meija comments

Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context

SuperLib: Mueller will continue to investigate the swamp on Trump's team.

I, for one, deeply wish Trump would fulfill his promise to drain the swamp. This was always the problem with the Clinton campaign, you knew nothing would change. Unfortunately, the swamp is deeper today than it was 12 months ago. Forget the wall, twitter and everything else, if Trump ever does manage to drain the swamp (I'm not holding me breath), then I would consider that a successful presidency.

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Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context

Blacklabel: "Hillary paid foreign entities (including Russians) for "salacious and unverified" information about Trump - FACT"

BBC: "The memo notes that Steele's efforts were funded in part by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, although it neglects to mention that the Fusion GPS opposition research effort directed toward Mr Trump was originally bankrolled by a prominent conservative donor and activist."

Blacklabel: "Comey himself, under oath, admitted the dossier was "salacious and unverified" even though he signed the forms authorizing its use in obtaining a FISA warrant - FACT"

BBC: "Yes, Mr Comey used the words "salacious and unverified" - but that was only in relation to portions of the dossier. He declined to comment on the veracity of certain "criminal allegations" in other parts of the dossier - at least in open testimony. "

Just 2 examples of how FACTS can be twisted when used for political purposes...

An interesting non-partisan look at the memo:

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Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context

FizzBit: Oh, you think this is over? This is just a memo. Wait until in investigators start wading into this. This is just the beginning.

So true. Of course, the investigation will be based on actual information, not tenuous attempts to link dossiers to former Trump staffers after they'd already left the Trump team to an investigation that had already started as a result of a tip-off from an allied conservative country who considered this serious enough to let the U.S. authorities know... I completely agree with FizzBit and say "unleash the hounds!" Daylight is a great disinfectant. Thank goodness we have trained investigators to look into this and we don't have to rely on the opinions of partisan hacks...

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Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context

A quote from the "Nunes memo": 5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July by FBI agent Pete Strzok."

People should be reminded that the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election came as a result of a tip-off by the Australian government after George Papadopoulos drunkenly boasted of Russia's involvement to Australian diplomat and former conservative politician Alexander Downer. Papadopoulos has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. As the BBC reports: "(Page) The unpaid Trump campaign adviser had been on the FBI's radar since 2013, because of his ties to a Russian bank executive who was later convicted of spying on the US. Page had resigned as a Trump foreign policy adviser in September 2016 - a month before the Fisa warrant was approved."

Seriously, if anyone here thinks this shouldn't be investigated then they might as well hoist a fascist flag right up their flagpole because you can bet that they'd be screaming blue murder if was about the other side of politics. I think it's pretty clear that Trump himself wasn't involved in this, but it is clear that the Russians certainly tried to get involved. This NEEDS to be investigated. You can cry crocodile tears about dossiers all you want, but that won't be able to hide this huge steaming pile under a rug where no one will see it... People in power need to be held accountable. It's as simple as that.

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Posted in: Trump steps up fight over Russia probe after release of FBI memo See in context

Burning Bush: Trump should disband the FBI and fire Mueller.

Disband the FBI, disband the CIA, disband the justice department and all other legal avenues to make sure that the government isn't corrupt for investigating potential foreign interference in elections that has already seem several individuals plead their guilt. It's true, though, that everything would run more smoothly if the president were accountable to no one. ...Of course, you'd have to stop pretending that the U.S. was a democracy then, but if that's what you really want...

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Posted in: Trump apologizes for retweeting videos of far-right British group See in context

Ex_Res: As far as I am concerned I think that Mr. Trump can be forgiven now that he has acknowledged the error and apologised.

Understandable sentiment, and when/if he actually apologises, I'll totally agree. Till then, I guess forgiveness is some way off...

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Posted in: Trump apologizes for retweeting videos of far-right British group See in context

The title of this article is wrong. "Trump apologizes for retweeting videos of far-right British group".

"If you're telling me they're horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you'd like me to do that,"

He did not apologise. He said that he WOULD offer to apologise on a condition (IF). Just more weasel words from the weasel-in-chief.

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Posted in: Tokyo experiences coldest day in 48 years See in context

Shrapnel: Climate change, formerly known as global warming.

LOL. #brainfail.

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Posted in: U.S. gov't shutdown begins as spending bill fails in Senate See in context

Trump publicly stated that he would sign whatever agreement the Republicans and Democrats agreed to. The Republicans and Democrats agreed not once, but twice, and Trump rejected both. Clearly this is the Democrats' fault... #logicfail.

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Posted in: Trump to tout U.S. economy, urge fair trade at elite Davos forum See in context

"In his speech, Trump is expected to urge the world to invest in the United States to take advantage of his deregulatory and tax cut policies..."

Most business leaders these days have learnt from the lessons of the likes of Enron and the GFC. Sure, there'll be the cowboys who think they'll be able to ride the horse to riches and jump off before the crash, but deregulated markets promote bigger crashes that affect the savings of more everyday people simply due to the way savings are invested. Deregulate and the cowboys take as much as they can. I can only hope that Davos shows Trump the respect that he deserves... none.

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Posted in: U.S. gov't shutdown begins as spending bill fails in Senate See in context

As an outsider looking in, I'm not sure if I completely understand what has happened. I distinctly remember seeing President Trump on TV in a meeting saying he'll sign whatever the two parties agree on, and then he rejected the bipartisan bill not once but twice. On top of that, the Republicans control the house, senate and presidency, so all they have to do is get their own party to vote for a bill and it's clear sailing... yet we're here at a government shutdown and it's ALL the Democrat's fault..? Really?

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Posted in: Trump slams ex-aide Bannon; says he's 'lost his mind' See in context

Donald Trump... denunciation of one of his closest political allies Wednesday, describing his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as insane and irrelevant.

Insane and irrelevant... Here, today, I can honestly say that I totally agree with Donald Trump! Of course, this sort of observation reflects poorly on anyone who would rely on the advice of an "insane" and "irrelevant" individual to help run a country for most of their time so far in office. Still, I guess it's a pleasant change from the usual "treasonous" and "unpatriotic"...

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Posted in: Japanese-style Snoopy art exhibit celebrates 50 years of Peanuts in Japan See in context

Peanuts and Snoopy has always confused me a little. A bit like Hello Kitty, I'm not sure what the appeal is meant to be. Is it meant to be humourous, insightful, whimsical? Maybe it's just nostalgic to those who have grown up with it, but I've never understood the point. It may just be a cultural thing. Perhaps one of the many Americans on this site can explain it, because I don't understand the appeal of it at all.

Now, if we were talking Footrot Flats... that'd be different!

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Posted in: N Korean defector regains consciousness; video shows getaway under fire See in context

Goodness me. But why did he sit in the jeep for so long.

You can see just before he gets out that he reverses back a little and tries to accelerate forward again. He was trying to drive across the border but the jeep got stuck. He would have had more protection in the jeep, but it wasn't going anywhere. Glad to hear that he'll probably pull through.

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Posted in: Firefox opts for Google as default search in U.S., surprising Yahoo See in context

Yahoo search engine? Didn't even realise that was still a thing.

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Posted in: New Zealand homes not for sale to non-resident foreigners under new PM See in context

Burning Bush: In a free, capitalist society, anybody should be allowed to buy and sell. Current home owners just got shafted out of tens of thousands of dollars.

A nice summation of how many see capitalism. No rules - if you've already got the cash or the assets, then you're fine. If not, you miss out. Now, if you're talking about the latest smart phone model or TV, that's fine, but this is about housing. Even a basic understanding of the economics of a country shows that if people cannot afford the basic needs such as housing and medical care, then it creates a much greater burden on the economy as time goes on. Any government that allows non-resident foreigners to buy housing while local residents cannot afford to put a roof over their heads, then that's majorly messed up. People who do not support policies like this NZ one care more about making ideological stands than they do about national economics or a functioning society. For me, it's this attitude, regardless of whether it's given from the left or right, that shows what is wrong with the world at the moment.

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Posted in: Australians hand over 51,000 illegal firearms in gun amnesty See in context

bass4funk: I'd rather live with guns and if the Australians are happy and it works for them, good. But I am happy with our 2nd amendment and our right to bear and purchase arms.

The whole "if we don't have guns, the criminals with guns will overwhelm us" argument fails if it's just as hard for the criminals to get guns. In Australia, guns are restricted and its bloody hard for criminals to get their hand on guns, so the populace is relatively safe based on the current gun control laws. In the U.S, this argument fails because the gun laws are so weak that anyone can get their hands on weapons, so people feel that they need to arm themselves to simply protect themselves from their fellow citizens. It's sad, though, when people like bass4funk think that seeing their nation flooded with so many weapons that kill so many innocent people is a positive thing... that it is a right that people can kill so many people who only want to go and watch a concert... yeah, well. In Australia, the problem is under control. No mass gun killings since Port Arthur in 1996 that lead to the changes in law. The solution for the U.S. isn't anywhere near as simple. Australia simply doesn't have the gun culture that the U.S. has. On saying that, I can't see how the U.S. can overcome a future of repeated large scale gun massacre death events until they overcome their love of guns. If folks like bass4funk want to place gun ownership over common sense, fine, but you have to live with the consequence... I just hope none of your family or friends are the next victims, because that's the dice that you're rolling...

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Posted in: At least 50 people killed, 200 wounded at Las Vegas concert attack See in context

lostrune2: Seems to be from an automatic gun...Even in America, automatics are not easy to obtain even in the black market

The sound of the gunfire in the footage I've seen is insane. Bursts of constant firing. I know little about U.S. gun laws, so thanks for the info, lostrune. I fear that the fatality rate will grow over the next few hours, but like Cleo, I'm hoping for the sake of those there that it doesn't.

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Posted in: China patriotic blockbuster joins top 100 grossing films worldwide See in context

What is often left out of stories like this is that there have been far more "patriotic" Chinese movies recently that have been major flops there. From what I've read, this isn't much different from a good Bond film. The media seem really keen to report the success of this movie as being a nationalist thing, where more likely it is because it is a well made or enjoyable film that appeals to Chinese audiences. It's not something that I personally would want to see, but there are also a lot of American movies I don't watch because they're clearly aimed for the American core demographic. I can also think of some great movies that I've enjoyed that I know won't appeal to people who don't live in the same country as I do.

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Posted in: Trump insists both sides to blame for Virginia violence See in context

Violence should never be tolerated. There are two obvious things that should be condemned in this incident - firstly the individuals openly carrying Nazi flags - being on the right is a FAR different thing to being a Nazi, and whether you're left or right, we should all be standing together against these sorts or people - and secondly, the use of a car to run over and kill people who have a different political/philosophical view to you. I've seen people on this site jump up and down with outrage over similar attacks in places like France when the culprits were Muslim extremists, but the same people suddenly find other things to talk about when the same thing happens closer to home. It's clear from reading the comments here that a large number of people are entrenched in their views and having dialogue with them is meaningless. Should confederate statues be left in place? That's a valid issue worth discussing, but we should all agree that we don't want violence, domestic terrorism or Nazi ideology. It's clear that the U.S. is currently broken, and what worries me is that, as of now, I can't see a way to heal it.

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Posted in: 'Game of Thrones' debut draws record 10.1 million viewers See in context

I was able to purchase the first few seasons of Game of Thrones for about $30 a season, which I enjoyed immensely, but due to the greed of a local distributor (Foxtel) who blocked all other legal ways to see this show and required an annual outlay of around $1,000 a year for their subscription service just to see this show, I've had to rely on other avenues to watch this series. As a result, I'll have to catch this episode later due to the Murdoch "bastion of freedom" press' anti-competitive behaviour. As an aside, for some reason, GoT is the most illegally downloaded TV series (I wonder why?)...

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Posted in: U.S. student who was returned from North Korea in coma dies See in context

bass4funk: About 15 years ago I went to the DMZ twice, it's kind of a tense feeling that's for sure.

Yes, I went there about 12 years ago myself and I can relate to the feeling. In my group, an elderly Japanese man started to wander off from the group. He only took about 2 steps before the one 6 foot something U.S. soldier reached over, grabbed with a massive hand, and yanked him back in line.

I can't see why anyone would want to visit North Korea. It is a dictatorial military state. This kid stole a plaque, but they really don't need a reason to lock you away for 15 years hard labour. Truth isn't one of the weapons in their arsenal. You really have to feel sorry for this kid and his family for what happened to him. I do wonder, though, whether this was a supervised group trip, and who was supposed to be looking after them...

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Posted in: Ireland thrashes Japan 50-22; Scotland beats Australia in rugby union See in context

After seeing New Zealand beat Samoa 78-0, and, although the Scotland-Australia game was entertaining, the Australian kicking was poor and the play from the ruck so slow, this year's Bledisloe Cup is going to be a massacre...

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Posted in: Republican lawmaker shot, others wounded in Virginia See in context

I think that reading these comments here gives any sane person an understanding of what is wrong with politics in the U.S. There are right-wing nutcases, let's not forget the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, and there are left-wing nutcases, as we've seen in this story. Politics these days is not about running the country, but obstructing the other side, and it spills into the media (both the extreme left and right media are a disgrace, and the moderate left and right media aren't a lot better), into online comments where people will defend the indefensible if its done by "their side", while blasting the slightest issue from the other. It all creates an atmosphere of hostility and inability to actually get anything done. It creates frustration on all sides. And, unfortunately, there are a number of people who are not mentally well who have access to firearms and we get things like this. Violence is not the solution to anything.

I can only hope that something like this will be a wake-up slap in the face to those who endlessly push a political ideology (left or right) that is devoid of reality. I hope, but I really doubt anything will change. Too many people use their political views as a badge for self identity, and see any weakening of that as a betrayal of who there are. Still, the recent British election saw some 40% people vote for a different political party that the previous election, so there is still hope that people can judge good policy over political allegiances.

To those wounded in this incidence, my hope for a quick recovery and thoughts for your family and friends.

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Posted in: Japan begins FY 2017 'research whaling' in northwest Pacific See in context

Terms like "what it calls research whaling" and "Japan's so-called research whaling" are commonly used in the media because what Japan is doing is not widely recognised as research. Japan's "research" has in the past been rejected by the International Whaling Commission's scientific committee, and the International Court of Justice has declared in recent years that Japan's whaling is "not for the purposes of scientific research". In this context, the media using these terms is actually quite conciliatory to Japan.

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Posted in: May secures deal to prop up government, loses key aides See in context

jcapan: The difference between baby boomers and millennials is pretty simple. The boomers had a chance to sell out.

Every generation has the chance to sell out, though what they sell out to is never quite the same. And every generation blames the previous for selling out. Weren't the baby boomers the generation of the hippies in the 60's with their anti-war slogans and free love? Personally, I think the millennials will sell out to online fads and trends and fake outrage over concocted scandals... it's already happening. Selling out is nothing new, and every generation blames the previous generations and swear that they are different, that they have integrity and that they'd never sell out. This argument is self defeating and offers no path for actual progress. People across the political spectrum are losing faith in democracy because we don't really have much of a democracy these days. Too many people arguing "right" and "left" instead of right and wrong. Sometimes the right thing to do leans "left", and sometimes it leans "right". Most politicians these days represent their parties instead of representing society. To me, that's the real problem.

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Posted in: May secures deal to prop up government, loses key aides See in context

jcapan: 'Just read this in the Independent: "63 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds voted Labour and 27 per cent Conservative." Coupled with the overwhelming support Sanders got from younger Americans last year, the future looks good. If we can just survive the present.'

One thing to keep in mind is that, as people get older, they also tend to become more conservative. Research has shown that as people settle down, get married, have children and find themselves with assets, a home, and kids, they are less likely to want change and are more likely to vote conservative. Trends in how young people vote don't always carry through to the trends in how they vote when they are older.

On saying that, I also read that half a decade ago, only about 10% of voters would change which party they voted for at an election. The recent British election saw 40% of people change the party that they voted for. Personally, I see this as a good thing. People are sick of both sides of politics promising whatever they have to to get elected, and then going back to the same old same old. It dismays me sometimes that political parties are so caught up in their own ideologies that they are almost incapable of actually seeing what a country really needs.

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Posted in: London attacker's mother blames Internet for son's radicalisation See in context

All these people blaming the mother and saying "the internet? yeah, right... nope!". We only have to see the comments on this site, and they're both relatively mild and moderated, to see there are extreme views on issues. When we let impressionable individuals onto extreme sites, then yes, the internet is to blame. Any parent knows that they can't moderate their child's online activity 24/7. It is, though, up to the parent to teach their child who to process information and determine fact from fiction. Unfortunately, from what I've seen, this is a skill fewer parents have these days, so it's hard to have high hopes for the generations that follow... :(

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Posted in: Pope asks Trump to be peacemaker See in context

The Pope is a man of faith. He's asking Trump to be a peacemaker... Clearly he has more faith than I have.

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Posted in: Religious right AWOL from the real war See in context

As a non-American living in Japan, reading the online English Japanese news site, I left asking one simple question...

What is this tripe, and why is it here?

blah blah blah liberties blah blah freedoms blah blah rights blah blah... nothing beats raising the hackles of emotive words when logic fails you. Long live the conspiracy, whatever one happens to be in vogue at the moment (at the end of the day, they all just boil down to paranoia).

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