Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Have the Flu. "Deadly" Hong Kong Type A. Booga Booga Panic!

The flu is out in Japan and the mass media and big pharma are doing their best to scare us all about this horrible new scourge! Oh my god! Some people have even died this time! Whatever shall we do? In fact, I now have the flu. My lips are bleeding and I have been coughing up blood....

Nah. Not really. But if I were that would make a great movie, eh? I just came back from the doctor and when I told them that I think I have the flu, they all stood at attention and put me in a different room from the other patients!

Wow! I didn't know I was so bad. I just thought I was tired and probably catching something. Didn't have a fever or anything either.

On Saturday I started feeling very tired. I took a few naps that lasted for 3 hours. That's quite unusual for me. I haven't been drinking any alcohol and been on the Raw Food Diet since Jan. 6. I plan on losing weight this year and getting down to the same weight I was when I was 25. I figure that I can do that in six months, no problem. I've done it before!

It's actually quite easy to do, really. With the Raw Food Diet, you don't eat any cooked foods so of course it eliminates breads, pastas and rice... Oh and fermented grains like booze. Of course booz is a no-no. 

The Raw Food Diet is a great diet that I recommend to anyone because you don't have to suffer; you can eat all you want! Just as long as it fresh fruits and veggies that you are munching on.

I've done this diet before and, when I did, even though everyone around me got sick or the flu, I didn't.  But, darn it, looks like this time I did. I don't feel so bad, just a cough sometimes and a fever. I just came back from the doctor and he ordered me not to go outside and spread the flu to others. He said that I have to stay indoors for five days!? Can you believe that? Five days! 

At first, when I heard this, I wanted to go on a vacation somewhere or use the extra time to finish my blog stories about drug rehab, but darned if I'm just not exhausted all the time. I get up and do some work and 15 minutes later I feel like I'm about to pass out and I go back to sleep!

I'm sure that, had I not been on raw food, I'd have felt much worse; As eating cooked food tires your body out and your body needs energy to fight off colds. But, if this keeps up, I won't be doing anything but short posts like this.

Damn you flu virus!

The Daily Yomiuri reports

The number of flu-stricken patients reached about 1.11 million in the week ending last Friday, an increase of about 400,000 from the previous week, according to figures compiled by the health ministry. In the week starting Jan. 16, the number of patients suffering from influenza reported to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry from about 5,000 medical institutions was about triple that of a week earlier. The number of patients per medical institution during that period was 22.73 persons, up from 7.33 persons the week before, according to the ministry. 

Even so, this year I have a mild cases of the influenza, folks do not get flu shots for your babies and small children. They are not safe. This having a headache for a few days and not feeling well is a hell of a lot better than having a child with Autism.

People this age are the only people who should have flu shots

Here, below, the mass media tries to scare people because two ninety some year old folks died from complications associated with the flu. Why is this news?

It used to be that catching the flu, while a serious sickness, did call for patients to be quarantined. I was. Chuckle!

If I can live to be 90-years-old and then get offed by the flu virus, I'd consider that a pretty good deal.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Forget Global Warming - Met Office and East Anglia Climatic Research Unit Show New Data: No Warming in 15 Years

Recent revelations on the weather have cast serious doubt on the Man-Made Global Warming theory or even if the earth is warming at all. In fact, new data just released from the London Met Office show no warming in 15 years.

The Daily Mail has the story:

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997. (emphasis mine)

Abraham Hondius: Looking down the river to Southwark Cathedral. The Thames is frozen in winter and people are walking on it. Signed and dated 1677.

Couple this news with the recent report on Jan 19, 2012 of the coldest day globally in ten years (something that warmists claimed would never happen again after 2003... They also claimed in the year 2000 that snow would be "a thing of the past by 2010) along with the recent Wall Street Journal report of 16 of the world's top scientists also going public to denounce AGW polemic, and you have a Climate science in disarray.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Today on the Collapse of Global Warming Belief

This just out today and signed by sixteen of the world's top scientists.

Here's a snippet from Wall Street Journal:  

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"
In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the "pollutant" carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific "heretics" is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.
Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.
Read more here.

Here are the names and positions of the people who signed this document:

-Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; 
-J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; 
-Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; 
-Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; 
-Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; 
-William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; 
-Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; 
-William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; 
-Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; 
-James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; 
-Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; 
-Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; 
-Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; 
-Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; 
-Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; 
-Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

Emphasis on individuals and titles that should cause alarm for believers in AGW are mine. Follow up counters and rebuttals (Youtube links, etc.) from readers referring scientists who earn their income in studies that obtain grants and financing from Global warming Studies not welcomed (for obvious conflict of interest reasons). 

Read more here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

When People Stop Caring - Stop! Quit and Save Your Life!

I wrote yesterday that artists and writers need to know that love and hate are the two sides of the same coin. It is great if many people love and adore your work. It is good also if people hate your work. If people love or hate your work, that is much MUCH better than if they don't care either way about your work.

If people don't care, that is death. If people don't care then you should stop. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. It's like the advice a wealthy friend gave me once about a dysfunctionate company we were both at when he realized that that company was a waste of time and he quit. He said to me as he was leaving, "Save your life and stop. Start doing something else." 

Then he walked out the door. 

These last 3 days, I have had a feeling of depression somewhere deep in my heart and been under great stress. It's because of that letter I received from the president of the major Japanese broadcasting corporation that I wrote about the other day. This morning, I have decided that I have to take my own advice to stop working with poor management and dysfunctional people and leave that place of business forever.

I had to make a decision. I've made it. 

I should have done it long ago. That ridiculous letter from the president was just another in a long history of absurd things that have happened to me at that company over the years. When you read the story and understand the roots of the problem, you'll know why, as I said, that company loses so much money every year.

And don't think I am merely being bitter about this one station. That is not true at all. I have worked, and still do, with many other stations. I have never seen an organization run as ineptly as today's topic... (Gee, when I put it that way, I must be stupid to have stayed there so long, right? Agreed.)

I have worked in TV and radio since 1985. I have "worked" (in a sense) in the music business since 1978. If you wonder what that means, let me say that I have played music and, while not getting paid enough to support myself, I used to get checks and I was paid to perform. The most I ever received at once was about $1,100 in 1979 or so. Not bad.

When my son was born, I threw away my TV set. It was soon after the Iraq war had started and I was so fed up with the lies on TV. I had to work with TV people because of my job. But I decided that I didn't want to bring these people into my house (and in Japan you have to pay a monthly licensing fee if you own a TV) so I threw them out. I don't want to pay to bring liars into my home.

Soon after that, I quit having anything to do with TV. Even though I own a company that makes TV and radio programs and TV commercials, I do not do that myself anymore but, my staff have families and mouths to feed, I won't stop them from pursuing their chosen career.

Over the years, I have made many radio programs. By far the vast majority have been at a FM radio station in Tokyo. I have a love/hate relationship with this radio station and its people.

Fact is that there is only a couple guys there at that station who are kind and honest. Just a few. Sad.

I don't want to talk about that station too much (anymore) but allow me to spill my guts this time. Please let me give you an example of how people at that station operate. This one example is like many that have happened to me while working for that company. This event happened at least 12 years ago... But, today, it is the same. The names have changed but the way the station operates doesn't.

At the end of the nineties, I produced and co-hosted one of the most famous late-night radio shows in Tokyo. So popular was that show that sponsors approached us and asked if they could become our sponsors! That is extremely rare! The Program Director at that time told me that if I could bring in sponsors, then he would pay me a sales commission. So I did. I brought in the largest record chain in the world as a big sponsor.

The station was doing poorly and losing money. But I wanted to be a part of the "team" and to help out wherever I could so I decided that, after the record store chain became a sponsor, I didn't need a commission. I didn't need extra pay. I wanted to show that I was part of the family - hell, I wanted to be a part of the family - so I wanted to forfeit my commission and give it to the station to show them my heart's feelings.

When I went to see the Program Director to happily tell him my decision, before I could get a word out of my mouth, he rudely snarled at me, "We're not paying you any commission!" And with that he turned around and stormed away without letting me say anything.

I was shocked. I didn't want commission. I just wanted the satisfaction and happiness of telling someone that I was giving them something they wanted. I felt like the small dirty faced boy who looked up and handed the single yellow flower that he had picked to a lady and that person took that flower from him and crushed it under the heel of their shoe in the dirt. As doing so, the evil in their eye showed through, cursing from the snarl of their lips...

I was speechless... "Why was it so necessary to hurt my feelings?" I thought. 

It's a really sad situation when people are so dirty and despicable that they cannot allow people a small moment to share happiness. Have these people no compassion or self-respect? 

Like I said, that was many years ago. I feel like this sort of thing has happened many times. I have brought in many sponsors and yet, I am treated rudely. Forgive me for feeling sorry for myself....

Two days ago, I wrote about a president of a company who wrote me a letter that was just shocking. This isn't sour grapes. His letter wasn't really worthy of an adult and certainly not worthy of one written by a person in an executive position at a large company. I had been writing professional business correspondence to this president, but he wrote back to me a letter that looked like it was written by a 14-year-old complaining about his companies past inter-staff squabbles and fighting. I'm writing about business and he's airing his families dirty laundry out in public - and I hardly even know the guy! 

I couldn't believe it (you wouldn't believe it either. Refer to: Be Professional! Working at a Japanese Company - Any Company - Filled With Low-Quality Dysfunctional People and Management - Don't Do That to Yourself). 

I didn't add to that article one very important point; that this company president would write such an amateurish letter to me is even doubly more astounding when you realize that my company is a sponsor to that station and, while not a massive sum, we spend ¥900,000 (nearly $12,000 a month) on commercials at that station. 


Well, perhaps not so incredible when you look at the past record. I have to be one of the few who have brought sponsors, some huge ones, to that station and yet, whenever I hand them flowers, I feel like they crush them in the dirt in front of my face

Now? What can I do? If I go to war with this child-president, I have every right to cancel all the commercials immediately and without penalty. The story will come out what happened and this president will most likely get into big trouble at his company for writing such an idiotic letter. He could even lose his position if the news got out to famous advertising companies, which it would if we go to war.

But does that do me any good? No. Why?

Because, I can't act like a child like he does or they do. I have to act my age and control my emotions and not seek revenge. I have people working at that station who work for me. Those people are good people and they have wonderful families and mouths to feed. I can't do anything to hurt those people.

There are people on my side, at my company (and inside of our investor - one of the most famous companies in Japan) who are furious about this mail and they want me to take that company president to task. They have every right to think that. After all, if you were paying nearly $12,000 a month and then found out that the person you were paying that money to stated that he didn't want your business and said he didn't want to work with you, wouldn't you want to quit? Of course you would. It is natural and common sense that anyone would. Most people would cancel their cellphone or cable TV service for more minor infractions than that.

But, I can't act like a child like the broadcasting company president. I cannot be like that. So, like I said, I must take my own advice. And, at the same time, this is Japan, I must take personal responsibility for this problem. 

When a business dies or when a team or marriage ends, it is, in a way, a sad day. But, it is also a day for celebration. It is a day of freedom. The chains are removed and you are released. For me, that day has arrived. It is hard for my heart to let go, but let go is the only choice I have.

The other choice is war and war will hurt too many people I care about. I cannot go to war and damage this president; a pyrrhic victory isn't a very good victory at all, is it? The best choice is to be a mature individual and to quietly bow out.

Therefore, I hereby resign for ever doing any work with that company ever again. 

If you ever find yourself in this sort of situation, then take my friend's advice. Walk out the door. There is a better opportunity waiting for you. 

"Save your life and stop. Start doing something else." 

There is a reason for everything.

This was written for T.U. Thanks for everything you've done for me. I won't forget!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be Professional! Working at a Japanese Company - Any Company - Filled With Low Quality, Dysfunctional People and Management - Don't Do That to Yourself!

In one of my jobs, I give advice to major corporations on marketing and promotions. I work with some great folks. Usually, these big companies ask me for advice (or how to get tickets to sold-out concerts - yep. I can even do that!) Sometimes, in order to create new business, I put on my sales hat and approach companies that are in serious need of help. Today's post is about that kind of company; I mean a company in serious need of help. There's lots of companies like that. Here's an example.

The following is a true story. In the last two days, I've had some experiences that are just hilarious and just go to show how dysfunctional the people are who are in the employ of this one particular well known to be hereinafter called, "the Inertia Company" in Tokyo.  Everyone in Japan knows this company but it is not very respected. It used to be. But not today. It once was rich and profitable but, over these last 15 years, due to the Internet and not being able to adapt to the times (think Bronotosaurus), this company has fallen into serious financial troubles and disrepair. After hearing this story as just one microcosm of the whole problem, you'll see why.

It is all I can do to keep from laughing out loud at just how incompetent the employees as well as the upper management are at Inertia. This story would make a funny TV comedy show but, it is so ridiculous that, well, it might be too hard to believe. Here is what happened:

Over the past few months, I have met with the new director of Inertia. The guy before this new director didn't last 3 years. The guy before that one was gone after one year. When companies lose millions of dollars, that tends to create a high turnover rate in manglement... Er, I spelled that wrong, I mean, "management." In spite of the high turnover, like a good trooper, I've been trying to help them all with sales. And why not? Even if I think they are not good management people, if I can help them sell and make money, then I make money. Everyone's happy, right? 

But, with corporations like today's example of Inertia, I think God makes me do this sort of thing as a kind of "purgatory on earth" or, perhaps, to make me a better person and teach me patience. 

The Inertia Company has been losing more than one million dollars a year for the last 3 years. The new director and I met to discuss new ways to create new business revenue streams. In our last meeting, he told me that he, "Totally and completely agreed with my ideas..." and he added that he wanted me to give him "a few months to reorganize the company so that we could move forward with this new way." He also told me to contact him after that time.

Artist's rendition of Inertia Company Tokyo

As an aside, I go to that company sometimes and know that nothing has been reorganized by him since our meeting three months ago. Nevertheless I have been contacting him and trying to arrange a follow up meeting to discuss organization and operational implementation of this new plan.

By the way, I have already sold this new plan that I shared with the new director of Inertia to a few of Japan's most successful and profitable companies. In June of last year I presented it to one of Japan's most respected and profitable corporations and by August 1st, they had fully adopted the plan and now use it to boost sales - which they have done quite successfully - thank you!

Anyhow, over these past few weeks, I have been contacting this gentleman as he asked me to do. I repeatedly sent him very polite and professional business letters discussing items like CRM "Customer Relations Management," and very cost effective digital systems on how to use this new plan to obtain customers. With these notes, I have been asking for follow up meetings.

Finally, I offered him a lunch meeting whereby I could bring one of my top salesmen. This salesman is responsible for bringing this new CRM system to some of Japan's top sports teams whereby they use the system. Actually, using the system to give clients what they want is a no-brainer. I expected the director of this company to set a firm date soon.

That is, until yesterday. Yesterday he sent me a mail that just shocked me. I'd expect a mail like the one he sent me from a junior staff or a newbie or a junior high school student, but from a 50+ year old man who is a director at a company?! Extraordinary!

Here's a flow of the mails so you can get a feeling for the conversation. My mails (a total of four in four weeks) said something like this:

Dear Mr. Director,

How are you today, sir?

As you know, some of the biggest and most influential companies in Japan have just started using the CRM tool I mentioned to you at our first meeting. I'd like to continue that conversation. I know you are terribly busy so perhaps I could meet you over lunch to discuss implementation on how you can use a CRM marketing tool (at no cost) in order to provide your potential clients with the data they need on their users and thereby gain a mutually beneficial business relationship with those potential clients? Won't you please arrange a suitable time so that we can discuss over lunch? I will arrange my schedule to fit yours at any time. Please advise.

Mike Rogers

The director of Inertia dropped my jaw yesterday with his mail. He answered me something along these lines:

Mr. Rojers (sic)

We like you but cannot work with your company. 

We cannot work with you as there is a person at your company who used to work together with us at our parent company. When he worked here, he hurt the feelings of people at that parent company in the past. As you know, people are animals and their feelings do not heal so quickly. Therefore, even though your idea is good, we have no intention of working with your company because of him.

Mr. Director

I was flabbergasted. Here I am writing professional business correspondence, talking about increasing sales for a company that is losing over a million dollars a year, and this guy writes back to me talking about his internal family problems and squabbles! (No big deal, but he even spelled my name wrong!) I mean I talk about money and he starts telling me about his squabbles with brothers who were fighting.

I have no problem with them not working with us. But I'd expect some sort of reply like, "We have decided on another avenue to increase our sales. Thank you for time. Let's stay in touch and perhaps we can work together in the very near future." You know? This is what I'd expect from a professional.... But I am not dealing with professionals. This is like dealing with a room full of kids!

I have never worked at that company and have no idea what he is talking about. I don't really care. The above example is in English, but his original letter was in Japanese. At first I thought I was misreading it. To double check, I showed it to my Japanese wife and she was so surprised too. I mean, really, this is a business letter from the director (president) of a company!? My wife said, "I've never seen anything like that before. Do you think he wrote this letter when he was drunk? He sounds drunk."

I checked the time stamp on the email. I suppose it's possible that he was drunk. I mean, perhaps he was drinking at 11:30 in the morning on a Tuesday. Hell, I could see it. If I were running a company that was losing a million dollars a year, I'd be drinking all the time too!

Like I said, I was so surprised to see this letter. No. "Surprised" is not the word. "Totally and completely dumbfounded and floored" is more like it. I have never seen anything like that before. I'm the kind of guy who doesn't need to like people to work with them. All we need is professionalism and that's fine with me. We don't need to be bosom buddies to make money with them. Isn't that a part of professionalism?

I wrote back and decided that I should ignore his comments about hurt feelings and events that happened years ago. I wrote:

Dear Mr. Director,

Thank you so very much for your honest feelings.

Anyway, in order to implement a CRM system that can help boost your sales (as your competitors are doing and your former sales partners are now doing also) then let me introduce another company that has a similar system to mine. It is not as advanced, but can still do the job better than nothing. This system too, can allow your sales department to sell what the customers need and gain clients.

I am quite sure that there is no one at your company who understands this sort of new system so I can, at anytime, and for absolutely no charge, come down to your company and help tutor your sales folks on how to use this system effectively. Please let me know.

Mike Rogers

And that was that. He didn't answer my mail. I'd imagine that if I had written such a silly letter and then received back a professional "adult" attitude letter, I might be ashamed or embarrassed. But shaming or embarrassing this guy is not my intention at all. My entire intention was to help his company increase sales. I am not interested in his "family affairs" and they are none of my business! I can't believe he'd tell me about them!

Does anyone wonder why the Inertia Company is losing so much money? What a mess! Their president basically said to me, "I don't like you so I don't want to make money with you!" Laughable. How did this guy get to be president? 

Well, maybe I don't like someone like Bill Gates either but I don't have any problem using his stuff to make money for me! (Actually, I am a Apple guy, but you get my point).

And now, after that incredible story, what's the point of all this? How does something like this apply to you? Folks, life is short. If you are in a company like this, get out. After that experience and this absurd correspondence from a company director with the emotional baggage of a 12-year-old I don't want to help them. I hope they don't ask me ever again (they have asked many times!) But fear that they will.

There's lots of companies run by nincompoops like this example above. Companies that are struggling along, barely making ends meet; the yearly sales targets are never met and the mood of the company and the employees goes down. The quality of management sinks and an ever lower standard, and dare I say, IQ? comes in and begins taking the ship to even lower depths. Of course it does. Why? Because the good, talented people see the writing on the wall and get out of these sorts of companies while they can and take better jobs somewhere else. The people who are left over? They are the low quality ones who have no where to go. They have nowhere to go because they are left without gumption, drive, motivation and, sadly, without a clue. They can't go anywhere even if hey wanted to!

When a company is left with low quality people like that where is there to go but down?

People look at a companies like Apple Computer, Softbank or Google and think, "Oh! But they had a good idea and a good product or service!" Sure, that's true. But even more than that, they have good people. They know what it takes to make a good company. After all, what is a good company but a gathering of good people?

A company like Apple is filled with such good high-quality people that even if they didn't sell killer products, even if they sold chopsticks, they could make a profit and a good company. Apple people are like that. Apple could even make ice seem cool! Apple could rebrand ice and sell it to Eskimos!

A bad company like the one above I mentioned? A bad company could take great products like Apple has and they'd soon find some way to turn them into a loser and quickly be bordering on bankruptcy. That's what a bad company is.

Like I said, I work at several different places during the week. I get to see up close and inside of some of the finest companies in Japan and in the world. I've been to Apple Japan, Google Japan, All Nippon Airways, Softbank, Air New Zealand and Recruit, just to name a few, more times than I can count. I've worked with them and organized many promotions with them. I am doing so now.

I've also worked at some of the most dysfunctional and incompetent companies in all of Japan too; like the Inertia Company. I won't bother to mention their real names. Why? It pains me to do so. Why name them? Bashing these poor people is like kicking a mangy disease ridden one legged dog; it's not necessary or desirable at all. I don't even want to touch or get close to them.

That's what this blog post is about; not touching or getting too close to sick companies. Like a diseased animal, you need to stay away from them or you will become like them. For people who are young; for people who want to have a future; for people who want to give their children the best that they can; for people who want to escape and live their life to the fullest, this blog post is for you (and me). Don't take a job with a bad company. If you find that you are with a bad company, then get out as fast as you can.

As a multi-millionaire friend once told me, "Sometimes the jobs you reject are just as important as the jobs you accept."

Of course a job and food on the table is important. But, while you work at that poorly run company, you must make the effort to learn all you can and use your connections to get out and get a better job.

Remember birds of a feather flock together. If you are always working with poor quality and incompetent people you will probably become that way or, at least, be perceived by others as being that way.

So, if you work at a place like the one I described above; get out as quickly as you can. A life is too short having to work in a place where you cannot dream and be your best. Don't do that to yourself.

Find a good company with good people. Have a dream aspire to be the best you can be...

And above all be professional.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Japan's Crisis Has Arrived? Japan Has First Trade Deficit in 32 Years!

The floodgates are creaking. If Japan needs foreign loans to float the government debt, the country is sunk. The other option is to destroy the value of the yen.

Will the Japanese public stand hyperinflation? If interest rates go to just 3% they would consume ALL of Japan's tax revenue. Even doubling the Sales Tax won't help.

Mish Shedlock reports in Japan Faces Moment of Truth:

Japan is in deep serious trouble the moment it enters a sustainable period of negative or neutral current account balances. If Japan becomes dependent on foreigners to finance rollovers on its debt either the Yen sinks or interest rates rise. Interest rates at a mere 3% would currently consume all of Japan's tax revenue.
Bloomberg reported; “Japan’s government said it will probably miss its goal of balancing the budget by 2020 even with its proposed doubling of the sales tax, underscoring the scale of the nation’s fiscal challenges.
The primary budget deficit, which excludes the cost of servicing debt, will be the equivalent of 3.1 percent of gross domestic product for the year through March 2021, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo today. Hours after the release, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reiterated his call for opposition lawmakers to engage in talks on boosting the sales levy.
‘To balance the budget, the rate needs to rise further.’”
What did I tell you the last time I wrote against an increase in Sales Tax? No matter how much the taxes go up, the government will always spend what it takes and, no matter how much it is raised, it will never be enough. History shows us that! When the first Sales Tax came in at 3% in the early 1980s they said that was going to fix the budget problems. Guess what? Surprise! It didn't.

Why didn't it? Because they spent the money!
The article above really goes into how stupid and into the outer limits of insanity the current government of Japan is by stating that there are some who think Japan should have a 25% Sales Tax.
Like I predicted, this prime minister, Noda something or other (no need to remember his name, he is a goner) will be gone this summer. Bank on it.

Instead of raising taxes, how about cutting spending?

A Pig Farm in Beverly Hills and Downtown Tokyo Where Pigs Crap Diamonds - Government Laws Preventing it too!

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." -- Tacitus

There are far too many people living in a fantasy world. There are far too many people who have been brought up under our socialist and nanny state environment for too long, or their entire lives, that they know no different. It reminds me of stories I heard about communist Poland or the Soviet Union in the 1960s: I was told that many people were happy and satisfied with a quarter cube of butter for an entire family once a month because they didn't know any better.

People in our society today think it is normal for people to expect handouts "from the government" or a "free education" or "free medical and health care" or "retirement income."

It's shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone, but, unfortunately it might; folks, few things in life are free anymore. And I don't mean that rhetorically. Not even the air we breathe is free. We get taxed even for that. But they don't call it that. They call it the Clean Air Act

Whatever the government can tax, it will. It's no joke to think that governments have considered how to tax even the act of sex

Of course, they wouldn't call it that. They'd call it something like "Protect the Babies Act" or something like that. When it comes to taxes and government boondoogles everything the government does is named the opposite of what it is actually designed to do. Rick Santelli had a funny rant the other day. He was talking about this very same subject. How about SOPA, the Anti-Piracy Bill? Who could possibly be against fighting piracy? Is there anybody out there who is for piracy? But the law was actually a law designed to curtail our rights of free speech. Or how about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Who couldn't be for protecting the environment? Or the Consumer Protection Agency? Can anybody be against protecting American consumers?

Or how about when Reagan was president and the USA launched a new series of super high speed nuclear tipped missiles that could hit the Soviet Union within 5 minutes and called them, "Peace Keeper Missiles?" 

It's always a diversionary tactic and things are named for the opposite of what they are actually designed for because people are too stupid to put down the TV remote control and read a book to find out what's really going on.

Hey! Am I talking about books again? Yep. Do people read books anymore? No. So that brings me to my next question: What's the difference between a college graduate in the west who doesn't read books and, say, some native villager up in the mountains who is totally illiterate has never even seen a book their entire life? Nothing. Neither of them read books.

Back to that part a while back talking about the government care and "free" medical and education, etc. etc. Listen, like I said, nothing is free. Another big surprise that people in this day and age might find out is that, psst, don't tell anyone but the government doesn't have any of their own money! Yep. That's right. Every single penny the government has is from taxes taken from people like you and me. The government does not own any industry and has no way to create income so they get monies from taxing the working class (that's you and me). So whenever you say that people should, say, get free healthcare, what you are actually saying is that you think you should be taxed to pay for someone else's medical care.

Well, far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money. But, I, for one, have my hands full paying for myself and my family as it is without to paying for someone else's AND have a government office middleman taking a cut off the top for running and "organizing" (I use that term quite loosely) such services. 

It's very simple: the government functions by taking taxes from the working class. In most cases (like, for example, our trash collection services) the government doesn't even run that. It is an job assigned out to a private company, usually on a no-bid contract. Each municipality does it different, but you can bet your bottom dollar that, as no-bid contracts are wont to do, there are favors being handed out.

To think that the government hires and organizes our trash collection services and those guys picking up our trash cans are government employees is another fantasy world which many people seem to believe in... It is much "cheaper" for the government to hire a outside company with outside workers to do it (insurance, employee compensation problems, etc.) and then take a margin off the top for arranging the services. 

I mean, really, sitting at a desk and organizing is what government employees do best. Of course, everyone has seen that and knows it, right? Or has anyone seen that Clark Kent super government employee office worker jetting around town recently?

Yes. In the 1930s, even American students saluted the flag this way

In our modern society people have been so brainwashed by big government and so-called big society that, as I said, they gotten used to this nonsense and think it is normal.

Well, it wasn't normal not that long ago. In the USA, it started in the 1930's with FDR and got greatly expanded and completely out of hand with Lyndon Johnson in the 1960's in America's so-called "Great Society." Nowadays, through years of government run public education, people have come to believe that the state is our benevolent leader and is here to protect us from cradle to grave. 

I won't go into too many examples of how the government protects it's own populace excepting to mention that, in the 20th century alone government's of the world instituted wars that killed over 160 million people

As an aside please don't counter the above paragraph with "diseases killed more people than government!" Yes. That's true. Diseases did kill more. But consider the fact that the doctor who discovered the prevention for a disease like Smallpox, Dr. Edward Jenner, did so in the very late 1700's and he did not work for a government agency. Or French chemist Louis Pasteur who found the Germ Theory of disease and prevention for infectious diseases did not work for the government. In fact, I think you'll find that government employed scientists are usually involved in exploring science for military purposes; not disease and sickness prevention or cure.

But I digress.

Today. Over 1/2 of all American households receive some kind of government assistance. Over 45.8 million Americans are on food stamps. Over 25% of all American children are under the poverty level (Japan has a total poverty level of 15.7%). Both the USA and Japanese government to GDP debt levels are unsustainable and the governments of both countries just keep spending and spending...

Your tax dollars at work

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the government has no money of their own and that the money that they are spending is your money? That money  comes from your pocket? I did mention that? Okay. Thanks. Just wanted to make sure you understood that.

A while back, I had a discussion with a guy who was the typical brainwashed American. He thought that we needed more laws, more taxes and he thought that the government was benevolent and good.  

I told him to consider the notion that "Laws are the anti-thesis to freedom." He scrunched up his face and looked confused.

We were at his house in Den en Chofu overlooking the garden area. Den en Chofu is the ritzy part of Tokyo. Imagine Beverly Hills in Japan and you get the idea. As we looked out from the balcony, he insisted that we needed the government and more laws on the books. This really surprised me as I didn't expect that people who were living upper middle class would want more government control over their lives but I would find out that, to my surprise, he wasn't an independent businessman, he was a government employee and in a sort of public union!

He insisted that we needed the government to make laws like no smoking in restaurants and seat belt laws. I said we didn't. 

In the case of smoking laws, people need to understand the difference between a public building and a private building. A government owned building is a public building, the government can make laws about smoking and rights concerning what goes on inside that building. A privately owned building, like your house, is none of their business. If you want to smoke in your house, or allow others to do so - or not do so - that's your business. If people don't like it that you do or do not allow smoking in your building they can go somewhere else.

Nowhere in the US constitution does it say that the federal government has the power to enact laws pertaining to smoking in privately owned buildings or even that you have to buckle your seat belt (It doesn't say that in the Japanese Constitution either). In America, the individual states might. But the federal government does not. And those go for drug laws and smoking laws and laws concerning prohibition too!

Say your mom and dad work hard all their life and save enough money to quit their jobs and they use their saving to buy a building and open a restaurant. It is their building. They own it. The government has no right to tell them who they can and cannot serve to. If your dad wants to allow his customers to smoke in his restaurant, that is your father's right. The government should make no laws pertaining to that.   

But my friend would have no part of it. He insisted that we needed laws like smoking laws or helmet laws. Like I said, people are indoctrinated by public schooling and taught to not be able to think.

Folks we don't need laws like ones that prohibit smoking in privately owned buildings, or must wear a helmet or ones that say you can't build a pig farm in the middle of Beverly Hills. You know why? Well, I explained about public versus private buildings. Helmets? I think only stupid (or really cool and a tad bit crazy) people would ride a motorcycle without one. (I think I also mentioned something about trying to outlaw stupid.") And pig farms? Well, making a business like a pig farm is a huge investment. I don't think people do it to lose money. Pig farmers are not so stupid. People don't usually start businesses - any businesses - to lose money. 

The government cannot outlaw stupid (though sometimes I wish they'd try!)

Pig farms aren't such high income generating businesses, I suspect. The cost of land in Beverly Hills (or in Den en Chofu, Tokyo) run astronomical amounts. Last I heard Den en Chofu was $120 a square foot! Now, most pig farms are out in the country where land runs about a dollar a foot or so for a reason. It doesn't take much of a mathematician or rocket scientist to figure out that a pig farmer could never afford to make a pig farm in Beverly Hills profitable at those land prices unless those pigs were crapping diamonds.

In which case, the government would find a way to make even that unprofitable with a new tax by calling it something like the "Protect Romance and Precious Diamonds Act of 2012."

So, does anyone think we need laws to stop someone from attempting to make a pig farm in rich neighborhoods? I don't think so.

Things are quickly spinning out of control The biggest problem is most people are walking around like nothing is happening and are hoping for the best. Folks, "Hope" is not a very good business plan nor is it a good plan on how you are going to take care of your family. 

We need to cut down on government and government spending in order to get out of the mess we're in. In Japan's and the US government's case, increasing our debt is not the answer to our debt problems. If the average Joe Blow doesn't start to figure this out really soon, we are in for a world of hurt.

If that happens, then I might like to be a pig farmer and get away from the rat race. I read about pig farming in Charlotte's Web. Now, that fantasy world sounded wonderful.

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