Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: NATO: Turkey urges 'concrete steps' from Sweden, Finland See in context

Turkey and Russia were also recently on opposite sides of the 2020 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. There is still contention there as the Turks and Azeris try to force open a corridor through Armenia to connect Turkey with Iran and the Turkic speaking nations to the east. Read up on the Zangezur Corridor, which if implemented would connect Turkey through Armenia to Iran and the Turkic speaking countries to the east thus in the mind of Mr. Erdogan "unifying" the Turkic speaking nations. This is an ardent desire of Mr. Erdogan as he sees himself as a sort of a leader of the Turkic speaking world, not that the other nations see him that way. Meanwhile Russia has bases in Armenia and has an interest in keeping it whole.

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Posted in: NATO: Turkey urges 'concrete steps' from Sweden, Finland See in context

Turkey behaves like a Russian colony or satellite

Not really. Turkey and Russia are seriously butting heads in Syria and up until Russia invaded Ukraine, there was an increasing possibility of Russian and Turkish forces engaging in direct combat. Mr. Erdogan seems to be trying to recreate some degree of an Ottoman empire. He has been trying to get the five majority Muslim former Soviet SSRs into a sort of Turkish led economic union to pull them away from both Russian and Chinese influence. Turkish forces and their Syrian jihadi mercenaries fought horrific pitched battles with Russian Wagner pukes and their own Syrian government aligned allies in Libya. Turkey competes for influence with the Saudis and to a lesser degree Iran in the Muslim world. In effect they are trying to crowd the Russians out of the picture in the region.

The thing with Turkey is that Mr. Erdogan is an Islamist through and through. He considers western values and the Christian religion to be Turkey's enemies. Mr. Erdogan tries to play everyone against everyone else for Turkey's benefit, trying to pry concessions from every important nation but all he has managed to do over the years is alienate former friends and turn them against Turkey. The whole reason Mr. Erdogan bought those S-400 systems was because he demanded technical transfer and co-production as the price of selling a missile system to Turkey. Raytheon, the maker of Patriot flatly refused. Raytheon refuses to share tech data with the US military, they are not going to share with the Turks. The Russians made vague promises of tech cooperation but now have backed out. Negotiations for the 2nd lot of S400s have stalled for two years over Russian refusals to provide tech transfer and co-production. Now it appears Mr. Erdogan is going to alienate NATO over demands of Sweden and Finland that they will never consent to.

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Posted in: Sunken Hokkaido tourist boat salvaged, arrives at port See in context

Initial reports from the crew were that the boat was taking on water forward which seems to correspond to some kind of failure of that boarded over forward hatch cover.

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Posted in: Amazon delivery pressure hurting workers, labor group says See in context

If the job you're required to do hurts you so much, just quit.

If you have a wife, kids and all the expenses those entail are you just going to quit? Realize that every transportation company works their employees to the bone. I spent too much of my life around it, 14-15 hour days and it still isn't enough to meet ridiculous service deadlines and make managers happy. If you ever wondered why the trucking industry is whining about being short hundreds of thousands of drivers this is why. It is a horrible industry to work in and eventually many find a way out into another line of work. But while you set yourself up to move you have to pay the rent and put food on the table, and the injuries accrue. I can't even stand up straight any more my back is such a wreck from lifting hoses (fuel delivery) or jackassing pallets of freight with pallet jacks.

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Posted in: Amazon delivery pressure hurting workers, labor group says See in context

Not good. People I know who worked at the US Postal Service have low stress and good pensions

Are you old enough to remember the expression "going postal", meaning a fed up overworked employee takes a gun to work and in a rage starts killing people? Our wonderful long term mail carrier recently quit due to the stress and long hours of the job. The USPS distribution centers and their intercity drivers are all contractors and it is hell working where they do. They have the same ridiculous deadline pressures and high turnover one finds at FedEx Ground or UPS.

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Posted in: Filing says Elon Musk to borrow less in Twitter bid See in context

Musk has been courting major Twitter investors including co-founder Jack Dorsey in the hope of getting them to partner with him in taking the San Francisco-based company private.

Jack Dorsey just resigned as CEO of Twitter and interestingly he also resigned his position on their Board of Directors. It is normal for a former CEO to remain a board member for years, even more than a decade, after stepping down as CEO. There is speculation that he was forced out because one of Twitter's major investors Elliot Management thought Mr. Dorsey's performance as CEO was inadequate and was able to document this. There was fear, or so the story goes, that if he remained on the Board of Directors he would find a way to engineer his way back into the CEO suite. So a question to ask is would Mr. Dorsey be willing to put up his own money to team with Elon Musk to buy his company and take it private so he could once again run it?

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. fly fighters after China drill, North Korean missiles See in context

Having adequate military power and the credible threat to use it is a good deal less costly than the wars that result from being perceived by enemies as weak and easy pickings. Nations will stage exercises precisely to show their potential adversaries that their forces possess specific capabilities that either match or maybe exceed those of their adversaries as a way to signal to them that attacking them would be a bad idea. For most nations, what is revealed in exercises is very carefully thought through. You want your enemies to know you can do certain things by way of defending yourself or that you possesses specific technologies but you don't want to reveal everything. Just enough to make your adversary think twice and decide not to attack. You also poke and probe regularly to see how an adversary responds to an unexpected visit b/y a ship or airplane that shows up out of nowhere. How fast do they respond? Where do they respond from? Are there places you can approach where maybe they lack a means of detecting your presence and they do not mount a response? How close can you get before drawing a response? An example is when Admiral Lyons led the Eisenhower strike group into the Barents Sea without the Russians detecting them. The Russians did not realize an American carrier strike group was sitting basically right in the middle of their most well protected bastion until some F-14s flew past a Soviet bomber. Two goals with such an exercise, number one to see if the US forces can avoid detection in your adversaries back yard (they can) and also to show the Soviets they really do not have a bastion for their subs. NATO navies could sail there and the Russians might not be able to detect them. Things like that make your enemy reassess their capabilities and hopefully that deters them from making a mistake. And as expensive as that exercise was in dollars, it was priceless if it kept the Soviets from starting a war.

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Posted in: 2nd attempt to salvage sunken Hokkaido tourist boat begins See in context

@Sven, there is no substitute to having the actual vessel / aircraft / train / truck or what have you on dry land where all the parts my be carefully examined to determine the cause of the mishap. I have had some mishap investigation training and the clues to why things failed will be present. The investigators are not going in cold, they have the experiences of decades of prior mishap investigations to draw from. I recall in our investigation handbook there was something like 14 pages of light bulb analysis. How light bulbs fail tell a story not just about the light bulb but whether associated systems were working properly or turned on or off. If there was an inherent structural weakness that can be revealed. If certain hull vents were left open instead of being secured for heavy weather and that was a source of water ingress, that will be apparent in the wreck. The wreck will tell a story if you know how to read it and good investigators will be able to determine the cause of the mishap.

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Posted in: Will Congress act on guns after Sandy Hook, Buffalo, Uvalde? See in context

Gun violence is not an American only issue. 

Among the three dozen most developed nations, those who are members of the OECD the only other nation with similar or greater gun violence is Mexico thanks to the narcos feeding America's drug habit and the ready availability of guns just across the border in the US.

The rest of the OECD nations have a fraction of the number of deaths per 100,000 population by firearms. In some ways the US with its combination of religious fundamentalism and gun violence more closely resembles the tribal regions of Pakistan, Somalia, Chad and Niger. Rational, civilized people don't walk around carrying firearms. It is people fed a steady diet of fear and hate who do that. We have a few great examples of that ugly combination trolling this very discussion.

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Posted in: China voices firm opposition to Biden's remarks on Taiwan See in context

This is what happens when Joe is let 'off leash' for even a minute. He steps firmly and proudly into the doodoo

He said out loud what a lot of diplomats tell the Chinese in private. I genuinely believe that unlike some previous US Presidents Mr. Biden would use decisive force to defend Taiwan and not think twice about doing so. Yeah, for diplomatic reasons he has to regurgitate the tripe about One China and all that, but the reality is there probably isn't any member of either house of Congress that would balk about defending Taiwan. Congress would probably impeach and convict any President that didn't act to defend Taiwan. If the Chinese attacked Taiwan One China would be out the window. China is universally hated in the US and especially so in Congress while Taiwan is greatly admired. Even if you didn't get the message the Chinese did, and that was the main audience for that remark.

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Posted in: China voices firm opposition to Biden's remarks on Taiwan See in context

The USA has chip making technology now thanks to cooperation with South Korea and Japan.

The US has always had advanced chip making capabilities but it was mostly confined to the defense industry. However the software necessary to run the most advanced chip making forges comes primarily from the US and is tightly regulated to exclude export to adversary nations.

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Posted in: Biden says U.S. would respond militarily if China invades Taiwan; announces IPEF members See in context

In the fullness of time and as long as the US and the west make it clear they would defend Taiwan against an unprovoked Chinese attack and Taiwan doesn't do anything precipitous like declare independence that would force China to attack, in other words the current status quo is maintained indefinitely I expect the government of Taiwan to outlast the CCP. Just like the old USSR the PRC looks so mighty and menacing but their government is rigid and brittle. Grievances accumulate and the CCP has no means for self reflection and correction. Rather it is all about looking strong and never admitting mistakes. That rigidity will be their downfall. China faces daunting problems with demographics and a looming massive water shortage as glaciers that feed important rivers disappear. The CCP is perhaps the government least able to deal with these problems effectively.

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Posted in: Iraqi arrested in plot to kill ex-President Bush See in context

what do you mean terrorists are coming across the unsecured border with the illegals?!

thars not happening, stop making things up! has always been the liberal response.

Direct quote from the article above:

"Shihab arrived in the United States on a visitor visa in September 2020 and sought asylum in March 2021 when his visa expired."

Most illegal immigrants to the US do not come across the southern border. They arrive by airplane on a valid visa and overstay their visa.

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Posted in: Tucker Carlson: Voice of white America's outrage and fears See in context

 You'll find, the official stance of Episcopalians, Methodists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and more is officially progressive. These liberals take actions to improve the lives of their communities and the nation. 

Were Christ alive among us today he would be appalled at the horrors committed in his name.

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Posted in: Japan says China, Russia jets flew nearby as Quad met See in context

both Russia and China aren't communist states anymore.

China under Xi Jinping is reverting back to Communism. Xi is a Maoist true believer. Read his speeches. He makes claims that history has proven Marx and Lenin correct and that capitalism is destined to fail. He claims China is on the path to communist perfection. He favors the state run industries over private firms and is increasingly repressing private enterprise having stripped several of the wealthiest Chinese entrepreneurs of control of the very companies they founded. He wears Zhongshan suits just as Mao did and calls himself Chairman. Now Xi is talking about wealth redistribution. Russia may not be communist but China never really fully abandoned it, and now is turning its back on capitalism for a communist revival. It will be interesting to see if the three factions who most strongly oppose Xi are able to stop him from having a third term as General Secretary and PRC President. If Xi gets that third term expect more repression of private industry and greater repression of the average Chinese.

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Posted in: Japanese plastics firm charged over alleged bribes to Vietnam officials See in context

I was thinking it sounds like the Vietnamese are running an extortion racket.

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Posted in: Sunken Hokkaido tour boat drops back to seabed while being towed See in context

Why the heck would they allow tourist boats to operate in water that will kill you year round after 15 minutes and only require life jackets? Why?

Dry suits have to be fitted to the individual and take time to put on. They also cost a couple of thousand bucks a pop. One does not see passengers on expedition cruises to the Antarctic wearing Gumby Suits either despite the cold water.

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Posted in: Sunken Hokkaido tour boat drops back to seabed while being towed See in context

Thank you Snowymountain; yes, it was reported by TV news that the boat hull had been punctured at the stern, near the rudder. (This is the area which sits lowest in the water, and if the boat driver had been operating close to shore to give the passengers a better view, then this would be the point of contact against underwater rocks.) If the engine compartment had subsequently flooded, the engine would have stopped and all propulsion lost..

Before the boat sank the crew reported it was taking on water towards the bow. The next to last paragraph says:

"The sightseeing vessel made an emergency call early Saturday afternoon, saying its bow had flooded and that it was beginning to sink and tilt, the coast guard said. Contact with the boat had since been lost. The coast guard said the operator told them that everyone on the boat was wearing a life vest, but some of the victims found were without them."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tour-boat-26-missing-north-japan-distress-call-r

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Posted in: Tucker Carlson: Voice of white America's outrage and fears See in context

Tucker Carlson is the poster boy for "replacement theory". If anything he is a reason to wish that "replacement theory" was a real thing, because the faster white racists like him die off the better the US will be. I grew up with racism. My immediate family, my neighbors, my friends parents all openly disparaged blacks. Even where I live now people my age use the N word freely. I get what the Tucker Carlson's of the world are saying. I also know it is wrong, that is deeply and profoundly immoral.  That fear of what you don't know and the racism that grows from that fear poisons your soul, and those who like Mr. Carlson make large amounts of money by appealing to the most base instincts in people are the lowest of the low. Instead of appealing to the good in people he preys on their fears. What a perfectly horrible individual. There is no reason to carry the weight of racism. Free yourselves from it! Open your eyes and see how whites have treated non-whites even to this day. See non-whites for the people they are, not the twisted racist stereotypes you have been fed by miserable wretches like Tucker Carlson.

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Posted in: Sandstorms pose serious risk to human health See in context

Here's a tip---if you see a sandstorm brewing outside, stay in.

Your boss tells you if you don't go outside and come to work you're fired, you are going to go outside. Or you have a job that requires that you do at least some of your work outside, like making deliveries and pick ups in a truck, construction or farming. How about police and firefighters? Stay at home? Sure thing.

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Posted in: Manufacturers getting to grips with airless tires See in context

Those tires are pretty ugly.

Beauty is as beauty does. For a time when there were still some new homes being built around where I live we called one street "Puncture Place" and stayed off it. It seemed every time we used that street we would end up with a flat tire. Plus having to drag the compressor out every two weeks or so to air up tires is a chore.

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Posted in: Australian PM-elect Albanese says Quad meeting in Tokyo 'absolute priority' See in context

In my mind, people should be free, but as for democracy, each person usually gets a vote. Not different rules for different people.

Who represents the interests of Aboriginal communities in the Australian Parliament? White members who's districts overlap Aboriginal lands. But their constituencies are mostly non Aboriginal and because of this the needs of Aboriginal communities are drown out by louder voices of a the non Aboriginal majority. Are there majority Aboriginal Parliament districts in Australia? None that I am aware of. They effectively have no representation.

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Posted in: Australian PM-elect Albanese says Quad meeting in Tokyo 'absolute priority' See in context

Not without China.

What are your loyalties? Why do you always cheer lead China?

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Posted in: Scientists baffled by monkeypox cases in Europe, U.S. See in context

You've got me there. I've no idea. But is it a case of the immune system failing or simply not existing for certain people in regard to certain diseases? We're not all the same

I doubt what we are seeing is any kind of failure of the immune system. If you consider the many billions of times a pathogen like Monkeypox reproduces itself each year, the chance that every reproductive event goes perfectly is essentially zero. There will be mutations and defects in some instances. In most cases these defects and mutations do not give the pathogen any advantage, some will even worsen its ability to survive and reproduce, and the mutation dies off quickly. Other times a mutation is neutral, neither harming or helping survival and that mutation continues to turn up from time to time. But once in a while there will be a mutation that gives the pathogen an edge over its un-mutated cousins in terms of survival or ability to reproduce. In addition there can be cases where there is a change in the pathogen's environment, say the introduction of antibiotics or anti-viral drugs and one finds that a previously neutral mutation floating around in the gene pool endows the holders of that mutation an advantage in this newly altered environment. An example would be a white bear in an oak woodland would not be a good thing. But throw in an ice age and suddenly being a white bear has a major survival advantage over brown and black bears. I think we are experiencing something similar here, but genetically sequencing samples of the virus taken from current patients will determine if there was a survival enhancing change in the virus samples taken from sufferers.

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Posted in: Sandstorms pose serious risk to human health See in context

Unfortunately this possibility is what can make developed countries actually try and do something about it,

Dude, developed nations like the US have had big sandstorms like this since they were founded. It is part of life in the desert. Places like Phoenix Arizona get smothered by massive "Haboobs" with some frequency. My insurance just repainted and replaced most of the windows and headlights on our van after it was sandblasted in a desert sand storm so bad we were down to about 40 kph creeping along in low visibility while you could hear the rocks cracking off the sides of the van and the windows. In the first 25 km we saw four big semi trailers and two fifth wheel travel trailers blown over. Further down the road another two semis and four more contractor or personal travel trailers were flipped over by the wind. The dirt gets in your nose and mouth. Even with windows and doors closed it finds ways to get into your home and piles up in little dunes. Annoyingly if manages to get into the air conditioning of the car so when the fan is on it's blowing sand out of the dashboard vents. If you can, you stay indoors because everyone out here knows breathing that stuff isn't healthy but that day we had no choice. You have to have a hard shell like a Desert Tortoise to thrive in the desert. But sandstorms are as old as the desert.

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Posted in: Taiwan not included in launch of new Biden Indo-Pacific pact See in context

t's all about chip technology so...can you imagine what deep doo doo the USA would be in if China /Taiwan and South Korea and Japan was to rid themselves of the USA parasite.

Where would the USA get enough minerals and elements to make chips and compete as a world power ?

It's not that simple. Nearly all the software used to operate those chip forges comes from US based firms and are a tightly controlled export. Without that software the Taiwanese and Korean chip makers would struggle. The US cut China off from access to the software and they are hurting as a result.

There is an abundance of rare-earth metals in the desert southwest. They are not currently mined because mining costs in the US are greater than those in some other nations so mining them in the US is not competitive. However there are already new mines being developed in the US and an existing mine on the California Nevada border has recently resumed mining these minerals. It is not a problem of lack of supply.

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Posted in: Capsule hotel tells you how many times you snore during the night See in context

My snoring would crash the system O_o

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Posted in: Turkey's Erdogan talks to Swedish, Finnish leaders on NATO See in context

It's likely that everyone will look the other way whilst Sweden and Finland suspend their ethics and kick out anyone Erdogan wants them to. He'll probably bag a load of other favours and some cash, and then set about suppressing opposition at home Putin-style.

I don't see that happening. The rest of the NATO allies are on Sweden and Finland's side on this matter. Many of these Kurds are refugees fleeing Turkish political persecution, among them are journalists who wrote critically of the current Turkish regime and are called "terrorists" as a result and some former Turkish elected members of their Parliament who the government labeled as terrorists for daring to challenge the policies of Mr. Erdogan. The great majority of NATO allies are frankly appalled at how Turkey is being transformed into a theocratic dictatorship by Mr. Erdogan and his allies. What I see happening after a long period of dispute is the Turks being offered some almost valueless palliative to give Mr. Erdogan a fig leaf but in the end the Swedish courts in particular are not going to allow the extradition of refugees to Turkey knowing they are going to be sent to prison for the high crime of voicing an opinion contrary to that of the current rulers of Turkey. The US never extradited Fethullah Gulen for much the same reason, and because the Turks could not provide evidence of probable cause to believe he and his organization were indeed guilty of any crimes. Mere allegations are not proof and the Scandinavian nation's courts are not pushovers in this regard. Turkey may find itself isolated with no allies if they push this too far, but if you look at Mr. Erdogan's history he paints himself into these corners frequently and has to back down.

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Posted in: Turkey's Erdogan talks to Swedish, Finnish leaders on NATO See in context

Anyone who opposes Mr. Erdogan is labeled a "terrorist". Mr. Erdogan is trying to have over 500 members of the Istanbul government arrested for "terrorism". Their crime? They are members of an opposition political party that defeated the candidate from Mr. Erdogan's party. He is also hinting at having his primary opponent for the upcoming Presidential election arrested, calling his criticism of Arab investment in Turkey "treason". Over 150 journalists are in prison in Turkey for telling the truth. Some managed to escape before they could be arrested and now reside in Scandinavian nations including Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Some years ago the Turks tried to block a Dane from leading NATO because there were Kurds sitting in the Danish Parliament. Oh the horror, "terrorists" on the Danish Parliament. The Turks had to back down on that one,, shamed by the other NATO members who backed the Danish candidate. Ultimately this move by the Turks will further isolate them within the alliance. Not mentioned is that neither house of the US Congress will approve weapons sales to the Turks. They have been blocked for I think four years now. The Senate in particular is against any arm sales to Turkey and rightly so as Turkey with their support for HTS (formed out of Al Nusra) and tacit support for Daesh is a state sponsor of terrorism. The real terrorists are the Turks, not the Swedes.

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Posted in: Opposition Labor Party leader Albanese elected Australian PM in complex poll result See in context

Absolutely...wouldn it be nice to witness something similar here instead of the political blue blood dynasties just passing down the battons.

Wasn't President Clinton's mother recently widowed when he was born? He grew up for a time with grandparents, then with his mom who remarried, but the step father was a drunken gambler who abused his mother and half brother? Jimmy Carter wasn't wealthy either, nor was Harry Truman. Somehow he managed to be elected as a county judge without a law degree or even a bachelors degree.

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