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Posted in: How should schools deal with so-called "monster parents" who verbally abuse or complain about teachers for the way they treat their children? See in context

Seriously, every time a Japanese parent is a little pushy for their kid, they are labled a Monster parent. I worked with so many who couldn't stand talking to a strong willed person, especially if that person is in the right. Yes their are monster parents but their are also parents who go against the status quo which is a no-no. If you are a foreign parent then you know this first hand many times. you just don't know better because you are an outsider. If you are japanese, you are a monster parent. There are monster teachers and admins also.

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Posted in: Palin explains 'blood libel' comment See in context

Ahhhhhh Sarah Pailin. Always manages to keep herself inthe spotlight eh? she is not stupid, though she is not among the best educated politicians. I would like to go to Alaska and barbeque with her. She is very personable. She seems like a very caring individual.

But I wouldn't come close to voting for her for a major office. This whole "blood libel" thing is just ridiculous. Many in America want to relate almost anything that brings something Jewish or related to Israel stated by a non-Jew as anti-semitic. Even if spoken by a semite! (Other incidents, not Pailin of course). I love all. I have dated Israeli women and find many alluring, but I can't ever say anything related to their culture that they don't like lest I be anti semitic. This is all just media BS. Keeping our minds off what the one's in control are really up to.

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Posted in: Silence greets calls for changes in U.S. gun laws See in context

Whitehawk...you say the NRA hasn't supported.... So what is your point? Do you really trhink the NRA and gun manufacturers don't benifit from young kids excited about shooting? Do you actually think there is no connection with violent military based attack games and kids growing up wanting to shoot or go be a "hero". So non of this benifits the NRA? Every gun manufacturer who is in his business to make money is sad to see kids become adults wanting guns? Look, you can use all the "logic" you want to convince yourself or anyone of anything but the bottom line is less guns will be less deaths. It doesn't matter what you were attacked by or with. Many gun deaths were not meant to be but happened anyway. Someone can't stab you from 10 feet away and you have a chance. Just because someone can kill you with another weapon does not mean we need guns to counter it. Someone wanting to kill someone else or even scare them who gets mad in the heat of an argument won't have a gun in his hand that would go off because he squeezed the trigger in anger. Those deaths alone are worth tougherlaws no matter how many people attacked you with a strap. That is irrelevant.

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Posted in: Silence greets calls for changes in U.S. gun laws See in context

The gun stuff is a moot point in America. Video games are also marketed to kids to get them high and happy to get guns one day. The NRA loves this as well as gun manufacturers and the military. Make everyone think they are a hero because they shot someone the government said was bad. That means you are a freedom fighter. Though I still haven't figured out what I am free from while my fellow citizens get killed in IraQ. Save the war on terrorism speach for the brainwashed and Fox news. I can agree on limited ability of guns for citizens but as long as our coward politicians make money hand over foot in conjunction with lobyists (while in or out of office) America will be brainwashed to live in a state of fear and gun loving. Let us not forget we are the world leaders in many crimes, not just shootings. Many in America have never been to a third world country. Unfortunately, many parts of the USA resemble those I have been to. The silence about gun restriction only pisses on the grave of the beautiful 9 year old girl who was killed in Arizona.

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Posted in: DJs' darkest hour: Indestructible eventually meant irrelevant for Technics turntable See in context

True not many "clubs" get 5000. Ageha can. Body and Soul events are held outside or once at the Sumo arena and at the old but now gone Velfarre. Maybe less than 20 Dj's in the house scene get $10,000 at a particular GRAND event. True. But in L.A. and Miami it is a different story for more mainstream DJ's at rich folks events. Anyhow, usually a decent house DJ in Tokyo does a loop usually including Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka and/or Sapporo's legendary Precious Hall. They negotiate down for the non-hot-at-the-moment jocks because they have to shelter him and provide transpo. 3-500 is more norm but if David Mancuso shows up for one of his Legendary "LOFT" parties, some places are willing to take a loss just to have him. Beleive me he gets paid. Check WIKI if you don't know him. He used to only play Precious Hall believed to be the best sound system in Japan. Maybe has branched out these days, I don't know. When Dj Harvey plaid the "Rainbowdisco" party in Japan on may 2nd (see metropolis article) it was 6,000 yen and thousands attended. He got PAID big time because he is considered a legend in Europe and people begged to see him. He played again albeit for a smaller fee at club ELEVEN 6 days later. (The former legendary CLUB YELLOW)

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Posted in: DJs' darkest hour: Indestructible eventually meant irrelevant for Technics turntable See in context

Where do you live? It costs 3-5000 yen at many events in Tokyo. If a super DJ is doing an all night set like 6 hours he is the main act. It is of course not usual as I said 3-5000 US is the norm. I worked with a promoter for years. It has been done. Ageha for instance gets over 5000 people for huge events. One headliner and a bunch of lesser paid locals. Body and Soul always gets over 5000 folks and tickets are $50 US to 70$.DJ's from NYC. This is not to say they all got 10,000, over 5000 each but it depends on the other costs associated with the venue. Licensing stuff depending on location. Ever been Ibiza? People travel from across Europe ans the US JUST to attend certain events.......L.A. parties when a top commercial house DJ headlines with a bunch of "name" people in the audience. Easy money. Remember in the US even certain party guests are compensated to attend. "Appearance fees" of 3-5000 dollars for someone who is currently among sought after up and coming celebs. Hell Kim Kardashian gets twice as much to show up and take pics for an hour. Shocked? Welcome to the world of the rich. Just left L.A. recently and there are places that pay a top DJ that amount as well as charge 15-20 dollars for top shelf drinks. Do the math.

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Posted in: DJs' darkest hour: Indestructible eventually meant irrelevant for Technics turntable See in context

Kaptain, Maybe you think DJ's aren't musicians, fine. But to say they are not artist's when many of the DJ's I mentioned remix songs by deconstructing them and adding elements that were not there. Sometimes changing the genre of the actual song. Sometimes all that is left from the original IS the vocals. You may not think it is an art but many of us do. Problem is that you seem to be stating your opinion as if it were fact not just your feeling. To me even though I do have an emotional connection to the dance genre,realize that all are not into it. But it is hard to respect the opinion of someone who seems to be able to define art. We have no idea of your actual knowledge of current world class dj's producers or what they do with the records they didn't create. It is truly an artform. Too bad you don't see it. So great vocalists aren't musicians? I know you didn't exactly say that but it feels to be insinuated. Let me know if I am wrong. Aretha Franklin is considered a God by almost every musician she ever worked with because of what she can do with her voice. Yes she can read music and can play piano/keyboards and has written songs but by her voice alone they consider her a musician because she can use it as such. She is an artist right? And to the person who asked, there are DJ's who command 10 grand at events not just local clubs. 3-5k is the norm for the good ones at places in NYC/Tokyo/Miami and such.

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Posted in: Toyota to pay record $32.4 mil in extra fines to U.S. gov't See in context

So many naive fools. Other companies have paid very large fines when linked to danger. Toyota worsened their own problem with a huge cover up and got caught in the act. NOT THE FIRST TIME by the way. Do your research. Yuri the US government can't actually afford to have Toyota go down too much. Do you realize how many Americans count on Toyota for a living? Get real. Count how many foreign owned companies that are directly linked to thousands of jobs and the US GDP. This is a slap on the wrist to Toyota and a severe embarrassment at home but American consumers are still buying tons of Toyota vehicles albeit different models. Also I know exactly how the Japanese media made/makes the fines sound. So anti-Japanese. While back in the states hardly any consumer even pays attention and they are still buying their Camry's. Those of you not too familiar with what is happening stateside are just blowing smoke with this America vs. Japan crap. The Average American still thinks Japanese cars are better though there have always been staunch anti foreign car people because of their jobs. They have been buying fords lately not GM's. A lot if GM profit is now out of China. Get a life people it's a global economy.

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Posted in: DJs' darkest hour: Indestructible eventually meant irrelevant for Technics turntable See in context

Obviously most of you folks have no idea what it takes to be a top club DJ. I am not talking about scatching hip hop artists(thats not my bag) but a club DJ. I can go into 3 different clubs with 3 different DJ's playing the exact same songs and tell you the difference in how they played them. How they blend, mix, cut, and "paste" certain elements from the discs causes some of them to rise to the top and others to be just local. Certain deep house Dj's charge 10,000 US or more for 4-6 hours because of how they have crafted their artform. Many of them go on to become producers themselves. Google Osunlade, Danny Krivit, LARRY HEARD, KERRY CHANDLER, Culoe de song, Ananda project (Chris Brann) for example. These are not the biggest but just my tastes. Soulful house artists who are all 'famous" producers as well. If we go more commercial like Miguel Migs or Roger sanchez you will see even more hits online. Ask these sometimes millionaire artists if they just play records. Many singers and producers beg these dj's to play and or remix their tracks which leads them to become creators as well. I am in a "real" rock/blues band and I still love my dance music.

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Posted in: 70,000 commuters delayed by quarrel over cell phone on train in Chiba See in context

But was it a REAL emergency that someone had to push the emergency button? Please.

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Posted in: Obama says U.S. will defend South Korea See in context

@Sharpie.....sounds like sour grapes. That is what an alliance is for. If they need help you give it. None of us wants our boys dying on foreign land anymore but you have to respect your agreements. Hopefully it won't come to that. If NK keeps doing what they are doing the UN will eventually have to get involved anyway. So we should all just give them food and oil and let them do what they want? Like blow shit up. No. But I hope a few well placed assassins will help them think it over.

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Posted in: Son of U.S. Air Force officer found guilty in rope incident case See in context

actually he should not be kicked out of Japan. he should be forced to remain here until his "suspended" sentence is done. To make sure he lives with the thought of screwing up. as soon as he leaves he is home free.

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Posted in: Slimmed-down comic sings praises of tofu & natto based diet See in context

Carcharaodon...I feel you on that. hard to avoid them but ok if done in smaller quantities. Look at the foot chart and lower the grains and increase the plants....

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Posted in: Slimmed-down comic sings praises of tofu & natto based diet See in context

Rememeber this though, some things in the Japanese diet are anti-aromatase such as green and black tea. This basically means that it can block estrogens that increase in the male body as you age and or gain weight. I studied with a former bichemist who swam in the Asian games in the 80's. trust me I am no scientist (he was one of my profs in grad school.) My eyes were opened to the chemistry of food and I still look at stuff every month if not every week to help my body.

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Posted in: Slimmed-down comic sings praises of tofu & natto based diet See in context

All the information about soy and estrogen that you find online isn't quackery. Most us us here don't have a biochemical background but simply put in some men a large amount of soy, in particular genistein and daidzein which asct as plant phytoestrogens can lead to lower sex drive because of the damper on the testosterone cycle. Most people eating a little soy here and there won't notice. especially here in Japan where men are accustomed to eating it since birth. Have you ever looked at testosterone levels in Asian Americans vs.those in Asia? do you even know what a "normal" lever is? 250ng/per deciliter of blood up to 1200. Most don't exceed 800 especially after you settle in when you ar done growing etc. Many men in Japan are at the lower end of that scale. many western men get there from abuse of diet/weight gain in the mid range. Your doctor may say you are in the normal range even though you are not as horny as you could be (among other less than pleasant reactions). All that said eating natto may not be as bad because of the fermenting process. But from a personal standpoint I have been through the high soy diet thing twice and I have been to the doctor on a few occasion in America and Japan. As a life time lifter used to a higher sex drive and a close to 400 lb bench press I am very sensitive to how my body works. I first got into the soy thing as a personal trainer in my twenties. Big mistake. But, as I said as an occasional taste I eat or drink soy but to drink large quantities, do so at your own risk. The reasearch is now there from respectable western universities. The soy conglomerate (like Monsanto who develop lots of GMO stuff including soy) in the US for example don't want us to know this. They control most of the world soy source including a large amount of what is used in Japan. do your own research.

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Posted in: Son of U.S. Air Force officer found guilty in rope incident case See in context

Weather or not she was wearing a helmet is not the case nor does it matter in the ruling. A helmet will not always protect from critical damage depending on how you fall. the bottom line is that he got off easy and I hope now that he is over the age of 18, as a "minor" adult by US laws he is sent the hell out of Japan. Of course it probably wasn't attempted murder but a couple of months at least in the coop would give him more to think about for his future.

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Posted in: The butterfly in the subway See in context

Folks are arguing things that are not relevant. Tokyo is just about the largest conurbation in the world. For this massive amount of people, the public transportation system is excellent. sure it's crowded but that is why some choose small towns. New York is very liveable as well as Tokyo. To me as a resident of each for over 5 years I find tokyo's system more efficient but in times of stress you can easily find a helping hand in New York. basically because people are not afraid to chat with a stranger. and if you look lost or in trouble someone will say.."are you ok?" That is my experience. also architecture is not exactly grey Tokyo's forte but there are some nice spots. But as for transportation only, for a city this size if you can't find anything good about it you shouldn't be living in a city this big.

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Posted in: The butterfly in the subway See in context

Because of the business relationship with the US that built Japan after WW2, Japanese will almost always first and foremost compare everything to America. The No#1 economy. In Asia no one compares to other places as often because of so much influence from the westerners across the Atlantic. Love it or hate it the USA has influenced more in the world in the past 100 years than anybody. There are exciting places in America and boring ones too. Just like some exciting cities in Europe and boring ones too. And most of Australia and New Zealand. Boring. And this isn't my take but all my mates who left down under to Japan or California. Hopefully now, other countries including the US will get more serious about public transportation and learn from Japan. But that is a big dream.

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Posted in: The butterfly in the subway See in context

The good ol' USA had the car manufaucturers buy out and dismantle the growing rail system in the US in order to increase dependence on cars. Now we look like utter and complete morons. The system in Japan is the best I have ever experienced. For 6 plus years.

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Posted in: Hikaru Utada advises fans not to buy her album See in context

Bass4..I see your point. I can't use amazon when I am in Tokyo without a proxy. I used itunes with no problem though and I use emusic.There are a ton of other sites. I say to those who are broke as i know the feeling...pay what you can when you can. But to never have the intention of paying....that just doesn't sit right.Hell even if you rent something from Tsutaya..the more popular something is, the more they actually have to buy and licence the original material to have enough copies. There are certain cd's that are always rented and the store bought several copies. japanese artists like Utada (but maybe not her in particular) even have deals with rental shops like Tsutaya. But I feel that as a creative person what goes around comes around. that is why i try to contribute to the music world. I have a sister who downloads. i give her crap but everytime her favorites are on tour she is the first one to buy front row and t-shirts at least.

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Posted in: Hikaru Utada advises fans not to buy her album See in context

Got nothing but respect for the girl. Many fans may have not realized the deal. She will get some flack from the record co though. In English, as a vocalist myself, the way she sings is different from Japanese. Not just the obvious resons like language but the way pitch is used and the strain put on the voice of young girls (and older) to try to sound "young" and girlish. Her English productions were not good from many aspects and they did not know how to fit her into the North American market as she does not stand out. Competition here is tougher. In Japan, the record companies still "brand" like the old days and pretty much tell listeners who is good. People don't buy much that is not famous or accepted by everyone else. (Of couse there are always a few exceptions).

You music thieves......I understand it. Music is everywhere you go so why pay? It's on the elevator,at the doctor's office, the club...the grocery store...etc,etc. So why pay? That artist is rich blah blah blah. 99% of artists will never be rich and the reason why is they can't get enough money. as a fan you want them to tour and to sell product and make new product etc. Well they can't if they never sell. Music is cheap on Amazon/emusic/itunes etc. At least give your favorite new artists a chance. why contribute to a whole industry of people losing jobs? if it was you or your family you would think differently. It is one thing to borrow a cd that someone paid for...an artist may gain a new fan. But to purposefully never pay is shallow. At least Utada was helping fans not waste money.

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Posted in: Japan entering the age of living alone See in context

Living alone is awesome for me. Having a great and busy social life in Tokyo left me wanting to retreat to the comfort of me and my own space. It is different for everyone. I was lucky when I was younger. I was a good looking 3 sport athlete who was well built and had endless amounts of social and dating fun. But that did not translate to me wanting to get hitched or move in with someone. I did have room mates at times and have some short term living together situations with girlfriends. But not everyone needs someone to be there for meals and the like. There are actually some of us who prefer doing it alone. I have so many married friends and divorced friends and have dinner weekly with others. It just depends on your lifestyle. Waking up with someone who makes you breakfast is cool sometimes.

But remember that I am a westerner who did all of this in Japan. Many of my japanese friends envy those who can be out alone and others think it's no good. It is cultural. In Thailand they can't comprehend being alone and in Mexico where I have travelled among other places it is not the desired norm among most. In Vietnam they look down on a man over 30 with no wife. Time will adjust many to new lifstyles with a decreasing population. maybe there will be more space?

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Posted in: We youngsters lack passion and ambition? Hardly See in context

Many of my 20's Japanese friends have dreams but no push or drive. They are pushed to be responsible for Japan when they aren't given the means to do so. The ones that are ambitious many times have ambitions that their parents don't approve of. THIS is the biggest problem in Japan to me. The fact that everyone is forced into the same bubble. Do it the Japanese way. About 20 percent will be different and beat the odds but the rest will fall into the "SHEEP" mentality of Japan. I recently had a Japanese woman tell me that they really don't want too many people being really good at English for fear of the "Brain Drain". They know they will lose talented people to better salaries and freedom elsewhere. Many westerners say respect their culture and don't try to change it...but it is the young who have ambitions who want change...they are just ostracized by the elite power structure not to fit in. After reading this and also about Kobe wanting to ban tattoos at a beach because young people smoke marijuana makes Japan's future with it's 1.29 birthrate look very bleak. I hope it isn't.

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Posted in: Do you believe that Al-Qaida was responsible for the events of 9/11 See in context

That is what "they" want us to believe. You have to be naive to think that it was that they did all that with no inside help. Pleeeeeease!

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Posted in: ANA expands Asian online booking functions See in context

Agree. This country is soooo backward somtimes.

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Posted in: Jero tries a new look for latest song See in context

Kawachi..for Black men from America being bald or shaving their head (as I do every week) is a cultural norm, as are various caps. It doesn't affect us the same as my White friends who upon losing hair freak out. In the 80's and 90's when Michael Jordan was at his peak with his bald head..bald brothers at home were cleaning up among women...(especially White). So he may be bald but it won't really affect his popularity, unless he has a seriously odd shaped head.

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Posted in: Q-chan meets Godzilla See in context

And they will milk every dime out of that cash cow....

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Posted in: 10-year-old boy drowns trying to save younger sibling in Saga See in context

Damn. True, that. He is a "real" hero.

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Posted in: Sleazy English sensei avoided suspicion for years See in context

I was 9 once and I liked to sneak a peak at sexual images and I grabbed myself. Still not something that should be a normal discussion outside of parents and professionals. Of course parents want to know about kids sexual feelings. But that is a discussion held with them..their kids..and their professionals. Anyone else putting their hand on them in order to elicit a sexual response from either party is abuse. Period. No matter what you say. It is at least abuse of power and abuse of the child's limited mind to choose correctly in the presence of an adult offering pleasure like candy and such. There, we discussed it. Mr taboo man.

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Posted in: Sleazy English sensei avoided suspicion for years See in context

Taboos? Childhood sexual development should never involve a grown man. We are not talking teenagers like 17-19 or whatever the borderline is...we are talking kids with hardly a drop of hormones (in comparison to the older teens and adults). There should be no discussion of that among normal non professionals who study such things. Not some English teacher and not you..or me. Hmm now would I sound like a PED when I try to discuss that? Taboo or not? 9 year old pre pubescent girls? Now you tell me when that discussion is normal. Get a life.

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