Mayuki comments

Posted in: Police arrest 19-yr-old American musician over Irish student's murder See in context

The Irish media are now reporting that CCTV from the Keio Plaza shows the suspect wheeling Nicola to his room in a wheelchair after arriving at the hotel. If true, it obviously weakens the "game gone wrong" scenarios posited by some posters above.

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Posted in: Police questioning 2 American men in Irish woman's death See in context

Frungy

According to earlier reports the girls were both drunk (I find this a little difficult to believe since I know quite a few Irish girls and they can all drink me under the table).

What a dangerous thing to say! She is Irish so you find it hard to believe she was possibly drunk and vulnerable to a man? Since when is it acceptable to make prejudiced assumptions based on a person's nationality? Isn't that what bothers non-Japanese living in Japan?

The details of this story are still emerging and it's best to wait until they do before giving your analysis. I hope the one person who cannot speak for herself will be afforded some courtesy and dignity in death. RIP Nicola.

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Posted in: Jubilee visitors See in context

Lovely to see the Empress holding her husband's arm. So nice.

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Posted in: Japan's Christians celebrate Easter amid disaster See in context

@BurakuminDes

Happy Easter everyone. Hope you enjoyed some chocolate! (BTW, no offence intended toward the Muslims, Buddhists, Jews etc)

Why on Earth are you apologising to other faith groups for wishing Christians a happy Easter?! I've never seen a Jew apologize for wishing people a blessed Passover or a Muslim apologize for celebrating Eid.

Is political correctness gone so crazy now that Christians have to qualifiy their greetings not to cause offence?!

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Posted in: What's behind our conflicted feelings on nuclear power? See in context

A Pew Research Center poll after the Japanese nuclear crisis found support for increased nuclear power melting down.

A pun in bad taste or just a very poor choice of words?

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Posted in: Swiss voters approve foreigner deportation plan See in context

Er, what's the problem here? A country is "racist" for deporting non-citizens who commit SERIOUS crimes?

Please.

If only black or Asian or Middle Eastern non-citizens were to be deported, then it could legitimately be considered racist. But the new legislation will apply to ALL non-citizens who commit serious offences.

And we are not talking about shoplifing or parking tickets. We are talking about murder, rape, drug dealing or benefit fraud, the latter constituting stealing from the Swiss people as a whole.

I can't see anything to get upset about here.

@TimRussert

Maybe one day Europe will be as pluralistic and tolerant as America. But I doubt it.

Haha! That's just funny!

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Posted in: UK imposes new permanent immigration quota See in context

It is not racist - the UK has no control over immigration from EU member states. Therefore the only immigration it CAN control is non-EU.

The article is very irresponsible in using the term "non-European" when it should use the term "non-EU".

The article is however correct is saying that the study visa programme is suspected of being abused.

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Posted in: Muslim minister admits reluctant Michelle Obama handshake See in context

Madverts, TimRussert: did you even read the article?

It was not Michelle Obama's "gaffe". The guy willingly shook her hand.

Madverts, to flip your arguments about respecting traditions - what is "unreasonable" or "harmful" about shaking hands? Nothing. So why not respect it as an offering of friendship from Western people? If this ultraconservative guy refused to shake hands with women on a visit to the US what would you say to him? Would you ask him to respect Western customs because they are reasonable and harmless?

There is no need to castigate Westerners for making a traditional greeting, or in this case, to castigate Michelle Obama for cultural insensitivity when the guy held out his hands and was clearly smiling.

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Posted in: Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth See in context

You act like if this little Roma girl got an education she is going to be the next Einstein, or CEO of a multi-national conglomerate.

Completely wrong.

What most people feel is that a gradual accumulation of education by the Roma populace as a whole will ultimately better the entire community through its being able to provide its own living requirements, healthcare, administration, education, sanitation, infrastructure, and respect for the women (and men) of the community to make their own informed choices about how to live their lives.

Children cannot make informed choices about marriage or reproduction. Educating women delays child bearing - this is borne out across all cultures and countries and lifts the living standards of all societies.

Nobody is saying that this child could be the next Naoko Yamazaki or Condoleeza Rice or Angela Merkel had she not become pregnant at 10. What most people hope for is that she would however receive enough education, along with her peers, to contribute to a gradual change in the living standards of Roma people. It has to start somewhere.

Sneering at the desire for education will not help. Nor will it help to say that she is happy and that's okay. She is 10! With a baby!

If even one Roma child delays her childbearing long enough to finish her education, that is something positive. But it won't happen if people shrug at the status quo.

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Posted in: Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth See in context

I'll give you a hint: the status of one hasn't changed in any measurable way.

The Romanian government is making great efforts to integrate the Roma with the rest of the population and they have guaranteed representation in parliament. Yes, governments must make amends for past mistreatment of the Roma, but that does not mean pussyfooting around the detrimental practices Roma inflict on themselves. And there can be few greater than denying their children education and encouraging child marriage.

m5c32 said it best:

This part of their culture severely stunts and wastes their potential. Theirs is an anachronistic society --a living history with dire consequences for its modern constituents.

The Roma have to help themselves too. And perpetual victimhood is not the way to do it.

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Posted in: Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth See in context

If you want to change their behavior and mindset, you'll just have to stop persecuting them.

So they are unable to change their marrying practices because they are persecuted? I still do not see how this actually comes about? The Jewish people were persecuted in Europe prior to and during WWII and yet they have nowhere near the level of social deprivation of the Roma. Simply citing past persecution does not explain the status quo. If it did, the Jewish people would live in uminaginable squalor and backwardness. But they don't. So it must be a great deal more complicated than that!!

The only reason this has become international news is the ethnicity of the people involved.

That is untrue and a blatant refusal to see Roma as anything other than total victims. Have you heard of Alfie Patten and his girlfriend? Or Tressa Middleton? They are both white British children whose stories of young sexual relationships made international headlines.

The difference is that a pregnant 12 year old girl from mainstream Western society is considered an aberration, and her family condoning it would equally be considered an aberration. In Roma society, very sadly, a marriage involving an educated woman over 25 years of age would be an aberration. Discussing this reality is not "beating them over the head". It's simply stating the truth. It is impossible to address a situation properly without telling it like it is.

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Posted in: Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth See in context

In fact it is the treatment of the Roma by the wider society that creates this kind of situation.

Can you please explain how wider society led to the pregnancy of a 9 or 10 year old Roma child? I am not being argumentative - I am genuinely and sincerely extremely interested to hear your views on how the treatment of wider society has "created" an acceptance among Roma of child marriage (which is a centuries old custom of theirs).

I disagree that the only reason the Roma are poor and ignorant is because of wider society. I think their own behaviour and mindset is a contributing factor to that, and this terrible story is an example of why.

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Posted in: Mom in Spain happy that her 10-year-old daughter gave birth See in context

I don't like how this is being used to slam gypsies, as it does sound like her family is just trying to make the best of the situation--remember, her mother did say they marry young, not have babies out of wedlock young.

It would make absolutely no difference to the immorality of this situation if the 10 year old mother and 13 year old father were married. It would still be illegal and, more importantly, extremely detrimental to the child and the wider culture. As another poster wrote above, the Roma are not exempted from legitimate criticism. And a cultural practice whereby children are not encouraged to remain in education but instead to marry and have babies is absolutely legitimately criticized. Simply because something is a cultural practice does not mean it is ipso facto beyond questioning. The Roma are holding themselves back by perpetuating this practice and wider society should not be afraid to articulate that.

This girl is an extreme outlier anyway, as most 10 year olds are not able to become pregnant.

Again, completely irrelevant. The issue is whether or not a child should be in a sexual relationship, NOT whether or not that relationship will lead to pregnancy. And as an aside, she is not an "extreme outlier". Many girls begin menstruating at 9 or 10 years old.

I find it extremely sad that people do not call this (condoning sexual relationships for children) what it is: uncivilized.

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Posted in: American college student sentenced to 26 years in Italy for murder See in context

@Molenir

Everything was circumstantial, and the fact that the girl lived with the victim, her DNA being on a knife, amazingly enough found in their apartment, is no surprise. Add the lack of motive, and quite frankly it seems to me like she should have been found not guilty.

Wrong. The knife with the victim's DNA was found at Amanda's boyfriend's apartment, where Meredith had never been.

@ dolphingirl and dammit

Plus, I don't see how her hygiene or her sex life could have been relevant.

her sex life and hygiene were only important in painting her to look like a dirty slag as far as I'm aware

Wrong. The prosecution's case was that Amanda and Meredith argued about Amanda bringing men back to the flat and about Amanda's lax hygiene habits. That argument and tension contributed to Amanda's motive to humiliate and ultimately kill Meredith, according to the prosecution.

@5SpeedRacer5

mix it with a bit of anti-American sentiment

Er, what? Why attribute it to anti-American sentiment when an Italian national was convicted of the same offence and received a 25 year sentence?

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Posted in: Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban See in context

All freedom-loving people should be utterly dismayed by this movement for a "blasphemy treaty", and Japanese people in particular should be disgusted.

In 1991, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of "The Satanic Verses" was stabbed to death, in Japan, by a Muslim who was obeying the fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini. The fatwa was issued for all those involved in the creation or dissemination of "The Satanic Verses".

The West's pathetic reaction to the fatwa and the fanatics who attacked bookstores, blew themselves up, and otherwise engaged in mob violence during the Satanic Verses controversy established for Islamists that they could huff and puff and threaten violence and get away with it. He wasn't president at the time, but Jimmy Carter's reaction to the fatwa is a good example of everything wrong with appeasement. It was the wrong road to go down, and we're perhaps finally seeing that now. We regressed, not progressed. The Founding Fathers of the USA showed less deference to religion than the Jimmy Carters of this world, and were they with us now, certainly wouldn't capitulate to demands for a "blasphemy treaty".

I'm not saying that belligerence is the better way of dealing with it. The better way of dealing with it is politely but firmly explaining that the West values freedom to argue and debate far above deferring to religious sentiment. End of. If you don't like it, too bad. We're not for turning.

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. - Graham Greene.

All great truths begin as blasphemies. - George Bernard Shaw.

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Posted in: Blame game erupts over Fort Hood shooting suspect See in context

No-one is blameless here, IMHO

Er, what? No one is blameless? Can you explain that remark? Or clarify it?

we need to search deeper for the way forward on this planet.

By doing what, for example?

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Posted in: Obama salutes Fort Hood shooting victims See in context

However, not every Muslim murderer kills for religious reasons and I caution against over-generalisations.

Yes, I know that. I didn't suggest that that was the case, did I? I didn't advocate over-generalizations, or even generalizations. I think that people are so terrified of acknowledging an Islamic motivation for this massacre that they feel the need to qualify their every statement on the matter. Why?

I realise the guy had never been to a war zone but treating victims day after day has got to warp your morale a little.

Not according to another psychiatrist, even one who writes for the Huffington Post!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson-md/major-hasan-did-not-catch_b_349911.html

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Posted in: Obama salutes Fort Hood shooting victims See in context

@cow76

When Christians go on shooting sprees in America, their religion is not worthy of mention. But a Muslim goes nuts and it's suddenly a religious problem?

Yes it is a religious problem. You need to see the slides of a presentation he gave to senior army doctors during what was supposed to be a discussion of medical issues. This was a year and a half ago.

Please see the slides here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/09/AR2009110903618.html?hpid=topnews

If a Christian gave a presentation on the religious justification for killing non-Christians a year and a half before killing 13 non-Christians I think it would be reasonable to conlude a link between belief and behaviour.

I think this guy was in psychological tatters from all the trauma he'd experienced and flipped out.

He had never been in warzone. Any "trauma" he experienced was by proxy.

The fact that his religious beliefs influenced his behaviour, while uncomfortable, is too important to ignore. That's the plain truth.

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Posted in: Ireland OKs EU reform treaty See in context

Depressing news.

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Posted in: UK troubled by anti-Islam rallies, counterprotests See in context

@seijichuudo9sha: Good point.

"Mosley’s pro-Nazi followers were met at Cable Street by Jews, communists and anarchists, and a pitched battle ensued."

Nazis were left wing (National Socialists) not right-wing, so the above sentence (not including the Jews) describes a disagreement among factions of the left, not a dispute between left and right.

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Posted in: UK troubled by anti-Islam rallies, counterprotests See in context

I am pleasantly surprised by Japan Today's fairly even-handed reporting of yesterday's events. It is still shocking though that the "far-right extremists" and "anti-fascist" tags are not questioned to a greater degree by all news organizations and people generally.

@seijichuudo9sha:

The BBC is sadly no longer reliable as an unbiased reporter of the news. They are very left-wing. The reason that the BNP are growing in popularity is precisely because the concerns of ordinary "indigenous" British people regarding the immigration explosion and the growth of Islam are brushed aside as insular racism, when in fact they are nothing of the sort. The SIOE make it clear that they are not racist: they equally make it clear that they have a problem with Islam. In a truly free country they would be entitled to say so. Islam is not a race, it is a religious and political ideology. It should be permitted to have a discussion of Islam and its potential effects in a non-Islamic country. The PC stranglehold on language however, makes that increasingly difficult, and the result is what you read above. I really don't think that having such a discussion makes a person a fascist. The word is overused to the extent that it is now almost meaningless. It apparently means someone who doesn't accept the multicultural politically correct views of the British Labour Party.

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Posted in: S African champion female runner reported to have internal male sex organs See in context

The Australian media shouldn't have reported this until Caster had been informed herself of the test results and given a chance to accept them, supposing she is intersex. I hope this doesn't destroy her.

This case and others before it make old ideas about sex seem ever more incomplete. So much for the "holy" books and their explanation of Yahweh/God/Allah creating males and females. Clearly the "holy" books missed something and there are some people who are somewhere in between.

I hope Caster and others like her can find their way.

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Posted in: Mexican candidate, his wife and 2 sons killed See in context

It seems like Mexico is in freefall.

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Posted in: UK anti-Islamic extremism protest turns violent See in context

I will bet anybody my next paycheck that this unfortunate event will become increasingly common in England in the next two decades. The multicultural experiment is beginning to go very, very wrong in the UK.

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Posted in: Malaysia bars Muslims from Black Eyed Peas concert See in context

BTW, how are they going to know who is a Muslim and who is not?

Shocking how many people think Malaysia is a free country.

All Malaysians carry ID cards which state their religion. Muslims who wish to change religion are required to seek the permission of the Shariah courts, which, surprise, surprise, are not in favour of apostasy.

Ever heard of Lina Joy?

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Posted in: Moderate Malaysia's image bruised over beer caning See in context

Often the two sets of laws collide and the winner usually is the Islamic system. For example, a Muslim who converts from Islam is guilty of apostasy under Shariah laws—punishable by jail and fine—even though freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution.

FINALLY!! I'd given up ever thinking that this would at least be mentioned in an article on Shariah in Malaysia. Moderate it most definitely ain't.

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Posted in: Thai woman gets prison term for insulting monarchy See in context

The deference Thais show (in public at least) to their monarchy is quite something to see. I think they'll find it harder to stay on the right side of the lese majeste law once the current Crown Prince takes the throne. His reputation isn't nearly as untarnished as his father's. Wondering if this comment will be posted now actually!

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Posted in: French pool bars Muslim woman for 'burquini' suit See in context

Interesting contrast between Britain and France with regard to the use of public pools by people of differing religious beliefs: non-Muslims are requested to comply with Islamic dress requirements during segregated sessions for men and women.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6034706/Swimmers-are-told-to-wear-burkinis.html

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Posted in: Malaysia arrests 9 Christians for trying to convert Muslims See in context

@Sushisake3:

How can you "very importantly, build up trust and respect", with people who believe this: "it is natural for a Muslim country to deem any conversion out of Islam as an act borne out of active conversion by non-Muslims, not an actual rational decision by the person"?

How can you respect a mindset that maintains that an accident of birth precludes rational decision-making?

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Posted in: Malaysia arrests 9 Christians for trying to convert Muslims See in context

The world would be a better place if there were no missionaries...from any religion.

Ironic to hear this from someone called medievaltimes!

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