Vagante comments

Posted in: What do you think is causing the recent spate of random stabbings in Japan and how can society address the problem? See in context

Copy-cat behavior? Japanese culture does not embrace originality or empathy within interpersonal relationships. Thus, anyone with a mental problem that inclines them to violence is likely to copy the last crime that they saw on TV. Then it becomes a kind of sick fashion. I'm surprised there aren't more.

"Society" does not address problems; this is a task for those who make the laws and govern. The main perpetrators of this problem are the parents of these who express their frustration through violence. Poor parenting produces messed up kids who grow up (or don't grow up) to perpetuate the same. I see it every day.

If the education process in Japan were to teach more about individual worth and freedom with responsibility, the situation might improve. As it stands, most interpersonal relations in Japan are functional roles where people are expected to behave in a prescribed manner and there is little sense of individual value. Frankly, It's a social sickness on a massive scale. The cure is to teach our children empathy and respect for each other. I would put that on the primary-school curriculum ahead of the three "R's". Then I would introduce parenting classes at Junior-High level - and I don't mean teaching kids how to change diapers.

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Posted in: Starbucks Japan to raise coffee prices See in context

Starbucks should raise their prices to whatever they feel they can justify for their bottom line. If the customers don't like it they can vote with their feet and drink elsewhere ... which is exactly what I did when I asked the difference between a short latte and a tall one. The barister told me that they just add more milk. So what about the coffee? No, just more milk, I was told. If you want the same flavor as a short latte, "you have to buy another shot."

It's all about the customers' perception of value. Starbucks is not selling just coffee but all the other elements that they have attached to it. For my taste, I prefer a Doutor latte at 230 yen - with no cheating on the coffee.

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Posted in: World's 1st aloft hotel opens in Montreal See in context

"the first aloft to open" ...

"Aloft" is now a noun? Do these rooms come with a loft?

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Posted in: JAL Eco Jet to raise awareness of global environment See in context

This "news" looks like a JAL PR press release. Do JT journalists not question corporate motives in Japan? The "Eco" jet ... excuse me while I exercise my cynical side.

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Posted in: I'm afraid I'll abuse the child. I'm giving up my freedom for the kid, and if he doesn't do what I say I'll kick his ass. See in context

Mean Ringo,

"Perhaps a good ass kicking (or the real threat of one) is what kids need these days."

I would substitute "some parents" for kids.

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Posted in: When I suggested the possibility that Japan was being hurt by cross-border pollution from China, the whole audience booed my speech. See in context

Does he believe that the Chinese send the yellow sand dust here intentionally, or that they could do something about it?

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