Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Best Christmas Present I've Ever Received - And You Can Give it Too!

Is it just me or are there any others who think the Christmas season in America (Japan too) has become an orgy of crass commercialism? Of course, that is a rhetorical question. I think most people do.

Christmas is no longer is it the heart-warming family get-together tradition of days long gone by. Christmas today has turned into a mad dash towards debt and poverty. It's not only debt and poverty concerning money and lifestyle, it is a poverty of the soul. One need only look at the news about "Black Friday" and the violence to see what Christmas in America has become. 

The only reason we celebrate Christmas at my house is that we have an 8-year-old. I could never be such a Grinch to deny a small boy Christmas.

Whatever happened to just getting together with family and friends and enjoying each others company? It's sad what has happened to the "Season to be jolly."

In that spirit though, I'd like to relate today about a great present I got when I was a kid... It is a present that I have received over and over these past 44 years. That was a wonderful present I received from a classmate of mine when I was a kid in Minnesota. His name was James Rudd and the present wasn't in a box. It was on his face and in his heart. Every time I see a box brightly wrapped as a present, I see Jim Rudd's face and that moment, the spirit of him, comes to visit me and I receive that wonderful gift yet again.

Even though I cannot transport my children into the past by use of a time machine, I want my children to know and experience the true joy of giving and receiving. Towards that end, I always try to relate to my kids the story of James Rudd.

When I was in forth grade, James Rudd, "Jim," wasn't really my good friend. He was a classmate. I am quite ashamed to admit that I think I wasn't very friendly to Jim because he was sometimes bullied by the other kids so, in order to make sure that they didn't bully me, I foolishly joined in in making fun of Jim. Jim was a down to earth dorky kind of kid that might remind you a lot of Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith Show.

 Opie Taylor

In those days, at Christmas time, the kids in the classroom all shared in Christmas festivities by buying one present. The catch was that you didn't know who you were buying the present for! The rules were that each child could buy one gift of no more than two dollars. Each child would wrap the present and bring it to class and put it under the tree. When it came to the last day of school, before Christmas holiday, each child would draw a name out of a hat and receive the present from the person whose name they drew.

I was quite unhappy that I drew Jim Rudd's name because he wasn't "cool" and was kind of dorky (look who's talking!) I think I was so unhappy about that drawing that it showed up on my face for everyone to see.

When I went to the tree to grab the present Jim prepared, Jim came to sit in front of me at my desk. 

In those days, I was a World War II nut. I loved building plastic military models of planes, ships and tanks. Especially German tanks. I thought those were the coolest. Of course, in a class of 30 kids, with each kid buying one present to be selected at random by another child, there was no way to know what you were going to get.

To expect a King Tiger tank was probably setting myself up for a big letdown.

I got that letdown when I opened the present from Jim. It was a plastic model alright, but it was a plastic model of an old Spanish Galleon. I didn't like it at all. I am once again sad to admit that my disappointment probably greatly showed on my face even though I tried to hide it.

But then, after opening the plastic model, was when Jim Rudd gave me the present that he has been giving me every year since then. It was the present that has warmed my heart all these years. It is the story I have told my children repeatedly and am now sharing with you.

With disappointment on my face and sadness in my heart, after opening the present I looked straight into Jim eyes and he looked into mine. With the utmost sincerity and enthusiasm brimming over Jim smiled brightly to me and said, 

"Mike! I hope you like it!"

I could see from his eyes and his words that he meant it from the bottom of his soul. My heart melted and I thought, 

"Gee! What a really sweet, nice guy!"

Mere words on a paper could never express the way I felt at that time. Here was this incredibly sincere boy giving me a present (that he picked himself and thought was really cool) and was hoping that I would like it as much as he did.

He gave me something that he wanted! Not only that, he gave me sincerity, enthusiasm and a warm spirit of friendliness and a feeling that I will never forget until my dying day: With just one smile and six words, he gave me the true spirit of Christmas.

Jim Rudd, you gave me something that I have always remembered and I will never forget it. I recall it every year at every birthday party andChristmas and every gift-giving celebration. I wish I could give such a wonderful gift to someone someday.

I will cherish this memory all my life. And now, Jim, you allow me to share it with others. James Rudd, wherever you are, thank you so much sincerely from the bottom of my heart.... and Merry Christmas!

CBS News Reports that 1/4 of All American Children are in Poverty / Homeless

This is just devastating. What has the American empire brought upon the American people? 16 million children in poverty. Almost 25% homeless.

Not only have the cheerleaders for war and economic bailouts and thievery of the USA brought upon themselves a true hell, it's a hell that's not going to end anytime soon.

This is a gut wrenching video. How could this have happened to the richest country in the world? This just makes me cry. Those poor people!

The timing of this show just drops my jaw. I had just posted a few days ago about the rapid decline of the USA and how people were leaving. Please refer to: People Leaving the USA? The Trickle Becoming a Flood? It's Like 1939 Again.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ron Paul's "Cousin" Wins in Japan! Political Good Old Boys Get Trounced in Osaka Election!

Ron Paul's real cousin didn't win in Japan, but his "ideological cousin" did. What happened in Japan, and what is happening the world over bids well for Ron Paul and candidates who want to tear down the massive Leviathan of government and restore the constitution and get things back to the way they used to be and the way they were meant to be. Read on!

In Osaka, a minor party candidate defeated one that was supported by both the major parties in a mayoral election. Can you imagine that? Talk about David versus Goliath! Read that again: A minor candidate defeated one that was supported by both major parties!

The smell of revival and revolution is in the air! The updated election results are in and the winner received over 60% of the total votes, but here's an article in English for you about it before the election results were posted.

The Mainichi Daily News Reports:

Ex-Gov Hashimoto assured of Victory in Osaka Mayoral Election

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Former Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto is assured of victory in a contest Sunday for the mayoral post in Osaka, Japan's second-largest business center, by defeating incumbent Kunio Hiramatsu, as Hashimoto won support for his proposal to establish an Osaka metropolis with an administrative structure similar to Tokyo's, according to Kyodo News projections.

In a gubernatorial election held the same day to choose the successor to Hashimoto, 42, Ichiro Matsui, a 47-year-old former Osaka prefectural assembly member and Hashimoto's close aide in a local party led by the former governor, is set to win by beating six rivals in the race.

With the two from the Osaka Restoration Association headed toward victory, the election results are expected to stir a national debate on the structure of regional governments in Japan and influence the strategies of major political parties in the next House of Representatives election.

Hiramatsu, 63, who ran for reelection as an independent, was backed by local chapters of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party. Osaka prefectural assembly members of the two parties also supported Kaoru Kurata, 63, former mayor of Ikeda in Osaka Prefecture, in the gubernatorial race.
In the double election, the first held in Osaka in 40 years, Hashimoto's proposal to launch an Osaka metropolis by 2015 was highlighted as the most controversial issue.
The outspoken lawyer-turned-politician argued that his idea will eliminate overlapping administrative services by the prefectural and municipal governments and lead to the rehabilitation of the ailing local economy, with Matsui pushing the proposal in the gubernatorial election.
In contrast, Hiramatsu, a former TV anchorman, opposed the plan, saying administrative efficiency should be improved through the cooperation of each municipality.

Get that? One guy wanted to keep the old system and "improve" it. The other guy wanted to slash that system. The guy who wanted the big cuts in government spending, Hashimoto, won. 

Mr. Hashimoto is the new breed of politician that has arisen in these last few years who is sick and tired of the business as usual, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, school of politics that we have been subjected to for all these years. He is young, passionate and he loves Osaka. He kind of reminds me of Chris Christy (before he went out and endorsed Romney!) He is considered a radical by the old school politicians and political parties as he is trying to actually trim down the size of government - not "reform" it by creating new branches and committees. Hashimoto, in spite of his flaws, is fighting corruption and old boy BS. So, far, many say he's doing a great job. 

In Japan, waste of taxpayer's monies is astounding and gets worse with each new elected official. This has got to stop! (Japan's total debt is 492% of GDP!)  For example, in the area,  there are separate water treatment plants in Osaka. One run by the city and another run by the ward (borough). Their services overlap and waste millions annually. Doesn't make any sense that there can't be just one. The examples of this sort of thing are too numerous to list up. Hashimoto is trying to cut this kind of ridiculous waste. 
The guy he defeated in the race, Hiramatsu, is the epitome of what is wrong with politicians in Japan.
The other point about the majors supporting Hiramatsu and yet still losing losing isn't precedent setting, It's been happening recently in Japan as some people are getting fed up. Minor party candidates have been doing well recently. Independents are growing stronger.

So, Ron Paul didn't win in Japan, but his Japanese Cousin did. This bodes well for Ron Paul and reformer politicians all over the world. If they can win in Japan's staid political arena, they can win anywhere in the world! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Most Amazing One Camera, One Shot, No Editing Music Video Ever Made!

Sometimes, even the Japanese out do themselves. Today I'd like to show you a music video by a band named Polysics. Polysics are completely influenced by DEVO. The music isn't all that great but this one particular video is awesome. This video is just one camera and no editing. The entire video consists of one girl doing what's called "Top Rock" dancing.

Watching this you'll see why I think, when Devo's popularity waned, they should have done what over-the-hill American baseball players do: Go to Japan! They'd still be hugely popular here. Since Devo didn't come here to Japan... The Japanese made their own copy... 

Now, I really loved early Devo, don't get me wrong. But, in many ways, the Japanese version (copy) is better. Here's proof. Judge for yourself.

When it comes to what is known as B-Boying or Break Dancing, the Japanese are often disparaged as having no rhythm. Quite often, even I think this too. But, then again, I guess the Japanese are no worse than Caucasians (of which, explains why I'm a real loser when it comes to music and dancing; I have zero rhythm since I am half Japanese and half Caucasian!)

Scene from "I Me Mine" - See this awesome video below!

But then again, every once in a while, I see something that the Japanese do (usually a sort of copy) that really impresses me.

Today I want to introduce a Japanese Rock band called that Polysics. No, I am not that impressed with their music at all. I was a big Devo fan in their early days and the Polysics remind me of another Japanese band from the early 1980's called the Tokyo Plastics; so the Polysics do not strike as doing anything new at all.

But they did make a series of videos (with one especially) that really impressed me to this very day. The song is called "I, Me, Mine" and the original video for it has over 1.4 million views in Japan. This is great for a Rock band that is definitely considered a band with a cult following at most.

This guy also does a wild Michael Jackson in the second video!

The girl (and guy) in the video is doing what oldsters like me might call Breakdancing, or B-boying, but I gather that it is actually a sort of Top Rock or Freeze dancing. The girl is amazing. The most amazing part is that their are no cuts or edits in this first video. Watch it. This is awesome!

Here is a different version that I wish would have featured only the guy. He's great too! From about 1:09 he starts up with the hilarious Michael Jackson stuff.

Pretty cool, eh? It just goes to show that the Japanese are excellent at conceptualism. While they might not be so great at new ideas, they are sometimes masters making old ideas so much better.... And I would say that the girl dancing is very sexy... But I guess I shouldn't say I think Japanese High School girls are sexy. I save that for Andrew at "It's a Wonderful Rife".

I think these are the best songs and video Devo  NEVER made!

This blog post was originally made in August of 2010, but the original video keeps getting deleted from Youtube. This one won't get deleted. Enjoy!

Keywords: Devo, Polysics, B-Boying, high school girl, Mike Rogers, Polysics, Marketing Japan, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, Break Dancing

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jyoubachi - Japan's Best New Rock Group?

The band's name is Jyoubachi. In Japanese it is: 女王蜂 That translates to "Queen Bee" but George Williams, the top Vee Jay in Japan tells me that he doesn't think the Japanese name is queen bee... Oh well, if George doesn't know then I don't know who would. 


From what little I know about this band is that they are fronted by a trans-sexual lead singer. Their online biography mentions nothing of this and says:

Ziyoou-vachi is a 4-piece rock band from Japan. They 
formed in Kobe in 2009, and after playing together 
for about a year they were chosen to play on the 
extremely selective "Rookie a Go-Go" stage at Japan's 
mammoth Fuji Rock festival. Their performance there 
caught the ears of Japan's rock fans, but what really 
brought them to prominence was a landmark gig at 
a secret party held by the fashion brand Hysteric 
Glamour last November. After that night, they became 
the talk of Japan's fashion cognoscenti.

In March of 2011, they started selling their first 
self-recorded CD-Rs at live shows. Those discs, "The 
Mad Princess" and "The Wrath of the Royal Family", 
quickly sold out, and allowed the band's label Ziyoou 
Records to release their next recording "Witch Hunt" 
nationwide. And now they'll put out their major-label 
debut on Sony Music Associated Records in Fall 2011. 
The night she announced their decision to sign with a 
major, bandleader Avu-chan decided to share the 
band's reasoning, which was basically that they'd "get 
to wear way more awesome clothes" and "push to even 
further levels of excess." That should give listeners some 
clue as to what sort of debut to anticipate.

The song I've picked for you today is called 待つ女 (Woman in Waiting)

Jyoubachi - Woman in Waiting

The shooting and violence reminds me of the Dead Weather's "Treat Me Like Your Mother" but it is different and fresh enough not to bother me with too much similarity. I hate it when I can say, "This band reminds me of (this or that) band."

Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother

Thanks to Ken Nishikawa

People Leaving the USA? The Trickle Becoming a Flood? It's Like 1939 Again.

"The chickens have come home to roost" - Malcolm X

I had many reasons for leaving the USA and moving overseas. One of the big reasons was, because of traveling outside of the USA a lot, especially in university days, I began to realize that the story (brainwashing) about the USA being the "Greatest country on earth" (that we were all exposed to throughout our youth in school) wasn't exactly true. 

The propaganda involving American exceptionalism and how "we are different (better)" certainly wasn't true either.

Many people's of the world are proud of their countries (rightly so) and think they are living in the best country in the world... I've met lots of those outside the USA. Before I had met these people, I was under the impression that everyone was desperately trying to find a way to escape their country and get to the USA... 

Maybe trying to escape to the USA was the dream of most people during World War II. It's not that way today. In fact, it's definitely become the opposite of that today; American people are trying to leave the USA. 

I notice that, over this last year or two, this trickle of folks escaping from the USA has gotten bigger and bigger. Of course, the MSM doesn't report it. MSM only reports about important things like what kind of spray tans the stars use, but the fact that entire web sites and blogs, (like my favorites, International Man, or Dollar Vigilante) as well as many other online and offline publications that have popped up supporting expatriation or diversifying out of the dollar, shows you what I told people in the early 2000's: People who can read the writing on the wall are getting out of the USA. 

"Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home 
is to be charged against provisions against danger, 
real or pretended from abroad." 
James Madison in a letter to Thomas Jefferson

I warned people about that just after the Invasion of Iraq. My friends scoffed. I doubt that they scoff anymore (or maybe they are still clueless or in denial).

Anyone who studied any sufficient amount of history should have seen the parallels of what happens to a country that wages wars of aggression to what that means for the domestic populace. I certainly wasn't the only one who saw it coming. My example was the historical record of the smart Jewish people and some wealthy and educated people leaving Germany and Europe before 1939. By Sept. 1, 1939, even those who wanted to leave, couldn't.

I knew what was going to happen. Many others did too. That the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were a precursor to today problems in the USA should have come to no surprise to anyone. Of course these types of foreign adventures and wars of aggression lead to a collapse of society; they always have throughout the course of human history. To think that these incidents and wars would not lead to the current US debt, economic problems and a loss of freedom is foolish. To think that foreign wars would not lead to a suppression of the people and a rise of the police state is to ignore history... These economic problems and despair, and other recent examples such as the police beating of OWS protesters were completely predictable (they'll get much worse too!) Or, even this wonderful tidbit about how well life in America is today from Reuters this surprises no one:

A shopper pepper-sprayed other bargain hunters and robbers shot at customers to steal their Black Friday purchases, marring the start of the U.S. holiday shopping season, according to authorities.

Up to 20 people were injured after a woman used pepper spray at a Walmart in Los Angeles to get an edge on her competitors. In a second incident, off-duty officers in North Carolina used pepper spray to subdue rowdy shoppers waiting for electronics.

A man was in critical but stable condition after being shot by robbers in a parking lot outside a Walmart In San Leandro, California, at 1:50 a.m. (0950 GMT), Sergeant Mike Sobek said.

The man was in a group of men headed for their car after shopping when robbers confronted them and a fight ensued, Sobek said. The man's shopping companions held down one of the robbers until police arrived and took him into custody.

What's the problem here, officer? Boys will be boys. If you guys can pepper-spray peaceful protesters then why can't this lady pepper-spray a pack of insane and possibly dangerous shoppers out buying crap? I mean, think about it, anyone who would get up early and line up at a Walmart to buy cheap made in China junk must be insane and dangerous... At least dangerous to themselves!

I can write this sort of critique of the USA today, but even 7 years ago, when I wrote about how bad the USA was becoming, in America is Bankrupt, I received lots of hate mail and even a few death threats. Today, from seeing so many different writings and publications on the Internet along the same lines as what I wrote about, talking about USA expatriation is no longer laughed at, but seriously considered by those who matter.

In fact, the window has almost closed, folks. If you can get out now, you should. You won't be able to so easily in the near future. 

Jeff Berwick recently wrote an article entitled, "Escape From America":

Recently I was surfing the internet and reading some of my favorite writers and thinkers when something dawned on me. I read articles or interviews with the following people – all of whom I respect and enjoy their viewpoints – in approximately the following order:
  • Marc Faber, The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report
  • Doug Casey – Founder, Casey Research
  • Jim Rogers – American investor and author
  • Jim Willie – Hat Trick Letter
  • Dudley Baker – PreciousMetalsWarrants.com
  • Fred Reed – Author
Can you name something which they all have in common?
If you said that they are all top writers or speakers about free markets and/or precious metals you'd be correct. But that isn't their only similarities.
They also all have expatriated from their country of origin. After having read seven articles in a row I realized that every person I was reading has already defected from the USSA or other similar western countries.

Like I said, the smart people have gotten out. 

It is not unusual to write about these things today. It was risky to do so seven years ago... But when I first decided to move here to Japan in the early 1980's, there was no one that I could tell my fears to... In those days, if you had told anyone that you believe that the USA was way overstepping its authority and turning into the new Nazi state, American people would have thought you were nuts. 

Probably most foreigners, the world over, would have just nodded their head and said, "What took you so long to figure that out?"

To recall an experience when I was working at a company office before I came to the USA allows me to exemplify one case of just how twisted the modern American mindset has become. This is the case of the US invasion of Grenada. For me, this was a quick preview of what was coming for the USA. I didn't like it at all.

Ronald Reagan was the president of the USA. He had won by a landslide against Jimmy Carter in 1980. The US invaded Grenada in 1983. 

In 1981, I had started working at a Prudential district office as a salesman / broker. The other salesmen were nice guys and most of them were typically at least 20 ~ 30 years older than me and many of them were ex-military men. 

One day when I came to the office they were drinking and having a celebration. I walked in and it was a happy scene.  A few dozens guys drinking and eating and having several "toasts" to whatever it was they were toasting. When they saw me they shouted, "Mike! Come on in! Have a drink! We're celebrating!"

I grabbed a drink and was very happy to join the party! "Wow! Drinking at work? Cool!" I then asked, "What are we celebrating?"

To which several guys smiled and said to me, "We won a war!"

"What war?" I replied. 

A very nice older guy named Jim Cline said, "We invaded Grenada and won a war! The Vietnam war is over! We've won!"

At first, I was happy. But then it dawned on me... "What the hell are we doing invading some Caribbean nation and half these people don't even know where that is?"

The MSM was reporting that we invaded that island nation to save US university students... Then the story was something about 5,000 Cuban regular army on the island building an airport... There were so many excuses. (sounds like Iraq?)

Later, I went to the public library and found out some truths. First off, if you are Cuban, everyone is in the army so 5,000 "Cuban regulars" means about 600 Cuban soldiers, their wives and their 8 kids. The University students were never in any danger and that the UK and several other nations severely protested the US action as US imperialism (Nah! Couldn't be! We're the good guys, remember?) and that a US puppet government was put into power. So much for being the good guys. 

Wikipedia says:

While the invasion enjoyed broad public support in the United States, and received support from some sectors in Grenada from local groups who viewed the post-coup regime as illegitimate, it was criticized by the United Kingdom, Canada and the United Nations General Assembly, which condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law".

I remember thinking that everything the US media was telling us about this naked aggression was a complete lie. I remember thinking, 

"Hey! We're supposed to be the Land of the Free! We're supposed to be helping people and spreading democracy (and I don't mean from the barrel of a gun). We're not supposed to be invading other countries!!!"

The writing was on the wall for me. I hated my job and, because I studied television and media in university I understood how this brainwashing business worked (thanks Mr. Al Miller). I could see what kind of right wing America we were heading for. I was surprised that no one else saw it coming, it seemed to me.

I was still young, cocky and believed I could do anything I wanted. 

And I wanted to be free. I left the US police state. Now there are many following. 

I do feel vindicated. I feel sorry for those in the USA who fail to see what's coming. I am still, to this day, astounded that even university educated people (like my family) in the USA support the vast US empire and military industrial complex. Their day of reckoning is almost here.

Just today, another article appeared on Lew Rockwell about how bad things have gotten in the USA. Please refer to: Be Thankful if You Were Not Born in the US:

.....Inside their borders, as Americans get tazed, pepper sprayed, beaten and caged on a regular basis, they are beginning to realize that the land of the free and home of the brave was a catchy jingle from centuries ago. It is now the land of the fee, home of the slave.
Today, as the American government works to erect a wall and conducts unmanned drone flights on the border with Canada, many in the US are awakening to the fact that they are becoming trapped.
The US Government has even made it so all student debt is now completely inextinguishable in bankruptcy... meaning that for students who wasted 4-8 years of their life getting what is often a worthless piece of paper and six figures of debt, they will be enslaved for life and, as we are predicting at TDV, will be forced into the military to pay off their obligations.
In an erstwhile change of fortune, what was once the best place to be born, between 1623-1970 has now become one of the worst. Only those born in North Korea and Cuba, and a handful of other despotic regimes, can be said to be much worse off.....

It's 1939 again... Excepting the fascists have taken control of the USA. 

Get out while you still can.

US Government Hypocrisy. Watch this: 

NOTE: Thanks to T. Foley for part of this article's inspiration. T graduated from a top class California University at Santa Barbara. I used to think he was an intelligent guy... That is until he was totally "Gung-ho!" for the Iraq invasion and actually told me before that fiasco started, "We'll be in and out in 4 weeks!" ... I totally lost respect for him and the rest of the "Gung-ho!" people he associated with then. Here were people who were university educated and vehemently anti-Vietnam war just  a few years before, but then, at that time, they suddenly became cheerleaders for the US military machine? Extraordinary!

Proof that the US education system has totally gone down the shit can when university educated people cannot see through the lies and propaganda techniques developed in the late 1930's by the Nazi's (use of "Bandwagon") and identified by the Institute of Propaganda Analysis in the USA... I'll even bet these guys don't know that the Germans invaded Poland in 1939 because the Poles attacked Germany in the Gleiwitz incident first! Nazi Germany was merely defending itself from "terrorism"... Ahem...

Not only are these people tools of the state, they are now reaping what they sowed.

Hope you guys enjoy the garden you've planted. 

Japanese Post Office Approves Licking Soft Porn Idols AKB48 on the Behind!

Now, every guy in Japan can satisfy their wettest of dreams licking the girls in AKB48 in the ass. Well, maybe not every guy, but definitely by every pervert and geek in Japan. For the most disgusting news and proof of the decline of Japan, read on.... 

In another attempt to show people the easy way shore up the flagging fortunes of business, the Japanese postal service shows everyone a novel idea in how to come out of a deep of a mountain of debt! The Japanese Post Office has announced that they've steeped to new lows and will release postage stamps with AKB48 on them. 

So now even you can lick these girls on their behinds!


Oooh! Yeah! Makes me uncomfortable and sweaty just thinking about it. 

Kyodo News reports:

Japan Post Network Co. is taking orders online and at post offices across the nation for stamp sheets featuring AKB48, the popular all-girl pop group, for distribution in February.
The sets feature the group's Team A, Team K and Team B versions on a made-to-order basis and cost ¥5,700 each. They include seal-type ¥50 stamps plus postcards and letter sets.


After accepting orders online through Jan. 9 and at post offices through Jan. 6, Japan Post will send out the sets starting Feb. 1.
Japan Post said it will hold a drawing in which customers can win postcards with members' original autographs.
I remember when I was a kid, I collected stamps (until I figured out that pieces of paper had no intrinsic value and started collecting silver). This would definitely make me stop collecting stamps! I'll be all these pervert dorky Japanese guys who couldn't get a girlfriend if their life depended on it, will buy a set or ten.
Not only will these turkeys buy the sets, they will never use them and just keep them.
The post office knows this and knows they can make a bunch of money for little work. Just print up a bunch of stamps that people will want to collect for their "future value" (cough cough) and there you'll have dumb people just giving you money.
Of course, any other beautiful design idea submissions will be cheerfully "considered."

In spite of my negative reviews, I think this is a much better idea than raising taxes. If the post office has it figured out this far, makes you wonder why the government can't keep doing more things like this to pay for reconstruction after the Tohoku disaster.
I do understand that the Japanese Postal Service is "privatized" but there's gotta be a way for them to get together to work out a deal for reconstruction...
After all, this issue of AKB48 stamps proves a few things:
1) Just when you thought it would be impossible to do, Japanese music, incredibly, gets worse.
2) As a reader recently pointed out that Japanese kids are no longer interested in western culture as they no longer desire to study English, Japanese society and culture is crumbling.
3) Japan is still a rich country.
4) There's still a sucker born every minute (in this case, a "licker"?) 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Debt in Japan Actually 492% of GDP! UK 497% of GDP!

That's right. You read that title correctly. A chart released by the giant blood sucking vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, says that when you combine "government, business, banking and household debt, the true scope of a country's obligations." This chart is truly shocking. 

But first, watch this video of a sinking ship and you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about here:

You back? OK. Well, the video is relative because, first; the passengers are oblivious to dangers coming (the passengers represent us "the people"). Second; when the ship started sinking, the captain and crew were splitting. The captain & the crew represent our politicians and bankers.

Not a pretty picture. People going along, as usual, in their ignorant bliss. The "leaders" knowing full well what's going on but trying to get out with what they can, while they can! The only difference between the sinking ship and the economy is there won't be any rescue coming for us.

While the entire world watches Greece and Italy, it seems, from looking at this chart, the real action is the UK, Japan, Spain and France. 

Business, government and household debt in Japan show a 492% of GDP problem for Japan. The tax and spend days are coming to an end soon in Europe, the USA and, of course, in Japan. 

This entire house of cards is going to collapse around our heads. When the collapse does come, it will come suddenly. Hope you have cash readily available and at least a few weeks of food and water ready. Because when the crash does come, stores will be empty in a matter if a few hours - if it takes that long. 

A reader sends in this video. Kyle Bass on the BBC saying that Japan is "next": 

Thanks to Zerohedge: http://www.zerohedge.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Japan

Sorry for the misleading title. There is no Thanksgiving in Japan. Well, not at least, at most folks homes. We have turkey around this time at my house every year, though.

I just received an email from my dear uncle who lives in North Carolina, USA. As older folks do, he told me of his ills and he also wished for us to have a good Thanksgiving.

Thanks uncle. I hope you and aunt have a healthy and happy holiday season.

Like I said, there is no Thanksgiving in Japan but we have a turkey. We had ours yesterday. We have it every year on 11/23 which is some sort of Japanese holiday. Japan has a lot of holidays. American people think they take it easy, and they do, but Japan has holidays all the time. 

Most foreigners, like me, know that the day is a holiday, but we have no idea what the holiday is. Japan has holidays for old people, working people, children, the emperor's birthday, first day of winter, perhaps summer and besides newspaper holidays, we have a holiday for newspapers (or at least, that's what I thought it was!) 春分 is Shunbun (Vernal equinox). 秋分is Shuubun  (Autumnal equinox). 新聞 is Shinbun (newspaper) so when I first heard "Shunbun no hi" (first day of spring) I thought people were saying "Shinbun no hi" (newspaper day).  Get it? Shunbun, Shuubun and Shinbun. They all sound the same! "Newspaper day? What a bizarre holiday!" I thought (Don't think I'm so stupid, many foreigners thing the same thing! Or is it just that all my friends are as dumb as I am?)

The problem with Japanese holidays is that everyone goes on vacation at the same time too. So, during holiday season, the best place to be is home. Hopefully one's home isn't so crowded (though, sometimes, two people can be a crowd!)

Japan doesn't have a Thanksgiving because the Japanese didn't wipe out a bunch of Indians and then try to cover their tracks by making a Holiday that looks like white man and the Indians were good old buddies. They weren't. In Japan there were no Indians but the Japanese also had their little expeditions in Okinawa several hundred years ago and in Ezo (now Hokkaido) a few hundred years ago... So if the Japanese did have a Thanksgiving, I suppose, instead of a turkey, they roast a fish or something. 

Also, space is a premium in Japanese homes so no one has a big oven like they do in the USA. We have an oven though. A 14 pound turkey is really about as big a turkey as our oven can take. So that's what I roast for the family every year.

I wrote back to my uncle and told him that I roast a turkey every year. I also mentioned that I do this because I want my children to recognize that there are some good things from America and nice traditions that I'd like them to know about. Christmas is celebrated all around the world.

Thanksgiving is, just about, the only tradition from America that I do want them to know about.

Thanksgiving is nice because there are no presents. You don't feel like you have to buy any presents for people you don't really like (so you wind up buying some junk or cologne at the last minute). Or some other occasions when you have to get together with people you don't like either.

Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Japan. But we get together and enjoy good food with family and friends...

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

May the holiday season see you and yours healthy and prosperous.


PS: We always eat and drink too much on 11/23 in Japan... Well, exactly speaking we eat too much on that day. I drink too much everyday!

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