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samwattersMar. 10, 2014 - 02:31PM JST
In a few years from now well will probably look back fondly on the 8% income tax as the silver-spoon group in the Diet is already making plans to raise it again. Let's face it; we are nothing but ATM machines that breath to this government.
Posted in: Taxzilla's coming! What to do?
samwattersMar. 10, 2014 - 02:28PM JST
"Isn't it a proven fact that most killers started out torturing and killing animals before they advanced to human beings?"
@CrazyJoe. Yes, it's been well documented that all serial killers who have been captured and observed at some time tortured animals before selecting people as their victims.
Posted in: 3 cats found mutilated to death in Ehime park
samwattersMar. 08, 2014 - 07:16PM JST
@tmarie"...it is the owners that are the problem, not the breed."
I agree with you. My grandmother used to bemoan what man has done to this once majestic breed; did you know that pitbull terriers used to be used as nannies!! But man has destroyed this breed by turning it into a fighting machine for a sick bloodsport. I can't comment on the family in NZ that owned the dogs but the vast majority of people I know who own pitbulls or similar breeds own them either because the pit provides a macho persona or because they have good intentions and are trying to prove that the breed is not dangerous. Either way, it usually ends up with someone getting bit. It became so bad in Michigan that parts of the state now require owners to carry an insurance policy ranging from $US50,000 to $US100,000 if they wish to own the breed. This has cut down on the novice owner as only serious breeders are willing to buy the required insurance policy but there are still too many unqualified people who own these dogs and unfortunately it is usually children who pay the price such as this poor seven year old girl. If there is a fund to contribute to I hope that Japan Today will make the information available.
Posted in: Japanese girl mauled by dogs in NZ was bitten 100 times
samwattersMar. 08, 2014 - 02:05PM JST
I don't too much because I make a lot of eye contact with people. I think you can spot someone when bad intentions by the way they react to direct eye contact. It probably also helps that I am pretty ugly and probably scare people away!
Posted in: Whenever you read about random knife attacks in public places, does it make you more attentive to what people around you are doing when you are walking along the street, waiting on train platforms and so on?
samwattersMar. 04, 2014 - 08:36AM JST
A modest proposal. I think it's pretty evident that Abe's goernment is stuffed with nationalists and they control the attention of the press. They do not however control social media. Maybe the citizens of Japan can use Twitter, Facebook, etc. to create a petition that states they do not support any ammendment to the 1993 Kono-issued apology. The world would see it and know that the people are not in lockstep with the government. This might defuse things a bit. If Abe and his ilk try to shut it down under the new secrets law jammed through the Diet we might get some outside help from other countries or the UN.
Posted in: Japanese lawmakers call for revision of wartime sex slavery apology
samwattersMar. 02, 2014 - 10:44PM JST
Congratulations on your successful marriage; it is apparent that both you and your wife chose well and made a committment and you are now reaping the rewards. Hope things continue going well for the both of you.
Posted in: For some women, husband's death like a breath of fresh air
samwattersMar. 02, 2014 - 08:49PM JST
Sorry, I can understand how you would be confused about the assests after reading my post as I was not clear. Let me try again. Upon the selling of my company I gave my wife half of the after-tax profits. I won't go into detail but the sum was quite large. This was not in accordance with the law you quote but in accordance with my conscience as my wife had never worked in a serious career prior nor after our marriage and I knew she would have a hard time taking care of herself.
The main reason I responded to your post was to point out that the law you cited is not really a law (kind of like the recent signing of the Hague Treaty of Abducting Children). Read on because this information might help you or someone one day. Upon getting a divorce I consulted my lawyer who was a police officer about divorce laws and assets in Japan and he told me, "Sam, it is common knowledge that women in Japan steal and hoard money from their husbands in the form of a secret savings called "hesokuri" (literally meaning "umbilical cord funds") and these laws are more of a suggestion and would never be enforced." I do not agree with his stance on woman stealing from their husbands but the point of this story is to highlight that the law is not really a law. Check out high profile peopel who leave their spouse and never pay a dime of alimony and/or child support which I also don't support. After leaving her I started another company and from those proceeds I still make sure she receives the same amount as my monthly teaching salary when we were married. This, again, is not legally mandated but done out of conscience as I would not want the mother of my child to suffer. On the other hand....
...while my exwife is not here to give her side but I can say with a clean conscience that I was a good husband; always considerate, did more than half of the housework, never let her do my laundry (that would be a crime against humanity with the way my gym wear smells after riding my bicycle) and watched over both my child and her grandmother and was not greedy or pushy in the bedroom. After five years of marriage she just turned off; no communication, no sex, nothing. I asked her why and she just shrugged. I suggested marriage counselling and she said Japanese don't do those kind of things. I suspect it is because she learned that marriage was not going to mean every day was Sunday like when we dated; that there would be work involved and maybe some disappointment. Finally I packed my bags and she said, "I want a baby and I will be happy." So we had a baby and for that I'm glad because my child was/is the best thing I have ever been a part of. But , as you probably guessed, after the baby came it was back to the same thing. So I bid my time, did my best and then moved on.
So for you guys out there who are thinking of marrying a Japanese girl, learn from the mistakes of Sam Watters. Here they are:
1.) Do not under any circumstances marry a girl (regardless of age) who is still living with her parents. She is still a child unless she has lived on her own for at least a year.
2.) Ask her what her hopes/dreams for the future are. After she gives you an answer, ask her how she plans to get there. If you get a blank stare or a "wakaranai" or, the worst, a giggle then you should run like hell in the opposite direction.
3.) Ask the girl how she would feel if you were to leave your job and strike out on your own which would likely mean a downgrade in disposable income and an uncertain future for the time being. If she recoils in horror, then repeat the process for dealing with giggling outlined in Point 2. If, on the other hand, she smiles and squeezes your hand and says she's with you through the good and the bad, then hold on to here because you got a special girl. They are out there, but you've got to look a little harder to find them
samwattersMar. 02, 2014 - 04:45PM JST
@Jaymann. You have describe my situation perfectly. When I was 44 (I am now 55), found myself in a dead-end marriage with a woman who was colder than the fish on display at your local supermarket. We have a child who was in elementary school at the time that I was afraid of losing contact with and her mother was informing us that she would be moving in soon. I was in hell. But instead of getting bitter, I kept my job, spent most of my nights working on a secret business that become profitable and, better yet, put money directly in my hands that she couldn't touch. I never said a bad thing about my wife to our child choosing instead to keep a happy face. The story has a happy ending. Two years ago, I sold the company for a nice sum and walked out on my (now) ex-wife after our child entered college. I made sure that my ex-wife receives the same amount of money she received while we were together and also made sure that our child knew this arrangement. I have never been happier, my child understands and respects me and my wife eats her heart out every month when she gets her month allowance which is one-third of what I live on. Whoever said living well is the best revenge knew what they were talking about! And when I die, it will be with a smile on my face!
samwattersFeb. 27, 2014 - 10:42PM JST
I will never understand why Muslims think they deserve such special treatment nor will I understand the people who capitulate to them.
Posted in: U.S. court orders Google to pull YouTube anti-Islam film
samwattersFeb. 26, 2014 - 10:58PM JST
My take is because sport is the last area where the common person can yell and scream at people who do not meet expectations. We are surrounded and controlled by incompetent, selfish, stupid and lazy people in government, politics, civics and a whole gaggle of other areas but we have no voice. On the other hand when a 19 year old kid misses a jump or slips on the ice or track, we can focus our outrage on that person who has become our whipping boy or girl. We can't do that to Abe, NHK, the school board or the drones in the city office but it's acceptable to criticize people who are far more athletic and couageous than we will ever be. It's not fair and often wrong but I think that's part of it.
Posted in: Why do Olympic athletes and other sportsmen and sportswomen come under so much pressure from their country's media and politicians to succeed? Is winning that important to the national mood?
samwattersFeb. 21, 2014 - 10:36PM JST
“I am going on 77 this year,” Mori told a seminar. “I am destined to live five or six more years if I am lucky.”
Don't stick around on our account. You won't be missed. Not for a second.
Posted in: Mori slammed for critical remarks about Asada
samwattersFeb. 21, 2014 - 08:05AM JST
The Cabinet Office is always like a vacuum cleaner because they both suck.
Posted in: It’s like a vacuum cleaner with no opening to remove the dust. It is about to explode.
samwattersFeb. 19, 2014 - 12:08PM JST
@strangerland. We'll have to agree to disagree, then. I find three incidents in child abduction in the first 50 days of the year to be more than a few and I think people who are advocating help and treatment for Makino and people like him are good intentioned but misguided. I remember a time when you simply didn't hurt children because it was wrong and the urges and desires of society's sick underbelly didn't illicity sympathy. Yes, I think Makino should be put to death not only for his crime against the young girl but also for the effect that it will have on society but again that's just my opinion.
Posted in: Man arrested for attempted kidnapping of 10-year-old girl in Tokyo
samwattersFeb. 19, 2014 - 11:08AM JST
"Every morning when I walk to the station, it never ceases to amaze me how little kids are able to walk to school on their own or with a group of friends. It's actually one of the things I admire the most about Japan, so I hope this case doesn't freak parents out."
I totally agree with you on this and like you I hope it doesn't change but already there are schools across Japan that are requiring children to walk with adults because of the recent spat of children being abducted by men with perverse interests in children (since January Sapporo, Kobe, I think, and now Tokyo). I'm not the only one who thinks three cases in the first seven weeks of the year surpasses "a few incidents," either as a number of other posters have also commented on how they are afraid for children.
"Whatever makes you think society tolerates it?"
This. Read on.
"Inside Makino’s apartment, police discovered over 2,000 adult magazines depicting young girls in bondage."
" I asked one of my students, a police detective, about the easy availability (of child pornography), and he just made a face. shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head. Odds are everything in that guy's apartment is perfectly legal, which is pretty terrible."
"This guy (Makino) needs some serious help."
samwattersFeb. 19, 2014 - 10:30AM JST
I will never understand why people like Makino do these things and understand even less why society tolerates it. Makino and people like him who prey on children should be executed.
samwattersFeb. 19, 2014 - 10:25AM JST
"Also, when they return to Japan they will will be treated as failures for not getting a medal. "
@Eric. I fear you may be right on some level and I can only speak for the citizens of Tomakomai where I live and teach (Chiho Ozawa is one of my students) but the city is already planning a victory celebration for simply making the Olympics and representing Japan honorably.
Posted in: Sporting gesture
samwattersFeb. 10, 2014 - 11:56AM JST
@shanabelle. Thanks to you, too!
Posted in: Is baby post saving lives or making it easy for irresponsible parents to dump their babies?
samwattersFeb. 10, 2014 - 10:17AM JST
I was born in 1969 and my biological parents immediately gave me up for adoption. Soon after a wonderful couple chose me and raised me. My straight blonde hair clashed comically with their black, curly hair. Later when these differences bothered me and my classmates asked why I didn't look anything like my family, my father recited a poem that I have never forgotten:
"Not flesh of my flesh, not bone of my bone but still miraculously my own. Never forgotten for a single minute, you didn't grow under my heart but in it."
Thank you to my mother and father who adopted to me and thank you to my biological parents who---for whatever reason---gave me a chance to live. I think the baby hatch is a wonderful idea and I wish the Japanese were less hung up on "blood ties" and would be more openminded towards adoption.
samwattersFeb. 03, 2014 - 12:29PM JST
Kudos to the neighbor who spoke up. Best wishes to the girl for a speedy, emotional recovery. Hoping the guy who abducted her gets the death penalty; crimes against children merit no sympathy.
Posted in: Missing Sapporo girl rescued from confinement; man arrested
samwattersJan. 31, 2014 - 12:51PM JST
"I call that a grey area of domestic violence. If he held on for a prolonged period of time and/or caused visible bruising, then I could see how it could be domestic violence. But if he just grabbed her wrist and then let go, that seems like a case of domestic violence laws going overboard."
@Strangerland. I agree with you that the law is vague and that's a big problem. I read a report that said domestic violence in lesbian relationships is going to be the next big bane for law enforcement. Like you wrote, the law often goes overboard when the suspect is a man but convictions for women who are violent towards their husbands/boyfriends are nearly non-existant. When women start beating up their wives/girlriends, domestic violence will finally have to be clearly defined.
Posted in: Balentien apologizes in Japan for Florida arrest
Mar. 11, 2014 - 01:01PM JST
Why are they "reviewing" the facts if they have no plan to revise the apology? Haven't…
Posted in: Japan says it has no plan to revise wartime sex-slave apology
Mar. 11, 2014 - 12:58PM JST
If 100% of the people support Kim, why are there so many people in prison camps…
Posted in: N Korea: Not a single vote cast against Kim Jong Un
Mar. 11, 2014 - 12:55PM JST
Rather than surrendering to Allah I would like to see the Malaysian authorities investigate what actually…
Posted in: Stolen passports probed in Malaysian plane mystery
Mar. 11, 2014 - 12:48PM JST
Can't fault people for doing the right thing.
Lady Gaga is doing the same thing.
Posted in: AKB48 to hold special concert to support Tohoku reconstruction
Mar. 11, 2014 - 12:45PM JST
A lot of fear but little real damage in Gunma, where only one person was killed.…
Posted in: March 11, 2011: What are your memories of that day?