Not so easy to pigeonhole this scandal. It's easy to just say the athletes had it coming, and boo and jeer them. However, the picture isn't as black and white. Just like this article says, the reality is often very different from the ideal we should be aiming for.
Do I think these disqualifications are deserved? Yes. These players should be disqualified, not to show off the toughness of the rules or whatever but because they genuinely disrespected their place in the Olympics.
But it is no less factual that these players were trying to get the most out of what their years of training and their place in the Olympics gave them a chance at. The Olympics were made to celebrate sportsmanship and be a friendly, bloodless competition between varied and diverse cultures and countries. Yet the reality of the competition today is that of money and a paper chase (or medal in this case).
How do we resolve this? Is it even possible to resolve this disconnect? Well, that's what debates and commentary articles are for: the explore the problem. Just coming up with a simple, cut and dry conclusion, that these players "deserve it" and end the story here isn't going to help solve the underlying problem plaguing the Olympics.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
The rhetoric in the comments are hilarious. Not sure if any posters actually studied economics themselves, or if they only read online news and take all their ideas from there. Haha.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
One word: Durarara!!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
For once, I agree almost entirely with smithinjapan. Ambulances drive at speeds they need to drive at: a speed that ensures the highest chances of survival for whoever they are trying to rescue. They are not going to save any lives by barrelling through a red light into another car. In metropolitan cities like Tokyo, New York etc, driving fast can almost be as deadly for the person in the ambulance as driving slowly. If the person is in a stable condition, there is zero reason to drive at anything beyond "cautious" speeds.
As for sirens, they are meant for warning. Specifically, warning pedestrians and other drivers who CANNOT SEE the ambulance. That means cars that are driving toward a cross junction from another direction from the ambulance. This means cars that are way ahead of the ambulance. The siren needs to be loud. The siren needs to be in your face. The siren needs to be on all the time when the ambulance is on its way to or from fetching an injured person. You don't say "Oh, it's a road where there are no cars I can see, let me just switch off the siren and turn into a normal truck for a sec." If you're carrying a passenger that needs to get to a hospital, you take out the neon signs and fireworks and you let everyone know.
It is unfortunate that Japan doesn't have the space to build anything but dense residential areas with barely enough elbow space between apartments or houses. But that doesn't excuse any kind of behavior or condescension toward well established practices that are meant to save lives.
There is zero reason to throw anything at an ambulance, unless it is a magical device that will teleport it to the nearest hospital. There is zero reason to sympathize with anyone who has it in their head to try anything to stop or delay an ambulance running its siren. This is one of the few moral issues that have zero gray areas.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
I doubt there will be power shortage, nuclear plant or no nuclear plant. But if there is, so be it. A couple of hours of blackout a day isn't going to kill anyone who knows how to read. And if it kills those who don't... my condolences. The world will still be turning.
Power shortage issues entirely aside, the government is going to continue to push for restarting of nuclear power plants. This isn't a moral issue. It doesn't matter if the plants are safe or not. This is pretty much inevitable, until the next generation of renewable resource energy generators are built. The alternative is full reliance on coal and oil power until renewable resource plants are built... which is just mathematically unsustainable for Japan's economy. If no earthquake happens for however long it takes to transition into less nuclear reliance, well and good. If another happens and a repeat of the Fukushima disaster happens, then well, Japan'll just go down again, maybe forever this time.
The best Japan can do now is to restart as little nuclear power plants as is needed to tide the rebuilding over, and to ensure the strict adherence to and improvement of safety standards at all of the nuclear power plants that are to be restarted. Not quarrel over whose fault it is rolling blackouts are going to happen, not finger pointing at each other for Toshiba's factory problems (no idea wtf relevance that has to the article, anyway.) and not starting another political PM hot-seat roulette.
It's been a year since Fukushima, Japan. High time to stop being stupid and start doing what needs to be done until you can say goodbye to nuclear energy for good. The longer you sit here and quibble around thinking you sound like lawyers, the longer it is going to take to remove the threat of a Fukushima repeat, and the more at risk you are putting yourself and your offspring.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Western democracy is democracy with conditions, basically. This is true, and this is the right way. Unfortunately for all the idealists out there, true democracy would probably destroy the world, simply because humans in general are too stupid to rule over themselves. As much as elitism is reviled, for good reason too, it is pretty much inarguable fact that the average person has nowhere near the required intelligence and wisdom to plan and make policies for a group of people larger than a small community.
Whether or not the Egyptians' choice is the right one can only be concluded after seeing what the new President does in his term. For now, optimists will hope he is the right one, while pessimists will brace for the worst, that's just the way it is.
I will personally hope for the best.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
New prime minister incoming, I guess.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It is true that all countries employ propaganda to some extent. But it is too easy to point at this and say it is "evil" or "evil-er" and go around proudly puffing out your chest.
The situation in N Korea is an interesting read, but never lose sight of the fact that it is just the other side of the same coin. Every day, we are inundated by propaganda of a different kind, and all of us hold some viewpoints and opinions that are wildly biased.
I hold on to the hope that one day, N Korean leadership will either be ousted peacefully or change their policies from within, and the threat of war will be defused. And while I have zero wish to see the current status quo remain, I reject empathically the idea that N Korea is evil or that these practices are anything beyond plain pragmatism. It does not matter what kind of propaganda it is, communist, nationalist, nazi or capitalist, it is still propaganda. That is all.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Posters in JToday certainly like to blow things out of proportion. (Pun intended)
In the spring storm a couple of months ago, there was an article featured on JToday where an elderly man fell to his death, along with the news of a couple other pointless tragedies of people dying due to walking their dog etc. Certainly these actions are pretty stupid, and it's pretty reasonable for people to be exasperated at such news. It was a storm, well covered and warned of in the media, television and radio, and even if a person were deaf to all such information, going out to the roof at that age while there it was raining with very strong winds is almost inexcusably stupid.
It's also probably true (I say probably because I have no sources, but it's almost certain that such things have happened before) that such incidents have happened before in the past, where an elderly person would do such inconceivable things in the middle of heavy storms and typhoons that led to their deaths.
But saying such happenings are "regular" and "famous" without citing sources is pretty much compounding and spreading baseless conjecture and hyperbole - something that JToday commenters are (in)famous and regularly known for doing. (See what I just did?)
For now, though things are quiet in Nishinomiya. Maybe the typhoon went eastwards, or maybe it just hasn't reached me yet. It's not raining here and there's not much wind at the moment, though. We'll just have to see later tonight, I guess.
-1 ( +13 / -14 )
It's summertime, why climb a mountain when it's melting. Due to the ice is melting avalanches are very common.
Climb at your own stupidity !!!!
... Hahaha, so clearly mountain climbers should climb in winter when ice isn't melting and snow is actually falling and temperatures are below sub-zero.
Mountain climbing is in itself a sport that requires proper knowledge and training. For some, milder mountains, the risks are less and it may be possible to climb it without special training regimes beforehand, but for others, it can be an endurance sport that requires months of preparation and countless medical checks beforehand.
But in all cases, the risks exist.
The best time to climb mountains are almost invariably in the summer, when temperatures are not as low - but for the big ones that take months to climb, challengers might start in the winter in order to tackle the hardest portions during the mildest weather. Freak accidents like unexpected avalanches do happen however, and kill perfectly trained mountaineers on occasion. It is tragic, but it is the risk that comes with this kind of sport. Of course, most of the time it is a lack of proper knowledge and training or experience that leads to pointless deaths.
At any rate, condolences to the families of the climbers.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I've never been a fan of soda, so I will admit I am likely to be very biased against this. But carbonated coffee is going to taste awful. I shudder to imagine it.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Anybody who was outraged at the news certainly would have had these thoughts. I'm sure most, if not all, of the people who read the previous news article felt that the man could have done something else, anything else than kill two people if he wanted to die.
Saying such things in a fit of anger is probably an unwise thing for a politician to say. He was probably just giving air to his own grief at such an exceptional case of tragedy, but he certainly should have known better than to do it in his official capacity as the Governor.
My opinion resonates with his message, at any rate. Condolences to the families involved, and let's hope the Governor doesn't drop any more of such verbal bombs in the future.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
I personally am against the idea of corporal punishment. I am a person who advocates speaking and reasoning. And when the child is too young to understand reason, a fist is even less appropriate. When they don't know why they are doing something wrong, they won't know why they are being beaten either.
However, to equate all corporal punishment as child abuse is fallacious. To say that all cases of corporal punishment is only to satisfy the urges of the punisher is also fallacious.
Before corporal punishment was viewed with such negative light, and (possibly) commonly used in the upbringing of children, most although not all cases were well intentioned. The reason corporal punishment was largely rejected by society is not because it is always an avenue for sadists to torture their children, but rather because there were some cases where sadists used it as an avenue to torture their children. Please note the difference. Being one of the generation who was brought up while corporal punishment was still the norm, I am grateful to my parents for their love and attention in correcting my flaws. Certainly they could have done so in a non-violent way, and I certainly do wish they had, but I'm not going to point at them and call them sadists when they were just doing what they taught was right, for my own good. They punished me with good intentions, and I understood, and learnt, from that.
The turn away from corporal punishment is a good thing for society. Children can be properly taught and brought up without the use of force. However, this does not mean that children cannot be properly taught and brought up with the use of force. They can, but sometimes people simply cannot see where the limits should be. So, in order to reduce all cases of child abuse (intended or not) via corporal punishment, it was rejected by society.
Personally, I am against the idea that is presented in the article, that the ills of today's youth is caused by this rejection of corporal punishment. A return to the usage of the cane will not help solve most of the problems of lack of motivation and initiative. As many astute posters have pointed out, this is caused by other factors of the society that we live in today - an education system for the masses can only promote rote learning, and a capitalist economy inculcates the wrong values in children. Most of all, of course, busy parents who are just as lost themselves are failing to teach their children the right values.
None of these will be solved by bringing back corporal punishment. Perhaps the general is reliving days of nostalgia, when he was punished and learned from it to become a better person, but while he may have been right in pointing out some of the society's problems, his suggestion can only fail to solve those very problems he identified.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Comparing a marriage to the union and the civil war politics is a logically unsound at best, and a hyperbole at worst. Of course, I personally disagree with any war and death, but that doesn't make such sentimental statements any more true. Whether or not the Union should have been preserved is up to debate, but using violence in marriage as a reason why not would fall under fallacy.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Not only fans of boy bands are interested in boy band news. Sociologists, psychologists, literary critics and other academics researching pop culture phenomenon and their impact on society will have a definite interest in keeping up to the rise and fall (and merges) of pop culture groups.
Also, just because you don't care doesn't make this a non-news.
5 ( +16 / -11 )
The AKB elections are always a farce. As the article says, anyone can vote as long as they bought a copy of the latest single, but at the same time, no regulations are in place to prevent the same person voting more than once.
This means, a fan can buy multiple copies to get multiple votes. This has been making the news on twitter, where people are posting photos of their local garbage dumping areas that are filled with AKB singles - hundreds of them at times.
There is nothing "democratic" about this. I literally laughed out loud when I read the part where the music critic compared making the AKB franchise have an election to the Arab Spring.
I respect the AKB franchise as a monument to the social impact of pop culture, though I am inherently opposed to their marketing tactics and their talentless songs. But really, this takes the cake. The idea that anyone believes this is anything more than a marketing ploy is ridiculous.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
That's the most sensible position to take. The gov't mishandled the information following the 3/11 disaster, which caused fear and panic.
By the way, I fully agree that the J-Gov was inept in their disaster handling after 3/11, and that they have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted. However, I'd like to point out that there were more mis-information spread from baseless rumours than from the government, which caused the fear and panic, mostly. Of course, if the government had actually been truthful, the rumours would never have been empowered to cause fear and panic.
If everyone had believed the government's misinformation during 3/11, they would all be smiling and happy, believing that everything was fine - the fear and panic came from rumour mongers, not the government's information.
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
Hahaha, Justin Bieber, whatever his detractors might say, is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. He came close to having a country's capital put in a state of emergency.
P.S. I don't listen to Bieber nor like his songs.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
I don't know what's up with all this talk about earthquakes in the comments. Pretty much the point of the articule here is that the local Osaka government has been shown to make a marked reversal from their previous stance. This implies two things.
1) That the local government has received confirmation and/or proof that the Oi reactors have safety standards acceptable enough to withstand earthquakes/tsunami, proof that is solid enough to change a stance that was previously clearly anti-nuclear.
2) They have been tricked, lied to, bribed or otherwise coerced into changing their minds while the reactors are still vulnerable should an earthquake happen.
-> Whether or not an earthquake MIGHT happen is irrelevant. If the Oi reactors are safe to be restarted, then they have to be able to withstand an earthquake. If they are not able to withstand an earthquake, they are not safe enough. Earthquake, fault lines and tsunami are all PART of what the safety regulations are supposed to take into account.
The crux of the matter for citizens reading this news is whether or not Hashimoto was genuinely convinced, or if there is something else altogether. I doubt we will ever find out, but for everyone's sake, I hope it's the former. If an earthquake strikes Osaka/Kobe this summer, and the new safety standards at the Oi reactors fail to prevent a meltdown, it will certainly doom Japan.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
In a way, the past claims on the Senkaku islands are irrelevant to today's conflict. Whichever power has the ultimate claim of true sovereignty over the little pieces of island really doesn't matter in the state of the pacific politics today: both countries are now fighting over it purely for international standing and economic advantage.
Even if China truly owned the islands in the past, Japan will still try to claim it, because it would make them lose face if they were to be seen to give it up without a fight. And similarly, even if there was a fact or some proof that could show Japan as the rightful owners, China will never give up the islands gracefully.
Whatever the case, however, such territorial disputes aren't likely to be resolved by simply a local government "buying" them over from their private owner. What matters is that Ishihara's move is going to reinforce a Japanese claim on the islands simply for the fact that it is tax payer money spent on those uninhabited rocks. From that perspective alone, Ishihara's doing a good thing for Japan.
However, personally, I would very much rather he spend tax payer money on helping develop infrastructure, improving living conditions, or any number of things that benefit Japanese people more concretely than some disputed islands on the pacific. As a governor of a local government, poking his nose into the international scene without the central government's approval is little more than buying political capital for his own selfish gain. He would be helping serve Japan more as a politician If he would direct his efforts and attention to the areas that are already under his jurisdiction instead of spending tax payer money to gain more territories. It's sad when politicians use their position and power for selfish reasons and try to cloak it under doing good for the nation as a whole.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Pledging to lower reliance on nuclear power is a start, if nothing else. Assuming the world is ideal and well and good and no other megaquakes threaten another Fukushima repeat, then continuing to rely on nuclear energy is fine. However, things aren't always as sparkly and happy as that. In the long term, the wiser course of action is to invest in other kinds of power generation.
It is understandable that utilities will be against a firm stance that pledges to abandon nuclear energy in the future. It is their biggest money making machine, afterall. However, the more time goes by, the higher the possibility of another Fukushima repeat. This is not to say another quake won't happen again soon, but rather, the longer Japan waits to leave nuclear energy behind, the longer the danger of another incident will linger. Seeking non-nuclear power generation in the long-term shouldn't be a pledge, it should be a given, for the sake of the future generations.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
In all honesty, they are acting on good faith. Ensuring that the public can trust public servants is vital to a local government's efficiency.
However, the conservative ideology that criminal behavior is linked to certain kinds of behavior is simply logically unsound. Correlation does not imply causation. Certainly, the Yakuza have been using tattoos for decades, but while that may once have been the sole province of gangsters (which I doubt anyway) it is not neccesarily the case in today's more libertian society. Similarly, just because alcohol related incidents have been on the rise does not mean alcohol is the root cause of the incident - banning alcohol only tackles the problem at a surface level.
If they are truly committed to improving the image of their employees, then the standards they set must be reasonable and efficient. If they go too far to extremes, like Hashimoto's war on tattoos, then all it does is distract from the real agenda. And if they only go through the motions, like a temporary ban on alcohol, it doesn't solve the underlying reasons for violent or criminal behavior.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
The Vocaloid phenomenon is, at its core, more about derivative work and grass-roots creativity than the official image. Of course, the success of Vocaloids was largely due to Hatsune Miku's attractiveness to a large number of their targetted audience in the first place, but now that the phenomenon has settled down, gimmicky traits like carrying around an axe will have little impact on the popularity of the new voicebank.
The real question is whether or not Mayu will match up to grass-roots songwriters' and lyricists' expectations and requirements of versatility in range, pitch and intonation. In other words, the quality of the voicebank itself. If the quality of the voicebank does not match up to standards, it will gain at best a niche following, as has been shown in some of the few vocaloids that have recently been released but never really managed to carve a foothold into the scene that is still dominated by Miku, the twins and Luka.
On the other hand, if exit-tunes' work equals or exceeds the quality that Crypton managed to create with Miku and her expansion voicebanks, there is a very good chance we can see a new break-through in the quality of electronically produced singing. The fanbase is already established, and talented hobbyists have a clear support base from which to do their work uninterrupted. Injecting new, better technology into the scene can very well trigger a new revolution in the way songs are made at the grassroots level. Only time will tell.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
The definition of marriage that you provided is the definition of marriage in many countries' (including Japan's) laws.
But that's all it is - the definition according to the law.
In Christian teaching, marriage is an institution where two people come to live together and make a family. Many Christian/Catholics believe that homosexuality is excluded from this institution, due to their interpretation of the bible.
For the non-religious layman, however, marriage simply means making a family. For heterosexual people, this obviously means man-and-woman, like you described. But for homosexuals, this means someone of the same gender. For homosexuals, the definition of a marriage is to live with their loved one and make a family.
Now here's the clincher - because marriage as an institution has come to be tied to a person's legal status in society (for citizenship laws etc etc) homosexuals are disbarred from being legally recognized because their union does not fit in the legal definition that you provided. However, that doesn't make the ceremony, the act of becoming "married" any less important for homosexuals. This is especially true since the union defines a couple's status in society in reality as well as in law. Many US states allow (or turn a blind eye to) "civil partnerships" - which is basically marriage under a different name. But the actual union, whatever you may choose to call it, "civil partnership" or "marriage", is still important to the couple involved because it defines their status as a family to people around them.
This is why homosexuals are so keen on becoming legally recognized if possible. They believe they have a right (and they do, actually) to the same institution which will define their status as a family to the people around them, as well as for cases of law.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
It's not often that I agree with the majority of posters in a JT news thread, but yes, Japan needs to start getting tough. Unfortunately for humanity, the vast majority of humans are stupid and dumb as bricks. Without being told outright, they would make silly mistakes all the time - and this is the type of mistake that leads to tragedy. Democracy is all well and good, but governments also need to realize that unregulated freedom is a death sentence for many innocent people. There is no such thing as common sense - the word "common" implies that majority of the people have it. In actuality, most people don't.
People need to be free and have their innate rights protected, but campaigns and propaganda on the governmental scale can be used to minimize this kind of tragedy. Giving up a certain degree of personal liberty to make society as a whole more aware of certain silly mistakes will go a long way to making life better for everyone.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
Like I said before, as unfortunate and as unwise as this decision may be, it was inevitable. I didn't actually expect it to come so soon, though.
The only thing to do now is to hope that whatever impromptu improvision of safety measures at the Oi reactors are enough to fend off another repeat of the Fukushima disaster, and that the central government cleaves true to their promise of seeking renewable power generation to replace nuclear energy in the future. If luck holds, they'd be able to shut down these reactors for good in a few decades. Until then, the thousands of Japanese gods will have to go the extra mile with their protection spells.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Actually, in this case, he wasn't running a red-light, the traffic light would have been green. At many cross-junctions, right-turning vehicles are supposed to make their turn if there are 1) no straight-going cars from the opposite direction and 2) no pedestrians on the crossing - if there are for any of the above 2 conditions, they are allowed to move into the "ready" position and stop, and then to make the turn once their way is clear. This is the standard system in many different countries as well.
In this case, the fault is really on the driver. You slow down before making a turn, and then hold a steady speed when doing the turn, and speed up after you are in your new lane - this is so that you can brake at any time if a pedestrian decides to dash out. No driver would get a liscense without knowing this. The only reason he would not have braked in time would be that he was going way too fast for a safe turn - the fact that he caused a death is pretty much empirical evidence of that.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
I am with Disillusioned. SS has been around a long time, and anyone who does not like the way they do things can darned well stand up and take their place, or keep their criticisms light.
Just to comment on this hilarious piece of fallacy - anyone who does not like the way anybody does anything has every right to speak out and protest. There should be no restriction on how heavy they make their criticisms. This is called freedom of speech, a libertian ideal that is held at least as sacred as animal rights. To ask others to stop their criticisms just because they are not out there attacking boats in borderline illegal activities is laughable, to say the least.
I am in full hearted agreement with the crowd that says whaling and shark-finning are despicable acts that should be stopped. But the Sea-Shephard have endangered human lives in their heavy-handed actions. They have shown a remarkable lack of regard for authorities. While trying to avoid the bureacratic red-tape to attack the problem directly is commendable, the way they do it is nothing more than terrorism: they are trying to scare individual ships and fishermen from their work, by threatening their ships with vandalism and sabotage.
The people activists should be concentrating on are the corporate MNCs who perpetuate the false demand for whale meat and shark fins. The people activists should be concentrating on are the corporate MNCs who utilize underhanded and inhumane methods of harvesting these meats to meet demand. The people activists should be concentrating on are the masses who continue to believe the advertisements and false information about the tastiness or health benefits of eating such exotic meats.
Yet the Sea-Shephard drums up drama and controversy to line their own pockets with honest donations from concerned citizens, all the while distracting from the real problem. This is the part of their activities that sit least well with me. They act like they are out for the well-being of animals, who have every right to their freedoms and to be hunted without inhumane torture and suffering. But in reality, in effect, they are nothing more than swindlers riding on the sympathy of the masses to endanger the lives of others. Paul Watson belongs in the slammer.
And for those who want me to shut up because I'm not doing anything, here's a protip: I'm actually an active member of the local environmental protection group. We do not accept donations, but we do urge lobbyists to press for legislation changes to curb inhumane treatment of animals.
4 ( +8 / -4 )
Pedestrian crossings mean nothing everywhere. There are bad drivers in every country, not least of all Japan.
Checking should always be done before crossing any road, under any circumstance, whether it be a traffic light controlled crossing, a plain zebra-line crossing or a jay-walk. This isn't a rule, this isn't about right of way. This is about safety.
All vehicles should stop or slow down when approaching designated pedestrian crossings or traffic lights. Even if it says green for cars, you should brake to a reasonable speed and then hit the accelerator only after you've cleared the junction. This isn't a rule, this isn't about right of way. This is about safety.
Yet where in the world can you find a road where every single vehicle and every single pedestrian performs these safety tasks? No where. Wherever you go, there will be people who are in a rush, people who don't care, people who feel the road should be theirs, or people who have performed these tasks every time except that one single time when they think "Oh, it'll be fine."
A tragedy is a tragedy, and the death cannot be undone. As a reader of this tragic news, I am saddened. Condolences to the family. Condolences to the driver, who's life is almost certainly going to be ruined. Whether or not he deserves this is up to debate, but the loss of a life and the ruination of another is pretty much set in stone. I can only hope a handful more people reading this will be motivated to perform such safety checks for every single time they use their own roadways from now on. Good day to the rest of you.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
Posted in: DMX, rap's dark, tortured star, dies at 50