wipeout comments

Posted in: UK faces food, fuel and drug shortages if it leaves EU, says contested leaked document See in context

The people who said "there is no way Donald Trump will become the President" were wrong. Very wrong

I'll cop to that. We live and learn.

Mind, I didn't factor the Russians into the equation, and I didn't properly take account of the ongoing campaign to purge voters from the register, so it was more a case of believing "There is no way Donald Trump will become the President in a fairly fought election campaign." I also didn't expect a candidate, a supposed billionaire at that, to get away with concealing his tax information all the way up to election day.

But he's easily won the crown of worst president in US history, and on that I was right, though I didn't expect him to be quite this bad. Most people two years into their job have actually learned, on some level, to do the job. But not this oaf. He's still as lost as he was on day one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Britain's Prince Andrew 'appalled' by Epstein abuse claims: report See in context

Do some research youll find Randy Andy was pretty much out of control seyally back in the day - he had a notorious sexcapade with a porn actress named Koo Stark, among others

A sexcapade. That's strictly a word for tabloid readers with tabloid minds.

Same goes for the woeful nickname Randy Andy. Back in the 1980s, he was in his 20s, and I don't recall much in his reported behaviour that indicated a sexual appetite beyond that of the average British male of similar age. The difference was that he was the focus of a press (and public) that combined extreme prurience with dated, practically Victorian attitudes about royal behaviour, in particular their sex lives.

I do remember a somewhat tedious storm in a teacup about the relationship with Koo Stark. Not a porn actress, as it happens, but - the times being what they were - it was considered a bit racy that she was American, and therefore (again, in those times) slightly less than suitable wife material for a royal. The equivalent of the chorus girls who catch the eye of wealthy gents in PG Wodehouse novels.

I'm not sufficiently interested in Andrew's life to dig further into his sexual past from those days, other than to observe that most of us have one, the difference being that his was avidly followed and reported by the press. You seem to have come up with the one relationship that I have no difficulty recalling, and I suspect that he had a few other shortlived relationships, and maybe a string of one-night stands. Fairly tame stuff.

"Out of control" royals, both British and foreign, did themselves rather better than that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Veteran UK politicians asked to lead potential anti-Brexit government See in context

I am not sure whether Boris will use the Robin Tillbrook case. However, Boris has said a few times that the UK will leave the EU on or before the 31st of October.

At the moment it looks as if his plan is to call an election for a post-Brexit date and in the meantime dissolve parliament for longer than the automatic 25-day period. However, you do well to point out that he has other anti-democratic methods at his disposal, and will use them if his primary goal is to achieve a no-deal exit. The regular democratic and parliamentary methods won't work.

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Posted in: 23 dead, 13,000 people hospitalized in week in Japan due to heat See in context

That is why more pass away than in Northern Australia

Again, we've had no figures on that.

But if we are merely counting number of deaths, the population of Queensland is just over 5 million, and the population of Northern Territory is less than a quarter of a million. We needn't even bother considering the sparsely populated northern half of Western Australia. The age distribution is also different between the two countries: 26% of Japanese are 65 years old or above; against 16% of Australians. If the 16% figure is approximately correct for Queensland (it was 13% in 2011)

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/3235.0~2011~Main+Features~Queensland#PARALINK3

then there are around 900,000 people over 65 years of age. For Japan, it would be approximately 32,000,000.

Even allowing for the many other factors that would affect the figures, it's reasonable to expect to hear about fatalities more frequently than in a region where there are, let's see, 31 million fewer people in the higher-risk age group.

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Posted in: 23 dead, 13,000 people hospitalized in week in Japan due to heat See in context

It is a question as to why so many people die in Japan in regular summer temps. Northern Australia is just a reference.

It's your personal recollection of what you think the situation is in Northern Australia. That's barely a reference at all.

The question is, why do so many Japanese people become ill and die when temps reach the mid-30's?

Another question would be, is it so many? To support that, you'd have to supply some statistics from a halfway reliable source.

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Posted in: 23 dead, 13,000 people hospitalized in week in Japan due to heat See in context

I can't understand why so many people die when temps reach the mid-30'. I come from northern Australia where temps are much hotter and humid for longer periods of time, but deaths and hospitalisation are rare

Yeah but for the rest of us, we don't go through life comparing every situation with dubious accounts of how it's all done better in Australia.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Hong Kong leader urges calm as protest tensions rise See in context

This one and only big appeal has already been accepted by the HK government, so this bill has already fallen.

The demand of demonstrators concerning the bill was that it be withdrawn. So far, it has only been suspended, and opponents say that is insufficient.

But as I already said, you miss the point. Your solution was that the bill should be rewritten. Do you see any interest in drafting an extradition bill among the Hong Kong public at the moment?

Going against the extradition bill was the goal of this movement. 

That's disingenuous. People were vehemently opposed to the bill, certainly. But what makes you imagine overturning it was their sole focus and their only objective? The extradition bill was an opportunistic move by the government that in one go would have put Hong Kong citizens at risk of being extradited from Hong Kong to China.

It was a serious miscalculation, and it became a catalyst for pressures and frustrations that have always been there to boil over.

If you’d like to have more say in your government, declare your intentions, proposals, and solutions.

Here's the same advice I gave you last time. Find out about the Hong Kong electoral system; that will give you a clearer picture of how much say the people of Hong Kong have in their government. Do you know what percentage of seats in the Legislative Council are directly elected by the people? And do you understand the significance of that percentage in terms of representation? I think it's important that you take the trouble to find that out first. It might give you an understanding of where all this anger by ordinary citizens comes from; and how it is that once-peaceful people are running amok.

And to be frank, your ostensibly reasonable solution about talking it out is exactly what hasn't worked for Hong Kong citizens for the last 20 years (or before). Instead, they've been gradually pushed into a corner, they've had their rights attacked, and now they're lashing out. Their tactics may be wrong, their arguments (I've actually listened to some) may be borderline hysterical, and their behaviour may be highly disruptive to daily life; but this is what happens when people decide they've been pushed beyond their limit. It's also helps explain why a bunch of youngsters running riot in the streets have had plenty of sympathy from the general public in Hong Kong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hong Kong leader urges calm as protest tensions rise See in context

The extradition bill is just the tip of the ice burg. What the RIOTER really want is independence

Possibly. Though I'd be interested to know how you can prove that.

and China will never give them that

Agreed.

Is HK ready to go to civil war?

It looks to be ready for something. Whatever the Hong Kong government does - and it routinely mishandles protest and opposition, and has done ever since 1998 - is going to bring more people out. Much as the Hong Kong government and PRC would love to smear these people, it is not going to be able to drive a wedge between them and the wider population. If these rioters had no general support, the whole thing would have fizzled out by now.

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Posted in: Hong Kong leader urges calm as protest tensions rise See in context

The very extradition bill was created by Hong Kong. They should rewrite the bill and cover the legal loopholes in question. 

You seem to be confusing the people of Hong Kong with the government in Hong Kong. To understand this better, you might spend a few minutes studying the election system that Hong Kong uses, with particular reference to the percentage of directly elected seats in the legislature.

It's also worth having a look at the history of pro-democracy parties, who were once able to command very strong public support; see if you can understand what their chances are in the Hong Kong electoral system of gaining control in the legislature.

Hong Kong people are used to their political representatives post-1997, in particular the leadership, being more or less openly pro-PRC, and behind the scenes, taking orders or deferring to PRC interests. They're also used to seeing the same in the wealthiest business leaders - former Tory party donor Li Ka Shing and the like - who are absurdly influential in Hong Kong politics, business, and society, and who were able to switch seamlessly from fawning over the colonial rulers of Hong Kong pre-handover to fawning over their masters in China.

Hong Kong people aren't too stupid to notice all this. Nor are they complacent about what the future holds for them. You don't have to support the burning of police stations to understand that these weeks of unrest represent a total collapse of public trust in the government and those who are given the job of protecting it. I recommend watching some of the videos on the SCMP's website - for example a day or two ago, when, as police were arresting protesters in Wong Tai Sin, the residents came out and started giving the police crap about it.

Something has snapped in people, and it's probably permanent. The 30 years of Tiananmen vigils, which almost every year have pulled huge crowds in Hong Kong, should be a very visible reminder that people were never blind about China. They have always been cynical about their leaders and the elite business enablers of China's encroachment. And there is only so far they would allow themselves to be pushed. When you focus on - now of all times - rewriting the extradition bill in some manner that would supposedly be acceptable to the general populace, you are completely missing the point.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

Not my question. One last time. WHO. WILL. BUILD. THE. HARD. BORDER?

You suffer from the usual Brexit delusion. That you can ignore reality and crap on everyone who won't go along with you on that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

I'm caliming there isn't going to be a hard border. You are. 

My money's on Britain to put the first parts in place. After all, reassurances by the Johnson government are worth as much as...yours.

Meanwhile, the EU has already concluded that no-deal would create a hard border, and that the backstop was the way to avoid this.

Your problem, as with all no-deal fundamentalists, is your insistence that the circle can be squared.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Apple loses more ground in smartphone market See in context

No not really. i'm happy to pay ¥4500/month for an iPhone XR plus calls plus data. I'm also happy it includes Applecare and theft insurance. After two years I can update to another model.

Cagey. Somewhere in there is the price of the phone. What the customer pays for the device. It's not a present.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

Who will construct this hard border?

So it's just going to be left open then. That's what you're saying, isn't it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

Can you tell me....apart from the phantom hard border argument, what other parts of the GFA are you afraid will be repealed?

No it's not a phantom argument when it's central to the stance of the EU on the backstop, and to the agreement it spent two years negotiating with Britain.

No-deal is just a way to duck all of this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

And what I have said is that the UK and Ireland have both said they will uphold the GFA come what may.

Varadkar said a couple of days ago now, that he will meet Johnson but will absolutely not renegotiate the backstop.

Perhaps you haven't understood this concept yet. The backstop is there to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Removing it is equivalent to creating a hard border, and a hard border is a threat to the Good Friday Agreement.

That problem doesn't just wash away when Johnson makes some vaguely reassuring noises about the GFA. Johnson is untrustworthy and uninterested in detail, presumably from an inability to understand it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Hong Kong leader urges calm as protest tensions rise See in context

 If even a small part of the Chinese people were to demand freedom and democracy, China's government would collapse, and the corrupt party elite would have to give up their power and wealth.

It didn't happen last time. Chinese people engaged in mass pro-democracy protests before Hong Kong. They paid in blood.

And while they ultimately failed, they fired up democracy movements across the world in 1989, setting off the collapse of communism governments in Europe, ending communism in Mongolia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_Revolution_of_1990

and boosting democracy movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The 1990 Wild Lily movement was a push for universal suffrage (in protest against the National Assembly's selection of the Kuomintang's Lee Teng Hui for a six-year presidential term as the sole, unopposed candidate).

Whatever happens in Hong Kong, they were not the first to demand democracy in China. They're a few decades late for that honour. The China pro-democracy protests weren't just a handful of students, it was a movement that affected cities all across China, and ordinary citizens were in on it. They did this at far greater personal risk, whether they were aware of that or not.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

You'll change the topic.

It's your topic, which I'll quote: "The GFA will be unaffected as it has been said numerous times by the leader of Ireland and the UK"

That's completely incompatible with Varadkar's words. He said the opposite.

Are you suggesting that Varadkar didn't explicitly state his belief that Brexit is a threat to the Good Friday Agreement?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Apple loses more ground in smartphone market See in context

My iPhone 10 XR 128MB costs me ¥4,500/month from au.

Sounds like a specious way to pretend that it doesn't have a final price.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Would China risk another Tiananmen in Hong Kong? See in context

That would become not an instant Tiananmen repeat (where 10000+ people were killed in a shorter duration) but a long drawn out affair. Either way, Hong Kongers - stand up for your rights. Keep fighting! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Inspiring. Hong Kong citizens will feel very reassured that you've analysed the situation and can guarantee their personal safety. Or that you've got your fingers crossed for them. Or something.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Bolton says U.S. ready to negotiate post-Brexit trade pact See in context

The GFA will be unaffected as it has been said numerous times by the leader of Ireland and the UK, remember?

Boris Johnson's word is worth nothing. His chief characteristic as a politician and a human is that he's a shameless liar and backstabber. He campaigned on a platform of waffle, scolding anyone to tried to press him on details for being too pessimistic. He stated that the chances of no-deal are "a million to one", then within hours of becoming Prime Minister installed a no-deal cabinet and has been looking at ways to make it a possibility through any means available, no matter how undemocratic or unconstitutional.

And no-deal is a direct threat to the GFA. So much for the leader of the UK.

The leader of Ireland, on the other hand, has said this about Brexit: "To me, Brexit is a threat to the Good Friday agreement simply because it threatens to drive a wedge between Britain and Ireland, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and potentially between the two communities in Northern Ireland. And that’s why we must do all that we can to make sure that those wedges, that that risk, does not become reality."

How in your head do you reconcile your words, that the leader of Ireland has said numerous times that the GFA will be unaffected, with the leaders own words, "To me, Brexit is a threat to the Good Friday agreement".

For Christ's sake, he said that at a GFA 20th anniversary event in Washington.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: More protests underway in Hong Kong with no end in sight See in context

This is over an extradition bill, a bill. Veto it. Rewrite it. There is legislative procedure. Democracy isn’t about causing mayhem.

And legislative procedure isn't about democracy. Hong Kong is not a democracy, and never was, despite majority public support for universal suffrage. It has strong freedoms, but that simply makes the mismatch between the long tradition of free speech and the glaring lack of democracy more apparent. It puts an enormous strain on society.

What you're seeing at the moment is total breakdown of public trust in the government, which looks to be permanent. The Hong Kong government has mishandled the situation (and previous problems) badly, and is very much to blame for this. They actually radicalized their own population!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Donald Trump: a disruptive president See in context

For the record what Trump actually said was: "So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run

You want that for the record? Fair enough. This is what it tells us.

It underlines the folly of criticizing members of Congress for engaging in political debate.

It underlines that Trump is a habitual liar, as 3 of the 4 women he is talking about are US-born and raised.

And it underlines his blatant racism. Spreading lies about origins to smear people who aren't white - exactly what his birther campaign did as well - is racist. In both cases, he was saying, loud and clear, that these people are not proper Americans. That's five citizens, of whom four are "natural-born".

This is a bit more important than your hair-splitting about "then come back and show us how it's done". No matter what he added, the racism was already there. You even quoted it - for the record. Well done! Let's see it again:

"Why don't they go back....."

Don't blame the media for that. Trump used media to crap that thought out into the public domain.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Disgraced money manager Jeffrey Epstein found dead in jail cell in apparent suicide See in context

Yeah, people with high political connections do that all the time, they shoot themselves in the back of the head, they hang themselves in their prison cell, they try to go swimming in an alligator infested swimming pool

Unlike your other examples, there's nothing implausible about suicide by hanging, and nothing implausible about a prisoner committing suicide by hanging.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Disgraced money manager Jeffrey Epstein found dead in jail cell in apparent suicide See in context

What should he do?

Stay very very quiet and hope it all goes away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: All-natural and low-sugar: Kombucha takes U.S. by storm See in context

The US, like other countries, regulates nutrient and health claims on labeling for food and drugs, based on specific standards.

Yes Jeff, you're stating the obvious (though drugs are not relevant in any way to the original comment I was addressing).

As part of regulation concerning drinks, is it required for "health benefits" to be stated on the label? If yes, then the original comment was correct. If no, then it's wrong. If my question has to be reworded to get a yes, then it's wrong again.

Presumably you understand the crucial difference between placing restrictions on health claims and requiring companies to list the health benefits of their drinks. And also the simple distinction between "you cannot" and "you must". And also that nutrition information and health benefits are not the same thing at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: All-natural and low-sugar: Kombucha takes U.S. by storm See in context

Here in the States it is mandated that drinks list on their labels the health benefits.

That sounds exceptionally unlikely, as health benefits aren't something that can be easily measured, expressed, or neatly summarized. Even the definition of "health benefit" (as with other vague, feel-good terms like "natural") would be a legal quagmire; let alone whether a particular drink was capable of delivering it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: UK opposition warns Johnson against Brexit 'abuse of power' See in context

Mr Corbyn fails to realise that the No-Deal exit on October 31 has been decided by Parliament, not the Government, through Article 50.

No, it definitely hasn't been decided by Parliament. Article 50 contains nothing that directly mentions exit without a deal; it contains a lot about reaching and implementing an agreement, and the timeline for doing so.

Your overinterpretation of Article 50 is ludicrous: by that logic, Theresa May would never have needed to submit her EU agreement to a parliamentary vote, because hey, already decided - Article 50. The fact is, she did submit it, 3 times, and was defeated 3 times. But she had sufficient respect for democracy, constitutional norms, and parliamentary procedure to do it properly.

Johnson is taking the opposite route, looking for ways to get around parliament; or defy a no-confidence vote defeat and cling on as PM; or shove back an election until after no-deal has been rammed through. All of these things are in opposition to parliamentary, constitutional, and democratic convention in Britain.

Making it worse is the fact that Johnson's party has no parliamentary majority; his coalition with the DUP has the barest of majorities (a single seat); there is a majority in parliament opposed to no-deal (that was even voted on earlier in the year, 318 to 310), and the majority of the electorate is opposed to no-deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Behind the Boeing MAX crisis: Lax regulator, top-down company culture See in context

While not the 737 MAX, when it comes to planes, the Boeing 787 was made of parts built all over the world.

There was a lot of fuss when the 787 was released about the battery issue. However, the problem has been addressed, and the 787 has been in service for nearly 10 years now. Its safety record is excellent.

The 737 Max is an entirely different story; a design flaw that overrode input from competent pilots during normal flight and destroyed two aircraft with no survivors. The MAX managed just 526 days in service before the first of those crashes, and Boeing was unable to avoid a repeat, which came just four months later. That will go down as probably the worst design failure in the history of airliners, and certainly the worst since airliners became a mature technology.

Waiting for the next scandal.

The 737 Max is the scandal.

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Posted in: UK economy shrinks for first time since 2012 as Brexit bites See in context

The UK will see a major boom very soon!

The cheap pound is attractive for all those buying UK exports,services and tourism.

That doesn't in any way guarantee a boom. It makes it more likely that there are gains in some areas, but those can be offset or exceeded in scale by far worse performance in others.

Leaving aside the regulatory chaos that can be expected if a no-deal is rammed through, it's not going to be a simple matter of exports being cheaper and more attractive to customers; many companies and manufacturers are heavily reliant on the seamless trade and regulation they had with other EU countries for the products they export, whether those products are exported to Europe or not. This is why the future of every major car manufacturing plant in the UK is shaky.

A weaker pound will also increase the costs of imported goods, which for many is going to increase the costs of doing business, and is going to hit customers (the ordinary British public) very hard - the country has many problems, but wage inflation isn't one of them. Some companies will simply move as much as they can of their operation back behind EU borders; others, especially smaller companies, will go out of business altogether.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. upgrades Hong Kong travel warning as airport protest planned See in context

Thanx for the vid. The situation is no joke.

Yes, afraid not. It could settle down in a few weeks, but for the moment, I wouldn't even buy a CX flight via HK. I'm sure life mostly continues and people carry on turning up to work, school etc., but for now, there's too much potential for major inconvenience, and in this heat...no thanks.

I guess it's greatly changed

So it seems. I remember Hong Kong people as pretty passive; demonstrations being fairly rare and always orderly. That may have changed for good. Both the cops and the mob are going to be learning new habits, by the look of it.

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