Patto's past comments

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    Patto

    Use of cellphones in areas such as near the silver seats where there are signs to turn off the switch. I am amazed at the complete (and I do mean Complete) ignorance of the commenters on this site regarding the reasons for need to switch off cell phones. Everyone seems to think it is the conversations that are the problem. Get a brain--or did you already fry it? Get a new brain! One-sided harangues by middle-aged ladies on the train did not start with the cell phone. They were always an uncomfortable feature of train travel, but no one ever suggested banning them. I wore earplugs. The reason for the ban is the growing number of people with pacemakers or who for other medical reasons are badly affected by the microwave radiation emanating from the phone even when it's just on stand-by. Therefore the rule is to turn them off. I'm sad to see no enforcement of this rule. Use your phone elsewhere! The Silver Seats constitute a very small space. There's lots of space where you can use your phone. Cell phone users act just like cigarette smokers--except they've got lots more excuses. JT readers are a pack of cell-phone zombies! I'm sick of the general tone of the commenters, I'm sick of the dumbed down news, and I'm sick of the moderator's attitude. Good bye.

    Posted in: What cell phone habits by some people bother you the most?

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    Patto

    There have been times when I really wanted to grab a cell phone pest by the collar and ram him/her against the train door too. This is why I no longer take the train. When I have to, I wear my bee hat (silver mesh) and stand by the silver seats, where people are supposed not to use their cell phones, but do anyway. What would happen, I wonder, if a person with a pacemaker grabbed a silver-seat phone-user and rammed him against the door? I realize this was not the Great Sasuke's situation and that he made an idiot of himself, but I feel the slightest hint of sympathy for him. These handy phones are great for some and a terror for others.

    Posted in: The Great Sasuke arrested on suspicion of assaulting man on train

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    Patto

    Realist--the figure is 8 million, not 800 million. And also, "gods" is a poor translation of "kami." I wonder if you think 8 million would be an over-estimation of the number of angels? I try to see into the heart of any religion, and know that in every case there will be examples of where the religion went terribly wrong, but that does not mean that all of its manifestations are therefore bad.

    Posted in: Clinton visits Meiji Shrine

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    Patto

    I agree with Cleo: white wagtail, probably juvenile. Nice shot!

    Posted in: Bird in the hand

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    Patto

    So this is illegal when you do it to boys. Learn something new every day!

    Posted in: 83-yr-old man arrested for exposing himself to junior high school boys in Saitama

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    Patto

    "sharks, who are as sensitive to motion as snakes"

    Betzee, you are correct about sharks being sensitive to motion. They also detect electromagnetic fields very well, such as those put out by muscular activity. However, snakes lack these abilities. Their tongue (sharp sense of smell) serves as their "eyes" to the world, and some also detect heat, although I note from experience that you can fool a gartersnake by moving your little finger in such a way as to resemble a worm, and it will attempt to eat you, pinky first. So they have some sensitivity to motion, but it is typically secondary or tertiary.

    Posted in: Tiger shark

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    Patto

    The reason we do not know who's good or evil, or know good from evil for that matter is because "the evil" (i.e., sociopaths) are so securely in power that they can redefine it to suit their purposes. Read "Political Ponerology" by Andrzej Lobaczewski, a psychological analyst who survived similar times in Eastern Europe. He escaped to America but his book was suppressed by Zbigniew Brzezinski for many years (to give you an idea of who's in charge now). Modern society's lack of knowledge of sociopathy is advantageous to these people, who lack consciences and go on committing crimes until they are caught. Lobaczewski identified what he called a "hysteroidal cycle" which has occurred throughout history, in which good economic times lead to a lack of caution; unraveling of morals; the rise of an amoral group with psychology vastly different from normal (sociopaths); followed by unraveling of the economic basis of the society, with hysteria, scapegoating, etc.; then collapse; and finally reestablishment of normal moral rules of conduct, after which prosperity can grow again. His work has given me hope that a careful study of history and analysis of present trends, especially with the use of everyday observations of people's behavior along with clinical testing to exclude people with no conscience from positions of power, can give us the power to end this cruel cycle. I urge all concerned to read http://www.opednews.com/articles/3/opedne_clinton__080508_beware_the_psychopat.htm just as a start in an important body of knowledge that could help spare millions from misery.

    Posted in: Now the world has changed. Nobody is sure who is good or who is evil. The whole world is becoming borderless and unstable. The manga world's ambiguity has become realistic.

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    Patto

    Thank you to neverknow2! I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. I am really glad Jane is pursuing this, and I am shocked to see how little progress has been made with regard to the Japanese police's attitude toward sex crimes. Years back the police suggested I had encouraged a persistent anonymous telephoner to get interested in me. He called so regularly they could have caught him at it easily, but they weren't interested in helping me. Ditto for the exhibitionist on a beach in Shizuoka Pref. I had witnesses and a way to identify the man and his friends, but all the police could say was, "Kuyashii desho." I see signs all over suburban Japan warning about sexual predators. I guess that's all anyone is doing about the problem.

    Posted in: Australian rape victim loses case against police for bungling investigation

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    Patto

    Years back, I had the same trouble with Visa, but much better luck with American Express. I have that deducted from my main bank account directly and keep it paid off. The Y20,000/year charge is worth it for the reasons the author notes when travelling--it's essential. I considered one card enough, but when applying for a mortgage on a property back home, they demanded two. It didn't look like I was eligible for a credit card from my credit union in California, so I tried applying again for a Visa card in Japan. This time I had a spouse and was with him at the bank. They didn't care what my income was--they wanted to know my husband's. He was semi-retired for medical reasons, so his income was tiny. After a month I got back a letter from them, and it appeared I'd been rejected, but my husband got a card from them and he carried it around for about a year before he realized it had my name on it. So I have a Japanese Visa card now, but they deduct the bills from my husband's account. So back to the realtors to try again for a mortgage, a fixed-rate one from a decent bank because I'd read up on investment. Having paid off my student loans 20 years prior, I had zero credit rating. But the bank was very nice and tried to find a way to get me the loan with a higher down-payment and a note from my Japanese bank explaining my creditworthiness. The Japanese bank (Sumitomo at the time), couldn't understand why such a thing was needed. In Japan, a foreigner has zero chances of getting a loan, period. I sat there in their lobby until they provided me a letter saying they could not provide the information requested because their system doesn't work that way in Japan. (A friend suggests singing loudly while waiting in the lobby, so as to speed the process up.) After some more negotiation with the American bank, I actually did get accepted for the loan. I was overjoyed that someone finally believed in me! I'm a professional with steady income and significant savings and assets, which exceeded the value of the mortgage I wanted.

    Posted in: Try to get a credit card in Japan

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    Patto

    So, let's see, that's convenience stores along with cell phone shops and "sarakin" loan shark operations that are doing well in the current economy, judging by the number of them popping up. Any others?

    Posted in: People who are worried about the economic slowdown visit our stores instead of dining out.

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    Patto

    I'd knock the offender silly and, uh, spend the rest of my life in jail, I guess. Pepper spray sounds like a better alternative.

    Posted in: JR Tokai female staff issued pepper spray for self-defense

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    Patto

    The clearer it becomes what has happened during the last ten years, starting from the Clintons and proceeding under the Bush Administration (the packaging of subprime mortgages and other risky debt and selling them around the world as highly rated financial instruments, which constitutes fraud), the more demand there will be for an end to US hegemony. There is already talk that this constituted a deliberate economic attack by the US on its competitors.

    Posted in: So who exactly is running the global show?

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    Patto

    It's a dog's life--getting dressed up and carried around by a fashion-conscious ninny who doesn't actually care about you. Sad, but what is worse is that this is how many people treat their kids.

    Posted in: What do you think about the way some people pamper their pets?

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    Patto

    Obama has realized for a long time that he has got to placate the Israel lobby. I'd say good choice if that's what you have to do! He's our man!

    Posted in: Obama begins assembling team

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    Patto

    Some people will complain wherever they go. I love Japan! I also see Japan is successfully attracting Chinese visitors to places such as Mount Fuji, and providing them a good time at reasonable costs for groups. To attract more individual tourists, it might be good to hire a few foreigners to help put out information on attractions they are apt to enjoy, lodging, transportation, etc. In particular, the mountains are mostly unknown outside of Japan, except Mt. Fuji of course, which is a disappointment for many because of the crowds and trash. I hiked over Kirigamine and Utsukushigahara in Nagano Pref. last weekend and found them both impressive. The Southern Alps and Yatsugatake are also very nice and unspoiled. Specialized information for hikers could open a new field of tourism. I would particularly recommend combining culture with nature. Historical guides to some of the mountainous areas would be really nice.

    Posted in: What does Japan need to do in order to attract more tourists?

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    Patto

    A teacher who encourages students to excel in their own unique ways comes under attack in Japan as unfair by incompetent students who are accustomed to being spoon-fed equal doses of learning, repeated as necessary until the lowest common denominator gets it. Some teachers go ahead anyway and take criticism and demotions for this, but darned few try.

    Posted in: Leaders should train students who have the potential to outshine them, but Japanese leaders tend to reject such students.

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    Patto

    Oh good! I can defend myself if they try to taser me!

    Posted in: In many U.S. airports, guns are OK outside security

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    Patto

    I wonder how Japan really stands in terms of sex crimes. What laws apply to pedophilia in particular? My experience in Japan is a lot of sex crimes of a minor nature occur. Am I wrong on this? Is the problem hidden? To the degree that a problem exists in Japan, the law needs to be strengthened and people need to take steps to reduce risk to themselves and especially their children. Otherwise we might wind up with the hysteria and violent witchhunts that BPA proposes.

    Posted in: Stalking the predators

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    Patto

    No mention of whether this sake is very dry or has had its flavor "enhanced" in some way. I fear the latter. If so, no good for the kamidana, which is the only place I use sake anyway.

    Posted in: Sugar-free sake

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    Patto

    Col. America, I presume you do not live in Japan, where the prevailing winds are northwesterly. Perhaps you can sit in your armchair and punch the button in safety and comfort, but the fallout won't be limited to just millions of innocent people in North Korea. Putin stood up to the oligarchs that were stripping Russia's assets, and he improved life for the average Russian citizen. Ten years ago, you could say the army was demoralized--the whole country was! But not now. With a lot of trigger-happy people in America in power, including Mr. Cheney, and with religious zealots pushing for Armageddon, I fear a nuclear war is just a matter of time, with fatalities in the millions or billions and even people in armchairs affected in some meaningful way.

    Posted in: Cheney accuses Russia of using brute force, intimidation over Georgia

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