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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 21,775

Journal Archives

Facebook shuts down Netanyahu's auto messaging chatbot after he breaks election law

For three hours, Facebook shut down the automatic messaging chatbot on Netanyahu’s page after it broadcast messages that included election polling, which is forbidden by the Central Elections Committee – polls can only be published until four days before the election. Only after Netanyahu removed previous posts that breached the election law and promised not violate it further did Central Elections Committee head Justice Hanan Melcer direct Facebook to reactivate it.

It was suspended last week after nutty posted
“Arabs want to annihilate us.”

Also, today, he violated the law

He put out the same call on two right-wing radio stations – Kol Hai and Galey Yisrael – once again violating election statutes. According to Section 129 of the Israel Election Law, candidates are forbidden from giving radio and television interviews on Election Day. Last week, Melcer issued a clear directive emphasizing the fact that radio and television interviews with candidates on Election Day were forbidden.


Hong Kong protests: government fails to find PR firm to rescue battered image

The Hong Kong government has tried but failed to secure help from any of the global public relations firms it has approached to salvage the financial hub’s tarnished reputation, as anti-government protests continued to wreak havoc months into its deepest political crisis in decades.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told a group of business people in the city in late August that the government had approached eight global PR companies to help it relaunch Hong Kong, but four “immediately declined because that would be a detriment to their reputation to support the Hong Kong government now,” according to a transcript of her speech published by Reuters last week. Two more declined later, she said.

Now, it appears that all have turned down the government’s invitation of bids. In a response to the Guardian’s enquiry, the Hong Kong government’s information services department said: “The quotation exercise lapsed as no bid was received by the close of the quotation period.”


PR campaigns are no use unless concrete actions are taken by the government to address public demands, said Andy Ho, a veteran public relations consultant and a PR adviser to the chief executive from 2006 to 2012.


'He had lovely parents, I don't know what went wrong with him':

A distant cousin of Donald Trump has described him as a selfish man who stole pancakes and "wouldn’t give a penny" back to his mother’s native community in Scotland.

The US president last visited his late mother’s former home of Tong on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for around three hours in 2008.


“I don’t like the man at all,” said Ms Mackay, 79. “He had lovely parents, I don’t know what went wrong with him.”


“He [Donald Trump] was here one morning I was busy making pancakes and he had forgotten my husband had died.

“He put a few pancakes in pocket and never said ‘cheerio’ or anything.”


Regardless of what anyone thinks of ill presidente's late father, it is an amusing read about il douche

The Incredible Sulk Couldn't Make It


Luxembourg Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel and Boris Johnson holding their after meeting press conference.

According to the chief Brexit representative for the EU, Guy Verhofstadt, the Incredible Sulk wasn't available. Or as he wrote, 'From Incredible Hulk to Incredible Sulk.'

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1. A Blow To Fair Elections: Russian Police Stand Idly By As Election Observer Is Sucker Punched

Based on the reaction of police and election officials inside St. Petersburg polling station 1619, the event that unfolded before them on election day last week was nothing out of the ordinary.

Vasily Dyachenko, a 30-year-old election observer, was monitoring the polling on September 8 and had been trying for an hour to get the officials managing the process to address what he believed were deficiencies with the voter-registration book.


As Dyachenko observed the vote at the polling station around 2:25 p.m., dozens of people arrived at the same time to cast ballots, he said in an interview with Current Time. He said he noticed election officials had been writing in their names on unnumbered pages in the back of the voting-registration book.

It had the markings of a well-known Russian voting scheme that involves busing groups of people from polling station to polling station to cast ballots for the government's candidates -- known colloquially as "merry-go-round voting."


2. UK blackouts raise questions over private sector’s right to profit from power

There is never a good time for a blackout, but for Britain’s energy companies the timing of last month’s power failure could scarcely have been worse.

The best that the owners of the UK’s energy pipes and wires can expect in the coming years is a tighter squeeze on their deflated profits by the industry regulator. A Labour government could support nationalisation. In the meantime, investors are turning their backs on energy network companies.


National Grid’s report on Britain’s worst blackout in a decade, published last week, leaves more uncomfortable questions than it answers. In the aftermath of the outage, the energy giant was quick to blame the whole episode on a literal bolt from the blue. A lightning strike to the energy grid – capable of felling a gas power plant, a windfarm and a string of micro energy generators – is a conveniently blame-free explanation.


The truth, buried in technical detail and mind-numbing jargon, is far more damning. It is becoming clear that the answer may be as mundane as a clutch of outdated rules and equipment settings. That lacks the drama of a lightning strike, but the implications are arguably more shocking: the blackouts might have been averted if National Grid had had a tighter grasp of the energy system it operates.


3. Lesbian PM Or Not, Serbia Blocks Gays' Path To Parenthood

BELGRADE -- When the gay partner of Serbia's prime minister gave birth to a son in February, reportedly via artificial insemination, it was seen by LGBT rights activists everywhere as a historic milestone.

Not only was Ana Brnabic one of the world's first openly gay heads of government. She became the first prime minister to have a child with a same-sex partner while in office.


Within a month, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar imposed a ban against anyone with a "history of homosexual relations during the last five years" from donating "reproductive cells" in Serbia for artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, or even for laboratory tests.


Adoption by same-sex couples in Serbia is banned, although a single person is allowed to adopt regardless of their sexual orientation.


(italics and underline by me because I think it is so weird)

4. Fighters, not rabbis: Torah students who choose the army reveal Israel’s bitter divide

Life in one of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox military units does not proceed according to the usual army schedule. The morning starts with prayers just before dawn. Meals in the barracks are prepared under the strictest kosher requirements. Training is halted twice more during the day for prayers; once again for a rabbi to teach soldiers about religious texts. Unlike the rest of the Israel Defense Forces, there are no women on duty.

Many of the unit’s deeply observant members were raised to be rabbis, which is seen as the highest calling and duty. But as Daniel Rosenberg, an ultra-Orthodox who operated a heavy machine-gun, explained, sometimes a “kid doesn’t want to be a rabbi; he wants to be a fighter”.


During the past two decades a small but growing number of Haredi have volunteered to join the military, often going against their parents’ wishes, and in many cases being rejected by their families.


For Avigdor Lieberman, a secular former defence minister, the issue was a deal-breaker. In May he refused to join a coalition government with ultra-Orthodox parties unless Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to force the Haredi into the army. The stalemate led to a second election being called.


5. EU: Moldova Moving 'Resolutely' Forward With Key Reforms

The European Union says Moldova has "moved resolutely” to implement key reforms to reinforce democracy and the rule of law since a change of government in June.

The Association Implementation Report on Moldova, published on September 12, shows that "while reforms in the economic and banking sector advanced during 2018, the fundamental structural reforms of the judicial system, the fight against corruption, the prosecution of the 2014 banking fraud and ensuring media plurality were lagging behind," the European Commission said in a statement.

"We expect the authorities to deliver on the commitments made and to implement the ambitious EU-Moldova Agreement, to the benefit of our citizens," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini added.

Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu of the pro-Western Now Platform took office in June after months of political deadlock that followed inconclusive parliamentary elections in February.


African-American Settlement in DeWitty, NE (Now Audacious)

In 1855, Sally Bayne arrived in Omaha and is counted as the first free African American to settle in the Nebraska Territory. There were 25 African Americans recorded in the 1860 territorial census. William Walker, a black Canadian, purchased land that year of 1860 in Richardson and Nemaha Counties. The Homestead Act provided another incentive for settlement.

(Not a lot on the site. It appears to be under construction. They a few great pics though)

Located in the Sandhills of Cherry County, Nebraska, the settlement of DeWitty was established in 1908 by black homesteaders who constructed housing made of stacked sod. These settlers farmed some of the least hospitable land in the state. The families were spurred to the area by the 1904 Kinkaid Act, which allowed settlers to claim large-but-undesirable parcels of land with poor irrigation and little vegetation. Those who accepted the challenge were known as Kinkaiders.

The town of DeWitty/Audacious included a general store, the St. James A.M.E. Church, and three schools. Books were borrowed from the State Library at Lincoln through a program to service rural families. Other supplies were purchased through trips to Brownlee or Seneca, or mail order from Sears, Roebuck and Company. During the early 1920s, the town had an all-black baseball team called The Sluggers, which played several undefeated seasons. However, by that time, most of the original homesteaders had found the land unprofitable and had left the area. In the late 1980s, only one ancestor of a black settler still owned land along the North Loup.


Though the vast majority of homesteaders lured to Nebraska by the promise of free land were white, not all were. Nowhere was that more evident than DeWitty.

A vibrant community of roughly 200 African-Americans, some of whom were slaves freed after the Civil War, settled along the North Loup River in the northern Sandhills on what's now U.S. 83. Though it wasn't the state's only largely black community, it was the most successful.

Though little is left beyond a pioneer cemetery and a handful of building foundations, DeWitty -- later renamed Audacious -- once boasted a post office, school and a variety of businesses. The school was notable because it was integrated between black students from DeWitty and white students from nearby Brownlee, which was all but unheard of in the late 19th century.

While the town no longer exists, its memory lives on through descendants and historians who share stories about Nebraska's most prominent black settlement.


Sep 19th Mayor Pete will be on line with Democrats Abroad

Message I received from Democrats Abroad:

Add September 19th, 11:15am DC time to your calendar and join a call with Mayor Pete Buttigieg! He'll spend time with Democrats Abroad sharing his policy stance on Americans abroad issues (and other issues too, time permitting).

RSVP now for a link to the Zoom call.

When: September 19, 2019 at 11:15am Eastern Daylight Time

Where: Zoom call
As this is an online call, you will need an internet connection in order to attend.

Note: We have invited every Democratic Presidential candidate to speak to our members in individual online calls. We are looking forward to discussing issues that matter to Americans abroad during these calls and hope you will join us as we get to know our candidates.

The Accidental Deputy: A Spoiler Candidate Surprisingly Wins A Seat In Moscow's City Duma

The September 8 elections to the Moscow City Duma produced many surprises. But perhaps the most unexpected result came in District No. 3, where an engineer who is virtually unknown and did not campaign defeated the candidate supported by the ruling United Russia party and took the seat.

Commenting on the result the day after the election, former State Duma deputy and opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov -- who was himself disqualified from running in the elections because Moscow election officials rejected his qualifying signatures -- noted of the District No. 3 victor that "no one has even seen him yet."


The genuine oppositionist Solovyov, a close associate of Gudkov's, ended up having his signatures rejected by the Moscow Election Commission. His home was searched by police. Four days before the elections, he was sentenced to 20 days of house arrest for repeatedly participating in unsanctioned demonstrations.


After large-scale protests, court cases, hunger strikes, and appeals to the Central Election Commission failed to reinstate any of the disqualified independent candidates, opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny announced the tactic of "smart voting," urging voters to come to the polls and vote for the candidate on the ballot who was most likely to defeat the United Russia-backed candidate, no matter what party he or she might represent. The idea was to demonstrate the ruling party's unpopularity and, ideally, to deprive it of its majority in the new city legislature.


FIBA Basketball Cup France 89 US 79

Bookies probably took a bath

Ghost crabs use teeth in stomachs to 'growl' at predators


Ghost crabs, named for their sand-pale bodies and nocturnal antics, use teeth in their stomachs to “growl” at aggressors, leaving their claws free for attacking manoeuvres and general waving about.

It is the first known evidence of an animal using the sounds of its stomach to communicate, the researchers say.


Most crabs make noises called stridulations by rubbing their pincers together. The rasping comes from ridges or bristles that run up and down each claw.


Crabs possess unusual apparatus to help them process food. Inside their stomachs are little teeth that together form what is known as a gastric mill. In ghost crabs, the mill has a central tooth flanked by neighbours that carry their own fine comb-like teeth. A complex arrangement of muscles and nerves sends the mill into motion, allowing crabs to shred food that has already passed into their stomachs.

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