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Since the US Politics and Roe v Wade threads are MIA, I suppose this is as good a place as any to remind everyone that Ketanji Brown Jackson is now officially a member of the Supreme Court. She was sworn in by Chief Justice Roberts and the man she is replacing, Associate Justice, Stephen Breyer who is now officially retired.

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Good news, about one use of facial recognition tech,with a Canadian angle-this time:


A website that uses artificial intelligence to help Holocaust descendants find previously unseen photos of their loved ones in image archives has uncovered a photo of Rush rocker Geddy Lee’s mother.

Mary Weinrib, who died a year ago at the age of 96, survived Auschwitz before starting a new life in Canada back in 1946, with her husband, Morris Weinrib, whom she met in the concentration camp.

Mary Weinrib always shared her traumatic experiences in Auschwitz with her children, Lee has said, but now the family has new images that show what life was like during the Holocaust. A photo has been discovered that shows Weinrib at Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp in northwestern Germany.

Weinrib was born Manya (Malka) Rubinstein in Warsaw in 1925. She grew up near a Jewish shtetl. In 1939, when Nazi soldiers took over her home, she was sent to a labour camp in Starachowice before being relocated to Auschwitz and later Bergen-Belsen.

In an interview with Q1043 New York, Lee said his mother survived through the strength of his grandmother, who kept the family together.

“She believed that if they were all going to perish, they would perish together and if they were all going to survive, they would survive together,” Lee said.

Google software engineer Daniel Patt created the website From Numbers to Names (N2N), which uses facial recognition powered by AI to analyze photos of Holocaust survivors and match them with headshots provided by users.


“We reached out to Geddy Lee, from Rush, with a photo we thought was of his mother. He was able to confirm this was indeed a photo of her at the displaced persons camp at Bergen-Belsen,” Patt told the Times of Israel.

“Geddy was then able to subsequently discover photos of his grandmother, uncles, an aunt and other extended family by browsing the Yad Vashem collection where the initial photo came from.”

Patt said he started the project after visiting the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had potentially walked past a photo of a family member without even knowing it,” said Patt. “I’m the grandson of Holocaust survivors, all from Poland.”

Originally, Patt began working on this website during his free time and using his own resources.

Now, with a team of engineers and researchers, Patt hopes to partner with museums, schools, research institutions and other organizations that raise awareness about the Holocaust.

The free website has been used to analyze more than 500,000 photos containing about 2 million faces. Still, Patt hopes to access more than 700,000 other photos from before and during the Holocaust.

Patt said there is so much interest, “there is a backlog of potential identifications we’re manually going through now.”

The technology is also being used by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).

The USHMM collection contains a database of over 270,000 registered survivors, with over 85,000 historical photographs; the museum will now have access to an additional one million photos.

Despite their growing success, there is still one problem the N2N team faces, and according to Patt, that’s limited time.

“We have been developing the project over the course of evenings and weekends over many months. There’s an urgency to this effort as the last remaining survivors pass, and there are many connections that could still be made,” Patt told The Times of Israel.

“We hope that N2N can help build those connections while the survivors are still with us.”




NOTE- stay away from the comment section of this story- unless you like to see posts from a lot of holocaust deniers.



Edited by gurn
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On 6/30/2022 at 11:22 AM, RUPERTKBD said:

Since the US Politics and Roe v Wade threads are MIA, I suppose this is as good a place as any to remind everyone that Ketanji Brown Jackson is now officially a member of the Supreme Court. She was sworn in by Chief Justice Roberts and the man she is replacing, Associate Justice, Stephen Breyer who is now officially retired.

Some other news from down south; something to do with a previous election;


ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor investigating the conduct of former President Donald Trump and his allies after the 2020 election is subpoenaing U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and other members of Trump's campaign legal team to testify before a special grand jury.


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday filed petitions with the judge overseeing the special grand jury as part of her investigation into what she alleges was "a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

The move marks a major escalation in a case that could pose a serious legal challenge to the former president as he weighs another White House run. While the special grand jury has already heard from top state officials, Tuesday's filings directly target several of Trump's closest allies and advisers, including Giuliani, who led his campaign's legal efforts to overturn the election results.

“It means the investigation is obviously becoming more intense because those are trusted advisers, those are inner circle people,” said Robert James, former district attorney in DeKalb County, which neighbors Fulton.

The special grand jury has been investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia as he desperately tried to cling to power after Democrat Joe Biden's victory. Trump continues to insist that the election was stolen, despite the fact that numerous federal and local officials, a long list of courts, top former campaign staff and even Trump's own attorney general have all said there is no evidence of the fraud he alleges.

The investigation is separate from that being conducted by a congressional committee that has been examining the events surrounding the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as well as the Department of Justice's own sprawling probe. Trump is also facing other legal challenges, including in New York, where he, his namesake son and his daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer questions under oath beginning next week in the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices.

The escalation comes as Trump has been mulling announcing a third presidential run as soon as this summer as he seeks to deflect attention from the ongoing investigations and lock in support before a long list of other potential candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, make their own moves.

Willis, who took this unusual step of requesting a special grand jury earlier this year, has confirmed that she and her team are looking into a January 2021 phone call in which Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed for him to win the state. She has said the team is also looking at a November 2020 phone call between Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election. Raffensperger and other state officials have already testified before the special grand jury.

Willis also filed petitions for five other potential witnesses: lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and Jacki Pick Deason. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney signed off on the requests, which are similar to subpoenas, deeming them necessary to the investigation.

In the petition submitted to the judge, Willis wrote that Graham, a longtime ally of the former president, actually made at least two telephone calls to Raffensperger and members of his staff in the weeks after the November 2020 election. During those calls, Graham asked about reexamining certain absentee ballots “in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” she wrote.

A Graham spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

In the petition for Giuliani’s testimony, Willis identifies him as both a personal attorney for Trump and “a lead attorney for the Trump Campaign’s legal efforts seeking to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

As part of those efforts, she wrote, he and others presented a Georgia state Senate subcommittee with a video recording of election workers that Giuliani alleged showed them producing “suitcases” of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.

Within 24 hours of the hearing on Dec. 3, 2020, Raffensperger’s office had debunked the video and said that it had found that no voter fraud had taken place at the arena. Nevertheless, Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings claiming widespread voter fraud using that debunked video, Willis wrote.

“There is evidence that (Giuliani’s) appearance and testimony at the hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” the petition says.

Giuliani's attorney, Bob Costello, said he had no comment and that his client had not been served with any subpoena.

To compel the testimony of an out-of-state witness, a prosecutor in Georgia has to file a petition and then a judge has to sign a certificate approving the petition, said Danny Porter, a former longtime district attorney in Gwinnett County in Atlanta’s suburbs.

The next step is to deliver the petition to a prosecutor wherever the witness lives, and serve it to the witness, who is entitled to a hearing. If the person objects to going to Georgia to testify, they have to be able to show that either their testimony isn’t needed or that it would be an undue hardship for them, Porter said.

Special grand juries are impaneled in Georgia to investigate complex cases with large numbers of witnesses and potential logistical concerns. They can compel evidence and subpoena witnesses for questioning and, unlike regular grand juries, can also subpoena the target of an investigation to appear before it.

When its investigation is complete, the special grand jury issues a final report and can recommend action. It's then up to the district attorney to decide whether to ask a regular grand jury for an indictment.

It’s not clear exactly what charges Willis could ultimately choose to pursue against Trump or anyone else. In a letter she sent to top-ranking state officials last year, she said she was looking into “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

Trump has denied that he did anything wrong.

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Attack of the killer snails, a long, slow moving horror flick-currently playing in Florida.


A Florida town is under quarantine after discovering a growing community of giant African land snails. The snails, which have a life span of nine years and grow to be eight inches in length, carry a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans.

On June 23, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed detection of the adult-hand-sized snails in New Port Richey, an area in Pasco county. The area was quarantined the following day.

The quarantine is different from what the world has become accustomed to during the COVID-19 pandemic. This quarantine prohibits residents from moving plants, soil, yard waste, debris, compost and building materials outside a designated zone. They are also prohibited from moving the snails to minimize risks of meningitis. If found, residents are advised to call the FDACS hotline.


According to Christina Chitty, a public information director at FDACS, the issue most likely stemmed from the illegal pet trade. It is illegal to own the invasive, East-African snails in the United States. Chitty told CNN that investigations are underway to find out the severity of Pasco County’s snail problem.

The species is very hard to control because of its rapid reproduction. They can produce up to 1,200 eggs in a year. This means that if an illegal snail owner discards just one into the wild or accidentally misplaces it, an exponential population increase is to be expected.

The snails could be disastrous to local agriculture and natural areas as they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. They eat about 500 plant species, and even consume paint and stucco if they can’t find enough food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They do not have a predator, which makes eradication a more lengthy process.

The species was first found in Florida in the 1960s and it took 10 years and $1 million to eradicate it, according to the USDA. But it was found again in 2011 and reported eradicated in 2021 before the most recent discovery. FDACS plans on spending just three years to eradicate the snail population in Pasco County this time. To achieve this, they will treat the soil with a pesticide called metaldehyde, which is known to control snails and slugs.

Property owners inside the treatment area will be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the planned pesticide treatment.

“The goal is to eradicate the snails,” Chitty said. “It is a comprehensive and extensive process.”

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Get yer tinfoil ready. 


Last Week Tonight  with John Oliver did a segment on the guidestones. 




Part of Georgia Guidestones damaged by explosion, GBI says



An explosion Wednesday at the mysterious Georgia Guidestones in Elberton, Georgia has caused significant damage to the stones.

The preliminary information indicates that someone detonated an explosive device at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

GBI officials said officials with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office found the explosion destroyed a large portion of the structure.

The Elbert County Sheriff's Office asked the GBI to assist with the investigation.

The guidestones sit on a site 7 miles north of Elberton on Georgia Highway 77 and are often referred to as an American Stonehenge.

Sky 4 flew over the site about 11:40 a.m. and saw one of the stones destroyed and another one damaged.


He said he lives about a mile behind the guidestones and didn't hear anything unusual.

However, some people who live a little closer said they heard and felt an explosion at about 4 a.m.

The viewer who took the pictures above said she lives about 5 miles away and heard a bang at 4 a.m. She said she went back to bed and when she woke up, she saw a Facebook post about an incident at the guidestones and drove by.

What are the Georgia Guidestones?

The following is posted on ExploreGeorgia.org:

"The Georgia Guidestones, Elberton's most unusual set of granite monoliths, poses a mystery for the numerous visitors who visit the site seven miles north of Elberton on Georgia Highway 77. Known as America's Stonehenge, this 19-foot high monument displays a 10-part message espousing the conservation of mankind and future generations in 12 languages. The Guidestones also serve as an astronomical calendar, and every day at noon the sun shines through a narrow hole in the structure and illuminates the day’s date on an engraving. The names of four ancient languages are inscribed on the sides near the top: Babylonian cuneiform, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The Guidestones are mysterious in origin, for no one knows the identity of a group of sponsors who provided its specifications."


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"After Jonathan Weir inadvertently shot and killed his friend with a machine gun on the Ontario estate of his uncle, former Dragons’ Den celebrity investor Michael Wekerle, someone staged it to look like suicide.

The illegal gun that fired two bullets that hit 18-year-old Tyler Swartz in the stomach in 2018 was thrown into a secluded pond and a legal gun placed beside his body.


Only then did Weir call for help, court heard.

He then told police he was out walking his dog when he heard a shot and returned to the house to find the carnage.

On Wednesday, a judge deciding an appropriate sentence for Weir — who pleaded guilty to manslaughter rather than to murder — asked lawyers their opinions on whether that evidence, and testimony heard at a preliminary inquiry in the strange case, can be considered when deciding Weir’s punishment.

Judge Richard Schwarzl, of the Ontario Court of Justice in Orangeville, voiced aloud questions on many minds after last year’s guilty plea.

“Can I infer, or do you agree, or is it up for grabs that your client threw the gun in the pond,”  Schwarzl asked Weir’s lawyer.

And of the new gun police found beside Swartz, he asked: “Is it agreed that your client put the gun there? And if so, is it agreed that that’s evidence of staging the crime scene?”

Schwarzl also asked about testimony at a preliminary hearing from friends who said that at the time of the shooting they were on their way to join Weir and Swartz at the Wekerle estate to eat, smoke cannabis and shoot guns, and that the pair previously handled guns while intoxicated, with one saying a shooting was an accident waiting to happen.

“These are questions of fundamental importance to everybody,” Schwarzl said.

The judge’s questions derailed the anticipated quick hearing. There had already been talk of not needing a second day, scheduled for Friday.

Instead, after hearing emotional victim impact statements, lawyers were sent off to discuss and consider their positions on Schwarzl’s questions.

Before that, however, Ryan Handlarskiy, Weir’s lawyer, said his client should not be sent to jail for his crime, instead asking for a conditional sentence. Crown prosecutor Danielle Garbaty said a conditional sentence “isn’t anywhere near the range that’s appropriate.”

Handlarskiy’s position also contrasted bitterly with victim impact statements given in court by Swartz’s mother and three older sisters.

Each referred to his “murder” — although the judge noted this was not, legally speaking, what Weir was found guilty of, but allowed them to express their feelings. They also pointed to evidence of extensive efforts to cover up the crime instead of calling for medical assistance.

Kim Swartz, Tyler’s mother, made an emotional plea for justice during her victim’s statement, delivered between sobs and gasps for breath.

“My son did not die from a disease … did not die from an automobile accident or even in the line of duty as a police officer or soldier. He was killed. He was shot. He was murdered,” she said.

“It has been three and a half years since Jonathan stole the life of my beloved and precious son Tyler.

“The horrific circumstances of Tyler’s death have left me emotionally bereft. I’m tormented by the terror and pain Tyler must have experienced at Jonathan’s hand, who he related to as a friend not a murderer, as he has come to be, through loading, positioning, and shooting an automatic assault machine gun at my son’s stomach,” she said.

“Over the past months, after learning of Jonathan’s attempts to cover up his crime with lies about his actions, I’ve waited, albeit impatiently. I’ve waited. I’ve waited to hear the truth as to what actually happened that evening, for sounds of remorse from Jonathan.

“Yet nothing was shown. And his actions remain without any semblance of remorse. Only his changing of stories, silence, and cowardice.

“Jonathan needs to be held accountable by the justice system.”

Tyler Swartz and Jonathan Weir had been friends since childhood.

Weir was living at his uncle’s compound at the time of the Dec. 27, 2018, shooting. He was 20 then. Wekerle’s gated rural property in Caledon, northwest of Toronto, spreads over 80 hectares and includes a forest, pond, and several buildings. Wekerle earlier said he was out of the country at the time.

Swartz and Weir were target shooting and hunting. Swartz shot a rabbit and they invited two friends, Justin Rheaume and Jon Viau, to join them for a barbecue. Before the friends arrived, sometime after 6 p.m., Weir picked up a Colt R75 — an old-school automatic rifle that is prohibited in Canada — and pointed it at Swartz. Two bullets shot out.

Court accepted that the trigger was pulled inadvertently.

Before any call was made to 911, however, one of Wekerle’s security cameras recorded a pickup truck, similar to the one Weir had driven to the estate, going down to the pond on the property.

Then, at 7:23 p.m., about an hour after the shooting, Weir called police to report that his friend had been shot.

Police soon realized the gun found beside Swartz’s body did not fire the bullets that hit him.

The following July, once the ice melted, Ontario Provincial Police returned to the estate and drained the pond, where they found a Colt R75 machine gun.

Weir was first charged with first-degree murder, which was lowered to second-degree murder before trial. In October, Weir pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

At that October hearing, an agreed statement of facts — which the Crown prosecutor and Weir’s lawyer consented was an accurate, although not complete, picture of what took place — was read aloud in court.

It did not answer many questions, including questions the judge is now asking.

Michelle Davids, one of Swartz’s sisters, said their brother’s killing sent her spinning with anger, grief, fear, and paranoia.

“The overwhelming anguish of burying him on his birthday will be with me the rest of my life,” said her statement, read in court.

Her attempts to seek help for her grief were further triggering. At her psychiatric appointments, a large sign behind the check-in desk notes a donation to the clinic by Michael Wekerle.

Before adjourning for the day, Handlarskiy and Garbaty said they would return to court on Friday with an additional agreed statement of facts. It “would answer at least some of those questions” asked by the judge, Handlarskiy said.

Schwarzl said he would then go over the material before issuing his sentence, likely within 30 days.

“A rush to justice is no justice at all,” he said.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FOUR years after the event and the Judge is saying "A rush to justice is no justice at all"

FOUR years


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This is good to read.

I dont listen to JR's pod cast but know him well as I'm an MMA fanatic.



Spotify podcast host Joe Rogan told the Lex Fridman Podcast that he has turned down multiple entreaties from former president Donald Trump to appear on his show.

“I’m not a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form,” Mr Rogan said.


I heard Joe likes Bernie. But it is still good to see him say this, as I feel a lot of his listeners like to do the Trumpty dance.


Remember when we had a great thread about US politics?

Oh and that other one...incredibly important topics.

What a sad state that even here at CDC that we can't talk about women's rights or the evil influence of organised religion.

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Shinzo Abe, Ex-Japanese Leader, Collapses After Gunshot Is Heard


TOKYO — Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, was apparently wounded on Friday while giving a speech in the city of Nara, in western Japan, according to NHK, the public broadcaster.


Mr. Abe, 67, collapsed and appeared to be bleeding, the report said, after a gunshot was heard in the city near Kyoto, according to an NHK reporter on the scene.

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Thought I 'd post again Joe Rogan's comments about the last POTUS.


Nothing new that he has said but I enjoyed reading through the comment section.

These are MMA fans, mostly from the states. Joe has throw some cold water on some of them and it's stimulated a good convo.


Joe Rogan reveals he has rejected interview requests from Donald Trump multiple times: “He is an existential threat to democracy itself”





Love that Joe say's  ' threat to democracy itself'

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China's slow power play:


For all the speculation of quick military action by China to achieve its foreign policy goals, Beijing’s track record has been more akin to peeling an onion, slowly and deliberately pulling back layers to reach a goal at the center.

Think of how Beijing built up islands in the South China Sea and then fortified them, eventually establishing what the former head of the US Pacific Command in 2018 called a “Great Wall of SAMs,” – surface-to-air missiles – on islands that years earlier Chinese leader Xi Jinping had pledged not to militarize.

“Relevant construction activities that China is undertaking in the Nansha (Spratly) islands do not target or impact any country, and China does not intend to pursue militarization,” Xi told former US President Barack Obama at the White House in 2015.

Those militarized islands are also claimed in part by the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, but none of those places are likely to see their claims realized. The islands – with names like Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef – are essentially People’s Liberation Army bases.

Now Beijing may be slowly peeling back the onion in another disputed 

island chain, the rocky, uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, administered by Japan and known as the Diaoyus in China.

Chinese Coast Guard and even naval ships have been spending record amounts of time in the waters around the Senkakus this year, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Earlier this week, a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) frigate entered the waters in the contiguous zone around the Senkakus for only the fourth time since 2016, Japanese officials said.

A contiguous zone covers waters between islands that do not fall into the 12-nautical-mile limit of a nation’s territorial waters. Foreign warships are allowed into those waters – so the Chinese navy hasn’t broken any international agreements – and China’s Foreign Ministry told CNN earlier this year that the Chinese Coast Guard’s patrols in the waters surrounding the islands were “an appropriate exercise of China’s sovereign right.”

China attempted to demonstrate that right on Monday when it warned a frigate from the Russian Navy to leave the very same waters, a Japanese official said.

“Beijing’s goal is to establish and demonstrate effective control over the Senkaku Islands” and it needs symbols of that control, said James Brown, an associate professor of political science at Temple University in Tokyo.

“Sending its frigate to monitor the activity of the Russian ship could be interpreted as one such symbol of control,” Brown said.

The record amounts of time Chinese vessels are spending near the Senkakus make another statement, Brown said.

To present an international legal claim to the islands over Japan, “China simply needs to establish a greater and more enduring presence of its ships in the waters around the islands,” he said.

Competing claims

Although the islands are uninhabited, there are economic interests involved, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The islands “have potential oil and natural gas reserves, are near prominent shipping routes, and are surrounded by rich fishing areas,” it says.

Tokyo says its claims to the islands are rooted in history. Japan’s Foreign Ministry website says in 1895 the chain was incorporated into Japanese territory after the government “carefully ascertained that there had been no trace of control over the Senkaku Islands by another state prior to that period.”


Japanese Coast Guard vessels, rear and right, sail alongside a Japanese activists' fishing boat, center with a flag, near a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan, in August 2013. - Emily Wang/AP

At one point, about 200 Japanese people lived in the islands, further cementing Tokyo’s claims, and China did not challenge Japanese sovereignty over the Senkakus for 75 years, it says.

“This changed in the 1970s, when significant attention was drawn to the islands due to the potential existence of the oil reserves in the East China Sea,” the ministry’s website says.

Now, those Chinese challenges come regularly.

Japan said Wednesday that Chinese Coast Guard ships had entered Japanese territorial waters in the Senkaku chain for the 16th time this year, approaching a Japanese fishing boat.

The Japanese Coast Guard said its patrol vessels continue to deliver warnings to the Chinese ships to leave. And Tokyo has said it has protested the Chinese presence near the Senkakus through diplomatic channels.

But China has given no indication it’s prepared to negotiate over the islands.

The country’s Foreign Ministry maintains the islands are China’s inherent territory, and has accused Japanese fishing boats of making “repeated intrusions” into the area.

And sending Chinese warships to patrol and monitor the waters around the islands “is an act of safeguarding national sovereignty,” Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the state-run tabloid Global Times on Monday.

So Tokyo’s protests are just words. And if Beijing ignores them and keeps on peeling the onion, Tokyo is only left with options it doesn’t have the stomach for, Brown said.

He pointed to a 2010 incident in the islands, when a Chinese trawler rammed two Japanese coast guard vessels. Japan arrested the trawler’s captain but he was later released without charge in the face of a series of escalatory measures from Beijing, including an unofficial ban of the export of vital rare earth metals to Japan.

Tensions remained high for three months, and the Japanese government came under strong domestic protest for its handling of the incident.

“Japan will not risk a repeat of the collision incident,” Brown said.

Chopping the onion

Last year, China introduced a law that allows the Chinese Coast Guard to use weapons to protect national sovereignty, which in a confrontation like that of 2010, significantly expands Beijing’s options. It forces Japan to be even more cautious, according to Brown.

Too much caution can become paralysis. Like the Philippines or Vietnam or Taiwan did in the South China Sea, Japan may fall victim to China’s relentless peeling.

“Overall, Japan risks seeing its administration of the Senkaku Islands slip away,” Brown said.


The Chinese marine surveillance ship, top, tries to approach a Japanese fishing boat, bottom, as a Japan Coast Guard vessel Ishigaki cruises next to the Chinese ship near what are known as the Senkaku isles in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China, In April 2013. - Kyodo/Reuters

Some may argue that the Senkakus has one layer of protection China may not be able to peel back – the US-Japan Security Treaty, which requires Washington to defend Japanese territory.

Brown said read the fine print on that – and then consider possible Japanese paralysis.

“The US security commitment applies to ‘territories under the administration of Japan.’ Beijing may therefore be of the view that, if Japan no longer exercises such administration, the US security guarantee to the Senkaku Islands will no longer apply,” he said.

And at that point, the onion will not only be peeled, it will be chopped.

CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed to this report.

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This is how dumb things are getting in Red states......






Politicians have to run on some kind of platform, and Ben Moss—my incoming state House representative here in North Carolina's District 52—decided that his animating principle is Being Mad at Electricity. To prove his animosity toward this invisible menace, he's sponsoring House Bill 1049, which would allocate $50,000 to destroy free public car chargers. It contains some other enlightened ideas, but that's the main theme: We've simply got to do something about these free public chargers, even if it costs us $50,000! Those things cost tens of cents per hour, when they're being used.

Of course, there's a caveat here. Moss isn't saying that free public Level 2 chargers—of which there are three in my town, with plans in the works to convert to paid kiosks—definitely need to get crushed by a monster truck. That rule only comes into play if a town refuses to build free gas and diesel pumps next to the EV chargers. So anyway, warm up El Toro Loco, we're smashin' some car zappers!

But what about private businesses? you ask. Don't worry, Moss hasn't forgotten that a business might put a charger on its property as an inducement for EV owners to patronize the establishment. And small business is the heart of the local economy. That's why he's staying out of the way when it comes to private property. Just kidding! Ben Moss cares about the consumers being harmed by these hypothetical free chargers—namely, any customer who arrived via internal-combustion vehicle, or on foot, or in a sedan chair. Why is someone else gaining some advantage based on a decision they made? That's not how life works.

Thus, House Bill 1049 decrees that all customer receipts will have to show what share of the bill went toward the charger out in the lot. That way, anyone who showed up for dinner in an F-150 (not the electric one) can get mad that their jalapeño poppers helped pay for a business expense not directly related to them. It's the same way you demand to know how much Applebee's spends to keep the lights on in its parking lot overnight, when you're not there. Sure, this will be an accounting nightmare, but it'll all be worth it if we can prevent even one person from adding 16 miles of charge to a Nissan Leaf while eating a bloomin' onion—not that restaurants around here have free chargers, but you can't be too careful. Now, there is a charger at the neighborhood Ford dealership, which is marking up Broncos by $20,000. Coincidence? I think not.

Critics of this bill might point out that increasing the number of electric cars could actually benefit owners of internal-combustion vehicles, thanks to reduced demand for petroleum products—kind of like how, during the Colonial Pipeline gas shortage, there were no Ford Mustang Mach-Es in line at the local pumps. Or, to put it another way, if the price of paste skyrockets because your local politicians eat so much paste, those prices might come down if you could get them to eat some crayons. But good luck with that! Paste is delicious.

Electron heads, as I call them, also like to point out that electricity is generated domestically, so your transportation dollars are staying in the U.S. rather than going to, say, Saudi Arabia. And if you really want to keep your money in your community, you can hire a local company to install solar panels and make your own electricity. District 52 includes numerous electricians, and Duke Energy utility workers, and solar installers. But no oil rig workers—yet!

Which brings me to another point that's not at all related but I'll make it anyway: What we need in this area is more jobs, not more free public car chargers. And yes, electric-car company VinFast is building a 2000-acre factory just up the road that will employ 7500 people, and Toyota is building a battery factory outside Greensboro that'll employ 1750 people. But let's remember that House Bill 1049 would also create a job, for the person who goes around and rips out the free public chargers—until that's done, which would probably be the better part of a week.

And in fact, we could create even more jobs if we extended this philosophy to other public facilities that not everybody uses. Why should there be a library when I don't like books? Why are there schools? I'm not a kid. Don't get me started on all those roads that go places I've never been, and all those town fire trucks that haven't come to my house except for that one time. Maybe we don't tear all that stuff down, just as long as we can instill the general feeling that someone else is getting away with something.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling it already.


With idiots like this making decisions, the planet is doomed.....:picard:

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12 hours ago, Kurgom said:

It's looking like Shinzo Abe will be pronounced dead soon, the language being used by the NHK seems to be prepping the nation for grieving. 



https://www-cbc-ca.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6514381?amp_gsa=1&amp_js_v=a9&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#amp_tf=From %1%24s&aoh=16573001437596&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbc.ca%2Fnews%2Fworld%2Fabe-killing-world-reaction-1.6514381

World leaders horrified by Abe killing, Japanese leader remembered as a 'giant on the world stage'

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One way to get out of a traffic ticket; can't wait to see this argued in traffic court:


Apregnant woman in Texas told police that her unborn child counted as an additional passenger after being cited for driving alone in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, offering up a potentially clever defense for motorists navigating the legal landscape following the supreme court’s striking down of nationwide abortion rights last month.


Brandy Bottone of Plano, Texas, tried to fight a ticket for driving with only one passenger in an HOV lane – which requires at least two people in the car – by arguing that her unborn baby should count as her second passenger.

“[The officer] starts peeking around. He’s like, ‘Is it just you?’ And I said, ‘No there’s two of us?’” Bottone recounted to NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. “And he said, ‘Well where’s the other person?’ And I went, ‘Right here,’” pointing to her stomach.

On 29 June, Bottone, who is 34 weeks pregnant, was driving on US Highway 75 to go pick up her son.

To avoid being late to get him, Bottone took an HOV lane, but a patrol officer pulled her over while trying to exit the expressway, the Dallas Morning News first reported.

An officer approached Bottone’s car, asking where her second required passenger was. When Bottone tried to argue that her unborn baby should count as the additional rider given Texas’s abortion ban after the overturning of federal abortion protections, officers did not agree.

“One officer kind of brushed me off when I mentioned this is a living child, according to everything that’s going on with the overturning of Roe v Wade,” Bottone told the officer, referring to the landmark 1973 supreme court case that granted federal abortion rights. “‘So I don’t know why you’re not seeing that,’ I said.”

The officer told Bottone that to drive in the HOV lane, she needed her additional passenger to be outside her body.

The officer ultimately gave Bottone a $275 ticket, telling her that if she fought the citation in court, it would probably be dropped.

“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? According to the new law, this is a life,” Bottone said to the Morning News. “I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking.”

Bottone was pulled over by a deputy with the Dallas county sheriff’s department, who is employed by the Texas department of transportation to enforce HOV rules on the US 75, the Morning News reported.

While the Texas penal code recognizes an unborn baby as a person, current transportation law in the state does not.

Legal experts have argued that Bottone’s argument brings up a unique, legal gray area that the courts are getting acquainted with following the rollback of Roe v wade.

“Different judges might treat this differently,” Dallas appellate lawyer Chad Ruback told the local NBC affiliate. “This is uncharted territory we’re in now.

“There is no Texas statute that says what to do in this situation. The Texas transportation code has not been amended recently to address this particular situation. Who knows? Maybe the legislature will in the next session.”

But Bottone said that the state should not be able to have it both ways.

“I really don’t think it’s right because one law is saying it one way but another law is saying it another way,” Bottone said to the NBC station.

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^ Worst part- the stupid freaking cop gives her a ticket despite this "The officer ultimately gave Bottone a $275 ticket, telling her that if she fought the citation in court, it would probably be dropped."


Then why the hell waste everyone's time?


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Sri Lanka descends into chaos.

Troubling images from Sri Lanka


Sri Lankan President Rajapakse and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe were forced to flee today after enormous anti-government protests. Huge crowds stormed official government buildings and took over the President's home. Videos showed protestors swimming in his pool.

Sri Lanka president pool

The Prime Minister's home was set on fire.


The speaker of the legislature is trying to pull together an all-party government to stabilize the situation. He said President Rajapakse will step down on July 13.


The officials were moved to safe locations in anticipation of today's protests, which were a sharp escalation of recent demonstrations. The catalyst has been a fuel shortage in the country.


The heavily-indebted country of 22 million has more than $15 billion in dollar-denominated debt and $45 billion overall. It has failed to make payments for oil and gasoline deliveries and that caused severe rationing from the government.


High commodity prices, rising rates and the strong US dollar are a toxic mix for heavily-indebted countries, especially those with large current account deficits. Here's a ranking of some of the most-vulnerable spots:

risky emerging markets

Aside from the potential turmoil in these countries, it's an open question whether similar crisis' trigger a broader global growth slowdown. The names at the top of this list are insignificant for global demand but as you go down the list, names like Pakistan, Egypt and Brazil stand out. The one I think that's inevitably heading towards trouble is Turkey because of its chaotic monetary policy and large current account deficit. Time will tell.

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