LFRAgain's past comments

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    [the Japanese national anthem] was written in a time when folk would have without much thought as to why.

    Hence the fair rejection of any notion that one should have to sing it in this day and age.

    Posted in: Teachers awarded compensation for being forced to sing national anthem

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    To suggest that secularism will, ahem, "die out" because secularists aren't having enough kids to keep the flock going is patently ridiculous. Is secularism, or religious faith, for that matter, genetic in nature? I think not. Religion is simply a codified belief system that is created, taught, and learned, and nothing more. Secularism as well, but to a lesser degree, IMO.

    Religions don't necessarily ebb and flow in adherents based on baby-making capabilities. If this were true, Catholicism would be neck-and-neck with Islam in terms of sheer number of believers. Family is a cornerstone of Catholicism, as it is to Buddhism.

    And the audacity and ignorance it requires to even imply that family is not important to atheists or agnostics beggars belief.

    Re: the topic at hand, understanding of Muslims is a noble goal, just as is the promotion of understanding and toleration of any religious belief. The caveat is that religious belief must abstain from subjugating or suppressing beliefs or fundamental human rights that might run counter to its own.

    Also, it's important that "understanding" isn't packaged with an expectation for broad latitude towards proselytizing and recruitment. The world hardly needs the expansion of any religious system that has codified decidedly non-humanist dogma. This isn't limited to just Islam. It applies to any religion that considers female adherents beholden to the demands dictates of allegedly superior males.

    Posted in: If Muslims in Japan live peaceful lives without forgetting the virtues of Islam, understanding of Muslims will spread.

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    “We believe it can become the world’s main provider. I believe in 10 years our town will have changed its role in all this.”

    Uhh... No, I don't see that particular scenario unfolding. I see a collapsed industry clinging to a fantasy that its services are still relevant in the modern world and a few crusty, wrinkled old "fishermen" sitting around a local bar, grumbling bitterly:

    "And we would've gotten away for it too, if not for those pesky gaijin."

    Posted in: Taiji mayor says dolphin hunt will still go on

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Whatever happened to creativity and originality in any storytelling medium?

    The answer: Nothing. They're still there.

    Humans tell stories the way we always have; We take a theme, be it one about love, loss, betrayal, jubilation, violence, or a combination of any of these, and tell it to a receptive audience, then re-tell it if the reception iwas favorable. None of these themes in and of themselves are or every were “original” unless you count humanity's very first primeval encounter with these themes.

    Does anyone really think the most celebrated cinematic accomplishments of human society are anything more than a retelling of an ancient classic? Of course they aren’t. EVERY film is a remake in some way of some experience, hope, or desire expressed and recorded somewhere in human history. Trying to pretend that there's any such thing as a 100% original idea in film -- or any storytelling medium -- is little more than pride and ego battling for uniqueness and relevance in a crowded world.

    Posted in: Hollywood is bombarding us this summer with lots of sequels and remakes, such as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation," "Jurassic World," "Fantastic Four" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," among others. Whatever happened to creativity and originality in films?

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Just as a reminder of how utterly and completely obnoxious this Takata airbag situation is, here's an eye-opening NYT article exposing the wilful negligence demonstrated at the very highest levels of Takata management.

    Link: "Takata Saw and Hid Risk in Airbags in 2004, Former Workers Say"

    I've always hated the idea of rank-and-file employees suffering for the misconduct of management in companies big or small, but in this case, with so many lives dependent upon quality control measures being faithfully and accurately followed, particularly with a tech that, ironically, is designed to save lives, Takata needs to go the way of the dinosaur and die out. Providing airbags to 1/5th of all automobiles in the world, they're too big not to fail.

    Posted in: Takata air bag recall doubles to nearly 34 million

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    I don't know if there's really much to cheer about with this announcement.

    "JAZA will prohibit its members to acquire wild dolphins caught by drive fishing in Taiji and to take part in their export and sale,” JAZA chairman Kazutoshi Arai said in a letter."

    but then Arai later adds at a press briefing:

    "JAZA does not regard drive hunt as “cruel”

    So, in other words, JAZA is banning members from participating in what WAZA, the world governing body, has (rightly) deemed a cruel practice, but still doesn't really believe anything cruel is happening? Outrageous from start to finish. One glance behind the scenes of the pet shop industry in Japan will tell anyone all they need to know about how little regard or concern many Japanese have for life not of the human variety beyond its value as a commodity or status symbol.

    Posted in: Japanese aquariums vote to stop getting dolphins from Taiji hunt

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Forgetting the kamikaze aspect of Japan's role in the Pacific War is most absolutely not the way to go. Just because something is unpleasant to think about does not automatically mean it should be shuffled away to a dark corner, out of sight, out of mind.

    The mayor of Minamikyushu is absolutely correct in his desire to ensure that the horrors of war are not forgotten, and that people are constantly reminded of the dangerous lengths a people will go to when faced with desperation. As long as that's all the message is. Anything even remotely resembling glorification or romanticization of that particularly shocking chapter in Japan's wartime behavior should effectively shut down any efforts at sort or memorializing effort. In other words, as long as the stench of Shinzo Abe and his nationalistic ilk are nowhere near this project, it could be a positive thing.

    However, that's not what UNESCO is for. It's a designation that is and should continue to be reserved for those aspects of human cultural heritage that contributed to positive outcomes, and not death and destruction.

    Posted in: WWII kamikaze base to seek UNESCO recognition for pilots' documents

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    gogogo,

    does he have enough guts to drop the soap in jail for the next 20 years?

    And your suggestion that being subjected to gang rape in prison is more civilized than this man's actions just how precisely? Really curious to hear the reasoning behind that one.

    Posted in: Man says he stabbed girl on train to see if he had guts enough to kill someone

  • 7

    LFRAgain

    Honestly, there's something good to be said for this guy turning himself in. If it turns out he does indeed have psychiatric issues, then words like, "trash" and "coward" aren't really applicable, much less helpful.

    I understand the impetus to use pejoratives like, "nut," "loon," and "psychopath." I admit I've done it myself out of knee-jerk shock at something unfathomable like this But it's kind of sad that someone who clearly needs help, and has gone to seek help, can't garner much more here than dismissive indifference at the least, and calls for summary execution at the worst. It's little wonder that Japan has such a hard time getting past its almost medieval mindset towards mental healthcare and how society treats those who need it. Even Westerners still struggle with the idea that people with mental health issues need help, and not condemnation.

    Posted in: Man says he stabbed girl on train to see if he had guts enough to kill someone

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    Stuart,

    I guess you would be the first in line to volunteer for flying in a commercial plane with NO pilots.

    If the technology is sound and well tested, sure, why not?

    Opposition to automation simply because it's "not natural" or lacks some sort of indefinable "human touch" is completely irrational. The vast majority of automobile accidents in the world are directly attributable to human driver error. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a 2008 study found that 88.2% of 3,894,983 car accidents were the result of driver error, while fewer than 7% could be attributed to mechanical failure or defect.

    If you want to talk about commercial airliners, some 57% of accidents are caused by human error, with pilot error accounting for more than 87% of accidents while the remaining are is caused by other human error, such as mistaken direction from air traffic controllers, improper fueling procedures, or incorrect parts installation. An important point to take from this is that while the sheer number of airline accidents has dropped considerably since the 1960s, largely due to technological improvements, the percentage of accidents caused by human error has remained in the 50~60 percent range for the past 60 years. In other words, tech has made flying safer, while human control has remained as flawed as it will ever be.

    Meanwhile, the sheer volume of automation already incorporated into a modern commercial airliner would probably make you weep. According to an April 2015 New York Times article:

    “In a recent survey of airline pilots, those operating Boeing 777s reported that they spent just seven minutes manually piloting their planes in a typical flight. Pilots operating Airbus planes spent half that time.

    While pilots are currently indispensable for takeoff and landing commercial aircrafts, it’s not a stretch to imagine someday they won’t be, with the current rate of R&D being poured into automation, not to mention the pressure the industry is feeling from a chronic shortage of qualified pilots.

    This is not to say that pilots will be phased entirely out of the cockpit even if full automation does occur, but when one considers that the murder/suicide crash of Germanwings Airbus A320, killing 150 people, or the strongly suspected murder/suicide disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370, presumably taking some 239 lives, or even the Sept 11th New York City terror attacks killing some 3000 could have all been avoided, or at least mitigated, if the pilot factor had been removed from the equation, then the impetus to find ways to make automation work become greater.

    Thinks that when I say something feels un natural about blah blah blah...

    Stu thinks that he possesses the power to unilaterally redfine the meaning of "natural" to fit his own agenda, lol.

    Posted in: Google acknowledges 11 accidents with its self-driving cars

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Something just feels to un natural about giving total control of movement to electronics.

    And controlling a hunk of molded iron, steel, and glass via a highly processed, gasoline-powered combustion engine, rack and pinion steering, and hydraulic brakes filled with refined oil-based fluids is natural how exactly? By definition, any type of man-made machinery, complex or otherwise, flies in the face of nature.

    Know that while your discomfort with technology may indeed be real, the Luddites waged a similarly futile battle against the tide of progress. Automated cars will save lives, preserve precious energy and material resources, and also also contribute to an increase in human productivity.

    Posted in: Google acknowledges 11 accidents with its self-driving cars

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    What an absolutely horrific way to choose to kill a person, much less one's own child. I don't even want to understand the kind of warped logic it took for this woman to reach this decision.

    this happens every day in other countries too. NOT!!

    Clearly, you aren't very familiar with family planning practices in China.

    I believe day care centers "Hoi-Koen" in Tokyo are not crowded with children aging 3 to 5.

    On the contrary. The number of children across Japan has been steadily falling, but the Tokyo Metro area (when a majority of economic opportunities lie) has seen a steady increase in the number of children. As a result, there is a stark shortage of space available for children who need daycare. Nationally, 2013 saw some 44,118 children waiting for a daycare spot. Children in Tokyo account for some 11,500 of those children, or rather a full quarter of all those waiting.

    Posted in: Mother admits throwing 5-year-old son from 13th-floor apartment

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    And the thumbscrews tighten. Anyone who doesn't believe this a collusive effort between Abe and KEPCO to strong-arm the electorate into acquiescing to starting up the reactors is ripe for a prime beachfront property opportunity near Las Vegas.

    I think the reactors should be restarted too, but this is most certainly not the way to bring it about. This is extortion, pure and simple.

    Posted in: Kansai Electric to increase electricity rates for households by 8.36%

  • 4

    LFRAgain

    Glad the little girl was delivered without any complications. Welcome to the world!

    Posted in: Woman gives birth on flight from Canada to Japan

  • 6

    LFRAgain

    “We believe the actions taken today by the state’s attorney are an egregious rush to judgment and grave concerns about the fairness in prosecution of our officers,” said Michael Davey, the union’s lawyer.

    Translation: "We're disappointed that the police union hasn't had the time to assert the usual political pressure/coersion in the dirrection of this young prosecutor in order to get a more positive result for the officers who were just having a bit of fun with Mr. Grey."

    Posted in: 6 Baltimore police officers charged over Gray's death

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    It's me who is shocked at such a slow response by global community when people are pleading for aid even after 72 hrs.

    You are aware of Nepal's actual geographic location, aren't you? Just checking.

    Posted in: Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

  • 6

    LFRAgain

    I'm with Cleo to some extent: Let your wallet do the talking. Yen, regardless of who's holding it, spends the same anywhere in Japan. Sushi Mizuta is pursuing a policy that clearly discriminates based on superficial perceptions of trustworthiness. Simply put, if you have a Japanese name, you're in the circle of trust. If you don't, you're not, regardless of how long you've lived in Japan or how fluent you are in Japanese and Japanese culture.

    Suzuki can keep his sushi. Like Cleo accurately pointed out, there are plenty of places througout Tokyo that serve sushi that is easily as delicious as and far more reasonably priced than anything Suzuki claims to be special and deserving of an arbitrary 200,000 price tag.

    Posted in: Michelin-star sushi restaurant in Tokyo defends foreigner rules

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    It takes a fairly sick and dangerous mind to willingly kick a harmless animal to death.

    Posted in: 3rd dead cat found in Tokyo neighborhood

  • 5

    LFRAgain

    Even we do not have any news from rich capitalist countries about what's going on...It appears that only India is (seriously and sincerely) engaged in rescue works.

    What a load of pap, from the absurd "rich capitalist countries" comment to the unfounded claim that "Only India" is helping out.

    One, India is, geographically speaking, right next door. So it makes sense that aid from India (also a capitalist country, btw) would arrive quickly.

    Two, China has also sent rescue crews. China was able to get those crews there quickly because China too is, geographically speaking, right next door.

    Three, Pakistan has already dispatched rescue teams and medical teams via C-130 transport planes to Nepal. They will arrive shortly, if not already, because they are, dare I say it? geographically right next door.

    The United States has offered up US$10 million in aid on top of a 70 search-and-rescue/medical personal and 45 square tons of supplies that are slated to arrive in Kathmandu today, Monday the 28th. The U.K. has released some US$7 million in aid to supplement a flight some 30 tons of emergency materials, including 1,100 emergency shelter kits and 1,700 solar lanterns to help families that have lost their homes. It took more than 6 hours to load these materials into the planes, and many more to gather them to the departure point for loading and departure. That plane should be arriving today as well, if not already.

    It also bears mentioning that the Tribhuvan International Airport is currently a scene of utter bedlam, as many of the over 300,000 foreign tourists currently in Nepal are seeking to return to the relative safety of their home countries.

    It bears further understanding that a direct flight to Kathmandu is over 13 hours. So, no, international aid is not going to appear from those evil, capitalist dogs on the other side of the planet instantly.

    So, please, don't insult the readers here and the victims of this tragic natural disaster with your soapbox rants about rich, capitalist countries not doing enough. You're barking up quite the wrong tree here in a spectacularly embarrassing fashion.

    Posted in: Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Mr. Gray was probably a "corner boy" a lookout for the local drug sellers.

    While possibly true, this still doesn't justify having one's spinal cord nearly severed in what has got to be one of the more egregious examples of police brutality in recent memory (assuming we justifiably upgrade the broad-daylight gunning down of Walter Lamer Scott as murder)

    The lack of motivation. The education opportunities wasted. Substances used and abused from ancho to hard drugs. Violence used to solve differences as opposed to dialog. With a workforce embracining these culturural issues they can clean toilets and flip burgers at best. And race baiters, this goes for whites and Hispanics also.

    It's fascinating how easily you can make your arguments as if they all occur in some sort of historical and cultural vacuum. What should blacks in these communities be motivated about precisely?

    And exactly what glowing educational opportunities are you referring to? The ones where more affluent white families move out of predominantly black communities, bringing down tax revenues, resulting in decreased resources for the remaining decidedly non-while, non-wealthy students? Or the token Affirmative Action quotas that scarcely address the extant root educational and economic disparities that make any dreams of attending college a non-starter for the vast majority of urban black youths.

    Drug use and drug sales, you say? What are the viable employment opportunities that exist for black urban youths that would provide a legal and far less socially corrosive avenue for earning a living? Cleaning toilets and flipping burgers? These jobs pay but a fraction of what drug dealing does, and they certainly won't lead to relatively cushy white collar positions that better educated, better funded, but supported whites accept as a matter of course.

    Please be succinct in your list of actionable job opportunities that can lift the average black family from the despair and squalor of urban slums onto a plateau of economic parity with their white neighbors. Can’t wait for floodgate to open.

    In the meantime, I find myself torn between laughing and crying at the absurdity of white people giving advice on how blacks could and should succeed in America, when the vast majority of these people truly and honestly have zero comprehension of what being a person of color in America actually entails, including the inconvenient truth that prejudice and bigotry are alive and well in the U.S.A. Clueless and myopic, these people, completely and utterly.

    What’s even more astonishing is how many white people in the U.S. honestly believe that their perceived successes are the result of “motivation” or good ol’ fashioned gumption™. Bull puckey. Any given person’s success or failure in life is 50% dumb luck, and that’s the stark truth of it. Now imagine when that lucky outcome is pushed one way or another by a socio-economic system that tells it’s people of color, “Yeah, we treated you all like utter garbage for the better part of 200 years, but we’re past that now. Why can’t you just forget about it -- and the handicap you’re operating from -- and be more like us?”

    Circumstances of birth are all that separate the wealthy from the poor in the U.S., and the wealthy would do well to come to terms with that truth, especially since they’re so vastly outnumbered now while a significantly large enough segment of the disenfranchised are becoming more and more willing to express their dissatisfaction and displeasure with the status quo through increasingly violent demonstration.

    Posted in: Riot erupts in Baltimore after funeral for man injured in police custody

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