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Mike O'Brien comments

Posted in: Japanese ships leave for 'research whaling' in Antarctic Ocean See in context

Why can’t Japan just say we disagree with the law; we will continue to hunt and eat whales?

Honesty is important to the Japanese.

Well first off there really isn't a law against it. It is a regulation of the IWC, a voluntary organization, and Japan is following the exception allowed by the regulations.

But further they HAVE repeatedly said they disagree with the regulation and are trying (again within the overall regulations) to get the IWC to review the moratorium on commercial whaling. The moratorium includes a requirement to review whale species by 1990 and periodically thereafter, yet they refuse to even do that initial review.

So who is that isn't following the law (regulation) and who isn't being honest?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Minke whale hunting ends in Iceland See in context

Iceland, along with Norway, openly defies the International Whaling Commission's 1986 ban on whale hunting.


Japan also hunts whales, but uses a legal loophole that allows it to continue catching the animals in order to gather scientific data.

Japan doesn't use a loophole, they follow Article VIII which has been a part of the regulations since 1948 decades before any moratorium. Iceland and Norway follow Article V (which is also unchanged since 1948), they don't defy the moratorium. And it is a moratorium NOT a ban. Meanwhile the IWC DEFIES their own moratorium by refusing to review the status of whale species as required by the moratorium.

So, Iceland’s continued whaling has come to a haunt because there are no flipping whales left.

Iceland has stopped hunting Minke whales. They still hunt fin whales

Japan wants to return to commercial whaling in both the sounthern and northern oceans. Obviously the whale sticks in the northern oceans have not recovered and never will with these idiots persistently hunting them.

Not obviously. First Iceland hunts in the Northern Atlantic which is an entirely different ocean than the Northern Pacific where Japan hunts. Second the IWC's own data shows whale stock in the Northern Atlantic and Pacific ARE recovering.

Yes, there may very well be large populations of whales in the southern oceans, but Iceland has shown that whales do not recover quickly from over hunting. If Jaian resumes commercial whaling in the southern oceans, it is likely the whale sticks will only last a decade or so and they will be right back to where they were 50 years ago - facing extinction.

No, it isn't likely. If commercial hunting resumes in the Southern Ocean it will only be for species shown to be sustainable, there will be conservative quotas set and the quotas/population will be reviewed and adjusted every year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: High court rules dike floodgates in southwest Japan to remain closed See in context

without slamming down concrete and steel everywhere

Farmland is not concrete and steel.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan OKs ambitious nuclear energy target, plutonium reuse plan See in context

The total is enough to make 6,000 atomic bombs...

No. it isn't. Plutonium from commercial reactor spent fuel can't be used to make atomic bombs. It has to much of the wrong isotopes of plutonium.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Europeans work to save Iran deal, and business, after Trump pulls out See in context

He broke an international treaty, a treaty that America signed and agreed to.

No, he didn't. And no America didn't.

It was signed and agreed to by President Obama, not America. It was not agreed to by the US Sentae and thus was not a treaty, as treaties require Congressional approval.

but please don't start WW3 just because

That is what a lot of Chicken Littles were crying a few weeks ago about his actions with North Korea. And what is happening with North Korea now?

Should be alright then.


A senior French diplomat said businesses would ultimately be forced to choose between their Iranian economic interests and their potential U.S. interests, adding: "Generally, that decision is quickly made in favour of the U.S."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Trump abandons Iran nuclear deal, to revive sanctions See in context

Why did Trump break the treaty?

He didn't.

It wasn't a treaty.

Treaties require the approval of Congress.

The agreement has specific language allowing for any country to leave, language that Trump is following.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Power of choice: The future of hydrogen-powered cars in Japan See in context

if we replace all the vehicles currently running with ICE with Lithium battery vehicles, the grid in every country will collapse.

And if we replaced them with hydrogen vehicles, the grid would collapse trying to power all the hydrogen generation facilities.

No matter what type of power is used in vehicles the total amount needed will remain the same. Battery vehicles obviously require a supply of electricity to charge them and the current capacity and grid in virtually every country could not even come close to supplying a complete shift to battery vehicles.

The hydrogen for hydrogen vehicles is almost exclusively generated with the use of electricity. So, hydrogen vehicle run into the same capacity and grid issues as battery vehicles.

If the grid is going to supply the power for transportation, through either charging battery vehicles or generating hydrogen, it will require a massive increase in generating capacity and an massive upgrade to the grid. Although hydrogen does have the advantage over batteries in this situation because the hydrogen generation will be at a small number of generation facilities as opposed to every home being a battery charging station, meaning the entire grid wouldn't need as much upgrading.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Power of choice: The future of hydrogen-powered cars in Japan See in context

emit no CO2 or environmentally harmful substances during operation

They emit water vapor which is a more potent green house gas than CO2.

At the start of 2018, there were about 3,400 fuel-cell vehicles on US roads and some 2,300 in use in Japan.

to construct 80 new hydrogen stations in the next four years, supple­menting the 101 refueling facilities that are already in operation.

So, currently there is one refueling station for every 23 hydrogen vehicles.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese whaling town holds annual memorial service for whales See in context

However, the tradition stopped when they started selling live dolphins to aquariums around the world.

Traditions change over time. And many traditions have been commercialized. Neither changes nor commercialization ends the underlying tradition.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

his father still would have broken federal law by giving him the guns back after he left.

Again, it depends. If he shipped them across state lines without going through a FFL dealer then yes. But he may have shipped them properly and the news reports just didn't say so (because the reporters probably have no idea what the laws are). Or his son, after changing residence, could have driven to Illinois and picked the guns up and driven back. As a non-resident he wouldn't have needed a license to have the guns, even in Illinois.

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Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

I would like to know if his farther has committed a crime by giving his son his firearms back, if he has, could he be charged with some sort of accessory charge?

His father might have committed a crime. It depends on when and where he gave him the guns back. His son was never found to be mentally ill, so he was allowed by federal law to have guns. But in Illinois a state license is required to have guns and his had been revoked (the reason why the guns were confiscated by the police). So if his father gave him the guns after he moved out of Illinois then he probably didn't break any laws.

But even if he didn't break any laws the people shot could still sue him for civil liability. Whether they would win is hard to know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

Another factor influencing rate of fire is the supply of ammunition.

No. The supply of ammunition does not affect the rate of fire. That would be like saying the number of candies you have affects the calories per candy. A machine gun with 1 round still has the same rate of fire as the same machine gun with 100 rounds.

Rate of fire is a characteristic of a gun that barring damage or modification to the gun remains the same always and forever. The amount of ammunition only effects how long that rate of fire can be maintained.

A firearm’s rate of fire is determined mainly by the “action” of the gun (the mechanism by which a bullet is moved into the chamber, where it is ready to fire)

True, but incomplete. In a semi-automatic weapon the speed of the "action" is so much greater than the speed at which an unaided human can pull the trigger that the rate of fire for all semi-automatics is for all practical purposes the same.

And cherry picking quotes out of context isn't helpful. From your 2nd citation:

"However, these differences are all small in comparison to the time it takes for a person to pull a trigger, and especially in comparison to the time it takes for a person to aim at a target."

And your 1st citation makes that statement before going on to explain the different rates of fire from single action revolvers, pump action guns, semi-automatics and full automatics. It wasn't a statement about differences between semi-automatics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Protest rally marks one year since start of seawall work for U.S. base See in context

The confiscation of land by the US military in Okinawa clearly was against the Hague treaties and beyond that inhumane and unjust in every respect.

Then cite the article that it violates.

Mike....really, into the vortex you go!

> I give you tons of credit for the attempt, but you are going to get a headache banging your head against the wall.

> Just keeps repeating (regurgitating) the same responses over and over. Gilded guano is still guano underneath.

And you completely miss the point of opposing the false arguments. I know he will never change his mind and I don't expect to have any effect on his inane beliefs. But others who aren't well versed in the laws, treaties and situation may believe that there is some truth to his arguments. If no one posts opposing views and facts then all the uninformed readers will get is the extremist view and with only that one view presented the uninformed may be (even unconsciously) swayed toward believing that the silly argument actually has some validity.

So, it is to the casual reader with no knowledge of the situation that I post the opposing factual points and that I challenge him to support his claims with actual facts and citation. So everyone with an open mind can see how his arguments and citations fail.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Protest rally marks one year since start of seawall work for U.S. base See in context

But "land, air and naval forces" are general-purpose expressions referring to military formation in an actual combat scene, subject to dismantlement as soon as the war is over.

Well, that doesn't make sense. Why would they use "expressions referring to military formation in an actual combat scene, subject to dismantlement as soon as the war is over" in a treaty written after the war was over?

Also, at least until space forces exists, all military groups have to be either land, air or naval no matter what names you give them or how many groups you split them up into.

So you must prove

No, I don't have to prove anything. You would have to prove that your reading of the treaty is correct, while the government of Japan (who signed the treaty) are obviously of the opinion that the Marines are covered by the treaty.

we welcomed it enthusiastically,

So, in 1996 you didn't believe the treaty or the Hague Convention prohibited Marines. Why not?

Unless you disprove my claim or if you just ignore it, the Marines in Okinawa will be dubbed as illegal squatters . You simply can't "let it go."

You have said you welcomed them 'enthusiastically' in 1996. That pretty much disproves your current claim.

Also, I notice you haven't responded to my rebuttal of your Hague Convention claims.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

All weapons do not have the same rate of fire.

But all semi-automatics do.

and trained militia

And where are these words from?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

and rates of fire of assault weapons

ALL semi-automatic guns, rifle or pistol, have essentially the same rate of fire. That being as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger.

I must have missed the part in the 2nd Amendment that considers naked men (mentally unstable or high on drugs) as part of a well-regulated militia.

Must have also missed the part of the article where it stated his right to own guns had been revoked.

Perhaps the law isn't as strict as gun nutters want to make out.

Or perhaps criminals don't follow the laws despite what seems to be belief of the ban-the-guns nutters.

Mentally ill people shouldn't have access to guns. But the 2nd Amendment stands as the only way to prevent tyranny.

No, the 2nd Amendment does not stand in the way of banning mentally ill peoples access to guns. In fact it is illegal for a mentally ill person to buy or own guns. There are issues about how mentally ill one has to be before their gun rights are revoked. But in this case his rights WERE revoked.

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Posted in: Another reactor at Genkai nuclear plant to be restarted late May See in context

Such accidents can be lethal even if they don't release radioactivity.

So, do you want all electric plants shut down? Because they can have lethal steam releases too.

Chemical plants can and do have lethal accidents periodically, so shut them down. In fact every manufacturing plant has lethal accidents as do construction projects. Are you suggesting shutting down any activity that has the potential for lethal accidents?

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Posted in: Protest rally marks one year since start of seawall work for U.S. base See in context


The Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land Article 46 is part of Section III titled "Section III - Military authority over the territory of the hostile State". It applies to military forces occupying another countries lands. The US military is not occupying Okinawa as made clear by your mention of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, as the name implies is a treaty between Japan and the U.S. and thus any violation of the treaty is not a violation of international law since the treaty isn't international law. Also the version I have found says "use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan" and the Marines would fall under naval forces, or land forces or even air forces; so either way the Marines are allowed and not excluded. If there is a newer version with different wording I would be more than willing to follow any link you provide.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Tech billionaire says his plan to break up California ready for voters See in context

Also dividing California will lead to 4 new senators which will bring more power in the Senate.

Which is why it is virtually certain to not pass a vote in Congress. Making the whole thing just a massive ego-driven show by Draper.

A single state currently has over 10% of the Electoral College electors. I think that's too many for one state to have.

Which is one of many reasons why something needs to change with the Electoral College system.

But this is not up to the other states, or the federal government, or to foreign nationals. It's up to the voters of California.

As the article states, this would require the approval of Congress. So, YES it IS up to the other states.

Since you think underrepresented California should have less electoral votes, it would appear you're suggesting Californians should be treated as lesser than other Americans.

That doesn't appear to be what was said. The suggestion seems to be that all those electoral votes concentrated in one state was problematic. While if California split into 3 states the same number of population based electoral votes would be spread between those 3 states, which each would have different political climates.

This gives each Wyoming resident 65 times the Senate representation of each California resident.

And that is the way it was specifically designed.

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Posted in: Japanese ships leave for whale hunt off northeastern coast See in context

Then see if the IWC wants to do its job or just leave the Japanese to it.

I don't understand. If japan quits the IWC then why would that prompt the IWC to do its job? And why would Japan care anymore?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese ships leave for whale hunt off northeastern coast See in context

while Japan's leaders just suck it up and elect not to play hard ball on this matter.

Well, there really isn't any hard ball option. The IWC has no mechanism to allow a member country to force the IWC to meet its obligations. And there isn't any international court that has jurisdiction.

Japan really only has 3 options.

1) Let things continue as they are and keep research whaling 2) Give up and stop whaling 3) Quit the IWC

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Posted in: Japanese ships leave for whale hunt off northeastern coast See in context

the only reason there are large stocks of minke whales is because of the 150 or so countries who stopped hunting them in the mid-70's.

In the 70's Minke's weren't being hunted by 150 countries. In fact I don't think that a total of 150 countries ever hunted whales in the history of the planet.

The IWC has never had more than 90 members and in the 70's they had less than 20 members and 4 of those joined in 1979.

for profit without compensating the countries who contributed to created this plunderable resource

Well that is the way international waters and the resources in them work.

Wouldn't that be considered piracy?

No, it wouldn't.

Are you saying they - IWC - can't review because there isn't enough data? Is that their official statement?

No, I am saying the IWC refuses to review the data. Japan, as required by the regulations, gives all their data to the IWC. The IWC is required by the moratorium to review species status every ten years. They have not conducted a single review of any species Japan hunts despite the moratorium being 30 years old.

The IWC as a whole doesn't make any official statement about the reviews, they completely ignore the issue. Meanwhile the IWC Scientific Committee does not issue new population estimates for most species claiming insufficient data.

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Posted in: Japanese ships leave for whale hunt off northeastern coast See in context

The researchers must be dumb if the couldn't find what they are looking for after all these years.

> that a definitive announcement can't be made re the commencement of commercial whaling.

One can only presume that advanced research skills are horribly lacking

The researchers believe they have found what they are looking for and that commercial whaling can be commenced. BUT the researchers aren't the ones that make the final decision, that is the IWC. And the main body of the IWC refuses to even review the data, despite the fact that the whaling moratorium required a review in 1990 and every 10 years thereafter. Meanwhile the IWC Scientific Committee keeps saying they don't have enough data to produce whale species population assessments, the first step in removal from moratorium protection. So if a country was trying to provide research to support the lifting of the moratorium their only choice would be to continue to collect more data every year at least until a review by the IWC is done.

when they go to the southern ocean and hunt blue whale though

Good thing they don't go to the southern ocean and hunt blue whales then.

If it's as you suggest and they're being blocked, why don't they go to UN or World Court or Interpol etc if it's illegal?

Because the UN and World Court and Interpol (do you even understand what Interpol's job is?) have no jurisdiction over the IWC. Also I don't see where anyone said the IWC's actions were illegal.

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Posted in: Whalers return from Antarctic; no protest activities reported See in context

You mean like storing meat in freezers for years and years because they can't sell it, even at auction at rock-bottom prices?

Well, that would seem to indicate that they process it BEYOND what is practicable. It isn't practicable to process whale that won't be used. Thank you for proving that they at least process as far as practicable.

maybe that's a clear sign that the hunt sorry I mean the 'research' itself isn't practicable.

Very possibly. But the regulations don't put a practicable requirement on the research hunting itself, just the processing.

All that taxpayer money would have been better spent

Almost every area of government spending has some people who feel that taxpayer money could have been better spent in some other area.

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Posted in: Steam leak prompts power generation to halt at Kyushu nuclear plant See in context

Genkai Pluthermal Nuclear Plants has higher contamination risk than Japan's other reactors such as Fukushima-1.

No, it doesn't. Reactors fueled with just uranium produce plutonium as soon as they start operating, that is where the plutonium for pluthermal nuclear plants comes from. So, every reactor has plutonium in it's fuel.

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Posted in: Whalers return from Antarctic; no protest activities reported See in context

he fact that they aren't doing it is surely proof enough.

Aren't do what?

Practicable does not mean every possible bit no matter the cost and effort involved.

 is pretty solid evidence that there is no intention of even considering what could practically be done

No, it isn't proof. It is an opinion.

The bones, guts, blood could be made into fertiliser.

> The less tasty bits of meat could be used in animal feed.

Maybe. But is it practicable? Just because something could be done doesn't make it practicable.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Whalers return from Antarctic; no protest activities reported See in context

One more aspect in which Japan does not abide by either the letter or the spirit of Article 8.

The regulation says to the extent practicable. So is there some proof they aren't doing so, actual proof not opinion?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Whalers return from Antarctic; no protest activities reported See in context

If it was really about research, they wouldn't then turn around and sell / distribute the whale meat.

The same regulations that allow research whaling REQUIRE the meat to be processed.

with a view of slaughtering up to and beyond 10,000 whales every year and not just minke whales

What? Where does this idea come from? Any sources?

This means, if Japan intends to make whaling a commercially viable industry they will have to catch 10 times more whales. This is where the figure of 10,000 whales per year comes from, even though, there is no market for the meat to support a commercial quantity catch quota.

Producing more of a product that has a limited demand does not magically make it economical. In fact the law od supply and demand says the exact opposite. Putting out more product will drive the price even lower while production costs go up. The logic leading to a claim of wanting to hunt 10,000 whales a year is seriously flawed.

Also, if commercial whaling is allowed (the moratorium on some species is lifted) then the IWC will issue quotas which undoubtedly would not be anywhere near 10,000 whales per year.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Posted in: Steam leak prompts power generation to halt at Kyushu nuclear plant See in context

Guess they must have missed the faulty steam line in their safety inspections and upgrades.

It was probably a leak from a gasket or valve/pump packing. Those things tend to dry out after years of no use and then when the system is wet again they don't fully seal. It is a 'faulty' line, but of course lets make it sound bad to enhance an already bias view.

I simply cannot believe them that no radiation leaked out.

Why not? Firstly, radiation doesn't leak out. Second, most of the plant systems are not radioactive. In a pressurized water reactor like this the steam system is isolated from the reactor and the radioactive materials.

So they're not Nuclear Power stations but Steam Powered

Nuclear reactions heat water that then produces steam which rotates a turbine which generates electricity. Just like in a coal power station the coal produces heat that creates steam to turn a turbine.

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Posted in: 200 U.S. residents seek $1 bil in damages over Fukushima nuclear disaster See in context

will be interesting to see how far this goes. Or if TEPCO settle for (say) 100 million.

Well, since basically the same case was already thrown out of court once, TEPCO has no reason to settle as this second attempt will almost undoubtedly also be throw out.

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