Stephane Dauzat comments

Posted in: Obama asks Congress to authorize Syria strike See in context

It seems like Obama has taken the easy out on this one. Congree NEVER approves anything he wants them to, and he knows that.

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Posted in: Noda tells of nights of hard drinking with Geithner, Cameron See in context

He was one of the better guys to hold the office. Too bad he had the charisma of an oyster and his party was basically a bunch of squabbling kids. Apparently Japan needs a forceful leader more than a competent one.

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Posted in: Pachinko man See in context

The 2 masked guys creeped me out

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Posted in: Yakuza may also be eligible for jury duty See in context

Oh yeah, I'd just forgotten. Members of criminal syndicates can and do register legally in Japan, and you can just look them up in the phone book.

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Posted in: Where is Obama's change we can believe in? See in context

Wow, what a nice rant on someone who hasn't even taken office yet! I do believe his policy on Iraq and Afghanistan has been made clear, and the iraqi government is paving the way for it already. As for gun laws he also has mentioned repeatedly that he won't touch the subject.

But sure, throw in some bits of conspiracy theory to wrap the whole thing up!

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Posted in: Senior citizens being wooed back into workforce See in context

Senior citizen get to be wooed back, yet at the same time the young part-timers get booed out. Talk about a country standing on its head...

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Posted in: Where is Japan's version of Obama? See in context

Japan may not have an Obama around for the near future but they had their Hillary in the race for premiership along with Aso. Her names Yuriko Koike and I'm sure we'll be hearing more about her. Incidentally I think she's the only person running for LDP leadership who isn't nth generation from a big political. Granted, on her political view she's closer to Condi than to Hillary.

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Posted in: College students find job offers withdrawn See in context

What bugs me is that the companies will prefer hiring new graduates rather that people who have fended for themselves for a year or two through a difficult economy. So if you haven't got a job right after graduating, you're "spoiled material" and your career is ruined. Same if you're 30 or unmarried.

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Posted in: Aso evasive about his schedule See in context

“Aso possibly thinks nighttime is his private time and he doesn’t have to tell the media what he does and where he goes.” That pretentious fart of a journalist seems to think Aso and the whole world revolves around him.

If a country's prime minister can't have a bit of confidentiality when conducting business, who can?

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Posted in: Caregivers slave away for low pay See in context

Yeah when you consider that becoming a nurse in Japan is crazily expensive, like $30 000, and then you have to slave away for untold hours at low pay? Who would want that? I was in the Philippines recently, and a colleagues brother, a doctor in the Philippines, chose to go to the US and work as a nurse (It's quite common and actually a serious problem as it deprives the Philippines of doctors). But Japan just isn't that attractive even for Filipino nurses.

Opening up to foreign caregivers is a temporary fix, but limited because of the langage barrier. Japan urgently needs to train more doctors and nurses locally, by giving student grants or generally making these studies more attractive and affordable. Currently only the (eldest) sons of doctors can afford the studies, and even they are turned away by the brutal working hours.

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Posted in: Want to see the real Japan? Try hitchhiking See in context

Tried hitch-hiking from Kyoto to Tokyo once, and it was not an easy experience. Japanese drivers are just not used to hitch-hikers, so it took me 3 hours of gesturing to get someone to stop and pick me up - and that someone turned out to be a colleague who had a good laugh at me! He could only take me part of the way, so had to repeat the process near Nagoya where it took even longer. Departed from Kyoto at 6am wanting, arrived in Tokyo at 11 PM, well, at least I made it but for less than 6000 yen for an overnight bus it was a bit pointless.

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Posted in: Japanese girls go sexier in their fashion styles See in context

It is a fine line between an appreciative look and a pervy stare, or between a flattering comment and harrassment, but a line that a gentleman should know how to walk. ("How much?" is harrassment no matter what!)

As a rule of thumb for most girls, if the one doing the staring is a good looking, confident man, it's not staring. If it's a balding nerd, call the cops!

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Posted in: Two men wearing Spider-Man masks assault pedestrians in Osaka See in context

Haah, they took the risk of assaulting 4 people and only got away with 2000 yen? They could have made better doing spiderman antics at a busy train station!

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Posted in: Top 5 contract employment myths See in context

My girlfriend has been working through a haken gaisha for quite a while, and I can check out all myths except possibly #4

1 - She once lost 3 jobs in a 2 month period (one of those was because her haken gaisha violated some laws regarding dispatch work and got busted.

2 - Yeah, she got offered increased responsibilities after she had spent a couple years in the same haken company (not on the same job note) - because 2 years is a huge time in the haken world, most people drop out within months.

3 - She has some skill in IT and design, but never got any job that came even close to that line of work. Skill or preference didnt seem to be a factor in her haken gaisha's dispatching policy. I have to add an exception to that because our haken worker at my office is oustandingly skilled and sharp. But then it's a woman who could have had a great career if she hadn't chosen to marry and go part time.

4 - OK, hourly wages were a bit better than entry-level regular employees (about 20%), but were still damn cheap, and the only way for her to save any money was to work night shifts or overtime 6-7 days a week. Considering she had to pay for her own health insurance and would frequently find herself out of a job and with no pay for weeks at a time, I'm pretty sure she didnt come winning out of the situation.

5 - See above. Sure National health scheme is mandatory. That just means she had to pay for it out of her own bucks. Of course she never qualified for unemployment insurance.

oh, and paid holidays.?. HA HA HA, good one!

Not only the legal protection for part-time and contract workers is extremely weak in japan, but most haken kaisha are operated by real sharks who can and do bend every rule in the system in order to make a buck. Considering how hard it is nowadays to raise kids on a single income, our new birth minister Ms Oguchi might want to try making that sector a bit more attractive.

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Posted in: Nikkei plunges 9% to 5-year low on panic selling See in context

I don't think the financial mess is going to be half as bad in Japan as it is turning out to be in the rest of the world. They already went through the whole subprime thing once, and the trauma was bad enough that they played it safe this time around. Notice that the stock market is flopping, but yet the Yen is about the only currency that stays strong now.

The companies we see suffer the most are the ones relying on export, but ultimately exports are not all of the japanese economy. Then you've got funds all over the world who financed investment with low-interest yen loans, and are now scrambling all over to closes these positions. As a result, I can imagine that Japanese banks and companies, even though they face a gloomy market outlook, find themselves sitting on tons of cash at the moment.

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Posted in: Casio brings slo-mo to the masses See in context

Yeah even on my DSLR which has 14 megs, I often use only half unless I want a crazy amount of details... Damn I wish I could shoot 40 frames per second at any resolution!

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Posted in: Duchovny's visit to Japan up in the air See in context

What brave new world we live in! Sex addiction is now considered a disorder! We're heading straight for the alternate future of Zardoz!

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Posted in: U.S. serviceman breaks into love hotel room See in context

How to ruin a date: "Have a US serviceman drop through the ceiling", although it could be a nice starting line for an adult movie.

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Posted in: Aso elected LDP president See in context

Well, you have to remember those who vote in LDP elections are just LDP party members, which means basically a bunch of 60-ish more or less disgruntled ossans. You can't expect drastic, ground breaking choices from these guys... Koizumi was a freak.

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Posted in: Palin says she's ready to step in as president See in context

More than her experience, ability or temperament, it's her record and hillbilly stance on abortion, creationism and such that scares the hell out of me. Even as Veep she'd be a nightmare.

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Posted in: Koike emerges as contender for prime minister See in context

I kinda liked what she did as defense minister, started a big cleanup (for once before the scandals happened), but some of the guys she tried to fire had some major backup in the LDP, so in the end she got fired instead. 6 month later those same guys got hit in the defense procurement scandal, so she got the last laugh.

However she's know to be a pretty hardline conservative, so I wish there was a more moderate alternative to her and Aso.

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Posted in: CARE International Japan takes holistic approach to fighting poverty See in context

In other countries, people donate money to give themselves good conscience and more often than not for tax deduction purposes. Japanese NGO members on the other side, give their time and sweat to help the world's problems. Even all the money in the world won't solve hunger, poverty and disease problems without some courageous people who just go out there and get things done.

Besides, I think japanese governmental aid spending more than makes up for the lack of private donations. Even though they reined it in, it's still one of the highest in the world.

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Posted in: McCain offends Paris Hilton's mom See in context

I wouldn't have believed it, but Paris' response was worth watching and not only for the hotness.

Paris for president! It would still be a net IQ increase at the white house...

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Posted in: Sex crimes rising with thermometer See in context

That style of reporting and mentality really gives me raging fits every time! Sex crimes explained away as the woman's fault for being attractive!

Women have every right to look as sexy as they feel comfortable with. Men worth the name have no excuse whatsoever to act upon it in anything but the most gentlemanly way. Period.

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Posted in: Tokyo's Lolita subculture thumbs nose at men See in context

Lol, my first encounter with the gosu-loli style was way back in 2002, and that was a group in harajuku led by a 1m90 male. freaky

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Posted in: How airlines deal with 'customers of size' See in context

Ooops, I meant to take Ausintokyo and his wife as an example, not kwabish. I hope none of you took offense, and I'm certainly not implying that any of you are overweight.

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Posted in: How airlines deal with 'customers of size' See in context

Except for the super overweight, 1 passenger takes 1 seat. Even if 1 guy weights in at 50kg or less, he will still require 1 seat. Extra weight for a person affects fuel costs only, whereas luggage also take up space in the cargo hold. Paying proportionally to your weight and luggage is absurd: It affects only fuel consumption (so should impact only fuel surcharge), and not to a huge extent since passengers + cargo accounts for 1/3 the weight of an aircraft maximum. (1/2 the weight is the aircraft itself, and the rest is fuel)

Most airlines publish that total fuel costs are about 40-50% of a ticket (they used to be about 15%!), and the passenger's own weight account for 30% of that cost. Therefore passenger's weight + luggage should account for 15% of the ticket, so Kwaabish, being twice his wife's weight, would end up paying about 7.5% more than she does - if she doesn't make up for it with luggage, like my girlfriend does every time we travel.

I guess the difference is still significant, but not enough for the airlines to go through the hassle of implementing it. After all, since they'd have to compensate lighter-than-average passengers, they don't stand to gain anything from it!

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Posted in: As U.S. Internet companies expand worldwide, being un-American can be key to success See in context

I don't think it's about being un-american as much as adjusting to what local people like and/or expect.

That said if anyone is in for a scary experience, try to load up one of the korean "portals" such as naver or daum. Be prepared for a flood of flashy gifs, popup ads, and news and gossip crammed in every possible bit of the page. It can take several minutes to load even on super-fast broad-band (I think more often it's the computer itself that gets bloated down by that much data, not the broadband)

Last time I checked google.co.kr was the same old google we know and love. The big difference with korean site is that they're NOT search engine. They are portals that feed you pre-digested information and guide you to a galaxy of affiliated sites. Compared to that, searching requires creative thinking - which is frowned upon.

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Posted in: Boeing won't invest in Japan's new passenger jet See in context

There's no big economic need, sure, but there's a strategic need for Japan to keep up with China's forays in the aerospace sector.

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