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Posted in: Without ambassadors, U.S.-Venezuela tensions grow See in context

What is the most ironic thing in all this is that as much as Chavez yells and screams and threatens to cut oil off the oil to the USA, he can't because all the oil Venezuela sends to the USA is bought and sold through the Venezuelan state owned CITGO and they need the money to stop selling to the USA would make very little difference to the USA but would Bankrupt CITGO.

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Posted in: Japanese whalers, activists clash off Antarctica See in context

These so-called environmentalist are a bunch of showboaters, once a year they run out chase a few Japanese whaling ships and the rest of the year they use that little chase to sucker people into donating millions and travel the world for free, great job if you can get it.

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Posted in: Whale wars See in context

These so-called environmentalist are a bunch of showboaters, once a year they run out chase a few Japanese whaling ships and the rest of the year they use that little chase to sucker people into donating millions and travel the world for free, great job if you can get it.

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Posted in: Whale wars See in context

I am personally on the fence here on this leaving the emotion out ( you know all the "they are smart" "cute" or whatever) and looking at it purely at a stand point of resource, I am torn on the mater I feel that if the numbers prove that a managed cull is OK then that is it, but at the same time claiming "tradition" then I fell Japan should do it in it's own "traditional" areas.

Many here do not see past all the propaganda on both side, one side we have Japan that is using "tradition" to justify a purely business thing (read above before screaming) and on the other side we have the so-called environmentalists trying to push their belief (not unlike radical religious groups) on the rest of us.

It seems to me that these groups choose the animals they are going to protest the most for on their "promotional" and sell ability" and playing on pure "emotion" of the generally stupid public, basically if its cute or majestic they can and will use it to further their agenda, if its ugly or repulsive well too bad for it.

Whales have been romanticized and made into some sort of great untouchable creature and that is the real story if they were considered dumb and ugly with no grace whatsoever I highly doubt anything would be said the so-called environmentalist would have another poster animal for sure!

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Posted in: China's spats call into question 'peaceful rise' See in context

ravagesoftimes:"is china today claiming a territory that they never had historic connection with? NO."

Again I think you need to start reading some history books that are not on the approved CCP list.

China has never had any claim or control of the Kashmir region they now have and is still in dispute they just took advantage of India and Pakistan war to "Liberate" the area in the name of "socialism" (actually communism).

And I will again refer you to China's latest claim with regards to the Arctic (find me even one piece of historical evidence in this case).

Ravagesoftimes, your problem here is that most on JT are playing with a full deck of historical cards as you are playing with half a deck of CCP censured cards.

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Posted in: China's spats call into question 'peaceful rise' See in context

oberst:"with the same logic, then why there are so many nations far far away from the South Pole have bases there ?"

You need to check your info, there are but a few countries in that region that claim any sovereignty over the Antarctic most of the world including all those with research bases there have agreed that it is to remain politically Neutral.

But there is a bigger difference and that is that the Arctic physically borders several nations with long standing sovereignty and (albeit sparsely) it has been and is populated for thousands of years by the people or those bordering nations.

Also countries that are not bordering the Antarctic only have reserved the right to claim and not maid claims and are only doing this so that the few countries claiming will not try and push their claims ending the "neutral" status of Antarctica.

No claim or agreement of "neutral" territory has ever been made concerning the Arctic and the boundaries have been more or less fixed for centuries only with modern technology have a few disputes arisen and these are among the nations that directly border the area.

Now China is claiming invalid well establish sovereignty by these nations and claiming that despite full incorporation by these nations long ago the arctic is now a freely open territory open for exploration and staking claims.

This would be like Canada claiming that Inner Mongolia is not actually Chinese territory and therefore the presently uninhabited parts are open to claims by other nations.

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Posted in: China's spats call into question 'peaceful rise' See in context

WOW @ravagesoftimes you really need a history lesson unless you discount the Yuan invasion of Japan was actually the Mongols (of course with the backing of the Chinese,Jurchen and Koreans (which they also China invaded on several occasions) but then China and you will claim that was the Mongols but at the same time China and you will also claim all the territory conquered during the Mongol rise as de facto Chinese territory, its one of those well they did it but we get to keep it!

AH yes selective picking of History, I do like it, it make things so easy to wash ones hands.

As for 20 million death cause by Japan the conservative death told of Chinese at the hands of the CCP is at 60 million.(not counting the civil war if we add in that and then the cleaning after boy will that number rise).

China at one point or another under one regime or another has invaded or attempted to invade every single one of its neighbors and that continues today, in the last 65 year total countries attacked or invaded by Japan = 0 total number of countries attacked or invaded or in violent conflict with China = aprox 6.

I think the record speaks for its self.

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Posted in: China's spats call into question 'peaceful rise' See in context

China is a despot nation that has massacred millions of its own people and keeps them oppressed, whether you like religion or not it also tries to dictate what people can believe in ( I often wonder why so many Muslims are angry at America and the west when China censures both the Koran and the Bible and dictates who can or cannot worship or become Imams and priest).

China say one thing and then does another they say they want to ease tension but as we speak they are preparing for this springs launch of an Icebreaker research ship that is planing on heading into the Arctic to claim "its rights there" (yes folks the ARCTIC) China has some how come to some amazing conclusion that it has "rights" to territory in the Arctic.

If China can through some twisted logic make claims in the Arctic then EVERY neighbor needs to watch out because China will claim their territory sooner or later.

No at this point China is acting like it has acted for the past 1000 years as the conquering power it always tried to be only to be stopped by Japan and the west and it doesn't seem to have learned it lesson.

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Posted in: Unemployed 30-yr-old man arrested for kidnapping 5-yr-old girl in Chiba See in context

In my book 30 something man+ kidnapped 5 year old girl (not parental abduction) + hotel = Nutcase! Pedo or not it still = Nutcase.

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Posted in: Israeli foreign minister: Peace with Palestinians is 'impossible' See in context

skipthesong:"yeah. Its ok to slam jews in national news outlets, but no one else for that matter."

I think you need to take a step back and really loom at the history of the past 65 years and especially the past few years.

It has been OK to slam just about everyone except Jews in the last 65 years doing so will automatically get you labeled Anti Semitic and will bring up the Holocaust.

More so in recent years for every Israel slam (not necessarily Jews) their have been at least 10 Muslim slams and probably even more Catholic slams.

Also equating Israel with Jews is not correct, seeing that most Jews I know would not live there for the same reasons most Muslims I know would not live in Iran, though Israel started off with the idea of being a Jewish state based on secular law it is now turning into a state where the religious right has more and more power leading to more laws that have been taking rights away form the secular society, it has not reach anywhere near the point of Iran but as the hard line religious population (orthodox) grows and the secular growth remains stagnant it is looking more and more like a religious controlled state, but I figure any time now I will be called anti Semitic for pointing these facts out.

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Posted in: Homeless getting younger and younger See in context

There are so many things working against these people it is not even funny.

Most ward or city office worker are clueless about the fact that without family and or a full time job with backing from your employer getting an apartment is next to impossible.

For a single person and especially a younger man it is also next to impossible (or should I say highly discouraged) to get city housing.

I am a single father and recently went to the city office to apply for the now available to men "single parent allowance" and again to apply for city housing.

As I don't have a regular job I cannot move from my present place because no one will rent to me.

I got grilled as to why I live where I live and why I want the "single parent allowance" (so did the Japanese man next to me with 3 young children) but the women got in and out in 10 minutes,

As for city housing they seemed completely clueless about the fact that most fudosans and owner refuse "gaijins" and even less those without a full time job, they also seemed clueless that even Japanese can't get a place without backing.

My GF still lives with her mother because she works for a "haken" company and cannot get a guarantor that is acceptable to the owners and the fudosans not to mention the deposit and key money on top of all that.

The Japanese government needs to start changing things by firsts making it illegal to ask for key money (and actually have real penalties to enforce it law) and second eliminate the guarantor system, either this needs to be done or they had better start building a lot of government housing because with nearly 40% of the population now "haken" or part time workers things are going to get bad real fast.

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Posted in: Car mounts sidewalk, killing 9-year-old boy and injuring 3 others See in context

I have been driving in Japan for nearly 20 years and I need to drive a lot for work.

When I first arrived I was amazed at how polite the drivers were they would signal to other drivers trying to change lanes the "OK" to cut in from of them and the driver who was let in would signal back a "thank you", I would regularly see driver patiently waiting for the green light at 2 or 3 in the morning on completely empty roads, etc..

These days with cell phone and GPS and other self centered items it seems that more and more driver think the roads are there just for them.

Yesterday in just a few hours I saw:

One man driving with what looked like a 2 or 3 month old baby in his arms.

One Lady driving with her stupid little dog on her lap with its head out the drivers window.

3 drivers texting, several talking on there cell phones with no hands free.

5 cars run reds lights (not lights that just turned but lights that had been red for some time and I was stopped at those lights, this was around 1:15 AM).

And the most ironic of it all was that I was stopped by the police because it was 1:30 AM and I was driving very slowly looking for the address of a clients office and the parking entrance. (yes folks deadline work at 1:30 AM)

I am not sure what this guy was doing but I can speculate that he was either speeding, texting, talking on the phone, adjusting his GPS while driving or a combination of these.

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Posted in: NPO makes a difference for orphans by providing mentors See in context

@Tessa:

Why don't you take a look at their website and you will notice one of the founders is Japanese.

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Posted in: U.S. Senate votes to overturn military gay ban See in context

What is most interesting about this issue is that most if not all those opposed to the lifting of DADT seem to be only concerned or refering to males and that the military also seemed only interested in the males.

Even during WW2 and since then it was (though unofficially) viewed as a fact that many of the female members would be lesbians ( though I have my doubts as to the accuracy of this).

During WW2 and since there have been many memos and reports (though none backed up by any facts or statistics) in regards to probable lesbian members of the USA military and most if not all these so-called "reports" were dismissed as an "unavoidable" consequence of having women in the military, (I'm guessing because the men who run/ran things think/thought that "real" women would not join or would rather get married or something along that line).

It seems to me only the men that seem unusually frightened or feel their manhood challenged by gay men being in the ranks.

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Posted in: U.S. Senate votes to overturn military gay ban See in context

I have a bigger question.

What happens now to the guys that were kicked out because they outed themselves or were outed by mistake, will they now be let back in?

I can think of at least one who was an officer in Afghanistan and served with distinction who was kicked out and that his men want him back and he was ready to go.

Will he now be let back in at his original rank and rejoin his men?

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Posted in: U.S. Senate votes to overturn military gay ban See in context

TheQuestion:"I've only been spared thanks to my catlike reflexes and quick thinking. Otherwise I'd have been used and discarded by the men in my theatre group years ago."

I find it interesting that of all the developed countries only the USA is this preoccupied and scared of homosexuals.

I have never been in the military but my uncle was a lifer in my country and his best friend then and now is gay and he said that he was the one person he trusted with his life the most.

I myself worked in a quasy military civilian organization in a region of my country and in virtual isolation in very close quarters for 6 months at a time in a very unforgiving environment (no sun for 3 months) where an error could mean the difference between life and death, this was all before the Internet satellite phones, etc.. so my coworkers and I spent a lot of time together we had gays and lesbians and never had any problems and I trusted all of them on many occasions literally with my life.

Since then I have worked a long time in and with the fashion industry with many gay people and trust me I am not your macho guy so it is not unusual that some think that I am also gay but once they realize that I am not I am never bothered, I respect their choice and they respect mine.

I find it quite funny when people (read men) get so upset if they are asked if they are gay or it a gay person make a pass at them, this has happened to me more time then I can count and I have never taken offence.

Grow up guys and drop your macho egos and look at it this way if both women and men make advances towards you then you must really have it all.

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Posted in: 21 people suffer from food poisoning after eating at Nagoya izakaya See in context

Oh hell this is nothing in the last year alone the number of recalls for meat and other product and those sickened by the products in NA was astonishing and for nice little bugs like salmonella, e coli and listeria and we are not talking about one little restaurant but tons and tons of food.

This sort of food poising happens on a daily basis in other countries including Europe and NA but unlike Japan may only get a write up in the local news and not the national news, hell every year in my home city during Mussel season and oyster season at least one elderly person dies from bad shellfish, one of my family members is a paramedic in NYC and he has told me some amassing food poisoning stories.

All and all with Japan's population I am not surprised we don't read things like this on a daily basis.

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Posted in: U.S. Marine's Japanese widow allowed to live in U.S. See in context

Cos at 02:51 AM JST - 17th December

You bring up a good point.

As far back as the Korean war countries such as France, Sweden and others had policies in place regarding children fathered by their soldiers something the USA refused to address, it seems that this has not changed much.

And judging by how the USA government gutted the original point of this bill so it only applies to this woman and her child and not to all that might find themselves in a similar situation it does not look like things will change any time soon.

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Posted in: Furious gay rights groups condemn Blatter over Qatar comments See in context

mikehuntez:" I mean Beijing got the Olympics. Even though they don't have our standards. We can't always be right."

Yes Beijing did get the Olympics but even China is more tolerant than Qatar or most middle east countries in regards to foreign tourist.

The Gay remarks aside and the gay issue aside, this choice of Qatar poses a bigger problem seeing that recent polls show that a large portion of the UK population are no longer formally getting married a situation that has long been the case in France and many other western countries.

Even non-gay couples wanting to see the games may have to book separate rooms and make sure they do not mention about or bring their children along, if they really can't live without seeing these games.

I personally would recommend avoiding them altogether.

I have spent considerable time in the middle east and north Africa many years ago at a time when things were not as radicalized as they are now and even back then you had to tread lightly, with today's climate I would just assume avoid it.

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Posted in: What do you think of the fashion style of Japanese women this winter? See in context

Richard_III:"Ladies here look better in winter as they don't have the best bodies"

I don't now where "here" is in your case but after 19+ years in Japan and having lived in NA, Europe and other Asian countries, I can state that this comment maid by a friend that recently returned to the USA is quite factual: " In Japan 90% of the women are either beautiful or at least cute and in the west it is more the exception and perhaps 10% are well dressed and of a reasonable look and weight"

As for fashion like everywhere their are those who know how to accentuate their good features and hide what is not so flattering and in Japan that would be the majority of women and then their are those with zero fashion sense that think just because they are wearing a "brand" product they must look good (wrong!).

Yes many here have not learned to walk correctly in high heels but the majority do just fine and look real good in them.

As for the Fur bring it on, love the look and love fur I was brought up in a fur society and I have to admit the Japanese ladies take first prize in looking great it it!

The big difference between Japanese ladies and the west is that they are not ashamed of dressing like women, back home the women dress more masculine than I do, not very appealing if you ask me.

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Posted in: Erika Sawajiri in lingerie most watched YouTube video in Japan this year See in context

I guess they only counted "Japanese" videos because a quick search will show that the number one search request in Japan was (god help us) Justin Beiber video and I would suspect that if they searched for it then they watched it.

And it toped way more than 2 million!

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Posted in: Thieves steal electronic goods worth Y10 million in Ibaraki warehouse robbery See in context

I for one would love to know the exact items stolen, I wonder if they are not all out of date stock that cannot be sold at a profit or even at cost?

I have seen this sort of "robbery" in other businesses and knowing that the market for stolen product in Japan is very limited, I for one would not be surprised that not even one of the stolen items ever shows up again and that the insurance payout will be more than what the company would get if they tried selling the items in question.

I say this having worked for a certain industry that had some incredibly "lucky" thefts of very old stock that could not be sold and collected considerably on the insurance.

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Posted in: Students attack Prince Charles' car after fee hike See in context

peachy871:"if taxes go toward education, that means the students not only will end up paying for their education but they will also pay for future students' education because, presumably, students become taxpayers themselves upon completion of their education..."

@Peachy, I wouldn't bother trying to point logical things out to the anti-everything deemed "socialist" crowd, you are wasting your breath!

The fact that not only would they become tax payer put statistically higher wage earners and thus higher tax payer is logic that completely escapes the "no government health care", "no government social assistance", "no government education" crowd and even less the elite that see their domain invaded by what they see as the lower class.

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Posted in: Students attack Prince Charles' car after fee hike See in context

Patrick Smash at 06:12 PM JST - 10th December

Are you trying to be funny?

What does democracy or the USA illusion that they are the only democracy have to do with these tuition riots?

As far as I know the USA has no policy on tuition fees or national Universities thus your comparison is a moot point.

When the USA has the kind of social services and affordable higher education then perhaps a comparison can be made but as it stands now the USA has some of the highest upper education cost in the world and one of the lowest number of university graduates as a percentage of the population compared to other developed nations.

I do not agree with these rioters but I can see where they do not want the UK to end up like the USA where only a few lucky lower income people who manage to get a scholarship or go into massive dept and the rich can actually get an upper education.

The facts are that the USA has a de facto 2 party system in which both parties are basically the same and represent the rich, the UK and others have a multi party system that at times due to no party having a majority give the smaller parties some say and therefore giving those who support them a say they would not have under the USA system.

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Posted in: Hackers strike at MasterCard to support WikiLeaks See in context

hottomales:"You might live in Japan, but that does not mean you don't do business elsewhere."

Very interesting do tell us all how you go about business elsewhere from Japan if you cannot use a credit card? Checks? As I said no such thing other than corporate ones and they are the most impossible thing to cash outside or even inside Japan, Bank transfer? well considering that it cost at least ¥3500 it would not be very practical for small or medium purchases.

As I said if you find these companies so revolting and these hackers doing the right thing, have you given up your credit card yet?

Remember even if your Visa or master card are from another country they still feed the corporate "monster" you so despise in the way of royalties.

I think you talk big but when it comes to your own credit cards I doubt you will rid yourself of them.

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Posted in: Hackers strike at MasterCard to support WikiLeaks See in context

hottomales:"If you use any of these services that are unfairly denying Wikileaks, then I suggest you use cash or check for a while, then switch to some company that does not roll over for enemies of freedom"

And I suggest you learn to read!

What do you think I have been doing for the past 8 years seeing I wrote "no credit card" ! (and I guess you don't live or know much about Japan there are no personal checks here)

I think it is you who should try it, why not put your money where your mouth is and cut up all your credit card because I am sure you have at least a VISA or Master card.

And FIY a large portion of ID theft is due to just what these Hacker do they open up holes that others use to get your info that is what happened to me.

So until you have the guts to rid yourself of you Pay-pal, visa/master cards don't go telling other about what you can't do yourself.

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Posted in: Hackers strike at MasterCard to support WikiLeaks See in context

To all those who think this is somehow some form of protest or payback or whatever, I wonder who you will blame and how you will react if (or should I say when) one of these "attacks" causes you personally "denial" or "rejection" of your credit card when you are trying to pay a bill or your automatic payment doesn't go through and your cell service (or whatever other service) is cut, and when you can't get into your facebook account, make and online purchase, etc...

Are you going to again blame the USA, the Banks, the credit card companies?

My guess is that is just what you will all do, no fault on the Hackers or Wikileaks.

I can tell you from personal experience that once something like ID theft or credit card screw ups that are not of your making happen to you, fixing the problem is not easy, I should know 8 years no credit card due to the above and still not fixed, makes life hard if you want things like Airline ticket, rent a car and no way of online shopping.

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Posted in: John Lennon Super Live held at Budokan See in context

How about having a concert on how the guy was one of the biggest hypocrites in the world calling for world peace and love while he isolated himself in his excusive neighborhood and wouldn't/couldn't even see or recognize his first son because of Yoko Ono.

Where was Shawn his supposed "rightful heir to his musical legacy" (Yoko's words) or Julian ( Oh wait I almost forgot he had to stop his career under orders from Yoko if he wanted to keep receiving his inheritance).

Its easy to call for world peace, harmony and for mankind to share when you live in a multi million dollar penthouse, try doing that when you can't even pay the rent.

Remember the Beatles sang "Money" (lead sung by John) when they were just starting and only sang All you need is love once they had all the Money they would ever need!

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Posted in: Retailer Don Quijote pulls Nazi outfit after complaint See in context

"Making a joke of any atrocity in history is - sorry - just not funny"

I don't agree with selling this stuff as being "fun" or "Funny" but I object less to this than the store in Akihabara that actually sells real and replica Nazi uniforms including pictures of Hitler, Flags, battle photos basically everything glorifying the Nazi.

As for humor, sometimes it is just what is needed to make people think, Mel Brooks pointed that out, as did the cast of Hogan's heroes many of whom were survivors of the Nazi horrors.

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Posted in: Coffee maker doesn't need paper filter See in context

Why is this news???

Swiss gold filters have been on the market for more than 20 years!

I know that here in Japan for some reason they cost ¥5000 but back home they are around ¥1000 they come just like this or you can get the ones that fit where your paper filter usually goes on any normal drip coffee maker the 24 K gold plating means not metal taste transfer.

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