mikeylikesit comments

Posted in: Free-speech ruling won't help declining civil discourse See in context

Once a kid is done with their classes for the day and outside of the school property the school has no right to say or do anything about what a student says or does.

It’s ironic that this perspective is posted on a Japanese news site. In Japan, schools consider themselves responsible for kids 24/7. They make all kinds of rules about when and where kids can ride bikes, what times they have to be home, etc. This court case is from the U.S., but, like it or not, Japan takes radically different views on the authority of schools and the rights and privacy of kids and families.

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Posted in: Lower house seat allocation to be reviewed to narrow vote weight gap See in context

Reducing the number of lawmakers?

So you mean making them less representative and less connected to the people in their local districts? Fewer lawmakers simply means that money interests can buy influence by controlling fewer people. Fewer unelected bureaucrats, maybe. Fewer elected representatives? Not convinced.

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Posted in: Biden pushes effort to combat rising tide of violent crime See in context

Gun numbers increased in the U.S. for decades, while crime steadily fell. Then, in the last year of the Trump administration, crime started to rise in association with protests which, in part, were protesting Biden’s 1994 crime bill. That violence has continued to rise, largely in heavily Democratic urban centers, as lockdowns lift, in no small part because the protests convinced various mayors and city councils to defund and/or revamp their police departments. Effective policing was thrown out the window, and rising violence and crime is the obvious consequence.

Good luck to Biden and Democrats trying to fix the problem. It’s largely one of their own creation, with obvious solutions, except that Democrats are ideologically and politically hamstrung by progressives from adopting those obvious solutions.

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Posted in: S Korea court to rule June 10 on 16 Japanese firms' wartime labor case See in context

@Samit,

Your claims about Japan’s failure to surrender are historically false. Japan tried to open peace negotiations as early as 1942, but Hopkins and Marshall on the U.S. side refused. They wanted a protracted, destructive war that would allow the Soviets and U.S. to carve out their respective spheres on influence in Asia.

In July 1945, Japan offered a peace deal in which the only significant stipulation was the the emperor would be retained as a figurehead. Again, the U.S. refused, which is especially bizarre given that the U.S. promptly installed the emperor as a figurehead as soon as the war ended.

The war between Japan and America could have ended months, if not years, earlier but for America’s determination to make it last longer. America wanted to drop the atomic bombs. America and the Soviet Union had long before set the date by which Stalin would declare war against Japan, and the U.S. ensured the war did not ended before that date.

If there is blame for allowing the Soviets to blitz Japanese-controlled areas in the last few days of the war, that blame falls squarely on the U.S., which had every opportunity to end the war long before.

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Posted in: Japan's strict gun laws trigger problems for Olympic shooting See in context

While the article starts off talking about air rifles, and limits on air pistol ownership, I think they're talking about the issues for other types of shooting events when they talk about limitations on ammunition.

I’d not be at all surprised if a journalist unfamiliar with shooting conflated two things. It wouldn’t be the first time. A strict limitation on inert pellets seems nonsensical. Very likely, the bigger problems and strict limits are with shotguns for the skeet shooting events.

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Posted in: Japan's strict gun laws trigger problems for Olympic shooting See in context

So if Olympic competition is held at a venue in Tokyo, the authorities are already bending the rules just to permit that.

The shooting venue is at Asaka, the same location as in 1964, on the SDF base, where presumably those city/civilian gun rules don’t normally apply.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's strict gun laws trigger problems for Olympic shooting See in context

Just put a muzzle velocity limitation on air-rifles to make them safer.

This isn’t a solution for competitive shooting. Lower muzzle velocity changes the accuracy and aiming. It also would require every shooter in the world to completely refit their gear for Japan, after which the rules revert to normal.

The problem is not one of safety. Nobody has ever been shot and killed by an air rifle at the Olympics. To limit harm from accidents among the general public, yes, lower muzzle velocity might have an effect, but only in a country where the general public has access to pellet guns. People in Japan don’t, and there are zero problems with people getting shot by air rifles.

Besides, even if muzzle velocity were lowered, the guns and pellets would still be highly regulated by Japan. It’s not a question of safety, but of regulation. Japan has rules that it won’t bend or amend, even in a situation where the rules make no sense and no possible harm could come from making an exception.

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Posted in: 60% feel it is hard to raise children in Japan: gov't survey See in context

Too many commenters here blindly assume that the reason raising kids is perceived as difficult is lack of government money and support and that the solution is as simple as more government money and support. It’s not.

A quick look at birth rates in other industrialized countries shows that this is true. Japan is not unique in facing a lack of children. It’s poor countries with fewer resources that are having more children. Many wealthy countries are only avoiding Japan’s population free-fall by importing people from poorer countries where more kids are the norm. No amount of government money thrown as this problem is going to solve it because it’s not a money problem.

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Posted in: How can we stop the next pandemic? Here's what a WHO panel recommends See in context

“We totally screwed up this pandemic, but please give us more money and power! We promise to do better next pandemic!”

WHO sounds as tone deaf now as they were January a year ago.

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Posted in: Over half say Japan needs to amend Constitution for virus response See in context

A constitution exists to prevent government overreach during times of emergency, not to enable the government to strip away rights whenever a difficult situation arises. Japan’s constitution (and virtually every constitution worldwide) already grants broad powers for the government to respond to emergencies. Japan has done vastly better than countries in Europe or states in the U.S. that enacted strict lockdowns. If the government claims to need more powers, there is some other agenda at work.

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Posted in: Japan to introduce 'vaccine passports' for international travel See in context

How ironic.

They talk about vaccine passports before they can even properly organize their own vaccine rollout.

Not ironic. The response to the virus from governments around the world has, from the start, largely been more about how to increase government power and reach than it was about public health. Vaccine passports are the power mechanism, so of course government officials think of that first. The passport idea was floated in other countries before vaccines became available, too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: After bars and restaurants close at 8 p.m. in areas where there is a coronavirus state of emergency, many people are buying alcohol at convenience stores and from vending machines and then hang out in parks or public spaces near train stations to continue drinking, thus leading to more possible virus infections. Do you think the police should disperse such groups? See in context

In a study of over 230,000 COVID cases, researchers found fewer than 300 that might possibly have been spread outdoors. Virtually all the cases were confirmed indoor transmission. In reality, people are likely at higher risk walking into a convenience store, even with a mask on, then they are drinking or eating outdoors. The outdoor transmission rate is exceedingly low. These people are being safe.

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Posted in: Why do you think so many Japanese people (and foreigners, too) continue to go out and about in Japan's major cities despite the surge in coronavirus cases? See in context

Because lockdowns are ineffective long-term. Eventually, people have to go to work, go shopping, and do all the other necessary functions of daily life.

The government can try to instill fear in people, but people grow numb to the fear assault. When the number dead in Japan in the past year is on par with a bad flu season, healthy people aren’t forever going to live their lives holed up like cockroaches.

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Posted in: Do you think that once the pandemic ends and travel resumes, there will be strong international demand for tourism to Japan? See in context

Yes, travel will resume once travel bans are lifted and visa waivers restored. When and how big a boom depends greatly on how long the travel bans and business lockdowns continue around the world. People aren’t likely to travel in large numbers if their personal wealth has been depleted.

The hospitality industry has been gutted, too. Some small establishments may never reopen, and the larger ones cannot last forever without guests. Reductions in tourists, plus the delay of and ban on foreign visitors for the Olympics, and everything else have hurt businesses badly. The loss of businesses means that not as many visitors could come, even if they wanted to.

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Posted in: N Korea says it won't take part in Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns See in context

I just wish that this Olympics will come and go quickly so that people can just move on with life! It’s just causing stress and concern on a daily basis.

Ah, for those halcyon days when the Olympics were the problem, and not a global pandemic.

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Posted in: N Korea says it won't take part in Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns See in context

That’s O.K. North Korea will still win all of the gold medals anyway.

It’s not about the athletes they field, but about how their media reports it.

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Posted in: Fujitsu Group's largest facility to source 100% of its energy needs from renewables See in context

I was not aware that the indium and tellurium used in solar panels or the rare earth metals used in wind turbine magnets are renewable. To the contrary, I always understood that these are rare elements that are difficult to mine and in highly limited supply.

Renewable indeed. Perhaps if we strip-mined half of China, we could meet global energy needs, but I doubt China (or any country) would allow this degree of environmental destruction.

There are alternative energy sources, but nothing that captures energy and stores it usefully for humans is truly renewable. Some non-renewable element is always used up in the process.

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Posted in: Japan gov't long-term debt to top ¥1,000 trillion See in context

Domestic debt can be ¥1 trillion x trillion x trillion , and it is basically paid back at the push of a button.

Not exactly. Yes, the debt is mostly held domestically, much of it by the Bank of Japan, just like much of the U.S. debt is held by the Social Security Trust and the Federal Reserve. But what would that mean to pay it back at the push of a button?

Option one: create more money. Except that money is debt. Every time the government prints more money, it expands the debt balance with the central bank. So printing money expands government debt, not pays it back. Plus, the expanded money supply produces inflation, which essentially devalues the cash savings that Japanese people have.

Option two: use assets to pay off the debt. But in this case, the “push of a button” is essentially emptying every person’s bank account in Japan. Everyone’s personal savings would be robbed, and people would be left impoverished.

National debt is loaned with the labor of the nation’s people as collateral. We are all slaves to the debt, and the only way out is to work.

Of course, we could just dissolve the central banks and leave the financiers holding the bag, but that’s the option we’re not supposed to talk about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Korean kids nurtured to remember history with anti-Japanese toys and games See in context

The propaganda is strong with this country.

If Korea would put the effort that they waste trying to disparage Japan over century-old history into growing, building, and creating things of excellence, Korea would be an East Asian power on par with China or Japan. But Korea keeps punching itself in the face with these stupid political stunts.

None of this is done out of any genuine concern for the past or with any aim toward a better future. Korea’s addiction to propaganda is merely a naked effort by politicians to gain power in the present. Stoke rabid nationalism with propaganda, and use that to win elections. That’s all this is, and Korea suffers culturally and economically for it.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Posted in: Fukushima hopes Olympic torch relay will show world it is not 'nuclear wasteland' See in context

People lining the streets?

Gee, and here I thought we were in the middle of a pandemic.

Nuclear wasteland...pandemic wasteland...meh, the Olympics are little more than public relations posturing for governments and money laundering schemes for corporations and elites. Get athletes to donate the best years of their youth for a few crumbs and pennies, mix in a dose of national pride, and voila! The Olympics.

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Posted in: Restaurant chain operator sues Tokyo gov't over COVID opening hour restrictions See in context

@Lovecrafting,

You’re still not making an argument and are mainly resorting to straw man and ad hominem fallacies. Stop calling names and start saying something meaningful.

When you feel you have the freedom to do whatever you want and ignore the law, this is anarchy: rejecting authority and do things on your own accord.

This is the one sentence where you get past name calling, but it’s still a straw man. No one in the article or in any post is advocating what you say. Filing a suit in a government court is not anarchy. Your definition is anarchy is wrong, and a restaurant owner applying to the courts for relief doesn’t even fit within your flawed definition.

It is completely legal and respectful of the rule of law to file a suit to protest perceived government overreach. Whether you agree with the action or not, it is not anarchic behavior. Working within the legal courts is the extreme opposite of anarchy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Restaurant chain operator sues Tokyo gov't over COVID opening hour restrictions See in context

Look to the US and its death rate to judge what unlimited freedom means right now. Japan's society was almost functioning normally during the state of emergency. Nothing in comparison to the lockdown in other countries

The U.S. is an example of unlimited freedom, and yet Japan has remained almost fully functional, in contrast with the draconian lockdowns elsewhere...such as in the U.S.? Those three sentences are a string of logical contradictions.

Most of the U.S. has been under severe lockdowns for a year, hardly a poster image for unlimited freedom. During the past year, Japan has been vastly more free.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Restaurant chain operator sues Tokyo gov't over COVID opening hour restrictions See in context

in any country the frame of your « freedom » is set by the law. If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do. These poor fellows are using the arguments of simpletons that believe they are free to do whatever they want and ignore the law: that’s anarchy by the way.

Eesh...where to begin? The conception of rights began not as things prescribed by law or granted by the king, but that exist in nature. America’s Constitution is perhaps one of the strongest reflections of this view—the people declare what powers the government has, with specific reminders that the government has no powers to define or infringe upon various natural rights. But we can also find these sentiments in various documents throughout history, stretching back at least to the Magna Carta.

You are, quite fundamentally, incorrect in your conception of rights and government. Yours is a view that a totalitarian government might take, but it is incompatible with most democracies, republics, and even some monarchies.

It’s plainly untrue that “there is little you can do” against the law. For one, this restaurant owner is doing it by filing suit to seek relief from an unjust application of the law. One could also lobby the legislature to change the law, support different candidates for government offices, or run for office.

One could also simply ignore the law, which millions of people in Japan do every day in various ways. Speed limit set absurdly slow on this road? Everyone just drives over the limit. The response of the police? To ignore the rule breakers within reason.

And, no, none of this constitutes anarchy. This restaurant owner is, within the law, filing suit to challenge government action. That is the very opposite of anarchy.

You have no reasoned argument to make, and so you resort to these labels like “anarchy” and “simpleton,” which are meaningless in the context you use them. You are merely making ad hominem attacks, not genuine arguments. Other posters are right to call you out for being obnoxious and offensive.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Prosecutors charge 2 Americans with helping Ghosn flee, jump bail See in context

"...where more than 99% of those who go on trial are found guilty...." That alone speaks volumes about whether you can expect to find justice in Japan, a country where police and prosecutors never make a mistake, and the possibility of their doing so is infinitesimally small - one out of one hundred.

This phrasing from the article is poor. Yes, 99 percent of those charged are convicted. But most of those are confessions, not trials.

For context and comparison, the rate in the U.S. is 98 percent.

Trials in Japan have a higher conviction rate than in most Western countries, but trials are also rare because most cases produce confessions, which are not unlike the plea deals that the vast majority of American cases ends with.

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Posted in: 4 reasons no president should want to give a press conference See in context

File this under: “Articles that never would have been published before Joe Biden became president.”

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Posted in: Travelers entering Japan have to install location confirmation app, Skype on smartphones See in context

What if I just leave my phone at home for 14 days whenever I decide to leave the house?

That, presumably, it’s where Skype comes into play. The government will call periodically, and the live video evidence needs to prove that you are obeying quarantine. If not, authorities may come around searching.

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Posted in: Nuclear power has become irrelevant -- like it or not See in context

The recent crash in Texas, where renewable sources stopped producing and there was no capacity to meet demand, strongly suggests that nuclear hasn’t met its demise. If we don’t want fossil fuels, nuclear remains the only viable option.

Add the rise of electric cars to the demand, and baseline electricity needs are going to skyrocket. Renewables simply cannot keep pace.

And for all that people behave fearfully toward nuclear power, how many people actually die from nuclear power? Even with the Fukushima accident, while cleanup costs are huge, people aren’t falling down dead left and right. Compare that to fossil fuels, where thousands die every year from pollution-related lung diseases.

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Posted in: 6 tips to help you detect fake science news See in context

Reporting in the news on science can be horribly inaccurate. What the public gets in digested form is often not what the original research shows.

That said, peer-reviewed research is often of deplorable quality. Efforts like the Reproducibility Project have been showing in recent years how bad it is. In many fields, the majority of research published in respected journals cannot be replicated. With most research, no one even tries to replicate it. Many peer reviewers never closer look at the methodology and data, but just jump to the results and discussion. The use of complex statistical models that the researchers themselves do not fully understand, but that helps them show significant findings amidst a lot of noise in the data, is often at fault. Peer-reviewed is no guarantee of quality research. It lives up to that standard less than half the time.

Academic publication is necessary for professional advancement. Much of what is published is about getting tenure, winning grant money, and building a professional reputation. The quality of the actual science is, sadly, distant behind these other concerns.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic creative chief quits over derogatory remark about Naomi Watanabe See in context

Because it's one thing for you yourself to make disparaging or humorously mocking comments about your own appearance, another thing entirely for someone else to do it to others about you.

If you think that any of Naomi Watanabe’s image and stunts have been purely her own self-mocking, you have no idea how Japanese entertainment works. Watanabe has an agency full of people who toss around ideas no less stupid than Olympig, and they work with other media companies doing the same. Watanabe signed a contract, and relatively little of the image and creative content associated with her is truly her own.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Why do dozens of U.S. states want to ban transgender women from sport? See in context

What’s next? I identify as disabled, therefore I have a right to compete in the Paralympics? That’s nonsense, but it’s essentially what is happening to women’s sports in America now.

For a naturally born woman, the Olympics would almost certainly ban her for doping if she had testosterone levels approaching a man’s. Biologically, it’s almost impossible for that to happen.

If we look at world records across all sports, the difference is clear. For virtually every women’s world record, the mark is about the same as the world record for 15-year-old boys. By sixteen, elite boys are faster and stronger than elite women of any age.

Even if a trans person starts various hormone therapies, this doesn’t eliminate the biological advantage. Besides, many trans people are on prescribed hormone therapies. We would ban athletes from the Olympics for shooting their bodies full of hormones. Does a trans person get a special exemption to take hormones, whether blockers or boosters, but still compete? Nonsense!

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