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albaleoMay. 20, 2013 - 04:42PM JST
The opposition's position according to the article, "the government has not made a convincing case against extending civil partnerships"
On the face of it, the amendment makes a lot a sense. I'd go a step further and make civil partnerships the only legally recognized form of partnership. I don't think it's the governments job to define marriage.
Posted in: British PM Cameron heads off rebellion over gay marriage bill
albaleoMay. 20, 2013 - 04:26PM JST
" lied like a rug", "trusted him so much"
They should give a job as a car salesman.
Posted in: Man arrested after taking Lexus for test drive to grandmother’s house 180 km away
albaleoMay. 15, 2013 - 05:42PM JST
There's a difference between "would" and "could".
Posted in: Nankai Trough quake predicted to cause 1,800 fatalities on Izu and Ogasawara islands
albaleoApr. 30, 2013 - 04:59PM JST
The son and friend took the right precautions. Only go into the woods with someone who is slower than yourself.
Posted in: Man attacked by bear defends himself with pruning shears
albaleoApr. 23, 2013 - 04:54PM JST
Thanks, Moonraker. Fair point. I'm not in Japan these days, so wasn't aware of the details. It seems the package came to about $3 billion (assuming it was all used). There were similar programs in Europe and the US. It could be argued that this didn't specifically benefit Toyota but the car industry as a whole, so including Toyota's competitors. I was strongly against the scheme in the UK, but purely for selfish reasons. You had to have a 10-year old car to trade in. I missed out by three years.
I have a fondness for Toyota. This is mainly from my experience working there in the mid 1990s (teaching English, although we called it something fancier - Work Instruction For Overseas Production Staff or something like that). I'd worked at many Japanese manufacturing companies before, and wasn't really looking forward to going to Toyota. I was expecting the arrogance you sometimes see in large companies. My experience was just the opposite. I met a lot of humble, funny individuals who could make jokes about their own company. While I always expect that from the engineers, this extended to the normally hated HR people too. It was quite refreshing. Admittedly, the economic rot hadn't fully set in then, so we were all still riding the tail of the bubble.
On the other hand, I drive a Nissan these days. It was made in the nearest auto plant to my home. Shouldn't I get an eco rebate for that? :-)
Posted in: Getting the Toyota message out to the world
albaleoApr. 23, 2013 - 12:34AM JST
Moonraker, care to explain that for those of us that are wondering what you are referring to?
albaleoMar. 31, 2013 - 08:12AM JST
@Moonraker "She might have missed the point somewhere."
She seems to have it spot on. I believe the precepts refer to 'intoxicants' and not specifically alcohol, and that intoxicants can be interpreted as things that distract us from the intimate experience of life. The question is which gives us the greatest experience: the drudgery of a nine-to-five job or a vodka, raspberry liqueur and cranberry juice concoction. Perhaps only those who have taken the true path over many years can understand the purity of Noriko's devotions. To get started, I suggest chanting with a glass of sherry.
Posted in: Tokyo bar offers cocktail of booze and Buddhism
albaleoMar. 17, 2013 - 06:32PM JST
Doesn't the councilman realize there is a difference between a professional wrestling bout and a city council? One is a circus designed to promote the participants, where the moves are choreographed, and the outcomes predetermined. The other is two guys fighting.
Posted in: Masked wrestler city councilman forbidden to wear mask during sessions
albaleoMar. 17, 2013 - 06:19PM JST
"There’s not a single foreign (car) manufacturer in Japan..."
Perhaps, but Renault owns 44% of Nissan. That represents a large European stake in manufacturing in Japan. And until a few years ago, Ford held 33% of Mazda.
Posted in: Japan free trade talks with EU a 'masquerade' - Ford
albaleoMar. 14, 2013 - 06:30PM JST
@Ah-so "The agnostic you describe is an athiest without the courage to describe themselves as such."
Is it not funny that the 'founder' of agnosticism, TH Huxley, was often described as Darwin's Bulldog? He doesn't come over as a cowardly person, quite the opposite. He used the term originally, not in the context of god, but about the cause of existence itself. Those who were quite certain, he described as gnostics. As he was quite certain he didn't know, he coined the term agnostic. There was some humor in his use of the term. It's unfortunate that the word is commonly used these days to describe a kind of indecisive ninny, those sitting on the fence and who haven't yet made there mind up. Huxley's outlook was very clear - be open minded and wiling to believe anything, so long as it is supported by sound evidence and reason. Which is why most agnostics don't believe in many things - gods, tooth fairies, and miracles included. But as each person's standard of evidence may differ, there is no dogma to support.
Interestingly, Huxley despised atheism. I guess in his day, atheism was a dogmatic belief in the same way as religion and ideology. Certainty of belief is not an attractive characteristic.
Posted in: Life after death? Yes, says one doctor
albaleoFeb. 15, 2013 - 06:03AM JST
"This guy needs a cold slow death."
I'd feel safer if you were locked up too.
Posted in: 3rd victim dies after Guam rampage; suspect held on $2 mil bail
albaleoJan. 23, 2013 - 06:42PM JST
He sounds a bit like the chemistry teachers I had at school. All a bit whacky, but very interesting. It's not clear whether intimidation was involved. Or was it a more light hearted 'punishment' that gets shared around everyone from week to week. This week drink dilute HCl, next week sniff hydrogen sulphide, 12-volt tingle, etc. That one student spat it out suggest there was no great pressure. And there is some value in drinking dilute acid, even if just to understand that 'acid' is a natural compound, and, like most chemicals, its danger is related to dosage. I wonder if the same furore would have occurred if it had been drinking dilute vinegar, or sucking a lemon.
On the other hand, I was once forced to eat macaroni cheese at school. And the teacher certainly didn't taste that in advance. This really did taste like vomit, and there was no spitting out allowed. After 50 years, I'm only starting to recover. I wonder if she's still alive. Maybe I can sue her.
Posted in: Students forced to drink diluted acid as punishment at Aichi school
albaleoJan. 22, 2013 - 07:43AM JST
"if your really not doing anything to help the country anymore perhaps you should live off your own savings"
Do those savings include the pension and health insurance contributions that people have made during their working lives and that they were led to believe would entitle them to benefits until they die?
Posted in: Aso says elderly should be allowed to 'hurry up and die'
albaleoJan. 20, 2013 - 10:04AM JST
"Has it occurred to you that higher cost of living is as a result of higher wages??"
A Bloomberg article from a few days ago indicates that while Abe would like wages to increase, Japanese businesses have said they will resist pay rises. That would seem to lend support to JeffLee's position that consumers will suffer.
Posted in: Adviser hails 'Abenomics,' saying dollar can rise
albaleoDec. 31, 2012 - 07:41PM JST
I have to agree that the article is confusing. A Mainichi article from July 2011 reported that over 35,000 temporary homes had been completed in three prefectures, about 75% of the estimated number that were needed. One point raised in the article was that the take up of the units had been slow.
Perhaps the articles is 'correct' in the sense that it is talking about units built by central government and not the prefectural governments.
Posted in: Gov't completes just 40 of 23,000 emergency houses for Tohoku disaster victims
albaleoDec. 19, 2012 - 07:10PM JST
You know how many shootings there has been in the 16 years since then? You guessed it ZERO!
You know how many shootings there has been in the 16 years since then? You guessed it ZERO!
I'm not sure that's a reasonable argument. There had been no mass shootings in Scotland at any time prior to Dunblane either when gun controls were less strict, although even then, far stricter than than those being proposed for the US now. Thomas Hamilton didn't get access to a gun easily. He was manipulative, clever, and knew how to get officialdom on his side.
Don't get me wrong! I'm not saying gun controls are ineffective. Just the opposite. The more difficult it is to access guns, the fewer incidents there will be. But we shouldn't think that gun controls alone will prevent further incidents in the future.
Posted in: Boy, 11, brings gun to class in Utah
albaleoDec. 18, 2012 - 06:31PM JST
"the sun will not shine ... for three days"
That's not a prophecy. It's a Scottish weather forecast.
Posted in: China detains 100-plus people for doomsday rumors
albaleoDec. 15, 2012 - 08:46AM JST
"Why is it always osaka saitama chiba?"
Their respective populations probably have something to do with it. They are the 3rd, 5th and 6th largest respectively. The drop in numbers for Tokyo is strange. Has carrying a bag become unfashionable there? Osaka is always a year or two behind. :-)
Posted in: Osaka tops nationwide bag-snatching stats again
albaleoDec. 12, 2012 - 08:58AM JST
It isn't clear from the article what status the "Suspicious Characters Reports" have, or how the police responded. But if they just filed it and left it at that, it doesn't seem such a big deal. And if they get a bunch of similar reports about a man asking school kids directions in the same vicinity over a short space of time, the original report is perhaps no longer trivial and we might be thanking the girl for her actions.
Going slightly off topic, I once served as the local bohan bucho for a year in a town in Wakayama in the early nineties. (It was a jijikai responsibility that passed from house to house. I wasn't voted in.) One of my responsibilities was to look out for 'suspicious characters'. The training involved a small lecture and a screening of Minbo No Onna at the local police station. The police seemed amused by my presence. I guess foreigners might normally come under the definition of 'suspicious character', but if so, they tactfully dropped it from the curriculum that year. Anyway, the main responsibility was reporting broken street lights. Exciting times!
Posted in: Heightened sensibilities regarding child safety get man written up for asking directions
albaleoNov. 14, 2012 - 07:39AM JST
From the caption: "prepare to stand up"
I'm intrigued. What do these preparations involve?
Anyway, a Mishima quote seems appropriate on such an occasion:
"he had never looked forward to the wisdom and other vaunted benefits of old age. "
Posted in: Ishihara formally launches new Party of the Sun
May. 22, 2013 - 11:45PM JST
These type of protests by Korean citizens are nothing new. It's their national sport.
Posted in: Bad eggs
May. 22, 2013 - 11:42PM JST
TEPCO is a booming Stock, alone in the last Week we saw a increase of more…
Posted in: Hundreds of Miyagi residents seek equal compensation as Fukushima
May. 22, 2013 - 11:39PM JST
cleoMay. 22, 2013 - 09:18PM JST
"Ossan -Cleo, hope you understand the concept of conservation now"…
Posted in: Australia to cull 10,000 wild horses
May. 22, 2013 - 11:35PM JST
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower is among credible sources who say American troops committed multiple rapes…
Posted in: Do you agree with Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's comments on comfort women?
May. 22, 2013 - 11:34PM JST
The Central Land Council region covers 771,747 square kilometres of remote, rugged and often inaccessible…