Richard Gallagher comments

Posted in: Athletes on edge with Tokyo Olympics less than 1 month away See in context

Kei Nishikori, is able to speak out because he is fairly wealthy and independent from any Japanese sporting organization. In fact, he lives in Florida. Nor is his career dependent on The Olympics.

Other Japanese athletes remain silent to avoid being ostracized or duly punished for speaking out. Especially, those in a team sport.

Where are those who espouse radical points of view such as Megan Rapinoe, who is continually outspoken? Foreign athletes seem to express little or no concern about impacts upon Japan, from an event that invites a spread of not just SARSCoV-2, but its variants and the possible mutation into a Tokyo variant, spreadin throughout.

Naomi Osaka, has expressed reservations and the need for there to be a discussion that was on May 10th. However, attendant to that statement was an intention to participate in the Games.

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Posted in: Ex-aide to Suga to assume Japan's top finance bureaucrat post See in context

Cinching-up power. Anointing one's cronies. Rewarding the willingness to do the work of one's master.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic chief anxious with one month to go until Games open See in context

The insipid rhetoric, presents no actual means for or genuine reason to hold the games, other than the evident underpinning, which is the desire of the IOC and its master Comcast to profit from the games in any form. Nor is there any, not one iota, of genuine concern about the health and welfare of the Japanese public. The intent to hold the games at any cost (uttered by IOC's Coates) is apparent - the inclusion of spectators, up to 10,000 or so, to present a backdrop is complete madness.

Hashimoto: "I think what needs to be done has become clear."

Apparently not. Without any sense of irony: Hashimoto expresses hope that the measures to be taken during the Olympics can provide an international "model" for how to welcome visitors from abroad and bring back social and economic activities. A model, perhaps, for despots ignoring the will of the people or the common good.

And continues: "Everyone wants to reclaim their social lives as early as possible, even by a day, a minute or a second," she said. "We're showing by means of evidence it is absolutely possible for that to happen through the Olympics and Paralympics." Evidence? Another statement that is complete drivel, though missing the typical keyword: hope.

The day of reckoning for all those who forced the Olympics to be held during an ongoing, worldwide epidemic, will be atop a pile of bodies. SARSCoV-2 is a deadly disease. To ignore that very present fact is quite insane.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers reverse plan to allow alcohol at venues See in context

Cheers!

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Posted in: Tokyo marks 1 month until pandemic-hit Olympics open See in context

Seiko Hashimoto, without any scientific evidence, claims there have been no clusters at other events or tournaments. Any of those tournaments with 11,000 athletes and 100,000 plus staff and attendants? With individuals from all over the planet? She simply offers an opinion. And is content to be a functionary.

50% or 10,000. Essentially, every other seat will be occupied. Not even close to social distancing. It is completely ad hoc and haphazard.

With the HOPE, all goes well. That is not a plan. It follows absolutely no science or medical prerogative.

And. Today. Infections are on the rise in Tokyo. Just wait until August 21st, when numbers begin to spike in Japan. And the Olympic variance virus travels the world. I told you so, will ring hollow as the tragedy unfolds. An epic failure awaits the LDP and IOC and JOC and TOC.

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Posted in: Europe powers up electric car battery drive See in context

Bye, bye, Tesla. Here come the Big Boys. Actual manufacturers, with infrastructure.

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Posted in: Tokyo Governor Koike hospitalized due to fatigue See in context

One of the main contingencies of a politician - continually shading the truth and engaging in outright fabrication - treating the truth as a malleable fiction - it wears the individual down.

The criticism of Koike is valid and it is not 'misogynist' - she is continually engaged in various means of connivance and maneuvering to fulfill her ambitions. Her support for The Olympics, which is contrary to all rational thinking, is a prime example. She is as right-wing as any of her counterparts in the LDP, she has been brought into the fold and represents the interests of the 'party', which she wholly embraces.

Sympathy? For what? She has been one of the prime movers in the push to hold the Olympics. Holding an international sporting event, in the midst of a pandemic, with variants & mutations of the virus currently emerging is at a minimum irresponsible - it endangers the health & welfare of an entire nation and certainly Tokyo with its almost 37 million citizens. She represents the citizens of the Tokyo metropolis, not the IOC or the JOC. Instead she acts on the behalf of interests who are primarily concerned with profits from broadcasting and other means.

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Posted in: Uber Japan referred to prosecutors over hiring of overstayers See in context

Uber. Uber Eats. A company that should be kicked to the curb. By any standards exploitive and wedded to a queer libertarian 'philosophy' that disregards the common good and treats its employs like serfs. It has a high churn employee base it continually repopulates (that's their lingo and purposefully obfuscates it exploitive intent). It practices unethical and illegal corporate 'behaviors'.

Uber is one of the odious companies advancing the nonsensical 'gig economy' which is modelled on avoiding taxes, employee benefits (they don't have employees, they have independent contractors), minimum wage, vacation pay, sick leave and impinges on local, independently owned businesses undermining the local economy. The profits are swept away to banks in a foreign land. Interestingly, Uber is banned from the Cayman Islands

Uber has destroyed the taxicab business, which is regulated, licensed and has actual employees. A once 100 billion dollar global industry. Structural industry characteristics determined a set of strictures to insure profitability in the taxicab industry. Uber has ignored those by underselling the costs and operating at a loss. All the while displacing a viable business model. So-called disruptive economics, alongside ignoring regulatory machinations, which are necessary to profit. In order to survive, after destroying the taxicab business, it will have to increase costs on par with the fees typical to the taxi business.  Uber's current losses are a reflection of the deep structural deficiencies in ride-hail industry economics. 

By pricing its services 30% or more below comparable taxi fares and then retaining 25% of gross bookings for itself, Uber has squeezed the revenues available to compensate drivers, who are ultimately responsible for providing the labor, equipment, maintenance, insurance and fuel to serve consumers. There is nothing in Uber’s business model that promises to reduce the factor costs of its ridesharing service, nor are there inherent economies of scale that would lower unit operating costs with continued growth.

Their intent is to garner profit for its owners and screw the contract 'employees', who are dispensable & replaceable. These business model dynamics underscore the bleak earnings outlook for Uber drivers.

Same goes for Uber Eats. It should be banned from Japan.

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Posted in: Japan cash handout discriminated against Korean students: U.N. experts See in context

Why would foreign students receive a cash subsidy from the government of Japan?

For an example, foreign students in the USA did not receive a stimulus check. To do so would require the payment of taxes.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers reverse plan to allow alcohol at venues See in context

Well, well, well. No matter the mechanics - the reversal is all to the good. Commenting on the incompetency is simply stating the evident & ongoing stratagem. The Covid Olympics progress.

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Posted in: Nissan CEO promises turnaround for disgruntled shareholders See in context

Much of the commentary on Ghosn’s case has relied on implicit or inapt comparisons and lazy caricatures. The impressions thereby created have been simplistic and misleading. Japanese criminal justice has many weaknesses, but if Ghosn’s case had occurred in the U.S., it is not obvious that he would have fared better, nor is it clear that the interests of justice would have been better served.

The factual allegations related to the “Oman Route” are the most damning allegations against Ghosn by Japanese prosecutors, since they clearly involve personal benefits to Ghosn and his family members from Nissan funds. Ghosn is alleged to have utilized the CEO reserve fund, to have Nissan Middle East make $35 million in payments to Suhail Bahwan Automobiles, a Nissan car dealer in Oman, during 2011-2018 (Kostov and McLain, 2019).

An executive of the car dealership apparently made payments (1.7 billion yen or 17 million dollars) in his personal capacity to an entity effectively controlled by Ghosn, which in turn made payments (560 million yen) to entities controlled by Ghosn’s wife and (partially) by his son. When Renault (with Nissan) eventually launched its own investigation of Ghosn’s activities, it apparently shared information on the Oman route with French prosecutors, who initiated their own criminal investigation in February 2020, focusing on the Oman route and 11 million euros in questionable expenses (for personal entertainment, gifts and legal fees, donations, use of jets, and housing) found by Renault (Associated Press, 2020; for details of the expense allegations see Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., 2020, pp. 9-10).

As for Ghosn’s success at Nissan in the early 2000s, it was not matched by achievements in the following decade, when Nissan’s performance and profitability were inconsistent (Boudette, 2020). His personal reputation took a hit in 2010 due to the high level (at least by Japanese standards) of his executive compensation. A new rule in 2010 required that total individual compensation for company executives must be disclosed if it exceeded 100 million yen (roughly one million US dollars, utilizing an approximate exchange rate of 100 yen per dollar) (Financial Services Agency, 2010). In anticipation of a strong negative reaction to the disclosure of Ghosn’s salary, Nissan cut Ghosn’s disclosed compensation in half, though he apparently expected to eventually be paid the “remaining” amount after his formal retirement from Nissan. These facts would later lead to the prosecution of Ghosn for the misleading disclosure of his compensation. 

Two major factors contributing to corporate governance weaknesses at Nissan were the presence of a controlling shareholder, Renault, and the long period – nearly 20 years – of executive control exercised by Ghosn. Neither of these factors is common in Japan or the U.S. (for overviews of corporate governance in Japan, see Aronson, Kozuka and Nottage, 2016; Aronson, 2019).

Renault and Ghosn continued to build up their global automobile alliance with the addition of Mitsubishi Motors in 2016. Nissan became the owner of 34% of the shares of Mitsubishi, and Ghosn became chairman of all three companies (Ma and Horie, 2016). However, business success continued to prove elusive. Profitability was down in the crucial North American market, and it once again seemed that Renault and Nissan were falling behind the international competition, at a time when significant new investments were required to be competitive in emerging markets for electric cars and self-driving automobiles. Ghosn formally resigned as president and CEO of Nissan in April 2017, but retained his title as chairman and apparently continued to function as de facto CEO.

One longstanding proposal favored by Renault to address these challenges was further integration of the alliance companies, which could have included a complete merger between Renault and Nissan. But this idea was opposed by executives at Nissan (Tanaka, 2018). Like the general public in Japan, they still viewed Nissan as an iconic Japanese car company. They chafed under the alliance’s failure to rebalance the share ownership structure between Nissan and Renault despite Nissan producing substantially larger sales and profits than Renault. 

In 2018, after Nissan received whistleblower reports alleging Ghosn’s misuse of company funds for personal purposes, the company began an internal investigation without notifying Ghosn (Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, 2020). Based on the results of this investigation, and fearing personal and corporate liability, two Nissan employees (Nada Hari and Onuma Toshiaki) went to prosecutors to offer their cooperation in return for immunity from prosecution under Japan’s new plea bargaining law, which was passed in 2018 (Jiji, 2019). Ghosn (and his aide Kelly) were then arrested when they arrived in Japan in November of that year to attend a board meeting. By April 2019, Ghosn would be indicted on four counts of financial wrongdoing—two for false information disclosures concerning his compensation, and two for the personal misuse of company funds.

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Posted in: Plans to sell alcohol at Olympic venues draw criticism from thirsty Tokyo residents See in context

Ah. The Covid Games. Lubricated with alcohol. Excellent.

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Posted in: Japanese sporting world welcomes having fans at Tokyo Olympics See in context

10,000 is 0.01% of one percent of the population. That's one-one hundredth of one percent. Hardly a means of determining acceptance of what will be dubbed: The Covid Olympics.

It will be historical and epic. Forever in the history books as a failure of domestic political leadership. A purposeful ignorance of medical science, let alone virology & immunology. Against all advice from genuine experts, a sporting spectacle of no genuine import is held during a worldwide epidemic, literally inviting several hundred thousand individuals from across the globe into confined areas and to compound the folly allowing spectators to view the event.

I know, that there are Japanese athletes aware of the danger to the public and being mindful, those athletes have expressed opposition to the games because it imperils the citizenry. Such is in personal conversation and their team-mates share that opposition to the games.

As for "the Japanese Sporting World" - difficult to embrace a point of view and opining by a handful of athletes who will glory in any accolade afforded their sport. Let alone a J-league official, who should no better.

One might look to the SheBelieves Cup, 2109, held in Florida during an influenza outbreak. Nadeshiko, during each round reduced their numbers as team members became ill, in spite of any and all precautions. The captain had to be replace three times, as each became ill. Almost half the team was stricken with the flu. A fact not mentioned during the event and which made it near impossible to win the tournament.

Holding the Olympic is ridiculous and dangerous - allowing spectators compounds the folly. Such being endorsed by the Sporting World is of no consequence, except to add to the lunacy.

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Posted in: Olympic transport simulation See in context

There is a reason why customer service in The West is so heinous - along with general incompetence. Lack of training and bad manners.

Certainly, there is reason to practice and be able to perform not just ably, but efficiently and with complete competence. It isn't a commuter bus route.

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Posted in: Organizers show off athletes' village a month before Tokyo Olympics begin See in context

Those rooms will be used for three weeks. They are dormitories - not a hotel.

Beds are constructed out of high-impact, recycled cardboard and can support 200 kilograms. There are extensions for too tall athletes. The beds are six feet, ten inches in length. Seven foot, six inches with the extension. Inexpensive and sturdy.

The rooms are similar to any Olympics in the past several decades.

Wealthy athletes, essentially pros, like the USA Men & Women's basketball teams haven't bunked in a dorm since 1998. In 2016, they had accommodations on a cruise ship.

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Posted in: Juneteenth, recalling end of slavery, marked across U.S. See in context

Juneteenth. Great. Advancing, at least, a modicum of awareness. Symbolic. Hard work lies ahead. As always. "Two steps forward. One step back." Frederick Douglass

However. The Civil War officially ended in 1866. It did not end with Lee's surrender, that was the Army of Northern Virginia. That was a surrender agreement. The fighting continued. A battle won by the Confederates took place in Texas, after Lee's surrender. Interestingly, that battle near Brownsville involved a company of Union, Black American soldiers.

The Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect, January 1, 1863, preceded the end of the Civil War.

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Posted in: Tokyo LGBTQ center head hoping Olympics spark social change See in context

"...discrimination exists. I mean, take a look at their attitudes towards tattoos for example - people with ink can't visit onsens, some beaches, waterparks etc. As someone who has tattoos..."

Excluding individuals with tattoos is not discrimination. If you cannot fathom the difference between being tatted-up, which is a choice and the actual discrimination against gay rights - the level of narcissism is beyond measure and occludes rational judgment.

As for The Olympics bringing about social change, that is an interesting notion. The structure of the institution that lords over the games, the IOC and the major powers that fund and profit off the entire spectacle are anything but a force for social change. It's cosmetics and image and mostly a means for snake oil salesman to promote their wares which are material and that purchase has attendant imposition of a very narrow frame of 'consciousness' which is all about the status quo and keeping the entire machine rolling along without impediment. It is a business. Selling shoes. Athletic wear. Food and drink. All pasted over with a happy smile and shiny medals. And a few heart-wrenching narratives to put a human face on it all.

The games readily, easily and quickly fade from memory. It is an event of little consequence in terms of anything other than adverse consequence. The gross ignorance of holding a spectacle during a world-wide epidemic is testimony enough. It is about money. Not sympathy for the oppressed.

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Posted in: Japan considers dropping plan to procure U.S.-made anti-ship missiles See in context

The less spent on expensive weapons systems is welcome. The entire façade, based on some nonsensical 'defense' against the ominous Chinese dragon is absurd ad infinitum. As if China is going to invade Japan or rain down missiles upon its cities.

Japan, remains a client-state of the USA, which is approaching the century mark. The politicos in the LDP are lapdogs for the USA, which employs Japan as a military outpost on the edge of Asia.

As if the mighty airforce, the fleet of F-15s or the rather bogus F-35 will stave off an invading force of the imagination. Or a barrage of missiles will keep the enemy at bay.

The model for Japan should be Switzerland, not some bizarre fevered dream of Empire, supposed by former PM Abe and its discount version Suga.

In any altercation with China, cultivated by the USA and its pivot to Asia, Japan would be flattened and turned into dust. Foreign policy should be base on economics and 'friendly' alliances. China, India and Russia are on the rise, the USA in decline.

The weapons industry in the USA is exactly that - purchasing armaments from a dying empire is a peculiar stratagem - especially over-priced systems with built complexities bound to fail at its base design.

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Posted in: All Olympic live viewing events in Tokyo to be canceled: Koike See in context

The games will be epic. Historical. An epic disaster. Run by fools.

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Posted in: Number of officials from overseas at Tokyo Olympics could be cut by another 25,000 See in context

All one need do is look at what happened in New York City, with SARSCoV-2 overwhelming the city and hence spread outwards. Tokyo, to a degree, similar to NYC, an enormous metropolitan area with large masses of citizenry commuting all throughout the city. Reducing the number of overseas personnel will not stave off the spread of the virus.

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Posted in: Why are Olympics going on despite public opposition, medical warnings? See in context

It will be EPIC! An epic disaster. Hopefully, it will put a stake into the heart of a ridiculous spectacle designed to bring in riches to the IOC and elite sponsors.

The entirety has been a fraud from its inception - created by dissolute aristocrats in the 19th century. Some banal form of amusement for the upper classes. The nobility being amused by blood sports. A queer brotherhood confabulated out of the minds of Teutonic chauvinists and carried forth by those of privilege thru two world wars and into the so-called modern era with all attendant propaganda and plastering the lauded athletes on a cereal box aka Wheaties. All that prior to the corporate, drugged-up, high dollar spectacle with its over-hyped emotive marketing as some manner of noble endeavor. Dump it and kick it to the curb.

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Posted in: Health experts warn of Olympic COVID-19 threat; prefer no spectators See in context

Seiko Hashimoto, is an expert at exactly what? Speed skating. Bike racing? She has absolutely no background in healthcare. Let alone virology or immunology. 

The purposeful misrepresentation of statistics is illuminating. 80% are against the Olympics being held in July. That's 80% opposed not 31%, slicing & dicing it to reduce the effective percentage is an attempt to shift to a false narrative.

The ignorance in failing to heed the warnings of the medical establishment and others in the healthcare field shows a complete disregard for reality.

The risks are clear. The science determines it is foolish to hold the Olympics. Actual circumstances throughout the globe fully illustrate the folly of ignoring the current and very ongoing pandemic.

The politicians who endorse the games are concerned about profits to the entities that hold power over those officials aka the status quo, who represent the elite and privileged. Who serve not the people, but corporate interests and their own selfish ambition.

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Posted in: Japan pledges 'safe and secure' Olympics in economic blueprint - draft See in context

Yeah, foreigners are so savvy. What an arrogant remark. As if the so-called locals are unawares.

The only legacy, will be one of disaster and ignorance, the sense of ignoring the mandate of the people, who decried and opposed the Olympics being held during a pandemic.

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Posted in: Diet ends session without extension over coronavirus response See in context

Suga, claims his priority is the pandemic. Then focuses on promoting the Olympics, intends to dissolve the state of emergency, has no actual plan for immunizing the populous and ignores the parliament excepting for those who fall in line, which is his own party the LDP.

That indeed is scandalous behavior. Let alone all the infringements his cronies and progeny have engaged in. Let alone the failure to consider the needs, the health & welfare of 'the people' above his own narrow and self-serving interests aka the upcoming Olympic being held during a plague.

This from the trial of Katsuyuki Kawai, a scandal that included vote buying: Shigemasa explained that she could not refuse the cash when Katsuyuki told her, “This is from Abe.” When the scandal unfolded and there were indictments, Abe resigned due to health reasons. Suga, then floated into office on a sea of corruption, Abe's factotum and former hatchet man.

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Posted in: Warning to athletes: Follow the rules at Tokyo Olympics, or else See in context

More than 100,000 individuals. And The Playbook. A playbook without definitive rules or punishments.

Just terrific. The IOC & JOC & Comcast: it is all about the Benjamins. For all else there is total disregard.

The IOC would have hold the Olympics during the Black Plague.

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Posted in: China denounces NATO statement; defends defense policy See in context

The G7 countries are responsible for enabling the rise of China. Almost a classic application of Schumpeter's take-off theory. By offshoring manufacturing, production and assembly of consumer items, the over 100 major US corporate entities from electronics to artificial plastic flowers to automotive parts to toilet paper - GM, Gerber Baby Foods, Dodge, Nike, Motorola, Levis, Rawlings, Fender guitars, Dell, Ford, Under Armor, Frito Lay, Harley-Davidson, Intel, Kraft, Nabisco, Walgreen, Wal-Mart, and a litany of others have funded and enabled the Chinese Empire. Same for international companies in Europe.

That the long list of top USA companies, many being major corporate entities, would allow hostilities of a military nature to endanger their investment and profiteering is an illusion. Let alone do KFC, McDonalds, Nike, GM and others wish to endanger their profits from peddling their goods in China, the soon to be largest consumer market in the world.

As for NATO, it's an antiquated alliance with longstanding failures, now being re-vamped to 'protect' the world from Russia and China. Strategic competitors who threaten a way of life, whatever that may be. The dim-witted plan for NATO aka defense, is a bombardment of Russia and then a military invasion, as if this would lead to immediate surrender, what it would guarantee is the launching of nuclear devices by Russia aimed at Europe and the USA. Brilliant. The over-reaching strategy is one of disaster. Same witless strategy for attacking China, which would result in the nuking of Japan, Guam and the USA. The use of proxy armies by the USA, is not just a flawed strategy, it is completely mad. No surprise. Only 17% of Europeans want closer ties with the USA and less than 10% want the USA as a military ally or partner. European countries (and one would hope Japan, also) realize the future lies with China and not the USA and are shifting their alliance.

Those who advocate an antagonistic stance by Japan towards China, including the acquisition of nuclear weapons & creating a large military force are complete fools. The future is the New Silk Road and creating economic ties with China. The USA is headed to the rubbish heap of history.

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Posted in: Lawmakers vote down no-confidence motion against Suga's cabinet See in context

Suga. Inherits 'the throne' and instead of being an interim PM seizes power. His general ineptitude, cognitive impairment due to old age and intensely conservative ideology have resulted in continual mismanagement and an increasingly haphazard governance. He is an ongoing, low-level disaster. His dedication to The Olympics, borders on madness, as it is a potential threat, literally, to the health of the nation and its peoples. That he acquiesces to private power aka the IOC and Comcast does not bode well for the immediate future. A party aka LDP ruled over and controlled by septuagenarians reflects policies that are antiquated and basely reactionary & right wing. Suga and his cronies are a churlish lot that portend disaster for the future. The people themselves have no confidence in the current ruling junta.

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Posted in: Paris Jackson says paparazzi caused her long-term trauma See in context

Unfortunate. Assuming, she is wealthy beyond means, there are varying & myriad solutions. No matter how intrusive, hardly a matter for more than passing sympathy. Let alone does it merit to be the subject of so-called journalism. A child of inherited wealth and fame. And the cult of personality.

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Posted in: Aussie Spirit See in context

Why, are they in Japan? The strictures dictated by the JOC/IOC claimed no athletic teams from foreign countries would arrive until shortly prior to the games?

Inspiration for what and how?

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Posted in: Djokovic, Federer, Nadal: Who's the greatest of them all? See in context

He will not win another 25 titles. Nor will he win Wimbledon. Let alone the Grand Slam. There are young players, more than capable of defeating Djokovic. Next year, he will be 35 and it will show, injuries and stamina will begin to wreak havoc.

The three top dogs, at their best, Djokovic is third and not close to second, let alone first.

Federer is going to be 40 years old and still a threat.

Only one year separates Djokovic and Nadal. Nadal, however has punished his body with his athletic, full tilt play and sustained numerous injuries. He is, aged beyond his years. But still pushes his body beyond its bounds.

Djokovic is operating in a gap between two players well into their twilight & on the cusp of retirement and the young talented players who are nowhere near maturity. This is Djokovic's final big year. Next year, there are players who will grind him down. Federer destroying Djokovic:

https://youtu.be/eDszwSMbeh8?t=14

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