The author and editors of this article ought to be ashamed for not doing basic fact checks.It is untrue that no constitutional amendment has ever succeeded in modifying the electoral college. The 12th Amendment modified the electoral college. It is untrue that electors' names do not appear on ballots. States set rules for their own ballots, and the names of electors are printed below the presidential and vice-presidential candidates' names in many states. The notion of a "national popular vote" is a fiction. Each state sets its own rules about voter eligibility and registration. While the federal government has passed some laws relating to voting, there is no uniform national voting system. A person eligible to vote in one state might not be eligible under the rules of another state. As such, it's mixing apples and oranges when compiling all of the votes into a national total. That number is meaningless.
American presidential voting is a state-by-state contest. The only numbers that matter are the votinga results within each state. This is by design. America is not a populist wonderland, but a union of states. The people retain extensive rights, but the states select the president.
6 ( +7 / -1 )
In other words, they know they have a weak bunch of insiders vying for the top job, and they have moved to eliminate the risk of another upstart Koizumi appearing out of nowhere after the rank-and-file vote. If the rank-and-file were smart, they’d form a new party that guaranteed them the vote, leaving behind a few hundred lawmakers as a comically pathetic vestige is the LDP.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Gee... Japan’s birth rate peaked in 1947 when the nation’s economy was in tatters. Maybe, just maybe, the politicians and economists who claim that the birth rate is low and might sink lower because of weak economic conditions don’t have a clue what they are talking about.
4 ( +6 / -2 )
Ok, none of these have any relevance to IP laws. Why are you bringing up useless information that is entirely irrelevant to the conversation?
Those examples are not entirely irrelevant. Virtually every music act in the world signs with a label, and they agree to various licensing & distribution deals by doing so. Any group, including political campaigns, can pay a licensing fee to use any song from a large catalog at a public event. The Rolling Stones, like any other act, is in that catalog. They don't retain exclusive control over when and where their songs are played.
For decades, this political posturing has played like a broken record. Such-and-such artist complains about such-and-such politician playing a song at rallies. The act blusters about it in the media with threats of lawyers. In the end, everybody knows that a lawsuit to prevent use of the song stands zero chance of success. The Stones, like other musicians before them, are milking the publicity. They get their names in the news. They get to distance themselves from a politician they don't like, and that they presume their fans don't like. They effectively make a free campaign donation against that candidate through the negative publicity. They know the campaign won't roll over and give up the right to play the song, but the longer the band can make a stink about it, the more they think it will hurt the candidate and help the band.
There's no evidence that this is politically effective--it didn't stop Bush from being reelected, and it didn't stop Trump from being elected--but it repeats without fail every presidential election cycle.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
Essentially the definition of government aid then.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Posted in: Working at home offers a good opportunity to review household rules which have often been fixed. Men should face the fact that they rely too much on women in terms of housework. See in context
File this as yet another example under:
[Some societal change that I desire anyway] + COVID-19 =
A societal change that should happen because of COVID-19
This opportunism is specious logic at best. Given the vast number of people who have died and been impoverished worldwide because of the pandemic, attempting to capitalize on it in this manner strikes me as rather perverse.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
This is the usual overly simplistic and utterly ridiculous argument from gun nuts. C'mon, it's a tired argument.
When a guy did a mass public knife attack some years back, Japan banned knives. (Oddly, they didn't ban delivery trucks, which the assailant also used, and which actually harmed more people in the attack.) That chef knife you have in your kitchen? Walk out the door with that in Japan, and you're technically breaking the law unless you've applied for a special permit from the police. The burden is on you to show that you have a valid and lawful reason (such as taking it to a knife sharpener) to have it outside of your home. Police never try to arrest housewives and families doing barbecues because there is an unwritten code in Japan to put many laws on the books that are never enforced unless the police feel the need to. But it doesn't change the fact that knives longer than your pinky finger are banned.
That Japan would ban something in the wake of an attack is far from a ridiculous argument. It's reality.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
The good thing about bows is unlike guns, you really don't have a legitimate excuse that it misfired.
A crossbow can misfire. It's a projectile under tension with a trigger that releases it. Once loaded, it's not unlike a gun.
That said, neither a gun nor a crossbow misfires multiple times in different directions to wound or kill four individuals.
And, really, "it misfired" is never an excuse with any weapon. Yes, weapons can misfire. It's always the responsibility of person using a gun to make sure it is aimed in a safe direction. A misfire vs. intentional shooting might change criminal charges from manslaughter to murder, but it's still criminal to mishandle a gun or bow.
Now, cue the legislation to ban bows in Japan. It might get some pushback from archery clubs around Japan, but authorities were able to ban knives without any real blowback from housewives whose kitchen knives are, technically, illegal if they ever leave the house. The common game of passing a law that will never be enforced, but is at least on the books to enforce if the police ever need it, shall begin.
6 ( +7 / -1 )
How does one reduce tribalism in environments with tribes living among one another? Blacks have their tribe. Hispanics have their tribe. Whites, while sharply split ideologically, are increasingly displaying tribal identities because of the pressures from other tribes. Cops come from a mix of various tribes, but form an artificial tribe all of their own. Attempts to integrate the tribes are resisted by those with strong tribal identities, and those very integration attempts often drive more people to greater tribalism.
Blacks don't care at all when a black person is killed by a black policeman, but riots start when it's a white policeman. That's what tribalism looks like.
One thing that America could--and needs--to do, however, is reduce the militarization of the police. Too many cops are ex-military or wanna-be military. Too many always feel like someone is gunning for them. Too many police become police because they are Cartmans--"You will respect my authoritay!" The American military continues to sell surplus arms and vehicles to police departments, many of which are now armed better for war than for community policing.
Nobody builds an army and then never fights with it. No surprise that after building hundreds of police armies, America now has hundreds of little wars raging.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
The latest Qanon conspiracy theory.
Who makes this stuff up?
Gee, the guy in the video, who posted this information himself to his own Facebook page, is Q? That's some heavy stuff there.
Sorry, but it's not some Qanon crypto nonsense to repeat the same facts that the guy posted to his own Facebook page. He threatened to throw doggie treats to the woman's dog. Whether his implied threat was to kidnap the dog or poison it may be unclear, but he plainly meant it as a threat. He stated himself that he intended to scare the woman. The woman responded, predictably and justifiably, but getting scared.
The man who did this is a twisted sicko. He baited a woman into a fearful confrontation, leaving her with few choices to protect herself. Run away? He's faster because she has a small dog to look after. Pull a gun? She's a liberal-minded New York woman who doesn't have one (which is probably why the jerk picked on her). Her only protection was her phone. And then this sociopath posts the video online of a confrontation that he initiated, frames her fear for her dog as racism, and unleashes a social media mob to destroy her life. Why? For the crime of exercising her dog.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
The woman in Central Park freaked out and started calling the cops after the man accosting her about her unleashed pet threatened to toss poisoned meat to her dog.
He threatened to poison her dog, and she's racist for calling the cops on him?
In Minneapolis, the viral image is the police officer with a knee on the side of a man's neck. What isn't shown is the several minutes before that where the man is fighting with the cops as they try to get him settled in the police car. Eventually, they had to pull him back out and pin him to the ground to restrain him.
A knee to the neck is common procedure for restraining people. Cops use it all the time to keep a person pinned to the ground from moving. Yet it's suddenly racist behavior in this one case? A knee to the back or side of the neck cannot possibly cut of a person's air flow. The coroner's report is clear that the man did not die from asphyxiation, but possibly from an underlying heart condition. Do protesters care? No. They were looking for an event to fit their narrative and justify riots.
As often as not, viral video clips are cleverly edited, deceptively framed, staged nonsense. Videos can, and do, lie.
-5 ( +0 / -5 )
Schools are already in session this year. In many parts of Japan, they were already in session when this proposal got pushed forward. Are kids for one academic year supposed to be in school for sixteen or eighteen months? Or are we cancelling school for several months, after already starting, and parents have to pick up the tab for child care?
Using this pandemic and the fear and death it has brought as a convenient excuse to promote a proposal that these same people have advocated for years is, frankly, perverse. Passing emergency relief bills...fine. Using the emergency as an excuse to ride every hobby-horse bill that's been floating around the Diet for the past decade...no.
Changing the start of the school year, especially so suddenly, was always a nonsensical proposal. Outside of a few minor benefits from the perspective of a globalist agenda (more foreign students, increased immigration, easier labor exploitation by multinational corporations), changing the school year has no real merits and some very expensive downsides. Trying during this emergency to squeeze in this change that a few elites have wanted for a long time was a craven attempt. No surprise that it failed quickly as the emergency receded. It's hard to advocate school cancellations as a justification when half the country has been in school for the better part of a month already.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
China identified the virus and knew of human-to-human transmission months before admitting the fact to the world. They used WHO to help hide the seriousness of the threat. Meanwhile, China stockpiled medical supplies by the boatload that they purchased from other countries, stripping other nations of the resources needed to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, the government lobbied heavily against international travel bans against China, even after China had already implemented domestic travel bans, allowing the disease to spread wildly in other countries when that spread could have been almost entirely prevented.
Any more non-politicized and non-stigmatized facts you want to talk about, China?
10 ( +10 / -0 )
The problem with "education" in Japan is not going to be solved by when the school year starts.
No, but reading the article, it becomes clear that they are not really trying to solve actual problems. The main goals are all related to a globalist agenda: Get rid of a national tradition that sets Japan apart. Make Japanese universities more dependent on foreign students for funding and less focused on training the Japanese workforce. Get companies to hire more immigrant workers. It’s the same agenda that has been aggressively pushed in Europe and America for decades.
Here we are in the middle of a crisis brought about, in part, by globalism, and, no surprise, the globalists are doubling down on their efforts to reshape society. Never let a crisis go to waste, especially a self-inflicted one.
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
Posted in: In its battle with the coronavirus, Japan appears to be doing everything wrong. It has tested just 0.185 percent of its population, its social distancing has been halfhearted, and a majority of Japanese are critical of the government’s response. Yet with among the lowest death rates in the world, a medical system that has avoided an overloading crisis, and a declining number of cases, everything seems to be going weirdly right. See in context
Or maybe Japan has done a lot of things right, just not things that Western “experts” recommended. Experts started this crisis telling us that this new virus posed no real threat. Then they pivoted and started saying it would kill millions if we didn’t quarantine everybody. The experts were wrong in both counts.
Japan, meanwhile, set a reasonable goal of containing the disease. The system put in place early that ranked public gatherings based in three factors (large numbers of people, close quarters, indoors), and that called on people to progressively avoid situations with multiple factors, seems to have worked. Japanese people effectively social distanced on their own, without draconian government lockdowns. Discouraging travel between prefectures also seems to have been largely effective.
When new cases have been found, Japan has also been largely effective in tracing hotspots and isolating them.
Yes, there have been a few idiots in Japan, like the dentist who flew to Hokkaido after his wife tested positive, but before his own test came back, or certain pachinko parlors that stayed open, even as other businesses voluntarily closed or went remote. Overall, though, by being less draconian, Japan has ensured greater compliance with restrictions.
Japan also didn’t commit the deadly folly like New York did of requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, which alone accounted for several thousand deaths.
Everyone agrees that Abe masks were stupid and feckless. Get past that silliness, however, and there are a lot of policies that Japan seems to have gotten right, at least so far, and these policies have been reasonable decisions, not weird luck.
-1 ( +8 / -9 )
Just don't tell anyone that you're playing. It's not like the government has a camera in your bedroom. Yet...
Does your computer, phone, tablet, or other gaming device have a mic or camera on it? If so, then, yes, the government already has a mic or camera in your bedroom. It may be less likely that the Japanese government has set up a system to make use of your mic and camera than, say, the American or Chinese governments, but they could.
Even if the government doesn't, major tech companies do.
And did you read the article? It seems that some online gaming servers are enforcing the Kagawa ordinance. School age, location in Kagawa, and on after 10 p.m.? Boom, you're kicked out. Yeah, you could connect via a VPN and get around it, but why should anyone have to do that?
Yes, gaming can be abused and become obsessive. So can gambling, but I don't see the Kagawa cronies rushing to shut down pachinko parlors. So can sex, but they're not banning that. So can alcohol, but the prefecture isn't going dry.
Honestly, the Kagawa government would save a lot more lives by requiring and enforcing baby seats or promoting bicycle helmets. The politicians are grandstanding on something that they think makes them look good, but they are wrong. Gaming doesn't make people antisocial. Many antisocial people are attracted to gaming, along with many normally social people. If these antisocial kids weren't obsessed with games, they would find some other hobby that they never have to leave their rooms to do. The kid suing is right. This is a matter for the family. The problems and issues start at home, long before a kid ever picks up a game, and they need to be dealt with in the home. Government regulation is only going to create a bunch of Kagawa teens whose attitude toward government laws is, "Meh, nonsense. Ignore." Want people to respect the law? Don't pass stupid laws.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
A vaccine is a possibility, but it's no guarantee. We have no idea when a successful vaccine might be developed. Or, if a vaccine is developed, will this virus have mutated by then so that the vaccine is ineffective against them? It takes up to a year to develop the routine annual flu shot, which typically only has a 50-50 chance at being effective in a given year. Developing a new vaccine for a new disease is likely to take much longer, especially if first attempts fail, which is common.
If we wait for a vaccine, we could be locked down a year, two years, or forever.
It's nonsense to wait for a vaccine. Half the world could be dead from starvation by then because of the disruptive effects of strict lock downs. It's extremely rare in human history that we've ever been able to fully eliminate a disease. The public health goal is to manage disease outbreaks so that they don't cause deep harm to society. Huge numbers of deaths from a virus can cause great harm to society. So can economically devastating lock downs that strip people of their ability to pay for food and rent. Public health authorities have to balance these two needs in any decision-making process.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Of course WHO objects. On the other hand, what's the harm of people trying natural remedies that are already in use? Side effects are already known, so there isn't much danger. Besides, WHO hasn't offered any effective treatments so far. The only prescribed treatment, a ventilator, is only for extreme cases, and it turns out that the vast majority of people put on ventilators die. It may even be ventilators killing them. WHO hasn't gotten anything right so far about this pandemic.
Many other viruses, such as colds and the flu, tend to congregate most heavily in the soft tissue at the back of the mouth and upper throat. The lower the viral load, the less likely a person experiences severe symptoms. Natural remedies that make that area of the mouth and throat inhospitable to viruses could have a big benefit. By the time WHO completes double-blind studies, this pandemic will have passed. If people know something works against a cold (which is also a coronavirus) or the flu, they're perfectly sensible to use it now.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )
Having a job does not necessarily mean you have the means to support your lifestyle. Most of the time, the salary people have is only enough to cover your basic needs and nothing else, no matter how much you tighten your belt.
This post explains exactly why a universal basic income is a terrible idea. If people's salaries are not enough to pay for their lifestyles, the solution is to change one's lifestyle. If your job is paying for your basic needs, you are O.K. and not in need of public benefits. There is a desire among most people to have a lifestyle beyond one's current salary, but that doesn't translate into a right to live at that desired lifestyle. The only way to pay for this is to keep creating money (i.e., debt), which steadily erodes existing wealth. As a long-term economic strategy, it's a disaster that will impoverish a nation.
Finland experimented with a basic income for two years, but, as widely reported last year, the experiment was a failure. For jobless people who went on basic income, most of them never ended up finding jobs because the basic income left them with little desire to work.
-2 ( +9 / -11 )
Waste of a mask. The risk of transmission outdoors is extremely small.
For a very casual runner, a mask may not badly affect breathing. For most runners, however, the mask becomes an extra health risk. It prevents oxygen from getting to the lungs, potentially pushing oxygen levels in the blood dangerously low. A mask porous enough to let through enough air quickly is likely to also let through many particles.
On top of this, for all runners, the need to readjust the mask frequently, which happens during high-impact activity, means a lot of extra face-touching, which is one of the most dangerous vectors for diseases.
8 ( +8 / -0 )
2000 beds...reserved for COVID patients. Tokyo has thousands more beds than this. Officials are merely choosing to set aside a few specifically for one purpose, and they can double the number set aside without too much difficulty.
This article seems written to scare people, but it could just as easily be written to say that officials are managing resources based on the current number of cases and the assumption that numbers won’t spike during the current emergency measures.
5 ( +6 / -1 )
Lives trump the "economy".
This is a backwards comment. I hear it a lot, but it is wrong. Lives are the economy, and our lives depend on the economy.
Wreck the economy, and people die. Suicides go up; the social safety net frays and eventually collapses; people sink into poverty and lose the ability to provide themselves with basic needs.
The food on your supermarket shelves is there because if the economy. Your water, electricity, internet, and other utilities exist because the economy creates them. Everything you’ve ever bought, all the money and credit you have, and ask the work you do exists within the economy.
The economy is the aggregate output and exchange of all the lives within it. People dying of a virus is bad for the economy. Trashing the event in a failing attempt to defeat a virus it’s only going to make it harder to contain this virus in the long run, and it will cripple our ability to deal with the next disaster.
An easy solution, if our sole aim is to stop the virus, is to total quarantine every person for two months. Of course, by that time, half of society will be dead from lack of food, clean water, and services. The economy is lives. In dealing with the problem, there has to be balance.
5 ( +7 / -2 )
For many parts of Japan, the school year already started, and quite a few places are going back after Golden Week. It’s a local decision. The national government can change the parameters with in which local schools make these decisions and create a new school year running September to July, but then what if those kids who have already been in school a month?
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Articles about people being turned away from hospitals are routine in Japan. The current problem is less a shortage of beds in most places than an unwillingness to accept patients by many hospitals. A large number of Japanese hospitals are small, private clinics. They have beds, and many even have an MRI machine, but accepting even one or two patients infected with the virus would effectively cripple the hospital.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
Option 1: Social media platforms are just that: platforms. The speech on them is the responsibility of individuals, not of the company providing the platform.
Option 2: Social media companies are media companies. They have the right and the power to choose what they want to broadcast.
Option 3: Social media companies should be treated like public utilities. The government should determine what can and cannot be said on them.
Options 1 and 2 differ greatly in terms of how social media companies can avail themselves of existing speech and internet laws. Personally, I wouldn't trust Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey to decide what can and cannot be said, so Option 2 strikes me as a pretty bad deal for people. However, whether the primary protection is people's speech or the social media company's speech, neither option provides a rationale for curbing "hate speech" or "disinformation," neither of which exists as a meaningful category under the law. There are protections against libel, slander, inciting public riot, treason, and even blasphemy in many jurisdictions. "Hate speech" cannot be meaningfully defined. "Disinformation," were laws enforced against that, would eliminate 100% of all media outlets within a very short time. Both of these terms mean little more except for "speech by other people that I don't like."
It's only Option 3 that provides a strong rationale for regulating speech. As much as a lot of nonsense gets thrown around on the internet, do you really want the likes of Donald Trump, or Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton, or Shinzo Abe, or Vladmir Putin, or Xi Jinping, or any other government leader choosing what gets to be said and not said on social media? I wouldn't trust any of them any more than I'd trust Zuckerberg or Dorsey.
The cost of having free speech is that lies sometimes get told. The cost of not having free speech is that only lies are told. The benefit of free speech is that the truth sometimes gets told. If politicians and corporate oligarchs are allowed to define acceptable speech for all of us, then all public opportunities to speak the truth will have ceased.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
coronavirus is far more dangerous than the flu. Stated by almost all the world's leading infectious disease experts
These are the same experts who, in January, were telling us everything was fine, that coronavirus was not a major worry, and that all the cases were only animal-to-human transmission? Yeah, about that...
Or the same experts whose U.S. death toll models for this year have been revised downward from 200,000 to about 60,000, which is on par with a bad flu season, and which would be fewer deaths than the swine flu inflicted a few years ago.
Or are you talking about the WHO head, an expert who was handpicked by China and helped China cover up the extent of the outbreak in the Wuhan area in December and early January?
Experts exist in their own small bubbles. They know a lot within that bubble, but very little outside of it. They are wrong more often than they are right. Policy makers need to gather data from experts, but a world run by experts would be a disaster. Their recommendations and predictions for the Wuhan coronavirus have been all over the map, and had all world leaders followed their advice early on, the pandemic would likely be worse now than it is.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
And yet I am also puzzled why some areas (NY) break out like measles at a boy scout jamboree while Japanese, for some reason, seem to have at least some immunity of the disease. I base this purely on observation. Any thoughts?
There may be a few reasons. One recent study found a correlation between countries that require the tuberculosis vaccine and lower rates of coronavirus infection. Why? They're not sure. But TB vaccines are standard in Japan.
Another recent survey of severe cases requiring hospitalization in New York found that an overwhelming majority of the patients were obese. Japanese people, on the whole, are not tubs of lard. Obesity is associated with weakened innate immune systems, so it makes sense that obese populations would be hit harder.
Maybe, too, there are cultural differences. Japanese people don't shake hands. That's a major disease pathway. There may be other such differences, too.
Or maybe the response of Japan's government and Japan's people hasn't been as inept and slow as people like to complain about. For all the accusations in comments about Japan cooking the numbers, Japan's hospitals haven't overflowed like elsewhere in the world, and it's hard to hide deaths.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Globalization is the attempt by a small number of wealthy elites to control money and politics in every corner of the world. They attempt to do so by enacting “free” trade, which is not free, but instead allows corporations to shift money at the expense of local economies and results in massive waves of immigration since the free movement of goods and money also necessitates the free moment of labor. This movement of people is an orchestrated attempt to dissolve national borders and weaken national identities. The system depends upon steadily increasing deficit spending, which effectively steals money from people who earn and save. Countries that refuse to participate in the system are treated as international pariahs, and soon finds themselves the subjects of sanctions or military invasion. Globalism is the ideological opponent of nationalism.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Jobs and schools are a main reason for many people to be in Tokyo. With businesses and schools closed, how many will escape to be with rural grandparents?
One wonders if there won’t be similar xenophobia to Tokyo license plates in Japan as there has been to New York plates in the U.S.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Seven innings? Doubleheaders?
This isn't peewee league, and MLB doesn't need to finish all 162 games. Does MLB or the networks think they will recoup lost ticket sales or advertising by playing doubleheaders? They won't. Are they trying to preserve the integrity of the schedule so that every team plays the same number of games against division rivals? O.K., but that may not be possible.
Mostly, the decision needs to protect players. Trying to force players to squeeze more innings per week into a shortened season would be murder on pitchers' arms. In this era of switching pitchers early and often, it's inviting injury to stack the season with doubleheaders. The off-season after this year will have a record number of tommy john surgeries if MLB goes this doubleheader route.
Seasons have been shortened before. If baseball is suspended for more than two weeks, eliminate six games for every week that the season is shut down. If necessary, reconfigure the schedule to make it work. It's not like baseball execs don't have time to optimize a new schedule. There aren't any games being played to distract anyone right now.
0 ( +0 / -0 )