Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kissing Earth: Execution pit prep

The US Department of Homeland Security seeks to compile databases and possible blacklists of "media influencers" - Bad News!
(link: Forbes)   (link: The Japan Times)   (link: PEN)

DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton (link) asserts that categorizing and assessing media people is "nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events... Any suggestion otherwise is for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists"...

But in fact analyzing (and penalizing) media "sentiment" is a process familiar to the Gestapo. 

According to the Statement of Work, the private-sector contractor must have "Ability to analyze the media coverage in terms of content, volume, sentiment, ... reach, ... influencers, ... momentum, circulation." No detailed rubric is publicly provided by Government to how "sentiment" is determined.

Former government officials in South Korea have been convicted and are now in prison for compiling and operating similar "blacklists" of their enemies (link). That Jan. 2018 court ruling was clear: "... once the government discriminates against those who think differently, it leads to totalitarianism."

The Korean government had 9473 people on their known "blacklist" (문화예술계 블랙리스트 - link) and also a "whitelist" ("화이트리스트") of favored media actively funded & supported. Creepy!

Classifying media sentiment & Enemies List creation is far more dangerous than "monitoring current events"

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lance Armstrong Swindle "settled"?

Payoffs keep Lance wealthy & out of jail.
Bad News for anti-corruption:

Americans are overly cocooned from the World
For sheltering an admitted criminal and never even trying to send this rich swindler to jail, our society enables further crimes. America's youth sees cheating rewarded. People outside the nation see: sports, money, cheating, doping, USA USA

Lance Armstrong's a permanent SHIT stain on the American flag. 

Cheating and Doping = East Germany and Old Glory USA

This swindler disgraces every American.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Postcard Tax

Taxation Reform: Most Americans now file a postcard or less, and pay almost no tax...

Such lucky people in the best country ever.

Grinning politicos = Shameless LYING scum

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What to Do with Trump?

Madeleine Albright's Sunday article "Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?" (link) wields highly-provocative first paragraph imagery: Mussolini was executed together with mistress Clara Petacci, and Hitler "suicided" w/ Eva Braun, Who'd depart with Trump?

Seriously, Fascism doesn't start & stop w/ Trump.

We easily & harshly criticize German silence under Hitler, but Americans disregard our own burials: Genocide of indigenous peoples; undocumented & unpunished torture; American exceptionalism; manifest destiny; theft of native land; corporatist corruption; forced servitude of kidnapped Africans (without transgressor punishment or victim compensation); militarism & perpetual war...

Very few Americans know or care about (link):

US War Crimes continue

Silence is complicity.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Remembering Casey Sheehan, d. 2004 April 4

Militarism is a never-ending plague.

The USA posts armies around the world, in a huge waste of lives & resources. So Sad!

Bring Our Troops Home!

Washington DC's elite have sacrificed far too many people and production on weapons and death. Both Republican & Democrat, most top politicos are militaristic... perhaps from sucking at the teat of defense contractors & their donations? Our huge military itself has a lot of votes!

There's substantial US militarist support for bringing troops home and out of harm's way. We've no business in many overseas dusty outposts! 

Here's a good anti-militarist article (link):

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Paradise Jeju

Springtime hope! 

... or Realpolitik: Prepare to survive the Worst.

Korea's Jeju island, 3 April 1948, was horrible. Massacres proceeded for many years. Silence lasted decades. Other peoples suffer similarly today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cherry Blossom Theater

Criminals reshape Japan...
Most Japanese citizens keep silent.
Cherry blossom theater.

Assorted crimes were committed
By government officials
Under Abe's administration

Crooked bureaucrat Sagawa
Claims the Prime Minister
Didn't lead the criminal cover-up

Falsifying public documents
Aiding and abetting fraud

What fueled the fraud?
What pay-off to public servants?
Bribery? Future job improvement?

Unnatural & beyond belief
Motiveless crimes?
Or "tip of the iceberg" corruption?

Consider the original crimes:
Theft. Deception. Subsidized favoritism. etc.
The PM & wife were involved. How much?

Ultra-right militarist education
Abe's Moritomo support

Akie Abe & husband abandoned Kagoike
Kagoike couple still jailed without trial
Forced silence.


Welcome to the Cherry Blossom Theater

Monday, March 26, 2018

Is Japan Deteriorating?

Japan needs professional government,
not butt-kissing bureaucrats working hard to seduce a few key political patrons.  So Corrupting!

Abe's Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs 内閣人事局 --
Launched mid-2014, now clearly a failed experiment...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

In Yo Face!

On Tuesday 20 March 2018, Facebook Inc. (FB:NASDAQ GS) addressed their data sharing scandal with a folksy-arrogant press statement beginning: "Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts..."

Youngish Mark, your familiarity hurts - we've not been introduced, I don't know Sheryl, or much about your mega-corporation. But slowly We Lab Rats awaken.

Folksy Facebook?
Founder, Chairman & CEO Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer and Zuckerberg's second-in-command) run $500 billion mega-corporation Facebook Inc. (highly-prominent among 1200 NASDAQ Global Select Market Companies). In January, Facebook reported 2.2 billion monthly active users.

Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon and affiliates (via SCL Elections and others) reportedly used Facebook data to influence democratic polling around the world. Facebook friend networks were secretly harvested for intimate data, then boosted by supplemental info to profile huge numbers of us for political propaganda as well as ads. Now we're approached with great familiarity and microtargeting.

People responsible reportedly include Alexander Nix, Alexander Tayler, Aleksandr Kogan, Christopher Wylie, etc. The story became more unsavory with claims of sabotage, sexual entrapment, bribes and compromising videos. Until the scandal exploded, Jared Kushner claimed (link, and more here) his clever use of Facebook data for digital targeting led to the success of the Trump campaign.

Facebook shares dropped from $176.80 to $159.30 last week (Monday to Friday 19-23rd March). BBC Business (link) calculate the drop knocked corporate value $58 billion lower.

Tuesday's press statement (20 March) was disarmingly friendly:
"Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue. The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens."  [end]


Shaped world? 

Please Be Alerted & Get Disturbed by last week's chilling declaration we're each individually actively led.

External interests with limitless funds shape your awareness, apprehension and actions. Sophisticated exploits prod us to see our situation through corporate lenses.

(Differs from being monitored or spied upon).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

All Things Must Pass...

Beloved shop closes down...
Tempura "Imoya" Jinbocho 2-chome (Tokyo) shuts this week (link)

I've eaten there (and at sister shop around the corner) perhaps 40 times from early 1980s. Open in 1959, there's often a line of people waiting to be seated. Everyone is watching the tempura frying, then eat immediately over hot rice with 天汁 (tempura dip) - Special, Yummy!


Friday, March 23, 2018

Facing Misinformation

Today's Chosun Ilbo (English edition from South Korea) has an article titled "Pyongyang Resumes Anti-U.S. Propaganda" (link)

The article itself is not illustrated. But the way I found the article was via an illustrated link on their front page, which had the following picture:

What kind of photo is this? if picturing a DPRK announcer?
Such bullshit!  Who's shoveling propaganda here?  
Right-wing elements in South Korea's Chosun Ilbo.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Peaceful Heisei

Japan's present "Heisei Era" (平成時代) will not last past April next year. This era of "peace everywhere" is due to end 30 April 2019, at Heisei 31. The yet-unnamed next era will begin 1st May 2019 (or before) -- we can only hope it will be peaceful & offer new opportunities.

Since the end of WWII in 1945, Japan has enjoyed many benefits from relatively low defense spending and de-emphasized militarism. Change is coming.

The present government of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is eager to alter Japan's international profile, and promises to develop the military. The public until now has been largely apathetic, and high-profile activism is rare. Some 75 years after the end of WWII, Japanese militarism may soon make a combative comeback.

Will Japan be better if tougher and more belligerent?

The view from Sweden is not encouraging. We see Japan as unlikely to militarily outperform major potential opponents: China, Russia, the USA.

Japan's other political and commercial alliances, such as with ASEAN or the EU, are unlikely to markedly improve if Japan becomes heavily armed. Considering also assorted reactions by Korea (North & South), we wonder who in fact would surely benefit from remilitarized Japan? The beneficiary list is short: arms dealers; perhaps distant strategists in Washington DC or Israel; corrupt Japanese politicos bribed in advance; etc.?

Emphasizing neutrality, or science & technology, Japan might better emulate Switzerland or Sweden. Creatively developing a distinct transnational leadership platform for Japan is greatly superior to simply becoming one more militarist nation. Will we look back in longing to the relative well-being of these past decades, as Japan slips into martial reorganization and aggressive ultra-nationalism? I hope not... but the Japanese people are deciding, with the luxurious choice of apathy a dwindling option.

(1939) What future five years hence: Year of Rabbit, 2023

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Akie Abe, BANZAI !

Patriotism Japonais = Loss of Peace?
No worries! 

Akie Abe works for Japan

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Abe's Pride

Prime Minister Abe's Pride Hurts Japan

Important business continues, but without top representation by Japan: the G-20, North Korea Peace Talks, negotiations with Russia, the new TPP, challenging protectionism by Trump in the USA, etc.

Abe & Aso should resign immediately, as responsible for government corruption.

安倍晋三 さようなら ...
麻生太郎 さようなら ...

Monday, March 19, 2018


Banzai Remilitarized Japan?

PM Abe's right-wing government (and shadowy Nippon Kaigi) aim to quash Japan's "Peace" Constitution Article 9 and revive the military.

安倍総理... 万歳?

Considering the ghosts of past patriots with the millions of casualties throughout Asia, Japan & the Pacific, enforced PEACE is the better choice over belligerent rearmament and ultranationalism.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Japan's Joy - Abolish Abe

Japan's Prime Minister Abe has done great damage to Japan, destroying trust in government. Abe & advisors such as Finance Minister Tarō Asō (麻生 太郎) claim they didn't personally direct the favoritism or attempted cover-up. But we now know gross bureaucratic criminality occurred during their tenure, surely reflecting bad, unsuitable leadership.

The PM's wife, Akie Abe was clearly involved with expanding & promoting ultrarightist outreach.

But seeking to instill militarism in young kids makes Japan's PM Abe - Tsukamoto - Moritomo dangerous to the nation, to Japan's neighbors, to All the World.

Abe in prison
Delays re-arming Japan
Fresh weapon is Peace

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Do some US Democratic Senate dance for Big Money?

US bank liberalization is a contentious topic since 2008, when the government bailed-out private interests with massive public funding.

Some Democratic Senators recently joined their Republican colleagues in voting to move forward with relaxed controls over financial corporations.

These 16 Senators, joined by Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and 50 Republicans are being accused of betraying their voter base (link).

Mark Bennet (D-CO), Dave Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA)

I believe in fact there are many more corrupt Democrat Senators allowing the rich 1% to virtually enslave the typical American.

But these 16 Democrat weasels take a great deal of money from big finance and associated law firms. It is disgusting.

Sen. Tim Kaine, corporatist Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate & Democratic Party VP candidate, reportedly took $1,644,469 from financial institutions and $3,753,613 from lawyers and law firms (link). Typical working people electing corporatist weasels of course are poorly served!

Money controls America

Reported Contributions amassed by the "Sleazy Sixteen"


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Price of Peace, DPRK

North Korea Makeover:
     Pyongyang's Ryugyong Hotel  류경려관  柳京飯店

Friday, March 09, 2018

Don't Die for Oil

We should keep fossil fuels in the ground. We can develop cleaner energy sources - and it's good business. Too often energy source full costs are ignored (Iraq war costs). 

Resist dirty extractive industries!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Japan's Ultra-Right Shame

The special case ("特殊性") of far right-wing Moritomo Gakuen 森友学園 in Japan is an outrage, paying virtually nothing to secure valuable public land.

Until any politician(s) involved is incriminated, the bureaucrats who approved the transfer should be held responsible: jailed for corruption & gross misconduct.

[ Update - 13 March ]
Now the head of the National Tax Agency has resigned; a Ministry of Finance official involved in the case committed suicide (7 March); Mainichi reports the Board of Audit is implicated (12 March); and Japan's Finance Ministry admits illegally manipulating documents (12 March). 

Surely the corruption goes further than Japan's bureaucracy - how long will the bureaucrats burn while top politicos simply watch?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Danger in Korea

Reapproachment between North & South segments of Korea do not fit smoothly with USA geopolitical strategy.

By permanently basing some 25,000 military personnel within South Korea & the Demilitarized Zone, US militarism's intimately linked to South Korea's formidable security forces. But close American ties to disgraced President Park Geun-hye's right-wing government soured relations with her successor. How much did the USA tolerate or tacitly support Park's illegal authoritarian repression & corruption?

All nearby nations have a strong wish to avoid inter-Korean warfare, but the risks of war are less painful to militarists in far-off Washington. Commander-in-Chief Trump may frankly welcome opportunity to prove his personal toughness...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Off Wit'er 'ed!

Brexit could again allow public hangings. 

Government May be wary...

Monday, February 19, 2018

Double Down Doggedness

Britain has curried a strong reputation for good sportsmanship. Strongly influenced by His Lordship Sebastian Coe, they're outspoken against doping, but fixated on Russian devils.

Not enough care is directed to avoid tarring innocent athletes with doping accusations.

Coe himself is insecure, his personal achievements tarnished from boycott-depleted competition in the Moscow & Los Angeles Summer Olympics. 

Britain should look objectively at mighty ally America, which for many years has shielded admitted drug-cheat Lance Armstrong from justice.

Will we ever see the video evidence of International Olympic Committee member Adam Pengilly's altercation with  Pyeongchang Winter Olympics security? Pengilly admits multiple lapses. He claims there was no physical contact. Yet he was ordered home and quickly bundled away, his actions reported in the UK as disgraceful.

Pengilly is one of just twelve elected IOC Athletes' Commission members, and thus also one of only 100 IOC members. He was elected to an eight-year term from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It seems the British hope his case is quietly forgotten and he's allowed to finish his term. We want Olympic Games success. But is coverup proper accountability?

The simple label of "incident" is being spun by the UK & international press. But The Korea Times headline (link) is more severe:
"British IOC member assaults security guard in PyeongChang"

The Korea Herald is also markedly more condemnatory.

At least one ally has tried to portray Adam Pengilly as a victim of the IOC -- rather than an arrogant bully above security checking or censure.

What Happened?  Should Adam Pengilly face criminal charges?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Across decades, Aloha

Boston in July 2016: greeting the Hawaiian diplomatic voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a on its global multi-year mission of mālama honua (caring for our island Earth). I begin talking to an older Hawaiian lady. She's lived in Massachusetts for decades, but grew up around Punalu'u, O'ahu. "Perhaps you knew my Uncle George Hiilani Mills" (my grandmother's younger brother).
She gently reaches out to touch my arm -
"Of course I knew Dr. Mills - he was our family doctor for many, many years. Such beautiful eyes! ..."
...Aloha shared, far away....

Monday, February 12, 2018

Know Too Much?

I often feel angry at the craziness I see in the world. That emotion can often be transformed into a motivator to work for positive change.

But sometimes I feel dismay on another level. This can come when seeing repeated errors, and patterns of hugely costly ignorance around me. Or it can be more simple, such as when understanding "back office" procedures takes away beauty and magic.

I've worked teaching Service Excellence, and enjoy studying commercial kitchens and hospitality in restaurants, hotels, inns, etc. But as a visitor it can sometimes all look flat when the environment is contrived & artificial, or executed poorly.

I also work in Place Marketing. I've much experience with Japan & Korea, but also have lived and worked around Europe, with continuing interactions in Australia, the USA, Hawaii, India & elsewhere. Placemaking is a fascinating process. I know of thousands of local success stories and have visited many hundreds of iconic projects in over 80 countries around the world.

In teaching MBA programmes, we urge our students to Redesign Your Life. Ultimately, this knowledge translates also to my personal life: choosing where and how to live. Why Live Where? I live in central Stockholm, Sweden, in a neighborhood with excellent walkability. We've not owned a car since 1995. Our home is comfortable and made with good materials. The community is prosperous, anti-militarist, with excellent social services.

We live next to Odenplan. Ten years ago it was a reasonably beautiful city square with big trees, a water feature, and small shops. Then the regional government tore it up for underground construction lasting some five years. Now it is rebuilt as cold, slippery and windswept, not a friendly place at all. That's sad, because many friends and acquaintances live nearby (including another very top placemaking expert). Of course we can deliberately meet together in commercial shops, but so much better to organically cross paths in the local piazza and have an informal chat. Perhaps one day Odenplan will get better... it's still under adjustment.

In sum, both fun & frustration. Continuing challenges demand renewed energies. Pressure Makes Diamonds.