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  1. #1456
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Anti–free-market crony capitalism is keeping green Tesla electric cars out of ConnecticutNew York Times:

    Using a different argument, the National Automobile Dealers Association claimed franchise laws “keep prices competitive and low.” However, a 2009 paper by an economist at the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division instead concluded that “car customers would benefit from elimination of state bans on auto manufacturers’ making direct sales to consumers.” The paper pointed to a study by a Goldman Sachs analyst in 2000 that found that direct manufacturer sales could lower costs by 8.6 percent, with most of the savings resulting from more efficient matching between consumer demand and supply, and a subsequent reduction in inventory.

    No wonder the Federal Trade Commission has criticized franchise laws as a “special protection” for these dealers — “a protection that is likely harming both competition and consumers.”

    The battle between Tesla and car dealers is echoed in other industries. The hotel industry has started a “multipronged, national campaign” to counter the short-term rental company Airbnb, which now has a valuation on par with Marriott International. And, facing stiff competition from Uber and Lyft, taxi associations are suing to block their ride-hailing rivals.

    The failure to legalize direct sales by Tesla is a testament to how archaic laws stifle entrepreneurship and limit consumer choice. If America wants to combat climate change, it needs to take on bottleneckers and change its climate for innovation.
    So let me see if I have this straight:
    • People are born male but can change to female.
    • People are born white but can change to black.
    • People are born homosexual but can never change.

    Makes perfect sense I guess …

  2. #1457
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    So let me see if I have this straight:
    • People are born male but can change to female.
    • People are born white but can change to black.
    • People are born homosexual but can never change.

    Makes perfect sense I guess …

  3. #1458
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    The Charlie Gard case appears to be over:
    Charlie Gard’s parents were told that their son had irreversible brain damage after he suffered seizures before Christmas, but they did not believe it. They maintained that an MRI scan in January showed the brain was normal. That has been the crux of the difference between parents and the hospital. Connie Yates and Chris Gard, bolstered by the opinions of doctors in other countries who had not seen their child, believed treatment was possible. Their hopes came to an end at the weekend, after Michio Hirano, the US neurologist who had offered an experimental drug therapy, finally accepted an invitation that had been open since Christmas to come to London and see Charlie. He was expected to explain in court the new evidence that he said suggested nucleoside bypass therapy (NBT) could help Charlie. Instead, the parents’ lawyer stood up to say they were ending their legal fight. He stated that Charlie’s muscle wastage meant it was too late to treat him. But Hirano, who had not seen Charlie, the scans or the medical notes when he made a first appearance in court on 13 July, had been shown new imaging of the brain damage that Great Ormond Street hospital (Gosh) had always said was irreversible.
    So we can (hopefully) all now agree that the dispute had absolutely nothing to do with socialised medicine. The private US specialist, once he saw the data that the UK NHS doctors were relying on, agreed with them completely. There's no good outcome here, but at least Charlie has been spared the pain that a useless trip to the US would have inflicted on him.

  4. #1459
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Rather, because of the long delays caused by the hospital keeping Charlie prisoner, Charlie's condition deteriorated to beyond the point where he could be helped.

    So yes, it is an indictment of socialized medicine in that the hospital acted as if it owned the child, so parents were not even allowed to try a potentially life-saving treatment.
    So let me see if I have this straight:
    • People are born male but can change to female.
    • People are born white but can change to black.
    • People are born homosexual but can never change.

    Makes perfect sense I guess …

  5. #1460
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Rather, because of the long delays caused by the hospital keeping Charlie prisoner, Charlie's condition deteriorated to beyond the point where he could be helped.
    Rubbish! The report clearly says that the UK doctors wanted the US doctor to examine Charlie six months earlier: "Their hopes came to an end at the weekend, after Michio Hirano, the US neurologist who had offered an experimental drug therapy, finally accepted an invitation that had been open since Christmas to come to London and see Charlie." Why would they do that if they wanted to keep Charlie prisoner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    So yes, it is an indictment of socialized medicine in that the hospital acted as if it owned the child, so parents were not even allowed to try a potentially life-saving treatment.
    They were not allowed to subject their child to an extremely painful trip to the US - there was no problem with the treatment.

    If this rubbish is the best argument right-wingers have against 'socialised medicine', it's no wonder that it's so popular everywhere

  6. #1461
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I listened to a radio ethics item about the Gard case and I had quite a bit of sympathy for the parents. In the case of possibly flying the child overseas for experimental treatment, the child is so young that if it experiences pain it very probably doesn't remember it, and if this offers even a slim chance of recovery to a state with any quality of life then why not take it. On the other hand the child may have been too impaired to experience anything, in which case the reasons for not allowing the trip become even weaker. I understand the trip was to have been privately funded. The "dignity" argument seemed very weak to me - if the child had any quality of life at all and any capability of desiring a better life then why not take it, and if it didn't then, well really, who cares.

    However it seems now that it would have all been futile anyway and that the parents may have been misinformed.

    Apparently my life was in serious danger at about age one from a knee condition (not sure how that works). Presumably this was extremely uncomfortable for me at the time but I never remembered any of it.

  7. #1462
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Petronas did Canada a favour. Just ask Australia
    The Globe and Mail
    3.8.17

    ...The outcome was a madcap construction boom that puts the Klondike gold rush to shame. Close to $200-billion (Australian) was spent on LNG projects over the next several years. In Queensland, three massive plants were built at the same time, on the same island. The impact of this mayhem on construction costs was both enormous, and predictable. The mother of all cost overruns was racked up at Chevron’s Gorgon plant offshore Western Australia. Its final price-tag (a whopping $72-billion) was almost 50 per cent over budget. (Just imagine the recriminations if any public sector agency ever blew through its budget by a similar margin.)

    The short-lived boom affected the whole course of Australia’s economy, generating inflation, putting upward pressure on interest rates, and contributing to a skyrocketing currency – that in turn sparked massive deindustrialization (including the complete shutdown of Australia’s auto industry). The plants are now on stream (though most have suffered repeated operational breakdowns), long before a single shovel hits dirt in Canada’s LNG play. A triumph of free-market efficiency, right?

    Well, not exactly. Because after construction started, Asian gas prices fell by two-thirds (not surprising given all that coming new capacity), way below break-even levels. All the plants are bleeding red ink; writedowns already exceed $10-billion for the Queensland plants. With construction work done, just a few hundred workers remain to operate the plants. One-time boom towns have been left with a massive hangover, including collapsed housing prices.

    But it’s not just gas producers paying for this enormous miscalculation. Every Australian energy consumer is also paying. Unlike Canada, gas exporters don’t have to prove that exports are surplus to domestic needs. Hence domestic prices more than doubled with the diversion of so much supply to exports; electricity prices also skyrocketed (because of gas-fired generation costs). Government isn’t reaping any benefit, since the sweet royalty deals inked to accelerate LNG projects require virtually no royalty payments until capital investments have been paid off. That will likely never happen – meaning Australians effectively gave away this gas (without royalties) to Asian consumers, many of whom now pay less for it than Aussies do....

  8. #1463
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Apparently my life was in serious danger at about age one from a knee condition (not sure how that works). Presumably this was extremely uncomfortable for me at the time but I never remembered any of it.
    I read in Scientific American that up to the age of about five, children can remember traumatic events from their earlier childhood, but that they lose these memories as they age.

    EDIT:The article is online here. It says:
    Some evidence suggests that young children do have episodic memories of their infancy but lose them later. A six-year-old, for instance, can remember events from before her first birthday, but by adolescence, she has probably forgotten that celebration. In other words, young children can likely make long-term-like memories, but these memories typically fade after a certain age or stage of brain development. Memories made in later childhood and beyond are more likely to stick because the young brain, especially the hippocampus and the frontoparietal regions, undergoes important developmental changes that improve our ability to bind, store and recall events.
    Last edited by Patrick Byrom; 05-08-2017 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Reference added.

  9. #1464
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    I read in Scientific American that up to the age of about five, children can remember traumatic events from their earlier childhood, but that they lose these memories as they age.
    That is interesting. Maybe there's a lot of variation. In my own case, my earliest clear memory dates from just before age three. Not only that, but I can remember being aware that that was my earliest clear memory within a few years afterwards, so probably at five or six. It is like everything before that was always just a blank, except that there were a small number of things shortly before that that I could vaguely remember, and be surprised I could vaguely remember, when reminded of them by others.

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