ThonTaddeo's past comments

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    I love these festivale as much as the next guy but this obsession with UNESCO/heritage status is getting ridiculous. I imagine that it won't stop until The Yamato People, collectively, are declared to be Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    Article Unavailable

  • -1

    ThonTaddeo

    Toyota goes to the Japanese government and says, "Hey. I want you to make food twice as expensive for the entire nation so we can sell an extra thousand cars in the US."

    Toyota doesn't even have to ask; Abe and Kuroda do this exact thing for them, and the compliant media obediently gush joyfully at Japan Inc's profits while the average salaryman endure a higher cost of living and the erosion of their salaries.

    It isn't even debatable: since 2012, the Bank of Japan has repeatedly printed money every time the yen has failed to fall as much as they've wanted it to. Exporters like Toyota -- probably the one company that has benefited most by this scheme -- have seen their stock price and profits mentioned in nearly every article here. They still come out ahead even if their employees have to pay more for food and energy. And they are paying more; just go to the supermarket and compare prices to those of 2012. Compare product sizes. What we're seeing with the government's relentless push for inflation is the same concentration of wealth in the top 1-5% that we have seen in the inflationary West for the past 40-50 years.

    This is not to say that Japan is uniquely guilty: just about all the world's governments do this to some extent. Debase the currency, pretend that the resulting inflation is a force of nature and not deliberate government policy, and watch your debts lose value while the public is left holding the bag.

    Posted in: Asian export nations wary dollar boost gives Trump pretext to beat them

  • 2

    ThonTaddeo

    Bacchus.

    Chocolate with cognac inside. For some reason they only sell it in the winter months. I love it!

    Posted in: What are some of your favorite Japanese snacks currently on the market?

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    KnowBetter, the collapse in the yen since Abe took power has been a disaster for ordinary Japanese workers and savers as their purchasing power has plummeted. Japan Inc. has shown that when a debased currency allows them to make record profits, very little of that money trickles down to employees.

    Posted in: Battered yen faces new ball game, more losses after Trump win

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    Attacking a sleeping person has to be the most cowardly, disgusting things any person can do.

    Posted in: Woman arrested for beating boyfriend to death because he locked her out

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    Abe may visit U.S. in Feb if Clinton wins presidential race

    People were saying that there's no reason anyone would want to vote for Trump. Well, that's one right there.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    Yes. It's the moniker that stuck. New York World newspaper from 19th century

    That newspaper thing is actually a myth. When the National League and the American League -- who each named themselves because they aspired to have teams all across America - agreed to play a series of games to determine the overall champion, they needed a name that transcended the "nation" and "America", and so "World's Series" (it was usually in the possessive back then) stuck. Something like "Major League Championship" would be more accurate, but I'd rather see teams from outside North America eventually reach major league status. Maybe when Cleveland gets their turn, they will be facing the Venice Gondoliers or the Melbourne Monarchs -- we can hope!

    And congratulations to Chicago!

    Posted in: Chicago Cubs win 1st World Series title since 1908

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    Asked whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called him since his success, he responded that he doesn’t answer numbers he does not recognize on his phone, but would check his messages later to see.

    I was on the fence, but now I love this guy!

    Posted in: Comedian Pikotaro astonished by viral success of 'PPAP' song

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    Hold something up in Sendai. They deserve an economic boost a lot more than Tokyo does.

    Posted in: Do you think some events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics should be held in other parts of Japan to cut back on costs, which Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike is now considering?

  • 7

    ThonTaddeo

    My company also does this "automatically turn all the lights off at 10 PM" thing.

    It is 100% symbolic; the people who are still at work don't suddenly get up and go home.

    All that happens is that someone whose shift naturally ends later than 10 PM will get up and turn them back on, while everyone waits 60 seconds for the lights to be operable again. Sometimes the overtime workers aren't aware of the enforced delay in turning them back on and will get angry at the person who stands in front of the switch patiently waiting for the delay to end.

    It's the perfect example of making the outside world look like you're doing something while it's in fact business as usual.

    Posted in: Suicide of overworked Dentsu employee prompts company to order lights out at 10 p.m.

  • 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

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