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  •  Hannah, how does your second point coexist (1+ / 0-)
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    with other areas where the gov't demands a permit?

    while the general public has been led to believe that permits are like permission slips and reflect submission to a higher authority that's empowered to deny a particular behavior, that's false.

    Driving, building, protesting, guns???? The gov't claims the authority to allow only those they believe are "qualified" to do certain things. If you drive drunk, you lose your license. If you aren't an architect you surely wouldn't be allowed to build a bridge...

    Then we must include the punitive aspects of a specific behavior through lawsuits, where the person or entity can be held accountable further.

    I do, however, agree with your solutions.  It's about time we got to amending the Constitution, it's long overdue. Make incorporation only for specific public projects that benefit all, ie roads, bridges, schools, or make all corporations non-profit.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:21:47 AM PST

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    •  A license to drive an automobile is a (1+ / 0-)
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      special case in that there is a presumption that the automobile is a potentially deadly machine and the operator must be qualified to operate it.
      Technical licensing, much of which is done by non-governmental professional associations, is also based on experiential evidence of hazards associated with their activities.
      Builders of shelters for themselves cannot be forced to apply for or take out permits.  If they hire professionals, those individuals have an obligation to apply for permits and then follow up with a request for inspections to, in effect, protect themselves and their associates in the craft against charlatans and to protect householders against scam artists (which only works sporadically).
      Intentional injurious behavior, if proved, is a crime.  Negligent injurious behavior is a civil matter and subject to claims for compensation via civil suits.  It is, as Justice Kennedy proclaims, up to the citizens to enforce the laws, in the end.

      Architects, btw, design bridges and buildings.  Somebody else builds them and, in the process, often discovers mistakes.  If the mistakes don't show up or the builder is sloppy, the building or bridge falls down.  Some things, like nuclear power plants, are not supposed to fail under any circumstance.  Since that's an impossible criterion to meet, nuclear plants (at least mega ones) should not be built. It's my understanding that the Russians are using their submarines off-shore in Siberia to generate power for the facilities on shore and, so far, that's worked.  Then too, our nuclear submarines seem to be able to operate safely for a long time.  Of course, since sea water contains uranium, any contamination in such a large body of water probably wouldn't be noticed.

      It's my considered opinion that where we go wrong is in setting up monopolies and mega anythings.  "Too big to fail" is absolutely wrong.  I'd say, "too big is sure to fail," like the dinosaurs.  We now know that some survived by getting smaller and turning into birds. Monopolies and monocultures and monoliths are vulnerable to catastrophes.

      When corporations get permits for dangerous activities, there's not only the assumption that their enterprise is good, but that the community benefits from their enterprise.  So, if a few people get injured, sick or permanently damaged, the cost to them is weighed against the benefit to the corporation and corporations always come out ahead.  If we want dangerous behaviors not to be carried out, we have to prohibit them up front, like New York is doing with fracking.  Cost/benefit analysis is a great concept, as long as the costs and benefits are assigned to the same party.  If not, it's a prescription for transferring public assets into private wealth and leaving the planet worse off.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:23:07 AM PST

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      •  I'm not sure if I follow all of this. (2+ / 0-)
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        Joieau, shaharazade

        Aren't nuclear reactors inherently more dangerous than cars? Haven't we witnessed their failures in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima?  I keep thinking of the toxic waste failures like our West Valley disaster and it's designation as a "Super Fund" site. These things will cause permanent damage for billions of years. Effecting everything everywhere, planets, people, animals.

        So, I'm still a bit confused on your position.

        Since I live in NY, I'm well aware of most licensing requirements, not the specifics, mind you but here the State of NY makes it mandatory that you be educated and trained THEN apply for a license (permit) from the State.

        Without that permit you cannot engage in commerce or do many things.

        The licensing requirements ARE to prevent specific behaviors that can harm the public.

        I know here in Erie County, my landlord had to apply for a permit to build a two car garage, on his own land, for his own use.  And he had to get a permit to build a back deck, again for private use, not public and both structures had to be inspected by the State during and prior to completion.

        The builders here are not required to get permits but the land owner is.  And that land owner then must employ someone whom is licensed with the State.  Or in many cases, as reality is, most don't tell the State what they are doing on their own property and may contract with a "friend" or someone else whom may not actually know what it is they are doing.

        Officially, I'm not allowed to fix my own electric say putting in a ceiling fan or light switch or changing a wall outlet, unless I get approval first then pay to have the State, City or Town Inspector come in before walls are sealed up.

        The underlying claim by the State or governmental agency is "public safety".

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:57:11 AM PST

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        •  Yes, enforcing permits is a problem. (1+ / 0-)
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          That's probably why it's best not to invent too many demands, but people like to give orders and lots of people are convinced that governments are set up to tell people what to do, instead of just keeping them from doing wrong, again.  The first time is impossible to avoid. Which is why much crime prevention is a crock.

          Anyway, when it comes to safety and how many people are injured, that's a real problem because, so far, very few people have been injured as a result of nuclear power accidents, even as 40,000 are killed every year by automobiles.  Never mind how many are maimed and injured.

          The on-going contamination of the natural environment is probably a better base from which to argue, but, until now Mother Nature is supposed to be our toilet and animals have no right not to get injured.  After all, we eat them.

          Of course, that's why animal rights activists cause such consternation.  I figure when animals get rights, maybe humans will get them, too.

          People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

          by hannah on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:21:33 AM PST

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