ThonTaddeo's past comments

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    The question is if Japan grabbed this land once before is it really so wrong for China to grab it back?

    David, if you really think that Yonaguni can be taken "back" by China (i.e., that this island was once Chinese), then the CCP propaganda has reached a new level. Like the Senkaku islands, Yonaguni has never been inhabited by Chinese. Its people were independent Okinawans for centuries until the Satsuma conquest of 1609-1611. Until 1903, the Japanese overlords took "head taxes" from the islanders in a situation that differed little from slavery. (There's a sign in the northern Yonaguni village of Sonai which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the abolition of this tax.)

    The PRC has been pulling this nonsense with the never-inhabited Senkaku islands for a while, but never with Yonaguni. This is a new low for them.

    That said, a Japanese "Self-Defense" base on this island is as much or more of an oppressor, given Japan's pre-WWII occupying behavior, than a US base would be. I guarantee you that Yonagunians over about 70 years old don't see a mainland-Japan army as a protector of their freedom.

    Posted in: Japan sets up military post on western island

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    whether or not people who don’t have a TV in their home are required to pay NHK fees is still a bit of a gray area

    NHK may claim such, but there really isn't much "gray" about it. If you have no device "capable" of receiving NHK's broadcasts -- and a PC without a TV tuner installed or a non-1-seg phone are one step removed from being "capable" -- you don't owe them one single yen.

    Posted in: NHK tags house of man who refuses to pay fees

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    This is the same International Monetary Fund that recommends minimum consumption tax rates of 15% everywhere in the world. They want more women in the workplace not because they want to create a gender-free utopia where mom can go to work and dad can take care of the kids if they so choose, but one where both parents work full-time (and pay more income tax), sending their kids to day care (and paying consumption tax on the fees) with caretakers (who pay income tax). Plenty of spending generated by shuttling those kids around in cars and trains too. And once the two-income household becomes the norm, consumer prices can double and parents will still feel like they're getting by.

    The only winner: the state.

    No thank you, Ms. Lagarde. Coming from someone who was genuinely interested in work/parenting equality for both genders, I might be interested. But we all know what your and Abe's real goal is.

    Posted in: IMF's Lagarde urges Japan to increase women's participation in work force

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    50.5%, have had no sex within the past year; 91, 15.2%, have had none within five years

    Sometimes when I read these stories I wonder if their intent is to pacify the poor salaryman types in LTRs or marriages who have sex at most once or twice a year. Instead of feeling deprived, as they would in most other societies, they're thinking, "can't complain, compared to a lot of other people".

    Posted in: Poll on number of male virgins in Japan not all bad news

  • -1

    ThonTaddeo

    So they're adding the consumption tax to crim statistics now? Thanks a lot, Abe!

    On a more serious note, it is disturbing to see the number of arrests printed in the news year after year as if the number actually means something. Anyone can be arrested.

    Note also that the top three nationalities among arrestees are, in general, racially indistinguishable from the Japanese. Keep that in mind next time a police stops your Caucasian, Black, Indian, etc. self and uses "foreign crime is up" as a justification for questioning you. If they'regoing by what people look like, non-Asian-looking folks shouldn't attract a policeman's eye at all.

    Posted in: No. of foreigners arrested for crimes in Japan up by 8% in 2013

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    While deflation may sound good for consumers, it means people tend to put off buying in the hope of getting goods cheaper down the road, hurting producers.

    If I copy-and-paste the exact same text (and biased, one-sided, non-journalistic text at that) into multiple academic papers, I get a failing grade.

    When the reporters who submit stories to Japan Today do it, presumably they keep getting paid and nobody gets fired. Because I see this same sentence over and over and over.

    Posted in: BOJ governor faces new challenges a year on

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    a country that has suffered deflation for years, meaning consumers rarely face higher prices for everyday goods

    This makes no sense. Does Abe have a Soviet-style team of editors that look over articles before they go to press, to make sure that the "correct" perspective is always used? "Rarely fac[ing] higher prices" is exactly what consumers need, so the only people "suffering" from inflation are the central bankers who want to devalue the currency.

    When prices tick downwards while wages levels are maintained, that's a win for the customers. Less work to buy more and better goods, and savings in the bank keeps its value. If you're a younger person saving money for the future, and then spending it to support your children, the steady consumer prices and stronger yen of the past 20 years are the ideal situation. But Abe wants to take, and take, and take. And then blame everything other than his administration for the problems he creates.

    Posted in: Major firms bow to Abe's request to raise wages

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    This isn't going to win me many friends, but provided that these Kyushu reactors are being managed responsibly, I see no problem in turning them back on.

    Imagine you're a director of a nuclear plant in Kyushu, and you follow safety regulations to the letter, and international regulators visit your plant and find everything in order. Then the central government shuts you down. Why should you (and your customers) be punished because some slipshod buffoons up north at TEPCO were irresponsible?

    When BP had its colossal oil-drilling disaster a few years ago, in which 11 workers were instantly killed by a gush of molten oil, we didn't see every other oil-drilling firm shut down.

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that TEPCO is benefiting from the current public sentiment that demonizes nuclear power as a whole rather than demonizing the incompetents who caused this disaster.

    Let the safe reactors continue to provide power until safer alternatives can be developed. The current situation, in which fossil fuels are imported (and their health problems swept under the rug), is no more sustainable than nuclear dependence is.

    Posted in: Japan puts two reactors on shortlist for restart screening

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    Sometimes I wonder if these superstitions are fed by the construction industry looking to profit when prefectly usable housing is destroyed and then rebuilt in situations like this.

    Posted in: Would you move into an apartment or house where the rent had been lowered because a bloody murder or suicide had occurred there? Would living in such a place freak you out?

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    Not really many companies ate the 5% but are now adding the 8%.

    QB is one going from 1000 to 1080. Add in that many will adjust prices upwards to get a nice round number on the price sticker.

    I've even spotted price stickers at the major national chain Book-Off with 10% increases slapped right on top of the old prices. This is on CDs where they probably don't expect to sell them for many months, and rather than implement a 3% bump and print up new stickers for everything on April 1, it looks like they're just taking a part of their inventory and preemptorily raising the prices by 10% right now. It sure does feel strange to see a higher price sticker placed on top of a lower one; usually when something sits unsold for many months, the price drops. And the tax hasn't even come in yet; this is a pure money grab.

    My local supermarket is adjusting to the increase by displaying pre-tax prices rather than tax-included prices. They went around putting lower price tags on all their stuff with the tax to be added at the register. Thing is, the fixed-price items which didn't get relabeled -- 100 yen, 198 yen, 3-for-500, that kind of thing -- now all cost more even now because they're 105, 208, and 3-for-525, soon to be 108, 213, and 3-for-540.

    I'm sure that between now and April 1 -- maybe in the last week of March -- some kind of argument with China or Korea will be cooked up to take people's minds off how the government is bleeding them drier than ever. Abe will appeal to national pride as usual and the useful idiots who vote for him will think, "Well, I may be poorer, but I feel like I live in a strong country again!"

    And the LDP wil laugh all the way to the bank.

    Posted in: Taxzilla's coming! What to do?

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    By the way, the 8% tax is applied at every stage of distribution, so if you have a producer, wholesaler and retailer, that makes it 24%. (Of course 8% bite on the manufacturer to wholesaler transaction is lower than the retailer to consumer transaction.)

    Are you sure those middlemen can't get rebates for the tax they pay, as they do in high-VAT European countries? This means an effective tax of (1.08^3) or 25.9% on goods that pass through two middlemen (a wholesaler and a retailer), which is more than even the infamously-tax-loving Scandinavian countries.

    That would be economic suicide for Japan, though with Abe and the tax-hungry LDP in charge, I wouldn't put it past them.

    Posted in: Taxzilla's coming! What to do?

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    Anbinh, indeed. Today if you can't drive a car -- let's say you have eyesight below 0.6, or have epilepsy, or one of several other physical problems -- you either live in the big city or endure a life of underemployment and a restricted social life. Driverless cars will open up the same range of motion that elevators did for people in wheelchairs. I can't wait to see them become a reality.

    Posted in: In a driverless future, drivers will do anything they like

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    I'm just waiting for a Japanese news announcer to express her surprise at this incident by saying あら〜.

    Posted in: Malaysia bans Ultraman book over use of Allah

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    Expect an uptick in the value of a Bitcoin if the government gets its way -- taxing something adds to its legitimacy, and really there's no such thing as bad publicity for a thing like this.

    If not for the extremely high value of the stolen Bitcoins, the conspiracy theorist in me might almost speculate that the recent theft was arranged as a form of free advertising. Everyone whose bitcoins didn't get stolen will probably profit.

    Posted in: Gov't to decide bitcoin trading rules on Friday

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    I've been on the floor of that exchange. Not to trade; there haven't been hand-signaling floor brokers in almost 20 years -- financial firms host events and show off their software and products there. Wouldn't complain in the least if we had guests like these!

    Posted in: View from the back

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    I'll give Jaden Smith credit for his performance (along with his father) in the heartwarming "Pursuit of Happyness" a few years ago. I really enjoyed that.

    Posted in: Razzies pick Will and Jaden Smith as worst actors

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    'smartphone walker' - an oxymoron if I've ever read one.

    The phone's a lot smarter than the walker, isn't it?

    Posted in: 36 'smartphone walkers' hospitalized in Tokyo in 2013

  • 8

    ThonTaddeo

    The least Softbank could do would be to give Omomo an itemized, detailed list of exactly what makes up that massive December 30 charge. If they don't, it makes it look like Softbank is running a scam.

    Posted in: Japanese man gets hit with massive bill for Y1 mil after iPhone stolen in Spain

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    January factory output soared 4% on-month, chalking up the fastest growth since the 4.2% rise in June 2011 when production was recovering from earthquake and tsunami damage.

    The broken-window fallacy in action. I fear that the message the Abe administration will take away from this is that tax increases and natural disasters are great for "the economy" -- never mind how much of the people's wealth is destroyed in the process.

    Posted in: Factory output jumps on demand rush before tax hike

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    Every once in a while you see hoaxes where incidents like this will be faked to draw attention to causes that the "victims" want attention for. At Oberlin College there was a spate of incidents of supposedly-racist graffiti and people wearing KKK hoods, and it turned out that the whole thing was a hoax.

    I'd be very disappointed if this case turned out to be like that one, but then again, better than than the idea of a genuine neo-Nazi going around vandalizing library books.

    Posted in: Experts speculate on likely Anne Frank book vandal

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