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The Kitchen Sink / Re: Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« Last post by David B. on Today at 07:38:27 AM »
A very well expressed thought. 
The Kitchen Sink / Re: Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« Last post by RE on Today at 07:01:45 AM »
Not true at all.  You still exist as an independent soul you are just no longer broadcasting to the world in a digital permanent medium. As far as capitulation to a police state digital tracking logging and video recording is pretty damn far down that path already no?  Probably more so then self editing.

I disagree.  They have always been able to get you if they want to get you, the recording medium of the internet isn't necessary.  They just get testimony from people you talked to.

It is always a risk to speak your mind inside a fascist state.  But there comes a point, a LINE IN THE SAND you have to draw where you will go no further down the path to capitulation.  LD often brings up his responsibility to his children as rationale for why he is doing what he is doing with driving the truck.  It brings in the money they need in this society.  But there is another responsibility you have to your children as well, which is to be a Courageous Man who stands on principle.  Many men who went into the French Resistance during WWII had children and had to leave their families to go underground.  Many dissidents have been imprisoned with children, Alexander Solzenyhtzyn comes to mind here.

Today we have the internet, it can be easily searched and all you ever wrote compiled and searched by bots to find "incriminating" statements.  If you fear this, you are in chains.  I experienced it once, I lost a job because of what I wrote on the internet, and after that I did become more careful about what I wrote, but I still wrote my thoughts, usually in a more abstract manner.  If they want to get me for this, they will.  But I won't give up my freedom to speak out.

The Kitchen Sink / Re: Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« Last post by David B. on Today at 06:45:58 AM »
Not true at all.  You still exist as an independent soul you are just no longer broadcasting to the world in a digital permanent medium. As far as capitulation to a police state digital tracking logging and video recording is pretty damn far down that path already no?  Probably more so then self editing.
The Kitchen Sink / Re: Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« Last post by RE on Today at 06:40:23 AM »
You might want to consider that in this day and age your online record would also be probed in case of an incident. Attitude, mindset, regards towards safety rules.  If I was a lawyer trying to throw you under the bus I would search... Maybe time to be the grey man for a while?

How far do you really want to go into capitulating to the Police State?

Give up the right to even just TALK about your own experiences in life with others for fear of losing your job?  :o  If that isn't straight out of 1984 Orwell I don't know what is.

That is not "Grey Man".  It is "Non-Existent Man".  You have completely ceased to exist as an independent soul at that point.

The Kitchen Sink / Re: Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« Last post by David B. on Today at 06:24:08 AM »
You might want to consider that in this day and age your online record would also be probed in case of an incident. Attitude, mindset, regards towards safety rules.  If I was a lawyer trying to throw you under the bus I would search... Maybe time to be the grey man for a while?
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Complete OBLITERATION in progress.

Quote from: @AlexJLamers
8 AM - Rio Grande de Manati near Ciales PR has broken its record flood stage by around a foot now and continuing to rise fast. #Maria

Quote from: @AlexJLamers
8 AM - Rio De La Plata at lower elevations on the north side of Puerto Rico near Toa Alta shot up 8 feet in an hour! #Maria

Knarfs Knewz / Exotic pet owners of Beijing – in pictures
« Last post by knarf on Today at 05:42:27 AM »
A dramatic rise in owning exotic pets in China is fuelling global demand for threatened species. The growing trade in alligators, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and spiders is directly linked to species loss in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems

Shao Jian Feng, 26, with a saltwater crocodile ( Crocodylus porosus) in his home in Beijing. When fully grown this juvenile can reach up to six metres, making it the largest reptile in the world. He owns five crocodilians and two large snakes. “There are 23 crocodilian species in the world. We hope to collect all of them,” he says. Saltwater crocodiles can retail for up to 9,000 RMB ($1,500). In the wild, they are found mainly in south-east Asia and northern Australia.

Wei Zheng, 31, with his princely spiny-tailed lizard ( Uromastyx princeps), a species typically found on the Horn of Africa. Numerous species in the Uromastyx genus are listed as threatened and vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

Liu Feng, 53, with one of his son’s pet Cranwell’s horned frogs ( Ceratophrys cranwelli), native to Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The frog is a popular species among collectors due to its resemblance to the computer game character Pac-Man. It is one of 30 different frogs that he and his son keep in their small apartment in central Beijing.

Wu Jia Rui, 25, with a short-tailed chinchilla ( Chinchilla chinchilla) in the Guanyuan pet market in Beijing. Native to the Andes in South America, chinchillas have become a popular pet in China. Numerous species of chinchilla are listed as endangered in the wild due to poaching.

Liu Zhaobei, 25, in his bedroom with an alligator snapping turtle ( Macrochelys temminckii). Listed by the IUCN as vulnerable in the wild, the species is typically found in the south-eastern US states. Liu began collecting animals as a child and now has more than 30 different frogs, three alligator snapping turtles and numerous snakes and turtles. “[collecting exotic pets] is becoming more popular. Even at my university there are courses about breeding exotic pets.”

Ms Yang, 27, places a hat on her pet eclectus parrot. She left her day job in the media and started a company making and selling costumes for parrots. She sells the outfits online to a growing market of pet owners. The eclectus parrot is originally found in countries including Australia, the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. Recent new laws in China have made it increasingly difficult for people to own birds as pets. It is now illegal to own many bird species, including parrots

A veterinarian holds a rhesus macaque ( Macaca mulatta) in a store in central Beijing. It has become increasingly difficult for people to own monkeys as pets in China, with laws making it illegal for most species. However many young people see monkeys as unique exotic pets that give them status among their peers. The rhesus macaque is mainly found in south-east Asia.

Lu Tingting, 32, owns and runs a pet store in central Beijing where she keeps her three-month old pet raccoon ( Procyon lotor), an animal native to North America. Lu’s shop caters to a growing number of young Chinese who look for pet grooming services for their traditional and non-traditional pets.

A fennec fox ( Vulpes zerda) is groomed in a pet store in central Beijing. Native to the Sahara in North Africa, the species became a popular pet after being depicted as a character in Disney’s 2016 animated movie Zootopia. Individuals can cost between $2,000-$3,000.

Mao Yueying, 27, with her pet ‘sugar glider’ at home in Beijing. The nocturnal gliding possum ( Petaurus breviceps) is typically found in the forests of Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea but has become a popular pet in China due to its small size and unique appearance. She keeps three sugar gliders at home with the most expensive white glider costing 4,000 RMB (about $600).

Wang Ke, 30, in his breeding farm with a red striped gargoyle gecko ( Rhacodactylus auriculatus), a pinstripe crested gecko, and a mossy New Caledonian gecko ( Mniarogekko chahoua). These geckos are only found in the forests of New Caledonia in the South Pacific with many listed as vulnerable due to pressures from human activities including logging, wildfires and forest clearance, and wildlife trafficking.

Huang Jiachen, 20, a snake collector and exotic species breeder, with his pet python at home in Beijing. Huang set up a breeding farm for exotic species after collecting animals as a hobby and now sells animals to China’s pet markets. He also collects snakes from across the world, with a particular interest in vipers and pythons.

Li Huajun, 29, with an Atlas beetle ( Chalcosoma atlas) in a store at Beijing’s Guanyuan pet market. The species is found in southern Asia, notably in Malaysia and Indonesia. Li is particularly interested in collecting spiders and has more than 2,000 in his home.

Jian Wei, 38, in front of a large tank containing blacktip reef sharks ( Carcharhinus melanopterus) in his shop at the Shilihe pet market in Beijing. Jian sells three to five individuals each month for approximately 4,000RMB ($600). The species is native to the coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific region and is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN red list due to overfishing. Jian orders his online from the Philippines and Indonesia with most being sent to China by air freight.

Zhang Bo, 36, with a Mexican blood tarantula ( Aphonopelma chalcodes) in Beijing’s Guanyuan pet market. The species is typically found in the deserts of Arizona in the US and parts of Mexico. Zhang began collecting spiders in 2007 and started selling them in 2014 through his shop in Beijing.

Shao Jian Feng, 26, with a Yangtze alligator ( Alligator sinensis) in his home on the outskirts of Beijing. Listed by the Chinese government as a ‘first-class protected animal’ in 1972, this species is all but extinct in the wild and is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN red list. It is estimated that there are only about 100 individuals left in eastern China, mainly due to poaching and wetland reclamation.
It may have ravaged much of the Caribbean, but Hurricane Irma weakened mercifully quickly as it passed over Florida. That’s not to say that it didn’t cause significant infrastructural damage, of course, and soon after the storm had passed, 40 percent of Florida lacked electricity, something that ended up killing several people who relied on it.

At the time of writing, 1.5 million Floridians are still without power, and the issue of solar power has come up. This is the Sunshine State we’re talking about – so why is it so difficult to get a solar panel for your house there?

As pointed out by the Miami New Times, Florida Power and Light (FPL) – a major supplier of electricity to the state – has invested heavily in lobbying state lawmakers to disallow residents from powering their own homes with rooftop solar power panels. In fact, thanks to the current laws, it is essentially illegal to do so; you have to connect any solar panels to your local electric grid, provided by a state utility. Seriously. We aren't kidding. You cannot get off-grid solar panels from a third party.

This is nothing short of draconian. Roof-mounted solar panels are an increasing cheap source of renewable energy. In fact, if they became widespread, they would save $3.5 trillion and reduce 24.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050. They also happen to be an excellent source of self-sustaining electricity if the main electrical grid burns out – say, during a hurricane.

Homes that power themselves, even to a small degree, aren’t much good to companies like FPL. They’ve been cut out of the loop, which means they make less money from their consumers. They’d never openly admit this though, and instead, they’ve conjured up a rather curious explanation.

“Operating your renewable system without the bi-directional meter can result in an inaccurate meter reading causing your bill to increase,” they write, which in effect means you’ll be charged more for an apparent glitch they can’t fix because you happen to be proactive.

They also suggest that if you live in a FPL-powered home, your solar panels must also be connected through the same electrical wiring, and “the [renewable] system must shut down when FPL's grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed on FPL's grid. This is required to protect FPL employees who may be working on the grid.”

Essentially, the company is saying that your relatively low-power solar panels may electrocute workers probing the grid during a routine or inadvertent shut down. Although backfeed is indeed a hazard, thanks to modern safety measures this type of incident should be highly unlikely. Really, the problem here is that the panels have to be connected to the grid. If residents were allowed to connect them off-grid to their own battery or equipment, this wouldn't be a problem at all.

It’s policies like this that leave Florida, a clear option when it comes to the proliferation of solar power, lagging behind other states like California or New York. Short-sighted profits win, time and time again – even when a hurricane threatens the lives of those that dare to disagree.
A United Nations agency warns 40.3 million people across the globe were subject to some form of modern slavery in 2016. Among them, about 28.7 million — or 71% — were women or girls forced into sex, marriage or labor.

The 2017 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report released Tuesday found modern slavery in every region of the world. The report didn't specify how many of those victims were in the United States during 2016, but a Walk Free Foundation index estimated that number to be about 57,700.

The report was compiled by the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO), the Walk Free Foundation and the International Organization for Migration. Modern slavery has no legal definition but includes human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage and forced marriage. Put simply, the report said modern slavery is "exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power."

The majority of the world's modern slavery in 2016 took the form of forced labor, which accounts for about 24.9 million of modern slavery victims. These are people being forced to work in factories, farms and elsewhere under threat or coercion. It also includes the sex industry. The rest, about 15.4 million people, were living in an unconsented forced marriage, which often included labor.

Andrew Forrest, chairman of the Walk Free Foundation, said the number "shames us all."

"This speaks to the deep-seated discrimination and inequities in our world today, coupled with a shocking tolerance of exploitation," he said.

The regions most prone to modern slavery were Africa, Asia and the Pacific. And Europe and Central Asia.

About a quarter of modern slavery victims were children, including those forced to marry as children and those in sexual exploitation. About 1 million children were victims of commercial sexual exploitation in 2016 and 3.8 million adults were in forced sexual exploitation. Women and girls accounted for 99% of sexual exploitation victims and 88% of forced marriage victims.

The ILO also released its Global Estimates of Child Labour report, which estimates about 152 million children worldwide subject to labor.

The modern slavery report said ridding the world of slavery will require interventions on the economic, cultural, legal and social forces assisting slavery.

"This has to stop," Forrest said. "We all have a role to play in changing this reality — business, government, civil society, every one of us."
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