Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

He sees the writing on the wall now. Voter suppression has failed because of activists like Stacey Abrams. 

Maybe it hasn't? McConnell did his darnedest to make sure the Supreme Court has a hard right majority. The states are going to do a lot of things to limit access to the polls for minorities and the poor. Statehouses in many states are further to the right than anyone in Congress and they have their knives out looking for ways to keep the poor and blacks from voting. Those efforts will be challenged in court and most if not all will likely end up being decided by the US Supreme Court. I would not trust the current court to uphold anything resembling voting rights. While most state Constitutions have a clear statement that voting is a right, at the Federal level the US Constitution does not. I worry this Supreme Court could approve all manner of voting restrictions and further gut the Voting Rights Act. There is zero chance of this Congress strengthening the Voting Rights Act after SCOTUS partially gutted it in 2013 so the US is at the mercy of SCOTUS except for a handful of states that are not dominated by the right. Ask yourself how many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of "the privilege to vote" or "the voting privilege"? I've heard this many times. There is a growing assumption on the right that voting is a privilege instead of a right. It goes with the general ignorance of the US Constitution in the US population at large. That is a very dangerous trend that has to be aggressively nipped in the bud.

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies'

Of course he does.

Why wouldn't he? It is the truth.

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

 I suspect Ivanka and Don Jr. will be running for political offices. 

The Manhattan District Attorney and New York Attorney General will keep them both too busy to run for political office I suspect, and once the financial records of the Trump companies are public they will be radioactive. The prosecutions are coming and the discovery process is going to reveal a great deal of information that I suspect will be highly damaging to their reputations. On top of that it appears that Dominion Voting Systems was just waiting for Mr. Trump to cease being President to start dropping suits on him and his family for defamation over their claims of Dominion voting machines being rigged.

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

sn't McConnell 79 yrs old? 2021 - 1942 = ... yep.

Granny Pelosi is 80. Chuck Schumer is 70. Strom Thurmond retired from the US Senate at age 100. Dianne Feinstein is 87 but reportedly having "cognitive problems", apparently why she won't chair the Senate Judiciary Committee after years as the Senior Democrat on that committee. 86 yo Don Young of Alaska has been in Congress since 1967 with the exception of two years between Congressional seats, 1971-1973, spent in the Alaska Senate. Think about that, TVs were all black and white and had a maximum of 13 VHF channels you had to select manually with dial on the TV set and the few TV stations out there all shut down between midnight and 6:00am, in 1967 when he entered office.

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

This isn't just about what happened at the Capitol Building. There are representatives who were elected in November making all the same lies that Trump did. They need to go too - that's probably 80+% of the GOP people.

They are a fair representation of the Republican base. If you think the members of the US Congress are far right, Republicans in various state legislatures make the Republicans in Congress look like Boy Scouts.

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

Here's a far right classic response to McConnell:

https://thefederalistpapers.org/us/report-claims-mcconnell-pleased-attempts-impeach-trump-allegedly-not-whipping-votes-trump

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Posted in: McConnell says Trump provoked Capitol siege; mob 'fed lies' See in context

I imagine Mr. McConnell's comments will inflame some on the far right. Reuters had a video up for a very short time on this subject and before I could watch it, it disappeared. "This video file cannot be played". He and his wife sadly might need a small security detail in the future.

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Posted in: What to do if you're snowbound on the road See in context

Leave the scene searching for a warmer place at highest pace, while you still can

Eh, experience suggest this is a bad choice. It is usually better to stay with your vehicle where you can be found. If you take off on foot you are more likely to die from exposure or injury than find to find warm shelter.

Where I live if there are predictions of snow on the highways I bring extra winter clothing, coats, paper products, food and water, maybe even a toilet kit if I am going very far out of our valley. There are a couple of routes that are known to be shut down in a big enough snow and if I have to travel them I plan ahead in case the road is closed or we are stuck due to snow. Keep your fuel above half a tank too.

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Posted in: What to do if you're snowbound on the road See in context

Typhoon conditions are forecast hours, if not days, in advance. Isn't that also the case for heavy snow?

Usually, but sometimes the weather has some surprises.

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Posted in: 3 women arrested for operating massage parlor offering sex services See in context

Even companies like Toyota can do this with factory workers from other countries.

No Toyota does not do this. Their factories and workforce are far too visible for them to even think of using forced labor like that. I doubt any of their subcontractors could do it either. Really where do you come up with such things?

Human trafficking and forced labor is most prevalent in agriculture including deep sea fishing (big problem for Thailand), domestic work, low skill factory work, bars & nightclubs and the hospitality industry. Some estimates put about 70% of female sex workers as being trafficked into forced labor. Even if not trafficked from abroad pimps and madams are not model employers. It is almost always an exploitive relationship. Nice to see you see nothing wrong with any of this though.

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Posted in: Kremlin foe Navalny held in pre-trial detention, Moscow tells West to butt out See in context

"No Russian troops in Crimea"

Vladimir Putin even stated Russian troops were used to invade the Crimea in a 17 April 2014 public statement, saying the use of Russian forces was necessary "to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will". The Russian Defense Minister acknowledged the use of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the defeat of Ukrainian forces, something this old naval officer already knew from watching the action. Don't try to tell me there were not Russian forces involved because it was painfully obvious.

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Posted in: Kremlin foe Navalny held in pre-trial detention, Moscow tells West to butt out See in context

"No Russian troops in Crimea"

That isn't even close to true. The actual Russian military units are all known. The Russians are not hiding it at all. The Russian Navy was heavily involved and anyone watching video and live feeds of the action could clearly see Russian naval units, ships only the Russians had in their inventory, involved in blockading Crimean ports early in the conflict. The old Nikolayev Class Cruiser Azov (I have encountered her sister ships at sea) was sunk to block one port so the Ukrainians could not escape.

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Posted in: U.S. urges Australia to abandon news payment plan for tech giants See in context

Yes, force Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for their news content, isn't this the same as music copyrights?

First there has to be a copyright, trademark or similar for the content in question. Second, instances of suspected copyright infringement are normally settled in court, not the national legislative branch.

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Posted in: U.S. urges Australia to abandon news payment plan for tech giants See in context

I don't see it? If Australian news outlets really don't want Google etc. offering their content why are they not making these demands in a court of law? It seems to me the appropriate path is to first send a demand letter demanding payment for using their content and if that fails go to court and get an order to force them to pay. A court can adjudicate the amount of the payment and the terms, unless as is usual, the parties settle out of court. I don't see the need for legislation. It looks to me like a purely commercial dispute best settled with arbitration and failing that a trial.

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Posted in: 3 women arrested for operating massage parlor offering sex services See in context

Why is it that these operators are only ever arrested when its a foreign owned business but the hundreds or even thousands of Japanese owned businesses that provide the exact same services go virtually untouched?

Very often, probably in the majority of the cases, brothels owned by foreign nationals are using persons trafficked from abroad and held against their will as their workforce. The business owners are working with criminals in their home nation to recruit girls into prostitution. They look for girls and young women from broken homes who are desperate, lie to them shamelessly about the nature of work they are being recruited into abroad claiming they will do some sort of glamorous and/or high paying work but once the ladies arrive in the foreign country in which they will work, their new employer confiscates all of their passports and other identifying documents and forces them into slavery. The girls often can't back home even if they could escape because they would be disowned by their families, and in some cases killed by them for shaming their family. This is real life, not this fantasy that nobody is hurt by a little extra during a massage.

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Posted in: 3 women arrested for operating massage parlor offering sex services See in context

A question everybody needs to ask themselves is who is being harmed by this service.

Much of the workforce are sex slaves, often from abroad. They are lured with promises of other kinds of work, but upon arrival their sponsors confiscate their passports and lock them up in a home forcing them to work as sex workers.

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Posted in: California urges stop to 300,000 vaccines after some fall ill See in context

Vaccines are safer and more effective in the young and healthy, but those people don't really need one against Covid-19...

Not true. There needs to be herd immunity so the virus doesn't have a pool of bodies in which to spread. That is the only way the contagion can be stopped.

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Posted in: Thai woman handed record 43-year jail term for lese majeste See in context

Thai people do not tolerate anyone who criticizes the monarchy, 

It would be a more accurate statement to say the Thai government and their military do not tolerate anyone who criticizes the monarchy.

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Posted in: Thai woman handed record 43-year jail term for lese majeste See in context

The strict laws of lese-majeste in Thailand is not new. Thai people do not tolerate anyone who criticizes the monarchy, especially from foreigners.

Well, not everyone in Thailand loves their monarchy. Support for the monarchy is centered mainly in their major cities where the royal money is spent. In the rural areas that receive no help from the Thai government and remain desperately poor the monarchy is reviled. It isn't expressed openly due to the harsh punishments meted out as in this case but do not assume that all of the Thai people like their monarch. Most actually detest them but are afraid to say so.

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Posted in: Japan urges South Korea to drop wartime compensation demands See in context

Actually, the free world will side with Korea.

You might be in for a rude surprise. I think most of the world would avert their eyes from yet another South Korea/Japan food fight. From the standpoint of probably most uninvolved nations these incessant spats get tiring and no nation is going to relish being forced to chose sides on this. Both parties have engaged in obnoxious behavior at some point so no one really wants to make one a winner and the other a loser. There are no beauty queens in this pageant.

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Posted in: Japan urges South Korea to drop wartime compensation demands See in context

he term "illegal" demands seems rather peculiar. The decision has been made in a court of law, so I don't see how it can be illegal.

It is illegal on several grounds, but most importantly jurisdiction. A court in one country cannot legally impose sanction on another country. Period. Second is the 1965 Treaty that established diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea under which all debts and reparations were supposed to be settled for all time, and third is the 2015 agreement in which Japan formally apologized and made yet another payment to South Korea with wording that said the payments were to be the final settlement of the comfort woman matter. A court in South Korea cannot overturn a treaty unilaterally unless the South Koreans intend to abrogate the treaty.

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Posted in: All Nippon Helicopters’ Airbus H160 performs maiden flight See in context

that tail looks heavy, no wonder it needs it own wing

It's not. Fenestrons have been flying for decades.

The horizontal tail doesn't provide any lift. It has a negative angle of attack. It's actually pulling the tail down. Why? Without it a helicopter in forward flight would have a nose down fuselage attitude. The specific degrees of of negative angle of attack are designed to give the helo a level fuselage at normal cruise speeds.

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Posted in: Fiat Chrysler and PSA seal merger to become Stellantis See in context

Best cars I ever had were Toyota, Honda and Volvo.

For me the worst cars I have ever owned were GM and Toyota. The GM, an Oldsmobile (aka Go-slowmobile) had multiple recalls and the Toyotas are difficult and very expensive to maintain. Every time I turn around I'm forking out a thousand or two bucks to fix things that break or wear out on the Toyota. I have an older Audi that is much less failure prone and the failures are a lot cheaper and easier to fix. I can do all routine maintenance on the Audi but not with the Toyota. I don't even have to crawl beneath the car to change the oil on the Audi, the drain plug and spin on filter are right behind the front bumper. Dumping the mud on the Avalon requires way too much effort.

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Posted in: Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try See in context

Spy satellites get launched 1-2 times a decade,

The US typically conducts 25-30 launches per year. The number of launches per year has been constant and linear since 1957 and has not tapered off as a result of the end of the Cold War. The former USSR conducted upwards of 90 launches per year but after the USSR dissolved the number for Russia has stabilized at about 17 per year. At the end of 2019 the US had 1327 satellites in orbit, 166 of these are military satellites and 31 of these are dual military and commercial use satellites. Russia has 89 operational military satellites and China has 84.

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Posted in: NEC releases AI diagnosis-support medical device software for colonoscopies See in context

If this device gets rids of the savage barbaric method commonly used now, it'll be a godsend

It doesn't. It is just a new type of optics that fits on the scope, apparently compatible with several brands of scope, and software to aid the doc in finding cancerous polyps.

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Posted in: Drinkable cheesecake See in context

Sounds yummy to me!

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Posted in: Kremlin critic Navalny detained after landing in Moscow See in context

My sympathies with the Russian people, cannot be easy having a lout for a President!!!

In it's entire history has Russia ever been a force for good? To the best of my knowledge Russia has always been malevolent, governed by violent leaders and scheming against or at war with its neighbors.

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Posted in: Records show Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot See in context

Honestly, I’m not sure why they are wasting their time on impeachment, which would require 16 republican senators to magically grow a spine.

Doesn't matter. Senate Republicans must be put on record of having been shown evidence of insurrection by a sitting President and given a chance to vote to convict, and vote to bar him from further office. They must be forced to make these choices in public and live with the future consequences of those choices. It is absolutely vital to do this.

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Posted in: Records show Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot See in context

One last thought on the 14th Amendment Section 3. If all it took was a simple majority vote of both houses to declare someone committed rebellion or insurrection and could thus be barred from further office, then you would see this Amendment used to disqualify political opponents left and right. The Amendment was written in the aftermath of the US Civil War to prevent former US military officers and members of Congress who sided with the Confederacy to ever serve again. That they engaged in rebellion or insurrection was obvious and undeniable. The prohibition against service was subsequently waived for former Confederates by an act of Congress. It has been used only a few times since. Today insurrection is a criminal act that rightly adjudicated in a Federal Court and not by Congress.

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Posted in: Records show Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot See in context

"We should not name names... it will divide and hurt people!"

Ask the Russians how that worked out. To spare the nation the agony of investigating the truth about the horrors committed by the KGB and in the name of national unity the Russian Parliament under Boris Yeltsin demurred on a thorough investigation and house cleaning of the KGB. Nine years later a KGB Lieutenant Colonel became President and their hasn't been a free and fair election in Russia since.

A full investigation must happen and those who committed actual crimes must be tried and sentenced appropriately. However, most of the far right out there yammering away on the internet are not criminals, or at least haven't committed an actual crime yet. And there are a lot more out there who aren't on internet hate sites but who harbor similar views. There needs to be some kind of outreach to them. They need to be heard, and the nation needs to find a way for whites to understand the problems of minorities and the poor. Both sides have legitimate gripes that need to heard and addressed in some way. Importantly both sides need to come to realize they are not each other's enemy.

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