JaneM comments

Posted in: Germany warns of anti-migrant backlash after week of bloodshed See in context

Article: Stephan Mayer, a deputy from Merkel’s conservative bloc, insisted that it was “completely wrong” to blame the government’s refugee policy for the recent rash of attacks.

I would not say “blame” but the Merkel’s government should take responsibility for involving Germany and Europe into a situation which nobody was prepared to cope with. I am sure we all want to be kind to people in need but humanity is only as good a tenet as you can assure safe and peaceful (co-)existence for all involved regardless of cultural (and in Europe’s case religious) background. Which neither Germany nor any other country in Europe has been able to do for the past couple of years or so.

Merkel’s push for an “open door” immigration (refugee) policy opened a Pandora ’s Box which most likely will take years if not decades to close.

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Posted in: Ultraconservative lobby Nippon Kaigi backs constitution revision See in context

aricle: It’s time to grow out of Japan’s “silly” postwar goal of becoming an economic power with lightweight military, and seek to restore Japan with more self-respect, traditional family values and principles under the emperor as head of nation, said Takubo

The “silly postwar goal” made Japan a prosperous society and a peace-loving country. There is nothing silly about it. Japanese people already have enough self-respect. The traditional family as Mr. Takubo knows it is a thing of the past. And I guess the peace-loving emperor would wonder what “principles” this old guy is talking about.

I wonder what the average age of the members of Nippon Kaigi is. It is scary when a bunch of old people dreams of restoring what has been gone for a long time. Times have changed and the world has, too. Terrible as it sounds, these guys would do everybody a favor by disappearing from this earth as soon as possible.

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Posted in: Theresa May becomes Britain's new prime minister; Boris Johnson named foreign secretary See in context

Johnson a Foreign Secretary?? I wish it were a bad joke. Unfortunately, it is not.

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Posted in: LDP policy chief Inada calls for changing pacifist constitution See in context

@citizen2012: It is sad, for all affected people (not only Japanese), that Japanese voters do not understand the concept of having strong opposition in the govt to force the ruling bloc to debate,

I would love to know how you came up with this conclusion. Generalizing again? Being condescending too much? Poor Japanese who have no idea how things work and what they want.

specially in Japan where citizen do not elect their Prime Minister directly,

Where in the world do citizens elect their PM (aka heads of government) directly? But then there are indeed some countries where the presidents as heads of governments are directly elected by the public. The examples: Afghanistan, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Paraguay Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uganda, etc.

this was really an opportunity to take. I am not sure who could stop the LDP now to re-interpret any articles making an obstacle to their plan to revise the constitution.

And the Japanese made their choice. Just because you do not like the outcome of the elections does not mean that the Japanese have not shown what they want. As another person wrote earlier, the LDP were careful not to talk about changing the constitution before the election. As for the change of article 9, there is still nothing certain about Abe’s winning the popular vote necessary for any constitutional change.

I am not sure who could stop the LDP now to re-interpret any articles making an obstacle to their plan to revise the constitution.

Re-interpretation and change are two different things. After all, Japan's fundamental law is the constitution and to change it LDP will need a popular vote. The Japanese love their 70-years-long peace record and the constitution which says that he country renounces war.

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Posted in: Would you like to see a referendum held on Okinawa so that Okinawans themselves can decide whether or not they wish to host U.S. military bases? See in context

@badsey: the jewel of the Pacific and Japan will only get better with the bases gone.

While Okinawa is a jewel, it is not THE jewel of the Pacific. The Okinawan economy may not suffer so much in the long term without the bases, however, the Okinawans still have a long way to go before they make their island competitive with other pacific islands, referred to as “paradise” by vacationers from all over the world. The existance or non-existance of the bases hardly has anything to do with that.

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Posted in: Pope says church should ask forgiveness from gays for past treatment See in context

article: “The question is: if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?”

And even though a person, be it gay or straight, has a good will but does not look for God, who are you to judge?

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Posted in: UK will retain access to the EU single market, says Brexit leader Johnson See in context

@mr_jgb: It is in both EU and UK interests to have free trade and services agreements less the immigration & federal EU rules.

Yeah, exactly. But surprise, surprise! Immigration is not likely to stop even after the Brexit is finalized.

Your comment reminds me of a child saying I want to play with you but on my own terms. While I agree that the EU immigration policy has gone overboard, you cannot call the union a petty child if it wants Britain out as soon as possible. Despite what many leave voters have been led to believe, in addition to being a contributor, Britain is also benefiting from being a member.

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Posted in: Fashion police want women to wear high heels See in context

While I enjoy seeing good-looking women wearing heels, I think heels are torture for every woman, no matter how good she looks in them. I do not bother with heels and feel good after the morning & evening walk to & back from work. Flats give you the freedom to walk as much and however fast you like.

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Posted in: Fewer Japanese seek marriage amid worries over income: poll See in context

@CH3CHO: Any employee, male or female, married or singe, is taxed only of his/her annual salary is more than 1,030,000 yen. The taxable amount is the excess amount above 1,030,000. I do not see any need for change.

CH3, please read what Cleo said.

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Posted in: Fewer Japanese seek marriage amid worries over income: poll See in context

@Krissey: Many women who are married can't work. Why? Because a lot of companies won't hire them and extremely high taxes after marriage.

While I do agree that there are companies still stuck in the past, I have no idea how you got the idea of high taxes after marriage? Peter Payne is right. The whole system of taxing married women only if they have an income of over 1.3 mln yen/year is outdated and should be scrapped. It does not encourage women to look for better jobs and as there is little demand for such, there is also little supply.

Plus! No maternity leave…

If you are a part-timer you are not going to get any maternity leave because the social insurance you have paid does not cover it. If you work full time (some types of temporary employment contracts also allow you to have a maternity leave, or in other words, part of the social insurance you pay with them goes to maternity leave) nobody can take away your right to maternity leave.

While it is difficult for foreign women to find full-time positions, it is not impossible. Many, though, seem to have little understanding of why part-time jobs do not give you the right to maternity leave.

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Posted in: Ichiro gets 4,257th career hit, surpassing Pete Rose's total See in context

I do not get all the talk about the “manufactured” record. Was it the same player who hit the ball all these times? I had no idea but in the news this morning they said that he began his carrier in 1994 (if I remember well). Amazing for an athlete in such a competitive sport! Wish him luck and all the best!

@ F4HA604: If MLB is so much superior to NPB, how come Team Japan with majority NPB players won the WBC 2 out of 3 times against teams with majority MLB players?

Ha ha. Indeed.

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Posted in: 34% of Japanese men afraid of their female colleagues, according to recent poll See in context

@sensato: In my experience, many Japanese workplaces are rife with constant petty revenge, trivial rivalries, elementary school playground feuds, subtle backstabbing and infantile bullying particularly among the women.

From my experience in the company I worked for before I came to Japan, I can say that nothing of the above is reserved for the Japanese only.

This said, I have worked in several Japanese companies and it seems that it all depends on the combination of personal characters and company’s business culture. My workplace at present though is a proof that the above comment applies as much to men as to women. Insecure men can be (or should I say are?) even worse than women. I consider myself lucky for being the only foreigner and one of the few women – makes it so much easier to not get involved in petty games initiated by the few “bad apples” in the office.

@reckless: one thing i noticed in the work environment in japan that is different from the US is that it is common for women to point out and mock a man's aging such as bald spot or getting fat,,,

I am sorry that you have been the target and hope it does not affect you in any way. But again, a beer-belly Japanese guy in his 60s in my office ridicules women in their 50s by calling them “obaa-chan” behind their backs and in a very offensive manner. He does this to men, too. Mind you, many of the women he targets look great, are more creative than him and work better than he does. I think that, as with many other such people, rather than a Japanese thing, it is a sign of his being a very insecure person.

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Posted in: Woman breaks silence among Fukushima thyroid cancer patients See in context

article:The thyroid-cancer rate in the northern Japanese prefecture is many times higher than what is generally found, particularly among children...

Says who? JT, with all due respect to Ms. Kageyama, would you mind stepping up your work and giving us some reliable sources/figures? What are the figures for Fukushima before/after the disaster? What are the figures for the rest of the country? Don't you think that your readers are intelligent inough to draw conclusions for themselves? Ms. Kageyama, would you please do some more reasearch for the readers of JT?

but the Japanese government says more cases are popping up because of rigorous screening, not the radiation that spewed from Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

How is that strange? When you screen more for something you are bound to find more of it. How many people were screened before 3/11? How does that compare to the number of screened people after the disaster? Instead of wasting time on statements like the one above, use your time and efforts to ask for research on the already discovered cancers. Then, after the results are out, get your word heard based on them not on some uninformed, emosionally driven conclusions.

Many Japanese have deep fears about genetic abnormalities caused by radiation.

It seems that such fears are not reserved only for the Japanese though.

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Posted in: Abe honors war dead at Chidorigafuchi cemetery See in context

@cruicialS: So whether your allies in need such as the U.K, Korea, Vietnam, or people under oppression like in Iraq the US stands ready to answer the call.

Just wonder who in Vietnam (the entire ) Middle East or Vietnam called the US military to turn their countries upside down?

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ And the American G. I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Yes, the freedom which political and social chaos bestow upon you. Unless you are an American of course.

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Posted in: U.S. schools preparing for the worst, with active shooter drills See in context

@NolivingQuite frankly I think the drills are irrational, if you take the 57 divided by 13 you get just over 4 homicides per year or a 0.01 per 100,000 gun homicide rate at schools from firearms which is basically the same homicide rate at schools for the UK and Canada, to further put that into perspective more children die on school sport teams than from gun homicides on average. The American school homicide rate is really not any higher than other developed nations.

And that is a good enough reason to never even think about banning gun possession by civilians???

Definitely the stupidest in the world when it comes to guns. …Yeah it is so stupid that as a result one hundredth of one percent of its population is killed by it each year......

I am lost for words. An overwhelming logic indeed!

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Posted in: Cincinnati Zoo director defends killing gorilla to save boy See in context

@tmarie: Walking on the street can be dangerous. Taking a bath can be dangerous. Sleeping in your bed can be dangerous. Pretty much everything can be dangerous. But when something happens, it isn't always someones fault. …Which is why one should hold their small child's hand.

Says somebody who has no idea that you cannot hold your child’s hand all the time, especially when they are having fun. 2, 3, 4-year old kids want to explore their independence and quite often disregard their parents’ warnings. It is one of those things which are easy to say but difficult to achieve. Believe it or not, no matter how hard you try, even you will not be able to hold your child’s hand when he/she gets to that age. Just wait and see.

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Posted in: Abe aide says raising sales tax would win global trust See in context

article: but some ruling party lawmakers favor offsetting any potential damage this time with a huge government spending package.

Not sure that offsetting has worked as expected so far. Does the "huge government spending package" have to be really huge? And even more, is it really needed?

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Posted in: Group of lawmakers urge Abe to stick with sales tax hike See in context

@article: A group of Japan’s ruling lawmakers has urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to proceed with a planned sales tax hike next April

This should be coupled with a reduction of the already too generous lawmakers’ salaries and work allowances.

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Posted in: Japan’s new passports to feature ukiyo-e designs See in context

@kaitenzusi: "during [Tokyo Olympics] one would expect a smaller-than-normal number of Japanese citizens to be travelling abroad." ..What is the basis for this assumption? I live within a day's drive of TWO different Olympics and I didn't participate in the events in any way. If anything, MORE Japanese may be going abroad to avoid the madness.

The basis is that the airplane capacity is a limiting factor. With a set number of air seats and an increased number of foreign visitors during the Olympics, it will be more difficult for local people to book air tickets (the foreigners who come will have to go back making seat availability for locals smaller than at any other given time.

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Posted in: Obama's Hiroshima trip stirs debate on Truman's fateful choice See in context

@Serrano: If 2.5 million Japanese troops were involved, most of them would have been killed or committed suicide,

There weren’t 2.5 million troops available at the time on the Japanese side.

so the A-bombs were good for them.

And here we are. The Japanese have to be grateful for the US dropping the bombs on them. Must love the arrogance of some Americans.

@wtfjapan: I get tired of this continued focus about the A-bombs and how Japan was the victim and how evil the bombs were etc etc, truth of the matter is WW2 was so much bigger than the just pacific side

The Japanese government and those in the IJA were not victims. They were perpetrators. The civilians who god bombed were victims, as hundreds of thousands of them never went to battle. The bombs were evil. Yes, WW II was much bigger than that. But here we are commenting on an article about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so if you get tired of the topic, you can simply leave the discussion.

war has always claimed more civilian lives than military, that's what war does.

Yes. This is why the Japanese say “We must remember so that it never happens again.” And they have done a good job at remembering and keeping away from military interventions into other sovereign states so far. What is so unbearable about this???

Ah yes. The conscience of those who claim they got everything right cannot bear being questioned. It seems that the roles have changed, though. For 70 years now the evil Japanese have not engaged in any international conflicts, have supported the economic development of Asian and African countries (plus countries in Central America and Eastern Europe), while the noble guys who dropped the bombs have been walking through the world destroying countries and regions because of their political and economic interests. The irony. Japan and the US seem to have learned well from each other.

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Posted in: Obama's Hiroshima trip stirs debate on Truman's fateful choice See in context

@ USNinJapan2: It's unfortunate that some of you can only see the bombings through your 21st Century eyes and not through those of leaders and commanders in the 1940's

And how unfortunate is it that some of you can only repeat what you have been fed by your government so that they and you can justify two of the most horrible mass killings in human history?

I would rather take the Japanese “It was horrible. We should remember so that it is never repeated again,” than the American “By dropping the bombs (and indiscriminately killing hundreds of thousands) we saved thousands of lives.”

It is indeed very convenient, isn’t it, to ignore all the historical evidence that Japan was close to the point of surrender when the bombs were dropped.

@HonestDictator: Stirring up whether it was right or wrong is moot since nothing will change what happened.

It is indeed moot. But those who say it was right, the winner/s who claim the moral high ground, have not learned anything from the bombings. They still go on “peace missions” around the world, wreaking havoc on countries and regions for the sake of their economic interest.

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Posted in: Obama's Hiroshima trip stirs debate on Truman's fateful choice See in context

Obama does not have to apologize.

This, however, does not change the fact that the two atomic bombs were one of the most inhumane acts in recorded history. It does not excuse the stupidity of the argument that killing hundreds of thousands of civilians (most of them elderly, women and children) and crippling tens of thousands for life and generations to come saved lives. Justifying the bombs by saying that the IJA did not differentiate between military and civilians only puts you as low as the deeds of IJA. So let’s not be so naïve as to think that the Americans were the good guys they want the world to believe they were/are. The IJA did terrible things. But do not stop there if you want to be objective. If you have a look at the world history after WW II, it is way too obvious that the American foreign policies and actions have been on a par with any colonial aggression, only conducted under the excuse of peace-making. Look at their meddling in the politics of Central and South American states, Asia, the Middle East… Their “peace missions” have brought so much grief to local people as has any other colonial aggression before.

The point is not the apology. Ii is to learn for the sake of humanity and never repeat any acts like the A-bombings in 1945.

@Gary Raynor: You should do some reading before you opine. Japan got what it deserved and some might say, after its rampage through Asia from 1937, it deserved a lot worse.

If I apply your logic to 9/11, may I say that America got what it deserved for starting the war in the Middle East? And that after its rampage through Iraq (which was initiated thanks to a fabricated “fact”) it deserved a lot worse than what it got on that single day?? How do you think the families of the people who got killed that day (all of them civilian) feel?

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Posted in: Rebuking Trump, Obama tells graduates walls won't solve problems See in context

@yakyak: Please Mr.Obama, Go back to Hawaii,sit in the sun and ponder how you single handedly damaged Americas reputation in the world.

Because before he was elected, the reputation of the US was good?? Are you being sarcastic? If not, you might want to try to listen to what actually the world has to say about Obama.

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Posted in: Seiko’s blingtastic luxury watch based on Hokusai’s Great Wave See in context

@citizen2012: Who wants to buy a Japanese made Seiko watch when with that amount of money you could afford an amazing Romain Jerome, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin or Harry Winston watch (just to name a few).

I for one. Though I would never spend this much on any watch, be it Japanese or Swiss, I love Seiko watches and find they offer amazing quality for good price. Since I got my first one 15 years ago, I have never thought of buying anything else. Punctuality, solar batteries, water resistance, shock resistance… what else does an active adult need from a watch?

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Posted in: Yakuza quick to mount rescue operations in Kyushu See in context

@igloobuyer: I live in NZ, we get our fair-share of natural disasters thank you

Still does not mean that you personally or your family have ever experienced losing everything and having to rely on aid for food and everyday supplies.

And you sir, have never had dealings with organized criminals like the Yakuza.

No, I have not. But I doubt that you have either. The truth is that, however despicable their business is, they have always been one of the first to act in providing aid – after the Hanshin earthquake, the Tohoku earthquake and now, the one in Kumamoto. Friends who were in Kobe during and after the Hanshin earthquake always speak about the said aid with mixed feelings. Nobody though has complained of having been approached by the yaks and asked for special favors later. The world is not only black and white and even the nicest person/model citizen can do bad things. Would being nice excuse their bad deeds then?

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Posted in: Organizers opt for harmony in new Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo See in context

expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.

This is where the meaning of the above phrase can be translated as “dull” and “boring” – two things which Japan and its sophistication have never been. What a disappointing choice.

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Posted in: Yakuza quick to mount rescue operations in Kyushu See in context

@igloobuyer: Just say, 'no thank you'.

Obviously, you have never been caught in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Sitting in your comfortable house thousands of miles way and advising the victims to say “no, thank you!” when there is little/no food and hardly any consumables for them and their children. What can be better than that advice?

@hatsoff: They only do it as an organisation because there's a pay off.

Hate to say it but the above sounds so very much like the social responsibility programs of any legitimate company – at the end everything is simply publicity for the organization.

@ThePBot : So the Koreans flew in to help.....the Yakuza came in to help......Abe? Do you have some time?

Do not know how much he did while there but Abe did go to the disaster-hit area/s a couple of days ago. If you had watched the news you wouldn’t have wasted time on writing the above question.

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Posted in: Quality of daycare in Japan deteriorating See in context

@Burning Bush:  But of course in the mind of the yuppie parents it is, because for them, an upscale car, fancy new apartment near the station, gym memberships and brand items are all a necessity. These are the typical dual income parents.

I guess they might be a necessity for you but the double-income parents I know do not spend on upscale cars (they buy family wagons instead), live in the suburbs (at least an hour commute twice a day) and if they can spare the time on weekends and the weather allows it, they go jogging outside because it is free of charge. They save for the education of the kids and for some family holidays, which, mind you are also a way to broaden your kids’ horizons.

Offloading the raising of their kids to strangers and spending their time at useless company drinking parties, the gym and shopping for brand items. Daycare mom: Drops kids off in a BMW or hybrid SUV, scurries back into her car in high heels and sporting the latest Gucci bag. Needs her weekly estee and has a 20,000 yen per month gym membership.

You seem fixated on the shopping for brand items… One wonders why. However, your “day-care” mom is not the typical day care mom. How many such moms do you personally know? One? Two? A hundred?

Offloading kids to strangers is not the solution,

Wow. “Offloading” your kids? You do not recognize the fact that many parents have to work full time to be able to provide not only food but also opportunities for their kids. Education is expensive and if you want to put your children through college you have to … work. Providing opportunities for your kids through education and more experience is not part of parental love then? I went to daycare because both my parents had to work. We had quality time as a family every day after they came back, on weekends and holidays. Kindergarten for me was a place to enjoy playing with other kids, learn new things and learn how to socialize (very important time for kids to learn that everybody comes with a different set of ideas when it comes to sharing, playing together, etc.) I may not be very “rounded” but people around me do not seem to be hurt or offended by what I say or how I treat them. I love my parents for the efforts they made to combine work with family life and for the opportunities they gave me in life.

changing attitudes is the answer.

Good. At least some appreciation of the efforts of hard-working parents will be more than welcome.

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Posted in: Abe aims to double number of tourists by 2020 to boost economy See in context

I am not sure Japan can reach the target given the insufficient infrastructure at present. However, if regional airports and marine ports are used,there might not be much need to build additional infrastructure in place.

@ CG: Bitching about tourists is hardly unusual or even noteworthy. No. But it is for a country that is supposedly trying to attract more. I haven't heard any ambitious targets coming out of the UK lately

True. I will not go into detail but the UK tourism PR specialists think that they know it all and, in general, try to make the world fit into their frame of it rather than try to meet the requirements of specific source markets. Believe it or not, Britain still seems willing to attract more visitors.

@smith: And while it's NICE if people who visit mind the local customs and culture, it is not LAW to do so

Hmm...I believe that many people in and out of Japan agree that even though it is not law it should be the norm.

and so long as laws are obeyed, and tourists wanted, as Abe is pushing for, the onus is on the local culture to provide a welcome atmosphere and respect the differences in culture.

So, visitors' not minding local customs is ok but the locals' complaining of such a behaviour is not?

And what makes you think that the atmosphere is not welcoming to the people coming to Japan? The number of repeaters from Asian countries (including both China and Korea) is growing so they obviously do not feel unwelcome.

@moonraker: But they don't necessarily spend it benefitting the local economy. More often than not it is Chinese tour companies, Chinese tour guides and Chinese operators of hotels who are prime beneficiaries.

While it is true about hotels, guides and travel companies, the tourists do shop at local stores contributing somewhat to the profits of some local businesses. And the hotels/restaurants/travel companies run by Chinese in Japan still have to pay corporate taxes here so eventhough they have not "saved the Japanese economy" (as some people want to us to believe) the country has benefited from the Chinese visits.

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Posted in: You know you’re in Japan when… See in context

Haha, Strangerland. I hear you. However, there is a theory that those who complain have not actually been here long enough to appreciate the positive points about the country :) Whatever the theory or the reason for whining though some people just like to complain, and their glass will always be half empty.

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