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boweevil comments

Posted in: 3 charged in scheme to sell stolen 'Hotel California' notes See in context

'An I was thinkin' to myself, these notes could be stolen for me to sell...'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: I believe there were many things he left unfinished as a politician. But he planted many seeds and I'm sure they will sprout. See in context

One doesn't wish to be disrespectful about the comments of a grieving widow, nevertheless, in a democracy one is entitled to say 'better let a new gardener do the landscaping'. On the surface of it, Kishida appears to be less of an ultra-nationalist, trickle down economics kind of guy....so hopefully, he'll be able to plant a more even lawn.

But the question always remains as to what degree the PM actually holds power over the ruling party. A comment I hear from some Japanese is that the PM is actually just a puppet of the ruling party. I personally don't know what degree of autonomy any PM has, but I have heard these comments made more than a few times by Japanese people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: China complains to Japan about Taiwan vice president attending Abe's funeral See in context

How dare she?!? How dare anyone do anything anywhere on the planet without China's approval? Oh, and also all Winnie the Pooh films and merchandise should be banned globally. Anyone caught with such offensive materials should face a steep fine, jail, or both.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you support Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's desire to revise Japan's U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution? See in context

Yes, it is time to move on from WW2, unfortunately a lot of the proposed changes seek to implement styles of governance that were extant at that time, so it is relevant to mention WW2-as that is why the current pacifist constitution was drafted in the first place. Any serious discussion of constitutional amendment should not happen in a vacuum.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Do you support Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's desire to revise Japan's U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution? See in context

Yes, if the intent is to defend Japan.

No, if the intent is to defend Japan's actions in WW2.

This might seem like splitting hairs...but there are many people in Japan who would maintain that, to choose an example, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a defensive action.

A country that is unclear on the nature of what constitutes a defensive action versus an offensive action shouldn't be given the keys to the car.

If the intent is to revert right back to a pre-WW2 way of running things-then absolutely not.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Posted in: Abe killing seen as attack on Japan's democracy See in context

'The bullet pierced the foundation of democracy'.....according to the Asahi Shimbum.

I find this to be an extremely problematic rendering of the situation. The murderer held a personal animus for Abe because he believed that Abe had somehow been connected to the Unification Church, which had swindled his mother. He even said he had no problem with Abe's policies, which on the face of it represented an erosion of democracy.

In these troubled times this kind of sensationalist hyperbole can be very dangerous.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: China warns Kishida about amending Japan's constitution See in context

What is it that China is always saying: 'Don't interfere in our domestic affairs' as it makes claims over sovereign independent territories? China should heed its own advice when it comes to weighing in on the domestic affairs of other countries. And it is China's continued belligerence that is partially responsible for making this a consideration in the first place. Definitely a case of the wok calling the kettle black.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Posted in: China warns Asian nations to avoid being used as 'chess pieces' by big powers See in context

I guess they'd rather everyone play Chinese checkers instead.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's conformist culture makes it difficult for some people to live freely, and they put great pressure on themselves. When they blame themselves, they turn to suicide. When they blame others, they turn to indiscriminate crimes. See in context

Somewhat of a sweeping generalization. The Japanese people are not a monolith. If you bother to look closely enough you will see the culture is often not as conformist as it is made out to be.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe's killer tested homemade gun at religious group's facility: sources See in context

What is striking is that the motive of the crime has been partially obfuscated for some reason. The suspect hated a 'certain religious organization' for fleecing his mother, that he claimed Abe was somehow connected.. Seems kind of fishy that it is kept so hush-hush. On the one hand, it could be to prevent attacks on the organization in question. More likely, but by no means definitely, it is that the government wants to distance itself from any connections it may have with this 'mystery religion'.

The supreme irony of this, possibly being that the Japanese public may never know with 100 percent certainty exactly why Abe was murdered-because of the types of press restrictions he enacted while in power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Blinken to pay Abe condolence visit to Japan See in context

A sincere statement, of which he has already made a few, would amply extend an appropriate level of respect.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan ruling bloc set to win majority of contested upper house seats See in context

For all intents and purposes it is a one party system that has to clap itself on the back every few years after going through the motions of an 'election'. It is a democracy with 'Mock' being the operative syllable.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Posted in: Blinken to pay Abe condolence visit to Japan See in context

Can anyone explain why Blinken has to personally come to Japan to express his condolences for a non-sitting PM whose assassination was purely a domestic affair? If he is coming to discuss other matters then it is quite understandable, but if the main purpose of his visit is to extend his sympathies (which he already has done in a few statements) then surely given the current state of geopolitics his time would be better spent elsewhere.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Posted in: Blinken to pay Abe condolence visit to Japan See in context

'Blinken to pay Abe condolence visit to Japan'......... Er, why? I don't quite understand the point of it.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Posted in: He’s the most towering political figure in Japan over the past couple of decades. He wanted Japan to be respected on the global stage in the way that he felt was deserved. ... He also wanted Japan to not have to keep apologizing for World War II. See in context

Who can forget the 'Southern All Stars' concert where the singer made a playful jibe at Abe in the audience. Abe was 'ashen and visibly shaken'? The impertinent singer was later forced to apologize after having offended the delicate sensibilities of 'the towering political figure'.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: He’s the most towering political figure in Japan over the past couple of decades. He wanted Japan to be respected on the global stage in the way that he felt was deserved. ... He also wanted Japan to not have to keep apologizing for World War II. See in context

On a human level the death of Abe is truly tragic.

Equally tragic is the mythologizing that comes with martyrdom of a man who is praised as 'looking to the future'-(while simultaneously trying to rewrite the past). To a certain extent part of Abe's ambition was expressed in the form of grievance politics as to how Japan was perceived in the post-world war order. And while Abe's attempt to alter the Constitution does not seem unreasonable in the face of current geopolitics, when combined with historical revisionism and a sense of somehow being unjustly humiliated, it provides an almost identical recipe for the kinds of justifications used by both Russia and China towards Ukraine and Taiwan respectively.

Should Japan alter article 9 of the Constitution given the current security climate in the region? Probably.

Should this be done in the spirit of 'rekindling the former greatness' of Japan as Abe seemed to espouse? Probably not. If Japan wants to be able to effectively meet the challenges that both Russia and China present, it should not emulate their sense of grievance politics and self-aggrandizement to do so. If Abe had been a little more concerned about the future of Japan, than he was about rehabilitating its past, then he may have been a truly great leader.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: China shocked by shooting death of Abe See in context

Letting the opinions of some define one's own opinions of entire populations is a rather reductionist reaction to a nuanced reality.

I myself, had absolutely no love for Abe to say the least, but that is not say I cannot feel a profound sadness at his senseless and cruel murder....So yeah, it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: These things seem to come in waves and the new surge is linked to the elections, particularly in South Korea as criticizing Japan is a popular position. And now we have the North testing missiles as well, so there is plenty for Japan to get angry about. See in context

Plenty? Certainly, there are some things that Japan could be angry about currently... But given the history of the entire region and the systematic whitewashing of it by all governments within it, it seems there is plenty of anger to go around for everybody.. But how does any of that help the state of current affairs? And to exact that anger upon people solely on the basis of their nationality is infantile, intellectually lazy and unfortunately all the rage around the world today.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Johnson safe for now, but future in jeopardy over 'partygate' See in context

Time for a Borexit...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think the U.S. missile strike against Syria was also a warning to North Korea? See in context

I dont think Trump considered the impact the missile would have on NK at all. That's expecting far too much. More likely it was an attempt to appear as if he were distancing himself from the Russians. Having said that, some analysts claim that the Syria strike did make an impression on the N. Koreans. If so, I think it would have been unintentional on Trump's part-as that would have required an adeptness and knowledge of geopolitics that is not consistent with what can only be considered as an accidental presidency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. show of force to North Korea also could show U.S. weakness See in context

It depends on how it all plays out...but it seems like the US has little choice at the moment. Decades of poor US foreign policy have helped to paint the US into a corner. If North Korea, a country that for decades has been saying it will develop nukes and will use them, had been front and foremost on the agenda instead of Iraq, a country that stated it had no WMD, when the US launched its invasion in 2003, the world would not be in this situation.

The war in Iraq was a strategic failure on two fronts vis-a-vis North Korea as it stands today. It failed to deal with the rising threat of NK while it simultaneously diminished perceptions of America's invulnerability.... The Teddy Roosevelt maxim of 'Walk softly, carry a big stick' was ignored, leaving the US with little choice in the present situation.

In 2003, Iran was terrified by the stick America wielded...but it saw in Iraq how that stick could be whittled away in the vacuum of aftermath. The ensuing power vacuum created an ascendant Iran, the rise of ISIS and destablization in a region that once quivered at the threat of American force...While North Korea continuously expanded its capabilities. America showed its weakness 14 years ago by picking the wrong battle...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Who would you say has been the most famous fictional character of the past two centuries? See in context

Santa Claus-not my choice but the right answer. Every year without fail Christmas commercialism mass produces his image. None of the other characters have consistently been touted year in and year out on the same scale. Some fall in and out of vogue-but Santa in all his manifestations is like an ever present dictator in the popular imagination of children and manufacturers looking for that year end sales boost.

None of the other characters are even close....Again Santa would not be my choice-but there you have it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Senator says GOP colleagues question Trump's mental health See in context

Question his mental health? Ya think so, Doctors? There's no putting anything past those guys...Truly a bunch of rocket surgeons if ever...

I suppose it is like saying the emperor is not wearing clothes when it is not politically expedient (different from correct) to do so. His sanity is truly the orange elephant in the room that a lot of the red elephants try and ignore in a party over country free fest....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S., Japan first ladies: Both unconventional yet poles apart See in context

Poles apart? One thing they have in common is their English speaking ability.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly plans to propose a major economic cooperation package meant to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. when he meets with President Donald Trump on Friday See in context

I can't claim to understand what this would entail...

But on the face of it if you are dealing with someone who sees negotiating-and indeed whose very philosophy on life-is that its a zero sum game, and who's mantra is 'America First'...then how good could it be for Japan? On the other hand, if you throw in Trump ncompetence it might tip the scale in Japan's favor.

Then there's supply and demand-if you create more jobs in America then you create more demand for Japanese imports-but at the same time you make Japan less competitive if it loses jobs to America...So the devil is in the details...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: N Korea fires ballistic missile; Abe, Trump condemn launch See in context

Knowing that Trump stands 100% behind Japan is such a relief, given that he wanted to lump Japan in with counttries like Mexico, China etal. for trade deals and currency manipulation that take advantage of the US not so long ago. Why the sudden about face?

Well, Abe I just hope frogs legs weren't on the menu....

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Trump, Abe take a swing at golf diplomacy See in context

How about taking a swing at real diplomacy?

The Whitehouse handshake between the two certainly showed Abe's attempt to not so subtly connect with Trump on the one hand-but also pander to those in Japan who are worried about Trump. The painful grimace he gave after releasing Trump's hand was almost slapstick in its exaggerated attempt to say 'Look, how hard this is...I'm doing a really difficult job here...' It was definitely for the home crowd... Abe puts his hand between Trump and the cameras to suggest that his control over the situation...Trump then obscures Abe's hand by patting it patronizingly and thus reasserting his dominance.. So a lot of posturing...but diplomacy... I guess that happened on the ninth hole....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think that U.S. President Donald Trump can unify his country, in view of the massive protests against him and his disputes with mainstream media? See in context

Aaah yes, Donald Trump the great healer, the unifier...right....He is a significant part of the division...He saw a crack and he exploited it for all it was worth while helping to make it bigger at the same time. Disunity was the platform he ran on.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Posted in: Promises, pomp and protests as Trump sworn in See in context

'The American Carnage stops right here...' Does that mean America wont kill people anymore?...just saying...poorly worded....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world? See in context

America is a sovereign country and has a right to its Constitution-but that does not mean it should be used as a model for other countries that don't have to wrestle with what is uniquely an American problem.

And I find it ludicrous that there are those who would ask for evidence of ths fact-as it is self-evident. Parsing words and playing with semantics and false analogies is the only refuge of those who would bury their heads in the sands of the exceptionalism of the 'shining city on the hill'. If they really cared about their country they would acknowledge that clearly the Constitution is not a perfect document and must be interpreted in a way that compensates for its glaring anachronisms.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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