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lemur comments

Posted in: Steve McQueen Exhibition to be held at Marunouchi OAZO See in context

Steve McQueen. The epitome of cool. Nobody like you now. Nobody comes close.

Any chance of this exhibit making the rounds? Osaka? Nagoya? I'd love to see it were it closer. In fact, I'd make a trip down especially for it.

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Posted in: Japanese banking profits recover, forecasts raised See in context

Mizuho FG is on track to double its profit, but they still haven't changed their (very conservative) dividend estimate. Last year, profit was 260B and dividend was 8. This year, profit looks to be well over 500B, but dividend is only 6?

Even accounting for the new issuance which diluted shareholders' equity by about 35%, by my very rough calculations, this year's dividend should be at least 9 or 10.

It also turns out that Japanese megabanks may be exempt from the most stringent Tier 1 capital requirements on the drawing board for Basel III. Mizuho FG et al had raised capital through new share issuances to cover the contingency, but it now looks as if some of that was unnecessary. Will they buy back some of their shares, or will they go on a global spending spree to broaden their reach?

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Posted in: Nozomi Sasaki shows some leg for lingerie maker See in context

I'd take those stockings, too, but I can't find my rod and tackle.

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Posted in: Canadian couple donates millions from lottery win See in context

Nova Scotians are some of the nicest people. Good for this couple and their family. Contrast this with all those winners who lose it all, or bicker and fight and get divorced and then lose it all.

The national 6/49 lottery is a lump-sum, tax-free payment by the way. Not like those namby-pamby American lotteries where they tax it as income and take twenty years to give it to you. lol.

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Posted in: Qantas grounds all superjumbos after engine blowout See in context


Have you ever thought that maybe it's you?

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Posted in: Obama makes last campaign stop in pivotal Ohio See in context

@Equality, Klein2, and GJDailleult.

Thank you for your insightful posts above. I have read so much inane drivel on these boards over the past few weeks, I was beginning to wonder if some of the more 'productive' posters were not paid employees of political action committees!

I do find it disheartening, on this message board and seemingly in American society as a whole, that self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives have jumped on a social conservative bandwagon at the very moment when Ameica's fiscal health is at its most dire. I believe that the original Tea Party sentiment was understandable, and somewhat honorable, but that it has unfortunately been co-opted by a host of, shall we say, demagogues with agendas that are inconsistent with America's immediate problems.

I have to give it to Sarah Palin, though, for she has managed to straddle both politics and modern media and succeed, for better or worse. But her quote, "You blew it, President Obama. We gave you the two years to fulfill your promise..." is rather disingenuous, as the President was actually given 4 years, was he not? It's also rather rich coming from a person who did not finish her own term of office. But, memories are getting shorter across the board, aren't they?

As much as I disdain the near-rabid partisanship emanating from American politics, I do believe it is part of a necessary process to get to the workable middle. I think that a quiet majority of Americans have already arrived there, even if their elected representatives haven't. But in this election, and perhaps the next one as well, fundamental economic and fiscal reform are ignored at one's peril.

Too late, I wonder. I fear things are going to get much worse as everyone is looking away. But a wise statesman once said that the Americans can indeed be counted on to do the right thing, but only after they have exhausted all the alternatives.

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Posted in: Man arrested for throwing used condom at woman See in context

"a condom full of his semen"

Um, am I the only one who wonders if the condom was really 'filled' with his genetic material? The word 'full' implies occupying the entire container, in this case a condom, which are, as we all know, stretchy little things. They can even, according to experiments conducted when I was eleven, hold up to a liter of water.

So, yes, I question this man's, uh, output, and wonder if 'containing' is not a more appropriate, and accomodating, word.

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Posted in: China lashes out at Maehara over reported insult See in context

"We hope the Japanese side will meet the Chinese side halfway..."

Does that mean the Japanese side has to become halfway hysterical?

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Posted in: Bear shot dead after entering Yamagata junior high school See in context

A bear was spotted numerous times in and around my neighborhood earlier this week. Later that day, pamphlets were distributed to all residents detailing what to do in case you encounter one. The next day, people from City Hall, all decked out in orange gear, knocked on our door and notified us of the bear trap they were setting up in the apple orchard across the street. Needless to say, bears are on our mind this week.

Still, I feel for the bear. Another year of scarce food. I hope it's trapped and released. But that is not to say that I wouldn't agree with shooting it dead if it attacked and injured someone.

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Posted in: Rev Moon marries thousands in mass wedding See in context

"...before God, the Lord, the world, and myself,” said the 90-year-old Moon.

"Before friends and family gathered here" was good enough for me.

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Posted in: President Trump? Time for 2012 handicapping See in context

boobafett: Schwarzennegger for President?! Maybe as a write-in. Just make sure to bring an eraser, in case you change your mind. But why not someone from kindergarten? Cop out, you say? At least our junior could sort out what's true, lies would be minimal, and he could tackle those pernicious twins, budget deficits and economic health.

(And if the vote is close, there's always the option of a total recall...)

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Posted in: Japan hikes taxes on cigarettes by 40% to curb smoking See in context

Takehiro Miyazaki, 34, ...had no choice but to accept the price hikes, regarding them similarly to train fare increases.

Yeah, because we all know that riding the train causes cancer and puts a massive strain on the health budget of the entire country! LOL. Such is the resignation of an addict.

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Posted in: New Jersey student who was secretly taped having sex kills himself See in context

Sometimes young adults live in denial about their true sexual orientation, denial which doesn't break down until they leave home, go to college, meet like-minded people, etc. Not entirely sure about this case, but it sounds like the young man here was not ready to come out yet, but was outed in the worst possible way.

George Orwell cautioned the free world about Big Brother, and he is certainly alive and well in North Korea and China. But his amorphous cousin is also making his presence known in the age of the Internet and millions of video cameras.

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Posted in: New Jersey student who was secretly taped having sex kills himself See in context

@TimRussert: I'm afraid your attempts at cynical "spin" will fall flat to most reasonable people's "ears", as this tragic story "is" about invasion of privacy, with the alleged hate crime "being" based on sexual orientation, not "race".

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Posted in: China holding 4 Japanese for illegally filming military targets See in context

fishy at 03:16 PM JST - 24th September now the chinese boat captain is released, perhaps those 4 japanese businessmen will be released shortly?

Or maybe the communists will show Japan what due process means in China. They then might not be released until next year.

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Posted in: China holding 4 Japanese for illegally filming military targets See in context

gogogo at 09:39 AM JST - 24th September Why is a chemical dump a military target?

My guess is that the chemical weapons were originally stored by the Japanese Imperial Army at or near one of their military installations. After it was abandoned in 1945, that installation was reborn as one for the PLA after they took over in 1949-50.

The four contractors of course had to take photos for their job. But what would have been a perfectly acceptable angle last month is definitely not this month.

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Posted in: Holocaust denier tours Nazi sites in Poland See in context

"Its all a question of what the truth is. According to me, the truth is the Nazis did not..."

For me, and many others, the truth is purely objective. There is no room for subjectivity, as in "According to me, the truth is..." Where you and I agree is that governments should not ban research and publishing on historical events which question the official view of the Holocaust. I, however, say this in the hopes that we arrive at an even clearer picture of something we can already largely make out. It seems you say this to be free to deny the picture even exists.

So be it. I'll fight for your right to say something I completely disagree with, something absurd, or even something that will land you in court.

My point is that historians should be free to tweak the official version of events, but of course must back it up with loads of evidence, which necessitates being allowed to gather that evidence. If the odd revisionist pops up, well, it's a small price to pay for access to the greater truth. If that revisionist in some way writes something that offends people, let those people sue him for damages, etc, and let the court decide if it's free speech or hate speech. But for governments to presuppose that all questions regarding historical truth are without merit, I'm sorry, but that just has a faint odour of totalitarianism, something that I assume they are trying to avoid returning to.

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Posted in: 3 firemen arrested for alleged gang rape of woman See in context

Molenir: For the record, when I wrote about liberal and conservative minds, I was not referring to the taxing and spending habits of governments, but to the degree of trust in the inherent reasoning powers of the human mind and the freedom from outside control, influence, or preconceptions. I do lament the fact that these words, especially liberal, have been hijacked by politicians and people with precious little knowledge of what they truly mean. Not saying that's you, for I sense you are also a liberal, in the classic sense. You and I both agree that location has no bearing on the investigation or verdict. That would put us in the liberal camp, so to speak, in this context.

Also for the record, I would say that rape begins at any point of resistance, active or passive, including after penetration. For example, even if a woman has agreed to coitus and coitus is initiated, but she changes her mind midway through and indicates as such, it would in my mind constitute rape if the man did not immediately stop. The unstoppable train defense is wholly without merit, as is any other lame excuse for rape. How's that for liberal thinking?

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Posted in: Holocaust denier tours Nazi sites in Poland See in context

bobcatfish: There is a slight difference between denying the color blue and denying the death of someone (let alone millions).

For example, if (heaven forbid) your child were murdered, and you went through all the anguish, anger, mourning, and guilt, and then the reluctant acceptance, only to have someone write a book or post on the internet that your child really did not die, or die in the way you say, how would that sit with you? Denying the existence of blue is loony; denying the confirmed murder of a child is loony and mean. That is to say, it borders on assault, or at least harrassment. Now multiply that by millions.

This all said, I am a big fan of the right to free speech, and would prefer that each mean loony were sued by particular groups of perceived victims for particular statements, and that he or she would be judged in a court of law. Similarly, I would prefer that blanket bans on the national level did not exist, as they tend to stifle genuine research and academic debate. But alas, upholding idealism takes a distant back seat to the widespread recognition and understanding of the gravity of the Holocaust.

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Posted in: Paris Hilton leaves for U.S. after being denied entry into Japan See in context

Having read through the 200 plus comments on this little non-story, I am surprised that nobody has mentioned her contractual obligation. I mean, she did. So did her publicist. Several times, in fact.

Curse my business mind, but I can't help wondering what the penalty clause was for this particular contractual obligation. Was it significant?

Was this trip all a ruse? Ms. Hilton and her lawyers/business advisors must have known that the possibilty of being let into Japan, or Malaysia, for that matter, would be pretty slim over the next few months, or even years, considering her recent conviction in Las Vegas. But cancelling the scheduled tour from her end would likely mean a significant financial penalty. Jumping on her private plane and heading out, however, at least has a veneer of attempting to uphold her side of the bargain, as if Japanese Immigration was some kind of force majeure which would release her from her contract.

Don't get me wrong, I think the lawyers for the other side are not so gullible and she will be sued anyway. But Ms. Hilton's side will no doubt introduce this little foray as a mitigating circumstance, aka the "At least I tried" defense.

(Oh dear. I can't believe I just commented on something Paris Hilton did.)

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Posted in: 3 firemen arrested for alleged gang rape of woman See in context

Sorry. The above should read, "She could have changed her mind at any point..."

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Posted in: 3 firemen arrested for alleged gang rape of woman See in context

Does the place where the alleged rape occured matter? For example, if a man and a woman enter a love hotel together, and the woman later claims she was raped, does that location matter?

In a liberal mind, the answer (I assume) is no. She could have changed at any point up to the act. A he-said she-said situation would then have to be resolved through physical evidence. Police and prosecution in this mindset would likely see where the evidence leads and make judgments from there.

But in a conservative mind, location does seem to matter. The location may imply intent or even consent, and the police or prosecution would most likely not put much effort into their investigation.

Without getting into a fundamentalist mindset, where do you think most Japanese police and prosecutors are? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way; no need to answer.)

His apartment. She came over. After midnight. Alcohol was consumed, wasn't it? Boys will be boys. Young people sure are adventurous these days, aren't they? End of investigation. Stop wasting our time and don't let us catch you here again.

Sad for this liberal mind to say, but if these men did rape her, they will get a minimum of legal punishment. They will, however, receive social punishment in the form of dismissal for betraying the public trust (which is largely why this is news). But even if they are not convicted, they will still most likely receive some form of punishment, e.g. suspension, for letting a private matter become public and damaging the social fabric.

But, then again, what do I know? I'm just an Old World monkey with a pretty tail.

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Posted in: Atheist Hitchens skipping prayer day in his honor See in context

"...author Christopher Hitchens is still defending his atheist beliefs..."

Rather patronizing, don't you think? As if the closer you get to death, the more you should believe in a God? Hitch would not approve.

Years of hard living are coming home to roost. He and everybody else knows it. I just hope his cancer goes into remission, and he lives a few more years to skewer the buffoons, the hotheads, the intellectually lazy, the incurious and unreflecting, and the latent and overt bullies who wrap themselves in the cloaks of religion.

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Posted in: Kobe zoo investigates death of giant panda See in context

My theory, that I have, that is to say which is mine, is as follows:

Said panda was a sleeper agent sent under the guise of international friendship, but whose real intention was to observe and, if need be, perform acts of sabotage. With the gas fields problem needing just one last push, said panda was sent orders to pop open his lower left, until recently, bamboo-crunching, molar, extract the hidden capsule of digoxin and perform the ultimate sacrifice for both Party and Motherland. His death will be used exaltingly for glorious propaganda purposes, that is to say, another reason to hate the Japanese people, who are not really panda-killers, except to those 1.2 billion people who think they are.

Thank you for allowing me to post my theory, which is to say that I own it. It is mine. Ahem.

Anne Elk (Miss)

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Posted in: Global banking rules aim to balance safety, growth See in context

I have just finished 'Crisis Economics' by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm. If you want a clear (largely apolitical) perspective on the recent 2003-2007 real estate boom, shadow banking, subprime loans, CDOs, loose oversight, the global credit crunch, Lehman Bros., AIG, et al, stimulus packages, and Basel III (as well as Basels I and II), I can't recommend it enough. A shocking, depressing, yet ultimately enlightening read.

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Posted in: 38-year-old man admits to groping 100 girls See in context

KakiOko: It seems to me if you start viewing school uniforms as a form of lingerie, then its time to get some professional help.

If ever JT releases a book of quotations, I'd like that one to go in.

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Posted in: Pressure builds on Florida pastor who wants to burn Quran on Sept 11 See in context

"Books are burning / In the main square / And I saw there / The fire eating the text // Books are burning / In the still air / And you know where / They burn books / People are next."

Andy Partridge, XTC

The sage of Swindon goes on to lament not only the loss of wisdom contained in books burned, but the fact that people can easily retreat to a state where they do not forgive ideas that are contrary to their own. In this sense, both the misguided pastor and the fundamentalists who would cry for his blood (or that of any of his countrymen) are cut from the same cloth. Indeed, such men of the cloth would have you believe they are worldly and compassionate, when really they are fearful, insecure bullies. I myself would like to see a world where people wouldn't raise more than an eyebrow if the books representing the knowledge they trusted were burned in front of them. Much like if a Creationist burned a quantum physics textbook: The physicist would only say, "I appreciate the statement, but it doesn't change the truth." How many representatives of religion could be so confident? Precious few, I believe.

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Posted in: Marauding monkeys have Y200,000 bounty on their heads See in context

Junnama at 02:53 PM: It's just like Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven"....

I was thinking more like "Every Which Way But Loose".

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Posted in: Marauding monkeys have Y200,000 bounty on their heads See in context

I quite like the expression "marauding macaque". If you say it with a Jack Sparrow accent, it becomes an interesting pair of similar appendages.

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Posted in: John Lennon killer Chapman denied parole See in context

"Lennon would have turned 70 this October."

No guarantee of that, really. After years of substance abuse, he was not in the best of health when shot. But it is as pure a supposition to say he would have died at 53 as it is to say he would have been 70 had he not been shot.

Logical quibbling aside, I support the parole board's decision. And I suspect he won't get out until Yoko, Paul, and Ringo have all shuffled off their respective mortal coils.

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