Sunday, December 02 2012 @ 01:14 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. - Henri Bergson (1859-1941)
Simply, neither is the case here.
"Deluge" is the only word I can think of to describe the overwhelming flood of Manga in this country. In 2011, 968 million copies of comic books and magazines were read by the Japanese, from prime ministers to corporate executives, to yakuza gangsters, to the homeless. But this is only part of it. On TV and the Internet, and in movie theaters, they saw another myriad of animated Manga called Anime.
Besides, they often read supposedly serious books as a high-end alternative to Manga. George Orwell's Ninety Eighty-Four, for one, has deeply resonated with Japanese Manga lovers, although it hasn't been published in the Manga format thus far.
You may not believe, but remember Manga is a visual, or audiovisual aid that allows its readers to escape from reality. To these defeatist-minded, change-phobic people, it doesn't matter whether the story is about a utopia or a dystopia. How sweet it must be to imagine we are all doomed. For sure, it's as irresistible as fantasizing about yourself surrounded by cuties all in the nude.
This makes comic books and magazines the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
And if you think some cabal is hatching a plot to lull the Japanese people into a fantasy world, you are caught in a delusion, too. No matter how far the process of degeneration has progressed in this country, the Japanese still remain human beings, though they've come very close to apes now. They could have thwarted the "conspiracy" if they hadn't chosen on their own to go for Manga as a harmless substitute for the object of their innate imagination.
In other words, it's none other than themselves who wanted to escape from reality. Jean-Paul Sartre called this behavior Mauvaise foi (self-deception.)
This makes you think that although it's too late for the Japanese to stem the torrent, the American people can still reverse the process of their Japanization if they somehow find a way to overcome their deep-seated change-phobia.
In this respect, well-educated Americans may not necessarily lead the way. They tend to distance themselves from the influence of the Manga-immersed Japanese culture so as not to look vulgar. But it's a futile attempt. These people can convert to Manga addicts on the slightest cue because they are unaware that the problem lies with people, not in Manga itself.
French philosopher Henri Bergson observed that intuition and imagination play the pivotal role in our developmental process. For a certain period of time in my childhood, I was also hooked on Manga. And I think Manga helped nurture my creativity. But if you become addicted to it, as the Japanese all did, it's inevitable that delusion takes the place of an unstunted imagination.
Traditionally, in the U.S., and the U.K. to a lesser degree, there are lots of criticisms against Bergson's theory. An unnamed person on this website argues: "Bergson seldom offers proof or logical procedure to substantiate his statements. He asserts; he does not deduce his ideas from verifiable facts. .... Such intellectual pursuits appeal to metaphysical 'concepts' that by their very nature lie beyond the possibility of verification. .... Consequently, as is the case with so much philosophical jargon, such claims as Bergson's are epistemic nonsense." This is a typical argument based on the simplistic positivism and empiricism particular to Anglo-Saxons.
These guys are all mistaken simply because they forget that Bergson single-mindedly sought an answer to Zeno's proposition about a motionless, frozen world.
I will never accept the American version of Zeno's paradoxes, which I'm inclined to call "Imperial Determinism," because it is solely meant to preserve the status quo of Pax Americana. It provides a plausible alibi for the American people who keep playing dumb about their inability to stop their colonialist government from pursuing its "morally obscene and financially unsustainable" (Chalmers Johnson) interventionist policy.
Actually, there are more level-headed people who have been challenging the paradoxes from the mathematics or physics point of view. But we Asians don't want to become mathematicians or physicians so we could come up with an actionable plan to overcome all these difficulties brought in this region by the worst rogue country in history named America.
After all, the answer given by Diogenes the Cynic (412-323 BC) is the most straightforward and convincing. When asked about his take on Zeno's arguments, Diogenes just stood up without saying a word, and walked, in order to demonstrate the falsity of Zeno's conclusions.
Zoren Kierkegaard expressed a similar thought when he wrote in his 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." · read more (46 words)
Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 10:38 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This essay was actually contributed by a person who wants to be called Diogenes of Arkansas in response to my most recent post titled In search of a brand-new political model. Your quote by Jefferson (One man with courage is a majority) is a metaphor for the form of government the founders of the American Republic created—a Constitutional Republic.
“The purpose of a Constitutional Republic is to place limits on the tyranny of the majority. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
“If, on the other hand, a legislative power could be so constituted as to represent the majority without necessarily being the slave of its passions, an executive so as to retain a proper share of authority, and a judiciary so as to remain independent of the other two powers, a government would be formed which would still be democratic while incurring scarcely any risk of tyranny.”
When people claim the U.S. is a democracy, they are wrong, because a democracy means that the majority rules, which is how you can have 500,001 impose their will on 499,999 in a population of 1,000,000. Yet, this is now the practice in the U.S., which is unconstitutional and a violation of the spirit and intent of the Constitution as the fundamental legal document in the U.S Republic.
Your statement on Japanese people escaping into cartoons and comic books caught me by surprise. However, when I looked into American comic book sales figures, the rate of sales has grown approximately 30%, according to “Comic Chronicles”.
While I noticed that television appears to be showing more cartoons aimed at adults, I was surprised to see that Fox is the main cartoon network for adults in primetime, and that all of them are spoofs on American families or fathers. This is the list I found at Fox, which appears to me to have increased in number in the last ten years: American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and the long running comic strip transitioned to cartoon The Simpsons.
Thus, it leaves one to consider that your data in Japan may be reflected in the U.S. So not only are Americans importing Toyotas and Fukushima debris, we are getting infected by your escapism plague as well. I’d like to say, “Thank you for your gifts,” but it doesn’t seem appropriate.
This quote of yours about how you envision a new constitutional form of government has at least two glaring flaws to me.
“If I were them, I would put forth a general design concept on the web as a draft constitution for online skull sessions. Our constitution would say the new government should consist of two branches, instead of three, because there would be no legislators. The executive and judicial powers would lie with the smallest units of people such as private companies, towns or villages.”
Private companies are still companies. Companies have a vested interest in controlling legislation to benefit their business interests above the interests of the mass of individual members of the society or country, or to paraphrase Jefferson, “The majority of one.”
In the U.S., the Judicial branch of government is so corrupted at ALL levels that some other system needs to be created, and this goes as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, where they illegally and unconstitutionally decided the winner in the Presidential election of 2000. All the Justices that voted in this way should have been impeached by Congress, but it never happened because Congress is totally, and I mean TOTALLY, corrupt. This includes the fake hero Ron Paul.
I think it is safe to say that if we examine ancient history, the first form of what might be considered government were the herds of animals. These herd animals simply gathered together instinctively for protection and species reproduction. All members of the herd were free to come and go as they pleased. Clearly, some members had to have broken away to form new herds, which could be considered in human terms as bands or tribes. It could be argued that this herd instinct was reflected in the behavior of the ancient hunter-gatherers.
With the death of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, civilizations emerged and with them governments. This monumental change in the relationship between humans (civilization) was the beginning of enslavement. Afterwards, every living thing was born into slavery, whether plant, animal, or human. In the Christian bible’s Old Testament myths, a god created everything and gave humans the right to be slave masters of all other things, as long as they kept the covenant this god demanded—a small price to pay to be in the coveted position of master. Thus, even as far back in mythological Middle Eastern time, we see that a master (god’s chosen people with divine rights above all other peoples) and slave relationship was invoked by none other than a god (actually the clever concept of the author of this text), a wrathful god that was, by HIS own words, dangerous if crossed (this text may be the first written example of a domestic terrorist threat).
Down through the ages hence, whether pre- or post-Christian, occasionally some oppressed peoples have challenged this unjust birthright like the Diggers in England. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the communities and ideas set forth by these Diggers and Levelers were yearning to return to the freedom experienced by the hunter-gatherers. As can be expected, the conditioning, even then, was such that these liberating ideas were resisted by the majority, and these radicals were easily squashed by the persons with the means to force them to submit—meaning Cromwell and Fairfax, who controlled the military forces.
Eventually, the master/slave system had its first real challenge with the Greek experiment, and resting on the shoulders of those Greek geniuses were the scholars of the Age of Enlightenment. In the North American colonies, the scholars of these ideas of man’s innate freedom (The Rights of Man) appear to have been sufficient in number to affect enough people and motivate them to revolt against their master, the King of England and the power behind the throne that is greater than the king.
Because these Enlightenment scholars were men of letters, they used letters to create rules for the correct behavior and conduct between humans in their colonies. Thus, a Constitutional Republic was created. Of course, it was ignored and usurped almost immediately by such laws as the Alien and Sedition Acts, which pitted those supporting states’ rights (those who supported each state as a sovereign nation and supported the concept of a weak federal body) vs. the federalists (those supporting a strong federal government able to impose its will on weak states).
The history of the United States and nearly all governments in the world are examples of the usurpation of Constitutional laws. The only exception to this that I’ve read about is when no laws were written down but were memorized by the citizens. Everyone must know the laws by heart, and thus, any violations of these laws or new legislation to override these laws would be immediately known to all of the citizens in the society. No Supreme Court was necessary to interpret the laws, since everyone knew the laws’ intent.
On the successful completion of the revolution in the colonies, a Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. It included these most important words, reflecting Enlightenment principles and the sentiment of Thomas Paine, author of the Rights of Man.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Sounds good on paper, but in less than eighty years, the existing form of government was challenged by states that wanted to exercise the right “…to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government” and create a binding legal framework for themselves that more closely suited them. Abraham Lincoln, a traitor to the Constitution as supreme law and the spirit of this declaration, deliberately started the American Civil War that saw over 500,000 souls lose their lives. He and the Congress that permitted his dictatorial initiation of this war were responsible for the utter destruction of the infrastructure of those independence minded states. It was a classic Clausewitz-style war of total destruction. One could say with certitude that Lincoln’s deadly act was the inevitable outcome of simply one more failed system in the long history in the ongoing experiment of humans to either govern themselves or to be living as slaves in varying degrees of oppression by others.
Spooner’s introduction to his paper is a reflection of support for the Rights of Man, and a condemnation of Lincoln’s murderous coup d’état.
“The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded.
“On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.
“The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, make them traitors and criminals.
“No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle --- but only in degree --- between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and [*iv] asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.
“Previous to the war, there were some grounds for saying that --- in theory, at least, if not in practice --- our government was a free one; that it rested on consent. But nothing of that kind can be said now, if the principle on which the war was carried on by the North, is irrevocably established.
“If that principle be not the principle of the Constitution, the fact should be known. If it be the principle of the Constitution, the Constitution itself should be at once overthrown.”
The key word here is “consent.” No government today anywhere on this planet has the consent of the governed. As Spooner later states in his paper, he didn’t participate in this written contract known as the U.S. Constitution. It can only apply to those who were alive when it was created and agreed to be bound by it, and since he was never a signatory to this contract, it can’t have any power over him. This is why Jefferson is quoted as advocating a revolution every twenty years, so that the next generation may create their own rules that men would agree to abide by during their lifetimes.
Later, in more recent history in Republican Spain, some areas were ruled by Anarchists—persons that believed in total self-governance and elimination of all forms of external coersion. While this experiment was reported to be successful, and testimonies tell us those persons affected by this method were very pleased with it, they came under attack from both the Soviet supported Communists and the Fascist Falange. It seems that pyramidal power structures of oppression by a few against the many always gain the upper hand, and independent rule is such a threat that it must be totally exterminated, as we saw with Lincoln’s betrayal of the Rights of Man during the Civil War.
And how far has the American Constitutional Republic sunk in the quicksand of no return? Americans live in a police state that most people refuse to see. The constitutional right of a President to issue Executive Orders, which was not clearly spelled out in the original document, has allowed for the creation of dictator to arise. Now we have a President that has gone to the most extreme end of tyranny—he has created an Executive Order that allows him and any future President to order the murder of anyone, anywhere, and this includes American citizens. No habeas corpus right, which was lost in previous legislation passed by members of both houses of Congress; no right to a trial; this is clear Stalinism or Maoism, two of the biggest mass murderers of their own citizens in world history. And when I’ve reported to my neighbors these and other equally dangerous acts by the American government, I get nothing but a blank stare. This behavior by Americans near and far is clear evidence of escapism and denial. Don’t worry, be happy.
So, whether your e-Democracy is possible, or if the opportunity for the public to institute a similar system as advocated by Gerald Celente of Trends Research, it isn’t going to happen. For change to occur, it must begin with an informed citizenry, and that public is comprised of individual members, each one needing the complete ingestion of all the relevant data, and more importantly, having the motivation to want to know this data. The basic reason for the failure of this kind of liberating concept is that most people are ossified, and, as you rightly label it, “change disabled.” The label “cowards” is also an accurate description. Thus, based on my observations up to this point, we can assume that we will be witnesses over the coming years and decades of an even greater and more pernicious form of imposed slavery, and that no matter how constricting it will become, these “change disabled” will not resist, as long as they are able to flee into their comic books, or cartoons, or in the example of the Soviet Union—vodka bottles. These are the responses of the defeated, and our masters know they’ve won. · read more (7 words)
Monday, November 26 2012 @ 12:55 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
One man with courage is a majority. - Thomas Jefferson
It has belatedly dawned on the gullible American people that the mainstream media and chattering classes are spreading fallacies more than they tell the truth. Yet, most of them still believe in the silly notion that the alternative and social media are more reliable than their mainstream cousins.
How do they know that? Their typical answer is: "Just by intuition." But remember when someone wants to instill a delusive idea in your brain, his first target is your intuitive faculty because it's the most vulnerable part of a human being.
As the dust has settled down more or less on the post-Election America, they are gradually accepting the outcome of the election although at least 70% of the voting-age population still feel cheated by the media and political establishment.
They know very well that reluctantly accepting unacceptable things is the easiest and most effective way to remain uncommitted. Actually these people have already restored their old habit of putting all the blame on others for everything that went wrong. It's out of the question for them to demand a rerun of the whole election process.
This way they are getting poised to repeat the same follies toward 2016. To this end, they make believe they are unaware of the untold truth about the leap-year farce: Obama wasn't the winner.
If you take a look at this Wikipedia entry and do some grade-school arithmetic, you will know the real winners were those 89 million people (40.0-42.5% of the voting-age population) who refused to exercise their voting right. Obama's share of popular vote is shown here as 50.8%. But if you discount it with the extremely poor voter turnout, you will know Obama got only 29.9% against the total voting-age population.
I know most Americans today don't like Jefferson's quote you saw at the top of this post simply because it sounds undemocratic. These people think they should strictly adhere to majority rule. In fact, though, they are now nullifying their cardinal rule on the pretext of the very same principle.
70% of the people, Republicans, independents and those who passed up the meaningless poll, are more or less unhappy with the election results. But it seems they want to look away from the obvious fact because more and more they have developed a defeatist mindset. They know very well losers are excused from painstaking efforts to break this cul-de-sac, and thus, given a special privilege to attribute their own failure to someone else.
Actually it's this sense of defeat and resignation being felt among these auto-suggestible masochists that makes the Kenyan Monkey grin from ear to ear.
Whether you like it or not, the fact of the matter
remains that American democracy IS DEAD with the entire electoral system finally falling apart.
Romney might want to correct his concession speech because it's not Obama, but those who didn't cast their ballots, who actually defeated him. By the same token, Obama might want to deliver a concession speech on the day he is sworn in for his second term. But now it's too little, too late, to reverse the process of the decline of America. The country is now headed for its total implosion.
Which is addicted to opiate, you or me?
This leaves us wondering what to expect from those 40-Percenters who refused to attend the November 6 ritual.
As I always maintain, people's fate hinges solely on the quality of each individual. And needless to say, it can only be measured by his ability of creative and imaginative thinking. This is especially true in the face of the moment of truth such as this one.
The single most formidable problem that is undermining the vigor of the nation is fear of change on the part of its people. It is created by the lack of imagination. For almost seven decades by now, American people at large have been supporting their government's efforts for "nation-building" overseas. But when it comes to the destruction and rebuilding of their own country, they all feel weak at the knees and their imagination freezes before the daunting task.
Although they don't want to admit it, it's not a mission impossible when it is well-conceived. Just for one thing, it should not be that unrealistic for the American people to press their government to immediately withdraw from some multilateral and bilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, the NPT and U.S.-Japan security treaty. When that happens, they will see a completely different situation arising overnight. NATO is a different story because it involves too complex tasks. But that will hopefully help ease people's fear of change.
Quite a few Americans have learned a wrong lesson from the Japanese people. As a result, they are already Japanized to the marrow. Now it's too late to undo the Japanese influence on them. But the rest of the people can still learn many don'ts from the Japanese to avoid repeating the fatal mistakes they have committed.
For one thing, the Japanese people have been strictly prohibited, or strongly discouraged at best, from creative and imaginative thinking since their early childhood. As you may have noticed, Japanese adults, from prime minister, to corporate executives, to yakuza gangsters, to homeless, are all hooked on Manga (cartoons) simply because they are badly in need of a harmless substitute for imagination. (See NOTE below.) Now Manga to Japanese grownups is what sci-fi movies are to preteen kids in the U.S. In short, Japanese comic books and Anime have proved the best recipe to make people remain change-disabled from cradle to grave.
NOTE: According to the official statistics, 968 million copies of comic books and magazines were sold in 2011. This accounted for 36% of the publication of all genres in the year. Remember Japan's population stands at 127 million.
Most Americans would say they can't expect that much from those who didn't cast their ballots because they have no organization to represent them. But they are wrong. In that respect, they should know that the Japanese have developed a phobia about anything that isn't neatly organized. And this trait has taken a devastating toll on the viability of the nation. When one wants to unleash his imagination and creative thinking, any organization serves as a liability rather than an asset.
I think these uninstitutionalized Americans should, first and foremost, make every possible effort to overcome their defeatist mindset and phobia. Only then, a small number of people will hopefully come forward to form a loosely organized group. The time is ripe for them to successfully bring a critical mass of Netizens around their design concept for a brand-new government model. Every precaution has to be taken, however, against the dirty trick Google or any other "independent" SEO (search engine optimization) company could well use to tamper with their effort. These guys constantly un-optimize the traffic to/from harmful websites such as this one of my own.
If I were them, I would put forth a general design concept on the web as a draft constitution for online skull sessions. Our constitution would say the new government should consist of two branches, instead of three, because there would be no professional legislators. The executive and judicial powers would lie with the smallest units of people such as private companies, towns or villages.
I don't know how soon the virtual government would supplant Washington, but there's no reason to believe you can't do something of the same magnitude that the empty-headed kid by the name of Mark Zuckerberg could generate in a matter of a few years. At any rate, don't make believe the current system is more or less functioning. If you still want to live in delusion, you should stop criticizing the media and political establishment for good.
I don't care if their design concept bears little resemblance to my sketchy description of the edifice I'm inclined to call e-Democracy because the name of the game is just narrowing the yawning gap between potentially change-enabling technologies and totally change-disabled sociopolitical systems which are centuries apart now.
But I want them always to keep in mind that there's no room for ideologies in their endeavor. Any ism, be it capitalism, socialism, conservatism, liberalism, or even anarchism, is just the cinders from the past revolution. That's why Gordon G. Chang and his fellow ideologues look very much like hobos scavenging for kitchen waste.
I also think there are some other countries to watch, such as China and Greece. It seems to me these peoples from the cradles of the oldest civilizations are now taking an uncharted course with their inventive, down-to-earth, bold, tough, delusion-free, and ideology-free mindsets and attitudes. · read more (48 words)
Friday, November 23 2012 @ 02:52 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
It turned out to be another fake dawn. The electoral changes did not go far enough to make a difference. The opposition leaders wasted their energies fighting among themselves. Outside the LDP, Ozawa was unable to spread enogh money around to get things done and keep his party members happy. In 1994, the LDP was back in power in coalition with , of all parties, the socialists. By 1997, Ozawa and his fellow rebels against the LDP were finished..
- Inventing Japan - 1853-1964 by Ian Buruma, 2003.
Part of Chojuu Jinbutsu Giga
After desperately clinging to power for 62 weeks, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda finally succumbed to the pressure for his virtual resignation. Pressure from whom? None other than himself.
On November 16, he dissolved the Lower House, knowing his Democratic Party of Japan would never come back to power again. The all-too-familiar political turmoil had already started a couple of months earlier.
The Japanese are now witnessing deja vu of the "political realignment" of 1993 where "new" parties mushroomed, existing parties renamed themselves, and split up into two or more, merged with others, while dozens of lawmakers made party-hopping back and forth from one party to another.
As of today, there are at least 14 political parties as you can see below:
Name of Party Head
Democratic Party of Japan
Current Prime Minister
Liberal Democratic Party
Grandson of Nobusuke Kishi. Prematurely stepped down as PM in Sept. 2007
when he mentally collapsed.
Komei-to (Political arm of the legitimized cult Soka Gakkai)
Champion of party-hopping
Son of former Finance Minister
Quit the high-paying job of Tokyo Governor in October to collect a handsome amount of retirement allowance.
Japan Communist Party
Yet to wake up from the dream of the Cold War era.
Social Democratic Party
An old stakeholder in Japan Post before its privatization by Bush's order.
Served 17-month-term in jail
Formerly 2nd-rate university professor
Former Governor of Nagano Prefecture
NOTE: WK signifies "Who knows?"
Is this a manifestation of political diversity of this country? Not at all. They insist they are divided over many issues, but simply that is not true. Although there are 14 different combinations of answers to media-salient fake issues such as whether, and how fast, to phase out the nuclear power plants, their political platforms all come down to one and only worn-out cause: restore the imaginary prosperity, unity and harmony under the reign of the Emperor and the U.S. President.
I don't know what to make of this landscape where 14 political groups are competing against one another for a single empty cause. How do I know when these political racketeers don't know what they are doing themselves? All I can tell is it's yet another confirmation that Japan has been going around in circles for many decades by now. To say the least, it turned out to be another lost 20 years.
It's as though I am looking at Chojuu-Jinbutsu Giga (animal-person caricatures), a set of picture scrolls, unfolding before me. The caricatures were drawn in the 12th through 13th centuries by Buddhist monks to satirize subhuman creatures in action without knowing what they were doing.
Just for one thing Shintaro Ishihara, 80-year-old imbecile who had been remote-controlling a small group named Rise Up Japan Party from his Governor's office, took it over in mid-November with a lot of fanfare and renamed it something like The Sun Party. But just a week or so later the ex-Governor announced that he had dissolved the Sun Party to merge it into another new group headed by a 43-year-old ex-Governor of Osaka named Toru Hashimoto.
On the surface Hashimoto's political agenda is miles apart from Ishihara's. But if you take a closer look at them, you will know that the two guys are 360-degrees, rather than 180-degrees, different from each other. The common denominator between Ishihara and Hashimoto is the fact that both of them are the most unscrupulous racketeers.
Hashimoto, who is a former ambulance chaser, has authored many books in which he openly says the most important attribute for a successful politician is the skills to deceive people without getting convicted. Ironically, his defiant frankness has earned him a reputation that he is an honest person. His biological father was a yakuza gangster. That's not his fault as he always insists, but if he has an unmistakable yakuza mentality himself, as he actually does, that's a different story.
General Douglas MacArthur did two things to the Japanese in his capacity as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Firstly he handed back Emperor Hirohito alive to the people. Equally important, he gave them a multiparty system when he ordered Nobusuke Kishi, grandfather of Shintaro Abe, to lay out the 1955 System in exchange for his release from the Sugamo Prison, instead of sending him climbing the 13 steps to the gallows.
You never know whether it was a gross negligence or a willful act. But if he did it by design, MacArthur was one of the best conspirators of the 20th century because a multiparty system is not only totally dysfunctional in a country where people have no idea about civil society, but also fatally damaging to it. It's unlikely that the General, who knew all the Japanese were 12-year-olds, didn't know they didn't have a sense of self. Over time anything other than a single-party system will undermine a monolithic country like Japan.
It's, therefore, no accident that this country has seen the same "much ado about nothing" over and over. Every time this happens, the media untiringly tell their audience to expect a new Japan to emerge from the turmoil always termed "political alignment." This time around, the social media have joined forces with them to tell the people to repeat the same folly expecting a different outcome in the upcoming snap election of the Lower House.
Something is fundamentally wrong with this system. And there is no way out of the deadend situation.
I know you Westerners, especially Americans, will sneer at this political landscape. But hold on a minute. Are you sure this is a "fire on the other shore"? Don't you ever expect the Japanese to refrain from re-exporting to your country this rubbish called "American democracy." It will bring you a disaster because a multiparty system twisted in the Japanese way is totally incongruous with your country where the process of America's Japanization has reached its final stage.
In recent years I've been more and more out of touch with your take on the political situation there. So correct me if I'm wrong. I think there are only two types of people in the U.S. today: those in the mainstream and those in the fringe. Mainstreamers admit they are facing some serious problems but they are confident that these problems will be contained sooner or later. On the other hand, people in the fringe say there's practically nothing that doesn't constitute a major problem, and all these problems have gone out of control by now. To put it differently, mainstreamers are swimming in the vast intellectual vacuum created by nation's chattering classes while those in the fringe are drowning in it.
Contrary to your belief, however, I think the two groups have one important thing in common: both are so self-righteous as to attribute these problems to someone else's failure. They constantly externalize, instead of internalize, anything that went wrong, and project it to the other side. In short, they are too busy telling other people to change to change themselves.
It makes me grin to imagine how these Buddhist monks would portray the microcosm of America in which the Kenyan monkey and the monster in the U.S. State Department are in action while they don't know what they are doing. Other people are just looking on.
Their self-deceptive attitudes make the American people look very much like Emperor Hirohito. In 1945, the zombie in the Imperial Palace ingeniously convinced MacArthur that he was a poor victim of the reckless generals of the Imperial Army. It's as though the Americans have learned from the Japanese Emperor how to fabricate a plausible alibi.
In November 2006, I uploaded a post under the title of "Is e-Democracy too wild an anticipation?". I thought the most formidable challenge facing us today is
how to narrow the yawning gap between the obsolete sociopolitical systems and the technologies of the 21st century. Technologies and social engineering methodologies are centuries apart now. Time and again we have learned that the wider the gap, the more disastrous the consequence. But every time we have chosen to forget the bitter lesson.
When I wrote the piece, George W. Bush, in his second term, had already been labeled the second-worst president in U.S. history. But he didn't know he would soon be demoted to the third place.
In the last six years, almost 4,300 people have read this post. But none of them, but Gordon G. Chang, have given me a feedback presumably because it would require a creative thinking to fully explore the viability of an e-government. It remains a pipe dream as long as you think about just supplanting the old technologies with the web-based ones, which is "disruptive" in nature, while assuming the "as-is" sociopolitical systems and the underlying concept of the nation-state should still stay there. It's as though even America's electoral systems haven't proved totally unworkable.
Perhaps, still you can't really visualize a dramatic change that would lead to an e-Democracy. Let me ask you this question: "Do you know, by any chance, that even the empty-headed kid named Mark Zuckerberg could cause a sea change, for better or for worse, in the behaviors of Netizens in a matter of a few years?"
When I sent the link to Chang, he gave me a few mails. In the first mail, he wrote; "I was at a war game all weekend, so I have not yet had a chance to look at the pipedream stuff." (Emphasis mine.) The next day he came back to say: "Very funny, YY. I have no grandchildren. The war game was at the University of Pennsylvania. It was co-sponsored by a Washington think tank. My team lost. I will try [to read that piece] today." A couple of days later, he said: "Tons of interesting thoughts here. The second paragraph needs much more explanation so readers don't get lost." I think that's when I realized, for the first time, that I had to write off this self-complacent bastard.
Admittedly my 6-year-old proposition remained a little too sketchy. But still I want my audience to do some creative thinking using their own brains and give me a feedback that will, in turn, make me think using my own brain. That's why I take up the same issue once again here in the face of the total confusion in my native country.
Or, do you want to stay in the cul-de-sac, grumbling or lamenting over someone else's failure all the time?
In the last several years, many Americans, including Chang, have labeled me a negativist, which is not what I am. Now I think I should return the same infamy to you. You always shy away from action because of your mental inertia and physical cowardice. Yet, you still suspect I'm a daydreamer who habitually abuses opiate.
But in a sense, it's not your fault. It can't really be helped because you haven't experienced real poverty yourself thus far. To you wealthy flapjaws, "poverty" or "injustice" is just a word. For my part, however, I have to live on junk food which makes the real hogwash fed to swine look like a gorgeous treat. Day in, day out, I live that way because I'm supposed to support empty lives of emplobies in central and local government.
I sometimes think we are seeing the first sign of the restoration of democracy in the very cradle of the great idea - Greece. Its "shadow economy" now accounts for 25% of nation's GDP, which translates into much more than 25% of the population. · read more (44 words)
Saturday, November 17 2012 @ 11:01 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Production is thus at the same time waste or destruction of material, financial and human resources, and consumption is at the same time negative production.
- Words from Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (1857) paraphrased by this blogger.
I am a humble blogger who has lived for almost 77 years and is now dying in dire poverty. I am well aware most of you think I am Aesop's fox because I seem to have walked away from the bunch of grapes with my nose in the air, saying the grapes must be sour.
But nothing is farther from the truth. I've never said grapes are unripe here. Instead I'm always saying I can tell from my experience that they are worm-eaten all over.
Besides, earlier in my life, I've had fine moments when I had a lot of sweet grapes before worms ate into them. There's no reason I have to look around for a fairyland where quality of life hasn't eroded yet.
Given this perception gap between us which seems almost unbridgeable, it's all the more annoying to hear empty-headed ideologues in the U.S. talking about the future of Northeast Asia under the guise of political analysts.
Sometime last year, Gordon G. Chang had to revise his 10-year-old forecast that China would collapse by 2011, saying, "I was wrong, but only by one year." Now as the end of 2012 draws near without seeing imminent signs of his prophecy coming true, Chang must be sweating a lot over how to ask his patrons and followers to give him another reprieve. Learning no lessons from his repeated failure to predict what's happening in this region, he wrote on Forbes.com in September 9, 2011 that Japan would once again overtake China as the world's second largest economy by 2013. Chang's disciples are too nice with their guru to ask him this simple question: "What yardstick are you going to use to figure out GDP of the nation which will have disappeared one year earlier?"
These unprincipled guys arbitrarily single out GDP, or sometimes sovereign debt, when talking about the wealth and health of nations as if they are talking about the Olympic games. Worse, the only thing these makeshift economists can tell about GDP is that the abbreviation stands for Gross Domestic Product. It's about time you should stop being distracted by their amateurish arguments about how soon China catches up with the U.S. GDP-wise, whether or not Japan overtakes China in the foreseeable future, etc.
From 1955 through 1959 I majored in economics and industrial relations at Keio University. Before we went on to study macro- and micro-economics, we had to get familiarized with the tricky rules of debits and credits. I was a dull-witted freshman. So I failed to grasp the principle behind the modern accounting method invented in 1494 by the Venetian genius named Luca Pacioli. It was only after I became a corporate financial manager 10 years later that I understood why income has to be posted on the credit side along with debt, and expenses have to be recorded on the debit side as if they were assets.
Since Pacioli's principle isn't just about debits and credits, it really adds up only when you take a look at it from a much broader perspective. It all comes down to this: Everything has two or more different aspects in the real world. To put it differently: Goodbye to ideological delusions and delusive ideologies.
Karl Marx observed that a producer produces a new product by consuming existing one and a consumer, in turn, consumes the product to produce a newer one. In that sense, he echoed Pacioli's principle while trying to adapt it to the post-Industrial Revolution era.
And this is exactly where the flyblown brains of these self-styled economists like Chang stop to work. And that is why they keep talking about nations' wealth and health so lightly. I even suspect those of you who are well-educated but have little experience engaging in an actual process of production of wealth think the accounting equation is something for number crunching nerds and has nothing to do with your own life. As a result you always end up scratching the surface of things even when you address your own problem. You self-righteously think problems are always for someone else to solve.
In the last five centuries since Pacioli, valuation of assets and liabilities have been an everlasting challenge for professional accountants in and outside FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) or IASB (International Accounting Standards Board). Especially in recent years, the hottest topic among them has been how to deal with intangibles such as intellectual property. I have no interest, whatsoever, in how these vultures flocking around paper money are measuring their imaginary wealth. But I am still deeply concerned about how these accounting experts bring up to date the way to value and revalue man's tangible and intangible wealth.
So I became a sophomore and then a junior without really understanding the basic principle of economy. In subsequent years, I skipped almost all classes primarily because not a single professor lectured on his own theory tested against the reality of the Japanese economy. As anywhere else in this country, these incompetent teachers kept talking about foreign ideas borrowed from the likes of François Quesnay, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes.
Sometimes I think if the economic faculty of Keio University had had a class on Wassily Leontief's input-output analysis in which macroeconomics converges with microeconomics、I mightn't have skipped it. The Russian-born economist had already defected from the Soviet Union, but it was only 14 years after my graduation that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize to Leontief. That is the only reason I missed the opportunity to learn his economic model which, in essence, was derived from Marx's analysis of production-consumption chain.
Outside these boring classes, I read many books written by the likes of Max Weber and Karl Marx. But it was only after I got into the business world that I learned first-hand that the economic system actually in place here is neither capitalism nor socialism.
This is not to say, however, the bachelor's degree is the only thing I obtained at my alma mater. I acquired one thing which was much more important than the diploma. What I learned there and have never forgotten is the fact that the greatness of these great economists such as Adam Smith and Karl Marx lies with their principled way of theorizing on what man's economic activity is all about. They invariably based their theories on the premise that monetary, religious and secular values can be, or at least should be, defined univocally. To them value is value.
It was only after the Great Depression that Keynes, his followers collectively called demand-siders, and their opponent supply-siders derailed economics into a mere tool for financial institutions and governmental organizations to make a fast buck or manipulate markets.
As this blogger has repeatedly pointed out, people in America, and some other countries to a lesser degree, have lost the ability to conceptualize things which Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers of the country used to have. These birds don't think they have to define words such as "value" and "change" when they tweet about them. In my definition of these words, you can't have a value without changing something.
Perhaps revolution, in the original meaning of the word, is the most effective way to change things. But it's useless to talk about revolutionizing status quo with these effete people. That's basically why I always focus on more "peaceful" way to create values in my blog. My message is that you don't have to be a revolutionary in order to be a change agent. Just create values, i.e. genuine wealth.
Another conceptual thing I want to stress here is that the creation of a value, or its destruction for that matter, is not a natural process. Values never generate themselves. The single most important driving forth in the value-creating chain is always people.
With all this in mind, let me talk about Gross Domestic Product for a moment. As you may already know GDP consists of the following four elements: ● Private Consumption ● Gross Investment ● Government Spending ● Trade Balance. It's important to note human beings play the central role throughout all these elements.
Private Consumption normally accounts for the largest portion of GDP, typically at around 60%. But you can also see personnel costs, i.e. corporate investment in human resources, in other GDP components. For one thing, a good part of your salaries, bonuses, other "fringe" benefits, and "overhead" expenses are included in corporate investment in "inventories" of the goods. And Government Spending is always funded by taxes withheld or voluntarily paid from your paychecks.
There's no denying that GDP is one of the important indications of the quantitative values being created in a year. But since values, or potential values to be more precise, are all created by man, GDP tells us only part of the story about our pursuit of wealth. Let us be reminded of Marx's succinct words from his contribution to Critique of Political Economy. He wrote: "Consumption gives the product the finishing touch." This requires us to take a close look into the qualitative aspects of the production of wealth.
I have nothing against the idea that things have to be kept clean as much as practicably possible. And generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with producing these amenities and selling them with a modest amount of frills called Saabisu here, although I can't afford to have such nice-to-haves myself. But even if you don't have first-hand knowledge in economy through working experience, you can tell only with your commonsense that overdoing things like this is not only useless but also harmful. It always entails a prohibitively large amount of waste of material, financial and human resources. That's why I think these people with pathological obsession with perfect cleanliness are destroying values much more than they create them by developing, manufacturing and selling the special condoms.
Equally important, you can never expect a sound spending habit from these sick people.
Their salaries are always subjected to theft by the tax authorities. Needless to say, they pour the loot down the drain called "government spending" for bridges to nowhere, soldiers who never fight, weapons they never use in actual warfare, and public servants who only serve themselves.
And how are these people working in the condom companies spending their take-home income?
Aside from daily necessities for them to stay alive aimlessly, they buy LCD TV sets, for instance. What for? To watch kiddies' anime, news programs filled with lies, and Waido-sho (variety shows). Also they allocate an average 34% of their disposable income for the education of their children. They make believe they don't notice these mentally neotenized parents and teachers can never help their kids grow into mature adults. Actually they are just reproducing the same stupidity from a generation to the next.
They also buy a personal computer. What for? To use it for Internet games, Buroguing (blogging) on their empty lives, or chatting on Mixi (Japan's largest social networking site). In other words, they are "using" the technologies of the 21st century for the same things their immediate and distant ancestors were doing without a computer.
An IBM consultant named Grant Norris once said: "Adaptive technologies move earlier technologies forward incrementally [while] disruptive technologies change the way people live their lives or the way businesses operate." He meant to say it's ridiculous to use a disruptive technology as if it were adaptive. That's the surest way to make a change-disabler out of the potential enabler of change.
Besides, practically every PC user installs in his computer an Internet security software such as the one from McAfee. These super credulous guys don't know, or don't want to know that all anti-malware software vendors, on the one hand, play the role of firefighters, and on the other, act as arsonists. Their business model is a typical example of what I call "negative production."
One of their typical behaviors when they get paid the biannual bonuses is to visit a local car dealer to purchase a Toyota or a Nissan. What for? Primarily to drive to their condom factories and adjacent offices. Another thing they often do is to take an overseas trip. Most of the time their destination is an outlet of these Duty-Free Shoppers. At a DFS, most of them purchase one of these luxury goods such as Louis Vuitton handbags.
According to a 2004 survey conducted by Merrill Lynch, Japan sale for highend marketers peaked at US$16 billion in 1996. After that, the sales somewhat slowed down, but in 2003, 3 years after the burst of the bubble economy, the Japanese people were still buying luxuary products worth US$10.8 billion, accounting for 40% of their worldwide sales. Chinese people may have temporarily caught up with Japanese in this respect, but it's astounding that the figure for 1996 was 7 times larger than Mongolia's GDP for 2005. This is an unmistakable sign that their unusually big appetite for values remains unsatisfied with industrial rubbish they can produce themselves.
Since the value-creating chain is open-ended, the same story can be told of employees of manufacturers of consumer electronics and automobiles. These are the "finishing touches" Japanese consumers can give to the industrial output. In short, the entire production-consumption chain of Japan has totally fallen apart.
According to IMF, Japan's GDP stood at $5,867 billion as of the end of 2011. But because of the broken chain, the world's third largest number means practically nothing. Japan's GDP is half-empty now, to say the least. This is a deliberate statement.
Some experts cite the huge accumulation of wealth, i.e. "household financial assets" which stood at 1,513 trillion yen as of 2009, as a proof that this economy is still sound. But values without substance will remain empty no matter how long they go through the process of fermentation.
Admittedly my economics remains an empirical theory because quality of life is an intangible thing. But sometimes intangibles can be measured quantitatively as some accounting experts have shown us. If I were an econometrician, I would certainly try to come up with the formula for something to be called a "cavity deflator" with which to gauge how far Japan's wealth has been eroded.
Actually I don't care too much about the emptiness of your life. At any rate it's none of my business. Throughout my first and second career, I did the best I could to make a difference to the shitty Japan Inc. There's nothing I could do anymore.
Maybe I will be a little better off if I know who I'm talking to on this website. It seems to me the American people have yet to recover from the election hangover. Mainstream Americans are still acting like fruitworms eating further into rotten grapes. Another group of people are saying grapes are too sour to eat with their signature cynicism as if they aren't dying for juicy fruit. A third group of people on the fringe are a little savvier. But they remain hesitant to leave the dead grapevines right away in search of a new vineyard. Instead they are untiringly warning grapes are pest-laden there. All these folks deserve the predicament facing them because none of them think about fixing, or better yet, revolutionizing the entire value chain with an unwavering resolve and down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach. · read more (39 words)
Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 03:36 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Sap flowing through the trunk heels the wounds of a tree to help its healthy growth Termites infesting a big tree eventually uproot it over a long period of time
I call it a farce, but not because Obama, Romney and/or Paul are clowns.
When will ordinary Americans ever learn that they are the clowns? It's solely their fault that things unfolded the way they did in the last four years and beyond.
Throughout the duration of the farce, the mainstream Americans were attributing things that went wrong to their opponents.
Other people were essentially no different. Not a few on the fringe were self-righteously saying a "huge awakening" was going on on the part of the general population and that an American Revolution was on its way. But a huge awakening from what? Actually it was nothing but a delusion on the delusion.
These sick people are unaware that they are just projecting to the other side the problem they can't solve themselves. After the election results came out, these good guys are still insisting the revolution was aborted because bad guys in the media prevented people from fully awakening.
Now the farce is over, but practically all Americans still make believe others should change before they do themselves. Isn't it about time to have dropped all these jokes? Such an alibi exercise hasn't worked before, and will never in the future.
Don't take me wrong, however. I'm not instigating these chicken-hearted people to kill the most unscrupulous one of the three, the Kenyan monkey perhaps, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Time and again it's been proved they have no guts needed for such a bold move, and they have too many excuses for their inaction. As I kept saying since 2008, what they need to do, instead, is a serious soul-searching to know exactly who they are. But beware, you can never define what you really are by a half-baked ideology you support or oppose, or religious values you believe or disbelieve in.
Until they define themselves in the right way, they can never internalize any issue facing them. Neither can they emancipate themselves from the delusive idea that the problem always lies with others, while the fact of the matter remains they are the problem themselves.
Only through a serious effort for self-examination, they can find a life-size view of things surrounding them. Then they will stop talking big while actually acting very small.
It's also important to know there's nothing wrong with acting small if they base their plans on a down-to-earth vision about the future, i.e. what nation should emerge in the North American continent after the inevitable collapse of the American Empire overseas and the likely implosion of homeland U.S. It's far better than just grumbling about their fellow countrymen who are in a hypnotic state while doing absolutely nothing with them. Hopefully they will define their role as that of sap, or termites.
Some may want to change their country just like drops of sap help the tree grow over a long period of time by constantly transporting nutrients through its trunk. Some others may choose to be termites infesting the heartwood of a tree or wooden structure and eventually cause it to break down.
Whichever approach they take to make a difference to their country, these processes may progress at a glacial pace. But I hope the Internet will help expedite them if they know how to leverage the worldwide web which was originally meant to be an enabler of change as is true with any "disruptive" technology. It's a different story, however, if they still do not realize "alternative media" and "social media" are, more often than not, a change-disabler.
Or.....if they can't tell the difference between web-search and soul-search, they might as well join these Japanese macaques who are conditioned to instantly jump at anything given to them. · read more (9 words)
Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 06:06 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Japan's unemployment rate is shown in black against other G8 nations.
A receptionist automatically bows at a constant interval where there are no customers in sight.
One of the regulars at my website brought up a somewhat off-the-topic subject in response to my previous post. He wanted to say the Democrats are undermining the American values.
Currently I'm fully tied up with my constitutional battle against the municipality of Yokohama. But I thought I had to write another piece to further clarify my points from a different angle because what I want to tell my audience and the cause of the war I am waging come down to one and the same principle.
I said in my reply that I think the Democrats and the Republicans are the two wings of the same bird as is evident from the way they talk about "issues" such as jobs. Then he came back to say, "I can’t tell the difference between a girl mosquito and a boy mosquito and yet the girl and boy mosquitoes get it figured out."
His mosquito analogy is essentially different from my bird metaphor. And, of course, none of us are mosquitoes, e.g. ones caught trapped in the web. This is exactly what I wanted to make sure when I asked you who you really are in the above-linked piece. Actually I had suspected some of you could be eels, if not mosquitoes.
He is my longtime friend, and personally I have absolutely nothing against this respectable gentleman. And I think I am a flexible person. But I can't give in an inch when it comes to a matter of principle.
It's important to note you can't artificially create jobs out of thin air and it's none of the President's business in the first place. The only exception is murderous ones a President might create in the military and the military-industrial complex.
Let me first define the word "job" because talking this and that about a poorly defined subject will get us nowhere. What is the thing called a job?
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by and large, has it right when defining who are employed and who are unemployed. But actually the classification by BLS doesn't make a bit of sense except when it says volunteering is not an occupation. It doesn't say a word about exactly what a job is.
Realistically speaking, robbery, for one, is a legitimate job if these tax-collectors in the city hall are performing their contractual obligations when they forcefully collect taxes from their employers. Prostitutes and their pimps are also doing decent jobs if the "presstitute" I referred to as "AK" in my previous posts claims to be a journalist. Likewise swindlers should be considered to hold respectable jobs if Gordon G. Chang is classified in the category of self-employed in the labor statistics.
Japan's Statistics Bureau of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications handles jobs data essentially in the same way. But unemployment rate still stays extraordinarily low in Japan (see the graph embedded above) as compared to the U.S. even amid the deepening economic doldrums here. It is true that the Statistics Bureau here is habitually fabricating jobs data as its U.S. counterpart does. But if you want to know the real reason behind the huge gap, it's far from enough to question the trustworthiness of the labor statistics. I think we need to look into other factors particular to this country.
Gordon G. Chang is a breathtakingly unprincipled person who has no sense of responsibility for what he says. Just for instance, one of his favorite topics was the demographic "issue" supposedly facing "America's most important partner." He kept parroting the Japanese media until the fall of 2008 when they realized the red herring had too dried up to distract people's attention from the real issues. Until then Chang was making a big fuss over the Japanese population which was allegedly shrinking in size while the process of biological aging was further accelerating.
I told him, over and over again, it was simply wrong to assume Japan's economic vigor was declining as a result of the dwindling population because it's turning the causal relationship upside down. Every time I pointed out shrinking population can't be an issue in a nation like Japan where there are too many people relative to its anemic pursuit of value-creating activity, he shrugged me off. Presumably he thought there was no reason to believe in an obscure blogger, that I was, when the entire fourth estate of the country observed the situation in a diagonally different way. The last thing he would understand was the very basic principle that the overall quality of people by far outweighs the number of people. As the imaginary issue fell into oblivion here, Chang started playing dumb as if he'd never said population was at issue.
And it makes little sense to talk about the population of a country without knowing the square-mileage of the land it covers. The population density of this country is already way too high. In the U.S., for instance, the number of residents per sq.mi is a little below 83 while in Japan 868 people are living in a range of 1 sq.mi.
To Chang, the Japanese were basically faceless people. Needless too say, he didn't give a damn about their inner selves when he talked about Japan's bright future under the wing of the United States. In 2004, I presented him a copy of John Nathan's Japan Unbound in the hope that he would stop scratching the surface of this nation. But again he ignored everything that didn't fit into his cheap ideology.
For one thing, he made believe he didn't notice that in the book Nathan quoted a director of the Mental Health Center of Yokohama as telling him, "Some 5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment." It would be all the more out of the question for this guy to pay attention to the results of a survey recently conducted by the government, which said 23.4% of the respondents had answered in the affirmative to this question: "Have you seriously considered suicide recently?" When it came to the pollees in their 20s, an astounding 28.4% answered they had thought about killing themselves lately. This unmistakably indicates that the Japanese are well aware a good part of them are redundant.
With these facts and perceptions all taken into account, it looks all the more mysterious that Japan's unemployment rate has stayed at the lowest levels among industrialized countries for many decades. Among other things, it's especially unfathomable that we don't see a competitive labor market which would have inevitably arisen where there are too many people in a small strip of land. The fact of the matter remains that people here needn't compete against one another seeking scarce employment opportunities. As a result they don't have a motivation to improve themselves. This should be interpreted as an indication that what a job means to the Japanese is completely different from what it means to other peoples.
Pathological obsession with perfection
When I was in business, I already knew something was fundamentally wrong with this country. The only reason I could think of for the abnormally low jobless rate here was because this country is abnormal.
As I told you when I talked about the false obituary on the personal computer, one of my people in the accounting department was often spotted verifying an MIS output with her abacus. I said to her, "What the hell are you doing here?" The veteran accountant blushed and fidgeted for a second, but somehow found nerve to say, "I do this - just in case, Mr. Yamamoto." A couple of months later she decided to upgrade her verification system from the abacus to a calculator.
Then came the Plaza Accord of 1985 which ushered in the days of uncertainty. Now the woman belatedly realized that no matter how many times she double-checked a yen value, it would have to be restated at a new exchange rate against the US$ or the Swiss Franc by the time I sent the financial report to the headquarters.
I couldn't give her a pink slip for two reasons. Firstly, she wasn't alone, far from it, in being so fussy about accuracy. If I had fired her for her compulsive idea that everything had to be perfect, I would have had to dismiss everyone in the organization. Secondly, in this country where the world-renowned practice called "lifetime employment system" was, and still remains, the norm, joblessness isn't just the state of being out of work. It means much more than loss of income source, and perhaps loss of house to live in and family to live with. When you deal with such people who are driven too much by the obsessive ideas about maintaining a harmonious society to be really values-driven, you have to use quite different elimination criteria from those used in a little less abnormal country.
By the time I called it a career, I concluded that Japan would become a normal country only if and when its jobless rate soared to somewhere around 20%, or even higher. That would mean the number of the jobless should grow at least by 400% in the not-too-distant future. This is almost an unattainable goal as long as we take it for granted that Japan is a going concern.
In 1955, a Briton by the name of Cyril Northcote Parkinson observed that "the demand upon a resource tends to expand to match the supply of the resource." In a sense, his theory is the supply-sider's view applied to the labor market. But it is important to always keep in mind that Parkinson's Law is not a law of physics. You can change it if you and your colleagues are principled people. Otherwise the consequence is disastrous as we have already seen here in this country.
The condoms for umbrellas and the state-of-the-art devices to autoload them are just the tip of the tip of the ice berg. Time and again I have discussed the issue of corporate redundancies on this website. In the first such post, I focused primarily on Saabisu lavishly given by large to small players in the service industry. Saabisu is the Japanese transliteration of "service" but it means a very different thing from service in that it is basically free of charge and it's something you can live without or sometimes you are better off without. It typically includes Oshibori (I don't want to bother to explain what it is), Pointo Kaado (ditto), Bakku-guraundo Myuujikku nobody appreciates, and automatic bowing (see the second photo). The list of Saabisu goes on and on.
At any rate, I have great difficulty figuring out why Japanese travelers don't think a smile from a cabin attendant suffices. It is true that with the late arrival of low-cost carriers, local airlines have started to seek the way to keep Saabisu to the minimum. But just trimming a small part of these frills is far from enough. As long as these sick people remain obsessed with the compulsive idea to pursue the unrealistic goal of "full-employment," it's for sure the same absurdity will come back the moment they see the slightest sign of turnaround and will soon start getting bloated until it "matches the supply of the resource."
Here's another case in point. Law says you are prohibited from smoking if you are 19 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes of age, or younger. In recent years, those who are stupid enough to believe such a law is practicably enforceable have been stepping up measures for a stricter observance of the law. A couple of months ago, municipalities across the nation ordered convenience stores and other retailers dealing in tobacco products to tell anyone who wants to buy a pack of cigarettes to swear he is not a minor by pressing his finger to the touch panel of the point-of-sale system which just reads "OK" or "Confirm." I sometimes ask the salesclerk: "By any chance, do I look like a 19-year-old kid?" The clerk always says apologetically: "No, not at all. We are doing this just because we are told to."
I know if you have never taken part in an actual production process yourself, you will say, "It's not a big deal. Why don't you just follow his instruction without saying a word?" But actually it must have taken a tremendous amount of man-hours for them to make a minor change to their POS system. Someone defined the "user requirement" in writing. A second person translated it into a "program specification." A third one coded it into a computer program, which certainly needed a lot of testing and debugging. Only then they could go live with the new "system."
This is the way material, financial and human resources are chronically wasted in this country. Manufacturing sector is no exception. Earlier this week consumer electronics giants such as Panasonic, Sony and Sharp announced they are expecting huge losses for this fiscal year. As usual they put all the blame on the economic slowdown in China and the continued appreciation of the yen. They will never admit, until it is too late, that the only way to rectify the shaky situation is a drastic downsizing which would force them to dump tens of thousands of people being wasted there.
Now the world's third-largest GDP, either nominal or in "real" terms, is actually hollowed out as the immense waste of resources has fatally eaten into Japan's industrial base. In this context let us be reminded of the exquisite words by Karl Marx. To apply his observation about the value-creating chain to Japan Inc., we have to paraphrase it this way:
"In Japan, production is at the same time the destruction or waste of resources, and consumption is at the same time a negative production."
Marx observed: "Consumption gives the product the finishing touch." But the Japanese are now transforming potentially change-enabling products into change-disabling ones by habitually misusing them. This leads to a vicious circle because now the "misusability" has become the key to success for marketers.
As I pointed out when I talked about the fecal truth behind the burst of the bubble, the Japanese economy has been inflated artificially to the extent that it's now half-empty, to say the least. I know very few of you readily accept my heretical view because most of you, like Chang, think there's no reason to believe in an obscure blogger who constantly brings subjective values into economics. Fortunately for me, though, I'm not alone. Peter F. Drucker, for one, repeatedly said to this effect:
"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently what needs not be done at all."
Actually Drucker wanted to say it's not only useless but also harmful.
Even in Japan, there are a handful of people who realize problems deep-rooted in Japan Inc. Kazuo Yuasa, then chief consultant at Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting, Inc., wrote in 2002 about his first-hand experience with a Japanese steelmaker where people were working very hard on a big project for "what needn't have been done at all." These are basically how the Japanese can miraculously keep nation's unemployment rate well below 5%. In this country it's a piece of cake not only for private sectors but also for the government to churn out as many jobs as they like, because these people are pathologically obsessed with perfection - perfect cleanliness, perfect accuracy, perfect certainty, perfect punctuality, perfect conformity, and most importantly perfect harmony among the community members - so anyone won't displease, upset or offend anyone else in any way.
And these are why I've been out of work since 2006 when these bastards at the rotten subsidiary of SAP AG, who were all suffering juvenile dementia, subtly suggested it was about time to have terminated our contract because I had already turned 70. If you are interested in knowing more about the ageist bias widespread in this country, you may want to look at the letter I sent to the editor of The Japan Times 16 years ago.
These are also what have since been driving me to an all-out war against the city hall. Unwinnable though it may seem, I won't stop fighting until the last day of my life. Not only my survival but also my principle are at stake there. · read more (22 words)
This may catch you off guard, but let me ask you something:
"WHO ARE YOU?"
You wonder what the hell this has to do with the issue at hand.
When starting a new thread, I always redefine myself because without knowing who is talking to whom and over exactly what issue, there's no point in blogging. In this context I think it will be nice if you ask yourself the same question: "Who am I?"
Before starting this inner process, I always empty myself because at any given time the inside of my brain looks very much like the cache memory after a lot of Googling. Actually this is the hardest part of the exercise. But never expect an exotic routine such as zazen or yoga to work its magic. Most of the time it's an Oriental rubbish invented by the Americans. I suspect you might as well empty your wallet as I always do.
I don't want to look at your personal profile you disclosed when you signed up to Facebook. I don't have access to Facebook pages in the first place simply because I'm not a kindergarten kid. Neither do I want to know your political ideology and religious faith because I know these are, at best, a jumbled manifestation of poorly-defined ideas you cherry-picked from your cache memory. Most of the time, they are delusions. Needless to say I'm not interested, either, in knowing who you are NOT (e.g. "I'm not a bigot like you," or, "I'm not a naysayer like you.")
All I need to know is your own principle on which you base what you say and do.
Now I am getting back to my principles on which I deal with the Constitution and laws subordinated to it.
The Japanese always think laws govern them, making believe they don't notice it's actually the other way around. Take their postwar Constitution for example. As a result of their inverted attitude toward laws in general, they have ambivalent feelings about their Constitution, which is based on three principles: pacifism, equality, and most importantly reciprocity between the state and its people.
Its Article 9 famously says: "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes." The Japanese traditionally think the right to independence and freedom is a gift from heaven just like the Constitution which was given by MacArthur. The last thing they would do to gain the sovereign right is to risk their lives in a bloody war. That's basically why they have never seriously thought about amending it. And that's why the pro-amendment movements which have lasted almost a half century by now are still getting nowhere.
Every time Chinese vessels take an excursion in the disputed waters surrounding Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, they feel chagrined because all they are allowed to do under the pacifist Constitution is to verbally warn they should stay away from the "Japanese territory" and sometimes to resort to the use of their ultimate weapons, i.e. water cannons.
It's on these occasions when the pro-amendment camps raise their voices. Their rationale always comes down to the "fact" that the Constitution is illegitimate because it was imposed on the Japanese by Douglas MacArthur. They opportunistically look away from the real fact that it was the Japanese people who swallowed everything the U.S. wanted them to swallow. I couldn't care less, though; it's now Ishihara's baby. (See FOOTNOTE.)
At this moment the equality principle is much more relevant to me. Time and again I've seen the same hypocrisy in their contradictory attitudes toward the principle. On the surface, equality is the element which is the most congruous with the egalitarian obsession prevalent in this classless society for more than a millennium. But these vassals and serfs in the feudal society of the 21st century have failed to understand what it should mean in a modern civil society. The reason for the failure is because the brand new rule of reciprocity to be applied between the rights and duties of the people is too foreign to the Japanese society which is governed by some extralegal entity.
To the Japanese, compassion, benevolence and mercy for the disabled or the aged are something to be bestowed upon them, normally with a silky voice that sets your teeth on edge, by お上, Okami or "someone from above." The real implication here is that if you insist on your natural rights as I always do, it constitutes an unpardonable crime.
One case in point is my wheelchair-bound daughter-in-law who suffers a rare disease named Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. As I observe, her psychosomatic disorder is more or less fake. Actually doctors haven't found a single organic failure behind all these pains she complains about day in, day out and around the clock, and her repeated attempts of parasuicide. In short she's a wreck, body and soul. But thanks to the efforts made by her husband, CRPS is now designated by the municipality as a refractory illness which makes its sufferers eligible for a special pension for the disabled.
Now my estranged daughter-in-law, who is still in her early-40s, is receiving a handsome amount of annuity which by far exceeds mine as if I haven't paid the premiums for the pension and healthcare insurance throughout my 50-year career, which are 20- to 30-times larger than hers at their present values. Besides, it's totally tax-exempt.
The privileged status is given to her simply because she is an ideal citizen in this sick nanny state. But I never want to become a well-off zombie like this woman at the cost of my dignity.
I wrote my story about a local news reporter "AK" in my previous entry. She is about the age of the woman in a wheelchair but not handicapped physically. But now I've learned she is yet another "presstitute." That means she is mentally impaired, seriously so.
Thanks to the thoughtful feedback I received from my friends, both online and offline, my hypertension subsided for a while. But the day before yesterday, someone else sent my blood pressure soaring high once again. I had to visit another mentally-impaired woman at the tax-collecting department of the ward office to follow up a memo I'd sent her a week or so earlier. Now it was increasingly obvious that the bitch won't be convinced I can't pay taxes until she actually finds my corpse somewhere at the seaside with her own eyes. So I wrote in the letter: "I'm literally getting killed by the city hall, but make no mistake, you've got to risk your own lives if you want to go further ahead to claim mine." Strangling me slowly as if with a silk cord, if not quickly with a rope, is exactly what they've been doing in the last 18 months. But she still didn't take me seriously because as anybody who knows me in person can tell, I don't look like a killer.
It's when I stepped out of the ward office building that I realized my pill case was already empty despite my effort to take a dose of the anti-hypertension drug only when it looks absolutely necessary. I directed my steps to Dr. Shiono's clinic which sits a couple of blocks away from the ward office.
When I dropped by his office, he had just wound up his lunch recess during which he was listening to music. He got a lot of suntan because every weekend during the long summer, he'd had fun doing cruising, swimming and bodyboarding with his son and wife. As usual we talked about music much more than about blood pressure.
I said to him, "I sometimes think a good musical piece such as Brahms's No. 4 Symphony has a more therapeutic power for hypertension than ex-Forge pills you prescribe for me." Nodding approvingly, he made me wear a pair of headphones and played a couple of newly-purchased CDs for me. After I listened to some passages from Bach's partita and violin sonata played by Glenn Gould and Hilary Hahn, I felt like my blood pressure had come down by 30-40mm Hg.
With his disarming grin, he went on to talk about his parents. Both of them were among the Class of 1959 at Toho Gakuen Shool of Music, the same class Seiji Ozawa also belonged. And in turn the maestro was among the same Class of 1954 at the junior and senior high schools I was in. So we have a lot in common to talk about although Dr. Shiono is younger than my elder son. His father was a professional piano tuner but died of cerebral hemorrhage when he was in his early-50s. The 77-year-old widow is still teaching the piano. He said, "You said you love Brahms. This reminds me of something. When I was a high school student, my mom kept telling me to listen to Brahms, Brahms, and Brahms. That was too much for a kid of the rock generation. That's why I chose a medical career over music. Now I do appreciate Brahms, if you are curious about that."
Thanks to the music and the doctor who apparently knows who he is, I could pull myself together once again and renew my vigor to fight on for my right to "maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living," as Article 25 stipulates, and more importantly, for the principle embodied in my own constitution.
Earlier this year in the U.S., an astounding 40,000 mostly unconstitutional laws were enacted just in a matter of weeks. At that time the late Ron Paul was saying he would have them all repealed as the president.
In comparison, the number of laws, bylaws and ordinances enacted by the Japanese lawmakers is 100-times smaller. It should also be noted that they are more careful than their American counterparts about the constitutionality of a new legislation presumably because the three branches of the government are not independent from one another as they are supposed to be.
At any rate, however, the lower "productivity" of the Japanese legislators does not indicate that Japan is a little healthier country than America. The widespread notion that Japan is under the rule of law is totally baseless because traditionally what governs this country is something other than written laws. That's why the legislative branch here does not have to massproduce laws, constitutional or not.
The sheepish people here are too used to being governed by an extralegal entity to govern themselves. As a result, even well-educated people such as my former friend "AK" don't need any principle on which to conduct themselves.
Small wonder anyone can't tell WHO HE REALLY IS. He is just yet another Japanese conformist who mindlessly goes with the flow. · read more (88 words)
旅に病んで夢は枯野をかけ廻る - 松尾芭蕉 Stricken on a journey/My dreams go wandering round/Withered fields - A haiku piece of Matsuo Basho totally spoiled by the second-rate translator named Donald Keene.
Bloody May Day of 1952 in front of the Imperial Palace
Anpo uprising of 1959
Relatively honest people surrounding me often say one thing and do quite another. I know this is a fallout of the essentially seamless transition of power from the Shogunate to the Emperor, to MacArthur, and then back to the Emperor now disguised as a mere "symbol of national unity." Each time, the Japanese sang a different tune but all along they have remained practically unchanged. It takes you a lifetime to become used to these sick people.
On May 1, 1952, three days after a nominal sovereignty was returned to Japan in San Francisco, the sheepish people, who had never rebelled against Emperor Hirohito or the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, staged one of the only two major uprisings in modern Japanese history, called the Bloody May Day. True, it was bloody by the Japanese standards, but in fact, it was yet another ritual that signaled a change of the tunes. The new one was to herald the arrival of the Cold War in this country.
Seven years later I graduated from university amid the nationwide turmoil over the Japan-U.S. security treaty, known as Anpo Toso. Needless to say the anti-treaty students joined by some unionized workers were fighting a proxy war as puppets manipulated by the Soviet Union and the new-born China. The distinctive feature of Anpo Toso was that the heads of most factions were future business leaders such as Seiji Tsutsumi, a scion of the Seibu conglomerate.
These guys would later lay the groundwork for the rapid rise of Japan Inc., and more importantly for its ultimate collapse in 1990. It's no accident that Anpo Toso ended up in a total failure. Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, an undercover agent of the CIA, signed the treaty on January 19, 1960 in Washington DC.
Almost 53 years later, I hear the same old blues which now sounds more like a cheap funeral march. With this tune lingering on in my ears as if it's specifically meant for me, now I'm desperately fighting back against the second round of executions of the attachment order to seize 30% of my pension annuities.
Yesterday I had a bitter experience with "AK", the wife of DK who helped me, financially and morally, out of the jam caused by the first round attacks from the city hall. AK is a staff writer at Kanagawa Shimbun. The Yokohama-based newspaper publisher is known for its relatively impartial news coverage despite its close affiliation with mainstream news organizations and its membership in the information cartel known as Nihon Kisha Kurabu or Japan Press Club. I thought it would help me recoup lost ground if AK could influence the editor to take up my case against the municipality. Obviously hardships senior citizens are going through are his favorite topic.
After I updated her on the recent situation, however, she concluded she didn't want to write a cover story on my constitutional battle. The reason she declined my offer was that I am primarily at fault for the mess, after all, because I should have paid on time these income-unrelated taxes since I left the employment of SAP Japan in 2006. Then I would have avoided piling up tax bills this high. She added that several years ago her family of three could somehow get by with her salary, which was as small as my pension (I doubt it), when her husband was temporarily out of work. In short, I deserve all this suffering and all I need is to impose austerity and discipline on myself.
AK really let me down. At the onset of the battle, she was enthusiastically giving me cheers although they somehow sounded noncommittal. Has she changed her mind? Not at all. She remains the same, half-awake and half-honest person I've known for years.
I was too tired to repeat my lecture on the Constitution to the youngish reporter, but my cause all comes down to my commonsense interpretation of Chapter 3 of the fundamental law. Its Article 30 says, "The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law," while Article 25 of the same chapter stipulates, "All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living." My points are that in this chapter the rights and duties of the people are defined purely on a reciprocal basis and that the standards for "cultured living" can't have remained unchanged since 1947 when the now-hollowed-out Constitution was enacted. Those were the days when we were fed with food stuff even the swine wouldn't appreciate very much.
Also I felt insulted when AK treated me like I am an uneducated, unskilled and inexperienced 22-year-old, while in fact I am a 76-year-old with a 50-year-long career behind him. I thought I have lost another friend because now it's evident she is one of those Japanese news reporters who are only good at playing the tune of the time. I only hope this won't affect the friendship between her husband DK and me in any way.
Back on February 21, the day my last girlfriend turned 29, I reluctantly let go of her because her parents had started urging her to get married before she misses the "marriageable" age. I don't care too much if the number of my friends, who wholeheartedly empathize with my way of thinking, living and now dying, remains very small. But I do care if it gets even smaller because in my definition of the words, it's an auditory hallucination if nobody but myself and a couple of others can hear this song about a free Northeast Asia to emerge after the coming collapse of the evil American Empire. · read more (27 words)
Sunday, October 14 2012 @ 11:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The uninhabited islets bear two names.
I've been notoriously known for my verbosity especially among American readers. They see lack of discipline in my wordiness because they are so used to brevity they see on other websites. I suspect these bloggers are just too stingy to go beyond 140 characters for free. Their attitude is always like, "Tweet, tweet, you're a moron if you need more words from me, tweet."
The primary reason I don't want to economize on word is because I believe "God is in the details," as Gustave Flaubert observed. (Or is it Mies van der Rohe?) Without a close examination of every detail, you always end up in an ideological delusion. or a delusive ideology.
Lingerie theft is commonplace in this perverted nation.
This is not to say, however, I don't agree to the old saying that goes: "You can't see the wood for the trees." Of course you also end up in a delusion if you are too preoccupied with particular trees to look at the total picture of the forest. But is it so difficult to look at both at the same time?
Actually I tried hard to make my previous post about the unbreakable curse of words as succinct as possible. To that end I had to leave out many related issues.
It was a pleasant surprise to receive an offline feedback to the post from my American friend in which he alerted me to an interesting article about the uninhabited islands named Diaoyu (釣魚) in Chinese and Senkaku (尖閣) in Japanese. The issue the Chinese editor and the Russian veteran discuss in the article is one of the topics I would have touched on had it not been for my consideration for impatient readers.
As my American friend seems to agree, words and letters do us three things. Firstly they help us form and crystallize ideas. Then they convey them. Last but not least, words and letters always deceive us with the cleansing power inherent to them. It is this deceptive nature of words and letters I had in mind when I talked about them as fetishes.
Traditionally people using ideograms are more prone to word-fetishism than those who use a phonogramic system. I hypothesize it's no accident that lingerie theft is so common among these terminally ill people. When it comes to heinous crimes such as homicide and rape, Japanese are still lagging far behind Americans. But there is an incredibly large population of fetishists and voyeurs, called "フェチ" (Fechi) in Jangrish. They habitually steal women's underwear, or like to watch a woman in bra or panties rather than without them. Believe it or not, such a pervert who gets caught red-handed is more often than not a well-educated man such as university professor, company executive or politician.
It is true that in recent years people outside the ideogrammatic cultural sphere are also developing the same trait very quickly presumably because of the flood of videos on the likes of YouTube or other high-resolution images they can see everywhere else. They wouldn't fall into a trance just looking at letters such as "C-h-a-n-g-e," "F-o-r-w-a-r-d," "E-n-d t-h-e F-E-D," but with all these visual aids available to them, now they have started mixing up the real things with virtual reality.
It is true there still is something that Westerners cannot understand about the magical power of ideograms. For one thing an Italian diplomat will never lodge a protest if his English-speaking counterpart refers to his hometown as Florence. Likewise an Austrian will never complain if his American friend calls the capital city of his country Vienna.
But one of the most serious problems resulting from the general trend is that when people talk about the territorial disputes over Senkaku or Diaoyu, Takeshima (竹島) or Dokdo (독도), and even what the Japanese call the Northern Territories or Hoppo Ryodo (北方領土), the last thing that would cross their minds is these are nothing but imaginary issues. More intricate, nastier, more sticking and more slippery issues are always hidden under the thick veil of words and letters. It's about time for them to have realized words alone, let alone 140-characters of them, can't uncover the underlying real issues.
Vasili Ivanov, the Russian veteran interviewed by the Chinese editor, is also having a hallucination when he talks about "militarism on the rise" in Japan and "a resurrection of the samurai" in the wake of the renewed tension in the East China Sea.
Obviously the one Ivanov specifically has in mind is Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara who is widely known for his empty chauvinism. Early on this bastard passed the hat around for the money with which the metropolitan government would buy up the uninhabited islets from some individuals who claim to be the "owners" of 尖閣. Thanks to millions of suckers in his constituency, the donations he collected totaled more than 1.5 billion yen.
Then another idiot named Yoshihiko Noda stepped in presumably in deference to the Chinese government. After talking tete-a-tete with Ishihara, the Prime Minister decided to "nationalize" these islands with taxpayers' money. One of Noda's aides later whispered to reporters that the Prime Minister cited Governor's recklessness as the reason for nationalization. Noda fretted about an unrealistic scenario that Ishihara would tread on the tiger's tail if he went ahead with his plan. According to the aide, the Prime Minister feared the Tokyo Government, on its own, might go to war with China while the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force or the Coast Guard is not under the command of the Tokyo Governor.
Noda is yet another Japanese leader. Like all his predecessors, he lets things drift until it is too late or the problem solves itself. At times he acts, but only symbolically. All along he plays on words, making the most of their magical power. And in the face of a crisis, he instantly freezes into a total inaction like a spider in thanatosis.
Since August 15 when seven activists from Hong Kong landed one of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the Prime Minister has kept saying, "We are a mature nation. We refrain from overreacting. We want China to calm down, too." When he knew his alibi exercise didn't work, he made a big decision to take a leap in the dark. He ordered the Coast Guard to fire water cannons at the Chinese vessels. This was exactly what the Chinese government had expected. Who in his right mind could do more against his most important trade partner?
My former friend Chang claims to be an expert in geopolitical issues for Northeast Asia. He has his fake Chinese name "章家敦" printed on the reverse side of his business card. I don't know how the cheap trick has helped him put on an air of authority. But I know he has more or less succeeded to use faceless peoples in this region for his own interests, without risking his life for the cause of freedom and prosperity of the Northeast Asians.
Chang keeps saying the Xizang Autonomous Region should belong to the Tibetans, while on the other hand, he declares Okinawa is a Japanese territory. The fact of the matter remains, however, Tibet is primarily Tibetans' and their right of self-determination is inviolable. At any rate it's none of Chang's business. Likewise, Okinawa is primarily Okinawans'. It's all up to the 1.4 million islanders whether to become fully assimilated into America's 51st state, or secede from it. The same can be said of the likes of Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Those with an educational background in law, such as Chang or the Kenyan monkey in the White House, always make believe the International Court of Justice in the Hague is still functioning. Most of the time, ICJ's ruling is based on the principle of "First-come, first-served." If you apply the absurd principle to Senkaku/Diaoyu, it's obvious these islands should belong to the Okinawans because they are the descendants of the people of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). The only problem is that they are increasingly losing their identity.
Unless you still remain under the spell of the curse of words, you will agree that the only realistic principle is "Last-come, first-served." The same principle should also be applied to uninhabited islands and the surrounding waters. If the brainless and spineless Japanese leader continues to shy away from provoking China, as he actually does, that's it, these islands will finally be named Diaoyu. · read more (149 words)