Fugacis comments

Posted in: How would you define terrorism? See in context

The use of physical or economic violence with a motive of instilling fear and terror in a population in order to coerce or subjugate them to the interests, desires or convictions of the perpetrator.

And yes, state terrorism is included in this definition.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Female lay judge to sue over stress caused by crime scene photos See in context

You know, it's easy to point the finger and say "Ha! She should have known what to expect!", but I don't think that quite insulates the system from its culpability. I imagine there is more to this story.

Knowing Japan, there was probably very little in the way of explanation of what this case would involve, other than "scenes of violence that may be distressing". But even if she was told, no one can actually know whether they can handle those scenes until after they have actually seen them. I don't think anyone posting above could seriously say with any certainty that they would not lose their lunch, even if they had conceived before that they'd be fine.

But furthermore, given the idea of "civic duty" that this is presented to people with, there was significant implicit pressure for her to go ahead. I think most people would - to say otherwise would be to lose face and let someone down.

I don't think the criminal justice system gets off the hook just by saying "well we tell them what to expect". Given the inherent risk of severe psychological harm, the following should be in place:

There should be back-up, or shadow lay judges in case one needs to pull out mid-way through, as it is impossible to know when this will happen.

There should be counselors on hand that the lay judges can talk to during recess, or any time, about anything within the trial that has distressed them.

There must be a full debrief after the verdict for all lay judges.

The criminal justice system must be willing to accept the full risk that all of the lay judges it is getting in to do this - even if they stated that they were prepared - will present with Acute Stress Disorder as a result, and should offer to subsidise any counselling that may be required as a result.

Possibly, cases involving some levels of violence should have qualifications for its lay judges, to ensure that they are people who have come into contact with extremely stressful scenarios and can tolerate these levels of stress (e.g. firefighters, medical professionals, rescue workers).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Thatcher's body lies in chapel as funeral debate rages See in context

There is no debate, because as in all things the Tory government never let is have a debate on whether that vile woman gets the taxpayer's money to subsidise her funeral. Of there had been, I suspect many of US would have told them to sod off.

But no, as always the little people have no say, and people who are told there's not enough money for social welfare are told there's enough to pay for an opulent funeral for the woman who was all about rolling back the state, except when It came to indulging her ego.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Why do some native English speakers use broken or grammatically incorrect English, when trying to communicate with someone who isn't a native English speaker, but who may understand some English? Do t See in context

Do they think that somehow broken English is easier to understand?

In the case of relaying relatively simple information quickly and effectively where a language barrier exists, yes it is. While more complex aspects of English grammar have their uses and shouldn't be thought irrelevant or dispensable, they can be superfluous to a simple imperative message.

It just depends what level we're talking at.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Anti-Thatcher party held in London's Trafalgar Square See in context

While having a party and wishing to dance on her grave indicates a very unhealthy and obsessive hatred, I'm not going to criticise people for being glad that she's gone. All across the country there are stories of this man who committed suicide after he was made homeless and jobless by her reforms; and that family that split up because of the stress of having to fight and strike for jobs.

It's easy to be angry at someone. But to create the kind of hatred that lasts across decades, and across generations, there has to be a deep wrong and injustice done. The injustice is not only in the economic horror she unleashed on this country that lasts to this day; but also in the government's aim to rewrite history, to exclude the voices and experiences of whose whose lives she wrecked and present her as some kind of national saint. That is why people were out today.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Cameron says Thatcher made Britain great; others snub her See in context

She should not have a state - or ceremonial - funeral. Not at all. No politician should really, but especially not Thatcher. A ceremonial funeral paid for by the state should be for someone who unites the people, and means something to the whole nation. Winston Churchill - for all his many faults - was the man who upheld Britain's resistance in the Second World War, and thus unites the country in that aspect. Even the Queen Mother and Princess Diana were royals, and thus national figureheads.

Thatcher did not unite our country behind her. She divided Britain more than any Prime Minister before or since: between those who loved her and hated her; between North and South; between the haves and the have-nots. For the government to lavish this state praise on her in our name is to insult the scores of people who have great cause to hate her memory. A riot, or disturbance, of some kind is inevitable, and if the government don't want such undignified scenes at her funeral, they should have let her have a private funeral at a chapel in Grantham.

The state lavishing this money on her funeral - while slashing even the pittance that remains of this country's welfare and social infrastructure on the farcical grounds of "savings" - is a pure insult to the millions of people her policies left on the rubbish heap.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Former British PM Margaret Thatcher dead at 87 See in context

I won't be celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death, but nor will I be joining in the gushing chorus of crocodile tears. By her actions and her words when she had power, she proved herself to be a completely morally bankrupt human being.

The best I could possibly say for her is that she believed in her ideals and fought to see them through. But that is damning her with faint praise, as her "ideals" were greed, money-grubbing, and a war on the poor, the legacy of which Cameron's government is doing its best to uphold. She was a fanatic for a detestable cause, and hundreds of thousands of people have been paying the price in poverty and alienation ever since. She supported the most appalling regimes, including South African apartheid and Pinochet's military junta in Chile, both of which murdered thousands of dissidents with her tacit support. In everything she did, she proved to be a heartless, egotistical, and spiteful person, ruining and taking lives with sadistic glee.

Given the devastating effects of what she did, I will not support anyone who is cheering tonight, but nor will I condemn them in very strong terms.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Whale 'research institute' a flashpoint in global dispute See in context

From what I recall, while Japanese people have hunted whales in the past, it's far from something might be called a historical tradition - more a marginal activity. Whale meat only became popular in the post-war period, amid massive food shortages, as an austerity food, like the much reviled snook was in Britain.

Now, I think it's two things: one is to continue to subsidise a dying industry that nevertheless still has a lot of political capital in rural coastal areas (particularly ones that happen to be LDP strongholds; and the other is for an increasingly out of touch and irrelevant Japan to thumb its nose at the West.

All in all, it represents all that is sordid and rotten in Japanese politics: vested interests, corruption, embezzlement, national egoism, and acting against the public good.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: China culls birds as bird flu death toll mounts See in context

Being the 2nd largest economy indicates little to nothing about human development, and you know it. China is a densely populated country of over a billion people, and most of them are poor. That doesn't change at all quickly, and neither does it with countries like India, Indonesia, etc. Are you actually interested in the complexities of Chinese politics and human, or are you just trying to take to your first world pedestal and preach at those ignorant poor people to stop being poor?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China culls birds as bird flu death toll mounts See in context

Why does Avian flu always start around in Hongkong and Shanghai? That's what I would like to know. Never started around in Australia, Scandinavian countries, Canada? Am I the only one who raise this simple question like this?

Because bird flu tends to germinate much more easily in countries with high population density, hot and humid conditions, low tech farming and hence lower hygiene standards. E.g. southern China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc. This is like Epidemiology 101.

But I'm pretty sure you knew that already, and your actual motive was a jab at China.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Myanmar Muslims kill 8 Buddhists in Indonesian immigration center See in context

Incidents like this lend credence to that argument. The Rohingya need to go or be settled with other Muslims, like Indonesia. Wherever you've got minority Muslims in SE Asia, you've got violence and misery, like southern Thailand and the Philippines.

That's called ethnic cleansing, and it tends to be frowned on by civilised people. The Rohingya are Burmese, native to the land and with as much right to be there as anyone. Just like the Moro in the Philippines or the Bosniaks in the Balkans.

And stop pretending that this is anything other than tribal warfare. Buddhists in Burma gang-rape Buddhist women regularly. Their citing of instances of crimes by Muslim perpetrators is out of no concern for the victims - it is merely another instance of chauvinistic tribal men laying claim to ownership of "their women" and using them as a symbol of their "honour".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Myanmar Muslims kill 8 Buddhists in Indonesian immigration center See in context

it's always muslims vs the rest (christians, buddhists, hindus, jews). the religion of peace just can't seem to get along with the rest of humanity.

Some "religion of peace" those thugs who killed three dozen Muslims in Burma followed. Ethnic and religious violence is always wrong; not just when Muslims do it.

And again the fallacy of assuming that every conflict that involves Muslims, from Mindanao to Bosnia to Chechnya, must be initiated by Muslims. And that every other religion doesn't have its vicious persecution against others.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Abbas confirms Jordan as custodian of Jerusalem holy sites See in context

The Palestinian Authority is a sub-national body with hampered jurisdiction even within the Palestinian Territories, let alone Israel proper. Jordan is the custodian of the sites because, unlike the PA, it is a full member of the United Nations with full diplomatic recognition in Israel, and the ability to negotiate as an equal nation state.

So no, not pathetic. Rather the best of a bad situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Differences in business culture between Japan and West See in context

Oh goodie, a fluffy nihonjinron article again. I see they have presented no basis for these claims about the "uniqueness" (read "superiority") of Japanese business culture; just a few vague properties that actually could apply to companies anywhere in the world and still make sense, because the variation in culture between companies is greater than that between countries. Japan likes to pretend that it is unique, but all the same hubris is there as in the Western world.

Also, many of these are pretty negative things.

This laying of the responsibility at the feet of the individual is not because Japanese workers are more capable; it's because they're browbeaten so heavily that they cannot say no to their corporate masters. Hence people will take on jobs that are way too big for them, and end up working feverishly 70 hours per week to get the job finished, at the expense of their family lives and their health, for deathly fear of failing, because if they do they will be fired and will be unable to voice a word of protest towards their masters.

This isn't an admirable trait; it's being a doormat for your boss while they place all the responsibility on you and make sure that they dodge taking responsibility themselves. Workers remaining silent and meet is a bad thing.

And feeling that you're only able to be your "true self" under the influence of alcohol is a very big red flag for alcoholism.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Taiwan adds new ships to patrol disputed islands See in context

Oh Daniel all of the countries Japan has disputes are traditional foes of Japan.

All of whom became traditional foes of Japan because of Japanese imperialism and aggression.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Where do you think the U.S. base at Futenma in Okinawa should be moved to? See in context

Back to US territory, along with all the bases dotted around Japan and the rest of the world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Sanctions noose makes it harder for Japan's Koreans to help their own See in context

In any case, I would not want to be one of those relatives in Japan, or South Korea, hoping against hope that my family were safe or even alive, and sending out money without even being sure that it would go into their pockets and not those of the inhuman KWP regime. Living with that burden must be agony.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe seeks Mongolia's support in China island dispute See in context

“I asked for Mongolian support relating to the Chinese situation and Mongolia expressed its understanding of the Japanese position,”

I would be surprised if Mongolia expressed this understanding in any other terms than a bored "yeah, sure man, I get ya...".

There are no good guys in this pathetic little square-off, but Abe gets my goat more than anyone. Using it as a talking point for nationalist posturing and his ultimate goal of remilitarisation; making "no compromise" statements and then acting surprised when China doesn't feel like negotiating; and now trying to bring others into the conflict, such as his presumptuous statements that the US will be on Japan's side in a war, and attempting to enlist other countries in the trouble Japan causes.

If Mongolia has any wisdom, they'll stick well clear of this colossal diplomatic mess, as should any other nation. Maybe Japan will start acting with more maturity if it doesn't have more powerful nations' skirts to hide under in case of trouble.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Sanctions noose makes it harder for Japan's Koreans to help their own See in context

When are the north Koreans standing up against their terrible regime?

In the gulags, freezing, starving, and being beaten, worked and tortured to death. Or maybe just too tired and hungry to stand up. Don't start handing out judgement of people living in that situation; you've no idea what it's like to live in that environment, and no authority to say that you wouls 'stand up' either.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: N Korea says it has entered 'state of war' with South See in context

More than likely that this is posturing, and what we're in for is about 6 months of complete diplomatic silence, save for hysterical propaganda and agitation from North Korea, followed by North Korea sheepishly coming back to the negotiating table when the sanctions begin to really bite.

The response is sensible; any noticeable change in SK/UN military or diplomatic policy, particularly towards fortification, will play into this game. The best thing to do is to keep calm and carry on as normal, but remain vigilant for any acts of aggression by North Korea. If North Korea does anything, it will probably be to attack disputed waters and islands, and perhaps small acts of aggression by soldiers on the DMZ. In this case, and where there needs to be military retaliation, it should be confined to the case at hand.

This doesn't bode well though. North Korea is increasingly volatile, and even the most measured retaliation could send them on the path to all out war, which would be catastrophic for Korea (Seoul lies within range of North Korean V2s), and very bad news for any neighbours too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: New Zealand bans foreign students from prostitution See in context

Apparently the sex trade is legal and regulated in NZ. It makes me curious- does that mean that prostitution jobs are posted and advertised at government work/unemployment offices just like 'regular' jobs? Are people who receive government jobless benefits required to apply to work in such places in order to qualify for their govt cash?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No they're not, in the same way that they're also not required to join the army, join the police, work on a trawlership, work in a mine, or do any other jobs which bear substantial physical and/or psychological risks.

Something tells me that those in favor of legalizing the sex business never thought of this scenario.

If you thought of it, so did the legislators and those who campaigned for it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: New Zealand bans foreign students from prostitution See in context

Yeah, it is almost certainly there to protect human trafficking victims and students who might be pressured into it out of poverty or desperation. Hardly a panacea, but it should hopefully dissuade some from doing it, and it gives more ammunition for the government to fight traffickers and pimps who force the students into it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: White House seized by North Korean terrorists in film thriller See in context

Well this looks stupid. Exactly why do the North Koreans hole up in the White House instead of whisking the President off to North Korea instead? I know it's an action thriller dreamt up by lunatics with more knuckles than brain cells, but still, can we at least have higher plot standards?

I might make a drinking game out of it actually:

Take a drink for every pornographic shot of US military hardware. Every crass ethnic stereotype of Asians bandied about. Double if they get the wrong nationality. Any time someone says something like "because they hate our freedom, man!" Every time the US flag waves around. Every teary scene where one of the 'good guys' dies. Every rousing speech or American cliche. Every instance of the Stormtrooper Effect - i.e. the baddies being ludicrously terrible shots, while the goodies pick them off with ease. Every plot hole.

By this point they're so formulaic you could knock out an American action thriller screenplay with a simple algorithm.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: In lavish reception, Putin greets China's new president See in context

This does not sound like a positive long-term development. A Sino-Soviet block would polarize a US-Japan-maybe South Korea block. North Korea being the uncle with toys in the attic. I think the region is best served by less polarization, but with established nation-friends.

Oh I don't know, I quite like the idea that there's a counterbalance to American hegemony in the region. America continues to act like an imperial power with bases all over the world, and keeps on spouting Cold War rhetoric against both Russia and China. Quite natural that Russia and China would want to strengthen themselves against aggression.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan protests to France over military sales to China See in context

The US has pursued a policy of imperialism and neo-colonialism since at least the turn of the 20th Century. It colonised the Philippines and Panama, it attacked the Soviet Union, it interfered in Vietnam, and it bombed Laos and Cambodia, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Elsewhere in the world, it invaded Iraq with no provocation whatsoever, and has needlessly prolonged the warfare there; it has used drone strikes in northern Pakistan that have killed upwards of 2000 civilians; it has used assassinations and targeted killing in violation of international law; and it has facilitated Israel's aggressive land grabs against Palestinians.

It has propped up dictatorships in lieu of democratically elected governments, as in Iran, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Chile; it has used foreign countries as proxy battlefields with the Soviet Union; and it has oppressed the economies of many countries in South America with monopolistic corporations such as the United Fruit Company.

This is to say nothing of its brandishing of nuclear weapons and generally obscenely aggressive foreign policy.

In comparison, China has been belligerent over a handful of disputed slivers of land, most of which aren't even populated. Now do you see why I roll my eyes whenever people like Ossan give me their Cold War-esque hysteria, hypocrisy and American exceptionalism?

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Posted in: Hillary Clinton joins other Dems in backing gay marriage See in context

You'll be on the right side of history, Ms. Clinton. It's a brave move in a vicious political environment, but every influential figure who rallies behind equal rights wrests power from the class of Republicans who want to restrict the definition of "human" to "straight white male".

The tide is turning in favour of equality. :)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan protests to France over military sales to China See in context

Leave it to the French to sell military equipment to the country that has declared 'it's intent to replace the US Navy as the dominant strategic power in the Pacific.

Explain to me why it's any more right or desirable that the US is the dominant strategic power than China.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Posted in: China's new president calls for 'great renaissance' See in context

The big difference smith is that Japan's "renaissance" doesn't include expanding it's territory to include the entire South and East China Seas or trying to become the biggest military power in Asia.

Oh but it did. And if Abe gets his way I'm sure Japan would try again.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: 2 infants die after being left asleep in car See in context

Idiots. This needs to be prosecuted as criminal negligence and involuntary manslaughter. If the parents are so ignorant of the danger of leaving children in an unventilated car, and so reckless that they would not bother to check, then they have no business caring for children.

In the UK at least, public service announcements go out every summer warning against this, because we've had enough cases ourselves. It doesn't even need to be a particularly hot day; just having bright, direct sunlight shining in through windows is enough to create a greenhouse effect that can be lethal for children or animals. In response to posters above, even 15C is enough if it's a sunny day.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Woman confesses to killing 25-year-old mentally disabled son See in context

I agree with jj1980. I am seriously appalled by these comments, and I really hope that none of you have disabled family, because I can quite see you murdering them.

Disabled people everywhere are at far, far greater risk of abuse and even murder by their own families than by anyone else. What this, and the comments above, show, is that disabled people are just valued less as human beings by a lot of people. This was her son, whatever condition he was in. He was family. And she murdered him because she hated him. It's an appalling crime, and she should spend the rest of her life in jail.

What I do know is that this man wasn't the first, nor will he be the last disordered or non-normative person to be murdered by their family because he wasn't exactly the perfect son they wanted. As something close to my heart, this happens all the time to autistic children - they are put through the most horrible "corrective therapy" to make them "normal", even when this is traumatic and fruitless, because you can't change a person's personality. When this doesn't work, parents punish them, are violent towards them, and express to them that they are not the child they want. Imagine how that feels.

This happens to mentally handicapped kids, autistic kids, even gay kids. It's parents not loving their children because they weren't the perfect designer baby they wanted.

No, this is abuse and murder. And she should be treated as a murderer.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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