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Shannon Jacobs comments

Posted in: Kodaira pays emotional tribute to late friend after gold medal win See in context

I'm not criticizing the winner, but I'm reacting to the earlier comment about the motivations of the suicide. I'm pretty sure that failing to make the squad was not the only factor, but I'm also pretty sure that she wouldn't have killed herself if she was about to compete in the Olympics. Perhaps afterwards if she didn't take the gold?

I think this is part of a much larger problem, which I call "the excessively large scale of competition" in today's world. Not so long ago, it was relatively easy to be an exceptional person. Everyone you cared about would already know if you were the fastest runner in the village, but if not the fastest runner, then they knew some other way in which you were exceptional. In contrast, just considering this particular event there was a huge rank separation between the three Japanese skaters, but that was related to only a few seconds of real time.

Perhaps it's better to consider it from the time perspective? Back then your fame as a fast runner might last for 15 years, but now Kodaira-san's great victory will be remembered for perhaps 15 minutes (on average). Or another example from American football. They just had what many people have described as the greatest Super Bowl in history, but they have to do it all over again next year, just as though nothing actually happened.

We have REAL concerns and problems to worry about. Instead, we are putting rather too much emphasis on sports. How many years of her brief life did Sumiyoshi-san devote to sports before killing herself?

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Posted in: Anti-Trump rally See in context

I wish I had been able to find out about this protest in time to join in. Either the organizers did a poor job of publicizing it or someone else (like the google) did a better job of NOT publicizing it. I started searching before the nepotist-daughter-in-chief arrived in Japan, and I would have protested against nepotism, too, if I could have.

Anyway, the only protest I could find was an evening event near Shinjuku. There were a few hundred people there for the speechifying part. The march part lasted an hour. I'd say most of the participants were 中核派, which is exactly NOT what I wanted. I want to join "Extreme Moderates Against Trump", but apparently that's not allowed and does not exist.

While I didn't understand much of what went on, I think I was inspired to correct and update the ol' pledge of allegiance to suit the era of DJT:

"I pledge allegiance to the Donald for the greater profits of the Trump Organization, and to the Putin whom he fears, half a nation under #PresidentTweety, divided, with lip service and judges for all #BolshevikRepulbicans."

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Posted in: Japan's economy shrinks 1.8% in April-June See in context

Here's a hint: If you tax a discretionary activity, then people will be discouraged and do less of it. Not all, but a large part of your personal spending, is discretionary, and taxing you whenever you buy something you don't really need to buy will cause most people to buy less of it or buy it less frequently. Since the economy depends on people spending money, it hurts the economy.

To contrast, earning an income is NOT discretionary, at least not for the vast majority of people. That's why progressive income taxes have worked so well in the past. The most glaring example is America in the 50's when the upper tax rates were quite high--but still represented real income gains for those people who were lucky enough to have those big incomes. Yes, I said "lucky" because there are plenty of people who work quite hard without the big incomes. There's a difference between the super-rich and the rest of us. They LOVE money MUCH more. Unfortunately, they suffer from an incurable problem. There is NO amount of money that will satisfy their desperate need for more money, no matter how many politicians they bribe.

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