cleo comments

Posted in: Cheers erupt outside British Parliament as Brexit delayed again See in context

He’s also sent a signed letter saying he doesn’t agree with the first letter and only sent it under duress. He says it’s the opinion of Parliament, not his opinion, and that the 27 should therefore ignore it.

He apparently thinks that gets him around the law. Hopefully it will get him in court.

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Posted in: Venomous ants may spread in Japan: research body See in context

fire ants quickly spread their habitats by catching winds and traveling long distances or being washed away by flooding.

So... with Typhoon No.19's winds and the subsequent flooding, the ants are now well dispersed throughout central, eastern and northern Japan?

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Posted in: School lunches keep Japan's kids topping nutrition lists See in context

We had balanced and quite good school lunches in England when I was growing up

Me too, basic but good British grub (meat & two veg, and a pudding with custard) all the way up to the end of high school (we called it grammar school in them days)

Then I went to university and the Hall of Residence served us exotic stuff for dinner - curry, spaghetti, fried rice, fresh fruit for dessert. That was wen I become cosmopolitan.

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Posted in: Gov't to use ¥710 million from reserves to deal with typhoon damage See in context

*Just speak to any residents of Miyako island, which is part of Japan. Even Typhoon 24 (Tramil) just last year packed more of a punch in terms of wind speeds.*

Apples and bananas. Miyakojima is a different kettle of fish to central Japan:

It's used to strong typhoons; the infrastructure, buildings etc., are built better able to withstand high winds.

There are no rivers round every corner waiting to overflow and flood whole neighbourhoods (in fact, Miyako has not a single river and relies on groundwater and rainwater for its water supply.)

The island is relatively flat, with no major hills or mountains to threaten landslides.

That's not to say Miyako (and indeed Okinawa as a whole) does not get more than its fair share of typhoons. I did notice when we stayed there that a lot of the trees seemed to be growing sideways; we were told a typhoon the week before we arrived had blown them partially over.

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Posted in: Kim vows to fight U.S. sanctions See in context

Kim has seen Trump dump his allies in Syria - and is thinking he'll likely do the same to his South Korean partners.

He's also seen him renege on the Iran Nuclear Treaty and unilaterally pull out of the IRBM Treaty with the Russians.

Exactly. There is absolutely no reason at all for Kim to trust anything Trump says or promises.

The Chosen One has demonstrated over and over that he has no respect for treaties or agreements; his word and signature mean nothing.

All he knows is to try and bully with sanctions.

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Posted in: LDP exec apologizes for calling typhoon damage 'so-so' See in context

if I caused misunderstanding to people affected by the disaster.

=There was nothing wrong with what I said, the problem is with the people who didn't understand me.

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Posted in: 33 dead, 19 missing, over 100 injured after typhoon rips through Japan See in context

The scenes of whole communities of houses one-floor or more deep in river water make me want to weep. The scale of the damage is mind-boggling; large swathes of central, eastern and northern Japan.

The cleanup will be back-breaking and heart-breaking.

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Posted in: Typhoon warning from NHK 'to all foreigners' causes controversy online See in context

NHK has 10,333 full-time employees and nobody speaks fluent English?

NHK has a whole section (NHK World) dedicated to programmes in English. The staff are all pretty fluent.

Yesterday's NHK broadcasts (Which of course people on JT don't watch because they don't want to pay the license fee, right? Or do they make an exception for disasters?) continually pointed people towards NHK World for info in English, and urged Japanese viewers to inform non-Japanese speakers where they could get info in English. And there was a QT code in the corner of the screen that people could use to link to the English service.

Moaners still gonna moan.

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Posted in: 33 dead, 19 missing, over 100 injured after typhoon rips through Japan See in context

As powerful and dangerous as the 1958 typhoon, maybe fewer deaths thanks to better infrastructure and better preparations? Certainly an experience I wouldn’t like to repeat, and we came out of it more or less unscathed. I feel really sorry for those who lost their lives or loved ones, all the people who have been flooded out of their homes.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: Train operators, airlines to suspend services as typhoon on course to strike eastern Japan See in context

zones2surf's ventusky link looks very informative.

And for the next 36 hours or so, a bit scary.

Stay safe, everyone.

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Posted in: Naomi Osaka picks Japanese citizenship with eye on Olympics: NHK See in context

The US is far more accepting of colored people than Japan is.

How many 'coloured' people shot by police in the US? How many in Japan?

She will be paying a HELL of a lot more in taxes here than in the US.

And getting a lot more back. All those 'tennis elbows', sprained wrists, pulled tendons etc sports people inevitably suffer from - no need to pay extortionate insurance premiums or sky-high medical bills. And very, very little chance of getting shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or for being NWIP (Not White In Public).

Stupid law that forces her to choose

its not fair to those who were intimidated or just wanted to do what is legal.

It is a very, very stupid law; what's not fair is that 'what is legal' is in itself not fair. People with roots in two countries should have the right to be recognised by both countries.

Good luck next year, Naomi-chan.

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Posted in: Super typhoon on track to drench Japan's main island See in context

zichi -

Hope it's nothing too serious and that you're up and about again soon.

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Posted in: Trump says he plans to get involved in diplomat's wife case See in context

So what is the “right thing”? 

you usually won’t say what that is in advance so that you can reserve your ability to attack Trump whenever he decides.

Crazy Joe spells it out: *The US should do what is right, set an example, and expedite the extradition of Ms. Anne Sacoolas back to England to stand trial for her negligent driving.*

The right thing for the UK to do is put her on trial, and consider insisting that in future all Americans, diplomatic or no, do not drive on UK roads unless they have a proper UK driving license.

In the words of the Chosen One - The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road, and that can happen. You know, those are the opposite roads, that happens. I won’t say it ever happened to me, but it did. 

You see, it's the roads' fault, they shouldn't be 'opposite'. Perfectly natural mistake for anyone to make.

It seems more than likely that Trump will not do the right thing. He apparently sees nothing wrong in what she did.

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Posted in: Fishy look See in context

Poor fish.

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Posted in: Typhoon heads nearer Tokyo ahead of big Rugby World Cup weekend See in context

Never mind the ball games, what about the poor people of Chiba; are they going to get soaked/blown sideways/blacked out again? I understand some 1000+ homes are still without power from the last typhoon.

On a personal note - another wet, windy weekend keeping me off the allotment. It's been a pretty miserable summer for veggie growers. First there was too much rain and not enough sunshine, then there was too much sunshine and too much heat, and now we're back to too much wet. Grrr.

I hate typhoons.

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Posted in: Japan's August household spending rises for 9th month, but wages fall See in context

Japan in a nutshell. Mom and her mother with single kid out shopping for parachute pants on a Tuesday while the husband is hour 8 into his 14hr shift.

It would be better if Mom and her mother were both working 14 hr shifts too, and the single kid was in day-care?

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Posted in: Supermarket throws away bench because of sales tax hike See in context

Are whales food?

Not in my house, they're not. What's your point?

The problem with whales and tax is that the so-called commercial whale killers want the government to subsidise them out of my tax money (and the tax money of low-income folk who are paying through the nose for the basics and will never be able to afford ¥15,000 a kilo for whalemeat, even if they wanted to eat it, which most Japanese don't.) so that rich old men with nostalgia for the old days can indulge.

why stop at food?

I wouldn't stop at food. Medicine and education should also be tax-free. You know, the basic essentials of life.

I don't see anyone making that argument.

But you just did.

No. I'm not saying food should be zero tax because it 'makes me feel good' (I would probably lose out because my income tax have to would go up to make up the shortfall, and/or consumption tax on non-essential items would go up), but because it's immoral and regressive to tax people on things they must buy.

A rich person living the high life off their wealth will certainly spend more and thus pay more in consumption tax than the poor

In absolute terms, maybe. But not as a proportion of their income.

A person with an income of say, ¥150,000 a month and spending a frugal ¥30,000 on food is eating a fifth of their income. At 8% consumption tax, that's ¥2,400, or 0.016% of his income.

A person with an income of ten times that, ¥1,500,000 a month and living it up on restaurant meals might spend what? Let's not make him a total glutton, say a little over three times what our poor man eats, ¥100,000 a month on food. A fifteenth of his income. And because he's living the high life, it's all in restaurants, at 10%: ¥10,000 consumption tax. Yes, over four times what the poor man pays, in absolute terms. But in terms of a percentage of his income? A mere 0.0067%. About a quarter what the poor man pays. He doesn't even notice it.

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Posted in: U.S., Japan sign limited deal on agriculture, digital trade See in context

Trump has long complained about America's large trade deficit with Japan

If you want people to buy your stuff, sell stuff that people want to buy.

That means no GMOs, no HFCS, no growth-hormone in beef, no chlorine washes for chickens, better animal welfare overall.

Nothing says "I'm successful" in the US quite like a man in a suit wearing a white cowboy hat

Bad manners for a man to wear a hat indoors.

Wearing a big hat - bad manners big time.

Shows a definite lack of couth.

This is a huge victory for America's farmers, ranchers and growers

A huge victory infers a huge defeat for the other side. Hardly the best way to punctuate important negotiations.

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Posted in: Trump threatens to 'obliterate' Turkish economy over Syria incursion plan See in context

I, in my great and unmatched wisdom

He gets more and more Roman Empirish as the days go by.

Strong parallels with Nero - pampered childhood, given power beyond his capabilities at an early age, lavish spender (of others' money), serial adulterer and philanderer, harsh reaction to perceived disloyalty, accusations of treason against him.....

And with Caligula - links to Germany (!), narcissistic tendencies, cruelty, inappropriate feelings for female family members.

Looks like the mighty empire of the United States of America is treading the same path as the mighty Roman Empire - and reaching its conclusion in a fraction of the time it took Rome to fall.

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Posted in: Supermarket throws away bench because of sales tax hike See in context

multiple rates of sales tax does cause ridiculous debate about exactly how to place the exemption boundaries

That's a good reason for food to be zero tax.

While having a zero tax rate on food might make some people feel good about themselves

I don't see anyone making that argument. Strawman.

Having zero tax on food simply cannot ensure that all people can have food

Again, no one is saying that. Another strawman.

'A does not lead immediately and directly to B' does not mean that A needs to be scrapped; it simply means that B is complicated and requires other measures in addition to A.

(For example: Simply buying a length of worsted does not mean I can make a suit of clothes; I also need lining material, cotton thread, buttons, a sewing machine, pins, needles, textile chalk, a pattern, and the dexterity/know-how to make the transformation. You're saying simply buying the worsted is not enough to make the suit (and strictly speaking, you're right): so we should forget the worsted altogether try and make the suit just using buttons, pins and thread.)

I want to see the poor have food and shelter, personally. You should too.

And I do. Which is why I would like to see those with most wherewithal contribute more★, without stigmatising those who need help.

★As a percentage of income, of course, it isn't more at all.

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Posted in: Supermarket throws away bench because of sales tax hike See in context

the ONLY thing that was charged at the 10% rate was my beer! Everything else was 8%, even the junk food!

Food is NOT being taxed!

You just stated that food is being taxed at 8%. How is that 'not taxed'?

Costs can be made effectively zero for the needy by redistributing tax revenues to the needy.

You mean you want the poor to live on charity, with a big 'We are officially poor' label stuck on their backs? Maybe we should reinstate to Poor Houses for them?

we can't just say "let's have no taxes because it hurts the poor".

No one is saying that.

jpg_guy explains it clearly and succinctly.

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Posted in: Japanese whalers complete first commercial hunt in 31 years See in context

*His ministry is requesting a 5.1 billion yen ($48 million) budget for fiscal 2020 to support commercial whaling.*

If it needs support from tax money, it's not commercial.

Prove that there's a sustainable market for mercury-laden whalemeat. How many folk do you imagine are willing on a regular basis to pay ¥15,000 a kilo to eat poison-laced meat that stinks of fish?

Whaling supports jobs and communities in Japan, and has for centuries.

Jobs and communities in Japan were supported for centuries by the samurai society, where the lower classes could rightly have their heads chopped off if they failed to bow quickly enough and grovelingly enough. If what happened centuries ago in Japan is your ideal, maybe you should grow a topknot, watch out for men swaggering around in kimono with a couple of swords tucked into their belt, be quick to bow, and insist your wife blacken her teeth and paint her face with white lead. Don't forget to send your surplus kids into indentured servitude (年季奉公) when they reach the age of 10 or 11.

Just because something went on 'for centuries' doesn't mean it has a place in the 21st century.

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Posted in: Trump hails 'nice victory' on trade as EU whisky; wine makers left reeling See in context

Quality stuff like Scotch whisky, European wine and cheese can find a market anywhere in the world. (Hint - Japan could do with a lot more at reasonable prices)

It's the American consumer that will miss out, suddenly having to pay more for stuff.

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Posted in: Torrential rain hits western Japan See in context

the only thing to do with vacant unwanted land is to make a parking lot or a park if it is owned by the city.

Other alternatives:

Dog run


Skateboard park

Allotments (not so good if the flooding is frequent)

zichi - lol!

Behave yersel.

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Posted in: Gunfights rage in southern Iraq; protests spread nationwide See in context

which is the better choice for president - Trump, who wasn't for the Iraq war and hasn't got us into any new wars but has started pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan and is meeting with the North Koreans, or Biden who actually voted for the Iraq war?

A population upwards of 300 million to choose from, and it always comes down to the lesser (or not) of two evils?

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Posted in: Shun nuisance 'obligations' and do what you want to do See in context

overwhelming social obligations, none of which benefit her but all of which she is forced to comply with under threat of social sanctions if she rebels

For example?

Funeral services that nobody wants to take part in

I've never met anyone anywhere who looked forward to a funeral.

God awful choreographed weddings in plastic churches that cost everyone attending huge amounts of money to take part in something 90% of them will not enjoy?

It's the new couple's big day. Either join in in the spirit of the thing, or stay home and mutter to yourself.

Been to lots of weddings, all different styles, can't say there was a single one I didn't enjoy.

Formal gifts for every occasion that will be of zero use to the recipient

S'up to you to choose something that will be of use, innit.

you don't have time to do so because you are constantly trying to comply with meaningless but expensive and time consuming pro forma social obligations 

You must live in a veritable whirlwind of social obligations. Weddings and funerals don't occur on a regular basis (though the older I get, the more often the funerals seem to happen). Can't think of any other social obligations that are meaningless and expensive.

One of my main goals in life as a parent in this country is to NOT place any such obligations on my kids. No funerals for me, no stupid concrete gravestone that they have to clean, nothing like that.

I'm with you on that. I've already told my family that when I go (hopefully not for a good few years/decades yet) I want my ashes spread to the wind, preferably over a balmy tropical sea. No grave, no meaningless religious hocus-pocus.

It would be nice though if lots and lots of people I'd interacted with in life gathered to mark my passing, in a totally secular manner.

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Posted in: Shun nuisance 'obligations' and do what you want to do See in context

It sounds like whoever wrote the article has had a lousy life.

Spending time with family isn’t a tiresome obligation, it’s a joy.

If one of your kids is struggling financially (or in any other way) then OF COURSE you want to help them. Be grateful that you have the wherewithal.

Leave the grandkids an inheritance? Better to spend time with them now while you can both enjoy it, spend your money on them now.

Why bother visiting the ancestral grave? Because doing so brings happiness to the old lady whose husband (your kids’ grandad) is interred there and who is now too frail to make her own way there.

Which brings us to the last ‘obligation’, the annual health check. What utterly brainless self-destructive moron would not take advantage of the free/ridiculously cheap health check the local authority makes available every year? The whole point is that it can catch problems BEFORE you notice any symptoms.

Cherish and enjoy your family and friends. And watch your health so that you can continue to enjoy them for a long, long time.

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Posted in: Moment of truth coming for Brexit with time running out, EU and Britain say See in context

 Damn the EU for making this such an issue. That border must remain open at all costs

It isn't the EU making it an issue, it's the DUP who insist on having the border with the Republic of Ireland open and nixes any arrangement that puts a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, or treating NI differently in any way from the rest of the UK.

Says Arelene Foster, leader of the DUP; “Our whole raison d’être is the union."

Let's not forget that NI, Scotland and London never voted to leave in the first place.

it cost too many lives and the time of too many good men to stop the killing. Get out Boris - break the law if necessary 

It did cost too many lives to stop the killing, but 'do or die' Bozo is not the one to see that it stays stopped. He'll likely go down in history as the short-term plonker PM who rekindled The Troubles and broke up not only the Tory Party but the UK.

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Posted in: U.S., Japan sign limited trade deal, leaving autos for future talks See in context

Next time you visit your local Costco. 

Have look in a few carts the Japanese are pushing around. Mind you discreetly. 

Beef, cheeses, Pork, Kirkland products.

I stock up at Costco on blocks of mature Parmesan and Pecorino - Italian, not American.

Chocolate - Swiss or Belgian, not American.

Mixed Nuts - a variety of origins

Kirkland butter used to be from New Zealand, it seems recently to have been replaced with Japanese-grown butter?

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Posted in: U.S., Japan sign limited trade deal, leaving autos for future talks See in context

American beef, pork wheat and cheese

Oh come on!

They'll be trying to sell American 'chocolate' here next.

(No point reducing tariffs - you couldn't pay me to eat it)

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