CraigHicks's past comments

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    CraigHicks

    rules barring multinational companies from paying bribes ABROAD

    "Abroad" is the key word here, and should be the focus of the comments. It's stealing from outside the voting group, rather than from inside it.

    Posted in: Watchdog: many countries fall short on rules against bribes

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    The typical design of an Ebola ward in Africa has three parts

    (1) Triage (admissions)

    (2) Suspected or early cases of Ebola

    (3) Cases in the thrall of Ebola

    (1) and (2) are relatively low risk of infection. (Remember Duncan was throwing up on the way to the hospital the second time but noone who had contact with him at that time or earlier got sick, but two nurses got sick treating him in the late stages, even though they were using hazmat suits to the best of their ability).

    So perhaps the masks are intended for use in (1) only, or (1) and (2) only. Or perhaps for health workers who are traveling to peoples homes making inquiries or checking up on reports.

    It's wise to be wary, but more information is required before jumping to conclusions. In the meantime, I say good job.

    Posted in: Japanese firm donates 10,000 high-tech masks for Ebola fight

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    Where little Aso is now used to be a giant volcano which 90,000 years ago erupted so hard that volcanic rocks were dispersed over a 25 km radius, the pyroclastic flow covered half of Kyuusyuu, and significant ash fell as far away as what is now Yamaguchi ken on Honsyuu.

    Posted in: Agency warns of increased activity at volcano near nuclear plant

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Andreas Zachcial ... CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) "We believe ... Ebola virus ... transmitted via ... aerosol particles ... which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks."

    Perhaps the idea is that the Pittarich mask, killing 99% of viruses, is somewhat better than most facemasks.

    Perhaps, the medical staff in question are African workers who are presently using facemasks as they have no respirators.

    However, it is necessary to realize that killing 99% of viruses does not equate to a 99% reduction in transmission. If an extremely sick patient's virus count doubles every hour for 24 hours their virus count will increase by 16 million times. 1% of 16 million is still to huge a number for safe approach.

    For treating patients who have just begun to show symptoms and whose virus count is still low, this mask may noticeably reduce transmission - but that's in cases where transmission danger was not so high to begin with.

    Posted in: Japanese firm donates 10,000 high-tech masks for Ebola fight

  • 6

    CraigHicks

    @hokkaidoguy ... "Putting stocks into a trust to remove conflict of interest is a perfectly normal procedure when someone lands a cabinet position, anywhere in the world. ... Unless the DPJ wants to prohibit all elected officials from owning stocks, that's going to have to do"

    You appear to be correct that it is not illegal, however that does not mean that it is not in the public's interest to know about Miyazawa's investments. Transparent government makes for solid democracy.

    To put the conflicted stocks "as is" into a trust is not the law in the US - here is the US law:

    United States Office of Government Ethics : Resolving Conflict Of Interests

    ... In particular, a criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. 208, requires an employee to be disqualified (“recused”) from a “particular matter” if it would have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s own financial interests or on certain financial interests that are treated as the employee’s own, such as those of the employee’s spouse or a prospective employer. There are a number of ways to deal with a financial conflict of interest under 18 U.S.C. 208: .. () The employee may divest the conflicting property...() The employee may establish a qualified trust. Qualified trusts are rare. ... a value of less than $1,000. () Qualified Diversified Trust. .. not considered to pose a conflict of interest because the portfolio is so diversified that an official action taken by the employee would not have a direct and predictable effect on the value of the portfolio.

    http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Financial-Conflicts-of-Interest-and-Impartiality/Resolving-Conflicts-of-Interest/

    Posted in: Minister hit by bar scandal also under fire for owning TEPCO shares

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    Thanks for the link, @zorken.

    There are 3 kinds of seijisikin (政治資金)

    1) Donations - Kifu 寄付(Kenkin 献金) Coporations, Individuals (Foreigners, in particular Zainichi Koreans are not allowed to give).

    2) Fund raising events - seijisikin party 政治資金パーティー (No foreigners)

    3) Public funding - seijikoufukin 政党交付金 Comes from public taxes - 250 yen for each vote gathered The big parties LDP, JDP, get aound half their funding this way. Smaller parties get none (a vote threshold?)

    A long history of political funding scandals such as the Lockheed and Recruit scandals led to the establishment of public funding in the mid 1990's, as well as stricter laws requiring public disclosure of income and expenditures.

    The details of why it was illegal for Obuchi to buy clothes for work, but not illegal for Miyazawa's underlings to buy S&M entertainment for relaxation outside of work are not explained, although it is a fact.

    It was interesting that he didn't say he would fire his underling. Japan is relatively tolerant about soft porn.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    (JT translation) “We don’t need racists like you here in Osaka,” Hashimoto said.

    @tapi0ca .. Was the word 'racist', translated from Japanese literally?

    As I proved in my previous post above extracting quotes from the dialog at 16:15, this JT translation is syntactically speaking absolutely 100% correct - with the assumption that the English definition of "racism" includes "ethnic discrimination", which it does. The average genetic makeup of Koreans is measurably different from the average genetic makeup of Japanese, even though Koreans are the genetically closest group in the world to Japanese. But racists don't care about that - to racists the difference is much more important than the similarities.

    Another separate issue is Hashimoto's semantic use of "racist (ethnic discriminator)". In this discussion Hashimoto referred to racism as defined by the court in the hate speech cases, so he is at least committed to recognizing racism as defined by the courts (so far).

    However, for Hashimoto racism obviously does not include "mandatory assimilation" through abolition of "zainichi korean" status, as Hashimoto is currently calling for such abolition. It is probable that for this very reason, Hashimoto called a press conference with Sakurai, to be able to call for "mandatory assimilation" while at the same contrasting himself with Sakurai who is truly an extreme racist. (Anybody here familiar with "Mutt and Jeff"?).

    Posted in: Hashimoto, Zaitokukai chairman get into shouting match

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    About the question of whether what Hashimoto called Sakurai should be translated as "racist"

    Starting around 16:15

    hashimoto:お前のような差別主義者な、大阪に入らないな(your kind of "discriminator", we don't need in Osaka)

    sakurai:なんで差別主義者か教えてくれるな?(why do you call me a "discriminator"?)

    hashimoto:民族を一口にして喋るな(don't speak about an ethnic group in one word = don't generalize about an ethnic group)

    Discriminating against an ethnic group is commonly called "racism" in English, so yes "racist" is the correct translation.

    Posted in: Hashimoto, Zaitokukai chairman get into shouting match

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    @Frungy

    You have had a traumatic accident which was not your fault, it was the fault of the pedestrian who fled from the scene. I hereby validate your feelings about that accident. I know you would never hit and run, even if it was the pedestrians fault.

    Posted in: Man killed in hit-and-run in Aichi

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    @zichi Seems very excessive to give him two years jail time when the plans for printing guns are available online but he didn't have ammunition needed to load it which can't be made by a 3-D printer ...

    New 3-D printed ammo to end ammo drought

    http://www.guns.com/2014/04/01/new-3d-printed-rimfire-ammo-end-ammo-drought/

    "3D-Printed Bullets Exist, And They're Terrifyingly Easy To Make"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/3d-printed-bulletsn3322370.html

    There are also already manufactured plastic bullets made to fired from special guns. Those special guns could eventually be printed, and the plastic bullets bought in bulk, and perhaps modified to have pointy ends.

    Posted in: Man jailed for 2 years for making guns with 3D printer

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    CraigHicks

    Yes, but for that very reason it could also become the definitive episode of international cooperation and humanitarian success. Starting now.

    Posted in: Aid agency Oxfam says Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation." Do you agree?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Kazuaki

    With the benefit of hindsight, anything is possible.

    The mistakes, or emerging requirements, regarding grid capacity are not due to "recyclable" energy itself, they are the results of human design or administrative decisions. I don't know the details, but I expect that if there was damage that it was not catastrophic. The worst case scenarios for wind and solar power are part of what makes them attractive. To prevent future problem, the grid should be upgraded.

    It is the German population which pushed the German government to move forward on renewable energy. A conscious decision to pay more now, rather than worry about paying a higher price later - it is calculated foresight, not blind ideology.

    The Germans may well change their policy in the future. But in the meantime, they have with sincerity explored and developed "renewable energy" technology. It will be able to serve as at least one part of their energy portfolio, and it will be one more technology to add to Germany's robust export portfolio.

    If Germany does pick up Nuclear again, I expect they will go directly for state of the art safety - Nuclear with passive safety systems. (This is not to be confused with improperly named passive safety systems in current use, e.g. a water tank on top of a reactor which will need replenishing within 72 hours or less - with valves that need to be adjusted during an emergency where the reactor might be hard to approach)

    An example of actual proposed passive safety feature: "a so-called freeze plug — an actively cooled barrier that melts in the event of a power failure, leading all nuclear material to automatically drain into a reinforced holding tank. It is claimed these reactors are “walk away safe". (Note: no improvement however in quantity of nuclear waste)

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/150551-the-500mw-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor-safe-half-the-price-of-light-water-and-shipped-to-order

    Another example of supposedly safe power is "liquid fluoride thorium reactors" (LFTRs). Reportedly they operate at low pressure, and Thorium fuel is not in capable of metling down when left unattended. In addition, the amount of residual plutonium is claimed to be 1/3000 that of current nuclear energy, hugely reducing the costs of nuclear waste disposal.

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/143437-uranium-killed-the-thorium-star-but-now-its-time-for-round-two

    Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @hokkaidoguy ... Actually, the uniquely German solution involved sending all the surge surplus to Poland, overwhelming their aging grid. No joke

    Actually, the German solution is to move ahead and solve the problems as they arise. While foreign vested interests flood the internet with articles about the failure of Germany's plan, Canadian power producer Northland Power Inc. will snatch up an 85 percent equity stake in German power company RWE AG’s three Nordsee offshore wind projects.

    http://www.law360.com/articles/573943/northland-nabs-85-stake-in-german-offshore-wind-farms

    Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    Germany also has problems with their successful offshore wind power which is generating more power than expected and overloading the grid. They have developed a novel solution only Germans could think of: upgrade the grid.

    Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    @Stuart ... Thanks for the info but if you are right about the hazmat suits NOT being adequate protection, then this will be nearly impossible to contain. How many hospitals have better protective suits than a hazmat suit?

    From experience so far Hazmat suits (imperfect or otherwise) are adequate when the patient receives treatment, in the cases observed so far it is only when the patient has passed over the line of no return that hazmat suits appear extremely vulnerable. (That much is observed fact). Remember - even when Duncan first reached the vomiting stage it appears he did not infect the people he lived with or the people who transported him to the hospital without Hazmat suits - that is the good news.

    Firstly it is great motivation to start making drug treatments available to patients in West Africa. Some of the drugs (e.g. MZapp) perhaps cannot be made quickly enough in sufficient quantity, but others can (e.g. Avigan). Trying is better than just talking and doing nothing. All it takes to stop the epidemic is to get the average transmission rate below 1.0 - at the moment it is somewhere around 2.0.

    Secondly, only people with resistance (recovered from Ebola or immunized) should deal closely with patients in advanced stages of the disease. At the moment such people with immunity are in short supply. The CDC has apparently recommended not to perform intubation and dialysis - perhaps just for this reason. Constantly changing diapers might also be avoided. Duncan's dirty diapers were apparently "stacked to the ceiling". Very painful moral dilemmas have to be faced.

    Some attempt should be made to develop a way to measure virus density in order to know the danger level.

    Posted in: World fears mount that Ebola battle being lost

  • -3

    CraigHicks

    "... for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

    Posted in: Hospital director, wife found dead in apparent murder-suicide

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @zichi ... The reactors have mains power, emergency back up generators and a cooling system like isolation condensers which does not need power.

    All of those cooling methods require active human interaction, without which there is serious disaster. A design which in absence of human interaction, with all machinery failing, still will passively shutdown is required.

    Posted in: Expert says 2 Sendai reactors in danger from active volcano

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    @Stuart ... If this virus can only be transmitted through body fluids,

    Body fluids include liquid expelled from mouth and nose.

    Large liquid particles ~ gravity movement ~ range 3 feet

    Small liquid particles ~ Brownian movement ~ range ?

    But small particles liquid evaporate fast, or bump into something, and because they are small hold less virus? Much less dangerous than dry dust.

    It's all probablity, but a millionfold difference in probability looks (more or less) like a certainty when measured by statistics (where there is always an error). Consider the number of virus in Duncan at the time he transported to hospital, and then just before he died.

    When he was transported he even vomited in the ambulance. But as far as we know, noone else was infected before or at that time. Now lets say as his immune system collapses that the number of virus in his body doubles every hours for 24 hours. In that 24 hours the number of virus increases by over 16 million times. In one day he becomes 16 million times more infectious. A hazmat suit which yesterday was safe with an error rate of 1 in a million per day, is suddenly not safe anymore.

    These numbers are arbitrarily made up but you get the principle I am postulating. I just choose one hour doubling time because that is how long it takes for Lactobacillus acidophilus to double in milk. Now that is a bacteria and not a virus, I know, but they are both "germs". Ha ha.

    Posted in: World fears mount that Ebola battle being lost

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    And a researcher at British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline said a vaccine may not be ready for commercial use until late 2016.

    What is the purpose of this defeatist statement? More than one Ebola vaccine has already begun testing. 40 nurses in Mali are already being injected with NIH/GSK vaccine. The WHO will start testing a Candian vaccine next week (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ebola-vaccine-to-be-sent-to-who-on-monday-for-clinical-trials-1.2803731) Another vaccine in Britain began testing on volunteers in Britain 1.5 weeks ago. All these tests for side effects on people not in immediate danger of being infected. Needless to say they also need to be tested for effectiveness, which is why they could or should be simultaneously testing on health workers in Liberia to get the final results faster.

    At a recent international meeting, representatives from Doctors without Borders (MSF) urged that mass production of vaccines begin in parallel with testing. Apparently there is reluctance to do so because of cost.

    Besides vaccines, there are other medicines which have helped all the doctors and nurses who came back infected fend off the virus long enough to develop their own antibodies - moreover it prevented them from becoming dangerously infective and spreading the virus to others. Where is the effort to make these medicines in bulk and get them to West Africa? At least one of them, Avigan made by Fuji Film, is already approved for commercial use (in Japan). It's been over a week, why is not already being used in West Africa?

    @warispeace and @MarkG have a fantastic idea about putting MSF members in charge. But how probable is that when even the MSF idea of beginning vaccine production in parallel with testing is ignored?

    No movement to get existing drugs to West Africa, no parallel testing of vaccines inside and outside of the infected areas, no production of vaccine in parallel with testing, an announcement from GSK that vaccine might not be ready until late 2016. ?. I hope its just bureaucratic thinking which will soon be swept away and not something much much more ugly.

    Posted in: World fears mount that Ebola battle being lost

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    concert organisers had repeatedly urged the fans to move off the grate

    Fans on grate watching band can't hear. Organizers stop the concert. Band tells fans to get off grate.

    Posted in: 16 killed in grate collapse at S Korea pop concert

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