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Comment Re:I wonder about the taste (Score 5, Insightful) 221

Well, of course, I seriously doubt it will be as tasty or have nearly as good mouthfeel as a burger from a real cow, but this is a very important, early step in a long chain of necessary inventions to truly replace animals as a meat source.

However, if culture medium *does* matter, then that become yet another variable to tweak in producing the tastiest meat, and it's almost certain that we'll be able to improve on nature by, say, eliminating the taste of fear and stress in meat.

We'll also theoretically have the ability to grow sterile meat if we can use sterile inputs. Imagine meat that can stay vacuum sealed on the shelf with no refrigeration for months and still taste fresh!

Comment Re:Good Question (Score 1) 655

Humans aren't horses, but they're both mammals and so are likely to have fundamentally similar biochemistry.

Similar does not mean equal. Any pet owner can tell you that there are foods humans can eat that will harm your pets and vice versa. (e.g. Grapes, raisins, onions, & garlic can cause kidney failure in dogs & cats.) This is why we can't just stop testing with animal models.

There are a variety of drugs that are safe to use on horses but not on humans. One would be phenylbutazone, or "bute," a painkiller that will suppress human white blood cell production and, in conjunction with some other drugs, will destroy your liver. Bute is one of many horse NSAIDs not approved for use in humans.

(Similarly many human OTC painkillers in the same class will kill your pets. Tylenol is also bad for pets, causing anemia in cats and liver toxicity in dogs.)

I can't find anything about dewormers being poison, though. Apparently, most of the dewormers I saw were also used (in appropriate doses) in humans and dogs or simply have never been tested properly in humans. I looked up fenbendazole (not enough testing), ivermectin (used in humans), moxidectin (not used in humans but safe according to some tests I read), praziquantel (limited use in humans), and pyrantel pamoate (used in humans, but an uncertain risk to pregnant women). With the exception of the last, I'm not aware of any known risks from their presence in meat, but we just do not have enough knowledge on many to approve it for the general food supply.

(On the subject of dogs, it worth noting that a few of these drugs -- the avermectins -- can be toxic to herding dogs but not to most other dog breeds. It makes their use in heartworm medicine tricky.)

Comment Re:qualcomm is right (Score 1) 526

Plus you'd still have enough oomph to run a torrent server, a tor node or just use your phone to mine some bitcoins.

So, how is cell phone reception over there in that parallel universe where Tesla got us all switched over to wireless power transmission? Satisfy my curiosity -- does anyone get killed touching doorknobs after walking across a shag carpet?

Comment Re:Wha if (Score 4, Informative) 140

Unfortunately, one senator is NOT completely meaningless. Inhofe isn't just a Senator. He's the ranking minority member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. That means he has enormous say in any legislation on the environment. If the Senate changes hands, he becomes the chairman of that committee, and has the power to singlehandedly stop any legislation to do anything about climate change. He would also have significant power to introduce legislation to dismantle any regulatory framework, and the ability to hassle executive branch agencies with subpoenas (and has shown a willingness to use it).

The committee structure of the US Congress puts enormous power in the hands of a few individuals. And the ones with the biggest axes to grind try to end up in prominent positions: the House Committee on Science and Technology is packed with people who aren't just climate change denialists, but creationists to boot.

Comment Yes, publicity means privacy in this context. (Score 1) 207

The right of publicity is essentially the right to control commercial use of one's name, likeness, and reputation. It is the right not to be exploited for sensationalist profit. Is the right to control what words people try to put in your mouth -- what people try to claim that you endorse or support. This is part right now that people are railing against -- the notion that profit trumps speech.

However, there's another side to the publicity coin, and that's the right to be left alone. The right not to have one's likeness and life drug through the public eye without some kind of public merit. It's based on the notion that we have a natural right as to how and whether aspects of our lives are communicated to the public. It's very closely related to the doctrines behind prohibiting slander and libel. That side is very much about privacy.

The general causes for action under the notion of right of publicity are:
1) Intrusion upon physical solitude.
2) Public disclosure of private facts.
3) Depiction in a false light.
4) Appropriation of name and likeness.

While this case is about #4, #1-3 are essential privacy rights, and while the EFF is not arguing against them, I worry that weakening appropriation weakens false light, disclosure, and intrusion torts.

As to the case at hand, in general, commercial speech gets the lowest protection by the First Amendment. Privacy trumps profitable speech, but much like defamation law, the protections weaken the more political and public your life is and the closer the speech comes to political or academic speech, until it comes to the point that politicians essentially have no right of publicity, which is frankly the way it should be.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

9th Circuit Court Elevates Celebrity Privacy Rights Over Video Game Portrayals 207

The EFF posted a biting response to yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling that heavily weights celebrities' right to privacy, and construes that right very broadly. From the EFF summary of the case: "The plaintiff, Sam Keller, brought the case to challenge Electronic Art (EA)'s use of his likeness in its videogame NCAA Football. This game includes realistic digital avatars of thousands of college players. The game never used Keller’s name, but it included an avatar with his jersey number, basic biographical information, and statistics. Keller sued EA claiming that the game infringed his right of publicity — an offshoot of privacy law that gives a person the right to limit the public use of her name, likeness and/or identity for commercial purposes. ... Two judges on the panel found that EA’s depiction of Keller was not transformative. They reasoned that the 'use does not qualify for First Amendment protection as a matter of law because it literally recreates Keller in the very setting in which he has achieved renown.'" The piece later notes that this reasoning "could impact an extraordinary range of protected speech."

Comment Re:*Yawn* Seen it before a dozen times. (Score 1) 506

These are well known authors and broadcasters who have an audience.

It's easy to find an audience when you speak to people's fears and biases. It's the secret that all demagogues have relied on for centuries.

They confirm in their own way what translation services like MEMRI point out, that anti semitisim and political Sharia are being widely promoted in Islamic culture.

Well that's a sentence with enough ambiguities to cover just about anything.

What is anti-Semitism? Is it virulent hatred of the Jewish people (e.g. Holocaust denial or even praise)? Is it merely opposition to the settlement and occupation policies of the state of Israel and/or sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians? Is it some place in between? Almost invariably, you will find views *somewhere* on that spectrum in most Muslim communities, but whether or not they rise to anti-Semitism depends on how you define it. While I have not personally read her work, it seems that she's taken a stance that Israel is the "good guys" in what, IMHO, is a conflict with no such thing. (Which I find baffling given her father was assassinated by the IDF -- maybe I should read her if for no other reason that to find out how on Earth that happened.)

As for political sharia, it's worth noting that advocacy for sharia as a legal system does not inherently require violent struggle any more than communism did. It is also worth noting that many of the people who do advocate for sharia also advocate for achieving it violently. However, that's also true of people who wish to see this country run by Biblical law. (See, e.g. Dominion theology.)

And lastly, there's a geographic spread on this. It's true that advocacy for violent overthrow of government to establish an Islamic state that would seek the destruction of Israel is a prominent theme in the Middle East. But I seriously doubt it's pervasive in U.S. mosques to the point that your original post suggests.

So in short, your sentence is true in some or even many cases and yet misleading if you intend it to apply to all Muslims, including all of those living in the West. And Nonie Darwish goes far too far in claiming that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim.

You have to read what these women say, why and how they explain how they come to their point of view.

Oh I will, and I have read many heart-rending testimonials. But one must consider the source and the fact that significant personal biases may have arisen from a given author's tragic backstory, and one must consider the possibility that the author has an agenda, whether public or selfish. I have a bit of skepticism towards an author that is reputed to have such a one-sided presentation of the other side, and I also have misgivings in the way that people can take even an unbiased account and interject their own biases into it upon reading it. Many of the "Christian" books I read as a child and teen were full of outright lies, urban legends, and telephone-game rumors masking as God-inspired truth. I have what I consider a healthy sense of skepticism when a book comes out and tries to paint the other side as inherently evil and distrustful. The world is far grayer than a lot of people like to believe.

Comment Re:The "Party of Lincoln," and the Southern Strate (Score 2) 506

Thank you for the links. My morning meeting is nearing its end, so I'll have to keep this shorter than this (especially the third link might merit). In order:

1) Yes, the shift did in fact start earlier than the 1960s. The Republican could not have capitalized on purely racial issues. Just as they could not purely rest on social issues like abortion in the 1980s or terrorism in the 2000s. The economic factor is important, but perhaps overstated when compared to the equal prosperity of white Northerners and the grow of wealth in the West, who have either stayed liberal or drifted libertarian. Perhaps most importantly for the question of whether or not Republicans shun racism, the author himself also acknowledges that the GOP did deliberately target racial politics. He just argues that economics was more important.

2) Whitewashing Nixon is an ongoing exercise. Nixon was an interesting and cunning politician. Desegregation happened under his watch, but it happened with him dragging his feet. He ordered Attorney General John Mitchell to pursue a "go-slow" policy. He didn't reverse himself on this until 1970, but by that time he had already gotten Chief Justice Burger on the Court, whose majority decision in Swann limited actions against segregation to those invidiously motivated (i.e. deliberately) to enforce racial division. Before that, he had proposed laws blocking bussing, and supported letting the state courts handle Voting Rights Act cases.

3) This one is the best of the lot. I have addressed many of the points it raises above and in the previous post, even in the words of the people who were planning Republican electoral strategy, but it does raise a few points that I think deserve a response. My main objection is his readiness to dismiss "coding" of messages with racist and non-racist appeal as a phantasm. The overt racism of the 1950s is largely dead (outside of some vocal outliers, as seen in 2008). There is too much of a stigma. However, more subtle bias and distrust is rife still. You see it often in policies that just "happen to" disadvantage minorities and that look down on poorer minorities as somehow deserving their lot in life. That all they need is "tough love," "law and order," and "weaning off the government dole," i.e. crappier and crappier treatment. Is it any wonder minorities believe Republicans are out to get them?

4) Absolutely fascinating. I didn't know much about Goldwater the man as much as Goldwater the candidate. I find it kind of sad that he got in bed with the devil there if those were his honest beliefs about segregation. (But it's indisputable that he did, what with letting Strom Thurmond stump for him.) Anyway, thank you for that article.

Comment Re:The "Party of Lincoln," and the Southern Strate (Score 2) 506

I do notice you don't actually address my points directly. You can't argue that the Republicans were form as slavery abolitionists, so you misdirect. You can't argue that the KKK were created by Democrat populace, so you misdirect.

I addressed your core point directly: the idea that Republicans are all true egalitarians and that Democrats have unfairly tarnished them as racists when they were the racists is shown to be utter bunk when you review the last 50 years of politics. I have directly quoted Republican party election strategists on the issue of how they used racial identity politics to try to capture the (at the time) larger white vote by sacrificing the minority vote, and you claim I haven't addressed the point. How exactly aren't the words of Nixon's and Reagan's campaign strategist failing to address your core premise?

Yes, the founders of the KKK were Democrats. Yes, the abolitionist movement found its place in the Republican Party at the time of the Civil War. But so what? What bearing does that have on modern Republicans? I guarantee you every KKK sympathizer I grew up near was and still is a hardcore Republican.

It doesn't matter how noble the Party was in the 19th century if you're trying to claim that they still have the same nobility of purpose today, because that is an utter lie. The Republican Party of the 19th century was the socially liberal party. The Democratic Party of the 19th century was the socially conservative party. The political lines over issues were radically different back then. In fact, the modern economic leftist movement had its roots in socially right-wing, agrarians. (The Populists, William Bryan Jennings, etc.) Also, the parties tolerated far higher diversity of political positions (which would die during the 1960s-1990s period).

You cannot just simply read history up until the point you like and then just ignore the uncomfortable 50 or so years after that. Maybe, maybe you can argue that 21st century Republicans have eschewed the racism of the past, though I think it's pretty clear from the 2008 election and resulting uptick in white supremacist activity, the birther "movement" and talk of Obama as a "secret Muslim," and from rhetoric surrounding immigration that racial fearmongering is still continuing in the Atwater model.

But you cannot ignore the 1960s-1990s. That is the time of Nixon and Reagan and cynical pandering to Southern whites. That is the time of Strom Thurmond and of David Duke, in which racist Democrats found their party would no longer tolerate them, but that the Republicans would welcome them with open arms. And the policies continue to today with anti-immigrant rhetoric, cutting short early voting specifically to stop black church Sunday voting drives, cheering the defeat of the Voting Rights Act (and turning around and passing overtly discriminatory laws in Republican-controlled states like South Carolina), etc.

Fortunately, the user "cold fjord" has used his/her excellent knowledge to furnish you with links. At least check them out please, before dismissing them out-of-hand.

Glad to. That will be my next post, in response to his.

Comment *Yawn* Seen it before a dozen times. (Score 1) 506

Oh pffsssh. Every decade or so, there's a book from some Christian convert about how secretly the group they were formerly a member of is actually two-faced. "Oh, they seem nice when you get to know them, but *actually* they are practicing hate / debauched sex / devil worship / etc. behind closed doors, which *you* will never be able to see, but you can totally trust *me* because I've been there. And I've usually got some sort of insider connection to make me totally credible."

It's inevitably complete bullshit. (See, e.g., Ergun Caner)

I remember as a kid hearing from the crazier members of my church that ouija boards can contact demons, that people who play D&D are members of satanic cults, that communists teach children not to believe in God by making them pray to God and then the government and giving them a cookie when they do the latter, that the Catholic Church is secretly a Babylonian cult, that modern mainstream Mormons practice blood atonement and have secret assassination squads, etc. etc.

It's amazing what utter nonsense people can be sold on about people different from them. This sort of "they seem nice, but behind closed doors...!" slander is the worst sort of lie, because it's completely unverifiable, and it justifies turning blinders to any signs that the accusation isn't right.

Comment The "Party of Lincoln," and the Southern Strategy (Score 4, Insightful) 506

The Republican party doesn't want to coddle minorities because it believes that minorities are just as capable as the majority, and believes that introducing dependence perpetuates problems. The Democrats want to keep dependency going because they get to harvest votes (instead of the cotton they used to get). Yes, this is surprising news to you that the *Republicans* believe in true equality regardless of race - but that is the history if you care to look.

The sad thing is that I think you've actually convinced yourself of that. That the political parties are now as they have always been, and that the Republicans are still the "Party of Lincoln."

No, if you really look at the history, you see people like Strom Thurmond and his fellow Dixiecrats who left the Democratic Party to become Republicans in the wake of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You see Nixon and the Southern strategy. As Kevin Phillips, Nixon's political strategist said at the time:

"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that...but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."

The mid 20th century was a transition time in which the Democrats split over the issue of segregation v. equality. Thurmond's Dixiecrats feuded with the rising liberalism in the party, and the end result was that most Southern Democrats were replaced with equally racist Southern Republicans -- at least the ones that didn't just switch parties themselves. It would be the Republican party that would squeeze out its pro-equality members over the next few decades, not the Democrats. As LBJ is said to have told an aide upon signing the Civil Rights Act, ""We have lost the South for a generation." It was the Democrats who made the political sacrifice to do what's right on race. And it was the Republicans who made the cold, amoral decision to pander to racists to gain their votes.

Although it was then-Democrat George Wallace who first linked popularized the connection between racist policies and states rights, it was Republican Barry Goldwater who ran with the idea and became the first Republican candidate to win the South with Reconstruction. Nixon's subsequent campaign on "states rights" and "law and order," all under the guidance of Harry S. Dent, was well understood by Southerners to mean support for racially biased policies. As Lee Atwater said:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' -- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me â" because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'"

The only reason Republicans pretend to care today is because the political landscape has changed, and the failure of Mitt Romney to defeat Barack Obama because of half a century of burning their bridges with blacks and a quarter of a century of doing so with Hispanics, combined with shifting racial demographics as whites are on schedule to no longer be a majority means that appealing only to whites is political suicide.

This isn't principles or long held beliefs in true equality. This is nothing more but the same cold, amoral calculation that it's no longer Kevin Phillips' era, and if you want to know why it's falling on deaf ears, it's because minorities in this country have spend so long hearing "dependence" and "personal responsibility" and "47 percent" and knowing that what the speaker really means is, "Nigger, nigger."

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