Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: U.S. judge delays extradition of 2 men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan See in context

"On some websites in the US they say if they are extradited, groups like the proud boys, etc. will destroy Japan's economy from America by boycotting all Japanese products exported to America etc. They are already "guarding the voting places, and anticipate civil war 2.0. The Taylors are "connected" like you could not believe Japan

So they'll buy Chinese made goods instead? Proud boys indeed!

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Posted in: Anti-Murdoch petition wins record support in Australia See in context

Mr. Murdoch probably has a little statue of William Randolph Hurst he worships at. Birds of a feather really.

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Posted in: Japan urges S Korea to present solution over wartime labor row See in context

Newsflash, Japan never was at war with Korea. 

Uh, yes it was. See the events surrounding the Donhak Revolution, which brought Japanese forces to Korea to fight Chinese forces stationed in Korea. The Korean King asked for Chinese help to defeat the Donhak, but Japan considered that a of the Convention of Tientsin. Japan landed forces defeated the Qing forces there, forced them to surrender Korea's tributary status leading to Korean independence. Japan then assisted Korean army to defeat the Donhak Revolution. Only Czarist forces were left in Korea to compete with the Japanese. Japan was next involved in the murder of Queen Min. Japan's 1904 defeat of the Russians eliminated the only other competitor for influence in Korea. With their hegemony firmly established Japan forced Korea to accept protectorate status in 1905 followed by outright annexation in 1910. The "Righteous Armies", anti-Japanese rebels fought the Japanese for two years following annexation, including a failed effort to re-take Seoul.

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Posted in: Masks and COVID-19: In the U.S., a patchwork of policies persist See in context

Adult self restraint, the ability to defer gratification and all notions that citizens have obligations to something greater than their immediate wants seems to be absent in much of the white western world. Incessant selfishness will be the west's downfall. They have become too accustomed to being prosperous, able to do as they please and having all of their wants immediately satisfied, with easy payment plans of course (what do you mean save for something and pay cash ? I want it NOW). As soon as something really tough comes up that requires people to alter their hallowed daily routine and give up a few things they like, the whole house of cards collapses and we see just how weak many people are. I'm sure the Chinese are even more convinced now that all they have to do is detonate one nuke in the US somewhere and the Americans will all throw up their hands in surrender. Taiwan and Japan should take heed at American sniveling over logical Covid-19 precautions and plan to be on their own when the dragon comes calling. I am ashamed for the US.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. begin military exercise as concern about China grows See in context

Mao claimed communism like so many others. But he also didn’t follow the tenets of communism.

Well, that is your opinion but the Chinese disagree. What part of Marxist-Leninist doctrine did Mao miss pray tell?

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Posted in: Anti-Murdoch petition wins record support in Australia See in context

Mergers and acquisitions across multiple important consumer markets have greatly reduced competition and allowed many very large companies to behave like monopolists, reducing choices and raising prices. The right rants about "socialism" which by and large doesn't exist in the democratic nations of the world, but is blind to the real and immediate economic threat of too few firms and the resulting lack of effective competition that allows companies like Pepsico, Miller Coors and Unilever to dominate big consumer markets. Not to mention big tech firms, or how UPS and FedEx dominate package delivery and use their market power and the high cost of entry to that industry (big UPS or FedEx distribution hubs, the trucks, the aircraft and all the technology to track packages across the globe isn't cheap) to keep competitors at bay. The same is true to a degree in the US media market. Murdoch's hold on Australian media outlets is just one facet of a global problem of how capitalism is being distorted by oligopoly and monopoly. Adam Smith and David Ricardo both warned us of this btw. We just didn't listen.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. begin military exercise as concern about China grows See in context

The CCP has never followed the tenets of communism.

Mao certainly did, but it didn't turn out so well for China. People forget how brutal Mao was and how rigidly communist orthodoxy was enforced under his rule. That orthodoxy and rigidness are returning under Xi Jinping.

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Posted in: U.S. judge delays extradition of 2 men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan See in context

Isn't this something that Suga and the next US president can work out quietly?

Nope. In the US, judges do not answer to the Legislative or Executive branches. They're independent and guard that independence jealously. This is why Federal judgeships are lifetime appointments, so they cannot be leaned on by politicians.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. begin military exercise as concern about China grows See in context

The CCP has never followed the tenets of communism. But the term sounds much better than the Chinese Authoritarian Oligarchy Party, which would be more accurate. So they push the propaganda that they are communist.

They call it Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. They teach that it is Maxism-Leninism adapted to Chinese circumstances and specific time periods. In the party's official narrative, socialism with Chinese characteristics is Marxism–Leninism adapted to Chinese conditions and a product of scientific socialism. The theory stipulated that China was in the primary stage of socialism due to its relatively low level of material wealth and needed to engage in economic growth before it pursued a more egalitarian form of socialism, which in turn would lead to a communist society described in Marxist orthodoxy. Ergo in the minds of the CCP they are indeed communists in the true sense pursuing a path to achieving the ultimate communist society.

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Posted in: Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows See in context

One side of me likes seeing her running for VP but another side wanted to see her stay in the Senate and accumulate the knowledge and power of a senior senator for the sake of California. Hopefully whomever replaces Dianne Feinstein can become that senator because at this point I sure as heck don't want to see her lose the election.

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Posted in: Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows See in context

The funny, or maybe it's ironic, thing about Kamala Harris is that the right paints her as this radical left Trojan Horse while the lefties on the west coast have an even darker but contrary view, seeing her as more of an authoritarian right wing Mrs. Law and Order defender of killer cops who can never be trusted.

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Posted in: Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows See in context

Surprise, surprise. Wait til they discover she was born in Iran to gay parents!

Among many who support Donald Trump, being born in California to immigrant parents, and a mixed race couple at that (oh the horror !) might be seen as more disqualifying that being born in Iran to gay parents.

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Posted in: Diet session opens; Suga says Japan to go carbon-free by 2050 See in context

Zero carbon emissions? Really? Is that really necessary? Sounds a bit extreme to me and I'm worried about the cost.

Doing nothing also has a cost. Too many people fail to realize that pollution is a very real cost of production but it is a cost typically not priced into the product or service the production of which creates the pollution. But mark my words, pollution is a real cost and doing nothing could be more costly than going carbon neutral or carbon free.

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Posted in: Japan not considering new reactors to help reach 2050 carbon-neutral goal See in context

I reckon I'm an outlier but I see nuclear power as a major part of eliminating the carbon economy. Renewable energy is nice but it is not able to provide a base load and may not be sufficient or even available for periods of peak demand. Solar and wind power don't do you any good on a hot, humid, still night when air conditioners are cranked full. Yes such power, its fuel and waste need to be well regulated but that is possible. I don't have the visceral fear of nuclear energy some apparently have.

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Posted in: Japan not considering new reactors to help reach 2050 carbon-neutral goal See in context

Have they not learned anything from Fukushima?

The articles says Japan is not considering new reactors.

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Posted in: Nissan to boost production capacity in China amid pickup in demand See in context

My brother in law's Honda Crider is made in China and sold nowhere else.

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Posted in: Nissan to boost production capacity in China amid pickup in demand See in context

Seriously Nissan? China? After all this? Build your cars in Japan or any other country or you will lose another customer.

If you want to sell cars in China a firm pretty much has to accept living with a Chinese equity partner and make their cars in China. About the only cars sold in China that aren't built there are small volume niche vehicles. Most major auto manufacturers assemble cars there out of necessity. In many cases there are models specific to China you do not see elsewhere. For someone who is a car guy, seeing an unfamiliar car wearing a Chevy badge on a Shanghai street is a real eye opener. Cadillac and Buick also sell cars specialized for Chinese tastes.

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Posted in: Australia, Japan, U.S. to fund undersea cable for Pacific island of Palau See in context

Where? And why is our tax money paying for that?

Palau, the scene of a fierce WWII battle, is friendly to the US, Japan and Australia. The US has a small military presence there but Palau is being courted by China, which has been throwing lots and lots of development money at all the small island nations in the Pacific. Palau is one of only 15 nations to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China would very much like to see this change. Throwing money at development programs is one of the ways they accomplish this. They recently flipped the Solomon Islands this way. The US and Australia are trying to promote diplomatic engagement with Taiwan and fend off Chinese attempts to buy friends in the Pacific.

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Posted in: South Korean ex-president Lee ordered back to prison for 17 years See in context

The 5th Amendment is interpreted as a way to prevent political parties using their political power to prosecute their opponents. For example, Dana Rohrabacher was supposed to have Russian ties and support, yet the Democrats didn't prosecute him on a sham trial because they do not have necessary evidences - it can take years to do so!

That isn't in the 5th Amendment. It is because of the legal principles that one is innocent until proven guilty, the burden of proof is on the accuser which forces the accusers to produce sufficient evidence to convince a jury the accused is guilty and the principle that a criminal conviction requires proof "beyond a shadow of a doubt".

There is also a general reluctance in US politics to avoid fratricide or to engage in retributory prosecutions as that can cut both ways.

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Posted in: Trump or Biden, Japan likely to face harsh demands in trade talks See in context

Read this to disabuse yourself of the notion that cutting the budget deficit was something close to the hearts of Democrats back in the late 90s and nothing to do with the Gingrich led Republicans who controlled Congress, putting the Democrats on notice that their free spending ways were oh you tee.

There is some truth in that but not the complete truth. I am an economist and followed the trade war in real time. International trade and monetary policy are my passion. Nothing CATO publishes is completely honest. Nothing. Their, cough cough, "analyses" are always slanted. As an economist I never reference them as they are not considered to be a reliable source of unbiased information. You would be savaged by your peers citing anything they produce, and doing so would discredit your own work. The fact is I followed this as it was happening as an economist and have my own opinion based on what I saw. The threat by the Japanese PM to sell off Japan's holdings of US T-Bills, which at the time were proportionally larger than today, was eye-poppingly bold. He did it right on national TV! However the US Treasury department and other outside economists modeled what would happen and decided the outcome would be worse for Japan than for the US. The US at that point basically told the Japanese to go ahead and sell them. We dare you. Apparently the Japanese must have done their own analysis and reached a conclusion similar to what the rest of us reached and they backed down. But that experience informed the Clinton administration of the dangers inherent in the budget deficit in terms of the US foreign trade position.

The fact is that nobody in either party is publicly discussing the relationship between the budget deficit and the trade deficit. Most politicians appear to be oblivious to the relationship but I suspect many do but won't talk about it in public. Many of our foreign counterparts understand it clearly as buying us treasuries is often the price nations must pay for a "free trade" agreement with the US. The US bends nations over to buy those treasuries so the US can run budget deficits and the US taxpayer can get off cheap. The US doesn't tell their people this but everyone else knows it. Then the US frequently accuses other trade partners of "dumping" when it is in fact the US that is deliberately and knowingly altering the terms of trade to make the other nation's currency undervalued. This is why there is often such outrage when the US files a dumping claim. It seems like everyone but the people in the US can see the obvious games the US plays.

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Posted in: Woman beheaded, 2 others killed in French church See in context

I fully understand your response and I am understanding from what you write the beheading would be considered a valid response to this issue. After all this is a normal response which all other religions engage in as well.

That is not what I said. What I said is when one group of people elevate themselves over others and oppress that group the group that is oppressed will probably in time grow tired of the oppression and rebel. And do not assume that just because you have an elected government that no group is discriminated against and oppressed. To use the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter to his friend James Madison:

"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government."

All misspellings are the work of Thomas Jefferson btw.

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Posted in: Woman beheaded, 2 others killed in French church See in context

What has irked me for the last 19 years is how we are told that this extremism is just a small minority of Muslims but no Muslim leaders throughout the world speak out denouncing these acts and calling for them to stand down.

You might also be surprised that the brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal al-Banna was his exact opposite, a liberal writer and trade unionist who opposed Sharia and advocated total separation of religion and government, women's rights and was opposed to discrimination against other religions. He made frequent TV appearances but eventually fell out with the current military regime in Egypt for his criticisms of their repression. He died in 2013.

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Posted in: Woman beheaded, 2 others killed in French church See in context

A major part of France's problem that I see is that the French don't really accept the Muslims in their midst, often limit their economic opportunities and attempt to restrict the free practice of their religion. Poor people with limited opportunities who feel discriminated against are going to be unhappy with their lot in life and rebel. One of the good things about the US is that Muslims who come there can find work, often own businesses and their religion is not suppressed as in France where some Islamic garb is banned. The US is a nation of immigrants and does a better job of integrating immigrants into the national life. People with jobs and the perception of a future for them and their kids don't resort to such violence. Too busy, they have more important things to do. It is desperate people who resort to what we see happening in France.

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Posted in: Woman beheaded, 2 others killed in French church See in context

What has irked me for the last 19 years is how we are told that this extremism is just a small minority of Muslims but no Muslim leaders throughout the world speak out denouncing these acts and calling for them to stand down.

That isn't true but some of you are not listening. The head cleric of Egypt's Sunni Islamic Institute condemned the killing in a speech given Rome's Capital Square earlier this week. French Imam Drancy Hassen Chalghoumi attended the beheaded teachers funeral and called him a "martyr for free speech". Among the words he spoke:

"The teacher is a martyr for freedom of expression, and a wise man who has taught tolerance, civilisation and respect for others,"

"We need to end the victimisation discourse. We all have rights in France, like everyone else. Parents should tell their children about the good that exists in this republic,"

There are others in the Muslim world who speak out against this violent insanity. Many others. Their words are not heard by westerners who are disposed towards their own hatreds and are often drown out by calls for revenge among Muslims. But do not say Muslim leaders do not speak out denouncing this violence. They do. Nobody on either side is listening to them tragically.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. begin military exercise as concern about China grows See in context

If you listen to the leaders of the CCP nowadays, ‘communism‘ is hardly mentioned.

That might have been a valid argument during the Presidency of Hu Jintao but Xi Jinping has turned the clock back quite a bit. Read his speeches carefully. He is a communist true believer. He knows he has some limits on what he can do after China's opening to the world, but he is not necessarily on board. He promotes state owned industries over private enterprise, forces all CCP members many of whom are major business owners to sit through regular indoctrination sessions, has banned teaching about the Cultural Revolution (that is actually a big deal), is currently purging libraries across China of books he and his party faction consider too western and has even started wearing traditional Zhongshan suits to official functions along with his entourage, mimicking Mao. The visuals are deliberate. He calls himself the "Helmsman" too. Again like Mao. He has conducted a somewhat effective purge of opposing faction leaders from within the CCP under the guise of eliminating corruption (never mind he's worth around $1.5 billion and he didn't earn that through his public salaries) and used this to twist the arms of the members of the Central Committee to sign off on eliminating both term limits for high party posts and also the age limit so he can remain in power indefinitely along with some of his most trusted aids who were about to hit the age limit for holding high positions within the government. His latest speeches emphasize China turning inward and focusing on self sufficiency rather than trade. Juche Xi style?

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Posted in: It's the law: Smokers in Neyagawa told they can't puff near their kids, even at home See in context

i still recall riding in the family car choking in the back seat, throat raw, while both parents smoked up front. Later in life I didn't even want to go into our old home because of the stale stench of tobacco. Parents who smoke around their children are negligent at the very least, and a bit selfish to make their children suffer for the sake of their miserable addiction.

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Posted in: Can Trump call in troops to quell Election Day unrest? See in context

If the Democrats come up with another 10 million fraudulent mail-in votes 

An allegation with no supporting evidence. Colorado has had mail in voting for over ten years and even after a thorough investigation of their voting process after conservative groups lodged complaints of "fraud" there were less than a dozen provable instances of fraudulent voting that could be found. Claiming widespread fraud completely ignores the fact that is very hard to fool the people who compare signatures on ballots to those on voter registration cards and the fact that a vote cannot be counted unless the voter is registered. No registration card, no vote. Been that way for as long as I have voted, and that's decades. Lots and lots of ballots are rejected for signature mis-match or for not using the correct security envelope. A proportion of those are most likely honest votes with a sloppy signature or other honest mistakes but out of an abundance of caution they are rejected. The greater impact in fact isn't fraudulent votes but honest votes that are not counted due to vote security considerations. So please, stop lying like this. This non stop stream of lies is doing grave harm to the US.

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Posted in: Can Trump call in troops to quell Election Day unrest? See in context

The short answer is that the DoD civilian and unformed military leadership want no part of anything to do with the election and its aftermath. Nobody in the military wants to be used against their own people. It would tear the military apart internally and the generals will not risk that for any reason.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. begin military exercise as concern about China grows See in context

if you're going to write 'you know nothing' to people you don't know, they're less likely to believe that what you're writing is true.

Fair enough, a valid criticism. I was angry when I wrote that. My apologies.

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Posted in: U.S. envoy to Jamaica insults Twitter critics - 'you drink that cheap stuff' See in context

Mature well adjusted adults don't tweet.

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