2018-07-20

Korea


With some 2.6 million forced laborers, North Korea is world's leading villain in modern day slavery, according to estimates in a new report.

One in 10 people live under modern slavery in the secretive nation, with the "vast majority being forced to work by the state,"


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-news-north-korea-modern-day-slavery-20180719-story.html




Why Doesn't the Queen of England Need a Passport?

Fwd: ISIS inspired Berkeley graduate plotted to kill 10,000 in San Francisco

A graduate of Berkeley High School in California, who reportedly told authorities he wanted to help ISIS kill 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area, pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday, 

Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 23, of Oakland, pleaded guilty to trying to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, possession of device-making equipment and identity theft, said officials of the state's Department of Justice.

Alhaggagi allegedly opened several Twitter and Facebook accounts in 2016 for ISIS supporters. He then allegedly told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to kill 10,000 people in the Bay Area with bombs and rat-poison-laced cocaine, 

He met with the undercover agent, pointed out locations for terrorist attacks and brought three backpacks to be used in a future attack to a storage locker, 



Top 10 Greatest Space Missions to Other Planets

Fwd: Liver disease deaths spike among young Americans

the study -- published Wednesday in the BMJ -- found that deaths in the United States due to cirrhosis rose 65% and deaths from liver cancer doubled from 1999 to 2016. In that period, cirrhosis-related deaths increased for every ethnic group and for both men and women.

From 2009 to 2016, the greatest increase in death rate from cirrhosis was among people 25 to 34

Tapper cited a rise in binge-drinking among young people to account for the increase in cirrhosis-related mortality




2018-07-11

2018-07-03

Why does time pass?

Asking "Why does time pass?" seems like circular reasoning. The word "pass" inherently refers to time.

Time is just there and events happen in sequence. "Space time" is believed to be proven, but it is just a mathematical model that accurately describes what we experience in the physical world. I refer to the expression that says, "All models are wrong, some models are useful." It is possible that there could be a different model, but we choose this one because it tells us everything we need to know, so why choose a different model that would produce the same results? Still, this reasoning might prevent us from discovering something different, which would only happen if the "Space time" model would fail in some way.

Although "Space time" might be 100% accurate, I have logical problems with it, because it says that time is just another physical dimension. That causes people to ask why we can't travel in time, say backwards? Logically this seems like a problem. For example, I have heard physicists say that time is
​an ​
illusion, that all events past, present and future happen simultaneously, but we think that there is time because we can only experience the here and now. On the surface this seems like utter nonsense.



​P.S. When I am playing speed chess, time can be both my enemy and my friend.

2018-07-01

The Sound of Silence

Heard this young artist in another video, so I made an attempt to find the original. She has a fantastic voice, and this is a pretty interesting interpretation of "The Sound of Silence."

In China, 'Free Trade' Means Steal What You Want

China's been fighting dirty against American business for years. China steals something between $225 billion to $600 billion worth of fashion designs, pharmaceutical formulas and new technologies from U.S. companies every year, according to the Commission on Theft of American Intellectual Property. Previous U.S. presidents did nothing but negotiate. That's like watching a burglar strip your house and asking him, "Can we talk?" At last, an American president picked up a weapon -- tariffs -- to fight back.

Not a minute too soon. The stealing is getting worse. Politicians naively said admitting China to the World Trade Organization in 2001 would push it toward a free market economy observing the rule of law. Magical thinking.

From the start, China violated WTO rules, knocking off American products and selling them as the real deal. A staggering 88 percent of counterfeit goods seized are from China and Hong Kong, according to Homeland Security. It's like the Chinese thought "free market" meant steal what you want.

Steal it or extort it. American companies doing business in China are pressured to transfer proprietary technology to a local partner. China promised to stop that arm-twisting but broke its word.

Now China is abandoning any pretense of respecting intellectual property. President Xi Jinping's official economic policy, called Made in China 2025, elevates technology theft to official status. The government politely calls it "the assimilation and absorption of imported technology." China plans to steal its way to economic dominance and end dependence on foreign suppliers.

American companies can't thrive under this threat. Our advantage in world markets isn't cheap labor or cheap materials. It's ideas

American Superconductor Corporation was almost put out of business, its stock value driven down 96 percent, when a Chinese wind turbine maker stole its technology and flooded the Chinese market with copies.

But if Beijing's plan proceeds, these U.S. companies will be shut out of China in a decade, and will have to compete in the rest of the world against Chinese companies that stole their technology and enjoy low-cost financing from Chinese state banks

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/06/20/in_china_free_trade_means_steal_what_you_want_137322.html


Liberal says build the wall...

The Democrats need to accept that they lost the last presidential election for a reason, and that their opponent's main campaign pledge was to tackle illegal immigration, with a wall at the southern border as the centerpiece. Completely resisting a legitimate agenda based on a clear campaign promise — well, it reminds me of the Republicans with Obamacare.

And there is clearly an adamant, persistent segment of the public that sees the crisis of illegal immigration as a vital one. They're not alone. Cast an eye at Brexit Britain, newly populist Italy, Macron's France, and even Merkel's Germany as it heaves in response to mass immigration from the developing world. This is a huge force in Western politics in every country. It may be the primary one. Millions of people are on the move right now, fleeing war and poverty and persecution. The vast migration from south to north, from poverty and chaos to opportunity and order in the West may be just beginning. Climate change will surely only make it worse. Finding the right balance between reason and compassion is essential if we are not going to further tear this country apart, or witness ever more humanitarian catastrophes, or see what's left of the West go under

So give him his fucking wall. He won the election. He is owed this. It may never be completed; it may not work, as hoped. But it is now the only way to reassure a critical mass of Americans that mass immigration is under control, and the only way to make any progress under this president. And until the white working and middle classes are reassured, we will get nowhere. Don't give it to him for nothing, of course

If all this sounds like appeasing a bigot, I understand. But better to see it, I think, as a way to address the legitimate concerns, fears, and worries of a large number of Americans who feel like strangers in their own land.

And equally, the Democrats who are currently posturing are playing a good card badly. They give off the appearance, as Hillary Clinton did, of making no distinction between legal and illegal immigration, favoring de facto open borders, and calling anyone who disagrees with them a white supremacist. Until they recognize that illegal immigration is a huge and legitimate problem, and until they propose a set of actual policy proposals to end it humanely and efficiently, they run the risk of another 2016 in 2020.

And this is what Miller and Bannon want. They want to turn the fall elections and the next presidential contest into a polarizing, fearmongering referendum on illegal immigration

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/to-end-the-border-crisis-for-good-give-trump-his-wall.html


Fwd: Isis zealot killed 8 on nyc bike path

A man charged with murdering eight people on a New York City bike path invoked "Allah" and defended the Islamic State group in court Friday, reports said.

Sayfullo Saipov, 30, raised his hand to speak out immediately after U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick set an Oct. 7, 2019, date for the Uzbek immigrant's trial.

He said he cared about "Allah" and the holy war being waged by the Islamic State group

"So the Islamic State is not fighting for land, like some say, or like some say, for oil. They have one purpose, and they're fighting to impose Sharia (Islamic law) on Earth," he 

​said.​
 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/22/suspect-in-nyc-bike-path-killings-invokes-allah-defends-isis-in-court.html


Fwd: Political hatred

TMZ reported that she was kicked out of the restaurant -- The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia -- on "moral grounds" and cited a waiter who said that Sanders was served "for a total of two minutes before my owner kicked her out along with seven of her other family members."

Sanders confirmed the events on Twitter, saying she was told to leave by the owner because she worked for the president.

"Her actions say far more about her than about me," she said. "I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/23/sarah-sanders-says-was-thrown-out-virginia-restaurant-because-works-for-trump.html


Fwd: Active Antarctic Volcano

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet lies atop a major volcanic rift system, but there had been no evidence of current magmatic activity, the URI scientist said. The last such activity was 2,200 years ago, Loose said. And while volcanic heat can be traced to dormant volcanoes, what the scientists found at Pine Island was new.

"You can't directly measure normal indicators of volcanism — heat and smoke —  because the volcanic rift is below many kilometers of ice," Loose said

But as the team conducted its research, it found high quantities of an isotope of helium, which comes almost exclusively from mantle, Loose said.

"When you find helium-3, it's like a fingerprint for volcanism. We found that it is relatively abundant  in the seawater at the Pine Island shelf.

"The volcanic heat sources were found beneath the fastest moving and the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica, the Pine Island Glacier," Loose said. "It is losing mass the fastest."

He said the amount of ice sliding into the ocean is measured in gigatons. A gigaton equals 1 billion metric tons.

https://today.uri.edu/news/researchers-discover-volcanic-heat-source-under-major-antarctic-glacier/


Fwd: Restarsumt owner effects sarah sanders and extended family

She first spoke with her employees, who disagreed with Sanders' defense of Trump's discriminatory ban on transgender Americans who want to serve in the military and her recent defense of Trump's un-American family separation policy.

In response, she then asked Sanders to step outside to the patio and "explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation." Clearly, Sanders doesn't comply with that standard

As a progressive, I feel that denying service to a person is instinctively troubling. For many, it may conjure up laws that banned blacks from being served at restaurants before the Civil Rights Act and the current campaign by some on the right to turn away same-sex couples who want professional services for their weddings. Or even a gun range owner who declared that no Muslims were allowed on the premises.

But the situations with Sanders and even Nielsen are not even in the same universe as these discriminatory examples. No one is targeting them for their race, religion or sexual orientation.

From a legal point of view, a person can be asked to leave a privately owned establishment because of their political views. For example, In April, a judge in New York City dismissed a lawsuit by a Trump supporter who wore a "Make American Great Again" hat to a bar and was asked to leave.
But applying this to the average American divides us even more as a nation and makes it less likely that we can ever return to being the United States of America.

No border enforcement

The over-the-top rhetoric and avalanche of grossly inappropriate analogies to the Holocaust have served Trump critics well. But there is a cost to feeding the overall impression that any effort to stop illegal immigration — no matter how careful it is to avoid cruelty — is inhumane. If every person entering the U.S. without permission — whether they come for economic opportunity or are fleeing violence in Central America — is the moral equivalent of a Holocaust victim seeking refuge and those seeking to stop them are all hatemongers or monsters violating human rights, then we've arrived at a point when the law and policy arguments about how best to enforce it have become irrelevant

In such a debate, there is no more middle ground. No matter what your opinion about how much immigration the United States should allow or whether illegal immigrants already here should be given a break, the firestorm over the children at the border has made this discussion impossible. This is not just a rerun of the argument Americans have been conducting about what to do about the estimated 11 million-plus illegal immigrants who were already here during the Obama administration and whether they deserved some form of amnesty up to and including a path to citizenship. Now the appeal for not merely mercy and compassion but for amnesty applies to those crossing the border, with or without children.

former actress Cynthia Nixon, who is mounting a vocal and well-funded challenge to Andrew Cuomo's effort to be reelected governor of New York...
she is now demanding — to the applause of the hosts and the audience on The View, where she appeared — that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency be abolished altogether and not replaced by any other body to perform the function of apprehending illegals.