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albaleoSep. 15, 2014 - 03:27AM JST
I was moved by David Haines' brother's statement. In it he included words from the Koran,
"Since good and evil cannot be equal, repel thou evil with something that is better."
Posted in: Video shows beheading of British aid worker
albaleoSep. 13, 2014 - 06:25AM JST
I love Britain but despise the UK.
For me Britain means local accents, great people, and interesting landscapes. The UK is queens, dukes, knighthoods, a seat in the House of Lords, lost colonies, changing the guard, public schoolboys, arts degrees from Oxford, the officers mess, judges with wigs, a permanent seat in the UN security council, sending chaps to Iraq, received pronunciation, the British Council, and women named Fraser-Pryce and Campbell-Brown running in the Olympics 100m final.
In 1967, a Scottish politician named Winnie Ewing was elected to parliament. Her most famous line was, "Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on." The idea still makes sense to me.
Posted in: Why the world should care about Scottish independence
albaleoSep. 12, 2014 - 10:52PM JST
Does no one have anything good to say about the man?
Posted in: Protestant firebrand Ian Paisley dies at 88
albaleoSep. 12, 2014 - 10:37PM JST
"I think the England many Scots dislike is the same England I and many others outside of the capital and the shires dislike."
I think you're right, Jimizo. And as you say, some pro-union supporters have used this as an argument. The other side of that is to hear people from Newcastle telling us to "just do it".
Posted in: Scotland ready to make history; banks say they'll head south if it's a 'Yes' vote
albaleoSep. 12, 2014 - 08:43PM JST
" I usually hear neutral or positive comments from English folks about Scotland. However, nothing but contempt and disdain from Scots towards the English."
I won't deny there are some Scots who behave like that. But there their equivalents in England. (Aren't we called "sweaties" by some?) But it's much the same as Osaka-Tokyo rivalries. (OK, that can get bitter at times. But generally not much more than friendly banter.) My parents were English, but lived happily for about 30 years in Scotland. ( I guess that makes me a child of immigrants.)
Your "free education" comment makes no sense. Scottish students have to pay to study in England. The "free for Europeans" is because of the strange nature of EU regulations. I could argue that Scots can study for free in Poland but have to pay in England. But it would be a stupid argument. (As stupid as the EU regulations.)
albaleoSep. 12, 2014 - 05:48PM JST
I'll be voting. But my views will reflect my bias, so I'm not sure they will add much.
Opinion is split. I think there are a range of views on both sides. There are the flag-waving nationalists in each camp (Union Flag versus Saltire), but I think these are a small minority. Most people are taking a more rational view, and will have a number of reasons for their decision. As there is only one question on the ballot paper, the two views might be seen as "Why change?" versus "Why not?". Or, for Douglas Adams fans, one wag on The Register described it as YES = "So long, and thanks for all the fish." NO = "Mostly harmless".
One interesting thing is that 16 and 17 year olds get to vote. I was against this at first. But I watched a debate yesterday where a few thousand Scottish school kids got to listen and ask questions to four prominent politicians. The questions were intelligent, their behavior well-mannered yet passionate, and they seemed to see through the usual empty answers of the politicians. I'm now thinking that perhaps only 16 and 17 year olds be allowed to vote. :-)
albaleoSep. 12, 2014 - 01:25AM JST
"so how come Salmond thinks he gets to rule things out "
When did he say that?
Posted in: Independent Scotland will need big currency reserves - Bank of England
albaleoSep. 11, 2014 - 08:28PM JST
"Does he think Scotland will become his own personal fiefdom?"
That's how the other side like to portray him. His deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, has openly said that if Scottish people want a Labour government, the quickest way to achieve it is to vote Yes. The referendum is not a vote for the SNP and its policies. Future policies are a matter for future governments. My own favourite as a future Prime Minister of Scotland is Ruth Davidson of the Tories. (I can dream.)
albaleoSep. 11, 2014 - 05:07PM JST
"which the Yes campaign has completely ignored and failed to take account of"
Presumably the No campaign have ignored it too, as this magic number of 130 billion has only cropped up so late in the campaign. I'm sure we will hear even wilder claims from both sides over the next week.
"economic suicide" The alternative being a slow lingering death as Scotland's resources continue to pay for the UK's high and mighty ambition of being high and mighty.
albaleoSep. 10, 2014 - 05:09PM JST
“A currency union is incompatible with sovereignty,”
So with a currency union, Scotland could only aspire to the same lack of sovereignty as France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, etc.
Posted in: British party leaders head to Scotland as vote tightens
albaleoSep. 09, 2014 - 04:06PM JST
"I'd be sad to see Scotland go"
We're not going anywhere, Cleo. We'll be where we've always been. And the border is likely to remain as it is now with no physical barriers. Or is there a reason things should be any different from the relationship between Britain and the Republic of Ireland?
Apparently Boris Johnson's reason for describing it as a catastrophe is that it would involve "trashing our global name and brand". I'm still scratching my head on that one.
Posted in: Scramble to 'save' UK after Scotland referendum shock
albaleoSep. 08, 2014 - 03:52PM JST
"Some of these women have committed heinous crimes"
But most will have committed petty crimes such as shoplifting and have mental problems and/or drug and alcohol issues. Japan has a low prison population and a low crime rate compared to most countries. They must be doing something right. We would be better to learn than condemn. I'd guess better conditions also increases the motivation of staff who work in prisons.
Posted in: Ehime’s new women’s prison decorated powder pink 'to relieve feelings of oppression'
albaleoSep. 02, 2014 - 09:51PM JST
Your angry rhetoric may make you feel better, but it offers no practical solution.
"Members of that psychopathic terror group are a threat to anyone who doesn't think like they do and they must be treated as we treat vermin."
So should we encourage people to travel to join Hezbollah then, who seem to share your ant-takfiri position and will undoubtedly treat them as vermin?
"There were International units fighting for and against Franco, but none of them were beheading women, children, elderly and men over the age of 14 who wouldn't convert to their religion. Big difference."
Some of them were killing priests and nuns - is it such a big difference?
Posted in: British PM Cameron says passports could be seized to fight terrorism
albaleoSep. 02, 2014 - 06:21PM JST
What is the crime - travelling abroad to fight with "terrorist" groups, or travelling abroad to fight for a cause. What is the difference between fighting for IS and fighting for the International Brigades against Franco in the 1930s? It's easy to say one is a noble cause and one is evil, but who decides. It's all the more messy when the British government itself has supported or proposed supporting groups in Libya and Syria who under many interpretations would also be classed as terrorists. More practically, arresting people on their return is likely to add to the numbers supporting such causes. Better to tackle the issue of why so many young British Muslims are signing up, and instead of giving us the usual pious speeches, a good dose of ridicule and sarcasm could go a lot further. But the UK's half-arsed evensong (nice expression, Jimizo), will prevent this because it might require talking a bit more directly about the realities of religious belief. (You're not meant to really believe it, Naveed. It's just a story, like Santa Claus.)
albaleoAug. 30, 2014 - 05:26PM JST
Putin and Russia may or may not have evil intent. But western leaders are not making a strong case when they appear to support the actions and policies of the Kiev government. Shelling of civilians, discrimination against Russian speaking minorities, fascists in government.
Posted in: EU ministers call for new sanctions against Russia
albaleoAug. 30, 2014 - 05:16PM JST
"The Yes campaigners are using increasingly nasty tactics and are deliberately trying to stifle debate. "
And you know this how? Because the people in the No campaign said so? Meanwhile, the UK government's Department of Work and Pensions issued a memo to staff saying it was their duty to vote No.
"It is important that, as civil servants, we understand why the Scottish independence referendum is different from elections such as a UK General Election or a European Election. This is because the UK government has a clear position to maintain the Union and so it is legitimate and necessary for UK civil servants to support the government in this objective." (August 19, 2014)
Posted in: Egg-throwing and road rage as Scotland campaign heats up
albaleoAug. 28, 2014 - 05:03PM JST
"The routine way of reporting the death tolls"
I agree with JeffLee in some respects. The British media and establishment tend to focus on the deaths of Europeans in Japanese prison and labour camps. However, I don't think that same routine is followed in Asia.
I'm still looking forward to a UK Daily Mail headline reading, "British troops saved by Chinese heroes." Fat chance.
Posted in: Taiwan honours 56,000 WWII soldiers killed by Japanese in Myanmar
albaleoAug. 19, 2014 - 08:46PM JST
"People should leave comedy to comedians."
Your advice is noted and will be given due consideration.
Posted in: Hospital head hit for Ebola pun on Facebook
albaleoAug. 19, 2014 - 04:16PM JST
"I wouldn't let my son be in a team that carries on with such nonsense."
And what boy wouldn't sacrifice the chance of playing at Koshien for the joys of filial piety?
"No discussion of the gambling on Koshien games?"
Posted in: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball
albaleoAug. 14, 2014 - 10:28PM JST
"Most creative people have problems with depression."
We should perhaps consider the notion that mental illness can lead to fame and not the other way round. Most successful comedians are highly perceptive and highly intelligent. But not all perceptive and intelligent people are comedians. What is it that makes them become clowns and jesters - a trade that is learned or an existing condition. If the latter, then it's possible that the more serious the condition and the more intelligent you are, then the better jester you become. And thus the fame.
A sweeping generalization, I know.
Posted in: Williams' death serves notice of dangers that come with fame
Sep. 16, 2014 - 01:55PM JST
This one startled the cats and made several things fall from the shelves!
Posted in: M5.6 quake jolts Kanto region; no tsunami alert
This is NOT going to be easy because Youkai Watch is (in my opinion) highly dependent…
Posted in: YO-Kai Watch: Japan's monster craze set to go international
Sep. 16, 2014 - 01:54PM JST
"Japan has stoked its sporting rivalry with neighbors South Korea ahead of this month’s Asian Games…
Posted in: Japan ready to renew rivalry with S Korea at Asian Games
Sep. 16, 2014 - 01:53PM JST
You guys are forgetting that these are crazy fundamentalists as well. I don't know what the…
Posted in: Obama picking his targets in Iraq and Syria while missing the point
routine is not hard to master.
Posted in: Will Apple's digital wallet kill the card swipe?