Japanese Politicians Take Over Friday Linkage

Ichiro Ozawa, possible Prime Minister of Japan, thinks Americans are “simple-minded”. His words reminded me of a description of Americans given by a fictitious Japanese Prime Minister,

They have the most violent culture in the world, yet they worship justice. They venerate making money, but their roots are found in ideals.

While we’re talking about Japanese politicos (real or imagined), Kazutaka Sangen, mayor of Taiji, has spoken out against certain people whose sole desire is to see Japanese whale hunts (like Taiji’s dolphin hunts) end.  His words seem to eliminate any room for discussion,

We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.

Game. Set. Match. Way to stick up for multiculturalism Mayor Kazutaka.  Though “foreigners” doesn’t quite do justice to the word which you probably said:  gaijin.

On to the linkage…

About as a heart-warming story as you’re going to read…I understood why Bengals wideout Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (Chad Eight Five), 85 is his number after all. You’d think with how tech-savvy Chad is, he could have plugged in “eighty-five” into Google Translate and found out that the correct Spanish translation is ochenta y cinco, not ochocinco. Oh well, at least he has his own cereal, mistranslated name and all… Mohler demolishes so-called theistic evolution…Jennifer Aniston’s latest offering flops at the box office, big surprise since she seems to want to resurrect the chest-clutching Rachel Green character in every one of her movies… Jim Furyk gets DQ’d from a PGA tournament because his cell phone alarm doesn’t go off, oops…Ever watch that Tea Party Scene in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? The masterminds who orchestrated it were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (below). Perhaps that’s what we can call these 2 billionaires who are the masterminds behind the populist Tea Party movement…

[Photo credit:  Disney]

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Diversianity Has its Limits

Vigilantism is not encouraged by most of Western society. Which is odd considering how well movies about vigilantes (i.e. “The Dark Knight”) rake at the box office.

Speaking of Batman, the next story features a boat that looks like something the Caped Crusader might con:

Pictured: The bullet-proof ‘Batmobile’ set to wreak havoc on the Japanese whaling fleets

Who is “The Sea Shepherd Society”? Nothing more than a group of concerned citizens that has waged a jihad (“Now batting for Allah, Gaia!”) against Japanese whalers.

One of the vigilantes activists is none other than Daryl Hannah who I guess is just getting back to her roots (right)?

splash

Whaling is part of Japanese culture. How integral? I don’t know, but who are we to tell them what they can or can’t do in international waters?

Incidents between the “Sea Shepherds” and Japanese whalers in the past have resulted in people getting hurt.

These Hollywood types are really something else. They seem to pontificate about how there is no right and wrong, yet there are plenty of things they seem to find “wrong”. So much so that they take extreme measures to battle whatever they deem as “wrong”, multiculturalism be damned.

Much closer to home, why aren’t they protesting the ritual slaughter of lambs by Muslims and Jews? You wouldn’t need a bulletproof Bat Boat to do it either, but for sure it’d upset the apple cart much more than protesting a distant nation’s customs.

To paraphrase a fictional Politburo member: “Where are the cultural relativists here!?!”

Brass Monkey – those chunky Monkeys!

Besides my mod to a classic Beastie Boys lyric, this post’s title also applies to this portly primate,

The shot is from the following story,
“Pictured: The chunky monkeys who have been put on a diet after being overfed by tourists”

Apparently the weight gain is due to the overzealous generosity of tourists.

One of the comments left by a reader merits mention,

Their weight gain has nothing at all to do with their eating habits!—–they have a “faulty” gene!

The excuse works for some humans why shouldn’t it work with macaques?

Tsukiji Fish Market

I’ve enjoyed reading National Geographic since I was a lad (yes for the articles). The pictures are top notch as well and they complement the stories quite nicely.

One thing I enjoy about the magazine is their propensity to do stories on far away and exotic places (i.e. the Kuril Islands).

At work, we have an old National Geographic from 1995. The cover story is about man’s harvesting of the sea and its effects.

However, within that story there is an article about the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo which I have read more than a few times. I was amazed at some of the facts about the market presented in the piece.

For example,

  • It handles more than 400 types of seafood
  • It moves about 5 million pounds of seafood every day (approx. $28 million)
  • It employs 60,000 people

Click here for pictures from the National Geographic story.

Shinya Yamanaka on Embryonic Stem Cells

Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka was recently featured in a piece in the New York Times,

“Risk Taking Is in His Genes”.

Dr. Yamanaka does research on stem cells and according to the piece,

Last month, his was one of two groups of researchers that independently announced they had successfully turned adult skin cells into the equivalent of human embryonic stem cells without using an actual embryo.

I don’t believe the good doctor can be accused of being an ignorant rube, yet one of his remarks from the story reveals a viewpoint often attributed to folks who are portrayed as such or as religious zealots with nothing better to do than to stifle so-called scientific progress by opposing embryonic stem cell research.

Here is what Yamanaka said,

“When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters,” said Dr. Yamanaka, 45, a father of two and now a professor at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University. “I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.”

Most interesting…

Japanese Dolphin Hunts and Multiculturalism

This whole multiculturalism thing has been shoved down our collective throats (at least here in the States).

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in saying that and in saying that it has been done to a fault. The advocates of this sort of activity will try to sell us on the ‘fact’ that all cultures are equally valid and how arrogant can we be thinking that Western culture is better than anyone other?

It’s interesting to see this attitude proclaimed from such places like the spired towers of academia or from the Hollywood Hills.

Of course all it takes for these folk to change their tune is a good ol’ fashioned dolphin hunt sponsored by Japanese fishermen.  According to the story, “Heroes” star, Hayden Panettiere, was there trying to prevent the hunt.

According to the story,

The local fishermen and their supporters say hunting dolphins — in this case, pilot whales — is a Japanese custom that outsiders have no business interfering with.

“Whales and dolphins are traditionally being used (as resources) in Japan,” said Hideki Moronuki, chief of the whaling section at the Japanese Fisheries Agency. “In this light, we cannot accept an argument simply based on emotional causes.”

Who are we Westerners to tell the Japanese how to conduct themselves when it comes to their culture? Are Hindus coming over here on surfboards and wetsuits to picket slaughterhouses?

Mr. Moronuki is on my list of “Heroes” (no pun intended) on the strength of “we cannot accept an argument simply based on emotional causes.”

It makes me wonder what Ms. Panettiere’s Japanese “Heroes” co-star, Masi Oka thinks of all this?