BigYen comments

Posted in: 72-year-old man dies after falling off roof while clearing snow See in context

Roofs + Men Over 60 = Trouble.

Stay off the goddamn roof, ojisan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Military steps in as Australian floods bring crocodiles to streets See in context

Journalists overreliance on bandying about such “once in a century” hyperbole every time somewhere on planet earth goes through an extreme weather event breeds cynicism and mistrust.

You're right about the lazy hyperbolic language, but the fact remains that the Townsville area has had a first-time ever record rainfall of one metre of rain in a week, and over 2 metres just to the west of the town.

So at the moment we've got an extended drought over outback New South Wales and Queensland, bushfires in Tasmania and Victoria, millions of dead fish in the Darling River system, and now record rain and floods in Townsville.

And one more thing - this article doesn't mention that the Weather Bureau is forecasting tornadoes in Townsville (very unusual), just to make it a perfect summer.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Democratic contenders hoping to run on soaking the rich See in context

"When that much money is at stake, rich guys are going to go out and hire really smart tax lawyers," he said.

That's the problem. The more you try and make the rich - or big companies - pay their fair share of tax, the more they use whatever tactics they can to shift their money about to avoid it.

It's like running around trying to catch water.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Pentagon sending 3,750 extra U.S. forces to border with Mexico See in context

Critics called the deployment a political stunt and scoffed at Trump’s comparisons of caravans of Central American migrants, including women and children, to an "invasion."

Ah yes, that "invasion."

Fizzled out pretty quickly, didn't it? One rush at a fence by a few guys throwing rocks (but then we all know how deadly they can be, right?) and it's all over - well, at least until the next time a few guys throwing rocks rush at a Wall and get absolutely nowhere because they're not really an invading army, or even an army of any kind, compared to what's facing them on the border/fence/Wall or whatever the President of the day wants to call it so he can whip up fear and hysteria.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump says U.S. military intervention in Venezuela an option; Russia objects See in context

I'm really curious what side liberals will take.

What side are we taking?

Personally I see Chinese and Russian past loans to, and investment in, Venezuela as far more positive than anything Venezuela has so far received from the USA, which has all been sanctions and threats of invasion.

I remember this idea of US military invasion of Venezuela came up not long after Trump took power. It was reported that he'd looked at the interventions in Grenada and Panama and wanted to know whey it couldn't be done in Venezuela. He would have to be nuts to think that invading a far larger, more populous, and politically divided country like Venezuela would be as simple as invading Grenada or Panama.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after U.S. does same See in context

Trump loves and praises Putin & Kim but hates and threatens the Iranians. The Iranians are and have been complying about nukes while Putin and Kim have not. Ironic, isn't it?

Think you've summed it up pretty neatly there.

Irony overload, in fact.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Maduro proposes new parliament vote as Venezuelans protest See in context

I just hope that if Guaido and his party do take power, that the support from "the United States, Canada and several Latin American nations... and some EU member states who have have already officially recognized Guaido as President" translates into positive material help for Venezuela to make the transition to becoming a genuinely democratic society, and that those countries will provide that help without trying to illegally influence domestic Venezuelan politics, or to grab themselves some cheap oil, or to otherwise enrich themselves or advance their own agendas at Venezuela's expense.

Ia there much chance of that happening?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after U.S. does same See in context

Russia is a weak nation economically (the real source of great power... but an outsized military and nuclear threat affords status to otherwise weak nations like Russia and North Korea.

This is correct. But this...

Again, Trump is following instructions from Moscow....

is not.

Make no mistake, there's genuine rivalry and enmity here, which is precisely what makes this move by Trump and the response by Putin so genuinely threatening. Just like it was it Cold War days... first one side ups the ante, then the other.

Mutually Assured Destruction, anyone?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Amid cries of 'traitor,' Canada's Trudeau set for ugly election See in context

The Liberals have a majority of just 11 in the 338-seat House of Commons and polls show they are only slightly ahead of the main opposition Conservative Party

Gee - judging by this article, the wheels seem to have come off for Trudeau rather quickly.

Love to hear what some of the Canadians on JT think.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: London mother guilty of mutilating daughter in landmark FGM trial See in context

Why is female genital mutilation of a child illegal while male genital mutilation is not?

If you're referring to circumcision, it's a fair question.

But there's no version of male circumcision (as far as I know) that goes anywhere near doing the same amount of damage that female genital mutilation does - which is why for females it's more aptly described as 'mutilation' rather than 'circumcision'.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: London mother guilty of mutilating daughter in landmark FGM trial See in context

FGM is just rank stupidity and brutality and it doesn't matter whether it's an established "cultural" practice or not (which it doesn't appear to be in this case) , it should be banned and prosecuted in any civilised country on the planet.

It's amazing it's taken this long to get a conviction.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Pence says it is time to end Maduro regime in Venezuela See in context

"This is no time for dialogue," says Pence.

Definition of "dialogue":

an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.

Since when did the US engage in "dialogue" with Venezuela? Rhetoric, threats, bluster, sure - but "dialogue"? Never.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. to withdraw from arms control treaty with Russia in six months See in context

I think Trump is trying to show the press and his followers that he is hard on Russia and that he did not collude with them to win the election.

I agree.

Trump's old enough to remember the Cold War, and how the threat of nuclear annihilation hung over the entire world for decades. That was ended by Gorbachev and Reagan, but now Trump wants to kick that all into history and reopen an arms race which this time might not succeed in keeping the lid on things.

Thing is it's impossible to believe anything this administration says. After the unsubstantiated claims about Iran and the unnecessary pulling out of the agreement with that country, how can we possibly trust anything they say about Russia? Or anyone else, for that matter?

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Posted in: Peter Jackson making new documentary of Beatles' 'Let It Be' See in context

I get it! They were an overrated band who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in history.

"Overrated"! LOL. No, you don't get it. Not even close.

You obviously weren't lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in history.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Over 20 dead in U.S. polar vortex; frostbite amputations feared See in context

Why would this get thumbs down? It's a pretty descriptive analogy.

Who knows? Seems to be a spike in the frequency of pointless downvoting over the last couple of weeks.

From the country that just had a record hot January, I can only sympathise with those of you enduring the exact opposite.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: January was Australia's hottest month ever: gov't See in context

Australia suffered its hottest month ever in January

Yeah, and it felt like it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. warns Venezuela's Maduro about intimidation, 'looting' its gold, oil See in context

I sympathise with the statements above, but at what point does "letting the Venezuelans decide for themselves" become "standing idly by and watching a country descend into violence and chaos"? Chavez never had to send troops in to put down riots among the working-class poor of Caracas, as Maduro had to do the other day. That was because Chavez always retained his popularity with the poor and always won his elections fair and square, something that's at least disputable in Maduro's case.

It was the Venezuelan government deciding for itself to enter arrangements with China and Russia, not an imposition on Chavez by those countries. Given that no country worldwide prospers in splendid isolation, and that Venezuela obviously wanted that investment, where else would the Venezuelans have turned? Not to a resolutely hostile US, that's for sure. All that's come from that direction since Chavez came to power in 1999 are threats and sanctions. In fact of the three empires dominating today's world - China, Russia, and the US - only one so far has actually threatened Venezuela's sovereignty. And we all know which one that is - the one that's been responsible for most of the crimes against Latin American countries and their governments for the last 100 years at least, the one north of the Rio Grande.

Like everyone else here, all I can do is basically throw my hands in the air and vent my frustration in posts like this one. Imagine if you were similarly powerless, as a citizen, in Venezuela itself.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Fans call out Ariana Grande for misspelled Japanese tattoo See in context

This is why I never buy any T-shirt I don't understand.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Peter Jackson making new documentary of Beatles' 'Let It Be' See in context

That's great news. I never liked the original Let It Be precisely because it did seem like a pretty miserable experience for the guys and consequently, for the audience. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

One thing - Peter Jackson directing - will there be hobbits?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump slams his 'naive' intelligence services; says they should go back to school See in context


I have followed some of your comments on the current POTUS and I know you're no Trump supporter. The fact that you're no Trump supporter but that you are still a self-identified Republican illustrates to me at least part of the problem this President is going to have in getting himself re-elected in a couple of years' time. Trump is a one-off, a cowboy, at odds apparently with much of the Republican party base. I'm not an American so my knowledge of the feeling inside the country is much more limited than yours, but the unfortunate truth is that as President of the USA Trump is very influential in countries such as mine, here in Australia. That's why I comment on the man and his actions, and I admit not always politely.

He just doesn't help himself with comments like the ones reported here, the latest in a long line of un-Presidential public statements, and one intended to defend an arbitrary decision on reinstating US sanctions against Iran, an action supported by almost none of America's allies and, judging by this article, a significant segment of his own administration. I respect your position and your posts, but sorry, I'm personally hoping for a Democrat win in the next Presidential election, and a return to (relative) American sanity for all of us.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Bertrand Russell’s blinding Japanese resurrection See in context

Fascinating. Different world(s) back then. Wonder what Russell would've made of Japan if he'd visited ten years later, when the militarists were really getting going?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Pushing for Maduro to go, White House warns traders not to deal in Venezuelan gold See in context

Guaido is usually described as a centrist, not a socialist. The middle classes in Venezuela and the Trump administration wouldn't be supporting him if he and Popular Will had any sniff of "socialism" about them. Whatever that word "socialism" actually means these days.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't urged by lawmakers to take action against S Korea See in context

Nagamine said Seoul's responses have "lacked composure."

Love the wording.

He could also have said "reason" or "balance" or "truth".

Compare Korea's political history over the past 60 years to Japan's. Which one comes out looking better? Not Korea, that's for sure - North or South.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't to bolster steps to help foreigners in event of massive Tokyo quake See in context

At the moment I'm reading Yokohama Burning by Joshua Hammer, about the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, which may not be the best kind of reading prior to (hopefully) making another trip to Japan this year. But it certainly makes you think about how things might go if you were unlucky enough to have a big earthquake strike while you're in the country. Hard to believe that any amount of preparedness would do much if the quake were to be as severe as it was in 1923. Good to see some official action promised, at least.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Maduro tightens screws on Guaido as Venezuela power struggle ramps up See in context

Time for another Bay of Pigs.

What - you mean time for another total embarrassing failure on the part of the USA to illegally force regime change in another country?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. to send several thousand more troops to Mexico border See in context

Amazing how quickly that so-called invading army of criminals, looters and future American criminals armed with lethal stone-throwing technology was stopped at the border by US authorities using exactly the same amount of force as they'd always used. Amazing how quickly that same invasion force has just dissolved away in the minds of Trump and his supporters, just as if they'd never really been any particular threat at all, and only existed for the purposes of whipping up fear in the boondocks and to justify building a bigger Wall.

There's not even any need for any new troops to fight and destroy the remnants of that once-lethal army. They're just going to be employed on wall-building and surveillance and monitoring. Remarkable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Weinstein lawyers argue against sex trafficking claim See in context

No-one doubts that Weinstein is a serial jerk who deserves to be convicted on a number of sexual assault charges, but sex trafficking? Be serious.

U.N. definition of sex trafficking:

*The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.*

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in drought-stricken Australia See in context


Absolutely spot on. I recently read some self-serving justification from the boss of (I think) Cotton Australia blaming the problem on anyone but themselves, but it's hardly like they're an essential industry, is it? Let alone one in the right place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in drought-stricken Australia See in context

Sounds fishy. Smells fishy!

'Tis fishy!

Too many irrigators taking too much water out of the river, even at a time of prolonged drought.

...experts and locals say they (the fish deaths) stem from the systemic depletion and pollution of the river.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: As nations turn on Maduro, Venezuelan leader parades with military See in context

I wonder when Chavez was in power whether he was rightfully the winner or were the circumstances arranged as to make sure there wasn't a clear and true opponent to vote for.

Here's former US President Jimmy Carter, talking about the 2012 Elections won fair and square by Chavez:

"As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world."*

No-one except for US right-wingers ever claimed that Chavez or his supporters tampered with Venezuelan elections. Like him or not, Chavez was for the most part extremely popular within the country, especially with the poorer classes. What Chavez did do, though, was to control state TV and ban or make things impossibly difficult for opposition media. With state TV, for example, he could appear at any time of the day or night, just interrupting programs and carrying on for hours about whatever he wanted.

Chavez wasn't a dictator, in the sense that most people use that word. His was more of a personality cult than anything else, but for many of the less fortunate in society it was a personality they liked and trusted. Chavez's problem was administrative and economic incompetence, not violence or dictatorship.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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