zones2surf comments

Posted in: Tsunami-hit elementary school in Miyagi to close in March See in context


Thank you for that. My father passed before the event, so he never actually experienced the loss. My mother, on the other hand, did. Many of their friends that were lost were elderly. The neighborhood we lived in is gone.

And yet my mother reminds me of those in Japan picking up the pieces after WW2, entire cities and families devastated. So much personal loss, for things well beyond their control. And, yet, they found the inner strength to get on with life.

My mom loved the Amachan TV show. Tragedies should be remembered and honored, but rebirths need to be encouraged and treasured.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. companies distance themselves from NRA as pressure mounts See in context

It's interesting to me.

The NRA didn't do this, anymore than the beer / liquor manufacturers didn't cause the deaths of those killed by drunk driving.

And yet those that argue that gun ownership and the NRA and the gun manufacturers should be banned don't make the same argument when it comes to, say, alcohol.

Because, they aren't guided by logical consistency in their thinking. And they still have no patience for the whole 2nd Amendment thing, because they hate the rule of law.

I grew up with guns. Fired my first guns at 9 yo. A 22 caliber rifle. Hunted wild game with a 12 gauge over-and-under at 12 yo. Owned my first 9mm Glock at 23 yo. And joined the NRA that same year.

The NRA didn't do this. Stupid arse politicians, local law enforcement and school administrators did this.

And the idiots that seem to think that we shouldn't tell kids what is right and wrong.

When I was young, in the U.S., the laws were more liberal than they are now. The weapons available were just as potent as they are now. And yet we didn't have these shootings.

What has changed?? Seriously! It's not that things have become more lax.

If you are a smart, rational, intelligent person, you are compelled to ask why this happens more now than went the same weapons were available and the regulations were even more liberal.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Best-selling Donald Trump expose hits bookstores in Japan See in context


Partisan book. For a partisan world.

Those that love Trump / voted for Trump, love him and will hate this book.

Those that detest Trump / voted for Hillary, hate him and will love this book.

Interestingly, following its release in the U.S., many of those that supported Clinton and hate Trump have distanced themselves from this book because so much of it appears to be, at best, exaggerations.

Always interesting to read these types of books, though.... but will not be enriching this author's bank account to do so... will wait for it to be in library, both the English version and the Japanese version.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Fishermen seek compensation over U.S. fighter jet fuel tank incident See in context


All fair questions, except that the body of water in question was not the Pacific Ocean, but an interior lake. The fighter plane's flight path took it over Lake Ogawara rather than over the Pacific Ocean.

And I would imagine that under the SFA, the SDF is the agency that gets involved, as the JCG does not get involved in SFA matters.

Just an educated guess.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Tsunami-hit elementary school in Miyagi to close in March See in context

When I was born, we lived in Ishinomaki and we lived there until I was 2. Visited the area many times in the years that followed and had driven by this elementary school in 2010 on a visit to see friends of my parents.

My parents lost dear friends in the tsunami and the town that I loved and experienced as a child is forever changed.

And yet the memories are the source of fresh starts. For those connected to this school, for those that lost family and friends, and for the town and region as a whole.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. military helicopter flies over Okinawa school again See in context

Or the fourth reason:

It was an accident. (commence downvoting)

Fair enough, but the reason I didn't include that was because, if the military had placed enough emphasis on this with pilots, there wouldn't have been an accident. Which is sort of what I was getting at in #2.

But, if it was an accident, then the military needs to beef up training so that promises made to the Japanese government can be upheld.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. military helicopter flies over Okinawa school again See in context

There are only 3 possible reasons for this:

  • It was intentional because the pilots knowingly disregarded the instructions to overfly the school.

  • It was careless because the pilots either hadn't been sufficiently trained to avoid overflying the school or weren't careful enough to avoid doing so.

  • It was inadvertent but necessary because of flight conditions.

None of them are particularly encouraging because it means that the chances of this happening again are relatively high, further undermining confidence in whatever assurances and promises the U.S. military make to the Japanese government.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, preacher to millions, adviser to U.S. presidents, dies at 99 See in context

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Graham (and his wife) more than once. An incredibly gracious and decent man, whatever anyone here may think of him.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Posted in: U.S. fighter jet dumps fuel tanks into Aomori lake after engine fire See in context


OK...........question, why the HELL didn't the pilot ditch his tanks into the NEARBY OCEAN instead of the lake?? Clearly the ocean is nearby....

Great practical question.

So, if you look at the picture accompanying the article, you see the airfield, you see the ocean in the background, and you see the lake in the foreground.

And the article says that the engine fire took place shortly after takeoff.

So, one could reasonably assume that the pilot took off with the ocean to his/her back and that the lake was in his/her flight path after takeoff.

Assuming this was the case, then the idea was to ditch the fuel tanks ASAP with an engine fire in progress. Which would have meant over land rather than over ocean, as it would take time to make the turn and overfly populated territory to get to the ocean.

Just a guess, based on the article and the photos.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Boarding now for a flight from Tokyo to Paris that never takes off See in context

We are getting closer to seeing "Brainstorm" become reality, for anyone that remembers that movie.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Top court orders hotel operator to pay NHK broadcast fee See in context

There are three things that are unavoidable in life - Japan version: death, taxes, and the NHK collector! :-)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Review: Timberlake is a man lost in the woods on new album See in context

but I'm guessing he's going to change the channel during halftime, unless they have cloned Ol Blue Eyes.

He won't be performing at halftime, but tell your dad to check out Sal Valentinetti...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Review: Timberlake is a man lost in the woods on new album See in context

The truth is that every artist eventually runs out of gas. It is inevitable.

Consider how long Justin Timberlake has been successful. I don't care whether it is because of cultural appropriation or not, he has found a way to remain relevant far longer than most artists.

And, to be honest, those that do stay relevant always borrow from others and from new musical styles. Certainly this is true in the pop / Top 40 world.

There are those that are the creators. And there are those that are the producers. And then there are those that are just savvy repackagers.

Justin just turned 37. His solo career is 15+ years. How many can claim that?? Whatever the reason, that is impressive.

He may be at the end of his run. Or he may not.

Not a particular fan, just think he probably is not done yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Spice Girls announce plans to work together again See in context

Why not?! Hey, everyone in the pop world lip syncs concerts these days, so..... let them do their thing and for those that are into it and want to drop a few quid for a ticket, happy days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: China criticizes U.S. for nuclear adversary claims See in context

Typical PRC commentary.

There is no question that they have global ambitions and want to be the dominant military power in Asia. And to control the territory within the Nine Dash Line boundaries.

So, any statements that seek to address their military ambitions will be met with this kind of commentary.

And, of course, they take offense at the U.S. military being in their backyard and challenging their ambitions.

Not a defense of the U.S. per se, just making an observation.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: 2020 Tokyo Olympic costs keep rising See in context

As. Predictable. As. Time.

A Japanese construction project completed at 3~4x original estimates. Even though those that accused the bidders of lowballing the bids were accused of high treason by the JP construction industry.

Prediction: This is the last time Japan will try to win the big circle jerk that is the bidding for the Olympics! What a monumental waste of money!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 26-year prison term upheld for man over death of infant he was babysitting See in context

I do hope his 26 year is in general population, and all the other prisioners are informed of his crimes, may as well make those 26 years hell.

I appreciate the sentiment, but that's not quite how it works in Japanese prisons.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan working to convert squat toilets to Western-style See in context


That's right! At my local park there is a strongly worded sign not to flush your dog doodoo down the toilet!

LOL!! Really?? Wow. I mean, I would think that dog ふん would flush as easily as human, but.... well, maybe that is to avoid people flushing the proverbial plastic baggy or glove they used to pick it up!! :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Bruno Mars sweeps Grammys, winning top album and song See in context

what a sad state of affairs modern music has become.

Generally I agree with you, particularly with the music that seems to get most of the attention. Bruno Mars probably is an exception in that some of his stuff does sort of stick and probably will for a decent amount of time.

But, as a general matter, your statement is sadly true.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan working to convert squat toilets to Western-style See in context

Don't know how many JT readers are long-time residents of Japan, but when I was a child growing up in the '70s in Japan, many of the Western style toilets installed in homes and in public would have a sign attached / adjacent to the toilet with stick men pictures demonstrating proper use of the toilet with the seat up and down.

That was the 1970s. So, 40 years ago. Still amazes me how many Japanese style toilets exist 40 years later.

Now, however, I am seeing more and more public toilets with signs reminding users not to put anything other than toilet paper in them. Far too many people trying to dispose of diapers in them, I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Flu epidemic rages in Japan with record-high number of cases reported in one week See in context

@garypen for the win as far as comments go. Exactly right.

Overmedication IS an issue. There is no denying that. Particularly when talking about antibiotics and so many other prescription medicines.

However, that and vaccinations to protect against viral infections / diseases are two separate issues.

And the argument against vaccinations in general by the anti-vaxx crowd tends to be around the idea that giving so many to kids at a young age somehow impacts children's development, not some sort of development of resistance to drugs like antibiotics. Although there are a few that argue that over-vaccination can lead to a weakening of the auto-immune system. However, I have never heard anyone make that argument with respect to the flu vaccination.

Influenza pandemics historically killed millions. Well before there were vaccinations, antibiotics, etc. And, of course, there are reports coming out of the U.S. of healthy people getting sick and dying within a couple of days of showing symptoms of the flu. Almost all had not had their flu shots this year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Metro to begin playing classical background music on Hibiya Line trains See in context

(Perhaps it doesn't work like that any more.)

Kiseru cheats. Haven't thought about that term in a long time. Never did it myself. Am sure there are still people who do it. However, with so many people using PASMO, Suica and the like, I can't remember the last time I saw someone actually checking tickets on the Hibiya-sen.

Ahhhh, I miss the old days.... particularly the sound of the guys at the kaisatsuguchi with their ticket punchers...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Metro to begin playing classical background music on Hibiya Line trains See in context

I can easily see a number of passengers falling asleep and missing their stop!

Seriously, though, they should try this during morning and evening rush hours to help soothe the frayed nerves!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Soros to Google and Facebook: 'Your days are numbered' See in context

Soros = Palpatine. In looks (see The Return Of The Jedi). And in substance.

Just saying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Museum opens in Tokyo, displaying documents to defend claims to disputed isles See in context

Wow! A museum!!! Well.... that will make China and South Korea change their behavior!!

Seriously, while I understand that in the diplomatic world, you have to make efforts to ensure your claims are clear, in the real world, it really doesn't matter much.

In the real world, possession is 9/10 of the battle. Japan holds the Senkaku Islands and Okinotorishima , Korea holds Takeshima, Russia holds the Northern Islands and China holds the various "islands" in the South Pacific.

Which is the only country that is still behaving like the meek schoolyard boy?? Japan.

Japan, if you believe in your claims to the Senkaku Islands and Okinotorishima, then behave like China, Korea and Russia. Deploy permanent military units to them, dredge and build up huge artificial enlargements to them. Build ports, airstrips and barracks. Own them.

But, that is only if you want to win. Because to win, you have to exert power. Period.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe to attend Pyeongchang Olympics; convey his stance on 'comfort women' issue to Moon See in context

Let me get this straight. Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics, a time for the country to celebrate and serve as hosts for the world?

And Abe wants to use this occasion to raise this issue yet again?? As guests in Korea during what should be a time of harmonious enjoyment of the Olympics??

It is not time / place for this! I mean, seriously, how would all of the LDP hawks feel if Korea returns the favor in 2020??

Talk about tone deaf!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Merkel, Macron take Davos spotlight ahead of Trump's arrival See in context

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the main opening address, defending free trade.

Pretty cheeky, given the tremendous hostility India has to foreign companies operating in India.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Boy walks on shinkansen track for 4 km, disrupting service See in context

I would suggest that the authorities and child welfare investigate the child's situation, including what is going on at school. With what we have seen in recent years, one cannot discount the possibility that the child is confronting issues that he feels like he cannot handle anymore.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Mother arrested for leaving baby son at Tokyo restaurant at midnight See in context

Clearly this baby does not belong with his mother at this point.

At the same time, the alternatives are not much better. Here are some staggering numbers from a few years ago. Roughly 40,000 babies/children are in care in institutions. Every year less than 500 children are adopted in Japan. Only about 10-15% of those not with their parents/parents are placed with foster parents.

This is not unique to Japan, of course, but the number/percentages for adoption/foster families is significantly lower than places like Australia, the U.S., etc.

Truly heartbreaking when one consider the potential future for this baby boy. However, for now, it is a blessing that he is alive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hawaii missile alert mistake feeds doubts about a real emergency See in context

Happen to be in Hawaii right now. Have a burner phone. Got the alert.

Some state employee screwed up. And ruined a beautiful aloha Saturday for us and everyone else in Hawaii.

And yet some hateful arsewipes can't help but throw shade at the President, etc. over a human mistake by a state employee in Hawaii.

Seriously, get a grip. We went through hell yesterday morning. It sucked. Had nothing to do with Trump. At all. And those that hate Trump just want to direct their hate at him.


4 ( +11 / -7 )

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