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tkoind2 comments

Posted in: New immigration laws hinder some married expats returning to UK See in context

Absurd laws. Why do we empower idiots to rule over us. All over the world governments are passing laws that are out of touch with the times. They started this whole globalization thing, now that we ordinary people have embraced it, they want to punish us for it.

The UK and other countries need to change this thinking and make it possible for people to freely migrate with their spouses. If governments do not, then we have to fight back! This is not only a UK problem. It is increasingly a global one.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think it will be bad for Japan if the ruling Liberal Democratic Party gains control of the upper house after Sunday's election? See in context


to A Realist. Strong and intelligent do not need to be mutually exclusive qualities. Although the LDP seems to excel in producing strong but unintelligent leaders. Abe is riding a trend by appealing to the nationalist and by leveraging economic fixes that are unsustainable. Like a typical Japanese pop act that sells a million copies and then disappears into obscurity.

What Japan needs is an inspired, intelligent leadership. One that recognizes that strength does not equate to nationalism, but to smart and creative governance.

Japan needs leadership with the courage to really change the root problems and not use social sedatives and treatments of symptoms to pacify and wow the natives.

Japan needs leadership with the courage to embrace immigration. To make Tohoku a tax free commercial zone for companies investing in Japan. To pursue a global role as a passive peace making state and not drift back to the dead end past of nationalism.

Japan needs leadership that will put people to work in Jobs that will last. To follow what 70% of the nation want and move towards green energy.

Above all to disempower the Oyaji corruption and enable the people of this country to finally come first.

Abe is none of this. His party is none of this. And his nationalistic ideas are a threat to the very lives of the young people in this country.

So take it from a REAL realist. Japan is a house in need of new foundations, not a new flag on the porch. We need leaders who are prepared to build that foundation if we want the house to be strong. The flag helps nothing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: High temperature readouts may be a foretaste of 'epochal heat' See in context

Repeat after me. There is no such thing as global warming. It is not as hot as it feels. That 39 is really 29. Sunny summers in Seattle are normal. That's not a desert it is a just a very big beach. Money good, life on earth bad.

And just keep listening to the nay sayers who do not want to do all we can to reduce our impact on this. Regardless of whether or not we are the only cause of global warming, if we are a contributor we should help reduce our impact ANYWAY.

My mother taught me, and her mother taught her. Bet on the side of caution and avoid avoidable problems if you can. This is damned good advice and we should do all we can to reduce our impact. And if warming is natural, well, at least we did our part not to make things worst. But if we are indeed the cause, then we may well fix things.

Money madness and sheer stupidity is putting the whole planet at risk if we fail to act.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe may push nationalism after election See in context

Yesterday I heard some bone head in Shibuya talking about confrontation and war with China. I looked around and saw all the young men and women in the crossing. The same young people who would carry the bloody burden of a war while that 50 something political prat would be at home couch driving the war and well away from harm.

Nationalism in an age of so called Globalism is pure idiocy for Japan. Japan a country that needs immediate immigration of talent and people to support herself in the coming decades. Japan who could be a leading nation for peace and common sense if her leaders had the right stuff to maker her the pacifist state for peace and rightfully take center stage in global affairs as such.

Nationalists forget history, or at least distort it. Abe and other nationalists do no remember the last war. They are too young to fully appreciate what really happens in such a nationalistic time. They forget that Japan is an island and China nearly a continent by comparison. They forget China's vast population, natural resources, huge population of young people to turn into soldiers and capacity to move their production out of harms way if a war comes. While this island would suffer the same fate it did in WWII in any war scenario.

Nationalists are history's murderers. Along side rabid adherents to any "isms" who use their belief systems to send people to die for "the cause."

The young people of Japan need to rise up, not in nationalism, but in common sense and in inspired political movements to realize the potential of Japan. But sadly I hear far too few voices doing so. It may be soon time to leave Japan to her nationalist future and find another home. Sadly my own country is suffering from the same foolishness.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Alarmed by anti-Korean demonstrations in Tokyo, anti-discrimination groups in Japan are calling for a law to make hate speech illegal. Would you support such a law? See in context

I am surprised by the "yes" votes here. I would remind you of the US reaction to 911 in which sweeping powers were granted to the government out of fear of terror. Years later we now find that these powers extensively violate our privacy and our liberties.

You cannot let people who spew hatred over rule the common good of free speech. Even if you do pass laws against it you do not solve the root problem, which is the hatred itself. You simply cannot legislate people into being rational or giving up prejudice.

But you can easily react out of good intentions and do your own liberty considerable harm by encouraging the passage of laws that may one day harm democracy and liberty.

What you define as free speech may one day be interpreted by the state as hate. Criticism of the government could easily become "hate speak" as could any unpopular point of view.

We cannot continue to give away rights that previous generations had the wisdom to secure for us. Or we will be in a state where everything is legislated and no one has freedom. For me I would rather tolerate the negative language of a few to protect the freedom of the whole rather than silence a few at the expense of our liberty.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: No. of highly skilled foreign professionals in Japan remains low See in context

Andreas, yes! Just about everything is hard for foreigners here. While things have certainly improved since I moved to Japan 13 years ago, it remains painful.

Still many landlords don't want foreigners. Some banks still discriminate with their services. Jobs are limited to what you can create on your own or a fairly narrow focus. I can count the foreigners who work for ordinary Japanese companies on one hand from all the people I know here. Regardless of language.

So many people in Tokyo complain of feeling isolated despite making strong efforts to build social fabric around them.

By contrast. Several Japanese I know moved to the US around the same time I moved here. They had no real barriers in work, banking, housing or anything else for that matter. They have build the same kind of social fabric around them that any outgoing American could. No one calls them "Foreigner". Two have become American and are as American as I am in every practical way.

Japan needs to allow foragers to fully integrate here. Until that happens, the best and brightest will go to countries where that is not an issue. And Japan will continue to lose out on talent.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Alarmed by anti-Korean demonstrations in Tokyo, anti-discrimination groups in Japan are calling for a law to make hate speech illegal. Would you support such a law? See in context

As much as I despise hateful speech, it is a slippery slope when you start limiting free speech and it is far more likely to do society dire harm than good.

You cannot help if there are people out there who are flat headed enough to hate others simply for their race or nationality. Nor can you keep those same flat earthers from speaking their minds. It is a price we pay for liberty of speech.

But you can fight back by other means. You can hold counter rallies. You can point out the absurdity of such thinking. You can help raise awareness of the damage that such hate does to society.

But you cannot take away the right speak, even when we do not like what is being said. That leads to tyranny.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: We’ve seen confidence start to explode over the last months. We’re seeing some of the highest growth in the world here. See in context

Great so the few rich are now confident enough that they are bleeding the working class enough to afford Ferraris. Hardly an indicator of Japan's property. All you need to do is ask any working person how close they are to buying high ticket items to clear any doubt up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Summers in Japan becoming intolerable See in context

rickyvee. The key with that issue is that it makes sense to take precautions in either case. If we are causing this, then a change in behavior will help. If we are not causing it, a change in behavior still helps on so many other levels. It really should be a no brainer decision to err on the side of caution here. But clearly to many people are refusing to see the wisdom in doing so.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Europe and Japan show signs of stabilizing, but China slides See in context

For how long have many of us been talking about China's boomtown economy? The Yuppies running investment companies wanted us to buy into a fully prosperous China notion. But one look at the society and you can see that the vast majority of Chinese were left out in the rain and not benefiting from this.

There are countless documentaries on the state of life for working people in China, but everyone chooses to focus on the few rich kids. Meanwhile college grads live 6 to a small flat with conditions that are more like Chechnya than Tokyo. And the are lucky. Many less educated workers live dozens to a room in the city, sometimes squatting in failed construction areas. They struggle to eat one meal a day.

Again they are lucky, in the countryside there is no work, no income and peasants live in conditions that are like the Maoist era.

Factory workers work in pretty hard and dire conditions too.

We see only the small middle class and rich Chinese here in Japan. The vast majority could not dream of travel.

China is a boomtown. And a risk to the global recovery. It is time we fairly accessed their economic change.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Employee flushes 40 liters of soap; bubbly carnage ensues See in context

What a complete idiot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Summers in Japan becoming intolerable See in context

Repeat after me: (insert hypnotic voice tone) There is no such thing as global warming. It is not as hot as you think it is. Summer is short and beautiful, you will miss it when fall comes. Rabid liberals are lying to you about warming, rising temperatures are your imagination. Turn off the aircon it is nice and cool at 40C.

With the entire world reporting rising temperatures and heat issues, the fact that some zombies still believe that warming is imaginary should come and spend an air-condition-less summer in lovely sunny Tokyo. And work in normal business clothes to boot.

It took ages to convince the masses that the world was not flat. Seems it may take a similarly long time for the neo-flat earthers to realize that we are in trouble on climate change.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Posted in: Court ruling orders anyone with a TV-equipped device to pay NHK’s public broadcasting license fee See in context

One thought about activism against this. The problem with every political issue in Japan is that the locals keep voting in these people who they know will not support what they want. 70% of people here were against nuclear power the last election period. And yet they voted in a party with a clear pro-nuclear agenda. The same goes for all the voters in Tokyo who do not want to spend tax money on the Olympics and yet voted those guys in too.

Voters here vote for the "popular" guy. Just like high school. They seem to give very little attention to what the "popular" guy will do to screw them over once in office.

I do think that this will be tossed out in higher court. And like someone posted above, there is still no ruling showing penalties for not paying. Until there is a clearly defined penalty for not paying, it is probably best to avoid a contract.

We foreigners have the benefit of being able to leverage foreign made TVs without capacity to receive NHK or any other Japanese channel. Until NHK gets the right to come into your home and check it directly, then it is really your word and their decision to believe it or not. They cannot sue everyone. So not much really changes here.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Court ruling orders anyone with a TV-equipped device to pay NHK’s public broadcasting license fee See in context

My screen is a monitor not a TV. That is my story and I am sticking by it. NHK will get money from me when they show up with the police and not a second before.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: China stages military exercise in ethnically-divided Xinjiang See in context

The Chinese have been ramping up their repression of the Uyghurs for some time now. They have moved more ethnic Han into the region and taken many of the jobs and business opportunities. They have disempowered local leaders and ignored (if not encouraged) ethnic tensions as Han increasingly abuse locals. When locals fight back they call it terror.

This is ethnic cleansing by marginalization.

I really despise the behavior of the Chinese government towards minorities, towards regional neighbors and their repression of their own people. The corporates want us to believe that China is the next frontier of humanity, when in fact it is just another example of a tiny rich and powerful minority repressing and exploiting everyone else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Who gets your vote for the three most hated companies in the world? See in context

Monsato and Walmart are two for me. Tied for third are Johnnys and Avex who have been torturing me ever since I got to Japan with an endless stream of absolutely abominable and vacuous music acts that are omnipresent on TV, in shops, everywhere. :)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: NSA as Big Brother? Not even close See in context

Granted the Soviet and other systems were far more like Big Brother than the NSA. But then again that is like saying a one form of cancer is any more desirable than another.

When governments start down this path, there is a risk to liberty. And that risk must be addressed and resisted. It does not matter that the level of risk is not yet at Stasi level. What matters is that this is yet another step towards that sort of behavior and should be resisted vigilantly by champions of liberty and privacy.

If we are complacent today, then we could one day wake up in a world where the NSA is the new Stasi and people like Cheney do end up with cities named after them. The difference between that happening and not, is the protection of our liberty in these early days of having it violated.

Ignoring or diminishing the violation plays into the hands of repression. Take that from a former activist who has seen and been on the pointed end of the stick when supporting causes that were not popular during the closing days of the cold war.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Putin says Snowden at Moscow airport; rejects extradition request from U.S. See in context

Anyone who knows about Putin also knows that this guy does what he wants regardless of international opinion. It is one of the perks of being a successful pseudo dictator.

But this time I am in agreement with Putin. Russia has no agreement. So they are not bound in any way to comply with anything the US asks on this point. The US knows this and in truth does not expect his help. They know better. But have to put on a surprised and unhappy fact in public.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Please give me one more chance. I want to get the judgment of the Japanese public in the Upper House election. See in context

Lets see.

One more chance to make a fool of himself? One more chance to prove that he is a right wing fascist? One more chance to prove that he enjoys violating worker privacy? One more chance to prove that he is anti-women? One more chance to prove that he has no grasp of Japan's history? One more chance to alienate or enrage Asian neighbors? One more chance to lie to the public through lie filled apologies? One more chance to prove that almost anyone can be a governor here, regardless of intelligence?

Or just 9. One more chance to get in the limelight?

This guy should have been tossed out on his right wing behind weeks ago. Shame on Voters for not demanding that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: NSA and the Pandora's box of surveillance See in context

Don't create programs that violate the constitutional rights of the people. If you do, then don't be surprised when those policies are brought to light by patriots working to protect our freedom.

This is their fault if it caused any damage. Like building a billion dollar house in a spot where you know there will be flooding and then acting surprised when it gets washed out. If you build security upon violations of the constitution and people you are supposed to be protecting, then do not be surprised when it is washed out by someone with the patriotism to expose your violations.

We have to stop allowing the governments of the world to rationalize violations of our human rights in the name of security. It does not make sense. Far more people die from bad habits every year than have ever died as a result of terrorism. Bathtubs, cigarettes, driving, alcohol, guns, sports, hiking, bar fights, home fights, accidents kill hundreds and hundreds of times the number of people who die from terror every year.

This obsession with terror that the state wants us to have is an excuse to control and monitor us and we need to wake up, access the fear and put it in perspective and protect our rights. I am far more afraid of a police state than I am of some guy in a desert hoping to blow something up.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo delighted by positive IOC report on Olympic bid See in context

We need the Olympics in Tokyo they way we need the LDP back in power. Oh wait.....

Why is there never good news for the future of this economy? Most cities bleed out money on the Olympics. Tax payers get financially bent over and badly abused while a limited number of contractors and business owners make some money.

In the aftermath the cities are often left with facilities they have to pay to maintain that are essentially under utilized for most of the rest of their existence.

This is good for politicians, for their buddy contractors, for a few businesses and is a royal level economic screw over for the tax payers.

What Japan should be doing is putting this money into an economic Zone in Tohoku and trying to lead the world in alternative energy development and attract more foreign business and workers here to help pay taxes.

But then that would make sense and my years in Japan have taught me that good ideas rarely appear in politics here. And when they do, someone squashes them.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. scrambles to stop globe-trotting Snowden See in context

Yogi, if you know you will be persecuted, why stay? He can speak, reach out and tell his side of the story so long as he is free. Sounds smart to me.

cracaphat. No one every improved the world or challenged a wrong by "not looking for trouble." Sometimes you discover trouble. The brave confront and deal with it. The weak run from it. The sheep pretend it is not there. Snowden did the right thing. Saw the problem and had the courage to face it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. scrambles to stop globe-trotting Snowden See in context

JamesBlonde. I think this is a topic where the right and left should be on the same page in the US. And if they are not it is a shame.

The right mistrust the US government for different reasons than the left. But both ends know that any overly powerful government is not a friend of the people but is in fact a threat to their liberty.

The cries from the right to crucify Snowden is because he is not talking about the right buttons to gain right wing support e.g. anti-taxes, anti-foreigner etc... And he is part of the government and not part of some movement on the right.

The left supports him more because we see the big picture threat. And anyone willing to shed light on it is a good thing from our side.

But our collective enemy is the culture of fear that has been created. A paranoid culture where fear of terror outweighs any other concern. WHen in fact people have more reason to fear their bathtubs, dinner, their car, the street in front of their homes and the weather than terror.

We need a sense of priority that is matched to reality. Is terror a worry? Yes. Does it warrant violation of our rights and liberties? The answer is clearly no. We would spend better time saving lives if the government focused upon putting rubber mats in bath tubs, getting people to eat properly, improving road and transportation safety, fixing outdated bridges and roads, paying for a few speed bumps and banning hand guns if we are really all about removing danger from our world and saving lives.

But the real agenda is not about saving lives. It is about control. It is about repression. It is about leveraging fear to gain power. And leveraging fear to pacify the masses. Which is working very much according to plan so far. And time is running out before it is too powerful to reverse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Americans know that democracy is something that must constantly be fought for. Japan never had a revolutionary war. Democracy was given to us by MacArthur. See in context

Democracy does not really exist here. Lots of people vote, but the government ignores their wishes. And then next election the same people get voted in again despite this fact. That is apathy not democracy.

I often equate politics here to something akin to high school elections. The most popular guys win. When I ask people why they vote for Ishihara, for example, they always say he is famous and well known. None have ever said they agree with the following list of his political ideas.

It is too much like talent idol and not enough like real politics. But then again, who can blame them when whoever they elect are just part of a political class and not real representatives?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. scrambles to stop globe-trotting Snowden See in context

A Realist. The protection of liberty cannot always be on a revolutionary scale. It takes place every day in small ways. The whistle blower who sheds light on a compromise of our liberty is helping to protect that liberty. The person who files a case against a breech of our civil liberties is helping to preserve them.

The problem is not Snowden. The problem is a mass public who fail to understand their rights in the first place. A public that puts fear before the protection of their civil and constitutional rights is destined to lose those very rights.

I am a student of history. I have read the many stories of people across the ages who have fought, sacrificed and died to make what we take for granted possible. We easily forget how hard those struggles were because they were out of living memory for most of people. We have not see the other side of the coin when liberty was not available to us and repression was the status quo. And so modern people are now complacent. Happy watching TV and eating rather than thinking about the bigger picture of the political lives they live. If they are even aware at all of their political responsibilities to assure continued liberty.

If we give in to these compromises where does it end? I for one think it ends in repression of the people by the state.

So did Snowden fix the problem with his whistle blowing? No. But he stood up for what is right and constitutional and that makes him a hell of a lot braver than the legions of sheep who are willing to give up those very same liberties for the illusion of safety from terror.

More people die from driving to work than will ever likely die from terrorism. It is time we return to a sense or realistic perspective and come to understand that threats against our liberty far outweigh any threat from any terrorist anywhere.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Stalking cases soar See in context

Laguna. I do blame the police. A threat of violence is already illegal in Japan. An email, voicemail or other proven form of communication delivering a threat should be validation for a response by the police. But it is not.

Having someone try to break into your home is already illegal. And yet many stalking victims report this problem but do not have it addressed.

You know what the police said to me after the initial interview? "She's cute, why don't you just get together with her?" Then the two of them started laughing and said in Japanese "I would bed her." I guess they did not realized I could understand what they said.

The police here, in my experience, are paid to do nothing. Enact a system that forces whoever they do arrest to be designated as guilty. And utterly fail to protect people when help is sought. We hear in the news time and again that people who have been killed by a stalker or neighbor had told the police of the threat well ahead of time. And yet....

So yes I do blame the empty headed fools I have see who represent the police here.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Mandela in critical condition See in context

bass this is probably one of the only times we have been on the same page. You gave me a warm smile today. Thanks for that. We share a hero in common. :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. scrambles to stop globe-trotting Snowden See in context

Who expected that 1984 would be technicolor, fast food, smart phones, facebook, fashionable clothing and all the trappings of modern American society? And yet we all spend most of our days on camera, being tracked and monitored not only by the state but by agencies trying to learn more about us to get us to spend our money.

It is a sad state of affairs. And most of the sheep just think it is the love and concern of our government and corporate fathers looking out for us. It is sad.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Australian court case against Japanese whaling to begin Wednesday in The Hague See in context

I hope the courts nail Japan to their own harpoons in this case.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Stalking cases soar See in context

I had a female stalker here in Japan. We barely knew each other but she became obsessed and very scary. She tracked everything and even started contacting my company. She threatened violence and more.

The most difficult point was getting the idiotic police to actually do something about it. I went to the police and during my talk with them she called over 15 times and emailed a dozen threatening emails. All of which they observed. And yet it took them over two weeks to finally dispatch someone to her home to ask her to stop. Which she ignored entirely.

It came down to my stalking the local police by calling them daily to get them to actually tell her to stop. Which failed entirely to get her to change.

In the end it seriously affected my health, my well being, my work, everything. I finally told her that if she continued something quite terrible would happen. Then and only then did she stop. The authorities failed me entirely.

What is required are much stronger laws against stalkers. They should be arrested, questioned and if proof of their behavior is provided, sentenced for it. Otherwise they will not stop. That is why some people are killed because there is no means of stopping these people and some escalate to violence.

For victims there can sometimes be no escape. And it is not limited to men. Women in this country are just as effective stalkers. And they threaten violence as well. I heard one woman threatened to stab and infect her target with HIV infected material. That should be a criminal offense just to suggest that to someone or to make that threat. But in that case too, the police just shrugged it off.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

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