Disaster Interesting clickbait, op-eds, fluff pieces and other smaller stories -

What should the prefix to this thread be?

  • World

    Votes: 101 16.9%
  • Science

    Votes: 19 3.2%
  • Culture

    Votes: 126 21.1%
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    Votes: 352 58.9%

  • Total voters


Hulkamania Brother!
One sign that Britain is terminally fucked. Beyond belief. You can't make this shit up.


British Court In Transgender Case: Bible Belief Is ‘Incompatible With Human Dignity’
By Hank Berrien
The Holy Bible.
Photo by krisanapong detraphiphat/GettyImages

On Tuesday, a British court ruled that belief in the Bible was “incompatible with human dignity.”
That statement came in a case involving Dr. David Mackereth, a devout Christian who had worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service for 26 years. He said he was fired from his job because he refused to call a biological man a woman. The court’s ruling stated: “Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.” The court added. “… in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”

The Telegraph reported that Mackereth said he was removed from his job with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in late June 2018 after his boss “interrogated” him about his personal religious convictions. Mackereth told the court in July that his line manager had asked him, “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’ would you do that?” Mackereth said that because of his religious beliefs, he could not, and his job was subsequently terminated.

CBN reported that Mackereth’s attorney, Michael Phillips, told the court, “His belief in the truth of the Bible, and in particular, the truth of Genesis 1:27: ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ It follows that every person is created by God as either male or female. A person cannot change their sex/gender at will. Any attempt at, or pretense of, doing so, is pointless, self-destructive, and sinful.”

Mackereth had told the court that the idea of transgenderism is a “rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful … I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions. A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder. It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognized as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence.”

Mackereth responded to the ruling, asserting, “I am not alone in being deeply concerned by this outcome. Staff in the NHS, even those who do not share my Christian convictions, are also disturbed as they see their own freedom of thought and speech being undermined by the judges’ ruling. No doctor, or researcher, or philosopher, can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex. Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended.”

Andrea Williams from Christian Concern told Premier the ruling was a “crushing of Christian beliefs… Dr. David Mackereth for almost 30 years has been working in A and E, loves his patients, and treats all patients. Dr. Mackereth was gentle. He would have called a person by their chosen name. What he couldn’t do was put on a form that a biological man was a biological woman, or a biological woman was a man.”

Mackereth said he will appeal the ruling, stating, “I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians – and any other NHS member of staff – to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the UK.”

While we're at it, here are more reasons to avoid social media and minimize use of Google products/services.

Google Says Google Translate Can’t Replace Human Translators. Cautions Users - Including Governments - Not To Rely On It.

Google advises users that its machine translation service is not “intended to replace human translators,” especially for complex tasks.

It’s a common internet experience: throw a foreign phrase into Google Translate or any other online translation tool and out comes a farcical approximation of the real thing.

That’s why many experts — even Google itself — caution against relying on the popular Google Translate for complex tasks. Google advises users that its machine translation service is not “intended to replace human translators.”

Yet the U.S. government has decided that Google Translate and other machine translation tools are appropriate for one task: helping to decide whether refugees should be allowed into the United States.

An internal manual produced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency charged with admitting immigrants, instructs officers who sift through non-English social media posts of refugees that “the most efficient approach to translate foreign language contents is to utilize one of the many free online language translation services provided by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.” The manual includes step-by-step instructions for Google Translate.

The manual was obtained by the International Refugee Assistance Project through a public records request and shared with ProPublica.

Language experts said the government’s reliance on automatic translation to dig into refugee social media posts was troubling and likely to be error-filled since the services are not designed to parse nuance or recognize slang. The government may misconstrue harmless comments or miss an actually threatening one.
“It’s naive on the part of government officials to do that,” said Douglas Hofstadter, a professor of cognitive science and comparative literature at Indiana University at Bloomington, who has studied language and analogies. “I find it deeply disheartening and stupid and shortsighted, personally.”

Asked about the agency’s use of machine translation tools, USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins said in an emailed statement that review of publicly available social media information “is a common sense measure to strengthen our vetting procedures.”

USCIS has stated that “information collected from social media, by itself, will not be a basis to deny refugee resettlement.”

In 2017, Facebook apologized after its machine-translation service translated a post by a Palestinian man that said “good morning” as “hurt them” in English or “attack them” in Hebrew.

As a test, ProPublica asked language professors to copy and paste tweets written in casual language into Google Translate and compare the results with how they would interpret the tweets.

One recent Urdu-language post on Twitter included a sentence that Mustafa Menai, who teaches Urdu at the University of Pennsylvania, translated as “I have been spanked a lot and have also gathered a lot of love (from my parents).”

Google translated the sentence as “The beating is too big and the love is too windy.”
The Trump administration has vastly expanded the role of social media in deciding whether people can move or travel to the United States. Refugee advocates say the government’s reliance on machine-translation tools raises further concerns about how immigration officers make important decisions affecting applicants’ lives and U.S. national security.

USCIS has itself found that automated translation falls short in understanding social media posts. An undated draft internal review of a USCIS pilot social media vetting program concluded that “automatic foreign language translation was not sufficient.”

A separate pilot review conducted in June 2016 stated that “native Arabic language and subject matter expertise in regional culture, religion, and terrorism was needed to fully vet” two cases in which potentially derogatory social media information was found. The documents were published by the Daily Beast in January 2018.

The manual, much of which is redacted, only addresses procedures for a narrow subset of refugees: people whose spouses or parents have already been granted refugee status in the U.S., or so-called follow-to-join cases. In 2017, 1,679 follow-to-join refugees were admitted to the U.S., about 3% of total refugee admissions, according to government data.

“It defies logic that we would use unreliable tools to decide whether refugees can reunite with their families,” said Betsy Fisher, strategy director at IRAP. “We wouldn’t use Google Translate for our homework, but we are using it to keep refugee families separated.”

In a federal lawsuit in Washington state that is now in the discovery phase, IRAP is challenging the Trump administration’s suspension of the follow-to-join refugee program.

It is unclear how widely the manual’s procedures are used throughout USCIS, or if its procedures are identical to those used for vetting all refugees or other types of immigrants.

The manual is undated, but it was released to IRAP in response to a request for records created on or after Oct. 23, 2017.

USCIS did not respond to questions on whether the manual’s procedures are used to vet other refugees, when it was put into use or if it is still in use.

“The mission of USCIS first and foremost is to safeguard our homeland and the people in it,” Collins said. “Our first line of defense in these efforts is thorough, systematic vetting.”

In the 2018 fiscal year, USCIS conducted 11,740 social media screenings, according to an agency presentation.
The USCIS manual acknowledges that “occasionally,” online translation services may not be adequate for understanding “foreign text written in a dialect or colloquial usage,” but it leaves it up to individual officers to decide whether to request expert translation services.

Without foreign language fluency, an officer is unlikely to know whether a post needs additional review, said Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Google and Verizon, which owns Yahoo, did not respond to questions about the use of their services when vetting refugees. Emily Chounlamany, a Microsoft spokeswoman, said “the company has nothing to share on the matter.”
Language experts say satire is another problematic area. A recent satirical Persian-language tweet showed a picture of Iranian elites raising their hands, with text stating, “Whose child lives in America?” (The tweet is commentary on a recent controversy in Iran regarding high-ranking officials’ close relatives living in the West.) The text was translated by Google as “When will you taste America?” Microsoft’s result was: “Who is the American?”

“The thing about Persian and the Iranian culture is that people love to make jokes about anything,” said Sheida Dayani, who teaches Persian at Harvard University and instructs her students to avoid using Google Translate or similar tools for their assignments. “How are you going to translate it via Google Translate?”
Automated translation services are the “absolute wrong technology” for immigration officers making important decisions, Dayani said.

The use of translation tools has come up in other contexts. After a highway patrol trooper in Kansas conducted a warrantless search of a Mexican man’s car in 2017 by asking the man for consent to do so in Spanish via Google Translate, a U.S. district judge threw out the search evidence, finding that the defendant did not fully understand the officer’s commands and questions.

Google has touted improvements in its translation tool in recent years, most notably its use of “neural machine translation,” which it has gradually rolled out for more languages. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that while the neural machine translation method improves quality, it still struggles to accurately translate idioms.
One major problem with machine translation is that such tools do not understand text in the same way that a person would, Hofstadter said. Rather, they are engaged in “decoding” or “text substitution,” he said.
“When it involves anything that is subtle, you can never rely on it because you can never know if it’s going to make grotesque errors,” Hofstadter said.

Machine-translation services are typically trained by using texts that have already been translated, which tend to use more formal speech, for instance official United Nations documents, said David Guy Brizan, a professor at the University of San Francisco who researches natural language processing and machine learning.

Language iterates too quickly, especially among young people, for even sophisticated machine-translation services to keep up, Brizan said. He pointed to examples of English-language phrases currently popular on social media such as “low-key” or “being canceled” as ones that automated services could struggle to convey.

He added that nontextual context like videos and pictures, the parties involved in a conversation and their relationship, and cultural references would be completely lost on machine translation.

“It requires a cultural literacy across languages, across generations, that is sort of impossible to keep up with,” he said. “You can think of these translation programs acting as your parents or grandparents.”

Rachel Thomas, director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at the University of San Francisco, said that while machine-translation capabilities are improving, anyone depending on algorithms or computers should think carefully about the recourse for people wronged by those systems’ mistakes.

Refugees rejected for admission can request a decision review, but advocates say they are typically given little detail as to why they were rejected.

Efforts to scrutinize social media posts of some people trying to enter the United States began under the Obama administration, and they were encouraged by Democrats and Republicans in Congress. USCIS launched a social media division within its Fraud Detection and National Security division in July 2016, building on pilot programs operating since 2015.

The Trump administration has dramatically increased social media collection as part of a push for “extreme vetting” of people entering the country. In May, the State Department updated its visa forms to request social media identifiers from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide.

In September, the Department of Homeland Security published a notice stating it intended to request social media information from a broad swath of applicants, including people seeking U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, refugees and asylees.
Okay seriously, how the fuck does such a minuscule part of the population have so much power these days?

Also how much longer is biology going to be ignored to protect feefees?


True & Honest Fan
Okay seriously, how the fuck does such a minuscule part of the population have so much power these days?

Also how much longer is biology going to be ignored to protect feefees?

An excellent question. Important to keep in mind that Britain has no written Constitution and no Bill of Rights. Lets Parliament, police, and the courts fuck the people over whenever they feel like it.

To avoid a double post, here's some facts that have already unraveled the Ukraine hoax.

Nolte: 11 Facts that Have Already Unraveled the Ukraine Hoax
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist while departing the White House on October 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to travel to Florida today before returning to Washington later this evening. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/GettyJOHN NOLTE3 Oct 20191,003
Am I terrible for enjoying this? And I mean enjoying this from the beginning, from day one, when one of our fine editors asked me to look at the brewing Ukraine scandal and my response was to LOL at how stupid it all is/was/will be forever.
I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.
— Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on MSNBC
Come on, this whole thing is super-lame, and the anticipation of awaiting its unraveling was almost as delicious as watching the unraveling.

And I’m no genius. I’m no sage. My skills are no different than anyone else’s. One of the things that makes humans human is our ability to recognize patterns. This unique skill of ours created the wheel, put a man on the moon, gave us the iPhone and Hogan’s Heroes.
So, after all of this…
  • Hispanic George Zimmerman: The White Racist Killer
  • Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!
  • Trump Can’t Win
  • Brett Kavanaugh: Serial Rapist
  • The KKKids from KKKovington High School
  • Trump Colluded with Russia
  • Brett Kavanugh: Serial Rapist Part Deux
…only a chimp with a learning disability could fail to recognize another yet-another *yawn* pattern pointing to a desperate conspiracy orchestrated by the Deep State, Democrats, and the media to take out the Bad Orange Man.
And this one was truly desperate: poorly planned from the beginning, and so poorly executed that every one of the conspirators, especially Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Jake Tapper, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, sound like used car salesman with one day left to hit their monthly quota.
Rush-rush-rush you gotta impeach now-now-now or you don’t get the free undercoating!
Anyway, the whole thing is now unraveling, and here’s why:
  1. Schiff Busted Lying, Conspiring, Being Even More Pencil Neckier Than Usual
Schiff getting caught lying about his contacts with this phony Deep State “whistleblower” is the least surprising thing about any of this. Of course he was working with the fake whistleblower to fabricate this non-scandal. Of course he lied about it. Of course other Democrats were involved. Of course the establishment media were in on it.
We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I’m sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the Inspector General or the Director of National Intelligence just as to how he is to communicate with Congress.
– – Rep. Adam Schiff to MSNBC’s Sam Stein
Schiff did appear to lie here in previously saying that his office had not spoken directly with the whistleblower. But if you care more about this stuff than the actual substance of the whistleblower complaint than you’re being a hack.
— Real Journalist Sam Stein’s tweet after it was revealed Schiff did indeed work with the “whistleblower,” which is a clear violation of the whistleblower statute.
For reasons no one should have to explain, the whistleblower rules make it painfully clear you keep the politicians out of this process. But Schiff was brought in early so the complaint would be a bulletproof roadmap for an impeachment hearing.
  1. Hearsay, Hearsay, Hearsay
Everyone is arguing the whistleblower’s complaint is weak because it is all based on second and third-hand information. No, this is exactly wrong.
That was The Plan.
That was always The Plan.

Schiff, the media, and the Deep State deliberately went this route because it means witnesses hauled before an impeachment inquiry are immediately put on defense, have to prove a negative, have to prove they did not do or say something without meeting their accuser — the whistleblower.
This is already backfiring, though, because of the things the phony whistleblower got wrong — like who was on the call with Trump and what exactly was said. And this is all thanks to reporting from new media and Trump out-maneuvering his enemies by releasing the transcript of the call in question and the full whistleblower complaint.
  1. Deep State Changed Whistleblower Rules to Get Drumpf
Oddly enough, until recently, a whistleblower complaint required first-hand as opposed to second and third-hand knowledge.
Gee, wonder why those rules were suddenly changed…?
  1. Quid Pro Ah, No
The phony whistleblower told us Trump would threaten Ukraine with the withholding of crucial U.S. aid unless Ukraine agreed to help him politically — which, oddly enough, is exactly what Joe Biden did.
Instead, as the transcript of the phone call proves, it was Ukraine’s president who brought up the issue of corruption and all Trump did was ask him to look into Biden’s threat to withhold U.S. aid if Ukraine refused to fire a prosecutor who was digging into the energy company that hired Biden’s son Hunter for $50,000 a month — a month! — even though Hunter knows nothing about Ukraine or energy.
  1. Quid Pro Uh, Oh
It gets worse! When the call took place, Ukraine was still fully expecting the U.S. to keep sending aid. Even the far-left BuzzFeed has been forced to admit this.
How can there be a threat or quid pro quo when Ukraine thought it was still raining American dollars?
There can’t be, so the whistleblower lied.
  1. Australia, Australia, Australia
The media recycling an old nothingburger into a BOMBSHELL made it pretty obvious the Ukraine Hoax was already running on fumes just a few days after it launched.
  1. The Cover Up and the Secret Server!
Did you hear that Drumpf — whom the walls are closing in on — tried to hide his call with Ukraine on a secret server so that he could cover up all his threats and quid pro quodom?
Not to keep tooting my own horn, but *toot* I toldja we’d find out Obama used the same “secret server” and … lo and behold.
  1. Victim Says He Was Not Victimized
We’re told that the victim in all of this is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was threatened, strong-armed, and blackmailed by Drumpf.
Only the transcript of the phone call says that didn’t happen, and…
So does the victim.
  1. Biden Lies and Lies and Lies and then Lies Again
What the Deep State, the media, and Democrats saw in this whole debacle was a two-fer: 1) get Drumpf and 2) save Biden from the brewing Ukraine scandal involving his rent-seeking son Hunter.
Well, we already know part one has imploded, but somehow part two has imploded even more.
All this failed coup attempt has done is to put a glaring spotlight on Joe and Hunter and Hunter’s $50,000 a month — a month! — salary to sit on the board of a company he knows nothing about in a country he knows nothing about.
And then there is The Video of Dumb Daddy bragging about his successful quid pro quo, his threat to withhold aid from Ukraine if a prosecutor investigating his son’s company was not fired.
And then there’s this 2014 bombshell photograph of then-Vice President Joe golfing with Hunter and a board member of the Ukraine company that hired Hunter for $50,000 a month — a month! — even though Joe assured us just last month he had never-ever-ever-ever “spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Talk about a backfire.
  1. Oh, My — Look at All the Fake News
Just like with the Russia Collusion Hoax, the fake media are using fake news to cover up the fact that this is all a lie, a con, a hoax, a grift…
On top of that hilariously desperate Australia, Australia, Australia thing, there was ABC News lying about an adviser to Ukraine’s president saying the “Biden Issue” was a “precondition” to any phone calls with Trump.
Well, except for the fact that there was no precondition and the source was not an adviser, great work ABC!
And then the far-left Washington Post reported that Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence threatened to resign over all of this.
Well, except for the fact he didn’t, great work Washington Post!
  1. Jake Tapper Revs Up His Hoax Machine
Watching Jake Tapper melt down and scream lies at Trump supporters is always a dead giveaway that the hoax is unraveling.
Well, except for the fact that this same prosecutor signed an affidavit under penalty of perjury saying he was investigating Hunter Biden’s company when your precious Joe got him fired, great work Jakester!

Lissamine Green

Spiteful Chicken Eater

Exhausted (but very happy) cat needs a glucose drip after mating with at least five females in single night after staff let him out of his cage at a pet hotel when they went home
  • Xiaopi the Russian Blue cat was left to freely roam the pet hotel in South China
  • Owner, Mr Zhao, said he specifically told the hotel that Xiaopi wasn't neutered
  • The pet hotel has since apologised and offered to pay for Xiaopi's liquid therapy

PUBLISHED: 11:22 EDT, 4 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:57 EDT, 4 October 2019

A cat has been left needing a glucose drip after it mated with at least five females in one night when he was let out of his cage by pet hotel staff.
Xiaopi the Russian Blue was left at the hotel by his owners, Mr and Mrs Zhao, in Guangdong Province in South China.
Mr Zhao said that he had specifically told the business that Xiaopi had not been neutered.

Cheeky cat needs glucose drip after 'wild' night with five females

Xiaopi the Russian Blue was left at the hotel by his owners, Mr and Mrs Zhao, in Guangdong Province in South China

Mr Zhao said that he had specifically told the business that Xiaopi had not been neutered


Xiaopi the Russian Blue was left at the hotel by his owners, Mr and Mrs Zhao, in Guangdong Province in South China. Mr Zhao said that he had specifically told the business that Xiaopi had not been neutered
It wasn't until the following day that Mr Zhao realised Xiaopi had been left to freely roam the pet hotel after staff went home.
Mr Zhao wrote on social media to say: 'I thought they'd be professional, but the staff member didn't feed Xiaopi during the day and let him out to roam freely at night.
'That's right, all the cats were free to walk around the shop and then the employee went home.
'Between around 10.40pm and 5am, my cat mated with five female cats. And those are only the ones I could see in the CCTV footage.'
Mr Zhao claims that the pet hotel staff then blamed him for the incident and complained that some of the cat owners weren't planning on having kittens.
It wasn't until the following day that Mr Zhao realised Xiaopi had been left to freely roam the pet hotel after staff went home

It wasn't until the following day that Mr Zhao realised Xiaopi had been left to freely roam the pet hotel after staff went home
He said: 'They had the nerve to be upset with me. They wanted me to explain the situation to all the other owners.
'My f***ing cat is exhausted and on a glucose drip, and this is my fault?'
Mr Zhao later revealed that the pet hotel apologised and offered to pay for Xiaopi's fluid therapy.
Mr Zhao claims that the cats at the hotel were left to roam freely between 10.30pm and 5am while the employee went home

He also said that the pet hotel have since apologised and offered to pay for Xiaopi's fluid therapy


Mr Zhao claims that the cats at the hotel were left to roam freely between 10.30pm and 5am while the employee went home. He also said that the pet hotel have since apologised and offered to pay for Xiaopi's fluid therapy
He added: 'They're going to compensate each pregnant cat's owner 500 Renminbi (£56), and have promised to sell any kittens on their behalf.
'The other owners have also told me they'll either give me a kitten or 1,000 Renminbi (£113) if their cats turn out to be pregnant.
A pedigree Russian Blue can be worth anything between £350 to well over £1,000.
Mr Zhao said Xiaopi has since regained his strength and is in a stable condition.

Soap Sniffer

Uninstall real life
Here is an interesting article from the New York Times, stalwart defenders of American values, such as decrying the right to free speech which permits their existance and other unforgivable inexcusable treasonous musings. I urge you not to examine the author or his religious and ethnic origins, or else you might be tempted to commit a holocaust. That is naughty and will certainly put you on Santa's naughty list.

Shield thy heart

Remember, these people love their country.



British businessman and his Filipina wife are kidnapped by gunmen in the Philippines as police probe 'personal grudge' motive
  • Allan and his wife Wilma Hyron are thought to have been abducted by gunmen
  • The British man and his wife taken from their beach resort, it has been reported
  • A police corporal said the attack could have been fuelled by a 'personal grudge'
PUBLISHED: 13:44 EDT, 4 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:56 EDT, 4 October 2019

  • e-mail
View comments

A British businessman in his 70s and his Filipina wife are thought to have been abducted by four gunmen with a 'personal grudge' in the Philippines earlier today.
Allan and his wife Wilma Hyron were targeted by kidnappers in Tukuran, the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur, Police Corporal Noriel Borromeo told CNN Philippines.
The couple were taken from a beach resort they own before their attackers fled in two directions, reports claim.
Allan and his wife Wilma Hyron were targeted by kidnappers in Tukuran (file image)

Allan and his wife Wilma Hyron were targeted by kidnappers in Tukuran (file image)
The couple were taken from a beach resort they own in Tukuran, the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur,  before their attackers fled in two directions, it has been reported

The couple were taken from a beach resort they own in Tukuran, the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur, before their attackers fled in two directions, it has been reported
A friend posted on Twitter: 'Hello guys. I really don't know how to say this but my mom's friend and her husband were kidnapped on 6pm earlier at Tukuran and your prayers would be very much helpful.

'Thank you all so much. God bless and stay safe everyone.'
The couple also owns the Hyron College Philippines in the same town and police say the abduction could have been motivated be a 'personal grudge', according to CNN.
A police manhunt has been launched to locate the couple, OneTVPhilippines reports. It is ongoing.

Brit man in 70s and wife ‘kidnapped from Philippines beach resort by armed gang and bundled into boats’
  • Georgia Diebelius
  • 4 Oct 2019, 16:20
  • Updated: 4 Oct 2019, 21:38
A HUNT has been launched to track down a British couple allegedly kidnapped from a beach resort in the Philippines.
A man in his 70s and his wife reportedly vanished after being confronted by four armed abductors in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur, who then fled on boats in two directions.
 The couple were last seen being targeted in Zamboanga del Sur
The couple were last seen being targeted in Zamboanga del Sur
Captain Clint Antipala, of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said the couple are believed to have been led to the two motorised outriggers before they split in different directions.
One allegedly headed towards the open seas of Yllana Bay and the other towards Sultan Naga Dimappro in Lanao del Norte.

The incident happened around 6.50pm and officials are unsure which direction the couple were taken - or if they were separated.
A friend posted on Twitter: "Hello guys. I really don't know how to say this but my mom's friend and her husband were kidnapped on 6pm earlier at Tukuran and your prayers would be very much helpful.
"Thank you all so much. God bless and stay safe everyone."
According to OneTVPhilippines, police have launched a manhunt in a bid to find the couple.


I'm not mad at anyone, honest.
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
Here is an interesting article from the New York Times, stalwart defenders of American values, such as decrying the right to free speech which permits their existance and other unforgivable inexcusable treasonous musings. I urge you not to examine the author or his religious and ethnic origins, or else you might be tempted to commit a holocaust. That is naughty and will certainly put you on Santa's naughty list.

Shield thy heart

Remember, these people love their country.
What a pack of traitors. [insert edgy Sam Hyde quote here]


it just goes on and on and on and on...
Dental Hygienist loses license for doing a dental cleaning on fiancee.

Apparently dentists in Ontario and dental hygienists in every other providence can perform their job on their loved ones, but in Ontario a dental hygienist can't have sex with a client. This is supposedly to avoid sexual harassment, and either he or she posted a pic showing her smiling after he treated her teeth and an anonymous complaint was filed.

Elwood P. Dowd

President of the Maxliam Fan Club.
No more shit on the streets of India. The Prime Minister says so. (But some h8rs doubt him.) Interesting way to celebrate Ghandi's 150th birthday, I guess.

Modi declares India open defecation free, claim questioned
PM Narendra Modi declares India ODF on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary but experts remain sceptical.

New Delhi, India - Khatija, 40, a resident of JP Colony in New Delhi's Rama Krishna Puram area walks half a mile (about 1km) every day to Nehru Ekta Colony to use a community toilet.
"There is not a single toilet in our colony," she told Al Jazeera.
"Every day, there is a queue outside the toilet and people have to wait for their turns. Sometimes for more than half an hour," Khatija said. "Those who are in an emergency defecate in open. What choice do we have?" she asked.
Mission Clean India: Building one latrine at a time
Wednesday marks 150 years of iconic Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi's birth, a day dedicated by the Indian government to its sanitation goals.
Five years ago, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign, he had announced October 2, 2019, as the day India will be free of open defecation free (ODF) - a claim he made in a speech on Wednesday evening.
"In 60 months, 600 million people have been given access to toilets, more than 110 million toilets have been built. The whole world is amazed to hear this," Modi told a crowd in Ahmedabad city.
Meanwhile, in Khatija's neighbouring colony, things looked no different.
Dimple Peter, a local social worker, claimed that for a population of more than 800 people, there is just one community toilet with 10 latrines.
"The toilets are often stinky and dirty," she told Al Jazeera. "Sometimes people think it is better to defecate in open as stinky toilets may lead to diseases."
Residents said they are forced to defecate in the open as there are not enough community toilets to cater for a large number of people. They also said the toilets remain closed at night.
"The community toilets remain open from 5am till 9pm. Where will the people go during the night hours?" asked Ahsan-ud Din, 40, who runs a poultry shop.
ODF was the main objective of the Clean India campaign, which aimed to build 120 million toilets across the country by October 2, 2019.
Its other goals included cleaning up streets and other public infrastructure, achieving 100 percent door-to-door waste collection, building solid waste management plants in each town, and persuading Indians to adopt better sanitation practices.
"A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019," Modi had said while launching the campaign in 2014.
The next five years saw numerous politicians, sportspersons and Bollywood stars participating in a government-sponsored publicity blitz to promote the Clean India campaign, involving millions of dollars.
Before Modi's speech on Wednesday, the Indian government had already claimed constructing over 100 million of the 120 million toilets planned across the country.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) director VK Jindal told Al Jazeera that toilets had been built in all urban centres and the target had been 100 percent achieved.
So why were people still defecating in the open in the national capital? Jindal blamed "the migrant population which does not stay permanently at one place".
Gates Foundation criticised over award to Indian PM Modi
Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Modi the "Global Goalkeeper" award for the Clean India campaign and for publicising the benefits of sanitation and hygiene.
The New York-based foundation was widely criticised for its decision and one of its employees quit in protest.

Experts said that while the construction of toilets has increased, lack of water, poor maintenance and slow changes in behaviour have stood in the way of ending the practice.
India lower caste still removing human waste
The Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE) surveyed 3,235 households in four north Indian states in 2014 and 2018.
Their research, released in January this year, found that open defecation had reduced by 26 percent since Clean India was launched and access to household toilets increased from 37 percent in 2014 to 71 percent in 2018.
However, the study found that 23 percent of people who owned a toilet continued to defecate in the open, including in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states, which have been declared ODF.
"During our research, we saw people defecating in the open in villages that were otherwise declared ODF," said Nazar Khalid, a research fellow at RICE.
"We also found latrine construction was often accomplished through coercion. People were told that if they did not build toilets, they will not get benefits under various government schemes," he added.
Avani Kapur of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) said it was too soon to declare India ODF as challenges remained on sustainable toilet technology, and safe cleaning and disposal of waste.
"We may lose momentum by calling ourselves completely ODF," she said.
But the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claims the goals of the Clean India campaign have been "almost reached".
"A huge behavioural change has been witnessed among people across India since the mission was launched," BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain told Al Jazeera.
Meet the 'toilet man of India'
"The mission has almost achieved its goal. We are close to the benchmark," he said. "The dream of Mahatma Gandhi of a clean India is being fulfilled by Prime Minister Modi."
Rejecting the BJP's claims as "bogus", Sanjay Nirupam of the opposition Congress party said people were defecating in the open even in cities such as Mumbai.
"This government is working only to create headlines," he told Al Jazeera by telephone.
"The government should provide the facility to every household and we support the government in that. But to claim that everybody has got a toilet and nobody is going in the open is completely a bogus statement."

Elwood P. Dowd

President of the Maxliam Fan Club.
Here is an interesting article from the New York Times, stalwart defenders of American values, such as decrying the right to free speech which permits their existance and other unforgivable inexcusable treasonous musings. I urge you not to examine the author or his religious and ethnic origins, or else you might be tempted to commit a holocaust. That is naughty and will certainly put you on Santa's naughty list.

Shield thy heart

Remember, these people love their country.

Archive, for those who hit a paywall.


bad weird
True & Honest Fan
it's a good episode, and banned in china.

‘South Park’ Review: ‘Band In China’ Mocks Hollywood’s Addiction To Chinese Box Office

More sharp political satire from season 23 of South Park, as "Band In China" takes aim at China’s notoriously intolerant censorship laws, and the eagerness of corporations to cater to them.

Last week saw Randy, in the relentless pursuit of profit, ruin the joy of home-grown intoxication for the rest of the town. Now, Randy has the totally unique and original idea to enter the gargantuan market of China, along with the entire cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and all the other Disney acquisitions.

When Randy’s proposition to market an illegal substance somehow doesn’t fly, he finds himself locked away in a dystopian “detention centre”, just like Kyle and Cartman during the last episode. The fact that there are so many human cages for South Park to critique this season is an incredibly depressing reflection on the modern world; perhaps the next episode will take place in India.

Today In: Business

Meanwhile, Stan and his friends who aren’t locked in cages start a death metal band, and quickly catch a movie deal, the plot of which must conform to China’s rigid censorship laws. As the script is continuously rewritten to fit the international market, Stan’s artist ‘tegrity begins to make him deeply uncomfortable.

Of course, Randy’s self-proclaimed ‘tegrity is nothing more than a marketing slogan. After a hilarious encounter with an imprisoned Winnie-the-Pooh (the innocuous bear being banned in China, due to an internet meme), Randy admonishes Chinese officials for their callousness, before enthusiastically suggesting they become business partners.


This episode certainly doesn’t hold back, highlighting the scale of China’s reported human rights abuses and questioning Hollywood’s growing dependance on overseas box office. Amusingly, it’s even pointed out that these ethical qualms are never discussed with the same level of energy as other, relatively minor scandals targeted by the “PC babies.”

But selling out is nothing new for the entertainment industry, who have been softening the edges of their stories to appeal to as large an audience as possible for many, many decades. Despite Disney’s clumsy attempts to appear woke, the thirst for profit overshadows any genuine ethical intentions of their content creators. Hence, why all the bold, counterculture stuff is on television and not in the bloated blockbusters that require the might of the international box office just to break even.

By the end of the episode, Randy has made a deal with the merciless Mickey Mouse, and assassinates Winnie-the-Pooh in a scene that mirrors the disturbing sight of Anton Chigurh strangling a police officer during No Country For Old Men.

Again, Randy has decided to pursue profit over morality, while Stan makes the difficult decision to abandon fame and fortune in favor of ‘tegrity. This is South Park at its best; smart political satire, strong character development, and a healthy dose of the absurd.

While the show still has a reputation as being aimed at cynical, nihilistic teenagers, South Park is one of the few satirical shows on television willing to make bold statements; compare these last two episodes to the flaccid political commentary dripping out of SNL.

So far, season 23 is proving both hilarious, and depressingly insightful.


How much cuck Spain will do? New hotel says no men allowed.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2019/09/30/spain-women-only-hotel-lets-women-disconnect-stress-mallorca/3820388002/ ( http://archive.fo/PL1os )

On the dreamy island of Mallorca, Som Hotels has created a new kind of getaway: A hotel for women only.

Women and female teens are welcome to stay at Hotel Som Dona, which translates to "we are women." The hotel opened officially on June 14.

The 39-room hotel will offer amenities such as massages, beauty treatments, sports and excursions to the surrounding area.

Som Hotels CEO Joan Enric Capellà told USA TODAY in a statement that the rooms were carefully designed for women who seek relaxation in a Mediterranean environment.

And Mallorca, an island that offers turquoise waters, soft sand and historic towns just a quick hop, skip and a jump from Europe's mainland, is the perfect place to kick back.
Timcast vlogged about this.

One commenter is right on target about "equality".

"We want equality!" "You're drafted. Here's your rifle. Front line is that way, and, yes, IEDs hurt."


True & Honest Fan
Is China Heading For Crisis?


Yup, just remains to be determined how long it takes to get going.

Many people see just parts of China's outside shine and ignore reality. China has problems we should be glad not to have. You've heard this before from me.

China isn't evenly developed. Go thirty miles out of a mega-city and you go back maybe forty years.

The "one child policy" is biting China in the ass with fangs or steel. The authorities are relaxing this policy, but don't seem to have that many takers. You could have two breadwinners (husband and wife, each the only child) trying to support themselves, their child, and providing at least some support to as many as four in-laws. China has no Social Security system, at least as we have one. Children are intended to be the parent's primary support in old age.

The "one child" policy made having boys a priority. Lots of abortions of female fetuses, lots of infanticides. Now you have millions of Chinese men in their prime productive and reproductive years who will never be able to find a wife. And an increasing number of young Chinese women prefer a career to being a housewife. Some women come from North Korea and other neighboring countries, but nowhere near enough.

Much is made about China's military. See...they have a lot of troops. They have a lot of tanks. They have planes. They have some naval vessels. Seem to able to march in formations okay. And their last real combat experience was...forty years ago. And how much experience do the Chinese have in true combined-arms operations? What power projection capabilities do the Chinese have? If it isn't on a contiguous land frontier, the PLA's gonna have to swim.

The Chinese Communist Party has to devote an ungodly amount of resources to suppress dissent and dissenters. Lots of money, equipment, facilities, people. But people are endlessly inventive, and devise countermeasures for every measure taken. The CCP has a huge Muslim problem in the west. Running camps now.

There is plenty more, but you get my drift.

The CCP simply refuses to realize that rising economic standards cause people to want more freedom, to choose their own leaders. This happened, not without some bloodshed, in South Korea and Taiwan.

Xi's regime appears strong, but is brittle. Undoubtedly he knows it. Undoubtedly Xi and his regime are perplexed about Hong Kong - no-win situation for them any way you go. They are also perplexed at the continuing trade war with the USA. Trump isn't folding. Xi is the guy standing tall, saying "I must maintain this rigid position or all is lost!" And you know how that works out.

So you may be shocked, but shouldn't be surprised by anything that happens in China. And don't be surprised if things happen very quickly. You see, Xi and his regime truly do live in interesting times.

Opinion | Is China Heading for Crisis?

By Bret Stephens October 3, 2019

In 2001, Gordon Chang, an American lawyer who had spent many years in Hong Kong and Shanghai, published a book forebodingly titled “The Coming Collapse of China.” At the time, the thesis seemed improbable, if not preposterous.

It looks a great deal less improbable now.

China — or, rather, the Chinese regime — is in trouble. Tuesday’s gigantic parade in Beijing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic looked like something out of the late Brezhnev era: endless military pomp and gray old men. Hong Kong is in its fourth straight month of protests, marked and stained by this week’s shooting of an unarmed teenage demonstrator. The Chinese economy is growing at its slowest rate in 27 years, even when going by the overstated official figures.

Meantime, capital is fleeing China — an estimated $1.2 trillion in the past decade — while foreign investors sour on Chinese markets. Beijing’s loudly touted Belt-and-Road initiative looks increasingly like a swamp of corruption, malinvestment and bad debt. Its retaliatory options in the face of Donald Trump’s trade war are bad and few. And General Secretary Xi Jinping has created a cult-of-personality dictatorship in a style unseen since Mao Zedong, China’s last disastrous emperor.

Remember the “Chinese Dream” — Xi’s vision of China as a modern, powerful, and “moderately well-off” state? Forget it. The current task for Chinese leadership is to avoid a full-blown nightmare of international isolation, economic decline, and domestic revolt.

The question is whether that’s still possible.

China’s presumptive trajectory once seemed clear. In domestic affairs: rapid economic reform; slow political opening. Lather, rinse, repeat. In international affairs: peaceful rise; burgeoning clout. It was to be a model of managed development, a Middle Kingdom fit for the 21st century.

That’s not what happened, for reasons that Chang and others saw coming long ago. Rapid growth is easy when labor and capital are plentiful and cheap. But most developing countries inevitably fall into what’s called the middle-income trap, when they no longer have the cost advantages of poor countries but haven’t yet acquired the legal, educational, or technological advantages of rich ones.

It turns out to be a trap few countries escape: Of 101 countries defined as “middle income” in 1960, only 13 rose to high-income by 2008, according to a World Bank report. And some of these countries, like Greece, are prone to slip backward.

Beijing’s dilemmas go deeper. Economic reforms generate sudden riches that are ripe targets for extravagant graft, particularly by powerful state actors. Graft creates incentives for further self-dealing, which distorts economic decision-making and breeds public cynicism. Aggressive anti-corruption drives of the sort carried out by Xi since coming to power often amount to power plays between political factions competing for booty.

The result: more corruption, more cynicism, more repression. How long that can keep going is an open question.
But scholars such as Larry Diamond and Minxin Pei have noted that dictatorships tend to have a roughly 70-year lifespan. At some point, the revolutionary fervor that sustains the first generation of leaders and the will to power that sustains the second gives way to the policy failures, mounting discontents, outside shocks and inner doubts that prove the undoing of the third.

Especially when the regime experiences some kind of blunt trauma, either in the form of a foreign-policy fiasco, an economic shock, or a moral outrage. In its attempts to respond to Hong Kong’s protests, Beijing risks all three.
A policy of hoping the protesters discredit themselves or simply run out of steam shows no sign of working. A Tiananmen-style crackdown would underscore the regime’s brutishness and incompetence, destroy Hong Kong as a global financial capital, and spur China’s neighbors to arm to the teeth and draw closer to Washington.

Accommodating the protesters’ demands, above all the granting of genuine universal suffrage, is the right thing to do, but introduces a democratic principle fatal to the regime’s self-preservation.

Hence the looming crisis. It could be defused, if Beijing guarantees amnesty for all nonviolent protesters and removes the troops it has brought in from the mainland in exchange for a meaningful process of negotiation. Or it could be “solved” through some form of hyper-aggressive policing that stops short of an outright massacre. But that only puts a lid on discontents that will continue to boil.

Skeptics will note that China’s profound cultural aversion to the prospect of political disunity and chaos may incline the mainland Chinese to approve a hard government line with Hong Kong. And nothing in Xi’s actions or manner suggests he suffers from Gorbachev-like misgivings about the nature of the regime he rules or of his right to exercise power by whatever means necessary.

But if the regime’s travails prove anything, it’s that China’s current despot is no more enlightened than despots elsewhere, and China’s people are no less eager to have what people have elsewhere: justice, fairness, rights, freedom from fear, freedom itself. In China’s looming crisis, the human condition shines through.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.
Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.


Ki ki ki ma ma ma
So I couldn't find a thread on this but apparently even a creature that's been dead for 65 million years isn't immune from virtue signaling


Sue got her name more or less from Sue Hendrickson the paleontologist who found her as stated in this earth article which isn't as painful as the them one, which also mentions it's possible sue was really female, but when it comes down to wire, Sue is a Fossil that we may never be able to tell exactly what gender it was when it was alive but there's no hiding the fact that the museum housing her is using their invaluable find of a nearly complete T-rex skeleton to virtue signal to the left.

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