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Posted in: Man dead after setting himself on fire in bullet train; woman passenger also dies See in context

I liked the comment

...self-immolation is relatively popular in asia.

Not in my neighborhood.

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Posted in: Kennedy sends letter of support to heckled assemblywoman See in context

That'll do the trick. The US gubmnt is so fortunate to know how to deal with foreign relations. A letter. And if that doesn't make everything better, you'll know what comes next. A really really strong letter directly to the perpetrator. He'll be begging for mercy and forgiveness. And all that international respect will follow.

It.works.every.time.

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Posted in: Foreigner-bashing rises amid China's domestic woes See in context

Wow. When I read it I just thought it sounded like here (Japan). Go figure.

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Posted in: Big Brother's got eyes everywhere See in context

"They're any easy sale though." any = an oops.

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Posted in: Big Brother's got eyes everywhere See in context

35 cents will buy you effective "clean" stick-on fingerprints from your friendly local distributor in Manila or shaghai. Brake fluid will temporarily remove your own prints, though a bit more painful than using stick-ons. All foil the multi-gillion yen NEC print scanners. Low tech marches on, while hi tech solutions don't offer Plan Bs and just tread on basic human privacy and empty tax-payers' wallets. They're any easy sale though. People really need to rethink what they are trying to solve and explore potential exploitations before wasting everyone's time, money and dignity (full body scanners). It's sad and promotes the herd pedestrian in the minds of egomaniacal politicians and psuedo know-it-all psuedo-"solutions providers" , eager to suck up your money and provide you nothing in return.

Basic PI is still the most effective way terrorists are caught, bar none. Dirt cheap in comparison, and more resourceful.

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Posted in: Who gets your vote for the greatest rock band of all time? See in context

And who could forget The Fugs and Holy Modal Rounders? I mean, really.

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Posted in: U.S. senator criticizes Japan on auto trade barriers See in context

SamuriBlue, right! I've actually seen it. Hilarious. The tires were actually outside of the white lines! I have no idea how far they got.

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Posted in: Japanese whaling: Why the West is in the wrong See in context

Let's all settle down with some nice hoya and namako and some beers and chill out for a bit, shall we? Then we can pick up again where we left off.

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Posted in: Palestine becomes member of UNESCO; U.S. cuts funds See in context

BTW, sodav, I'm they same guy you responded to. Just logged in under a different account.

I would also add I was told by a rabbi friend a few years ago that the Palestinians and Israeli general populace's political views on the subject are all across the board and it isn't accurate to assume Hamas, nor the Israeli govt is the only voice in Palestine or Israel. He gave a very interesting, enlightening and even handed perspective I don't have the insight to pretend to understand, and couldn't unless I could live and observe by being in that region.

So I know nothing except my overall prospective of the actual situation on the ground would prove to be inaccurate, in not having done so. It was humbling and very fascinating to listen to him on the matter.

That doesn't change the point of my original response about choice of funding to the UN, from which I am so far off topic at this point.

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Posted in: Palestine becomes member of UNESCO; U.S. cuts funds See in context

soldav - Great response. Seriously. I laughed out loud and it was a good response.

But, as you already probably assumed, I was thinking more along the lines of charities outside of government, which I should have qualified in the post. True we choose to be here, and thus pay taxes, that go where ever. And that's a choice. The US wastes far too much taxpayer dollars, as they always have. It was a surprise to see one small glimmer of restraint in providing a fair amount of taxpayer dollars to a body who perpetually bite the hand that feeds them.

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Posted in: Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs? See in context

steve@CPFC: Jeepers, buddy. Lighten up. We can type here because we don't have anything better to do. Just enjoy what you can of this (or any) place. Food is fun here. That's why we go out to eat, or get special things to eat at home that aren't readily available in our home 'hoods. Sites and scenery are fun here, too. If it ain't fun for you, don't do it. There are plenty of options.

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Posted in: Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs? See in context

Oops. " and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way." What I was going to type is: " and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way... if they didn't want patrons to appreciate that in the first place."

They'd just pile it on and say "here ya go, bud".

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Posted in: Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs? See in context

A couple things come to mind after reading these comments: 1.) I do it when I get a dish that is very well presented. Presentation of food is not that important in the American culture that existed when I moved here, except for the "eclectic-y" restaurants that just do lots of swirls and stuff with sauces. So its unique enough to photograph and share with friends from home. B.) We're not all from the UK, so who cares about pseudo aristocratic whiners? That's amusing enough on its own. and 6.) why should I not have fun while I'm eating, no matter where it is? If taking a few pics of a great dish and sending them to my mom overseas, or friends who are always curious about life here, than, so be it. Its fun to absorb the whole experience in any way I see fit if its unobtrusive to the restaurant, and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way.

However, I seriously thought the age of all the psuedo-aristocrats had passed a very long time ago. Some people are just so full of themselves, they can't stand it. And neither can I. I'd suggest some good long-term therapy, or moving someplace where you can deal with the culture on your terms. Just do something to knock your self-esteem down several needed notches to that of the rest of us mere mortals.

Of course, one exception, which is off topic (please forgive me - sorry moderator!) and many westerners are horrible at, is talking LOUDLY on their keitai. It does happen in the west, but is rare here. There, I do draw the line, as the high volume level is truly annoying to everyone around. So if someone's taking a pic, and then quietly calling their friend to send and show what they're eating, cool.

Aside from that, or maybe someone taking the food off my plate, I'd say its not a bad thing and chefs wouldn't present things so eloquently if they didn't want patrons to appreciate their creations to the fullest extent.

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Posted in: What do you think of love hotels? See in context

I was totally surprised and, somehow, a terribly morbidly bit amused to see a love hotel directly across the street from the Nagasaki Ground Zero Memorial park! It had the car park curtain, etc. Somebody correct me if I was wrong in my observation. I don't think so, but, of course, I could be wrong. Holy Cow! Is nothing sacred? Japanese culture. It never lets you down.

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Posted in: Why is politics, which could and should be a noble profession, conducted so badly? See in context

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P. J. O'Rourke

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Posted in: Why is politics, which could and should be a noble profession, conducted so badly? See in context

A noble profession? Over 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln said "Every mother wants her son to be president. They just don't want them to be a politician." (often attributed to JFK and many others after Lincoln.)

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