katsu78 comments

Posted in: Two men killed in Oregon train stabbings after anti-Muslim rant See in context

Just the latest in a long string of radical, right-wing, white-supremacist terrorism that despite getting little media attention, has killed or harmed far more people in the US in the same amount of time than Muslims have.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: G7 leaders divided on climate change, closer on trade issues See in context

Trump is probably the greatest threat to world peace and prosperity at the moment.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: English education to start for 3rd graders from FY 2018 See in context

albaleo Today  08:21 pm JST

If your goal is nothing more than language awareness,

At elementary school, might that not be enough?

It depends on the goal of the program. I'd venture that in the Japanese public school context with the present language teaching that is in place in JHS and HS, no, it's not enough at all.

Now in a hypothetical Japan where everyone teaching English in JHS and HS was competent, the textbooks weren't garbage, the teaching methodology weren't ridiculously outdated, and other languages were offered in public schools as an alternative to English (say, Korean and Chinese), yeah, language awareness would totally be enough.

If you actually want them to develop communicative competency,

And how do we define that? The ability to express yourself clearly, and the ability to understand others? 

I'd probably put it more pretentiously, but yeah.

While interaction certainly helps as practice, we have to accept that the opportunities may be limited. When I taught, we used to have a saying, "Are you a help or hindrance in the classroom?" If it's not possible to hire enough competent teachers, then it may be better to hire none than a bunch of incompetents.

Proposing non-interactive (i.e. hon-human) language teaching as an alternative to ineffective language teachers is a bit like proposing vodka to improve your driving skill because beer isn't doing the job. Successful teaching programs don't counter an ineffective solution with a less effective solution.

Without human interaction, without a need to make children attend closely to the language and try it out interactively and productively for themselves, hoping children can learn English from a video is like hoping children can learn to play piano by listening to classical music.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: English education to start for 3rd graders from FY 2018 See in context

albaleo Today  07:21 pm JST

Are teachers really needed for this? Some well-made audio/visual material, perhaps delivered to the classroom by the internet might be more effective.

Depends on what your goal is. If your goal is nothing more than language awareness, then yeah. A set of Youtube videos akin to Sesame Street teaching American kids that the Spanish word for "water" is "agua" making them aware that different languages have different sounds will do the trick.

If you actually want them to develop communicative competency, well, languages are a human instinct and they require human interaction to be learned. And it you want them taught, that means hiring competent humans to teach it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Female-only 'Wonder Woman' screenings set off online complaints See in context

If there's onething boys on the Internet love, it's whinging about how unfair it is that they can't impose themselves on any woman they want, all the time.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 26 See in context

theFu May 26  11:27 pm JST

When will moderate Muslims put an end to their radical factions harming others?

Only they can solve this by making violence socially unacceptable.

Comments like these show the really deep ignorance so many of the outside community have about moderate Muslims. They do condemn this. All the time. Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was kicked out of his own mosque and reported to police by the moderate Muslims in his community when he flipped out over his Mosque presenting a sermon condemning Daesh/IS.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-arena-bomber-salman-abedi-10498466

It's not like the kind of horrific tactics Daesh practices are socially acceptable in the Middle East. That's why other Muslims insist on calling them "Daesh" as opposed to the name they've given themselves, "Islamic State". I wonder if many of the pulpit pounders pontificating on how passive moderate Muslims in the middle East are have even the slightest idea of what conditions are like when Daesh invades a city - because it's literally an invasion. It's not like some guy rolls up and says, "He my Muslim brothers and sisters, wanna put on black masks and behead some infidels?" to a crowd of cheers. It's generally a military convoy moving in and literally murdering anyone who doesn't accept their radical authority. And the people under their rule tend to be poor, uneducated, and desperate (especially in Iraq after Bush utterly bungled their country's reconstruction), so it's not like there's much they can do to fight back.

It's so darkly amusing and sad that so many western observers seem to think Daesh's fighters are motivated by their religion, when most of the prisoners we capture can't even read the holy book people think is driving them. It's the same thing that has driven paramilitary groups all around the world - a core of fanatics taking advantage of a much larger group of desperate people who don't have the means to fight back.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: LDP calls for free education among other areas of Constitution change See in context

Speed Today  06:57 am JST

I love the idea of free education but how does a cash strapped govt. pay for it? 

As I understand it, public schools are already pretty cheap. The biggest expenses there are things like uniforms and juku. Private schools are another matter, and if the LDP is talking about making those free, then I can only conclude their intention is totally insincere - they're just floating uncontroversial ideas that no one actually intends to implement just to get people to listen to their militarization schemes.

But honestly a ton of money could probably be freed up with a very minor bit of regulation - require entrance exams to test knowledge and skills that students actually need to take the classes at that school, as opposed to ludicrously more advanced material that will be promptly forgotten because they're irrelevant to the curriculum.

Schools make difficult exams to weed out low-achieving students. As I understand the Japanese school ranking system, a school is ranked higher if more students apply vs. more students being rejected, so there is an incentive to test students on things like classical Japanese or English vocabulary and grammar far beyond what the school actually needs entrants to have in order to reject more people and raise the school's score. The only way to get this knowledge is to go to juku. However since the population is decreasing, enrollment is down, so many schools are accepting applicants with lower and lower scores anyway. The result is a system where students are pressured to memorize information they don't need to pass a test on information the school doesn't need, and will probably let a lot of them through anyway.

The only people who come out ahead on this inefficient system are juku operators. However since many juku teachers aren't even themselves qualified teachers, we shouldn't worry about their well-being. The juku system is a parasite on the Japanese educational system. Excising it would probably save billions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: An estimated 23 mil would lose health insurance under Republican bill See in context

bass4funkToday  10:08 am JST

At the same time, you're cutting almost $120 billion and premiums which was the catalyst as to why people were so angry with the ACA. 

Prove it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: An estimated 23 mil would lose health insurance under Republican bill See in context

Don the Con strikes again! During the campaign: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody... There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

During his presidency:

9 ( +9 / -0 )

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

"It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace," the pope said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter.

Trump responded: "We can use peace."

This shows the fundamental disconnect between the two men. For the Pope, peace is the end itself. For Trump, peace is a tool for enriching himself that is only desirable so long as using war doesn't enrich himself more.

Rule of Acquisition #35: Peace is good for business.

Rule of Acquisition #34: War is good for business.

For a certain kind of person, it's easy to get them confused.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump calls N Korea's Kim Jong-Un 'madman with nuclear weapons' See in context

A madman with nuclear weapons is gossiped about by a bigger madman with bigger nuclear weapons to a straight-up psychopath with no nuclear weapons (thank Ford).

Except out of the three, Un is the most stable and predictable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

You can't solve the problem of travel congestion by assigning everyone's holiday to another time - that just moves the congestion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: At least 19 dead, 50 injured by blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester See in context

bass4funk Today  11:03 am JST

Nothing confirmed yet by either the police or the British government.

I'm betting 10 to 1 it was an Islamist attack. I'd be very surprised if it was something other than that.

Don't you think it's weird to be so excited about the death of innocents that you immediately want to bet on it?

Sincere condolences to grieving Mancunians.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Flynn declines to comply with U.S. Senate subpoena in Russia probe See in context

Toasted Heretic Today  08:47 am JST

And yet, the far right deniers still remain faithful. Like an abusive partnership. Trump and co are dumping all over the people & who actually benefits?

The greatest conjob Trump ever did was convincing millions of Americans that he gave a damn about them.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets? See in context

Strangerland May 22  07:51 pm JST

I get what you're saying, but what came before it? 

According to our best understanding of physics, there was no "before" the Big Bang. Time would have come into existence in that moment.

zichi May 22  08:06 pm JST

No I don't because we are freaks of nature and only exist on this planet. The scientists know the edge of the universe so its not infinite nor timeless. 

Not exactly. There is an edge to the observable universe because the Universe hasn't existed long enough for light from more distant places to reach us. Scientists simply don't know what is beyond that limit, although for the moment we know of no reasons to believe it would be any different in terms of distribution of matter than the space that we can observe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: With hopes for peace uncertain, Trump heads to Israel See in context

Trump is already "exhausted" just three days into his "don't talk about Russia!" tour.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Greatest Show on Earth' takes its final bow after 146 years See in context

Wolfpack Today  09:52 am JST

Enviro-fascists win another one.

Translation: "I believe in the free market until something I like goes out of business."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets? See in context

Strangerland Today  04:28 pm JST

The universe is not only infinite in size, but also in time.

Not technically true.

The amount of time before us is a finite span of time between the Big Bang and now. While it is absolutely possible that an intelligent civilization could have arisen before us, only smaller section of the lifespan of the Universe would have planets with heavy elements forming around stable stars long enough to develop life. While it's absolutely possible that intelligent life could still develop during that time, it's hardly infinite.

The universe, assuming our best current understanding of cosmology is remotely correct, will also have a finite duration. While that duration is likely to be far longer than the current lifespan of the Universe, our current understanding of spatial expansion suggests that there will be some time far before the heat death/big rip end of the Universe when intelligent civilizations could arise, but that the distances between them would be expanding faster than the speed of light, making them for all intents and purposes irrelevant to each other.

The scenario that worries me most though is a variant of your proposal - intelligent civilizations arose, but then destroyed themselves before they could expand enough to create signals we could recognize. That's a pessimistic view to be sure, but consider how little time it has taken humans to go from sending radio signals into space, to worrying that we could destroy our own civilization, to electing a Trump who could actually make that happen. In cosmic time, we've gone straight from announcing "We're here!" to almost plunging a knife in our own throats. If our experience as humans is at all typical for other intelligence species, then it seems entirely plausible that the universe is littered with the ashes very smart societies who almost figured out how to get off-world and get past scarcity, only for a tiny-handed petulant maniac in their own ranks to blow it up.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: After Times Square attack, calls for more sidewalk barriers See in context

Hmmm… a death toll remarkably similar to other recent terror attacks, yet the guy isn't Muslim and in what I'm sure is entirely a coincidence, the usual JT comment brigade are utterly disinterested in the story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia as troubles mount at home See in context

FizzBitToday  05:09 pm JST

Always have to put in that negativity that the MSM globalist deep state demands

Christ, if you're going to mindlessly spout insulting conspiracy theories, could you at least make the effort to not make them all mutually contradictory?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Posted in: Amid tumult, Trump leaves on first presidential foreign trip See in context

Actually, I can't wait for Trump's Middle East stops. He's scheduled to give a speech lecturing Arab leaders about Islam that his staff billed as "inspiring" even before he's given it. You know it's going to be a laugh riot. Or possibly just a riot.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Amid tumult, Trump leaves on first presidential foreign trip See in context

Quick, lock the doors while he's out!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Fox News founder Roger Ailes dies of complications from fall See in context

bass4funk Today  03:31 pm JST

but if it weren't for him, conservatives and independents wouldn't have a voice at all except in books way back in the store. 

Thank you for demonstrating so perfectly the evil perpetrated by Roger Ailes, the demented lie he was so successful at spreading that now a generation repeats it without question.

Ailes made himself rich duping people into believing that news that doesn't say what you want it to say is biased against you. Under the Ailesian school of thought, journalism isn't an intellectual process one goes through to produce the best, most accurate record of current events - it's a team sport where you declare your partisan loyalties first and then everything you are shown is filtered through that bias to spare you the slightest shred of critical thought or the discomforting possibility that maybe the world is more complex than you want it to be.

That's why I was being only slightly facetious saying he has done more to hurt America than any other person (John C. Calhoun was probably worse). Ailes didn't just lead a conservative media movement, he destroyed the very concept of independent, non-partisan truth-seeking.

Thankfully, it's looking more and more like the only people irretrievably deluded by his self-serving lies are the elderly. His "philosophical" descendants in a generation may be little more than a handful of Internet trolls and a Russian SNS department. But he's done enough damage to American discourse that it is isn't completely ridiculous to question if we'll make it to the next generation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after jumping onto tracks over trouble on train See in context

sakurasuki Today  04:35 pm JST

Given several cases of people jumping onto tracks while trying to escape during last few months, it seems lot of male commuters already familiar with lawyers' advise in situation being accused as groper.

I sincerely doubt any significant number of Japanese men have even heard of RocketNews24.

In any case, given that one person supposedly following this single individual lawyer's completely unsupported advice has been killed and one has been arrested for committing a crime in the course of his escape, perhaps people will be more responsible about mindlessly passing on his poorly-thought-out advice.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Fox News founder Roger Ailes dies of complications from fall See in context

What biased claptrap. Good riddance to the man who has done more to hurt America than any other.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Would you be willing to eat agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture? See in context

thepersoniamnow May 18  07:13 am JST

Well here's the thing, I don't have to, so why would I?

Because your supermarket sells it at a good price? Because you want to support the innocent farmers whose livelihoods were destroyed and who are trying to get back on their feet with a perfectly healthy product? Because you want to spend your life making rational decisions like an adult, not being controlled by your own uninformed fears?

If I have heard 50 proven lies about Fukushima this since 2011, am I gunna believe the same political party when they have new news for me?

This could not be more false. For one thing, political parties don't label foods. For another thing The Democratic Party of Japan was in charge of the immediate aftermath of March 11, not the current LDP. You're literally attributing behavior of one group of people onto a completely different group of people.

paradoxbox Today  04:49 am JST

We cannot be sure that the food we are eating has been screened for radioactive contamination. Even if it says it has, there's no reason for anyone to believe it.

Remember when unsafe levels of radioactivity was discovered in soba noodles in Okinawa because radioactive ash from Fukushima had been unwittingly imported and used to make the noodles?

Take a moment to think through what you're saying. You believe no one in the Japanese government can be trusted to be honest about radiation exposure. As evidence, you cite a single case of food mislabeling. So as a consequence, you punish growers of food labeled from Fukushima, i.e. the people being honest with you about your food.

You could, if you were genuinely concerned about the radiation level of your food, test it yourself. The equipment is relatively cheap and easy to use. Your results won't necessarily be scientifically accurate, but do it enough and it will be close enough to put your mind at ease. But instead of taking control of what you know and choosing to get the information you complain about being unable to have, you just punish farmers who are honest about working in Fukushima, a measure that by your own evidence you admit does little to actually protect you from unnecessary radiation exposure.

Fear. Don't be ruled by it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Fuji TV starts 'Kintame English' on YouTube channel See in context

“Kintame English,” a new style of English lesson, 

I bet this is untrue.

The conversation phrases are kind of quaint.

What do you know? I was right!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Putin rushes to Trump's defense See in context

Because the one thing Trump needed to give him credibility was to get defended by the guy everyone suspects he's selling out America to. /eyeroll

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Pressure increases on Trump as probes intensify See in context

bluesky.greentrees Today  08:48 am JST

There is some truth that Trump is the most watched and scrutinized President by American media & Congress. America in a big way is one big Hollywood talk-show. Trump news indeed sell, and sell very well.

And that's what Trump wanted, so no one should feel any sympathy. He got into this game because he wanted attention, pure and simple. And it never even occurred to him that the attention might be negative. He spent so much of his life being given handouts from other people and then dodging responsibility for his repeated failed business ventures, surrounded by yes-men who tell him every idiotic word that comes out of his mouth is pure gold that it never even occurred to him that he might not be ready for the most difficult job in the world.

Now he's belly-flopping with the world's eyes upon him and the world's orangest snowflake doesn't know how to handle it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Wonder Woman gets the girly heroine treatment in Japan — and fans are not happy See in context

Apparently, they wanted to play up Wonder Woman’s cute and girlish side by emphasizing the gap between her incredible strength and her lack of knowledge of the human world.

One of the disgusting features of Japanese culture is that the author can posit that a "lack of knowledge of the human world" is a way to "play up Wonder Woman's cute and girlish side", implying that it is girlish to be ignorant, and no one seems to need an explanation of what that means.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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