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Comment Re:Casino Noise (Score 1) 116 116

And in any case property tax does end up being a tax on economic activity also, or at least on economic value, which is determined by economic activity.

The Broken Window Fallacy is the classic counterexample. Among other things, it's a means to disengage (and of course, tax) economic activity from the value of property.

Comment Re: better late than never (Score 1) 75 75

But it does create a bunch of opportunity for the government to shut down your business on grounds of not taking legally sufficient precautions against underage access. It's a balancing act of liability for credit card fraud vs. liability for fines for noncompliance.

No, it didn't. From Wikipedia, the highest operating estimate is 800 PBq versus 5200 PBq. Further, 80% of that radiation is thought to have fallen in the ocean. So that looks like less than 1/30th the release of Chernobyl on land.

Comment Re:Perfect is enemy of the good (Score 1) 371 371

It's still a lot more reliable than asking "are you 18?".

To who? Legitimate businesses can get a lot more failures to conduct business, since customers would not always have the card ID ready at hand. While on the other hand, anyone can click "Yes". And as I noted earlier, just asking the question above does not create a bunch of opportunity for credit card fraud.

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 1) 75 75

For varying definitions of successfully contained given all the radiation that poured into the ocean and polluted soil for miles around the plant. Let us also not forget that they were warned to raise their generators higher off the ground. The new specifications would have prevent the failure in the first place and we'd still have a nuclear power pant if they had spent the money when it mattered.

"Warned" by who? And how credible were these warnings? I know you think you know the difference between foresight and hindsight. But you don't. You have to understand when people knew what and how fast a very conservative bureaucracy responds to newly exposed risks.

Here's my understanding of the timeline for the tsunami risk assessment. From previous discussions on Slashdot, I gather it was realized before the earthquake that the risk of much higher tsunami had been underestimated. But this risk wasn't even revealed till 2001 (that's the oldest reference anyone has given me).

Then the various nuclear plants were instructed to review this risk some point after that with TEPCO completing their assessment of the Fukushima plant some point around 2008 or 2009. At that point, apparently, it was determined that the plant did not have adequate sea walls for the worst case.

At this point, you have various complicating factors such as the planned closure of these reactors over the next decade and the fact that nobody in the nuclear industry moves fast.

It is much like the levies in Louisiana that flooded the whole city. The army core of engineers had already recommended improvements that were not performed because nobody wanted to spent the few million it would have taken. So instead we spent 10s of billions cleaning up the mess.

Except that those risks have been known for a long time and the risk of New Orleans getting directly hit by a strong hurricane remain considerably higher than eastern Japan getting hit by very high tsunami. New Orleans still faces that same risk despite the levee upgrades.

For example, if a hurricane stalls over New Orleans, then it'll be just as flooded as it was that time. It's also worth noting that they still have the habit of appointing the sort of irresponsible leadership that led to the high loss of life in the Katrina disaster.

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 1) 75 75

Another alternative here is that you can acquire your viewpoint of reality through some other means than the current whim of a politician. I just fail to see the value of the argument that some dude who is a "local governor" happens to have an opinion on the Fukushima accident.

Comment Re:better late than never (Score 1) 75 75

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.

So what? What's so special about your accusations that the level of "blame" rises to that of public humiliation? I think instead we see here a prime example of why the culture of responsibility, that Japan is or perhaps was famous for, has such a hard time taking root on "this side of this Pacific". Namely, that a certain culture is far more interested in assigning blame even to the point of blowing minor missteps out of proportion such as you do above, than in taking responsibility or respecting those who do.

And I find it interesting how you respond to a post about witch hunts with arguments based on water bottles. That veers into self-parody.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie

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