Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: Thousands of Danes protest canceling of public holiday See in context

Like japan, Denmark is not at war with any country.

Under spending on deterrence and looking weak is a good way to invite an attack on your land. Nations do not initiate wars against nations that appear to be strong and well defended. Sufficient military strength and the unstated threat to use it is how you prevent you enemies from attacking you. Denmark is a NATO ally and their military contributes to the overall strength and deterrence value of NATO.

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Posted in: At least 1,400 dead, thousands injured after quake hits Turkey, Syria See in context

Building with bricks, stones, and concrete is surly not a good idea in these areas, I hope they will start using wood or a combination of the two.

I can't find the article right now, it was in AL-Monitor or Middle East Eye, but Turkey has a problem with a lot of unpermitted buildings. Istanbul has whole city blocks of unpermitted buildings thrown up by greedy developers while city and national governments all looked the other way. They also have weak building codes on the occasions their codes are enforced. We see the tragic results.

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Posted in: At least 1,400 dead, thousands injured after quake hits Turkey, Syria See in context

This was a sign from God, punishment for trying to deny Sweden entry into NATO. Shame on Erdogan, making his people pay for his incompetence with punishment from God.

Sigh. Not the time or place for that.

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Posted in: At least 1,400 dead, thousands injured after quake hits Turkey, Syria See in context

California, Japan and Chile need to send some of their experienced earthquake disaster rescue experts and fast.

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Posted in: At least 1,400 dead, thousands injured after quake hits Turkey, Syria See in context

@Eastman But the world calls it what it is Turkey!!

Turkiye changed the English spelling and pronunciation of their name last year to more closely match the Turkish pronunciation. The UN has adopted it. J-T and even some of the Middle Eastern press has not yet changed.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

Yep, the rabbit has been pulled from the hat, the secret revealed. It's Bunny Unguided Global Strike, or BUGS for short.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

we dont need US army hare and their rockets as well.

Uh-oh, the top secret attack bunny program has been revealed :)

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Posted in: Politics, cash, fame: What motivates climate change deniers See in context

So then why do many leftists call men women knowing that they can't have babies? 

Please show verifiable examples of this. Waving the bs flag until you do.

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Posted in: Politics, cash, fame: What motivates climate change deniers See in context

Will they put charging stations throughout the desert? 

There are charging stations up and down US 395 if that answers your question.

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Posted in: Politics, cash, fame: What motivates climate change deniers See in context

I just want to mention that the idea of buying and selling pollution credits or carbon credits came from two Reagan administration lawyers, John B. Henry and C. Boyden Gray. These were Republicans and lawyers, but also outdoorsy who liked to hike and camp in the Appalachians. They could see the effects of strip mining and other polluting activities, but being conservative in nature sought a way to put a market price on the cost of polluting. That idea became pollution credits. Environmentalists and liberals immediately labeled the idea "pay to pollute" and condemned it. Economists however saw merit in the idea, this in a time when there were arcane policy debates about the value of "Best Possible Technology" vs "Best Practicable Technology". Pollution is very much a cost of production, one born by the sufferers of the pollution and not incorporated into the cost of production so it is not reflected in the price of the polluting good or service. Their idea was to put a price on pollution so the price of the good or service reflected the price of pollution and manufacturers would be motivated to reduce pollution. It took over three decades for economists to get environmentalists and liberals to warm up to the idea, and as soon as they did the far right started calling pollution credits a "leftist plot" or worse, effectively denouncing their own idea.

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Posted in: Chile forest fire death toll rises to 24; hundreds left homeless See in context

Like in Brazil, many of these forest fires are caused to clear land for the beef industry.

Sigh. No, that is not the case in Chile. These are mountain forests on the border with Argentina. It is more like the Sierra Nevada or Rocky Mountains. Temps of 40 degrees C or more and high winds are driving these fires. Chile is a lot more arid than Brazil.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

What the US Army is calling their "Midrange Capability" are three systems, a ground launched Tomahawk, a ground launched SM-6 (same launch vehicle for both) and a medium range ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle. All of these are either active today or will be by the end of the year.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

1) Are these weapons financed by US, or will we end up paying for them?

The US Government is buying them and they will be operated and maintained by US military personnel.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

And Historically how has that theory worked out ?

It has prevented another big war in Europe. It has prevented DPRK from re-invading the south. It has so far prevented PRC from attacking Taiwan. It is deterring China from taking revenge on Japan for WWII, something they burn to do. I'd say it has worked well overall in preventing really big wars like the one Japan started with her neighbors.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

@desert You are bumping right up to the line of dehumanizing an entire nation. Have you ever read John Dower's War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War? Of course if you are in the business of waging wars, dehumanizing the other side is modus operandi.

I am not dehumanizing the Chinese. The effing communist party has already accomplished that. The CCP has destroyed all the good things in Chinese culture and replaced it with ???? Nothing. All that is left is consumption and wealth accumulation. Half my family is Chinese. They live in abject fear of government. Even here in the US my wife was freaking out when I challenged a traffic ticket in court, fearing I would be arrested and disappear. Why? Because that is what happens if you challenge authority in China.

My wife is an electrical engineer. A very good one too, a real honest to goodness rocket scientist. But I see her educational shortcomings every day. Despite an American university education she is filled with superstitions and lives her life based on Chinese old wives tales. She will tell you in all earnestness that the sunlight has poison in it. Sun poison she calls it. When I try to explain that old story probably comes from a lack of understanding of heat exhaustion and heat stroke she angrily dismisses this. NO! The sun is poison. End of argument. Same thing with colds. To her you catch a cold from cold air. Try to tell her a cold only comes from a corona virus or that your nose runs on a cold day because it is the body's way of warming the nasal passages and she gets angry and tells me I know nothing. When our kid was born I had to endure this one month seclusion nonsense where I could not even enter the bedroom with her and our infant son and had buy a very expensive special diet. She didn't wash her hair for a month after giving birth because somehow this too was dangerous to her health. Oh yeah, she can't can't drink anything cold when she is on her period. She brews up these horrible smelling potions in a big clay pot, herbal medicine. I can smell this stuff down the street walking the dogs! I love her dearly but the Chinese school system isn't teaching the Chinese much except party dogma and a version of history that has many gaps and distortions. They also apparently do not teach anything resembling a modern health class.

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Posted in: China's mega-rich move their wealth, and partying, to Singapore See in context

The immigrant superrich are a squid wrapped around the face of their host socieities, as working middle-class residents of London, Vancouver and Sydney will tell you. When they move in en-mass, say good bye to affordability.

They have the best accountants in the world specialized at tax avoidance. They contribute almost nothing to their host community, they just take, take, take. How do you think they got rich in the first place.

This whole post is racist and repugnant. Read the biography of Jack Ma. He is nothing like you describe here. He struggled and got rich by dint of hard work and an innovative mind. Shame on you!

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Posted in: China's mega-rich move their wealth, and partying, to Singapore See in context

If tax rates are low rate and simple, without loads of complicated loopholes, they wouldn’t bother.

Complicated tax systems are the cause of the problem, not people trying to keep their own money through legal means.

Rich Chinese are not leaving China because of the tax system. They are leaving because they saw what happened to Jack Ma and a couple of other Chinese tech titans and want to protect their wealth from being taken from them arbitrarily by an authoritarian government that does what it wants and offers no legal recourse for citizens to fight them. In addition, since private land ownership is outright prohibited in China, there is no way for Chinese to accrue generational wealth. The Chinese all want to be able to pass a home and some residual wealth and property down to their kids but China makes that almost impossible to do. Countless Chinese buy homes abroad so their kids will have something when they die. Then they stash their cash abroad to prevent the CCP from stripping them of their hard earned.

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Posted in: Why are people turning to psychedelics like ayahuasca? See in context

Just another drug for the weak-minded to use to hide from the real world

That's about it. Weaklings can't handle life so they turn to drugs thinking it is an escape when in the end it just makes their miserable lives even worse. But, hey, I got my freedumb. Right?

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Posted in: Canada deploys military aircraft over Haiti to disrupt gangs See in context

The only way a plane can finish gangs is by bombing them.

It's an eye in the sky to inform the UN force on the ground where to look for gangs. It is also a communications node and a place from which ground actions may be coordinated.

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Posted in: Turkey President Erdogan says Western missions will 'pay' for closures See in context

The Sultan of Ankara is coming unglued.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

China has zero to gain and lots to loose in starting any military conflict involving Japan / US bases here. It ain,t gonna happen. 

China's educational system doesn't teach their children the same history of the world taught in most democracies. They can view the same events westerners view but in their minds, based on what they are taught, they see something very different. One has to be very cautious making assumptions about what CCP leadership thinks. Do not assume they share our values or see the world the same way we do. They will weigh costs and benefits differently. It is a scary thing actually. Example, until this past year my wife was absolutely certain that Vietnam tried to invade China and China beat them. I managed to amass enough evidence to convince her otherwise. Likewise she believes the US started the Korean war and that China defeated the US. She know absolutely nothing about any of the Arab Israeli wars or even how Israel came to be. She is a brilliant engineer and very smart, but she was taught a version of history that is not complete. She is like the leaders of China today, same generation. They have the same educational shortcomings and thus may make choices that we never would.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

The more Japan allows Americans into its territories, the more missiles Russia will install on its islands. Missiles aimed not only at American bases, but also towards the Japanese islands. Do you need it?

Sigh. The missiles the Russians put on the Kuriles are Yakhont anti-ship missiles and they don't go very far. They are there to deter an amphibious assault.

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Posted in: U.S. weighs deploying medium-range missiles to U.S. forces in Japan: report See in context

You may not be a warmonger, but there are many in the Pentagon and both US and Japanese administrations that are.

Only someone who has never spent a day in uniform or as a civilian employee of a military organization would say that. There are very darn few in that line of work who actually want to go to war. People like that tend to get weeded out as crazies. They don't usually promote. The leadership is composed of sober minded people who, get this, like people and want to keep their people alive and happy. The best military leaders are the ones who look after their troops. Same thing on the civilian side. I've been in both.

You prepare for war to deter the other side from attacking you. You make it obvious to the other side that attacking you is a losing proposition, so you are always looking for ways to achieve dominance. If a big war breaks out it means we failed miserably. Deterrence should prevent wars.

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Posted in: Japan needs stable, sustained inflation, gov't official says See in context

The state of California if it were a country, would be ranked as having the fifth largest GDP of any country on the planet.

California's GDP just this past year bumped Germany out of the number 4 spot.

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Posted in: Japan needs stable, sustained inflation, gov't official says See in context

Japan was the first QE countries ( quantitative easing) and QE is really to blame with our inflation and soon to be hyper inflation to come. 

You have it all backwards. Japan was the first major industrial nation to face deflation. There is literally only one way out of a deflationary spiral and that is inflationary fiscal and monetary policy. Japan has struggled for decades with incipient deflation. Deflationary pressures caught up with the rest of the world circa 2008-2009 and persisted until 2020.

The current bout of inflation is temporary, driven by the supply chain disruptions and material shortages caused by the pandemic and subsequent Russo-Ukraine war. Those pressures are already easing. Trans-Pacific container rates are already below their previous 2019 lows and container volume is likewise down and continues to fall. Oil prices are down from a year ago. Prices and inflation will continue to fall and mark my words, within two years the developed world will be again facing deflationary pressures. Why? The fundamental drivers, declining velocity of money, prevalence of monopoly and oligopoly in major consumer markets and market consolidation have not abated in the least.

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Posted in: Japan needs stable, sustained inflation, gov't official says See in context

You are not fooling anyone. The only reason for inflation (rising prices) is to make the rich even richer. Especially the 1%ers who own 40% of the world's wealth.

That is not true. A low stable inflation rate allows people and businesses to plan for the future and to borrow to buy homes or expand their business noting that there are a lot of small scale business people like me out there who are not wealthy. When you have deflation nobody borrows because your collateral is losing value, your income is declining but your outstanding loan balance doesn't. Deflation chokes off investment and growth. Savings accounts pay effectively no interest. People hold off buying because they figure if they wait the price will fall. That is why economists of all stripes say low positive inflation, around 2% per year, is the best situation.

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Posted in: Japan needs stable, sustained inflation, gov't official says See in context

Simple solution…. Japan is the only industrialized country that does NOT include the prices for fuel and food in their GDP…

I think you meant not including food and fuel in the inflation calculation. That is actually acommon practice around the world. I know the US does not include food and fuel prices in their Consumer Price Index for a very good reason. Those prices rise and fall seasonally in a predictable pattern. Food is cheapest in the summer and fall when it is grown and harvested. It is most expensive in the winter and early spring when no food has been grown for a few months (California, Arizona and Florida excepted) and supplies are running low. Incorporating food prices in a quarterly inflation calculation in March would greatly overstate underlying inflation. Likewise fuels go through seasonal price swings and are likewise most expensive in the winter when heating soaks up much fuel.

GDP calculations by definition will include the value of all food and energy sold and consumed.

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Posted in: 'Android' arrested for rice ball theft in Japan; Android Woman denies involvement See in context

Have you never been to Los Angeles or New York? There's much weirder and funnier crap going on there, I assure you.

I grew up in LA. I drove school buses there to pay for my bachelors degree. The weirdness there is mostly not so innocent.

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Posted in: 'Android' arrested for rice ball theft in Japan; Android Woman denies involvement See in context

While I agree that Japanese are nonconformists with an eclectic sense of humour - theft from conbinis is NOT "harmless". They are on wafer-thin profit margins, and what you may term as a bit of harmless theft can actually run them out of business.

I was thinking more of the Youtuber who calls herself an android. I fully agree with you regarding theft. I have no sense of humor regarding theives.

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Posted in: Trees could cut urban heatwave mortality by a third: study See in context

From experience I believe trees very much reduce the heat island effect. I'm an avid motorcycle rider. I almost always commute by motorcycle. One thing I noticed coming home from a job driving gasoline tank trucks in the wee hours was, in the summer, it was much cooler passing by city parks. I don't think the cooling effect is confined only to trees. Where I live now in the desert, I typically go to work before the sun comes up. The route to work takes me through town to the edge of the desert. Half a block from the end of town the air cools dramatically. No trees out there, just sage and creosote mostly but it is much cooler on the state highway adjacent the open desert at 5 am than it was just one block back in a residential area.

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