Benefit to Putin? Sometimes dictators do things that have zero benefit for their people/countries. Sometimes dictators cut of their own noses to spite their faces. And Putin's MASSIVE inferiority complex against the West leads him to do really stupid things. Putin thought the West was weak, and he was strong: the opposite is proving true. Putin thought there was no way that Europe could get through the winter without any Russian Gas: Europe will put Putin's fantasies to rest.
What benefit did the Soviet Union have in sealing off its economy for decades, or in prioritizing military spending over providing consumer necessities? What benefit did Stalin earn in randomly murdering millions of his own loyal citizens during the Great Purge? Or in making an alliance with Fascist Germany, a country whose leader swore to anyone who'd listen, that his ultimate goal in life was to erase Russia from the map? None, really. So to think that Putin decided to cut the European nose off just to spite his own sagging Russian face, well, this isn't exactly the first time things like this have happened....
1 ( +2 / -1 )
It "cost" that much, huh? In fact, if Japan sold dollars at a much higher rate than they bought them for, so it might be more appropriate to say that they "made" money!
Still, the yen is now about 0.3 yen per dollar away from hitting 145...again. The speculators are still betting that any intervention isn't going to be enough, in the long run. Until the BOJ hikes rates, even a smidgen, the yen is going to continue to fall, alas...oh, and did everyone notice the price hikes starting today (Oct 1) on thousands of daily life items that central banks do not count as inflation?
2 ( +2 / -0 )
LOL. When he was "Governator" of California, Leftists positively spewed hate against Schwa-chan non stop. Now? They lionize him like they lionize...Lynn Cheney? LOL What is going on in the world?
Lenin used to call such people "Useful Idiots". You all might want to learn the meaning of the term...
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
"Those Western sanctions are having no effect on Russia..." say most Russian online trolls...or at least the ones left after Vlad The Bad's "partial conscription"...
Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Serbia are positively filling up with "patriotic Russians" that waved the Z online, but then chose to run away from Russia when even a whiff of actually participating in a WAR caught up to those keyboard warriors. lol. Well, you ain't seen nothing yet!
4 ( +7 / -3 )
To put this into context. Pew Research just released their "global" polling on Chinese favorability ratings for 2021. And here is the answer to the question "Do you have a favorable/unfavorable opinion of China?"
Japan (87% un, 12% fav), South Korea (80% un, 19% fav), Australia (86% un, 14% fav), the US (82% un, 16% fav)
Can anyone spot a trend here? lol! More "unfavorable" responses by percentage: Sweden (83%), Netherlands (75%), Canada and Germany (both 74% un)
...so, yeah! Keep up the good work, Dear Leader Xi! And...congratulations? lol.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
The EU accounted for 74% of Russia's natural gas exports prior to the war with Ukraine. Russia stupidly failed to develop any LNG ports or pipelines to the East, so pipelines are the only way one can export this gas, in any way. That's gone now!
Yes, there's a pipeline still running...right through Ukraine! Who's your daddy now, Vlad? lol. And there's one to Turkey...where thanks to Erdogan's stupid economic policies, inflation is at 90% while the Lira purchases only a quarter what it did in Feb 2022 (making gas purchases just as expensive as they were at the start of the war!, even with discounts~!) The EU now knows, after doing everything it can to get through this winter, that relying on Russia for gas is at an end. Perhaps forever - certainly as long as Putin clings to his throne. (You hear that, Oligarchs? You know what you all need to do...)
All that needs to happen now is for one or two of those sanctions-defying second-rate Indian or Chinese oil tankers to "malfunction" or be "forcibly boarded" along route, say right outside of Russian waters? And no firm will ever insure another oil tanker to sail into Russian waters for years. 85% of all shipping insurance originates in the West, while a loss or damage to even one ship will quintuple already crushing insurance prices even if nation-states provide their own insurance (wiping out any "cost advantage" of buying discounted Russian oil). The gas is stuck inside Russia - womp-womp! And lets remember, too, that the West can additionally choose to sanction Indian and Chinese companies still doing business with Russia...if necessary.
Then what? No gas pipelines to Asia. All Russian oil must be shipped, while the largest fields in the Urals are already so backlogged that some capping of wells this winter seems certain to occur...never to reopen without Western help? The West has additional sanctions levers to pull, (think removing Gasprombank from SWIFT, for a start) and Winter Is Coming!!
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
Those protestors, academics and press who continue to positively hate Abe (I mean it - did you see some of the signage being displayed yesterday? - Wow! I saw several signs of open sympathy for the murder and joy! for Abe's demise yesterday when walking around the Budokan, something conveniently left out of this anti-Abe/LDP slanted reporting), they all once again slip out of reality and into delusional fantasy with their "may...might...could possibly...has the potential to...perhaps" hypotheticals.
As if wishing for something hard enough is all one has to do to make it true! But as others here more firmly planted in this real world have pointed out, Kishida isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The opposition is a mess; they just proved their ineptness in the last disastrous election to come up with anything other than "we're not the LDP" for their campaign, while Kishida's support (not against this one-off event, mind you) is still at least 25% higher than anyone in the other parties.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
So far, these are all poor "benefits", sorry. "Shared family registry", "loans", "social security"? lol. Okay. I don't want to be in any family registry, just like I don't want to be in grandpa's burial plot for all eternity, and I have loans and social security already. So...what else?
"Someone waiting for you at home" says a poster with the avatar of a dog...incidentally describing what sounds more like the behaviour of a dog! "Good meals every day"? Sounds like you need a maid, or a mother!
There are probably benefits related to children, I'll admit, but is breeding the only reason to get hitched? Does that "very basic love" feeling comes only through marriage, and not through any other arrangement? I...don't think so. These rather weak "benefits" are only making marriage sound worse, not better! And one in four of all married people in Japan (who end up ending it in divorce) seem to agree?
1 ( +5 / -4 )
This "hero" is so worried about democracy that he first ran to...China, then when life didn't come up roses in that dictatorship, ended up sucking up to...Putin in Russia? lol. Whatever you say...
Now, his taxes will now help to destroy another independent democracy in Ukraine, while some will also pay to smash in the heads of anyone who voices the slightest hint of dissent. But will this coward actually fight for his new country in their failing, flailing "special operations"? Are you kidding?? Smh~ "hero"...
-4 ( +3 / -7 )
"I've yet to meet a Japanese who does not consider Komeito as any else but a "faction" of the LDP..."
Really? I've never met a Komeito supporter who would agree with your sweeping (and incorrect) statement. And I've met hundreds of em.
Yamaguchi has been president of Komeito since 2009. Normally, it takes a significant loss of power to create conditions for change, and incidentally, 2009 was the last time Komeito wasn't in the ruling coalition following the election.
But if you really want to see a "president for life", you should look to the party that does such things best: the Communists. There, "Chairman" Kazuo Shii has been calling the shots since...2000. Through loss after loss after loss...he's still there.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Typical! Another "far-right fascist" spreading their love for Putin and criticizing Ukraine's resistance!!!
Oh wait...that doesn't quite work here, does it? lol.
By the way, check out this has-been grandpa's long-documented openly anti-Semitic insanity when it comes to the "Palestinian question"...Good grief! The term "Unhinged" doesn't begin to describe it...
-7 ( +2 / -9 )
"Hundreds" lol. Next!
-5 ( +1 / -6 )
lol. And so the cycle begins...again. New five year, lame duck Korean president. Cannot run for a second term.
Year One: New Beginnings, handshakes and rosy talk from the leaders themselves
Year Two: Walk-back of New Beginnings, no more direct talks of leaders, no more handshakes at PR events
Year Three: Lose local parliamentary elections, Introduce "Limited Protections" against Japanese "cultural and tech imperialism"
Year Four and Five: Outright protectionism, Visits to contested islands, Court confiscations of Japanese assets and pre-planned "protests" against Japanese "imperialism"
(Bonus Points: President Indicted on Corruption Charges, hamstringing any and all "outreach") Sigh...
3 ( +3 / -0 )
The prince has put on a fresh coat of black, it appears. Reminds me of that happy American ad jingle from the 80s (which, funny enough, originated from an even older song from the musical "South Pacific"): "I'm gonna wash that gray right outta my hair!.." lol
"i cant find any information if Abe was cremated or not..."
Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the only people who do not get cremated in Japan are the folks in the Special Family like the ones you see in the pic above...
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
China's hissy fits expose their impotence. As if they really expected everyone to lie down and surrender whenever they make some illegal claims regarding open navigation accepted by the entire world save one unfree country, this after directly threatening the Taiwanese by shooting live missiles over the island.
Russia similarly expected the world to lie down and surrender when it launched its so-called "special operation" in Ukraine...how's that working out for China's Best Buddy Putin? Behold the "mighty power"...down to scrounging North Korea for superannuated artillery and Iran for "high-tech" (lol) drones! Pay close attention, Xi, and be very, very careful, because the world's telling you as plainly as possible: the quickest way to bring your country to ruin is through an aggressive, unprovoked invasion of Taiwan...
8 ( +9 / -1 )
Reform of the UN? Don't make me laugh. They've talked "reform" of the UN almost as long as it's been in existence, without admitting the obvious: the UN is a relic of past realities, of a past war settlement from a time when 70% of the "the world" weren't even nation-states, but rather colonies or protectorates.
What' is Brazil's, or Germany's, or India's, or even Japan's record internationally anyway? When the rubber hits the road, as it were, what did they contribute? And what would make, say, an India which not only refuses to condemn outright invasion, but also seeks to personally profit from it, any more appealing than, say, China's own well-known global opportunism?
Let's face it: the UN "works"...except for all those times when it doesn't! lol. And as for creating any international new organization that can both supersede the UN while also diluting the power that those on the present Security Council now enjoy, deserving or not? lol. Good luck with that!
4 ( +9 / -5 )
lol. You see? Win-win! There's no downside!
lol. No, your savings didn't lose almost 30% in value compared to other currencies. No, your paycheck, if in yen, won't lose more a further 10% purchasing power again come October, when 95% of food producers raise their prices by that much. And no, your heating, gas and energy bills won't wise any more than they've already done this winter. Even if they will...look on the "bright side!"
Win-win! A boost in tourism which accounts for less than 3% of GDP in total. And you get to work harder for less equivalent cash and purchases each week. What's not to like?
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
Posted in: There are serious doubts about the eligibility of the group, formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, as a religious corporation. Many say the government should file with a court for procedures to disband (the Unification Church) under the Religious Corporations Act. See in context
lol. Has anyone noticed how quiet ruling-party-partner Komeito has been through all this? Komeito, the political wing of the undisputed king of pressure-cult-masquerading-as-psuedo-religion, aka, Soka Gakkai and its "venerable dear leader Ikeda Sensei".
Komeito sit in government, keeping the LDP in power for over a decade, while everyone (media included) look the other way...
1 ( +3 / -2 )
"over 65s, or seniors, accounting for 29.1 percent of the population, or 36.27 million people"
That in-country group of retirees is about as large as the entire population of Poland!
3 ( +4 / -1 )
Just wait until next month, when a new fiscal year begins and...everyone in Japan hikes prices bigly!
From Reuters: "Nearly 80% of Japan's listed food companies have either raised prices this year or plan to do so, four times the ratio of last year, according to a survey by private research firm Teikoku Databank.
"These rises affect more than 20,000 food items, which will go up by an average of 14%. One-third of the increase is scheduled to take effect in October, a sign that inflationary pressure could intensify later this year."
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
Hope Japan got a discount for their serial (and apparently limitless) sanctions evasion practices....
"Japan, imported over 200% more natural gas from Russia in August compared to the previous year, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing data from Japan’s finance ministry.
Japan shipped 450,000 metric tons of LNG from Russia last month — a 211.2% increase from August 2021."
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Suddenly, Democrats go all silent in their support for "collective bargaining" and pro-labour policies. Typical!
Take as much union cash as you can get with one hand, and slap the union members in the face with the other!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
The global markets and speculators in general are going to bet big that they have more cash on hand than the Japanese Government does. They do. They're going to bet that Kuroda and the BOJ will be forced to break from near-ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), even if Kuroda's myopic "qualifications" for doing so haven't been fulfilled.
In the end, the markets will win. We'll soon see the charade of Japan's "fiscal uniqueness" come crashing down. And anyone here trying to tell you that maintaining a 266% debt to GDP is "just the way central banking works" should be totally ignored...
-1 ( +3 / -4 )
The Emmys. lol. How many categories are they up to now? Hundreds of awards each year? Several hundreds of categories?
Whenever I hear "Emmy" I always chuckle at the memory of a scene from The Sopranos. In it, a degenerate gambler-slash-washed-up screenwriter JT Dolan gets in over his head playing cards in a high stakes game and owes money to AA companion/mobster Chris Moltistanti.
After getting roughed up, Dolan scrounges for cash, taking his Emmy to the pawn shop. The cashier offers him...$15 for the award! "Aw, come on, man!" Dolan screams in desperation. "15 lousy bucks? This is An Emmy!!" The uninterested reply, "Maybe if it was an Oscar..." lol.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
Posted in: With all the bad news in the world, whether it is the war in Ukraine, coronavirus, climate change , economic problems or political divisions, do you sometimes get tired of the news and just "switch it off?" See in context
Nope. It's better to be depressed about news events and to learn to cope with/put it into its proper perspective than it is to allow oneself to become ignorant of facts and events. Much as you try, you just can't have all yin with no yang; can't have all good and no bad. That's fantasy, not reality.
If fact, I'd submit that it's exactly this willful choice to be ignorant that makes a lot of the bad news begin in the first place!
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I am encouraged by the quality of and understanding found in the above comments. People are getting it: China is the aggressor, and their chickens are coming home to roost. This is the decade in which the world and China learn this: China needs the outside world waaaaaay more than anyone outside China needs it!
The world MUST now do to the unelected communists in Peking what those communists positively FAILED to do themselves at the start of COVID: CONTAIN THE SPREADING THREAT AT ALL COSTS.
7 ( +9 / -2 )
Gorbachev ironically thought he could give people more freedom, while keeping the coercive Communist Party as the monopolizer of all aspects of political expression. He insisted that, inside the confines of the Party, a measure of "openness" would spread, without damaging the prerogatives of the Party itself. What he failed to see was that it was HIS PARTY that had long been THE stumbling block to all "openness" in the first place! So why even keep it going, many began to wonder?
It should've been obvious that the very first thing people would do with their new freedom is to criticize the party and its many failings. Yeltsin used this masterfully, using Gorby's restrictive "openness" and working against the party from within the party, until he became a bulldozer of Communist Party power by reigniting Russian Nationalism so that Russians demanded that Russian interests should take precedent. "This is a union of Socialist Republics? OK then. And Russia, being the most powerful of all, must have the premier slot, must come first before the rest. Primus inter pares!"
(You can imagine all the other non-Russian republics happily following Yeltsin's lead, claiming that THEY too had to put THEIR republic's/enthnicity's interest before the "party unity", to the point of demanding independence FROM Gorbachev's beloved party)...and STILL Gorbachev clung to power, insisting that his broken, bankrupt Party must come first, that any move towards democracy must provide his party with unfair starting advantages no one else was afforded...until an attempted coup sought to put Gorby's Glasnost genie back in the bottle...and Gorby himself faded into irrelevance, and the USSR ceased to be because nobody wanted or needed it anymore!
1 ( +2 / -1 )
This article is written like a stalker followed "Mari" around the entire time! "After Mari did X...Mari thought Y...Mari thought it would be best to do Z..." lol. Weird, man!
Miyajima Island is one of my favourite places in Japan. The ferries are purposely affordable, unlike many cool destinations here. You can pack a lunch to save heaps on food. Hike a little bit outside the downtown area and nature overcomes you. The hike up the mountain is not too bad, and the view from the top is superb. Yeah, the gate is wrapped up, and was that way when I went in early 2020. But oh well...
Oh, and pro tip, skip the overpriced "shika senbei" and just pull some leaves off the trees for the deer to eat. They went CRAZY when I did that, especially cherry and momiji tree leaves, and I couldn't shake them off for quite a while! Suddenly, dozens of Japanese tourists took my lead and did the same, with happy results for all! lol.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
The irony of Gorbachev is this: we now celebrate the man for what he FAILED to do; for what his FAILURES brought about.
Gorby tried with all his heart to salvage the USSR, to keep it going, empire and all (minus Afghanistan, which he quickly abandoned), until the economic and social policies he misguidedly enacted grew beyond his control and led to the exact OPPOSITE of his aims: the total COLLAPSE of his beloved Soviet Union, and the end of a need for a General Secretary Gorbachev in the process!
As bad as the USSR was for its people, it provided some measure of stability. Gorby's policies removed that stability, and also took away their "pride" in being a "world power", so it's little wonder that Russians despise him for it. They now hate Yeltsin, whom they lionized at one time. And soon, the same dislike will be felt for all the destruction the vile (ras)PUTIN is presently set to bring to the Russians...some things never change!
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
Posted in: Japan cannot make itself more secure just by increasing its defense spending. Enhancing Japan’s defense capabilities could appear threatening to others in the region, leading them to respond in kind and leaving no one better off than before. See in context
That's basically the gist of it, Paul. "Don't do anything while rivals ramp up offensive military spending, because if you respond, YOU're the one at fault!" Smh.
Nobody forced China to become so aggressive towards its neighbors, or to develop a "Lone Wolf" predatory, zero-sum view of cynical diplomacy. Nobody told China to lie to the world while weaponizing illegal man-made islands with offensive missiles. Nobody but China threatened the peaceful nation of Taiwan with war. Nobody forced North Korea to start developing nukes, or to start shooting missiles over the heads of innocent civilians.
Japan is simply returning to the real world, making its own decisions regarding defense as any other sovereign nation has a right to do. The "arms race" in Asia was started by one country only: the misnamed People's Republic of China.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
Posted in: How to cultivate a happier retirement