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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. Time to start buying? https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-51669434
  2. I'm all in favour of politicians dueling ... in every country. Thin them out a bit and save the taxpayers money..
  3. To see who would recognise him. Very few have. It's a test of others' knowledge of notorious criminals. Remember that I am a combat veteran, and we tend to have strange notions of "humour". Using a photo hardly indicates approval of his actions. Why has Australia almost made a hero of Ned Kelly, when in reality he was little more than a murderous thug? To shock maybe? The same reason I use Lucan. As to Trump, I refer you to Snopes, which is hardly sympathetic to Trump: Did U.S. President Donald Trump once admit to reading the book Mein Kampf and being an admirer of its author, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler? Those were the central claims in an internet meme that began making the social media rounds in mid-April 2019, which purported to quote Trump’s praising Hitler in a Time magazine interview published in 2002. We found instances of the meme’s being shared on both Twitter and Facebook, including a popular Facebook page titled “Joe P. Kennedy III for President 2020,” which does not appear to be owned or operated by Kennedy himself: “Reading Mein Kampf in college had a profound affect [sic] on me. Very, very interesting. Of course there were many problems in Germany at the time, they were losers, they lost. But Adolf Hitler, that is to say, I don’t agree with everything he was saying at the time of course but I do respect him. As a leader. Tremendous respect. And I suppose you could say, I try to incorporate some of his teachings into everything I do to this day. In business, my daily life and my politics.” – Donald J. Trump (Interview with Time Magazine, 2002) Not only were we unable to locate an original source for this quote, or evidence that Time magazine even interviewed Trump in 2002, but we found no discernible record of its existence before the meme first surfaced in April 2019. Yet it’s the kind of statement that would have been quoted ad nauseum in the press had Trump said it. No such references exist. Nor were we able to find isolated instances of Trump praising Mein Kampf or Adolf Hitler in public statements. The cadence and grammar of the passage are Trump-like (“… but I do respect him. As a leader. Tremendous respect.”), but all indications point to its being fabricated. That said, Trump was quoted in 1990 as saying he had been given a copy of Mein Kampf by a friend — though it turned out he was mistaken about which of Hitler’s books had been given to him. ... https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-hitler-mein-kampf/
  4. By Teeranai Charuvastra, News Chief February 27, 2020 3:50 pm BANGKOK — An opposition politician on Thursday challenged PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to a trial by combat. Saranwut Saranke, a Pheu Thai MP for Uttaradit province, made the eccentric proposal during the Parliament’s no-confidence debate. After suggesting Prayut harbored a disloyalty to the monarchy for failing to recite his oath of office in full in 2019, Saranwut challenged the Prime Minister to prove his allegiance by meeting him for a one-on-one duel in front of the Emerald Buddha Temple. “Both of us bring a bullet each, then shoot at each other with that one shot,” Saranwut said. The MP issued the challenge after saying he’s already made his farewell to his children and left them with a will. Following protests from coalition MP Sira Janejaka – who taunted Saranwut that there’s no need for a duel “because I’ve seen your gun. Your gun is so small,” – the House Speaker chided Saranwut and asked him to withdraw the challenge. Saranwut complied with the demand. “But let me say I withdrew my word out of respect for the House Speaker,” the MP said. It’s the second threat of violence made by lawmakers in flares of emotion during the no-confidence debate in two days. On Wednesday night, Seri Ruam Thai Party MP Sereepisuth Temeeyaves ended a heated exchange with Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu by telling him, “I’ll see you outside the Parliament,” prompting an uproar from government lawmakers. “I’m not afraid of you, Mr. Seree,” Supachai said. “Stop making threats like that.” In response, Sereepisuth, a former police commissioner, said he only wanted to talk with Supachai in his office, and insisted he did not mean any harm. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/2020/02/27/pheu-thai-mp-challenges-prayut-to-a-duel/?fbclid=IwAR2KrsPSThmT3MQV2_5cfzT8jibItnFQK39UzRyBJ8Q-r38lxPwxyfRvhZU
  5. Do the Democrats still have their "superdelegates"? That made a farce of the primaries last time around. Bernie would win primaries and end up with fewer delegates than Hillary. I haven't heard anything about it so far this time. p.s. I voted the way I see it going, not necessarily the way I want it to go.
  6. Sales drop as locals, tourists avoid shops published : 26 Feb 2020 at 06:31 The atmosphere at NaRaYa, a popular bag retailer at Ratchaprasong intersection, has completely changed during the past several months. Long queues of customers and busy cashiers are sights not seen at the flagship store since the coronavirus outbreak. A similar fate has befallen Big C Supercenter's Ratchadamri branch, whose Thai souvenir zone on the ground floor used to be a hotspot for Chinese shoppers but has now gone quiet. It's the same story at Tao Kae Noi Land's Terminal 21 shop, another draw for Chinese tourists. "Tour buses and almost all Chinese shoppers have gone away," said a salesperson at Big C Ratchadamri who asked not to be named. "I am no longer adding products to the Thai souvenir shelves three or four times a day." A director of the Thai Retailers Association said the 3.8-trillion-baht retail industry is in dire straits as the viral outbreak drives shoppers away. "The overall industry is completely in the dark, and I don't know when the situation will improve," the director said. Palm, 35, a trader at Platinum Fashion Mall in the Pratunam area, said sales of fashion products at her shop fell by 50% in January, with as much as an 80% drop anticipated in February. "Some shops on the third, fourth and fifth storeys of Platinum were closed because they don't have products to sell, as traders from China cannot send their products to Thai partners," Mrs Palm said. "I have inventory only for the end of this month." The situation is the worst she's confronted since events like the 2010 political protests, the 2011 floods and the 2018 Phuket boat accident. Sending out an SOS Tenants at MBK shopping centre near Siam Square also share the same harsh experience. A sharp fall in sales prompted tenants two days ago to gather in protest against MBK and ask management to come up with aid measures such as reducing the rent. Somphol Tripopnart, managing director of shopping centre business at MBK Plc, said the company is working on short- and long-term measures to help tenants. Last week, traders at Platinum Fashion Mall sent an open letter to the management seeking support, while a Platinum spokesman said management is also mulling a reduction in rent during these tough times. "The reduction rate will be considered with different conditions for each tenant," the spokesman said. Paibul Kanokwattanwan, group chief executive of The Mall Group, acknowledged the unprecedented headwinds for retailers. "In the several decades I've been in the retail business, 2020 is the most difficult year," Mr Paibul said. "Chinese shoppers have shunned our country, while locals aren't going shopping. Revitalising the retail market is difficult because I don't know when the virus outbreak will be brought under control." He expects the overall retail industry to lose several billions of baht in the first quarter. A source at the Mall Group said the company has yet to consider any aid measures for its tenants. Supoj Chaiwatsirikul, managing director of Iconsiam Co Ltd, said the company has set aside more than 50 million baht to launch the "Iconsiam, Thais Help Thais" campaign, offering sales and marketing promotions and concerts from February to May. Moreover, the "SOS Sale of Iconsiam" from Feb 28 to March 1 will provide discounts of up to 90% and special prices on products. "We hope this campaign will help operators get over this crisis and restore declining consumer spending soon," Mr Supoj said. https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1865689/uneasy-silence-at-malls
  7. Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab At an emergency meeting in Beijing held last Friday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke about the need to contain the coronavirus and set up a system to prevent similar epidemics in the future. A national system to control biosecurity risks must be put in place “to protect the people’s health,” Xi said, because lab safety is a “national security” issue. Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swaths of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.” Read that again. It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many “microbiology labs” are there in China that handle “advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus”? It turns out that in all of China, there is only one. And this one is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan that just happens to be … the epicenter of the epidemic. That’s right. China’s only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, called the National Biosafety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. What’s more, the People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak. According to the PLA Daily, Chen has been researching coronaviruses since the SARS outbreak of 2003, as well as Ebola and anthrax. This would not be her first trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, either, since it is one of only two bioweapons research labs in all of China. Does that suggest to you that the novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, may have escaped from that very lab, and that Chen’s job is to try to put the genie back in the bottle, as it were? It does to me. Add to this China’s history of similar incidents. Even the deadly SARS virus has escaped — twice — from the Beijing lab where it was (and probably is) being used in experiments. Both “man-made” epidemics were quickly contained, but neither would have happened at all if proper safety precautions had been taken. And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are in the habit of selling their laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them. You heard me right. Instead of properly disposing of infected animals by cremation, as the law requires, they sell them on the side to make a little extra cash. Or, in some cases, a lot of extra cash. One Beijing researcher, now in jail, made a million dollars selling his monkeys and rats on the live animal market, where they eventually wound up in someone’s stomach. Also fueling suspicions about SARS-CoV-2’s origins is the series of increasingly lame excuses offered by the Chinese authorities as people began to sicken and die. They first blamed a seafood market not far from the Institute of Virology, even though the first documented cases of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) involved people who had never set foot there. Then they pointed to snakes, bats and even a cute little scaly anteater called a pangolin as the source of the virus. I don’t buy any of this. It turns out that snakes don’t carry coronaviruses and that bats aren’t sold at a seafood market. Neither, for that matter, are pangolins, an endangered species valued for their scales as much as for their meat. The evidence points to SARS-CoV-2 research being carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The virus may have been carried out of the lab by an infected worker or crossed over into humans when they unknowingly dined on a lab animal. Whatever the vector, Beijing authorities are now clearly scrambling to correct the serious problems with the way their labs handle deadly pathogens. China has unleashed a plague on its own people. It’s too early to say how many in China and other countries will ultimately die for the failures of their country’s state-run microbiology labs, but the human cost will be high. But not to worry. Xi has assured us that he is controlling biosecurity risks “to protect the people’s health.” PLA bioweapons experts are in charge. I doubt the Chinese people will find that very reassuring. Neither should we. Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s ‘Dream’ Is the New Threat to World Order.” https://nypost.com/2020/02/22/dont-buy-chinas-story-the-coronavirus-may-have-leaked-from-a-lab/
  8. Katherine Johnson: Nasa mathematician dies at 101 Nasa mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch the first American into orbit around the Earth, has died at the age of 101. Nasa, which describes Ms Johnson as one of its "most influential figures", announced her death on Twitter. "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers," it wrote. Ms Johnson's role at Nasa was highlighted in the film Hidden Figures. The 2016 film tells the story of African-American women whose maths skills helped put a US astronaut into orbit in the 1960s. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51619848
  9. I wonder if he wil dress up and dance like Justin Trudeau.
  10. Bernie wins in Nevada. Is the contest for the White House to be between two guys in their 70s? Bernie is even older than I am. p.s. Putin should like Bernie, since he spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union.
  11. Coronavirus has sparked racist attacks on Asians in Australia — including me With 10,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 200 deaths, as of Friday, it's no wonder many people feel anxious about the spread of the disease and the risk of infection. But if that isn't enough, a new problem is emerging: more and more people are reporting racist comments and abuse from those who believe that because the virus originated in China anyone with an Asian-looking face is likely to spread the disease. Before this experience, racism was something I knew existed but had only experienced via other people's stories. ... Several Chinese-Australian friends shared their own experiences when I brought up my supermarket encounter. One recounted how a waiter had dumped change at his table before turning and quickly walking away, after my friend paid cash for a meal at a Melbourne restaurant. Another, who wore a mask as a precaution at a shopping mall on Friday, had three teenagers tell her: "See you! Go and catch coronavirus". None of these three people have been to China recently, nor have had contact with anyone confirmed or suspected of having coronavirus. Vitriol leaves its mark Sydney man SK Zhang, who has lived in Australia for the past 20 years, said since news of the epidemic broke, he has been getting stares on public transport and is increasingly worried about how the online vitriol will affect Chinese-Australian children. "It's been a tough week … we are very fearful [of the virus] … but at the same time we are also being targeted with racism and a lot of unwanted attention," he said. "The way I would put it is right after 9/11, people looked at every Muslim as if they were terrorists, and that's how people are looking at us." https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-01/coronavirus-has-sparked-racist-attacks-on-asian-australians/11918962
  12. But then they can't vote for your reelection.
  13. "Don't forget that Bill Clinton pardoned his brother and a convicted Wall Street felon whose ex-wife contributed to Clinton's presidential library and Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign. In doing so, Clinton set a modern-day precedent for presidents who want to use the pardon power in ways that some may see as, well, unpardonable." Buffalo News
  14. Larry Tesler: Computer scientist behind cut, copy and paste dies aged 74 Larry Tesler, an icon of early computing, has died at the age of 74. Mr Tesler started working in Silicon Valley in the early 1960s, at a time when computers were inaccessible to the vast majority of people. It was thanks to his innovations - which included the "cut", "copy" and "paste" commands - that the personal computer became simple to learn and use. Xerox, where Mr Tesler spent part of his career, paid tribute to him. "The inventor of cut/copy & paste, find & replace, and more, was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler," the company tweeted. "Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas." ... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51567695
  15. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  16. Boy Scouts: A wholesome US institution poisoned by predators The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) - one of the largest youth organisations in the US - has filed for bankruptcy amid an avalanche of sexual abuse allegations. The century-old group became as American as the Norman Rockwell paintings that immortalise their three-fingered salutes. But its considerable membership - 2.4 million youth participants - is about half what it was in the 1970s, a decline that tracks mounting scrutiny surrounding the Scouts. So what is behind the rise - and fall - of this American institution? ... Considered a bastion of traditional American values, the BSA's self-declared "foundation of scouting" includes an oath to fulfil one's "duty to God and my country", with a mission to "prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices". But behind the camp fire singalongs lurked "the largest paedophile ring on earth", a lawyer representing alleged victims said last year. The BSA has been beset with a deluge of sexual misconduct allegations. In February 2019, as reports emerged that BSA was considering filing for bankruptcy, the Abused in Scouting group used television ads to reach Boy Scouts across the country and found nearly 2,000 people with complaints, including one in every state, according to the New York Times. The organisation now faces hundreds of claims directed at nearly 8,000 Boy Scout leaders. And such controversy isn't entirely new. A 1935 article in the New York Times detailed files on hundreds of people, labelled as "degenerates" who had served as leaders with BSA. The organisation says its transition to bankruptcy is intended to build compensation for victims of sex abuse. "The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologises to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programmes to harm innocent children," chief executive Roger Mosby said in a statement. ... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51552576
  17. The Life of Brian ...
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