cleo comments

Posted in: Trump's media relationship frays more: CNN reporter's press pass suspended See in context

The press starting making fun of Republican presidential candidates and presidents starting with the Bush Jr and then on to Romney and have been particularly vicious towards Trump.

To be fair, it's difficult not to make fun of Trump. He's a caricature of himself.

He'd be funny if he wasn't so gross and despicable.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Posted in: 'Racist' Trump ad pulled from air as campaigns rush to uncertain end See in context

The ad is not only racist and offensive, it's based on a falsehood; real Fake News.

The ad claims of Bracamontes, the undocumented immigrant convicted of killing two police officers, that "Democrats let him into our country,”.....“Democrats let him stay.”

Not true.

The cop killer was deported several times under both Republic and and Democrat presidents before entering the US for the last time in 2001 during the presidency of Dubya.

It was both Dems and Repubs who 'let him into the country', and Republicans who 'let him stay'.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: Editor quits food magazine after joking about killing vegans See in context

Vegans have pushed their life-style choices on me on several occasions.

Yes, how exactly?

Tied you up in a basement and force-fed you quinoa and almond milk?

Followed you round and slapped you up the back side of the head every time you tried to eat a burger?

Or (more probably, I imagine) simply declined to join you in your meat-munching?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Editor quits food magazine after joking about killing vegans See in context


I do wonder why vegans/vegetarians seem to make others so angry.


It's a fact that it's better for the planet and it isn't hurting anyone

The obsessive meat-eaters take umbrage at the idea that people can go about their daily lives not impacting the earth negatively in the way the they themselves do. They find it physically and emotionally impossible to question their own actions (which, to be fair, most have been brought up to believe is the normal and natural way to do things - cuddle and pamper your pet puppy, but turn your eyes away from the dull-eyed bovine in the feed lot and the swathes of rain forest burned and cleared to grow feed-crop soy, not to mention the acceleration of climate change brought on by bovine methane emissions) so by default they reckon it must be the vegan who's the one at fault. Their inability to deal logically with their own emotions leads them to interpret the mere existence of a vegan as a personal attack.

(I'm not vegan. I don't eat meat or fish, but I can't find it in me to give up dairy. I admire those with a stronger will/moral backbone than I have.)

As for this Sitwell person and his pathetic 'joke': he was obviously in the wrong job if he found a suggestion for a series of articles covering vegan recipes in a food magazine to be so far beyond the pale that his only reaction was this stupid 'joke' followed, according to the writer who pitched the idea for the articles, with a refusal to engage in conversation. He'll be better off and happier finding a job in a field more suited to his talents.

Like speech-writer for the White House?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Why do so few Japanese men have beards or mustaches? See in context

I think companies play a large part. There's a generally-held feeling that facial hair is a sign of a failure to groom properly.

My friend's husband had a very fine, well-trimmed moustache for years, then one day it was ...gone.

Turns out his new boss had told him to either get rid of the facial hair, or clear his desk.

On the other hand my son works for a well-known company most folk would expect to be very strait-laced and conservative, yet nothing has ever been said to him on the numerous occasions he grows himself a beard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Palestinian president vows to thwart Trump peace plan See in context

they came back to the land that was theirs to begin with.

Two thousand years ago I'm sure I must have had ancestors who came to Britannium from Roma. Maybe I should go and demand huge swathes of land in Italy that was mine to begin with.

By that rationale you must support the return of all of the Americas to their original inhabitants

Except then we get all the b4fs coming back to Europe with their weird ideas and non sequiturs, throwing their weight around....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Understanding the Japanese health insurance system Part 1/2: How much does it cost? See in context

Health insurance is a reassuring little fact of life in Japan.

Fixed that for you. What's annoying about not having to worry about medical bills?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says Saudis staged 'worst cover-up ever' on Khashoggi; U.S. revokes visas of some Saudis See in context

Trump; "Let's wait and see how it turns out"

JT comments: "Trump is pathetic! Just protecting his allies!"

Trump: "Saudi Arabia screwed up and we will punish those responsible!"

JT comments: "Trump is pathetic! What a flip-flopper!"

Make up your mind people..


Trump is pathetic. No two ways about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Forget the mess: This shepherd's pie uses only one skillet See in context

Give mashed potatoes an extra kick by adding one sweet potato at the boiling stage, and mashing them together. I also prefer not to peel the spuds, it gives extra texture. Make sure you scrub them well and remove the eyes.

Replace the minced animal with brown lentils, omit the bird broth and add some mushrooms to boost the flavour, for a veggie-friendly 'Shepherdless pie' version.

Strictly speaking, a Shepherd's Pie should contain sheep meat, hence the name. Any other kind of meat and it's a Cottage Pie.

Moderator: No, it can also be called Shepherd's pie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says Saudis staged 'worst cover-up ever' on Khashoggi; U.S. revokes visas of some Saudis See in context

I find it funny that everyone is so outraged and the left want answers, but at the same time they hate the Saudis for 911, which one is it?

I don't understand the question. Which one what ? What the Saudis did to Khashoggi was bad, and what the Saudis did on 9/11 was bad.

Bad+Bad= Bad.

Add in human rights (lack of), executions (summary), misogyny (hard-baked), air strikes on busloads of children (using weapons bought with proceeds from all that strategically-important trade with the US and pals) and there's not much to love about Saudi Arabia.

You're probably right that Trump is probably not going to cut his strategically important relationship worth $110 billion (according to Trump) and on which depend one million US jobs (according to Trump). Even allowing for the typical Trump bigger-better-greater obsessive-compulsive exaggeration, the clear fact remains that Trump and his followers value lucre over morality or justice.

Reminds me of a story about George Bernard Shaw:

Shaw: Everyone has a price.

Woman: Surely not, there's such a thing as morals.

Shaw; Well, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?

Woman: A million pounds? Yeah!

Shaw: Would you sleep with me for ten shillings?

Woman: What do you take me for, a prostitute?

Shaw, Madam, we have already established that. Now I am just trying to determine your price.

I wonder what Trump's ultimate price is, and what he thinks the US is worth.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: AI robots may lend hand in Japan's English classes See in context

Any teacher who can be replaced by a machine, should be.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't takes measures against Okinawa blocking U.S. base work See in context

Wow, guess you have never been to Okinawa

Wow, guess you're wrong. I've spent plenty of time in Okinawa, love the place, love the people. Hate the noisy jets and the bases taking up huge chunks of land.

As for military pollution -

In the late 1980s, the United States military discovered levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at land on Kadena Air Base that exceeded safe standards by many orders of magnitude, suggests an in-house report obtained by The Japan Times. Despite the possible risks to service members and local Okinawans, it appears the U.S Air Force failed to alert Japanese authorities and has been concealing information about the contamination — which potentially remains dangerous today — for more than 25 years.

Since 2002, at least 270 environmental accidents on U.S. Marine Corps bases on Okinawa have contaminated land and local waterways ...... recent USMC guidelines order service members not to inform Japanese authorities of accidents deemed “politically sensitive,” 

Marine Corps Air Station Futenma experienced 156 accidents between 2005 and 2016, resulting in the release of 14,003 liters of fuel (including jet fuel and diesel). Camp Hansen experienced 71 accidents between 2004 and 2016, including the leak of 2,596 liters of fuel and other substances such as 678 liters of antifreeze. Camp Schwab experienced 43 incidents between 2002 and 2016, involving 2,628 liters of fuel .... Of the total 270 accidents, it appears only six were reported to Japanese authorities

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't takes measures against Okinawa blocking U.S. base work See in context

If it means that in the end you are going to get something a hundred times better, and not have to wait another 50 years for the possibility of some type of reward, I am quite sure you would be jumping for joy too!


Who's to decide that something else is 'a hundred times better' for me than what I already had and didn't want to lose?

Jumping for joy? More like jumping on his neck.

No way what's going on in that photo - lumps of concrete and black plastic bags dumped in an already stressed and beleaguered marine environment, followed no doubt by engine oil leaks, plane crashes and the noise pollution of jets screaming overhead 24/7 - is by any stretch of the imagination in any way 'better' than leaving the goddam environment alone. Or even - gasp - trying to protect it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't takes measures against Okinawa blocking U.S. base work See in context

 I would consult with her (LIKE JAPAN HAS CONSULTED WITH OKINAWA).

And then wilfully ignore her opinion?

But, my role (like the national government) is to provide security and welfare. Sometimes, when it best for the family I’ll have to sell something very important to her even if she says she doesn’t want me to.

It's never 'best for the family' to sell one member down the river.

Maybe other families work differently but if my husband asked my opinion on selling something very important to me, I said No, and he sold it anyway because it was 'best for the family' - I doubt we would continue to have a family.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes making daily necessities eligible for 2% rebate scheme See in context

So, what am I gonna do with those reward points?

Exchange them for unwanted, useless items from the credit card company?

Most credit cards (all the ones I have, at least) offer gift coupons as well as 'useless items' in exchange for points. Use them like cash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes making daily necessities eligible for 2% rebate scheme See in context

So it's not about helping keep the cost of daily necessities down, not about subsidising small and medium sized retailers - it's all about promoting cashless.

Which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but why can't they just be honest and up-front about what they're doing?

Typical mealy-mouthed politicians.

Just make the tax rate on food, children's clothing, medicine and education 0%. That's one problem solved.

Then tell certain chains that there is no need to make me sign a credit slip when I use a prepaid card to pay a ¥287 (or whatever) bill to save on fiddling with change. That will help make cashless easier.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nomura to pay $480 mil for role in housing crisis See in context

Overall various banks and brokers have been fined more than $243 Billion

What happened to all that money?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sees 1st drop in visitors in over 5 years in Sept See in context

I'm failing to see the correlation between a temporary foreign tourist staying at a hotel or shopping at a combini in Japan, that will cause land prices to eventually increase.

It's because of the increase in the number of tourists.

If you have (say) 100 hotel rooms available and 80 tourists, every tourist can find somewhere to stay.

If you have the same 100 hotel rooms and an influx of 120 tourists, you have a demand for more hotel rooms. So some enterprising body is going to go and look for a bit of prime land to build a new hotel on. That enterprising body won't be the only one to have that bright idea, so there will be increased competition for hotel land and an increase in the price of said land.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think stores should stop providing customers with plastic shopping bags for free to reduce plastic waste? See in context

 buy shoes without a box 

The shoe shops round here ask if you want the box. I always say No. Never a problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think stores should stop providing customers with plastic shopping bags for free to reduce plastic waste? See in context

most Japanese households re-purpose plastic shopping bags for trash disposal. How do the households using eco-bags dispose of their trash? Do they end up buying dedicated plastic trash bags?

I used to use old plastic shopping bags as rubbish bags. Then the 'sort your rubbish into nine or ten different types' thing came in (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong), and the local authority now refuses to collect any rubbish that isn't in a clear plastic bag, because they can't see without opening the bag that it's the right kind of rubbish. Most of the supermarket bags are white, or at best translucent (still not allowed).

So now I buy large clear plastic bin liners for plastic rubbish and burnable rubbish, tie newspapers, cardboard and pruned branches with string, put out large non-burnable items as is, put smaller items in the transparent bags that seem to accumulate even when you say No, and compost the kitchen waste.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think stores should stop providing customers with plastic shopping bags for free to reduce plastic waste? See in context

I cannot think of a single shop around these parts that provides free plastic bags.

Some, like the Coop, charge ¥10 per bag.

Others give added loyalty points to customers who bring their own bag, or knock ¥2 off the total, which is basically the same as charging ¥2 for a bag.

I'd like to see it upped; charge a minimum of ¥50 per bag/knock ¥50 off the total/give more extra points etc.

(The trouble with loyalty points is that they don't affect the casual customer, for whom there is no benefit - apart from the satisfaction of being right - in refusing the bag)

I need a bag to take my purchases home.

We all do. The sensible answer is to always have a spare bag tucked away somewhere, either in your wallet or upon your person.

Which I will then recycle.

How? By chucking it in the プラ rubbish bin? You could recycle it by tucking it into your pocket for the next time you go shopping, though after a few uses it will succumb to wear and tear and will need to be chucked. So why not invest in a more sustainable, long-lasting bag in the first place?

There are only so many uses for used plastic bags around the home. I make a point of always having a bag on me when I go out (one lives in each of my handbags) and always refuse plastic bags in shops, yet I still have a container full of the things at home that I try to find uses for. The container never seems to get any emptier.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Princess Ayako to receive ¥107 mil after marriage to commoner See in context

if you have national health insurance and ever used it, you have received some public money.

If you've ever used the national health insurance, that means you've paid into it. Not the same at all as receiving public money free gratis and for nuthin.

Do the royals have a special 'common marriage fund' that they all pay into?

So she and her sis get the maximum handout from the public coffers stipulated under the law just for being the daughters of their parents, while people who have worked all their lives and paid through the nose into the public pension scheme see the pension they receive after retirement gradually being cut back. What about their dignity?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Posted in: Melania Trump puts on happier face during Africa tour See in context

Of course she looks happier. Her awful husband is half a world away.

No pets in the current White House (the Orange One apparently thinks 'like a dog' is an insult, and he's also relaxed restrictions on the importation of body parts from trophy hunts - his elder sons are well known to be keen animal killers) so Melania probably really enjoyed the rare chance to play with the elephant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Saitama hospital threatens to inject owners of illegally parked cars with needles See in context

You want chusha?? We'll give ya chusha!!

It's a j o k e.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Sea of red See in context

I forget the story but I believe these flowers are linked with death

In Japanese they're called 彼岸花 (higan-bana), and they tend to be in bloom just around the time of the autumn equinox, traditionally a time for people to visit their ancestral graves. Hence the link with death.

They do propagate quite easily, though the ones we had for years in our garden seem to have been totally overpowered by the blackberry brambles. (花よりだんご/ジャム)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

I wonder how the P.M. of New Zealand manages. 

The First Baby of New Zealand, who is 3 months old and still breastfeeding, travels with her mother and father, and Dad is the primary care giver.

At the UN recently, Dad held the baby while Mum did her PMy stuff.

His and the baby's travel expenses were paid for by the family; the PM did not demand that the government provide her with special childcare arrangements, nor did she insist on having the child on her lap when said special arrangements were not made. Seems she's a lot more sensible about the whole thing than Ms. Ogata.

There is no set plan, it's just whether or not she's getting enough sleep, where I am for feeds. They might be with us a lot, they might just be in the hotel.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

Many mothers can't afford to have their baby-sit, 100% of the time.

She isn't many mothers, she's an assembly member on a pretty good salary. The assembly sits 50 days a year, so she doesn't need child-care '100% of the time'. And at the time of the incident last year, she soon found 'a friend' to take care of the baby till the end of the meeting. It was grandstanding, nothing more.

Where does it say she was munching on a BIG piece of candy. Throat lozenges come in a variety of sizes from very small to large

She says herself that it was a Ryukakusan cough drop - they're pretty large. I know I would have trouble speaking clearly with one in my mouth. Picture here, scroll down a bit -

not giving her 100% undivided attention to the job at hand she was stealing from the public purse which pays her. Based on a few moments of diversion. 

Looking after a 7-month old baby is not 'a few moments of diversion'. I've said it before, if it's possible to conduct business while looking after a baby, the nationwide child-care crisis could be solved in an instant by placing a working mother's baby on the lap of every politician and executive board member in the land.

Yes, the very idea is ludicrous

How do you know how ill she is?

From her own words, she says she had been feeling unwell for several days, and that she couldn't stop coughing.

Where again has she been disrespectful in viez of her condition ?

Thinking it's OK to address the assembly with stuff in her mouth.

where has anyone said that her being female gives her an excuse

The majority of posters seem to believe it's all about women vs old men. Would an old man with a cough drop in his mouth receive the same treatment? The Mayor says it's a question of what should be expected of a member of adult society, so hopefully, yes.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

She brought the kid to work to show that if she can do it then anyone can.

The point being that no one can. You show up to work ready to work, not to baby-sit and not to spread your germs around.

she was making a stand for working mothers who can't afford the costs of childminding

No, she wasn't. She was backing up her own demand that the city provide child-minding facilities for her in the building, for an assembly that sits only 50 days a year.

I believe I saw two female faces other than Ogata in a crowd of 40-50 men

It seems there are 5 female councillors in the Kumamoto Assembly, including Ogata. The other four seem to agree with the villainous oyajis that being female does not give a person an excuse to mumble her way through a public speech with a piece of candy in her mouth.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

*Given the fact that about half the elderly male politicians at these meetings are usually napping and the other half surfing porn on their phones*

Evidence, please. Do you have links to video showing the male members of the Kumamoto Assembly engaging in the practices you describe?

No, didn't think so.

You accuse them of petty spiteful vendettas against a person obviously out to push against the boundaries, while yourself indulging in petty, spiteful libel against people you know nothing about save their gender and supposed age.

I'm not saying the other members of the assembly are all paragons of virtue, but if they do engage in practices that disrupt/disrespect meetings or waste taxpayers's money, too wrongs don't make a right. They should be censured for those practices, as Ogata should for hers.

Note too that all the other female members of the assembly voted for Ogata to be removed. It doesn't seem to be the male-vs-female clash that Ogata and many posters here would have us believe it is.

@Cleo , surprised by your point of view, normally so progressive and enlighted.

"Women can do anything they like just because they're women' is just as backward and ignorant as 'Women should be pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen'. It's people like Ogata that put the cause of gender equality back, by demanding for women privileges that are not accorded to men, young Jonathan.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

I don't get all the 'women's lib gone mad' comments on this thread.

Because she's a woman, she should be allowed to get away with anything?

As a council member, she earns enough to be able to pay a baby-sitter to cover the time she is supposed to be attending the assembly. Instead she decided to stir the pot and show her contempt for the people she is supposed to be working for (the general public) by taking the infant to work with her. If she is attending properly to the infant, she is not paying full attention to the assembly meeting = a salary thief. If she is paying full attention to the assembly meeting, she is not attending properly to the infant = poor parenting.

Speaking to a gathered assembly with a gob-stopper in the mouth is very bad manners, male or female. Being female should not give her (or any other woman) carte blanche to be disrespectful.

Ogata told reporters “I’ve been under the weather since a few days ago. I brought cough drops with me today so I wouldn’t burden my colleagues by coughing while speaking.

If she's ill, she shouldn't be at work at all. Unless she's quite happy to burden her colleagues by passing on whatever bug or virus she has to everyone else in the room.

The Guardian quotes her as saying, “They felt bad that their outdated attitudes had been exposed and criticised in public. Ever since then, they have tried to portray me as someone who behaves selfishly and unreasonably.” Sounds to me like she's doing that all by herself.

Also, “A lot of the people have misunderstood this as an issue related to my behaviour, which is how it has been reported in the media,” she said. “This is part of a struggle between me and other councillors, most of whom are older men, to make the council more relevant to the everyday lives of ordinary people.” It is absolutely all about her behaviour. Ordinary people (sensible ones) in their everyday lives stay at home when they are ill. Especially if the working environment includes a significant number of older people who may be more susceptible to infection. Cough drops while speaking is nothing more than virtue-signalling - Lookit me, how hard-working I am, struggling to work even when I'm unfit.

She's a pot-stirrer.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

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