smartacus comments

Posted in: All Blacks quash Sonny Bill injury rumors See in context

Unfortunately, the forecast is for rain on Saturday afternoon, which will ruin one of the most anticipated pool games as a spectacle. Lots of high kicks to test the fullbacks. The timing of this World Cup is almost as bad as the 2020 Olympics. It should have been held out of typhoon season, from around Oct 11-Nov 23.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Two elderly sisters found dead of apparent heatstroke in their home See in context

I don't know if it's true or not but I've heard and read news stories that many elderly Japanese people actually don't like to use air conditioning, especially when they sleep. I wonder why.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 11-month-old girl dies of heatstroke after mother leaves her in car See in context

Very strange story. I read about this on some Japanese news sites but they weren't very clear about it either. I'm guessing the designated driver brought the family home, parked the car and maybe said good night and left without waiting to see if all three got out of the car. The little boy probably jumped out by himself and the drunken mother, if she can be called a mother, probably just staggered into the apartment with her son.

What I also don't understand is why she took the kids with her when she went out drinking in the first place. Her husband was out of town. Couldn't she stay at home with them? Surely she didn't leave them in the car while she was drinking with her friends.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Black lawmaker says white man told her 'Go back where you came from' See in context

Trump is like a virus and as it spreads, it brings out the worst in some people, deep prejudices that have mostly been suppressed. I've read of incidents like this before since Trump came to power. There was one video on YouTube, maybe two years ago, I think, about a woman in a beauty salon being berated or yelled out by a another woman who worked there, in which she used strong racial language. I think it ended with her saying something like "President Trump said so," in reference to whatever her rant was about, to justify what she was saying.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Posted in: Asia-Pacific meth drug trade worth up to $61 billion, U.N. says See in context

Toasted Heretic

Sorry, I can't agree with you about legalizing all drugs. I'm OK with marijuana but definitely not harder drugs. I just came back from Australia and the city I stayed is experiencing an ice epidemic in the 17-30 age group. These junkies are commiting murders, assaults, stealing cars, crashing them, breaking and entering, commiting vandalism. It's out of control. Most of the time, when they are caught, their brains are so addled, they don't even know if they are on earth. And I had a cousin, a 17-year-old girl who died from a heroin overdose. I saw her arm about three months before she died. It looked like a pin cushion. Her father wanted to go out and kill her ex-boyfriend who got her started.

Hard drugs are a scourge on society.

I'd be really interested to hear from any reader who is a recovering drug addict on this topic of whether they think it is a good idea to legalize all drugs.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Tottori wagyu - the rising star of beef - shines at Hotel New Otani Tokyo See in context

I love wagyu, but unfortunately it's a bit out of my budget range. But the New Otani is definitely worth a visit, if only to go walking in its beautiful gardens and see the carp ponds. You'd never know you were in the middle of a big city. It is so serene.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man stabs police officer, steals his gun in Osaka Pref; 33-year-old suspect sought See in context

The guy certainly planned it well. First the hoax call, and then he knew where to stab the officer who was wearing a stab-proof vest.

I wonder what he wants the gun for. It has five bullets in it. Random shooting of a group of people? Convenience store robberies? I'm afraid to think.

Not sure it's a good idea to cancel classes at schools tomorrow. If he's not caught, then what about the next day and the day after that?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Couple arrested over murder of 54-year-old woman in Kawasaki See in context

In defense of the police, they didn't know that a murder had been committed. All they knew was that a neighbor had reported loud voices, which sounded like an argument, coming from the apartment. I don't believe that is sufficient grounds for breaking down the door which was locked. Maybe they thought the resident had gone out and decided to come back later, which they did, to check on what had happened.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Mother, boyfriend sent to prosecutors over death of 2-year-old girl See in context

The police and authorities certainly dropped the ball again on this poor little girl but the main problem is still the initial abuse. No child welfare center, police, teacher or anyone else can stop a parent from abusing a child. All they can do is be vigilant for signs of abuse and then act.

For me, the continuing question is why parents do this to children, thinking it is discipline. I have no doubt that as I type this, right now, somewhere in Japan, a parent is physically hurting his/her child in the name of discipline.

I wonder what the couple in the story above thought when they saw on TV or read about the girl in Chiba who was fatally abused this year or that little girl last year who wrote letters pleading with her parents to stop hurting her. Did they shake their heads in disbelief and wonder how anyone could do that to their children?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump calls London mayor 'stone cold loser' as he arrives in Britain See in context

I saw some brief coverage of Trump's arrival on TV. Melania wouldn't hold his hand as they walked down the steps off the plane and finally, he grabbed her by the wrist but she never smiled once. Not a very good impression.

As for insulting the London mayor, that just shows he has no respect for his own office. I read somewhere that the only good relationship he has is with his Twitter account.

What a disgrace to the once-great U.S. that man is. Prince William and Harry forgotten what he said about their mother, either.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

Posted in: White House wanted USS McCain out of sight while Trump was at Yokosuka See in context

Trump probably didn't know about it, but given what we know about the White House and the sycophants he has surrounded himself, I have no doubt the story is true. Certainly, if I were the Wall Street Journal editor, I wouldn't publish such a story unless it had been verified by more than one source, and apparently it has.

The main issue is not whether or not tarps were used or not but whether any instructions to keep the USS John S McCain out of sight were issued.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump arrives in Tokyo; meets Japanese business leaders See in context

I wish one of Trump's staff or the U.S. ambassador would tell him to pronounce Abe's name properly. He keeps calling him Abi.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Australian election vote count reveals close contest See in context

Most of the polls predicted a Labor victory. I guess this proves the old saying that the only poll that matters is the one on election day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do Japanese pro baseball team uniforms have the players' names in Romaji instead of kanji? See in context

Probably because some kanji names are difficult to read while others have more than one way to read them. High school baseball teams used to use kanji on their uniforms, but in recent years, they have switched to romaji for the players' names.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Keyboard predators: Southeast Asia's kids targeted by online pedophiles See in context

If there are any therapists or psychologists among readers, I'd be interested to know what causes a person to become a pedophile. I'm genuinely curious about this sickness of the mind. Or maybe to a pedophile, it's not a sickness but a natural urge. Does anyone know? And also why are most pedophiles (I assume) males? Are there female pedophiles? We never seem to read stories about them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Driver killed in car crash during police pursuit See in context

I understand the point of view that the police shouldn't give chase and just find the driver later through analysis of street surveillance camera footage or the license plate. But there are also times when it might be necessary for the police to pursue a fleeing vehicle. Suppose the car is carrying a kidnap or murder victim, someone who has committed a robbery, for example. He may be a drunk driver. If they track him down later, after the alcohol has left his system, the penalty will be less severe.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you know now that you wished you had known when you were 21? See in context

Plenty. I'd tell myself to invest in Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and a few other companies that didn't exist when I was 21. I'd bet on all the big winners in sports. And I would tell my 21-year-old self to not go to that party where I would the woman with whom I would have a disastrous marriage.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian court finds man guilty of plotting to blow up airliner See in context

This is quite frightening. Law enforcement authorities have to be lucky every day of the year to foil these plots. Terrorists only have to be lucky once.

I wonder how many attacks are being planned in various countries right now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump offers 'heartfelt appreciation' to outgoing emperor See in context

I don't think I have seen a husband and wife look less in love than the impression I get from this photo of the Donald and his wife.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Posted in: Emperor Akihito to make last remarks before abdication See in context


To the best of my knowledge, Masako has not been disabled by a stroke, or has cancer, MS, ALS or such. If she had been, then it would be a different situation.

I don't know what is ailing Masako but she will be an empress tomorrow and millions of Japanese will want to see her out and about with her husband. A statement from the Imperial Household Agency saying she is suffering from stress and can't attend an event doesn't look good. It's just my opinion.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Emperor Akihito to make last remarks before abdication See in context

I saw on the news that Empress Michiko didn't attend this morning's ritual because of pain in her arms and neck and that Crown Princess Masako also didn't attend because of her "stress-induced illness." Masako betetr get over her "stress-induced illness" in a huryy because it won't look good if Emperor Naruhito has to go out and about to events by himself or host dinners for visiting heads of state by himself. One of the things that endeared the outgoing emperor and empress to the people was the fact that for most of the time, they did things together, especially as they got older.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Key questions and answers about Emperor Akihito's abdication See in context

I hope the emperor and empress don't disappear completely from public view after Wednesday. It would be nice to see them out and about, at a museum, concert or just walking in the park. I'm sure visiting royals would like to pay a courtesy call to renew old acquaintances (strictly in private, of course). It would be a shame if they became recluses in their palace.

For example, I know they are very passionate about sports for the disabled and it would be wonderful to see them attend the Paralympics next year.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Body of Japanese woman killed in Sri Lanka bombing arrives at Narita See in context

That's a very poignant photo. I wonder if there are many countries in the world where airport workers would bow like that to the coffin of an ordinary citizen.

I fear for the future that our kids will grow up in.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump expected to watch sumo on May 26 during Japan visit See in context

Abe is already meeting Trump at the end of April in Washington and then Trump is coming to Osaka for the G-7 in June. So why the trip in May? Because for some reason Japan is desperate that he be the first foreign leader to meet the new emperor. It's ridiculous. Why would Trump even want to come to the same country in two consecutive months?

And I hope someone in the State Department tells Trump how to pronounce Abe's name. For the past two years, he's been calling him "Prime Minister Abi."

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: What do you think will be some of the biggest challenges that Crown Prince Naruhito will face when he becomes emperor on May 1? See in context

Following in his father's footsteps will be difficult at first. I remember when Akihito became emperor, no one knew what kind of emperor he would be like. It wasn't really until he and the empress got older that they began to be admired and highly regarded by people, especially older Japanese. By the time they were in their 70s and then 80s, they were a familiar sight comforting disaster victims.

I think for Naruhito, a lot will depend on Masako. She has to be seen with her husband everywhere he goes and whenever they greet visiting foreign dignitaries. This excuse given out by the Imperial Household Agency that she suffers some sort of stress won't cut it when she becomes empress. If her husband has to go out and about alone, he won't be highly regarded.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Brunei's new Islamic criminal laws including stoning to death for gay sex and amputation for theft See in context

I wish more Muslim leaders around the world would condemn this practice, and the brand of Islam of Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and so on. What, for example, does the imam at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch think about this enforcement of sharia law in Brunei? How do the good citizens of Christchurch (and PM Ardern) who showed their solidarity with Muslims feel about this story?

I know some fine Muslims who hate this sort of extremism, but unlike other religions, there doesn't seem to be one leader that can speak for its adherents.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: When pedophiles or others convicted of sex crimes are released from prison, do you think residents in communities they move to should be informed of who they are and where they are living? See in context

This is a very difficult question. There was an excellent British movie int he 1960s about the subject, called "The Mark." My feeling is that if everyone in the neighborhood knows, they'll ostracize that person, blame him for any incident and maybe even beat him up.

The problem is these people have to go somewhere after they have done their time or if they are in therapy. If they keep getting hounded from one community to another, where do they end up?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Court turns down Ghosn's request to attend Nissan board meeting on Tuesday See in context

Why would he even want to go? He is not allowed to talk to any senior Nissan official. He'll have to sit there silently. If he says anything to any of them, it's a violation of his bail conditions. Besides, he's going to be voted off the board at the April 8 meeting anyway.

I think Ghosn needs to keep a low profile until his trial.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Court approves Ghosn's release on ¥1 bil bail See in context

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how he would actually pay the 1 billion yen in bail money? He wouldn't have that much sitting in a bank account. Even if he could get it in cash, it would be too bulky to transport. He couldn't use a credit card. I'm guessing all his assets are tied up in investments overseas. So how does he post bail?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to ban physical punishment of children by parents See in context

I'd also like to know how they are going to enforce it. And does it mean that if a parent smacks his/her child, they are breaking the law?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

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