Japan Today

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Posted in: Mass shootings put spotlight on mental illness, but figuring out which conditions should keep someone from having a gun is no easy task See in context

As federal law stands now in the U.S., only an involuntary commitment for mental health treatment, or a judicial finding that a person was mentally incompetent to stand trial, is a federal prohibitor for a firearm purchase. Seriously mentally ill persons who have voluntarily admitted themselves for treatment remain eligible. However, the FBI NICS system has an existing process by which an individual, with concurrence by a doctor, can submit a form to have any future attempts to purchase denied. This process needs to be more widely shared with mental health providers who can work with clients who are acutely aware of the potential risk they pose to themselves and others to reduce the risk from firearm possession.

There was a comment that there are stricter background checks for purchase of automatic weapons and others that fall under the National Firearms Act of 1934. That is not the case. The background check is the same FBI check for ordinary firearms. The difference lies in the registration of the firearms and the tax payment. It is true that criminal use of NFA weapons is rare. I think that is because most firearm enthusiasts, including owners of large numbers of weapons, are not the ones out there committing violent crime with them. The anti-gun crowd is strangely preoccupied with "right wing gun owners" and it lowers their credibility in this discussion.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Actor Robert De Niro tells a jury in a lawsuit by his ex-assistant: 'This is all nonsense' See in context

Brilliant actor, but DeNiro has a long reputation for being verbally abusive to employees. Part of that might stem from his own drug abuse. Bob Woodwards's Wired, about the final days of John Belushi, documented DeNiro's shared cocaine addiction with Belushi.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Netflix's DVD-by-mail service bows out as its red-and-white envelopes make their final trip See in context

There were thousands of movies available throught Netflix's DVD service that are not in its streaming library. The discontinuance of this service will be felt by those whose tastes went beyond the cold algorithms of the streaming content programmers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: David McCallum, star of hit TV series 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and 'NCIS,' dies at 90 See in context

It’s surprising that the obituary didn’t mention that McCallum’s The Edge was sampled for Dr. Dre’s The Next Episode. Instantaneously recognizable hook.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: When it comes to Hollywood strikes, it's not just entertainment industry that's being hurt See in context

The biggest threat to Hollywood is that this strike has barely registered with the audience, which has other entertainment options.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China warns Olympics diplomatic boycott nations will 'pay a price' See in context

The CCP is lucky that China didn't lose the Olympics after what it did to the rest of the world over the last two years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you support the decision by some countries to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics? See in context

The Olympics should have been pulled from China due to the actions of its leadership in covering up the leak, perhaps intentional, of the COVID-19 virus from the Wuhan lab. In any case, it is unlikely that China as we know it will exist as a country in 10 years. The collapse of Evergrande will set off a chain of events leading to the fall of the murderous CCP.

21 ( +29 / -8 )

Posted in: Webb telescope aims to answer astronomy's 'biggest questions' See in context

The Webb telescope will be a new milestone in our understanding of our existence. It may also be a critical step in the UAP disclosure process. Just hope there are no technical problems later because there is no hope for repair at the L2 point.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: World on alert as more countries report cases of COVID-19 variant See in context

Largely absent from the hysterical media reports on this new variant are the reports from treating physicians that the symptoms so far have been very mild. In any case, its time to acknowledge that the virus is endemic and it is inevitable that every human on earth will eventually become infected. Lockdowns and masks are ineffective and destructive to society. Vaccines of all eligible adults and segregation of elderly or those with multiple co-morbidities are the only way to move forward and get used to this virus in the same way that we treat influenza.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Posted in: How the pandemic helped spread fentanyl across U.S. and drive opioid OD deaths to grim new high See in context

Fentanyl overdoses exploded when Chinese suppliers of precursor chemicals joined with Mexican drug trafficking organizations, most significantly the Sinaloa and CJNG cartels, to smuggle it into the U.S. in unprecedented quantities. It's low-intensity warfare by the Chinese. American policymakers know this but are slow to respond to due political considerations that conflict with the national interest.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Blues guitar legend Buddy Guy looks back on a special career See in context

At the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1989, I was up in front watching as Buddy Guy came down to the audience level on the grass separated by a chain link fence. He was walking along the line of people while continuing to play and I tried to get a picture. I fumbled with my cheap camera but realized that I had forgotten to advance the film for the next shot. Too late, I thought as Buddy passed by. But he had seen me fumbling, walked back and stood in front of me for a few seconds while tearing into one of his amazing solos and let me get the picture. Big smile on his face. Just an amazing, wonderful musician and human being.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 26th anniversary of Great Hanshin Earthquake observed See in context

I lived in Tokyo at the time and remember that besides the suffering of victims, the Japanese public was very shocked by the collapse of segments on the Hanshin Expressway. They had been led to believe that advanced Japanese engineering skills had made it and other critical infrastructure impervious to earthquakes. In the 1990s, the three greatest blows to the Japanese psyche were the collapse of Yamaichi Securities, the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Aum Shinrikyo terror attacks. I'm relieved to see the Japanese people persevered through that difficult decade.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump, Biden go on offense in states they're trying to flip See in context

Almost all polls point to a Biden victory. However, I've been struck by the lack of passion for Biden in my Democrat-dominated community. I think everyone above 50 remember how Biden crashed out of two prior presidential campaigns in disgrace due to plagiarism and lying about his biography. He's repeating the same mistakes in this race just crazy claims like the one last week where he said he got his start at Delaware State, a historically Black college, which was quickly denied by its registrar's office. Young people don't see Biden as an agent of change because he's distanced himself from the progressive wing of the party. They also notice the distance that Obama has created between himself and Biden. Personally, I think Biden made a mistake early on in admitting that he would be a one-term president. That put more importance on his VP pick. Kamala Harris did terrible in the primaries, failing to bring out the Black vote or even win a single delegate, and doesn't have the experience or maturity (the constant, crazy laugh at her own lame jokes) to make people comfortable with her ascending to the presidency so soon. Trump did very well with the economy and helped America move towards energy independence and, by extension, a future without dependence on the Middle East. Despite the media's efforts, most people simply don't blame Trump for the COVID downturn. I expect that Trump will be re-elected with a slightly higher Electoral College win than in 2016.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Gov't considers obliging convicted sex offenders to wear GPS trackers See in context

Long overdue. Sex abuse is the most unreported crime in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kim Jong Un's sister threatens S Korea with military action See in context

It is only a matter of time until the Kims meet the same fate as the Ceaușescus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian minister calls anti-racism protests 'self-indulgent' See in context

I went to two BLM protests this weekend. It was clear that an element of the crowd was absolutely "self-indulgent" - mostly young whites there only to get a thrill of acting "edgy" and to get some good Instagram shots. It wasn't the majority of the crowd but it is just stupid not to recognize that large gatherings attract people who are there for different reasons - some honorable, some not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 13 wounded in Louisiana memorial service shooting See in context

Gang members shooting gang members. No one will cooperate with the police so the vicious cycle of retribution will continue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 states ease lockdowns as U.S. COVID-19 death toll passes 50,000 See in context

Set aside all of the finger pointing and Monday morning quarterbacking and give respect to the more than 40 employees of Braskem America in Pennsylvania who made the collective decision in March to leave their families and live at the factory for 28 days, where they would eat, sleep, and take turns working 12-hour shifts to produce protective equipment for healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. They clocked out yesterday after their month-long shift. These are the kind of Americans who will see the country through this crisis and beyond.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas dead at 103 See in context

Wonderful man and a legendary actor! Loved him in Seven Days in May.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Subaru sets mid-2030s target to sell only electric vehicles worldwide See in context

Electric vehicles, outside of Tesla, are simply not selling well in any world market. Even government fleet purchases can't hide this. Subaru will never go through with this pledge - it would be corporate suicide. I say this as a Subaru owner who would love to have an affordable, electric option.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Restaurant operator Skylark to end 24-hour operations by April See in context

All night diners in the cities I've lived in will always have a special place in my heart.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands of armed U.S. gun rights activists join peaceful Virginia rally See in context

The protestors today rightly point out that existing guns laws, on the State and federal levels, are not simply not enforced. Given this reality, the push for new gun laws is sensibly interpreted as government overreach. Governor Northam and his supporters should instead be pushing for massive new funding of the federal DOJ to fund prosecutors and prison cells. But they are not - curious, no?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Pioneer gains $540 million rescue from Baring Private Equity See in context

Best of luck to Pioneer. I'm still enjoying my Sansui receiver!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: X Japan leader Yoshiki says he will never stop trying to crack U.S. market See in context

I listened to him recently on Steve Jones' KLOS radio show, Jonesy's Jukebox. The interview was kind of brutal as they both couldn't understand most of what the other said. Jones was polite but also couldn't hide the fact that he knew next to nothing about Yoshiki or X Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: American man arrested for urinating on another passenger on flight to Japan See in context

I suspect that there was a prescription medicine in the mix on this one.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan probing abuse of health insurance system by foreign residents See in context

Many countries have tough, some would say cold-hearted, policies towards immigration and health. For example, New Zealand has refused residency to persons in wheelchairs and others with autism. Entire families have been denied residency because a child was deemed too costly by the NZ government.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Halloween' trailer shows Jamie Lee Curtis means business See in context

Do we really need yet another installment in the Halloween series? Enough with the formulaic horror! It's just sad that talented actresses like Jamie Lee Curtis aren't offered better acting opportunities. She doesn't need the money - just doesn't appear to have any other viable film projects.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore See in context

There is no peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear issue that doesn't involve sitting down with Kim Jon Un and negotiating with him. Kudos to Trump for taking the risk.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Another U.S. military chopper makes emergency landing near Okinawa hotel See in context

A helicopter that was experiencing mechanical issues landed in a safe area, rather than risking a crash. And what exactly is wrong with that?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you believe marijuana, which was legalized in California on Jan 1, is a harmless drug? See in context

USA Attorney General will keep the rating which continues to undermine any research.

It is up to Congress to change marijuana's status under federal law, not the Attorney General.

The problem with individual States legalizing marijuana is that it continues organized crime control over the markets as they use the cover of legal grows to cultivate and divert marijuana to States where it remains illegal. That is why States like Colorado and Oregon have become source States for black market marijuana and seen a rise in Mexican cartel activity - the opposite of what the citizens were promised.

The other issue is that marijuana has simply become too strong through genetic modifications to marijuana strains. It is nothing like the pot of the 60s, 70s or 80s. There are no more communal experiences like passing a joint at a concert. One hit and people are now stoned out of their minds. That's no good for anyone.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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