KumaNiku comments

Posted in: Hundreds of thousands protest in Iran, mourn dead See in context

teleprompter - I can't find that quote in the link to the page last updated in 2007 where Obama is not mentioned at all. Please help

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Posted in: Pakistan says it will fight to the end against Taliban See in context

Taliban is not responsible for 911. Osama bin Laden is not wated for 911

Well that's a relief. I personally wouldn't want a fundamentalist insurgent force in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan running my emergency services directory.

As for Bin Laden, maybe if he got paramedic qualifications, then he could apply to be a call taker for 911.

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Posted in: Japan can do without preaching on how to fix its economy See in context

This article is about making excuses for a national polity that seems to be incapable of wresting itself from the status quo. Economic history obviously isn't this guy's strong point. Perhaps he should actually try reading some of this unfair, biased, imperialist, western patronising stuff that is apparently rife throughout the world.

Might I suggest he and other like him start with Paul Krugman?

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Posted in: World airlines seen losing $9 billion this year See in context

Here's an idea - why not re-regulate the Air Line industry? They are clearly incapable of running themselves in a responsible manner. Any hoopla about the 'free market' holds no water in this case.

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Posted in: Japan urges N Korea to cancel impending launch See in context

This is all part of an attempt by NK to open up bilateral talks with the US only and to cut out the regional negotiations with ROK, Japan and perhaps even China. NK probably calculates that it can negotiate from a stronger position with the US as any bilateral talks/agreements would diminish or cut out the input from Japan and ROK.

I don't think having a new President has much to do with it either - I'd say that the timing of it is more to do with the financial crisis in the hope of a quick solution/negotiations because the Region/World has 'bigger fish to fry' so to speak. A single unified response from ROK, Japan, the US and even throw China and Russia in there would effectively thwart the strategy, in my opinion.

My 2 cents.

KumaNiku

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Posted in: Australian Internet blacklist prompts concern See in context

Australia is not a democratic society, wherever did you get that idea?And things like this goes to show how a socialist society can easily change to a dictatorship.

Where did you get the idea that you know anything about Australia? That Australia have universal healthcare system and some stronger laws in other areas than some other countries does not make it a Socialist country akin to the USSR.

State paternalism has played a central role in Australian society since before Federation. This is an extention of this historical factor, not a prelude to the 'Union of Australasian Socialist States' as some insecure right wing ranters would have us all believe. Besides, will this list make much of a difference? It is already extremely hard to police, and any new powers in regards to internet censorship, no matter how sweeping will be invariably difficult to police.

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Posted in: Israeli aircraft strike Gaza as rockets fall See in context

Once again, I wonder why I even bother reading these stories on forums. It seems that a mojority of posters seem more intent about venting thier 'outrage' at Israel or Hamas or whatever, but it is in reality nothing more that chest beating and showing how much they think they know and/or care about a complex political and historical issue with no easy answer. Most of us (myself included) don't even think about it until we see or read about it in the media. We get outraged, defensive, rant and rave about this and that, let it sideline other just as worthy issues, then forget about it until the next article appears a couple of weeks later.

Is it possible to have a proper discussion about this subject without going to such hyperbole and superlatives about 'weeping for children', 'terrorists' and 'homicidal maniac'? Sometimes I doubt it.

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Posted in: Allies alarmed by Pakistan deal with Taliban See in context

Grafton - agree, but Pakistan has nuclear weapons and has a major issue with a next door major power that it has been at war with periodically for the last 60 years. Pakistan is in dire straits and this was a pragmatic choice by the government which is probably the most unstable it has ever been. Given the history, geography and the politics of the region, the Status Quo hasn't really changed, it is just 'official' now.

I firmly belive that as far as 'Terrorism' is concerned, Pakistan's stability is the No. 1 issue in the world.

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Posted in: Nuclear subs didn't know they hit each other, France says See in context

It's an uncommon but not unheard of occurance, considering operational areas and patrol routes/sectors. I am curious as to why a Sub (SSBN) that is designed to be a mobile deterrent was trying a typically 'Hunter/Killer' type tactic, which neither class are designed for, unlike a Rubis or a Astute class for example.

Or it could be something as simple as being 'asleep at the wheel' - my understanding is that the Vangaurd was on patrol and the Le Triomphant was on her way back to port. Either way, I'm glad one of these wasn't a Russian sub which aren't exactly known for thier nuclear safety.

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Posted in: Blackwater dumps tarnished brand name See in context

A rose by any other name is a rose.

To quote the Simpsons - not if you called them stinkweed or stenchblossom.

In seriousness though, I agree wholly with Grafton. I am also strongly against the use of Mercenaries (which is what they are, the difference being that they have a PR department) whose primary motivation is $$$$, and who are not accountable. Outsourcing something as important as military security is a long term recipe for trouble.

My 2 cents.

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Posted in: U.S. churches to discuss evolution vs creation See in context

I think they should adopt the Simpson's judge's ruling in an early episode - Religion must stay at all times at least 100 feet away from science.

Everyone is wrong anyway. I know for a fact that the great Panda in the sky created everything with his magical ladel and holy saucepan. Someday, everyone will know I am right....

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Posted in: Suspect arrested in deadly Australian fires See in context

Just to provide an update, the suspect was reportedly found with child pornography in his home and on his computer. The court has supressed the suspect's identity for now, pending a committal hearing on Monday. The suspect will be in protective custody through the legal proceedings, and if found guilty is almost certain to spend the rest of thier lives in solitary.

On a personal note, visiting my mother's place on the Eastern side of Melbourne yesterday, I could smell, see and even feel the smoke from the fires - even if you had no exposure, news or otherwise about the fires, you could tell that it was bad. Also, the Victorian community is genuinely grateful for the offers and actions of help and support from all over the world - it is heartening to recieve messages of support from friends and strangers all over the world.

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Posted in: Suspect arrested in deadly Australian fires See in context

Since there is no death penalty in Oz, if convicted, this waste of human skin will be sent to prison for 25 years, released and allowed to do this type of crime again. And the anti-death penalty crowd will be OK with this.

Hardly relevant and frankly insensitive - a political, inflammatory and ideological comment about the death penalty. Anyway - the counts would be modified by manslaughter and possibly murder charges, which would go to Life imprisonment. Also, there is State and Federal legislation to make convictions of serious arson such as these instances automatic life sentences.

But that is down the track - they need to be tried and convicted first, and that could take months and/or years. It is a terrible situation in which the urge to commit to mob justice must be resisted.

This is all irrelevant for the moment. The fires are still raging and getting closer to Melbourne, and there are still hundreds unaccounted for. This is by no means over.

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Posted in: Australian fire zone declared a crime scene; death toll 130 See in context

I can see the haze of dust and smoke from my inner Melbourne place. Kinglake is a nice little town, a lot closer to Melbourne than a lot of people realise.... I unfortunately think that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, even with a cool change.

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Posted in: Red star rising: With global capitalism on ropes, communism gains in Japan See in context

I for one am not scared of discussion, my point is that it quickly goes to extremes and dilutes or corrupts proper discussion with 'evil empire' and 'decadent countries' sound bytes. Whatever problems nations or the world faces, there is no ideology be it Capitalism or Communism, that is a fix for the issues present today or in the future.

To claim that one is the reason or defining idea of civilization is to refuse to acknowledge human experience, wisdom, ethics, reason and intuition.

As for being scared of the financial crisis, I simply say that we (as a nation, a group of nations and a civilization) have been through bad stuff before and come out of it. The scale is much larger this time, but anyone with a sense of history can see the opportunity and the pitfalls of courses of action or solutions we may choose in these circumstances.

I haven't been affected by the financial crisis (yet) and I doubt I will be much. I also understand that it is a matter of perception and I refuse to let a 2 minute spot on the news or numbers in the paper rule my overall wellbeing. Am I saying that it is unimportant? Not at all. What I am saying is this - myself, my girlfriend, my city, my country, my civilization, my species - are more than the sum of a few numbers and some absolutes espoused by idealogues.

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Posted in: Red star rising: With global capitalism on ropes, communism gains in Japan See in context

Taniwha - that post was scary. Hence my comment about Capitalism being beyond the point of sensible discussion.

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Posted in: Red star rising: With global capitalism on ropes, communism gains in Japan See in context

To take a slight diversion from the topic of the story, Capitalism is a subject that seems to have gone beyond the point of sensible discussion. Capitalism can be either a weapon of unabashed exploitation or a useful social tool. Which one it is depends entirely on the way it is regulated.

Capitalism does not equal democracy, nor does democracy automatically deliver capitalism. Capitalism in its purest, most visceral sense, is happiest in a non democratic society - dissent is discourage and/or crushed, social obligations and ethics are of minor importance, if a factor at all. Remember that Capitalism was happiest under people like Marcos and Pinochet.

Capitalism itself has no sense of ethics, no morality and it does not regulate itself. The societies that it is a part of does. Capitalism has nothing to do with regualtion of corruption or punishment of offenders. The same can be said for Communism. Adhering to one or the other as the absolute rule is a recipie for disaster. After all, human beings are more than thier wallets and jobs.

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Posted in: Red star rising: With global capitalism on ropes, communism gains in Japan See in context

Remember that Communism was strong in Japan both before and especially after WW2. A lot of it was directed at the Zaibatsu style running of the economy, and a lot of it was fashionable intelligensia idealism imported from Europe.

There were large protests against government corruption and for worker's rights in tearly days of the American Occupation (I say American rather than allied because it was an American show from start to finish). Indeed, the Communists were great admirers of MacArthur and Co. until the crackdown began in the latter half of 1947.

Also, remember that Communism doesn't neccessarily imply becoming like North Korea or Cuba (or the PRC for that matter), but rather they may see themselves as a viable distinctive alternative to the current political parties. I doubt that they are personally, but they may represent legitimate concerns and points of view on Japan's future.

I guess what I am saying is - they all seem to be idealists, but they should not be totally dismissed out of hand simply because they are 'Communist'.

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Posted in: Atheists sue to stop use of 'so help me God' in inaugural oath See in context

Atheism itself is a religion that believes there is no God. Therefore, they should be fined for crossing the lines of separation between church and state.

Nope, Atheism is NOT a religion. Saying that it is shows lack of understanding and a populist attempt to dismiss it as just another kooky church like Catholicism or Christadelphian. For me personally being an Atheist, Atheism is not having a belief in a god, religious or otherwise and that a person's ethics is determined by themselves, thier community and thier practical application. In other words, we are answerable only to ourselves and others (being people) not some overly judgemental, omnipotent, senior in the sky. Besides, passing final judgement to a 'god' is the ultimate cop out, the ultimate denial of individual responsibilty.

The arguments that Atheism 'lessens' humanity are silly - all Atheists say is look around in our world, in nature in human achievements - there is all the depth and satisfaction you could ever need. The discovery of new things through science and explorations reveals more stuff to discover.

In my experience, being religious has very little to do with someone being a good person. I know and love people who are religious and who are not. In every case, thier reliogious beliefs have nothing to do with my choice to associate with them.

As for this case, It really doesn't bother me about the whole 'god' in the oath, etc. As another poster says, whatever Obama feels cements his obligation to himself and to others (namely the people USA). It would be cool to see it done in Klingon, though.

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Posted in: Israeli forces enter Gaza City neighborhood See in context

I honestly wish JT would stop posting stories that have little to no chance of a reasonable, balanced discussion. Anything to do with Israel etc. always devolves into hyperbole and media superlatives and stuff that can only be described as propaganda. Whether someone is pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian is not the point - it is a terrible situation where those who do not deserve it - i.e. civilians - are bearing the brunt of a political, religious and ideological war.

The situation is deceptively simple - we all want the deaths to stop, but how this is acheived given the history, politics and ideologies is the difficult question - one that no one here on JT (including myself) can adequately answer without resorting to buzzwords like 'fundamentalist' and 'genocide' where their casual and frankly flippant use on this forum detracts from their meaning.

My 2 cents.

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Posted in: Samurai archery, an ancient sport, still thrives in Japan See in context

I've seen live displays of Yabusame and I've loved it ever since. It is impressive to say the least - I can only imagine what a battlefield in the 1400s must have looked like with dozens, if not hundreds of Horse Archers moving and firing as one.

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Posted in: It isn’t easy being green in Japan See in context

For a nation and culture that is supposedly 'in touch with/close to nature', Japan sure likes to concrete things and destroy the natural world. When I was living in Tokyo, I ended up not caring about the recycling, as regardless of what it was, it went to the incinerator which made the careflul sorting of plastics, etc. pointless. Not to mention the amount of packaging on things....

Less trash, less fuss for sure - especially in Japan.

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Posted in: Former porn star Ai Iijima found dead at Tokyo apartment See in context

This woman lived out her life just as GOD dictated it. This is what we all do.

Not if you're a free thinking athiest who realises that a person is more than a pre-determined drone who must have blind devotion to fear-mongering 'god'.

That aside, I found her very interesting and quite insightful with more than a few of her comments and opinions, even if I didn't agree with all of them. A sad loss indeed.

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Posted in: Ask why: American states seek efficiency via Japanese way See in context

Wasn't there the 'Six Hats Method' by Edward De Bono that supposedly revolutionised thinking at corporate and governmental levels? It seems that every few years there is another incredible life changing, business energizing thinking theory comes along.

Ultimately they come down to keeping things objective, doing away with unnecessary chatter etc. encouraging creativity and thinking outside the system parameters (outside the box). Oddly enough in my experience, the Japanese workplace doesn't seem to encourage these things at all.

Well, whatever works for you.

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

SDF is not going to confront the PRC, the Russian Federation nor the US in the air per se. Deterrence is the goal.

Agree. Because the F35 is already a Multinational project, Japan can benefit from the large economy of scale and shared development. Also, there is nothing to stop Japan from (attmepting to at least) from integrating its own systems and manufacturing. And because of the large number of users, the F35 will have a consistent stream of support, improvements, shared experiences and benefits.

The F35 is a cost-effective deterrent (amongst other things) with huge growth potential well into the future. I don't sound too much like a sales rep for LockMart, do I?

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

Also, the actual personal relationship between the two parties need to be compared w/ others - if a favor is needed, would the other party offer it or would they deal w/ it. From my research, if the Boeing multirole fighter was offered, it would be preferable to the F35 since Japan had imput into the manufacture of the prototype and had strong, amicable relations w/ people there. The Boeing prototype is the fighter Japan should negotiate. Soooo many options, the SDF needs to go shopping and to discuss w/ regional allies on their opinions of various fighters - example: the Royal Thai Air Force are familiar w/ the Grippen, so should discuss it w/ them. New century, a new platform.

Why would Japan want to be the sole user of something that isn't past or going past the prototype stage? If they were going to do that, they may as well start from scratch and develop and build their own - then, at least they would own the development and things associated with it.

Modifying a 4th gen to be like a 5th gen is not the same as having a proper 5th gen by a long shot. Also, Boeing's performance on contract deliveries has been well below par lately (Wedgetail, etc.) so there would be no guarantees at all about actually getting what they want anyway.

Remember, this is about giving Japan a plane that can provide capability for the next few decades, not a short interim stop gap measure like the Gripen.

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

Because is cheaper to buy and operate, but the most important point is that there is less problems with technology transference and licenses

It would appear that way, but if you define 'cheaper' in terms of the role requirements, lifespan, development potential and capability, the Gripen is not a good choice. It was developed as modern lightweight 'budget' fighter, but since its inception, the Gripen has been overtaken by technology, new requirements and international projects (see Sweden's whining over the Norwegian's choice of the F35 over the Gripen). As a result, the Gripen has had no export success, despite agressive marketing. In the end, it results in a more expensive plane with further limited potential.

As for the F22 - it is a superb plane, no question. However, it is not right for Japan. If Japan wants to be economical, it will need to go for few platforms - the F22 is a Air to Air fighter, but having just F22s will leave a capability gap in the JASDF, hence my championing of the F35 as the all round multirole solution for Japan.

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

I rather want to see the LDP expend trillions of yens in a J fighter that can provide a good cost-quality ratio to potential buyers, than pouring trillions in concrete that no one need. So I think that J can make a good deal by adopt the Grippen and further develop the cost efficence concept without start from point zero.

That's all well and good, but there are far better platforms than the Gripen such as the F35, Typhoon or even the Rafale. Why would Japan want to become an arms exporter anyway? The market for that is far too crowded already and Japan is not well placed to become part of it. Japan should look to its own needs before even thinking about exporting arms.

itcher74 - I understand what you are saying, and I agree to a point - but placing the all the blame on the 'military industrial complex' of the USA for the current economic woes does not do the issue justice at all.

Again, the F35 is the best option for Japan in my humble opinion. And no - I don't work for LockMart.

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

US is going bankrupt because of their millitary spendings and this is having consequences for their commercial industry such as cars and electronics. Instead of borrowing money from Japan US should commercialize the millitary industry develop it into commercial products within the US in order to help end the American trade deficit which is making US go bankrupt.

Commercializing the arms industry will makes things far worse. Arms is a non returning industry - that is, arms are produced for non economic reasons. The same materials that are used to produce weapons could also be used to produce for example, trucks which then can carry goods for commerce.

As for the US going bankrupt, it is not due to military spending alone - there are many other factors at play. Besides, producing more doesn't mean actually selling more, which is what the US needs to do.

Defence/Military spending is about Military needs, not economic ones (or should be, rather).

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Posted in: Japan likely to drop plan to buy F-22 fighters See in context

Multiple DDH in fotilla

Why have a flotilla when you can have 1 ship (a carrier or an LSD)? Japan doesn't need Nimitz size carriers (historical precedents notwithstanding) - perhaps something the size of the Pincipe de Asturias or Invincible, if thier only role is self defence. Anything bigger is for power projection. In fact, if it is only for self defence, why have seaborne fighters at all?

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