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Comment Re:Fun question: (Score 1) 351 351

Okay, stop tape.

Unless you can point to or create an objective set of criteria for those "negative externalities" and do so in a way that sets an objective price point for them? It's a nice way of saying that pollution sucks, but way too subjective to actually use fairly. I guarantee that if ever put into statute, it would fast become a club with which to punish political enemies and convenient scapegoats.

Besides, who decides what is "energy intensive"? I'm pretty sure the old folks who rely on motorized gear just to stay out of a nursing home, or a crippled kid who relies on power-hungry medical equipment just to stay alive would object to your assessment, no?

Comment Fun question: (Score 0, Offtopic) 351 351

How the hell much is this going to cost?

Note that cost has many dimensions here:
* taxes
* personal cost of having to replace bits and bobs to meet these efficiency standards
* increases in the power bill

etc...

It's nice to promise something, but has anyone run the numbers on cost to individuals and to the economy at large?

Comment Re:The Onion had it right (Score 2) 111 111

Fair cop, but consider that the same despots you cite are very active in absconding with any kind of aid that even smells like money. Outside of schools and hospitals (provided mostly by church-based charities, Catholic Relief Services chief among them)? You don't find much other types of aid reaching Africa, mostly because that shiz gets swiped by every corrupt pair of hands that can reach a piece of it.

So, unless you recommend that we re-establish colonial rule, or simply sweep through with a vast army to conquer and administer (most of) the continent as a collective UN-run organization, what exactly do you recommend?

Comment Re:The Onion had it right (Score 1) 111 111

You totally forgot the frustrating bit about actively avoiding medical personnel, because you know, the local village shaman said they were evil.

Some of it is understandable (e.g. bush meat - when you can't buy hamburger at the local grocer, you do what you have to in order to feed your family). Some of it is even semi-understandable with enough ignorance (e.g. fleeing to the US or EU because the infection you just got is a death sentence back home, but you at least have some chance of surviving it in the first world). Much of it however is not.

Comment Re:Sounds great! (Score 1) 161 161

Actually...

Here in Portland a lot of roads downtown lost square footage thanks to wide swaths of green-painted areas which are bike-only, forcing cars to concentrate themselves into fewer lanes, wearing those portions of the road out faster, etc.

Also, in many locales, bicycles do require a license anyway (mostly to assist in recovering stolen ones). Wouldn't take much to slap a tax on those bad boys, and without much overhead beyond what's already in place.

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 3, Informative) 161 161

Pfft! We get that in Portland now...

A huge percentage are frickin' snowflakes demand to be given the same rights and berth as automobiles, then blatantly violate every traffic rule there is. Worst part is when they blow off such things as, oh I dunno, signaling, then get mad when you have to slam on the brakes to avoid turning them into road pizza - then they look at you like *you* did something wrong. Then there's the complete disregard for traffic lights (oh, the light's red? Well I'm a pedestrian now, so screw you and give way as I suddenly pull out of my lane and ride across the crosswalk without warning!)

Mind you, a good share of bicyclists here are perfectly fine with obeying traffic rules, are are easy to share the road with. It's the massive percentage which behave like jackasses and (for instance) demand to use the middle lane (at 10mph) in spite of the really fat bike paths on either side of the road... the urge to turn them into road pizza gets strong, but that only makes them martyrs, and good luck getting a fair trial in this town should you hit one.

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 5, Insightful) 76 76

You gonna charge them with crating a Tsunami? One that exceeded estimates by Government Officials?

Seems they have Witch Hunts in Japan too...

The idea isn't to charge them with the cause of the disaster, but with more than a little incompetence that they displayed afterwards - not to mention the often blatant lies they told to the public during the aftermath. Examples include publicly chewing out the Daiichi site supervisor for using seawater to keep the surviving reactors cooled down when that was pretty much all he had to use (given the alternative? Yeah, I'd piss on the things if it helped). Other examples include sending needed cooling water to the Daini site... in drinking water bottles. There's a whole host of other bork-ups, and the blame for the vast majority of them lies squarely on the execs in Tokyo.

Besides, I do respect one thing about the Japanese - when the shit hits the fan, the leaders are the first to take blame, and go out of their way to not pass the blame downhill unnecessarily. Up and down the chain, folks take responsibility for what they do (or don't do). Wouldn't hurt to see some of that attitude on this side of the Pacific...

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