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Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 897

I wasn't aware Hillary Clinton had been accused of sex crimes, do tell. And apparently some of the women Trump thought loved him grabbing their genitals weren't quite so impressed.

As to the Bush-Gore issues, there were actual physical problems with the Florida ballots, in other words, there was reason for Gore to seek clarification. It wasn't simply because Gore lost.

And this whole "MSM are part of the lizard conspiracy" is getting tiring. The only reason Trump is even where he is is because the press has given him so much oxygen, and he's risen to the challenge at every occasion. Every single time something appears that might damage Clinton, Trump, who seems neurologically incapable of not having the headline, says something idiotic or outrageous.

Nobody ever thought he had a chance. That he's doing as well as he is is quite phenomenal, and does suggest that if Republicans had picked a real candidate, instead of a reality TV star, they'd probably be sailing to victory right now, and wouldn't be facing not just another four years outside the Oval Office, but the potential of losing the Senate (and possibly a weakened position in the House). Quit blaming Clinton, quit blaming the press, start blaming everyone who picked a man so unsuitable for this job (or, from what I can tell, for any job).

Comment Re: great (Score 2) 157

The current research I've read seems to suggest that the first HIV infections probably happened 70 or 80 years ago. One would also imagine that the virus, not really evolved fine tuning for humans, might have exhibited more muted symptoms (or conversely, it might have been much more lethal, like some other viruses are, and burn themselves out by killing hosts too quickly). In developing countries a lot of things can kill a person before they die of an HIV infection, so it probably simply wasn't noticed until it had found its way to a country where life expectancy and general health was much higher.

Comment Re:We can date the jump into the U.S. in about 197 (Score 3, Interesting) 157

It's not suddenly, in 1979, tens of millions of gay men suddenly started showing signs of immunological deficiency. Because HIV infections take some time to develop into full blown AIDS (and that can be highly dependent on the individual), it would have taken a long time before there would be confirmation that there was something infecting gay men. And once you've established that there is some sort of sexually transmitted disease that leads to AIDS, you now have to literally pour through all sorts of tissue samples, blood samples, lymphatic samples, and so on and so on looking for the needle in the haystack. You'll probably end up going down a few false roads because many of these individuals probably had other STD infections, so you have to also be thinking "could this be some sort of mutated syphilis or hepatitis infection?"

It is largely because of diseases like AIDS and the technology developed to isolate infectious agents that we are so much better today than we were thirty or forty years ago. To judge the medical community of the early 1980s by the standards of the 21st century is absurd.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1, Insightful) 157

Lots of people have had unprotected sex through the ages. HIV infections certainly are one of the nastier STDs around, but diseases like hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea have been infecting humans for thousands of years. The problem for any sexually active group in the 1960 and 1970s was that most bacterial STD infections were readily treated with penicillin, so if you got the clap, you got a prescription, cleaned yourself up and away you went. The only thing that singled gay men out more than other populations at the time were the greater risks from anal intercourse.

While there had been rumors floating around about the "gay disease" in the 1970s, it took some for doctors to isolate a probable infectious agent, so without at least some strong hint as to whether it was an STD or some other illness, what exactly could anyone told any sexually active person in the heterosexual or homosexual communities? Patient 0 and his partners would have had no idea that they were carrying an incurable viral infection, so assigning blame seems utterly idiotic. Yes, once there was strong evidence that there was a virus that was causing AIDS, the medical community was able to inform homosexual men, intravenous drug users and other vulnerable groups that they were at high risk, and could provide information on how to prevent the spread of the disease. But the "Patient 0" generation sadly did not even really know they could be infected, and in turn, infect their sexual partners.

Comment Re:Conspiracy Theories (Score 3, Interesting) 157

According to this article, the family of viruses HIV belongs to have been infecting primates for millions of years. As to HIV-1 and HIV-2, it has this to say about probable origins:

The HIV-2 strain is widely accepted to have been passed from sooty mangabeys in west Africa to humans, probably bushmeat hunters or those keeping the primates as pets, or both. Scientists believe HIV-1 was passed from chimpanzees to humans.

So what we likely have is a couple of events, unlikely in and of themselves, but where there is enough interspecies contact, as keeping infected pets or eating infected bushmeat, that the these two related viruses managed to cross-infect. After that, the viruses would have quickly have evolved to their new hosts (which really are pretty damned closely related to the old hosts).

Comment Re:Russia is preparing for a Trump win I see... (Score 0) 897

He can't even stay on topic for more than 30 seconds, and appears to have an overall ability to remain calm of about 30 minutes. He isn't really even suitable to run businesses, and I expect that the reality is that he doesn't run his own businesses at all.

At any rate, he's going to lose. Even if Clinton loses Florida, she's still got at least five other ways to win, whereas Trump has to pretty much win all the battleground states. Simply put, it isn't going to happen.

Comment Re:Russia is preparing for a Trump win I see... (Score 2) 897

The entire purpose of nukes in the modern age is as an existential and territorial guarantee. They are not offensive weapons, because to use them as such would lead to the much dreaded nuclear war. Countries with nuclear weapons and a reasonable delivery system, or countries who are under a nuclear power's nuclear shield, simply won't be invaded. If Ukraine had been a NATO member, there wouldn't be a Russian-backed civil war and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine, but because it gave up its arsenal for a now clearly useless guarantee of territorial integrity, and because it didn't join NATO like a number of its former Warsaw Pact neighbors did, it could easily become Russia's plaything.

A large Nuclear weapon has a lot of collateral damage. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki didn't need to happen, but the Americans convinced us that it was necessary when really only the first bomb was necessary, because that's when the Japanese and the Russians threw a panic.

This I completely disagree with. The Allies demanded unconditional surrender from Japan, just like they had from Germany. The Allies refused to accept Admiral Donitz's Flensburg Government as a de facto or de jour government, so why would they have accepted any wartime Japanese ministry? After the Hiroshima bomb, the Japanese cabinet still refused the unconditional surrender, attempting rather for a conditional armistice and surrender. The US refused absolutely, just as the Allies had done when the Flensburg Government had tried to make overtures. Even after the Nagasaki attack, a group of Japanese officers took part in an abortive attempt to kidnap the Emperor before he could command his government to surrender unconditionally.

It is a myth that Japan was ready to unconditionally surrender before either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Comment Re:The size of France? (Score 1) 897

Well, of course the claim is absurd. The only thing that could destroy such a big area would be a dinosaur killer asteroid, which would, of course, cause mass extinction all over the planet, including possibly even H. sapiens.

But a large yield nuclear device detonated in France could make large areas of the country uninhabitable for quite a long time, as well, as spreading radioactive fallout for tens of thousands of square miles.

Now, of course, striking a NATO country would inevitably lead to retaliation. Both France and the US have nuclear arsenals, and while France's is relatively small, it is certainly enough to do some significant harm to Russia, and the US, of course, has more than enough firepower at its disposal to do some nasty harm. Naturally this would lead to a near-universal conflagration which would likely lead to major geopolitical instability.

Which is why, of course, neither Russia or the United States are going to be lobbing nukes at each other or at each other's allies, and why, even if Clinton were to institute a no-fly zone in Syria, and Russian or American jets got into a firefight, while it would certainly lead to some pretty angry outbursts, isn't going to see World War 3.

We've been down this road before. The West and Russia spent forty years staring each other down, with some pretty close near misses like the Cuban Missile Crisis, and there was no WWIII. The idea that Russia, so much weaker in every respect than the USSR, represents that kind of threat is absurd. The USSR had some ability at force projection, whereas for Russia, Syria is just about the outer limit. Whether the Russians like it or not, the US has largely downgraded it to regional power, and its chief long-term concerns are now China.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1, Informative) 897

You mean he didn't say he grabbed women's genitals? You mean he didn't praise Putin?

As Alec Baldwin's Trump said, "The media is biased against me because they report what I say and what I do."

The fact is that the only reason Trump is where he is is because of tens of millions of dollars of free advertising. Even now, as it becomes clearer and clearer his bid is doomed, you still see news outlets talking as if he had a hope in hell, invoking the silliness of the past, like "skewed polls" and legions of "shy Trump voters", trying to create the impression that he still represents a threat to Clinton.

Meanwhile, on the ground, he still doesn't have a ground game, less than two weeks before votes are cast, and Hillary is so confident that she's not even really battling him any more, and is turning her attention to taking Congress.

And let me guess, when the inevitable happens and he crashes and burns, you snivel and whine about how the "press is biased" or invoke some moronic claim of rigged elections.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 897

Look up "Pan-Slavism". While its most pronounced iteration was in late-era Czarist Russia, the Communists quickly adopted it as an operating paradigm, and just considered any Slavic-speaking population anywhere in Eastern and Central Europe to be under its jurisdiction, and while modern Russia, largely due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, did lose control of many of its old Warsaw Pact "partners", it is doing everything it can to hang on to what's left, including invading two sovereign states to "protect" the Russian-speaking populations (sound familiar, eh, some things never change).

Russia has had the biggest baddest nuke before, but it still didn't give it military superiority.

Comment Re:Reminder: CO2 is good, not bad, for environment (Score 1) 365

The jump here was you invoking a talking point I suspect even you know moronic.

Do you seriously think plants can just magically absorb vast amounts of CO2? If you do, then you are an idiot. If you don't believe it, then why repeat a demonstrably ludicrous meme?

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