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.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sneaky Citizen

Oddities and inconsistencies often arise from reading wide & various news reports. Here's one from late Friday afternoon:

Citizen Watch Co. (シチズン時計) accepted the resignation of the President of their subsidiary, Citizen Electronics Co. (シチズン電子社長を解任した), for falsifying product data. It seems both the origin and longevity of key LEDs, switches & sensors were misrepresented for many years so as not to "lose contracts mainly with North American clients."

The report was vague, and no other English-language news (as of now, Saturday morning) is reporting yet about the scandal.

Looking at Japanese-language reports, it becomes clearer: Citizen lied about place-or-origin, claiming domestic Japanese origin for parts made in China.

Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reports this was at least a seven-year fraud, involving 166 types of products, and 1.3 billion mislabeled parts (約13億3300万個).

This may mean additional import duties & penalties are due to "North American" authorities, and surely they should pay compensation to defrauded consumers.  Further, we wonder how many other manufacturers deceive us everyday?

BAD Corporate Citizen

Friday, February 09, 2018

Ekecheiria - Olympic Truce

Hooray. No politics for me 9-25 February! 
I'm very happy to honor ἐκεχειρία, the Spirit of truce, armistice & cessation of hostilities - a 3000-year tradition.

Olympic Truce Please

The Olympics entourage of US politico Mike Pence includes the father of Otto Warmbier, the 21-yr old American who received harsh imprisonment for attempting to steal a North Korean political banner.

Pence is being savaged by his South Korean hosts for divisiveness:

Does Pence understand the 3000-year old tradition of the Olympic Truce?

The South Korean hosts worked many years to stage a clean & uplifting Olympic Games. The arrogant USA doesn't care.

The USA team at the last Summer Olympics in Rio made several false accusations and caused bad feeling in the host community (four swimmers including Ryan Lochte). Such behavior is horrible & ugly.

The USA is quick to condemn other nations while America offers protection to the global worst scum cheat Lance Armstrong. Five years ago he admitted to long-term doping, and thus theft & fraud. But he's kept hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth, and has yet to serve even one day in jail.

Anyhow, for now, let's celebrate the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

American Snowflake

Part of the USA has now been taught to taunt many others with the label "Snowflake"

Anyone using that term is an Asshole & coward.
  • Who are you afraid to confront?
  • Why pretend
  • Why be passive-aggressive ?
As a Liberal person, I'll also not mince words:
The American Health Care System is horribly bad.
If you are not very wealthy, they will cruelly extract your money.
Expect to die knowing you're being cheated.

Escape Now - You share responsibility for Your future misery.
Go to a foreign land which has national health insurance.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

When Republican Speaker of the House Ryan deleted a highly-criticized tweet, he was able to also kill many well-crafted criticisms.

Ryan's proud to be butt-boy to America's owners.

Ryan's proud we're satisfied to get $1.50 a week.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


Late dusk, our landlord showed up at our farmhouse, 32-years ago today in Japan, with a big basket of roast beans. He asked if we'd completed 豆まき (we'd simply tossed a couple of beans at each other). He opened all the doors and windows, and threw big handfuls of beans in every corner as we all bellowed 「鬼は外!福は内!」Very memorable - we were still finding dried beans throughout the year.

Friday, February 02, 2018

National Service

Politicos willing to sacrifice key institutions are dangerous.

Bush/Cheney deliberately tarnished military honors for valor (to diminish rival Kerry). They also oversaw deliberate intelligence leaks (as retribution) that compromised clandestine operations abroad.

Trump/Pence now attack the FBI.

Politicization is our enemy.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Cheating Scum?

Lance Armstrong is at the heart of the most profitable cheating scandal in modern sports. After years of crushing rivals in competition, via media, and in court, he admitted to long-term doping. It seems a fraud of hundreds of millions of dollars. But he's "white" American - five years after his confession, he remains rich, and not been to jail. 

The world marvels at American justice...