pantherpg comments

Posted in: Two simple reasons a Republican will likely win in 2016 See in context

I feel like this election is dramatically different from any I've seen in my lifetime. The headline grabbers and huge draws of this race are self-proclaimed "unpoliticians" who are considered the fringe of their respective parties. It's not Democrats and Republicans, it's Democrats and Republicans and Democratic Socialists and Tea Party members.

I'd be hesitant to call any winner, especially this early in the game. A Clinton-Rubio contest would look dramatically different from a Sanders-Trump contest, for example.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: SDF official magazine causes a stir for featuring gravure idols See in context

Where are the male idols posing in uniform to encourage female recruits?

Are there also shots of actual JSDF members training or performing rescue missions? 'Cause you could stick my favorite idol of either gender into a uniform and if I don't think I'd like to do the work, it's not going to sway me.

Maybe you could have the idols interview members of the JSDF talking about the work they do. If people see that their idols respect actual people doing the work I think it would have the biggest impact out of all of these marketing scenarios.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Momoiro Clover Z plans concert for men only, drawing complaints from women’s organization See in context

I'd be very disappointed and confused if I were a little girl who loved Momoclo and couldn't travel to concerts, then I found out that they were coming to my town but just for men. They've done themes for kids' stuff including Dragonball, Sailor Moon, and Pokemon, so in a world where anything made sense, this would be a family concert.

If the decision and pushback weren't coming from the group's management, I'd assume the goal is to bring idol fans into town for the show rather than to put on a show for the local folks, thus the "men only" concert. This would pretty much guarantee that the majority of folks at the concert will travel into town - and if they schedule the end of the concert after the last train, they'll have to stay in town and eat at the local restaurants, too.

If it's really coming from the group's management, I don't understand why they would do this. If the venue is space-limited, maybe they're trying to sell bus tour tickets and concert-limited special goods -- but this is Momoclo. They shouldn't have to penny pinch that way and I can't fathom why they'd absorb the bad press.

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Posted in: What happened to the Diet resolution which said, 'We will not touch agricultural products, particularly rice?' See in context

It may make sense for these farmers to move to a community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscription model where they sell directly to consumers, or to develop relationships with sake brewers to be the exclusive supplier for a boutique brew. They need to position themselves as a premium product in order to beat less expensive foreign product.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe: Japan must fix domestic problems before taking in refugees See in context

Let's assume for the sake of argument that refugees who have living family members would prefer to resettle with their family members. Let's also assume that if a family is safe, well fed, housed in a stable location big enough for all of its members, free to do as it wishes within the constraints of law with its free time, and able to meaningfully contribute to the community and sustain its lifestyle by working and sharing in local festivities, its members will overwhelmingly be productive members of society. Note, also, that few refugees are truly unskilled - whole cities have been decimated, so a whole lot of teachers, chefs, janitors, construction workers, doctors, and programmers need a job somewhere.

If a family wished to resettle in Japan, even if every member is relatively unskilled, my understanding is that there are many senior care aide jobs available and many akiya that need to be maintained. If the taxes on those akiya were suspended for those who rent to refugees, maybe that would encourage all those folks who just want rid of their parents' properties to participate -- and after a resettlement/training period, once the families are earning wages, they could start to pay rent, gradually ramping up to a reasonable cost for whatever area they've settled.

I can see many families not wanting to stay in Japan long term because they'd be far from their extended family. I imagine those who would want to stay would be those who have the healthiest participation in their local communities. As for those who want to leave after a few years? If they've saved up enough money for the move, they've also contributed a lot in taxes and needed labor to their communities. If that exceeds the investment in helping them settle, great. If not, it's at least a partial return on aid funding -- and since they've already been, they are more likely to come back to visit.

In short, if the JET program exists, a similar scheme could certainly benefit refugees, meet local needs, increase the wealth of Japanese families, increase international goodwill toward Japan, and ultimately boost tourism and the economy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Doctor punches patient in stomach after his third visit to ER in one night See in context

Without being there as this person visited the hospital over and over, there's not really a lot we know about this situation. What we do know reminds me, in a way, of my late neighbor. His health declined rapidly after his wife passed away. In the period right before he went into a home, he called the police multiple times a day, day and night. He heard little neighborhood noises and thought they were threats. He thought his nurses (and at one point, his daughter) were withholding medication. He was belligerent, though not a danger, and mostly lucid.

Mental health can be fragile when people are lost and lonely, and there are a lot of lonely people out there. What this gentleman probably needs more than anything is a social worker.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of Internet forum 2channel, where anonymous netizens can post anything, including death threats? See in context

This is a really loaded question the way that it's worded. To bias the question the other way, one could have written, "What do you think of Internet forum 2channel, where anonymous netizens can post anything, and have stopped anonymous strangers from committing suicide after they've posted notes?"

Good or bad, I think it's important that people have the opportunity to speak their mind freely somewhere in their lives -- and for the most part, folks talk about much more mundane topics on that kind of site. I agree that on a computer, you're never truly anonymous, but the format is anonymous enough to help people avoid censure at school or work. In the case of threats, there's at least a starting point for police to work from -- and a person writing about an act is not typically a person committing an act at that point in time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How universities are trying to help worried parents by babying their students See in context

For the most part, the system seems to work. I'm all for free or inexpensive breakfast, and for help with the job hunting process (for a first generation college student, not knowing how to do this is a huge stumbling block to social mobility). I'm even for "homeroom" - it gives lonely kids a group of familiar faces and at least one mentor who can see whether they're integrating into college life well.

I disagree with the attendance checking app. College is where students learn to establish an identity apart from their parents and hold ultimate accountability for their own actions. I feel that the "homeroom teacher" mentor is a more appropriate person to address attendance issues, as this is closer to the boss-subordinate dynamic students will encounter after college.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese men reveal 10 times they fell in love with their wives all over again See in context

I think men and women both feel special when someone cooks something nice for them, takes care of them when they are sick, or dresses up nicely to spend time with them. The first two are striking because we're expected to be self-sufficient as adults and someone else is shouldering our burden - the third is moving because it ritually illustrates that even after years of living together, we still place the same value on the relationship as we did when we fussed over getting ready for dates on a regular basis. I'm a woman and I agree that most of the things on this list make my heart skip a beat and remind me of younger days.

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Posted in: What advice would you give to stressed-out parents of young children so that they don’t resort to abusing their children as a means of discipline or because they won't stop crying? See in context

There's a lot going on in the very young years. Babies cry nonstop when they have a need that isn't being met, and sometimes for no discernable reason. Toddlers are starting to experience real feelings and need help to both manage them and express their needs with their limited vocabularies. My advice boils down to five things:

Educate yourself about child development and behavior. Children's behavior is a lot more manageable when you know what to expect.

Meet the child's basic needs. Children need to be fed. Children need to sleep -- much more sleep than an adult needs, with a regular bedtime and routine. Young children need their diapers changed promptly and to be held almost constantly. There are many child-safe painkillers and home remedies (such as chewing on cold washcloths) for teething children. Sick, hurt, or extremely distressed children need to see a doctor.

Don't expect more out of your child than he or she is developmentally ready to handle. If you must run an errand with your young child late at night, expect him or her to be exhausted and cranky and accomodate him or her as best you can. Your recently mobile toddler is not going to be able to sit still for more than a few minutes. Toilet training, like walking or riding a bike, takes practice, and occasional setbacks are unavoidable. Many kids aren't capable of fully learning how to share until age seven or eight.

Accomodate kids when they want to help and let them do what they're capable of doing themselves or with minimal help, as young as possible. If your child feels like she contributes and she doesn't need you for everything, she's not going to be as needy.

If you find yourself unable to accomodate your child's needs consistently, or the crying and screaming is getting to you, or you think you might harm your child, or you're just not interested in playing with him or her -- get help. Ward offices have information on respite care resources and other help for young families. You and your child will feel better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Girl stabs stepmother for hiding her smartphone See in context

It sounds like there's a lot more going on here than a fight over a smartphone. I hope this girl receives the mental help she clearly needs as a result of this arrest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Documentary looks at why Japanese parents let young kids walk to school by themselves See in context

There's a lot of talk of "independence" in this thread, and I think we're talking about two different ideas with the same word. I thought a very interesting choice the film crew made was to show the Japanese girl brushing her hair, while the Australian girl's dad was brushing her hair for her. Another parallel was where the Japanese girl packed her own bag while the Australian girl's father packed hers. It contributes to my feeling that this isn't about "independence" in terms of taking initiative, being creative, or trailblazing. When others say walking to school displays "independence", they mean it in the sense that it recognizes the child's capability to be responsible for his or her own self care. Even while parent volunteers watch the route for safety, the kids are doing the work of getting themselves to school. As a bonus, if they're walking with other kids, they're learning to take responsibility for others and hold each other accountable as well.

Bad things can and will happen. I am looking for traffic death statistics for children in Japan to back this theory up, but I have a hunch a child is more likely to die in a car accident than she is to be kidnapped or killed walking to and from school.

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Posted in: How should the international community deal with the migrant situation that is currently overwhelming Hungary, Austria and Germany? See in context

I see some religious concerns listed in the comments. A quick Bing search tells me that 10% of Syria is Christian, first off -- and my impression is that it's a Christian's imperative to extend warmth and hospitality to those in need. Jesus fed the five thousand, right?

It's not like we're on different teams. We are the human race. We love our families. We want the ability to live reasonably safe, productive, fulfilling lives. When we try drawing lines in the sand to divide people, we are making ourselves feel unsafe (by turning other people into villains) and we are wasting productivity that we could spend on fruitful, fulfilling pursuits that benefit everyone.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: As Europe opens its doors, Japan considers clamping down harder on asylum seekers See in context

I think it would be great if each dwindling, struggling rural community could find one akiya in good enough shape to house one family. Help them plant a garden and help the adults find work as adult caregivers or farmhands. Get the kids safe and in school and give them the skills they need to rebuild their homeland when they grow up.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: University students stage hunger strike over security bills See in context

It will be interesting to see if these four are joined by others. I think that's what they're hoping for.

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Posted in: One Direction 'to go separate ways' next year See in context

In theory, none of them have to work another day in their lives if they've got good financial advisers. They have the relative freedom to explore their passions, which may or may not end up being in the public eye. Good for them - whether you like their singing or not, show business is full of long days, and they've certainly put in a ton of work.

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Posted in: New Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video 'Crazy Party Night' makes Halloween cute and colorful See in context

I'm impressed with the diversity of the instrumentation. I'm pretty sure I hear snares and actual horns mixed in with the usual technopop.

The video is, if nothing else, an interesting look at how Japan views some of the typical Western Halloween tropes. There's a little nod to the Thriller dance, for example. It's a bit lackluster in terms of crispness but seems right in line with the visual style that AKB and Vocaloid have made popular lately among fans on the Internet. There's a Chucky reference, too, and probably several others I missed as I was only half watching.

Kyary's star power comes from her aesthetic and it's preserved well here. She's certainly not high-concept and this isn't a classic, but there's no need to get down on her about it. It's pop music, after all! Very few songs have a shelf life, and if nothing else, she's moving singles, and she and her team are keeping people employed doing things they love.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Heartache for Japan's 40-year-old virgins See in context

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with most young (or even some older) men and women who aren't part of a couple. I think people need to learn how to meet people and make friends, and they need the time and space outside of work to do so without the pressure of marriage constantly hanging over their heads.

Go make friends, and then make more. Treat people well, but don't fall over yourself trying to win their favor. Eventually you'll find the friend you make your future with -- but you have to start somewhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Fans vote for Rino Sashihara as new leader of AKB48 See in context

I enjoy the idea that through hard work a young person who wants to get into show business can make a name for himself or herself. I had dreams like that myself once and I'd never begrudge an aspiring child star for reaching for his or her dreams. That said, I'm picky about whom I follow because I do have an issue with people who take advantage of others.

I avoid AKB because I feel like few of the girls who are members of the group really benefit from the arrangement. The girls are managed by separate talent agencies so when you separate out AKB management's fees and their talent agency's fees for each appearance, each member's cut is very low. Even the talent agencies apparently don't make much. Can AKB management afford to pay everyone in proportion to the work they put in? If they can, they should, and if they can't, they should alter the way they're doing business or go out of business. Will this happen? Of course not - it's just what I believe is right.

That said, I'm sure all of the members are working hard, and again, I certainly don't begrudge them their dreams! I hope they feel that their time and effort is worth the return they're getting, and I hope they're all continuing to work hard on their studies and outside interests. Given the increasing numbers of girls involved in these groups each year, it must feel very rewarding to earn a spot in a single.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for confining woman in his apartment for a week See in context

Sociopaths can be very charismatic and good at manipulating people. It looks like this man was able to take advantage of the insecurities of at least one other person. I'm so glad she was rescued before worse happened.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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