The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Little Stuff (for a busy day).

Here's a documentary on the Canadian healthcare system. It is decidedly against said system, and it is just as balanced as an average Michael Moore doc, which is to say, not at all. Still it tells some tales worth telling.

Here's a fun fact about China. Wow.

This is just gross. I warned you.

Anyone need use of a "Free Speech Zone?" There are just a few minor catches:

Among other things, the county requires each group to have a $500,000 insurance policy to cover liability...

Some groups may have also been put off by another clause in the county's policy requiring that the content of each display undergo review by county officials. Displays cannot include any profanity or pornography, commercial speech or lights or sound effects, the policy says.

In the words of Inigo Montoya,

That word you keep using. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The Coyote Blog notes a fun new proposal in California (up for a referenda vote):

Proposition 79 seeks to capitalize on public outrage over high drug prices by creating a new big government program that would supposedly mandate drug discounts for low-income Californians.

It turns out that the initiative contains a little-noticed provision that will allow private trial lawyers to sue drug companies for the new tort of "profiteering in prescription drugs." Under this sneaky provision, which will be effective immediately even if the drug discount program is never implemented (Federal approval is required), drug makers would be prohibited from demanding "an unconscionable price" or demanding "prices or terms that lead to any unjust and unreasonable profit." These terms are not defined anywhere in the initiative or elsewhere in state or federal law, so your guess as to what these terms mean is probably as good as mine. A violation of this new offense would carry a minimum fine of $100,000 or triple the amount of damages (whichever is greater) plus court costs and legal fees.

Oh good. That won't screw up drug development at all. Is this any better than the Fed not funding stem cell research? That reminds me. Check out this article in Forbes by Virginia Postrel:

U.S. scientists and their supporters tend to assume biomedical research is threatened by know-nothings on religious crusades. But as the Canadian law illustrates, the long-term threat to genetic research comes less from the religious right than from the secular left. Canada's law forbids all sorts of genetic manipulations, many of them currently theoretical. It's a crime, for instance, to alter inheritable genes.

And the law has provisions the fabled religious right never even talks about. It's a crime to pay a surrogate mother or to make or accept payment for arranging a surrogate. It's a crime to pay egg or sperm donors anything more than "receipted expenses," like taxi fares. Since eggs are used not just in fertility treatments but in research, this prohibition stifles both.

Read the whole thing.

Here's Mike Seaver on evolution. Ed Brayton addresses all of the former Growing Pains star's points as only Ed can.

Here's a midweek Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon, from 2002.

Here's a list of hockey's new rules (from the Onion).

And here's the erstwhile TMQ:

Stats of the Week No. 9: Washington has not beaten an AFC team in more than two years.

And finally, a big "screw you" to the officials who decided to review Mike Anderson's touchdown at the end of the first half of the Denver/New England game on Sunday, which cost me a game in my fantasy league. First of all, I still think he scored. Second, there was certainly no indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call of a touchdown. Third, it delayed the game for about 15 minutes, and resulted in the Broncos having the ball on the 3-inch line on second down, instead of a touchdown. They proceeded to score on the next play with a pass to the fullback.

That game took forever. Reviews galore, several injuries, and a silly use of timeouts caused halftime of that game to occur at 5:00 PM CST. There is no way that Bill Belichik would have challenged the call (It appeared to be a TD, and he has stated his opposition to the lack of a goal line camera, and protested by refusing to challenge such plays). That's enough of that.

Have a nice day!


  • You forgot to mention how Phil Simms wrongly said it doesn't matter if Anderson's elbow is down, then conveniently forgot he had ever said that and called the ref's ruling correct when the ref contradicted him.

    Regarding the drug price thing, I certainly don't think the potential to be sued is anywhere near as much of an infringement on research as the ban on stem cell research. A drug company that feels the need to charge huge prices for a drug it has recently patented might refuse to sell it at all in California, though. But the drug companies make plenty of profits in other countries where they charge significantly less for the exact same drugs, often manufactured and bottled in the exact same plants. Not to say I support the California law, but the drug companies sure would have a better case for charging what the market will bear if they didn't agree to reduced prices in every single country except the United States.

    By Blogger MDS, at 5:02 PM  

  • They have a Real Doll at the NYC Museum of Sex (MOSEX). It's freaking scary:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM  

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