mikeylikesit comments

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.

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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.

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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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Posted in: For those of you in management or senior positions in a company, how do you monitor the workflow or productivity of your employees working from home? How do you know that they are not spending work hours on social media, for example? See in context

I hire exceptionally good people and grow a strong culture at the company. On the rare occasion a person proves a bad fit, we get rid of the person before too much damage is done. There is no reason a manager needs to be closely monitoring how employees spend their time. If the employees are good and the culture is strong, workflow and output will be good.

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Posted in: Yamato Transport to change black cat logo from April 1 See in context


Because only female cats care for kittens. In real life, a male cat would simply kill the kittens so it could mate with the female cat again sooner.

Of course, if @goodlucktoyou is reading human gender roles into cats, that’s another whole messed up problem.

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Posted in: Suga to visit U.S. in April for his 1st in-person summit with Biden See in context

A Biden-Suga summit? Should be something to watch—two old, mostly ineffectual men who mostly just rubber stamp what their parties out in front of them.

If they’re lucky, Biden will even remember Suga‘s name and what country he’s from.

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Posted in: Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 tril virus relief bill See in context

P. Smith: Not so hard to find...


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Posted in: Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 tril virus relief bill See in context

Allocates $130 billion to help fully reopen schools and colleges.

That’s funny. Japan reopened schools fully after less than two months. Didn’t take $130 billion dollars, or even ¥130 billion, to do it. And there have been no major problems in Japanese schools. What are Biden and the teachers’ unions actually spending that money on?

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Posted in: Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 tril virus relief bill See in context

bass4funk: And besides not really helping anyone, what’s it for?

SuperLib: Mostly the working class. 

So that explains why Democrats dropped the threshold for paying taxes on part-time contract work from $20,000 down to $600! The bill is helping the working class by imposing billions in new taxes that affect almost only the working class, while funneling money to “nonprofits” with highly paid lobbyists. It’s so clear now...

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Posted in: Attacks against Asian Americans in U.S. intensify a year into pandemic See in context

Prior to four years ago, the MAGA-mobs would have been too ashamed to do something like this.

This is a false claim. The uptick in violence against Asians in the U.S. in the past year has been documented, and the majority of violent attacks were committed by other minority groups, especially blacks. Many of these attacks do not get listed as “hate crimes” because of the beliefs that Asians don’t count as a minority or that blacks cannot commit hate crimes.

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Posted in: Remote working damages young women's careers See in context

Remote work has seen an uptick in Japan, but mainly in cities and only with some companies. It’s certainly not as widespread as in some other countries. Are Japanese workers similarly affected? We’ll never know.

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Posted in: Side with citizens, not military, Myanmar expat urges Japan, ASEAN See in context

Why is it Japan’s responsibility to wade into a local conflict that is half a continent away? Because Japan has let in a few refugees, those refugees can now demand that Japan play global police and intervene on behalf of one side or another in a partisan conflict? That’s nonsense.

The previous Myanmar regime was committing genocide. Being led by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate does not wash away the brutal crimes. The current regime is shooting protesters. There is no morally good side in the Myanmar conflict. Japan supporting one side over the other would only make Japan morally complicit in the crimes.

Japanese people are better off with a government that takes care of Japan’s domestic problems. Taking a strong position on foreign political conflicts only serves to enable the war hawks who want to use Japan’s military overseas. Once Japan declares the military junta illegitimate and in violation of international law, then what? Would not Japan be obligated to take action? The pretense of a moral, humanitarian mission is what has seen the American military escapading around the world for over a century. There’s nothing moral about globalism. Quite the contrary.

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Posted in: Do you think hanami (cherry blossom viewing) gatherings in parks should be discouraged in order to lessen the spread of the coronavirus infections? See in context

Outdoor transmission of the virus has been so rare that the risk from hanami is fleetingly small. The well-documented vitamin D benefits everyone will gain from being outdoors will far outweigh whatever tiny risk there is of outdoor transmission.

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Posted in: Engineered viruses can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria See in context

We’re over a year dealing with what may be an engineered virus, and scientists are begging us to let them engineer more viruses to fight the super-bacteria that their medical treatments have also created? Do they think we are stupid?

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Posted in: Side with citizens, not military, Myanmar expat urges Japan, ASEAN See in context

One reason countries like Myanmar stumble from one corrupt junta to the next is that the educated people who ought to be the foundation of the country’s future keep leaving. It’s so, so brave of an ex-pat from Myanmar living in Japan to show loyalty to her country of birth and comment on the politics of the country she abandoned. If she cared so much about Myanmar, she would have stayed and tried to make a better country. Instead, she took the higher salary, safety, and comfort of Japan.

The absence of people like her due to emigration by the wealthy and educated is a big part of the reason why the country’s politics will always be a mess.

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