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Comment Re:I'm not seeing the problem here (Score 1) 315

Well I have a lot of imagination. Since you're mindlessly supporting a ridiculous situation you must be trying to divert attention away from yourself. Therefore you must have something to hide. Let's investigate that laptop of yours. I mean, just imagine the things you might be hiding!

The moral is, police should have A LOT of reasons in order to investigate you. If any silly hint is enough you get an obscenity.

Comment It's more about media attention (Score 2) 319

While the belgian reactors are old , I think the current worries are mostly a result of the tight regime they're being run at now. Strict safety procedures means lots of powerdowns and lots of news events. This constant media attention then leads the neighbors to start worrying. That's the main issue at work now. It's not due to inherent dangers becoming too high.

That aside, the fact that the reactors are old and still necessary is a symptom of the historical bad approach to nuclear energy that we had in the west. Nuclear energy boomed when the technology was immature, and lots of large scale plants were built with very long lifetime. This slowed down the evolution of the technology. For good evolution you need fast rotation of the plants and good diversity. Then enthusiasm waned and now the west is stuck with very old plants and no mature technology, and the technology here is as good as dead. We don't even have any experience in handling the end of the lifecycle of a plant. China, India and Iran are starting with better knowhow but the conditions are more dangerous (highly populated areas, earthquake prone..), so it looks like they have some disasters in the making too.

 

Comment Re:Iran a democracy? (Score 1) 229

Iranians may not call themselves democratic but they do want and have significant participation in the government and while a lot of people want the government to be less controlling and restrictive, that doesn't mean they want to get rid of the basic architecture of the state. It fits their nationalistic identity. It's their own and definitely not colonial.
  I also doubt there is a large body of people in Iran who think the religious council is too restrictive about who can run for president.

The voting fraud story is rightly called a suspicion. It's probably false. The Moussavi side launched the story as they saw they were losing and the West eagerly lapped it up because hey, you know how iranians are. But Moussavi never came up with proof and the Ahmadinejad election never was statistically improbable either.

The important thing about Iran is not so much internal though, but they're surrounded by sunni states, lots of them, and they generally consider it in their interest to avoid conflict. That sounds incredible because well, the other side always considered it in its interest to heat things up and that is what we got to hear. But if you read for instance Gareth Porter (or let's even say mainly because he's pretty good) about the iranian nuclear program or about Yemen, you get a very different picture of the situation. They're pretty sensible players.

Comment Re:Israel won't like it (Score 4, Interesting) 229

Israel is an ethnocracy, not a theocracy. It's been created by eastern european Jews, and ethnocracies weren't considered that special then.
Israel has citizens and nationals. The Israeli nationals are Jews. The state is for the nationals, not for the citizens. If there are too many nonjewish citizens this is a threat to the jewish state and the jewish state may take draconian measures to handle this threat if needed.
The US is a state of its citizens, it's a completely different concept. There is no distinction between citizen and national.

Comment Re:Is this to make US feel safer? (Score 1) 230

We're not. Because our side doesn't see saber rattling, it sees aggression that requires a response. North Korea's nuclear weapons are deterrence if we interpret it as such. If it's interpreted as aggression and madness. Our side is not seen as threatening in any way. The russian aggressive attitude in recent years is also seen as aggression, while it's very clear they feel threatened and think they need stronger deterrence. While we're going huh, there can't be anything threatening about NATO expansion?

Mutual deterrence works best if you take the other side seriously. If you know that that is the game you're playing. That's a problem. If you don't take the other size seriously it can still work, but things can get pretty much out of hand. Iran is such a case. A lot of the demonization campaign was about painting them as irrational and uncontainable, in other words, telling people to disregard rules of deterrence.

Comment Re:Good? (Score 2) 230

What do you mean tactical nukes have been avoided? Usage or deployment? Bush the elder once decommissioned whole categories of tactical nukes unilaterally(and in a stealth operation too) because he considered them too dangerous.

Anyway I agree the 'red line' argument is important. And currently we have a combination of increased tensions and reduced threshold for using nukes. Reduced because people have become too confident 'since we managed pretty well for such a long time' . I think that confidence has always been far too large, and if I see people like general Breedlove, whom I wouldn't trust with a box of matches, then I'm absolutely not confident we'll be alright.

Comment Re:Not Krauss' discovery (Score 4, Insightful) 85

I agree Krauss's announcement is problematic, but not because of some claim to have been involved in the discovery. With the mediatisation of science you get a lot more noise in the system and science is a lot about minimizing noise, about having statements that are as solid as possible. Science, as the title says, is about being well grounded.
Journals have other reasons as well for nondisclosure.

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