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DSMar. 13, 2012 - 08:00AM JST
As long as he loses the general election, I don't care about Idaho or Kansas.
No need to worry about the length of the primary fight. People have such short memories...... waaaaaaay back in 2008, Obama vs. Clinton/Edwards went on and on too. It was hardly a done deal.
Once Romney wins, he can concentrate on November and restoring a level of fiscal sanity to Washington.
Posted in: South becomes battleground for Republicans
DSFeb. 27, 2012 - 10:36PM JST
There's no juggling. He'll get money from Wall Street and Hollywood as usual. Remember the 2008 campaign? Obama was the first candidate since the public funding system was created in 1976 to drop out of it. That was after, of course, he pledged to honor it....
Politics and money are not issues of one party or the other. Both are equally greedy and craven.
Posted in: Obama juggles need for campaign money, mass appeal
DSFeb. 27, 2012 - 10:24PM JST
The unique thing in Japan is the constant insecure navel gazing. I've never seen a country so fascinated with its own image and how others see it. Also so desperate to be unique...
Posted in: Some Japanese customs that may confuse foreigners
DSFeb. 27, 2012 - 07:24PM JST
Multiculturalism seems to work better if the host culture is strong enough and confident enough to promote itself first. Moving to a new country means that you should at least show passing interest in that country's culture and traditions. The US seems to be good at this- most people know what being "American" entails. Otherwise, there is the risk of diluting everything into a thin soup of cultural relativism.
Posted in: Multiculturalism is a reality in the U.S.; it is accepted neither in theory nor in practice in Japan.
DSFeb. 27, 2012 - 07:17PM JST
Remember people, Islami violence is by no means limited to Afghanistan. In the Cartoon Controversy, violence reigned from Syria to Gaza to Pakistan. The irony was that the original cartoons (as published in Denmark) weren't even the ones that caused the uproar- the imams had to use fake cartoons to whip up the crowd.
Oh, and the newspaper that printed them also apologized. Didn't seem to do much good as the violence continued, including attacks on the artists.
Also lost in the issue is the allegation that prisoners themselves defaced the Korans first, using them to pass messages back and forth. That defacement is what prompted the burning. Perhaps the guards should have consulted someone as to the proper way to dispose of the books, but that is easy to say in hindsight.
So, it seems that apologies dont work, and that the violence will happen regardless.
Frankly, that place isn't worth another drop of blood or dollar of aid. Let them wallow in their medieval wasteland unhindered.
Posted in: Santorum: No apology needed for Koran burning
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 09:37AM JST
I guess age matters, UD. My lad is in his teens, and it freaks me out how quickly he can pop back and forth. We watch Bill Cosby/George Carlin on YouTube, he laughs his ass off, then goes and reads a Haruhi or KeOn comic book...
PM that may be true. I think most often the definition here is in terms of exclusivity with the value of "better". However, people themselves shy away from being unique from each other. I'm thinking over at what level "unique" becomes a positive quality. Do people say "Kansai is unique..." or "Tohoku is unique...".....
Posted in: Planning to move to Japan? Change your Westernized mentality
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 09:16AM JST
Thats good, UltraD. I call kids like yours and mine "hybrids" rather than "haafu" or "double". To me, hybrid sounds cool and efficient, able as you say to switch between cultures and languages effortlessly. Much like a hybrid vehicle uses the engine that is appropriate to the conditions, our kids use the langauge/culture that works for the situtation.
I've seen a lot of foreigners here (usually whities) with what I call "Get Out Of My Japan" Syndrome. They are trying so so hard to fit in, to become local, that they have fooled themselves into actually thinking they have succeeded in doing so. However, the sight of another obviously nonJapanese person is like kryptonite, it robs them of their power and feeling of faux invisibility, and reminds them that they are just another foreign face to those around them. As a result, they avoid other foreigners like the plague, even changing seats on the subway/train to move farther away from you. Only a matter of time before they are brought crashing back to reality.
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 08:46AM JST
I'm a dad with a teenage boy at home, and can't imagine the scenario in this story. My lad does play video games, but we have a few rules about them that we worked out together. Eg; no games at the dinner table, or when we go out for dinner. Everyone follows the same rule. Mommy and daddy don'T play with their smartphones or send mail, and neither does DSjr. I shake my head when I see families having dinner 'togehter'. Except the only thing together are their bodies. Kids are playing games, mom tapping on her phone, dad reading a friggin comic. Nice quality family time there...
I find that in general, the best way to discipline teens is to let them know clearly the rules beforehand, give them some feedback on what the rules are, and what the consequences are. Also, it's important to have a reward system in place too. Get good grades in school, get some cash and extra privileges. The carrot AND the stick are both needed.
Posted in: 14-year-old boy stabs mother after she confiscates video game
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 08:36AM JST
I don't understand the logic of 20 being the age of legal adulthood. People can drive a car, marry, join the military, get a job, etc. all before 20 years old. Does this mean that they are still children, but can drive/work/marry? It makes no sense at all.
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 08:22AM JST
I don't think the idea of "unique" is quite the same in Japan and other places. In Japan, is appears as part of a binary: the world is divided into two parts- Japan and notJapan. The former is better.
For those from other places, "unique" is more akin to individual or different. Each country or culture is unique in some aspects. Unique is regarded as a postive quality for individuals- 'be yourself' and all that. At the individual level in Japan, 'unique' is not valued. It is only valued in situations where Team Japan is set against Team NonJapan.
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 08:16AM JST
ALmost: you misunderstand. There IS no gambling at the pachinko parlour. You win the balls, and by amazing coincidence there happens to be a shop next door that COLLECTS little steel balls. They must sell them to a factory or something, but anyway they are always willing to pay a 'fair' price for them....
All you need to do to circumvent law is to add a middleman.
As to the robbery, all it means is that Kim Jong Un will have his Hennessy budget slightly decreased for a couple of weeks.
Posted in: Pachinko parlor in Hachioji robbed
DSFeb. 21, 2012 - 07:56AM JST
Things that strike me (sorry if they have been covered);
the deep desire for Japan as a country to be unique in the world (with the implication being better), while at the same time individual Japanese DON'T desire to be unique at all.
Navel gazing. THere are myriad TV shows and newspaper articles which ask just these kinds of questions: "what do foreigners think of Japan?". Seems insecure to me. I can't remember seeing the same kind of thing back home- a CBS or CBC show interviewing foreign people asking "what do you think of Canada/USA".
Posted in: Things that foreigners find annoying about life in Japan
DSFeb. 17, 2012 - 07:08PM JST
Romney is right.
Communist China is a nasty, brutish, murderous dictatorship. It's humiliating to see a president kowtowing to them just so he can sell American debt, and finance his unsustainable government programmes. The Chinese are also known to be world leaders in pollution, theft of intellectual property, etc. Not nice people to deal with.
As for abortion, the law is settled and should remain that way. It's not a simple issue of rights, though. Anyone who is a parent can tell you that they have never used the word "fetus" to describe what the woman was carrying. "Honey, the fetus moved!" "Wow, you can see the fetus clearly on the ultrasound" "the fetus is really kicking today"
..... sorry, it just doesn't happen.
Posted in: Romney mocks 'empty pomp' of Chinese VP's official visit
DSFeb. 16, 2012 - 11:05PM JST
I dont blame the Israelis at all. If I were in their shoes, I'd do the same thing. Iran having nukes is bad for everyone, not just Israel. I mean, we are talking about a country that is the size of Shikoku.... I understand their paranoia.
I mean, think about it. The day after Israeli independence was announced by the United Nations, it was assaulted by SIX neighbouring countries. Fought them off and has been fighting ever since. The Palestinians have been caught in the middle, but they are sadly used as pawns by their Arab 'brothers', They were displaced during the war, as were an equal number of Jews in Arab/Muslim lands. The result? Israel welcomed and assimilated the Jews who were forced out of their homelands. Palestinians were treated like scum by their co-religionists and fellow Arabs.
Posted in: Noda urges Israel not to attack Iran
DSFeb. 15, 2012 - 06:17PM JST
Let Japan pay for its own defense. The military budget here is miniscule, and the ridiculous Article 9 hampers any attempts at realistic efforts. This is a dangerous neighbourhood- three nuclear powers just a stones' throw away. If Japan had any sense they would develop their own nuclear weapons capability post haste. Plus, increased military spending would be a welcome shot in the arm for the economy and industry here. A lot better than the useless infrastructure projects and trains to nowhere that are built with regularity.
As for Okinawa, if they don't want the Americans, then leave. Replace the Marines with JSDF forces instead. Everyone wins.
DSFeb. 15, 2012 - 06:12PM JST
Not sure what else to add. I'm a father too, and I couldn't imagine leaving my son home alone at that age for any length of time at all. Perhaps by age 10, but not before.
I see this accident as inevitble. This is the kind of parent who, if she DID take the kids, would have driven while they roamed around the car, or put them both on a rickety bicycle with no helmets. A disaster waiting to happen.
Posted in: Two sisters, aged 5 and 3, perish in Tokyo fire
DSFeb. 15, 2012 - 06:01PM JST
Recipe for disaster, Greek style;
None of these are problems of capitalism. They are problems of greed, laziness, self-entitlement, and reluctance to wean ones selves from the government teat.
Posted in: Austerity feeding public discontent in Europe
DSFeb. 15, 2012 - 11:11AM JST
Man, that's chump change for MLB. I guess Fuku's stock has really fallen.
I'm surprised that no Japanese team has matched/beaten that offer. He was a star for Chunichi, and could still be a starter on most teams here. Hanshin, are you listening?!?!? Put Kanemoto out to pasture and pay for this guy!!
Posted in: White Sox give Fukudome one-year deal
DSFeb. 14, 2012 - 09:54AM JST
How about neither Nessie? It shouldnt be the government's business whether or not I have kids, use birth control, or fart in the bathtub. If people want to use contraception, they can. If their health plan pays for it, great. If not, it's available for cheap or for free anyway. Access is not an issue at all.
Also, one thing I still don' get is the discrimination aspect. Why are women's forms of contraception and abortoficients (sp) covered, but male contraception is not? Rubbers are expensive, but not covered. Gender based discrimination at its worst!
Posted in: Top Republican wants vote on birth control mandate
DSFeb. 14, 2012 - 06:53AM JST
Birth control pills are cheap and readily available to those who want them. Free, in fact, in many places. There are myriad charities and groups to help. If you can't afford 10-15 bucks a month, you should keep your legs shut.
I dont mind public medical care, much like public education, fire/police service. Everyone should get a basic level of service. However, above and beyond that level let people decide for themselves whether or not they want more care.
This is an obvious political tactic by Obama, and is disappointing. I expected more from a candidate who advocated 'hope and change'. Does he really want the Catholic church to get out of the health care field. Do you? That would mean the closure of 500 hospitals, plus other services like adoption agencies. All to force a political agenda that nobody wanted in the first place.
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