LFRAgain's past comments

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    To the numerous posters that have taken the position that China should not be criticized for what amounts to a simple legal dispute between two private parties, I would agree with you if that position was born of the sort of historical vacuum that ignores some 70 years of political unease between the two countries as a direct result of Japan's invasion of China.

    Posted in: Japan lodges protest against China's seizure of Mitsui O.S.K ship

  • 12

    LFRAgain

    Eff-ing China. They just won't be satisfied until the region is embroiled in a war, will they? Honestly, how do they seriously expect Japan to react to this kind of provocative bull puckey? Do they really believe extortion is going to create any possible positive outcome? Japan will never pay. Not only by international law, but also by the 1972 accord, any debts between Japan and China as a result of the war are settled. Any debts. This damnable "we're just going to retroactively redefine the terms of the agreement" nonsense is just that: nonsense.

    And eff-ing Japan for exacerbating the problem with clearly antagonizing crap like putting asshats like Shinzo Abe into public office, constant high-profile field trips to Yasukuni Shrine, and yelling from the belltowers that Japanese apologies for behavior during the war were premature at best.

    I have waded into a number of debates regarding Japan's culpability in the Greater East Asia War, standing firmly behind the reality that Japan did some truly heinous things to the people of East Asia in their ill-fated bid to become a world power. I have genuinely sympathized with China for the many indignities visited upon it by not only Japan, but a host of colonial powers, including the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia.

    I have argued unto exhaustion for Japan to unequivocally reject Japanese nationalist revisionism seeking to whitewash or utterly deny Japanese Imperial Army culpability for comfort stations, biological warfare, scorched earth military policies, and the kind of wanton rape and pillaging that, while common on any battlefield, was particularly horrific in many of Japan's campaigns across eastern China.

    But the non-stop hit parade of crap like this from Chinese leadership... It makes me not want to give a damn any more. Fostering riots across China, causing tens of millions of yen in damages to private Japanese businesses and properties. The Senkakus. Arbitrarily decided air defense zones, And now this. Well done, China. You've now secured a place in history as one of the world's most prolific and manipulative crybabies.

    There isn't a person with any reasonable degree of education behind them that isn't aware this is all smoke and mirrors to deflect Chinese public attention from the looming reality that China's booming economy is on the precipice of a disastrous plunge, and the real estate bubble that provided buoyance for that economy is on the verge of bursting. Chinese leadership doesn't want the public to notice that economic growth has slowed down to it's lowest level since 1990, when it became an international pariah after slaughtering hundreds of pro-democracy college students in Tiananmen Square.

    And leadership most certainly doesn't want the public to notice that the wealth/income gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate, particularly between wealthy urban dwellers and their far poorer rural counterparts. In 2012, the top 5 percent of households held 23 percent of China's total household wealth, while the bottom 5 percent enjoyed but 0.1 percent of it. That's point-one percent. A tenth of a percent.

    What China has been doing over the past several years -- IS doing -- is immoral and criminal. Will it take a destructive war that China most certainly cannot win in any sense of the word to figure this out? Or will the lesson come too late for anyone to do anything about it but cry over the lives, property, and future prosperity flushed down the toilet for something so ultimately infantile as nationalist pride?

    Posted in: Japan lodges protest against China's seizure of Mitsui O.S.K ship

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    What I do not understand is why teenagers are using vapors (electronic cigarettes) ? REALLY ? Is it that stressful ?

    Whiskeysour,

    It's not about stress. It's about addiction. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to humankind, maming it a habit that is very, very, very difficult to quit. Once these kids smoked enough, they were effectively hooked. Vapor cigarettes, patches, gums -- they all address the addiction nicotine enables through cigarettes.

    To that end, any parent who would knowingly and willingly provide tobacco and/o alcohol for their teenage child needs to have his or her head examined. Why would any parent doom their child to the pain of addiction in any form?

    Posted in: 23 people in Kanagawa face charges for allowing minors to smoke, drink alcohol

  • 4

    LFRAgain

    Urqinchina,

    Everything you outline as your experience in Japan is part and parcel of everything I've ever done while in Japan, both in the public school system and in the private sector. I'm currently in HR management which affords me uncommon access to other facets of what a foreign teacher's job in Japanese schools entails. I've run the gamut, so I rest fairly comfortably in the knowledge that my experience is anything but limited or narrow.

    What's more to the point however, is that you still seem bent on placing your efforts as an ALT on par with those of your Japanese colleagues. If that's what it takes to get you through the day, then so be it, but know that I'm not fooled. I've done your job. I know perfectly well what it entails. I know your "sacrifice" for the job is in no way comparable to that licensed Japanese teachers make on a day-to-day basis, even the dispatch ones.

    You haven't worked in the system for 20-some odd years. You weren't born in the system. You weren't raised in the system. You aren't Japanese. There is no reasonable comparison to be made between your efforts to be more like the natives and the efforts Japanese instructors make as a matter of course. I've no doubt you respect your colleagues and that the respect is returned in kind. But you aren't the same as a 50-year-old homeroom teacher who choses to take one day off to celebrate her son's achievements. Not even a little bit. So claiming your experience makes you uniquely qualified to tsk-tsk this teacher is, to put it bluntly, bull puckey.

    It's unfortunate that rather than furthering the discussion by delving into, say, what might motivate not one, but the four Saitama teachers mentioned in the above article to have the audacity to take back some minute facet of their private lives, the thread has been hijacked by your desire to extoll the virtues of . . . well . . . you. I've made the points I wish to make and will discuss this with you no further. Good luck in your future endeavors.

    Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

  • 6

    LFRAgain

    Urqinchina,

    Where did you make the comparison between your job and that of a homeroom teacher?

    Urqinchina Apr. 17, 2014 - 08:32AM JST - I am a directly hired teacher for one of the BOE's in Saitama and I know , 3 days in the year, I must attend. Entrance ceremony, sports day and Graduation ceremony. Don't even bother asking for time off! That is the job. If I don't like it, find new employment.

    You implied rather clearly that if you as a "directly hired teacher" must attend three certain days out of the year, then it simply stands to reason that a homeroom teacher must as well.

    I showed my position as it gives an unique insight into the education system here

    No, you attempted to create a parallel comparison between how you view your work responsibilities in a public school with how you feel the HRT in question should view her responsibilities. It is you who is being disingenuous (and I'm actually using that word correctly in this case).

    The principal has in no way, shape, or form "kneecapped" his career. Allow me the opportunity to spray the deck with employment credentials testosterone as well and state that the teachers of the central Tokyo public school staff room I was sitting in yesterday believe the supposed outrage of Saitama prefectural assemblyman Koichi Gono is political grandstanding at best and that the grumbling parents -- which it turns out was a rather small minority -- were being selfish and unreasonable about what is ultimately not the most important day in the high school career of incoming students. Straight from the mouths of locals who are in the position to know or care.

    As slumdog points out, the "outrage" over this is utterly baffling, particularly from ex-pats who seem to have a hard-on for telling other posters -- and even the Japanese themselves -- how they should better appreciate Japanese school culture.

    Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

  • 6

    LFRAgain

    If we were talking about medical, miitary, or other public safety responsibilities, then yes, the preservation of human lives most certainly takes a priority.

    But we aren't talkng about human lives, are we? We're talking about 15-year-olds with 9 years of formal education and two previous entrance ceremonies under their belts entering high school...

    They'll survive without their homeroom teacher for a morning.

    Without the integral family unit, society itself would cease to exist. Personal ethics make society work, not contrived notions of obligation to the workplace. We work to live, not live to work.

    Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

  • 11

    LFRAgain

    Urqinchina,

    No where in this article does it state she received permission from the vice principal to take paid leave. It is very unlikely that the Vice Principal would have have granted it. I believe that she rang on the morning of the ceremony and took a sickie prompting Mr Gono to comment.

    The following sentiment has been tossed around rather loosely here, but I suspect you possess but a cursory familiarity with the Japanese public school system.

    First off -- and this applies to more than a few posters on this thread -- Could we please put a lid on the incessant romanticizing about the Japanese public school entrance ceremony? There are no blood rituals or animal sacrifices involved to justify the, "Ah, those proudly noble and inscrutable Japanese" pap that's being passed around this thread as thoughtful insight. It's just a ceremony. Yes, it's important, but it’s not the end of the world if the homeroom teacher fails to attend for what apparently a significant number of fellow Japanese believe to be a quite legitimate reason.

    Second, the teacher in question most certainly asked for and received permission from the administration. This goes without question. Had she not, and simply, as you suggest, "took a sickie," this article wouldn't exist. In its place would have been a completely unheralded disciplinary process against the teacher in question.

    This preparation that you seem to think the teacher somehow foisted upon some poor unfortunate takes place over a couple of days -- not the morning of -- with, yes, the homeroom teacher leading, but also facilitated by other instructors. It bears mentioning that when the ceremony is ended, the students are taken back to their respective classrooms to listen to a brief explanation about school rules and regulations before they are released to their parents, who it also bears mentioning, just finished sitting through a brief lecture on school administrative policies in the now-vacant gymnasium. It bears even further mentioning that the parents and their children then head home. Not exactly the stuff of deep, enriching bonding experiences to cement the hearts and souls of the homeroom teacher and the students she will become a surrogate parent for over the next 12 months.

    Third, your situation as a direct hire ALT is hardly comparable to the work load and responsibilities of a fully licensed Japanese homeroom teacher. I'll refrain from exploring the sheer audacity of making such a ludicrous comparison in support of your position.

    Fourth, for those of you who want to quibble about "terms of contract," nowhere in a public school teacher's contract is it stated that contractually obligatory paid leave days can be used for any day "but few more important days." Nowhere at all. The contract these teachers sign absolutely gives them the right to, no, not cherry pick which parts of their job they like or don't like, but rather take a paid leave at any time of their choosing if approved by the administration. So, if you want to talk contract law, then this teacher is not only well within her right to ask for the day of the entrance ceremony off, but also to get it off.

    Above and beyond any of this is the utter absurdity of browbeating this teacher for missing the ceremony. The teacher who attended her son's high school entrance ceremony was in her 50s. It then stands to reason that over the course of what is likely a 27-year career as a public school teacher that she has been a homeroom teacher numerous times and has fulfilled her responsibilities as such each time admirably and professionally. She has arguably taken on the role of teacher/counselor/disciplinarian/second parent for the benefit of the children of strangers with nary an issue over her long career. But when she makes the decision to partake once in the same pride and exhilaration these strangers take for granted, she's upbraided for it?!

    It's disheartening to see how disconected we've become as a society when people start to assume that society exists to serve business, when it fact it's the other way around.

    Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

  • -1

    LFRAgain

    Pandabelle,

    Thanks for the insight. Yeah, I suppose players would take issue with it if it adversely affects their earning potential. Which would explain why the league tried to keep things under wraps.

    Posted in: Mizuno apologizes for ball defect in pro baseball

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    The most common misconception among critics of quota systems is that quotas force companies or organizations to necessarily choose unqualified candidates. This is patently untrue. What quotas do is force organization to stop ignoring candidates that are just as qualified as the usual recruit pool -- yes, males occupying the top of the economic food chain -- and hire them when they would otherwise choose not to, based on such arbitrary and infantile reasons as gender or skin color.

    In other words, companies and organizations had their chance to do the right thing. And instead, they dug in their heels and continued to ignore entirely legitimate candidates based on arbitrary and petty criteria such as gender, color, and economic background. Like any law designed to protect the civic, social, and economic wellbeing of the citizenry, quota laws are as natural an evolution of society as laws protecting shareholders from corporate malfeasance when that society lacks the will to correct itself.

    Let's put it another way: Take a pool of job applicants applying for 50 available positions within a company. Let's say this pool of applicants is made up of 50 men and 50 women, just like the actual gender distribution of humanity. Let's say they've all graduated from top-tier universities and are all equally qualified for the available positions. Then let's watch as 47 men and 3 women are hired from this pool of 50 male and 50 female equally qualified applicants for the 50 available positions.

    These numbers say that out of 50 men and 50 women competing for the same job, 94% of the men applying are supremely qualified for a given position while only 6% of women from the same pool are qualified. Which we all know is complete and utter bull puckey. These numbers also suggest that out of 50 male applicants, 94% of them not only meet but also exceed the minimum hiring requirements for the job, thus securing them the position. Having worked in HR for the better part of two decades, this too is utter horse puckey. Any applicant pool for a given position is never that rich in highly qualified candidates, even in the best of times.

    Men are being given positions that women are just as qualified for simply because they are men. Women applicants are being passed over for positions they are fully capable of specifically because they are women. And this is precisely what's been happening in the corporate world of industrialized nations like the U.S., the U.K. and Japan.

    Quotas -- through force of law -- level a playing field that, when left to its own devices, has demonstrated time and again its unwillingness or inability to adhere to fairness. So we get quotas. Don't like them? Encourage corporate boards to stop being sexist asshats.

    Posted in: Women execs ruin companies, magazine claims

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    In one game, both teams are using the same ball.

    Pandebelle's absolutely right. Teams shouldn't be penalized for this at all. They did nothing wrong. And quite frankly, I can't see tweaking the technical specs for a ball to give it more bonce as being that sinister either. If everyone's using the same ball, there's no issue of unfairness at work.

    The only ones who might take issue are the purists and those obsessed with stats. But purists and those obsesses with stats don't fill the stadium seats and support all of the merchandising. It's a simple numbers game: Increase the excitement of the games => increase fan attendance => increase revenue => remain a finacially viable club. The fans get baseball games that are fun to watch, the owners get to stay in business for another season; Everybody wins.

    The biggest issue is the subterfuge. Why lie? It seems rather obvious that the truth would be found out rather quickly -- just as it was -- when batters inexplicably became much better between seasons.

    Posted in: Mizuno apologizes for ball defect in pro baseball

  • 4

    LFRAgain

    "She is lacking in appreciation of her duties as a homeroom teacher, and also in ethics as an educator," he fumed. "This also gives me doubts as to the administrative capabilities of the school’s principal."

    No. No! NO! NO!! Family comes first, each and every time. Koichi Gono can fume away, for all I care. He's a mouthpiece at best whose vested interests lay no further than the next election, prompting him to say or do whatever creates the greatest dramatic splash among his constituents.

    While many reasonable parents see the entrance ceremony as a symblic marker for the next stage of their child's life in formal education, other parents see it as a hand-off, taking the job of raising their child from the junior high school homeroom teacher and passing it along to the new high school homeroom teacher. Just as they did when they expected elementary school homeroom teachers to be the educational, ethical, and moral force in their child's development while the parents did heaven knows what. during "family" time.

    If Japan truly wants to address its shrinking population, shrinking tax base, shrinking workforce, then it absolutely must do a 180-degree about-face and reject wholesale this "Greed is Good" self-imposed workplace slavery of the 80's and place family front and center once again. This means coming home at a reasonable time. It means placing family time at home ahead of 4~five days of cram school per week lumped on top of club activities that force the students to create stronger bonds of trust and affection with teammates than with their own brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.

    Family matters for all members of society, regardless of occupation.

    Posted in: Teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    out of all my bosses, the female one was the most irritating, jealous and conniving. I was young at that time. But I thought that I will never be in a position where I would be hated by other employees.

    That's hardly a valid reason to eschew a management career track. It's akin to saying, "Of all the friends I've had, the one one from next door was the least loyal. So I've sworn to never have friendships." Your better choice -- barring health considerations -- would have been to choose not the be an irritating, jealous, and conniving manager.

    for those of you running down the women with no marriage and children, I am not married and have no children. The reason for that is my health. Could it be that the women that some of you have described suffer from health issues?

    Does it really matter? Is there really any sort of social contract that dictates people -- women in particular -- must either procreate or provide a valid reason for opting not to? The world population is pushing 7 billion and as industrialized countries inexorably switch over to information- and service-based economies, there is absolutely no driving need to pump out children to feed an economy that long since stopped being reliant on sheer numbers for growth and success.

    As for me, I like my position. I help other younger people to enjoy their work.

    Seems like you have the makings of a good manager, despite your misgivings. No one ever said being a manager meant always having to be a horrible person. Although some would argue that it helps. ;-)

    Posted in: Women execs ruin companies, magazine claims

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    How much softer an image could the SDF possibly project? It's a self-defense force. It's sole extra-Japan adventure over the past 70 years involved building schools, libraries, and water purification systems in Iraq. No combat whatsoever. There's nothing harsh about the SDF's image whatsoever, even domestically

    With that said, there's nothing inherently wrong with a military, particularly in the face of world realities like Russia annexing Crimea. But the Japanese SDF is not some faceless band of killers -- contrary to some posters' more cynical musings.

    The SDF -- as is any military force -- is made up of friends, neighbors, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives, all making a profoundly solemn and admirable commitment to defend all of the above in the event someone comes to do them harm. This is no small thing. Standing up and declaring one's willingness to die -- and yes, in some cases kill -- to protect your loved ones is no small thing.

    I respect the SDF and the real people who make it work. I wish them the best of luck in this new endeavor.

    Posted in: SDF launches PR campaign to soften image

  • -1

    LFRAgain

    President Putin: prove you aren't a petulant child and pull your troops off the Ukrainian border, remove your scarcely-disguised agents posing as "militia" from Ukrainian soil, and cease this folly of neo-empire building.

    Posted in: West, Russia lock horns on Ukraine at U.N. crisis talks

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Gender quotas are a terrible idea.

    Funny how things work out, isn't it? A lack of regulation in a strongly male-biased workplace leads to precisely the sort of workplace environment that needs regulation in the form of quotas.

    If quotas disappeared overnight, women in managerial positions would disappear. I know it, you know it, and most women know it. Some here pay lip service to the ideas of equal opportunities and level playing fields, but that's all it is: lip service. The modern workplace is anything but, with 3/4 percent wage gaps still evident across the board in all professional trades and women comprise fewer than 15% of all CEO positions, fewer than 17% of all Board of Director positions, and hold fewer than 9% of the top earning jobs in the all industries. And these are just the numbers for the United States, supposedly a standard bearer for civil rights in the world.

    When the current male-female population ratio stands at 101 men born for every 100 women, yet the gaps in employment opportunities exist as they still clearly do, one has to ask is it really that plausible that a full 50% of humankind is incapable of excelling at management? Is society really expected to believe that in a natural “fair” meritocracy, fewer than 16% of half of the human race is capable of corporate management?

    Or would the more pertinent question be, what is it about society that makes management positions inaccessible to a full 50% of humankind? Plenty of women excel in mathematics and sciences. So the problem is obviously not an intellectual capability issue. Women have traditionally been relegated to household financial management rolls for centuries and across cultures, so the problem is obviously not one of inability to make hard decisions. So what keeps women out of CEO positions if not engrained patriarchal stereotypes?

    If one applies even a modicum of intellectual honesty to the issue, logic dictates that the system is broken and in desperate need of repair. Until such time as society can stop spewing wholesale garbage like, "Women can't manage because of A) estrogen, B) menopause, C) {insert other asinine reason here}," then gender quotas are not only what we get, but also what we absolutely need.

    Posted in: Women execs ruin companies, magazine claims

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    I don't know if an outright ban is something that would even work in the workplace. People are people and attraction is something that's hard to deny in many cases. Employees would simply look for ways to keep it even more secret. Moreover, something like a ban implies some sort of punative measure in the event dating is discovered, e.g., termination of the two parties. This would result in the loss of productivity of not just one employee, if, say a romance went sour and the person on the losing end moped about, but both employees. Dating is just one of those adult choices that workplaces have to tolerate, IMO, and hopefully good HR programs will find better ways to discourage it in a manner that doesn't resort to something as draconian as an outright ban.

    Posted in: How do you feel about workplace romances?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Novenachama,

    I find it intersting that you took the time to address workplace romances between people who theoretically shouldn't be having romances in the first place, i.e., already married. I don't take issue with it. On the contrary, I think it's a facet of the Japanese workplace that is more common than people are willing to admit, at least in public.

    With that said, I think they are generally a very bad idea. I've seen very few that evolved into something positive -- at least for the workplace. Don't poop where you eat. Don't fornicate where you work. Simple rules to keep the greatest number of people happy in the office.

    Posted in: How do you feel about workplace romances?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the president bowing to the Emperor. It's not a sign of subservience. It's a sign of respect that is reciprocated in kind 9 times out of 10, with the 10th time likely being because the other person is either unaware of Japanese customs or is simply a jerk. It's no different from a handshake, and I doubt anyone in U.S. Congress would insist Obama refuse to shake hands with another foreign dignitary. Oh, wait. They have. Raul Castro comes to mind. Sigh...

    The U.S. Congress needs to do more to educate itself to the ways of the world. Google "bowing," for Pete's sake.

    Posted in: U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Emperor Akihito in Tokyo on April 24. Last time Obama met the emperor in Japan, in 2009, he shook hands and bowed, which upset some members in the U.S. Congress and media. Do you see anything wrong with him bowing to the emperor?

  • 6

    LFRAgain

    Absolutely no gender quotas

    Horse puckey. Men (and even some women) have demonstrated all too well that if the Old Boys Club can be maintained and preserved legally, then that is by all means the road to take. Quotas -- laws -- exist because people, when left on their own, will do virtually anything and everything to further the interests of their in-groups at the intentional expense of out-groups.

    Researchers have uncovered this in-group/out-group bias in children as young as two years of age, with children actively making decisions that not only benefit them or their in-group, but also result in a negative outcome for out-groups, i.e., taking the non-bruised fruit and making sure out-groups get the most bruised fruit.

    People are hardwired to advance their own groups, which in and of itself is not inherently bad -- at least not until it starts to affect things like a the level playing fields of employment and education.

    Posted in: Women execs ruin companies, magazine claims

  • 5

    LFRAgain

    This is an asinine assumption on the part of Shukan Post. I haven't read the original article, but if the best they could come up with for compelling evidence of this so-called negative effect of women in managerial positions was silly anecdotes about underling-superior tensions and a barely explored glance at Norwegian companies, then they never should have bothered writing the article at all.

    Posted in: Women execs ruin companies, magazine claims

  • 営業/建設機械  

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