Desert Tortoise comments

Posted in: Japanese spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home See in context

Please slove earth problems first.

For mankind to perpetuate itself it must become a multi-planet species. Regardless of what man does or doesn't do, the Earth will eventually be destroyed by the Sun. While the Sun is in its Main Phase now it will slowly consume hydrogen and fuse this into helium. As it does so it will gradually heat up until the Earth is so hot water will no longer be able to exist. Further into the future the Sun will have consumed all of its hydrogen and balloon into a Red Giant. At that point the Sun will expand in size beyond Earths orbit and will incinerate all of the inner planets. Eventually the Sun will throw a nebula and decline rapidly into a white dwarf. None of this is even remotely survivable from Earth. For mankind to survive it must master space travel and find more hospitable planets to inhabit. This mission is about gaining knowledge, the first itty-bitty little baby steps man must take to understand the universe in which we exist, master space travel and become that multi-planet species.

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Posted in: Top gun See in context

In my aircraft design class, we joked that F-4 was proof that if we put large enough engines on a rock, it could fly. 

Our version of the joke was that it was proof that with enough power you could make a Coke machine fly. Nonetheless one of my best days in the Navy was a joy ride in an F-4S. I was waiting orders for flight school and earned my back seat ride by learning enough about the radar to be useful. Hitting the afterburners on take off, oh man what a kick in the back that was. It was a section take off with an A-4 and that Phantom was wheels up nose pointed at the sky while the little Skyhawk was still trundling down the runway. The Phantom was smoother than an airliner and the pilot was so buttery smooth, and the cockpit windows so high in the back seat, I didn't even notice the pilot was doing a gentle 1g barrel roll until I looked up out of the cockpit and discovered I was in fact looking straight down at San Nicholas Island.

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Posted in: Scotland leader puts UK on independence warning: We want a referendum soon See in context

Bojo shot himself in the foot on the matter of Scottish independence by calling devolution a "disaster north of the border". Bojo also managed to get the normally reserved Welsh First Minister angry with his comments. Bojo has added insult to injury with the UK Internal Market bill that would force lower UK food safety and other standards including environmental protection laws on Wales and Scotland. Bojo is trying to use shipyard work resulting from his stated desire to rebuild the Royal Navy as a reason for the Scots to remain. I frankly don't think the British Exchequer has the resources, and especially so after Brexit, so we'll see how much traction that one gains.

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Posted in: Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings See in context

I am sick and tired of the whining and crying of these immature little babies who can't sit tight for a year or two, hunker down and minimize their exposure until this pandemic is past. People are being selfish and stupid and in doing so are prolonging this misery and causing more people to die. Think about someone besides yourself for a change. Every time you go out to a bar, restaurant, sports event or any big gathering you are just prolonging the pandemic. It is on each and every one of you to curtail your activities to the bare minimum so you don't expose yourself or others to this virus. Don't assume you do not have it because you might and not know it. Who are you to infect others and maybe kill someone with your germs just because you want to go out and do things? Quite being selfish and stupid people. Learn some adult restraint. You can survive a year or two without a sit down dinner, concert or a ball game if you put your mind to it.

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Posted in: Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings See in context

It isn’t lawful to use the power of the state to prevent citizens from associating with one another. But don’t be surprised if Big Brother is able to get away with violating civil rights. Freedom requires responsibility. With responsibility you assume the risks of your actions. Be smart - but the government isn’t your parents.

The courts upheld even stricter restrictions in Los Angeles during the 1918 epidemic. The problem with your statement about assuming risks is that your assumption of the risk of catching Covid-19 places everyone else you meet between the time you catch it and the time you become symptomatic, usually about 2 weeks, at risk. You have no right to place others at risk. None. Grow up and act responsibly. Are you really that pathetically weak that, considering the totality of the situation, you can't go a year or two without a sit down dinner in a restaurant or attending a sports event? Are you that craven that you can't delay gratification a year or two for the good of the community and nation you share?

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Posted in: Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings See in context

If Christians are free to do whatever they like under the guise of religion, restaurant and bars should create a new religion and enjoy the same human rights.

I'm waiting for some so-called christian sect to claim having anything to do with African Americans/Asians/Hispanics is against their religion to justify discriminating against these groups in housing and business. We shall see what the US Supreme Court says about that.

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Posted in: Delta to block middle seats until March 30 See in context

Delta - Don't Expect Luggage To Arrive.

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Posted in: Iran's president vows revenge over slain military scientist See in context

It has been a rough year for Iran's nuclear program, with multiple explosions at their nuclear sites and now this apparent assassination of a top nuclear scientist tied to their nuclear program. Everyone defaults to accusing the Israelis and maybe the US of conducting these attacks. How about some other regional enemies like Saudi Arabia? The Saudis have never publicly taken revenge for the 2019 Abqaiq-Khurais attack or earlier attacks on tankers at Saudi oil ports. They fear a nuclear armed Iran as much as Israel or the US does. They also are fighting Iran's proxy, the Houthis, in Yemen. The Saudis have more than ample reason to want to attack Iran in this fashion. I'm also of the opinion their intelligence service is capable of such attacks.

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Posted in: Iran's president vows revenge over slain military scientist See in context

How would any Israeli get into Iran? After all, all citizens of Israel are banned from entry into Iran since 1979.

The obvious answer is to enter as someone else. Convincing, professionally crafted, no expense spared forged documents combined with your countries intelligence organization creating a false identity that includes a realistic profile on international law enforcement and immigration data bases, maybe even a fabricated business identity complete with a website. Combine that with fluency in Farsi and/or Arabic, remember the Israelis maintained Iran's Air Force for a very long time including many years after the 1979 Revolution. There are Israelis who speak Arabic and Farsi as well as native speakers. The operator then commits their false identity to memory and more or less becomes that made up person for the purposes of the mission.

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Posted in: Trump administration moves ahead on gutting bird protections See in context

Good one Mr. President

So a mine tailing pond that is poisonous to birds, but looks like a good source of water for them that ends up killing many thousands of birds (actually happened in Montana) is ok, a "good one"? How about the chloride ponds at Searls Valley Minerals that the company has up till now had to take precautions to prevent birds from drinking that water and dying? Ok to just let the birds die now? No legal recourse against the firm? Is that the kind of country you want from the US? Of course you don't live there so what do you care?

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Posted in: Japan's new ambassador to China to be quarantined for 2 weeks See in context

Thanks for that. I'm still a bit confused on the particular Beijing slang expletive that sounds a lot like "grass mud horse" in Mandarin....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_Mud_Horse

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Posted in: Carbon pricing rises as world's weapon of choice in climate fight See in context

A carbon tax is one of the methods economists prefer to price carbon into goods and services that generate CO and CO2 pollution. It's not a grand conspiracy. It's an attempt to put a market price on what is not not priced into the production of certain goods and services that generate greenhouse gasses. Pollution credits are another, older idea that economists like. That one was the brain child of two Reagan Administration lawyers John B. Henry and C. Boyden Gray. This was circa 1980 and at the time was called "Pay to Pollute". Environmentalists back then were aghast at the idea but economists loved it. It took three decades for economists to bring environmentalists along to their side but by then the Republicans who are really the authors of pay to pollute or pollution credits were dismissing the concept as some grand left wing plot. That is the true story, a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.

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Posted in: Carbon pricing rises as world's weapon of choice in climate fight See in context

Here in California, we get less than 1% of our electricity from burning coal.

Maybe not. LADWP owns a big coal fired power plant outside Delta Utah that is a major supplier of power to the city. There are also coal fired plants in Arizona that sell to So Cal Edison. California itself has only one or two small coal fired power plants such as the one in Trona that belongs to Searls Valley Minerals but California utilities still buy quite a bit of power from coal fired power plants.

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Posted in: Japan's new ambassador to China to be quarantined for 2 weeks See in context

how does THAT work??

We had people in the US Navy when I served who spent working their lives learning Russian language, culture and history so they could get inside their heads and think like the Russians. Some even served as attaches in Warsaw Pact embassies so they could get a first hand look at the enemy. We acknowledged Soviet and Russian major holidays in our squadron spaces. We referred to WWII in the Russian context as the Great Patriotic War as they do. We even had copies of their naval professional journal Morskoy Sbornik, their rough equivalent to Naval Institute Proceedings, in our wardrooms to read. The similarities and differences in our navies and the day to day lives of sailors and officers was highly interesting! There was an annual classified brief on Soviet Naval Power that put the audience sort of inside the Soviet Navy and showed us their view of us while bragging about their hardware and how they would use it. None of that implied any affinity to the old USSR or to Russia today. It was all about getting into their heads and out-thinking them. When you are in combat you want to be able to anticipate how your enemy thinks and get ahead of them. I'm sure there are people in the military and foreign office of Japan today who are equally dedicated to understand all things Chinese so their diplomats and military have an edge over the Chinese. Just from my own experience I see far too many Americans who do not understand how China operates and how the Chinese see the world around them. For the average Chinese the world is a completely different place than what the free world knows and that has implications for many aspects of foreign policy, trade and military affairs. You cannot go into a meeting with the Chinese thinking they are like westerners. They aren't. They don't know our world unless they have lived outside of China in a free nation for a long time. Most never will but many of these people will occupy high positions in the CCP, government and military.

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Posted in: Japan's new ambassador to China to be quarantined for 2 weeks See in context

It seems some people commenting here think diplomats are immune to the virus due to protection under the Geneva convention?

The Chinese Foreign Minister didn't quarantine for two weeks in Japan? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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Posted in: Japan's new ambassador to China to be quarantined for 2 weeks See in context

I'm confused

I don't think the mods would appreciate me using the actual Mandarin obscenity but it rhymes with grass mud horse in Mandarin.

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Posted in: The story of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s trip to Shuri Castle in 1853 See in context

Thanks for the fascinating and true tale. Bravo.

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Posted in: Japan rejects China's proposal for easing tensions over isle sovereignty See in context

All I can say is there must be something really worth having around those islands. This not over fish. This is over some major natural minable resource.

Oil and gas most likely but do not discount the value of a fishery to the Chinese. They have depleted their local stocks badly and have to send ships all over the world to satisfy their demand for fish. Chinese fishing boat crews attack South Korean fishing boats both in international waters and inside South Korea's EEZ. They have been run out of the Argentine EEZ too. I think the Argentines even sank a big Chinese fishing vessel inside their waters.

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Posted in: Pubs to stay shut in many areas of England under virus restrictions See in context

So why does any sane individual want to go to a pub during a pandemic? Or restaurants? Or any kind of crowd? Or travel on airlines? What sort of immaturity drives people to do this? You can't hunker down for a couple of years until the pandemic is finally under control? Are people really that weak and lacking in self restraint? Grow up everyone. The reason the pandemic is lasting so long is your complete lack of self control. Two years of minimum necessary activity is not the end of the world for anyone. Be smart. Be disciplined. Your lack of self control can spread the disease unwittingly and kill others who emphatically don't deserve to die just because you wanted to hoist a pint at the pub.

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Posted in: Trump says he will leave White House if Biden wins Electoral College vote See in context

No worries. Trump has plans for the incoming administration - what comes around goes around. The fun is about to begin.

The highest aspiration of the Republican mind is revenge. Just like Mitch McConnell saying his job was to make Mr. Obama a one term President. No thought to what is best for the country. No thought to what is good or corrosive to informed self government. It has never been about any of that. It is all about power, money and ego. Maybe that is why Mr. Trump didn't earn a second term and didn't deserve to?

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Posted in: Trump says he will leave White House if Biden wins Electoral College vote See in context

Sworn affidavits absent corroborating evidence are heresay, and not admissible in a criminal prosecution. Only four states allow the use of affidavits in civil cases. Lots of hot air but every time claims were challenged no corroborating evidence could be produced. In fact in every case I am aware of, which is not comprehensive but pretty extensive, the evidence supported no fraud whatsoever. No votes from dead people could be proved although many supposedly dead people turned out to be very much alive and legally allowed to vote. Trucks backed up to the same back door every other truck full of ballots used to unload, and all of the trucks were rentals with plates from many states, as the state didn't have a fleet of trucks but rented them when they needed them. Windows were covered in one vote counter center because people outside would not remain back from the windows as requested by law enforcement and would not stop taking photos of the vote counters despite being told multiple times not to take photos. Not incidentally one of the vote counters was identified and now receives death threats. Nice. I could go on. Not one of the many accusations stood up to examination.

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Posted in: Trump says he will leave White House if Biden wins Electoral College vote See in context

Trump remains Commander-in-Chief until Jan 19 and the military must follow his orders. Trump could well make a missile attack against Iran. When Israel expressed so much concern about it too. Trump still holds the nuclear football which will be handed over to Biden on Jan 19.

Without an Authorized Use of Military Force resolution from Congress any such attack is illegal under US law and could leave him open to prosecution. Moreover, military officers are taught early on in their careers that their oath is to the laws and Constitution of the US, not to any individual, and that if they are given an illegal order they are duty bound to refuse to obey it. Therefore carrying out such an illegal order is equally illegal and would subject everyone in the chain of command to prosecution. It was made clear to us during our Code of Conduct training, given to us in our case by Doug Hegdahl and Jeremiah Denton (find out who they were and you will understand the gravity of what they taught us) that if we were ever given an illegal order we were to run, not walk, to the JAG officers but were emphatically not permitted to follow illegal orders. We were expected to know the difference too.

And, obtw, Mr. Miller may not legally serve in his current position as Acting SECDEF. Why? Two reasons. Number one, he has not been out of uniform the minimum ten years required by US law to legally take the job unless Congress grants an exception. They have not. Second, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who was confirmed by the Senate to hold that position is, by statute, supposed to assume the position of SECDEF if that position is vacated by resignation or firing. Instead a subordinate to the Deputy SECDEF was installed above him. A smart senior officer would argue anything that comes from Mr. Miller is not a legal order.

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Posted in: Japan rejects China's proposal for easing tensions over isle sovereignty See in context

Hahaha, how many wars did China start to conquer others in history ?

Several wars with the Koreans in past centuries going back to the 4th Century Gojoseon-Yan War. They invaded Japan at least once in between their wars with Korea. They invaded Tibet in 1950 and invaded Vietnam in 1979. In 1984 they took several islands in the Spratleys from Vietnam. As far back as 111 bc the Chinese invaded and conquored Vietnam (Nanyue Kingdom). Around 40 AD there was another invasion of Vietham in the Han suppression of the Trung sisters. Following that was the Sui-Ly War or third domination of Vietnam by China and there was later the Ming-Ho War and the subsequent Tran Resistance. The Lam Son Uprising would eventually force the Ming out of Vietnam in 1427. Hundreds of years of attempts by China to conquer Vietnam. If you listen to the Koreans you might hear them complain about China illegally occupying "sacred" Korean soil on Mount Paektu, or they will say Kim Il-sung gave it away to China for supporting them in the Korean War.

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Posted in: Japan rejects China's proposal for easing tensions over isle sovereignty See in context

Clearly they do have a claim to the islands, otherwise this wouldn't even be a subject of discussion.

The Chinese can whine and stomp their feet all they want but those islands are not theirs and never will be. The US had to fight a bloody war across the Pacific to defeat Japan, a war Mao and the Communists largely sat out except to tell the Japanese where Nationalist forces were, hoping the Japanese would whittle down Chiang Kai-sheks forces before the Soviets came in and swept the Japanese away for them. The US, UK, Australia and Chiang's Nationalists did all the heavy lifting to defeat the Japanese. The Communists often aided the Japanese so to heck with them. The US occupied Japan until 1955, by which time the North Koreans had invaded the south and China joined in on the side of the North Koreans and Soviets and thus were America's sworn enemy. So the US returned those islands to Japan along with many other former Japanese islands and eventually the whole Ryukyus. Tough luck for China. China has no legitimate claim to them and the US should help Japan protect them from the Chinese.

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Posted in: Japan rejects China's proposal for easing tensions over isle sovereignty See in context

Rejected peace ? What is Suga doing ?

What is Mr. Suga doing? Applying the lesson taught the world, minus Akie apparently, by Neville Chamberlain. Rolling over for a dictators demands didn't buy anyone peace did it Akie. It whets the dictators appetite to ake more and guarantees war.

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Posted in: Japan rejects China's proposal for easing tensions over isle sovereignty See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary’s remark was obviously a government’s attempt to ease the public outrage over Foreign minister Motegi’s sheer incompetence during his Chinese counterpart’s visit to Japan. Motegi just stood beside Wang, wearing an inscrutable smile, while Wang raged on and on claiming that the Senkakus belonged to China. Motegi should be replaced with someone more sensible.

He let the Chinese foreign minister make a complete ass-hat of himself. Why is this objectionable?

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Posted in: Coronavirus crippling fight against other pandemic: TB See in context

There are 47 vaccines in human trial phases for COVID-19, all developed in less than a year," she said. "For TB, over several years we have just one vaccine in human trials.

I was given a TB vaccination as a kid so I thought an effective vaccination already existed.

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Posted in: If we say wage growth is impossible this time because of COVID, then we’ll be totally neglecting our responsibility to the economy. There is a serious concern that Japan could fall back into deflation without pay gains. See in context

It should be remembered that most of the world's economy is generated from the consumption, by the average people, of goods and services.

On a global scale perhaps but not at the level of individual nations. For a very long time Japan grew its economy on its ability to export. The Japanese plowed much of their income into savings that fueled investment in new production and spent less on consumption. Japan for a long time had the world's highest savings rate and the engine of growth was not domestic consumption but exports. That was also true until quite recently of China. The consumers were in North America and the EU.

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Posted in: If we say wage growth is impossible this time because of COVID, then we’ll be totally neglecting our responsibility to the economy. There is a serious concern that Japan could fall back into deflation without pay gains. See in context

And if companies keep losing money how will they pay for wage increases ? How about government lowers taxes on wages and that difference goes to the employees?

Japan's tax burden meaning government revenues from all sources as a proportion of GDP are the fourth, or some years the third lowest in the developed world. Only Turkey, Mexico and sometimes the US have lower tax burdens and like the US, Japan has a huge national debt due to its habit of under taxing its citizens to pay its bills.

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Posted in: Japanese start-up to establish U.S. lunar lander development hub See in context

Why don’t those big children just only play with lego sets or model trains? That’s also interesting and equally useless, but slightly less expensive for us all.

The ultimate survival of mankind depends on becoming a multi planet species. Regardless of anything man does, the Earth is ultimately doomed. While out star the Sun is in its Main Phase now, it will heat up over time as it consumes hydrogen, eventually leaving Earth too hot for water to exist. Beyond that the Sun will eventually exit its Main Phase and balloon into a Red Giant with a diameter greater than the orbit of Earth. All of the inner planets will be destroyed when this happens. At the end of the Red Giant phase the Sun will throw a nebula and rapidly decline into a white dwarf. None of this is even remotely survivable unless Man finds ways to travel through space and is able to find other hospitable planets to inhabit. Man must master interplanetary travel and the first step is to set up bases on the Moon where payloads can be launched without the constraints of the Earth's gravity. It is a small but essential step.

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