backscratcher comments

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

I agree with the other posters. Not that I posted here that much, but I think this is a good time to take a break from this site. Thanks to all I have conversed with.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

What do I think? It's pretty horrible. Yes, the photos are larger, but we could click to enlarge them. Other than larger photos, I see absolutely no benefit and no reason for changing your site. I also don't see a lot of consideration for the feelings of posters here. How could anyone think this is an improvement over the previous design in any way?

Sorry, you blew it and I think you are going to pay with a loss of readers to the site. Changes are supposed to make things easier, not more difficult. It seems the management of this site have forgotten there is a world of options for both reading and posting comments. I don't think the readers have, though.

As others have said, when you attempt to post, you get the enigmatic message that 'The form submitted did not originate from the expected site'. I have to say this is the first site I have had trouble either reading or posting in in many years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: United Airlines fiasco symptom of much bigger problem in America See in context

Great article except I would change the first sentence to: The United Fiasco could have happened to (most) any American airline and it was a matter of time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Emperor's abdication ceremony likely to be held in Dec 2018 See in context

I think this whole process is artic cold and lacks any touch and warm of human compassion.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Posted in: 'Moonlight' wins best picture at Academy Awards after 'La La Land' erroneously announced See in context

It was nice to see Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway again even if they did cock it up.

Neither Beatty nor Dunaway cocked it up. The person that gave them the wrong envelope cocked it up. The presenters are not supposed to decided who wins, they are supposed to present the results they are given. Blame the person who gave them the wrong information.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Moonlight' wins best picture at Academy Awards after 'La La Land' erroneously announced See in context

Mistakes like this happen when you combine very old presenters like Beatty

Look at it again. Beatty actually realized they had the wrong card and showed it to Dunaway and she was the one that announced it. Neither did anything wrong. They read what they were given. It was the person that gave them the wrong card that made the mistake. BTW, Steve Harvey is probably half their ages and he made a mistake like that all on his own, so I don't think it is fair to blame the ages of the presenters for this mistake.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump blasts media, anonymous sources -- after White House uses them See in context

You never meet a Trump fan who is content in life. They all have an axe to grind about something and Trump is the savior who will make everything better.

You used to be one of my favorite posters. This was mostly because of your thoughtful and especially balanced posts. Recently though, I noticed that balance disappear.

Perhaps Jon Stewart can help:

'There is now this idea that anyone who voted for him (Trump) has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. '

Bless Jon Stewart. As usual, he is right on the mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6_x7lrfx5A

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mexico fumes at 'hostile' Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom See in context

Would you say the same of humans with wings? Fire-breathing dragons? Witches? Wizards? Sure, it's not impossible that they could exist. But the fact that there has never been anything indicating their existence to be true, pretty much entirely points to someone having made them up.

Let's stick to the world of reality, shall we? My point was merely that just because no one has shown facts does not necessarily mean they do not exist. Until people realized the world was roundish, they thought the world was flat. That does not mean the world was flat until people finally realized it was round, Just because something has not been proven yet does not necessarily mean it is not a fact.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Muhammad Ali's son detained at airport: 'Are you Muslim?' See in context

“Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”

100% inexcusable.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump blasts media, anonymous sources -- after White House uses them See in context

Trump was wrong when he made US citizens distrustful of their country and he is wrong when he make them distrustful of the media. It is not a healthy state of mind for a country or its citizens. It is wrong.

Multiple news outlets denied access to White House press briefing

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/24/media-blocked-white-house-briefing-sean-spicer

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump vows military build-up, hammers nationalist themes See in context

Obama is a proven non-warmonger. He didn't start any wars, he only finished them.

I am an Obama man, but the fact is the world was in much more disarray eight years after Obama took office than when he entered office. Syria and Libya are in the messes they are in great part because of the actions and missteps Obamaj took while in office. It could also be argued that Saddam was fighting insurgents and Kurds before George W went in and that Afghanistan was already in a state of war before George W went in, but it was clearly George W's responsibility what happened after he took office, just as it was Obama's after he took office. Obama made things more chaotic in the Middle East. Unless I am remembering incorrectly Obama himself has said he made missteps with Syria and Libya and I respect him all the more for admitting it.

Would that Trump would be able to communicate that well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Mexico fumes at 'hostile' Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom See in context

But no one has every shown any facts, because they don't exist.

While I agree with you that it is probably true that the 'facts' you are talking about don't exist, just because no one has shown facts does not necessarily mean they do not exist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance See in context

Why not just make them all unisex restrooms with private stalls? Young children should not be using restrooms unattended regardless of whether the restrooms are unisex or gender specific.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Infant’s body with umbilical cord attached found in bag in Tokyo See in context

Social services focused on the elderly and not enough on people who really need the help!

This is not really a fair comment. There are plenty of elderly in need in this country. Social services need to be revamped full stop in my opinion.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump's national security adviser Flynn resigns over contacts with Russia See in context

He wasn't actually NSA at the time, just a private citizen. That's where the illegality applies.

Yes, you are absolutely correct. The way I wrote what I wrote was way too unclear. Thank you for pointing it out. Instead of writing the Flynn was NSA, I should have wrote former NSA Flynn. It is my opinion that the former NSA commited illegal acts before he became the national security advisor and that him becoming NSA was a further security risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's national security adviser Flynn resigns over contacts with Russia See in context

It depends on what you consider relelvant, if it involves the president and how he places his trust into a cabinet official and he feels that the individual can't be trusted, then it is irrelevant, if it compromises national security and there are substantiated facts that an individual conspired purposely with one of our adversaries, then it is more relevant and should be investigated.

Okay. It is my view that since Flynn was the National Security Advisor and he certainly seems to have put himself in a position that potential caused security risks and compromises, I would say that it is relevant and it should be investigated. That is the very meaning of the oft used term 'drain the swamp', isn't it? Any possible dirt should be checked out and cleaned out.

No and I am not defending Flynn, as I have stated before,

Perhaps I have misunderstood you. However, when you suggest that he should be hired for a news outfit, it seems that you are willing to overlook his possible security breaches.

I have always admired the man and his tenacity, but maybe he wasn't suited for this job and choosing him for his previous position was a big mistake

It is not the man that is the problem, it is what he has been and is being accused of doing that is the problem. Good people can do bad things, but they still get punished for them. There is nothing wrong with you admiring Flynn for what you see as his past achievements and merits as a person. That is not really the issue. What is relevant is what he did during the campaign this time around.

you learn, you move on and make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

Exactly. Which is why it is important that he is fully investigated. What he did seems to have been illegal and unethical. This should not be accepted and it should not be rewarded. Which leads me to your next comment:

That would be great, if he worked at FNC,

I do not think it is appropriate to reward bad or illegal behavior, at least until he has been fully investigated, cleared of the charges or if he has paid his debt to society if deemed to have been guilty.

Because we don't know the full details,

I agree. That's why it is important to have a full investigation.

but I think there is something bigger involved in all of this and I believe there are serious elements within the Trump admin. leftover from the previous admin. to topple the president,

No, I don't think that is relevant. You agree Flynn did something wrong. I agree he did something wrong. It is not the fault of 'other elements'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Meeting Israel's Netanyahu, Trump backs away from commitment to Palestinian state See in context

Oh, look: another hornet's nest to kick, and a big one too!

Yes, but you have to admit, Trump gave Netanyahu a couple of swift kicks right in front of everyone. That surprised me. I don't think I've seen anything like that before.

As I said before, I don't hold out much hope that the Palestinians and Israelis will see peace any time soon. But it was nice seeing Netanyahu made to be very uncomfortable when he least expected it and when he really couldn't say anything negative about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Meeting Israel's Netanyahu, Trump backs away from commitment to Palestinian state See in context

Trump backs away from commitment to Palestinian state

I have been pretty outspoken about Trump and his rantings. However, this headline and similar ones heard and seen in the reports I've seen in Japan are misleading. I did not back away from a commitment specifically to the Palestinians. He certainly was vague. But, maybe that is not so bad when you consider what else he said with Netanyahu standing right there:

But Trump also managed to catch Netanyahu off-guard, at one point saying that if a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict was going to be reached “both sides will have to make compromises”. The president then turned to Netanyahu and said: “You know that, right?” Netanyahu looked momentarily startled and replied with a chuckle, “Both sides.”

Dropping a bombshell on Netanyahu as they faced reporters just before sitting down for talks, Trump told him: “I’d like to see you pull back on settlements for a little bit.”

Netanyahu was obviously less than pleased and Trump even said something to that effect such as, 'He doesn't look too happy about that though, does he?'

This is a major step in my opinion. He basically dressed down Netanyahu in front of everyone. I will probably be wrong about this, but it would be nice even if it is the only thing he accomplishes if Trump does get the two sides together and somehow works out a two-state peace solution that manages to satisfy both sides. I am not holding my breath though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's national security adviser Flynn resigns over contacts with Russia See in context

Sorry, but not that relevant.

I think you want to say it is not important. Obviously it is relevant. The Logan Act describes specifically what Flynn is accused of doing. You may not think it matters, but it certainly is relevant.

I am curious about your opinions about this. It is clear that Flynn was undermining the current US policy at the time he was speaking with the Russian ambassador. It is also clear that speaking with the Russian ambassador about the topic of sanctions was illegal under the Logan Act. No matter what you think of Obama and his policies, I have a hard time believing you would defend someone who attempted to illegally undermine the US government. Don't you think your position is unrealistically extreme?

That would be great, if he worked at FNC,

Why would you cheer on someone who did something illegal and to undermine your own country? I just can't get my head around this. Don't you think illegal acts matter? Don't you think illegal acts are revelant to leaders of countries?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's national security adviser Flynn resigns over contacts with Russia See in context

Trump's National Security Adviser Flynn resigns over contacts with Russia

This is absolutely the correct outcome.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Muslim Indonesia's capital to vote in tolerance test See in context

Purnama’s troubles began in September when he said in a speech that his rivals were tricking people into voting against him using a Koranic verse, which some interpret as meaning Muslims should only choose Muslim leaders.

Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but how could anyone interpret what Purnama said as meaning Muslims should only choose Muslim leaders? It seems to me that he was not saying that at all.

“I am here driven by my faith, because I also felt insulted when Ahok insulted my religion,” 25-year-old Mochamad Ramzie told AFP, referring to Purnama by his nickname.

Relgious intolerance is wrong. It is sad that someone like Mr. Ramzie feel another person should be put in jail for up to five years for an insult. Hopefully Mr. Ramzie is in the minority.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: N Korea says test of new nuclear-capable missile a success See in context

I can not see any thing short of military action.

Who do you think should be taking this military action you are suggesting?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Asked about Putin, Trump says U.S. isn't 'so innocent' See in context

Obama praised Dictators

Nope. Fake news.

While Obama may not have praised Gaddafi, he certainly did shake his hand in July of 2009, just a few years from turning 180 degrees and demanding Gaddafi step down.

Trump is the king of putting his foot right square in his mouth. However, looking at what has happened in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya, and considering all the innocents that have been mistakenly killed by US drones, Trump is certainly correct in pointing out that the US is far from having clean hands. Stopped watches being correct at least twice a day and all that.

LOL Trump supporters are Trump-apologists

I am not in any way, shape or form a Trump supporter, but I am tired of seeing this kind of comment. People against Trump rail (correctly so) against what they see is the stereotyping of Mexicans, immigrants and Muslims. Then these very same people do the same when they make sweeping comments about Trump supporters. I have met people who like Trump here in Japan. While I do disagree with their choice, I will say that I have not met one Trump supporter that said they did not like Mexicans, immigrants or Muslims. The ones I met seemed to me more concerned with their insurance policies and if they would be able to find a job back in their home country when they went back. Isn't it time to stop the stereotyping on all sides?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Mattis reaffirms U.S. alliance with Japan 'for years to come' See in context

Hope you all know where your closest "Fallout" Shelter is.

I hope no one evers needs one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mattis reaffirms U.S. alliance with Japan 'for years to come' See in context

it is Japan, which has spent the last few years making more of an enemy of China and NK than eve

Perhaps you could attempt to explain just how Japan has made more of an enemy of North Korea? Before you do that, look at this:

Abe staked a considerable amount of diplomatic capital on resolving the abductions issue and extended an olive branch to the North in 2014 with the relaxation of unilateral sanctions in return for Pyongyang's agreement to launch an official inquiry into the matter. Tokyo also loosened regulations against North Korean ships entering Japan's ports and promoted the exchange of humanitarian aid. There was even some talk that Abe might visit North Korea, if a breakthrough could be achieved.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/japan-track-north-korea-policy-shambles-160314073442444.html

Yes, Abe did have a hawkish stance when it came to NK's nuclear ambitions, but he also left the options for NK receiving humanitarian aid on the table. I think a susccessful argument can be made for that Abe's position was much less hawkish than either South Korea or the US.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Syrian opposition says U.N. can't pick delegates to peace talks See in context

the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee

One of my biggest problems with this conflict and the West's insistence on involving itself in it is the 'opposition groups' often mentioned in the news such as in this very article. Who are the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee exactly? Personally, once I started looking into them , I wondered even more why the West would even consider backing these groups. Saudi Arabia? Is the West taking lessons on revolutions from them? Saudi Arabia allows for no dissent in their own country. It is a country that has spawned terrorists that have cause destruction and death in other countries. I can't see anything that is worthy of the backing a Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee. The High Negotiations Committee has such extremist groups such as Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam.

Yes, Assad is horrible. However, are these groups better? I didn't see how such groups were better in Libya and I can't see how they are any better in Syria. These two countries are all the worse for US and Western involvement, not better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's 'space junk' collector in trouble See in context

A shame, space could use some cleaning.

The earth could use it a lot more.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump's immigration order faces mounting legal questions See in context

I fully agree. But when a poster sends fake news like this:

TV news is reporting here this morning that the shooters were both Syrian "refugees" who entered Canada just over a week ago. . .

they need to be called out.

Yes, I agree. However, the poster I was quoting did not send any fake news. They just asked a question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's immigration order faces mounting legal questions See in context

Seriously?? When Trump starts dividing families, putting them in Gas chambers, making Muslims live in ghettos and strip them from all their personal possessions and wealth and campaign on eradicating muslims from the planet, then you have a very serious persuasive argument to back up you.

Seriously?? That is how far things would have to go before you would be persuaded? I think you hit 'submit' too quickly and/or miswrote. You can't really mean that.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump's visit to UK still on as online petition opposing it tops 1.5 million signatures See in context

Sense,

I don't often actually laugh out loud, but I did just now. Thanks for passing that on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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