ThonTaddeo's past comments

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    or through levies of the sales of TVs or something similar

    This is probably the best compromise solution -- or attach the fees to the cards that enable TVs to pick up broadcast signals.

    Doing it through taxes would be unfair to people with impaired eyesight or hearing, who would have to pay the full fee for something they are physically incapable of "enjoying". NHK, for all its faults, actually does have a reduced rate for blind people. These people are already stuck funding all kinds of things that their disabilities prevent them from fully using (automobile infrastructure comes to mind) and I am wary of makind yet another thing funded by taxes.

    Article Unavailable

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    The only way for the golf clubs to know if an applicant is an organized crime member or not is by paying fees to the "consultant" who are retired police officers.

    "See, you can pay off that mob... or you can pay off our mob."

    Posted in: Fear and murder plague Fukuoka golf courses over a checkbox on application forms

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    You think it's stupid? Consider this, when the US dropped the drinking age to 18 do you know what happened? There was a literal bloodbath of 18 to 20 years killing themselves in car accidents all over the country.

    The cause of the bloodbath is not the drinking, but the driving. Sober drivers kill people all the time; even the drunkest pedestrian never does.

    Why should a 18-year-old non-driver be deprived of the right to drink alcohol? His drinking puts no one in danger.

    Perhaps a better solution is to allow 18-year-olds (or younger) to obtain a license to drink, or drive, but not both.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    They're not proposing a new ID specifically for voting. They're talking about using drivers licenses or state IDs to prove your identity.

    This is why I think that if the voter ID crowd wants to get its way, then the only acceptable solution is to actually create a new ID specifically for voting. It would be distributed to every person on the electoral rolls, rich or poor, disabled or not, young or old. It could be attached to a sample ballot and surrendered on Election Day when the voter goes to the polls.

    People who can drive are so accustomed to carrying their driver's licenses around and enjoying the privilege that those licenses give them that they don't see how difficult life is for those who can't obtain them. They propose non-solutions like "go to the DMV and get a non-driver ID." Wait, you want people to carry around papers that say that they are forbidden from doing something? Papers that offer no privileges, and you want people to have to present those in order to vote? In the USA?

    It is the very opposite of democratic to have organizations like the Division of Motor Vehicles inserting itself in the election process. Remember, every citizen gains the right to vote -- right, not privilege -- upon reaching age 18. There should be no streamlined route to exercising one's vote just because one can drive a car, nor should there be any obstacles in the way if one cannot (or is legally forbidden to try, which will be the case if your eyesight is under 20/40).

    You can't have two-tiered voting rights; certainly not for natural-born citizens. Either make the US passport free of charge, attach voting cards to sample ballots and have voters bring those to the polling places, or have municipalities make their own voter IDs and issue those to every voter. Or stick with the current system of having voters sign the rolls when they arrive and concede that there might be fraud. It is more important that every voter has the exact same opportunity to exercise the franchise.

    Posted in: Mexican president contradicts Trump on whether they discussed who will pay for proposed border wall

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    In fiscal 2014, the tax income collected per resident in Tokyo was 29.7 percent higher than the national average and 8.3 percent higher in Osaka Prefecture, ... with Okinawa Prefecture in southernmost Japan 25.0 percent below average.

    Was this a surprise? What was the national government expecting when they forced the entire nation to pay the same consumption tax without regard to the ability of local economies to support these higher prices? Forcing some of these poorer prefectures to pay 8% just like Tokyoites have to was a kick in the teeth to them.

    Article Unavailable

  • 7

    ThonTaddeo

    100 yen - some 25% below levels a year ago.

    This is sloppy reporting: for the dollar to have fallen 25%, it would have had to buy 133 yen at that time (so a drop of 33/133 or 25%), not the 120 that it sat at for a while or even the 125 that it peaked at. When calculating a percentage rise or fall, you divide by the old number, not the current one.

    In any case, we can be happy that the average consumer and saver is doing better than they were for most of the early parts of the Abenomics regime. We know that the consumption tax increase will never be reversed, but at least the price rises are seeming to stall. Hopefully soon Abe will be gone and a new PM who cares about protecting people's savings and enabling them to buy life's necessities without fearing that increasingly more labor will be required to have them, as has been the case since 2012.

    Posted in: Japanese seek bargains as economy limps, Abenomics loses shine

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    The man, an interpreter who has not been identified, was visiting Kunashiri—Kunashir in Russian

    Kunashir (no i on the end) is the correct original Ainu pronunciation; Russian can handle final consonants better than Japanese can.

    I would like to see Japanese writers use the small katakana that Ainu uses so that Ainu words can be expressed more correctly. It is a little embarrassing that the Russian name for this island is more accurate than the Japanese one.

    Posted in: Russia frees Japanese man held on disputed Kunashir island

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    Japanese inflation continued to disappoint in July

    The 0.5% decline in July was worse than the 0.4% average fall expected by economists.

    Once again we see not even a pretense of objectivity from the article writer, who takes the side of Abe/Kuroda/the BOJ, instead of the 127 million Japanese consumers whose savings are being diluted, from the very first sentence.

    That's almost as dispiriting as the continued rise in prices at the supermarket, which the government and their media pretend isn't happening.

    Posted in: Consumer prices fall for 5th straight month

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    The only (lame) reason I have seen is to avoid typhoons that usually start later in August. The real reason is likely to be television viewing figures but I am not sure why the Japanese should care that much.

    The super-cynical view is that by having the Games cover August 6 and 9, 2020 -- the 75th anniversaries of the atomic bombs that ended WWII -- the eyes of the whole world can be on Japan (with a moment of silence before an athletic event, perhaps) and Abe and his pals can wallow in victimism on one of the biggest possible stages.

    People, including athletes, collapsing from heatstroke is small potatoes compared to such a coup.

    Posted in: Let's make Tokyo best Games ever, says Abe

  • 5

    ThonTaddeo

    This article has to be one of the most ridiculous Abe/Toyota weak-yen puff pieces yet.

    Let's do a thought experiment: what if it were 120 yen to the dollar, as Abe, Kuroda, and the Toyota board of directors want?

    Energy prices would be 20% higher -- and we would see even more morale-destroying penny pinching than we do now!

    Is this what we're supposed to take away from this article? If the yen is strong, export companies profits aren't high enough so the employees have to suffer. If the yen is weak, we can't afford to splurge on energy, so... the employees have to suffer.

    In what scenario do the workers get to have well-lit, well-cooled, convenient, pleasant places to work?

    Posted in: Lights off, hold the elevator - Japan Inc's answer to the rising yen

  • 11

    ThonTaddeo

    I can write the conclusion to this expensive Environment Ministry study right now:

    "Hold the Games in October. What were you thinking with July and August?"

    Posted in: Gov't studying ways to prevent heatstroke, cool down streets during 2020 Olympics

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    Japan’s exporters reaped windfall profits over the past few years as government efforts to kickstart the world’s number three economy sharply weakened the yen. That was good for firms such as Toyota and rivals Honda and Nissan because repatriated foreign profits were worth more when the yen was weak and it boosted their competitiveness overseas.

    It's as if the authors of this article want us readers to think things like, "Please, Abe and BOJ, please weaken the yen even more so that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan can make even more profits while my standard of living drops!"

    Posted in: Toyota's Q1 profit dented by yen rally, North American sales drop

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    A sharp rally in the yen is threatening profits at major Japanese firms as it makes them less competitive overseas and shrinks the value of repatriated profits.

    Good catch, JeffLee. A sharp rally in the yen is exactly what an airline, for whom internationally-priced fuel is a major expense, should be wanting to see, because it reduces their costs tremendously.

    But we should no longer be surprised to see sentences like this one, copy-pasted with tiny variations, inserted into article after article by what I imagine are Abe/Kuroda/LDP content censors. I can't think of any other excuse for such shoddy journalism.

    Posted in: ANA cites 'terrorism' in reporting 20% quarterly profit drop

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    Toshihiro Nikai, 77, a big spending advocate

    Well, sure. Easy to spend other people's money when they're the ones who will still be alive and working when the bills really come due.

    Posted in: Abe, eyeing lengthy rule, to opt for stability in cabinet reshuffle

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    Are you 80 years old in a nursing home and haven't driven in 20 years? Well just wheel yourself down to the nearest DMV (the ones the GOP hasn't closed) and renew that puppy. Are you 20 and never had a car so you have no license? Hitch a ride with a friend for a 3-hour drive to the nearest card issuing body. Are you a single Mom who takes the bus and has a kid and works regular business hours during the week? Well, sorry. Disabled? Come on down. Gotta stop all this fraud.

    SuperLib, well said. Voting has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with driving an automobile. It is disgusting that Motor Vehicle departments have any part at all in the election process, whether as registration locations for voters or as issuers of identification demanded of voters.

    If municipalities are so determined to identify voters when they come to vote, then have city hall prepare identification for the voters on their rolls, which can be brought to the polling places and marked or surrendered once the vote is cast. That way everyone -- young, old, poor, rich, disabled -- gets exactly the same service.

    I sometimes think voting should be done entirely by mail so that every voter has the same opportunity. Mail a ballot to everyone on the voting rolls, and the voters mail the ballots back with their desired candidate selected.

    This might be a problem for the homeless, but we could have them register somewhere (shelters, perhaps) and pick up their ballots there. It would take longer to count the votes, but it would be worth it.

    Posted in: Trump suggests Nov 8 election could be rigged

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    why would any company agree to a wage hike when the cost of living/ inflation is near zero.

    Wage hikes should occur when employees become more productive. Produce 100 widgets per week this year and 101 wiedgets next year, and your wage should rise by 1% because you produced 1% more.

    having inflation at a healthy 1~2% would force companies to raise wages.

    There is nothing "healthy" about destroying the people's savings at a rate of 1-2% per year. Such inflation would result in wage increases, but they would only lag the price increases that negate the value of the raises, so the workers would still be worse off.

    The ideal is that increased productivity leads to increases in wages, but no increase in prices. Everyone (except for the debt-ridden government looking to devalue what it owes to its creditors) comes out ahead.

    Posted in: Kuroda says BOJ will ease policy again if necessary to hit 2% inflation goal

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    “We always examine risk factors for the economy and prices and will take additional easing steps if necessary to achieve the price stability goal. I’ll explain that together with Japan’s economy, prices and monetary policy at this meeting.”

    You will need to "explain" that, because it takes a George Orwell to call a 2% rise in consumer prices every year "stability".

    Posted in: Kuroda says BOJ will ease policy again if necessary to hit 2% inflation goal

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    Here's to hoping the media dont go into overdrive hyping the athletes and raising expectations to the level of near hysteria (again).

    I agree, Yubaru. Every time the Japanese are in a sports competition, I find myself torn between supporting the athletes of my adopted country while a small part of me wants to see them lose just so that the insidious media can get its comeuppance. .

    Rio “is a very important moment for us,” Murofushi told The Associated Press. “If the athletes do well in Rio, then more attention would be coming from the public, and then, throughout Tokyo 2020. So it is very important for athletes to compete well.”

    And props to Murofushi for supporting his team while making sure to use words like "if" and not placing too much pressure on them or taking medals for granted.

    Posted in: With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, Japan aiming high in Rio

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    I really wish media pundits and executives would stop setting medal "targets", particularly ones that are wildly above past performances, for these over-stressed athletes. It's one thing for an athlete to boast that he "thrives on pressure"; it's quite another to say it about someone else.

    Hearing this kind of talk makes me miss the empty pronouncements of "we'll do our best, but so will our opponents" and "on any given day, anything can happen" that you typically hear from seasoned veterans. They well know the pitfalls of over-promising. I too would love to see Japanese athletes get a lot of medals, but it's like they won't even be able to enjoy it because of all the pressure the media puts on them.

    Posted in: Japan Olympic chief seeks 2020 lift-off in Rio

  • 6

    ThonTaddeo

    This article starts with a horrifying incident of Islamic terrorism, then jumps to a shoehorned-in desire for baggage checks on the Shinkansen as if they could somehow have prevented the suicide by an elderly man with zero connection to Islam or terrorism.

    It's as if the Powers That Be are so desperate to bring about their desired police state that they'll connect the most ridiculous things in order to justify what they have always wanted to do.

    Posted in: Will IS militants target Japan next?

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