Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

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3,687 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. dazz: Those are two lucky puppies! Lovely

    Caught in a rare moment of obedience, heavily influenced by the doggie treats in the other hand not in frame.

    What breed though? Anyone can answer!

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  2. DNA_Jock:
    Alan Fox, Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon?

    I thought you were winding me up until I googled to find there is indeed such a breed! 🙂 No but I can see the similarity.

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  3. petrushka:
    Pfizer says their vaccine is 90 percent effective.

    I wonder if it will cause autism.

    I have seen more than one autist insisting that the condition really isn’t that bad! They find it quite offensive when people suggest their lives are of diminished quality – that’s not how they see it!

    Even if it did (which it doesn’t), a handful of cases could well be worth a reduction in deaths.

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  4. Alan Fox:
    dazz,

    My sister-in-law had a black Labrador …

    Just been to the crest of the Pennines to Checkpoint-Charlie ours (don’t tell the fuzz; it was not a cast-iron ‘essential journey’ of 80 miles!). Our daughters had spent the week together and ‘borrowed’ the dog (strictly speaking, it’s #2 daughter’s anyway, but she can’t have pets at her flat).

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  5. Allan Miller,

    That is a contented dog.

    All right, I was going to make the challenge last but in the face of all the clamour to reveal…

    The breed is Labrit. The next question was going to be what makes these two a bit unusual. There are two strains of Labrit, long-haired and short-haired. These pups are daughters to a short-haired with a long-haired father.

    ETA:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrenean_Sheepdog

    +1
  6. Alan Fox,

    You just agreed that Chinese is a nationality, and now you are claiming it is an ethnicity.

    What’s the ethnicity of people who look Swiss?

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  7. phoodoo: You just agreed that Chinese is a nationality, and now you are claiming it is an ethnicity.

    I think it’s both. Nationalities are a legal concept. Ethnicity is ancestry. You can gain Chinese nationality. If you are Tibetan, maybe you didn’t exactly choose. You can’t avoid your parentage, your ethnicity.

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  8. Alan Fox,

    What makes someone ethnically Chinese? The Chinese themselves consider the country to have at least 55 different ethnic groups. You probably meant Han, but even claiming this is problematic.

    What ethnicity are people from Switzerland? All of these claims of ethnicity and species are as dubious as the concept of dog breeds.

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  9. phoodoo: All of these claims of ethnicity and species are as dubious as the concept of dog breeds.

    And yet at the same time sufficient to identify those who need re-education and their organs stolen.

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  10. phoodoo: Now what about people from Switzerland, what ethnicity are they?

    Why, running out of organs to steal are we, looking for a new supply?

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  11. phoodoo: What ethnicity are people from Switzerland?

    I understand the earliest peoples living in the part of Europe now known as Switzerland were celtic, though what constitutes celts tends to be decided by the language grouping. On the other hand, seems reasonable to me to infer that people who lived together and shared a language also shared genes. The major ethnic group now in Switzerland is German, followed by French and Italian.

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  12. phoodoo: Then pray tell why are you saying Chinese is both a nationality and an ethnicity??

    Because the People’s Republic of China is a country whose citizens are referred to (in English) as Chinese. But Chinese people can live elsewhere and take their culture with them. There are many Chinatowns in cities where Chinese migrants have settled.

    I wish you’d get to whatever point you are trying to make.

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  13. If the point is that Chinese is an umbrella or blanket term that misses the detail, sure, that can apply to many other descriptions of ethnic groups or politico-geographical areas. “Indian” as a description for people of the Indian sub-continent is both entirely accurate and rather vague.

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  14. I arrived in the Languedoc in 2002 and took a photo in mid October showing snow on the Pyrenees. Took one this morning showing first (significant) snow this year. Climate change? I report, you decide.

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  15. phoodoo: How much does a subscription to the Epoch Times cost?

    I think you have been cheated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/06/dozens-of-hong-kong-pro-democracy-figures-arrested-in-sweeping-crackdown

    In a police operation involving more than 1,000 officers, the 53 individuals were detained under the national security law (NSL), accused of “subverting state power” by holding primaries for pro-democracy candidates for the Hong Kong election. The election was ultimately delayed by Lam for a year, purportedly because of the pandemic.

    The raids on Wednesday sent shockwaves around the once semi-autonomous city, as social media posts and news reports confirmed arrest after arrest. By mid-morning, lists of more than 50 individuals emerged, reportedly including every candidate to have run in the unofficial primaries last year, as well as organisers and pollsters, and the first known foreigner – an American lawyer – to be arrested under the law

    It’s almost amusing how afraid of democracy you and your masters are.

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  16. OMagain,

    You should go to Gitmo and ask their opinion about democracy.

    Oh, that’s right, people are not allowed to talk to inmates in gitmo, because its illegal to talk to them or even hear about the charges against them.

    18 years, torture, no trial, no press allowed… sent to Cuba so international laws couldn’t be applied to them. Rah, rah, rah….

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  17. People who live in North America, northern Europe aren’t surprised to see snow in Winter but the inhabitants of Madrid haven’t seen real snow for fifty years!

    Hope you’re coping, Dazz.

    We’ve lived in this house 10 years now and were snowed in in 2011 but no snow since. View from bedroom window this morning.

    +1
  18. Alan Fox:
    People who live in North America, northern Europearen’t surprised to see snow in Winter but the inhabitants of Madrid haven’t seen real snow for fifty years!

    Hope you’re coping, Dazz.

    We’ve lived in this house 10 years now and were snowed in in 2011 but no snow since. View from bedroom window this morning.

    We’re doing a great job at keeping those vaccines properly cooled, as someone jokingly said on Twitter. 😂
    No problems here, thanks Alan, hope you’re doing fine too.

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  19. dazz: We’re doing a great job at keeping those vaccines properly cooled, as someone jokingly said on Twitter.

    Always a silver lining if you look hard enough.

    No problems here, thanks Alan, hope you’re doing fine too.

    Glad to hear that. I’m fine, trying to catch up on paperwork but completely distracted by frenetic activity on the birdfeeder-festooned viburnum just outside the window.

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  20. phoodoo: You should go to Gitmo and ask their opinion about democracy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/12/uighur-xinjiang-re-education-camp-china-gulbahar-haitiwaji

    We were ordered to deny who we were. To spit on our own traditions, our beliefs. To criticise our language. To insult our own people. Women like me, who emerged from the camps, are no longer who we once were. We are shadows; our souls are dead. I was made to believe that my loved ones, my husband and my daughter, were terrorists. I was so far away, so alone, so exhausted and alienated, that I almost ended up believing it. My husband, Kerim, my daughters Gulhumar and Gulnigar – I denounced your “crimes”. I begged forgiveness from the Communist party for atrocities that neither you nor I committed. I regret everything I said that dishonoured you. Today I am alive, and I want to proclaim the truth. I don’t know if you will accept me, I don’t know if you’ll forgive me.

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  21. OMagain,

    GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — One shows the prisoner nude and strapped to a crude gurney, his entire body clenched as he is waterboarded by an unseen interrogator. Another shows him with his wrists cuffed to bars so high above his head he is forced on to his tiptoes, with a long wound stitched on his left leg and a howl emerging from his open mouth. Yet another depicts a captor smacking his head against a wall.

    …They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written.

    Mr. Zubaydah, a Palestinian whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn.

    He was the first person known to be waterboarded by the C.I.A. — he endured it 83 times — and was the first person known to be crammed into a small confinement box as part of what the Seton Hall study called “a constantly rotating barrage” of methods meant to break what interrogators believed was his resistance.

    He has never been charged with a crime, and documents released through the courts show that military prosecutors have no plans to do so.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee study of the C.I.A. program concluded that waterboarding and other techniques were “brutal and far worse than the C.I.A. represented.” Its use induced convulsions, vomiting and left Mr. Zubaydah “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”

    “They kept pouring water and concentrating on my nose and my mouth until I really felt I was drowning and my chest was just about to explode from the lack of oxygen.”

    Stress Positions

    Accounts by detainees in different black sites have differed on how this method was used. In his illustration, Mr. Zubaydah shows himself nude and shackled at the wrists to a bar above his head, forced to stand on tiptoe.

    In his account, as reported by his lawyers, he was still recovering from what the C.I.A. had described as a large wound in his thigh, and he tried to balance his weight on the other leg.

    “Long hours went by while I was standing in that position,” he told his lawyers. “My hands were tight to the upper bars.”

    Some guards, he said, “noticed the color of my hands,” moved him to a chair “and the interrogation vertigo resumed — the cold, the hunger, the little sleep and the intense vomiting, which I didn’t know whether it was caused by the cold, the ‘Ensure’ or the noise.” (The C.I.A. put its prisoners on liquid diets in its program of so-called learned helplessness.)

    Walling

    It shows the prisoner’s captor tightly winding a towel around his neck as he smashes the back of his head against what Mr. Zubaydah recalled was a wooden wall covering a cement wall.

    “He kept banging me against the wall,” he said of the experience, which he described as leaving him blind “for a few instants.” With each bang, he said, he would fall to the floor, be dragged by the plastic-tape-wrapped towel “which caused bleeding in my neck,” and then receive a slap on his face.

    James E. Mitchell, a former C.I.A. contract psychologist who devised the techniques with a colleague, John Bruce Jessen, said walling was “discombobulating” and meant to stir up a prisoner’s inner ears. “If it’s painful, you’re doing it wrong,” he said.

    Small Box

    In his account, included in the Seton Hall report, Mr. Zubaydah describes his time in what he called “the dog box” as “so painful.” He adds: “As soon as they locked me up inside the box, I tried my best to sit up, but in vain, for the box was too short. I tried to take a curled position but to no vain, for it was too tight.” He was immobilized and shackled in the fetal position, as he described it, for “countless hours,” experiencing muscle contractions.

    “The very strong pain,” he said, “made me scream unconsciously.”

    What do you get for a quart of blood money these days Omagain?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/cia-torture-drawings.html

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  22. phoodoo: What do you get for a quart of blood money these days Omagain?

    I don’t know, I’m not involved in the trade of body parts for money.

    https://www.healtheuropa.eu/im-going-to-china-theyre-shooting-my-donor/97063/

    It is completely normalised. There has been such a programme of brutalisation against the Falun Gong practitioners, and now against the Uyghurs, that they’re not really considered human, they’re considered enemies of the state. [The prevailing sentiment is that] this is the best thing that could happen, that they’re actually doing some good by being killed and giving their liver to someone else. So [the surgeons] know where they come from, but they don’t think it’s wrong.

    I suppose one could point out the fact that we know about the abuses at Guantanamo bay allows us to shine a light on those abuses and decide, as a society, if we want those abuses to continue. Whereas the ‘re-education’ and organ stealing camps are hardly reported on internally due to the control over the press China has so as noted above even the surgeons using stolen organs don’t actually think it’s wrong.

    It’s amusing how those who argue there must be an objective morality are so flexible in that morality at the end of the day. Any abuse can be condoned as long as you can point to abuse on the other ‘side’.

    The difference between me and you phoodoo is that I’m not on the side of China or the USA. I can condemn the abuses in Guantanamo and China equally.

    And that’s interesting right there. The abuses you note were in a single camp, and concerned hundreds of people max. When I condemn it I can name it. Yet when I turn my attention to you then ‘China’ seems to cover it. The abuses are so wide scale there is no point naming a camp. You have to go to the country and ethnic group level to describe the scale of the abuse.

    Remind us all, what is that job that you do in China that you are probably the most knowledgeable in all the world at?

    What do they pay you to do in China phoodoo?

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  23. phoodoo: He has never been charged with a crime, and documents released through the courts show that military prosecutors have no plans to do so.

    Why is that a problem for you? There are literally thousands of people in camps without charge in China? Are you saying that’s a bad thing then? If not, why is it a bad thing when the USA does the same as China?

    If it’s a bad thing it’s a bad thing whoever is doing it. I’ve never seen you condemn the abuses in China. It’s almost as if you are afraid, for some reason, the government might not like it.

    And that never makes you think?

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  24. The world is taking notice. Nobody wants to buy products made with slave labour:

    https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/china-83-major-brands-implicated-in-report-on-forced-labour-of-ethnic-minorities-from-xinjiang-assigned-to-factories-across-provinces-includes-company-responses/

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51697800

    Academics have seen through the sham of reform: https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-019-0406-6

    In recent years, following decades of scorn for practices that violated widely-held standards of medical ethics, Chinese transplant surgeons have been welcomed back into the international transplantation community, able to attend conferences and publish in respected journals. China’s return to the fold was predicated on a revolution in organ sourcing practice, supported by the data we have forensically analyzed. Given that this data appears to have been falsified, international medical organizations may wish to reassess their stance. The welcoming of China’s organ transplantation system into the international medical community has been based on trust; in light of our findings, we believe this trust has been violated.

    No more conference invites!

    So, by posting your last post you seem to think that keeping people in camps without charge and torturing them is a bad thing?

    Yet you’ve never once said it’s a bad thing when your chosen side are doing it. Is it a bad thing, phoodoo, regardless of whoever does it?

    Could we say that the scale of the abuses in China far outweigh anything that happened in Cuba? If so, why don’t you start where the biggest problem is, where you happen to be?

    We all know why you won’t condemn what you refuse to even acknowledge exists. You’d be in one of the camps you pretend don’t exist before you finished the sentence.

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  25. OMagain,

    Look, if what you are trying to say is that America is evil because of its widespread torture practices around the world, amongst its other human rights violations and interference in other countries affairs, I guess I have to agree with that part of your argument. That it is some how less evil because some reporters have found out about Americas abuses, even though the CIA and the State Department have tried their best to hide them, I am not sure I am willing to go that far with your argument.

    Now I know some other countries have jails. Sometimes these jails house people who are a threat to society and peace, so they are an unfortunate necessity, but no one in their right mind can refuse to acknowledge that the country which brags so much about freedom is far and away the most excessive, most egregious abuser of the principal of jailing citizens than really the rest of the world combined. I mean, its actually a money making capitalist scheme finding excuses to put more and more people in jail in the US. Are you saying that is another evil you want to point out? I thank you for that, but I still don’t agree with your feeling that it is somehow slightly less evil because some media outlets have discovered this.

    I suppose you are now going to claim that North Korea also does a few of the abuses similar to America, but we just don’t get to here about as many of North Korea’s abuses as we do about America’s, but surely that is mostly because no one can abuse on an international scale the way America does.

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  26. If you want to have an actual conversation phoodoo then you are shit out of luck. See the last several years of your behaviour.

    If you have the PSI powers you think exist then you already know where I’m telling you to shove it.

    No, my job now is to rub your face in your blood money over and over and over for the rest of time. I’m already considering automating it. Call it stalking if you will, but get used to it is my advice.

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  27. OMagain,

    You know why the prisoners in Guantanamo don’t sell any vegetables? Because its hard to grow anything when you are shackled inside of a small box and your testicles are wired up to batteries.

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  28. phoodoo,
    Trump’s administration and Republican opposition have prevented the camp’s closure. Let’s hope the new administration with a Senate majority can finally bring this sorry episode to an end.

    Let’s hope too that the Chinese authorities can be persuaded that interning huge numbers of an ethnic minority is not the best way to deal with the perceived problem.

    You seem to have a severe case of whataboutism , phoodoo. Have you no sympathy for the plight of detainees other than the 40 in Guantanamo bay?

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  29. Alan Fox: You seem to have a severe case of whataboutism

    Oh, I have do I? Its me who does, huh?

    First off there were over 750 people brought to Guantanamo. But do you think Cuba is the only place the US tortures people? The US has a long history of all kinds of blacksites they use for capture and torture. Ever heard of Thailand?

    Secondly, the US confines more people to prisons than any country in the world, by far! It is the United States of Prison. So how is it ME who is pulling the whatabout nonsense? Yes, there are people in jail in China. As a percent of population the US houses something like 700% more of its citizens than China. Whatboutism??

    You have no idea what you are even talking about. All Uighurs aren’t in jail for crying out loud. The people who are jailed are suspected of conspiring to do terrorist harm. They don’t jail people because they are Uighurs or Muslims. But again, when you try to make excuses for the US violations when they outweigh EVERY other countries on the planet, how can you turn that around to claim it is I who is trying to spin the truth?

    The fact is that people feel safe here, and trust their government much much more than Americans do and should. So you are talking out of complete ignorance, along with YOUR biased whataboutisms.

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  30. phoodoo: The people who are jailed are suspected of conspiring to do terrorist harm.

    Says it all really. I guess it’s all down to how you define terrorism.

    Terrorists: Those who don’t willingly donate their organs to party members who need them more then they do.

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  31. phoodoo: the US confines more people to prisons than any country in the world, by far! It is the United States of Prison.

    That’s because China calls them “vocational training centres” or similar deceptive eufemisms. At least the US of A has the decency to call a prison a prison.

    phoodoo: All Uighurs aren’t in jail for crying out loud. The people who are jailed are suspected of conspiring to do terrorist harm.

    Do you really believe that the over a million Turkic Muslims that are detained in China’s Xinjiang region are all terrorists?

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  32. Corneel: Do you really believe that the over a million Turkic Muslims that are detained in China’s Xinjiang region are all terrorists?

    phoodoo earnestly believes that Uri Geller really does have PSI powers and that James Randi is a fraud pretending that PSI powers don’t really exist when Randi knows they do, really.

    So, yeah, he’s exactly the sort of person that will ‘believe’ that sort of thing, especially where money is concerned. He’ll ‘believe’ whatever is needed to advance his cause.

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  33. Corneel,

    Yea, right, have you been reading the Epoch Times again?

    But since you are going to play whatabout nonsense, tell me what you feel about the evil Israelis then. I mean they are detaining 4.7 million Palestinians. With the US’s help of course.

    Do they call it a prison?

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  34. phoodoo: Yea, right, have you been reading the Epoch Times again?

    That has been reported by multiple human rights organizations. You may have some trouble accessing that information from where you are.

    phoodoo: But since you are going to play whatabout nonsense, tell me what you feel about the evil Israelis then. I mean they are detaining 4.7 million Palestinians. With the US’s help of course.

    Do they call it a prison?

    I don’t see how you can accuse me of “playing whatabout nonsense” when I haven’t been defending any abuses by the US, Israeli, or any other government. It’s true that human rights violations occur pretty much everywhere, but that does not justify the abusive policies of the Chinese government. Please stop defending them.

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  35. Corneel: That has been reported by multiple human rights organizations. You may have some trouble accessing that information from where you are.

    Good point.

    @ phoodoo

    Can you access the Guardian on-line? Here are a couple of recent links.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/12/israel-largest-human-rights-group-apartheid

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/12/israel-is-a-non-democratic-apartheid-regime-says-rights-group

    We can’t change the past but maybe the new US regime can repair some of the recent damage done by Trump and Pompeo egged on by right-wing evangelists.

    Note the Guardian also reports and comments on the Uighurs, for instance:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/13/the-guardian-view-on-chinas-treatment-of-the-uighurs-from-unthinkable-to-irrefutable

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  36. It’s no wonder phoodoo is an ID supporter. You can ‘support’ anything if you carefully exclude anything that goes against what you are trying to support.

    USA BAD and CHINA GOOD because USA does BAD thing. CHINA never do bad thing. AND bad thing by CHINA is really GOOD THING because TERRORIST make them do it.

    phoodoo, you claim to be the best in the world at your job. What is your job?

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  37. Corneel,

    But I am talking about the US, so why are you trying to justify them by talking about Uighurs that you know nothing about?

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  38. OMagain,

    Again, if you are making the argument that the US is the worst human rights violators on the planet, again I have to say, I can’t really disagree with you there. I haven’t given an opinion about China, other than you guys obviously have no idea what you are talking about if you believe a million Muslims are being detained.

    But its still besides the point right? We BOTH agree that the US is an incredibly egregious abusers of humans, correct? Their foreign policies are also criminal and unforgivable, right? Kidnapping people and taking them to secret locations in other sovereign nations for torture so they can avoid international laws?

    Is the US as bad as Israel? Two peas in a pod really, but maybe Alan feels Israel is the world’s worst?

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  39. phoodoo: But I am talking about the US, so why are you trying to justify them by talking about Uighurs that you know nothing about?

    You seem to forget that I am not a US citizen. Why wouldn’t I agree with you that the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is appalling or that the excessive police violence against African Americans is a major concern?

    I strongly doubt that you are as well informed about the situation in the Xinjiang region as you imagine yourself to be.

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