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Welcome to TokyoFreePress Sunday, February 07 2016 @ 12:09 PM EST

Gordon G. Chang

Strong, incisive, and
definitely opinionated,
Yuichi Yamamoto is
where I go to get
perspectives on
Japan. I may not
always agree, but I am
always impressed.
The Japanese media,
unfortunately, don't
carry his brand of
analysis.
- Gordon G. Chang Gordon G. Chang is known as the author of an
insightful and courageous book titled
The Coming Collapse of China (Random House, 2001).
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The death of the what?

Production is thus at the same time consumption, and consumption is at the same time production. Each is simultaneously its opposite. But an intermediary movement takes place between the two at the same time. Production leads to consumption, for which it provides the material; consumption without production would have no object. But consumption also leads to production by providing for its products the subject for whom they are products. The product only attains its final consummation in consumption. A railway on which no one travels, which is therefore not used up, not consumed, is potentially but not actually a railway. Without production there is no consumption, but without consumption there is no production either, since in that case production would be useless. Consumption produces production in two ways.
- From Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (1859)


IBM System/360 was
announced in 1964

The legendary IBM PC
hit the market in 1981
It seems the death of the PC is the talk on the web these days. The alleged cause varies from an obituary to another. Some say the death is attributable to the world-wide proliferation of smartphones while a little more computer-savvy people think the PC went virtually extinct in the wake of the widespread application hosting services comprehensively called "cloud computing."

I don't want to attend the deathwatch because I am sure that the corpse was misidentified as my longtime friend's.

The false obituaries, however, bring me back to the early 1950s when I was preparing myself for the rocky adulthood ahead of me. One day I stumbled on the following sentences in an 1843 entry of Soren Kierkegaard's diary.

It is quite true what philosophy says: that life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived forwards. (English translation by Peter Rohde.)

Later in the same year the Danish philosopher wrote a book titled Repetition. He titled the book that way because he thought repetition should be the same thing as "forward recollection." He hypothesized subliminal recollection of the past was the only thing that would guide him in the right direction. That is why Kierkegaard concluded that his dilemma would be solved with his faith in Christianity, the only source of his intuition. Unfortunately, though, I was already under the influence of Buddha who knows no Gods and no isms, including atheism. To me denying God was another way of admitting him.

A few years later I came across the Japanese translation of Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics. Etymologically, the coined word has its origin in Ancient Greek that meant "the art of governing." Wiener's interdisciplinary study specifically deals with the question about how the sender of information can use the feedback from its receiver to correct himself, and then update the receiver with new output. I thought I would be able to apply his theory about the feedback mechanism to optimize the way to govern myself. As I wrote some three years ago under the title of The Smart Way of Making Mistakes, it's more important, either in business or personal life, to learn a lesson from your mistake than to make no mistakes at all. In other words you must be error-prone because the more you err, the more you learn.

This is not to say, however, I've never failed to learn from my mistake. I must also admit that even when I failed, I sometimes got back on the right track just by accident. And yet, there were times I would never have overcome a crisis facing me without leveraging lessons I'd learned before.

That's basically how I decided, in 1963, to become a small part of the computer industry. Electronic Data Processing system, or EDP for short, based on the "stored-program" concept developed by John von Neumann, et al. was still in its fledgling stage. But perhaps I already knew that was the surest way to grow into a mature man - one who always embraces change, or even initiates one. I may look to be second-guessing on my career, but actually I am not.

I know that if you are an American, you think it's too far-fetched a thinking to see a link between the Kierkegaardian dilemma and the computer. That's simply because you never think the way I do, or don't think at all for that matter. I don't want to waste your time, and mine either, by telling you how two other thinkers, Max Weber and Karl Marx helped me as catalysts to become involved with information technology the way I did, though mainly as its user.

But before I go on, let me quickly talk about my interpretation of Marx's thoughts on the value-creating chain.

Your parents and grandparents were taught nothing about Marx except that he was a bad guy. Yet some of them must have been smart enough to intuitively understand the dialectical mechanism that governs an industrialized economy. Unfortunately, though, most of them are gone without handing down to posterity their wisdom, work ethics and no-nonsense attitudes toward life. As a result, your generation doesn't have the foggiest idea of what man's economic activity is all about even after completing the MBA course at Harvard Business School. You just take it for granted that economy is something in which people take care of clothing, food and housing among one another, while providing cheap entertainment in between. Small wonder you have recently swallowed yet another stupid notion that economy is something revolving around the conflict between Wall Street and Main Street or 1% versus 99%.

It's true that not once did Marx present the oversimplified formula "Geld-Ware-Geld" or Money-Commodity-Money. But as is evident from the above quote, Marx was keenly aware of the third factor, i.e. technology. Maybe he deliberately put it aside for the purpose of clarity, or he just assumed a flat or linear development of technologies after the first Industrial Revolution. Aside from the class struggle he always stressed, there has been a perpetual battle between technologists and users of their products. And it's important to note that it can't be won by either side where there is a yawning gap between the two. The Luddites are a different issue here.

One year after I joined IBM as a sales trainee, Tokyo hosted the 18th Olympic Games. At the closing ceremony, the Japanese were impressed to see someone from IBM proudly hand over to Avery Brundage, then President of the International Olympic Committee, a thick record book compiled overnight by IBM System/360. But some of us already knew this was not what the modern computer was invented for. Actually we had a great sense of uncertainty about what the coming computer age would look like. All we knew was that Japan wouldn't get on the high-growth track without computerization.

I still remember the touching moment in the midnight hands-on training session when the COBOL program we wrote and rewrote over and over completed the task at hand as intended. My teammates cheered especially when the process started in the right way. On the contrary I was moved when the computer responded to the "STOP" command at the right time and in the right way.

In the subsequent years, we were feeling increasingly frustrated with never-ending conflicts between hardware and software engineers and endusers of their products and services. It was as though someone had put buttons in the wrong holes. We were supposed to expect a synergy effect from the cooperation between computer-illiterate business people and business-illiterate engineers, but actually we always ended up seeing an anti-synergy effect.

With what I named the multiplication rule at work everywhere, 0.5 merged with another 0.5 never makes 1.0 or larger. The arithmetic notation which seems to apply in the real world, instead, is: 0.5 multiplied by 0.5 makes 0.25. In later years I found out that my empirical theory applies not only to business and technology but also any other combination of different things such as cross-racial marriages.

Toward the end of the Mainframe Era, one of the fathers of the modern computer contributed an interesting article to a computer journal. (I forgot whether it was Neuman or John Adam Presper Eckert, Jr.) He argued to the effect that the traditional system architecture in which a number of "dumb" terminals were subordinated to the mainframe machine was as obsolete as the centrally-planned Soviet economy.

You don't quite understand the real implication of his statement if you are one of those people who have never committed themselves to revolutionizing the value-creating chain in the real world, where most everything comes down to the question of how to bring heterogeneous elements together. Since you always mix up ends and means, you think the computer, in itself, represents a value. It's, therefore, none of your concern how different devices with different functions interact with one another, let alone how the computer interacts with its user.

Here and there in the industry, however, a subtle change in attitudes toward the computer had already been underway. Under the circumstances, the Soviet analogy deeply resonated with some of us. It is true that the new trend still remained amphibious, but we were already preparing ourselves for what we would later call "enduser computing."

We had yet to see the arrival of the "smart terminal" but we already had some tools with which to rehearse personal computing under the conventional environment for central data processing. For one thing, we could avail ourselves of "A Programming Language," APL for short, which was an "interactive array-oriented language" developed by Kenneth E. Iverson decades earlier.

In 1983, one year after the first customer shipment of the legendary IBM PC in the U.S., the Japanese subsidiary of IBM announced its Japanese version under the brand name of "IBM Multistation 5550." The top page of its promotional brochure read: "IBM Multistation 5550 is a calculator and a wordprocessor combined into one." The stupid copy unmistakably indicated that the developers of the new product and their target customers were not on the same page yet.

17 years later, I had an opportunity to teach an MBA class at International University of Japan. At that time Grant Norris, now an IBM consultant, gave me a special permission to use his material for my lecture on E-Business and discussions with my foreign students. In a book he co-authored with his fellow consultants, Norris wrote: "Adaptive technologies move earlier technologies forward incrementally [while] disruptive technologies change the way people live their lives or the way businesses operate."

From my MOT (Management of Technology) point of view, where people tend to deal with a disruptive technology as if it were adaptive, Marx's value-creating chain doesn't work because then there is no compelling reason for scientists to seek a major technological breakthrough anymore. As a result, consumers become even more change-resistant because they know life is much easier with existing technologies. Hopefully I will come back to this point in a separate piece.

When the Multistation was unveiled, I was the local CFO at an international trading house headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Founded in 1865 in Yokohama by two Swiss merchants, this company was yet another example of the curse of the multiplication rule I mentioned earlier. For one thing, people from the owners, to expat executives, to local employees took it for granted that their strength lay with the Wakon Yosai (Japanese spirit and Western learning) mindset which dates back to the 1860s. But actually, this formula, which was applied to Japan's "modernization" (actually it's just industrialization,) had long proved unworkable because of what I call "technology fetishism" as its inevitable consequence.

The Swiss company always claimed to be a "value-adding trader," but in fact, it was just adding costs which had to be passed on to the customer every time goods changed hands. It went virtually bankrupt several years after I left it, primarily because of its technophobia, the reverse side of technology fetishism. I still remember a 40-something-year-old accountant in my shop double-checking the computer output with her abacus. Believe it or not, she wasn't an exception.

As a senior manager overseeing the entire administration, I submitted to my Swiss boss, named Kurt E. Sieber, a purchase proposal in which I said I wanted to have a 5550 just because I had long had in mind a lot of essential tasks which wouldn't be done effectively, or even performed at all, without a PC on my desktop. Although there were very few reference books readily available at bookstores, I didn't care a bit about how to use the new technology because what for to use it was my only concern. I was more of a businessperson than an IT engineer, but I could learn, in due course, how to use these applications such as Multiplan (the precursor of Excel), BASIC, and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications.)

At the initial stage, the Multistation had no hard disk drive in it. Instead, it used 3.5" floppy disks. And its RAM capacity was a mere 256KB (not a typo,) expandable only to 512KB. But to the money-worshiping Swiss executive, specifications were no concern. The hardest part was to convince him that I wasn't out of my mind when I asked him for 1.5 million yen (US$ 19,000 at the current exchange rate) to buy a "small toy." It took me months until I finally got his reluctant approval.

Another ten years were needed for Sieber to come to terms with the idea that even in his fiefdom, he couldn't get away from the peril of personal computing any more. I suspect, however, it would have taken an eternity had it not been for the invention of a convenient technical term - "Client/Server Model." The fancy phrase allowed any interpretation you liked because nobody couldn't tell exactly how the "new" model differed from the conventional architecture for centralized computing, except that peripheral devices had now grown a little smarter and that clients and servers were often networked using the communications protocol called TCP/IP. It was quite OK if endusers sitting at their smart terminals still wanted to remain dumb. In short, the notion about the client/server meant nothing more than the old Soviet system disguised as a little more user-friendly environment.

Sieber was a former captain at a tank unit of the notorious Swiss Army. That meant he would never emancipate himself from hierarchical way of thinking. No wonder he chose to settle down in this country despite his contempt toward the Japanese. He found the easiest people to exploit in this classless society where peer pressure always prevails among locals. But at the same time he was an unblushing robber. By the time I reached the mandatory retirement age, he and his men had started to confiscate, and then alter the intellectual property I'd accumulated in my computer, as if to defuse the time bomb I'd set to blast the "legacy" system. My repository included hand-made systems for an online exercise of the corporate budgeting and up-to-the-minute control of currency positions, just to mention a few. I called them "systems of the user, by the user, for the user." Despite the fact that the amount of the corporate resources I'd used to develop these mini-systems was negligible small, they didn't pay me a single Swiss franc in royalty. I didn't sue them because I knew these systems and user manuals were nothing but pearls being cast before change-disabled swine.

In 1993, three years after Japan's economic bubble belatedly burst, an epochal book was published in the U.S. The book titled Reengineering the Corporation - A Manifesto for Business Revolution was authored by the late Dr. Michael Hammer with the help of James Champy. Unusually for a business book, it spent more than six months on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. But I know very few among my predominantly American audience have read the reengineering classic in part because most of you thought "reengineering" was yet another way to refer to "restructuring" - jettisoning unprofitable business lines, cutting redundant manpower, etc. You don't give a damn about quality of life and real values it calls for. That's why you never understand the positive side of Dr. Hammer's argument. He just wanted to present a methodology to use networked computers as the enabler of "fundamental, radical and dramatic" change in a clear departure from the principles laid down by Adam Smith more than two centuries ago.

Hammer writes: "Reengineering isn't another idea imported from Japan. It isn't another quick fix that American managers can apply to their organizations. ...... Rengineering isn't about fixing anything."

When I was a contractor overseeing the "University Alliance Program" at the rotten Japanese subsidiary of SAP AG, the German software giant, I had a chance to translate Dr. Hammer's PowerPoint slides into Japanese. To me he looked more like a down-to-earth business consultant than yet another management guru. But unfortunately his avid advocacy of a business revolution hasn't borne fruit by now for the reasons I have mentioned.

In 1995, James Champy, the other coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation, published, solo this time, a followup book titled Reengineering Management - The Mandate for New Leadership. Champy had a good reason to author it singularly. CSC Index, a consulting firm he was heading then, sent out an extensive questionnaire to more than 600 CEOs in North America and Europe to find out if the intended revolution had been paying off in their organizations.

In his book, Champy wrote: "[Overall], the study shows, participants failed to attain these benchmarks [for shortening the cycle time, reducing costs, increasing revenue, etc.] by as much as 30%. ..... This partial revolution is not the one I intended. If I've learned anything in the last 18 months, it is that the revolution we started has gone, at best, only halfway. I have also learned that half a revolution is not better than none. It may, in fact, be worse."

From his findings, Chapmy concluded the fundamental problem lay with the corporate culture, and that it was CEOs' responsibility to revolutionize it.

At the 1997 World Economic Forum in Davos, Andy Grove, co-founder and then Chairman of Intel Corp., said to the effect that change in the corporate culture is the key to success in BPR (business process reengineering.) Grove was absolutely right. But he shouldn't have added that the cultural revolution should be driven from the top, just as Champy shouldn't have written Reengineering Management. Success in corporate revolution, or any other revolution for that matter, solely hinges on unfettered spontaneity and creativity on the part of ordinary people. And a corporate culture is just a reflection of nation's culture. It's ridiculous to expect one of those egomaniacs in the executive office to act as a change agent.

At the height of the economic boom, a variety of "participatory" programs such as kaizen (company-wide efforts for reform), kanban (just-in-time inventory management system), and TQC (programs for total quality control) were widely practiced across Japan Inc. Japan experts in other industrialized countries, especially in the U.S., have always touted these "bottom-up" approaches as the recipe for Japan's phenomenal success. But as always, they are wrong. If these programs had really been bottom-up, then we wouldn't have seen the economic bubble form and burst that easily, or the Japanese must have shown, a long time ago, the vigor and resilience needed for recovery from the economic doldrums and political impasse.

Here's one little question for you: Did you know your personal computer mirrors what you really are? I don't know if you did, but in fact she mirrors you even more than she does her developer or manufacturer. Number-crunching or word-processing, let alone apple-polishing, is not her job; always getting you an undistorted feedback is.

Those obituaries are all wrong, after all. If your PC looks to be dead, it's you, not she, that's been actually dead. As quoted at the top of this post, Marx observed that "a railway on which no one travels is potentially but not actually a railway." In another paragraph of the essay, he paraphrased the same idea more succinctly: "Consumption gives the product the finishing touch." Now at the sight of your underused PC, Marx would say:

"A PC you don't want to use real creatively is potentially but not actually a PC."

He would also say the same thing with respect to Web-based technologies.

Now seven years into my retirement, I'm being overwhelmed in the face of the explosion of Sumaho, as the Japanese call smartphones, and other types of hand-held devices.

According to the World Bank, the population of cellphone users has been growing exponentially in the last couple of years and will soon top the 6 billion mark. That should mean everyone except children starving to death in Africa is fondling his handset all the time while he has nothing in particular to communicate with others, electronically or otherwise. Maybe his stomach is not empty, but it's for sure his brain is. I don't know any other words than "mass addiction" to describe this trend.

Apple's iPhone, for one, is a typical example of adaptive technology. Once again, an adaptive technology is something you can live without. In other words, it's, at best, a nice-to-have. Believe me, I have absolutely nothing against your desire to own such a fancy product. All I want to say is I have a great difficulty living shoulder-to-shoulder with people who think these gadgets are must-haves just like junkies think they can't live without the drug which, in fact, is not so much in the substance. And especially in a conformist society like Japan, this addiction is highly infectious.

To make the plague of addiction even worse, the IT industry is single-mindedly building the infrastructures for "ubiquitous computing" and "cloud-computing." Now this is a global trend.

Needless to say, however, the situation in Japan is even more disastrous because of the legacy of Wakon Yosai and technology fetishism resulting from it. With the entire population drowned in the Great Flood of mobile devices, nation's value-creating chain now seems to have gone into pieces, totally and perhaps irreversibly.

Day in, day out, and around the clock, people from young to old pass me by with their fingertips glued to their Keitai (mobile phones,) or vice versa. These days not a few Japanese go to the bathroom, or even to bed, without parting ways with their beloved cellphones. If you take into account the fact that Japan's population density is 10.2 times higher than that of the United States, you may understand what it is like to be among 100 million Keitai users. · read more (32 words)
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Русский народ: the people who need to be slaughtered over and over


     
"Even if we did achieve what we wanted with a very small state, we'd just be resetting the clock back to 1776, and it would roll forward exactly the same way again."

Stefan Molyneux is a controversial figure on the web. I had an impression that he was one of those crisis-mongering pinheads until I came across the first video embedded at the bottom of this post. These days there are very few people among the chattering classes in the West who can talk about the fall of Greece, or any other failing nation-state for that matter, based on a thorough analysis like he does here. (How lightly my former mentor Chang talked about the "coming collapse of China.")

One of his essays is titled "The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives."

I don't like the word "society" here very much because it's based on a false assumption that a society should remain viable when it's separated from the state.

In order for a society to rid itself of a state, it has to be as cohesive as it can be. I don't mean a monolithic society under a totalitarian regime. What's really at issue here is how to achieve the highest level of cohesion among unshackled people so as to thwart any external system from hijacking them. In this context I think the Catalans are more accurate when they define their goal as a stateless nation.

Needless to say, I don't give a damn about who'll win the quadrennial farce currently going on in the U.S. But when the former Hewlett-Packard CEO was caught in a crossfire from every direction for her history of laying off 18,000-30,000 employees of her company, I, as a retired businessman, sympathized with this woman no matter how her face is "demented like a Halloween mask." But at the same time I thought it was the final confirmation that the American people will never learn it's not a government's responsibility to create jobs out of thin air.

This also indicated that as Molyneux seems to agree, the notion of a small government is nothing but an illusion as Cyril Northcote Parkinson already warned almost six decades ago.

As to how to achieve the goal, Molyneux takes it for granted, without giving any specific reason, that violence has to be avoided at any cost. He writes: "We cannot build on peace on blood. We are still so addicted to this lie. We have this fantasy that we honor the dead by adding to their number. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue drowns us, drowns our children, drowns our future, drowns the world."

Hopefully Molyneux is right. Yet I hesitate to subscribe to his prescription based on a heavenly assumption. He argues that what he calls DROs (Dispute Resolution Organizations) should be put in place across the board. The greatest sticking point here is that not once has history seen an ancient regime peacefully hand over its power to a new one. It's true Russia's October Revolution itself was practically bloodless but the bloodshed from subsequent events more than made up for it.

As I've repeatedly argued on this website, it's a shame that the American people always play dumb about the historical fact that the independence war against Great Britain claimed tens of thousands of lives and since then their country has withstood all the challenge against their empire only on the heaps of the corpses of other peoples.

By the same token, French President François Hollande should keep in mind that almost one million people had to be killed for the noble cause of liberté, égalité and fraternité. Among other things, he shouldn't forget these victims included 16,549 people who were beheaded in the same way Western hostages were butchered by the Islamic State more than 2 centuries later.

At any rate I think it's about time intelligent people like Molyneux should have emancipated themselves from the fairytale about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Deep inside everyone knows they couldn't have achieved what they are thought to have achieved without capitalizing on someone else's violence. Equally important, their achievements have invariably resulted in an aggravated chain of violence including the crucifixion of these martyrs.

The peaceful transition to a stateless nation may well prove to be yet another pipe dream as an small-government state already has. But nevertheless you can't rule it out because it still remains to be seen if the 7.5 million Catalans can eventually find a peaceful way to accomplish their unconstitutional aspiration for a stateless nation. As to the fate of Okinawa, its secession from Japan is much more unlikely because the process of its cultural assimilation seems to have progressed too far to reverse it. Worse, the islanders are doubly shackled.

It seems to me that if there still is another workable alternative, we'll see it when someone who isn't an imbecile like Mark Zuckerberg brings forward an unprecedented sociopolitical model fully leveraging an enabling web-based technology, which is, in fact, already there.

Molyneux also advocates "deFOOing." His coined word means leaving an obligatory relationship with someone from the same family of origin. This is quite natural because you can initiate a fundamental change in the relationship between a state and a nation only when you have freed yourself from old bondage.

Actually there's nothing particularly new in Molyneux's idea. Cuckoos, pandas, rabbits, and many other species have long practiced deFOOing.

For my part, two incidents of de-wedding cost me a fortune, literally and figuratively. DeFOOing I subsequently required from my two biological sons also cost me dearly. And yet, as a matter of principle, I have nothing against his idea.

It seems Molyneux published these essays well before Ron Paul's advocacy of the American Revolution revealed itself as yet another scam. Chances are that he has already taken back or modified these arguments. But as is evident from his words quoted at the top of this post, he may still remain a prisoner of the America-centric way of thinking which is essentially based on John Locke's philosophical rubbish about natural rights to "life, liberty and property." As long as he seems to believe history is undo-able or even redoable, we are largely divided over answers.

Voltaire once wrote, "Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." The most important thing to me, therefore, is that Molyneux and I share essentially the same question: exactly what brings together, or fails to bring together the nation, i.e. the people, and the state, i.e. the system to govern them. I think we have a common ground on which to deepen our thoughts on the most relevant issue at hand.

Since 2012, I have been discussing (or trying to discuss, to be more precise) the same question about the viability of the nation-state with my predominantly American audience, mainly from Henri Bergson's perspective of "Creative Evolution."

But every time I took up the issue, they instantly resorted to a cheap guerrilla tactic which I called Zeno's infinite dichotomy. It seemed impossible for me to make these guys engage in a mature discussion because they have been irreversibly indoctrinated since their early childhood to believe in America's Founding Principles as a set of indisputable axioms.

Quite naturally I ended up talking about education. I said that indoctrination or counter-indoctrination should never be intended in school and family education, and at least in the nonvocational setup, education should focus solely on training for practice of principled and creative thinking.

My heretical view of education also fell on deaf ears. Now I had to admit the chasm between my target audience and me is almost unbridgeable. These people "think" they are doing the thinking while actually they are not. A psychopath, almost by definition, does not doubt his sanity for a split second. Likewise how can you use your brain when you don't know what exactly it is for man to think like man?

On November 13, the day of the Paris multi-site attacks, no sooner had the news come out than thousands and thousands of truth-seeking idiots reflexively flooded the web with all-too-familiar words such as "false flag," "hoax" and "psyop." This once again reminded me of an American individual who regularly visited my website until March from Arkansas, the 3rd poorest state, i.e. the 3rd most parasitic state of America.

In fact he is handicapped physically, and most probably mentally as well. This makes him heavily dependent on the nanny-state programs all funded by poor taxpayers such as disability pension and tax relief. He wouldn't last a single day without these benefits.

Because of, rather than despite his inability to go self-reliant, he had developed a fanatic inclination toward dissident groups. For one thing he was under the strong influence of a conspiracy cult started by a female guru who likes to call herself Dr. Judy Wood. Her book titled "Where did the towers go?" was his bible.

In her book as voluminous as 485 pages, his guru attributed 9/11 to unnamed villains who made an experimental use of the "Directed Energy" technology developed by Nikola Tesla, et al. in the early 1900s.

It's important to know while Wood wanted to say the National Institute of Standards and Technology had attempted to cover up the conspiracy behind 9/11, she shared with the very NIST the same stupid assumption that the trivial event which claimed no more than 2,000-plus lives had changed the world forever, and thus needed an extensive and intensive investigation worldwide.

In the acknowledgment pages at the end of her book, there are three lists of high-ranking apostles and other disciples separated by their hierarchical status in the organization. And you can find the initials of this Arkansan as RT in the lowest class called "Other angels among us."

I always took utmost precaution when dealing with his secondhand conspiracy theory because I thought it would be counterproductive to hurt him personally. Most of the time my response was like this:

"Maybe you are right. But so what? It's not only useless but also harmful to keep talking about what has been done in the past as if it's still undo-able. Just name a single event in history that was NOT a conspiracy. Then I will be willing to discuss 9/11 more seriously."

Yet he thought my counterargument was a totally unacceptable blasphemy to Dr. Wood's oracle.

Now that I was very sure that in effect a reciprocal deal has been tacitly struck between the establishment and the anti-establishment in the U.S., I pointed out in March that these conspiracy theorists are also carrying a false flag themselves.

The Arkansan angel instantly exploded like a mentally-retarded child would have done over his own inability to effectively counter an argument he didn't like. After calling me names until he'd exhausted his almost inexhaustible vocabulary for ranting, he declared he would never again visit this website.

I wasn't surprised. What really surprised me was the fact that some other people, who were avowed patriots, if not fanatical ones, and had even tried hard to avoid a direct confrontation with the fanatic, now voiced exactly the same strong displeasure with my post.

At first I said to myself:

"What a coincidence."

Then on second thought, I suspected perhaps it was the final confirmation that patriots and dissidents in the U.S. were the two wings of the same dying bird. But still I wasn't really comfortable with the worn-out bird analogy.

Finally I realized it would all add up if I likened the failed nation-state named the United States to something more like conjoined twins which are totally inoperable.

Inoperably conjoined here means that they cannot kill each other no matter how they hate each other. Paradoxical though it may seem, this is the real reason behind the frequent but isolated occurrences of pointless shooting rampage everywhere in the U.S. Their favorite topic of the Second Amendment is nothing but a red herring.

If there still is a way to differentiate the Conjoined Twins of America and its satellite nation Japan, while the Americans can't kill one another despite the irreconcilable antagonism among them, the self-destructive people in this haunted nation even needn't kill one another. That is why the latter didn't think about using the once-in-a-millennium opportunity to execute the Divine Emperor themselves at the end of the war. Not only that, they also pleaded for Douglas MacArthur's mercy on Hirohito's life.

We will never see another assassination of U.S. President until the poorer states, e.g. Arkansas, are jettisoned as a result of the possible Civil War II. Only at that time, a parasitic angel representing abandoned states will come forward to play the same role John Wilkes Booth did with Abraham Lincoln.

Maybe this is too wild an expectation. But I don't care. In order to avoid further wasting my time with impossibly America-centric, egocentric, thinking-disabled and self-complacent people, now I'm redirecting my attention to other countries and regions where peoples address the fundamental question about the fate of the nation-statehood more seriously. Since I have very little to add to what I've said about Catalonia and Okinawa at this moment, my primary concern is Russia.

Here I'm not particularly talking about the Russian Republic. I'm focusing on "a greater Russia." To me any country where the East Slavic population accounts for the majority falls on this category. The current demarcations artificially determined between existing nation-states by the America-centric "international law" are no longer at issue. The area that concerns me most, therefore, includes Ukraine and some other former Soviet republics.

You may ask: "Why Russia?" The reason I single her out is because few other nations underwent the fundamental change of the entire polity on its own, i.e. from within, more than once in the last 100 years. You tend to belittle these turbulent years the Russians have gone through, by saying that in 1917, these ignorant peasants were duped amid the wartime chaos into the October Revolution by a "German spy" named Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who was allegedly supported by some Wall Street bankers and London financiers, and 74 years later they came to their senses when it belatedly dawned on them that "Freemasons' idea" which is normally referred to as "Marxism" hadn't worked either at home or overseas.

Most Americans and Western Europeans are too ignorant and arrogant to notice the Russians, alone, have lived out to the fullest the fate of the obsolete idea of the modern nation-state. These self-styled historians untiringly keep second-guessing because they can never look at history in the making.

Here I'm only talking about the people. Polities and regimes are not my concern anymore.

If I were to compare, nonetheless, the Russian head of state against their U.S. counterpart, all I could say is this:

Vladimir Putin certainly eclipses his American counterpart who some have dubbed "the Black Kenyan Monkey in the White House," both as the leader of the country and as a human being.

It is true that there is a certain similarity on the surface between the two. Just like the BKM has cozy relationship with the Military Industrial Complex that he has inherited from his predecessors, Putin devotes himself to the Russian Mafia along the way Boris Yeltsin paved for the former KGB spy.

If you want to know the reason the Russian President by far outshines the ape, nonetheless, it's simply because his people aren't as brainless and spineless as their American counterparts. Let's be reminded that amid his 2012 campaign, Ron Paul repeatedly stressed that "any government is a reflection of the people, not the other way around."

It's not the poor monkey but the American voters that really deserve the defamation. On the contrary, not a few Russian people have challenged the legitimacy of the Putin dynasty just like the Australian journalist named Julian Paul Assange did with the U.S. administration.

Just to name a few, Anna Politkovskaya, former Novaya Gazeta reporter, unflinchingly criticized Putin's war on the Chechens, and Alexander Litvinenko, former FSB officer, made various allegations against Putin's wrongdoings ranging from his covert backing of al-Qaeda to his habitual behavior of pedophilia. Politkovskaya was gunned down and Litvinenko was poisoned to death with Polonium-210, both in 2006. And in all likelihood hundreds of other personae non gratae have been assassinated to date.

Ironical though it may seem, this is the reason why Putin looks much more competent and alert than the president of the country some have already labeled "the Planet of the Apes."

As Russia experts such as Alex Pravda, Edward Lucas, Alexander Nekrassov and Andrew Wood seem to agree in the second video embedded at the bottom of this piece, the volcano named the Russian Republic along with its satellite countries will remain dormant for another decade or two because of the disabling social fatigue from the century filled with incessant violence. But my premonition is that its people will wake up and say they can't take it anymore well before the inevitable explosion of the American Empire which will trigger the implosion of the United States through Civil War II.

Once again, I have long graduated from political argument because it always ends up in an empty ideological contention. Not only that but I've also made it a rule not to discuss a faceless people as you always do.

In my mid- to late-teens I was hooked on the Russian people through their music, especially Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev, their literature, especially Mikhail Lermontov and Fyodor Dostoevsky, and their movies that all leveraged the rich tradition of Eisenstein's innovative cinematography and the Stanislavsky method.

For the first few years, Joseph Stalin was still alive but my attachment to the Russians had very little to do with the ideology. It was purely an emotional resonance with the Russians.

When it comes to the ideology, it's when I was already in my early 20s that I read The Capital: Critique of Political Economy, at least its first two volumes. Since then I've been of the opinion that Karl Marx is the first thinker, and perhaps the second last only next to Jean-Paul Sartre, who unraveled exactly what man's economic activity is all about beyond the point where his mere subsistence has been secured.

But every time I quoted Marx on my blog, the Arkansan angel never failed to say: "I haven't read a single page of Marx. And yet I'm sure you are mistaken because he was a Freemason." His way of "thinking" is typically American.

Equally important, I've also loved their language. When I was a sophomore, I learned it as the third foreign language. Instantly I fell for the language primarily because of its sounds and rhythms. I think especially its pleasant rhythms can be attributed to the fact that Russian is a language even more "high-context" than Japanese. For one thing, a common noun always inflects from nominative to genitive to objective. For another, it has no definite or indefinite article. Moreover, there are no such ambiguous tenses such as present perfect or past perfect. Everything is understood with a very small number of words. The only downside of the simplicity is that it may sometimes constitute inaccurate communication.

You may not believe it, but when renewing my old affection for the Russians, I've spent an estimated 150 hours in the last couple of months watching on YouTube 10 movies and 160 episodes from 20 serial TV dramas with the English subtitles always turned on. I think my severe sleep disorder helped me much in staying awake for such a long time.

The serial dramas included semi-documentaries titled "World War I" (53 minutes x 8,) "World War II" (45 minutes x 18) and "The Korean War" (53 minutes x 4.) What was the most impressive about these semi-documentaries is that not once have the Russians seemed to be willingly fighting a gruesome battle. Simply it's wrong if you think most Russians are brutal people who don't hesitate to see the white snow stained all over with the blood from the enemies' throats they slashed with their knives.

Not a few soldiers and partisans fought it out despite the fact that their parents and siblings had been executed by the likes of Cheka and NKVD. Even a great number of high-ranking generals had to fight the immediate enemies with a gun pointed at their back. In short most of them were stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

This is something beyond imagination of the Americans because to these self-appointed policemen of the world, taking part in warfare has always meant voluntarily, if not willingly, going on an overseas expedition to fix someone else's problem. The last thing they would understand is that the preservation of the nation-statehood which was already on the verge of falling apart everywhere was what the two World Wars were fought for.

In that respect it's a pity that ignoramuses such as Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman took it for granted America's founding principles based on John Locke's philosophical rubbish hadn't been superseded by the works such as "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" (Friedrich Engels, 1884) and "The State and Revolution" (Vladimir Lenin, 1917,) and would prevail in the never-ending American century where member countries of the U.N. would swim together until they sink together.

For a different reason, the Japanese can never really understand what was going on in Russia, or anywhere else for that matter.

They are misunderstood themselves to have been extremely belligerent people in the past. Today they are known to be pacifists. Actually they boast that not a single drop of Japanese blood has been shed in warfare and not a single enemy has been killed by a Japanese soldier since the end of the Pacific War. And yet the fact of the matter remains that in the last 10 years its aggregate defense expenditure has topped 47.9 trillion yen (US$ 400 billion at the current exchange rate.) I suggest that you shouldn't waste your time to figure out how to characterize these eerie people.

But never fail to notice that even in the Great Patriotic War, not a single Russian soldier carried out a suicide attack shouting out, "Long live Stalin."

Now let me summarize how many Russians lost their lives in the Russo-Japanese War, the pre-revolution uprising of Moscow, the 2 revolutions, the subsequent civil war, Stalin's "Great Purge," the Battles of Khalkhin Gol and other skirmishes in Asia, the two World Wars and wars in the Korean Peninsula and Afghanistan. If my calculation is correct, the turbulent 20th century claimed 30-90 million Russian lives (See NOTE) if you exclude those who had to be murdered in order for Vladimir Putin to rise to power.

NOTE: Official statistics puts the number of people who were killed by Joseph Stalin at some 682,000, while some in the West estimate that actually 61 million were murdered by the dictator. They want to make it look like a Russia-particular problem that wasn't inherent to nation-states in general. I think the truth is somewhere in between.

In an installment of the series dealing with WWI, the background against which the melancholic march "Farewell of Slavianka" was composed by the leader of a military band named Vasily Agapkin is explained in detail. If you compare the video 3 below with marches composed by John Philip Sousa or Carl Teike, or the video 4 with Jule Styne's "It's been a long, long time," you may see what it was like for the Russians to have to go through all these bloody years.

And if you have some more time to spare, you may want to take a listen at the last video which is actually a Geisha version of the Slavianka song. I spent most of 1945 in a small village in Yamagata Prefecture, north-eastern part of the mainland Japan. Everyday I heard the very same record played over and over because the young daughter of the family that provided accommodation for us was practicing an exotic dance to the self-pitying tune. In those days, thousands of Kamikaze pilots and other Japanese soldiers were launching suicidal attacks with the famous war cry "Tenno Heika Banzai" (Long live the Emperor.)

The entire media is controlled by the Russian government as is true with the U.S., Japan and South Korea. So it's quite natural most Russian fictions have sickeningly syrupy happy endings as if in reality they weren't afflicted with the epidemic of alcoholism and abnormally short life expectancies.

And yet, some of the dramas I watched were touching in a way nonfictions wouldn't have impressed me so deeply although they were more often than not based on historical facts.


Mishka Yoponchik, Odessa gang turned Red Army officer

"Once Upon a Time" starring Evgeny Tkachuk as Yaponchik
More specifically, the following dramas are something you can't expect from uncreative filmmakers and TV producers in the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

"Armed Love" (43 minutes x 4)
"The Year of the Golden Fish" (1 hour and 47 minutes)
"The Bomb" (44 minutes x 8)
"Hunting the Gauleiter" (51 minutes x 10)
"Love for Love" (47 minutes x 4)

Among other fictitious stories, I found this series titled "Once Upon a Time in Odessa" (50 minutes x 12) most impressive.

This is "roughly" based on the turbulent life of a real man nicknamed Ми́шка Япо́нчик (Mikey the Jap.) He was the leader of a Jewish gang based in Odessa amid the waves of pogroms until the Bolshevik Revolution reached to the city on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The "humane gangster" and his men joined forces with the communists but he was executed in 1919 because of his disobedience to the new regime.

Odessa, currently within the territories of Ukraine, is one of the cities I wish I had visited in my lifetime. I enjoyed myself watching these settings of seaside lanes, old-fashioned restaurants and quaint little towns in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. It's sometimes too "roughly" based on history, e.g. in a Jew-owned nightclub, the band is playing "Bei mir bist du schön" which was actually composed more than ten years later.

But that doesn't really matter. The most important thing about these stories is that the way each Russian individual, fictitious or not, engages himself in history defies all the stereotypical perceptions the Westerners tend to harbor.

I was also impressed by the fact that I never failed to hear one of those characters in a drama saying to someone in trouble the particularly Russian line that goes:

Всё будет хорошо. (Everything will be alright.)

This must be very familiar to you if you have watched or read Anton Chekhov's play before. You never know exactly how it will turn out OK unless you are the author of the story. But it's not a lip service Americans are good at. It'll be alright simply because it ought to be alright in Russia where each individual citizen is the author of his/her own life.

For this very reason, I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians achieve, or at least attempt, a Copernican change in the way to bring the people and the system together in the not-too-distant future.

On the contrary if you have a Japanese friend, you must have noticed that you can't have a talk with him without hearing the killer sentence that goes: "It can't be helped (まあ仕方がないさ.) This is the real reason Japan will remain a cultural wasteland that serves as a irreplaceable graveyard for the Western civilization until the end of time.
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REAL REASON this kleptocracy clings to pre-Pacioli system (マイナンバー制度は追い剥ぎ国家の集大成)

"Taxation is theft."
"You can only be charitable with your own money."
-Andrew Napolitano, former judge of the Supreme Court of New Jersey

徴税とは国家による窃盗行為に他ならない」。(日本人には、「ヤクザのみかじめ料と何ら変わるところがない」と言った方が分かりやすいかも知れない)。
「助け合いの精神は健全な個人同士の間で自然に芽生えるものであり、政治家や役人が"所得の再配分"の名の下にそれを制度化しようとするのは許し難い犯罪である」。(意訳)
元ニュージャージー州最高裁判事アンドゥルー・ナポリターノ



Who owes me this much?

日本国の負債総額は1,229兆円などという大ウソを例によって鵜呑みにしている日本猿の皆さん (公認会計士の先生方も含む) は、イタリア・ルネサンスの影の主役と呼ばれるルカ・パチオーリの没後498年も経っのに未だに、小学生の小遣帳並みの単式簿記による現金主義会計にしがみつこうとしているのだろうか。あなたたちは、クレジットカードでもないのに額面が「マイナス千円」となっている「現金」をポケットの中に入れて持ち歩く事は出来ないということが何を意味するのか考えた事がないのか? 来年は申年のようだが、サルには負けたくないという気概を持つことさえ出来ないのであれば、これを機会に今後人間面をするのはいっさい止めたらどうなんだ。
They say the Japanese government is honest enough to admit its indebtedness is going to reach 1,229 trillion yen, or 245.9% of GDP by the end of this fiscal year. That is even higher than Greece's Debt-GDP ratio which stood at 177.1% as of December 31, 2014.

However, as I've often pointed out, it's a transparent trick. For one thing GDP doesn't represent government's productivity. Anyone in his right mind doesn't want to repay someone else's debt unless he has a compelling reason to do so.

Another thing that makes it a gimmick is the fact that the government-retained economists, analysts, and professors keep saying, "Don't worry too much because government's creditors are mostly its own people." They should know even in the world's most monolithic country, the people are a separate entity from their state and they aren't owned by their government. What they are saying all comes down to the truism that in Japan's consolidated balance sheet, which is nonexistent rather than just undisclosed, the accounting equation (Assets=Liabilities+Capital) would still hold true.

And most importantly, there is a sizable amount of debt without IOUs incurred mainly from the national pension plans most of which are contributory type.

In 1494, at the height of the Italian Renaissance, Luca Pacioli, who was the mentor, collaborator and math teacher of Leonardo da Vinci, invented the double-entry accounting method based on his own discovery that in the modern world, man's deed should always entail two or more different implications which are often contradictory with each other.

When I wrote it would take an eternity for Japan's public sector to switch its accounting system to the one Pacioli advocated 521 years ago, I referred to it as the Pacioli Revolution because the change in the bookkeeping method is only the smallest part of Pacioli's invention.

If you visit the website of the Japan Pension Administration, you will find the amount of the fund entrusted to it and its breakdown, i.e. investment portfolio, buried deep in the innermost pages. According to these pages, the total assets entrusted to them by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare amount to some 123.9 trillion yen. But the funny thing is that you won't find the total amount of liabilities which should represent their fiduciary responsibilities toward us. What a joke. They just want us to swallow the amount of the total assets which isn't supported by the amount of the total liabilities at all.

Actually it took me more than one year to convince them that it's my right to know at least my part of their fiduciary responsibility, i.e. how much they owe me. At first they flatly declined to comply with my demand, saying, "No one has ever asked us to disclose such data." I had to tell them I was a project manager when the Japanese subsidiary of IBM Corporation implemented nation's first ever pension plan in the wake of the enactment of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) in the United States. Only then they reluctantly sent me incomplete data including my payment history of pension premiums dating back to April 1959. I had to extrapolate myself the rest of the actuarial data such as the rates at which to come up with the present values of the premiums.

From my own Excel chart shown above, now I know I will have to live on until I'm 99 if I want to fully reclaim what I paid throughout my career. And I should be around until I'm 110 if I want to get paid the return on investment on top of my contributions.

Now I must ask:

Who has stolen this much from me?


Kleptocracy of the people, by the people, for the people


脳死状態の日本の皆さん:追い剥ぎ国家の総仕上げであるマイナンバーは無事手許に届いたのだろうか。陰謀カルトの教祖フルフォード先生は「泥棒国家の完成」の著者でもあるので、信者の人たちは、これをそのまま受け取って神棚に飾っておいてよいものなのかどうか彼のご託宣を仰いでみるのも一興かも知れない。
In the past I have often pointed out that it's a piece of cake in this country even for an inexperienced swindler to chisel these dupes on a false identity.

Every time I talked about the pathology of Japanese credulousness, American visitors to this website never failed to defend these suckers, saying I was just exaggerating their stupidity. That is quite natural. From the colonialist point of view, these guys are an ideal partner because they are submissive enough to be reshaped into any form that readily conforms to entirely foreign and fake principles.

On the other hand their Japanese counterparts would always say scornfully of the victim of an identity scam: "What a gullible guy. I would never have acted that generous. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have no money to be swindled in the first place."

They don't seem to know the real implication of what they are saying. But, In fact, they all know deep inside that in this country, the more you are credulous, the more it's likely you win the game, and it's never the other way around.

Maybe my former "friend" Benjamin Fulford is a different story. He is a little savvier at least financially. The extremely prolific writer as he is deceived himself before he did others.

Fulford has authored more than a dozen books in Japanese. In 2004 he published "泥棒国家の完成" (Mopping up the state dominated by thieves.) To be more precise he should have translated the word kleptocracy as 追い剥ぎ国家 which means a state dominated by robbers rather than thieves. But either way, credit should be given to the author for using the inflammatory word in public for the first time here.

However, the subtitle already betrays the daring title. It reads something like "Political racketeers, bureaucrats, big businesses and yakuza gangsters are fully aligned behind it." As usual Fulford is careful enough to exclude his audience from those who are responsible for the rotten regime.

Now it's evident from his disgraceful lie about "the innocent victims" that he has a shrewd eye set on the very same loot to secure his handsome cut in it.

The fraudulent author has now been naturalized and surrounded by a growing number of Japanese cultists. You may think these loyal members of his conspiracy cult must have a certain amount of critical mind. But that is not the case at all. For one thing they dare not ask their guru the following questions:

● Which is more kleptocratic, your native country Canada or adopting country Japan?
● If Canada is more like a kleptocracy, why did you write about the problem inherent to Japan before addressing the problem facing Canada?
● If Japan is worse, why did you become naturalized here?

Now this kleptocracy is getting into its real mop-up stage with the "My Number Law" sneakily enacted on October 5 behind the smoke screen about nonissues such as "hawkish" bills related to the Japan-U.S. security treaty. They did this on a paper-thin pretext that the My Number system will "make various administrative procedures smoother." But on the contrary they intended to double the steps involved there in order to secure their jobs while creating extra revenues for their pet contractors.

Mitsuru Kuroda, former local government employee, warns in his blog that an estimated 0.5 to 1 million unregistered people are now losing their employment opportunity and all the entitlements simply because My Numbers won't be assigned to them. Although Kuroda doesn't mention it, these subhumans still can't expect they will be relieved of the duty for tax payment.

Relatively well-informed about nation's demography, Kuroda makes an educated guess. Yet I think it's a gross underestimate. Who can be so sure about the "ghost population"? It's something like telling how many perfect crimes have been committed when a perfect crime is defined as one which hasn't been detected.

Certainly I'm one of them. I can't expect to have a My Number given to me because my residence registration was erased when I decided to opt out of Japan's medical cartel for five specific reasons. That means that Japan Pension Administration will start finally defaulting on its pension obligation toward me at earliest in January. It's something like your bank declares out of the blue that you are not allowed to withdraw your deposit because your 6-decade-old bank account number is no longer valid as from today.

It's a blatant crime the kleptocracy committed against the people.

Recent reports had it that earlier this week, hundreds of people filed class action lawsuits against the government on charges that the My Number System is unconstitutional. But it's obvious these plaintiffs had been waiting until it was too late just like Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and his supporters started a full-fledged campaign against the planned relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station from Futenma to Henoko only after Onaga's predecessor had made it a fait accompli.

The new system is expected to create a trillion-yen business opportunity for the IT industry. Everyone knows the plan is irreversible now because the bureaucrats have already pocketed the bribery of at least 100 billion yen. Now I must conclude this is just yet another alibi exercise.

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Myth - or math - about genealogical roots

I have already written why I disowned my biological elder son. I could put an end to our feud, that stemmed from his strong antipathy toward the ex-husband of his mother for being intellectually demanding since his childhood, when I said, "I apologize for having fathered you guys at all. This is the greatest mea culpa of my life."

There's nothing to add except that breaking-up was hard to do, extremely so. Since I have no tangible assets possibly to hand down to him or anyone else, that's the end of the story.

As for the younger one, it was a lot easier. I'd already been too tied up with his elder brother to expect him to grow into a mature man wiping off all the influence from his maternal grandfather who turned out to be a former small-time yakuza gangster and his entire clan which was under the influence of the Soka Gakkai cult.

Eventually I lost both.

Twelve years or so ago the younger one married an obnoxious divorcee. At that time he changed his surname to save his stepson from suffering the stigma at school. Soon twin sons were born to them. I was kind of forced to meet them when they were around one year old but afterward I kept declining to see them again in part because in Japan giving at least 5K yen, preferably ten times as much to be spent for crap is the only role a grandparent is supposed to play every time he sees his young grandchild.

This past summer my son started to insist all over again that I should meet his twin sons during their summer break. He said: "Now my 11-year-old kids seem to be in the early stage of identity crisis. They are anxious to know about the 25% of their biological roots." I complied because there was no reason to decline. But I didn't fail to warn him to tell them in advance that I am the weirdest man they have ever met and they should not expect a single buck from me.

At first I couldn't tell one twin from the other. So before the lunch I "interviewed" them, one by one. I handed each of them a simple questionnaire to make it easy for them to introduce themselves before my digital camera. Later I uploaded the videos to share them with a limited audience.

After they introduced themselves to me, I tried a quiz on my son and his kids. I said: "If you guys 'think' I am a 25% ea of you kids, you are completely wrong. Believe me, I'm nobody's part. To begin with how many ancestors do you 'think' you have?" Neither my biological son nor his kids could answer the unexpected question. They didn't understand why I raised such an unusual question in the first place.

I explained: "As you know, some of my ancestors, i.e. our ancestors, were ninjas by occupation who served the Tokugawa Shogunate which was in power from 1603 to 1867. If you use the Excel exponential function (2^(2015-1603)/20) on an assumption that 20 years make one generation, you will find out we are 2 million ancestors away from the first ninja even if you forget about collateral ancestors.

"Moreover, there's no reason to stop at the first ninja if you really want to trace your roots. I'm afraid you guys still believe, deep down in your hearts, in the downright lie that Japan was founded on February 11, 660 BC by the son of the Sun Goddess. Then you should know you have an astronomical number of ancestors. If my Excel calculation wasn't wrong, it's 21,778,071,482,940,100,000,000,000,000 trillion."

They were shocked but obviously not by the number itself. In the face of a frightening abyss, they were totally at a loss over what to make of it.

To them an "identity crisis" is nothing but a rite of passage where they are supposed to pledge an unconditional allegiance to the homogeneous society that embraces the trilogy of faiths. That is why they didn't understand "identity," "root" or any other borrowed word had to be defined more precisely than the stupid American writer named Alex Haley did in his 1976 book, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family."

Actually I was playing devil's advocate as usual. What I was getting at can be summarized like this:

One's sense of identity is an emotional attachment and/or an intellectual resonance felt voluntarily (not obligatorily) and spontaneously (not biologically) toward specifically portrayable figure(s.)

A larger group of faceless people such as mankind, male, female, working class, capitalists, the stateless, the handicapped, liberal, conservative, etc. has nothing, whatsoever, to do with it.

The only thing that pleasantly surprised me was the answer the younger twin (photo) gave to my banal but tricky question: "What do you want to be doing when you become an adult?" The older one answered without hesitation, "I want to be a policeman." But his younger brother declared, after mumbling for a while, "I haven't made up my mind on that yet."

I was really impressed because this is an utterly atypical way an 11-year-old would answer the standard question. Most every kid answers it without hesitation because he knows it doesn't really matter if he is fully committed to his "dream" to become a cop, an astronaut, a professional athlete, an artist, a TV personality, or anything else. In fact, though, you can't seriously commit yourself to anything until you find out who you are, i.e. your identity.

It is the same thing that Henri Bergson exquisitely analogized as a "canvas which the ancestor passes on for his descendant to put his own original embroidery."

I was going to tell them a chimp can recognize himself in the mirror but he isn't concerned a bit about his identity. At that time my son and his elder son quickly sent me a clear signal that they didn't want to listen to my lecture on identity. So I stopped there to concentrate on the free lunch.

Back home, I started to write a followup letter to my son to tell him that I was really impressed by his younger son's answer and that as his principal educator he should try hard to protect him against incessant indoctrination or counter-indoctrination the boy is subjected to at school or everywhere else. But on second thought, I said to myself that it would be totally useless. After all I am his biological parent who miserably failed to cultivate his thinking ability.

In the letter I wanted to send a link to the video embedded at the bottom of this post to explain how geese are imprinted almost at birth. Certainly he would have said, "Don't worry, father. We are not geese, but human beings."

In response I would have told him to watch the second video which clearly shows the chimp by far outperforms the human being at least in certain kinds of cognitive abilities. Anyone who believes we are superior to chimps should be able to tell exactly how. And if he "thinks" man does the thinking whereas an ape doesn't, he should be able to tell exactly what it is for man to think.

He may have admitted guys in the media outlets or in teaching jobs tend to hinder the mental development of kids. Then I would have had to explain sorting out tons of information children are gathering on the web has nothing to do with the process of man's thinking.

I didn't want to repeat my lecture on the Digital Altar because I knew that would be a total waste of time when talking to someone who is already thinking-disabled.

Recently I noticed that a man named Stefan Molyneux has been talking about the merit of "deFOO." (FOO stands for the Family of Origin.) He said all adult relationships should be voluntary and discretionary rather than obligatory in the context of his primary advocacy of a "Stateless Society." For a certain reason I prefer the words "Stateless Nation." But now I want to study Molyneux's thought more in depth and will come back on the issue if time permits. · read more (2 words)
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"Mr. Yamamoto, this is a downright tragedy"

WARNING: This post is rated NC-17.


   
If the Anglo-Saxon was, say 45 years of age in his development, in the sciences, the arts, divinity, culture, the Germans were quite as mature. The Japanese, however, in spite of antiquity measured by time, were in a tuitionary condition. Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of 45 years.

-Douglas MacArthur

Up until late last year I was obsessed with a silly idea that I had to become fully prepared for my disappearance even though I have nothing tangible to hand down to my offspring. My Microsoft Outlook was filled with so many overdue tasks to catch up with that I hit the snooze button several times everyday.

In December I had to change my plan as my physical condition had worsened one step further.



In the last three and a half years I have been using MS Excel to closely monitor my systolic and diastolic blood pressure and some other cardiovascular readings. Not that I fear death. When I wrote I am immortal, I really meant it. The main reason I started the daily measurement, nonetheless, was because I wanted to keep to an absolute minimum the medical cost entailed in the prescriptions and occasional triage sessions with my friend Dr. Shiono.

I brought the most up-to-date chart to his office because I thought I could expect a reliable opinion from him on whether to take a simple electrocardiogram test. I didn't explicitly added that it was as far as I could barely afford. But well aware of my resolve to stay away from Japan's medical cartel, he just said that was the right thing to do.

Looking at the test result along with the MS chart, Dr. Shiono matter-of-factly said he saw an unmistakable sign of severe atrial fibrillation induced by a cardiac valvular disease and that most probably it was a matter of time it would develop into a fatal cerebral infarction. We didn't talk about a closer examination or an additional medication.

On my way home I said to myself: "With my days, or even hours and minutes, being numbered, I can't afford the time to tidy up all that mess resulting from my Diogenes Syndrome. Why should I bother to save someone from the daunting task I may otherwise leave behind? At any rate I need to wrap it up so I won't have to waste another life, which I don't actually believe, by asking the same stupid questions over and over about where I came from and what for. But after all wrapping up a life isn't packing up for a long journey."

My lifetime philosophy teacher used to say, "We are our choices," or "We are condemned to be free " When I look back on my trajectory, I must admit it was during a relatively short period of time that I could really change my path because committing myself to something or someone always meant finally closing the door to other opportunities. For the rest of the time I've been just reaping the harvest from my choice, or trying to come to terms with the adverse consequences inevitably entailed in it. This is why most individuals among my audience don't want to face the ontological reality of life.

For my part the first step to further going on is to admit what is done is done. And yet I still remain condemned to freely choose a way to sum up my own life. The most sticking point, therefore, lies with the fact that it's always too soon until it becomes too late when I try to deal with something while it's still going on.

Maybe I had expected someone to give me a little clue to the way out of the thorniest dilemma.

On the evening of May 3, the day which fell on the 68th anniversary of the enactment of the MacArthur Constitution, I came across a plump and short woman who was presumably in her mid-to-late 60s in a small eatery I frequent. She later introduced herself as a retired schoolteacher. Apparently she didn't have any kind of handset as far as I could see. But who knows? She could be just one of those technology-shy or IT-illiterate old people.

I was almost through with my humble dinner when I overheard her having a serious talk with two male Indians across a nearby table. She didn't have the faintest air of femininity as if she'd used it up in the course of indoctrinating her pupils while getting assimilated herself into the male-dominated system. I wouldn't have paid a closer attention to the broad if she hadn't been giving the Indians a history lecture on postwar Japan.

In everyday discourse in this country, people have a strong tendency to avoid sociopolitical issues. Not that they are too divided over them. On the contrary there is no real political contention in the nation of digital shamanism where professional priests singlemindedly pursue the traditional art of governing serfs (matsurigoto) through ritualized proceedings.

Although people who are already suffering senile dementia may still have a faint memory of their reverence for the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, it had to be buried deep inside like your childhood trauma. As a result those afflicted with juvenile dementia know nothing about his contempt for their parents and grandparents.

I am a funny person whose favorite pastime is to give an ad hoc lecture, for free, to anyone who desperately need to avoid the tangible or intangible cost entailed in his blind obedience to social taboos. One of the reasons behind my peculiar habit is that I believe educating others is the only way to get educated. Galileo is believed to have said, "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."

A recent example was when I taught a small barbershop owner how to avoid being overexploited by the certified tax accountant she has long retained for her annual tax return. I said all she would need to do to save her a substantial part of retainer was to find herself an inexpensive software package built on Luca Pacioli's double-entry accounting method, because it would at least take care of the calculation of the consumption taxes (Japan's VAT) which was a little too tricky for anyone who is in the dark about accounting. I don't know if she has decided to heed my advice.

In a separate session we had soon after her husband had died, I gave her a tip on how the widow can evade an exorbitant donation demanded by her family temple under the name of Buddha to give her deceased husband a fancy posthumous name.

When passing by their table on my way to the checkout counter, I approached the lecturer to say: "I didn't particularly try to eavesdrop on your conversation, but can I tell you something about MacArthur just to set the record straight?"

Still confident in herself at that point, she generously said with a defenseless grin: "Why not? Just shoot."

In between she kept taking sips of wine while the younger Indian was holding the bottle with his right hand so he could quickly refill her glass whenever it was emptied. I later learned the students were merchants peddling pricey fashion items imported from their home country in the nearby shopping mall and that the lecturer was one of their most important customers. It was obvious that the Indians had been listening to their customer's lecture so attentively just out of the sense of obligation.

But when I jumped in, the Indians were quick enough in gathering my impromptu lecture would be an unavoidable step to further duping the sucker into buying an extra saree or two. One of them brought me an extra chair and a glass. I sat down and said, "Thanks, but I don't drink." But now they were all ears although I still didn't intend to give them a full-fledged lecture.

Throughout my career, I strove to develop a proprietary teaching method based on my belief that education is not indoctrination or counter-indoctrination, but training for practice of principled and creative thinking, no more, no less. When I finally came up with a unique way to effectively provoke creative thinking among my audience, I realized I'd been influenced to a great extent by management guru Peter F. Drucker (See NOTE)

NOTE: Time and again did Drucker warn his audience, in many different contexts, to the effect that giving a wrong answer to the right question is much better than giving the correct answer to a wrong question. He died 10 years ago today at the age of 95 but if someone had told him that an evil Jewish cabal (or al-Qaeda) was behind 9/11, he must have said: "Oh, is that so? But so what? At best that's giving the correct answer to a wrong question."

I've invariably tried it with my audiences, be it the MBA class of 2000 at the International University of Japan or business and IT professionals I was addressing on various occasions. To tell the truth, however, this method was so unconventional that it did not always prove very effective, even with the audience of my blog. When I said, "Let's think," people said more often than not that's what they were doing. But how can you think like man when you don't know exactly how to use the brain-shaped thing sitting at your top?

Since I saw no reason to make my lecture on the night of the Constitution Day an exception. I automatically applied my method although inside my brain I substituted the above-linked post for the syllabus. But before really getting started, I had to make a correction to her understanding of the general's remark.

I said: "You were saying that 70 years ago MacArthur said Japanese adults were all 12-years-old. But to be more precise, it was 64 years ago, May 5, 1951, that the repatriated SCAP recounted his experience with Japanese adults he'd dealt with. Actually he said they were all 12-year-olds when compared to the Anglo-Saxon and the Germans who he thought were as mature as 45-years-old.

"More importantly, you shouldn't play it down as if it were a casual slip of the tongue; it was a sworn testimony he made before the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee."

She was just listening as if my correction hadn't made any difference to the topic. In the total absence of the willingness to redefine the issue at hand on her part, I had to play the role of the questioner, as well. Now Our conversation which wasn't really interactive went essentially like this thereafter.

I said, "At first let me ask you if you think our parents and grandparents really deserved his slander. If I am not mistaken, it sounded as though you thought they did." Her answer: "You are not mistaken. I think MacArthur was right, more or less." I asked her: "Could you tell me the reason why you think they were that immature?" "I haven't given a thought to the question from that perspective before. But I somehow feel that way."

Now I had to cite my own reasons: "Just let's be reminded that our parents and grandparents pleaded for his special mercy on Hirohito's life instead of claiming it ourselves for having sacrificed his subjects, more than 3 million of them, just to save him and his family. He was generous enough to accept the insane wish. As a result, the SCAP was revered as the the blue-eyed "Second Emperor" during his reign which extended from 1945 to 1951. And on April 16, 1951, the day of his departure, he was once again taken aback on his way to the Haneda Airport at the sight of the streets closely lined with 200 thousands Japanese enthusiastically waving small Stars and Stripes."

I went on to ask her the next question. "Do you think he was really qualified to look down on them?" Once again she was caught off guard because she hadn't expected another question was coming in that respect. I explained: "If MacArthur's had a good reason for his contempt for the 12-year-olds, that does not necessarily mean he was 45-years-old. The pot sometimes calls the kettle black." The retired schoolteacher fidgeted for a while before she managed to mumble out something like this: "To be honest with you, I didn't know exactly what made him think he was qualified to be so contemptuous about the Japanese. I just thought his attitude was somehow understandable."

I answered my own question: "The general had to resort to the unsophisticated age metaphor at the congressional hearing because he was also 12-years-old, maybe 13 at best. If he had been a well-educated, mature man, MacArthur might have used the anthropological term 'neoteny' which would have unequivocally meant an incurable illness particular to the descendants of a rice-growing tribe. Decades later Robert D. Putnam would write of this terminally-ill country, "In some cases where you can get to depends on where you're coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from here."

I went on. "Now that you have acquired some background information, do you think we contemporary Japanese still deserve that characterization? In other words, have we changed in the last 64 years?

The lecturer-turned-student had already started blushing. Or her face may have just flushed because of the uninterrupted gulps of wine. Now that I belatedly realized I'd fallen into the same, old trap despite the utmost precaution I'd taken, I answered my own question on her behalf once again.

"Traditionally we have been so used to being taught by teachers like you that we haven't used our own brains over how to overcome our developmental failure. As a result most of us 'think' we have to learn our lessons from past mistakes as if history were redoable or even undo-able. If there is still something to learn from history, it's the very fact that there's absolutely nothing to learn there."

I stopped there because I knew it would be counterproductive to further grill her and I had no intention to make her lose face before the Indian merchants.

At that point, one of the Indians opened his mouth for the first time as if to placate the argumentative old goat so both sides would find common ground to soft-land. He said, "We wonder why you still keep your brain this sharp at the age of 79. What is the secret of your extraordinary lucidity?" I said, "At least in part I owe this to your home country. As you know, turmeric-rich food such as my favorite noodle in curry soup is available around here at a very reasonable price."

But the retired schoolteacher felt she had to add some spice to the compliment by her vendor. She said as if to hand down the final verdict:

"Mr. Yamamoto, this is a downright tragedy."

"Tragedy" (悲劇) is not an everyday word in Japan. Totally unprepared, I was about to say, "You bet it is!" But before actually uttering these words, I asked her for a clarification: "What exactly is tragic about this? And for whom?" Equally unprepared on her part, she gave me an offhand explanation. "Of course, it's you I'm talking about, Mr. Yamamoto. It seems to me you are completely against the natural providence that says as one grows old biologically, his cognitive faculty should also deteriorate accordingly." Her argument sounded all-too-familiar but once again it seemed she was just parroting the general who said in his farewell speech: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

Or maybe she implicitly quoted Pierre de Coubertin who famously echoed the words of Roman poet and satirist Juvenal: "Mens sana in corpore sano." Now she turned out to be yet another Japanese macaque who can't wait until 2020 to see the 2-millennium-old crap reconfirmed as an indisputable axiom.

More than three years ago I posted a piece that dealt with Japan's medical cartel. There I raised dozens of questions those who blindly believe in the myth the World Health Organization has been disseminating about the world's most effective medical system of Japan dare not ask. They included:
● What should the "healthy" longevity Japan boasts mean when one in four Japanese is seriously considering suicide according to the government statistics?
● How can Japan's overall medical achievements be considered outstanding when every third Japanese is supposedly suffering hypertension according to the likes of The Japanese Society of Hypertension?
● Are Japanese doctors considered really productive when "a 3-hour wait for a 3-minute treatment" is the norm for their outpatients?
● Does it make any sense to evaluate the Japanese medical system when 70-90% of outpatients are just pretending to be physically sick, but in fact, mentally ill?

Although not a single individual who read my post gave me a feedback as useful as the retired schoolteacher's, it is evident from the obsessive-compulsive behavior of these supposedly decent and polite people that Japan has established itself as a model country only at the cost of incurable mental illnesses. In a restaurant or a coffee shop, these creepy creatures can't refrain from talking nonstop for hours about their own or their children's blood, pus and excrement, as if their only concern is mere subsistence.


There's more to it. Just take a look at these pictures I took during my recent train ride. As you can see here, these Sumaho-addicted, thinking-disabled zombies become auto-intoxicated, at a certain point of the uninterrupted connection among themselves, from the overdose of what I call "the shared emptiness." And the moment they get disconnected, they instantly fall asleep.

The continuous "hollowing out" of Japan's economy since the mid-1980s has taken a devastating toll on people's minds, and they are now empty inside, figuratively and literally.

It should be noted here that Sumaho is NOT the Japanese contraction for a smartphone. It has nothing to do with a mobile phone with added functionality.
In this nation of conformists, one-on-one communication is not really needed; the occasional exchange of a text message shorter than the 17-syllable haiku poem, sometimes with a selfie or two attached to it is more than enough.

In fact, a Sumaho is nothing but a portable digital shrine.

I started shooting using my cheap digital camera only after most commuters had got off at the Yokohama central station, everyone holding his handset. But at that time they already gave a menacing glance at the old cameraman, perhaps not because I had a digital camera in my hand but because I didn't have a Sumaho. Obviously I am always a public nuisance or a potential troublemaker.

I couldn't care less, though. It's not my fault at all. If something horribly tragic is taking place here, it's their tragedy, not mine.

According to the official statistics, 968 million copies of comic books and magazines were sold in 2011 to the 127 million people including company executives and political leaders. This accounted for 36% of year's publication of all genres. No wonder the population of lingerie thefts and voyeurs still keeps growing among social elites such as former CEO of IBM Japan Takuma Otoshi, incumbent Minister in charge of reconstruction of the areas afflicted by 3.11 disaster Tsuyoshi Takagi, and many others.

Now that comic books have been increasingly replaced with Sumaho, we are getting even more used to it with the population density in this traditionally close-knit society 10.3 times higher than in the U.S.

To say the least, the situation here is more than just suffocating.

And yet I don't think my conversation with the former schoolteacher was a total waste of time. With her unique and original way to recapitulate my 80-year-long life for me only 1.5 hours after we met, she at least reminded me of the importance of wisdom. We sometimes optimize the hard disc with the file defragmentation program to improve the performance. Likewise we have constantly to eliminate unessential knowledge to improve our wisdom.

The real problem here is what criteria to use to weed out unnecessary pieces of knowledge. Actually my criteria are such that make my life challenging. How to avoid risks or how to economize on the use of limited amount of resources is never at issue because if I prioritized the easiest and safest course of action, I would end up in a fairyland where everything is predictably comfortable and everyone is fully assimilated into the existing system.

In fact her words were heavily weighing on my mind for months, but I should have known I couldn't expect anything more than a misplaced verdict from a fully assimilated, androgynous woman like her.

In retrospect, I was an incessant womanizer throughout my adulthood who was driven solely by my unconditional adoration for genuine femininity. To me it was, and still remains, the only source of creative life. Without always having a woman within my reach, I wouldn't have lasted this long, let alone grown into a mature man. Admittedly I've sometimes had an intimate relationship with a wrong woman, including my second ex, and suffered its consequence for years. But now I think that it was unavoidable because I didn't intend to live an error-free life from the beginning.

Not that I loved faceless and fleshless women like most of you sexists and anti-sexists always do. I was extremely choosy about the women I became romantically involved with. In that context I think I was closer to a sex addict than to the believers or disbelievers in the mere idea of "the feminine mystique."

In this regard, I often compare myself with Josef K, the protagonist of Franz Kafka's The Trial because he constantly makes sexual advances "like a thirsty animal" with practically every woman he comes across in his apartment house, the courtroom, and lawyer's office.

But despite our striking resemblance on the surface, there is a fundamental difference between us. French writer Gustave Flaubert once observed: "God is in the details." And Kafka's way of describing the intimate relationships Josef K has with women is too surreal to conjure up vivid images. This indicates that he wants to make love to women just to relate himself to the alienating world through faceless and fleshless women. Needless to say, such an attempt is always doomed to failure. Simply put, Kafka as personified by Josef K was a eunuch.

Recently some critic tried to shed light on Kafka's sexual potency by analyzing Gregor Samsa, the central character of Kafka's The Metamorphosis, from the wornout Freudian perspective. He theorized that the scene in which Gregor's father kills his son who has been transformed into a giant vermin by throwing an apple at it unmistakably symbolizes that his tyrannical father has virtually castrated his son.

I read the two novels several times each when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Each time I found them quite intriguing but they always left me wondering why the author of mere cas cliniques (clinical cases) was touted as one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century who almost prophesied the Holocaust.

My father was also an impossible tyrant. He was fighting against conformism, conventionalism and mediocrity surrounding him with his double-edged sword as any other first-rate scientist would do against the totalitarian regime. But thank god, the talented aircraft designer never used the sword directly against his own son. Instead he was going to use me as an additional weapon by training me to grow into a double-edged sword myself.

When I inventory a dozen or so mates to whom I committed myself wholeheartedly, I am always struck by the fact that my first ex-wife outshone other beautiful women with her irresistible charm and unforgettable grace.

On top of that, she had an extraordinary ability of conceptual understanding. To me it was a bonus because almost by definition, femininity tries to understand rather than conquer. Feminine attributes such as intuitive sensitivity and deep empathy can more than make up for the lack of the reasoning faculty.

Since my second ex demanded I destroy everything reminiscent of my first marriage, I don't know if my memories of the moments we shared in the period from 1957 through 1963 hasn't been sublimated at all in the last century. Yet I'm reasonably sure she was the ideal partner to spend the rest of my life with.

I think this was attributable at least in part to her upbringing.

Her maternal grandfather was one of the Imperial Army officers who were imprisoned for their failed attempt of the coup d'etat of February 26, 1936, which actually paved the way for Japan's stepped-up aggression in China by an odd twist of fate. But his daughter was a prominent figure in the world of the modern tanka (traditional 31-syllable poetry.) My first ex was born between the gifted poet and a reputable physician.

On the other hand, as you can infer from the above picture, which was most probably taken by her, around the time I was 19, Back then I was an impossibly egocentric and immature person as so many old men surrounding me today.

In those days I wasn't a particularly handsome and sexy guy. But my friends were saying I was a "girls' cup of tea" on and outside the campus. Perhaps these girls found my sulky attitude and anti-social behavior somehow attractive. For one thing I skipped almost all classes in my junior and senior years to engage in some political and journalistic activities in the wake of the nationwide protests against the renewal of the U.S.-Japan security treaty.

Maybe she was one of those girls who were precipitously attracted to the punk that I was. On February 14, 1957, she gave me unforgettable 2-item gifts, one of which was a 45-RPM record featuring Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan playing My Funny Valentine. The other one was Sartre's play titled Nekrassov. I was really impressed because those were the days the Western customs such as Barentine's Day had yet to be introduced here (only for an utter bastardization.)

On the campus, and outside, we always stuck together. Some idiots on the campus used to say: "You two seem to be emulating the relationship between Sarutoru (Sartre) and Bobowaru (Beauvoir.)" We never failed to say: "It's none of your business. We don't emulate anyone in the first place."

We were formally wedded in 1960. But our marriage didn't last more than 4 years I left her for another woman as if to rid myself of the pressure of living with an ideal mate. Even worse, in the last days of our life mostly living together, I deliberately made fun of her by flirting with the new girlfriend in her presence.

It is true it was a little suffocating to stay with an exceptionally intelligent, elegant, sensitive, and sensual lady like her when I was still at a loss over which way to go. But to be more precise, it was too hard for me to find a way to reciprocate her willingness and readiness to help me out of the crisis facing me at the workplace and everywhere else.

When trying to sum up my life more than half-a-century after our breakup, I must admit something still remains unsettled deep inside, and that's what hinders my Operation Wrap-up.

What I did to her was really irredeemable because as I wrote earlier in this post, most of the time what's done isn't redoable or undo-able. She may think or want to think she has already overcome the aftereffect of the tragic accident I caused her. But ironically enough, I know she can't recover what she has lost in our failed marriage. For instance, she could have been a first-rate writer leveraging her unparalleled potential.

At one time, I thought I could turn to her to wrap me up because between us we had much more than just a good chemistry or the same wavelength but a deep resonance that could have led us to the same goal of life, though it was a little premature at that time. But I said to myself that it's not the right thing to do to renew contact with my 80-year-old girl this late in life.

Dr. Shiono I mentioned earlier in the post is an ardent music lover. Every once in a while he has prescribed me, for free, his favorite musical pieces such as Hilary Hahn's Bach in one way or the other along with Amlodipine and Valsartan at discounted prices. But late last month, he had his assistant hand me two recordable CDs. The pieces nicely burned onto them included a timely prescription of Carlos Kleiber's excerpts from Tristan and Isolde.

Operas are not particularly my favorite genre. But Richard Wagner's "musical dramas" are a different story because his "endless melodies" totally replaced overly dramatized arias and other showstoppers which are awkwardly bridged from one to the next with boring recitatives. Wagner's melodies just keep flowing throughout a scene.

The famous last scene of Tristan and Isolde is generally called "Liebestod" (death of love, or love of death) but it's believed that Wagner himself wanted to call it Verklärung or transfiguration. Either way Liebestod to me is the same thing as Lebenstod (death of life or life of death.)

Critics say the German composer wrote this musical drama under the influence of Arthur Schopenhauer who was in turn influenced by Buddha's Four Noble Truths. But as an avowed Buddha fundamentalist, I think this is ridiculous. It's my understanding that death can't consummate life or anything else in one way or the other because as I've said many times before, death is at the very core of life.

Another second-rate philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is often quoted as saying: "Tristan and Isolde is the real opus metaphysicum of all art -- insatiable and sweet craving for the secrets of night and death." I don't know if that is what Wagner's Liebestod is all about.

This is not to say I wasn't overwhelmed by the overpowering scene in which the dying Isolde sings as if in an ecstasy over her lover's death.

As to the "Tristan chord" (F, B, D♯, and G♯) I think Musical Director of the Royal Opera House Sir Antonio Pappano explains it very precisely in the video embedded below. As he says, the strikingly modern chromatic chord resolves into a diatonic chord which someone calls "the most beautifully orchestrated B Major in the history of classical music." To me the Tristan chord was one of the most important combinations of notes because up until recently, I was giving nontechnical advice, off and on, to young Jazz musicians here.

My Operation Wrap-up still goes on with the inherent dilemma unresolved. But for now I really appreciate Dr. Shiono's Tristan prescription because it at least gave me a clue to resolving the dilemma on time. Now I know my life is neither a tragedy nor a farce. · read more (2 words)
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Who couldn't sleep a wink that night?



Frank Sinatra

   I couldn't sleep a wink last night
   because we had that silly fight
   I thought my heart would break
   the whole night through
   I knew that you'd be sorry,
   and I'm sorry, too


      From a song Frank Sinatra sang several weeks before he actually
      had a sleepless night over how to cheat the conscription doctor.


Only with a few exceptions, my most recent post got good reviews locally including the one from Mr. Hiroaki Koide himself. The scientist and anti-nuclear power activist didn't seem to fully agree with me, but I refrained from further argument because I thought it would be counterproductive to point out to someone who doesn't specialize in neuroscience that his view of man's aging was unscientific.

Especially heartening to me was the offline feedback from Lara, Chen Tien-shi (photo.)

In the postscript of the piece, I'd written to the effect that if we want our society to go on evolving, we should hand down to our children and grandchildren un-sanitized, unstandardized accounts in first-person singular of how each of us lived out our part of history.

In response, Lara sent me a pleasant mail scattered with smile-inducing pictograms. She wrote:


"I also enjoyed discussing the issue with mature people like you. (*^_^*) In recent years I've found myself going through a transformation from a researcher and activist to an educator. Maybe that's simply because I've been a faculty member of the university for a couple of years by now. Or I may have learned my limitations as a researcher and activist. f^_^;."

It seems we are exactly on the same page now despite the fact that we are almost two generations apart.

In her 2005 book titled Stateless, she talked about how precisely the 1972 normalization of Sino-Japanese relations, which coincided with the breakup of the relations between the Republic of China and Japan, affected her own life, and immediate family's.

The most impressive among many other episodes is the one in which the author, then a guest researcher at Harvard, experienced in 1998 when she sent an application to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. After a 4-hour bus ride from Boston to Manhattan, she was shocked because the interviewer at the UNHCR flatly turned it down just because the applicant didn't have a nationality at that time.

From the way she depicted the traumatic episode without ideologizing it too much, it's evident that she had fully internalized the fallout of the series of geopolitical events of the 1970s.

I don't believe that with her unparalleled talent, the up-and-coming anthropologist can have hit her limit so soon. She has just reached another turning point in the ceaseless process toward a higher level of maturity as an individual human being. I'm also inclined to attribute her growth to her experience as a mother.

On the contrary, self-styled historians and the truth-seeking conspiracy maniacs in the U.S. didn't like my post for an obvious reason. Like sufferers of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, they invariably talk nonstop about history as if it were something undo-able or redoable by doing so.

In fact, history can hand down itself to the future without the help from those who are caught in pathological fixation to the past.

As to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one American gentleman wrote to us:

"I understand how resentful you are about the nuclear blasts at the end of the war. Indeed there might have been an easier way to handle the problems at the time. I can tell you also that things were very bad for our people at the time. We were very afraid that we would all be enslaved or murdered if we lost the war."

Of course "we" are not resentful about the blasts which was ordered by Harry S. Truman in a total departure from the textbook tactic of decapitation - or any other thing the United States did to our country. But his revealing story about America's seven-decade-old paranoia somehow reminded me of a 1943 song: "I couldn't sleep a wink last night."

Because of, rather than despite its cheap sentimentalism, I used to love this ballad. What made it even more impressive was the fact that Frank Sinatra sang it a cappella. Were the studio musicians all too busy getting prepared for the possible invasion of the Japanese troops?

That wasn't the case, of course. I still remember hearing a disc jockey of an FEN program called "Big Band Countdown" explaining the reason: they were on strike for a pay raise when Sinatra was crooning the lovely tune. No one in his right mind didn't believe he might be "enslaved or murdered" as the physically- and perhaps mentally-disabled president FDR may have propagated.

I still didn't know Sinatra actually had a sleepless night or two over how to get classified "4-F" (unfit for service) by the conscription doctor several weeks after he recorded that song. Although you can't sing the way he sang it in November 1943 (watch the video embedded at the bottom of this post) if your eardrum is perforated, that was found to be the case the day he showed up at the conscription office in December.

Many people hate Sinatra; they say he was an egomaniac, a sex addict and had a close Mafia connection. But actually they hate him because he was honest even when he cheated the inscription doctor. I still think Sinatra was one of the most remarkable American individuals of the 20th century because the guy fully lived it out in the days just before nation's overripe culture was about to start irreversibly decomposing.

Now let's stop substituting someone else's history for our own. Instead we should intensively talk about sleepless nights we have actually experienced in our lifetime without letting our self-censorship mechanism fabricate or sanitize them too much. · read more (31 words)
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Mr. Koide, you'll never be an old soldier; it's always too early to start to think about fading away





Dendritic fireworks

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

                           From Creative Evolution by Henri Bergson





Mr. Hiroaki Koide
I sent the link to my most recent post to Mr. Hiroaki Koide, who had just reached the mandatory retirement age this past March as an associate professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.

In his reply mail, Mr. Koide said, "The more I learn about the reality facing the Okinawans, the more I feel ashamed of being a mainlander."

He added to this effect: "To this mail I attach my recently published essays in which I draw a parallel between the Japanese who failed to bring the Emperor to justice for his war crime and their descendants who have once again let 'the Nuclear Mafia' go unpunished for the Fukushima disaster."

Mr. Koide concluded one of his essays by describing his frame of mind like this: "Like it or not, every creature is destined to grow old and die. The mandatory retirement age is just one of the milestones along the way. With this in mind I will be fading away little by little. Throughout my career I have chosen to do what anyone else doesn't or can't. But from now on I'll be even choosier about what to do, and keep looking for what I can."

His writing deeply resonated with me. But at the same time, it reminded me of a letter I wrote to the editor of The Japan Times nineteen years ago when my retirement age was drawing near.

Among other things I found a 638-page book titled The Fountain of Age very helpful in understanding what exactly man's aging is.

Its author Betty Friedan wrote that as neurological and gerontological studies had revealed in recent years, people over 65 demonstrated an almost limitless potential to grow if they were exposed to stimulating real life, instead of segregated into nursing homes or the like. (See NOTE.) She added longitudinal studies showed they tended to outperform younger people when measured in terms of ability for "contextual thinking," rather than abstract thinking. Friedan quoted neuroscientist Arnold Scheibel as describing the spectacular dendrites' projections which can be seen even when an aged person is learning new things as dendritic fireworks.

NOTE: Actually my question was always "what if not," not "what if," because in reality we were always segregated. But I think now I know the answer.

I was especially impressed by her explanation about the historical origin of the mandatory retirement age. According to the author, the world's first rule on retirement was laid down by Otto von Bismarck of the Second Reich. The Prussian leader demanded every government employee retire at the age of 65 when life expectancy at birth was a mere 37 in his country.

Although Bismarck's decision may have been more or less arbitrary, I thought it shouldn't be ruled out that in theory the following arithmetic notation could hold true given the average lifespan of the Japanese which stood at 74-5 at that time.

65x74/37=130

This prompted me to write a letter to the editor of The Japan Times to suggest the mandatory retirement age be raised to 130 across the board if ever these ageists couldn't live without one. Needless to say, I wasn't talking about the retirement age of government employees. As a taxpayer, I would have said it should be lowered to 13 because that's where the brains of millions of these parasites at public offices stop growing.

            

Everybody thought it was a tasteless joke. Admittedly I was playing devil's advocate. Yet I was damn serious and still remain so 19 years later.

Japan is an eerie nation-state in that it was not created by any human being. That means there wasn't any founding principle that would have been used to bring the nation, i.e. the people, and the state, i.e. the system, together. The nation and the state were one inseparable entity from the beginning.

The Japanese are taught the 17-Article Constitution allegedly promulgated by a fictitious figure named Prince Shotoku in the 7th century was where they can find the principle, or at least its substitute. But there's no other way to interpret Article 1 of the Constitution, that supposedly stipulated harmony should be put before anything else, than to understand harmony should prevail over any principle.

The legal system was already there when the people found themselves inseparably incorporated in it.

This is why the Japanese always "think" it's the law that changes the people whereas it's the people that should change the law. In fact they have developed a tendency to constantly enact laws invariably modeled after legislation in the West in order to avoid changing themselves.

Take the Equal Employment Opportunity Law of 1986 for example. Almost three decades have passed since it was enacted but practically nothing has changed.

Sexist bias (See NOTE) still remains a widespread practice, though a little less explicit now. Fortunately, some, if not many, Japanese women have fought the discrimination in an ingenious way. They have refused to get assimilated into the male-dominated society by neglecting the feminine duty as a "birthing machine." As a result the decline in Japan's fertility rate seems unstoppable now.

NOTE: I'm not advocating equality. Remember Japan is a principle-less country. Violation of what unprincipled Americans call human rights has never been really at issue here.

On the contrary, we don't see the slightest sign that biologically old men are defying the equally deep-rooted ageist bias. Apparently they are all determined to submit to the demand that they conform to the stereotypical profiles given to them.

As if in a self-fulfilling prophecy, they have stopped growing by confining themselves in actual or virtual nursing homes and playing the state-defined role of the senior citizen.

The official statistics puts the population over 65 at 31.9 million whereof 4.6 million are afflicted with senile dementia. Needless to say this is a gross underestimate simply because those who are compiling the statistics are already suffering from what I call "premature senility" themselves.

To make it even worse, this particular state has long withstood all the difficulties resulting from the lack of principles by defining itself as a mechanism of income redistribution. In a normal country, people conduct themselves on the principle of self-reliance. They do help one another as the necessity arises, but basically it's a voluntary and spontaneous act. But in Japan, it's always the state that extends a helping hand to the people who it unilaterally picks as beneficiaries of the benefits funded by taxpayers. As a result the people feel they are indebted to the government.

For one thing Japan's national pension programs are mostly contributory type. But in this sick nanny state, every pensioner feels he is nothing but a burden on the younger generations, who are actually suffering premature senility or juvenile dementia.

It's, therefore, no accident they forget that a society evolves only when mature people hand down to their children and grandchildren what they have experienced or witnessed firsthand as independent individuals.

It's true NHK and the like keep saying, day in, day out, that we should listen to the elderly before they are all dead so as not to weather away what they have experienced. But how can we expect someone to narrate un-sanitized, first-person singular, nonstandard accounts of how he lived the history when he feels he is nothing but a social nuisance? He "thinks" he owes the state much more than the state owes him.

In his lecture at Okinawa University, Mr. Hiroaki Koide confided to his audience that his lifetime role model is Shozo Tanaka. (See the picture on his desktop in the above photo.) It's quite understandable. But if it's not too irreverent to say something about the second career of the first-class scientist and seasoned activist like him, my humble advice would be that now it's his turn to be his own role model.

The good news for him is that unlike this blogger, Mr. Koide has a large audience of his followers. But the bad news is most of them don't seem to have the ability to really internalize what they have heard about Okinawa, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima. In all likelihood, they will repeat the same mistake we old generations have committed in the past, That is evident from the way they chant the all-too-familiar incantations like "No more Hiroshimas," "No more Fukushimas," etc.

Our generations know many things that they don't know.

We have known or even witnessed how people let Emperor Hirohito offer the strategically unimportant cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and densely-populated downtown Tokyo as sacrifices so Franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman would refrain from decapitating the nation in a total departure from the textbook tactic. It's true the very heart of the capital was targeted. But records have it that thousands of bodies were piled up in Yuraku-cho Station of the Japan National Railways, while the Imperial Palace which is located just around the corner from the station was deliberately kept intact.

The same is true with the life of Hirohito. In 1947 he sold off Okinawa to the Unite States to reciprocate these favors.

I'm one of the remnants from the turbulent days of nationwide protest against the Security Treaty of 1960. Although something prohibited me from marching toward the Diet Building myself, I feel something still remains unsettled deep inside when I recall that then Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, former Class-A war crimes suspect and the grandfather of Shinzo Abe, signed the treaty amid the anti-treaty outcry. In 2007 then New York Times reporter Tim Weiner revealed that Kishi was an undercover agent of the CIA disguised as Japan's Prime Minister at that time. A small group of citizens was going to file a class action lawsuit to have the treaty repealed. But their appeal was instantly turned down by the authority.

Of course Mr. Koide is much better off than I in telling the young people of the crime the Nuclear Mafia has committed in the past, and will be committing in the future. And I think he is "old" enough to know there's no reason to believe we can expect a different outcome from repeating the same traditional approach to these issues over and over again.

Equally important, now he can express himself more freely to political racketeers and media rogues because he is no longer shackled by the National Public Service Act. · read more (224 words)
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180-degree differnt approaches toward statelessness issue

HEADNOTE: In the previous version of this post, I wrote a lot about the futile discussion I'd had with unprincipled American individuals over what brings or fails to bring together the nation, i.e. the people, and the state, i.e. the system, and what happens when a founding principle is outgrown by the new reality or proves to have been false from the very beginning. But now I've realized these people I've talked to aren't prepared for a serious discussion because they have been irreversibly indoctrinated since their childhood to believe in America's Founding Principles as indisputable axioms. Actually the Founding Fathers of their country just borrowed John Locke's philosophical rubbish about the "natural rights to life, liberty and property." That is why now I'm uploading a shortened version crossing out all the hogwash so we can get down directly to the formidable issue of statelessness. .

The Japanese transformation from a nation of feudal fiefdoms, presided over by a samurai dynasty, to a modern Western-style nation-state was always going to be a patchwork job. The constitution was largely Prussian, the navy was fashioned after the British Royal Navy, and so on. But the biggest problem for Meiji-period intellectuals and politicians was to find the most suitable model for a modern state.

From Occidentalism coauthored by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit. Buruma also authored a book titled Reinventing Japan - 1853-1964 in which he observed the postwar reconstruction was also a patchwork.


        

   A parade to mark the end of the
   Luna New Year festivity went by
   when we were in the middle of a
   skull session at Chens' place

An Example of the Traditional Nonprofit Approach - Stateless Network


Lara, Chen Tien-shi, founder of Stateless Network
In the fall of 2009 I came across an eye-opening book titled Mukokuseki - Stateless. When I was through with the book for the first time, I already knew author Lara, Chen Tien-shi is a rare species in that she always keeps a life-size view of the world. This is a remarkable attribute because most other people talk big while acting very small.

Deeply impressed by her wholehearted dedication and down-to-earth approach toward the problem facing the stateless, I soon became fully committed to the cause of the nonprofit organization Stateless Network Lara founded in January 2009. I still remain so although what I could do for the group is quite limited thus far.

In late-February Lara gave me a mail to invite me to an extraordinary meeting where the key members of Stateless Network were going to have a skull session over the future direction of the nonprofit, multi-ethnic organization.

I was very honored by the invitation from the youngest daughter of one of the wealthiest families of this Chinatown because I am one of the poorest and oldest residents of the same community.

I think she had two things in mind when inviting me to the important meeting despite the fact that I have fallen almost 2 years behind in my payment of the annual due, and equally important, I don't fully agree to the principle on which she is steering the Network.

Firstly Lara must have wanted to acknowledge that she still owed me a response to the homework I'd given her about the viability of a "stateless nation." She must have thought I would better understand her answer to my challenge by participating the steering committee, because the issue at hand is too complex, multi-faceted and subtle, and has too far-reaching implication to address just by quick exchanges of words.

The other reason she thought I should attend the meeting may have been that she just wanted this old loner to have fun mixing with these youngish people with diverse backgrounds.

It looks as though Lara made a good decision for me if these were her objectives.

Japan, where she was born and brought up, is an eerie country. It wasn't founded by anyone; it just generated itself sometime between 600 BC and 712 AD. Needless to say there has never been a founding principle. The dubious 17-Article Constitution, which was supposedly promulgated by Prince Shotoku, who is most probably a fictitious figure, famously said in this land harmony should prevail over anything else. People have always substituted it for a founding principle, but actually it's not a substitute of any principle because it was meant to unconditionally prohibit them from conducting themselves on their own.

Against this historical background, the way principle-less, rather than unprincipled, people communicate with one another in a meeting is very unique. More often than not, reaching a specific agreement isn't the objective of the meeting. Normally there's no articulated proposition put on the table; neither is there any substantive argument. When there is one, it's presented and discussed before or after the meeting, most typically at a bar. In short a meeting, or any other form of communication, is little more than a ceremonial event to build consensus about a predetermined answer.

Although the time during which I was exposed to communication in the international setting is still twice as long as her international career, Lara seems to be much better skilled in that respect. And yet, she still remembers that in a local meeting she has to seal off those skills and play the role of a Shintoist priest, or priestess, so to speak.

Lara's opening speech, delivered in an unusually casual manner, had just a few substances in it. At first she insinuated that this Stateless Network will still remain closely affiliated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. But she said she isn't really convinced that stereotypical UNHCR's definition of a stateless person is clear enough and that the ambitious goal proclaimed in its 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness is attainable in the foreseeable future. Then she added that some other factors have made it even more unrealistic to achieve the goal. For one thing, she confided, she fell ill last year. She didn't say how serious it was.

The meeting was constantly disturbed by her 9-year-old son clinging to the chairwoman with his arms around her neck. Lara didn't seem to be annoyed at all. She certainly knew the Sunday meeting was a serious loss of opportunity for the kid to have intimate contact with his mom. Another source of disturbance was the paraders incessantly making deafening noises of drums and firecrackers on the street. She didn't care too much either. Neither did other attendees including myself.

The way Lara presided over the meeting indicated that she and I are still on the same wavelength in that both of us are inclined to have diverse people loosely networked rather than build a monolith with a fixed principle.

Following the semi-formal session, Lara treated us to a gorgeous dinner. I enjoyed talking with people sitting in the hearing distance as we were supposed to. They included an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo and Thai woman and her daughter.

In the last 45-60 minutes I concentrated on a conversation with a young, brilliant lady named Rina Ikebe who had moved over to the seat next to mine. Miss Ikebe introduced herself as a student studying "community psychology" at a postgraduate school of Tokyo's International Christian University. I enjoyed our conversation all the more because she was very good at active listening.

I asked her: "What do you think connects you to this country, or how do you really relate yourself to Japan?" After thinking it over for a while, she said: "Maybe it's my nationality, isn't it?" I said, "I don't think so. Your nationality is nothing more than a certificate of the ties you have already established with this country."

I might have added it's a principle that brings or fails to bring together the nation, i.e. the people, and the state, i.e. the system, and that this is exactly where the media find their essential role. Although this was the most relevant topic for the community psychology major, I left it unsaid in part because I thought I had to refrain from spoiling her appetite and my own. More importantly, I knew an exceptionally bright woman as she is would have found it superfluous if I had given her any more lead to my theory about the modern nation-statehood.

Then encouraged by her story about her late-father who was a scholar of French literature and European history, I tried a simple quiz with Miss Ikebe: "Do you know how the life of Marie Antoinette came to an end?" She answered delightedly: "Beheading by the Guillotine!" The next question was: "How many French people, roughly, were killed in the same way?" She didn't know that the correct answer was 16,594.

I produced from my backpack the printout of my most recent post, saying, "If you are interested in these subjects as a student of community psychology, why don't you keep it."

From time to time, Lara was giving a glance-over at us across the huge Chinese roundtable as if she was worrying I might be instilling in the young student poisonous ideas about the failed nation-state. But I hope she knows very well that I am a person who never bites the hand that fed him.

After the party was over, I stayed on there to be alone with Lara, her parents and one of her elder sisters. I said to her, "I didn't know you fell ill. Are you getting better now?" She smiled and said, "Yes, now I'm OK." Her sister quickly cut in to say, "No, she isn't."

I said: "Remember you aren't Mother Teresa. You should always prioritize your own personal life and your son's. Nothing is more important than that."

These are the people I want to have around until the second-to-last day of my life.

New Approach to Turn the UNHCR Formula Upside Down


Okinawa native entrepreneur Takashi Hiyane

Lara's colleagues are the type of people who would rather extend a helping hand immediately and directly to specific individuals with a nationality problem than formulate a longterm plan to save millions of stateless people at a time. As a matter of fact, though, they tend to act on a first-come, first-served basis. More often than not, therefore, they end up wasting their limited amount of human and financial resources on those who just fall on the UNHCR definition of the statelessness but actually crybabies with no sense of self-reliance.

If you are really concerned about these people who are allegedly persecuted in many ways for their de jure or de facto statelessness, you should not take it for granted that aiming at the reduction of stateless population is the only way to address the issue at hand.

In fact there are people who have chosen to pursue the same end from a totally different perspective.

In recent years the geopolitical landscape has been undergoing a sea change in every region of the world. Most noticeably, the number of minority groups seeking secession has been on a sharp rise.

In a sense this is reminiscent of the days when the massive exodus of pro-Kuomintang Chinese from the continent was taking place. But I see a fine line between an ideology-driven split-up of a nation-state and total or partial breakup of a nation-state where a more fundamental thing than a political ideology or a religious dogma is at stake. We shouldn't mix up the two because such cases as Crimea and the pro-Russian region of Ukraine have very little to do with the quintessence of the statelessness issue.

In the realm of breakup of nation-states without ideological implication, we have witnessed some regions in European countries seeking secession for varying reasons.

As to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, I still don't know exactly what to make of it. All I can tell is that we should refrain from hastily jumping to a conclusion like those prisoners of America-centric way of viewing the world who call the ISIL a gang of terrorists so lightly

Let's face it: very few modern nation-states have been created without a tremendous amount of bloodshed. The American Independence War claimed tens of thousands of lives. The death toll of the French Revolution is believed to have reached one million that included 16,594 people beheaded by the Guillotine.

I'm more concerned about the likes of the Scots, the Basques and the Catalans although their aspiration for independence has yet to be fulfilled thus far.

Just take Catalonia for example. If its bid for secession from Spain had succeeded last October, the entire 7.5 million Catalan population would have become stateless overnight on the premise that the newly-born nation wouldn't have sought a membership in the U.N., the dead international body founded when the Chinese Continent was still ruled by Chiang Kai-shek, or the failing one named the European Union. The 54-year-old dream of UNHCR would have come true, or turned into a nightmare, the moment the Spanish Constitutional Court had somehow rescinded its ruling that the planned referendum was unconstitutional.

As a result statelessness would have meant absolutely nothing anymore to the Catalans because now everybody would have been stateless on his/her own will.

A more relevant example for us Japanese is Okinawa.

Now it's an open secret that in his "Okinawa Memo" delivered to W. J. Sebald sometime around September 20, 1947, Emperor Hirohito said to Douglas MacArthur that "the U.S. military occupation of Okinawa, and such other islands as may be required, should be based upon the fiction of a long term lease - 25 to 50 years or more - with sovereignty retained in Japan."

To put it bluntly, the father of the incumbent Emperor Akihito sold off Okinawa and its residents to the United States just to reciprocate the super-generous leniency Hirohito was expecting from Harry S. Truman.

Adolf Hitler had killed himself on the wake of repeated attempts of his assassination such as Operation Valkyrie of July 1944. The corpse of Benito Mussolini had been hung upside down in the street of Milan. But Hirohito knew very well that it was a piece of cake to avoid facing the same fate internally. So he made every possible effort to escape conviction at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East because otherwise he must have been sent climbing the 13 steps to the gallows after all.

In 2005, then associate professor of the University of Ryukyus by the name of Lim John Chuan-tiong conducted an opinion survey. He found out that 45.4% of the respondents thought Okinawa should eventually seek secession, whereof 20.5% even said the islands should declare independence, immediately and unilaterally.

I don't know how reliable the survey results are. But it's for sure that the 1.4 million islanders have now been fed up with the lip service they hear from the mainlanders, who they like to call Yamatonchu. And the monetary compensation from the Tokyo government is nothing but an insult because it only benefits a handful of government contractors.

Deep inside, they seem to know they will have to live with the perpetual presence of the U.S. military as long as they remain part of Japan which is little more than a satellite nation itself.

Now the newly-installed Governor Takeshi Onaga has started to sing to the same, old tune of lessening the burden of U.S. military bases his predecessor Nakaima kept singing during his tenure. It's as though the problem lies in the 74% concentration of U.S. military installations in Okinawa islands whose size accounts for a mere 0.6% of Japanese Archipelago's. But the fact of the matter remains that the very presence of the U.S. military forces in North East Asia is the problem.

Without a doubt the movements for the independence of these subtropical islands are further on the wane. And yet we shouldn't forget still there are people like this person named Takashi Hiyane (photo.)

As far as I know, he hasn't explicitly mentioned an independent Okinawa, let alone the statelessness issue. But obviously the youngish entrepreneur is looking for a new sociopolitical model which has nothing in common with the outdated idea about creating a small, closed, cult-like society like the communities of the Amish in North America. To him, the restoration of the Ryukyu Kingdom is out of the question.

I know very little about the "Lexues" company he founded 17 years ago. But in his recent TV appearance, Hiyane said to this effect: "Only by leveraging the creative minds of the native Okinawans, we would be able to return the annual appropriation of 200 billion yen to the Japanese government."

The implication here is that it's too soon to call an independent Okinawa a pipe dream.



Still there is a long way to go until we find a workable solution to the problem. But I've written this post just to juxtapose the two 180-degree different approaches without any preconceived answer. Yet I hope this will give some clues to those of you who have creative attitudes toward life.

Two and a half years ago I proposed a brand new sociopolitical model in this website, though in a little too sketchy way. · read more (41 words)
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Living the last days of my life between unprincipled Americans and principle-less Japanese

Taken back on April 23 If you look for a post more focused on the issue with the stateless, you will find a new version HERE.

POSTSCRIPT 2, April 7:

If you are really concerned about these people who are allegedly persecuted in many ways for their statelessness, you should know the 54-year-old dream of UNHCR - or is it a nightmare? - would come true the moment part of a nation-state seceded from it.

Just take Catalonia for example. If its bid for secession from Spain had succeeded last October, the entire 7.5 million Catalan population would have become stateless overnight on the premise that the newly-born nation wouldn't have sought a membership in the dead international body named the United Nations, or the failing one named the European Union. Statelessness would have meant absolutely nothing anymore because now everybody was stateless on his/her own will.



Another example is an independent Okinawa.

With the newly installed Governor starting to sing to the same, old tune of anti-U.S. bases his predecessor kept singing during his tenure, now it looks as though the movements for the independence of these subtropical islands are further on the wane. But still there are people like this person named Takashi Hiyane (photo.)

I know very little about the "Lexues" company he founded 17 years ago. But in his recent TV appearance, Hiyane said to this effect: "Only by leveraging the creative minds of the native Okinawans, we would be able to return the annual appropriation of 200 billion yen to the Japanese government."

The implication here is that it's still too soon to call an independent Okinawa a pipe dream.

POSTSCRIPT 1, April 3:

Still there is a long way to go until we find the answer to the question about the viability of a nation without a state. It might be little more than a micro nation-state, such as an independent Okinawa, an independent Catalonia, or even some of the secession-seeking counties in the U.S.

The only thing I can tell for sure is that it doesn't make any more sense than to think of the restoration of the Ryukyu Kingdom to create small, closed, cult-like communities similar to those of the Amish in North America.

At any rate I want you to understand I'm not talking about the archaic idea of anarchism. I suspect the closest thing to a stateless nation would be the new sociopolitical model I've suggested a couple of times in the past, though in a little too sketchy way.

Either way I hope this piece will give some important clues to those of you who have creative attitude toward life.


The same attitude about indebtedness is expressed even more strongly from the Japanese standpoint by another word for thank-you, katajikenai, which is written with the [Chinese] character "insult," "loss of face." It means both "I am insulted" and "I am grateful." The all-Japanese dictionary says that by this term you say that by the extraordinary benefit you have received you are shamed and insulted because you are not worthy of the benefaction.

                               From The Chrysanthemum and the Sword authored by
                               U.S. government-retained "anthropologist" Ruth Benedict


     

   A parade to mark the end of the
   Luna New Year festivity went by
   when we were in the middle of a
   skull session at Chens' place

I've been using Google Analytics in the last 7 years. At the beginning I found it somewhat usable in analyzing the incoming traffic of this website. But it didn't take long until I became aware both its usefulness and usability had kept declining from one version to the next.

Someone knowingly told me it can't be helped because system developers at Google were more attuned to profit-oriented users than non-profit guys like me. As a retired businessman, I knew what this Google cultist said to me was bullshit. Anyone in his right mind can tell Google Analytics is rubbish even as a marketing tool. Hopefully I'll elaborate on this when discussing the devastating toll the protracted drought of "disruptive technologies" has taken on the value-creating chain.

Then it flashed on me that I could still benefit from the crap if I used it in a way to get some clues to the censorship methods and criteria the Google crawlers used to un-optimize the traffic of creative websites like mine.

I know you "think" their criteria are so simple and straightforward that you needn't examine them so closely; the Internet bots are just taught to tamper the traffic of anti-establishment domains and URLs. But in fact these crawlers are a little smarter than thinking-disabled guys like you. Otherwise these "truth-seeking" websites wouldn't flourish in the cyberspace like they do today.

As I recently pointed out, now it's too evident that a reciprocal deal was tacitly struck between the establishment and anti-establishment to protect the common vested interests they have in the status quo.

However, this is not to say I am desperately struggling to remove or circumvent the barrier put up by the likes of Google. I know the impregnable wall I've hit is actually two-layered. The outer wall could only be torn down from within. It should be an easy task because the surface of the fortress of your ignorance and arrogance is practically nothing without the inner layer of the barrier.

Time and again I've said:

"No one but yourself can manipulate you."

Every time I repeated this, you pretended that you hadn't heard me. But actually my goal has always been to destroy the self-censorship mechanism on the part of actual and potential visitors to my website.

To that end I have single-mindedly attempted, in the last 7 years, to solicit my predominantly-American audience to take part in an exercise which I call "collaborative thinking." To me to think means to interact dialectically - no more, no less.

I've also said many times:

"A psychopath, almost by the definition of the word, doesn't doubt his sanity for a split second."

To put it the other way around, you are insane if you don't suspect at times you may be out of your mind. Although you can hallucinate all by yourself as you always do, if you try to "think" alone, all you'll get is a mere illusion.

I have begged you, almost on my knees, to participate in our exercise. Thus far I've failed, because my argument has always been met with guerrilla tactics such as feigned deafness, feigned muteness and temporary hiding behind the bushes. As I've observed, the generation of Vietnam veterans and draft-dodgers are especially skillful at these maneuvers.

For one thing, how could I have expected unprincipled guys like you to take a fresh think at the fundamental question as to America's Founding Principles which have once brought the nation and the state together but are now proving fake?

It's no accident that when I brought up John Locke's "philosophical" crap about the natural rights to life, liberty and property, you showed a firm resolve to refuse to specifically question what you have been irreversibly indoctrinated to believe in as an indisputable axiom. It was the last bastion of your illusion but now it's turned into your underbelly.

Once again almost by the definition of the word, no unprincipled individual can think like man.

Most recently I uploaded a post dealing with the basics of communication to find out how quickly the word "basics" would induce an allergic response in those who are passing around borrowed words and borrowed ideas all the time. As was expected, American individuals instantly resorted to guerrilla tactics while several locals gave me offline thoughtful comments, though in a little too muddled words, about media's abnormal obsession with 3/11.

The most fundamental thing about communication in human society is that it's pointless to try to weed out false pieces of information from truthful and reliable ones. Usefulness is the only criterion to use when evaluating a given information.

Previously I had written that a failed nation-state is nothing but a vast illusion shared among its entire population. Most of you found my deliberate statement not only ridiculous but also outrageous. Although I always prefer right inconsistency to wrong consistency, I was impressed when I found a certain consistency in their counterargument.

On the contrary a small number of anti-establishment elements in my audience said they agreed with me in that respect, presumably on the wrong assumption that I was just analogizing. I am a man of straight talk. Basically I mean what I say and I say what I mean except when it's absolutely necessary to flatter an ape.

As a matter of fact they always claim that they and their close friends are chosen people who are immunized against the pervasive illusion. It's the worst type of egocentrism, which in fact is deep-rooted in the America-centric delusion. Deep inside they still believe the world is revolving around the United States.

To be that incoherent, you've got to be caught up in the worst type of delusion that history is redoable or even undo-able, while we Asians who have been victimized by American rogues for more than a century know that what they did to us is irredeemable.

It's these self-appointed judges who claim to be keeping a watchful eye on all venues of mass communication to thoroughly decontaminate the world of all these fallacies. The fact of the matter remains, however, that these truth-seeking liars are the primary contaminants.

Quite naturally they had a more compelling reason to show the strong response to this allergen by adamantly refusing to discuss the basics of communication than those who furiously disagreed to my idea that any failed nation-state has been reduced to a mere optical phenomenon.

The primary criterion they use when they sift out fallacy from truth, or illusion from reality, all comes down to this:

An illusion is something that isn't real while reality is something that isn't an illusion.

When talking about the digital altar of the Google Cult one year or so ago, I wrote:

"A fact is truthful only when you know the question while a truth is factual only when you know the answer."

If you have difficulty decoding my tricky statement, let me put it this way: If I am Mr. D sitting at the end of the line of communication, he has no interest in knowing Mr. C's opinion on Mr. B's take on "the fact" which Mr. A claims to have found firsthand. Don't take me wrong, however. I have nothing against what Mr. C is doing because anyone who is idling away his purposeless life has the right to kill time any way he likes.

Quite predictably one of these self-righteous guys said in response to my way of describing the difference between fact and truth:

"A fact is truthful only when the evidence proves it beyond a reasonable doubt."

At first I was taken aback because the only way to paraphrase his statement is:

"A fact is truthful only when another fact proves true."

The absurd statement would just send us back to the same question of how we can tell the fact is truthful.

But on second thought I realized he was just pulling my leg. Otherwise I would have to admit that I mistakenly used my syllabus for a logic class at a university when talking to kindergarten kids.

The other day I had a casual conversation with a guy of my sons' age at the nearby convenience store FamilyMart. There he works the midnight shift every second day. If I remember it correctly, it went like this.

Clerk: You used to buy The Japan News (the English daily published by the Yomiuri Shimbun) everyday, but not anymore. What is the reason?
Me: Simply because I can't afford to spend 150 yen only to read headlines. I would never read the articles at all even if I had a portable magnifier.
Clerk: Why is that?
Me: I know its news stories are 100% lies. I do read headlines, though, in order to update myself on what fallacies they are disseminating these days.
Clerk: I think now I see what you mean. But 100% may be an overstatement, isn't it?
Me: No. I'm not exaggerating. Do you know there are 4 types of lies? Type 1 is to tell an invented story; Type 2 is to hold back an essential fact; Type 3 is to place a trivial story on the top page; Type 4 is to bury an important topic deep into the small space of page 10. So believe me everything they tell is a fallacy.

The midnight clerk doesn't seem to have attended any higher-learning class. Presumably he is as ignorant as these well-educated Americans. But nevertheless he showed a certain amount of intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn. It's not the matter of intelligence that so many Americans are gullible enough to seek truth from the "non-mainstream" media, or other sources of information they favor.

As to music, literature and all other forms of communication, I think I have already covered them in detail. And as to TV commercials and all other advertisements on different mediums, I hope I'll discuss in a separate post in which I'll address the devastating consequences of the protracted drought of what IBM consultant Grant Norris termed "disruptive technologies."

Once upon a time I was frantically learning how to make my life creative from American businessmen, business administration professors, computer scientists, and even jazz musicians, sometimes in person.

But now I have been irrevocably labeled first-degree persona non grata by these prisoners of America-centric delusion on illusion for touting the necessity of creative thinking so persistently.

Those who are still on my list of Americans to watch are a handful of cognitive scientists, e.g. Douglas Hofstadter, who have been intensively trying to identify the neuronal root, instead of the anatomical map, on which a human individual lives, loves, creates, communicates, and dies, with inerasable self-consciousness.

When it comes to the inability of principled thinking, I see no distinctive difference between unprincipled Americans and principle-less Japanese. But there's a fundamental difference in their noesis, i.e. mental attitude.

On the surface it seems either people remain caught in a similar illusion which stems from their respective founding principle(s). But the consequences are quite different.

In the U.S. the illusion has been aggravated over time by an equally malign delusion that the illusionary natural rights should remain enshrined at any cost until the end of time.

On the contrary Japan is not a country founded by human beings. Hence it has no founding principles. Empty-headed Japan experts in the U.S. may "think" Article 1 of the 17-Article Constitution allegedly promulgated by Shotoku Taishi in the 7th century serves as a de facto founding principle or at least its substitute. But apart from the fact that Prince Shotoku is most probably a fictitious figure, his words "Harmony should be put before anything else and quarrels must be avoided by all means" should be understood to mean that we Japanese individuals should not have any principle because it would do them harm more than it would do them good.

In fact, the country invented by the court-retained historians 13 centuries ago was reinvented in 1946 by Washington-retained "anthropologist" Ruth Benedict to help Douglas MacArthur reshape it to Americans' liking. The task must have been a piece of cake even for the unprincipled author because of the super-plasticity of her subjects. Thanks to the complete absence of a principle on which to conduct themselves, the Japanese instantly transformed themselves into something that fully matched Benedict's description.

In his foreword to the Mariner Books Edition of Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, Ian Buruma wrote: "Without the moral absolutes of a monotheistic religion, everything from ethics to life goals is situational, hence the ease with which a warlike people could transform itself into a nation of pacifists."

This is why unlike warm-headed fanatics and cold-hearted egomaniacs in the U.S., my fellow countrymen never really assert their "inviolable rights." They instinctively know there are no such things as human rights in the real world. Should their mantra about harmony be supplanted by any chance by one of the principles randomly imported from the West, they would also have their 1,300-year-old relatively benign illusion quickly aggravated by a delusion.

The average Japanese is flexible, modest and compassionate just like the midnight-shift clerk at FamilyMart. And needless to say I prefer a thinking-disabled and modest person to thinking-disabled and self-important one. Who wouldn't?

My good neighbor Lara Chen Tien-shi is a little different from the ordinary Japanese. The associate professor of anthropology at a graduate school of Waseda University is a warm-hearted, compassionate woman. But at the same time she is an exceptionally cool-headed and down-to-earth person who always keeps a life-size view of the world.

Late last month Lara gave me a mail to invite me to an extraordinary meeting where the key members of her "Stateless Network" were going to have a skull session over the future direction of the nonprofit, multi-ethnic organization.

I was very honored by the invitation from the youngest daughter of one of the wealthiest families of this Chinatown because I am one of the poorest and oldest residents of the same community. (ララさん Katajikenai.)

I think she had two things in mind when inviting me to the important meeting despite the fact that I have fallen almost 2 years behind in my payment of the annual due, and equally important, I don't fully agree to the principle on which she is steering the Network.

Firstly Lara must have wanted to acknowledge that she still owed me a response to the homework I'd given her about the viability of a "stateless nation." She must have thought I would better understand her answer to my challenge by participating the steering committee, because the issue at hand is too complex, multi-faceted and subtle, and has too far-reaching implication to address just by quick exchanges of words.

The other reason she thought I should attend the meeting may have been that she just wanted this old loner to have fun mixing with these youngish people with diverse backgrounds.

It looks as though Lara made a good decision for me if these were her objectives.

As I have often stressed in this website, the way these principle-less people communicate in a meeting is very unique. More often than not, reaching a specific agreement isn't the objective of the meeting. There's no articulated proposition put on the table; neither is there any substantive argument. When there is one, it's presented and discussed before or after the meeting, most typically at a bar. In short a meeting, or any other form of communication, is little more than a ceremonial event to build consensus about a predetermined answer.

Although the time during which I was exposed to communication in the international setting is still twice as long as her international career, Lara seems to be much better skilled in that respect. And yet, she still remembers that in a local meeting she has to seal off those skills and play the role of a Shintoist priest, or priestess, so to speak.

Lara's opening address, delivered in an unusually casual manner, had just a few substances in it. At first she insinuated that although this Stateless Network will still remain closely affiliated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, she isn't really convinced that stereotypical UNHCR's definition of a stateless person is clear enough and that the ambitious goal proclaimed in its 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness is attainable in the foreseeable future. Then she added that some other factors have made it even more unrealistic to achieve the goal. For one thing, she confided, she fell ill last year. She didn't say how serious it was.

The meeting was constantly disturbed by her 6-year-old son clinging to the chairwoman with his arms around her neck. Lara didn't seem to be annoyed at all. She certainly knew the Sunday meeting was a serious loss of opportunity for the kid to have intimate contact with his mom. Another source of disturbance was the paraders incessantly making deafening noises of drums and firecrackers on the street. She didn't care too much either. Neither did other attendees including myself.

The way Lara presided over the meeting indicated she and I still have a similar wavelength in that both of us are inclined to have diverse people loosely networked rather than build a monolith with a fixed principle.

Following the semi-formal session, Lara treated us to a gorgeous dinner. I enjoyed talking with people sitting in the hearing distance as we were supposed to. They included an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo and Thai woman and her daughter.

In the last 45-60 minutes I concentrated on a conversation with a young, brilliant lady named Rina Ikebe who had moved over to the seat next to mine. Miss Ikebe introduced herself as a student studying "community psychology" at a postgraduate school of Tokyo's International Christian University. I enjoyed our conversation all the more because she was very good at active listening.

I asked her: "What do you think connects you to this country, or how do you really relate yourself to Japan?" After thinking it over for a while, she said: "Maybe it's my nationality, isn't it?" I said, "I don't think so. Your nationality is nothing more than a certificate of the ties you have already established with this country."

I might have added it's a principle that brings or fails to bring together the nation, i.e. the people, and the state, i.e. the system, and that this is exactly where the media find their essential role. Although this was the most relevant topic for the community psychology major, I left it unsaid in part because I thought I had to refrain from spoiling her appetite and my own. More importantly, I knew an exceptionally bright woman as she is would have found it superfluous if I had given her any more lead to my theory about the modern nation-statehood.

Then encouraged by her story about her late-father who was a scholar of French literature and European history, I tried a simple quiz with Miss Ikebe: "Do you know how the life of Marie Antoinette came to an end?" She answered delightedly: "Beheading by the Guillotine." The next question was: "How many French people, roughly, were killed in the same way?" She didn't know that the correct answer was 16,594.

I produced from my backpack the printout of my most recent post, saying, "If you are interested in these subjects as a student of community psychology, why don't you keep it."

From time to time, Lara was giving a glance-over at us across the huge Chinese roundtable as if she was worrying I might be instilling in the young student poisonous ideas about the failed nation-state. But I hope she knows very well that I am a person who never bites the hand that fed him.

After the party was over, I stayed on there to be alone with Lara, her parents and one of her elder sisters. I said to her, "I didn't know you fell ill. Are you getting better now?" She smiled and said, "Yes, now I'm OK." Her sister quickly cut in to say, "No, she isn't."

I said: "Remember you aren't Mother Teresa. You should always prioritize your own personal life and your son's. Nothing is more important than that." · read more (17 words)
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Can actual false-flag tricks on presumed ones save the Planet of the Apes from totally falling apart?

POSTSCRIPT February 26:



On October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette was executed by Guillotine. She was just one of those 16,594 people killed with the same beheading machine at the birth of the French Republic.

So is there any difference?

In my humble opinion, the only difference lies with the fact that the YouTube thing had yet to be seen even on the horizon in the days of the French Revolution.


Albert Camus (1913-60)


    I rebel—therefore we* exist.

   From L’Homme Révolté (The Rebel) by Albert Camus

   * The "we" can be a typo.


1972 killing of 11 Israeli Olympians in Munich

In this war the Palestinians’ only weapon is terrorism. It is a terrible weapon but the oppressed poor have no others.

   Jean-Paul Sartre on the Munich killing

Where shall I begin?

It's a little too hard to admit after blogging for more than ten years that there still lies almost an unbridgeable chasm between us.

I'm under the impression that the gap has widened one step further since I touched off the series of arguments over the modern nation-statehood.

Obviously I should have realized that it's crying for the moon to expect the ability to take a fresh think at a fundamental issue like this one from you Americans who have neither Asian wisdom nor Cartesian tradition ("Cogito, ergo sum") nor Sartrean discipline ("We are our choices," or "Man is condemned to be free.") All you can do is to shuffle information on an ear-to-mouth basis and approve or disapprove someone else's ideas without really internalizing them.

When you self-complacent dissidents in the U.S. discuss an issue, it's always someone else's problem; you never talk about your own problem simply because you can identify none. That's why you are unable to have a life-size view of yourselves. As a result you always talk big while acting very small.

For one thing, you often refuse to admit you are part of America. That may be true. Even so you can't deny America is an integral and inseparable part of yourself.

I don't know what it's like to be in the fairyland where you live. But I'm afraid you have great difficulty understanding the real implication of the mathematical thought of Luca Pacioli. He theorized 521 years ago that in the real world it's highly improbable that you owe others practically nothing while others owe you a lot. At any rate you can't deny the presence of the past even if you haven't read the book written by Rupert Sheldrake. As I always maintain, what should be questioned, instead, is the presence of the future.

You are like my biological sons who are helplessly immature 46- and 47-year-olds. They have grown into thinking-disabled conformists because my second ex-wife, whose father was a small-time yakuza gangster dealing in illegal drugs, indoctrinated them day in, day out since our divorce to pay respect to everyone but their biological father. Whenever they repeat the same complaint that their intellectually demanding father has messed up their lives, I say, "I'm awfully sorry for that; I should never have fathered you guys. It's the greatest mea culpa of my life to have brought you into existence." They can't help but blush, but don't know what to say. They just glare at me with sullen eyes of 9-year-old kids.

I'm not very sure if I can pull myself together again to face your terrorism of words. Examples of your verbal terrorism include refuting my deliberate statement about the failed nation-states such as Japan and the U.S. as an "irrational hyperbole," or insisting that the bloodshed involved in America's Independence War and the genocidal acts your country has committed in Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. was well-intended whereas the brutality entailed in the founding of the Islamic State does not have a rightful cause - all without giving a single rational reason. I hope, however, you'll understand I'm not talking about cyber-bullying here. This website is not meant for old kids, i.e. those who are afflicted with premature senility.

Now it seems all I can do until the time comes is to think aloud in this world's most unoptimized website. What else can I do when people I'm talking to don't take my serious arguments seriously?

Initially I was going to discuss Albert Camus who is touted as "one of the greatest writers of the 20th century" immediately following my recent post that dealt with the class war in the cultist-dominated world because the French author seems to be a role model for contemporary Americans with his cheap philosophy about absurdité (the meaninglessness of man's life.)

Camus was born in Algeria to a not-so-wealthy French family, but throughout his short life, he never dreamed of abandoning the privilege of being a second-generation colonist. Exactly like him, you see no contradiction in habitually slamming your home country while cherry-picking its juicy elements, be it a livelihood assistance, a disability pension, a medical subsidy, a tax relief, or any other tangible and intangible benefits.

But on second thought, I said to myself it would be another waste of time to go on without asking you to stop to think, instead of stop thinking, over the points I'd already made on the subject. Now I must ask you to allow me to get back to where I started.

In October I was pleasantly surprised when I learned the people of Catalonia are still seeking independence from Spain. Among other things I was struck by the fact that they are NOT protesting against anything in particular like their parents and grandparents did against the Franco regime. A majority of the 7.5 million Catalans just refuse to get assimilated into the Kingdom of Spain.

In fact secession-minded Catalans don't seem to know themselves exactly where they are heading. That indicates it's something really unprecedented that underlies their unwavering aspiration for self-determination. As someone put it on the eve of the legally nonbinding "public consultation," all we know is that it must be something to be defined as a nation without a state they are seeking so enthusiastically.

On that premise, we can tell these people with unparalleled self-esteem and creative attitudes are going to separate the Siamese twins which are almost inoperable.

I've repeatedly said in this website, a creative mind creates itself when innate spontaneity meets acquired discipline in one person or one society. And it is evident from their creative attitudes toward life and spirit of exploring new things that the cultural climate in Catalonia is such that it facilitates and encourages the merger of the two contradictory attributes. Their goal does not seem unrealistically ambitious at all as stunted people in the U.S. tend to believe.

Their quest for a nation without a state prompted me to take a fresh think at the question about how specifically founding principles have brought a nation (a group of people) and a state (a system to govern them) together in the West since the late-18th century. I felt it would make little sense to discuss the viability of a stateless nation without knowing the answers to this fundamental question.

Before doing so, I asked myself: "What's the thing called a principle in the first place?" My answer: A principle is one thing and a political ideology or religious dogma is quite another. It's something more fundamental on which to take a fresh and creative think at things to identify real questions rather than find answers to given questions. That is why what the Americans still call the Founding Principles remained more or less valid and workable political ideologies for more than one hundred years until they were outgrown by the reality of the 20th century.


The phantom haunting the Planet of the Apes for almost 240 years

With all this in mind, I quickly revisited John Locke (1632-1704). It might have been Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Voltaire, if I'd thought a greater number of newer countries have modeled themselves after France. But actually that is not the case. Most developing countries seem to have automatically chosen Locke's philosophical rubbish about "the natural rights to life, liberty and property" as their founding principles over the Continental ideas of Enlightenment.

I argued the fact that contemporary Americans are still letting Locke's crap be passed off as principles on which the nation and the state of the United States should remain together simply indicates they can no longer take a fresh and hard think at reality.

And what did I get from my predominantly American audience in response to my post?

NONE AT ALL.

The moment I mentioned the name of their guru, they all pretended they hadn't heard me. Not a single person gave me a feedback in that respect, either online or offline, to defend the national mantra against the challenge from an obscure Japanese blogger.

Now it's evident that this is exactly where American individuals have stopped thinking like human beings. They have enshrined the 3.25-century-old baloney as a sacred cow for so long that it now has turned into the underbelly of America's value system.

As a matter of fact you have been indoctrinated since your childhood never to question the Founding Principles as if they were indisputable axioms. You have been strongly discouraged, if not prohibited, from questioning why the empty-headed Englishman, alone, should be given the special privilege to ascribe the particular set of rights to us human beings.

If you still believe these rights are particularly inherent to humanity, why don't you ask an animal-rights activist if he agrees with you? He will certainly answer in the negative.

Or better yet, ask me the same question.

I will tell you, like I have in the last several years, that through my firsthand experience with these tax-collecting robbers in the Yokohama City Hall I've learned anyone can assert any right he wants to exercise, be it the right to kill or the right to steal.

When talking about rights and principles, I don't think conceptual understanding is enough; it's also important to visualize them because they mean nothing unless you can share them with others in one way or the other at the end of the day.

To that end you should forget about Locke's Tabula Rasa, i.e. Blank Slate, because actually it's full of shit from the beginning and to the end. In other words, it's something like a chèque en blanc (blank check) which will never be honored.

Personally I love Henri Bergson's embroidery analogy. He might have analogized man's principle as a box filled with emptiness or nothingness, i.e. "free will" in Bergsonian terminology. But in fact his Creative Evolution wasn't written to discuss the link between the nation and the state.

Instead I would describe a founding principle as a beam of light which is nothing until it's recognized against a shade it casts. This would better explain why the principles of the rogue country named the USA are so empty as to need violence to make themselves visible. Let's be reminded that Mencius said: "Evil exists to glorify the good." In other words the good exists only when there is evil. The act of "terrorism" is much more than just a blowback.

Let's face it:

Violence is nested at the very core of the founding principles of any modern nation-state in the West.

Recent examples include Malala Yousafzai (NOTE 1) and Charlie Hebdo (NOTE 2.)

NOTE 1: The impudent Pakistani chick was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just for parroting the empty promise of human rights, which the gunman didn't like. (I didn't either.)

NOTE 2: When the Islamist "terrorists" stormed into the offices of Paris-based satirical magazine, millions of Frenchmen were reminded for the first time since 1789 that their tricolor flag represented the supposedly lofty ideas about liberté (freedom), égalité (equality) and fraternité (brotherhood.) On the part of the United States, and the United Kingdom to a lesser degree, another millions of truth-seekers instantly started to spread on the web their false-flag "theories" that the bloody incident was a hoax staged by the Mossad, the CIA and MI6. It's not just that I'm not interested in knowing if their allegation is fully substantiated, but I found it really sickening because this was yet another Ignoratio Elenchi. Now it's too obvious that these rotten American souls are using the false-flag tactic themselves. In the last paragraphs of this post, I'll come back to this point to elaborate on my take on their modus operandi. Incidentally I personally empathize with the Charlie Hebdo gunmen whether or not they were carrying a false flag because when you criticize someone's faith, you should never do it in a satirical way. Unless you are ready to articulate your counterargument seriously, you should be prepared to get killed. Don't play with serious words from serious people.

In November I uploaded a post dealing with the result of Okinawa's gubernatorial election because I'm still interested in knowing what would happen when Japan was split up into a stateless nation and a nation-less state.

In that piece, I reiterated what I wrote in my aborted book seven years ago: Japan is nothing but a vast illusion shared by the 127.3 million "people." Now the same thing can be said of the USA, or any other country to a varying degree, because when the link between the nation and the state is missing, it's reduced to a mere optical phenomenon.

Quite naturally most of you found my deliberate statement not only ridiculous but also outrageous.

Although a very small number of people agreed to my view, I suspect they "thought" it was yet another salty analogy. But in fact I was not analogizing.

It can't be helped. I know your IQ is much higher than mine but with your unprincipled reading habit, you have never taken a fresh think at what exactly man's imagination or illusion is.

Amid Nazi's occupation of Paris, Jean-Paul Sartre authored a book The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination to prepare himself and his audience for the subsequent essay titled Being and Nothingness. Thanks to my lifetime philosophy teacher (he has never been my guru,) I know what you don't know about the two different sates of man's being.

It is true that I used to think what Laurie Anne Freeman termed Japan's information cartel was a serious issue. But in recent years, especially since the 3/11 disaster, I've learned criticizing the media's behavior is like saying, "The blue sky is blue." It's not only useless but also harmful to repeat the same truism over and over as if there could be the blue sky that isn't blue.

At least since the birth of the first nation-state, the media have always played a pivotal role in bringing the nation and the state together by helping the two entities share the same principles. The tools for communication have changed from the newspaper to the radio to the television to the Internet, and the principles have been constantly hollowed out. But the media's role has remained unchanged.

In that context it's really laughable to see the big battalions of self-styled, learning-disabled dissidents keep criticizing the media for habitually lying.

I can't agree more if they don't opportunistically exclude from their blacklist non-mainstream media, e.g. social media, and all printed mediums. In fact, though, I know they are also lying because they can't live a day without relying on the mediums they favor.

Just ask them a stupid question like: "What is the difference between an illusion and the reality?" Their answer will also be stupid: "An illusion is something that isn't real." The next question: "Then what exactly is the reality?" The answer: "The reality is something that isn't an illusion."

This left me wondering about the real reason you smart dissidents in the U.S. keep slamming the media so enthusiastically. But when I was re-reading Camus' The Rebel, it flashed on me that the only way to explain their obsessive-compulsive behavior is to assume they have tacitly struck a reciprocal deal with the establishment. That is why the entire game is rigged in the U.S. today.

On the part of the establishment everyone knows the mirage-like nation-state can no longer be supported by conformists because they are also a gaseous thing, and that it's only dissidents who can turn illusions into reality by repeating their anti-establishment nonsense over and over.

On the other hand, the motive that drives self-proclaimed dissidents into their feigned resistance is twofold. Like Albert Camus, they badly need the current regime to withstand their ineffectual resistance because otherwise they would be at a loss over what to do for the rest of their empty lives, and more importantly how to make their living which is heavily dependent on the nanny-state measures.

As I observe, the other part of the reason is because they are people who have somehow failed to make the most of their lives because of the absence of creative mind. (Camus avowed his hedonism publicly, but if you carefully read The Myth of Sisyphus or The Stranger, you will notice it was fake.) Their failure in enjoying their own lives has left them with an inconsolable resentment toward life.

This way the establishment and anti-establishment have formed an ideal coalition.

Finally let me quickly talk about the most despicable type of dissidents: truth-seekers.

Every known ethnic group has an inclination, to a varying degree, toward superstitious self-perception, such as "We are a chosen people," "We are an abandoned people," "We are descendants of the Sun Goddess," etc. Maybe the Jews and the Japanese are a little more susceptible to such an idea than other peoples. But an illusion is an illusion.

If I remember it correctly, Sartre quoted Richard Wright in his Anti-Semite and Jew (1945) as saying something like, "There's no such thing as an issue with blacks. The only thing I see here in the U.S. is the issue with whites." Sartre was not particularly pro-Zionist, nor anti-Semite. He simply wanted to point out that it's always a strong feeling, e.g. hatred or inferiority complex, other peoples may harbor against the tribe in question that turns a mere illusion into a solid reality as if in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Essentially the same thing is meant when I say, "A conspiracy theory is an integral part of the conspiracy," or "A conspiracy theorist is the conspirator himself." Since there's no such thing as man's deed which is NOT a conspiracy, they have to single out one media-salient incident after another such as NYC's 9/11 or Paris' 1/7 to cook up something that is particularly entertaining and passable as a conspiracy.

Actual false-flag tricks on presumed ones really help, rather than rebuke, the "predominantly-Jewish" establishment by distracting super-credulous people from the past and current atrocities in Algeria, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and now the ISIL. This is why we smell an imperialist stench from the dying Empire every time a truth-seeking ape tells us his invented story.

When you are beheaded by the terrorist named the Grim Reaper at the end of your life, you will realize, for the first time, that you wasted your whole life working on alibi exercises for not taking a creative think at things and acting accordingly. Your last words will be: "I should have known my own life was an ultimate conspiracy."

Except for the odor from across the Pacific, it is none of my business anymore no matter how many tons of viscous pus spills over from the false link of the United States of America. I belong somewhere else.

Japan is a peculiar nation-state. It has no founding principles from the beginning because it wasn't created by a human being. It just emerged out of nowhere sometime between 660 BC and 712 AD. It's no accident that its "state" part is almost identical to the American system now.

But the other part, i.e. the people, is a little more agreeable than its American counterpart because it has been taught to put harmony before any principle. Very few people assert their "inalienable and inviolable rights" like American egomaniacs, unless so instigated by the state, because most Asian wisdom tells us the human-rights thing is nothing but an illusion. Modesty and the sense of duty always prevail here - for better rather than for worse.

Up until recently, I was obsessed with the idea that I should be well-prepared for the last moment. But when my friend Dr. Shiono told me during a brief triage session that it's perhaps a matter of time my atrial fibrillation develops into fatal cerebral infarction, it flashed on me that wrapping up a life isn't packing up for a long journey. · read more (38 words)