KumaNiku comments

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

....to be honest, the Japanese should really look into the Gripen....a much forgotten multirole fighter.....if the typhoon didn't exist and had the political influence to block/restrain the marketing of the gripen then that would have been one of the most successful fighters ever.

The Gripen is an unproven 4th Generation fighter with very limited growth potential. Considering that Sweden is the only other major operator, it would be a strategic orphan, difficult and expensive to improve. The same could be said for the F22 (from what I understand, the USAF is having difficulty keeping up with thier own spares/parts requirements for what is still less than half a projected fleet of the F22) Mind you, the F2 was a classic case of unnecessary over-overdevelopment - delayed and far more expensive than it should have been.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of the F35 is that it is a multinational project - there is or will be no shortage of parts, development and upgrades throughout its life. Also, I personally predict that the will be extremely hard to match in Air to Air Combat - remember that modern air warfare is not twist and turn knife fights like WW2 or Top Gun - the advantages go to those with superior detection, intelligence, networking, visability (radar, etc.) which the F35 has in spades in almost all other planes flying today, or indeed will fly into the forseeable future.

Another advantage of the F35 for Japan will be the economy of scale - if Japan is content with procuring rather than producing them themselves.

Ultimately, Japan needs to look at what it needs - rather than what is flashy and new. Producing its own plane will be expensive and pointless unless constitutional restrictions are changed. Even then, how many export customers would Japan have considering that they would be competing with the Europeans, Americans, Chinese, Russians.......

One more thing, putting small numbers of F35Bs (the VSTOL variant) on DDHs is pointless - you need at least a wing (12 or more Aircraft) for them to be effective, taking into account operation tempo and coverage.

/nerd rant off

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Posted in: New Year's holiday departure rush begins See in context

So, you're either: a) in Japan and can't get holiday (therefore it's not just the Japanese who need your pity but your self) b) Live in Japan, but have left early but still feel the need to use your holiday to log on here c) Live overseas and want to critices Japan anyway

Or d) Smart enough to realise that trying to holiday at this time in Japan is probably one of the most stressing times of the year.

The last Christmas/New Year period I spent in Japan, I purposely decided to work and spend time around the town - noticably fewer people (entirely relative of course) and those that stayed seemed to be less stressed than those who actually went away. Still, it wouldn't be Japan without it.

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

Good. he US did allow export of the F22 (Which they won't) it would be an 'export' version with all the stuff that makes it an excellent fighter toned down or taken out, and then the JASDF would be left with essentially a upgraded F15 rather than a whole new platform.

In my opinion, there are only 2 real contenders for a new pane for the JASDF - the Typhoon and the F35 which, despite some naysayers who don't have all the facts or are biased against it, is shaping up to be the penultimate 5th Generation multirole fighter, more advanced than anything the Russians or Chinese can produce into the forseeable future.

Now, cue the 'Russian/Chinese planes are superior' crowd....

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Posted in: Nissan See in context

The door handles are fugly but other than that a sexy, sexy car that Americans will want, another sad reason why the big three in the U.S. are in trouble. This 370 sports something like 320 plus horsepower, with a price far below other cars with far less performance. I want one.

It is nice - I still want the GTR before it though.

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Posted in: U.N. says Congolese troops raped civilians, pillaged villages See in context

I doubt that the world will do much about this. We all stood by in the 1990s and watched the Congo civil war kill in the order of 3 million people. Again, there will be headlines and articles, but those who can do something about it won't do anything. After all, they're only Africans.

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Posted in: 3 Bali bombers executed See in context

They were already maryrs in prison anyway with a group of dedicated fans. No doubt that they would have been broken out in due course by force, or by bribery, or they would have been pardoned at some point, none of which alternatives would have been satisfactory for the majority.

They were public figures because they were going to be executed - locking them away in tough conditions for the rest of thier lives would have been a worse punishment and eventually they would have faded into obscurity.

Remember - the overwhelming population of Indonesia are moderate 'normal' people like most of us here. As I stated before - it's always the nutters who get the headlines.

Strictness makes things more disciplined rather than the look the other way approach.

I did not and have not advocated the 'look the other way' approach. I simply believe in upholding my standards of justice in the fight against terrorism - because it is not a war of bombings and arrests, it is a war of ideas and principle. If that sounds high falutin' or 'soft' to you, then so be it. The problem of extremism is complex and nuanced, and a brash, ignorant, 'kill 'em all' strategy is bound to fail. This fight requires a multi layered approach which does not rely on headlines and tabloid individuals such as yourself baying for blood.

Look at the state of the country you are in.

My comparitively very safe country with a high standard of living? By the way, I'm not in Japan. Singapore is a good example of a One party Police State. I like Singapore - but I value democratic debate and choices. If a bit of graffiti is the price of that, so be it. Also - graffiti is a very long comparison to make with terrorism.

As for the 'soft' approach not making a society peaceful - China isn't a country with the 'soft' approach and they aren't peaceful. Nazi Germany wasn't 'soft' and that wasn't peaceful.

Get a life.

I have a life, and a good one at that thank you very much. If you want to disagree with my points, by all means do so, but do not make it personal. Learn to space and paragraph properly, too.

KN

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Posted in: U.S. congressman warns of Obama dictatorship See in context

Fascism stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. Exactly where obama and the democrat-led congress is taking America

So, if Obama and the Democrats are wrong and can't do anything right, and only the Republicans can do it properly, why have a Democracy? Why not strive for a Republican one party state? At least then you wouldn't have to worry about those dastardly lefties and people with a different point of view.

Again, equating Obama with Hitler is just silly (which Paul Broun effectively is) and does nothing for the man's paranoid, one-eyed image.

KN

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Posted in: U.S. congressman warns of Obama dictatorship See in context

For now, that might still be true. Let's wait a couple of years and see...

Agreed, we don't know what will happen. But I for one, am optimistic because I'd rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.

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Posted in: U.S. congressman warns of Obama dictatorship See in context

And we can safely say that because ...? “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set,” Obama said in July. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

He could be referring to reorganising and strengthening the FBI, ATF, etc. We don't know and that's the point. Until more information comes to light, specualting only fuels paranoia.

Obama is right about this though - Terrorism is a security issue, not a military one. A clear set of boundries, laws and limits with proper funding to the appropriate agencies are required for national security - not carte-blanche powers that promote sloppy investigative work and 'arrest statistics'.

"This is scary stuff! I'm glad I don't live there."

I can think of many other places with much more intrusive state security agencies than the US. Despite its problems and challenges, the US is still far ahead of most places in ther world in which I personally would live.

KN

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Posted in: U.S. congressman warns of Obama dictatorship See in context

Obama's plan for a "civilian national security force" made me uneasy the day he announced it. But I'm not surprised by it either. It sounds reminiscent of the proletarian guard established by Stalin in the 1920's

With all due respect; this conspiracy theory about Obama being 'socialist' or Stalinist or even facist makes its proponents look like laughable, bitter and sulky high school students whose friend lost the class president election.

Fact is, we don't know what Obama intends. We can safely say though, it will not be 'proletarian guard', and its mandate would not exceed constitutional limits.

Obama needs to be treated like any other president - credit where credit is due and criticism when it is needed. Sensationalist name calling and hand wringing is neither - it is just rumor spreading and name calling reminiscent of the school yard and cafeteria full of Princesses, Jocks, Rednecks and Hippies.

KN

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Posted in: Bushes and Obamas: All smiles at the White House See in context

wonder how close to the Oval Office Rev. Wright's office will be?

Probably further away than Halliburton's.

I reallly want to see the latest South Park episode about this - those boys don't pull any punches.

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Posted in: 2,000-year-old gold earring found in Jerusalem See in context

It could have been from one of Jesus' posse.

Yep - we all know how much bling the apostles had. Look at the Pope today - he has more bling than rapper.....

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Posted in: 3 Bali bombers executed See in context

bushlover - roll over and take it? What a crass comment. Who are you to comment on my 'lack of will to anything about crime'? Being against the death penalty makes me soft on crime? You know nothing about me. Your concept of 'justice' is nothing more than tabloid 'hang 'em high' herd mentality. What I am concerned most about is the 'eye for an eye' mentality which terrorism ultimately feeds off - precedent in dealing with terrorism is vital, and making martyrs of them to thier cause does not help one bit.

You simply do not do your image on this forum any favours with such petty and thoughtless comments and insults.

KN

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Posted in: 3 Bali bombers executed See in context

Yasukuni - the problem is that moderate messages and peace don't make headlines. The vast majority of Indonesians are moderate people like most people anywhere.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/a-peaceful-village-ashamed-of-the-sons-who-brought-it-infamy-20081109-5kxn.html

Has these executions made us all safer? No. Has it brought anyone closure? No. Has it sated our visceral bloodlust for revenge? For a day or two perhaps. Has it weakened the resolve of fundamentalist terrorists? Harldy - it has done the opposite.

KN

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Posted in: 3 Bali bombers executed See in context

CavemanLawyer - hear, hear. Whether these executions were done in an 'Islamic Fashion' or not, they will be used by radicals or 'terrorists' as examples of matyrdom and/or further evidence of a corrupt state which must be overthrown.

These executions have been a public spectacle which ultimately serves the radical's purpose. Life imprisonment would have been far better - they would soon be forgotten and the illusion of matyrdom would not be present. Justice is not after blood. That is revenge - something that should and must be beneath the civilized.

Killing these 'men' won't bring the victims back. If they are behind bars, away from civilization where they cannot harm others anymore, why spill more blood?

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Posted in: Obama begins assembling team See in context

Question: What makes Obama and his supporters think he is qualified to be president of the United States?

Perhaps people responded to his articulate vision for a better America and world. Given the current context and his opponents, it was head and shoulders above the current and the alternative.

Being 'qualified' is entirely subjective. Having 'experience' is less important than having nouse, principles and a clear direction. Being reasonably pragmatic is necessary as well - Obama's cabinet and staff choices should confirm this.

KN

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Posted in: Republicans in tatters, look to regroup See in context

Actually, a lot of it is luck and public perception. JFK's reputation hasn't fared so well, for example, now that his presidency has been more fully digested by historians.

That is true for others as well - LBJ is known mostly for the Vietnam war, but up until that time, as a President, he did more for Civil rights than anyone else.

I sincerely hope that Obama can make a dent or real progress in working out the numerous issues facing the US and indeed the world. I am not naieve enough to think that one (or perhaps two) term is enough to fix things, but starting progress is the key to solution. I am optimistic about Obama, personally. His 'positive presidency' does a lot for confidence - and that is a key first step.

KN

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Posted in: Republicans in tatters, look to regroup See in context

talk about an unpatriotic post that alienates us TRUE patriots who voted for McCain and for freedom.

We are not in tatters, no way buster!!!

The Liberal media and its lies elected Obama, nothing else,do you understand NOW???

Yes, it sure did... but comments and bluster like this does far more damage to 'patriots' such as yourself than it does to 'lefties' or the 'liberal media'. If the 'left' or in this case the Democrats are so wrong, why not strive for a Republican dictatorship? Then you wouldn't have to worry about the 'liberal media' ever again, and only 'patriots' would be in control. Again, just bluster and nothing constructive.

KN

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Posted in: West warns of humanitarian crisis in Congo See in context

'Warns of a humanitarian Crisis'? What did the estimated 3 million deaths in Congo's civil war in the last couple of decades constitute? A shame? If the developed world is serious about human rights, then all this 'It's Europe's fault' and 'The US won't bother because there is no oil' rhetoric garbage has to stop. But then again, they are only Africans, right?

KN

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Posted in: Across the globe, Americans gear up to vote See in context

One of my good friends is a staunch McCain supporter, which is fine. I must say I know more people (American and non American) who are for Obama - overwhelmingly so.

What disappoints me though was that my McCain friend got lulled into the tabloid sensationlist tirades against Obama "He's a socialist/Marxist, He will surrender to Iran, The founding fathers would be against him (how the hell can ANYONE know that?), etc." whereas up until a few months ago, discussions were about policies and solutions.

That to me is what has coloured the last few weeks of the campaign - the tabloid nature of it - the trashy attacks on Obama and on Palin and on a side note - there was a good Opinion piece about the attacks on Palin in Today's Melbourne Age (1/11):

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/men-dont-cop-this-abuse-so-why-palin-20081031-5fjs.html

I personally support Obama, as I feel that he has presented a much more pro-active and inclusive platform, but that's just one denizen of downunder's opinion.

This election has electrified and mobilised more people than any in recent history - and whatever the outcome, that can only be a good thing.

KN

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Posted in: McCain says pundits being fooled; promises victory See in context

I always find it curious that in the US (by some staunch Republican friends) is that apparently, the Democrats can never do anything right, and Republicans are always the best choice and vice-versa for other acquiantances.

I then draw the conclusion and ask "What is the point of having a democracy if one of the alternatives is always wrong? Wouldn't it be easier to have one party in power the whole time, considering that in your opinion the other is never right?" The usual response is something about 'democracy' and 'choice' etc.

As a non-American observer, I feel that Obama will win, going by publicity, polls and the turmoil faced by McCain and the Republicans. I also think that as far as campaigns go, Obama's has been more 'Presidential' in the sense that it has discussed issues more than McCain and has largely refrained from mud-slinging and name-calling when compared to the GOP.

Personally, I think it is just silly to call Obama a 'Socialist' - he is very far from actually being one, no matter what comments or quotes are bandied about on talk shows and forums such as this. If anything, it proves that perceptions of 'Socialism' and 'Left wing' are vastly different in the US when compared to other countries. Also, making such comments (for both sides) is intellectually insulting - it does not or refuses to consider the rich, varied and nuanced political tapestry of the USA.

Less Tabloid Campaigns and more debate and discussion, please Messrs. Obama and McCain.

KN

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Posted in: $700 bil rescue plan finalized; House to vote Monday See in context

What is wrong with simply defaulting out of the debt? Historically, it has been defaulting which has 'shaken off the chains' (to quote Solon) and enable rebuilding and re-establish prosperity. Of course, if this happens, we would have to use our memory to stop this from happening again. That can be a big ask for the elites and those in power when tabloid politics is all that seems to count.

KN

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Posted in: Mt Fuji See in context

I remember my climb up Fuji too - great experience, which I want to do again. Word of advice: Climb in proper footwear and WITHOUT an ingrown toenail.

KN

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Posted in: Sex and the city: Tokyo's taxi drivers see it all See in context

Interesting article. I've had my share of experiences with Tokyo Taxis, most of them pretty good - including one where I gave the cabbie an improptu English lesson and he knocked 2000 yen off the fare (almost 50%)... Also, having a Japanese girlfriend who can talk her way out of anything can save a bit of cash on cab fares as well......

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Posted in: Aussie pub offers free drinks to women who take off panties See in context

Here's the website for the pub. Where it is St Kilda in Melbourne is known for it's risque venues.

http://www.thesainthotel.com/

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Posted in: Wild monkey continues to elude Tokyo police See in context

I can just imagine watching this sped up with Benny Hill 'Yakety Sax' music playing.... Isn't there some sort of RSPCA/Animal Control Organisation in Tokyo?

KN

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Posted in: Ginza See in context

Nonetheless, it's great to see some nations taking these things seriously instead of doing nothing and panicking/crying when disasters or terrorism strikes.

I agree. It's logical to have the armed forces as part of disaster relief plans - they are often the largest and most capable logistic and support organisations nations have. The JSDF is capable, effective and is trained (to an extent) for disaster relief.

KN

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