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badmanApr. 03, 2013 - 09:56PM JST
Given Japan's industrial sector's propensity towards collusion, I hesitate to feel positive about this move.
It worked with telecom, but as a previous poster mentioned, with the enormous capital infrastructure costs in this industry, the likelihood of significant savings due to increased competition are not likely anytime soon.
Posted in: Gov't OKs plan to liberalize power industry
badmanMar. 31, 2013 - 09:55PM JST
WilliB- 1 man and 12 wives is already defined as such. Polygamy is prevalent in many cultures and those people are married and the women termed first wife, 2nd wife etc. A marriage is first and foremost a legal contract between two (or more in some cultures) adults who wish to form a family unit. For some, there is religious significance to their union, but not all.
The institution of marriage should be encouraged, but there is no need to protect it. Adding more people to the institution will strengthen it. Admittedly the data set is small, but gay marriages last longer than hetero marriages do and that benefits society as well.
Posted in: Do you support same-sex marriages?
badmanMar. 31, 2013 - 01:20AM JST
Pulled from http://atheism.about.com/b/2005/06/12/marriage-religious-rite-or-civil-right.htm.
Many people argue that marriage is essentially and necessarily a religious rite - they conceive of marriage in almost exclusively religious terms and object to the intrusion of the state into a religious matter. Because of religion's traditional role in sanctifying marriages and presiding over wedding ceremonies this is understandable, but it's also incorrect.
In her book Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation, Nancy F. Cott explains at great length how deeply intertwined marriage and public government have been in American history. Since the very beginning, marriage seems to have been treated as a private contract with public implications and not as a religious institution:
Although the details of marital practice varied widely among Revolutionary-era Americans, there was a broadly shared understanding of the essentials of the institution. The most important was the unity of husband and wife. The "sublime and refined ... principle of union" joining the two was the "most important consequence of marriage," according to James Wilson, a preeminent statesman and legal philosopher.
The consent of both was also essential. "The agreement of both parties, the essence of every rational contract, is indispensably required," Wilson said in lectures delivered in 1792. He saw mutual consent as the hallmark of marriage — more basic than cohabitation.
Everyone spoke of the marriage contract. Yet as a contract it was unique, for the parties did not set their own terms. The man and woman consented to marry, but public authorities set the terms of the marriage, so that it brought predictable rewards and duties. Once the union was formed, its obligations were fixed in common law. Husband and wife each assumed a new legal status as well as a new status in their community. That means neither could break the terms set without offending the larger community, the law, and the state, as much as offending the partner.
The public character of marriage continues even today. Jonathan Rauch, in his book Gay Marriage, explains why, arguing that marriage is much more than just a contract:
To understand how to preserve the health of marriage as a social institution, and also to understand why there is no substitute for same-sex marriage, it is necessary to understand where marriage gets its special power: how it works. And this depends crucially on understanding that marriage is not merely a contract between two people. It is a contract between two people and their community.
When two people approach the alter or the bench to marry, they approach not only the presiding official but all of society. They enter into a compact not just with each other but with the world, and that compact says: "We, the two of us, pledge to make a home together, care for one another, and, perhaps, raise children together. In exchange for the caregiving commitment we are making, you, our community, will recognize us not only as individuals but as a bonded pair, a family, granting us a special autonomy and a special status which only marriage conveys. We, the couple, will support one another. You, society, will support us. You expect us to be there for each other and will help us meet those expectations. We will do our best, until death do us part."
In debates over gay marriage, there is a lot of focus on the various legal rights which same-sex couples miss out on because of their inability to marry. If we take a closer look at those "rights," however, we find that they are primarily about helping couples care for each other. Individually, the rights help spouses support each other; taken together, they help society express the importance of being a spouse and the fact that marrying changes who you are and your status in the community.
Marriage in America is indeed a contract — a contract that comes with more obligations than rights. Marriage in America is a civil right that is not now and has never been in the past dependent upon any one religion or even religion in general for its justification, existence, or perpetuation. Marriage exists because people desire it and the community, working through the government, helps ensure that married couples are able to do what they need to in order to survive. At no point is religion needed or even necessarily relevant.
badmanMar. 30, 2013 - 09:15PM JST
Martine- Never met a rude Japanese on a train? Where do you live? I don't believe Japanese train riders are rude in general, but in my 7 years in Japan I observed 1000s of incidences I would deem rude. The worst were, one night my then girlfriend and I were returning home on the Yamanote quite late after a night out.
She was showing a bit of cleavage and a drunk salaryman was standing over us struggling to stand up straight as he was clearly drunk. Then he noticed her cleavage, his eyes got big and he made a big smile and began to stare directly at her chest with no shame. Then, to top it off, he got an erection that was staring us both in the face. Naturally, when confronted with the last part we had had enough so we got up and moved.
Years later, while traveling home with my Japanese wife. We were at Takadanababa station. It was late on a weekend and very crowded. Were were first in line and the was a drunk salaryman to my left who was yelling at the people in our line that we were in the wrong line for the next train and we had better not try to get on in front of him. My wife insisted I ignore him, so I continued to read my newspaper. When the train arrived we pushed on and much to my surprise (and my wife's!) he attacked me from behind! After recovering from the surprise I protected my wife and I by pounding his head until he was subdued then physically throwing him off the train. Luckily I was not seriously injured and maybe even more importantly not questioned by the police.
So, as you can see, just like any society, Japan has its share of rude people and if you have never seen any, then you must not get out much.
Posted in: Tokyo Metro manner posters confuse and delight commuters
badmanMar. 30, 2013 - 08:17PM JST
@YongYang- Actually, Kaz said, "emerging developing countries," which is accurate when referring to their economies. Both India and China are considered developing economies, though the coined term BRIC groups them with Russia and Brazil to give them special accelerated status just behind Mexico and South Korea in terms of economic maturity.
badmanMar. 30, 2013 - 10:32AM JST
All the religious fundamentalists and homophobes seem to want to protect their "ownership" of the word marriage. Let's be clear, there were marriages long before Christianity, so the church does not hold sway here. If you want to differentiate yourself to help inflate your self-worth at the expense of homosexuals, then we'll be happy to give you another word.
How about Christian union? The rest of us pagans will hold on to the word marriage.
badmanMar. 30, 2013 - 10:14AM JST
Is that Charisma Man with the backpack?
badmanFeb. 17, 2013 - 08:40PM JST
I'm not sure why the currency manipulation keeps boosting the economy. Japan no longer has an export economy. Exports only account for 15% of GDP or about the same as the US. So this helps the small block of Japanese companies who export, but it hurts the companies that import and all of the Japanese consumers who are buying imported goods and services.
@Dog-the quantitative easing that Japan's government used to artificially weaken the yen contributed to your higher energy costs because a weaker yen means more expensive imports.
It's time the Japanese people rise up and start demanding long-term solutions to their country's economic woes. My wife and I chose to leave Japan because, in my opinion, the next 25 years are going to be a steady fall into economic oblivion. Debt to GDP is about 230% as compared to the US at just over 100%, but when you consider Japan's upside down population, unfunded public pension obligations, skyrocketing costs of health care for their aging society and their refusal to increase immigration to expand the tax base, then you have a recipe for disaster.
I love Japan and it pains me to feel this way, but I have no doubt it is true. I expect we will return to help pick up the pieces toward the end of our careers.
Posted in: Japan's recession-hit economy shrinks again
badmanFeb. 17, 2013 - 08:05PM JST
Except that Japan was scolded for its monetary easing policy which artificially and temporarily enhanced the economy to the detriment of the other G20 member nations, so as a show of good faith they are likely to turn off the faucet until the heat from within returns.
Posted in: Shares may lose ground this week
badmanFeb. 05, 2013 - 01:23AM JST
I find it ironic that La Pierre testified before congress several years ago asking for universal background checks and now that Obama and the Dems are proposing that he is pattently against it.
That contrarian atmosphere in US politics is slowly dragging them to their own demise.
Posted in: NRA chief opposes universal background checks for gun purchases
badmanFeb. 02, 2013 - 01:02AM JST
I see a lot of comments condemning the management company and while I do not agree with their stance, I do not believe that is the problem.
The girls sign contracts clearly stating the expectations, professional and personal. They know how they have to act, good or bad that may be.
The problem is Japanese society or more specifically the male fan base that needs to have this myth of availability perpetuated. How many other cultures have this kind of artificial relationship cultivated on such a massive scale?
The root issue needs to be addressed. Once we address the reasons that young Japanese men prefer to live in a fantasy world rather than engaging in actual relationships, then things like this will happen less often.
Posted in: AKB48 singer shaves her head as act of contrition for dating
badmanJan. 26, 2013 - 10:16PM JST
@Nessie-You could argue that Japan IS the cause such a high suicide rate.
Posted in: Yamanote line accident horrifies commuters
badmanJan. 26, 2013 - 10:09PM JST
The tone of the article is positive, but despite the fact that the number of visitors is rising, the total is absurdly low. Japan makes NO effort to encourage tourism. The wasn't even a national foreign tourism board until a few years ago and their efforts have been almost non-existent? Have you ever been to another country and seen an ad encouraging a visit to Japan?
If you live in the US you are inundated with commercials inviting you to every Caribbean nation, central/south America, Malaysia, Korea and to a lesser extent India and some countries in Europe. Maybe if Japan put more of an effort towards encouraging "outsiders" to come and enjoy this beutiful place and culture, then they could help pull themselves out of a 25 year economic tailspin.
30% more foreign visitors visit NYC than the entire country of Japan! I don't believe these numbers are to be cheered, but rather should be seen as an indication on how sad the tourism industry is here and a wake-up call to invigorate the industry in order to save a sinking ship.
Posted in: Foreign visitors to Japan surge 34.6% in 2012
badmanJan. 26, 2013 - 09:50PM JST
So Asians ARE different from Western Europeans? Huh? The things you learn...
Posted in: DNA shows ancestry of present-day Asians, Native Americans
badmanJan. 17, 2013 - 11:05AM JST
I hadn't lived in Tokyo for very long, when one day there was a knock on my door. I couldn't speak Japanese, but the man introduced himself as working for NHK. At the time, I had no idea about the NHK fee, I didn't speak Japanese and he didn't speak English, so it was very confusing. I thought he was trying to get me to donate (PBS in the US relies on viewers donations, but they are completely voluntary) and I declined, as I did not even own a TV. He persisted and even got aggressive. I told him I didn't have a TV and he clearly thought I was lying, so he tried to force his way into my home. Well, as an American, this was particularly offensive and I was about to get violent with him, so he left.
A bit later in the afternoon he returned with a colleague who spoke some English. He asked me to pay the fee and I declined saying I did not own a TV and he replied that everyone owns a TV and that we are required by law to pay the fee. I then let them in to see that I did, in fact, own no TV and they left bowing shamefully. It was quite a disturbing experience.
Posted in: 7 services that don’t make sense to foreigners in Japan
badmanJan. 14, 2013 - 01:02AM JST
Posted in: Six arrested in new India bus gang-rape case
badmanNov. 26, 2012 - 08:26PM JST
Why do seemingly intelligent people continue to perpetuate the myth that Japan is an export economy? I guess that past is a difficult thing to change in people's minds. Japan derives between 10-15% of it's economy from exporting and it's percentage of importing falls in the same range.
Japan's problems are more affected by chronic over-employment which, in turn, leads to it's ridiculously low level of productivity (last of all industrialized nations according to the OECD) and only 65% that of the US. This low unemployment and productivity are, in my opinion, the root cause for the lack of innovation. Desperation breeds innovation as one of my professors quipped. Granted, there are cultural issues that affect things, but the longer the government (and big business) tries to over-control things, the deeper this mess will become.
Japan has one of the highest debt ratios (about 200% of GDP and double that of the US) in the industrialized world and when you couple that with an aged population that garners fixed pension payments with rising healthcare, Japan is heading for a crash. Better to allow a controlled burn like the forest service would do with an overgrown area. The economy would drop, unemployment would rise, but the unemployed would return to school to get new skills and some would start new and innovative business which would help pull Japan out of a 25 year funk.
Posted in: BOJ rift surfaces over easing as political debate heats up
May. 22, 2013 - 04:12AM JST
Drones kill children. Terrorism. Just because your country does whatever it wants and you are a…
Posted in: Obama to go public with his counterterrorism strategy
May. 22, 2013 - 04:10AM JST
First class flyers basically subsidize the flight for the rest of us peasants
I've even heard…
Posted in: Do you think airlines are sneaky about fuel surcharges, fees for extra baggage and other charges for various services?
South Korea provides billions in economic aid to Vietnam, becoming the second biggest donor for Vietnam.…
Posted in: Hashimoto says S Korean troops guilty of wartime sex abuse
May. 22, 2013 - 04:07AM JST
During this period, Korea was primarily a Japanese colony and as such, used as fodder for…
I think everyone should check out a document put out five or so years ago regarding…