DS comments

Posted in: Romney wins big in Florida; tells Obama to get out of the way See in context

The virtual tie will change as the election nears, and Romney starts to pull ahead. I give President Obama credit for getting Bin Laden (but not for the 'victory lap' he did afterwards). However, his accomplishments on the economic side are thin. A platform of "it could have been much worse" is a tough sell.

So, he has only a couple of choices. Run against Congress- difficult because the Democrats controlled both Houses in the first two years of the Obama administration. Also, class warfare. A good classic Democratic strategy- jealousy and tax increases. Neither of which will accomplish much, other than employ a fresh legion of accountants and lawyers.

I don't see much room for the President to gain any traction.

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Posted in: Oden, mixed stew, sukiyaki most favored 'nabe' dishes in winter See in context

Can'T stant Oden. It smells like old socks to me.

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Posted in: What do you think of the quality of waiters in Japanese restaurants? See in context

Chain restaurants are without exception competent, robotic, and efficient. The staff expects the customers to play along- order from the menu, wave for your food, and pay at the door.

As long as you don't deviate from The Pattern, you will be fine. Nothing spectacular, but no stress. The staff could be replaced by conveyor belts from the kitchen to the table, as that is all they do.

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Posted in: Romney wins big in Florida; tells Obama to get out of the way See in context

SS; as a card carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, let me say this regarding abortion: I agree with you. Women are free to terminate their pregnancies as they want. As long as they don't expect others (gov't health care for example) to pay for the procedure, it is their decision. And as long as they don't expect others (welfare for example) to pay for their child after it is born, it is their decision.

Similarly, pharmacists should not be forced to provide birth control/morning after pills to people if they don't want to. That is also their freedom, don't you think?

Ain't freedom wonderful?

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Posted in: Obama confirms U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan See in context

Cletus, you show an incredibly short sighted view of things regarding the roots of terrorism and Islamic tyranny.

It started before 911, before Gulf War 1, even perhaps before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Wahabbism (sp) has been a growing cancer for decades, from the start of the Muslim Brotherhood to present day Saudi Arabia. They would be our enemies regardless of current American foreign policy. Their ultimate goals are twofold: destruction of Israel, and the creation of an Islamic Caliphate to extend throughout all Muslim lands. Muslim lands include, of course, any countries that have any Muslim population.

The only end of the cycle is the destruction of militant Islam as a socio-political force. I realize that is an uncomfortable idea, that it doesnt fit easily in with negotiation or appeasement or compromise, but it is true. "If we stopped killing them, they would stop killing us" does NOT apply.

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Posted in: Romney wins big in Florida; tells Obama to get out of the way See in context

The President will be in for a tough race ifwhen Romney gets the nomination. Mitt is intelligent, motivated, and has a clear lead over the president in the area of economics. He's a rich dude, sure, but that just shows that he's good at his job.

Has he changed his ideas on some issues? Sure. Obama had the advantage of not doing so because his politcal career was so short before being elected... not sure whether that is a good thing or not.

The whole "Buffett rule" thing is such a waste of time. Mitt paid his taxes. End of story. Revising the tax system is a god idea, but in terms of impact on the deficit/debt it pales in comparison to changing the spending habits of the federal government. Notice he ALSO gave more money to charity (around 7 MILLION dollars) than he paid in taxes. That says something about the man as well.

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Posted in: Romney wins big in Florida; tells Obama to get out of the way See in context

The whole "tax breaks for the rich" argument is pure demagogery (sp). Obama has been spouting about the"Buffett Rule" since the SOTU speech, and it is nonsense. IF it were put in place, the revenue would only cut about 3% of the federal deficit for one year. Never mind the national debt. Never mind that tax lawyers and accountants would rip it to shreds.

The problem is NOT revenue. The problem is spending.

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Posted in: Obama confirms U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan See in context

The more time that goes by, the more that the Obama version of foreign policy resembles that of Bush II.

Guantanamo? Still open. Troops in Iraq? Yep. the "embassy" has a staff of 16,000. Patriot Act? Strengthened Drone strikes? More than before. Killing of American citizens? Yep, done before they even had a trial.

"Hope and change" indeed.

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Posted in: Romney wins big in Florida; tells Obama to get out of the way See in context

Nah, it's going to be Romney, thank God.

It's going to be ugly, seeing Romney face Obama in a debate, particularly over economics. Both are intelligent and I believe sincere, but Romney has a track record of success. His only problem is that he may be too much of a gentleman to go for the throat.

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Posted in: How foreigners’ daily lives change when they live in Japan See in context

Canuckistanian here. Coming up on my 20th anniversary with my dahling. No trouble with either set of parents. Actually, my mother sends more gifts to my wife than to me. SHE gets boxes of Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and scented candles. I get...... bullied. Mom told my wife, "you don't have to take any crap from him (meaning me). Just call me if he (meaning me) gives you a hard time."

Thanks mom.

The culture clash of marriage happens all over. My sister (a pure whitebread girl from the heartland of Ontario) married an Italian Canadian guy. Right after marriage, her MIL took her aside to teach her how to cook "the way that Gary likes", and "how to iron his shirts properly". Other than that, no trouble. Oh, and my sister makes a mean lasagna now!

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Posted in: U.N. chief tells Assad: 'Stop killing your people' See in context

Wow. The head of the UN making demands. That's gonna help (/sarcasm).

The obvious missing part of the sentence is the "or what". Say the mad optometrist (gasp) defies the UN and keeps up the voilence. What then? I can guess. The UN will ask NATO or perhaps the US alone to step in and do something.

What a waste of money the UN has become. They should stick to digging wells and innoculating children, and stay out of politics/foreign affairs.

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Posted in: Six things that foreigners feel are overpriced in Japan See in context

Pizza is hit and miss. Around here, Pizza Hut has "Hut no hi" when pizza is half price if you pick up. Makes a large deluxe pizza only 1500 yen.

The unforgivable prices are bread and rice. A 10kg bag of rice costs in the area of 4000 yen, for domestic rice in Japan. In Canada, 10 kg bags of rice grown in California can be had for less than $10.

Bread is the same. 200 yen for six slices? Give me a break.

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Posted in: Noda says Japan must tackle debt to avoid credit rating cut See in context

Cleo, in that case, why bother with a national pension system at all? If people can only receive what they contribute, then it is far more efficient to eliminate the natoinal pension entirely. Let people save on their own and choose how to invest those savings. It would allow an entire govt department to be eliminated! Great idea, eh?

As others have said, the biggest problem is in spending on "public" works, roads to nowhere, etc. The construction industry in Japan is far too huge a part of the economy. Plus, at each layer of buraucracy, some of the money sticks to the fingers of those doling it out.

Bottom line is, we can't keep running up biills that our children and grandchildren (if we have any) have to pay. It's irresponsible.

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Posted in: Noda says Japan must tackle debt to avoid credit rating cut See in context

To the above list I would add raising the retirement age to 70, and means testing those who get old age pension. These are ideas that any industrialized country needs to consider.

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Posted in: Noda says Japan must tackle debt to avoid credit rating cut See in context


Hardly simplistic, simply good economic principle. Japan should actually be spending LESS than is taken in. Money the government spends is taken out of the economy, so it is going to be used anyway. The difference is that it would be spent by the private sector and not the government.

I find YOUR idea simplistic that additional debt is needed to pay the interest on the current debt. That is a vicious circle that has no exit.

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Posted in: 2,000 protest against nuclear power in Yokohama See in context

The choice is either nuclear power, or burning stuff. OR get used to darkness. Japan's needs are too great to be met by so-called 'sustainable' sources.

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Posted in: Noda says Japan must tackle debt to avoid credit rating cut See in context

There is no "debt reduction plan" in the US. The plan merely slows down the RATE of debt increase. Even if the entire plan is implemented, there will be yearly budget deficits for the next 10 years. WHich means the national debt will still increase every year for the nexr decade. There is NO plan to actually balance the budget, or to 'gasp' repay the money that has been borrowed and spent.

I haven't seen any hard numbers on Japan's fiscal situation yet, but one difference is that the vast majority of Japanese national debt is held within Japan, whereas the US for example is getting money from overseas to finance its overspending.

Canada will have a balanced budget by 2014, and start repayment at that time. Also the lowest debt to GDP ratio in the G7 nations. Good job Steve!

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Posted in: Noda says Japan must tackle debt to avoid credit rating cut See in context

It's not difficult.

Governments simply should not spend more money than they have. Much like a family or business. If it is necessary to do so, there needs to be a payment/payback plan along with the debt. The situation now is akin to a person runnnig up a credit card that has their grandchildren's name on it. The current generation is enjoying benefits that their children will have to pay for. It simply isn't fair.

The US is doing the same thing. Obama's government is borrowing $4 BILLION every day to finance itself. That level of spending is not sustainable.

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Posted in: U.S. probes video of Marines urinating on dead Taliban See in context

America DOES have the moral high ground. As do the other countries involved in the Afghan mission. Or do you think it belongs to the Taliban? Because those are your choices in the conflict. Side with the guys who are trying their best, but sometimes screw up a bit? Or side with the guys who want to return the world to the 7th century bathed in blood.

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Posted in: U.S. probes video of Marines urinating on dead Taliban See in context

I agree it was a stupid thing to do, and even stupider to record.

But really, the hysterical over-reaction here is silly. The Taliban are not a normal enemy in the conventional sense of the word. They are not a military organization, they dont represent any government. They are misogynistic homophobes who use children as suicide bombers.

If you saw a picture of Allied servicemen urinating on the dead bodies of German gestapo or SS troops, would you be so upset? Somehow I doubt it.

This is nothing to do with the "moral high ground". The fact that the US is undergoing such hand-wringing and self abasement is proof that the moral high ground is in no danger. Can you imagine the Taliban undergoing such self reflection and worrying about showing honor to their enemies? Give me a break.

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Posted in: Social tensions increasing in U.S. between rich,poor See in context

As far as politicians go, most of them are in the 1%. Doesnt matter which party, although the Democrats do seem to be the slight winners in the area of wealth. Seven of the top ten richest members of Congress are Democrats.

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Posted in: Japanese stores offering foreigner-only discounts See in context

The same thing already exists in transportation. Foreign visitors can buy JR rail passes that offer unlimited travel on all trains. These passes must be purchased overseas, and users must show their tourist visa when they make train reservations. Private rail companies offer similar plans for tourists. Neither of these are available to foreign residents of Japan.

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Posted in: Romney savors victory in New Hampshire, vows to beat Obama in November See in context

I also agree with a lot of what Ron Paul stands for, particularly in regards to limiting the size and scope of government. But, military spending isn't the major issue- entitlements are. I agree that the military budget should be cut, but more important are the future obligations for Medicare and Social Security, if they aren't changed.

Mitt has his faults, but I love watching the looney left fall all over themselves calling him names here. The current course will be a disaster. Federal government spending has DOUBLED in the past 10 years. The blame lies with Bush, yes, but also with Obama. He has done nothing to bring any sense of fiscal responsibility to government.

Not to mention the current president is expanding federal power and presidential power. He has authorized murder of American citizens abroad, illegally participated in overseas military actions (Libya), and ignored Congress to make political appointments. Not a great record of either hope or change.

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Posted in: Romney savors victory in New Hampshire, vows to beat Obama in November See in context

Romney will win the nomination, and then the election. On a personal level, there is nothing wrong with President Obama. But... he was woefully unprepared to be president. He was articulate but inexperienced, placed in charge of a multi-trillion dollar economy but had never met a payroll. All potential but no track record. Americans won't make that mistake again.

Also, the constant cries of "hyporcite" and "wishy washy" can be applied to any politician who has been around for more than 15 minutes. I personally prefer someone who can be flexible enough to change in the face of new evidence/information instead of being stubborn.

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Posted in: Exploring two cultures See in context

Personally, I prefer the term "hybrid" for my son (Japanese/Canadian blend). He likes it, too. Sounds cool, strong, modern, that kind of thing. Hybrids are blends that become stronger than their original parts, so I like the image too.

I remember when he was in elementary school he loved to play the 'gaijin card' and get out of things he didn't like or didn't want to do... "sorry sensei, but we don't eat (insert nasty kyuushoku food here) at home, so..."

Sneaky kid. Wonder where he got that from?

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Posted in: Deportation could split up lesbian couple See in context

A couple of points: first, Ueda had a "student visa", yet works as a graphic designer. Is that legal, or a violation of the visa. Second, her visa expired in July. She has been overstaying for nearly half a year. Again, a possible reason to deport.

Finally, to oginome;

Your comments regarding interracial marriage in the USA are wrong. Interracial marriages were banned in SOME states, and those laws were overturned. There really is no connection between that situation and gay marriage. Those laws were historical aberrations, and confined to one part of one country for a relatively short time.

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Posted in: Obama declares victory for Americans as tax deal reached See in context


First two years of power, no budgets from Obama. He had majorities in BOTH houses. Didn't need a 60 vote margin in the senate, since budgets require only a majority. He had 59-60 seats and didn'T even try. The GOP tried in congress in 2011, if didn't get past the senate majority leader. I guess HE has more power than the president....

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Posted in: Obama declares victory for Americans as tax deal reached See in context

Yabits, I meant that he hasn't had a budget passed. The last proposal lost 97-0 in the senate. He can't even get his own party's support. Some leader...

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Posted in: Obama declares victory for Americans as tax deal reached See in context


The sewage is spewed from both sides. You forget the histrionics from the far left during the Bush years?

I've had enough of both parties. Both are tools of business- just look where Wall Street puts its money. Obama gets millions, te GOP gets millions, and corporations guarantee themselves a place at the trough along side the career politicians and other leeches.

The current president had 2 years of a total majority- both houses of congress as well as the presidency, yet he did nothing that helped the economy. Like I said, he couldnt even perform the basic task of making a bufget.

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Posted in: Obama declares victory for Americans as tax deal reached See in context

It's all political theatre. The real story is that Obama's administration hasn'even tabled a budget for the entire time he has been in office. The US has been run literally hand to mouth for three years, and counting.

He's a smart guy, but an absolute disaster as a leader. It shows that the conventional wisdom that Senators generally make poor presidents is true. They have no experience making decisions, hectoring people into line, or getting the job done on time.

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