expat comments

Posted in: Coppola backs Scorsese's comments on Marvel films See in context

Given that most Hollywood actors are actually entertainers hired for their looks who are unable to make audiences believe they are anyone other than themselves, you might as well have make believe roles for them to play. Most of the non-comic book-based Hollywood fare is essentially escapist nonsense as well.

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Posted in: 2 men arrested for operating movie theater without permit See in context

If every business in Japan that was a firetrap was closed, there would be a lot of empty buildings. There are towers full of fire traps called "Snacks" in every city of any size in the country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Future of Japan's imperial dynasty rests on shoulders of 13-year-old See in context

Monarchy is incompatible with modern notions of democracy. Look for it to continue until Japan comes to terms with the meaning of democracy, which is not defined as 70 years of one-party rule.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Johnson sends unsigned letter to EU asking for Brexit delay See in context

Tusk ought to return it for a signature...

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Posted in: Trump drops plan to host G7 summit at his golf resort See in context

It was a ploy to distract attention from impeachment, Syria, Pelosi, Mulvaney... and it failed to knock any of them out of the headlines.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: China asked NBA to fire Rockets exec over Hong Kong tweet: Silver See in context

Step off, China. The NBA should pull its business out of China, and let the CCP explain that to the people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Atomic Power to get ¥350 bil to reboot plant See in context

All of these are public utilities whose rates are set by the government and who derive their profits from the taxpayer, correct? So it's really the taxpayer being forced to subsidize this boondoggle.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Most overrated general' Mattis takes swipe at Trump See in context

"....history will show Trump was right in getting us out of Syria." Or it won't. Trump got played by Erdogan, who told him he'd take the fight to ISIS, and that the US could stand its troops down. Trump, stupidly, fell for it, and the Truks moved in and, as planned, began a campaign of ethnic cleansing agains the Kurds. The US military had so little time to withdraw that it had to leave ISIS detainees and munitions behind. It then had to carry out airstrikes on its own ammo dumps to prevent them falling into hostile hands. Russia has already occupied abandoned US bases. The fate of the ISIS captives is unclear, but they are in much greater danger now as a result of the US pullout The forces now in control cannot be expected to respect the Geneva Conventions. So much winning...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Most overrated general' Mattis takes swipe at Trump See in context

Like Mattis said, the only member of the military Trump respects is Col. Sanders. Who was, ironically, a virulent racist...

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Posted in: Japanese women categorize male friends by levels of intimacy, from hugging to bathing See in context

You know how there's some stuff you just can't make up? This isn't it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Man runs toward car on street and smashes windshield See in context

"suspicion of property damage"? Given the evidence, why not just charge him with "property damage"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to pardon 550,000 petty criminals on occasion of imperial ceremony See in context

Why would a petty criminal be "sentenced to imprisonment or penal servitude", anyway? I assume most of these people never served a custodial sentence, and that this is simply an administrative matter of expunging a misdemeanor arrest from their record.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to dispatch SDF to Strait of Hormuz instead of joining U.S.-led coalition See in context

Abe can't sell the idea of joining in a US naval coalition to the voters, so he's doing the next best thing - from his perspective.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Sea Hell See in context

Absolutely, along with solar, wind and wave energy. MITI wanted as much bang for the buck as possible because the govt at the time saw the country as an export production facility, so they went with nuclear power - with no small amount of inducement from the US, of course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Doctor arrested for kissing teenage girl during medical examination See in context

The cops probably spent the past 9 months trying to convince her to drop the charges. It's been known to happen.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to participate in U.S. lunar exploration program See in context

How much is it going to cost?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe promises special support to rebuild from Typhoon Hagibis See in context

Code words for "Expect another tax increase"? When the government came up short after 3.11, everyone working for the national govt at any level got hit with a 10% pay cut for three years. We were told we were making more money than those in the private sector, which was an obvious lie.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Sarcastic Koike says: Let's hold Olympic marathon on Russian-held islands See in context

In the immortal words of Eric Cartman, "Respect my authoritie!".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese illustrator’s realistic Asahi Super Dry artwork looks good enough to drink See in context

Nobody really does hyper-realism anymore - not since the invention of the camera. Technical facility without feeling is not art.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Christian Dior criticized over China map, apologizes, upholds 'one China' See in context

You can't deal with a Chinese company without dealing with the Chinese government, and the Chinese government seeks to impose the same restrictions on the rest of the world that it does on its own people. Stop trading with them, isolate them, contain them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC apologizes for abrupt plan to move Tokyo Olympic races; Sapporo mayor not notified See in context

Bet the people with tickets to those events are going to be overjoyed...

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Posted in: U.S. Democrats go on attack against Warren on healthcare, taxes at debate See in context

What they really needed was a circular firing squad to thin out the herd of candidates. Still, you know that you're the one to beat when everyone is taking pot shots at you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for groping high school girl on bicycle See in context

How can they know his occupation but not his name?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, despite sanctions and calls to stop See in context

When Trump won the presidency on a promise to end “endless wars,” it was always unspoken that doing so would mean abandoning allies, like the Kurdish forces, or the Afghan government. But also unspoken was leaving American soldiers behind, or unsupported on the field of battle. 

Removing the American troops from Syria may require an airlift; another may also be needed to relocate the estimated 50 American tactical nuclear weapons housed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. That's right, 50 US nuclear weapons, on Turkish soil. Erdogan could also deny the US access to Incirlik, if he's willing to cut ties with NATO and give up aspirations of joining the EU.

On the ground, Syrian Arab forces allied with the Turkish military executed at least two Kurdish prisoners on Saturday, filmed the killings and posted the images across social media. 

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper admitted that, less than one week into the conflict “we see a humanitarian crisis emerging.”

Two United States officials went on record saying that the precipitous withdrawal of American forces forced them to leave behind five dozen “high value” Islamic State prisoners. 

The situation is sure to get worse, especially for the estimated two million civilians living in northern Syria. “Our allies, trusted us, and we broke that trust,” a US Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria told the NYT. “It’s a stain on the American conscience.”

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Pence, Giuliani will not cooperate in U.S. House impeachment inquiry See in context

Subpoenas, contempt of Congress motions, arrest warrants.

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Posted in: Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, despite sanctions and calls to stop See in context

Who benefits from Mr. Trump’s decision?

The immediate winners were Turkey and its Syrian Arab proxies, who had captured over 75 square miles of previously Kurdish-held territory by the end of the weekend.

The Islamic State will also profit from the instability, since Kurdish-led fighters no longer have the manpower to root out remaining militant cells or to guard roughly 11,000 captured ISIS fighters.

The Syrian government is another beneficiary: On Sunday, the Kurdish authorities allowed Syrian troops to return to large parts of northern Syria where they had no presence for more than half a decade. But many fear that eventually the Assad regime, and its feared security forces, will take back control.

Russia and Iran, Mr. al-Assad’s main international protectors, are the other winners. America’s withdrawal allows the two countries to expand their influence in the region. Russia has already emerged as the main power broker in negotiations between the Kurds, Mr. al-Assad and the Turkish government, and it's only been a week since Trump greenlit the invasion.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, despite sanctions and calls to stop See in context

"No doubt this was all planned beforehand" You give Trump too much credit. The other two may have planned it and sold it to him, but he is no planner. It's the only reason I don't believe he's involved in conspiracies - at least of his own making. He simply isn't smart enough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, despite sanctions and calls to stop See in context

NYT: In Syria, Russia Pleased to Fill an American Void

"As the United States withdraws from Syria, Russia is stepping in, is running patrols to separate warring factions, striking deals and helping President Bashar al-Assad advance..." Well played, Donnie. "So much winning you'll be sick of it...", right? If this is winning, I'd hate to see what losing looks like.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Money, hatred for the Kurds drives Turkey's Syrian fighters See in context

Russia said on Tuesday that its military units were patrolling territory in northern Syria between Syrian and Turkish forces after the American withdrawal from the area, underscoring the sudden loss of United States influence in the area and illustrating how the power balance in the region has shifted rapidly in the past week.

The announcement that Russian forces were now patrolling an area where the United States had until Monday maintained two military bases appeared to signal that Moscow was moving to fill a security void left by the withdrawal of both the American military and its partners in an international counterterrorism mission. Videos circulating on social media appeared to show a Russian-speaking man filming himself walking around a recently evacuated United States military base in northern Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that its military police, which had already established a presence in other parts of Syria, were patrolling “the northwestern borders of Manbij district along the line of contact of the Syrian Arab Republic military and the Turkish military.” It added that its troops were coordinating “with the Turkish side” and that “the Syrian government army has taken full control of the city of Manbij and nearby populated areas.”

The developments on Tuesday came as a spokesman for the United States-led coalition said on Twitter that its forces, which include French and British soldiers, had left the formerly Kurdish-held town of Manbij. “Coalition forces are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria,” Col. Myles B. Caggins wrote. “We are out of Manbij.”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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