Richard Gallagher comments

Posted in: Dwayne Johnson hangs on to top spot on Forbes highest-paid male actors list See in context

Yeah, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock will have to fine hone his thespian skills to equal the driftwood acting of Arnold. Arnold a veritable Laurence Olivier.

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Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context

Why is it important to wear a mask, well, every fifteen seconds someone dies from covid-19 and masks inhibit acquisition of the virus. There are numerous studies by scientists who have conducted experiments to determine the effectiveness of masks: that confirm the use of masks significantly reduces the spread of the virus in excess of 80%. N-95 masks, in particular, are 96% effective. Contrary to the assertion by the anti-maskers that covid-19 is equivalent to the flu, is untrue, covid-19 is more than 10 times deadlier than the flu.

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Posted in: Road test: Chinese 'robotaxis' take riders for a spin See in context

Hey. Maybe they can replace the Olympics with robot athletes and robot spectators! Artificial Intelligence, that is a misnomer, it is: No Intelligence. Am I off the mark here, moderator?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Road test: Chinese 'robotaxis' take riders for a spin See in context

Robot world. From the creators of Uber, Tesla and other companies completely lacking in ethics or moral judgement. Libertarians who have no interest in the common good or social contract. The new robber barons. Intent on displacing human labor, in the taxi industry. Which is not out of empathy, but to garner increased profit while eliminating workers or completely exploiting labor. NOW. The Chinese enter the market. E-commerce and its antecedents.

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Posted in: Delivery Hero seeks to challenge Uber Eats in Japan See in context

Uber Eats. Why? An exploitive construct based on an app profiting off piecework. A company based in Ireland to avoid paying taxes. Displaces other businesses and takes the profit out of the country while creating a class of low wage workers. And a German company? Which will challenge Uber? Why allow foreign companies into Japan? Uber a slew of venture capitalists, an unethical CEO and a bevy of lawsuits, as Uber destroys certain sectors of the economy and skirts licensing and labor laws that are in place to protect customers and workers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Man shot by police after threatening them with knife See in context

Most unfortunate. Certainly, not the outcome the family members anticipated. Not having been at the scene, retreat may have been a better option. After all, it was his apartment and apparently the police were not welcome. As for his mental state, that seems to have been the initial concern.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Posted in: Nagasaki marks 75th A-bomb anniversary See in context

There was absolutely no reason to drop either bomb on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Any line of reasoning to the contrary is a justification and intended to give shelter to the guilty. It was a war crime.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Posted in: Cabinet OKs ¥1.13 tril in reserve funds to cushion impact of virus See in context

The Yen is a fiat currency. You can print it as needed and erase debt. No problem. It isn't monopoly money, that is a dumb assertion. Japan holds more foreign debt than any other nation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Panel discusses virus response guidelines for local gov'ts See in context

Matters naught.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus See in context

Barring the advance of a vaccine, containment with purposeful strictures is necessary for tamping it down to a slow rolling community spread as the main means of eliminating the virus. This determines a shift away from industrial tourism, which has arisen over the three years preceding The Olympics, eventually replacing it with domestic tourism which was in place five to ten years ago. The politics and mediated realities attending the methods or lack of response to the contagion is an impediment to structuring a successful response. A complete lockdown has serious impacts on the economy and indeed the culture. Existing protocols need to remain and not loosened. Masks, hand washing, social distancing, reasonable sheltering in place, banning large gatherings, reducing but not eliminating patterns of consumption or framing such with a means of reducing contact. A gradual, evolved opening-up, but kept local & regional. Year from now, if Japan has kept a ban on foreign visitors, SARSCoV-2 may revert to a cyclical virus. Better yet, a vaccine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Int'l school teachers in Japan exempted from entry ban See in context

Just because you live in Japan, for a day or a hundred years, a foreigner is exactly that, you are not a Japanese citizen, in fact you are a citizen of a foreign country. Typically, those bemoaning the inferior status of a PR are from an English speaking country. Employ is based on the mother tongue and engaged in a carpetbagging endeavor aka 'teaching' which has very little connection to education. All the nonsensical balderdash about paying taxes as a basis for gaining rights as a citizen, belie the understanding those taxes pay for services and infrastructure used on a daily basis and do not afford purchase of citizenship. You want to be a citizen of Japan, go thru the process. Barring entry is not punitive, it is to contain a pandemic and routes of transmission, by disallowing foreigners travelling from specific states and regions. It is to insure a common good of its citizens, of which PRs are not. To wit: I finally received my Japanese visa this year after years of applying, however I accept responsibility for leaving and understand why I am not allowed back. 

-23 ( +15 / -38 )

Posted in: 2 yakuza members arrested over attempted murder See in context

The intent defines attempted murder, not the ineptitude of the assailants.

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Posted in: U.S. to appoint Japan specialist for defense cost-sharing talks See in context

Since it is a Trump appointment, it is temporary as the current administration will be out-of-power next year. And, indeed, the USA, should be negotiating either withdrawal of its forces or paying market value in terms of rent. That and jailing its miscreant soldiers who commit crimes off-base and handing them over to Japanese authorities. Especially, in Okinawa where there is a continual litany of sexual assault by Marines and others.

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Posted in: Boeing and MHI to upgrade Japan’s F-15J fleet See in context

Parity with the Swiss is all that is required for so-called self-defense. At least Mitsubishi doesn't design aircraft that burst into flames on the runway awaiting take-off or simply fall out of the sky. The much heralded F-35. Sub-optimal and expensive. A computer that happens to fly. Costing approximately 5,000,000 yen an hour to fly. Its lightning-protection system was deficient. The jet’s cutting-edge helmet display, which melds imagery from multiple cameras and sensors into a single picture, didn’t work properly, with pilots experiencing a jittery, delayed video feed.   The plane’s ejection seat could cause serious neck injuries to lightweight pilots, prompting the Air Force to ban pilots under 136 pounds from flight operations.  13 Category 1 deficiencies are still on the books. So. You have an aircraft that is close to obsolete, the F-15, that is actually superior to the flying albatross that was purchased in bulk. Mitsubishi can certainly hold its own with Boeing, think the 737. And Lockheed-Martin, which has an interesting history in Japan.

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Posted in: LDP policymakers say Japan should have missile base-striking ability See in context

Itsunori Onodera, right of the right-wing. Willing to spend oodles of money on, essentially, useless weapons systems only profits the manufacturer. The acquisition of F-35 fighters that fall out-of-the-sky is a boon to Lockheed-Martin and whoever profits in Tokyo from brokering the sale. China is not going to invade Japan. Nor is a broke-dick NK going to fling its few missiles at japan, those are earmarked for Seoul and Guam. it will all be moot, come the next plague and increasing climate disasters. Best to spend that coin on science and engineering to 'battle' climate change and the next pandemics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Containing virus in Tokyo prerequisite for hosting Olympics: Koike See in context

To the notion the virus has mutated, which it has not. It has been determined there is a variance, the result of actual scientific inquiry & research. A variance is not a mutation.

Some of the commercial vaccine manufacturers engaged in the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates have either completed, or are in the process of, conducting early phase clinical trials and approached respective National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) with their proposals for Phase 3 clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of their vaccines.

RNA vaccines are helping researchers to create and test vaccine candidates at breakneck speed. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, told a congressional committee on 23 June that he is “cautiously optimistic” that there will be a working vaccine by early 2021. Vaccinologists who spoke to Nature echo that sentiment — although they say that the first vaccines might not be the best possible designs, and improved versions are likely to come later. Many of the vaccines already in development have potential to become those second-generation vaccines. Several groups are applying structure- and computer-based analyses of the interactions between the immune system and viral antigens, the parts of viruses that provoke an immune response. These techniques have already been tried against numerous pathogens, and are now being applied to SARS-CoV-2.

As for vaccines in development: there is:

An rVSV–vector platformed vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, using spike (S) protein as an antigenic target; a mRNA-1273, a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA vaccine that encodes a full-length, prefusion stabilized spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2

An mRNA platform that is similarly focused on lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA that encodes for SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein.

An rVSV–vector platformed vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, using spike (S) protein as an antigenic target.

With all these vaccines, efficacy—as defined by robust and durable immunogenic response—will be the key metric of success. Without long-lasting immunity that persists season to season, the capacity of any candidate vaccine to effect community transmission will be limited. In addition, safety will be an equally important second metric. All candidates are undergoing rigorous investigation of their safety profile, inclusive of unintended adverse events. In the setting of accelerated vaccine development timelines, robust safety monitoring will be crucial in setting a foundation of public trust in the ultimately successful candidate vaccine.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption to both the physical and economic health of the world’s population, pathways of vaccine development are adapting in ways that could not have been predicted even a year ago. The rapid identification of immunogenic targets of a novel coronavirus, the leveraging of experimental vaccine platforms, and the tragic nature of an ongoing pandemic have created a fertile breeding ground for innovation. Although the ultimate success of a vaccine candidate, or candidates, remains unknown, the changes in the field of vaccinology that these exigent circumstances have brought are likely here to stay.

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Posted in: 2 Americans held in Ghosn's escape say they won't flee U.S. See in context

There is a bilateral extradition treaty, signed in 1978.

The article states that the judge improperly denied the two accused, release from jail. That is an assertion by a defense attorney, not a finding of fact.

Two creepy so-called soldiers-of-fortune help an accused criminal escape. They apparently, have problems with respecting the law. Let alone the notion of bail. An immensely wealthy individual, Ghosn, awaiting trial, meets his accomplices, takes a train from Tokyo to Osaka, is smuggled aboard a private jet and escapes to Lebanon which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn lamenting his treatment by Japanese authorities neglects to state he was confined to his three estates and able to travel about, such as to luxury hotels in Tokyo & Osaka. He tended to cite being held in a small cell, which was very brief.

Judge Donald Cabell, in his 18-page ruling, said “there is a presumption against bail in extradition cases” and defendants “must demonstrate ‘special circumstances’ that justify their release on bail.” The Taylors do not meet set standards for release on bail.

Add this to the case: French prosecutors have ratcheted up their investigation into the alleged misuse of funds at Renault, the abuse of corporate assets, abuse of trust and money laundering between 2009 and 2020, and suspect financial flows between Renault and a car dealership in Oman, called SBA, related to the carmaker’s former boss and fugitive from Japanese authorities, Carlos Ghosn. It will also involve spending on trips and events, including parties held on the grounds of the palace of Versailles, one of which was to celebrate Mr Ghosn’s wedding and wife’s birthday in 2016. The charges in Japan also included embezzlement of monies by Ghosn which were flowing to Oman, SBA.

The attorney for the Taylors, is interesting, he is a sports lawyer.

Why anyone would defend a corrupt, wealthy & powerful automobile tycoon is beyond the ken of understanding. He's a thief and a crook.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Pandemic gets Japan's automated delivery services on the road See in context

Just what the world requires - so-called automated delivery vehicles. Someone asserts it will be great for the environment - based on absolutely no evidence or thought. An individual on a bicycle is more efficient. How this is possibly linked to changing demographics and a labor shortage is at best questionable - less people means less need. It appears to be a costly, weird techno-fantasy come to life. What is wrong with the world - that is rhetorical.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: China's longest dispatch of ships near Senkakus serious, says Japan See in context

So tell us again how "absurdist" or "mental " those claiming China wants to take the Ryukyus are again.

Mr. man-in-a-shell. Not during your lifetime will China occupy or inhabit Okinawa. In-spite of the fevered musings of reactionary & conservative members of the government floating rhetoric about China - which references meaningless discourse from a perceived enemy. It is wedded to a queer politics and mindless fantasy that posits an imperial agenda which is hallucination & mirage.

Okinotorishima, a collection of rocks that protrude from the sea during high-tide and many of the other islands will soon remain beneath the waves. All the bantering about islands is about natural resources with varying claims of ownership based on some manner of historical precedent or long-gone treaty.

A peaceful solution will be arranged or not, based on power - real power, as in the marketplace. Any other means will render possession moot - as any military involvement will escalate into war. Which will obliterate all involved. The most dangerous, militarized nation on earth would fare poorly against China. Japan, more so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: China's longest dispatch of ships near Senkakus serious, says Japan See in context

Some one posted a comment, criticizing Abe for not using military force against the Chinese navy. That anyone would desire war with the Chinese is beyond foolish. Another posits the eventual absorption of Okinawa by the Chinese. Which is absurdist. If not mental. All encouraged by conservative political leaders in the Diet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: 78% of A-bomb survivors feel difficulty in conveying experience: poll See in context

Bless them.

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Posted in: Anti-Olympic protest held in Tokyo See in context

sf2k: The Olympics Games and all relevant rights--including broadcasting, reproduction and staging rights--are the exclusive property of the IOC.

The organizers must protect the IOC from any damages or claims related to the organizing of the Games. This means the organizers may compensate the IOC for the damages they suffer, as well as payments the IOC is asked to make by third parties such as Olympic sponsors or broadcasters.

The IOC can make changes to the Olympic program at any time. Such changes may include adding or deleting sports. The organizers bear the cost of those changes.

Ashley Siba: Best you examine history and the legacy of Stalin, your hyperbole is silly & foolish. Abe is horrible, but nowhere near Stalin or Stalinist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's travel ban has hit 85% of European businesses there: trade lobby See in context

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. A conservative reactionary organization. Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million. Japan 127 million. Japan needs to grow, that is meaningless - the USA may become a backwater. Japan will be fine - it has international agreements and investments throughout the world - holds large amounts of foreign debt, USA, Australia, etc. PRs are hardly some powerhouse of employ. Disallowing foreigners during a pandemic is good policy. PRs pay taxes, which allows them to partake of the benefits provided by certain aspects infrastructure. PRs are not citizens and indeed owe fealty to literally, foreign governments which include military service and sanctioned benefits. It is not discrimination, that is complete hyperbole - for examples of discrimination in such less than benign states such as the USA and various European nations. Japanese citizens are rightfully allowed to return, under specific conditions. Same is true of numerous countries throughout the world, some African countries have completely barred entry to foreigners and only allow citizens. It's a pandemic. It requires tight restrictions and protocols.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to grant re-entry 'gradually' to foreign residents stuck abroad See in context

The privilege and entitlement individual foreigners express thru an inability to fathom they are not citizens of Japan nor natives is to be expected, the arrogance is amusing.

As a class, the assertions fabricated are basely absurd. It is an ongoing pandemic. Borders are purposefully sealed to aid in the prevention of a virus that is from an outside source. Japanese should and do have a right of return because they are citizens.

The empty rhetoric by foreigners who utter the cheap & smarmy tag, about Japanese, that the government has determined Japanese don't carry SARSCoV-2, as if it is simply a random means to exclude foreigners, further illustrates an inability to comprehend the rights and privileges of citizenship, as opposed to a 'migrant' and in fact a second class citizen. No one asserts Japanese are immune to SARSCoV-2 that is cheap rhetoric to justify a piss-poor, self-serving argument.

The hyperbole and nonsense that it is a human rights violation illustrates a gross ignorance and a dis-service to actual human rights violations.

Foreigners hold citizenship in their homeland and owe such, as in some countries, as military service, and also are eligible for healthcare and government sponsored retirement and other guaranteed rights that don't apply to Japanese citizens in those domains, the differences among countries is obvious and runs the gamut.

To prevent stress on the medical system resultant from foreigners who carry the virus from abroad, the simplest means to stave such off is to ban entry to all but citizens.

The continual harping on the level of testing, at this point naught but a panacea, is worthless nonsense - it is a useful tool for specific means.

Anyone talking about discrimination, who is from the USA and less so Europe are grossly unaware of the social conditions in their homeland. And as a descript related to the current SARSCoV-2 policy preventing the return of non-nationals is a gross stupidity.

As for business people flying in on private aircraft, how would that surprise anyone? As if privilege does not belong to the powerful and inequity is non-existent. Those who own the country rule it. Criticism of such carries the weight of a windsock.

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Posted in: Go To fiasco may see gov't paying Tokyoites' cancellation fees See in context

Wow. Foreigners whining about English usage. Scholars all. The Go To, seems a subsidy to the travel industry, more so the large agencies. Someone asserted restaurants should reduce the bill by 20% - that's completely mental, a sector of the community or business community that has been uprooted and quashed by the pandemic and you want a discount, that is a certain measure of the lack of a spirit of generosity and empathy. A complete lacking of charity. As for those complaining about the use of tax monies - the yen is a fiat currency, the government can print it at will. Refund of cancellation fees, certainly, covered by the government, sure, it is just a means of subsidy to one of many business sectors in financial trouble because of the pandemic. Instead of moaning about a needed subsidy, there should be a clamor for broader assistance instead of a selfish assertion denying it to any. As for domestic tourism - no one is compelled to vacation outside their prefecture or locale. That is a choice. Whatever the impulse or compulsion it is an individual act, being considerate is a very practiced art and should be held to during the ongoing pandemic. However, it is noticeable that certain folks are not 'in tune' with the notion of respect and being purposeful in deferring to required & needed protocols. No masks when interacting with counter help or waiters & waitresses, ignoring the constant peril of workers in the service economy and elsewhere. Blame Abe for that which is his responsibility. But, those who act contrary to existing protocols of which social distancing and stay in place are key bear responsibility for those actions. Don't shunt the blame onto an abstraction. This is not a culture of automatons.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's governors want more areas cut from travel program as needed See in context

In Nara, there has been an approximate 50% increase in the SARSCoV-2 infections the past two weeks. For the better part of a month it was hovering around 92 with almost no active cases. Though anecdotal, it is noticeably that numbers of folks are ignoring protocols from masks to social distancing. This is easily seen in cafes and restaurants and in the arcades. Nor are people remaining at home. There is increased pedestrian traffic. An influx of tourists this holiday weekend will punch the numbers up even higher. Stay in your neighborhood or locale and spend money on your local and regional economy.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's women grapple for judo equality See in context

It's not okay for men. Just an odd acceptance, which seems, perhaps, set to change after the 'scandal' at Tenri University. World judo champion Shohei Ono was forced to resign due to abusive behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese actor Haruma Miura, 30, dies in suspected suicide See in context

Miura lived his own life. There was a note. Contents unknown. Speculative musings using representative and anecdotal cites are not specific or particular. That a celebrity or media figure, certainly an actor or singer is headily diagnosed by strangers who have absolutely no insight into an individual who is essentially unknown to them except thru a public face is extremely queer. It is sad to know he died young and condolences are due his family and loved ones. What is due the dead, is respect and to honor their life. There are, of course, exceptions. This is not one.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Olympic chiefs meet to discuss Tokyo Games amid virus surge See in context

Just to note; The Olympics in Senegal are now scheduled for 2026. As for the rescheduled & proposed 2021 games: the issue is coin. The $25 billion already spent. The $3 to $8 billion required to hold the games next year. IOC suggested a date of 2022, which Abe opposed, as he will no longer be in office as PM, after September 2021, the man dressed as Mario and shot out of a tube in Brazil a sign he has no pride - he is concerned about his legacy or better ego, tied to a successful games. Koike wants the games to coincide with her ascension to the PM. It is about money, ego and ambition. None of which illustrates a concern for the citizenry or the serious task of flattening and eradicating the SARSCoV-2.

The games themselves, the marquee events are corporate gladiators jacked up on chemicals; does that reflect the spirit of the games? What does that herald? The gross corruption involved during the bidding process, is that the spirit of the games? What utter gibberish detached from reality. The spirit of the games: The entire NK women's soccer team being banned because of PEDs (NK claimed the entire team was struck by lightning and as a consequence ingested deer antler which caused failed tests for PEDs, that is not a fabrication). The entirety is ludicrous.

No mention is made of athletes who train in obscurity and reflect the one time amateur status of the competitors. All the Nike & Adidas sponsored athletes have premier events sponsored every year by the manufacturers of athletic goods and the effect on those is minimal. It's nice to see a raft of millionaire tennis players perform, or doped-up sprinters, but hardly 'the spirit of the games'. It is unfortunate for National Teams, such as women's soccer who train basically for The Olympics and World Cup, but otherwise are scattered to and fro in various leagues. Unfortunate for those athletes reaching their prime or at the end of their careers, especially in team sports. The 2020 games were envisioned by the powers-that-be to revive the Japanese economy (or at least the industrial tourist economy) into 2030. Japan as Fantasy Island. A bizarre posit that is dependent on the whims of tourists from afar. Food, trinkets and lodging as the basis for a domestic economy. The Olympics being the high point.

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Posted in: Japan and judo - an unbreakable bond See in context

Boxing is indeed a sport or athletic contest. But, the aim is to KO, TKO, or outpoint your opponent. It is full tilt and an excellent means of conditioning.

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