Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: Hong Kong democracy activist Agnes Chow released from jail See in context

I think Agnes Chow remains a prisoner even as she is released from formal prison. The CCP will watch her all day every day. She will not be allowed to leave Hong Kong legally under any circumstances. If she tries to escape she will be sent back to prison and charged with more "crimes". She will probably never be allowed to have any kind of job beyond break back labor cleaning or working in a factory. i don't think any western country will be able to convince the CCP to let her leave unless some other country is holding a Chinese national the CCP wants back badly enough. While her parents are alive her life might not be awful but when they pass with no income and all opportunities blocked by the CCP life will be hard indeed. The CCP destroyed everything that was good in China, destroyed all of their morals. Now the CCP is intent on crushing the soul of Hong Kong and turning them into copies of the wretched people in the rest of China.

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Posted in: Japan says ties with Taiwan are only unofficial See in context

If the members of the G7 formally renounced the One China policy, what could China do?

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Posted in: U.S. vaccine surplus grows by the day as expiration dates loom See in context

This waste of the vaccine biden inherited from the Trump administration is a national disgrace. biden’s incompetence in distributing the doses to where they are needed instead of where they are no longer needed is a huge failure. 

Is it Mr. Biden's fault that a bunch of low education bigoted, bible thumping conspiracy spouting science denying idiots won't take the vaccination? At some point the right wing has to own up to their own wretched stupidity and quite blaming others.

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Posted in: U.S.-based cruise lines, eager to go, clash with Florida on vaccines See in context

If the Republican controlled government of Florida wants to dictate to the cruise lines that they cannot require crew and passengers to be vaccinated, then the ships should take their business elsewhere. There must be other ports serving the Caribbean,

In all likelihood that is what will happen. Other east coast states would be happy to have the business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Justice Department, Congress probing Trump seizures of Democrats' data See in context

And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.

That one sentence from Mr. Mueller's sworn testimony before Congress says more than all the diversionary nonsense from the right wingers and rabid Trump supporters who post here.

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Posted in: Justice Department, Congress probing Trump seizures of Democrats' data See in context

Even after the Mueller report clearly indicated that there was no provable collusion or coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, Schiff continued to propagate the lie.

Incorrect. Here is the truth. Mr. Mueller made it very clear in his testimony before Congress that nothing in his report implied the President committed no crimes, only that he felt he could not indict a sitting President. From his testimony:

"The order appointing the Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. And we conducted that investigation and we kept the Office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work.

And as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.

We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. The introduction to the volume two of our report explains that decision. It explains that under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. The special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice and by regulation it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Justice Department, Congress probing Trump seizures of Democrats' data See in context

The whole Trump cabinet is guilty of treason and as such they must pay the consequences.

Sigh, while members of the Trump administration are probably guilty of many provable crimes, treason is not one of them. Treason is the only crime defined in the US Constitution.

Article III, Paragraph 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court."

Even the insurrection does not rise to treason under the above definition and since it requires the testimony of two witnesses or a confession in open court it is not something that any prosecutor can reasonably expect to prove to the satisfaction of a jury.

I think everyone needs to lower their temperature, calm down and think logically please. The nation has problems but every political opponent is not a traitor.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Top Chinese diplomat dismisses Wuhan coronavirus theories See in context

Time for Taiwan to officually declare independence, join the UN and sign defense agreements with the rest of the world. Frankly, I would like to see a US military presence in Taiwan itself until China agrees to never use force against it.

I read the press from many nations every day and there has been mention of the current US President pushing allies to engage Taiwan more. But for Taiwan to declare independence, I think at the very least the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan would have to immediately recognize Taiwan and have their forces arriving on Taiwanese soil, commit naval forces to patrol the seas around Taiwan and for France and UK, commit to use their nuclear arsenals if necessary to defend Taiwan. Fat chance of any of that happening. Probably the very best Taiwan could hope for is for the US to start rotating major military units through Taiwan so there is a constant heavy US military presence there. Not US bases but US forces rotating through Taiwanese bases training the Taiwanese and being there to protect them. China would probably kick every US owned business out of China though. It would not be cost free for the US.

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Posted in: U.S. vaccine surplus grows by the day as expiration dates loom See in context

We May Have to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Every Year - Here's Why

The science isn't settled yet. In any event I get a flu shot every year, add Covid-19 to it. I'll probably get a booster this winter if they are offered.

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Posted in: U.S. vaccine surplus grows by the day as expiration dates loom See in context

Lots of poor nations are short on vaccines along with Taiwan. A great opportunity to help others, caveat some of the vaccines require a degree of refrigeration that is tough to achieve in many poor nations.

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Posted in: Putin says he hopes Biden will be less impulsive than Trump See in context

Asked if he is "a killer," Putin said the term was part of "macho behavior" common in Hollywood.

Such discourse "is part of U.S. political culture where it's considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here," he said.

Of course not. If one says such things about Pootie-poo in Russia they are arrested and disappear. Unlike Russia in the US one may speak their mind without fear of being sent to a gulag somewhere very cold.

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Posted in: GM delivers affordable luxury with Corvette Stingray See in context

Get one of these Corvettes OR custom build your own dream car at about 70% of the cost!!

I've done the build my own dream car thing and take it from me, it is very hard for an enthusiast to match the detailed suspension work a factory engineering team can achieve with many hours on a test track and the highway with instrumented cars and an army of techs ready to make custom springs and re-valve shocks to test. I can't afford to rent out the Nordschliefe for a week and bring my army of engineers and techs with me along with a little fleet of test vehicles to run around the track testing suspension settings. At great expense my custom is close but just not quite as refined as the best factory effort. As for cost, I could have saved money buying off the shelf, but it wouldn't be mine.

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Posted in: Toshiba colluded with ministry to undermine shareholders, probe finds See in context

In the 1980s, the US government destroyed Toshiba's semiconductor division.

Toshiba sold classified machine tooling and the necessary computer controls to the USSR from 1981-84. Toshiba falsified part numbers and model numbers on the equipment they sold to avoid export controls. I don't know if there is any truth to your claim that somehow the US government "destroyed Toshiba's semiconductor division". Such claims one reads on boards like this are usually either wildly exaggerated or outright false, but if indeed the US government did that then good for them. Those milling machines and other high tech computer controlled machines they sold them allowed the Soviets to make submarine propellers that were much quieter than anything the Soviet kludge could produce. It set western navies including the JMSDF back a decade in terms of the quietness advantage US and Japanese subs enjoyed over their Soviet counterparts. Soviet subs were much harder to detect afterwards. eeIt was at the time considered the greatest setback the west suffered at that point in the Cold War. Some of you weren't alive then but I was on the pointy end back then and remember it well. The Soviets had a lot of subs back then and ASW was serious business. JMSDF was and still is considered to be one of the best ASW forces in the world and the Toshiba affair became a serious point of contention between Japan and the US.

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Posted in: U.S.-based cruise lines, eager to go, clash with Florida on vaccines See in context

Passengers on cruise lines, vaccinated or not, have a greater chance of contracting lysteria or other diseases than covid.

Are you aware that the very first cruise ship to depart a US port, Miami in this case had a fully vaccinated crew and all passengers were vaccinated adults (proof of vaccination was required after the ship left port in Miami) that two passengers later tested positive for Covid-19? Everyone on the whole ship was vaccinated and two cases of Covid-19 occurred that are known. We are not there yet. Cruising at this point is asking for a floating super spreader.

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Posted in: Slap to Macron puts focus on ultra-right groups See in context

Conservative political parties are not “ultra-right.” It’s the mainstream media that is ultra-left.

I grew up in a world where there were actual hard core Maoists and Stalinists. Today's "left" would have called center right in my youth and Republicans of my youth would be labeled "radical leftists" by the standards of the right wing today. You have to have lived a long life to know this, but don't try to make up this idea that the media today is "ultra-left". It isn't. The press today is too afraid to say the things that were said decades ago or centuries ago. Read James Madison's famous speech "A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" and John Adams 1765 newspaper editorial "A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law". Both excoriate organized Christianity in the harshest language imaginable. Today's touchy Christians would cry "hate speech" and if I actually quoted it here my post would be promptly removed. But that was the level of discourse during the Age of Reason when nothing was beyond criticism and critiques were frequently sharp tongued. Read Thomas Payne too. If you are unfamiliar with their writings you will be shocked. Today Payne would be branded a communist heretic, but he is one of the founders of the US.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Australian states on COVID-19 alert after infected woman's interstate travel See in context

Or do you feel that the state has no right to prevent anyone from going anywhere they want at any time? Just be honest if you feel this is the case.

The US Constitution specifically prohibits restrictions on travel within the US. It is a protected right.

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Posted in: 3-story building collapses in India in heavy rain, killing 11 See in context

Could that happen here in Tokyo?

In South Korea just a few hours ago a building being demolished collapsed on a transit but killing many on the bus.

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Posted in: Military plane crashes near Myanmar's Mandalay, killing 12 See in context

It looks like one of the main cheerleaders of the Rohingya genocide is dead. Just as with Yin-Yang, the boundary between good and bad is vague and there is some good in the bad and vice versa.

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Posted in: Japan eyes regional revitalization with transfer of 10,000 workers See in context

Japan provides much better infrastructure and public services to outlying rural areas than most countries do. LDP has long courted the rural vote with such infrastructure but as a result Japan does not suffer from the disaffected, marginalized rural poor trying to get by with derelict to non-existent infrastructure and public services that breeds upheavals and revolutionary movements. There is wisdom in Japanese politics. The likes of a Donald Trump or Bojo emerging in Japan are vanishingly small.

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Posted in: Amazon may prove exception to global tax rules See in context

Saw an image of a truck today that had a picture of a laughing Jeff Bezos and the words "Tax me if you can".

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Posted in: China's factory prices soar in May but consumers avoid cost surge See in context

Ridiculous headline - of course prices will be passed to consumers.

Hard to say how much and how soon. Xi Jinping is threatening companies that are seen as taking advantage of rising commodities prices. Every business person in China is now afraid to raise their price even as their costs rise. I agree that at some point something has to give but nobody wants to test the waters and be first. Everyone is looking for a signal from Beijing. None of them wish to be the next Jack Ma.

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Posted in: Japan eyes regional revitalization with transfer of 10,000 workers See in context

This is from someone who finally abandoned a very big city for a small somewhat isolated town. It was the best move I ever made and there is no going back. I wish the PM great success in this endeavor. Give it a chance. If the plan is successful it would not surprise me if Japan's total fertility rate rose. Shore commutes and a more relaxed pace of life are wonderful things. All you city slickers should give it a chance.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: China's factory prices soar in May but consumers avoid cost surge See in context

China created the surge in commodity prices by picking a trade fight with Australia. We shall see how long their industries can absorb higher raw material prices before the prices of finished goods have to rise or the companies go bust. Business owners in China are all running scared now, afraid of being the next Jack Ma.

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Posted in: Woman sues Hokkaido gov't for not giving benefits to same-sex couples See in context

Why would same sex people get the same rights as married people?

Why wouldn't they? They are married like any other married couple. They should have the same tax and inheritance benefits and be able to make medical decisions for each other just as hetero married couples do. Treat these marriages equally under the law.

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Posted in: What's in a name? An angry spat between Harry, Meghan and the BBC See in context

Learn to ignore the press and go on with your lives. You don't owe them the time of day.

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Posted in: Keystone pipeline canceled after Biden blocks permit See in context

What bothered me most about this pipeline is the way land was taken from private landowners and tribes by eminent domain. Eminent domain should be used very sparingly and only for public infrastructure. It should never under any circumstances be used to confiscate land from one private land owner to be given to another private land owner. And Native American tribes should never be forced to surrender a square millimeter of the little land they have by any level of government for any reason.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. state of Ohio sues to have Google declared a public utility See in context

Public utilities are generally guaranteed a profit by law in exchange for state regulation. Might not be a bad deal for Google all things considered. Utility stocks and bonds are considered to be among the safest investments available. They seldom go bankrupt unless they do something really terrible like PG&E.

A problem I see is that regulating Google in only one state as a public utility while the rest of Google operates freely may not fly.

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Posted in: Amazon may prove exception to global tax rules See in context

Just wow, unbelievable, the one company that needs to be scrutinized gets a pass

Companies should be taxed by each nation based on the profits they earn in that nation selling goods or provide a service. This way each nation can tax the business conducted in their nation regardless of where the company puts their headquarters. Companies would be required to publish their revenues and expenses for each market so they can be taxed accordingly.

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Posted in: Amazon may prove exception to global tax rules See in context

When did we vote for this?

Articles regarding this tax never seem to mention the fact that legislatures of a lot of nations are going to have to approve these new taxes and their national executives have to sigh off on them for them to become law. It is not guaranteed to happen. Some nations surely will but what the problem will be a bunch of self governing British possessions that have become tax havens such as Bermuda and Gibraltar, that are under no obligation to adopt these new tax rules as their own law.

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Posted in: Russian court outlaws opposition leader Navalny's groups See in context

Putin is afraid of his own people. Weakness wafts from him.

I agree. Pretty much all autocrats act like insecure babies. Look at Winnie the Pooh. So insecure he bans a kids icon over a few funny memes. Oh waa, someone criticized me, off to the penal colony or the gallows. They wouldn't last very long in the rough and tumble of western style elected politics. Yet many Russians seem to see him as somehow strong.

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