browny1's past comments

  • 2

    browny1

    Scraps of paper pinned up all over. Some taped.

    Think "A Beautiful Mind".

    Posted in: How do you remember all the passwords and user IDs you use in your daily life?

  • 0

    browny1

    bullfighter - thanks. But...!

    DPJ was never going to save the country in it's short term - let alone dolphins.

    No matter what you think about lukewarm dpj 6 years ago, ldp have had chance upon chance upon chance. No 2 ways about it. They just don't want to. And what does that have to do with dpj now? No connection - as much as the rightists try to draw one.

    Bringing up dpj is not even on the table. Only naive people would think that dpj had an opportunity to change the country under the circumstances. Some believe if they had a 6yr tenure - without the calamities - much more would have been achieved.

    Posted in: Queen guitarist Brian May protests Taiji dolphin hunts

  • 3

    browny1

    Bullfighter - agree with your sentiments.

    But I will present a stock anti-LDP poke. The DPJ's chaotic 3 years in reign - firstly with inept leadership, followed by the quake/tsunami tragedy left little time for much else at all. Taiji didn't feature strongly on the radar.

    The LDP however, have had decades of "in power", at times absolute - but their members and associates have so many fingers in so many vested interest pies, that they have no interest in divorcing themselves from this marriage.

    And the pies are topped with "OB pride icing", so no-one is going to slice through that.

    Posted in: Queen guitarist Brian May protests Taiji dolphin hunts

  • 2

    browny1

    Goldorak - I agree.

    But clearing $3,000 a month is like clearing 25万 here - and no-one but no-one would get that, except perhaps a super elite professional in a major childcare / preschool complex.

    One of the most under-rated, exploited professions there is.

    Posted in: Nurseries likely to stay understaffed in Japan despite expanded perks

  • 21

    browny1

    Years ago after the birth of my 2nd child, a local station wanted to do a spot on international marriages with kids.

    I was asked and a full day and another half was spent following us around in the house, going to the park, shops etc. Also many interview style questions about me, us, Japan etc. Lovely, friendly crew - nice guys.

    The hours of film was edited into a 10min piece on a popular local wide show. Surprise, Surprise!

    Not one of my try-hard-to-speak-Japanese bits was shown. Everything was dubbed over in comical Japanese. A Japanese friend who watched the program said they made me sound like a "country hick", probably because they thought my antipodean accent sounded like someone from the Ozarks. I recall a big "Ehhhhhhh!" in the show was the focus on me cooking (peeling potatoes & carrots actually) and washing / drying dishes, took over 2mins of the 10mins. And the lady "talents" were squealing and "いいな-ing"

    I wasn't upset over the prog.at all, but understood how false tv is first hand. Essentially little of value was reported and it was just a "fun" piece - which is what they wanted from the start. Naive me thought it was a bbc style doco - ha, ha. I met the "director" again when he called on us to give us a video of the event. He was really nice - but a bit embarrassed. I'm sure his senior producer boss had different ideas to his.

    Of course all of this is probably consistent the world over, just the emphasis here is different - more focussed on titilating with the banal.

    As Katsu said - easy to see why tv is dying.

    Posted in: Canadian YouTuber explains why she quit working on Japanese TV

  • 6

    browny1

    Bullfighter -

    those same positions in Australia would attract close to double or more of those salaries. Of course qualifications & experience comes into play.

    Early childhood education is taken seriously in Aust and a constant updating of skills / knowledge is normal practice.

    My sister is now assistant director of an incorporated daycare / pre-school center. She works extremely hard, comes in on weekends to do bookwork and is paid about A$25 ~ A$30 / hour. I think it's low. She doesn't have a 4 yr degree so has hit the wage ceiling.

    So I agree - why should such dedicated workers be paid so miserably in many countries?

    Re the case in Japan - because it is Japan we'ree talking about - Hoikuen / Yochien I was associated with for over 12 years had some really great staff. Parents were generally supportive and thankful and knew of the hardships faced by the staff on a daily basis - But they were paid a pittance. The fully qualified head teacher of 20+ years experience, who was a strong organizational whiz earned about 20万/month. She worked from 8:00am ~ 6:00pm. The junior teachers earned much less. But 1,000s of donkeys in offices for example, at that time took home 50-100% more because society deemed it a "good job".

    Having witnessed such disparities over the years in many jobs - I can only think real union representation is the answer, as change will not come by osmosis. But talk of worker representation here is like mentioning the devil incarnate. I take my hat off to the millions of workers here, doing it tough due to massive inequalities in an exploitive sytem.

    Posted in: Nurseries likely to stay understaffed in Japan despite expanded perks

  • 2

    browny1

    There needs to be a monumental shift in how society - govt and citizens - value the total education industry.

    Nursery ~ pre-school are not baby sitting ventures, but should be appreciated as the first steps in a life-long learning process. Hence staff need to be well educated, trained professionals who are financially / socially compensated, commensurate with their duties and responsibilities.

    A minimum requirement for senior staff should be a tertiary degree in early childhood education and and salary / career structure the same as school teachers. Assistant staff with a lesser qualification, should also be rewarded with much better pay and conditions. Some may well say this is all going to cost. Well there will have to be BIG pushes to the central govt to up it's pathetically low education spending budget and pushes to local and prefectural govts as well. As an example, meaningful means-tested fees arrangements and structures need to be implemented to help low-income families.

    Society under-values so many vocations (and over-values, many like govt office work), but these people, in the main dedicated workers, need recognition Here and Now.

    Posted in: Nurseries likely to stay understaffed in Japan despite expanded perks

  • 2

    browny1

    I'd seriously question the going figure of $9.8 billion for possibly the most complex nuclear plant in the world

    Hell the new fish market in Toyosu and the move from Tsukiji cost $5.8 billion (they said - heh, heh).

    The total cost of the Monju failure must be included in any ongoing analysis of the cost of nuclear energy in this country as of course the cost that is the tragedy of Fukushima.

    Posted in: Japan likely to scrap Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor

  • 1

    browny1

    Two points -

    1) I find it ironic that Japan chooses not be a signatory to the abolish nuclear weapons campaign. A total Ban, nonetheless. Instead it chooses to play both cards. We as the only sufferers of nuclear weapons and We under the protection of US nuclear weapons and their "deterrent effect.

    2) I find nothing wrong at all with a nation (Japan) showing it's non-offensive peace colours and intentions. With centuries of history supporting the warrists, a new challenge , a new direction for peace is an admirable cause. To the nay-sayers I say, it has to start somewhere. Be seen as a leading nation defying the trend, against all odds hold on to pacifism. Get "lesser" nations support to start and build a considerable network over the decades, becoming a force too loud to ignore. Dreaming??? Well the other option has NEVER worked - NEVER. The courage and conviction required to follow the non-offensive path is immense. Japan is in the position to engage the world with this - but I cynically believe the govt is so interwoven into the fabric of the military - industrial complex, that it cannot extricate itself or doesn't even want to. So we unfortunately have to witness "One face Good, Two faces Better"

    Posted in: Abe demands world find new way to stop N Korean nuclear threat

  • 1

    browny1

    As Laptop- suggested, it seems a little loosely based on Chinese complimentary / antagonistic Yin Yang philosophy ecompassing all aspects of compatabilities in our lives.

    Re- food - some of these may have modern science support, but some won't, as concepts like "ki" or "life force" can't be verified by scientific analysis.

    Posted in: Don't eat these foods together and avoid possible intestinal distress

  • 0

    browny1

    Interesting read.

    I think though the key element of this story is the nature of the "disability" - that is described in the article as "cognitive disability".

    This indicates to me that the situation of the institutions clients - to use less savoury expressions - were mentally disabled, demented, mentally disturbed / sick, schizoprenic, paranoic, crazy and a myriad of other totally prejudicial titles - all rightfully so unacceptable.

    But being the nature of some societies, no fresh euphemism eg "intellectualy challenged" can changed the reality of people's fear of those with "cognitive disabilities".

    The wheelchair bound, blind (oops - visually impaired), phsically incapacitated and others have earned (been granted) respect from society and are generally better accepted than not so long ago, socially as well as infra-structure wise.

    But the "crazies" are in another category - often shunned by society / families as embarrassments - genetic failures. This is not just my opinion. This can be disccused with related health professionals and in most instances the woeful lack of understanding and care for the mentally ill will be readily acknowledged. The professionals, staff, volunteers who work in this world are more often than not caring people, but work in an entirely underfunded, under-pressure, under-supported, under-imaginatively designed environment.

    This can be witnessed in all societies to some extent, but it is very apparent here. The institutionalization of mental health care is often the only answer for medicos and families. Out of sight. Out of mind. Out of shame.

    Japan has had a recent history of this "shunning" with Hibakusha, Minamata victims, Hansen disease sufferers being just a few.

    So it is not difficult to imagine, that some or many of the victims horribly murdered in Sagamihara families, do not want their wider daily worlds to know.

    Posted in: Japan confronts disability stigma after silence over murder victims' names

  • 0

    browny1

    Yubaru - yes.... but my point, I've clearly made is - national govt trumps all re defence according to the judge........so it can do what it wants.

    Therefore a patch of prefectural land doesn't enter the equation - if I'm reading the judges words correctly. The national govt in it's wisdom to keep us safe, can do what it deems necessary.

    Either it can or it can't. the judge said it can.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1

    browny1

    Yubaru - thank you.

    I understand what you are saying and don't disagree.

    My main point (and you acknowledged with, it needs a lengthy post) is simply, if matters of international / defense affairs are exclusively the domain of the national govt according to the judge, then;

    a) Why does the national govt need anyones support? You know - it's in the nation's interest to save lives.

    b) There are examples of prefectures and entities contradicting the judges statement.

    And I reiterate - it all appears that if you buddy-buddy the govt over defense / international matters, even if you have no jurisdiction, then aces all around. But if you hold ideas contrary to the govts., ie ruffle their feathers, then the court says you're out of bounds.

    That's Waxing it!

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    browny1

    The essence of the ruling - as explained by others - is that prefectures and or their constituents have no role in foreign policy / matters (incl defense).

    As the law stands now, I understand that aspect and the judges ruling. He was just following the book. "What more could I do?"

    However, this in itself is problematic, as it assumes the peoples voice has no weight 'outside of national elections concerning foreign issues.'

    Which is strange as there are often public discussions views expressed about many "foreign / governmental" things from TPP to immigration to SDF to territorial disputes etc. We've even had prefectures being involved in "international disputes" such as Shimane claiming occupied (it is) so called Korean territory or Tokyo's involvement in the Senkakus. And if the national govt has sole responsibility for defense, why on earth was it necessary to obtain Okinawa's permission for development in the first place?. Why did they have to "pay-out" the previous governor? Why was his blessing required, when according to the current ruling - Prefectures have No Say??? All of these actions and opinions have at one time or another been listened to and or embraced by the national govt.

    So it seems that if you are a citizen or prefecture and voice an opinion similar to the govts on international / defense concerns, then the govt will listen to and even follow the will of the people. But if your opinion differs, it's just, "Sorry you have no power / say in this - it is written"

    And the judge said so.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    browny1

    Toxins or No Toxins (at the moment) is only the side issue - albeit important.

    The Toxic Issue , so as to speak, is once again the toxicity of govts / bureaucracies decision making, running rough-shod over common sense.

    An expert panel (called by the govt) gave their professional advice on dealing with a potentially extremely dangerous situation. Without notice, the blue-bloods and their minions, decided otherwise.

    Why? To cut corners to save money? Well if thats so why did the total cost blow out by $billions, and where or to whom did those billions go to?

    And the toxic soil removed? How successful was it's de-contamination? Where is it now?

    So much to know - so little being told.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1

    browny1

    These words of presiding judge Tamiya -

    " “There is no other option but to construct the new facility (in Henoko) to remove the damage from the Futenma base,” he added, while calling for the need to respect the central government’s decision not to seek the relocation of the U.S. Marines outside Okinawa from the standpoint of their operational needs, and the current global and regional situations."

    A flacid comment if ever there was. "There is No other option..." Dare not to think outside the box.

    "....from the standpoint of their operational needs, and the current global and regional situations" . Really? Please explain?

    Why does the base need to be at Henoko, say for arguments sake, why not an island off Kagoshima??? Or why not on Kagoshima mainland or any other spot on Kyushu if the dynamics of "current global and regional situations" are paramount???

    What pray tell makes Henoko so absolute in it's necessity as the only option? There appears now no doubt that the judiciary in it's act of non-independence, either cannot offer any other alternative due to overt pressure or simply it just cannot.

    Again it all seems to a matter of pride, power and prejudice where the US forces and Govt refuse to be told what to do by mere mortals.

    Previously I had no personal stake in this one way or the other, but was hopeful that a long term solution could be found that took into account the feelings of all esp the locals. Now that I see the weasly acquiescence of the court, I say "go for it citizens, make this truly stick in ones craw".

    The govt has had decades to use nouse and solve this problem, but has been so dismissive and mealy mouthed I hope they choke on it.

    Oh please save us ...again , O-Abe - blah!

    Article Unavailable

  • 8

    browny1

    Here in the tie of politics and construction, corruption knows no boundaries.

    They treat the citizens, the people, with such contempt and arrogance, it takes your breath away.

    And the bare-faced lies!!!

    Ishihara is the epitome of dodgi-ism.

    Posted in: Tokyo gov't investigating underground water at Toyosu fish market site

  • 3

    browny1

    Stranger - thanks for your response.

    In my prefecture 99% of primary & jnr high kids go to the locally "zoned" schools. They are not allowed to attend schools outside their zone. There are a few special cases with the "Fuzoku schools - those attached to Universities where teacher training takes place) and entry is very competitive based on test scores.

    So until highschool there is almost zero choice. If your local school is "not-so-good" you just have to grin and bear it, or the only other alternative is to move house - which some do - but this is not an option for most families.

    From my experience there is a little very limited streaming of classes in jnr high to match students individual abilities. On the whole most kids all study the same stuff. When I was a jnr high equivalent long ago, there were double maths, double language, double science, tech-studies, etc streams from 2nd year (13 ~14 years old). High schools here have much more flexibility, but still is generally restrictive in my opinion.

    Posted in: What do you think of the quality of school education in Japan? If you have a child at school, are you happy with that school?

  • 0

    browny1

    dcog - please read my post above about what actually can be defined by pisa test results in the context of citizens of a modern 21st C society. As a comparison you would need to investigate the comprehensive abilities of young adult graduates post tertiary education. Not cherry picking moments during junior school years.

    And your comment also ignores the other key point - much of the money spent to achieve high scores comes from parents in the form of juku & private tutoring fees. Most of the best "academic test prep" jukus probably can get their students to pass the necessary tests without even going to school.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2

    browny1

    Stranger - While the concept of treating kids the same based on age can be found the world over, the institutionalization of this is paramount in schooling here. As a long time teacher here and in my home country, things began to move away from this thinking 30 ~ 40 years ago in Aust.

    As borscht mentioned - catering for specific needs is often in the too hard basket and looked upon as some kind of "favoritism". In many instances I don't blame the teachers - they are at the bottom rung of a clearly defined, regulated ladder. Schools often seem to exist in the main to meet the expectations of the principal, pta or local board.

    My kids education was ok in primary school - very dependent on the teacher - but way too much homework and I mean way too much. This process was repeated over the secondary years. Their enjoyment of school was mainly due to great friends - not the school structure.

    Posted in: What do you think of the quality of school education in Japan? If you have a child at school, are you happy with that school?

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