Jim Harper comments

Posted in: China's top diplomat urges greater co-operation with Japan, S Korea See in context

Asian values

"Asian values"? Seriously? Asia is a continent with hundreds of different cultures, a dozen different primary language groups and hundreds of separate languages, millennia of distinct histories, dozens of different religions and many different political systems. Despite this, China expects them all to have a similar value system because some of them look similar? Not even the "Chinese" (a term that covers a multitude of different cultures and ethnicities) can agree on a shared value system, but China claims that the entirety of Asia has common values? It's beyond a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China unveils global data security initiative; says some countries bullying others See in context

Wrong again. Who is China bullying? Is it China that goes around the world and threaten countries to ban Huawei or else.. Is it China that threatens countries around the world to stop doing business with China or else.. Is it China that not only bans US tech companies for no reason, but also threatens other countries to ban them too? Is it China that has over 300 military bases around the world and kills innocent people which then justifies by saying "oops, we didn't mean it"? Is it China that has completely encircled America with military bases? Is it China that has an international network of media that parrot CCP narrative and rhetoric against America? Is it China that just sanctioned the ICC for investigating US war crimes in Afghanistan?

So China threatening foreign companies with being excluded from China unless they stop referring to Taiwan as a foreign country doesn't count? What about China openly vowing to blackball any country that supports Japan for a permanent UN Security Council seat, or continuing to put pressure on countries that aid Taiwan or support it joining international organisations? Muslims in Xinjiang ring a bell? What about the internal blackout on mentioning Chinese human rights violations like the Tiananmen Square massacre, or China's threat to stop working with governments who try to punish those actions?

And by the way, China does have "an international network of media that parrot CCP narrative and rhetoric against America"; they're just not as successful or as popular as the western equivalent.

America is hardly perfect, but regarding the Chinese government as anything less than a quasi-genocidal tyrannical bully is delusional.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump's show of federal force sparking alarm in cities See in context

Of course Trump isn’t doing it alone, no President could and thank God it’s happening now, these people are people caught Read their rights, they will be charged with federal crimes so that they can’t be dismissed and they will go to prison and that’s good.

Most of those arrested (not to mention the feds themselves) say they were neither informed of the alleged offence nor actually charged. Just because Trump says they're all going to prison doesn't automatically make it true.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: New Zealand mosque gunman to represent himself at sentencing See in context

I have read his "manifesto" and I do not see any "white supremacy" there. But we must follow the politically correct labels, apparently.

I've read it too, and I see it as loaded with material associated with white supremacy. Since I'm hardly unique, I'm going to guess that many other people would too.

I'm also not bothered by his claims to be an 'eco-fascist' (or anything else, for that matter). He also claimed to not be a Nazi, despite a wealth of Nazi and Neo-Nazi references and paraphernalia.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Some people argue that mandating anyone to wear face masks during the pandemic is a violation of human rights. Do you agree? See in context

If you are not infected, you wearing a mask isn't protecting anyone.

...and given all the suspected asymptomatic cases, how exactly is a person supposed to know for certain whether they're infected or not? Has anyone tried to test an entire population to find out? Of course not. So we're back to erring on the side of caution and wearing a mask. Simply repeating that uninfected people aren't dangerous does nothing to advance your argument.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Some people argue that mandating anyone to wear face masks during the pandemic is a violation of human rights. Do you agree? See in context

Of course it's not. Nothing that's been said here provides any evidence for that assertion. People might not want to wear a mask and some people might think they don't work, but a violation of human rights? No.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population See in context

Thank goodness President Trump is in the White House for another four years to help put an end to this. Nobody else will have the balls.

Trump isn't in the White House for another 4 years. Or did we miss the election?

As for putting an end to this, Trump's had the information on the Uighur camps for years, like everybody else. I haven't seem him do anything that might actually hurt the Chinese government in response to this. The only thing he mentions is trade, and his measures there haven't exactly brought China to its knees.

As for having balls, his method of dealing with brutal dictators is to having a meeting, take a few pictures, take about his new friends and declare everything to be sunshine and daffodils. Wonderful.

Other leaders have certainly been ineffective, but the only balls Trump knows about are bright yellow and buried in the undergrowth.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: Conan Doyle estate sues Netflix over 'emotional' Sherlock Holmes See in context

Should be happy the character is still white and straight and male. Even that isn’t guaranteed anymore.

Too late. Holmes has already been female, Asian, black and implied to be gay. The word didn't end, and entirely faithful adaptations of Doyle's works are freely available (as well as the original stories), if you need reassurance.

Having said that, this seems like a frivolous lawsuit. I'm not sure why the Doyle estate (for information purposes, the author's surname was NOT 'Conan Doyle') is claiming copyright over a character transition, and moreover one that's pretty vague in the original tales. Especially when they haven't done the same over the substantial changes featured in other adaptations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Gone with the Wind' returns to HBO Max with commentary on brutality of slavery See in context

A four minute preamble before the movie? That's truly horrifying. I hope the viewers can survive such shocking audiovisual violence.

Seriously, the film is being shown in its complete, unexpurgated form. You don't like the intro, don't watch it. There's absolutely nothing impeding your enjoyment of the film.

Are the people who didn't like the film being removed from a single streaming service the same people now complaining that it's freely available to watch? 'Cos y'know, that sounds a little contradictory.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump unleashes grievances at rally; suggests virus testing should slow down See in context

The turnout is hardly the important thing to take away from this rally, whether it's a million people or a single bored stoner attracted by the pretty lights. All you need to know is that the most powerful man in the country announced that doing less testing results in less infections. At that point all political divisions, interests and sympathies fade into nothingness; nobody should tolerate that kind of dribbling stupidity.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Posted in: After backlash, AMC says it will require masks at all U.S. theaters See in context

Yeah lets take our scientific and medical advice from actors. You know people who get paid to pretend to be people they are not.

Disregarding medical advice because it's being repeated by an actor sounds a little silly, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump turns virus conversation into 'US vs THEM' debate See in context

Anyone who honestly decides whether to try to avoid contracting and spreading a virulent and sometimes fatal disease on the basis of their position on the political spectrum is a foo, regardless of who they're voting for. Using the "they-hate-me!" card when people raise warning flags about a political rally is ridiculous, and framing mask-wearing as an act of political allegiance is both harmful and distressing.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: European lawmakers chide Japan over parental child abductions See in context

That's a heady mishmash of commentary.

Even the Japanese government admits there are a lot more than the three cases you dismiss (despite only presenting objections to a single case). You have presented nothing concerning the idea of joint custody, and side from dismissing one individual, do not actually address the issue at all.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK to retrain staff after criticism of cartoon about black Americans See in context

In this particular case, it is an honest view and picture of how one in Japan may view what is going on in the USA. It does not take any sides or make any statement that may be harmful or derogatory. It just shows the emotional differences among those who are protesting.

A number of Africans and people of African descent have said they feel it is derogatory. They are being honest and sincere about their feelings. But that is just their 'perception', yes?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: European lawmakers chide Japan over parental child abductions See in context

Jim Harper,

Japanese are protected by Japanese laws. If you are europees, then you are not protected.

Incorrect. Japanese citizens who commit a crime (e.g. child abduction) on European soil are subject to European law, not Japanese. Japan should not protect Japanese citizens who go to foreign countries and commit crimes.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Posted in: European lawmakers chide Japan over parental child abductions See in context

Dear lawmakers, Japan isn't an EU member.

Really? Wow.

When EU citizens are involved, it has a right to comment. If it doesn't, then Japan can't comment about similar matters. Is that what you want?

27 ( +32 / -5 )

Posted in: Cities around the world are taking steps to remove statues that represent cultural or racial oppression. Do you support such moves? See in context

Those people sacrificed and survived so you can have the life you live today. Those statues are there so we can remember that.

Cecil Rhodes did not sacrifice anything for my life. People who became incredibly rich trafficking slaves sacrificed nothing and contributed little to me. So why should I gloss over their activities and let them have statues everywhere?

Contrary to what many seem to believe, removing statues has absolutely nothing to do with erasing people or history. It's about acknowledging that people behaving in immoral, criminal or brutal ways. You'll still find King Leopold of the Belgians in history books, whether his statues are taken down or not. After all, statues of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin have been taken down in large numbers in the past; were they 'erased'?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Expert urges Japan to keep virus guard up as most people lack antibodies See in context

So the numbers of infections are up to nine times higher than reported. As expected, it's clear that the virus is considerably more active in Japan than the acknowledged figures claim. Given the limitations of our knowledge of coronavirus antibodies, there's a possibility it's even higher. This was expected, but it's good to finally know for sure that the published figures do not accurately reflect the spread of the disease.

As for those who complain about prevention measures, it's a weak position at best. Washing your hands after you use the toilet was a new measure once, created to stop the spread of typhoid. As were antibiotics. And vaccinations. Using that logic, should we abandon them all? After all, chickenpox doesn't actually kill many people. Should we stop giving our children vaccinations, to avoid the 'new normal'? Other people are welcome to their opinions, but I'll stick with the science and carry on washing my hands after using the toilet.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Religion is a flexible concept for most Japanese, who often mix Buddhism with Shinto, the indigenous worship of spirits in nature, and even Christianity. Many people dedicate their children at the local Shinto shrine, tie the knot in Christian weddings and hold Buddhist funerals, without considering any of that contradictory. See in context

If religion was flexible and not rigid, there would be no need for separate schools or sects, they could all be accommodated within the one system. It's the rigidity, the inability to be flexible, that creates the different sects.

Sects may adopt an inflexible stance, but most people's attitude to religion is highly flexible. It's always changing, adopting new beliefs and dropping others. New groups arise everyday .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Religion is a flexible concept for most Japanese, who often mix Buddhism with Shinto, the indigenous worship of spirits in nature, and even Christianity. Many people dedicate their children at the local Shinto shrine, tie the knot in Christian weddings and hold Buddhist funerals, without considering any of that contradictory. See in context

Not for some. People get ostracized, jailed, flogged or even executed in some places for deviating from the ‘truth’.

Indeed they do. However, this is far from being a standard practice. The original poster believes religion is not flexible, but however much some people may disapprove, syncretization is a long-standing and widespread practice. Even the monotheistic religions that are so intolerant of such deviations are, in fact, based on a mixture of multiple earlier religious practices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Religion is a flexible concept for most Japanese, who often mix Buddhism with Shinto, the indigenous worship of spirits in nature, and even Christianity. Many people dedicate their children at the local Shinto shrine, tie the knot in Christian weddings and hold Buddhist funerals, without considering any of that contradictory. See in context

Religion is not flexible in this way. Therefore it is not religion

Religion is now and has always been flexible. Throughout history large number of people have observed traditions from a variety of religions and they continue to do so today: Christianity and African religion; Buddhism with elements of Hinduism and Islam; the examples are numerous. You can try and say the three great monotheistic religions are not flexible, but history would prove you wrong. People pick and choose religious practices, and they always have.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Spike Lee issues apology after defending Woody Allen See in context

Jim Harper , it is a well known fact that Woody Allen is not married to his own daughter. If you have enough interest in the issue to comment, learn a few basic facts about said issue prior. You make a few good points excepting that undeniable error.

My bad. I should amend that to: "He entered into a relationship with (and later married) a high school girl who was his long-time girlfriend's adoptive daughter." I didn't check it properly. Nonetheless, it's still pretty shameful behaviour, and just another example of Allen's well-documented interest in young girls.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Spike Lee issues apology after defending Woody Allen See in context

You can say what you like about Woody Allen's art, but clearly any man who married to his own daughter is not an especially decent person and regardless of whether his films are any good or not, I'd rather not put my money into his hands. You can say "separate the man from the art", but you can also say that it's not possible to support the art without directly or indirectly supporting the man. I'm not fond of Roman Polanski or Victor Salva either. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that I'd rather not funnel money to people who without their 'art' would be on the sex offenders register and ostracized from general society. If it was an ordinary paedophile, no one would be saying, "Yes, but he paints really nice pictures. I think I'll buy one."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Gone with the Wind' removed from HBO Max after racism protests See in context

Calm down, it's only a statue of a bad person.

Calm down, it's only a classic novel which is no longer appropriate.

Calm down, it's only a person who comitted wrongthink.

Repeating your point does not amount to a rebuttal. You are still presenting the removal of a film from a streaming service as a precursor to the 'disappearance' of people for not agreeing with you. This is (at best) ridiculous. Gone With The Wind is widely available in book and home media. Seems a stretch to connect it to kidnapping and murder, no?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: JK Rowling's tweets on transgender people spark outrage See in context

OK then, sport, obviously we don’t see eye to eye on this issue, but least we’ve had a civilised exchange of views, unlike most that take place on social media. Or for that matter on unmoderated media sites, where reading Comments pages like this one can be a bit like watching a toilet overflow into your living room.

Whatever their opinions on any contentious topic, a civilized exchange of views (not to mention basic English and moderate typing skills) is clearly beyond many of the people who inhabit the internet. I'd prefer to do it this way, but things gravitated to the lowest common denominator a long time ago. Like I said, it's a horrible system and I'm far too much of a cynic to expect it to improve any time soon. People like Rowling (and many others, from everywhere on the spectrum) seem to have decided that it's a fair price to pay for a continued high-profile media presence. Thank God for celebrities who do nothing but post pictures of flowers...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: JK Rowling's tweets on transgender people spark outrage See in context

If this transaction were simply limited to an exchange of views on social media, then I'd say that's fair enough, you have a point. But it isn't. To go against what's become the prevailing orthodoxy on transgender issues - at least in some circles - you have to be prepared to risk your reputation, your job, and to be subjected to a tirade of abuse not only online but also out there in real life.

Just trawl through some of the comments online about JK Rowling's tweets. Vituperative isn't strong enough a word to describe some of them. Rowling is interested in presenting an alternative opinion (I say "alternative" but I suspect it's pretty much a majority opinion) of the trans debate, and she does it in a polite, considered, civilized way. Other people - not necessarily limited to trans groups - use violent and/or repressive language in response, and are really only interested in shutting the debate down.

And by the way - LGBTQI groups? There are lots of 'Ls' who don't at all agree with the 'I's on this one.

As I said, for better or for worse, this is how social media works. J.K. Rowling is aware of this, as is pretty much everybody. If she's not happy with that process, she has the option of not contributing to it. Yet she does, entirely aware of the consequences, giving her implicit approval to the whole shebang, good or bad.

Certainly many people are not polite and may use violent language. But the internet is not a forum for civilized debate, as we are all again aware. It's a forum for people to say whatever they want (again, for better or for worse). People who want no part of that have options. J.K. Rowling chose to ignore those options.

I am far from saying this is a good system. It's horrible. But I will say this: Anyone who voices opinions on social media and expects reasoned debate to follow is a fool. And given that this is not the first time J.K. Rowling has attracted controversy on this topic, she knows exactly what she's getting into.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: JK Rowling's tweets on transgender people spark outrage See in context

Why can't the LGBTQ etc., guys accept a different opinion than their own? Is there standpoint so weak?

They disagree. Who accepts an opinion they don't agree with on a public forum?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: JK Rowling's tweets on transgender people spark outrage See in context

She just happens to have a different opinion about sex and gender issues, but apparently can’t express them without being accused of being cruel and “targeting” trans people. 

She's perfectly entitled to express her opinion, as are her detractors. You speak on a public forum, you open yourself up to a public response. People saying "You're wrong!" on social media does not amount to an attack on your right to express your opinion. If she has the right to express her opinion, then other people have the right to express their opinions concerning her statements. For better or for worse, that's how social media works. If you're not happy with that process (and there are many reasons why you might not be), it's best to stay away from social media or limit yourself to speaking on entirely neutral topics.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: JK Rowling's tweets on transgender people spark outrage See in context

Can't see it myself. I don't see how the ability of women to meaningfully discuss their lives is impacted by the concept of LGBTQ rights.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Okayama to join other Japan cities issuing LGBT certificates See in context

It's fairly clear that this is intended for romantic relationships. So your straight guys and brothers don't really need one. This is intended to give public housing rights similar to traditional married couples.

Non-romantic relationships is another question entirely.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

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