kp123 comments

Posted in: Arizona governor signs immigration enforcement bill See in context

It is more than apparent that the AZ law is symptomatic of the fully blown frustration and intolerance American have over illegal immigrants working and living in the U.S. A wake-up call to Congress to get off their duffs and implement an immigration bill we all want. It's a clear message that more States will soon follow to do the job for them. It is reported today that Utah is now introducing a similar bill as they fear illegal immigrants will flock to their state from AZ when their law takes effect after 60 days. It will have a snowballing effect among most states. Can Obama mobilize his troops to legislate a federal immigration bill as he did with HC? I doubt it; not this year. Too much at stake for the incumbants before the mid-term elections. It is clear that Congress will defer taking action until next year.

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Posted in: Flights resume in Europe but many remain stranded See in context

This article answers my question about which passenger gets priority boarding. It seems unfair that passengers scheduled on a cancelled flight go back to the end of the queue. I'd probably buy a new ticket.

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Posted in: Imperial Hotel Tokyo See in context

I was a long-time traveler to Japan over the years as well as living there but unlike hotel management structures outside Japan, future managers and directors as Mr. Sadayasu is in Japan typically start out as bell-boys as this article indicated and work up the management chain. I've known a couple of directors at the Imperial who were bellmen when I first stayed there in the late 40's and early 50's. So if you meet bellmen at a Japanese hotel, be nice to them. They'll remember you well and will treat you accordingly when they become the big shots.

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Posted in: Japan's food culture is an endangered species See in context

Japanese live with the myth that whaling is still part of their culture. It may have been in certain parts of Japan years ago, but not today. I had ochanko ryori several decades ago with whale meat and it tasted different, if not outright terrible. Never again. Blue fin and whale are illegal in the U.S. Nobu's and a Japanese sushi restaurant were recently fined for serving them, respectively.

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Posted in: Anti-smoking 'monsters' have smokers on the run See in context

Oddly, I'm a smoker and do so for reasons I believe are more out of habit than addiction and have smoked for years. Yet, if I know I can't smoke in certain venues (i.e. airplanes), it doesn't bother me one bit. So I support these no smoking laws even as a smoker. Even if they banned smoking as illegal across the board, wouldn't phase me one bit. Yet, if I know I am permitted to smoke, I will do so. I never smoked at work for years even before the ban took place.

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Posted in: Afghan leader Karzai threatens to join Taliban See in context

As he did with Netanyahu, President Obama may have rubbed Karzai the wrong way couple of weeks ago. Karzai's behaviour appears to be a common reaction to whatever indignity Obama imposed on him is my guess.

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Posted in: Toyota hit with $16 mil fine over recalls in U.S. See in context

I'm still not convinced there's a wide-spread problem with Toyota. I drive one but not a problem. 50 incidents out of 8 million vehicles is a pretty low average.

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Posted in: Afghan leader's anti-West comments draw fire See in context

Knew that Karzai was too good to be true.

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Posted in: Ritz-Carlton Tokyo celebrates 3rd anniversary with special room package See in context

Anyone in Japan know if the R-C in Tokyo is a franchise or owned?

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Posted in: Ragtag military left to defend Japan on shoestring budget See in context

This is normal for a peace-time military. They get the low-end of the stick that measures the level of the sceptic tank. I was bemused by the way Japanese military titles are given corporate positions. For example, a full-bird colonel is called Bucho; a major - kakaricho and so on.

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Posted in: Obama makes surprise visit to Afghanistan See in context

Obama's visit to Afghanistan was symbolically significant for the U.S. Forces there. It's time to extricate ourselves from Iraq and jump-start our involvement in Afghanistan. Glad now that President Obama had a brief respite from domestic politics which most of us are getting weary of.

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Posted in: Olympic-fatigued skaters bumble through worlds See in context

The Japanese skaters apparently did well in the World Championship. One thing about the Japanese, they are not averse to hard training no matter what the sport. Sometimes it pays off when mind over body takes effect.

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Posted in: Sleazy English sensei avoided suspicion for years See in context

Japanese have a perverse sense of respect for senseis.

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Posted in: Eurozone agrees on bailout plan for Greece See in context

Compared to ours, Greece's rescue package is just a spit in ocean. Why all the concern or they could just kick Greece out of the EU for not meeting its fiscal requirements. Pure peanuts. Come on EU, take the bull by the horns and be done with it and rescue Greece.

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Posted in: U.S. Congress completes overhaul of health care; more threats come in See in context

I can see why the U.S. is heading in the leftward direction. Those with anti-establishment mentailities or flower-power syndromes from the "Woodstock" generation in the 60's and 70's are now occupying the seats of power. It's just a generational cycle that will come and go with each generation having whatever political proclivities they may have at the time. As for healthcare, I'm not concerned about it. Go with the flow as long as you have full access as before. Japan's isn't bad except for dental treatment...took forever when I was there. I went private with that. Not the end of the world, guys. It's just a start with a lot of tweakings from whomever is in power in Congress.

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Posted in: Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism See in context

Vending machines are purely a convenience. I don't know the total count in Japan of vending machines but it led the way 20 years ago with about 5 million units. Prices are equivalent and more often higher than retail outlets. Very profitable. Ideal for Japan. Not so much in the U.S. We avoid it if we can help it. Only exception : RedBox Video.

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Posted in: Why U.S. immigration policy needs tweaking See in context

I doubt this trend will last and afterall, most jobs at overseas locations are probably off-shore operations of U.S. companies. I can't imagine a Japanese Harvard MBA would go back to Japan to work for a Japanese company. Let's face it ... opportunities still linger with the U.S. over the long haul. All about nothing.

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Posted in: Cycling adventure - From Kyushu to Hokkaido See in context

A great adventure. My biggest bike trip was round trip from Tamagawa to Haneda. Pretty puny comparied to this one.

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Posted in: Tiger Woods' aura gone, probably for good See in context

I don't expect Tiger to win the Masters this time. His main objective is just to make the cut and after that play a respectable game with his usual flashes of brilliance interspersed between several holes. My expectation is to see how well the other players will be playing with Tiger's return at a level that will hopefully suprise us or will it be the same old, same old? The PGA is due for a re-make producing new stars to jump-start the sport into a new era and imagery. Nevertheless, Tiger's return will be a welcomed sight for the serious fans and amateur golfers for sure.

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Posted in: U.S. needs Toyota more than Toyota needs U.S. See in context

The fact of the matter is both Toyota and the U.S. need each other. This article is too dismissive, but probably more for rhetorical perspective than fact.

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Posted in: The rise and fall of the Roppongi Hills 'tribe' See in context

I see that rental prices haven't changed much since a generation ago. I will say this, IBM's HQS move from HK to Tokyo in 1983 contributed to the real-estate boom. Rents increased exponentially, especially for foreign ex-pats. IBM later moved to Singapore. Roppongi overall has had a major facelift more ways than one from the days of yore. Impressive, but different. Those who sold their property to the project received in exchange a condo in the complex to my understanding. Pretty good deal.

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Posted in: Traditional approaches to Japanese language learning are changing See in context

Japanese love to speak English to foreigners even though these foreigners are able to speak Japanese. It is due to mood-setting as Japanese find it difficult communicating in Japanese with foreigners for reasons cited already by the readers. What I do is, and my Japanese friends agree with it, they talk in English and I talk in Japanese. Eventually, they will resort to Japanese without realizing it.

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Posted in: 'Mission: Impossible' TV star Peter Graves dies in LA See in context

Peter Graves will be remembered for his role in "Stalag 17" as the Nazi mole who got his just-desserts in the end. His brother the previous year starred in the "The Thing" as the alien visitor. They are both successful in their own right.

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Posted in: Panasonic chief upbeat for this year See in context

I remember back in the mid-80's when I visited Matsushita Elec it had well known press coverage of the inter-company rivlary problems and there were posters hanging on the factory floors encouraging employees to be more cooperative with each other. Sanyo-Panasonic merger is an interesting case in that the founder's sister and her husband, a former employee, founded Sanyo Electric as the reason I believe prompted the two companies to merge when push came to shove during an economic down-turn.

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Posted in: Senate, Obama spar over health plan's pet projects See in context

What a corrupt bunch of crap these senators take to the toilet bowl.

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Posted in: Obama delays Asia trip to deal with health care See in context

If we review Japan's health insurance program, it works because it is the individual's responsibility to be covered. There apparently isn't a safety net for those who don't or unable to do so seen from the news item on this site about several who died without insurance coverage. It's draconian but understandable. In the U.S., HC is market driven and the question is, should it be socially driven instead? These are some of the major issues separating the two parties. If socially driven, like Japan the U.S. should have fixed provider fees, but I don't see that happening. It's too contentious. Congress needs to set up the infrastructure and leave it to us to decide whether to use it or not. Medicaid needs to be eliminated in order to do this. Japan would go broke if they their version of Medicaid. Individual responsibility needs to be encouraged with government backing.

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Posted in: U.S.-Israel row highlights quandary over settlements See in context

Of course, the Israeli government knew in advance of VP Biden's visit that these settlements were taking place. It was a affront to the U.S. and allies manifesting to us that Isareal is not on the same page with President Obama's peace initiative. I thought it was diplomatically insulting but nevertheless remains another challenge that needs to be resolved for this seemingly impossible task.

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Posted in: Behind the scenes, crafting the U.S. no-fly list See in context

This NFL probably still has a lot of work ahead of it to be reliable. It's a mind-numbing job. When it was first implemented, the late Senator Ted Kennedy's name was posted on the NFL, probably someone with an identical name (IRA member, most likely) and the Senator was flagged as person of interest when he was checking in. Needless to say, he was not amused.

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Posted in: Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TVs in U.S. this week See in context

Although a technical breakthrough and both companies deserve credit for it, I wonder if it has any added value? I remember 7-1l was promoting the first broadcast of a 3-D movie with John Wayne and they were giving out free glasses to watch it on regular TV during the late 80's or early 90's. It worked pretty well and assume you could do the same with the flat-panel HD TV, too. Am I wrong?

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Posted in: Continental Airlines to sell seat assignments See in context

Does this pertain to FQ's as well? Traditionally, these seats were reserved for them, at least at UA. I'd pay for these seats anyway, if I could get them on long trips.

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