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I'd say that any dinosaur-related government or political situation is
completely on point. Saying "it's at least as relevant as (fill in the
silly meeble here)" is not relevant. UFOs had nothing to do with the study
of dinosaurs. But the study of dinosaurs is directly affected when
        the US government deprives BHI of the fruits of its labors, 
damaging (and possibly losing) the specimen in question,
        or when the US government makes (or changes) rules on collecting, 
as it seems about to do,
        or when the Chinese government makes (or changes) rules on 
collecting, as it has done,
        or when the Australian government says (as I understand it) that
a particular incredible opalized specimen may NOT be removed from Australia,
because it's a national treasure, but if no museum within Australia buys
it, it CAN be broken up to make opal jewelry,
        or when the political situation in a given country becomes so 
unstable that it is no longer possible to collect there,
        or when a museum is overrun by war and unique specimens are destroyed.

All these are situations in which our field of interest is DIRECTLY
affected by political issues. Who knows? We might even be able to make a 

I think it's wrong to say "no politics." Sometimes political questions 
are relevant. But it's reasonable to insist on the same degree of 
civility in political discussion that we have in everything else. I have 
seen some pretty intense disagreement with regard to issues of nomenclature,
speculations on behavior, cladistics, and so on, but only in the political
discussions do we descend to the insult direct. That's certainly a reason
to dislike such discussions, but let's not throw out the baby with the

 Steve Jackson - yes, of SJ Games - yes, we won the Secret Service case
Learn Web or die - http://www.io.com/sjgames/ - dinosaurs, Lego, Kahlua!
          The heck with PGP keys; finger for Geek Code. Fnord.