wipeout comments

Posted in: Mueller paints a damning portrait of Trump See in context


And that’s a great thing. Thank God for his staff!

You've failed to understand something there. Trump was directing other people to commit crimes on his behalf. Those people did not have the protections that a president has, and would have been fully exposed to the legal consequences of their actions. Even the shower of corrupt turds that Trump has populated the White House with are capable of understanding this much.

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Posted in: Democrats make legal bid for all Russia probe evidence; Trump poll numbers drop See in context

How would you know? Mueller said, No.

Mueller did not say no to obstruction of justice. That's a lie.

Mueller said: "[Fourth,] if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred."

As well as explicitly stating that he was not clearing him, he provided the context for that in his preceding (third) consideration, which hinges on allegations of criminality against a president.

"Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment [the judgement that criminal offenses were committed by President Trump] when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator."

In other words, 1) he could not and would not conclude that the President hadn't broken laws on obstruction of justice and 2) a key reason for his not saying, as a law enforcement official, that President Trump had broken the law was the (near-) impossibility according to Justice Manual standards of indicting a President.

He comes as close to saying that Trump broke the law as it's possible to get. If you doubt that, read the last line in bold text in my quote above.

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Posted in: Global measles cases up 300% year-on-year: WHO See in context

Tell me is getting jabbed with a needle introducing toxins directly into the bloodstream how the immune system is supposed to work ?

Where did you get the impression that vaccines are injected into the bloodstream? It's not street smack.

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Posted in: Global measles cases up 300% year-on-year: WHO See in context

Are you saying I shouldn't care if an unvaccinated child is disabled or injured by vaccine-preventable disease? 

Obviously not. It wasn't me who posed a question starting "Why should you care if....". If your memory's really that short, allow me to jog it: that was you. I answered in order to point out the gaping flaw in your assumption.

Most claims of vaccine injury are entirely spurious. You and Mr Bjornson in this thread are a handy reminder of that. By attempting to show, in your scattergun way, that vaccines in general are actually harmful to young children, you're rejecting all the evidence and data that shows otherwise. Or do you accept that you're wildly exaggerating, and that in reality there are vastly fewer real cases than you imply?

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Posted in: Global measles cases up 300% year-on-year: WHO See in context

Why do the the Vaccinated feel so threatened by the unvaccinated ? 

People who are unvaccinated for highly contagious vaccine-preventable are a threat to public health. They are at higher risk of infection, and when infected, they spread the disease.

However, many of the unvaccinated are children are the unwitting victims of their parents' ignorance, irresponsibility, and selfishness. It is antivaccine agitators who are causing much of the harm, spreading lies, foolishness, and antiscience gibberish, and actively working to create the conditions for disease to spread.

If your are so convinced that your Vaccines work what do you care if someone is unvaccinated ?

Are you saying I shouldn't care if an unvaccinated child is disabled or injured by vaccine-preventable disease? I don't quite follow your reasoning.

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Posted in: UK pressured not to overlook Swedish claims to Assange See in context

Has Sweden re-opened the remaining rape case against Assange? 

Swedish prosecutors have stated that they are examining the case, at the request of the lawyer of the accuser. That means that they are considering reopening the investigation, which would put them in a position to issue a fresh warrant requesting his extradition.

As they did put in their claim first, seven years ago now, while the United States made no move against Assange, they can say with some legitimacy that they have a prior claim, and that they attempted to pursue it. That would be bolstered by the seriousness of the charge (regardless of whether Assange is actually guilty, which personally I somewhat doubt), and the unusual circumstances in which he put himself out of reach, both to the British and Swedish authorities. Unlike a normal fugitive, he acquired diplomatic protection.

Has Sweden re-issued an arrest warrant for Assange's extradition to Sweden? 

What's the time limit? Britain and the US, according to the letter, had advance knowledge that Assange was about to have his asylum rescinded, while Sweden did not. The problem here is not that Sweden has so far "failed" to issue an arrest warrant but that, as the MPs who signed the letter are aware, the United States has a history of high-handed behaviour in its extradition requests and is likely to simply assume that it takes priority over Sweden concerning Assange. And Britain has a bit of a history of caving in to American demands.

Have more than 70 British lawmakers signed a letter urging the Home Secretary to do everything he can to champion action that will ensure Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden IN THE EVENT SWEDEN MAKES AN EXTRADITION REQUEST?

That's right. Which is why your first question is in the realm of tortured logic: "Are these politicians actually demanding that the British government honor a Swedish extradition request THAT DOES NOT CURRENTLY EXIST?"

A European Arrest Warrant is (to the concern of many) a pretty binding document. The country to which the request is made is not entitled to sift the merits of the charges brought; they are expected - required, basically - merely to comply with the request. Sweden may well decide to issue a warrant in the next days or weeks, but that would be pre-empted if the British government rushed into accommodating America's request. It is entirely appropriate for MPs to raise concerns against hasty action that would undermine Sweden's ability to consider its options.

Not that I would expect a redblooded American to have the remotest understanding of why other countries shouldn't just dance to America's tune.

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Posted in: UK pressured not to overlook Swedish claims to Assange See in context

Actually, the answer is a resounding "YES". Even the article's author acknowledges that a Swedish extradition request DOES NOT CURRENTLY EXIST.

Yes, the extradition request doesn't currently exist. But you just went and flipped the wording of your original question, which was about honouring a request that doesn't exist. And that's not what they're demanding.

I answered your question as you asked it, not with some supernatural ability to predict all possible future ways in which you might twist the wording in order to answer it yourself. That's beyond my abilities.

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Posted in: Ivanka Trump in Africa to promote women at work program See in context

Inspirational. Who better to carry the torch for working women than a dopey socialite?

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Posted in: Kim open to another summit with Trump, with conditions See in context

Trump must feel very jaded. After all, at one of his rallies, he said that he and Kim "fell in love".

He never suggested it was unconditional love.

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Posted in: UK pressured not to overlook Swedish claims to Assange See in context

Are these politicians actually demanding that the British government honor a Swedish extradition request THAT DOES NOT CURRENTLY EXIST?


The European warrant was withdrawn right after the Swedish dropped the rape investigation. However, the investigation was dropped on the grounds that after 7 years, in the words of the public prosecutor "all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted". She also said, which should answer your question, "In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued...If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately."

If the investigation is resumed, and that is far from certain at this point, it's back to where they started. Sweden can issue a new European Arrest Warrant for Assange; Britain, like all member states, is obliged to comply and proceed with extradition. Although there was some question over whether the EAW applies to a suspect who has not been formally charged (like Assange), that would seem to have already been settled in a British court in the challenge to the previous warrant.

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Posted in: Assange held in London jail ahead of long legal fight See in context

If he really is such a defender of transparency, Assange should welcome a trial to defend his methods.

No one in their right mind (not that Assange necessarily qualifies for that) would welcome being put on trial. Being put on trial means a risk of being convicted, no matter how innocent you might be.

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Posted in: Trump considered daughter Ivanka for head of World Bank See in context

But if he had nominated his daughter -- who is a senior adviser to the president -- "they'd say nepotism, when it would've had nothing to do with nepotism."


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Posted in: Far-right parties kick off campaigns for European Parliament elections See in context

And....Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini - you can't be a "mess" and manufacture the world's most advanced, highest quality automobiles.

Huh? You can if your country is plagued with longstanding problems like widespread corruption, organized crime, and hugely inefficient bureaucracy. As well as the inconvenience, this kind of thing does have a cost in human lives, as several large earthquakes in the last 50 years have demonstrated. Shoddy construction is a serious problem in Italy.

And the quality of the cars...is hotly debated. Like many other Italian products, they have acquired a bit of a reputation for unreliability. So while they might be the highest quality, they're also known to catch fire on occasion. None of the companies you mentioned above are immune.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Singapore's 'fake news' laws upset tech giants See in context

A fine (pennies for large tech companies and quite doable for medium sized firms), but 10 year imprisonment for individuals?

A very effective form on intimidation, for anyone who knows Singapore's history of going after individuals.

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Posted in: France respects Japan's judicial procedures regarding Ghosn: Le Drian See in context

Ghosn holds Brazilian, French and Lebanese nationality. WOW - Most countries will ONLY allow you to hold only “ONE ” Nationality at a time !

Whether it's most or not, and I somewhat doubt that, many countries do accept dual and multiple nationality. It would be fair to assume that France, Brazil, and Lebanon are among those countries, seeing as it's no secret that Ghosn has nationality of all three.

And Japan, while feigning to forbid dual nationality for adults, in fact has not made it illegal, which is why there are so many dual national adults.

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Posted in: Far-right parties kick off campaigns for European Parliament elections See in context

Most think the renaissance is the foundation of modern western culture and civilization. Ever heard of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Galileo and so on?

Yes I've heard of them. But when I said "ever", I was thinking more in terms of the world with which most of have some sort of connection, which at the very earliest would be the industrial era from the 19th century and onward. At least some of us have known people who were alive that long ago.

In many respects, it was the Greeks who laid the foundations of modern western culture and civilization, about sixteen centuries before the Renaissance. Still, that doesn't teach us much about modern day Greece, or Greece at any time during the 20th century. No one today looks to Greece or Italy for pointers on how to, for example, operate a democracy; run an economy; operate a legal system; eliminate pollution; stamp out organized crime.

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Posted in: Nagano eyes luring tourists with scenic Japan Alps bike route See in context

 My impression is that Harley riders are out to enjoy the scenery, unless you have experienced otherwise.

I have, when out enjoying mountain scenery myself. Like all large motorcycles, Harleys are noisy, and groups of them are even noisier. Frankly, they're a bit of a plague.

But from the rider's point of view, just fine if you're not that bothered about what it's like for other people.

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Posted in: Far-right parties kick off campaigns for European Parliament elections See in context

It's not matter of nationalism and "right wingers". Italy is collapsing because of mass immigration.

Has Italy ever thrived? It's always been seen from outside as a bit of a mess.

When were the healthy years? Under Berlusconi?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: France respects Japan's judicial procedures regarding Ghosn: Le Drian See in context

He's got two countries going after him, one of which is his own country forsaking him.

It's not exactly clear what his "own country" is. He holds three nationalities. When he was arrested, he had just arrived by private jet from Lebanon, and he seems to retain ties with all three countries of nationality, at least in terms of spending time in all of them. Which isn't true of everyone holding more than one nationality.

If he habitually enters and leaves Japan on a French passport it might be appropriate for him to seek assistance from France (though what's normally available isn't much more than consular visits to the place of detention). If he doesn't, but entered on a French passport at the time of his arrest, it might still be appropriate, as he was presenting himself as a French national at the point of entry. But if he used a different passport, it would be considerably less appropriate, as it would have the appearance of playing off one nationality against another when it suits.

This is why I don't think that talking about "his own country" is informative in Ghosn's case. There are various ways to view it, such as which nationality he used when he first came to Japan and acquired his Japan visa; which one(s) he was in the habit of using on entry and exit after that; and where he bases himself for residence/tax purposes. The answer to all or most of those may well be France. For most of us, that would give us the right to no more than consular assistance (and only if we didn't hold nationality of the country in which we were arrested). Ghosn is directly asking France to defend him, which is far beyond what countries normally do (or can do) for their citizens abroad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Prostate cancer death rates stabilizing: study See in context

Sounds like there is a definition problem. Is a non-dangerous tumor a "cancer" or not?

No wonder you're confused. It's worse than a definition problem. The article above has completely botched Freeman's words, which are taken from a press release of the American Association for Cancer Research.


This is what the article says: "The United States had the biggest drop in prostate cancers, which Freeman attributed to a decline in the use of a controversial diagnostic test that identified too many non-dangerous tumors."

And this is what the actual press release says, which amounts to the opposite:

"Freeman said the study confirmed the impact of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. She explained that in the United States, prostate cancer incidence rates increased from the 1980s to the early 1990s, then declined from the mid-2000s through 2015, largely due to increased use of PSA screening. This type of screening is less available in lower-income nations, contributing to diagnosis at later stages and higher mortality rates, Freeman said."

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Posted in: Gov't says official translation for next era name Reiwa is 'beautiful harmony' See in context

The experts are wrong. This kanji has always meant 'command' and has been used in this context by the ruling class for centuries. Therefore, the real meaning of Reiwa is, "Do as you are ordered and there will be peace." 

Classical scholarship at its finest.

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Posted in: Angry over Brexit delay, 'Leave' supporters march through London See in context

I lost all respect for JRM two days ago.

You are fickle. Giving up on the ludicrous Etonian fop at the first betrayal.

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Posted in: Kono suggests need to end reversal of Japanese names in English See in context

Re. English names above - I was referring to the kind of names you tend to encounter in Hong Kong.

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Posted in: Kono suggests need to end reversal of Japanese names in English See in context

But, if you would like to join the discussion I have with whomever it was I conflated you with, do you feel that the reason Chinese people take English names is due to a lack of self pride?

Not especially. Even if it's true in some cases, which it might well be, why would anyone think this practice can be traced to a single reason? Some parts of the Chinese world were colonized by the British, and that certainly had an influence on why so many people had English names. Hard not to see it when young women in the 80s and 90s went by names like Agnes, Ada, Prudence, Mabel, Gladys and the like - names that had been all but abandoned in England by about the 1930s. I don't particularly see a connection with lack of pride though.

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Posted in: Kono suggests need to end reversal of Japanese names in English See in context

And once again I say, if you have something to show it is a result of a lack of self pride, support your argument. I’ve already shown how it’s wrong. Your turn to show how it’s right.

You've conflated comments posted by two different people. I already mentioned that to you.

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Posted in: Kono suggests need to end reversal of Japanese names in English See in context

That said, it ends up kind of being the same. There is no way to write Chinese names in English that non-Chinese English speakers would recognize as tones.

Yes but the tones are not needed for the purpose of pronouncing the name in an English-language context.

In any case, pinyin romanization has adopted a very simple method of showing the tones of Mandarin using 4 diacritics, which means that you can in fact use the Latin alphabet with the tones indicated. That is no different from what happens with Vietnamese (far more tonally complex) , which not only can use the Latin alphabet, but does, having replaced Sinitic script with the Latin alphabet well over a century ago.

If your point is that it's impossible to say the name tonally without knowing Mandarin tones, that's hardly different from being unable to pronounce a Welsh or Icelandic name without sounding like a native English speaker. But it can sound very affected anyway to attempt a perfect rendition of a foreign name outside its original language.

The tones are irrelevant in English, but they most definitely are not in Chinese.

When you read someone's romanized name in English, you're not speaking Chinese. Nor are Chinese people who are capable of speaking English incapable of understanding when someone says their name without the tones included. The whole point of the need for tones in such a context is lost on me.

Doesn't matter - how many English speakers know Pinyin?

And so's that point. Any English speaker who takes Chinese lessons nowadays is likely to learn the basics of pinyin, which can be picked up extremely easily. It's also an excellent system for avoiding the use of characters, or for indicating how to read a Chinese character. Somewhere you seem to have got bogged down in tones as the be-all and end-all of Chinese.

So if English speakers cannot even say Chinese names anyways...

English speakers can say Chinese names.

You have tried to claim that the usage of English names by Chinese people is due to a lack of "self-pride". 

You're talking to a different commenter from the one you think you are. That was elsewhere in the thread. I never had a problem with Chinese adopting English names, and I don't analyse their reasons for doing it. It's so common in Hong Kong it's barely even noticed, extremely common in Taiwan, although not quite universal, and in China it depends a bit on where you go and who you mingle with, but it's normal, especially among younger people.

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Posted in: Kono suggests need to end reversal of Japanese names in English See in context

Yeah, but Chinese names are pretty much unrederable in English, as we don't have the mechanisms to write the tones

They're not unreadable because of tones, which are irrelevant in English anyway. It's anglicization, and the goal is not to reproduce the name exactly as spoken in Chinese. We don't do that for French, Spanish, or any other language.

Like names in other foreign languages, Chinese names can be difficult to pronounce based on spelling alone if you have no familiarity with the language. But that equally applies to foreign-language names that are written exclusively in the Latin alphabet, such as Irish or Polish or Hungarian.

As a romanization system, pinyin is remarkably efficient at rendering Mandarin words and names. There are a few special pronunciations that "deviate" from what might be expected by an English speaker (such as 'c', 'x', 'zh', 'q'), but again, that happens with languages that have always used the Latin alphabet. As it happens, the spelling of Chinese words in pinyin is far more consistent, and easier, than English spelling itself.

More of a problem is that Chinese people from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, used (and still use) a mishmash of romanization, often incorrectly spelled. Also, without a single official system in any of those locations, people could spell their names in English however they chose, which might in any case be a rendition of a completely different language like Hakka, Taiwanese, Shanghainese, or Cantonese. With the frequent use of unusual spellings, pronunciation can become close to impossible if you also don't know which language the name was originally romanized from.

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Posted in: Republicans intensify counterattack after Mueller probe See in context

For years, Democrats have been telling the public what's in the Mueller investigation.

No they haven't.

And they're asking to see the report on the investigation now. As everyone should be.

We don't actually know about Mueller's conclusions, or how he came to them, or what facts he uncovered. All we have so far is a very short, hastily put together summary by a source that no-one in their right mind would take on trust as unbiased and reliable. It may be that he did a great job of summarizing Mueller's report accurately and fairly. That can't be known at all without seeing the report.

And even if it does turn out to have been the case, the summary is still not an adequate substitute for the report, and cannot therefore be accepted instead of the report.

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Posted in: Republicans intensify counterattack after Mueller probe See in context

Many Democrats, elected Democrats, Democrat Party supporters in foreign countries have spent years claiming that they have either seen, or believe, or suspect that there is actual evidence of collusion between the Russians and Trump.

A president who goes against a 40 year precedent in order to keep his tax returns secret? And whose own family members lied about contact with Russians during his campaign? And who dictated a wholly inaccurate account of a meeting between Russians and his son that took place in his own HQ - which his son then released without correcting the inaccuracies, and dishonestly passed of as a statement by himself rather than his father? Continued negotiations with Moscow to build a Trump tower there, while Trump said he had no business contact at all with Russia?

Perhaps when people know what Mueller actually said about his investigation of these matters - not the truncated, repackaged version created by the attorney general - then they can decide whether those suspicions of Democrats were groundless.

Until then, the potential for coordination, conspiracy, or blackmail arising from the dealings and the lies I mentioned above is inescapable.

The AG summary doesn't cut it.

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Posted in: Yakuza population hits record low in 2018: police See in context

I've always wondered if they know who the Yakuza are, why can't they just arrest them?

If you've ever watched TV cop shows (or movies) - take your pick from just about any country - a basic aspect of understanding them is that it's not really feasible to just arrest people based on knowledge of their criminal associations and tendencies. Police often know who the career criminals are, not least because of their criminal record, but without standing a good chance of nailing them for a specific crime, it isn't worth their trouble to arrest, and they can't arrest in the first place without a specific crime to justify the arrest.

And that's all in any other country; in Japan, it is still not illegal to be a member of a yakuza organization. So to answer your question as it applies in this country, unless an organization is banned, the police do not have the power or the right to arrest based on membership alone.

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