Saturday, February 15, 2014

Global Warming and Increasing Co2 Dump Nearly 9 inches (22 cm) of Snow on Tokyo in Less Than 24 Hours


Global Warming and Climate Change have become the critical issue of our times. The changes are coming quicker and quicker. The last 24 hours makes two weeks in a row that Tokyo has set records for snowfall in February. I'm now convinced! The government must increase our taxes so that they can fix the climate like they've fixed our economy. 

From Tokyo Today: 3 dead, 494 injured as heavy snow hits most of Japan:

TOKYO — The heaviest snow in two decades struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan on Saturday, leaving three dead and nearly 500 others injured in 29 prefectures, reports said. More than 740 flights were grounded as the weather agency issued a severe storm warning for the capital, while more than 40,000 households lost power. As much as 22 centimeters of snow was recorded Saturday afternoon in Tokyo, topping 20 centimeters for the first time since 1994, the meteorological agency and news reports said.

Catch that first line. Let me repeat it for you:

The heaviest snow in two decades struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan...

Let me repeat if for you in bold type letters:

The heaviest snow in two decades struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan...

Well, I'm not sure about all of Tokyo and most of Japan, but I am sure that this is the most snow I have ever witnessed in the Tokyo Yokohama area in 30 years and....

My back patio... I guess there's no BBQ nor lounging around there today!

It's the first time in 15 years of living here that there has been so much snow that I cannot open my front gate. This makes massive snow storms now two weeks running...



Well, OK, I did force the front gate open and took these photos for you. This is my front patio area.



THis is up the street. Don't worry lady, they aren't coming to pick up the trash today! Not in this heavy snow, they aren't... This makes two Saturdays in a row for that too! 


Don't worry lady, no trash pick up today!

Maybe I should get my car out from under the snow...



... So that I can drive around and take photos for dear reader of the winter wonderland...



But, then again, maybe I won't be taking the car out. Nobody else will either, even if they have snow tires... No one is going anywhere in this snow.

As everyone knows, and it goes without argument, consideration or debate that, Global Warming (now called "Climate Change") causes the world to get warmer and colder.

Some will claim that 95% of the World's Scientists All Agree that the world is getting warmer and it is the fault of man. How could any thinking person argue with this?

As a simpleton drunk, with extensive experience with snow and cold, I do have a problem with this or that. But who am I to argue with consensus? 

Full disclosure: I lived most of my childhood in Minnesota and never remember it snowing heavily when it was warm. But what do children know? We need to fix this problem for the children! 

....Like we've fixed everything else in today's world! Ask yourself: "Haven't we done enough?"

UPDATE FROM RT NEWSThe snow blanketed Tokyo with 27 centimeters of snow on Saturday morning, local media said, adding that it the heaviest snowfall the capital has seen in 45 years. While Kofu in the Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, saw a record snowfall of 91 centimeters since observations began 120 years ago. (rt.com/news/record-snowfall-hits-japan-202/)

Read here about 31,000 scientists as well as 9,029 with PhDs, who think the earth is flat here.


Last night... The photos I took this morning were after the snow had already started to melt. 
Photo thanks to Michio Hashimoto

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sex Pistols Glen Matlock, Neatbeats and More in Tokyo


Glen Matlock, the original bassist for the Sex Pistols was in Tokyo the other day. Glen was kicked out of the band for Sid Vicious back in the day. I figure that's because Glen can actually play and play well! Lots of people don't know this, but Glen wrote the Sex Pistols hit song, "Pretty Vacant." 

First I went to meet Glen at the radio station. Then I went to see him live and make a promotional video for one of his songs. Both events were pretty cool and I'm glad I went.


Glen is a nice guy

I actually did have coffee with Glen... But that's not my coffee...

The video isn't even close to being done yet. I expect to have it within a few weeks.

The Glen Matlock show was a great show. It featured a bunch of really cool Japanese bands. One that was on the bill that really surprised me was the N'Shukugawa Boys. I really like this band. Here is their hit video  "Monogatari ha Chito Fuantei" (I guess that translates into: "The story is a little bit shaky.")



But the band that really impressed me at the entire show was an Osaka band called, "The Neatbeats." Totally faithful sixties beat music and these guys were awesome musicians (as well as being funny as hell!)


Oh, well, yesterday and today it snowed in Tokyo.. The Mainichi Daily News writes: "...the heaviest snow in the Japanese capital since February 1994 and the fourth largest snowfall since World War II..."
This is the most snow I have ever seen in Tokyo in 30+ years of living here

Last year we had the coldest winter in 24 years. This year we have the most snow in 20 years... (and heading for what could be the coldest winter in more than 24 years). Question: This trend points to a what trend?

a) Warming trend
b) Cooling trend

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Anti-Crime (Anti-Yakuza) Laws in Japan Completely Insane - Yakuza gangsters (or those suspected of ties) can't play golf, go to Disneyland, eat McDonald's or order Domino's Pizza either! Idiotic laws!

(Reprint from July 2013)

I've railed repeatedly on the idiotic laws in this country concerning the Yazuka gangsters, prostitution, gambling, drug laws and other areas of wasteful public spending trying to control morality, and other victimless "crimes," but today I found one more law that just takes the cake.

Before, someone pointed out to me that the Yakuza are allegedly involved with human trafficking, and I think that the Japanese police might be useful in putting a stop to that. But, like in yesterday's article about arresting a restaurant owner because his girls (supposed waitresses) were sitting down at table and talking with customers, I think the laws on the books are absurd. Trying to stop Human Trafficking? Well, okay. Stopping victimless "crimes"? No.

Please refer to: Police Raid Clubs in Tokyo Hosted by Porn Stars ad Arrest Managers - More Nonsense From the Police and Wasting Tax Money - Yes, There are Photos. Why Do You Ask?

On February 24, officers took managers Yuji Isa, 51, and Hiroaki Kato, 30, and two other employees of club Pippi, located in the Roppongi and Shinjuku entertainment areas, into custody for allowing female staff members to sit and serve at the same table as customers — a violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses.

I thought that must be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of; arresting managers because waitresses are sitting down on the job and talking to customers! 

Like I said, "I thought that must be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of." Well, it's not. I was wrong. It's not even close to the stupidest thing. Today's topic is the stupidest thing... 


"Arrest that woman and bring her to me for proper disciplining!"

The asinine laws that went into effect last October make "associating with Yakuza" a crime. Yes, yes, blah, blah... But what does, "associating with Yakuza" mean? I checked Merriam-Webster dictionary for "Associate" it said:

Associate: (transitive verb)
1) to join as partner or friend
2) to join or connect together
3) to bring together into a relationship in any of various intangible ways (as in memory or imagination)

Ah! Number 3 is the tricky one; intangible ways, eh? So, if you are living outside of Japan, and I live here and if you and I were to meet, you could associate me with the Yakuza because the Yakuza are from Japan too! See how this works?

Under these new laws, obviously written by people with the intelligence of chimpanzees, "associating with a Yakuza" is not limited to things like you being a card-holding gang member or their "friend" and hanging around with them at the billiard room; it's not limited to your driving in their getaway cars while they rob banks or standing around as look out while they have "a problem in communication" and wind up roughing up uncooperative, er, "customers." It means that if you suspect that someone is a Yakuza, yet you treat them like anyone else, you could be fined or sent to prison.

Here I am with Beat Takeshi, arguably Japan's most famous TV/movie star. Beat Takeshi played a Yakuza in a movie. That means, under the definition of 
"associated" that he has "something to do" with the Yakuza, right? And, since, I took this photo with him, I am "associated" too!

No. I am not making that up. Think about that for a minute. What does that mean?

Let's say you run a, say, flower shop and you get a telephone order to deliver flowers to someone, if you know or suspect that the person is a Yakuza, and you fill that order, you could be in violation of the law and subject to arrest and penalties.

Don't believe me?

Testosterone Pit reports in, "No More Golf or Pizza for the Yakuza":

Tokyo's organized crime exclusionary laws went into effect in October—and they're already wreaking havoc. The laws criminalize doing business with bōryokudan ("violent group" or colloquially yakuza). In an ingenious twist, paying off the yakuza in an extortion racket is also a crime. Now restaurants have to stop paying protection money. Even victims of blackmail—hush money is an outright industry in Japan—commit a crime if they pay.
First, there's a warning. But if violations persist, authorities will add the business or person to a public list of perps who have a "close relationship" with the yakuza. Instant loss of face. And then the financial nightmare: customers flee, banks shut their doors, government agencies won't renew licenses, office leases get terminated—all based on the organized crime exclusionary clauses in their contracts. Individuals may lose their jobs, as comedian and TV host, Shimada Shinsuke, found out.
If contact with the yakuza continues despite all this, a person risks up to one year in the hoosegow and a fine of ¥500,000 ($6,400).
It hit the golf industry hard.
“If customers are yakuza, we ask them to leave even if they're in the middle of playing," said the general manager of Akabane Golf Club (Mainichi newspaper article in Japanese). He is also the chairman of the Council of Golf Clubs for the Expulsion of Organized Crime in Tokyo. How would he know if someone is a yakuza? "We refer the names of suspicious people to the police,” he said.
And the pizza delivery industry is in uproar. 
"We don't know if the address we deliver to is the place of a yakuza," said the Delivery Business Safety Driving Council. But don't panic. "One or two pizzas are OK,” the Council said, “but delivering a huge amount of pizza, knowing that the customer is a yakuza is a no-no." They're planning to invite police officers to a study meeting with restaurant owners.

Jesus! Is this dumb, or what? Are we living in Nazi Germany or, even worse, the United States? The guy who said, "How would he know if someone is a Yakuza or not?" is completely correct. It's not like underworld organization members wear a uniform everywhere they go or dress on the field like baseball players do. 

Also, since when is it the duty of the pizza delivery guy or a privately run business to determine if someone is a gangster or not? What if the Yakuza guy's wife or kids answer the door? I don't think most kids have a clue as to what daddy does at work, especially in this country.

Delivered to you in under 30 minutes or you're under arrest!

Have you ever seen the 2001 movie Traffic? That was the movie with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. She was the wife who had no idea that her husband was a drug trafficker and had gangland ties. Well, you know, it's not like people brag about being a Yakuza. Sure that was just a movie but that part is completely realistic. Most people who are involved with illegal activities don't advertise... Funny that. Whether those activities should be illegal or not is another story.

I'll bet many children, and some wives, of Yakuza might suspect but are not sure what "Daddy" does when he goes to work. I am pretty confident that when he comes home to relax he doesn't tell them, "Yeah, today was a tough day at gangster HQ. I had to break the knee-caps and elbows of three different people! Three! Can you believe it? Boy, I'm beat!"

These laws are idiocy. Total and complete idiocy.

I have also read somewhere else that this is actually a case of Japan's Amakudari whereby retired government officials, after retiring, take cushy jobs in the private sector. These new laws are actually designed to help those retired people (in this case retired formerly high ranking police officers) take jobs as a sort of "legal advisor" to privately run corporations to advise them as to how to handle the new laws. So they are, actually, a scam.

That makes sense to me. It makes sense because these laws are too stupid on their own to not have some sort of ulterior motive. There can be no other logical explanation for coercing the public and private businesses into supporting your local police department.

As government is wont to do, they will create a crisis where none exists and thee use that crisis as a way to get money. That's what government's do. In fact, it seems that is the only thing government is efficient at doing. 

Ticket scalpers selling concert tickers! Heavens! How will we stop this crime wave? 
(I know! Anyone who would buy a ticket to a Bon Jovi concert,
whether real or counterfeit, should be shot anyway!)

In the future I guess we'll have to show ID to prove that we're not gangsters in order to get a pizza or burger delivered to our door. Also to reinforce the point of how stupid this actually is, forget about deliveries; what happens if a gangster looking guys walks up to a counter at a McDonald's and orders a burger? Is the 18-year-old clerk to determine if he is a possible criminal or not?

God! his is so stupid on so many levels it makes me want to pull my hair out.

If the Japanese people and businesses put up with these asinine laws they'll be getting what they deserve in the near future. You can get a glimpse of that future by getting on an airplane and flying to the USA to see the lack of freedom those people have.

I'm going to do everything I can to fight this idiotic trend. I hope you will too. We don't need Japan to become like the United States more than it already has.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Near Death Experience

Have you ever seen these people on TV who claim to have had a near-death experience (NDE)? They all claim seeing "clouds" or "lights" or floating in a room outside of their body. Some also talk about seeing angels and long dead relatives. These are some of the common experiences people who claim they've had near-death experience.

People who hear about these near-death experiences usually think the person telling the story is "crazy."

I never used to believe that stuff at all either... That is, until it happened to me. 

Yes, I have had a near death experience. Actually, this has happened to me twice. Both times were in Japan. This post is about the first time it happened to me. It must have been about 1995 or so.

I was once told by a Za Zen Buddhist priest that having a near-death experience was the fastest way to enlightenment. I know that my thinking radically changed, but don't know if I could say I was enlightened. I don't think I am a very enlightened person, but I have had experiences that should have enlightened me. I have had these so-called near-death experiences. Well, actually, I'm not happy to be able to say that I've had them twice. I reckon that, in a way, it should be sort of embarrassing. I reckon that near-death experiences should enlighten anyone who has a lick of good sense. I guess I don't have enough sense.



But you can't really run around telling people this sort of thing. Why? Because if you tell people that you died and came back to life, no one will believe you. They'll all think that you are nuts. I'm not a Christian but I am well versed in the bible. In the Book of Mark, when Jesus toured the countryside and healed the sick, he told those whom he had healed to, "Tell no one." He did that because, well, because it's obvious. If you were deathly ill and then you witnessed a miracle and were cured, and told people what happened, they'd all think you were nuts... Of course.

It's like telling people that you were abducted by aliens or have seen ghosts... Or even an exorcism....

You see people who talk about these things on TV sometimes, but you can't figure out if it's real or not unless you've experienced it yourself. George Foreman talked about it. I saw him on a TV interview talking about his near death experience. When I heard his words, I knew that he wasn't lying. I've been there. I've done that.

After a boxing match that George lost he was taken to the locker room and there he passed out and says that he "died" and had an out of body experience. He says that he was falling in a dark tunnel into pitch black. It was then and there he knew that he had died. He then says that he thought to himself,

"So this is death? Oh well, at least I believe in God." George then goes on to tell about how a giant hand caught him as he was falling and then he "...felt the blood of Jesus pouring through his veins."

Some may know this story. When George recovered, he was a different man. He was no longer angry at the world and he retired from boxing and became a preacher. It's a great story.

My story isn't that great because I was never heavy-weight champion of the world... But my story is similar.

I don't really want to go into the complete details (it's embarrassing how stupid I was - it was an accidental drug overdose) but I was doing something that I wasn't supposed to be doing. You know how that is? Accidents always happen when you are screwing around and not being careful...

Those sorts of things happen all the time. And that's why accidents happen all the time; people not being careful and doing dumb things.

Anyhow, after my little, er, "mishap," I knew I was in no condition to do anything. If I called an ambulance, and if I recovered, I'd probably get arrested. If I went out anywhere, I'd probably collapse and the results would be the same. So I did what I thought would be the safest thing to prevent a heart attack, I laid down on the floor and tried to stay calm.

Later on, I don't know how much later on, I can only recall that I opened my eyes and I was floating in the air with my back against the ceiling. It didn't seem the least bit strange to me that I was floating in the air and looking down. I was in no pain and felt fine.

Below me, on the ground was the body of a young man and there were three extremely old gentlemen leaning over the young man. The three old gentlemen were all dressed completely in white. (And, no they didn't have any wings.) The entire scene had a misty, almost fog-like like appearance as if it were happening in the clouds but we were inside a room.

I looked at them as they knelt over while silently looking at the young man. I couldn't tell if they were praying or examining him. I spoke up, pointed to the young man, and said to them,

"Hey! That guy doesn't look right. There's something wrong with that guy..."

The old gentlemen didn't respond or seem to notice me at all. I kept repeating the sentences but they ignored me. Then, I paused for a moment. I looked at the young man and he looked strangely familiar to me. Yes! He did! I knew who it was! That guy laying on the ground was me. 

But it wasn't me! It's hard to explain. That wasn't me lying on the floor, "me" (I) was floating in the air...but it was my earthly body laying there lifeless and still

I spoke to the men,

"Hey! That's me! That guy is me! No! I can't die! I have children! I have lots of things to do I have too many things to take care of before I die! No!" I think I began shouting...


It was then and there that the man sitting in the middle oh-so slowly turned his head up towards me and his eyes met mine. What I saw shocked me. His face looked as if he must have been 150-years-old. His hair was completely white. His eyes were sunken in and his face incredibly wrinkled. I have never seen such an old person in my life before.

He looked up at me hanging against the ceiling. In his eyes were anger and revulsion.

The other two men never even glanced at me. The man in the middle just stared at me not saying a word. No! It wasn't a stare. It was a glare! I could read his mind. I could understand the anger in his eyes. He was thinking,

"What... a... disgusting... waste... of... life!" 

I paused. I knew he was right. It was a complete and disgusting waste of life. This realization was like an arrow being shot into my heart. I felt ashamed of  myself. 

I then no longer wanted to protest. I felt defeated. I shut my mouth and then I closed my eyes. I then realized that I was dead for sure but, for some strange reason, I didn't feel sad anymore. I can't remember if my eyes were opened or closed but I saw my life like a movie. It went by me like a flash. I saw my mom; I saw my childhood; my childhood memories.... I actually felt okay.

But that's the last thing I remember about that part; seeing my life and feeling okay....

I don't know exactly how many hours passed, but I woke up on the floor and it was nearly dawn. My clothes were soaking wet and I was freezing. I did my best to dry myself off and then I went home.

It would be a few years later that I would enter drug rehabilitation... I was glad I did. I was also glad that I was able to experience this so-called near-death experience. It changed me a lot. I am also no longer angry. I am truly striving to be a better person and to make a difference. I know that I am one of the truly fortunate few on this earth. 

These stories are so ridiculous and outrageous that no one would make them up. Yet, like I said, if you tell people this, they'll think you are crazy. When I was a younger man, I would laugh at these stories... But, I don't laugh at them anymore. It's easy, it seems to me, to tell a charlatan from the real thing.

I just now searched for you for a Youtube video that deals with this subject, and I found a good one. I am, again, totally blown away how close some of these people's experiences are to mine. 



I can't say that I wish for you a near-death experience because that involves something very dangerous or traumatic... But, if you do, and come back fine, then I envy you.

Just don't tell too many people about it. They'll think you're crazy.

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