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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. Concerns about the spread of coronavirus are growing after a Chinese scientist confirmed on Monday it is now being transmitted from person-to-person. Also on Monday, a British tourist became one of the first to be publicly identified as possibly suffering from the potentially deadly virus. Ash Shorley, 32, was taken to the hospital in Phuket, Thailand, late last month for a pneumonia-like infection that doctors reportedly say includes symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, The Sun reported Monday. “Ashley traveled to Thailand for a break and has ended up very poorly in hospital with a flu virus that has resulted in a collapsed lung and the possible need for an operation to remove the infected part of the lungs,” a GoFundMe campaign set up for Shorley said. “Although he has insurance it won’t cover most of the costs for him or his family while they are over there with him.” Shorley’s parents told The Sun that they are awaiting test results to see if he has indeed been infected by coronavirus. Shorley’s continued hospitalization in Thailand comes as fears concerning the coronavirus grow. “Now we can say it is certain that it is a human-to-human transmission phenomenon,” scientist Zhong Nanshan said on China’s state-run television Monday, The New York Times reported. The outbreak has prompted U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to implement “enhanced health screenings” for travelers coming from Wuhan at San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Los Angeles International Airport. However, the CDC also said on Friday that the coronavirus has been deemed a low risk to the American public. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/china-confirms-human-human-transmission-040225760.html
  2. Quite an accomplishment when you think about it. And he did it without even trying.
  3. That's not the Donald's doing. The Feds did it to save money by simply using existing Army camos. Presumably when on Mars they will wear the desert camo. I actually prefer this uniform. A black uniform would have too many bad memories.
  4. EXCLUSIVE: What Iran’s Military Training is Like, According to an Iranian The vast military camp was on the outskirts of a small city. The soil was nearly frozen. There wasn’t a tree or any greenery in sight. Concrete buildings made up the complex where Farhad (a pseudonym for his real name) would receive his two months of mandatory military training. He wore light brown and dark green fatigues, a belt, and a pair of poorly manufactured combat boots. First, Farhad marched for a while. After that, his picture was taken, along with the other conscripts. He then was shown to his barracks and bunk. While many training camps in Iran don’t permit leaving the base, he was allowed to go home every weekend. “Soldiers need food. Their food was shitty — rice with little pieces of meat — and this helped to lessen expenses,” he said. The food may have been bad but remaining connected to his family was one of the benefits. He and the others there were allowed to call home anytime after 5 PM using the phone booths set up on the grounds of the camp. As for the training he received, Farhad called it a “joke,” especially the shooting portion. The firearm he was issued — a Heckler & Koch G3 — has been around since 1959. If he would have been part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, or Sepâh), he would have been issued an AK-47 instead. According to Farhad, you go out on the range one time and shoot a dozen bullets. ... Farhad further described what he learned about weapons: “Not much. Effective range. Pure fire range. Caliber. Rate of fire. Weight. How many bullets they take. How to discharge. How to aim. How to safely check a weapon. How to clean your weapon. How to carry it. How many ways there are to carry it. Different types of weapons in the military. Things like that.” In addition, he didn’t receive any combatives or medical training. “They aren’t trying to make soldiers. They want a work force,” Farhad said. More so than actually training in combat or tactics, the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in creating soldiers submissive to its religious ideology. Farhad said that religious indoctrination was a major part of his training experience, but he and many others didn’t take the sermons seriously. In fact, they would question and mock the mullah’s lecture whenever they had the chance. “The mullahs really got frustrated with us,” Farhad said. “No one cared about them and made fun of them when they could and laughed and argued with them and put holes in their arguments all the time.” ... When training concluded, there was a ceremony where everyone dressed their best, but, unlike basic training graduation in America, family and friends were not permitted to attend. To his recollection, only one conscript failed to complete the training. Farhad then spent two years in the Iranian military, which only solidified the negative impression he started with. “It’s such a shitty, unreliable, broken system,” he said. “Whenever I see these websites talking about Iran’s military might, it makes laugh. They have no idea what they are talking about.” https://coffeeordie.com/iranian-military-training/?utm_campaign=5lweoa&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_content=codjan&utm_term=lp&fbclid=IwAR2CwOn-EsUWDl3q30mDF8R21voLLRQVQfEyE3ACBbnjPgkt2yCd24gTook
  5. Facebook blames 'technical issue' for offensive Xi Jinping translation On Saturday, Mr Xi met Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi to enhance bilateral relations. In Burmese Facebook posts about their meeting, Mr Xi's name in English was translated erroneously. His name appeared as "Mr Shithole" in Facebook posts shared on the official accounts of Ms Suu Kyi and her office. ... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51166339 Sounds like the correct translation to me.
  6. Why Iran plane disaster protests mark most serious test yet The latest anti-government demonstrations sweeping Iran arguably pose the most serious challenge to the administration of any in its 40-year history. In recent years, Iran has seen two major surges of opposition - in 2017 (late December) and 2019 (October and November). Both were fuelled by poor economic situations and sharp hikes in fuel prices that hurt the lower middle class and poorer families the most. This time, demonstrations broke out after the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted it had shot down a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 176 passengers and crew on-board after three days of strong denial. Unlike the 2017 and 2019 protests, and those of 2009 which were triggered by disputed presidential elections, this week's demonstrations started off from universities and spread quickly across many cities around the country. ... The crowds that took to the streets this week, unlike in previous demonstrations, were formed mostly of middle and upper-middle classes whose anger was mainly driven by what they saw as humiliating incompetence that killed so many innocent civilians - mostly Iranian dual nationals - followed by a series of bizarre lies and made-up excuses that officials had produced about the cause of the crash. In years and months gone by, the Islamic Republic has been able to quash unrest by blaming the country's poor economic performance on US sanctions, and by using excessive force that left many killed or injured. The establishment has also been successful in unifying its ranks and filling the gaps between them against the demonstrators, but this time cracks have started to appear on the inside. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51147191?fbclid=IwAR2h6Xuk0UgdhSRIKP5IQOEhw4c9nlIJrplQ1jOSZwxVlneN4-gt5CnCA98
  7. Trump only became a Republican because he knew he had no chance of getting the Dem nomination. Look at how the Democratic party machine shafted Bernie. Trump really is not aligned with either party, but the Dems hate him for "stealing" the White House from their own greedy hands. They determined to get rid of him anyway they could even before he was inaugurated. Both parties suck.
  8. The exiled Prince said that for the first time in four decades, “people smell the opportunity.” “The people have had it. Today’s generation of young Iranians cannot take it anymore. They want to have an opportunity for a better future,” he said. “They want to be on the path of modernity and freedom. The only thing that stands between them and the free world is this regime.” ... Amnesty International reported on Dec. 2 that at least 208 people were believed to have been killed during anti-government demonstrations in Iran, citing “credible reports” for its death toll, including sources inside and outside Iran, including victims’ relatives, journalists, and human rights activists. “The real figure is likely to be higher,” the report stated. Protests also erupted across Iran over the weekend after the downing of the Ukrainian airliner, which the military said it mistakenly shot down at a time when Tehran was fearing U.S. airstrikes. Riot police fired teargas on Saturday at thousands of protesters in the capital, where many chanted “Death to the dictator,” directing their anger at the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader. Pahlavi called for constructive, not divisive dialogue in the wake of heavy unrest across the region. http://www.efreenews.com/a/iran-crown-prince-signals-collapse-of-regime-calls-for-constructive-not-divisive-dialogue?fbclid=IwAR3zPvJHWeBLpw_TREe8UCso0A-HrBjpsn2naZPW0ySmypEasAHx0KZ6M-s Wishful thinking? Or maybe not.
  9. China carrying out 'intense' global attack on rights: HRW NEW YORK - China is using its economic and diplomatic might to carry out the "most intense attack" ever on the global system for protecting human rights, a leading campaign group said Tuesday. Human Rights Watch made the allegation in its annual report, launched in New York two days after executive director Kenneth Roth was barred from entering Hong Kong to release it there. The NGO accuses President Xi Jinping's government of overseeing "the most brutal and pervasive oppression that China has seen for decades," including building a "nightmarish surveillance system" in Xinjiang province. To fend off global efforts to hold it to account, Beijing has "significantly increased" efforts to undermine the international institutions created in the mid-20th century to defend human rights, HRW said. "Beijing has long suppressed domestic critics. Now the Chinese government is trying to extend that censorship to the rest of the world," Roth said in the 652-page report. "If not challenged, Beijing's actions portend a dystopian future in which no one is beyond the reach of Chinese censors, and an international human rights system so weakened that it no longer serves as a check on government repression," he added. ... https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1835734/china-carrying-out-intense-global-attack-on-rights-hrw#cxrecs_s
  10. Try reading about Eleanor Roosevelt. Hers had become a sham marriage, but she didn't divorce. I'd expect the same with Trump. But after he leaves office? Don't be surprised. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/weekinreview/20mcgrath.html
  11. Flashermac


    'Hazardous' air pollution halts Australian Open practice MELBOURNE: Soaring pollution halted Australian Open practice and delayed qualifying on Tuesday as smoke from raging bushfires hit the build-up to the season's opening Grand Slam. Slovenian qualifier Dalila Jakupovic retired with breathing difficulties, but it was not immediately clear whether her problems were related to the smoggy air. Players and one prominent coach voiced concern after the sudden deterioration in conditions, following months of deadly bushfires that have engulfed huge swathes of the Australian countryside. .. https://www.bangkokpost.com/sports/1835564/hazardous-air-pollution-halts-australian-open-practice#cxrecs_s I've seen concerns for Formula 1 too.
  12. Farms go dry as Bangkok battles seawater Ongoing attempts to halt saltwater intrusion in the Chao Phraya River have come at a hefty price -- the collapse of paddy fields in Ayutthaya province. Most of the rice fields there are already withering and the government has now banned farmers who are growing off-season crops from using water from the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers from Jan 20. "Without doubt, over two thousand rai of rice fields [320 hectares] in Nakhon Luang district and adjacent tambon Phra Kaew in Phachi district will be doomed by the lack of water," said Saifon Chomsri, a farmer in tambon Nong Pling, Nakhon Luang district, Ayutthaya -- an area known as the country's rice bowl. "Farmers were told to halt farming because authorities need fresh water to drive out the intrusion of salty seawater. Of course, officials came and took our names and promised compensation, but we don't know what criteria the government will use to pay compensation," she told the Bangkok Post. ... https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1831409/farms-go-dry-as-bangkok-battles-seawater?fbclid=IwAR3KCh852012iuVWbPceybrEHb5JU_XPfMqQ-8juLZRfBAVd58icqaIPnU0#cxrecs_s Be sure to bathe and brush your teeth with seawater!
  13. Obama always has seemed to get along with the Chinese.
  14. The Native Americans (well, not really native but there long before the rest of us) also used burns to clear the brush in forests. When the first Brits arrived they described the forests as looking like an English park. (And despite all the talk about Indian wars etc., it was really European diseases that defeated the native folks. Even ordinary diseases such as measles could kill those who had never been exposed to them, though it was small pox - contracted from sailors on an English merchant ship that stopped in New England even before colonisation - that depopulated the area where the 1620 Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. That's something to remember if you should ever happen to encounter ET and his friends.)
  15. When I was in graduate school (back in a previous century) there were many students from Iran. The unmarried men by and large were actively seeking a US citizen spouse so they could stay in the USA. And that was in the days of the Shah, when Iran was a much pleasanter place than it is today. (In fact a close neighbour in the States is from Iran. He married a yummy looking gal and is even a member of my Masonic Lodge. He became a US citizen long ago and has brought his mother to the US. No fool is he.) Iranian women - before and after the Islamic Revolution https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47032829
  16. Sorry, I didn't realise that Raman Ghavami spouts bullshite. Obviously he knows nothing. Raman Ghavami is an analyst based in London and the Middle East. He is currently working for a consultancy firm based in the United Kingdom with a focus on insurgency and counterinsurgency. "A Middle East analyst, I worked for various social and political organisations across the Middle East and Europe such as EU, MDM and KKC. I am currently working for a consultancy firm based in the United Kingdom. I hold an MA in International Relations." https://independent.academia.edu/RamanGhavami
  17. Kimia Alizadeh, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, wrote on social media that she had left Iran after growing tired of being used as a propaganda tool. - REUTERS https://www.bangkokpost.com/vdo/world/1834629/iran-only-female-olympic-medallist-defects#cxrecs_s Are times changing in Iran? Student protests ... and now this?
  18. Weather conditions in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces are improving -- but the Pollution Control Department on Sunday said it expects unsafe dust levels to return this week. The department's weekly report on Sunday said the level of particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter showed only some of the 50 stations slightly exceeding the safe zone. This week, however, it expects PM2.5 levels in Greater Bangkok to rise once more. "People living in Bangkok and its vicinity will continue to be affected by PM2.5 dust," the report said.Greater Bangkok was out of the serious zone on Sunday. The worst pollution was on Sam Saen Road in Phra Nakhon district, where PM2.5 was measured at 73 microgrammes per cubic metre, followed by Rama III Road in Bang Khorlaem district at 71mcg. Any measurements above 90 -- the red zone -- are considered a serious threat to health. Levels of 51-90, the orange zone, affect people negatively. People in orange zones are advised to curb exercise and outdoor activities. When they do go out, they should wear masks, the department said. Khon Kaen and Phayao were among provinces conducting activities to reduce dust levels in their municipalities. In Khon Kaen, trucks sprayed water and workers cleaned up dirty roads in the municipality, although PM2.5 was only measured at 41 in the area. Deputy Khon Kaen governor Suthep Maneechote said the campaign was a preventive measure against toxic dust. The northeastern province was one of the most affected areas last year when PM2.5 levels reached as high as 106mcg in February. Officials in all districts of Khon Kaen have been ordered to prevent farmers from burning sugarcane fields during the harvest season, the official added. In Phayao, officials also launched an activity raising public awareness of how slash-and-burn farming causes local pollution. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1834024/greater-bangkok-braced-for-more-haze#cxrecs_s
  19. So what do you make of this, Steve? AOC is taking on the Democrat party. Ocasio-Cortez Refuses to Pay DCCC Dues, Frustrating House Dems Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has exasperated her fellow House Democrats by announcing that she will not pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House. “For me personally, I’m not paying D-trip dues” for a “myriad of reasons” the freshman progressive congresswoman from New York said, using a nickname for the DCCC. According to records, she has so far not paid her $250,000 in dues despite leveraging her massive social media following to raise millions for her own reelection, Fox News reported. Ocasio-Cortez said her gripe with the party’s official House campaign organization relates to the DCCC’s practice of not supporting newer progressive candidates in order to insulate incumbent Democrats. “One, I don’t agree with the policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates,” she said. “I think we need to evolve as a party and make room for that.” ... “To have people try to purify the caucus because they don’t agree with them – 100 percent, I certainly don’t agree with that,” said Texas Representative Henry Cuellar, one of the Democrats Ocasio-Cortez is trying to replace with a more progressive candidate, in this case Jessica Cisneros, for whom she raised $35,000. “Hopefully, we will start to get away from this circular firing squad,” Cuellar said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/ocasio-cortez-refuses-pay-dccc-185022484.html
  20. What you said: Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush 'needs to burn' For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Australia set fire to the land. Long before Australia was invaded and colonised by Europeans, fire management techniques - known as "cultural burns" - were being practised. The cool-burning, knee-high blazes were designed to happen continuously and across the landscape. The fires burn up fuel like kindling and leaf detritus, meaning a natural bushfire has less to devour. Since Australia's fire crisis began last year, calls for better reintegration of this technique have grown louder. But it should have happened sooner, argues one Aboriginal knowledge expert. "The bush needs to burn," says Shannon Foster. She's a knowledge keeper for the D'harawal people - relaying information passed on by her elders - and an Aboriginal Knowledge lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-51043828
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