CraigHicks's past comments

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Seoul (24) < NY (10), LA (17)????

    Well, actually once a in cheap hotel in Seoul I left my door unlocked and a drunk man probably mistaking rooms entered while I was asleep - startled I screamed and in my underwear chased him out of the building - I only hope he didn't end up spending the night outside in freezing temperatures. More dangerous for him then for me.

    Yeah well I'd say this list has been fairly influenced by the biases and financial interests of those who made it. The back scratching and self congratulations is embarrassing.

    Of course, Tokyo is a very safe city.

    Posted in: Tokyo named safest city in world; Osaka No. 3

  • -4

    CraigHicks

    There is the story of the J-man who went around the middle east touching lepers and other sick people to cure them, offering comfort and hope to the poor, oppressed, and weak - he spoke for those who had no voice of their own, and did the best he could, given the lack of internet, to spread a message of compassion and peace. And then, having already put himself in the cross-hairs by rumbling the established status quo, he deliberately walked into harms way - he actually predicted his own death and did nothing to stop or escape from it - rather he welcomed it and recognized he was playing a part in something bigger and more important.

    I'm not a regular church going Christian but I appreciate the message - recognize it as a timeless exemplar of excellent human behavior. Every year many church workers put themselves in danger, and are sometimes killed, while trying to live the same kind of excellent behavior. And many non-Christians, with or without the influence of Christianity, do the same thing, just based on first principles.

    Incidentally, Goto became a Christian before his last trip to the middle east, while considering that he might die.

    All these people are heroes, what they are doing is not selfish or stupid, and there is many millenias worth of precedence coming from many different cultures, including of course Christianity, to prove it. That they are often resented by the established status quo is nothing new.

    Posted in: Vigil for slain hostages

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    This PARTICULAR criminal is not likely capable of being rehabilitated, but the law is intended to cover ALL juvenile crimes - the vast majority of which are cases where rehabilitation must be considered. Even in murder cases, there may have been extenuating circumstances such as being a victim of bullying or sexual abuse, yet the defendant may still be guilty and convicted of murder if it was done out of revenge and not self defense.

    At the same time Shukan Shincho, wanting to sell their print, chooses this case as it is borderline in terms of criminal age, and because of the obvious societal interest due to the heinous nature of the crime - arguably it is the the duty of the free press to report on such issues and test the weakness of the laws preventing such reporting.

    Article Unavailable

  • 5

    CraigHicks

    My wife likes to long hikes in the mountains, or riding a bicycle up steep hills, or when the weather is bad working out or swimming at the sports club. I never noticed if she does all that pigeon toed or not.

    Posted in: The No. 1 thing that foreign men find 'not so kawaii' about Japanese women

  • 5

    CraigHicks

    I suspect that behind this crime is a case of mental illness - one of the least understood areas of human health.

    Posted in: 22-year-old man held over murder of 11-year-old boy in Wakayama town

  • 4

    CraigHicks

    The questioning of Abe's decision to provide humanitarian assistance is unwarranted - I would say it falls in the unfortunate category of "reflex" opposition.

    However, Abe has unfortunately fallen short in his response to Goto's death - where Abe should have shown appreciation and respect for Goto's efforts to show the plight of children and civilians in war, Abe instead has responded that journalists don't belong there - implying Goto's work was useless - and taken a faux stance that Goto both could and should have been rescued. (Never mind Goto's whereabouts were unknown, and sacrificing more lives to save Goto would only have added to tragedy of Goto trying to save Yukawa's life).

    Does Abe prefer journalists who act like obedient miniature dogs and don't go outside?

    Posted in: Abe defends handling of hostage crisis

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    There is no relevance between this proposal and Goto's particular case. By not making that clear, Abe is muddying the discussion - why?. It is in fact an insult to Goto - a poor substitute for recognizing the work and risks taken by a journalist. There is a legitimate case for considering the rescue of hijacked passengers, kidnapped businessmen, etc. However, even then such cases would not likely be in power vacuum area, but rather in a sovereign nation which already has its own military force for dealing with such situations and would be unlikely to welcome another countries commandos.

    Abe should not try to leverage emotions but instead focusing on rational realities - hostage rescue is but one approach, which is not practical or justifiable in many cases - certainly not in Goto's.

    Posted in: Abe wants SDF to be allowed to rescue Japanese citizens in danger

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    Isreal released 1,027 prisoners, included 280 charged with terrorism, in exchange for 1 Isreali prisoner in 2011 (the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange).

    The US sold thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, during a US embargo on such sales to Iran, in exchange for 7 hostages held in Lebanon in 1985-6. (Iran-Contra)

    The following article:

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/09/no-ones-really-in-charge-in-hostage-negotiations/

    suggests that ransoms have been paid for US hostages since 9/11. My impression is that foreignpolicy.com is a generally reliable website in terms of not fabricating/exaggerating news.

    The logic for not paying for US and European hostages is obvious. However, the number of Japanese is the area is far fewer. There is not as much risk of future kidnappings of Japanese. If at some time kidnappings of Japanese became endemic, it is quite likely that Japanese public/govt opinion would move away from the idea of paying ransoms - much as has happened over time in the US.

    This case however, is no longer a cash ransom case - on the surface anyway - but perhaps we should assume that cash is involved in all hostage releases. The failed woman suicide bomber for whose release they are willing to trade Goto is not an important prisoner - as a prisoner swap it would be a good deal.

    Posted in: Abe calls 24-hour hostage deadline despicable

  • 4

    CraigHicks

    @some14some ... "people aged 70 and over should be banned from riding bicycle."

    Check out this book blurb on amazon "More Than a Race: Four 70-Year-Old Cyclists Ride the Race Across America ... Leaving Oceanside CA on June 12, 2012, the team and their hard-working support crew of 15 raced to Annapolis MD in 6 days, 13 hours, 13 minutes, at an average of 19.04 mph. They not only broke the 70+ record by 27 hours, but also bested the 60+ record by more than 3 hours."

    Not so many people can do that even in their youth. Mental and physical health is never guaranteed, but anyone can live a lifestyle which is more likely than not to result in their safely being able to ride a bicycle at 70+. You too!

    Posted in: Gov't to tighten penalties for dangerous bicycle riding

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    For added context, it is worth pointing out that in 2014:

    Imports from Japan to Korea = 4.6 billion $US Imports from Korea to Japan = 2.9 billion $US

    From my own first hand experience I met many Koreans working in manufacturing industry, dealing on a regular basis with Japanese counterparts, who could speak communicable Japanese, and would enjoy business eating and drinking "parties" with Japanese. (In contrast virtually none of the Japanese spoke any Korean at all).

    So while the political drama regularly appearing in the newspapers is true, it only shows one aspect of a larger picture.

    Posted in: S Korea balks as U.S. picks Japan, Australia to service F-35s in Asia

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    Abe better hurry up with the war, or the revolution will come first.

    Posted in: 'Black companies' getting worse

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    I see so many obese people walking or sitting around sipping on sports drink, which is just fructose and water. Without the "sports", it builds up fat cells but provides nothing to build up the extra immune system requirements for all that extra flesh, leaving the body open to all kinds of diseases (including cancer) that it cannot fight off properly.

    I know this is just a single aspect of the problem, but it might be a good place to start.

    Posted in: Obesity clips up to 8 years off your life, says study

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    @HonestDictator ... Easily impressionable idiots and mentally disturbed people are the only ones who would believe what's done in a fictional game is what should be done in real life.

    "Easily impressionable" and "mentally disturbed" sounds like a stage of development that a lot of teenage boys have always gone through. So maybe you're right, and these games are indeed one factor in the surge of school shooting massacres.

    Posted in: Australian retail giant pulls Grand Theft Auto V after protests

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Maybe Takata should take the big step and switch away from ammonium nitrate, the explosive chemical which is used by Takata, and not used by any other airbag maker. Apparently ammonium nitrate allows for a more compact design, so if a car was designed around a smaller airbag supplied by Takata, that could pose a big problem. Might require changing the airbag, the steering wheel, and maybe even the steering column!

    I can't imagine that any new car designs would include ammonium nitrate airbags in the near future.

    Posted in: Inside Takata, tantrums, but little sense of crisis over air bags

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    This new years I got a room with a "sea view" booked in a west Izu pension, only 3,500 yen per person per night! Hopefully the sunrise is included in the view, otherwise we'll go down to the seashore to watch.

    If you are stuck in Tokyo, the Chuo line and Keio line trains run special early trains out to Takao-san so you can watch the sunrise. BUT, if you go all the way to the top of Takao-san, where it is most crowded with people and a Shinto priest chants a prayer over loudspeakers, the trees block the view, so I find it better to choose a spot further down where the sunrise can be seen. Be prepared for low temperatures slightly below 0 c.

    A Tokyo-to mountain for fantastic sunrises is Kumotori-san, whose peak is at the junction of Tokyo-to, Gifu pref., and Yamanashi pref. The peak is over 2000 meters high. There are two yama-goya (mountain huts with futons which charge a fee) available about 30 minutes down from the peak, and there is a "free" emergency shelter on the peak where you can sleep in a pinch but you should bring a sleeping bag. I've experienced pre dawn temperatures of -12 c, but I've heard it can get much lower than that. (If you stay in the "new" yama-goya which is on the dark side of the mountain you will need eizen spikes on your boots to walk down the icy slopes). From Okutama station there is a bus to Kamozawa, where a trail on the sunny of the mountain begins - 3 to 4 hours to the top walking.

    Posted in: Tokyo metropolitan gov't building accepting applications to watch first sunrise of 2015

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    "Formaldehyde—a substance found in ... embalming fluids—was present at much higher levels than carcinogens found in the smoke from regular cigarettes, the official said."

    This is pretty efficient. Pre-embalming while imbibing carcinogens will make the whole funeral process go more smoothly.

    Posted in: E-cigarettes contain up to 10 times carcinogens: Japan researchers

  • 1

    CraigHicks

    In an unfortunate and unwise choice of strategy to locate Osama Bin Laden, information was gathered under the false front of an immunization program in Pakistan. In fact it yielded no information of value, but incurred a great and lasting cost on health care efforts in Pakistan and elsewhere, and unnecessarily put health workers lives at risk. Could it be that both Muslim terrorists and Muslim haters would prefer to see moderate peaceful thinkers of any religion killed? I would hope the answer is no, but then I cannot understand how such a misguided was formed.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-cia-fake-vaccination-campaign-endangers-us-all/

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110714/full/news.2011.418.html

    https://ispub.com/IJPH/2/1/13962

    http://news.sciencemag.org/2011/07/cias-fake-vaccination-drive-angers-public-health-world

    http://www.wired.com/2012/05/pakistan-polio-fake-cia/

    Posted in: Four polio vaccinators shot dead in Pakistan

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @WA4TKG ... Sorry, I am one of those DREADED NRA members you obviously HATE.

    Sorry, I wouldn't waste my mental energy hating YOU when I need that mental energy to think logically and clearly. An exponential increase in gun rage incidents/accidents (sometimes committed by juveniles) is logically incompatible with "open carry" laws. Your logic is broken - HATE is not acceptable substitute for logic.

    Posted in: 12-year-old boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @Kearimashita - ... prolifeation of diseases that spread to the wild population ...

    If these are caused by virus or bacteria to which their farmed siblings are immune, it is likely the wild fish will eventually also develop immunity, especially if they interbreed.

    Posted in: Surrogate sushi: Japan uses biotech for bluefin tuna

  • 5

    CraigHicks

    @WA4TKG ... When an ARMED Policeman is ( likely ) pointing HIS GUN at YOU, DO WHAT HE SAYS.

    Unless you are an "open carry advocate" backed by the NRA. Then you strut your feathers, fully armed with guns and secret camera in front of policemen hoping they will stop you and your can post your video on you tube, as well as suing the police department.

    Go search on you tube for "open carry", I got 726,000 hits. You won't be able to watch them as fast as they are being added. Who needs logic when you've got guns.

    Posted in: 12-year-old boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer

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