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Comment Re:What is treason? (Score 1) 99

The post war Saudi Arabia adjustments on liberty and modernization provoked by the Iraq war (the Kingdom's answer to the question "if the Iraqis can vote, why can't we") likely also preserves the KSA fields under a geopolitically reasonable regime. We've paid the piper already and are just starting to reap the benefits, if we don't sabotage the current success in a snit (like Congress' refusal to give air support and fund S. Vietnam's munitions needs in 1974-5).

Comment Re:What is treason? (Score 1) 99

If you trust Wikipedia on controversial political matters, you're naive beyond belief. But just for fun, the Saddam launched Iran-Iraq war killed 1.3 million (using high estimates and adding both sides casualties just like the high counts do to the US in this conflict). That's twice the unbelievably high and already discredited Lancet figures. So believe Lancet or not but apples to apples please.

Comment Re:Massacre or fight for freedom (Score 1) 99

Did those 200 deaths include the girls that Uday Hussein make dissapear after he'd finished with them? I think not. Did those 'peacetime' deaths include the deaths from diverting medicines for the people under Saddam to regime stabilization toys like Playstations for the kids of the ruling class? Of course not. AI is lying with statistics. A lot of people are. Apples to apples please.

Comment Re:What is treason? (Score 1) 99

You don't even understand what treason is. Riddle me this, what other country would Aaron Burr have been serving were he convicted in his treason trial?

In case you didn't notice, nobody's going after the NY Times for disseminating state secrets. The only conviction lately seems to have been Scooter Libby's perjury conviction even though it was not Libby but Armitage that first blabbed about Plame.

Burr was in part acquitted because there were no two witnesses available to document his treason in court. We have a very high standard in this country against treason prosecutions (with good reason on the basis of past bad practice in England). You're going down a road that, while perfectly legal, is profoundly unamerican.

The Iraq war, if the present Iraqi republic does not devolve into a tyranny, will have destroyed Israel's claim to be the only Mid East democracy. It already has generated more productive political evolution in Saudi Arabia than 5 previous decades of US constructive engagement, and it has created a profoundly dangerous religious situation for Iran's ugly mullahs who have, in Sistani, an opponent who fundamentally thinks them heretics and who is quietly taking their theological regime apart from the inside.

Was our invasion of Iraq a bad war? Possibly. It does tend to look a bit better if you have a reasonably informed view of the benefits we are currently reaping and which I hope the current administration does not throw away.

Comment Re:DRM when your life is at stake? (Score 3, Insightful) 403

Just finished listening to the latest econtalk podcast and they covered this very thing. The majority of the sunk cost in bringing a drug to market is in the clinical trials. You could get rid of patents on drugs by simply requiring any competing manufacturer who wanted to make the same drug to buy out the original drug company's clinical trials investment. Let's say the first company spent $800M on those trials. Somebody else wants to make the drug? No problem, pony up $400M and you now have two manufacturers. Subsequent companies also pay $400M but it gets split up among the prior license holders.

It's an ingenious way to spread the costs so drug innovation continues without patents.

Comment Re:I believe in free market capitalism (Score 1) 403

Actually, the monopolies exist because of unserious politicians. Intellectual property exists in the US Constitution because it was viewed as an acceptable betrayal of principle in order to promote innovation for the public good. It's one of the less odious of those sorts of things (the worst being, of course slavery) but it is a compromise on the principles of liberty this country was founded on.

If US politicians were serious, we'd be having periodic reviews aimed at deciding if it was time to ditch the compromise entirely and live our principles or adjust the terms to maximize public good. Right now we're clearly tilted way off the original idea.

Comment Re:Prediction (Score 2, Interesting) 403

In the US, factions coalesce into parties before the election. We elect a government. In parliamentary systems, each faction goes on its own and negotiates a majority after the election under the common use case they can't do one on their own.

It's not self-evident that coalitions before voting are worse or better than coalitions after voting.

Comment Re:Insightful? Mods on crack? (Score 1) 1186

In case you haven't noticed warming's stopped the last dozen or so years and we've actually started to get colder the last two. How many IPCC models predicted that? Zero?

A little humility might be in order on the part of the AGW crew. We've got a big puzzler that both we've got major ocean cycles going negative for the first time in quite a while and the sun basically shutting down between cycle 23 and 24 while at the same time this pause in warming. Maybe all three are coincidental. Maybe not. But it's not science but scientism to ignore new evidence. Trying to freeze consensus to the state of knowledge of a few years ago and ignoring the end of warming for the time being is politics masquerading as science and is doing real damage to science in general.

That sucks.

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