Would you trust this man to be YOUR justice minister?

Japanese Justice Minister claims to know of “a friend of a friend” who’s associated with Al-Qaeda and who entered Japan on a false passport, and therefore it’s necessary to fingerprint all foreigners. If it’s true, there’s the obvious security implication of having your Justice Minister associate himself with Al-Qaeda personnel. If it’s false (more likely) then a senior politician is publicly using some poorly-conceived lie to justify a policy. Which is it, Mr. Hatoyama?

No sex, please — we’re Singaporean!

You’re not allowed to actually have sex in Singapore Airlines’ A380 double-bed suite. If you do they might want to cane you! But seriously, who the hell is going to pay $14,000 for an 8-hour flight and accept being treated like a teenager visiting his grandmother? It’s not even like the facilities are all that impressive, according to the one passenger to have tried it so far. What IS the point of the double bed then?

Travel blog

Well, I thought I’d have more time to write a sort of “travel diary”, but my days are pretty packed here in China so I’ve decided to keep most of it for later.

Pictures of my trip so far (I add pictures more or less regularly, as the internet connection here is rather unsteady) can be seen at Facebook.

Essential Shanghai vocabulary: ‘Bu yao’ and ‘zho ba’.

Those who think of China as having the austerity that comes with traditional communism should come to Shanghai. Capitalism thrives here at a level of which even a place like New York can only envy. And to be honest it’s driving me a little nuts. Continue reading “Essential Shanghai vocabulary: ‘Bu yao’ and ‘zho ba’.”

‘Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.’

Texas death row inmate denied final appeal because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals office closes at 5. The state then went on to execute the prisoner as scheduled. I do hope the people at the Appeals office did not let their dinners get cold that night!