of major reactions. Admittedly, if you were that one person who died from the drug you probably don't care about the other 99,999 people saved from a disease with a 30-50% death rate (at least in the 1630s).

Comment Re:Patent terms (Score 1) 345

The Congress has been bought and they keep extending the length of patent and copyright protections.

Sorry, but the terms for copyright and for patents are wildly different and their extensions have been entirely uncorrelated. If you have a problem with the Mickey Mouse copyright length, discuss that in a copyright-related article. That, or convince Disney to buy a pharmaceutical company (so that the patents WILL be extended to match copyrights, and you will then have legitimate grounds for complaint, at the measly cost of screwing the rest of the world).

Patents for medicines that require ten years or more of testing before passing the trials required to bring them to market could well be argued as being too short at 17 years before the only renewal opportunity. The terms have not been extended in decades, though so clearly Congress hasn't been "enough" bribed by USA pharmaceutical companies, has it?

Of course, the other question is: if no USA pharmaceutical companies are working on new antibiotics, who cares, because much of the industry is located (headquartered, at least) in Europe? Bitch to Brussels, instead, and see what THAT gets you.

Comment Re: Censoring speech... (Score 1) 585

The best estimates are from 90% to 95%, but of course this all occurred long before the Office Of The Census started counting Indians. As I pointed out in my previous post, the diseases started affecting the numbers in the early 1500's, well before the Spanish founded Saint Augustine, FL. The estimates MAY be based on the death rates that the Spanish experienced on the islands as they settled them, since the RC Church had a desired to track convertible souls and the plantation managers a need to track available forced workers, and the "experiment" was run a number of times, for each island in the Antilles.

BTW, the Spanish were not actually notably worse than the English, or even the French, again implying that contact with European diseases far exceeded any deliberate efforts at killing the Indians.

Comment Re:SO when you pay people... (Score 1) 500

So when the revolution comes and the rich bastards are being lined up for the firing squad,

Then the people making $70,000 per year will be included in those against the wall, not those doing the killing. Remember the Reign of Terror, Pol Pot, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution? Although you write more like someone supporting the Liquidation of the Kulaks (sp?) from the Stalinist 1930s.

Comment Re:Censoring speech... (Score 2) 585

European diseases killed the vast majority of the Indians, not the Europeans themselves. Cortez would have died a nasty death if the Aztecs hadn't started dying of the diseases that the Spaniards had inadvertently brought with them; it is much easier attacking warriors already dying than attacking them when hale and healthy. Likewise when the Virginia and New England colonies settled the land was almost empty from plagues that had hit five and ten years earlier from no apparent sources.

Comment Re: Censoring speech... (Score 5, Interesting) 585

1) Very few were killed when they migrated over the land bridge, because at most very few were here, already (most evidence for a pre-Clovis population is sketchy at best - perhaps because the sea level rise at the end of the Ice Age drowned the good stuff).

2) Europeans didn't kill the 95% of the pre-existing Indian population, European diseases that even the Europeans themselves couldn't really treat did. Most of those diseases were borne by farm animals, which the Europeans brought with them. You can see the effects from the writings from a Spanish expedition into what would become the Deep South. They brought a herd of pigs with them rather than hunting the local animals that the locals would have needed, treated the Indians with no violence (as they were explorers, not conquistadores), and by the time that they returned the locals were already dying of mysterious plagues that seemed somewhat like Europeans childhood diseases gone crazy. The local adults had never had mumps, chicken pox, measles, etc., all of which are usually relatively harmless when experienced as children and terrible when an unexposed adult catches them. There were other diseases that hit the Europeans hard (smallpox, cholera, etc.) that still hit the then-unexposed even worse, but barring an offhand comment by Lord Amherst no one would have considered using, much like no one uses chemical weapons anymore if the wind can change directions and blow it back on one.

3) No one was very nice to anyone else in those days. If the Indians had a more extensive bacterial load than Eurasia they would have had no qualms about crossing the oceans and settling the depopulated European forests and the steppes, adopting wheat, barley,and rye to supplement their own maize and potatoes, and violating treaties with the whiteskins whenever the press of migration was too heavy.

Comment Re:Separation of powers or the rule of law, anyone (Score 1) 242

First, does the Kingdom of the Netherlands actually HAVE a Separation of Powers doctrine in its constitutional documents?

Second, are these "promises" or are they signed and ratified treaty obligations? I don't know about there, but in the US Constitution a treaty, once ratified by the Senate, has the same legal force as the Constitution itself. If this is true there, someone with proper standing could probably bring a suit demanding that the KoN fulfill its treaty obligations.

Thirdly, how did any court grant standing to a non-signatory organization? Can its decision that a bunch of busybodies have standing be appealed to a higher court?

Fourthly, does the KoN have the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity? If so, it cannot be sued without its prior consent. If it doesn't have that, now, can it create that right as existing in the past, as the UK can and has done, by an Ex Post Facto law? Actually, the UK removed a right (to compensation for war damages in enemy-controlled territory) in the case that I know of, but the principle that Ex Post Facto laws are legal can be extended ad infinitum.

Fifthly, I must quote that SoB, Andrew Jackson, after the Cherokee Tribe won (in the US Supreme Court) the right to stay in the East despite the Indian Removal Act, "They have made their ruling. Now let them enforce it." The point being that the judge's marshalls, baliffs, constables, whatever they are called, are not equipped to force the government to do what its military or the rest of its police forces "decline to acquiess" (to quote Capt. Barbossa from the first Pirates Of The Carribbean movie).

Comment Re:Ah...hmm. (Score 1) 90

Some success has already been achieved in chickens. Fiddling with gene expression has allowed scientists to produce chicken embryos with teeth and chicken embryos that retained their dino-tails - though in neither case was a chicken successfully hatched.

Hen's Teeth were successfully produced by transplanting the tooth buds from chicken embryos to frog's mouths. Apparently, although both species are toothless, the mechanisms which suppress tooth maturation are different enough between the two species that they do not interfere with the other species' suppression mechanism.

Comment Re:You no longer own a car (Score 3, Informative) 649

Actually, the local Mercedes-Benz dealership doesn't do body work, so my parents had to go to the local Cadillac/5others dealer a couple years ago when a deer committed suicide by running into and bouncing off our front bumper and grill. It looked like almost no damage, but it took months to get everything fixed, since the Cadillac dealership/bodyshop didn't have any official trained MBenz mechanics to do the work that they would have had to do.

So, no, your official repair shop might not handle your windshield crack or fender scratch, even now.

The only automakers mentioned in the article (yes, I occasionally read them, so sue me) were GM and Ford, which are oddly enough the only two US companies left (left as US companies, at least). Whether Chrysler Fiat or any of the US manufacturing Japanese companies AREN'T doing this, aren't doing this YET, or just weren't worth mentioning since engineering decisions are made out of the country and thus beyond reach of mail campaigns, is anybody's guess.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.