LFRAgain's past comments

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Ms. Alexander,

    I tell you, this is Japan's police work at its finest - they always wait for someone to get hurt or killed to take real action. Disgusting!!

    I understand how upsetting news like this is. It angers me as well. But why are you blaming the police? They have nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of laws. They only enforce them.

    If you want to be disgusted with someone, be disgusted with Japanese society as a whole for not treating sexual predation as seriously as it should. It's society that makes the laws, not the police.

    Posted in: Teacher arrested for taking photos of girls in toilet

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Wonderful. And these are the companies and people that have a stranglehold on the availibility of medicine throughout the world.

    Posted in: Novartis Japan admits concealing drug side effects

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    I'll second that: Why on earth was this child outside, wandering around by himself at 4:40am? I feel for the driver of the dump truck. Who would expect anything like this on your route to work at such an early hour? It doesn't absolve him of his responsibilities as a driver to be aware of his surroundings, of course. But for heaven's sake, it must have been hard to see that boy under those conditions.

    Posted in: Dump truck driver arrested over death of 7-year-old boy

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    That's why I keep the phone book they insist on giving me every year.

    Ouch!

    Posted in: Do you have enough toilet paper?

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Droll Quarry,

    Refresh my memory... which one of the government ministers owns stock in the TP company?

    Funny you should ask. I mentioned the Mino Monta-inspired craze for a number of items above, including natto and cabbage. It turns out an independent investigation into the purported health benefits of some items advertised on his now-defunct TV show were the result of research and data that was . . . how shall I put this? . . . creatively massaged by research sponsored by the very manufacturers of the products in question.

    In particular, it turned out the health benefits of natto were greatly exaggerated. Of course, this news wasn't revealed until well after a craze to stock the larder with natto made it virtually impossible to buy the stuff without standing in Soviet-style bread lines. Manufacturers couldn't keep up with the demand. Then when the news hit that the scientific claims were partly bogus, people stopped buying natto as quickly as they started. This left manufacturers up to their neck in stinky, fermented soy beans that they couldn't sell. It was messy in more ways than one, and Mino Monta lost a TV show for it.

    Granted, I don't see toilet paper losing its intrinsic value the way natto did after the scandal, but I see it causing more problems than not if people start hoarding for no other reason than some pencil pusher from the Ministry of Economy saying, "Hey, the next Big One could wipe out your ability to wipe."

    Posted in: Do you have enough toilet paper?

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Please don't let my wife see this!

    Oh, heavens, no kidding! If it isn't fear of the next big quake, then it's fear of radiation, flooding, landslides, an impure water supply, or radiation-tainted mutant veggies from Fukushima. By most locals' estimation, Japan's more dangerous than the Gaza Strip on any given day.

    I'm going to have to buy another bug-out bag to supplement the 12kg one sitting in our hallway closet to accommodate all the "must haves" that officials and "experts" insist we prepare. But at least TP's light, right?

    And pointofview is absolutely correct: Thanks to this article, there's going to be a sudden run on TP this week that'll boggle the senses, much like the Great Banana Shortage of '08 or the Absurd Natto Famine of '07, or the Comic Cabbage Collapse of '06. Granted, Mino Monta largely spurred those decidedly low points in Japanese consumer history, but still....

    Posted in: Do you have enough toilet paper?

  • 8

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Nightshade,

    To answer your question, Amazon is basically telling publishers that if they promise to git Amazon a bigger piece of the profit for selling their books on Amazon, they'll get preferred status treatment online. The preferred status treatment happens in the form of ranking schemes that put publishers who are willing to give more of their money to Amazon at the top of website searches, and publishers who don't give into this blatant extortion at the bottom of search results, of at all.

    This will result in several negative outcomes for publishers. The biggest one is that it will force them to cut into their profit margins to the point that they can no longer afford to publish. And they'll go out of business. This isn't good for anyone, least of all readers.

    Another is that it will immediately force smaller publishers out of business as a matter of course because they simply don't have the cash reserves to compete with larger publishers who can afford to absorb cuts in their bottom-line profits. So they'll just die on the vine. This too is bad for the consumer because it results in a horrible dilution of available content. Instead of a host of different writers, topics, and styles, the reader gets... well, "50 Shades of Grey." If that doesn’t make one shudder, I don’t know what will.

    The thing about Amazon is that they've done this in other marketplace areas as well, with everything from tools to toys to apparel.

    In ancient Japan, when ranking members of society based on their "worthiness," I suppose, farmers and warriors were held in the highest esteem, while merchants (like Amazon) sat at the bottom of the pile, scorned and reviled. Why? Because the prevailing wisdom was that merchants neither made anything nor contributed to the building of society. Their existence was purely to profit off the work and sweat of others. Amazon seems bent on proving this rather stark perspective to be true with its unmitigated greed. It also seems bent on landing itself in front of an anti-monopoly inquiry as well.

    Posted in: Japanese publishers blast new Amazon book sale rules

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    What does this have to do with the story? Am I missing something?

    The article stated in the 7th paragraph that they wanted to get married when gay marriage became legal throughout the U.S. They apparently got tired of waiting, because it's currently only legal in 19. That's why it's mentioned.

    Posted in: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say, 'I do'

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    That depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

    Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

    Posted in: Hello Kitty not a cat, has never been: Sanrio

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    That article puts Sanrio's position in a much clearer light. Thanks, Haiku_Dan.

    Still think Sanrio's pushing the envelope of plausibility with the "We never said se was human. We said she's a girl" explanation though. Sorry to burst their bubbles, but a "girl" by most definitions (except, I suppose, attempts to make Japanese socio-cultural linguistic habits fit imprecise English) implies human by default.

    Posted in: Hello Kitty not a cat, has never been: Sanrio

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    Okay, Sanrio CLEARLY is trying to seize control of whatever Kitty-related dialogue is going on out there, and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that this has everything to do with Dick Bruna's firm belief (and I agree 100%) that Kitty-chan is a -- well, let's just call it what it is -- a flagrant ripoff of Bruna's Miffy design motif. The two sides are in the midst of a simmering truce, particulalry after Bruna sued Sanrio in 2010 for their new character, "Cathy," a rabbit, for Pete's sake, that could have been Miffy's twin sister.

    I have no doubt this, ahem, "firm" stance Sanrio has taken is an effort to shore up their company's legal footing in the event Bruna does come out and say, "Screw it. I'm suing the pants off of you theives."

    Posted in: Hello Kitty not a cat, has never been: Sanrio

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Mirai,

    Again, I can appreciate your anger at the actions of this young man, but along with many other mechanisms in modern law meant to protect the public from abuse of power is presumption of innocence. Just to remind you, this young man hasn't been convicted yet. He's only been arrested. So technically, he isn't actually guilty of anything yet.

    With that in mind, until he's convicted of something, I see no point in publishing his name other than to assuage what amounts to a temporary vigilange urge to feel like we're doing something to address a perceived injustice. Knowing this kid's name is not going to make you or society any safer. If he was a repeat drunk-driver who killed someone, then we'd likely be having a very different conversation right now, but as the facts are known at this point, the law preventing the publication of the names of minors accused of crimes is a good one.

    Posted in: 19-year-old arrested over hit-and-run death of 22-year-old student in Tokyo

  • 5

    LFRAgain

    Freedom is wearing what you want.

    Umm, no. It goes a little bit deeper than that. Freedom is also linked to a responsible exercise thereof. Schools can and should be an environment of secular learning. Religion of any type has no place in public schools.

    Private schools? Wear what you like, believe what you like. But most definitely not public.

    The pap that still keeps getting paraded around even to this day is that this country or that country is or was founded on some sort of cosmically unique, fantastically original religious tenet. But anyone with an appreciable degree of education -- or the ability to point and click their way through the World Wide Web -- can determine pretty much on their own that all of the supposed exclusive values of charity, compassion, respect, fairness, and goodwill are not unique to one region or another, but rather universal across the breadth and width of humanity's brief existence on this planet. We all share the same essential ideas about how to not be asshats to one another.

    Take religion out of the equation, however, and all of those ideals that I mentioned above, charity, compassion, respect, fairness, and goodwill, can and do flourish just as well in a balanced, professional secular school environment as in a school steeped in religious tradition.

    Some religious conservatives scoff and bristle at this idea of a universal humanism, but this speaks more to the almost pathological impulse to thump one's chest in a display of "We're Number One" than any serious indictment of the irrefutable truth that no one religion has a monopoly on basic human goodness.

    Brazen or even subtle displays of "We're Number One" have no place in a multi-cultural public learning environment. None whatsoever. Which is why I've got no problem whatsoever with school uniforms.

    Posted in: In some countries, there is a ban on adults and children wearing religious clothing and symbols such as burqas, veils, head scarves, skullcaps, turbans and crucifixes in public places like schools, recreational facilities and so on. What’s your stance?

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    Hit and runs are always reported on the news cos it's such a cowardly scumbag act.

    Umm, no. News isn't reported based on how it registers on some arbitrary "cowardly scumbag" meter. News generally becomes news because it's unusual and/or noteworthy, not because it's, umm, "scumbaggy."

    Daniel may be correct in that these types of traffic fatalities are more widely reported in Japan than in other countries correct because of their rarity. Overall, Japan's traffic fatalities per capita are lower than those of other wealthy nations, particularly those with strong driving cultures like the USA. In fact, it's almost half the average rate of 8.9 per 100,000 for wealthy nations at 4.8 deaths. The overall worldwide average number of deaths per 100,000. You're less likely to die on the roads of Japan than in 166 countries in the world that have reported traffic fatality statistics.

    Additionally, the number of pedestrian-related traffic fatalities in Japan has dropped some 31% over the last decade, from 1,157 for in 2004 to 790 in 2003. Pedestrian deaths from hit-and-runs aren't increasing. They're decreasing.

    Posted in: 19-year-old arrested over hit-and-run death of 22-year-old student in Tokyo

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    That last paragraph is what gives me pause.

    “These are legal babies, they all have birth certificates,” Ratpratan told Thailand’s Channel 3 television station. “There are assets purchased under these babies’ names. There are savings accounts for these babies, and investments. If he were to sell these babies, why would he give them these benefits?"

    Indeed, why create a very obvious paper trail, including savings accounts, for children he intended to sell? And why use a legal and fully transparent fertility clinic if he intended to sell the children? This case makes very little sense from top to bottom, but it wouldn't surprise me at the end of the day to find out that this guy wanted exactly what he said he wanted - a ridiculously large family.

    Still, too darned odd for the authorities to not investigate. The father had to know this would draw some attention, whatever his motivations. I'm curious to know where this guy's wealth came from. How can he afford all of this at 24 years of age? As they often say in TV police dramas, follow the money.

    Posted in: Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    I liked Mr. Attenborough's work very much. A very classy fellow. He'll be missed, but his work will live on.

    Posted in: Actor-director Richard Attenborough dies at 90

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Well said, yabits. Well said.

    Posted in: Police officer brands Ferguson protesters 'rabid dogs'

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Who don't Government relaxing Tourist Visa rule for country like Burma or direct importing laborers from Burma and Cambodia?

    Because Japanese lawmakers and much of the constituency they (ostensibly) serve suffer from an almost crippling fear of the dilution of the Japanese national identity. The don't want a Melting Pot, a la the United States, because they fear the introduction of too many foreigners too quickly will result in the breakdown of Japanese social and cultural cohesion.

    Their idea is to allow foreigners into Japan in a slow and controllable trickle, allowing foreigners time to adapt and allowing society time to beat these newcomers into a reasonable facsimile of Nihonjinron -- minus the employment opportunities, respect, and various social and economic legal protections conferred as a matter of course to "full-blooded" Japanese citizens.

    Obviously, this "trickle in" approach is not going to provide tangible benefits to Japanese economy in any appreciable way, but like I said, the fear of foreigners is a crippling one, blinding policy makers to economic realities that are far more dire for Japan than any perceived ill effects of foreigners on the Japanese identity.

    It's almost as if Dejima is back open for business - Let the foreign barbarians into Japan in controlled bursts, make some short term cash off of them while they're here (in the form of taxes and Japanese pension contributions), then encourage them to leave quickly before they get any foolish notion that Japan appreciates their efforts to assuage Japanese insecurities by being more responsible and better-behaved than many locals.

    Posted in: Japanese firms hit by labor crunch

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    “I’m into diversity—I kill everybody. I don’t care,” added Page, who also made disparaging remarks about President Barack Obama, the US Supreme Court, Muslims and homosexuals.

    And the hits just keep on coming from that unruly pack of racist, oath-voilating, hamfisted children that call themselves Fergsen's "law enforcement" community. The U.S. attorney general needs to step in an shut this department down post haste.

    Posted in: Police officer brands Ferguson protesters 'rabid dogs'

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