sarahsuz25 comments

Posted in: What makes conspiracy theorists tick and what is the best way to combat their beliefs? See in context

The best way to combat the belief is to understand what makes them cling to it in the first place. A lot of people find a sort of comfort in believing that somebody has control of things, whether it be a government or an international Jewish conspiracy, the Illuminati, or what have you.

After the March 11 earthquakes, several of the more paranoid internet forums were filled with speculation about whether the earthquakes were somehow caused by China. This is a ridiculous idea, of course, but for some people it makes them feel better to believe that people or some sinister force was behind it, than to accept that natural disasters and other bad things just happen, and there's not much you can do about it.

As for the Holocaust deniers, I'm sure for many of them accepting that it happened would require accepting something about themselves or their country or cultural heritage, etc., that they don't like. Pretending it never happened is more comforting.

I think it's ineffective to try to address these beliefs with logic alone, because the beliefs already defy logic. Understanding and addressing the emotions underlying the beliefs will get you farther.

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Posted in: $6.1 mil awarded to Tennessee man in Japan child custody battle See in context

Parents are selfish when it comes to their desired "perfect" child. 100% or nothing! Parents will never under stand the alienation half children deal with for the rest of their lives. Never able to claim an identity like the rest of their friends and families. If you have not guessed it, yes I am half.

That's pretty unfair to your parents. It's hard enough to find a partner with whom to share this life; if we had to take any and all potential issues that our hypothetical non-existant children might possibly have into account when choosing a mate, nobody would ever get married and have children. It's not like breeding dogs.

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Posted in: Ice rivals See in context

Keep posting pics of Ando Miki. I'm glad she won and not Mao. I had enough of Mao and her overexposure, and the Japanese media for not showing Miki more.

Agreed 100%, I enjoy watching Miki much more than Mao, who is so uptight. Miki has a grace and maturity that is a pleasure to watch. I hope we'll see more of her.

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Posted in: Quake-hit areas stuck with huge amount of unwanted donated items See in context

LFRAgain

I’m genuinely surprised that after the Kobe quake, someone in Japan didn’t take it upon themselves to set up a system of non-profit used goods stores like the ones administered by the Salvation Army or Goodwill in the United States. Seems like a tragic waste.

The Salvation Army does have a used clothing store, as do quite a few other localized charities. The problem is disposing of the clothing that can't be sold. At Goodwill and other such stores in the US, they will accept any donation because clothing that can't be sold in the stores can go to rag-balers, etc. In Japan everything costs money to throw away, and charities have to be very careful about what they accept, because money spent on disposing of clothes is money that can't be used for charity work.

However, some cities will donate usable items put out on clothing disposal day. I know my city does.

I think people should change how they think about clothing as charity. If something is worn out and holey and you don't want to wear it anymore, chances are nobody else does, either. Consider buying and donating new clothing instead. If something is still wearable; consider holding off on replacing it and donating the money you save to charity. Don't think of charity as something you do to get rid of stuff you don't need; think of giving the recipients of charity what they need and want.

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Posted in: Quake-hit areas stuck with huge amount of unwanted donated items See in context

As much as I am sure their intensions were well meant, but this disaster was a good excuse for people to fill their 'motainai' needs and get rid of a lot of their old goods without having to pay for it to be picked up.

This is exactly right. I volunteer with a local organization that was taking donations on behalf of a partner organization in Miyagi, and it looked like a lot of the people emptied their attics and closets out and brought the contents over as-is. We weren't even accepting clothing donations, but people still brought bags of their ratty, worn out clothes. We accpeted blankets at first, but so many of the blankets received were unusable that we had to stop accepting them--our organization can't afford to pay the disposal costs for people's junk.

We did get mostly what we asked for, water and hygiene products etc., but the number of people who tried to use it as an opportunity to ditch their unwanted junk, and who became belligerent when we refused to take said junk, was astonishingly high.

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Posted in: Repetitive post-quake public service messages drove TV viewers nuts See in context

The cartoon one with the animals grew on me after a while, but the rest made me want to poke my eyes out.

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Posted in: NGOs warn evacuees of possible sexual assaults in shelters See in context

It's not that hard to figure out: traditional social order has been disrupted, many people are alone and vulnerable, the usual protections of police, etc. are not as readily available as they are in normal circumstances, people have been traumatized and demoralized by their experiences.

Maybe increased sexual assaults have not made it into the news, but my prefecture's volunteer bureau has started warning female volunteers not to go to Tohoku alone, so I doubt that this is all in the realm of idle speculation.

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Posted in: NGOs warn evacuees of possible sexual assaults in shelters See in context

OrangeW3dge

I'm not sure what exactly you're trying to say here. Certainly assault is assault, but women and children are much more likely to be targets of sexual assault than men, thus making this information particularly useful to them. Also victims of sexual assault aren't at fault for their assault because they are gullible or easily manipulated. Women and children are generally physically weaker than men, and are rarely taught how to protect themselves from this kind of crime. And then they are often discouraged from reporting such crimes, by their families or even the police. Arming people with information that may protect them is hardly inciting fear. Information helps people to manage their fears.

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Posted in: Trial of Lindsay Ann Hawker murder suspect Ichihashi to start July 4 See in context

He won't get the death penalty--it is almost never given for only 1 victim.

There's a guy in my neighborhood that has been following me around for weeks trying to get me to come to his house "for English lessons." I stopped in at the koban to let them know, but they seemed unconcerned as I haven't let him get close enough to touch me yet. He has a nasty habit of popping out around corners in the dark...

Anyway, I wonder how many women will have to die until the police start recognizing the threat in people like this?

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Posted in: Earthquake, tsunami drills may have been counter-productive See in context

Setting aside the question – though it’s the biggest question of all – of whether a country as naturally hazardous as Japan had any business opting as it did for nuclear power generation on such a scale,

Seriously? With so few native fuel resources (and coming out of a terrible war in which imported fuel was a big factor), Japan had little choice but to adopt nuclear power, and they used it safely for 50+ years. They weren't prepared well enough for what is one of the biggest earthquakes the world has ever seen, but it's ridiculous to look back at that and say that they were stupid to adopt nuclear power in the first place.

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Posted in: AC Japan makes new ads with SMAP, others after viewers complain See in context

The aisatsu cartoon one really grows on you after a while. Also, all the remixes of it on youtube are great. I'll be sad to see that one go--I'd take that over SMAP or the cancer ad any day.

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Posted in: Don't forget your pets when disaster strikes See in context

PenelopePitstop

Have you tried notifying the landlords? They might let you in to feed the pets or take them out just so they don't have to deal with the smell of a dead animal.

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Posted in: Why are Tokyo cabbies so clueless? See in context

I know my city well and take cabs only occasionally, but when I do I almost always know the usual routes to where I'm going. Even so I've had cab drivers try to take me for a ride, so to speak, on multiple occasions. Usually just letting them know that I know they're going the wrong way solves the problem, but sometimes they get really argumentative, at which point I have them pull over and let me out right away. I understand they don't make a lot of money, but I don't make enough to give charity to scamming cab drivers, either. And if they get that angry at being called out on trying to rob me, then I don't feel safe in a cab with them anyway. There are other honest cab drivers out there that I can give my business to.

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Posted in: Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko See in context

@CruzControl

Let me know if you do, I'd love to help! There was a rescue organization in my area for a while that I used to foster kittens for, but after one of the people running (and funding) it died it was hard to keep it going. It's hard to do much as a rescue focused on helping strays because you quickly become overwhelmed by all the people who are looking for a guilt-free way to get rid of their pet. The organization we had here would let people surrender their pets as long as they were willing to pay for its upkeep until it found a new home, but that's hard to enforce.

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Posted in: Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko See in context

I just adopted a dog trying to get a cat now too.

I was really only asking the person I quoted, who claimed that Japanese people loved dogs more than people of other countries, which is a ridiculous claim, especially if the person making said claim had never adopted any strays himself, when many of us foreigners living here have.

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Posted in: What we need is a society in which nobody feels abandoned. See in context

He's getting a lot of flack for it, but personally I think he's on to something. Suicide is a multi-faceted problem, and throwing more medication at people isn't really the answer, as can be seen from the number of people who kill themselves while on medication. What Kan is doing is acknowledging that you can't dismantle in a few decades a social support system that has existed for centuries and not expect there to be any social repercussions. Unfortunately that system is probably irreplaceable, but trying to come up with something to fill in some of the gaps is about all that can be done at this point.

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Posted in: Why do you think such a big deal has been made by media and police about a student's online cheating during university entrance exams? See in context

Because of all the people out there who feel that their lives were ruined because they didn't get into a top university, or that their kids will be homeless if they don't get into Todai. People actually kill themselves over these stupid exams; they can't possibly bear the idea that someone might have gotten something they didn't deserve.

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Posted in: Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko See in context

Japanese people love dogs more than other counterparts ....

That's an interesting conclusion to draw. May I draw your attention to what happens to the thousands of unwanted dogs in this country? How many stray dogs have you adopted? (Me: 2, and 3 cats.)

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Posted in: 6-month-old baby boy dies at home of care worker in Yokohama See in context

SIDS usually happens in the child's own home. This woman was in the same room as the sleeping babies--there's not much else she could have done to prevent the death.

My mother used to do this kind of home daycare when we were kids. She had 7-8 kids to look after, plus her own three, so she would have the infants nap in a crib in the bedroom and just check on them every 15 minutes or so. That's about all you can do, other than making sure that there is nothing in the crib to smother the baby, and that he/she is positioned correctly. Most mothers don't sit leaning over their babies when they sleep. SIDS still happens even when you do everything right.

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Posted in: Huckabee denies criticizing Portman's pregnancy See in context

She's having a baby with her fiance. It's not really a morally degenerate thing to do. If your kid got pregnant or impregnated someone out of wedlock, would you not encourage them to get married? That's what these people are doing.

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Posted in: What do you think about the custom in Japan of women giving chocolates to their male co-workers on Valentine’s Day as a form of “obligation,” and then receiving chocolates back from the men on White D See in context

It is a wonderful tradition because it is Japan's tradition. Halloween and Christmas in Japan are copies of American traditions even for Japanese Christians.

Valentine's Day is no more Japanese than Christmas or Halloween. And since Christianity in Japan predates the existence of America, your comment about Japanese Christians is inaccurate and rather insulting.

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Posted in: What do you think about the custom in Japan of women giving chocolates to their male co-workers on Valentine’s Day as a form of “obligation,” and then receiving chocolates back from the men on White D See in context

When I first landed here & worked in a J-office the women hated it & the guys often forgot in March, then the ladies got smarter & pooled funds to buy the dudes something cheaper, by the time I left it had pretty much stopped to everyones relief.

In my office we're still in the first stage, moving towards the second. I can't wait for the third.

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Posted in: Boy, 14, killed by train in Nikko following school disciplinary warning See in context

Suicide is a very personal act that is hard to generalize. Maybe he had a long string of problems leading up to this, or maybe he didn't, and it was just an impulse act. Maybe he was panicked about being in trouble with his parents because he knew they would react badly, or maybe he just thought they might react badly and was scared of the possibility. Maybe the trouble involved his parents finding something out about him that he didn't want them to know. Maybe it was the school's fault, or the parents, or maybe neither. Either way he's not around to tell us and we'll never know.

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Posted in: 3 teens slain in Mexico; 2 of them U.S. citizens See in context

and high school kids?? Buying cars?? Not their parents?? How do these kids have so much $$$$?? Geez, maybe they were drug dealers up in El Paso and somebody recognized them?

Come on, lots of high schools kids in the US buy cars. You can easily get a decent used car for one summer's worth of work. Just looking at cars does not make them drug dealers. I bought a car for $1,000 at age 16 with money I saved up from summer jobs and babysitting, and it's really common to do so.

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Posted in: What do you think about the custom in Japan of women giving chocolates to their male co-workers on Valentine’s Day as a form of “obligation,” and then receiving chocolates back from the men on White D See in context

I wish both sides just exchanged chocolates on the same day--the stuff that's available around Valentine's day is much nicer than what's available on White Day, and some guys just 'forget' to buy white day chocolates, but woe be unto the woman who forgets to give them anything.

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Posted in: What do you think of school uniforms in Japan? See in context

Maybe the ladies can chime in here: Are pants truly warmer than a longish skirt?

Yes! Our (elem. and jr high) girls are not allowed to wear their skirts much longer than knee-length (full-length uniform skirts are not allowed anywhere that I've ever heard of) and they are not allowed to wear tights or anything other than regulation ankle socks on the way to or from school. (They can wear gym shorts, etc., underneath, as long as it doesn't show lower than the hem of the skirt.) Pants would obviously be warmer as they would cover more skin.

I don't have a problem with uniforms or skirts in general; I just have a problem with requiring weather-inappropriate clothing for children. My children's (public) school restricts everything including coats, hats, scarves, gloves, etc. on the way to and from school, not just in the classroom. Shorts are fine when they're running in gym class, but not when they're sitting still in a classroom with no heat in the winter.

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Posted in: What do you think of school uniforms in Japan? See in context

No public primary school in ward uses Uniforms, similar for the wards around. The kids from the private schools that have Uniforms look cold though.

I think you'll find that many places outside of Tokyo have kids in uniforms starting in elementary, and some places even in kindergarten. I don't know of any public elementary schools here in Shikoku that don't require uniforms--here it's the private schools that have looser dress codes.

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Posted in: What do you think of school uniforms in Japan? See in context

As a high school exchange student, I liked the uniform. It was nice not having to think about what to wear everyday.

As a parent, I'm not so keen on the elementary school uniforms, because I think young kids should be dressed warmer in the winter (our prefecture has shorts for boys year-round, no heat in the classrooms.) Older kids and teenagers are fine, but little kids should be dressed appropriately for the weather.

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Posted in: How many Katos are out there, ready to explode in rage? See in context

She had traveled to Tokyo on an overnight bus, and was in court on Jan 25, the day prosecutors called for the death penalty. She’d made the eight-hour trip at least 10 times before.

Why is she so obsessed with this guy?

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Posted in: Super Ball See in context

How can you gamble on a gumball machine? Just bet on what color will come out?

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