Friday, April 18 2014 @ 08:29 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF. Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. - Ronald Reagan
In May last year I kicked off this series of intensive discussions over Creative Evolution. At the beginning I quoted the following passage from Henri Bergson's book to give you a clue to what's at issue in our contentions.
In the animal and in the vegetable world between the generator and the generated, on the canvas which the ancestor passes on, and which his descendants possess in common, each puts his own original embroidery.
Ever since I've singlemindedly talked about the same topic simply because I think it makes a critical difference to my last glimpse of the people and the way I leave them behind to know if we are still evolving forward.
I don't know exactly, but I've spent 30,000-40,000 words, or 150,000-200,000 letters, which is equivalent to 1,000-1,500 tweets in a matter of 12 months. This was a hard labor for a half-bedridden 78-year-old who, at the same time, has to take care of himself for his mere survival.
But I don't think my effort is paying off. Thus far I've failed to bring my audience onto the same page that I opened one year ago. An old proverb goes: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink." Every time I uttered the lousy C-word, these smart horses made every possible effort to artfully sidestep it.
I should have known that the topic wasn't just unpopular. In the U.S. and its satellite countries alike, it's the ultimate taboo to mention "creative thinking" (NOTE) especially in the context of man's evolution.
.NOTE: Actually the phrase has an apparent redundancy in it. To think is not to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from someone else's opinion, or to converge two different thoughts into one. You can't really think without thinking creatively.
They treat the phrase like it's a hot potato presumably because of their irresistible reverence to those apes Wynton Marsalis once called noble savages. To these guys the idea of "putting one's own original embroidery on the canvas which the ancestor passes on" arouses a strong feeling of fear.
This is quite natural, if not understandable. Since the canvas has already been worn out into a tattered rag everywhere, you have to visualize a vast greenfield before really getting started with your embroidery. That is not easy when you are still dragging along lots of vested interests in this world.
Your refrigerator, unlike mine, is still filled with food and beverages for the next week. Also unlike me, you are more or less covered with medicare and other benefit programs. And you take it for granted that your life is a going concern which is still reparable. Equally important, your brain has been stuffed with rubbish from childhood indoctrination.
My humble suggestion would be that you better ask yourself some hypothetical questions like:
What if I had no working refrigerator? What if my refrigerator were empty? What if I weren't covered with any welfare program?
If you don't want to look straight into the physiological foundation of your existence like this, the more you complain about injustice inflicted on you, the more you discredit yourself.
Now I've decided to take a different approach to the same question so I won't waste any more time. In this post I'll focus on the issue of dementia: what it really is, what causes it and how it can be cured if it can be cured at all.
Sometimes I compare the oldest U.S. President in office with the youngish incumbent or his even younger predecessor who was nothing but a sexual pervert. The purpose of this exercise is to find out why the American people failed to grab at the golden opportunity for change that momentarily emerged in the greenfield when the Cold War came to an end, and what underlies their pathological obsession with the inert idea that status quo should be preserved at any cost.
Don't take me wrong, however. I don't intend to discuss their political or religious ideologies. An ideology is nothing but a stain of shit that fell on the canvas from a bird that flew by.
In his November 5, 1994 letter to the American people, Ronald Reagan wrote: "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."
Not a single American took his wishes seriously.
Anyone who has read Creative Evolution (Henri Bergson) or The Fountain of Age (Betty Friedan) with a certain level of comprehension will agree that in an evolving society, biological aging means maturity, the only enabler of creative thinking. But as the afterglow of the Reagan era is quickly fading away, things have unfolded in a different direction in America, and then in its satellite nations.
It's George W. Bush, Sr. who set off the downward spiral that has lasted a quarter century by now. Millions of Americans were disappointed by Bush although they didn't notice he was suffering a certain type of senile dementia. That should mean the President was just mirroring the voters. They should have known it could never be the other way around.
The empty-headed American people thought they had to rejuvenate the leadership of their country in cul-de-sac while actually they should have thought about rejuvenating themselves. As a result America's intellectual decline has further accelerated and now it seems irreversible.
I know not a few of them are inclined to call their immature leaders psychopaths. But it's laughable to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of "awakened" people call their own reflections in the mirror that way. Actually, the derogatory appellation is an undeserved compliment. The word psycho has a connotation that subtly suggests he has a relatively high level of intelligence that enables him to think creatively. Vladimir Putin, for one, may be a psycho. But the Russian president thinks and acts so creatively as to make Obama look like an idiot which is what he actually is.
The only words I can think of to describe the Black Kenyan Monkey or any other post-Reagan President are premature senility, i.e. juvenile dementia.
On May 5, 1951 Douglas MacArthur testified at a joint committee of the Senate about his experience with these neotenized Japanese. He said: "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, [a Japanese adult] would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of 45 years." The general would be surprised if he learned practically all American adults now look like their Japanese counterparts.
There are more than a dozen types of dementia, including those induced by Alzheimer's disease, vascular diseases and Parkinsonism. According to the Alzheimer's Disease International, a de facto branch of the World Health Organization, there are 101 million people worldwide who are suffering Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. The ADI warns the number is expected to almost triple to 277 million by 2050.
As anyone with commonsense will agree, all the figures were invented out of thin air by these bastards who are suffering serious dementia themselves.
For one thing it hasn't crossed their minds that they shouldn't exclude those under 60 from their survey. Their cross-sectional analyses and forecasts mean absolutely nothing because they were based on the absurd assumption that you suddenly develop dementia when you turn 60 years of age. It is true they sometimes talk about infant dementia. But they never talk about "juvenile dementia" for an obvious reason.
I see another flaw there in the fact that they have never defined the symptoms very precisely. The generally accepted description of dementia in general goes like this: it is symptomized by a progressive, and often irreversible, deterioration of cognitive faculties including memory. Loss of memory in itself isn't a big deal. We all forget a thing or a person we don't think is worth memorizing. That's why memory is sometimes restorable. But as to the other symptoms, especially the inability to judge what should be memorized and what can be forgotten, the dim-witted researchers at ADI didn't think they should have been much more specific in that respect.
Etymologically, dementia is taken from a Latin word, originally meaning madness. But madness means nothing in the world where people call each other a madman. That leaves the American Psychiatric Association as the only source of supposedly reliable information about the specific symptoms. Now let's take a listen to those shrinks at APA who now give the mental illness a fancy name "Neurocognitive Disorder."
Its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-5) goes like this:
"[major/minor dementia shows] evidence of significant/modest cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains — such as complex attention, executive function, learning, memory, language, perceptual-motor or social cognition."
DSM-5 goes on to elaborate on its criteria:
In general dementia involves: ● Trouble recalling recent events or recognizing people and places, ● Trouble finding the right words, Problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or writing a letter, ● Trouble exercising judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency, ● Trouble controlling moods or behaviors, ● Depression which is common, and often entails agitation or aggression, ● Not keeping up personal care such as grooming or bathing, and blah, blah, blah.
It kindly adds: "It is important to know that memory loss can be caused by conditions other than dementia, such as depression, and that those conditions can be treated. Also, occasional trouble with memory (such as briefly forgetting someone's name) can be a normal part of aging. But if you are worried about memory loss or if a loved one has memory loss that is getting worse, see your doctor."
All this joke is what the empty-headed shrinks think is a scientific description of the mental illness. Actually it only serves as the valid diagnostic criteria for apes with cognitive failure. That is an unmistakable sign that they are also degenerating to the proximity of the ape with their cognitive faculties also afflicted with "neurocognitive disorder."
As is the case with American shrinks, you always assume that the loss of creativity results from dementia. But as usual you are turning the causal relationship upside down. Actually it's the loss of the ability of creative thinking that causes dementia.
Now I have concluded that if the ADI had used the longitudinal method and based its statistics on scientific criteria, it must have come up with a "ballpark" figure at least 20-30 times larger than 101 million. Although both ADI and APA constantly mix up different types of dementia, I tentatively exclude Alzheimer's and Parkinson's from my estimate.
My father Mineo Yamamoto in his mid-50s
The same person in his mid-70s
My father Mineo Yamamoto was an extraordinarily intransigent person in his pursuit of innovative ideas, until he mellowed out around the time he turned 70. He hated conformism more than anything else because he believed it's the surest way to mediocrity. For that trait he was hated or even feared by the people he was associated with, just like his son is by his audience today.
He couldn't refrain from showing his contempt for the double of the phantom until he became a living corpse himself. But when he was to be decorated by Emperor Hirohito in 1973, my mother dragged him along to the Imperial Palace.
Likewise he couldn't conceal his disdain for medical doctors. Every time someone talked about medicine, he never failed to say: "Look, medicine is not a science." I think he was absolutely right. In recent years computer-aided diagnoses and treatments are commonplace. And yet medicine by and large remains more of a superstition than a science as a result of its total cartelization.
Once again it's his wife who forced him to see doctors when his loss of alertness had become apparent. One of them gave him two separate diagnoses: Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Most probably the doc was wrong. Today his illness would be diagnosed as PDD (Parkinson's disease-induced dementia.)
I've already outlived my father by 2 years by now. It can't be helped. But now I'm fully determined not to outlive my ability to think and act creatively. The last thing I would do while alive is to vegetate like most of you do.
As I said in earlier paragraphs, loss of memory, in itself, is not a big deal. But since it's "the earliest and most noticeable symptom" (DSM-5) when I become unable to memorize what should not be forgotten, I routinely examine my memory in many ways. One of the self-testing methods I use is to sing songs. Although my voice has already grown too hoarse to sing these lovely tunes, say, on YouTube, I still remember, word for word, lyrics of dozens of songs, such as ones written by Lorenz Hart, Lew Brown, Johnny Burke, Sammy Cahn and Mack Gordon, et al.
When it comes to the ability of creative thinking, I know it's not that easy to maintain it until the second-to-last day of my life, so I can prepare myself for a creative death. But I'm still confident that I am not really done for yet.
Like tango it takes two to be creative. For one thing a (potentially) creative blogger needs a (potentially) creative audience. But now I know that is asking for the moon; most visitors to this website are like eunuchs who untiringly sing the self-pitiful blues instead of the "grand, sweet song." So it's all the more true that I need an un-assimilated young woman to carry through a creative life.
In 2007, then Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare stirred up a big controversy when he likened women to birthing machines which were expected to be more productive. Although his slip of the tongue cost him his post, he was uncharacteristically telling the truth. In this country, every potent man uses a woman to reproduce his stupidity, and calls it a conjugal love.
For my part I have never used a woman that way. I let go of my last date more than two years ago. Yet I believe I can build a creative, if not productive, relationship with someone new.
One month or so ago I received an invitation to a jazz concert from my disowned son. His band was going to give the concert in downtown Tokyo. He knows I think the jazz he does with his colleagues is nothing but a fake, but at the same time he knows I'm enthusiastic about mixing with potentially creative young musicians, especially with this talented female trumpeter.
I accepted his invitation on the condition that I would be entitled to the privilege of free admission and that all the transportation cost be reimbursable. Then I took a long round-trip braving the health risk to be involved in the 2.5-hour train rides and 1-hour walks in between.
I refer to this lady just as Satomi, one of the most common feminine names. She was born and brought up in Rikuzentakata-shi, a small city in Iwate Prefecture which is said to have been wiped off the map by the tsunami of March 11, 2011.
As usual Satomi opted to spend with me most of the 30-minute intermission and some more time after the concert to update me on her troubled life and musical career where she is not really on a roll.
To that concert she had brought along two grandpas - one was her step-grandfather and the other was her biologically paternal grandpa. According to her, the biological grandpa was told by his doctor that he had only two months to live. Now he had left his hometown in Iwate to spend his last days with his beloved granddaughter in her Tokyo apartment. He kept saying he wanted to share all the joy of life with her. She explained that's why she'd invited him to the concert.
To make her living, Satomi plays the trumpet as the member of a dance band that appears every third day in a Tokyo ballroom. But she finds it extremely boring to do tangos, rumbas and waltzes all the time. That's why she takes part every time my son throws a gig. From the beginning Satomi knew it won't earn her a single yen. She expects something other than money from the nonprofessional activity. In that respect, however, she seems to feel largely underexploited by my son as the band leader.
Satomi wasn't very explicit about it, but I thought I should do the best I can for her, though only in a small way. For instance I have already resumed regular contact with the bastard I shouldn't have fathered to have more influence on his way to manage the band.
Now I'm contented with the grandfatherly role she gives me. The bright lady with an exceptional grace and charm is the last bastion of my commitment to making my life still worth living.
Aside from taking these precautions against senile dementia, I think I should also keep myself on full alert against the Japan-particular strain of virus that causes premature senility. It's even more infectious than any other type.
I think Satomi and I were born in the wrong country. In Japan essentially the same thing is happening as in the U.S. And yet, there is something that makes me feel the word dementia doesn't fit very well into the weird behavioral patterns of these Japanese runts with serious developmental defects. While "dementia" implies that you have lost what was once there, that is not the case with them.
The only alternative word I can think of is "infantilism," which more often than not requires a qualifier "paraphiliac." Each one of the following phenomena speaks for itself:
● The entire population here is hooked on the digital altar which has become portable now. So many mobile phone users play games or make a search for tips on them while in the bathroom or bedroom. ● Tens of thousands of people still fall victim to a cheap trick of Ore-Ore Sagi (it's me, it's me scam) every year. The amount of defrauded money has leveled off at 40-50 billion yen and doesn't show the slightest sign of coming down despite the anti-scam campaign across the nation and around the clock. This simply means that in this country you've got to be mentally retarded or criminal, or both, to be able to make a fortune big enough to share with others. ● Amid the deluge of Manga, the 127 million people from the Prime Minister to company executives to university professors to winos and homeless purchased 968 million copies of comic books in 2011. ● The inundation of sexual perversion such as pedophilia, lingerie theft and voyeurism won't subside anytime soon. Just for instance, in 2012 Takuma Okura, then CEO of IBM Japan and a right-hand man to Luis Gerstner, former Chairman of IBM Hq., had to step down from the prestigious, high-paying position when he got caught for his childish act of voyeurism at a JR train station. Believe it or not, this isn't an isolated incident in the nation afflicted with mental neoteny. ● Recently practically all shrinks enthusiastically recommend what they call the Karuta therapy to counter the overall deterioration of cognitive abilities. "Karuta" derives from the Portuguese word "Carta" but it's the name of a Japanese card game solely meant for kids.
No wonder the Americans stubbornly believe Japan is the showcase of the greatest success in their longtime pursuits of nation-building outside their own country. · read more (52 words)
Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 07:55 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
POSTSCRIPT TO OBOKATA UPDATE (April 4):
On Friday I wrote a mail to Dr. Charles A. Vacanti, professor at Harvard Medical School and one of the coauthors of the STAP papers in question, to suggest he not pull the plug on Haruko Obokata. One hour ago, he quickly got back to me. I take the liberty to publish his reply below here.
"Thank you. The studies presented were stellar. Although some formatting errors were made, I think that they were sincere mistakes, and not done to intentionally mislead. I believe that the science was not affected by these errors and that the conclusions are correct. CAV" OBOKATA UPDATE (April 2):
Yesterday Ryoji Noyori, Nobel laureate and president of quasi-governmental research organization RIKEN (PHOTO 1) offered sincere apologies for the "research misconduct" allegedly committed by Haruko Obokata (PHOTO 2) in the research papers on STAP cells she coauthored with her colleagues.
Since I'm completely in the dark about cell biology, I can't tell exactly what the Nobel-winning scum apologized for on behalf of the ambitious researcher. And yet I know for sure what's going on behind the curtain. The reason these old sadists gang up so mercilessly on her is just because they think the nail that tries very hard to stick out must be hammered down without fail.
News reports have it that the young researcher, who had been gagged while the in-house probe into "irregularities" was going on behind closed doors, now expressed her resolve to fight back against the witch-hunt of the 21st century. Her lone battle has only just begun.
I listen to myself. If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God. - Mamoru Samuragochi, in a 2001 interview by TIME magazine in which the interviewer touted him as "Japan's Beethoven."
[By the way] I've never felt he was deaf ever since we met. We carry on normal conversations. - Takashi Niigaki, a music lecturer, added when he came forward to admit he'd ghost-written every "masterpiece" of Japan's Beethoven, including Symphony No. 1 dedicated to the Hiroshima victims.
You are taunting the history of cell biology. - an e-mail the British scientific journal Nature sent to Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata, when turning down her first submissions of paper on STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells.
At first no one believed in me. I thought about quitting time and again, crying countless nights. - Dr. Haruko Obokata, at the news that Nature had reversed its previous assessments.
What I wrote in my previous post all comes down to this:
A truth-seeker is the worst type of truth-denier.
Like a fake Buddhist monk, he seems to believe truth dwells in pain. Simply this is ridiculous because a fatal logical flaw, which is noticeable even to a kindergarten kid, is involved there.
Believe it or not, I've never been a truth-denier myself because I know it is even more painful to stick my head in the sand. And yet I'm not interested in the truth-seeking game, either. The following are some of the reasons.
Firstly there's no such thing as a universal truth that can be shared equally among two or more nations or individuals. It takes imperialist's arrogance to deny a truth can never be true when looked at from the other side. For instance, the inevitable collapse of the American empire is a dream coming true for other peoples, especially East Asians except these yellow Yankees.
The Americans, in general, view the world which is no longer revolving around their country, standing on their heads. That's why they never understand that if the West is doomed, it's a long-awaited daybreak for the East.
Some ten years ago I shared a big lobster with my date at a seafood restaurant in Sydney. No sooner had we come back to the hotel than she fell sick and couldn't get up until the next morning. All along I was so in good shape that I might have gone golfing, by myself, as we had originally planned together. The Aussie doc explained to me: "This always happens because poison never travels evenly in a living organism."
Obviously he was talking about the lobster. But my interpretation was that the same applies to human society; the implication of any event largely varies from one individual to another.
Secondly, we've already suffered more than enough from the truth of the American century. There's no reason, whatsoever, for us to ask for more.
I've known since my early childhood that treasure (or pleasure) hunting is what my life should be all about. It's an irony but my Epicurean trait is attributable to the abnormally Spartan way my father educated me. Now I believe an ascetic attitude toward life is not only meaningless but also harmful.
My way of using the search engine, therefore, is 180-degrees different from yours. To me the cyberspace is little more than a huge fact sheet which serves primarily as a free dictionary or encyclopedia, with the only exception of audio/visual websites.
In 2001, a U.S. film was released under the title of Serendipity. I think not a few people looked up the unfamiliar word in the dictionary. There they found out that as the filmmaker suggested it means "(the faculty of making) a fortunate discovery by accident." Misled by the wrong definition, these credulous and intellectually lazy people concluded the word is roughly synonymous with "windfall" you just come upon without making a painstaking effort.
I already knew what serendipity means. When I was in my late-teens I learned about the same idea in the context of Plato's epistemology and Kierkegaard's "forward recollection," although the two thinkers didn't use the word serendipity. But after watching the cheap "romantic comedy," I made a web search to look into its etymology.
From a Wikipedia entry, I learned that an Englishman named Horace Walpole wrote in 1754 to his friend to the effect that he coined the word from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip," in which "the heroes were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." (Emphasis mine.) In short, serendipity takes both good luck and some mental effort.
A truth-seeker's problem lies in the obvious fact that any preconceived search criteria won't work. If he already knows the answer, there's no point in seeking it while if he doesn't know the answer, he doesn't know what question to ask, either. A hunter of pleasant truth faces the same dilemma in his quest for something really creative. That's why I always let serendipity guide me especially when I do my video-mining exercise.
YouTube was a rich reservoir of creativity until Google acquired it from these young entrepreneurs, Steve Chen, et al. But now it looks like a vast graveyard of civilization. For instance, the moment you upload a video in which your Pomeranian does a funny trick, as my disowned son used to be doing, tens of millions of idiots come to view it. Now a creative video is a real rarity. But with my serendipity-guided search method, I can distinguish art from crap, science from superstition, or philosophy from delusion.
In December I found an 11-year-old jazz organist named Neo Yamada (photo on the top.) I saw in this gifted kid an audio-visual confirmation that as is true with treasure-hunters, serendipity is an integral element when you are working on the embodiment of your creativity into an artistic performance or technological achievement. It takes serendipity for two contradictory attributes, spontaneity and discipline, to meet in a same person. Discipline with which to pay due respect to tradition is not really a rarity here, but in this cultural wasteland you seldom come across spontaneity which isn't contaminated by impurities from commercialism, nationalism or anything that has nothing to do with art or technology.
The chord progression called "12-bar minor blues" isn't my type of music. But it was a real blessing that I stumbled on Neo's excellent performance.
I think it makes little sense to tell you exactly how I landed at this video because the way to exercise sagacity varies from person to person. But to make a long story short, I've been in touch, though off and on, with half-a-dozen female musicians, including one professional vocalist in the last ten years. I've had a lot of discussions with them over the chromatic scale, fine articulations particular to jazz, etc. I came upon the particular artist when I was looking around for videos featuring Harry Warren's "There Will Never Be Another You" to recommend to a lady who plays the trumpet in the band organized by my biological son. Had it not been for this background, I might have overlooked Neo as just yet another prodigy.
My serendipity method also helps deselect rubbish from Japanese male "artists."
Westerners, especially Americans, are always looking eastward for handy alternatives in the face of the ruin of their traditional value system. What if I had carelessly keyed in a set of keywords such as "japanese music fukushima hiroshima" as they often do? Then I would certainly have hit this small-time crook named Mamoru Samuragochi (photo in the center) and his "masterpiece" Symphony No.1 which was originally dedicated to the Hiroshima victims and now re-dedicated to those who suffered from the Fukushima disaster. This is how an American truth-seeker is often taken in by Oriental rubbish.
I'm glad I could avoid wasting my limited time with yet another fake thanks to my intuition-guided search method.
When the obscure music teacher named Takashi Niigaki came forward to cough it up, his confession ignited a public outcry especially among "classical music lovers" who bought 220,000 copies of the CD featuring Symphony No.1. But actually this is not a big deal. The only crime Samuragochi committed is the collection of the disability pension from the goofs in Yokohama City Hall for his feigned deafness almost for two decades. There's nothing wrong with using a friend's name with his consent or outsourcing one's task to someone else.
If this farce should still be called a fraud, the main perpetrators are TIME magazine that dubbed him "the Japanese Beethoven" in 2001 and NHK that deified the petty thief taking a cue from TIME. Now that the Japanese Beethoven finally revealed himself, the government-owned broadcaster has started playing dumb as it has always been doing since August 1945 every time a deity was exposed as fake.
Just imagine what would happen if a forensic expert revealed that one of the masterpieces previously credited to Ludwig van Beethoven was actually composed by someone else. Of course that wouldn't affect the way real music lovers appreciate it. But in Japan, the moment it was revealed Niigaki was the real composer, every piece of music released under the name of Samuragochi turned into rubbish which is what it actually is. This, alone, is telling evidence that entire Japanese culture is fake.
Admittedly my serendipity-guided search method is not flawless. One week or so before the revelation, another intriguing news broke out about a young cell biologist named Haruko Obokata (photo at the bottom.) Until then her name meant absolutely nothing to me.
Just like the Japanese Beethoven was lifted out of obscurity by the stupid interviewer at TIME magazine, Obokata's recognition came just after the British scientific journal Nature published the paper Obokata coauthored with Charles Vacanti, Professor at Harvard Medical School, and some other fellow researchers. But her dethronement came much sooner than Samuragochi's deposition.
Although I'm interested in the idea of initializing human cells, I'm completely in the dark about cell biology. So I can't tell for sure if there were "fatal" foul plays in the way Obokata and her colleagues handled their experimental data. And yet what's going on right now is somewhat familiar to me. Time and again I've experienced this for most of my adulthood, and until the last days of my eight-decade-long life.
Vacanti, one of the coauthors of the article in question still maintains he doesn't agree to the proposed withdrawal of the paper because as he told a Yomiuri reporter a couple of days ago, "some mistakes were made, but they don't affect the conclusions" about STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells.
But the pleasantly ambitious and Moomin-loving cell biologist with jovial eyes in her roundish face is now having a hard time as these jealous old boys in 日本再生医療学会 (Nihon Saisei Iryo Gakkai or the Japanese Society of Regenerative Medicine) have started to gang up, first insidiously and then openly, on the researcher, on the pretext that Japan's credibility is now in jeopardy because of the "defective" paper. They include Nobel Laureate-turned emperor of the JSRM Shinya Yamanaka and Professor at Yamanashi University Teruhiko Wakayama who posed as a wholehearted supporter of Obokata when she came under the spotlight.
Wasting no time, the media followed suit and are now chastising Obokata as if they weren't touting her as a heroine as recently as two weeks ago.
She has fallen silent in recent weeks. Today (March 14) a joint statement was released by the names of the members of her team at the quasi-governmental organization named RIKEN. It said to the effect that they have decided to agree to the withdrawal of the article because so many people have found defects in their way of compiling the paper.
Obokata must have learned a bitter lesson that she should first and foremost represent Nippon before representing herself as a cell biologist or whatever she wants to be, in this dead country where people never fail to mercilessly hammer down a nail that sticks out. Yet I hope in her next public appearance she won't offer apologies before the TV cameras as Samuragochi and Niigaki did in their recent press conferences.
This is yet another reminder of the case with Maestro Seiji Ozawa. In 1961 he was ostracized by NHK just because the young guy had acted like himself. Only after he got certificates from Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, the gifted musician was re-imported accepting apologies from NHK. Now he was finally enshrined here as the emperor of Japan's classical music. He was fortunate because the late Hideo Saito, Ozawa's first music teacher, kept encouraging him to stick to his unique style even after he was kicked out of their home country. Unlike Professor Yamanaka, Saito never betrayed Ozawa in his lifetime.
This is also reminiscent of my own experience with Gordon G. Chang and his agent. They were desperately trying to keep my heretical view at bay. Instead of pointing out possible logical flaws in my argument, they enthusiastically nitpicked over my "run-on" sentences and minor grammatical errors.
By now the dreg of humanity in New Jersey should have retracted all his baloney about China heading for collapse by 2011 and Japan once again overtaking China, GDP-wise, by 2013. But with feigned ignorance of the fact that corrections, apologies and refunds of royalty income are already long overdue, the shameless crisis-monger is now talking about Asia's 1937 Syndrome.
Perfection is one thing and integrity is quite another. And the pursuit of perfection cannot be a goal for a self-motivated individual like Neo or Obokata. That means creative people is totally defenseless before establishment which knows very well where to find their weak spot. Most of the time an exceptional talent is ruined outright, or subtly incorporated over time into the society of conventionalists and conformists.
.Here's a creativity test for you.
How would you cope with the situation if the Internet connection was totally disrupted in your country because the entire infrastructure had been destroyed by a full-fledged war or a gigantic earthquake and there was no prospect of recovery in sight?
You would say, "I'm too busy to discuss such an unrealistic situation. You are crazy." You bet I am. But don't forget you are crazier. This situation is a reality for billions of people in underdeveloped countries. And even in industrialized countries not a few people are exposed to the same threat everyday. I, for one, will get totally disconnected the moment my ailing PC goes dead because I have no money to replace it and I have no Sumaho as a backup device.
What you actually want to say is: "I don't want to use my brain if there's no monetary award at stake. And to begin with I'm not sure if I still have one." So my call for papers is meant only for those who can make believe I'm offering $1 million for the most creative idea. · read more (38 words)
Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 03:33 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE THAT NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.
This question has long been haunting me: "What the heck are you guys googling for day and night?"
I, too, do a web search or two everyday. But unlike most of you, I do some thinking before and after a search because I know I can't substitute a search engine for my own brain.
It's been said people are primarily looking for factual information to keep up with the quickly changing world. But I don't believe in the myth because the types of factual information accessible on the web are quite limited.
To be more specific, there are:
● weather reports, ● geographical information, e.g. how to get to one's destination, the distance and time difference between two places, ● micro-history, e.g. who wrote a particular book or musical piece, what his bio and quotations are like, ● schedules and results of sporting events and other "circenses," ● laws and regulations, ● descriptions of administrative and judicial systems, ● anatomical data, and ● linguistic information, e.g. definitions, synonyms, antonyms and etymologies of words.
I can't think of any other kind of factual information that doesn't fall on these categories.
One case in point here is the same old semantic question about the difference between "fact" and "truth." My way of distinguishing the two words goes like this:
"A fact is truthful only when you know the question while a truth is factual only when you know the answer."
I haven't found a single answer any better than mine in those Q&A communities.
And don't tell me news stories, comments by pundits and bloggers, macro-history, scientific theories and hypotheses, safety standards established based on them, and statistical reports are factual. I'm not talking about the known fact that these types of information are almost always distorted. Distorted or not, they are all nonfactual types of information.
For instance, if you are one of those empty-headed Japan watchers in the U.S., you did a web search in late December using such keywords as "abe yasukuni shrine." Then you learned that Japan's prime minister had visited the shrine where the war criminals are enshrined along with the war-dead and for that he was criticized by China, South Korea and even the United States. It's hard to explain but billions of people all over the world visited billions of different places on December 26, 2013. It's neither a fact nor truth until the sender of the information tells those on the receiving end exactly why he thought this event was particularly report-worthy.
Then what about statistics? It is true statistical data such as gross domestic product and government's debt of a nation are not always fabricated. But so what? It's a known fact that "shadow economy" and "shadow banking" are not negligibly small not only in Greece and China but also in the rest of the world. Take gross domestic product of the United Kingdom for example. Wikipedia says it stood at 2.49 trillion in 2013 in terms of US$. This is not a fact because as THE TIMES recently reported, it would add at least US$16 billion if you included the illegal activities of prostitutes and drug dealers. And needless to say the British daily just made it up. How can you estimate the size of underground activities?
And to begin with, who decided GDP is the primary indicator of nation's health and vigor? As anyone who has learned the essence of the Luca Pacioli system can tell, any figure arbitrarily singled out from among tons of data means absolutely nothing when the total picture of a system is at issue.
The same can be said of the promotional material of a company you scrutinize when making a purchase decision.
This time I thought numerical data would give me some clue to what underlies the puzzling behaviors of netizens. And it did. Take a look at the following table.
Figures for 2013
in Million except for F
Annual Number of Google Searches
Google Annual Search Statistics
Daily Average of Above
Daily Average of Total Web Searches
Google's share in search engine market (Wikipedia)
Internet Penetration Rate (Wikipedia)
Average Number of Searches per Day
C divided by E
I was a seasoned senior manager who worked on financial matters for more than 40 years. So I never take any unaudited figure at face value. The above figure F already seems to be on the high side when taking into account the obvious fact that there's not much of factual information available on the web. Yet I suspect these figures have been largely understated, intentionally or not.
For one thing they didn't count you when you clicked a bookmark, or used a direct link, to know, say, the weather forecast of the day. Another factor of the obvious understatement is the known fact that Google makes it a rule to use the ill-defined unit of traffic measurement the IFABC calls UU (Unique User.) If you come back to your browser within the same session or on the same day with the same IP address and auxiliary identifier, Google tends to ignore the second search onwards. These are why I suspect the Annual Number of Google Searches here is largely understated.
At the end of the time-consuming exercise, I realized there's no reliable per-capita number given on the web. But in the absence of unambiguous data, I could tentatively conclude that I was right in assuming the average netizen is seeking something other than factual information most of the time. Put it simply, he is seeking what he thinks is truth because of his tendency to constantly mix up fact and truth.
As I observe, a vast majority of people on both sides of the Pacific, and in the rest of the world to a lesser degree, have been indoctrinated, since their childhood, into believing a funny idea that seeking truth with eunuch's asceticism is what their life should be all about. To that end they rely on a false assumption that they can find the correct answer just by keying in casual search words because more specific questions have been planted beforehand by someone else. Small wonder these change-disabled people always end up with inertia-friendly and inactionable truth.
This explains their compulsive behavior but still leaves us wondering how they can find truth when it's something each individual should create, or re-create, on his own.
The fact of the matter is that truth isn't searchable on the web or anywhere else. On the one hand if you already know the answer, there's no point in seeking it, and on the other if you don't, you are looking for an answer without knowing what question to ask. How can you tell what search string to use to look for something that is yet to be known or even created?
For their insatiable quest for fake truth, they are unwittingly paying a prohibitively high price. In doing so they have chosen to subordinate themselves to the battalions of web spiders, i.e. search robots, unleashed by the likes of Google. To me these people look like a big school of fish being driven into a huge Net by giga-tons of lures spread all over the World Wide Web.
Here's a deliberate statement that summarizes all this:
Seek not truth. Make it chase after you, instead.
Although this is nothing more than a commonsense argument, most of you truth-seeking, crisis-mongering, doomsaying folks will have great difficulty swallowing my heretical view. And that is essentially why my unpopular website is getting further un-optimized by these SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies who are affiliated with the Google Cult in one way or the other.
POSTSCRIPT 1: In this post I've focused on the digital altar. But needless to say, there are also other mediums such as books and newspapers whose role to those low-tech cultists is essentially the same as that of the necromancer.
POSTSCRIPT 2:I'm afraid Westerners think my altar analogy is an exaggeration. But it is not. There is a subtle difference in attitude between Western netizens and their Japanese counterparts. While Christians are susceptible to addiction to truth, Shintoists, or fake Buddhists, tend to become addicted to the search engine itself because of their long tradition of "technology fetishism" coupled with blind admiration of Western ideas. But the bottomline is the same; they are equally indoctrinated to remain fixed with the past. In that respect TV commercials have symptomized the Japanese disease for more than six decades. People in marketing departments and copywriters have known it's 100-times more effective if consumer goods is named and described in "English," such as "Be-A-Doraibaa" for Mazda (to be pronounced in completely flat intonation) and that food stuff will make viewers salivate more than not when endorsed by a blue-eyed Gaijin. Believe it or not, foreigners other than Chinese and Koreans living in Japan account for a mere 0.6% of the total population. Now every second TV commercial tells the viewers how to make 検索 (Kensaku or a web search) for the product instead of giving a sales pitch directly. Now the entire population is into the Kensaku Karuto. · read more (17 words)
The Olympic symbol caricatured by "Diogenes of Arkansas"
Make no mistake; this is THE ISSUE ABOUT THE GAMES, not A GAME ABOUT AN ISSUE.
On September 7 in Buenos Aires, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his final presentation to International Olympic Committee members. In his pitch he famously said: “Let me assure you, the situation is under control. There are no health-related problems until now, nor will there be in the future.”
At best this is a postdated check that becomes due seven years from now, which in fact means abesolutely nothing. But the IOC members with voting rights accepted Abe's offer. Which should mean what? Simply that means they had already received a little more trustworthy financial instruments - promissory notes underwritten by the BOJ, Japan's central bank.
You may ask if I can substantiate my allegation about the under-the-table deal. Don't be silly. I'm not running a criminology forum over here. But it's a matter of commonsense that where there are dupes, there always are swindlers.
This was the moment of truth for the Japanese, and the Americans as well. As I've pointed out many times before, Abe's maternal grandfather is Nobusuke Kishi, a Class-A war criminal who played the pivotal role in helping the U.S. government establish an eternal dominance over Japan, first as the main architect of the 1955 System, and then as an undercover agent of CIA. Without his collaboration, the U.S. couldn't have made Japan the sole showcase for its "success" in nation-building.
Later in the month Abe was invited by Washington, D.C.-based "think" tank Hudson Institute to receive the year's Herman Kahn Award. Kahn is the very person who coined the phrase "the Japanese Century." Six years after the first Tokyo Olympics, he wrote: "It would not be surprising if the 21st century turned out to be the Japanese century." Fortunately for him, the fat white swine, that he actually was, died seven years before the Japanese economy went into pieces. I think Jacques Rogge, whose term as the President of IOC expired soon after receiving the banknotes, should pray for his death before 2020.
Obviously Herman Kahn should be given credit for finding a lucrative business opportunity in Japan. The vultures such as Joseph Nye, Bill Emmott and Gordon G. Chang are just reusing the business model developed by the founder of Hudson Institute. Three years ago, when China was about to catch up with Japan, GDP-wise, Chang the Prophet wrote on Forbes.com that the Chinese Century would be even shorter than the Japanese Century because Japan would overtake China again by 2013.
Such a baloney still works with the learning-disabled Japanese who follow the same path over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time. And now the late comer Jacques Rogge jumped on the same bandwagon. Certainly he knew he would still find some leftovers in the backyard of the debt-ridden country.
It's against this backdrop that I uploaded this particular post. Here I just wanted to discuss the insanity of the idea to have Tokyo host the 2020 Summer Olympics in the wake of the deepening of the nuclear crisis and the strengthening of convictions among independent seismologists that another gigantic earthquake is imminent.
Wasting no time, the anti-hatred gentleman I talked about in my previous post started to entangle the thread with his unparalleled skills of selectively hearing what he had wanted to hear from me, and mixing up what I'd said and what I hadn't. I replied like this. But now the special type of troller has revealed what he really is.
The hater disguised as an anti-hatred advocate always looks around for a conflict to reconcile; he even creates one where there are none; he does all this only to gloss over the real issue. Even worse, while an avowed hater hates his enemy seriously, the disguised hater takes nothing seriously. When he realizes his tactic won't work, he falls silent as if he hasn't said a word about the issue at hand. Once again he did it. I don't know if he remains silent for good or until the weather changes here.
Fortunately, though, there still are a handful of clear-headed people regularly visiting this unpopular website. "Diogenes of Arkansas" is one of them.
In the last couple of weeks he provided us with interesting materials such as this article, the video embedded at the bottom of this post, and the caricatured Olympic symbol shown above. (The circle in the center is the internationally-accepted sign of radioactive hazard.)
I do know his way of viewing the fallout of the Fukushima disaster is miles apart from mine. But if we were in agreement from the beginning, what good would it do to discuss the issue? The only thing that really matters is that we are basically on the same page
And what exactly is on the page? Of course it's contamination.
Since the challenge from the nuclear disaster is multifaceted, it involves a variety of questions to be addressed. They include:
● Contamination of what? The body or the soul or both? ● Is it just a careless mistake or gross negligence or willful act that caused it? ● Exactly how far has the effect reached? ● Is the situation still remediable? ● If it is, exactly how? ● If not, exactly why?
Just set aside 15 minutes to watch the video embedded below. The good news is that Hiroaki Koide, Assistant Professor at Kyoto University's Research Institute for Nuclear Waste Management and Safety, is not alone. There still are some, if not many, level-headed scientists who have, with an admirable perseverance, delved into the effects of atmospheric, oceanic and other pollutions caused by nuclear waste in the last six decades since the crew members of Japan's fishing boat Daigo Fukuryumaru were seriously exposed to radiation from a hydrogen bomb tested on Bikini Atoll.
The bad news is that not a few cultist-minded people are quickly flocking around these scientists as if they could share the same conviction with these experts in nuclear engineering, oceanology or seismology. To these super-gullible and highly-suggestible guys the only important thing is that the outcome of scientific studies is usable to promote their cheap ideologies.
A week or so ago, Tatsuru Uchida, a fringe critic and martial art instructor, was quoted by a tabloid as saying the ongoing Olympic craze reminded him of the famous phrase "bread and circuses," better known as "bread and games" in the U.S. The words "panem" (bread) and "circenses" (circuses) were first used in combination by Roman poet and satirist Juvenal almost two millenniums ago. Certainly Uchida has a good point.
I am reasonably sure that now post-Fukushima panem is so tainted that the more you eat it, the more it eats into your body. But what about circenses?
You may think the Greco-Roman traditions of the Olympics and other sporting events are more or less kept intact, except that now they are even more tainted with performance-enhancing drugs, commercialism and nationalism. You may also say entertainment remains essentially the same thing as it was to the Roman populace, except that now we can't tell art from crap.
But you are wrong.
Guess what, in the last decade or so, we are flooded with circuses much more poisonous than the Olympics. These games, which thousands and thousands of crisis mongers, doomsayers and conspiracy theorists are untiringly churning out, are eating deep into your soul. Without exception, the battle between a villain and a justice doer, or between an unscrupulous criminal and an innocent victim is what these games are all about. The player can instantly identify himself with his favorite avatar without becoming really committed to it.
And what happens if the player loses? Absolutely nothing, because after all it's nothing but a game. This is the beauty of the circuses of the 21st century.
Of course it's all up to you whether or not you remain hooked on the virtual adventure in search of empty truth and justice. It's your life; that's none of my business.
The other day I found in my bookcase a novel titled The Touch. It was first published in 1968 but I bought its 2003 edition some nine years ago because the story of the "fiction" had been updated to incorporate knowledge newly acquired from the nuclear accidents in Pennsylvania (1997,) Mexico (2002,) and Canada (2002.)
The author Daniel Keyes has long been one of my favorite writers because he has a profound insight in humanity. But for some forgotten reason, I had stopped in the middle of the book. Perhaps I was just too busy. Now I'm half-blind. I can't read or write without enlarging letters at least to this size or using a magnifier. So it's an excruciating task to read a book. But now I felt an urge to finish with the reading.
Am I going to identify myself with the protagonist? Not at all. To me a good book is not a game. Then am I going to write a review piece? Neither is it what I want to do with the book. Whenever I read what the publisher wrongly calls a "fiction," I never try to find a "message" in it. If a writer wants to convey an idea that all boils down to yet another moral lesson or ideology, he doesn't have to, or even shouldn't, write a fiction, or nonfiction for that matter.
Take Kurt Vonnegut for example. His Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle are indisputable masterpieces. But if you want to hear an anti-war or anti-nuke propaganda from Vonnegut, my suggestion would be that you should economize on time by taking a quick glimpse at a short piece or two he wrote after he became senile, pick any phrase you like and pass it around as your "thought" endorsed by a great writer.
Unlike you, I am not suffering what I call "WE-THEY Syndrome." So my way of reading a book is quite different from yours. I never look for a moral lesson or an ideology. Instead I just want to see exactly how each character, in the face of a specific situation, whether it's fictitious or real, individualizes, personalizes or internalizes things, rather than generalizing or externalizing them as if it were someone else's problem. That's the only way I can broaden or deepen my perception of things based on the limited knowledge and experience.
All I can say about The Touch at this moment is that it's a real page-turner and it's worth your time to read it. For one thing it's more than just informative and thought-provoking to see how an engineer with whom the protagonist shares the same carpool reacts to the mishap that occurs in the R&D laboratory of the automaker they are working at. When a tracing machine that uses isotopes of Iridium-192 somehow fails, he quickly acts to prevent the radioactive dust from spreading around. And as soon as the dust seems to have settled down, the laboratory engineer says exactly what Abe and his predecessors have been saying: "We had the things under control, and no one got a bad dose."
This rings a bell. At the same time this makes me think about things we normally don't give a thought. For one thing, Tokyo Electric Power Company is NOT an automaker. That is basically why I'm neither pro- nor anti-nuclear energy. · read more (1 words)
Tuesday, September 24 2013 @ 10:47 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum. (I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am.) - Rene Descartes
All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. - Thomas J. Watson
Undated map showing atmospheric contamination
Oceanic contamination as of August 21, 2013
Oceanic contamination 2,276 days after the disaster
No one openly denies the ability to think is the only thing that distinctively differentiates man from the ape. Although most people even think the notion is a mere truism, very few seem to know exactly what steps are involved in the process of man's thinking.
Just in case, let us be reminded that the first step is to break up the link already established among things by someone else into the smallest possible elements. Then you sort them out in the second step, finally to reconstruct a link in your own way.
Sometimes I suspect the reason the average American often shows a sign of irritation at the neutral word "ape" is because he is intellectually too lazy or apish to go through the time-consuming process every time he discusses an issue at hand. Just like his Japanese counterpart, he constantly shuffles secondhand information purely on an ear-to-mouth basis.
With each one of them I intended to prepare my predominantly American audience for the next post. But it was evident from the comments I got online and offline that most people thought I'd selected these subjects just on a whim. Most of the time they failed to see the link I'd tentatively established among these topics. Needless to say, they never dreamed of reestablishing a link on their own. An automatic comment-posting software would have outdone these people.
In short, they didn't take my arguments seriously.
In the last nine years since I started blogging, I have used two ways to make up for the inability to think on the part of my audience. One of them is to turn to visual aids, as I do here again in this post. But photos and videos seldom worked as I had expected. Most of the time images failed to provoke people to think. Sometimes they even made them stop thinking instead of stop to think. At best, their effects were quite limited.
Take a look at the undated picture embedded at the top of this post, for instance. Aside from the inescapable question about its authenticity, you don't normally ask specifically what radioactive materials are causing atmospheric contamination shown on the map of the Japanese Archipelago, and what about the groundwater and food chain.
The other two pictures show the results of computer simulations made by a German institute named GEOMAR (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.) It seems the wine color shows the density of Cesium-137, the most hazardous substance. But are they really reliable? Of course they aren't because the numerical data available to the German scientists were all sourced from the habitual liars at Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The only thing that is more or less self-evident from these maps is the fact that the temperate westerlies have prevented the worst-case scenario from happening here, just like Kamikaze (Divine Wind) from a ferocious typhoon blew the invading Mongolian fleet against the rocks in 1274 while Japanese had been freezing in total inaction.
Over time I've realized there is a little more effective way to approach my audience through the backdoor: FAN HATRED with inflammatory words, such as Black Kenyan Monkey, male Japanese macaques or narcissism of the Hottentots.
I used to hate a lot, but not anymore. My hatred was almost always directed to the enemy of my loved one. Whenever you become committed to someone, you share the same animosity with her. Now at the age of 77, I have no one to get mad at. But as an old Frenchman would say, a life without hatred is something like an egg without salt.
Do I hate the Kenyan monkey or Japanese macaques myself? Unfortunately that is not the case at all. How can I hate such dregs of humanity? These despicable guys don't deserve my hatred because there's no such thing as hatred without a sense of awe. But now I know how to turn my inability to hate into an advantage. If I were a hater myself, I would never be really hated. That should mean I can leverage my ability to be hated to make my audience take me seriously. Not that I do something wrong with the visitors to my website. I just intend to make them misdirect or redirect their disoriented anger to this blogger.
It's for this reason that I love to be hated these days, if not more than to be respected. The most important thing here is that when you are mad at me, I see an unmistakable sign that you take me seriously. This has made my blog one of the world's most hated websites. Not a few people seem to get so indignant that they will never come back. But that's it; I don't care too much because it can't really be helped.
Paradoxical though it may seem, I've recently found out that the easiest target I can invite anger from is one who claims to be an anti-hatred advocate or activist. It's always fun to fan his hatred this way - unless he goes too far to mess up this website.
In recent years there are a growing number of anti-hatred advocates/activists especially in the U.S. Although they don't notice it themselves, they all cling to the archaic idea laid down in Japan's Seventeen-Article Constitution (see NOTE below) which was promulgated by Prince Shotoku almost 14 centuries ago.
NOTE: Its Article 1 goes like this: Harmony should be valued and quarrels should be avoided. Everyone has his biases, and few men are far-sighted. Therefore some disobey their lords and fathers and keep up feuds with their neighbors. But when the superiors are in harmony with each other and the inferiors are friendly, then affairs are discussed quietly and the right view of matters prevails.
Actually anti-hatred people and hate-crime doers are the two wings of a same bird, whose brain is either empty, or stuffed with shit. To remain an anti-hatred advocate, you always have to look around for a conflict because if you don't find one, you are at a loss over what to do for the rest of your life. That's why they even create one discord after another, where there are none, so they can play the role of arbitrators until the end of time.
There is a catch, however. An avowed hater has a principle and some guts, for better or for worse. On the contrary a hater, who says and does whatever he says and does under the guise of an anti-hatred advocate or activist, is the most unprincipled and gutless type of person. The only thing he can be is an adamant denier of humanity. How can I expect from him a genuine hatred accompanied by a certain sense of awe? · read more (56 words)
Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 03:33 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
"Don't ask me where we are headed?"
"The Japanese response to Western ideas was similar [to their response to Chinese ideas] but less traumatic, or at least it was traumatic in a different way. Japanese intellectuals, too, used the face saving formula 'Western science, Japanese essence.' ---- They also knew that their political system, and the principles upon which it was based, had been imported from China, and there was nothing to stop them from borrowing from somewhere else when the old order was no longer working."
- from Inventing Japan - 1853-1964 by Ian Buruma
I got a hunch, with some good reasons, that not a few Americans went past my previous post, thinking: "It must be a total waste of time to listen to the same old lecture on conformism the old nutter has been repeating in the last nine years." But hold on. Do these salauds américains really understand what the word "conformism" means? It's permissible these uneducated guys do not understand the ontological connotation of the French words. But it's a laugh to know that those whose mother tongue is English don't know how to define the English word.
With that post I never intended to tell you such a stupid thing as "conformism is bad, nonconformism is good." I just wanted to remind my audience that no human baby is born a conformist. Conformism is a disease, not an ism. Sometimes you might be able to remedy it but you can never correct it.
Let me elaborate some more on the description of the illness. It is an extremely intractable disease because it's caused by developmental failure. But as is true with most other clinical cases, there is only a fine line between conformism and nonconformism, and there can't be one without the other. You can't be 100% conformist, and at the same time, you can't be 100% free of it.
When you start to learn a language, the first things you have to familiarize yourself with are the generally accepted definitions of basic words and the grammatical rules. At this stage, you need to conform. Many people say one's learning ability hinges on his adaptability and faculty to memorize. But I think they are wrong. What really counts is self-discipline and the sense of commitment. At the advanced stage, on the other hand, you have to redefine every word in your vocabulary so it fits into your own context, not someone else's. That's where anyone with developmental defect fails.
Honestly I didn't feel resentful at all at the poor response from those who can't do anything more than defining the word "conformism" in a conformist way. My goal as a blogger has always been to make people stop to think rather than stop thinking. There's no wonder it's extremely unpopular among those salauds américains.
When French philosopher Sartre published his autobiography in 1964, he titled it Les mots (The Words.) He thought words were what his life was all about and they were the only thing that allowed him to talk about it. Although you may not admit, this holds true with most of us who are not factory workers or farmers. Throughout his life, Sartre paid due respect for words. He thought that a word should be redefined in his own way every time he used it. No other writer or speaker, that I know of, has ever taken the two-sidedness of the words more seriously.
It's only the wrong people that thought Les mots would deserve a Nobel Prize in literature. Obviously these gentlemen suffering serious developmental defect mistook the reason behind this title as if it meant the author had come back to the tradition of "literature for literature." That's why the French philosopher flatly rejected the offer from the Swedish Academy.
This once again brings me back to the ordeal I went through in 2008. I was working alternately with two Americans living in Yokohama who claimed to be experienced in copy-editing. At one time when I didn't like the way one of the idiots corrected my choice of words, I sent a mail to Gordon G. Chang to ask if he would agree to my statement that words and ideas are inseparable twins. I thought there can't be a genuinely new idea expressed by worn-out words. Likewise there can't be brilliant words to express a mediocre idea. This had long been my conviction since 2004 when I launched this website. At that time I was wavering over what language to use. I finally concluded the use of my mother tongue was out of the question because as long as I stayed with the Japanese language I would never emancipate myself from the Japanese way of thinking. I just settled for English simply because I wasn't good at any other foreign language such as Swahili.
Chang got back to me saying: "You are wrong. Writing and thinking are two different talents, and few people possess both. Just think of the reverse of you: the world is full of ill-conceived ideas that are communicated flawlessly. If I had to choose between the two, I would prefer to have great thoughts than great writing skills. Language can always be tuned easily. Bad ideas, on the other hand, are not so easily remedied." This simply indicated the prominent pundit was a scum.
After Chang separated the inseparable, his literary agent named Rosalie Siegel took over. When I sent her an outline, the bitch started to nitpick over my English writing skills. She said: "The long sentences are indeed part of the problem with your English. The very first sentence raises red flags to an English language reader. This is what we call a 'run on sentence'." The Siegel broad added that I should hire a native speaker as my editor as if I hadn't told her previously that's what I'd already done at a barely affordable cost of 80-100K yen.
That's how the scum and the hag succeeded in keeping at bay the harmful idea from their Far Eastern fiefdom.
Originally I thought someday I would return to Japanese. But now it seems too late for me to relearn it because there isn't the slightest trace of the language I used to use anymore.
These days, I see long queues of Japanese people in Yokohama Chinatown or everywhere else. Most of the time I can't tell what the line is formed for. Sometimes I ask one of these penguins, "What's going on over here?" More often than not the flightless bird grins embarrassedly and says in an apologetic tone: "I'm sorry. I don't know exactly, either."
The other day I overheard one of them talking to his friend in the same line. He was saying something like this:
"Oretachi ga korabo (collaborate) shiteru tokoro wo sumaho (smartphone) no apuri (application) de puromo (promotional video) ni shite netto (Internet) ni appu (upload) suru nante ii ai-dea (idea) kamone." (It must be a good idea to use the application on the smartphone to make a promotional video showing how we are collaborating with each other, and upload it on the Internet.)
This is no longer Japanese, English or any other human language. It's amazing that even the mainstream media use the same "language."
As Ian Buruma observed, this is not the first time the Japanese have flooded themselves with a foreign language only to destroy it over time. In the meantime, the genuinely Japanese language from the prehistoric Man'yo era has also been gone.
The lack of self-esteem inevitably leads to the lack of respect for words, and vice versa. Now I'm totally at a loss over what language to use until I croak. · read more (31 words)
Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 01:11 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you google for quotable words on conformism, thousands of search results will come up. But it won't take long until you realize it's a waste of time to click on them because most of these advocacies of nonconformity are fake from the diversity cults of the 1960s. It's evident from the way they advocated nonconformity that self-styled gurus such as John F. Kennedy and self-righteous rebels such as John Lennon were conformists, themselves, just disguised as something else.
Perhaps, Rita Mae Brown is one of the few exceptions. She is quoted as saying, "I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” She has a good point; she convinces us with a short sentence that self-hatred always underlies conformism, or vice versa.
On the other hand I do not necessarily agree with Emerson. It's a long time ago I read his essay about the principle of self-reliance. So I am not very sure, but to me the words quoted above sound a little too dogmatic or narcissistic. Actually to remain "yourself" is not that important when you have to change yourself constantly as Henri Bergson suggested.
According to my mother's diary, I was born at 7:30 AM on December 25, 1935. But my birth certificate says I was born one week later - January 1, 1936. In those days the Japanese people were even more group-oriented than they are today. The birthday of each individual did not count at all because everyone was supposed to grow one year older on January 1. That's why my parents decided to cheat the municipal office so I wouldn't be treated as a 1-year-old when I was actually 1-week-old. From the very beginning of my life, therefore, I was made something else than what I actually was. I think the gap kept widening, rather than narrowing, toward my early adulthood.
Since I don't have a good memory, I don't remember what happened to me in this one-week period when I was officially nonexistent. Not only that, I can't recall how life treated me throughout the rest of my infancy except what I learned in later years from family members. And yet, I can still recollect the elusive sense of angst which was left behind long after everything sunk into oblivion. It's hard to explain exactly what it was, but I seemed to be feeling extremely uncomfortable with my own existence throughout these years - and well beyond. Deep inside I felt I had been born to a wrong place where I didn't really belong. This sensation continued until I could overcome it almost two decades later. I think my intransigent trait of nonconformism has its origin in the early days of my development.
Aside from the early experience of my own, one question lingers on over the human behavior: Why does a human baby cry at birth unlike a new-born cub of other species? He may stop crying as soon as he is breast-fed. But that does not mean his problem is finally solved by lactation. I hypothesize that the reason he cries at birth is because being forcibly given birth is as hard to tolerate as facing death, or even harder than that. Like a dying person, he doesn't have the slightest idea about what situation he is going to face, let alone how to cope with it. The only premonition he's got is that in all likelihood, it's a hostile world. It makes little difference whether or not his parent has a pathological bent for child abuse.
Very few people have really understood the ethics of Jean-Paul Sartre, my lifetime philosophy teacher. He based it on his ontological observation that "existence precedes essence." In plainer words, that means you are nothing until you choose to be someone or something. But it's important to note he never meant to say you can become anything you want to be. You are always conditioned beforehand by things and people surrounding you. Sartre just wanted to say you should try to "make something out of what you've been made into." A character in his play "No Exit" says, "L'enfer, c'est les autres," or "Hell is other people."
When one attempts to overcome constraints imposed on him, what he needs first and foremost are knowledge and skills with which to effectively deal with the given situation. This brings us to the issue with education. So many disguised conformists have disseminated a myth that something is fundamentally wrong with the current education systems because they are tainted with indoctrination everywhere. It's as though there could be such a thing as education that is not aimed at helping the young grow into "the fittest" by closing the inherent gap between individuals and society.
Doris Lessing is quoted as saying:
“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.'”
As the sober-minded British writer observes here, what's really at issue is the very fact that there are so many self-proclaimed nonconformists who have been brainwashed to believe indoctrination is an issue. The fact of the matter remains that those who don't have an extraordinary talent to educate themselves have no choice but to accept the ordinary indoctrination system. And that's what I did.
I don't want to repeat the same story about the abnormally Spartan way my father educated me. I later called it a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he taught me never to go with the flow because that was the surest way to mediocrity. But on the other, he forced me to get on the fast track to the exempt status from sacrificing my life for the Divine Emperor in the unwinnable war. Torn between the two contradictory principles, the helplessly dim-witted kid, that I was, finally collapsed when I was in my late-teens. Now I know what exactly made it possible for me to pull myself together. It was none other than my innate trait of nonconformity.
There's very little in common between Thomas J. Watson, Jr., who is dubbed "the greatest capitalist in history," and me. Yet I think, there is a certain similarity between his feud with Thomas J. Watson, Sr., de facto founder of International Business Machines, and mine with my father.
Time and again Watson, Jr. stressed that the single most important founding principle of his company was that it would never try to tame the "wild ducks." As to conformism, he is quoted as saying:
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
Financially, my life has never been really successful, but nevertheless I am proud of myself because I have never been flattened by conformity. That's exactly why I didn't stay down for too long. I could overcome all the adversity in part because of my respect for professionalism and discipline, and sense of commitment I could develop during the 16 years of being indoctrinated.
More importantly, I have owed these charming and intelligent young ladies more than I could possibly repay. They not only taught me something I couldn't have learned in school, but also made my life really worth living. I am not exaggerating when I say my life must have been "much ado about nothing" without them. To me they were comrades before anything else.
Perhaps I was a little less ugly than I am today, but I have never been a handsome and sexy guy. So the question is why on earth I could have so many unforgettably fruitful relationships with these ladies. My own answer is that it's because I always took them seriously and never attempted to have them subordinated to me like slaves. You may not be aware, but some of these young ladies still retain their innate resistance against being assimilated into the society perpetually dominated by male macaques. You may ask me how I could tell them from those who had already been incorporated. Actually, there is no secret. To anyone who isn't a conformist himself, a female who still retains the biological, psychological, and even ontological instinct against conformity always looks to shine unlike others. And on your part, the most important thing to note is that in a civilized world, it doesn't really count how much pheromone you secrete.
The only mistake I have ever made in my lifetime is when I married the woman with whom I fathered two SOBs. I don't think they were wearing a wide grin from ear to ear at birth. But in a matter of years, they became fully assimilated through something to be likened to bacterial infection, rather than a deliberate indoctrination.
When I started what I call a zoology museum on the web nine years ago, I thought it was necessary to collect a wide variety of specimens to exhibit in the showcase or the cage. But I was wrong. Soon I realized that the country named the USA is a monolith even to a greater extent than Japan is. There are only a couple of types of people among whom conformists, either avowed or disguised, are the overwhelming majority.
Conformism is not an ism. It's a disease. Even worse, unlike cretinism or moronism, it's highly infectious. American conformists are getting used so quickly to the Twitteresque way of discussing matters that they no longer understand it's necessary to give a logical reason to support or refute an argument. They think, "Why the hell do we have to explain the reason every time we speak for or against someone's opinion? Most of us think more or less in the same way."
For example, an American specimen, who flip-flops his position every second day, responded to my previous post about narcissism of the Hottentots like this: "I'm [favorably] impressed by everything and everyone Japanese." I was anxious to know the reason because he was now brushing aside, with a single short sentence, my observation of the terminally-ill people living in this cultural wasteland, which I explained to my audience with 400-plus posts I've written in the last nine years. But he replied, matter-of-factly: "There are no reasons for this. It is custom to adore the Japanese. Your people do the same. As an example, you are the one who revealed the Japanese oddity of venerating our President without knowing him. ('I rub Obama.')"
Obviously this particular specimen is one of those who were "flattened by conformity and stay down for good," or at least until the inevitable collapse of the worst rogue country in history. I will refrain from chasing him too far in part because it would run counter to Bushido (chivalry) to step on a person already flattened on the floor. But more importantly, it's one of my responsibilities as the curator of this museum to keep him alive in the showcase, or the cage, which carries a signboard that now reads: un salaud americain.
Recently I've found the French words very useful as well as usable because an uneducated person never understands the real connotation of the ontological pejorative. Thanks to these words, I can prevent my sympathetic nervous system from sending my blood pressure soaring to 200mmHG or even higher. · read more (40 words)
The true problem of bad faith (self-deception) stems evidently from the fact that bad faith is faith. - From a chapter titled The "Faith" of Bad Faith of Existential Psychoanalysis by Jean-Paul Sartre
I'm still on a writing binge in the middle of a funny survival game between the dying PC and the dying me, whose rule says whichever survives the other is the loser. Actually I was working on something to be titled Burning desire for international recognition or collective narcissism of the yellow Hottentots. But I suspended it, because as usual I felt it would be useless to come back over and over to my audience trapped in a perpetual mauvaise foi with such a no-nonsense argument. Now, for one last time, let me tell you what the real implication of cherry-picking is for our online interchange. Sorry for my nasty curveball. I'm not good at tickling your ears.
I launched this website solely for my Han-Anpo (anti-security treaty) advocacy. To that end, I was focusing on political issues in early days of my blogging. Then I realized I had to talk more about social issues underlying them. When I learned that didn't work either, I shifted the focus to cultural issues. I talked a lot about art, especially music, but again to no avail. Finally it belatedly dawned on me that our fundamental difference lies in philosophy although I was reluctant to resort to it. When I was young, I studied philosophy a lot. But I knew a retired businessman could be nothing more than a lay philosopher.
Still today the way(s) American visitors to this site view the U.S.-Japan partnership remains unchanged. They don't think it's an essential issue. They think, "Let's keep it there until the problem solves itself; it can't be helped if the ambivalent feelings grow on both sides of the wrong partners. The same thing often happens in our families."
All along I have tried to share my first-hand observation and experience because for better or for worse I am the only one in this community who knows the politics, society and culture of this country inside out. Most of the time you said you understood me, by and large. In fact, though, you didn't, at all.
Not that you were lying
In 1936 Billy Mayhew wrote a lovely song titled It's a Sin to Tell a Lie. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 imposed a new rule that said: It's a Sin to Tell the Truth. For an intriguing reason, however, the new rule has never superseded the old one that all boiled down to this notion: "Honesty simply means not telling lies." That is why the American people still keep singing the same old tune about the sin. Now it's a sin whether you tell a lie or truth. Actually, you are totally at a loss over what to say to remain innocent. All you can do is to engage yourselves in incoherent talks over invented issues.
Unfortunately, the same intellectual and moral vacuum has spread over the entire Pacific-rim region, from which I'm inclined to exclude China. This epidemic has left Japan in the most disastrous situation because the country is where the East has met the West in the most unfortunate way. Now Japan has turned into a cultural wasteland.
If the climate in the European cultural sphere is a little different, it must be attributable to the fact that unlike the Pacific-rim nations, European countries, including Russia, were immunized against the fake culture reimported from the "New World."
Amid WWII, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay on phenomenological ontology titled Being and Nothingness. The French philosopher devoted its Part 1, Chapter 2 entirely to the topic of mauvaise foi (bad faith or self-deception.) Ten years or so later, he wrote Existential Psychoanalysis to elaborate on this point in which he detailed the essential difference between falsehood, i.e. lies, and mauvaise foi.
Sartre argued that although you may say nonchalantly that bad faith is "a lie to oneself," there is a subtle but fundamental difference between the two. There, he almost sounded like saying that lies are far more benign than bad faith, although being an atheist himself, he never implied bad faith is a sin, either. According to him, "a man does not lie about what he is ignorant of." In other words, an ignoramus will never lie.
This really clicks because Hitler wasn't a liar. He was a legitimate leader of the nation who was elected by the German voters under the Weimar Constitution just like the Black Kenyan Monkey was by their American counterparts 76 years later.
Don't take me wrong, however; this is not to say there's anything categorically wrong with your habit of cherry-picking. Apes don't cherry-pick because they will never be in bad faith. The ability of cheating self is inherent only to a creature in a more advanced stage of evolution. Since bad faith is a double-edged sword, you can use it effectively if you have a certain amount of creativity. But if you are one of those change-resistant people, you will end up cutting conjoined twins into two dead pieces.
Let's assume you have two candidates from whom you are going to pick one as your girlfriend, you certainly select the one who falls on your type. But once you've made her your girlfriend, you become aware she has too many shortcomings to be an ideal mate. Now you are prone to developing ambivalent feelings toward this woman. Most likely, you choose to stay with her. Are you not cherry-picking by doing so? Although you are unwilling to admit it, that's exactly what you are doing, a little belatedly, and without success.
Likewise, you often develop a love-and-hate relationship toward something, e.g. the country you live in, the political party you vote for, etc. Here I'm not talking about a business decision where a quantifiable tradeoff between benefits and costs, or opportunities and risks is all that matters. Like Sartre, I'm talking about life.
The former yakuza member I mentioned in my previous post has chosen to stay with his home country he thinks should perish, primarily because he can't live without the welfare benefits and tax-exempt status granted by the nanny state. It's a vicious circle; the more he becomes dependent on the nation, the more his grudge flares up, and the more his resentment intensifies, the more he is addictively attached to the country. To him the only conceivable solution to what Sartre termed "inner disintegration" was to fence himself in a real or imaginary prison, almost voluntarily, where he doesn't have to face his real self in the mirror.
If you are a skillful cherry-picker, you can draw a picture of a utopia while staying with a dystopia, or vice versa. Basically your dilemma is none of my business. Yet, I don't think you are playing it very fair if you keep floating aimlessly back and forth between pros and cons entailed in the subject at hand. It's counterproductive, to say the least. We always go round in circles because we keep speaking the same ill-defined words over and over. We stop only when we get tired. And every time we resume our discussion, we start at the point where we started the last time. · read more (51 words)
Frequently [mauvaise foi (self-deception)] is [mis-]identified with falsehood. We say indifferently of a person that he shows signs of bad faith or that he lies to himself. We shall willingly grant that bad faith is a lie to oneself, on condition that we distinguish the lie to oneself from lying in general. Lying is a negative attitude, we will agree to that. But this negation does not bear on consciousness itself; it aims only at the transcendent. The essence of the lie implies in fact that the liar actually is in complete possession of the truth which he is hiding. A man does not lie about what he is ignorant of. - From Existential Psychoanalysis by Jean-Paul Sartre
Jesus, I made the same mistake once again. I shouldn't have started my previous post with a mention of MSR before taking the necessary precautions. MSR stands for Mirror Self-Recognition Tests, a method to test cognitive abilities in children and animals.
Most of "US" fear the mirror like some wild animals are scared to death at the sight of fire. Narcissists seem to be exceptions. But actually I suspect narcissism is nothing but the reverse side of the fear of self.
It belatedly dawned on me that I'd underestimated the ferocity of "OUR" instinctive response to the real existential threat only when I was working on a new piece which now deals with "narcissism of the Hottentots." Some forty years ago a former Japanese Ambassador to Argentina named Kawarazaki said in a speech to the effect that the Japanese are the only species that is uglier than the Hottentots. If I remember it correctly, the controversial remarks eventually cost him his job as a diplomat. But nobody could deny he was just too honest. The wicked Queen in Snow White says to the mirror on the wall: "Mirror, mirror, who's the fairest one of all?". Now I'm asking myself: "Why are there so many narcissists in the nation of yellow Hottentots?".
I am not a narcissist myself, whether or not I look pretty much like a Hottentot, or Pigmy. So I don't particularly like to look at my own battered, wrinkled face. But unlike most of US, I don't fear the mirror. Actually I don't even need a mirror in the first place because I already know what I am, inside out. I am an ailing 77-year-old now dying in dire poverty, who is still being robbed of 20-40% of his pension by the municipal government for his consumption of radioactively contaminated oxygen. It has never been the other way around in my lifetime; not once have I extorted someone else's fruits of labor in the way the small-time thieves at the City Hall are doing to me right now. It's a different issue whether it's their fault or mine. But one thing is for sure: this cannot be a paranoiac delusion.
The reason I mentioned MSR, anyway, is because no one seems to care about OUR constant failure in the mirror test. Among a variety of versions of MSR, there is an interesting method called "the Rouge Test" in which an experimenter surreptitiously places a dot, using rouge makeup, on the face of a human child or an ape. Researchers have reported that most of the time the subject before the mirror tries to remove the embarrassing stain from its own face.
They have never thought about modifying the rouge test so it can be used for adults. But if there was such a version around, I suspect most human adults would try to wipe out the red mark from the reflection in the mirror. On the other hand, they would claim the credit for someone else's achievement when they found in the mirror a man with a trophy in his hand. The test result would reveal how the human race has developed its sense of "we-ness."
In the above-quoted passage from his Existential Psychoanalysis, Sartre wanted to say a lie is a conscious falsehood whereas mauvaise foi (self-deception) largely remains unconscious. This is an utter truism. But beware, a truism is sometimes truer than the truth. That is why the French philosopher thought an ontological approach was necessary to unravel the mechanism of self-deception.
POSTSCRIPT: If you are not familiar with ontology, here's my way of defining it. It's something that demands the disambiguation of tricky (or convenient) pronouns, especially YOU, WE, and THEY, as they are used in public discourse. You wonder: "What good would it do to precisely define and redefine these words every time any one of them comes up in our debate?". I couldn't care less if you feel it's unnecessary.
Some ten years ago I became acquainted with a funny guy named Maeda at a fast-food outlet near my workplace in central Tokyo. Perhaps he was in his late-50s or early-60s. He had a big scar on his cheek. We talked a lot about politics which revealed Maeda was a kind of anarchist although his antisocial vocabulary was quite limited and by and large second-hand. On the other hand he was reluctant to tell me his personal background in detail. All I learned in subsequent conversations between us is that he was a former member of a yakuza syndicate, and now he was jobless because he had somehow been kicked out of the organization in which he'd spent his entire "career." He added he was applying for the welfare benefits because unlike company employees, he wasn't entitled to any pension program. He hinted that he had recently kicked the habit of drug abuse.
I don't have the slightest idea of Maeda's whereabouts because I haven't heard a word from him in eight years or so. But my assumption is that although he is now on benefits, Maeda is behind bars for peddling illegal drugs or abusing them himself. If I am right, it's a happy ending for his life because I hear there's no mirror available in jail for security reasons. I sometimes suspect so many people almost voluntarily fence themselves in a real or imaginary prison simply because the mirror scares them to death.
On the contrary, if Maeda's cell was equipped with a mirror by any chance, it would be like living in hell because day in, day out, he would have to face a man who harbors an irresistible animosity against the society which extends a helping hand to him through the welfare program. Nothing can be more excruciating than receiving support from one's enemy. By comparison, the embarrassment caused by the scar on your face is nothing but an April breeze. · read more (82 words)
Monday, July 29 2013 @ 07:40 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
I don't know if it was just out of curiosity when psychologist Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. carried out the mirror self-recognition tests (MSR) in the early-1970s. On the other hand, if you look at this intriguing paper written by Takaaki Kaneko and Masaki Tomonaga of Primate Research Institute attached to Kyoto University, you can tell that they are seeking a clue to the mechanism of intellectual evolution.
In a recent post, I referred to the President of the United States as a Black Kenyan Monkey. At that time I feared I might be criticized by a monkey-rights group for my discriminatory use of the word "monkey." But on the contrary, an American visitor to my website lodged a protest, saying it wasn't the right thing to insult the leader of a nation this way. Although I still suspect it was an undeserved compliment, here in this post, I'll address these creatures that look more or less like humans as "WE," while referring to chimpanzees as "THEY."
I'm very sure that most of US will fail in MSR because it's now evident that WE have lost the life-size view of OURSELVES. WE tend to talk big while actually acting very small. I'm often inclined to ask US these questions: "Who the hell are you? Exactly where are you within this picture you are talking about. Or are you talking about someone else's problem? Then what makes it your business?"
In the video embedded here, the brainless BBC reporter underplays the significance of the findings by the Japanese researchers at PRI. But actually, the learning ability demonstrated by this particular chimp here was already counter-intuitive to most of US. There's absolutely no reason to prejudge THEY won't outdo US in other types of intelligence tests. Toyota's Partner Robots are a different story. These cyborgs are stupid simply because they all mirror their developers. But to US, chimps are not a mirror.
As these researchers admit, their studies on primates have only just begun. There are quite a number of things to look into before they could possibly unravel the mysteries about evolution. The following are some of them.
First and foremost, the researchers should try to find out THEIR ability to conceptualize. Unlike generalization all of US is so good at, conceptualization takes a sharp analytical mind. If chimps fail to pass this part of the exam, what the researchers call THEIR sense of self-agency doesn't mean anything more than it does with some of US who know no principle to which to commit themselves with professionalism. At the same time, the absence of the ability to abstract things hinders THEM from having a sense of purpose, which in turn disable THEM in many ways. Most importantly THEY can't identify the real issue from among many red herrings because now THEY can't internalize anything that is relevant to THEIR own lives.
According to Wikiquote.com, Voltaire once said, "Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." If he had been a researcher at PRI, he would have said, "Let's call him just an ape rather than something closer to a human being if he is only good at answering the question we gave him."
Neither will THEY be able to prioritize tasks so as to optimize the tradeoff between selecting one and deselecting it.
Most importantly, THEY, WE, or any other "higher" animals in a certain condition are motivated by the "need of self-actualization" as American psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized, though a little too schematically. When you are motivated by something other than the instinct for survival, you don't need the snacks as "additional incentives" as the BBC reporter puts it.
Another aspect to be looked at is THEIR sociality. There's no communication where there is no dialectical exchange of feedback. As Jean-Paul Sartre observed, communication starts with the understanding that every one of US has his own self-awareness. So the question here is whether chimps are aware that THEY are all Being-for-others.
We already know THEIR learning curve is beyond OUR imagination. But this leaves US wondering how good THEY are at teaching. As a general rule, a teacher can't effectively share his idea with his student if he doesn't have this sense of being-for-others.
When it comes to languages as the tools for communication, I suspect THEY would outperform most of US, especially the Japanese and Americans, in learning a "foreign" language. Judging from THEIR super high-context screech which is very similar to contemporary Japanese and English, it would be a piece of cake for THEM to pick up either language. Especially I'm very sure chimps would by far outperform the Japanese if THEY were taught English in the right way.
Needless to say, communication is the only enabler of the synergy effect to be pursued through a coordinated action.
I am not an animal lover myself. Not that I hate animals. How can I hate them when I know they don't have the worst vice inherent to the human race which Sartre called mauvaise foi (self-deception)? THEY never lie. Sometimes chimps may have a dream like humans. But unlike most of US, when THEY wake up, THEY don't mix up the dream with reality.
Aside from THEIR perfect honesty, I know very little about THEM. Yet I am reasonably sure that some, if not all, of THEM will pass these tests. And that is enough to convince US that the average chimp is as smart as his human counterpart. You may say his brain weighs only 14 oz, 59-77% lighter than the human brain and the neurons in his brain are outnumbered by 20-56% by the brain cells of a human being. But so what? Just compare the simplest form of personal computer of the early-1980s against the old mainframe machine. And think about what the Internet has enabled US. WE have just developed the addictive habit to gather tons of information which is totally irrelevant to OUR lives. It can be that THEY know how to economize the use of the limited resource.
The last and most important test should address this question: Do THEY have the abilities to define THEIR own rules for the game to play, redefine them, and sometimes defy them? Let's pose this question differently: Can WE expect THEM to think and act creatively? WE already know that creativity is something WE can't expect from most of US who can't tell art from crap, for instance. This question brings us back to Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution once again.
Guess what, it will be a real challenge not for the chimps, but for the researchers at PRI to prepare themselves for the final exam in which to gauge THEIR creativity. They've got to be creative and inventive enough themselves in order to come up with the methodologies for their cross-sectional as well as longitudinal studies. In that sense, now it will be their turn to be subjected to the tests. At the same time some of US have to have their brains measured objectively and quantitatively because at this stage the researchers should select human samples as the yardsticks for comparison.
WE already know THEY outperformed US in the MSR tests. But that doesn't necessarily mean THEY will defeat US again in the final exam. As an impartial referee, I can't visualize chimps doing music in the way Hot Club of Cowtown does. Neither is it likely that THEY hold an exhilarating sporting event in a charming setting like Muirfield Golf Course in Scotland. · read more (73 words)
Sunday, July 07 2013 @ 09:22 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
A longtime regular of this website, known by his handle Diogenes of Arkansas, gave me permission to upload an interesting mail he'd sent me over the weekend. I'm responsible for the editing of the original text into the HTML format.
THIS, of course, is treason, but it goes leagues beyond treason. This is simply a small clue to something that is unprecedented in all of recorded history, but for the most part, hidden in plain sight. Not that there weren't dictators and monsters in charge of large masses of human beings and real estate in the past, capable of gigantic waves of genocide or enslavement or both, but the global scale of this program is what has never happened in all of history. What I'm about to describe is happening in ALL modern societies, and most people seem oblivious to it.
This occurred last month, but it is still relevant to what I posted to you the other day, which was only the uppermost tip of a very cold and gigantic iceberg. You and I won't live to feel the full effects of the big plan, which is openly spelled out in the U.N. program known as Agenda 21. In it, ALL life, and especially human life, is to be totally and completely controlled. This invisible (Because no media organ, Left, Right, Mainstream, or nearly all "Alternatives" is reporting this) program of enslavement--agreed to by nearly every country in the U.N.--is going full speed ahead. We have to recognize that this program is extremely long-term, generational, and hidden by gradualism, the goal of which is the total enslavement of the entire planet. There will be those few at the top, and the many at the bottom of the pyramid. All historical dictators and emperors--from Emperor Chin to Napoleon or Mussolini--dreamed of this final goal, but failed...until now.
Murder of Kissinger's "useless eaters" will be the order of the day. (This is being implemented right now with GMO food, vaccines, prescription drugs, chemtrails, and invisible to the eye technologies that poison human beings under the cover of cancer, heart attacks, and other conventionally known illnesses. It's a work in progress as it gets refined and/or implemented against the state's enemies--most other living breathing humans. In this country, we (the enemies of the state) can expect to be turned into dust with the DEW that Dr. Wood proved in her research. ALL American addresses are now GPS tagged, which is a military targeting technology. As my old man used to say as he was croaking: Here today, gone tomorrow!" Poof! This program was fully described in Leonard C. Lewin's '70s, fictional book "Triage.")
The big plan requires that ALL humans MUST be herded off the land, and moved into 21st century ideal cities, where everything is controlled--no cars, limited movement within this open prison, and all in the name of the new goddess called GAIA--the new earth religion, coined by that insane Brit. James Lovelock, who, in one of his books that I read, openly stated that (and I paraphrase here) "Radio-active waste is so safe that I would welcome having a brick of it underneath my bed to keep me warm during the cold days of winter. This was said in his argument that fossil fuels were more dangerous to the planet than atomic power. Whose to say which mental institution is suitable for such a madman, yet, he has the full Leftist/Green crowd totally in his control. Dr. Judy Wood's research shows that the control of the weather is total, hence, we see the emergence of Hurricane Erin--a storm that was created and as large and dangerous as the one that leveled New Orleans (also likely created and steered to its final location), but the totally controlled media in all forms ignored it. Thus, we have the fake monster of global warming/climate change to frighten people into submission. "Control of the weather by the U.S. Air Force? Are you insane?" But search the net with the terms "Owning the Weather by 2025" and see what pops up from 1996. Most people don't read, so they can't know what, in this case, Lovelock really says in print. I read. I know. I read all of them, but no one will listen to me. Reading is pointless, an exercise in futility. Yet, we, for example, in the U.S., are in the midst of a an ongoing series of unprecedented weather events that are more than likely being used to convince people of the fake Al Gore BIG LIE, that WE are the cause of these military created events--whose to say that China and Russia aren't in on this? Who can we trust? Even uttering such ideas makes one sound like an escapee from a high security mental institution! THIS...is what I feel like.
Agenda 21, of which Japan is signatory, requires that human beings will be herded from the country into "managed cities," where they will be under absolute totalitarian control. The words treason, evil, and other adjectives can't capture the pernicious sentiment of this insanity. While you and I may know of this global evil, your sons, neighbors, and most fools in Japan and on the planet are ignorant of it. And worse, even if you presented this to them in a lecture, presented with proof and evidence, most people wouldn't see it as being relevant to themselves. In other words, the dumbing down of the global public, a program that has been going on for over 100 years, has been a total success.
Imagine being in your little cubicle and turning on a 100 watt light. In seconds, the phone rings. It's your power company bleating that they have discovered that you are using an illegal light bulb (It should be a poisonous and toxic and/or ineffective light producing bulb instead.), and demand that you turn off your illegal product, or they will cut off your power--all of which can be done remotely with the introduction of smart meters. Yes, the surveillance society is so large that even your power usage is being monitored, unless you move to the country and have candles and/or solar panels for your light source. The power company will know when you are home, what devices you use and when, and will be creating a profile of which Big Brother will have total access to your privately/corporate-generated files. It's already happened here. A power company gave the police--without a legally required warrant--all the power usage of some fools that were connected to smart meters and were growing dope. The key note here is NO WARRANT. This is a total violation of the American constitution, but let's be realistic, we are ALL living in a totally lawless society (ies). Who's going to stop them? Who are these politicians? Are they aliens from outer space? If they have children, they must hate them with a vengeance? What human being would submit their children to such evil? Only psychopaths or space aliens--beings or inter-species predators that are incapable of guilt or shame or are without a conscience.
I could go on, but it would be more manure to pile on an already over fertilized pile of dung.
This is the emerging world in which not you nor I will fully witness. Like a bad fart, we are only getting some of the nasty fumes for now, but it's from a known source. It is with the greatest of luck that we are both very old and will soon die, so that we can't know and feel the experience of total helplessness, like flies caught in a spider's web, waiting for the fatal bite that may or may not come today.
Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano describes the fate of those who have already lived this miracle in Latin America.
Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream
of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will
suddenly rain down on them - will rain down in buckets. But
good luck doesn't even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter
how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is
tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or
start the new year with a change of brooms.
The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The
nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits,
dying through life, screwed every which way.
Who don't speak languages, but dialects.
Who don't have religions, but superstitions.
Who don't create art, but handicrafts.
Who don't have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the
police blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them
For those who have the motivation to confirm or deny the evidence I'm quoting, let me add a list of sites that I've collected for a while that are actively implementing this right now, or are exposing this evil plan. This is hardly an exhaustive list, of course. · read more (1,279 words)
Monday, January 07 2013 @ 07:53 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible. - Henry David Thoreau
The Chen family in the early 1970s
It's cold outside, and inside as well.
When the Snake was taking Dragon's place, I was writing a long letter to the Tax Collecting Department at the Ward Office of the Yokohama municipality to explain, for the hundredth time, 1) I have no reason to pay "Citizen Taxes" when my constitutional rights are in jeopardy, and 2) I have no money to pay them.
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine - it's actually the wife of my friend, to be more precise - said, "You say your right to 'maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living' is being infringed by the Ward Office. But it seems to me they needn't have forced you to catch up so mercilessly if you had paid these taxes on time since 2006 in the first place."
I appreciated her frankness, but just like the tax collectors, she viewed the causal relationship upside down. At least I wanted her to understand that as former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul wrote in 2008, "economic freedom and personal liberty are not divisible."
It still remained a paper bullet, but I felt now I was exhausting every possible measure to peacefully convince the robbers that the Constitution is a reciprocal agreement between the state and its citizenry.
I added the Yokohama Bureau of the Asahi Shimbun daily to the list of the recipients of CCs, only to show the tax collectors that I was damn serious about my refusal to pay "Citizen Taxes." Actually I knew I couldn't expect any support from the Fourth Estate which has collusive relations with the three branches of the government through the news cartel called Kisha Kurabu.
During this stressful period, some of my friends gave me a helping hand, either directly or indirectly. Especially heartening was the New Year's greeting card from Lara, Chen Tien-shi (the toddler in the above photo.) In the postscript, she wrote to the effect that she does not really agree to the way the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) defines the stateless and classifies them into two categories, de jure and de facto.
The brilliant ethnologist certainly knows any definition of anything which all dates back to 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (NOTE below) was adopted can't serve the purposes of the 21st century. In the last 64 years, the Chinese Communist Party took over power from the Kuomintang, Deng Xiaoping opened up the People's Republic of China, the Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the PRC became the world's second largest economy. Nothing has remained unchanged.
NOTE: Its Article 15 vaguely says, "(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality."
As I wrote in the previous post, most people in and around the UNHCR have already lost touch with the reality. The Geneva-based international body was founded in 1950 on a principle which is the worst possible combination of the busybody's ideology of America and other victors of WWII and the crybaby's mindset widespread in the rest of the world. It's no wonder the UNHCR still has great difficulty reaching a consensus on how to define statelessness while incorporating all the complexity and subtlety involved in it. As a result, nobody can tell exactly who should be protected exactly from whom. And yet, people there still claim to be exploring effective ways to "ameliorate the situations facing an estimated 12 million stateless people."
In short, the ideology-ridden UNHCR has politicized what should not be politicized at all.
Actually I have owed Lara more than I can repay. Among other things I have learned a lot from her intriguing autobiography just titled Stateless, which is the manifestation of her positive attitude toward life. It's this trait coupled with an unparalleled intellect that made her acquire Japanese nationality after the years of deliberation. According to the author, she wanted to find out what it would give and cost her to voluntarily enter into a contract with this nation-state which inflicted a lot of suffering on the home country of her parents in the 1930s through the first half of the '40s.
Like many of you, I have never been stateless de jure myself. But now I think I know how to deal with the fundamental question about my relationship with the country where I was born and have lived for 77 years.
Now in the face of the existential crisis, in which both my survival and principle of life are at stake, I'm urging the City Hall to immediately stop robbing me of 30% of my pension annuities on the pretext I had refused to pay Citizen Taxes from 2006 through 2011.
The constitutional/extralegal war I'm at can be unwinnable. But I still hope I don't succumb before the municipality does. I don't need any institutionalized support from the likes of the UNHCR because it always remains self-contradictory and empty words. All I need to that end is a moral support from such people like Lara (NOTE below) and other like-minded individuals, and monetary support from my selfless friends such as "DK" and the dentist. These people always remind me I am not a beggar as yet.
NOTE: Don't take me wrong, however. I have no intention to implicate her in my battle against the municipality in any way. Actually she hasn't approved, or disapproved my way of dealing with the municipality, either explicitly or implicitly.
Without their support, I would have been suffocated to death by what I call the Oxygen Taxes a long time ago. I call them that way because the Citizen Taxes are basically levied on your mere existence. You can't tell the difference between the local and central governments and criminal syndicates because yakuza gangsters, more often than not, demand "protection monies" from the residents who are living on their "turf" no matter whether the small shop owners are prospering.
I think taxation on your business transactions and properties is a different issue because, as the last resort, you can always avert them by refraining from selling or buying goods and services, owning properties, or using the infrastructure.
They always say, "Love it or leave it." I used to be saying this rhetoric was totally unacceptable because if all those who are unhappy with the way it is in their country leave it, nothing will change for the better in the future. But now I've realized I was wrong. If you don't love it, there is no reason you have to worry about the future of you country. They are right, after all: it's not them but you that must go away - from the system, that is. I am not talking about people to whom you are personally committed.
I don't love it. But I didn't leave it on my own either because I thought there was no reason I had to leave. Then, the City Hall stepped in to virtually declare me stateless de facto. That's how it all happened here. · read more (65 words)
A Japanese proverb goes: "A fowl taking flight does not foul the surface of water." (立つ鳥水を濁さず.) I still think it would be nice if I could vanish leaving no clue to my existence behind. But with a foot already on the other side, I've recently realized it's not my duty to do away with the corpse soon to start decomposing and clean up all the mess surrounding it. I may fail to disappear like the bird, but that is that.
Some among the bereaved may complain, but after all, I'm not at fault for their trouble any more than they are.
This is my Bodhi.
Recently I often wander about the seaside area of the city late at night. I'm looking around for the right place to sink myself when time comes. Just between you and me, there's Plan B. But I think its scenario is a little too bloody to talk about openly.
With the other foot still on "this" side of the Styx, however, I haven't fully extricated myself from Kleshas yet. Among other things, I still find it a little too hard to leave behind those people and things that have made my life worth living.
As I always say, I'm too honest a person to cherry-pick things that make me look good or right. For that reason I may look to have had a hard time throughout my lifetime. So you think I am going to have my day for the first time at the last moment of my life. But as usual you are wrong. I've never been an ascetic person. I'm an avowed hedonist. Therefore, my life was full of gorgeous prizes such as unforgettable relationships with unassimilated young women who were all intelligent, compassionate and graceful. It's just that I'm neither braggart nor exhibitionist. I don't want to share my experience with anyone else because it needn't be shared in the first place.
Apart from the bright side of my life, the following are some of the faces that still keep disturbing my Moksha state of mind.
The most annoying of all is this scum named Chang. When I sent him the link to my most recent post, he didn't respond. His MO in the face of a criticism that he has never dreamed of hearing from a colonial of the American Empire is to stick his empty head in the sand like an ostrich.
Most recently the stupid bird chirped on the World Affairs website about China's [undue] claim on Japan's Okinawa. With his bloated sense of self-importance, the former ambulance chaser now seems to have appointed himself as the presiding judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Obviously Chang had to seek an alternative source of income in the wake of the near-bankrupt situation on the part of his employers in Washington. Now in the new capacity of the chief arbitrator of territorial disputes, Chang declares the Islands of Okinawa to be part of the dead country named Japan. Nothing is farther from the truth: Okinawa is for the Okinawans - PERIOD.
He has never talked, and will never talk, about "China's Tibet." By the same token, he would never admit America's interventionism is much worse than "China's expansionism." This is yet another confirmation that Chang has no problem using faceless people wherever they are useful to promote his fake ideology.
The dedication to his The Coming Collapse of China goes: "For the boy who left China in search of a better life -- my father." This already reveals that the author has inherited the worst aspects of the Chinese traits from his selfish and cowardly father. In the early 1940's, Chang's father quickly fled his home country to "the land of the free" in search of stingy material wealth, instead of staying with his fellow countrymen to fight against the Japanese or the communists.
In the uncharacteristically well-done book, the author recollects how his father enjoyed himself when his son took him on a homecoming trip to the continent. At the sight of the affluent urban life, the old man looked to have renewed a great sense of pride for being an ethnic Chinese. Obviously it didn't cross his mind for a split second that although people always attribute China's economic rise to Deng Xiaoping's policy of reform and opening-up, the prosperity was achieved only at the cost of tens of millions of lives of ordinary Chinese.
In short, Chang's father doesn't understand, any more than his educated son does, that each individual citizen should firmly commit himself throughout his lifetime to building, destroying, or reinventing his country, either native or adoptive. The old Chang who came to America just to reap the harvest from the seeds sown by early settlers didn't care a bit about exactly what he was pledging himself to when parroting the Oath of Allegiance at the immigration office.
What a disgusting family.
Fortunately for me, though, their shitty family history is none of my business. I only think it's my duty to prevent poor American people from getting their empty brains further damaged by the con artist.
Chang asked Shintaro Ishihara to write the foreword to the Japanese version of his first book. Ishihara is the Tokyo Governor who has stayed in the cushy position for the straight 13 years by now. The bastard was once dubbed a "social Neanderthal" by Australian journalist Ben Hills, but he doesn't care too much because millions of cultist-like Tokyo citizens as well as quite a few brain-dead Japan experts in the U.S., such as Chang, are always behind him.
In May 2004, Chang visited Ishihara to interview him in preparation for his second book, which would later be ridiculed by the Daily Yomiuri as "a sensationalized, contradictory, jumbled and half-baked mess of a book." When Chang sent me the tape to ask me to translate his friendly conversation with the Governor, I was taken aback to know it was more like a chat between kindergarten kids than a serious discussion between the Governor of Japan's capital and the prominent political "analyst" from the U.S.
In October 2009, Ishihara's first bid to host the 2016 Olympics failed. But a couple of months after 3/11, the unrelenting Governor made a comeback with his second bid for the 2020 Summer Games. In May, the International Olympic Committee shortlisted Tokyo with two other candidate cities. This meant that in 2013 the corrupt IOC might give him a green light to treating thousands of athletes from all over the world with cesium-contaminated food.
In early July, 16 months after 3/11, an "independent" Diet panel released a final report on how Naoto Kan's government failed to prevent the Fukushima nuclear accident from developing into a full-scale disaster, and from posing a growing threat to nation's food chain. The Yomiuri Shimbun daily summarized the survey results like this: "[The report] vividly describes it was a 'man-made' disaster." It was as though the mainstream media weren't the main culprit of the information blackout themselves. Worse, not a single person has filed a class action lawsuit against the government.
It's also astounding that nobody has dared to point out Ishihara's move to further spread the radioactive contamination beyond national boundaries is insane.
In his 2003 book "Inventing Japan - 1853-1964" Ian Buruma devotes its "Prologue" solely to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics because the Japanese thought they could use the games as a springboard to reinventing their country. Early on, Japan's spectacular rise looked unstoppable like it did a century before. But in 1990, the high-growth era came to a screeching halt. Buruma seems to see a precursor to the ultimate failure in the way the two athletes, a marathon runner and a woman hurdler, handled the humiliation of having lost their games. In later years both killed themselves.
It's true that we haven't seen a suicide case associated with a defeat in an Olympic game lately. But the Japanese still remain pathologically obsessed with the Olympics with their traditional Harakiri mindset. This is an unmistakable sign that the Japanese are a terminally ill people.
Since July 27, every media organization has been acting as if it were Sports Illustrated or ESPN. Around the clock, newspapers and TV channels keep dramatizing the same old stories about mediocre athletes' roads to a graceful defeat. And while giving planted answers to predictable questions from news reporters, judoists and other contestants who failed to live up to nation's expectation keep blubbering to express sincere apologies to their home country. So far I have noticed just a few self-motivated individuals in the disproportionately large Japanese delegation. These exceptional athletes don't look to be interested in taking a dose of the media-administered performance-enhancing drug, i.e. the flag of the Rising Sun. Even Uday Hussein, who tortured to death some athletes who had lost their games, would blush at the sight of these weepy Olympians.
By contrast, Queen Elizabeth was a breath of fresh air amid the show of insanity at the Opening Ceremony. She was spotted intently picking her nails when the Great Britain marched into the Olympic Stadium. It's quite natural that peoples from Egypt, Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea and the like think the leap-year event is where to demonstrate their nationalism. Since these countries are constantly terrorized by the worst rogue nation in history named the U.S.A., they are in the process of redefining their statehood in the face of the imminent collapse of Pax Americana.
The same can be said of some European countries afflicted with financial woes. On the contrary, it's really sickening to see the misplaced manifestation of patriotism by other peoples because their nation-states have already been outgrown by the reality of the 21st century.
I still have some other topics to take up in this blog on a little unrealistic assumption that I have enough time and energy to finish writing. One of them is the recent talk on the web which has it that the personal computer is dying, or even dead, because of the proliferation of smartphones and the new network environment called "cloud computing." In fact, though, it's not the PC, but your brain that is dying.
Once again this reminds me of my aborted book. I was going to title it The Unviable Japan. Some native speakers of English have warned me that the generally-accepted antonym of "viable" is "inviable." Because of, rather than despite their advice, I went for the nonstandard word "unviable." Reason: In this world, there can be no such thing that is not viable and still exists. What I wanted to mean by the title is that my country of birth is not only change-disabled but also unable to cease to exist when it should. It will keep showing weak vital signs until someone removes the 67-year-old life-support. I don't know, but it can be a gigantic earthquake.
When I was rewriting the outline of the book in July last year with the help of my friend in Arkansas, I realized there's no sequel to The Unviable Japan.
On the surface, many things have cropped up here since 3/11. For one thing, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan literally went into pieces in early July. As a result, an uncountable number of "new" parties have emerged like we saw in 1993. They are just repeating what Ian Buruma called "another fake dawn."
Back in May, the government released intriguing results of a survey, which revealed that 23.4% of respondents had answered in the affirmative to this question: "Have you seriously considered suicide lately?" When it came to pollees in their 20s, an astounding 28.4% answered they had thought about killing themselves. However, there's nothing new in the revelations. This is just yet another confirmation of the estimate by Yoshi Yamamoto, Director of the Mental Health Center of Yokohama. In his 2004 book titled Japan Unbound, John Nathan quoted him as saying, "Some 5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment."
There's another earthly concern of mine: money. One of my local friends helped me out when the tax collecting department of Yokohama City Hall robbed me of 30% of my pension (700K yen from October to June.) Now that the second round of the constitutional but extra-legal battle has started, I'm at a loss.
As I said, I've already packed up for the long journey. And yet I'm still very fussy about when to depart, where and how. This has made it necessary for me to put my aborted book on sale. It remains an outline, but I believe it can pass as a stand-alone book because the total wordcount for 13 chapters already stands at more than 12,000, and as I said, there's very little to add or update on. And of course, the copyright is reserved here at this moment. The price I have in mind is US$ 9K, or 700K yen. It's negotiable to a certain extent.
Take a look at the "Preface" inserted in my previous post and Chapter 1 below here. If you are interested in publishing The Unviable Japan as a mini-book or making use of my manuscript in any other way, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. · read more (1,672 words)
Thursday, June 21 2012 @ 10:23 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. - Thomas Jefferson
The mainland Japanese deserve all this humiliation. But my heart keeps aching for the Okinawans until it stops beating.
I still have several backlog issues to discuss with my audience before I close down my shop for good. Since I'm uncertain as to exactly when time runs out for me, I thought I should set the record straight, before anything else, with G. G. Chang, the most despicable person I've ever met in my lifetime.
All I know about Chang is that he is a total sellout. But it looks as though he is holding something back when talking about his personal background. For instance, Chang has never disclosed the year of his birth, and he seldom talks about the Vietnam War. This arouses your suspicion about what he was doing in the depth of the Vietnam quagmire. He can well be one of those war-mongering neocon hypocrites who dodged the draft themselves in their late-teens or early-20s.
But for now, I'll leave out the personal aspects of our working relationship in order to focus on the role the small-time racketeer in New Jersey has been playing as a cat's paw or mouthpiece of Washington under the guise of a political "analyst."
Hopefully in a separate post, I'll elaborate on his attempts to exploit this blogger as his irreplaceably reliable Tokyo correspondent at a bargain price. It didn't cost him any more than a retainer of a cheap Cross ballpoint pen and a plate of sushi. But for my part, his habitual lies, which have amounted to a serious breach of trust over time, caused me a costly loss of time, money and opportunity.
In May 2004 at a sushi bar in Roppongi, downtown Tokyo, Chang confided to me that he had felt an urge to write a book about the fate of his father's home country before turning 50, which he did in 2001. To tell the truth, I was favorably impressed by The Coming Collapse of China (Random House, 2001.) Not that I was convinced, or unconvinced, of his prophecy that the People's Republic of China would collapse by the year 2011. I just thought the author raised a very valid and relevant question when he boldly asked whether the world's most populous country can be considered a going concern just by virtue of its monolithic system. As I quoted Voltaire as saying, where to identify the real question is much more important than how to answer it.
In fact, though, neocons in the U.S. jumped at his answer. The emboldened Chang went on to write his second book under the title of Nuclear Showdown (Random House, 2006.) An old proverb says a fox isn't caught twice in the same snare. Even the empty-headed neocons in the U.S. could now see right through to his total inability to analyze intricate things such as international politics.
Traditionally the Japanese publishing industry doesn't give a damn about an American book which received poor reviews at home. Small wonder Soshi-sha, the publisher of the Japanese version of The Coming Collapse of China, or any other publishing company, hasn't printed a Japanese version of Nuclear Showdown.
On February 26, 2006, a staff writer of the Daily Yomiuri by the name of James Hardy gave a review to Chang's rubbish under the title of Radioactive Rhetoric. Hardy wrote: "More often than not, our own Clouseau of Counterproliferation - hey, this alliteration thing's easy - misses the point, and Nuclear Showdown is a sensationalized, contradictory, jumbled, half-baked mess of a book."
Early on, the Commentary magazine, the haunt of diehard neocons, welcomed him as a star contributor to its blog named Contentions. Now Chang learned he could add extra bucks to the fortune he had already made from The Coming Collapse of China, and Nuclear Showdown to a lesser degree, just by capitalizing on the vast intellectual vacuum prevailing in the U.S. This is the only thing the learning-disabled guy could learn as a parvenu in the American chattering classes.
Unfortunately for him, though, it didn't take long before Chang's neo-conservatism revealed itself to be a mercenarily-motivated fake. The poor wreck of the makeshift neocon was sacked by Contentions two months after the Kenyan monkey was sworn in. He wrote in his March 14, 2009 mail to me: "I'm really curious why Commentary cut my blog." But to me it was obvious he was cut simply because the unprincipled guy had now started flirting with the Obama administration.
He still desperately clings to the likes of Wall Street Journal and Forbes in order to stay in the lucrative monkey business. The only thing he has to do to that end is to constantly revise the timeline for China's demise. But basically the con man is sunk by now.
All this while, I tried very hard to build a productive working relationship with Chang from which both of us might have benefited had it not been for his inability to do so. It lasted about 5 years since mid-2003. In early 2008, I submitted a 10,000-plus-word outline of a book I wanted to publish in the U.S. to Chang's literary agent named Rosalie Siegel.
From the beginning, I had told Siegel that I hadn't established myself as a professional writer here because I had devoted my entire career to business. She assured me that shouldn't be a problem. It was only after the hag read my outline that she said there was no way for a locally unestablished writer to make inroads into the publishing industry in the U.S. I should have known before investing a tremendous amount of time and money in research and actual writing that I was promoting something that they were determined not to hear, and had never heard in the past, from a vassal of America's Far Eastern fiefdom. In order to prove she'd had no intention to cheat me, she had to resort to nitpicking over minor problems with my writing style as if she were licensed to teach English composition. Especially she carped at the fact that there were too many "run-on" sentences.
I belatedly realized that the fraudulent literally agent and her client were there to keep at bay any idea that would seriously undermine the status quo with the American dominance in Northeast Asia. They were, and still remain, censors virtually on the payroll of Washington.
A week or so after I had the last telephone conversation with Siegel, I said to Chang that his literally agent was too stupid to understand that thoughts and words are inseparable twins; there's no such thing as a brilliant thought expressed by a banal word, or a fresh word to describe an insipid idea. In response, he wrote to me: "You are wrong when you write that words and ideas are inseparable twins. Writing and thinking are two different talents, and few people possess both. Just think of the reverse of you: the world is full of ill-conceived ideas that are communicated flawlessly." He spilled the beans. This was the final confirmation that Chang is yet another empty-headed flapjaw.
For all this revelation from me, he may file a defamation lawsuit against this 76-year-old blogger who is dying in dire poverty. But the former shyster should know he would lose much more than he would get out of it.
In mid-2011, someone in Arkansas strongly suggested I revive the once-aborted book. He introduced me to his friend who had started a publishing company in New York a couple of years before. He even volunteered to proofread my manuscript. But before I could complete rewriting, I gave it a second thought: now it's for sure that I was dealing with exceptionally honest people; but the rest of the Americans are all small-time crooks like Chang and Siegel. That is how I finally gave up trying to get my simple message through to American readers: they should elect a President who would invoke Article 10 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty to send his Japanese counterpart a termination notice as soon as he is sworn in.
If you are interested, please take a peek at the outline of the Preface below. I'm also thinking about inserting the outline of Chapter 1 if and when I have a chance to post Part 2 of my allegations against Chang. · read more (1,230 words)
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. - Voltaire
To tell the truth, I'm secretly in love with fringe "theories" because most of the time they are imaginative, entertaining and even thought-provoking. On the contrary, mainstream "theories" are just sickening, or boring at best.
"Fringe theory" is roughly synonymous with "conspiracy theory." But, is there any antonym for this phrase? It's really amazing to know that not a single conspiracy theorist in the U.S. understands the word conspiracy means absolutely nothing because there is no such thing that is NOT a conspiracy in this world.
Another semantic question that arises from this argument is how to refer to pundits and scholars who make their living by working on something which they don't think has anything to do with conspiracies. It seems as though the only possible way to call them is "mainstream pundits and scholars." But this is ridiculous because as a matter of fact, there are many conspiracy theorists in the mainstream, or even non-conspiracy theorists in the fringe.
If there is something that separates mainstreamers from fringers, it's the source of income. To me, a mainstream theorist is one who is getting paid by the media and political establishment whereas a fringe theorist is someone who is currently out of work and desperately seeking an alternative source of income, such as royalty from his book targeted at a gullible audience.
My estranged friend Benjamin Fulford is a Canadian journalist who has long settled down in Tokyo, capital of the nation where he can find millions and millions of suckers. It is true that he has been practically banned from Japan's mainstream TV networks in the last 7, 8 years because of his conspiracy theories. But nevertheless, he could make a fortune or two by publishing dozens of Japanese books targeted at the world's most credulous readers. He is a typical example of mainstream conspiracy theorists.
Actually, conspiracy theorists and non-conspiracy theorists are the two wings of the same bird. They share the same rotten body. Aside from the bird analogy, the single most important thing they have in common is the basic premise that they should seek the "truth" about the things which have been identified as issues by someone else. In the vast intellectual vacuum prevailing in their country, virtually all American people, from mainstream to fringe, from liberals to conservatives, from peaceniks to war-mongers, have been asking the same questions as to what exactly happened on September 11, 2001, who was behind the collapse of the WTC buildings and what his motive was.
The death toll from 9/11 was a mere 2,996, but when these unfortunate people were crushed under the rubble of the falling Towers, every American took it for granted that "the world would never be the same again."
Don't make me laugh.
67 years ago, Little Boy and Fat Man massacred 150,000-246,000 citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and tons of incendiary bombs incinerated another millions who lived outside the sanctuary exclusively reserved for Emperor Hirohito. When the unprecedented tactic for something to be called a selective genocide was carried out, some of us said that our life would never be different till the end of time. Deep inside we felt the then "2,605-year-old" imperial reign had been frozen for permanent preservation. Our premonition has proved absolutely right.
You can't kill a dead man.
If the 9/11 incident should still be looked at from a conspiracy angle, the only conclusion that would make any sense is that the conspirator singlemindedly intended to give the finishing touches to the burst of the intellectual bubble in the U.S. With their brains irreparably damaged by the ultimate conspiracy, Americans have lost the minimum brainpower to understand that relevance varies from country to country, especially from America to the rest of the world. To them it's a no-no to question the universal relevance of the event beyond national boundaries.
Needless to say, the same process of idiotization is going on even more rapidly in Japan. When I wrote in this blog, for instance, that the loss of 20,000-plus Japanese lives in the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster was not a big deal when arithmetically compared to more than 30,000 people killing themselves every year, practically everyone pretended not to hear me. It is true that some gave me comments. But they were all Japanese epigones of conspiracy theorists in North America. They kept talking about a 3/11 plot hatched by Negev Nuclear Research Center in Demona, Israel, without being able to tell magnitude from intensity, let alone Mj from Mw, or JMA seismic intensity scale from other yardsticks used in other countries.
Aside from the issue with relevance, not a single conspiracy theorist has ever really substantiated his "theory" with solid evidence. Unlike mainstream idiots who swallow every official announcement at face value, conspiracy theorists are always looking around for plausible evidence supporting their heretical allegation. At the same time, they carefully weed out information that runs counter to it.
As computer-savvy people are well aware, it's a piece of cake these days to manipulate audio/visual materials leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to cook images and sounds as you like. But conspiracy theorists don't give a damn because to these guys with cultist mindset, the single most important thing is to BELIEVE in whatever fits well into their ideological delusion or delusive ideology. If the guru says the evidence is authentic and genuine, it's authentic and genuine. If the guru insists he didn't find any counter-evidence, there are none, for sure. The fact of the matter remains, though, you've got to be a fully-equipped and duly-authorized forensic expert to reveal a trick.
In the last 8 years since I started blogging, I have talked a lot about conspiracy theories. I think that's more than enough. I'm uploading this post, nonetheless, simply because I think one of the most important factors for the miscarriage of the Intellectual Revolution started by the former obstetrician is the fact that in the U.S., practically everyone, who has an inkling that something is fundamentally wrong with the status quo, is under the influence of conspiracy theorists, in one way or the other. · read more (23 words)
FROM LEFT, protesters in Seoul, protesters in Oakland, a rally in Tokyo, tractors marching on Ginza streets
As I've often written on this website, it seems next to impossible for
the Americans to revolutionize their way of viewing things in a Copernican
way unless a majority of voting age population realize in time for the Election of November 6, 2012 that Congressman Ron Paul is the only person who can bring about real change, or someone volunteers to do away with any other President, physically. Some already claim that they
have emancipated themselves from the U.S.-centric way of thinking, but that's too soon to be true.
Here's a question that may serve as an acid test for them: Do they know what TPP is? I think the best answer I can expect from them is that the acronym stands for the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership. It's totally inconceivable that they know it's yet another unforgivable crime Obama has taken over from Bush. As long as they think TPP is someone else's problem, they remain prisoners of the broken Ptolemaic system.
Since its members, except the U.S., are all small countries (Peru, Chile,
Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam,) if Japan
is forced to agree to join in at the upcoming APEC 2012 summit meeting
in Hawaii, the U.S. and Japan will account for 90% of the 10-country
"free" trade block, GDP-wise. In other words, it's in fact a
bilateral partnership between America and its Far Eastern satellite. As
a result, the expanded TPP is going to be the third unequal treaty incompetent Japanese leaders have been coerced into signing since the
Convention of Kanagawa of 1854. The last time we saw the signing of an almost unilateral deal here was when the 1960 revision of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan was countersigned by the undercover agent of the CIA under the guise of
the Japanese Prime Minister.
According to the Boston Herald, Obama said in Michigan earlier this month
that the new FTA between the U.S. and South Korea "will create 70,000
jobs and encourage international business partnerships [such as TPP]."
As this retired businessman always says, jobs are something that you can't artificially create out of thin air. So, you must ask where Obama got the fuxxxng 70,000 employment opportunities, and how. Of course, the bandit
has chiseled them from South Koreans with the help of his minion named
Lee Myung-bak. Initially, the South Korean president was responding negatively to
the solicitation from Washington. Ironically, though, Lee
changed his mind on November 23 when North Korea launched a surprise attack
on the South Korean islet of Yeonpyeong. It looks as though there was a
conspiracy between the CIA and Kim Jong-il. Anything goes for the Americans
inside this "arc of freedom and prosperity."
Actually, Lee has been facing a lot of protests back home. The
South Korean people are not so effete as the Japanese. And yet, they failed to
stop Lee from being red-carpeted in Washington. The reason they failed is because
the Republic of Korea, or any other modern nation state for that matter, is impregnable
enough to withstand a popular uprising or two.
This is also evident from the fact the Occupy
Wall Street movement which has spilled over to other U.S. cities seems to be getting
nowhere. You can't change anything just by playing tag or hide-and-seek with cops, while remaining the same immature person.
If you look at this YouTube video uploaded on October 25, you can tell
that no one in the "Occupy Oakland" rally knew exactly
what he was protesting against, and small wonder, no one was risking his life, either. Who would, when the goal isn't specifically defined? One of my friends said it looks as though
they were playing football or something like that.
If you don't want to believe me, wash your eyes and take a sober look at
what's going on in China.
Ten years ago, an influential Sinologist in the U.S., who is virtually
on the payroll of Washington, predicted that the collapse of China was
only a matter of time. That's quite OK with me because anyone has the right
to gamble on how things will unfold in an uncertain world like this one. Even so it's a pity he has failed thus far to learn his lessons from the fact that the Chinese
government has not only withstood an estimated 50,000-100,000 riots, civil
commotions and strikes taking place every year but also learned to leverage these insurgencies
in many ways. Now it seems to have acquired mastery of distracting people's
attention from the real implication of these local conflicts by localizing and trivializing them. Also the Chinese government knows very well how to "degass" dissidents, insurgents
and strikers to effectively neutralize them.
By contrast, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has no such headache
because his people, except the doubly colonized Okinawans, have long lost their
vigor to stand up against the government. If they still show some vital
signs, that is simply because the Americans have no guts to pull the plug
on the dying people. The last time we saw them standing up against their
government in a major way was 1960 when the revision of the security treaty
was signed. In this respect, Noda is the envy of Lee Myun-bak and Hu Jintao.
The 2-month-old Noda administration, along with the mainstream and alternative
media, has been repeatedly parroting the same fallacies about TPP with the help from the prompters in Washington. These guys are confident that the modus operandi of
Joseph Goebbels will still work in this country. The Prime Minister just insists he sees a positive trade-off between pros and cons to be entailed in Japan's
participation in TPP, without being able to specifically identify them. Now the national mantra goes: "We should follow
suit with South Korea because otherwise we would be left behind."
Incidentally, Naoto Kan, Noda's predecessor as Prime Minister, thought
it's going to be 平成の開国 (Heisei-no Kaikoku,) or the opening up of the country under the reign of the incumbent Emperor.
He was implying that Japan should do the same thing Emperor Mutsuhito,
grandfather of the super Class-A war criminal, did in the 1860s with the help of some feudal lords.
As someone has once put it, the Japanese have long been "emasculated by cheap entertainment." So, we haven't seen any sign of a massive revolt on the eve of Japan's forced
participation in TPP. Needless to say farmers are keenly aware that they
will be most directly affected. And yet, all we have seen here are sporadic
rallies staged by the headquarters of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives and
its local chapters. They all have lacked impact because there is no sign of spontaneity and zeal on the part of the folks mobilized to take part in neatly organized
demonstrations. The only thing that has impressed me thus far was an incident
where a couple of farmers drove their tractors through Ginza streets of central Tokyo.
When it comes to the chattering classes, Takeshi Nakano, a young associate
professor at Kyoto University, is the only person who has voiced his grave
concern over Japan's participation. The former bureaucrat at the Ministry
of Economy, Trade and Industry has repeatedly warned that the extremely
credulous Japanese people should know everything the government and the
media are saying is a downright lie. He also points out that there are
a lot of traps that these liars have never mentioned, such as the "ratchet
clause" and "ISD clause," which are most probably included
in the expanded TPP agreement.
If you are serious about knowing the truth about the U.S.-Japanese alliance,
I recommend you install an audio translation software in your computer and listen to Nakano's 3-part lecture. You may think he is fooling around
in his videos, but actually he is totally at a loss over how to wake up his students from the hypnotic state. At the end of the
last video, Nakano even hints that he can't really rule out the possibility
that the CIA may send him an assassin. As I have already told you,
Ichiro Ozawa, former head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, has
already fallen victim to the "character assassination" attempted
by the puppets of the CIA such as the media, corrupt public prosecutors
I hope I was able to add something to your knowledge about TPP, but that
is far from enough; your sense of sympathy won't make a bit of difference until you fully internalize it. If you fail to internalize our heartache, your words of sympathy remain a lip service because still you are a believer in the imaginary Ptolemaic system. We've
already heard the nice words about "resetting the past" a thousand times from Obama as if the past can be reset unilaterally. Instead,
the idiot in the White House should have told the American people something like this:
"Each American individual should feel obliged to redress all the distress
Asian people have suffered, and still are suffering in many ways simply
because of the Ptolemaic way of thinking on the part of yourselves, your
parents and grandparents."
More specifically, each one of you should do your best so Ron Paul can
win the Election 2012. According to my calculation, if the Congressman
wins the GOP primaries and caucuses, he will still have to have support
from some 75 million voters in November on the assumption that the voter
turnout remains unchanged from 2008. To put it bluntly, someone should
assassinate the new President if you fail to send Ron Paul to the White
House. From an Asian point of view, your inaction will amount to a crime.
I am not blindly idolizing Ron Paul, however. He is absolutely right in
saying the interventionist policy is financially unsustainable. But we
Asian people cannot necessarily relate to his moral values which stem from
Christianity and the U.S. Constitution. For one thing, he doesn't give us his
answer to this hypothetical question: "What if the interventionist
policy were still financially sustainable?" In this respect, let me quote
Chalmers Johnson once again. He said, "[Interventionism] is a suicide
option because it's not only morally obscene but fiscally unsustainable."
I can't agree more.
· read more (40 words)
Monday, October 18 2010 @ 09:40 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
You know what - there are weapons even more dangerous than nuclear devices or biochemical substances; they have been developed for the use in more covert
hostilities including cyber-warfare.
The unconventional weaponry they use in modern-day battlegrounds is more of
corrosives or toxics than explosives.
These agents are by far more perilous than any other weapon for the following
● There is an ample supply of this type of weaponry. It is available to
everybody and everywhere at affordable prices. Normally it doesn't cost
you anything more than your cheap soul.
● More often than not, they are invisible. That also means you can't really
identify your enemy.
This always constitutes a formidable challenge to organizations responsible for national security. While overt cyber attacks by Chinese or revelations of military secrets
by the likes of WikiLeaks are relatively easy to handle, the hardest part lies somewhere
U.S. Cyber Command, for one, is at a loss over who it is really fighting against, let alone what for. Head of "USCYBERCOM" Gen. Keith Alexander cannot even tell what his invisible enemy's target would be and what weapons the enemy is equipped with.
To me, however, it's easy to answer the last question; the weapons most commonly used against him are information spread around, verbally and visually, in every layer of cyberspace. In short, they are words and images.
If there is anything in which USCYBERCOM can find consolation, it is the fact that hordes of cyber warriors are giving it a helping hand from every corner of the country, and even from the other part of the globe,
including Oslo, Norwegian capital.
Most recently, a highly-acclaimed Chinese dissident named Liu Xiaobo was enshrined as the year's Peace Prize laureate by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Liu's wife Xia reportedly quoted her husband as saying, "This prize goes to all of those who died on June 4, 1989," when she visited him in prison.
Very touching, isn't it?
You can't figure out how the Lius are going to share the prize money of
SEK10-million with the deceased, but stupid Americans of both camps have
wasted no time to gush over their empty rhetoric about a free China.
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan was not so enthusiastic about Liu's feat in deference to his Chinese boss, Wen Jiabao. He reportedly said: "My view is that the release [of Liu from prison]
is desirable, but in what form we should seek this will need to be discussed."
Setting aside the absurd remarks made by the Japanese idiot for now, I wonder if you have read the now famous Charter 08 signed by 350 pro-democracy
activists including Liu. If you haven't, I think you better forget it for good.
be a total waste of time to examine the wordy manifesto because as anyone
can easily predict, wornout, empty, banal words, such as representative
democracy, universal suffrage, humanrights and freedom, are scattered all
over the Charter. These reform-mongers based it all on an outdated and watered-down
ideology that dates back to the days long before the Internet took hold.
And what is totally missing there is a clear vision of a free China and
the real life of 1.3 billion individual citizens living there. It's as though they think a change in the
political system will automatically bring about change in people's way
of thinking and living, while in fact, it's the people that change the system.
This way these obscurantists are constantly turning the Internet into a "disenabler" of real change whereas it's potentially a powerful enabler of it.
Unfortunately, it was nothing new that the Oslo-based Committee had discredited
itself by crowning leading ideologues such as Liu.
In his will, Alfred Nobel said to the effect that the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who "shall have done the best work" to promote peace. But the Committee seems to have
rewritten Nobel's will like this:
"The prize should be awarded to a person who talked most frequently and audibly about peace, freedom and humanrights. Whether or not the person has actually delivered on his promises should not affect the Committee's decision."
As a result, it now looks as though the Committee sponsors an annual speech
contest. You just splash flowery words about an oppression-free, nuclear-free
and emission-free world, from your toolbox, which is actually an arsenal
filled with digitalized TNT or fissile material, on notable websites, or
better yet, through the mainstream media. And you become eligible to be
nominated by the Norwegian Committee.
It still remains a mystery why Mahatma Gandhi was passed over every time
he was nominated. Among other years he was shortlisted, 1948 was the year
he had already been assassinated by a fellow Hindu for his unique contribution
to India's independence. No one could deny that "The Father of India"
had done "the best work" by that time.
The same is true, perhaps to a lesser degree, with Ronald Reagan who missed
the medal in 1990 when Mikhail Gorbachev was singled out for the well-deserved
In my previous post, I talked about my way of classifying people I have known in person into four types. Every once in a while, however, we see a man of integrity like Gandhi or Reagan who I would classify into a fifth category.
But actually, an increasing number of dignitaries
who hadn't made any outstanding contribution to Nobel's cause have been awarded the Prize.
They included Henry Kissinger (1973), Eisaku Sato (1974), the Dalai Lama
(1989), Aung San Suu Kyi (1991), Yasser Arafat (1994), Kim Dae-jun (2000),
Kofi Annan (2001), Jimmy Carter (2001), Al Gore (2007) and Barack Obama
· read more (221 words)
America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy
- John Quincy Adams
On July 9 Dr. Lee Seung-hun, physics professor at the University of Virginia, spoke at a conference sponsored by Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.
Truth always hurts. And since nobody wants to get hurt, it never sells
even when it's a giveaway like mine.
That is why I came up with the trivia format several month ago. I thought
facts can sometimes be substituted for truth because, after all, truth is the summation of internalized facts. I also thought by trivializing things, I would be able to make my blog pieces a little more entertaining to my predominantly American audience, and better yet, this way I would be able to help immunizing them against the pains inherent to truth.
Obviously I underestimated the brainpower of these highly-educated Americans. They instantly detected the trap I had set up on them.
Another thing I underestimated is their resolve to bury in oblivion the dark side of the history of their country.
By now I have learned from this experiment that these people have already had
one or more small fish bones stuck deep in their throats and to them that is more than enough.
This is why these guys are so allergic to truth or any clue to it. They always put the reality of Pax Americana before truth.
And this also explains why conspiracy theorists in North America have found a lucrative niche market so easily.
They peddle truth that does not hurt.
If you don't want to become hooked on the addictive substance truth-seekers are markeing, you resort to cynicism, the attitude toward truth typical of highly-educated Americans today. You just keep saying, "Who can tell where to find this thing called truth?" The all-too-familiar line always leaves me wondering whether there is any difference between a prestigious higher-learning institute in the U.S., such as Obama's alma mater, and yet another vocational school or Berufsschule in Europe.
In the past they, their parents and grandparents have gulped down so many fish, including the one from the Gulf of Tonkin where sea battles were fought between the USS Maddox and North Vietnamese torpedo boats in
August 1964. But among other things, the mysterious sinking of the USS Maine
in Havana Harbor in February 1898 is still weighing heavily on their minds, if only subliminally.
As anyone who has studied the history of the United States knows, the particular
incident prompted William McKinley to rush into the Spanish-American War, which
the President had previously wanted to avoid. As a result, the United States
could capture Cuba, instead of liberating it. Equally important, America
could also colonize Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
Despite the fact that these prizes were officially awarded to the victor
in the Treaty of Paris, the cause of the sinking of the Maine that triggered
the war has remained mysterious to date. Most recently, in 1998, to commemorate the 100th anniversary
of the war, National Geographic Magazine had Advanced Marine Enterprises conduct an investigation into
the explosion that sank the vessel.
The investigators of the institution could avail themselves for the first time of computer
modeling and simulation, the technique which had previously been unavailable.
Yet, they had to conclude: "The sum of [our] findings is not definitive
in proving that a mine was the cause of sinking of the Maine, but it does
strengthen the case in favor of a mine as the cause."
Before they could feel fully vindicated, the Americans went on an expedition to Vietnam. Afghanistan and Iraq followed decades later. And most recently, they started to ascribe the March 26 incident in the Yellow Sea to a North Korean torpedo.
Obama's response to the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean patrol ship, was irresolute and subdued even more than ever. He has been exercising self-restraint by reducing the sinking that claimed 46 lives
to a matter of empty rhetoric in part because he thought the causeless and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are more than enough.
Obviously there must have been another reason. Most probably he couldn't be sure that the evidence produced by the Joint Investigation Group (JIG) on May 20 was genuine. The guy must have thought, "This can be yet another 'intelligence failure'."
That is the only way to explain why Obama, Clinton and most other
educated Americans have refused so frantically, sometimes even hysterically, the idea of reexamining evidence shown in JIG's report, which was released just in time for the June 5 local elections in South Korea, and amid the nation-dividing controversy over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' air station in Japan.
Don't take me wrong, however. I don't care a bit about who was behind the Cheonan sinking. Neither do I care about whether the "provocative act" was actually a conspiracy.
What concerns me most is people's attitudes toward truth.
■ Does one always try to recompose truth by himself from given facts, instead of just swallowing someone else's ideology or theory? ■ Does he have commonsense to weed out fishy elements from given facts before deriving his own truth from them?
These are the questions I ask myself when I interact with anyone I do. Unfortunately, I can seldom answer my own questions in the affirmative.
Especially when it comes to those political racketeers based in the U.S., I don't know what to say.
These politicians and pundits don't normally swallow truth given by others because they have to differentiate themselves from each other for business purposes. But their supposedly proprietary theories or ideologies are all fake because they always take it for granted that any secondhand information that fits comfortably into their intellectual merchandise is genuine.
All I could tell them is that I was not born in the twilight years of the American Century either to warn these mainstream ideologues active and vocal there to adhere to the founding principles of their country, or to make a fortune myself doing conspiracy-mongering business such as antimainstream truth-seekers'.
At any rate I just can't wait until 2110 to know whether or not JIG's theory is substantiated by facts.
By now I have hypothesized that the habitual self-deception of the American people since 1898 has taken a devastating toll on their fate. So I just want to make sure, before I go, that the progress of America's decline is already irreversible. · read more (214 words)
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. - from One Art by American poet Elizabeth Bishop
You don't have to be a good physiognomist to tell the Japanese can expect absolutely nothing from the new State Minister in charge of national strategy (国家戦略担当大臣) or the prime minister who has appointed the bastard to fill the key cabinet position
At first their arrogance made them learning-disabled. Then, as a result, they grew helplessly ignorant. Or it may have happened the other way around - I'm not sure. But that
doesn't really matter.
Time and again the Americans have failed to learn their lessons given everywhere they have been.
In 1945 they attempted to transform Japan into a sound and viable
nation just by hanging seven Class-A war criminals - if you don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory, that is. They virtually acquitted the Emperor of his responsibility for driving more than three million people to death, while in fact the bastard in the palace was the first one to have climbed the thirteen steps to the gallows. They thought it was enough to time the seven executions to the 15th birthday of the heir to the throne.
Sixty five years later they still refuse to admit that what their parents and grandparents did to Japan hasn't brought about any change at all. They certify Japan as a democracy.
Then they applied more or less the same method to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, sometimes decapitating the regime, some other times showering defenseless peasants with defoliant. But they invariably ended up in equally disastrous results.
Still defying the obvious fact that their assumption is fundamentally wrong, they cling to the delusive idea that they have magical power to change foreign countries either by removing the upper layer of the existing regime or incinerating civilians.
If they have learned something from past failures, they have understood it in the wrong way.
In 2008 they thought that at least they should be able to change their own country by ousting Bush from power. Based on the same invalid assumption, they sent a man with a permanent sun tan, as the outspoken Italian prime minister named Obama, to the White House for the first time in U.S. history.
To their dismay they saw the same outcome when the black messiah proved unable to walk on the water, especially when it was covered with spilled oil.
The only thing they can do today is to look away from it all.
On the other side of the Pacific, Japan keeps struggling as if it still deserves a viable statehood.
After the four consecutive prime ministers left office through its revolving door in less than four years, Naoto Kan was automatically promoted from the deputy premiership in the Hatoyama administration.
As usual, initial indications are that Kan will serve out his term with the media fully determined to manipulate public opinion in favor of him.
Small wonder that self-styled Japan experts in the U.S. insist in concert that the country is quickly getting back on the right track with its health miraculously turning around overnight. To them the chaotic political situation before and after the transition of power from the Liberal Democratic Party to the Democratic Party of Japan was nothing but a spell of hiccups.
True, Kan will most probably withstand longer than his predecessor's. In fact, though, the longevity of an administration does not serve as an indication of the stability of a regime or the viability of a nation.
The overall quality of people does.
American pundits, who have quickly jumped at Kan on the pretext of his soaring approval rating, should explain why then they don't praise Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro as great leaders.
To that end they are determined to downplay the fact that in a matter of a week since its launch, the new administration was faced with formidable problems cropping up one after another.
For one thing Shizuka Kamei resigned as Minister in Charge of Banking and Postal Services in Day 4 of the Kan government, because of the feud between his People's New Party and Kan's Democratic
Party of Japan. Kamei complained that Kan had made him lose face over the re-nationalization of what used to be the Japan Post.
Aside from Kamei's departure, a couple other scandals have surfaced in the meantime.
One of the small-time thieves involved there is Satoshi Arai, State Minister
in Charge of Civil Service Reform and Declining Birthrate (photo on the top,) whose expense
statement was found filled with the vouchers for purchases of "NANA," manga (a cartoon) said to be popular among girls in
grade schools, lingerie items such as a sexy camisole and many other filthy and/or kiddie stuff.
As usual the media are trying to trivialize the revelation by asking their favorite legal "experts" and morons from law schools a false question: whether or not
these expenditures are legally reimbursable with taxpayers' money in the
light of Political Funds Control Law.
But actually nothing like that is really at issue. The real issue with Japanese policymakers lies in the fact that not a single one of them has integrity.
Kan's inaugural address of June 4 was an unmistakable sign that Arai's case is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. It lacked integrity and was filled with empty and wornout words. If there was something not so banal there, it's a weird phrase with which he described his goal; he said he will bring about 最小不幸社会, or "a least unhappy society."
Needless to say, American pundits have shrugged off the series of
revelations as something for my Japan Trivia series on the pretext that these irregularities pale before the unscrupulous crime committed
by former Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.
Incidentally, Ozawa's resignation as Secretary General of the DPJ means nothing. The "Shadow Shogun" is just sitting out until the dust settles.
Despite all these fallacies we hear on both sides of the Pacific, I see yet another evidence that the terminally ill nation is further sinking into the bottomless abyss.
The Japanese should know that they can't do anything about that anymore.
But at the same time they should ask themselves why on earth the American people cling so desperately to the same old delusion that the U.S.-Japanese strategic alliance is still functioning.
You have to sink yourself to keep pace with a sinking partner.
Even though pundits have difficulty agreeing to the law of physics, a kindergarten kid can easily understand it.
The progress of the decline of the U.S. is also irreversible now. And the Japanese should feel responsible for that.
Ironically enough there's something the brain-dead Japanese still can do for the Americans in that respect: the United States can find an important lesson in its failing ally.
Whether or not the Americans feel like learning something there is a different story. I'm just tipping them off because I owe them so many things I've learned in my lifetime. Maybe I'm only talking about their parents or grandparents. They were people who had high self-esteem, and yet were open-minded toward new ideas. Among other things, I admired their inventiveness.
The lesson I am talking about is how to sink, certainly not how to avoid sinking deeper.
There is a universal truth about the beginning of an era and its end which can be summarized
You can do it in your way when you are on the rise, but you can't when
you are on the decline.
Another way to say the same thing is that you know when to rise, and how, but you can't
tell when to sink, and how. As a matter of fact, though, the Americans have grown too arrogant to admit they are no longer entitled to tell when and how the final curtain should fall
These days not a few Americans admit they are living in the twilight years of the American century. But nobody is ready to accept the idea that their nation's collapse is at their doorstep.
Take a look at the GDP race between the U.S. and China. If you apply rules of thumb and assume nominal GDP of the two nations to grow at an annual rate of 3.5% and 9.5%, respectively, you will know China will catch up with the U.S. by 2030. The American people think they still have twenty years to pull away from China.
In fact, though, you never know from statistics whether China rises while America stands still or
America sinks while China stands still. That's basically why I wrote we
should forget the showings in the Economic Olympics when talking about
the real standing and fate of a nation.
And who knows if America's downslide will not accelerate as was the case with Japan? All we can tell for sure is that it is very unlikely that the progress will decelerate. This is another law of physics.
If there is a little more comprehensive and relevant measure to quantitatively gauge nations' vigor, it's the showing in International Competitiveness.
There seem to be two or more different ways to indexize a nation's competitive edge. But apparently the method employed by IMD World Competitive Center based in Lausanne, Switzerland is considered the most reliable one.
Take a look at the following ranking table based on the IMD Yearbooks:
NOTE: I could not locate on the web the 1990 data for the U.S. and China.
Japan was an indisputable No. 1 back in 1990, just on the eve of the burst
of the bubble economy in the country. But by 2009 it had fallen to No. 17
and the latest IMD Yearbook further downgraded it to No. 27.
Some savvy economists here have termed what has happened in the lost 20 years "Japan's Galapagosization."
Actually, Japan's dramatic decline shown here holds two important lessons for the Americans.
Lesson 1:.All along the Japanese didn't realize that their relative position to
other countries was plummeting so rapidly. It's as recently as a couple of months ago that
they became aware even the Thais had outperformed them. · read more (527 words)
Saturday, May 29 2010 @ 03:50 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Mizuho Fukushima, head of Social Democratic Party
Apparently it's Obama who first opened Pandora's Box. On its lid I see a fingerprint that looks like his.
Thus far so many unmanageable things have been unleashed from the Box, such as the immense buildup of nuclear arsenals in the five-plus-four Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), unstoppable proliferation stemming from the utter hypocrisy inherent in the NPT, and yet another quagmire in Afghanistan.
Obama has been digging out these problems, one by one, in an arbitrary sequence and haphazard way. It looks as though we can't expect the guy to understand they are inseparable from each other.
These things you find inside the Box are so entwined that you can't disentangle them unless you address the whole issues at a time using a comprehensive and systematic approach. That is something the cherry-picking president will never think about doing.
For one thing the chemical weapons possessed by North Korea and many other countries still remain to be dredged up from the bottom of the Box presumably because Obama thinks the issue is too sticky to be listed as his pet subject.
This way he is doomed to fail to identify, let alone solve, a single issue.
Or, perhaps, the U.S. president, himself, is just one of those unpleasant things that came out of the Box opened by someone else.
Yukio Hatoyama, famously dubbed the loopy prime minister of Japan, did not hesitate to follow suit although the two leaders are quite different personalities.
Hatoyama's maternal grandfather was the founder of Bridgestone Tyre Company. At the age of 63 he is still receiving from his mother a monthly "child allowance," as they call it, of 15 million yen, or $170K, free of tax at least until the recent revelation of the fact. When compared to the scion of the Bridgestone founder, Obama is a pariah who even has difficulty establishing his identity in an honest way.
And yet both men have one thing in common; they have the guts to open up Pandora's Box without caring too much about the consequences. It only takes first-rate arrogance and ignorance like Obama's to think about lifting the lid of the black box so casually.
On the other hand, Hatoyama can't do this without shedding tears over the series of nightmares from the past because he is not so arrogant as the U.S. president. But that doesn't really matter; he is ignorant enough to think his predecessors, including his paternal grandfather Ichiro Hatoyama, have done basically the right thing.
Actually, as recently as early this month, the Japanese people were taken aback when Hatoyama admitted that he had promised the Okinawans to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' "helicopter" unit to somewhere outside of the prefecture simply because he was completely in the dark at that time about why it should remain deployed there. He added that as he looked into the subject of deterrence, it dawned on him in hindsight that it should stay there in Okinawa.
In fact, though, defense experts keep saying in concert that the prime minister still remains a geopolitical novice. Retired admiral Timothy J. Keating, for one, has told Japanese reporters that Marines don't necessarily have to be stationed in Japan from a purely military point of view.
In August Hatoyama's Democratic Party
of Japan won the snap election on the campaign pledge it had borrowed
from the Democratic Party of America. Hatoyama said he would play the role
of a change agent as if he hadn't known the Japanese people are totally
After the fuss over relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, and many other ill-defined issues in the last eight months, the prime minister announced last evening, in between his signature apologies
to everyone, that earlier in the day Tokyo and Washington had reached an
agreement that was supposed to supersede the 2006 accord on the relocation plan.
He had to do that before the weekend simply
because the defense budget deliberations in the U.S. Congress are scheduled
to start in early June.
At the last minute, he looped back, like a boomerang, to a plan that is almost identical to that of the 2006 accord only after further entangling the problems
with the U.S.-Japanese "strategic alliance."
Although Hatoyama could meet the deadline, he had a lot of reasons
to sound apologetic.
As he almost admitted himself at the press conference following his announcement, the "new" plan would now be utterly unworkable in the wake of the recent upsurge of anti-American sentiments in Okinawa.
For one thing all these structures, including the V-shaped runways, need a Governor's permit which he says he would never give to the Hatoyama government.
Yet you can tell for sure that in his telecon with Obama earlier in the day, Hatoyama boldly said, "Trust me," for the third time.
It's small wonder the only sane person in his cabinet, Mizuho Fukushima
from the Social Democratic Party, flatly refused to sign the cabinet resolution.
Reportedly a tearful Hatoyama reluctantly gave her a pink slip. · read more (499 words)
Thursday, April 15 2010 @ 07:33 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Fats Waller might have sung:
Two loopy peoples with nothing to share,
But too much in love to say goodbye
According to Washington Post columnist Al Kamen, some in the Obama administration have dubbed Yukio Hatoyama "the increasingly loopy Japanese Prime Minister." They are uncharacteristically right.
I always liken this nation to a state-of-the-art computer. The problem with this particular machine is that it has a bug-ridden program loaded in it and that it does not have a self-correcting mechanism built in there to locate and remove fatal logical flaws. Soon after you launch the program, the system starts looping and keeps coming back to the same step over and over until some external factor brings it to an "abend". (Abend is an IT jargon that signifies an abnormal end.)
The hapless Japanese have been caught in a loop for centuries because they have failed to learn any lesson from the previous incidents of abend - the A-bombs and the burst of the bubble economy. So there is no reason to single out Hatoyama. His predecessors were invariably like him.
Yet, it's good to know that the truth about Japan has started dawning on the
American people at long last. At the same time it's a shame that they still don't realize they are just seeing a mirror reflection of their own selves in the loopy Japanese.
· read more (239 words)
Saturday, March 27 2010 @ 09:24 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
I have nothing against Paul Potts or Susan Boyle, but I think it's fair to point out that while they used YouTube as a steppingstone to success in the mainstream, there are a small number of people to whom the video-sharing website owned by Google Inc. is the last straw.
Even though they can't expect any more than 5-digit numbers of viewers, perhaps with the remarkable exception of Ron Paul, that is as far as they can go in this insane world dominated by swindlers in governments and media-favorite crisis mongers.
The following are some of the results of my recent video mining:
To be able to listen to these voices of reason, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist. All it takes is commonsense. There's no need to invent an evil network of Jewish cabals.
· read more (217 words)
Recently I have started to think I should not waste what little time left to me discussing what people call politics. So I will suspend my blog activity at least
for a while, or possibly for good.
Before doing so, let me talk a little about the relationship between the
nation-state and the citizenry living there from the perspective of the
18th century's social contract theories.
Some five years ago I finally terminated my contract with the Japanese government. At the same time, I also parted ways with some other institutions, that inevitably included my family as I briefly touched on in my May 1 post about the myth of Japan's technological superiority. (Speaking of family, I still stay in touch with some of my kin because friends do not necessarily have to share the same values.)
One of the reasons I disengaged myself from the country of my birth was because when I became a pensioner, I realized that
I had been ripped off by the Japanese government since 1959, the year I participated
in the national pension program (contributory type.) It reached my patience threshold when I found out that a good part of my beneficiary
right was gone.
I was forced to enter into the contract 74 years ago. But I am not quite
sure if "contract" is the right word here. For one thing it does not
have a termination clause presumably because it's totally inconceivable
for an ethnic Japanese to leave the relationship with the nation which
was supposedly founded on February 11, 2,669 years ago by Emperor Jinmu, a son of the sun goddess.
Just the same, I have since abandoned all the rights and obligations set
forth in the Constitution which is filled with empty promises.
My registration is still retained on the computers
of the central and municipal government. So I would be allowed to have my Japanese passport renewed if ever I wanted to. It is also true that I am paying the income taxes
on my annuities because they are withheld, at a provisional rate, from the peanuts I receive every
second month. Needless to say, I'm having to pay the tobacco tax in an estimated amount of JPY 270K, or more than US$ 3K, every year, along with other value-added taxes.
In return, I get absolutely nothing.
However, I have somehow managed to evade other taxes and dues. For one thing, I haven't paid the premiums for the mandatory medical- and nursing-care coverages with 70%-coinsurance clauses since my retirement in part because it's out of the question to put my life and death in the hands of those unreliable doctors and incompetent nurses. Neither am I
paying the "TV viewing fees" to NHK, the state-run broadcaster, in part because none of its programs are worth watching at all.
I have dozen other reasons for not abiding by laws, but I don't want to specify them for now. That is what I would do if and when I was taken to court. I'm sure I would win because I have nothing to lose.
Currently I still have a roof over my head. I also have some, if not many, good friends locally. But I mean it literally and figuratively when I
say I am stateless. Maybe you have difficulty understanding how it feels
to be in that status in the country where a pathological obsession with homogeneity has prevailed in the last thirteen centuries.
On the other hand, I am not really through with America, the country I might have migrated to. You will understand what I am talking about if you know separation by divorce or bereavement does not always put an end to your relations with former in-laws.
In the past I learned many things from American people, especially how
to do business and how to make my life enjoyable. I cannot just write off all these
years I was in love with America.
Moreover, I still feel I have yet to
settle old scores with some of them, including the literary agent who subtly,
but flatly turned down my proposal amid the 2008 presidential campaign. The agent treated me as if I was one of those wannabe writers who just wanted to be institutionalized there. But actually, my aborted book that would have been titled The Unviable Japan was about my deliberate refusal to become institutionalized in Japan or any other country.
The last telephone conversation between the agent and me took place on March 4, 2008, but it was already indicative of the American Disease getting into its terminal stage.
I think the Americans have long been predisposed to Obamitis due to the fact that the United States is a nation which was
built by immigrants.
People always recapitulate the American history that way. But I see some sticking point in this all-too-familiar statement; it overgeneralizes the nation's formative process. It is true that the early settlers should
be given credit for the foundation of the United States, but it is not true that the later crops of immigrants, let alone their descendants, deserve
the same credit.
These late-comers are just reaping the harvest from the seeds sowed by
the nation's founders. It is, therefore, totally unrealistic to assume that they have high aspirations to rebuild their failing country. All we can expect from them is to further
undermine the American value system which has its origin in the founding
The real problem facing the nation, however, lies with the posterity of the earlier crops of immigrants. Today these people are at a loss over
how to recapture the lost ground which they once inherited from their ancestors.
Simply put, that is because of their utter ignorance about the contractual
relationship they are in with their country. As I observe, they seem to have great difficulty
distinguishing between the statehood and individual citizens. Given the way the American society has developed in the past, this is quite understandable. But now is the time they should revisit the gist of the mandate their ancestors gave to their representatives 221 years ago.
They don't have to be reminded all anew that amid the Civil War, Abraham
Lincoln said, "The government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth." Obviously the 16th Presidents
of the United States could not foresee that his ideal would be largely
distorted by his remote successors a century later.
But I think that if the descendants of the nation's builders don't want to be duped by the state anymore, they should relearn the essence of the Gettysburg address which all came down
to the following principles:
■ individual citizens and the country where they live are two separate
■ individuals create, reform, or destroy their country - it's never the other way around.
It now all hinges on their willingness and ability to get back to the basics
of the social contract whether or not America will be able to demonstrate
its innate resilience before having to resort to the Second Amendment.
Unlike Obama, I didn't attend Harvard Law School. Yet, I do know, as a
seasoned businessman, that the Constitution of the United States, or any
other country's for that matter, is the master contract between the government
and the people. Also do I know that there is no such thing as a contract which is not terminable.
Some have already started seriously talking about impeaching Barack Hussein Obama applying Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
I think their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is reasonable. Things
the president has said and done thus far all fall on "high crimes." · read more (357 words)
Sunday, November 22 2009 @ 11:24 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
In the previous session of the interview with Lara, Chen Tien-shi (photo), which
was devoted to precisely defining the word "stateless," I found
out that both of us are only technically Japanese and that the two stateless
citizens are pursuing basically the same end.
But this time around, it
was revealed that there are two fundamental differences between us, as well.
On some important points we are diagonally different. Yet I'm inclined
to say we are 360-degrees different, so to speak.
One of the differences lies with the fact that she is a dedicated person
of deeds whereas I am an intransigent man of words. The farthest things from us two, therefore, are those unprincipled, surface-scratching pundits on the one hand and half-committed, hypocritical activists on the other. As is the case with Shihoko Fujiwara, another doer I admire, Lara also knows she should often compromise on the principle she upholds as a first-rate researcher for the cause of giving a helping hand to needy people.
Normally I shut my mouth before these activists because every word
I utter there rings hollow. But this time I dared to go straight ahead with my questions without
deference to her dedication to the grassroots activism. I thought
only by doing so we would be able to benefit from our conversation.
The other point where we are divided is that she values family bonds over
anything else whereas I am an avowed loner. I wish I could look like one who values blood relationship and affinity, but I can't, simply because my family has long fallen apart as is
true with other Japanese families. I might as well have written a voluminous book to explain how that happened.
The following excerpts are a reproduction of our conversation that took place on Friday evening on a to-that-effect
Yamamoto: My question No. 2 goes like this: "Tell me exactly what end you
have been pursuing with respect to the issues with statelessness. In other
words, do you think the bigger the stateless population, the better the
situation, or the smaller, the better?" I knew this question sounds
stupid, but I wanted you to answer it anyhow because I got an impression
that the author of Mukokuseki - Stateless stresses the positive side of statelessness. Lara: As I told you last week, statelessness is a multifaceted issue. When
I deal with a social outcast, as I do practically every day, it does not
make sense to stress the positive side of the issue by saying, "Be
proud of your statelessness." That is why I am actually doing what
the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948,) the U.N.
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (1961,) etc. call for. Y: Don't you think these declarations and conventions have remained empty
promises most of the time just like our own Constitution has? I am opinionated
that the international organization which was founded when Chiang Kai-shek
was still governing mainland China has long been dead. That is why it always takes it for granted that there is nothing to be
proud of about being stateless. L: I agree that the U.N. hasn't lived up to our expectations. Otherwise,
these people wouldn't need us.
Postscript: We didn't discuss the raison d'etre of the United Nations more in detail, but actually I think it has created more problems than it has solved them. By comparison. the European
Union has by far outperformed the U.N.
Y: The next question was: "Do you think your solution to the problem
can be institutionalized in one way or the other?" I ask this question
because I don't think it's the right thing to institutionalize mutual support among individual citizens. As we have seen in the U.S. in recent years, that is
the surest way to kill people's innate spontaneity. L: I agree. The most important reason I can't institutionalize my activity is because the actual situation
facing stateless people largely varies from an individual to another. As
a matter of fact, I have launched a website named Mukokuseki Nettowaaku (Stateless Network) where people of various backgrounds share their experiences
and views. Aside from the website, we sometimes organize a forum to the
same end. The first forum was held in Tokyo on November 23, 2008.
These are as far as I could institutionalize myself. Without financial constraints I am under, I might be doing a little more. · read more (628 words)
Left: Ms. Chen Tien-shi, alias Lara, answering my questions Right: Lara on a study tour
It is something I am inclined to call a serendipity that the brilliant author
of Mukokuseki - Stateless (Shincho-sha, 2005) turned out to be my neighbor and that a restaurant
owned by her family is located just around the corner from my apartment.
Despite the differences in age, ethnicity and educational/occupational
background between us, we seem to have one thing in common: we are stateless
Currently Chen Tien-shi, better known to her friends as Lara, spends weekdays
in Osaka as Associate Professor at National Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU) but on weekends she comes home to spend time with her husband, son, parents
and siblings who are living in this neighborhood.
On Friday night I visited that restaurant without knowing Lara had already
flown back from MINPAKU. I ordered mapo tofu ("stir-fried tofu in hot sauce" as the Beijing Travel Bureau translated the name of the dish in 2008) for my late dinner. But when I was working
on my mapo tofu, Lara emerged from the innermost alcove typical of a Chinese restaurant, which I call a "family nook," and spotted me. She looked
a little tired from the hard-working week, but was kind enough to say,
"Let me answer some of your questions when you are through with your dinner." A couple of days earlier I had sent her six questions together
with my take on her book.
The first one was about how specifically she defines statelessness. You
don't have to define homelessness or joblessness, but when it comes statelessness,
it's not that simple. So I asked her:
"You wrote that according to the statistics compiled by the Justice
Ministry, there were 1,846 stateless people in Japan as of the end of 2003.
You went on to say that if you include unregistered people and those who
are 'unaware' of their real situation, the stateless population must be
much bigger. I can't agree more, but could you define these 'unaware' people
Her answer: Obviously the biggest group that falls on this category is
found in Zainichi (Koreans living in Japan.) Especially, she added, a good part of their second and third generation belong in this group. Their parents and grandparents were recruited from the Korean Peninsula as forced laborers or "comfort women."
The population of Zainichi peaked at the vicinity of 2 million by 1945. After the war, some of them
chose to return to the Peninsula, but those who opted to stay on faced
the same difficulty that the Chen family encountered in 1972 when the Republic
of Korea came into existence in 1948 because, at the same time, the Korean
Empire-turned-Japanese colony ceased to exist. Yet the Japanese Justice
Ministry was unjust enough to issue their resident registrations just stating
they are "Koreans." Some of them found it unavoidable to become
naturalized in Japan - the very country that had inflicted unbearable humiliation
on them for 34 years from 1911 to 1945.
Ms. Chen thinks basically the same thing can be said of most refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia because countries by these names have been nonexistent at least since 1975 when the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Democratic Kampuchea (currently called Kingdon of Cambodia) were founded. To be more precise, there have never been such names. No matter whether they are fully aware that there is no "home country" to return to, they are stateless, literally and figuratively.
Japan has practically closed its door to "political refugees" because of its pathological obsession with homogeneity, and yet there are more than ten thousand such people living here with stateless status.
If you take account of "economic refugees," Lara concluded,
these 1,846 people certified by the Justice Ministry as stateless in 2003
must have been the tip of the iceberg. In my interpretation,
economic refugees include those the Palermo Protocol of 2000, or United
Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, termed "willing
participants in trafficking in persons," i.e. prostitutes.
Lara told me across the Chinese dining table that the definition of the
word statelessness should be given in a multilayered way - legally, factually
and from an inner angle.
In relation to my first question, I had also asked her where she classifies
herself and other "stateless citizens" including myself. She confirmed that as she
wrote in Mukokuseki - Stateless, she remained essentially stateless even after she acquired Japanese citizenship.
But she corrected me as to the particular part of my book review where I cited practical
consideration as the primary reason she wanted to become a legally
She said to the effect that that is only part of the reasons. "Most
importantly," she said, "I wanted to find out if my problem could
be solved just by legally establishing myself here. In other words, I wanted
to know exactly what it would be like for an individual to willfully enter into a
'contract' with a state." · read more (261 words)
Wednesday, October 21 2009 @ 01:18 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Soren Kierkegaard, who is often labeled a Christian existentialist, was the first to have advocated smart mistakes
Mistake - NOUN:
1. An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge,
2. A misconception or misunderstanding
- The American Heritage Dictionary
People say, "Everybody makes mistakes." But I have made too many mistakes in my 74-year life to find consolation in the banal statement.
Thus far, however, I haven't raped, robbed, or murdered anyone. But since the AHD clearly distinguishes criminal acts from mistakes, the absence of criminal records doesn't make any difference to the fact that I am extremely error-prone. To me this is something very hard to accept because I have sometimes suffered a prohibitively costly consequence from these missteps.
On the other hand, if one means
to say by this notion that everybody commits a crime or two at times, he is just admitting the society where he lives has already fallen apart.
To differentiate mistakes from wrongdoings more clearly, I think we should shed new light on man's innate proneness to errors. My way of doing that would be like this:
"Everybody is entitled or even encouraged to make a mistake on the premise that it is a result of taking a calculated risk. No matter whether his action turns out a failure due to 'defective judgment' or 'deficient knowledge,' that is the only way he can learn lessons from life."
Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is one of the favorite
thinkers of American businessmen because his words, when wrenched out of
the total context, often seem to fit very well into actual business situation. I have heard dozen times American executives quote,
or requote to be more precise, Kierkegaard's words.
A retired businessman by the name of G. Kingsley Ward, for one, wrote in
his small book titled Letters of a Businessman to His Daughter:
"And in all likelihood, they would all concur with Soren Kierkegaard's
observations that, 'Life can only be understood backwards; but it must
be lived forwards.'"
Obviously Ward had been too busy to double-check the unabridged text of a
1843 entry in Kierkegaard's diary, which actually goes like this:
"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. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean
that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely
because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking
position." (English translation by Peter P. Rohde)
Later in his life, Kierkegaard dilated on this dilemma to the effect that life would be much ado about nothing if there weren't a guiding light. To him it was his faith in God, but to an atheist like me, it's intuition constantly being reinforced by experience of failure. If your intuitive faculty and learning ability have been damaged in one way or the other, you are sunk.
Ward's compatriots find this passage particularly (re)quotable especially when they just want to say, "Let's go ahead with our plan although there still are risk factors involved in it." Although Kierkegaard's thoughts have a little more profound implication than an American businessman would find in them, they think the citation will make their message more convincing to their colleagues.
I know American people, in general, are the world's second poorest thinkers,
only next to the Japanese, especially when it comes to abstract thinking.
Yet I suspect Ward might have been able to tell his daughter how to make smart mistakes
if he had bothered to read the entire text of the particular entry in Kierkegaard's
diary, and preferably yet, some other pieces in the same journal, as well.
Once upon a time, the American society was accommodative of risk-taking
individuals, especially when they were smart enough to run calculated risks.
In those days the people didn't even need the ability for abstract thinking.
Contextual thinking would always suffice. I think this climate was the
real reason behind their resilience and self-purification ability. · read more (352 words)
Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 07:40 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Gullible people who swallow anything they hear from an authoritative figure
such as Alan Greenspan are now puzzled over how to interpret recent news stories that seem to indicate that the worst is over by now. It looks as though the global crisis has proved far more short-lived than initially expected. Maybe the former FED chairman just wanted to pull their leg when he exaggerated the enormity of the situation in September last year.
With stock prices seemingly bottoming out, analysts and investors
are upbeat everywhere and with financial institutions quickly ridding their balance sheets of tons of toxic assets, they are foreseeing rosy pictures based on their hefty second-quarter results.
Budget deficits are still ballooning and jobless rates
remain high all over the world, but never mind; these are side issues.
So, have the governments of the G-20 nations performed miracles? Or was it yet another cheap trick?
They call it a business cycle inherent to capitalism which is, like climatic changes, basically unavoidable, if can be alleviated to a certain degree. It's just that a handful of bandits in Wall Street aggravated the downtrend with their excessive greed. But I don't agree to this characterization of the downturn because in all likelihood this looks more like an artificial crisis than a cyclic one.
This perception naturally leads you to these questions:
■ who were shaken off in the course of the deepening of the crisis? ■ and who are poised to have the last laugh in anticipation of a handsome profit to be reaped from it.
Small wonder most journalists, pundits and professors agree to the greed theory because they always side with the real culprits whoever they actually are. This is the easiest and the most effective way to defend, or even boost their vested interests in the status quo. To that end, they always see a conflict where there is none.
Their pet subjects, therefore, are constant struggles
between two different groups of people, such as the working class v. capitalists,
producers v. consumers, whites v. colored, men v. women, creditors v. debtors, democracy v. autocracy, the West v. the East, the
North v. the South, Wall Street v. Main Street, and so on and so forth. In fact, though, none of these abstract groups represents any specific people. This is no way to deal with multifaceted issues in the current world order which is in the process of a total disintegration today.
To me these struggles are too stereotypical and more or less imaginary. I see the real battleground somewhere else.
For one thing, last fall we were supposed to see every participant
in the equity market panic-selling all the shares he had held. Although
no one seems to have doubted that was true, that wasn't true. You can't sell
if you don't find a buyer. And recent rebound in stock prices is an unmistakable sign that the ones, who sneaked into market using the "dollar-cost averaging method" or the like, have now started shifting to the selling side, if slowly and carefully, so individual investors can buy back at a "minimized" loss what used to be in their portfolios.
By the same token, banking business also takes two, like tango. You can't lend money so recklessly unless there are reckless borrowers at the other end.
This is a commonsense matter, but our regulators have always portrayed
the creditors as the victims. They have a good reason to distort the picture this way.
October 13 issue of TIME Magazine, Niall Ferguson pointed out that as of
2006, American households were indebted as much as 100% of nation's gross
domestic product whereas back in 1980, their debts had only accounted for
20% of GDP. According to Ferguson, American banks and other financial institution
were even deeper in debt. By 2007, their indebtedness had accumulated to
116% of GDP.
In April, U.S. president showed a transparent gesture by asking
his friends in the 13 major credit card companies to refrain from "unfair" and "deceptive" practices with their debtors. Once again he failed
to address the real issue indicated by the fact that millions of card holders
are already "maxed out." for a different reason.
Actually tough disciplinary measures
should have been imposed on the credit card users as well - and more importantly
on their role model, president himself. His administration is habitually acting even sillier
than its debt-ridden supporters. In the absence of this awareness, not a few independent analysts have been warning that they see a credit card crisis on the horizon if the current one triggered by the subprime woes may subside before long.
Just listen to Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor, talking in this YouTube video about America's Debt Epidemic. It is these sick people incapable of living within their means that elected Obama as their role model.
Saturday, May 09 2009 @ 09:33 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This is to provide my audience with some tips on how to deal with
Swine Flu in the wake of the announcement by the WHO that it raised the
alert level to the second highest Phase 5.
Rule 1: It was quite OK to call the disease caused by the H5N1 virus Avian
Flu. Don't ask me why. Also it was permissible to call Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy mad cow disease, thanks to the maturity and torelance shown by Hindus. But make
no mistake; it's wrong to call the new pestilence Swine Flu. If you break the rule, that will prompt Muslims to slaughter hundreds of innocent piggies, as Egyptians actually did a couple of weeks ago. Instead of putting the undue blame
on these pious Arabic people, you should strictly observe this rule. This is the only way to keep peace. By the way, the correct way to refer to the disease is H1N1 Influenza Type A.
Rule 2: Be courageous enough to expose yourself to those people, such as
Mexicans, who are likely to bring you H1N1 viruses. If you are American and dare to insist
to close the borders with Mexico, you will be labeled
a racist. If you are Japanese, don't refuse personal contact with
Americans just because they are most exposed to the viruses coming from the
south of the border. Always bear in mind that you are obliged to reciprocate
their favor of protecting your country against possible attacks from neighboring rogue nations at the cost of American lives.
Rule 3: Wash your hands every nook and cranny every time you came home.
If you don't know how to wash your hands, watch Japanese TV. Around the
clock every newscaster is repeatedly telling you the procedure you have to go through
in the bathroom very precisely. They invariably say you shouldn't be through
with the hand-cleansing ritual at least until 15 seconds elapse. But when taking into account the pathological obsession of the Japanese with cleanliness on the outside, I think 12 seconds are enough for foreigners. If you are Japanese and
break the rule, the consequence can be graver than just infected with H1N1.
You will be considered to have contracted more serious disease by the name
of Anti-Conformism. Most probably you will be detained in an isolation ward. As a matter of practice it will be like you are deprived of your nationality.
Rule 4: Don't fail to wear a mask whenever you go out. Here, too, you can count on Japanese newscasters for invaluable tips. They boldly assume that all the TV viewers know how to put on a mask. Yet they think it's expecting too much from the neotenized viewers to assume they are good at undoing it as well. So they quickly add this to their instructions: "When you are back home and removing the mask, never touch
other parts of the mask than straps, because its surface can be contaminated by H1N1." Maybe you just have to cross your fingers that straps are not contaminated. There is one thing that even attentive instructors seldom mention; the mask can also serve as a gag that prevents you from transmitting to others another deadly virus
named the truth. That is why many Japanese wear a mask throughout the year. · read more (221 words)
To almost all professional writers, the Key Performance Indicator is money.
Consequently, their Key Success Factor is artfully disguised prostitution. Let us face this fact very squarely. Otherwise we would be further undermining our freedom of speech.
I don't necessarily think it's wrong for one to make his living from prostitution. Basically it's none of my business. If I had to give him an advice, however, the following would be it:
Just stop writing, if once in a while, to think there were times when great
writers never chased after money, if sometimes money chased after them.
I would tell him this not because by heeding my tip, he would become a great writer, but because the worst type of prostitute is one who doesn't think he is a prostitute.
Believe it or not, I don't intend to tell my sour-grapes story here, but my KPI and KSF are 180-degrees different from professional writers'.
This is not to say I need not closely measure my own performance so that I can improve the quality of this blog. I do need to improve it both in terms of writing skills and content. That I don't habitually trade trash for cash, alone, doesn't mean I'm a great writer. And after all I'm not doing all this just for vanity's sake.
Because of some shortcomings involved in the statistical function of my
blogging software named Geeklog, I have been using a more advanced analysis
tool named Google Analytics (GA) since the beginning of this year.
Unfortunately, though, I can't afford the prohibitively high cost to take
an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) measure. So I've had to substitute
my own trick to improve the traffic every time I identify a problem. Over
time I've found out my cheap trick, such as using eye-catching (sometimes
un-PC) words and phrases, more often than not, outdo pricey SEO tools.
Another reason I don't go for an SEO software is because it tends to artificially
inflate access counts to make money-driven site owners happy.
Below here I'll show you how I am evaluating my own performance as an independent
Web journalist against my own measurement criteria.
Aside from the readings on GA, the stats page of Geeklog tells me that 1,086,068 people have "hit" my website since I launched it 56
months ago. It's true Geeklog tends to largely overstate my performance
in this respect because it can't exclude my own accesses as well as spammers'. Besides, by a rule of thumb, you can arrive at the number of visitors by dividing the number of hits by something like 3-5.
All in all, the reading on Geeklog is conservatively estimated to translate into 150,000-200,000 real visitors or 450,000-600,000 page views. Yet I think this is something when taking into account the fact that I have always avoided prostituting myself. More specifically, I have taken no-nonsense
approach toward socio-political issues and taken up issues
of lasting relevance, rather than just responding to media-salient topics of the time, which are often red herrings.
Analysis by Country
The largest number of visitors came from the United States. This is
exactly what I intended when launching my blog because freedom of speech
isn't really dead in that country. The following chart shows the top 10
countries in the last 3-month period:
Saturday, March 21 2009 @ 02:59 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This is to follow up my previous post titled From a Psychiatric Perspective..... Here I just wanted to elaborate on my point that the projection strategy, which often leads you to a false objectivity, will not work to really solve any problem facing us today and what happens when it failed as it always should.
You can hardly name a war in history that was not ignited by Freudian projection. If you want to make sure that war is the unavoidable consequence of a futile attempt to externalize one's inner problem, TokyoFreePress recommends you read Occidentalism co-authored by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit. This is an extraordinarily intriguing book. If there is a flaw, it's the fact that Buruma and Margalit one-sidedly analyze the Occidentalist trait whereas Occidentalism is nothing more than a mirror reflection of Orientalism - and vice versa.
Sigmund Freud died in exile in London, weeks after the breakout of WWII and a little more than one year after the annexation of his home country by Hitler. The Fuehrer hated Freud not only because he was a Jew but also because his theory about projection directly pointed to Hitler's mental illness. No one has ever substantiated it, but many biographers have pointed out that Hitler's paternal grandfather was a Jew. No matter whether the dictator was 25% Jewish, it's for sure he projected his self-hatred to something else.
There's more to it. It's just the kind of joke Charlie Chaplin would have liked to say that the Austrian psychiatrist should have sat the dictator on his couch. Although Freud was unable to explain why the madman could mesmerize so many people so efficiently with the help of his Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, the effectiveness of hypnotism hinges more on the suggestibility on the part of the general population than on the skills of the mesmerist. And one's inability to internalize things always underlies his susceptibility to a fanatic dogma.
With all this in mind, let's take a brief look at Japan's trail from the workout in its backyard countries such as China to the nuclear apocalypse at the end of the unwinnable war. · read more (457 words)
Thursday, March 19 2009 @ 07:26 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Sigmund Freud theorized that projection is one of the self-defense mechanisms man turns to especially in the face of a crisis.
Some Freudian psychoanalysts explain: People, more or less, have the tendency
to project their own thought or emotion to someone or something else to avoid facing up to the real problem. The Freudian self-protection theory fell
short of clearly distinguishing a pathological projection from a "normal"
one. But that doesn't really matter because anything produced by projection is more or less delusional.
Basically you can substitute the word externalization for projection in the Freudian sense. But in this "information age,"
what you project is, more often than not something you have received from someone else. This is especially true of those who process information
on an ear-to-mouth, or eye-to-fingertip basis. So I think that it will
be more precise and relevant today to reword Freud's projection as the refusal
We are facing one serious problem that the Austrian psychiatrist did not know. He died in September 1939 in exile in London. In those days, there were no more than millions of pundits all over the world, I guess. But today, everyone is acting like
a pundit. Aside from innumerable people who make their living by writing
and speaking, hundreds of millions, or even billions, of self-styled pundits are discussing
political, economic and cultural issues. I always ask myself: "They
are as talkative as myself, but are they internalizing these issues before they talk about them?" Most of the time, I can tell they aren't.
That is evident from the way these know-it-all surface-scratchers are constantly relativizing values. They don't seem to have their own absolute values anymore. (By the adjective "absolute" I mean "internalized.") Islamic fundamentalists are no exception to this climate. In the absence of absolute values to uphold even at the cost of their own lives, these cowardly fanatics are constantly driving their children to martyrdom. Likewise, in more industrialized countries, professional and nonprofessional commentators alike, are passing around superfluous (i.e. non-value-adding) information about this value and that value under the guise of objectivity. Isn't this more than enough? · read more (887 words)
According to Ron Paul, there are 90 million vacant houses in America
today. (At first I thought I heard the maverick Senator say there are 19 million unoccupied houses, which was already something that threw me into consternation, but a transcript reads 90 million houses are in that condition.) On the other hand there are
tens of millions of people who only have a house or apartment that doesn't
meet the minimum living standard, or no place to live in at all.
More than half a century ago, American Marxist Leo Huberman (1903-1968) pointed out that in America the
practice of dumping "excess" grain into the ocean was commonplace
when millions of people were combating malnutrition. He said this was something
inherent to capitalist society. That is not really true but just the same,
the same incongruous thing can happen in today's America when a supplier of goods or services teams up with the Federal Reserve to manipurate the market mechanism.
Basically there are three tested ways - almost always tested unworkable - for the government to handle an oversupply
1. Let the supplier destroy the goods while leaving the potential customer
unprovided with necessities.
2. Subsidize either side or both so that the excess products can find their way to consumers at a price substantially lower than market.
3. Destroy both.
Since it's too obvious that the first option is doomed to further widen
disparity, any government in history hasn't really encouraged suppliers to destroy
Option 3 can be pursued most typically by means of a destructive war. Everyone knows the
Great Depression paved the way for the authoritarian and belligerent regimes
in Europe. But even for America, it took WWII to fully recover from the protracted downturn in economy since the 1930s.
Now that Obama, misguided by those multilateralists, has precluded the
warring solution, the Harvard-educated Santa Claus will certainly go for Option 2, which is the easiest, but the worst way (even more destructive than the warring option) to close or narrow the gap. Obama seems to believe this alternative is the only practicable course of action for
the United States, not only at home but also abroad. The president is right, on the premise that he is not really determined to seek a fourth way to bring about change. In fact he doesn't look prepared to step into an uncharted course. His lack of integrity prevents him from doing so. · read more (463 words)
Westerners still blindly believe in the myth that the hogwash disseminated by such dumbs as Mao Zedong or Joseph Stalin has something to do with Marxism. Presumably this ignorance has made the hotbed for Obama's cheap socialism.
Many books have been written on why and how Japan's bubble economy burst
in the early 1990s. Now a myriad of words are being spent on the meltdown
of financial markets in Wall Street and the global depression it allegedly triggered, to explain
why and how the most recent bubble bust.
However, we are learning practically nothing
from these lectures because it's an utter truism that any bubble is doomed to burst sooner or later. There is no such thing as a sustainable bubble.
The real question, therefore, is why and how the bubble had to form, to begin with.
Professional pundits who tend to scratch the surface would readily answer this
question by attributing the current crisis solely to the greed prevailing in the financial
market in Wall Street or anywhere else. But I think they are oversimplifying the issue.
Heritage Dictionary defines greed as "a rapacious desire for more
than one needs or deserves." But do we know a person who doesn't have
greed as it is defined there?
Actually the core problem lies in man's desire, rapacious or not. But desire for what?
We all have desire for many worldly things, including money of course.
The materialist way of thinking is also centered around desire, but it cannot really explain the driving force of man's economic activity because materialists tend to get around the value issues. Although we are all drowned in
the endless chain of means, the ultimate object of our desire is the purpose
of life, which is sometimes referred to as "values."
I know that the Americans and Americanized people are not good at abstract thinking because they have an allergy to philosophy. But I don't think we can get around the question of what man's values are in the face of the ongoing crisis.
To make it even more difficult for these people to identify the real issues, they also have an allergy to Marxism. American Marxist Leo Huberman
(1903-1968) used to lament that all his compatriots knew about Marxism was that it was a horrible thing. Maybe they were, and still are, mixing up the
German political economist with such dumbs as Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin.
But I think I must cite some important thought on the value-creating chain
from Marx's writing because he is the first, and perhaps the only, thinker to have shed light on the basics of man's economic activity in the industrialized
world. So-called socialists see virtue in production, or labor, while they always use the word consumption with a negative connotation. At least they think consumption is a necessary evil. Marx's way of thinking is 180-degrees different from such a puerile asceticism. · read more (800 words)
Sunday, February 22 2009 @ 02:19 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Anna Politkovskaya refused to get gradually suffocated by Vladimir Putin. She paid the price for that in October 2006 when she was gunned down by an assassin hired by the Kremlin.
I categorically refuse to agree to socialist ideas if the word socialism
should be understood in association with the hogwash dessiminated by the likes of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin. But among other types of socialism, I think what I call "creeping socialism" is its most perilous mutant. The reason I feel that way is twofold.
Firstly, since creeping socialism is not a product of methodical thinking, it does not have logically verifiable substance. It's nothing more than an elusive climate prevailing in a nation. You can't rebut this type of socialism on theoretical grounds even if you find something fishy in the vague compassion shown in public discourse toward the weak and the poor.
Take the Americans as a case in point. Obviously their empathy toward minority groups mostly stems from the guilty conscience they harbor on behalf of their ancestors who may have owned slaves, traded them or taken part in the colonization of underdeveloped nations. It's not Obama that started all this. It dates back to the early-1960s when John F. Kennedy used the words affirmative action for the first time. In the last 40-plus years since JFK, the American people rid themselves of all mental barriers to having a black or female president.
Yet there is a sticking point in the undercurrent of this climate. The last question they would dare to ask themselves is: "Are we really prepared for having a gay president in the near future?" I don't think how to address the spouse of the president would be the only problem. And what if a president has no living family, like myself? But again, you can't logically prove this tide to be wrong.
Although the moral code John F. Kennedy advocated may not have aroused suspicion among his contemporaries, there is no denying that he was going to make up for his father's immoral acts in Wall Street in the 1920s, at least subliminally. And he was simply wrong when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you," because in doing so, the President was, in effect, urging the children and grandchildren of the victims of the likes of Joseph Kennedy, Sr. to ask what they could do to further sacrifice themselves for the American elite.
The bottomline of this hypocrisy is a constant relativization of values. Now it seems the entire value system is endangered in today's America. All along the American people have been conditioned to make believe it's a necessary evil to relativize values on the pretext that mounting conflicts between ethnic groups and genders would otherwise eat into the unity of the country.
Due to their intellectual laziness, another fallout from this trend, it never crosses their minds that they can possibly pursue the same end in a different way because god bestowed upon everyone a wisdom to exercise the right amount of tolerance while adhering to one's own values. In short, they are preserving national unity at the cost of their values. Ironically enough, the relativization of values has also resulted in a unique form of totalitarianism. Someone has exquisitely termed this climate "Digital Maoism." This makes one think that the negative tradeoff between national unity and values of each individual has taken a serious toll on America's strength.
Let me add something here in relation to the value issues. You may think I am mixing up a moral value with an economic value. But to me they are one and the same thing. Otherwise, every time you use the word, you would have to predefine which value you are talking about.
In the following installments of this series, I will spell out exactly how man's sense of values plays its role of the major driving force for economic activities and how specifically creeping socialism undermines the value system of a nation. · read more (374 words)
Wednesday, February 18 2009 @ 01:46 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
In diplomacy, you sometimes turn to exchanges of symbolic gestures and nice but unbinding
words. But if you overdo it, or let the other side indulge in it, you will not only reduce international relations
to a ritual, but can endanger your own interests, typically by swallowing prohibitively
high costs today for benefits you may or may not reap tomorrow. This is how the Japanese reacted when Hillary Clinton chose their country as the first leg of her first overseas trip as U.S.
Secretary of State.
The Tokyo government flipped out over her maiden visit
because deep inside it felt Japan didn't deserve the honor especially
when the political turmoil and social unrest do not seem to come to an
end anytime soon.
For one thing, it came to the surface on Saturday in Rome that a wino was
at the wheel of Japan Inc. Shoichi Nakagawa, Japan's Finance Minister, was supposed to brief the press corps on the outcome of the G-7 Finance Ministers' Meeting. But he repeatedly fell asleep, and whenever he came to, all he could do was to mumble incoherent responses to reporters' questions in heavily slurred speech.
When forming his cabinet last fall, Prime Minister Aso handpicked Nakagawa as his Finance Minister although he knew very well the man had repeatedly made a scene because of his alcoholism. The media were also determined to hush up his mental illness. Amid Clinton's stay in Tokyo, Aso and Nakagawa tried to dodge criticisms by giving implausible explanations such as jet lag, overdose of cold medicine, etc. But finally he had to step down because the news had been repeatedly aired on TV and YouTube all over the world.
In early stage of the global crisis,
Nakagawa was giving the likes of Henry Paulson a lot of lectures on how
his country could "recover" from the burst of the bubble in the
1990s. Obviously the wino thought, like all of his intoxicated fellow countrymen, that the current distress was attributable solely to the sabu-puraimu mondai, or subprime woes, and the riiman shokku, or Lehman shock. The empty-headed Aso shared the same opinion that the crisis had long been gotten over in Japan with the ￥46.7 trillion (more than $500 billion) bailout measures taken by Koizumi and thus the current crisis is not homegrown. Based on the same misperception, he kept saying Japan would
be the first to come out of the depression this time around. But, in fact, their country now seems to be the last in getting away
from the crisis, either with or without a drunkard sitting at the wheel.
According to the data released on Monday, Japan's GDP shrunk by an annualized 12.7% in the last
quarter of 2008, while the U.S. and the Euro-zone countries only suffered
a 3.8% and 6% setback, respectively, in the same period. By now everyone
has realized that the Japanese government has been disseminating complete
hogwash, while doing absolutely nothing to counter the deepening crisis. · read more (723 words)
Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 08:50 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Nationwide and around-the-clock, people are cautioned over and over not to remit their money to the designated bank account until they positively identify the payee as someone they know in person
These days most of you must have grown increasingly puzzled over where Japan is heading. Where the heck will the wave of never-ending political fuss and social unrest wash these people ashore?
According to media-retained pollsters, Prime Minister Aso's approval rating
still keeps dipping after sinking below 20% soon after he took office. The popularity
that former Prime Minister Koizumi was enjoying seems to dwarf Aso's. It's nothing new that the media give exorbitantly high marks to a new PM, or PM-to-be, and then downgrade him to the bottom in a matter of months. But, can these figures still indicate something? Absolutely nothing.
1) These figures are utterly unreliable because they are unaudited. Even
if they were, still you couldn't be sure that they are not falsified. Japanese
auditors have time and again proved venal.
2) Pollsters never give their pollees a valid alternative. Respondents
must tick a leader they favor from among the same old figures such as Aso, Ozawa and Koizumi. There
is no such choice given in the questionnaire as "Whoever leads this
nation, Japan won't change for the better."
3) As a result, those who refuse to answer always outnumber other groups of pollees.
You should, therefore, look somewhere else for the true indication of where this country is
For one thing, Aso's most recent "gaffe" about the
postal privatization is somewhat intriguing in that respect. On February 5, the manga-loving Stanford-dropout
whose IQ is said to be 80, said out of the blue that he started to think
the Postal Privatization Law of 2005 might have to be thoroughly reviewed. Although the
law stipulates that the way to privatize and split the now-defunct Japan
Post into six independent entities in phases may be subject to adjustments
every three years, what Aso hinted at was possibly to reverse the privatization
process itself. Moreover, it was too late for the first triennial review
and too early for the second.
In order to justify his sleep-talk he is now saying that at the beginning
he was opposed to the privatization bill but finally convinced by Koizumi
to support it. Actually that means he made an aboutface for the second
time and is now making a third by quickly taking back the Feb. 5 slip of the tongue.
It's been an open secret that since there was more than $3 trillion at
stake in the privatization, U.S. policymakers who had vested interests
in American financial institutions salivated a lot in anticipation of a huge cut from the privatization
deal across the Pacific. That is why Washington put it high on the agenda
of the "U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy
Initiative" which had actually served as the one-way representations
of the U.S. demands from its far eastern ally since the
early-1990s. (As of today, there are signs that someone "suggested"
the Japanese Wikipedia entry about the policy initiative be deleted.)
It has to be a unilateral initiative simply because Japan is in a position
to one-sidedly reciprocate America's favor to shelter it with its nuclear umbrella although you can't tell for sure the U.S. will never take it back when
it actually starts pouring. This is basically why Japan's domestic and foreign
policies have kept wavering all the time without any internal necessity. Aso is no exception.
An independent Canadian journalist based in Tokyo theorizes that the Koizumi
administration railroaded the postal privatization bill to comply
with the undue demand by Washington. He says that Koizumi's finance minister
Heizo Takenaka is a disciple of Henry Kissinger, who, in turn, is a loyal
henchman of David Rockefeller. This may be yet another delusion we hear from those "truth-seekers." But where there
is no fire, there's no smoke.
The single most important flaw inherent to allegations made by conspiracy theorists is the fact that they always make believe those who repeatedly fall victim to malicious plots are innocent. Actually a victim is a politically correct way of naming an accomplice. In a sense, it's these morbidly suggestible and docile people that make otherwise decent people feel inclined to act like swindlers.
Let's turn our eyes to their domestic behavior. For one thing, take a look at the following numbers which
I recapitulated based on the statistics compiled by the National Police Agency:
Tuesday, February 10 2009 @ 02:43 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
On Monday, U.S. military chief Gen. Walter Sharp called on North Korea
to refrain from further brinkmanship in reference to the recent moves which
are suspected to be the preparation for launching the Taepodong-2 ballistic
missile. He reportedly said, "Many, many countries around the world
are watching North Korea right now to see if it will act responsibly."
Give me a break, General. Haven't you learned that the right thing to do
in the face of a provocative move by Pyongyang is not to talk, and not
When I was a canid-phobic kid, my mother used to tell me to avoid eye contact
with dogs while refraining from running away from them. For the 7-year-old
kid, it was quite difficult to observe this rule, but I don't think it's
too hard for a general to practice it, because any adult knows that a dog
that barks a lot will never bite. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland giving
little signs of it beforehand. Two years later, Japan did the same in Pearl
Harbor, having been emboldened by the initial success of what its European
ally had named "blitzkrieg" or lightening war.
It's now obvious that Obama, Clinton, Gates and their generals should prepare their country for a possible lightening without talking too much about transient successes and failures in their Munich Conferences. · read more (307 words)
Sunday, February 08 2009 @ 11:42 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The maverick congressman looks to have grown haggard in his most recent video, but he still remains optimistic about America's future.
Currently I am working on a provisional closing of my earthly books. Soon
after I got started with the task, I realized that I should totally write
off sizable pieces of asset, both tangible and intangible, in which I have invested my time, energy,
money and emotions in the last 46 years. The junk that has hollowed out
my balance sheet is my Americanism.
I have studied, worked, made a family, fathered kids and destroyed
the family ties, all in a way an average American might have conducted himself in this country where civil liberty is an empty promise. I was Americanized from tip to toe, until that person of African ancestry
became the President of the United States.
Since WWII, every nation in the world has been more or less Americanized.
But no other sovereign nation has imported the American way of life as
thoroughly and quickly as my country of birth has. When two different
cultures meet, an allout conflict is unavoidable, most of the time. But that has never been the case with this country. Because Japan had
long lost its cultural identity since it got into China's cultural orbit
in the 5th century, it could absorb any foreign influence like a sponge in subsequent centuries. It was what I call a cultural salad that had paved the way for Japan's postwar Americanization.
I acquired my American way of thinking quite differently. Otherwise, I
wouldn't have thought about writing it off at this late stage of my life.
What I found intolerable with today's America was the fact that there are
unmistakable signs the vast majority of its people have been Japanized.
For one thing, the Obama administration decided to set aside $33 billion
for the State Children Health Insurance Program. Also the administration
is going to fatten unemployment benefits while at the same time artificially creating 3
million nonvalue-creating jobs out of thin air. All in all, the stimulus package would eventually cost every American citizen $6,700, if the burden were to be evenly distributed. Now Obama and his followers
are out of their minds. They wouldn't listen to the voices of reason, such
as the one from Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, who asked, "Must
we repeat Japan's stimulus mistakes?" · read more (1,353 words)
Now that America's Japanization has reached its final stage with the arrival of Obama, let us take
a relook at how the Japanese, and some other Asian peoples, escalate things. Admittedly, though, I know very little about the Indonesians.
Even apes utter a war cry before starting their scratching warfare. Small
wonder that the first thing the Japanese do when challenged is also to make a verbal response.
The problem is that everyone knows the Japanese will never scratch, or bite. What they call "diplomacy"
is nothing but an endless exchange of words for its own sake, if they sometimes turn to something else such as their thick checkbook.
They are silly enough to think that just hardening or softening rhetoric
will produce an intended outcome despite their past experience which has more often than not proved otherwise. The last thing that would occur to them
is that even in diplomacy, you lose unless you win in this world chronically
facing short supply of resources. As a result of oversupply of words, their
tactic seldom works.
Usually it takes quite some time, sometimes decades, for the Japanese to realize
that words produce nothing. By that time, they always miss the right timing
to take the right action. In ferocious international relations, the right timing, once missed, never visits you once again.
When they finally understand dialogue will not work, they "resort"
to symbolic gestures which they call "pressure." The most typical
way of putting pressure on the opponent is to refuse to draw a check. In dealing with the shrewd North Koreans, they have stepped up economic sanctions,
little by little. Each time they did so, the North Koreans could shrug
that off. They thought they could get by without Japanese aid primarily because they could always count on the deep-pocketed China to
make up for the resultant shortfall. · read more (320 words)
Monday, February 02 2009 @ 12:21 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
I have nothing whatsoever against polyamory. Not only that, I have spent a little too polyamorous adulthood myself. But it's a different story when it comes to polygamy. And it's a natural thing to analogize a bilateral treaty to a marriage. If you don't think your marriage requires an exclusive commitment, why don't you discuss the matter with your spouse?
Being a country with a forked tongue, the Unite States has seemed to have two or more cornerstone alliances in Asia for quite a while. The political polygamy has been especially evident since the early 1970s.
Soon after the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty went into effect in 1970,
President Richard Nixon visited China to lay the groundwork for the normalization
of diplomatic ties with the communist country. The main reason Nixon abruptly changed his China policy was because he thought China, alone, could help America out of the Vietnam quagmire.
Unlike the docile Japan, China is a nation that doesn't do anyone a favor for nothing. Needless to say, Mao Zedong and Chu Enlai urged
their American counterparts to reciprocate. China's archrival Japan had
already become Asia's economic powerhouse and was still on a strong uptrend. Some historians
say that in Beijing, Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger
said, "Let us take care of Japan to your interests." We don't know if that is exactly
what they said, but everybody knows that they promised to make Japan's Prime
Minister Eisaku Sato expedite the ratification of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to tell
him to further promote the hogwash about Three Nonnuclear Principles he had been
advocating since 1967 to eternalize the "nuclear allergy"
of the Japanese people.
When Nixon said he was sure that he could neutralize Japan forever, Mao must have thought, "Who could ask for anything more?"
The downright breach of trust upset the Japanese people at the beginning, but over
time they became inclined to forgive, or forget, the fateful act of betrayal on the part of the Americans. · read more (502 words)
In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy eloquently said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." In 1961, I was too young to be moved by JFK's flowery language. Now that I've turned 73, I know I am too old to be impressed on this January 20 by the silver-tongued Obama any more than I was by Kennedy 48 years ago. Obama will be a president far less demanding, than Kennedy, of his people at home and allies and foes abroad. But that makes no difference to my apathy.
Like most of you, I have been living my life primarily for myself and my
loved ones - not for my country, or any other country for that matter. Equally important, the less I have to count on my country for our well-being, the more I feel comfortable. And as you would agree, in our everyday life, words do not matter as
much as deeds do. Democracy as against autocracy, civil liberty as against slavery and human rights as against indignity are all words.
As the economic, political and cultural crisis deepens, words that keep coming from professional
Monday morning quarterbacks, and prophets alike, increasingly ring hollow. But
my sympathy always goes to these pundits because it cannot really be helped
for them to keep churning out supposedly impressive, actually empty words.
They have to make their living as wordsmiths. · read more (384 words)
Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:55 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Ron Paul, who still remains in the 2008 presidential race, bases his non-interventionist
platform on the wrong assumption that everything happening outside of the
United States is a "blowback" resulting from the past interventionist
policies. Despite his naivete, however, there's no denying that a growing
number of American people have been inclined to relearn from the founding
fathers, be it George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. Their principles
all come down to this: "Let's mind our own business, nothing else."
Ron Paul seems to fret about his fellow countrymen mistaking his non-interventionism
for isolationism, but that is not an important issue.
The 34th G8 Summit was hosted by Japan from July 7 through July 9. Toyako
in Hokkaido was chosen as its venue because environmental degradation in
the northernmost island is not so serious as in the other part of the archipelago.
The 8 leaders, along with their counterparts from the European Union, China,
India, and some African nations, chitchatted over their pet issues
such as what measures to take to cut the greenhouse gas emissions and how
to cope with the global food crisis already affecting tens of millions
of Africans and about to hit the industrialized nations as well. To demonstrate
how the leaders in the developed countries are concerned about the worldwide
degradation of environment, the Summit's host even staged a tree-planting
ceremony on a lakeside ground.
Despite the Japanese media's acclaim for the success of the 3-day-long gathering, these
guys were just exchanging empty words and symbolic gestures. That being
the case, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was the best person to preside
over the pointless meetings. The Japanese people, for that matter, are
the best people to host the ceremonial Summit. · read more (334 words)
Monday, May 26 2008 @ 11:21 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
When I was doing my daily mining routine on YouTube late last week, I came
across some videos relating to Ron Paul. Actually there are 124,000 videos
posted by his campaign office and supporters. and some of them have been
viewed more than a million times. Until then, I hadn't known that the congressman,
R-Tex, still remains in the presidential race, because of the media blackout in and outside
From this Japanese blogger's point of view, the only candidate
who could make a difference is one who will pull the plug on the dead organization called the United Nations and give Japan the 1-year prior
notice to terminate the incongruous pact called the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation
and Security between the United States and Japan, as soon as s/he takes
office. In the light of these criteria, either Obama, Clinton or McCain
is out of the question. But since I came to know the obstetrician-turned-politician has persevered in the 2008 race on the "Libertarian" ticket, I have started thinking that for the American voters, hopes for real change may not have been thoroughly extinguished.
Admittedly, I am skeptical about the wisdom of categorically ruling out military or non-military intervention. No matter whether President Paul would opt to withdraw from WTO, his Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury Departments would have difficulty handling protectionist measures, including currency manipulation, China and some other country would certainly step up. His Secretary of Defense would face equally formidable problems, at home with defense contractors, and abroad with those nations whose Founding Fathers were, unlike their American counterparts, interventionists or even expansionists. Despite all these sticking points, I am inclined to buy into Ron Paul's philosophy because at any rate it precludes him from making America police the whole world with its overstretched troops deployed in 130 countries, let alone with the help of unreliable and overdependent allies such as Japan.
This afternoon, Amazon delivered my rush order for The Revolution: A Manifesto authored by the insightful septuagenarian. According to this book, Paul's
team could raise $4 million online on the single day of November 5, 2007,
and the record in the U.S. elections history was surpassed on December
16 when they could raise more than $6 million. This really indicates Ron
Paul and his colleagues are now gathering momentum for a real change. I
have a hunch that at latest by the time he, as well as myself, turns 85
in 2020, the American voters will send the real change agent to the White
House. It's hard, sort of, to visualize what it will be like under the
Libertarian administration, because we are too used to the false dichotomy
between the Republicans and the Democrats. But if you assume that Ron Paul
will most probably opt to put in place an Internet-enabled model of E-Democracy,
you can somehow envisage what his minimalist government would look like. · read more (182 words)
Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 04:54 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
At long last, the inexhaustible patience exerted by the five member states
of the six-party framework to beg North Korea to implement the first steps
promised on the "epochal" accord reached in Beijing on February
13 looks to be paying off. Today (June 28) International Atomic Energy
Agency Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen and his inspection crew are going
to visit, on a guided tour, one of the key nuclear facilities in Yongbyon to have a look - a look at whatever Kim Jong Il wants to show them.
Now every party thinks all the effort made by Christopher Hill, chief U.S.
negotiator, and his boss Condoleezza Rice, has led to a major breakthrough.
Congratulations to all of these gentlemen and the lady for the job well
done. But I cannot but add: "You have succeeded. But so what?". · read more (339 words)
Monday, January 31 2005 @ 01:30 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
In a matter of weeks we have seen the very idea of democracy tested in
those four countries, with 180-degree different outcomes between Iraq/Ukraine
As for the Yushchenko's Orange Revolution, we saw the Ukrainians acting
as a courageous and mature people with high self-esteem, unlike Russians
who have increasingly been allowing the ex-KGB spy to act like a Czar. As a blogger
with a handle of raulkyyv puts it in his Orange Revolution website, it was quite something in the light of the fact that "millions
of people have died around the world in the past century for much less
than what is at stake here." · read more (566 words)
Tuesday, November 02 2004 @ 10:26 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
As of writing, 11 p.m., November 2 JST, it's still anybody's guess whether
or not the incumbent President, alleged by Michael Moore to have hijacked
the White House four years ago, will be able to hold on to his post for four
more years. So Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will have a sleepless
night fretting about the final result.
On October 26 a militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi took hostage
a Japanese backpacker by the name of Shosei Koda. Their message posted
on a website demanded that Koizumi pull out in 48 hours his Self Defense Forces deployed
The PM's offhand answer to the demand was nothing but automatic and banal.
We heard him use the same old rhetoric he'd borrowed from Bush: "We
will never give in to the terrorists". But to him, never giving in
to the terrorists is one thing and negotiating with them, most probably
dangling a handsome amount of ransom, is another. That's why the Japanese
government was once again looking desperately for a Muslim cleric who was
willing to mediate. But unfortunately al-Zarqawi was not in the mood of
striking a deal this time. · read more (480 words)