mikeylikesit comments

Posted in: U.S. needs a law to sell off oligarchs' assets See in context

It’s all nice and fine as far as most Americans are concerned when the American government is seizing assets of “bad Russians.” But the reality is that the government is seizing private individuals’ money and property with no due process. The government declares Russia bad, and thus the government empowers itself to seize property. Is this really the path Americans want to go down?

It’s more legitimization of a civil asset forfeiture policy that America already badly abuses.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: What does the word "globalization" mean to you? See in context

Thus political globalization was born: countries would be so inter-dependent upon each other in the global exchange of goods and services, that global economic growth would result, and global peace, security, abundance, and prosperity would be forever more.

War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Globalization declares this utopia, and yet what we’ve actually gotten in the era of globalization is endless war because nations are so dependent on each other. Any time a country steps out of line with the globalists, America or NATO invades to bring the stray sheep back into the fold. Globalization funds thugs around the world whose countries happen to have natural resources, and then we pay in blood every time one of those thugs bucks the globalist taskmasters.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to push controversial mine for UNESCO World Heritage See in context

A place worked for 400 years by Japanese people, but because Koreans were involved for 40 or 50 of those 400 years, we shouldn’t recognize the place for its archeological and cultural significance?

It’s almost like the Koreans have a boilerplate pre-written with which they can oppose anything Japanese.

A sensible response would be to evaluate the site on its merits and then tell an honest history of it. Dozens, if not hundreds, of heritage sites have histories tied to slave labor, genocide, or other cruelty. That’s not a disqualifying factor. Often, it’s part of what makes the heritage site so vitally important.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Posted in: Border restrictions force 300 foreigners to decline Japan teacher jobs See in context

300? That might be the total number last month, but the total number of new JETs and other ALTs locked out of Japan in the past two years is in the thousands.

And now this combined in the U.S. with a job market full of desperate employers offering high wages, which makes the generous JET wage look less attractive. Even someone who hasn’t finished high school yet can get a $15/hour fast-food job in rural parts of the U.S. currently. An entry-level college grad should have little trouble pulling down at least double that.

Albeit, there are a few social science, humanities, and “studies” majors for whom anything over minimum wage is considered good, so maybe JET will still attract a few once travel restrictions cease.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan one of only two countries where Twitter beats Facebook in social media market share See in context

The reason Twitter ranked that highly is because Line wasn’t included in the survey. All of the social media platforms popular elsewhere are small fry in Japan compared to Line.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo changes age limit for kids going into opposite sex’s bath at hot springs and sento See in context

The comment that this change is influenced by prudish America is nonsense.

Compare Japanese and American movies and television. Overall, there’s way more skin and explicit sexual expression in America.

This rule change is a reaction to Japan’s pervert culture. Women are increasingly uncomfortable with any male presence, even a young boy, because some men behave badly.

No rule is ever going to be accommodating and fair for everyone. Families should be able to decide this in their own. Establishments that want to cater to families should be able to set their own rules. As it is, the government is setting a rule that fits the feelings of a few people, but which excludes others. No sensible mother is ever going to send her seven-year-old into the men’s bath alone, which means some families are effectively barred from going.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Despite defense buildup, Japan's arms industry struggles See in context

Imagine if all the money in the world spent on military and instruments of death was spent on the betterment of humankind and the planet!!??

We would be living in a utopia or at least as close as humans can come to utopia…

Laughably naive. Tribes and nations lacking defenses have never fared well historically. The “utopia” that you imagine would only be achieved by creating a desert and calling it peace. (Hint: it’s not really peace if you’ve created a space that has nobody in it.)

Human nature hasn’t been perfected. There will always be conflict between peoples. Arguably, the best way to avert conflict and better civilization is to maintain a strong military.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan enacts record ¥36 tril extra budget to fund economic package See in context

what is a trillion yen in normal money terms? Is it a lot?

It’s about two billion meals at McD’s, or two billion cups of Starbucks. Enough for everyone in Japan to eat out for every meal for about two weeks. Or, if we’re frugal and eat at home, enough to feed everyone in Japan for almost two months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 70 million years on earth, 40 years of decline: the endangered eel See in context

If only human beings would stop eating other animals.

Did you read the article? The problem is not anyone’s unagi-don. People could stop eating eels, and they would still be endangered. Drained wetlands, dammed rivers, and a toxic soup of pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, and other pollution in the water are what’s killing off eels.

With salmon, we can catch salmon and artificially hatch their eggs to restock rivers and streams where dams prevent the fish from moving freely. Eels don’t reproduce well artificially, and so we have few tools to rescue them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: At least one dead from Omicron as UK boosts response See in context

The article leaves out the one piece of information I'd like to know. Was the poor person who died vaccinated or not?

They always go out of the way to report unvaccinated because the goal is to get more people to take the shot. If they don’t say, then it is obvious: the person was at least double vaccinated.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: At least one dead from Omicron as UK boosts response See in context

Headline is misleading. The official statement is that the person died with COVID, not from COVID. A meteor could fly out of the sky and smack a person in the head, and that person could die with COVID. That they are not releasing the actual cause of death, just this vague “with” statement is dodgy.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Biden reportedly told Kishida he hoped Japan would increase defense spending See in context

I’m sure Biden did. A basic role of U.S. presidents is to ask allies to spend more on defense. This fulfills two agendas for Biden:

One, a portion of increased spending would go toward arms manufactured in the U.S. It’s a boon for the defense industry.

Two, the U.S. pays heavily to maintain the Pax Americana, in which major nations have not gone to war with each other in nearly 80 years because American military might and presence is so great globally. Since the 1990s, the Democrat mode of spending has been to cut military spending to fund domestic spending. Every extra yen Japan dishes out to help maintain balance in Asia is a penny that Biden can repurpose for social spending in his budget games.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Many of the problems Japan faces could be resolved by making use of digital technology ... The key to post-corona growth is to revitalize broader digital investment nationwide. See in context

Digits are Japan’s chief problem. When you use digits, you don’t make babies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Flash mob thefts terrorize U.S. retailers ahead of Christmas See in context

Common thread in most of these thefts: local lawmakers and prosecutors have effectively decriminalized theft. Petty theft has been downgraded to a misdemeanor. No one is held in jail on bail. No one is charged with felonies. No one is put on trial.

Petty theft is essentially a ticketable offense, and police aren’t even bothering with that in most cases. There are too many reports of theft. Police budgets have been cut, while violent felonies are also on the rise. Police can’t afford to track down misdemeanors when they have stacks of felony reports to deal with. Even when they do catch one of these thieves, the person is back on the street same day.

There is a reason prosecutors, police, and lawmakers got tough on petty crimes in the late-1980s and early-1990s with cash bails, mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes laws, broken-windows policing, and the like. Yes, those tactics sometimes produce unfair results, but they are responsible for the dramatic decrease in most types of crime during the last two decades. Even Joe Biden has forgotten why he wrote a crime bill in the 1990s with those measures in it because recent crime had been so low. Take away those measures, and crime storms back with a vengeance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Flash mob thefts terrorize U.S. retailers ahead of Christmas See in context

The robbed stores will have their stock insured against loss.

People are quick to dismiss vandalism and theft with excuses of “the businesses have insurance,” but insurance isn’t a magic wand. Insurance may cover some damages, but it never compensates fully. Even if insurance were to pay 100 percent for smashed display cases and lost stock, does it pay for enhanced security in the future? Does it pay for lost customers who are now afraid to patronize those businesses? Does insurance pay for the hiring and training of new employees because good employees quit out of fear and stress over the thefts? Does it pay for the lower legal demand for that brand’s goods because cheaper options are now on the black market? Does insurance pay for the inevitable hike in insurance rates from next year? Crime costs the store greatly, even with insurance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China urges Japan to support Beijing Olympics See in context

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who claimed she had an extramarital affair with a former vice premier.

Wow, it’s as if Kyodo is running news stories past Chinese censors for approval. An extramarital affair is a generous way of putting it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Shinkansen conductor caught playing GPS smartphone game on train…for 10 years See in context

Because this is something that increases the risk of accidents

What is your evidence that this increases the risk of accidents? Ten years with no incidents to prompt any kind of investigation kind of argues to the contrary, that the train remained perfectly safe.

Of course, this guy was the conductor, not the driver, so there is that.

But it also wouldn’t be an unreasonable hypothesis that some kind of game to keep the brain alert and attentive during what is usually a mindless, repetitive job might actually decrease accidents. Short distractions are proven to reduce brain fatigue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: As the shrinking population becomes a more serious problem and if Japan wants to be seen as a good option for overseas workers, it needs to communicate that it has the proper structure in place to welcome them. See in context

A shrinking population is NOT a serious problem -- unless you want it to be.

It’s certainly not, on its own, a rationale for open-door immigration.

But if your government is deeply in debt and heavily leveraged by promised pensions that it has no way to pay, especially with a shrinking population that decreases the tax base, and especially with an economy that has ranged between deflationary and flat for three decades, it is a problem.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: What do you think are some of the major differences between J-pop and K-pop music? See in context

One is made in Korea; the other is made in Japan.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: Why taxing U.S. billionaires’ wealth will never work See in context

while the vast majority of working people are paying their fair share of them.

The reality in the U.S. is that the largest tax demographic, which comprises the poor and lower working class, pays zero in income taxes. This accounts for about 45-50% of the country, depending on the year. It’s only when we get into the fourth quintile that we start to find significant numbers who pay more than a thousand dollars yearly in income taxes.

The top quintile sees its income reduced by about 20 percent because of taxes. The bottom quintile sees its income increased by about 50 percent by means-tested transfers.

What counts as “fair” is up for debate, but the claim that most working class people are paying their fair share has trouble holding water because most aren’t paying any income taxes at all. Especially for families with children, it’s only when we reach the middle class that people become net tax payers instead of receivers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: COVID-19 threatens already shaky status of arts education in schools See in context

Not particularly a problem in Japan where music and art classes and clubs have been running normally at schools for the past year and a half. And nobody seems to have died as a result.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nuclear power advocates say it is a necessary energy source that will buy the time needed to develop cleaner and safer alternatives. Do you agree with this statement? See in context

I can't think of any energy source that is a less feasible way of 'buying time'.

So I guess your alternative is more coal then?

Electric consumption is set to double in many industrialized areas over the next decade or two as electric car mandates come into effect. Alternative energy sources aren’t even to the point that they can meet current demands, let alone these future needs. The energy has to come from somewhere. If it’s not nuclear, it will be coal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Nothing else here:' Why it's so hard for world to quit coal See in context

Gee, many parts of the world were getting off coal bit by bit, but then some crazy people who want to melt the icecaps came along and got nuclear plants shut down.

There has to be a high-capacity energy source that can be increased or decreased at will regardless of weather or other conditions. Currently, this means nuclear or fossil fuels. Wind, solar, and other sources lack the consistency, capacity, and flexibility to maintain a stable power grid.

And with more electric cars hitting the road, electricity demand is going to skyrocket. Most “electric” cars are effectively going to be coal-powered cars.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign researchers facing stricter quarantine; 'jailed' in hotel See in context

Discrimination. No interest in their vaccine status, just lock up the foreigners.

This is false on multiple levels. Japanese citizens are subject to the exact same quarantine rules.

A person may quarantine at home for two weeks, provided they never leave the house, and authorities check in frequently by phone app to track the person’s location. Those without a home address must quarantine in a hotel.

Japan has recently shortened quarantine slightly for vaccinated people, but it sounds like The Japan Foundation didn’t make arrangements ahead of time and thought it easier to keep everyone in the same place instead of letting some out a few days early while the rest are still locked in the hotel.

And it’s not like the vaccine makes it any less likely to catch or transmit the disease. Really, given that the shot only mitigate severe symptoms, from a disease-control perspective, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike should have to quarantine the same.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Foreign researchers facing stricter quarantine; 'jailed' in hotel See in context

SUch strict quarantine rules make sense when COVID is contained within the nation (e.g. NZ), but when COVID is already everywhere, what's the point? How does it help per cent COVID, if COVID is already there?!

Can someone help me out with the logic here?

These quarantine rules were implemented nearly a year ago when Japan had almost no cases. This quarantine was the condition authorities set for easing travel to allow passport and visa-holders some ability to travel. It’s remained a consistent rule for all people arriving in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Foreign researchers facing stricter quarantine; 'jailed' in hotel See in context

These researchers may not like it, and they can whine, but it’s the same treatment everyone else has gotten for the past year. It’s a two-week quarantine when you enter the country, and the authorities are strict. It’s applied to citizens and non-citizens alike.

Do these people think they deserve special treatment because they earned some special academic degree? Talk about privilege! Rules for thee, but not for me!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: World leaders dial up doomsday warning to kick-start climate talks See in context

In Galileo's day, the 'settled science' was that the world was flat. Now we know better.

By Galileo’s time, multiple people had sailed around the world. Even before that, for thousands of years, people knew the earth is a sphere. Sailors saw ships disappear over the horizon and knew. Scientists used observation and math to measure and estimate the earth’s curvature, radius, and circumference. There was no debate over the shape of the earth.

Flat earth was a fake belief popularized in the 19th century. It allowed some people to register opposition to the new industrialized, technological society. It allowed other people to feel smugly superior to the ignorant past. Except that the past was not nearly so ignorant as they tried to make out.

This smug superiority used to demand sacrifices from others today is also one of the biggest weaknesses of the technocratic elite. They think they know best for everyone else’s lives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: In the middle of a crisis, Facebook Inc renames itself Meta See in context

But so would breaking it up into smaller pieces, and then conscientiously regulating its behavior.

That’s a fundamental problem with the web economy. How would you break up Facebook…err…Meta or Google…err…Alphabet? Split off any one part of the company, and it’s not profitable on its own. Nothing at either company makes any money except advertising, and advertising only makes money because billions of users flock to the free services. The advertising side on its own would shrivel and die without the users. The free services would go bankrupt without the advertising. Users would go elsewhere for services if they had to pay subscriptions.

It’s a destructive, monopolistic system, but there is no easy way to break it up like, for example, the U.S. did with Ma Bell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Stupid' and 'insane': Some billionaires attack tax plan See in context

Yeah right. Recent Forbes headline: Bezos, Musk And Buffett—Paid Federal Income Taxes Equaling Just 3.4% Of $401 Billion In New Wealth, Bombshell Report Shows

Except that this is nonsense. They didn’t have $401 billion in income. Their companies are more valuable, but all they have is stock. That wealth is not money in the bank. It’s just the value of the company.

The idea of taxing anyone on the market value of their company is ludicrous. It’s saying that business owners have to sell off their companies in order to pay the government.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Posted in: 'Stupid' and 'insane': Some billionaires attack tax plan See in context

“Increased Musk’s wealth by roughly $37 billion” merely means that a company’s stock value had a daily fluctuation. It doesn’t mean that Musk has $37 billion sitting around that he can spend freely. He has no more money in his wallet than he did a week ago.

The latest idiocy of the Democrats is that they want to tax unrealized capital gains. This would ultimately require every successful business owner to sell off parts of the companies that they built in order to pay taxes on increases in stock value for stock that they haven’t even sold yet.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

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