mkisofsky comments

Posted in: 5 myths about solar power – and the real facts See in context

Yep.

Lookit, I have state subsidized PV panels on my house in one of the sunniest markets and I feed power to a utility that is forced to both take it and credit me for it. As an energy industry guy, I can assure you that even in the most expensive energy market in the USA, this makes no economic sense because the utility is forced to pay me for power when they have lots of it.

Until there is a really efficient way to store power, solar makes very little sense.

I would be an idiot not to take advantage of it. Makes me feel bad because I am in effect taking tax dollars from the poor, though...

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Posted in: Arab nations create joint military. Is that good or bad? See in context

The US does not have a large military presence in Saudi Arabia. That is simply a fact. There are significant US military presenses in other countries in the region, probably most notably Bahrain, who is home to the US Fifth Fleet.

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Posted in: McDonald’s Japan expands Tsukimi Burger line See in context

I actually really like the teriyaki burger! When my wife and I are in Japan, they are kind of a treat for us! For me, it's a teriyaki burger and a grape qoo!!! Love 'em!!!

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Posted in: Aggressive Chinese territorial claims bring risks: U.S. general See in context

Shinjuku No Yaju:

I was going to post the same thing. I'm glad that I read all of the way to the end.

Anyone that thinks otherwise should consider Bayer during WWII.

Anyway, the debt to China, while large in comparison to what is in my bank account, is only about 7.5% of total US debt. This is around 1.2ish trillion USD. With a 16ish trillion USD of value generated every year in the USA, I'm not really sure that they are in a position to do much to push the USA around on that front. In fact, the Pentagon suggested in a 2012 assessment that using the debt as a weapon would have very little practical impact and would do far more damage to the USA than to China. I'd think that China would be more concerned about the value of its investment. 1.2ish trillion USD is worth a far bigger chunk of China than it is the USA...

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Posted in: China says Japan's defense paper 'ignores facts' See in context

I am utterly unclear on how this can be twisted into a US instigated thing...

China is clearly on an expansionist path. Japan is clearly a target, and one of many, I might add. Japan clearly doesn't care to be a target. Japan's signaling is extraordinarily mild, IMO, when one considers that China represents an existential threat.

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Posted in: Why Japan is winning and 'Western management' isn’t See in context

The first two comments are brief and spot on.

Before I go on, it may be important to clearly define the metric that was used to define "winning?" Is "winning" a journey or a destination? To win a race, isn't it a requirement to be ahead of one's competitors on some major measurement GDP, indebtedness, etc.)? By which management scale, other than nationalistic jingoism and pandering to your audience, is Japanese management winning in the world economy? "Winning" is seldom defined as "losing less than some of my competitors." Before one can improve, one must understand where and what one is. Admiral Yamamoto did and, while I can hardly presume to approach such genius, i can make that simple observation.

God forbid, I am hardly suggesting that Japanese management has no strengths. One can hardly deny that Japanese managment has recovered from any number of disasters, internally and externally generated, to forge major world civilizations and corporations. This is amazing and should be a huge source of pride to the Japanese people and a source of inspiration to the world. However, more often than it may be apparent on first blush, it is sometimes more important to make some decision, ANY decison - even the wrong one, particularly in an environment where secondary adjustments can be made rapidly - than to go through the utter torture required to reach consensus in an environment with any number of vested interests gaming the system.

Also, purity of the system involves failure. The notion of failure is intrinsic to a non-perverted Western system (the difference between a "perverted" and "non-perverted" Western business model is best summed up with the statement "GM would've failed under a totally unperverted Western model"). The Western economic ecosystem is bigger than any single company, otherwise, whale oil interests and the East India Company (easily, the largest and most entrenched corporate interest in the history of the world) would currently dominate.

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Posted in: China 'extremely concerned' about U.S.-Japan island talks See in context

All three of the individuals that you cite were just that: Individuals. Two out of three of these individuals confused themselves with the state that they represented and all three fell under the aegis of "enemies of my enemy."

Let's consider Kuwait in the equasion, shall we? This state's experience is certainly more analogous and the US has nothing like the relationship with Kuwait that it has with Japan. My family would fight, and shed blood, for Japan. There is no doubt about that, and that's just on a personal level. When we get to the government level, there are a few key allies that the US has in the world. Japan is quite high on that list, certainly higher than Kuwait, and we saw how that went. The US has seen how this "well, let's just let the tiger take a LITTLE bite" thing works out and has no interest in going through it again.

There are some that might say that there isn't unanimity in the USA. That's true. Hell, only 1/3 of the country supported the Revolutionary War and that's about historically what it has taken to win one. Very few Americans at this point fail to see China as a threat. Perhaps there's not the jingoism that we've seen in previous conflicts, but there's a resigned understanding that this China thing probably isn't going to end well. In fact, there's an emerging thread of "hell, it's not like they are getting any weaker and if this thing is inevitable, maybe sooner is better than later" starting to emerge in both Japan and the US. It's hardly bloodthirst - it's more like "let's just get it over with so that we can move on"...

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Posted in: China slams Abe over comments in Washington Post See in context

Yeah, that attack on "pear harbor" was something...

Seriously, though, c'mon. The rules have changed. Yay for human advancement! One could just as easily blast China for tons of incidents in its past as well. Most of us know what they are, too. Singling out Japan for issues during the colonial period seems pointless. All major powers, including China, "sinned" by the standards of this moment.

As for the here-and-now, it is clear to me that China sees Japan as a vassal state. Regardless of what one thinks personally of Abe-san, this needed to be said in the clear, outside of the smoke-filled rooms of diplomacy.

And I am not a fan of Abe-san's agricultural policies as I have seen what these essentially unfairly pro-US policies do to local agriculture in other regions. Furthermore, I know a ton of US farmers: They want fairness in the market and nothing more. They are old-school scrappers! Regardless, Abe-san deserves props for this one.

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Posted in: U.S. stands by Japan on island dispute with China See in context

Really, don't underestimate the Chinese. They fought the US and her allies to a standstill in Korea and they were much further behind, in technological terms, to their enemies then, than they are now

And don't overestimate the USA. All great/superpowers have that one war too far moment, from the Romans in the forest of Teuteborg to the USSR in Afghanistan. <

Really, don't overestimate the Chinese. If it comes to full-out, WWII level war, where both sides use all of the weapons that they have to kill as many of the other side as possible, China will lose, and, odds are, the Chinese will be able to kill enough Americans on native soil to fire a reaction analogous to WWII. Comparing this conflict to the essentially regional conflicts such as Korea or Afghanistan where the gloves were/are on is myopic in the extreme. Many Americans and Japanese already quietly see China as an existential threat. The common folks are hoping for the best but are prepared for the worst. It wouldn't take very many deaths to change that to active "all-in" resistance.

China has demographic and supply issues that would be quite easy to exploit during a global conflict. Having a ton of people to feed provides a short-term military advantage, but when a country has done so much for so long to threaten its neighbors, I find it quite difficult to see how those long supply lines could be turned into an advantage...

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Posted in: Holy pricey car! Original Batmobile to hit auction block See in context

I saw it at Comic Con a few years back...

I have better stuff to spend a million bucks on, but perhaps someone should contact Drew Carey...

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