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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.

Comment Re:Unless (Score 1) 301

The copyright isn't "theft" it is Nazi memorabilia. Note, not the words or books of the words, which are in libraries all over Germany, apparently, but the *copyright* on the words. Yes, this is logically nonsense, but if all the courts agree to the same nonsense then it becomes legal (cf, Generally Accepted Accounting Standards) or at least a legal fiction.

Comment Re:Unless (Score 1) 301

The problem with your statement is that it is irrelevant, as the suit is against the German Random House (presumably a subsidiary of a Random House holding company, rather than an independent company sharing the same name) in Germany. Thus, no law but German applies in this case. Definitely not US laws passed after the rights passed from the criminal to whoever are his heirs.

If this were done in the UK, the estate could very well win, and then Parliament pass a law that no member of the Nazi inner circle ever had any rights to their writings. Note the "ever had" -- the British Parliament has no limits upon its powers but what it agrees to (or what a conquerer imposes on it), so they can and have passed ex post facto laws depriving Germans or companies with German properties during a World War (I forget which, in the one case that I knew about) of rights to compensation for damages received from British actions during that war after British courts awarded those damages. Too bad, mein Herr, perhaps you shouldn't have started a war and then lost it.

Likewise, the German courts could just redefine the copyrights G's diaries as Nazi memorabilia or some such, and if it is agreed by any court that could reverse it in Germany (don't know how their courts are organized) then it stands. Since Nazi memorabilia cannot be sold or displayed in German jurisdictions, the copyrights cannot be enforced. I assume that the German government cannot just make an ex post facto law covering the situation like the British could, of course, since that is the simplest way to go if one can get away with it.

Comment Re:Just staggering... (Score 1) 193

The metal remains after the fire is out -- they used to burn extreme clipper ships after a few years in service to get the fittings back, as the hull was too stressed for the wood to be usable.

This is more like what they did with the ship in the original article. They destroyed it in a fashion that got them data on how these ships would be destroyable (or not) in future combat, then sunk them too deep to be recoverable.

Comment Re:Just staggering... (Score 1) 193

Um, they were not diesel engines, they were oil fueled steam turbines. Just like the Missouri and unlike the African Queen or your local 40 foot sailboat. Also unlike Liberty ships, which used an older steam plant because turbines were too difficult to produce in the number required.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 193

Godzilla was metaphor for the United States. Each of the monsters represented a national power.

Then for what was Mothra a metaphor?

King Ghiddrah?

The big turtle monster whose name I forget?

Seriously, I never thought about this before, but it is now blindingly obvious (faceplants).

Comment Re:They're called trees. (Score 2) 128

If you burn the 20,000 pound tree after cutting it, then your complaint is valid. If, in an extreme example, you bury it in the Thames as pilings for the Roman bridge in Londonium (most are still down there) while the 3-5 new trees are growing (and sequestering) you are doing much better than leaving a huge tree to rot and hollow out.

Anyway, the high tech "solution" in the article is must better at sequestration than a mere tree, more than an order of magnitude better. The trick is whether it can scale to the point that it affects the planet, rather than just a submarine or even just a rebreather for one diver.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle