CraigHicks's past comments

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    The US wants to sell California rice to Japan. But California rice is subsidized with cheap irrigation water - farmers in California pay as little as 2% of the cost for water compared to consumers in cities. The price of water in California is not set by the free market. While there are some reasonable arguments that subsidizing agriculture for domestic consumption is in the long term interests of US citizens, subsidizing rice, almonds, etc. for export is just plain stupid. Los Angeles is investing 1 billion dollars in a new desalination plant to secure its water supply in the continuing California drought, surely the first of many more to come.

    Japan has no such water shortage - surprise surprise Japan naturally suitable environment for growing rice. The only question is whether Japanese small farmers should be replaced by "foreign trainees" stacked up in plywood dormitories so that agriculture profits can be more effectively funneled through a smaller number of hands, hence allowing influence money to filter up to government level faster and more freely.

    Posted in: U.S. lawmakers warn Japan, Canada on Pacific trade deal talks

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    I don't think the worth will be measurable until the line reaches Osaka; Nagoya is just a down payment. The biggest obstacle to making a profit out of this is the fact that Japan has such a brilliant train service already - and it's a smaller country than California is a state. Tokyo - Osaka can already be done in two and a half hours. With a maglev I guess it would be one and a half hours - an hours savings. (The maglev also takes a shortcut through the mountains).

    IF the project doesn't turn a profit, would the government end up spending its influence to assure JR Tokai could find bank loans to cover it? Of course, I hope it does turn a profit.

    Posted in: Gov't OKs plan to to build maglev line, despite environmental concerns

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    According to renewableenergyfocus.com's article "Hydrogen production from renewables" by Dale Gardner, the most mature method for creating hydrogen from renewables is Electrolysis, which was actually used as electric power storage as far back as in the 1920's and 30's. It might answers the question of what to do with off peak electricity, and changes the economics of weather dependent renewables solar and wind.

    I expect those middle eastern desert countries would be very happy to be able to create hydrogen from all their abundant sunshine when the oil runs out.

    Posted in: After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Be nice to Tokyo and the US while fighting with Vietnam.

    Posted in: Japan, China trade ministers hold first meeting since Abe's Yasukuni visit

  • 4

    CraigHicks

    Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany and methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was developed in Japan in 1919. Methamphetamine went into wide use during World War II, when both sides used it to keep troops awake. High doses were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before their suicide missions.

    Posted in: Soaring Asian meth demand drives record production: U.N.

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    To forget about ramping up a propaganda war, and instead abide by the wisdom "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me"; this would be the most widely respected approach of all. There is too much propaganda in the world already, causing too many headaches. Please, no more.

    Posted in: Ministry outlines Japan's preparations to mobilize for 'propaganda war'

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    Theoretically, a designed distribution of seat lengths and widths which matches the expected distribution of leg lengths and body widths of the passengers would allow for the cheapest fares while ensuring minimum sufficient room for all. Of course there are other details, like how to price tickets and allocate seats so small customers are not lost to other airlines. In the end, capitalism might dictate price differentials where small customers pay less than large.

    For a person who is 1.3 times average width to pay for 2 x width seems like a predator pricing policy.

    Posted in: Should overweight people flying economy class be required to pay for an extra seat?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Over 400 years since James son of Mary Queen of Scots became king James I of union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603. Perhaps it is time to elect a Scottish prime minister in order to save the union.

    Posted in: British business group U-turns on Scottish independence

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    California grown Japonica rice is totally delicious, any Japanese would enjoy it thoroughly. BUT ... California is in the middle of a multi year drought so why is growing a water hungry crop like rice cheaper in dry California than water abundant Japan? Because of federal subsidizing or water transport and irrigation systems! (http://mises.org/daily/6568/Water-Subsidies-and-Shortages-in-the-American-West) Maybe rice is one area where the US could appear to adjust its bargaining position, while actually doing a favor for itself by saving precious water.

    Posted in: Obama rejects notion that TPP deal is in danger

  • 4

    CraigHicks

    " ... Like the United States, Japan extensively hunted whales in the 19th century, when they were a source of fuel and food. "

    This sentence is ambigous. This part is accurate: "Like the United States, Japan extensively hunted whales in the 19th century". However, in the US and Europe only the blubber of the whale was harvested and the rest thrown away. The blubber was boiled down to make whale oil, and the whale oil was widely used in oil lamps and to make soap and margarine. So to disambiguate, unlike the United States and European countries, Japan used (and continues to use) the meat of the whale as a food source.

    Posted in: 60% of Japanese support whale hunt; 14% eat whalemeat, survey shows

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @sfjp330

    "According to the Institute of Medicine, between 1993 and 2003, emergency room visits in the U.S. grew by 26 percent, while in the same period, the number of emergency departments declined by 425.[15] Ambulances are frequently diverted from overcrowded emergency departments to other hospitals that may be farther away. In 2003, ambulances were diverted over a half a million times, not necessarily due to patients' inability to pay.[15]"

    Sorry the stats are a decade old. It would be nice to think things got better since then but ...

    Posted in: U.S. trade rep to visit Japan to break stalemate in TPP talks

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Focusing on this woman's character is missing the point; both on the way up and the way down.

    Posted in: Stem cell controversy sets back Japanese science

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Mister Ed ... Destroy Japanese agriculture and you will destroy the already challenged countryside. "Rice" is not just about taste, it's about supporting individuals who maintain the countryside.

    Excellent point. I would venture that rural Japan has a higher birthrate than urban Japan; the countryside is also better at growing children.

    Posted in: How do you think the taste of Japanese rice compares with rice produced in other countries?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @davestrousers ... Default on the government debt, and hit rock bottom ...

    That's pretty dramatic and difficult to control what happens ... could get pretty ugly. Trying to hold long term inflation at 3% using Quantitative Easing (printing money) would devalue the debt and hence open up the future. The would be losers and winners to be sure, but overall might help to keep Japan's wheels spinning.

    Posted in: What changes are needed in Japanese society to stem the falling birthrate?

  • -1

    CraigHicks

    Passage of the legislation represents a significant victory for vocal campaigners among Virginia’s 82,000 Korean-Americans, who greatly outnumber the state’s 19,000 ethnic Japanese.

    This sentence implies a rivalry, but I do not believe that such a rivalry exists, and no evidence (a poll) is provided. What would Daniel Inoue have said? (ok, he was from Hawaii not Virginia).

    Posted in: Addition of Korean name for Sea of Japan becomes law in Virginia

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    Every questioning must be required by law to be visually and audio recorded, or nothing will change. (Self evident truth applicable worldwide).

    Posted in: World's longest-serving death row inmate freed in Japan

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    London has long played host to political exiles of all stripes from around the world.

    It's part of Britain's long historical legacy as one of the worlds most important incubators of democracy and a fair system of law (albeit somewhat muddied by militant imperialism).

    Posted in: Britain orders probe into Muslim Brotherhood

  • -2

    CraigHicks

    The shared fuzzy warmth of the shared joke has long served as the trojan horse to carry prejudice through the city gates. This is not an over reaction, just a straightforward honest reaction. A comedian who makes a living being insensitive about others ought to be able to take the heat from the fire he starts - he'll get through it.

    Posted in: Outrage as U.S. comedian mocks Asian-Americans

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Fadamor

    You could argue that because Malaysia Airlines decided not to purchase the navigation option that continuously transmits the plane's position to satellites that its decision has hindered locating the aircraft, but that would only have been of use AFTER the plane crashed and had nothing to do with CAUSING "the disaster of Flight MH370

    Quite so, and not only that, the technology exists to transmit transmit to "the cloud" (no pun intended) all the info that gets stored in the black box, so that even if the black box gets lost, the cause COULD be known. And it wouldn't be difficult to add into the realtime transmission a cockpit audio/video which would show if someone unexpected had entered the cockpit. Of course to get it done "right" wouldn't be cheap, so in this day and age of razor thin airline profit margins (or enormous deficits) its not going to be a popular idea with the airlines.

    Posted in: Storms ground MH370 search after new debris sighting

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    The goal is to nurture a country in turmoil through a difficult period to stability; it is questionable whether raising the price of life essential commodities by 50% would work towards that goal. Especially in exchange for pouring billions through a new and unstable government where a lot of it might just get siphoned off. IMF thinking may be too narrow here.

    Posted in: Ukraine to hike gas rates by 50% for IMF loan

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