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About Mauvka

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    Landed Knight
  • Birthday July 22

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  1. I think this would run into problems because the process of getting a drug to market really does cost millions of dollars. However, if the NIH were to run a program where they would front the costs of putting on clinical trials in exchange for a licensing agreement that stipulated reasonable price controls (and profit sharing to keep the program solvent), then we might have a noncoercive method to put price pressure on the medical system. Because if there is a government sponsored drug for 1/100th the price on the market, that would put real pressure on pharma. And so much of basic research is already paid for by the public.
  2. On the subject of Obamacare reforms not working out quite as planned, I found this report to be both horrifying and of interest. Obamacare has made it illegal for insurers to discriminate over preexisting conditions. A group from Harvard bring forth the claim that insurers went around this by making their plans particularly shitty for patients with specific diagnoses to discourage them from signing up. They focused their report on access to HIV medications, and claim that insurers specifically excluded core drugs from all but their most expensive plans. The discriminatory complaint was filed against 6 insurers in 6 states.
  3. The only hope I see for combatting this violence is that bystanders are getting the video evidence out when these atrocities happen. "I was scared" may be an excuse for a civilian to fire in a tense situation given the right circumstances. Gun carrying professional law enforcement can be trained not to jump to pushing a trigger. And the ones who cannot train to subdue their adrenaline response shouldn't be carrying lethal weapons. As it stands, every shooting by a cop who mistakenly thought he saw a threat is giving cover to a shooting by another cop who just happened to feel like hurting someone that day. One can be fixed with better policies, the other is criminal. And both need to be eradicated.
  4. I view voting to be as much about voicing one's view as it is about electing a specific candidate. At the end of the day, majority of the country lives in states that are a lock for one party alien which case, why bother voting at all, if not to send a message. So while voting third party may not have any chance of electing that candidate, if enough voters choose to support a third party over the D or R, the main parties will take notice. It sends a very clear message that you are someone who will take the time to vote, and also that neither of the main candidates earned your support.
  5. Count me in the minority, but I enjoyed the Dornish massacre. Seems to me that it would be foolish to murder Myrcella and then _not_ go though with a full coup. Also, Doran Martel was making an error in keeping his plans so close to the vest. The Dornish are an easily riled people, angry at the Lannisters, and as far as they could see, Doran was just endlessly appeasing the enemy. His killing made all the sense it needed to in my eyes.
  6. Lokisnow, Thanks for breaking down how the different kinds of taxes would impact employers vs employees. A 6% tax increase in small business payroll (for the businesses small enough to not provide health insurance already) seems like a large burden, that should only be phased in gradually if such a law were passed. Or perhaps there could be a lower rate for business under the 50- employees threshold?
  7. I find the conservative brouhaha over Trump's abortion comments to be laughably hypocritical. Otherwise, where was the prolife outrage when American women were being prosecuted under current laws for obtaining (or being suspected of having done so) self-induced abortions? I remember a few of these cases coming up on national news, and the only outrage I remember hear was from the pro-choice side, aimed at the abortion restrictions that drove many of these women to self-abort. Prosecuting Women for Self-Inducing Abortion: Counterproductive and Lacking Compassion Clearly, at least some prosecutors shared the opinion that women who self-abort should be punished according to the laws. I don't know whether this latest controversy will have an impact on Trump's support or not, but I see this clearly as very much another case of him exchanging the code-speak dog whistle of conservative politics for directly catering to what a certain segment of the Republican electorate believes. This is the party that includes Todd Akin, of the infamous "If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” line of reasoning.
  8. Altherion, that's a good write up and I agree wholeheartedly with your points. I would like to add that the NSA spystate expansion that has happened over the last two administrations occurred beyond the the levels legislated by congress, and that further extensions to such programs would be subject to influence by the presidency. I expect there to be a major difference between establishment and antiestablishment presidencies in regards to how Sanders vs Clinton may view continuation of govt spying on the American people.
  9. I could easily see him doing it for the fame, accomplishment of reaching that office, and the chance to get his name into history books
  10. To respond to the question in the last iteration of this thread, The optimist in me thinks that Trump represents a real shift in the temperament of the Republican electorate. I am heartened by the apparent disavowal of traditional conservative candidates. Compared to the recent trend of ever more fundamentalist candidates winning primaries among Republicans, it strikes me as a great change of political winds that Trump is so nonidealogical. For once, it's not all about gays, abortions, and Church. Something about how fundamentally different Trump seems from other candidates of recent years, combined with his success up to date, makes me think that the party will not be able to prevent his nomination. The pessimist in me is downright terrified of Trump getting the nomination. As much as the consensus wisdom is that he'd be destroyed in a general election, I fear that Trump taps into a real and present anger in the American electorate that is not confined to just the Republican party. And if the Democrats select Hillary as their nominee, as they still seem likely to do, I am truly worried that Trump would be able to tap into enough energy across ideological lines to win. A Hillary vs Trump general reminds me a lot of Kerry v Bush. By all objective and apparent measures, Bush was an awful president. There was talk of an "Anybody But Bush" sentiment among Democrats, as a push to get him out of the White House. But the Dems nominated a middle-of-the-road, dull, noncharismati,safe candidate, and it turned out that "Anybody But Bush" didn't actually work. And if kicking Bush out after all the mess he caused as president didn't work out, then I am worried that "Anybody But Trump" won't be any more effective, without a charismatic alternative to give people something to vote for.
  11. If Talissa ends up being actually a Volantene lady... after this episode I can actually get behind that. Now that she and Robb are actually talking to each other rather than the snarking from the earliest episodes, I'm a lot more sold on the two actors' chemistry. The description of the Volantis slave society was a nice touch foreshadowing for book 5.
  12. In defense of the Joffrey/whores scene... I think it does quite a bit more than just show the progression of his depravity. This scene solidifies why, once the Lannister/Tyrell alliance is made, Joffrey must die. Think about what we've seen of Joffrey up to this point from the perspective of a powerful family like the Tyrells: He beats up on Sansa--Well, there's bad blood between them (war and all that), and she's far more a prisoner of war than a queen. There is no reason to presume from this that the way he treats Sansa will be the way he treats Margaery. He has commoners/drunk knights tortured--again, the Tyrells would think they are above such risk. They are a powerful house, not like the rabble. He had Robert's bastards killed--an ugly order, but some may call it justified While many of these actions can be a bad PR issue for the Crown-Tyrell alliance... none are a serious threat. What Joffrey does with the whores, is. As someone above noted, a teenage boy is presented with two naked young ladies in a room... and his reaction is to have them beat each other? The mental depravity of that scene goes far beyond anything we've seen before. Margaery can never be safe married to this Joffrey. That is why the Tyrells will take on the huge huge risk of assassinating the king. Not just the king, but a Lannister king. I'm sure the Tyrells have heard the "Rains of Castamere," and they need a better reason to take that risk than "Joffrey has a mean streak." That is why we will have the Purple Wedding.
  13. Agreed. Meanwhile, we get the wolfdream of Jon-as-Ghost. Next morning Jon wakes up in the woods with a headache, talks to Mormont about seeing the white Walker but keeps mum about Craster. And the plot continues past the diversion same as in the book.
  14. Cersei's mocking jibe about the "turnip knight" may be a reference to Viscount Charles Townsend, whose exprimentation with new crops lent him the nickname "Turnip" Townsend among the nobility.