Friday, December 31, 2010

Traditional New Year's Eve in Japan

New Year's Eve in Japan is called, "Oomisoka" and the typical Japanese family will get together and eat what is called "Toshikoshi soba" at night.

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit

Toshikoshi soba is much like regular soba except the noodles are longer - and I eat them sitting down - not like my usual "Tachigui soba" (standing and eating soba).

The custom of Toshikoshi soba was started in Shimo-Kitazawa in Tokyo during the Edo period about 150 years ago.

The reasons for eating soba on New Year's eve are generally thought of as:

a) One strand of soba is long so eating it represents a long life

b) Soba is easy to cut so biting off one strand of soba represents cutting off the last year and the misfortune that came along with it. 

b) One more reason is that, long ago, craftsmen who used silver and gold for making art and wares would have to gather up the gold and silver dust from the floors of their shops. Raw soba was used like a sort of putty to pick up the gold dust. Once the dust was picked up, the soba was boiled or cooked and the gold and silver dust were easily separated from the soba.   

Some families will eat the soba while listening to the bells ringing in nearby temples all around Japan. The bell ringing on New Year's Eve is called, "Joya no Kane" and the bells will ring 108 times before midnight. In Buddhist religion, the bells ringing 108 times represent all 108 of human desires. By ringing the bells once for each desire, we can cleanse our hearts and souls and head into the new year free and clean from our worldly desires that keep us from the higher ground.

Toshikoshi soba and crab... Ummmm!

I wish you all could share in a taste of our soba and enjoy health and a long life. But, since our technology hasn't gotten advanced enough for me to send you soba over the Internet, here is a photo of Toshikoshi soba for New Year's Eve Dec. 31, 2010 and here's a video of the bells ringing:


Enjoy!

Also, as I mentioned, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. Here's some info on that for you!


For Chinese Horoscope:

General predictions for the Year of the Rabbit


The year of the Rabbit is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace. Therefore, 2011 is very likely to be a relatively calmer one than 2010 both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level.


Conversely, nations will also become more insular and increasingly lock down their borders to protect against the "other". However, 2011 will also see new art movements projecting a distinct national identity taking the world by storm. Shrewd and creative new business partnerships will also form to the benefit of all.


Rabbits who thrive on delicate business dealings are best suited to navigating the year ahead. Those compatible with the Rabbit — the SheepDog and Pig in particular — will also find 2011's circumstances inspiring them to greater personal happiness and professional success.


Others will suffer, by degree, depending on how flexible they are to the world mood. Those who have cultivated careful negotiation skills (or, perhaps more importantly, can sniff-out and swiftly dodge dangerous situations!), may attain similar good luck enjoyed by rabbits and those compatible with them in 2011.


For more specific information and learn more about what the omens are for your future in the New Year, check out Your Chinese Horoscope for 2011 and find out what else the animals of fortune predict for you in 2011.


Happy New Year of the Rabbit 2011!

Kawasaki Shrine Starts Selling Daruma for 2011!

Kawasaki Shrine that sees over 4 million visitors every New Year's holiday has started selling Daruma dolls.

Daruma dolls are sold to people for luck and good fortune... They are Buddhism's sort of "Goal" setters for companies and personal acheivements.


Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. The doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside goal setting.


People usually color in the left eye with a black pen and then, when the year ends, if their goals were achieved, they have a celebration and color in the right eye.... 


My Predictions for 2011

Well, my friends, it's almost 2011 so I guess I need to start a new tradition for myself: My predictions for the next year.

I used to do silly stuff like make New Year's Resolutions, but, they never worked so I wound up looking stupid, so I shan't be delving into resolution's no more.  Why make resolutions to never drink again when I am drunk and feeling poorly?

But, hey! With all the pundits and trends reporters running around these days, I thought I'd make a name for myself by making my Top 10 Predictions of 2011.

Now, these won't be easy predictions... Anyone can make a silly guess like "I predict a war in the Middle East sometime in 2011..." Yawn! Now, how in the world will I become a world famous prognosticator with silly predictions like that? Nope. I believe in going for the gusto so my predictions will be exact... None of this mealy-mouth whining later on!

Ready? Strap yourself into your seats and fasten those seats belts, because here are my

TOP TEN PREDICTIONS OF 2011!

#10 There is absolutely no mistake about my predictions for next year's #10 and #9. Lucky you! Get ready to make some money! In 2011, price of gold will hit $1,512 an ounce (USD) by Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) 2011. It will end the year (Dec. 29) at $1,879.*

Holy Sh*t! I'm buying more silver!


#9 Silver will really kick butt in 2011. Look for silver at $52.18 an ounce by Dec. 29, 2011

Me and the boys telling fortunes near the station at $12 a pop.


#8) You know how famous people and Hollywood stars always die in three's? Well, a new trend will start this year. Fidel Castro and North Korea's Kim Jung Il will both kick the bucket at about the same time as each other in 2011. I figure the date to be about May 22.

In Castro's case, nothing will change on how Cuba will be handled - except for Castro's breathing and food intake. Whether Castro is there or not, Cuba will be vilified and used as a boot-boy by the imperialist USA who needs all the enemies it can get to support the military industrial complex.

In North Korea's case, Kim Jung Il's death will bring in turmoil and the next son in line for leadership will be booted out by some disgruntled generals and the entire house of cards will collapse - to everyone's chagrin - by Nov. 12, 2011...

#7) US president Barack Obama will end a supposed 9 months of cigarette abstinence by celebrating the New Year with booze and cigarettes. His first celebratory cigarette will actually be before New Year's as, while drunk and stumbling in the White house hallway he'll think, "God, I'd love a Marlboro!" and, he'll have one... Yes, this event will actually happen in 2010, but when you're pissed drunk and the president of the United States of America, who's counting?

What does this have to do with Japan? Nothing excepting there will be 1.2 million Japanese guys who quit cigarettes in 2010 only to come to the same conclusion on New Year's Eve that Obama does.

#6) Japan's economy will continue to tank and the deflationary trend will proceed and pick up great speed. Current Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan will resign for making innumerable mistakes and a new election will be held on June 4th and the Japanese will elect the next prime minister who, in a great Japanese tradition, will make even more mistakes than the idiot he just replaced. Score: Japan Government Wonks: 138 - Japanese Average Joe 0.

#5) Toyota Motor Corporation who recalled 10 million cars in 2010, will have an even better year in 2011 by recalling 12 million cars!

#4) JAL (Japan Airlines) will finally throw in the towel and put themselves (and the public) out of our misery by Oct. 14, 2011 and declare bankruptcy. Finally! Hello All Nippon Airways!

(As an aside note, due to these sorts of news stories, bloggers like me, who need all the readers they can get, will always use these chances to upload cheesecake photos like the one below...See my former article: Why Write a Blog?)

Blogger's rendition of the perfect stewardess 

#3) Manny Pacquiao will continue to dominate the boxing world by kicking the holy hell outta everybody. Floyd Mayweather will continue to be afraid of fighting the Pac-Man. Pacquiao will fight Shane Moseley sometime at the start of May, 2011. Pacquiao will win the fight.

In spite of the victory, no one will be able to spell Pacquioa, Pauqciaou, or whatever his name is, correctly without looking it up in an online dictionary by December 15th, 2011.

#2) One of Tokyo's big 5 FM radio stations, that is losing more than $1 million (USD) a year,  will be put on sale by December 17, 2011.  With no buyers, it will go into insolvency by August of 2012. But that's a story for another year... The next one to be exact.

#1) Major US banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan will go bankrupt on Sept. 11, 2011... Several Major Japanese banks will be in big trouble too... Especially Mizuho Bank.

Weird, eh? the timing...

Well, that's it. Nothing too earth shaking, I'd say... But, next year at this time, when all 10 of my predictions come true and on the exact date predicted, then you'll all be the first to sign up for my new newsletter called, "Mike Roger's Trends".... An annual subscription will only cost $250 (US) and it will be chock full of tips on how you can make money in the next year by conning suckers.

Also, it's not numbered, but, mark my words, my friends, keep a positive attitude and 2011 will be the best year, so far, of our lives. Read more on that here.

Until then....

LET'S HAVE 2011 SEE ALL OF OUR DREAMS COME TRUE... TOGETHER!
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

PEACE BE WITH YOU AND YOURS!



* = prices subject to change and may vary depending on the stupidity of the government

11 Things You Should Resolve Not to Do at Work in 2011

11 Things You Should Resolve Not to Do at Work in 2011

The new year is a perfect time to say “hello” to workplace happiness and “good-bye” to the bad habits that make you miserable and hinder your professional success. You’ll enjoy your time in the office a little more -- and improve your professional reputation -- if you make it your New Year’s resolution to cut down on these 11 counterproductive behaviors:

1. Excessive Complaining

Enough already. Constant whining about insignificant things (“It’s horribly unfair that Department X got a casual day and we didn’t!”) doesn’t serve a purpose and keeps you in a perpetually bad mood. Plus, happy people will avoid you.

2. Gossiping
Ditto for gossiping. The next time a colleague tries to engage you in the office drama du jour, offer a one-word response, like “interesting” or “wow,” and follow it with, “I’ve got to go. See you later.” Repeat as necessary.

3. Heartlessly Criticizing Others


Sometimes you must criticize a colleague’s or subordinate’s performance. But have a heart when doing so. If possible, mention a few positives for every negative, and try to be constructive rather than cruel.

4. Beating Yourself Up 

So you made a mistake, or your brilliant idea actually turned out to be a bad one. No one is perfect. Own up to your mistake, or take responsibility for your failure. Then move on.

5. Taking Yourself Too Seriously

C’mon, lighten up. Admittedly, this may be tough for overworked employees in a difficult labor market. But that is precisely the reason to flash those pearly whites and crack a joke now and then (even of the “gallows humor” variety): Everyone benefits when the tension is brought down a notch, even for just a minute.

6. Stagnating

Are you content to be bored at work? Do you want your boss to consider you uninspired? Probably not. So make it a resolution to learn something new or try something different in 2011.

7. Isolating Yourself

In today’s topsy-turvy job market, professional networking is more important than ever. So this year, don’t hole up in your cubicle. Get out there and meet some new folks -- both inside and outside the company -- who share your profession or work in your field.

8. Blending into the Woodwork
Even if you’ve always had a hard time speaking up in meetings or expressing your opinion to your boss, it’s never too late to start putting in your two cents. Pick one work-related issue that is close to your heart and that you’re knowledgeable about. Contribute a few comments on this issue during a meeting -- you may be surprised at how seriously people take the input of someone who speaks sparingly!

9. Blabbing Unnecessarily

Stating your mind is important, but don’t just talk to hear your own voice in meetings, either. Speak up only if you’re adding something of value to the discussion.

10. Burning Bridges

Don’t assume that colleagues, customers and others who cross your professional path will forgive and forget when you do them wrong. So make it one of your resolutions in 2011 to stay on good terms with your professional acquaintances. Yes, it’s sometimes hard, but oh-so-worth-it in the long run.

11. Wasting Time Via Social Media

Wasting time at work is as old as work itself. But a particularly timely pet peeve of many bosses is the overuse and/or misuse of Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Alas, this final resolution -- to curb your social media addiction -- may not make you happier at work in the short term, but it will protect you professionally in the long term.




Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nintendo Announces that 3DS is Dangerous for Children!

Nintendo has announced that their 3DS is dangerous for children under 6 years old. Well, no kidding.




I have written about the hazards of TV and watching things on a screen for children at Lew Rockwell here and here. Here's more by another writer on an overview why video games are bad in general.


At the time of the writing of the above articles, hand-held gaming was not the big scourge it is today. But it is a simple line of logic to realize that, if wasting time sitting around watching a TV screen is bad for children, then sitting around and watching a game screen is just as bad.


The Los Angeles Times reports:


Nintendo's 3DS video game system might be hazardous to the health of children younger than 6, according to a warning posted Wednesday on the Japanese video game company's website. The 3DS is the gaming giant's latest version of its DS line of handheld video game consoles. The feature of the 3DS that separates it from Nintendo's popular other DS systems: It can handle 3-D gaming and movies, displaying the depth-adding effect without requiring users to wear 3-D glasses. Although Nintendo is advising that only the preschool crowd refrain from using the new system's 3-D feature, it also recommends in its note that all players -- children and adults -- should take breaks from its glasses-free 3-D gaming every 30 minutes, or whenever a user feels sick.


"...might be hazardous?" Get real. Have a little common sense. Of course they are bad for children (children's brains, minds, and vision - not to mention social skills) Just watch any kid who spends 30 minutes a day or more playing these things and see how his school grades drop and his ability to interact with other children decline.


A few months ago I went with my son to a 6-year-old classmates birthday party. There several parents were talking and trading notes. One of the parents was complaining about the school bus.


He said something like his child would come home from school crying because the other kids on the school bus  all had their own DS game and, since he didn't have one, the other kids wouldn't play with him. (I didn't bother to ask that father how it is that kids are supposed to play together when they are all dwelling deep inside of their single player DS game.) The father, not realizing that his child was manipulating him so that he could get a DS like the other kids, relented (because he loved his child and wanted him to have "friends") and bought his kid a DS.


Big mistake.


Well, the story continued and, several months later, the father recalled, he had his son's birthday party at home. Well, lo and behold, the son's "friends" came over and, instead of playing, the father recalls that they all sat of the sofa, not speaking a word to each other and playing DS games.... Frustrated, the father finally ordered them to put down the DS games and "play" (you know that you had a bunch of groaning kids there!).


Duh!


Gee, do you think the same thing is not going on on the school bus?


Anyway, kid's today need all the advantages in life they can get. Only a truly foolish parent would buy a DS game for their child... Would you buy your child their own TV set for their room to watch whenever they want? I wouldn't. Some people do.... Those are the kids who have trouble in school. Don't ask me, ask your child's teacher or school administrator...


Or ask someone like me who worked in TV and radio for 3 decades and know, from the inside, how bad TV is for kid's....


One can look at American society as a whole today and see how too much TV has made the average American dumb as nails, but that's a story for another day.


Oh, and don't think that you can control your child's use of the device... They will find a way around your controls.... Whether it is at your house or sneaking off to another house.... 


You cannot control what goes on at other people's homes, but do your child a favor do not buy these devices or even allow them in your house.


Am I against DS games? Absolutely not. If my son wants one, then he when he gets a job of his own and wants to buy one, then more power to him. But, I suspect that, since he won't have played them as a child, then he won't be interested in it later... I mean, when you have girls, sports, outdoors, books, traveling, good food, etc., etc., why play hand held games?


Trust my friends, that, since we never had a TV in our house, my son is not even interested in it... He is not interested in games either (I have taken him to the game center for his birthday and other occasions before - he likes that. Like I said, kid's these days need all the help they can get. 


Handheld games and TV are a hinderance. Don't be a lazy parent and buy this junk as a defacto babysitter for your child. They deserve better.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Japanese Louis Armstrong and Memories of New Year's Past

This is what you used to see on New Year's TV programs in Japan in the 1980's: Japanese impersonators with black faces singing soul music.... They wouldn't even be any good at imitations, but if they had black faces and kind of sounded like the originals, then it was close enough...




Japanese Louis Armstrong - Watch more Funny Videos

Oh, how much this country has changed.... You don't see stuff like this anymore.

From today, December 29, 2010, most of Japan will be on holiday. I will be heading off to the in-laws home to learn patience.

They don't drink, gamble or smoke cigarettes.

One time, several years ago, I woke up on New Year's morning and started drinking beer. I had finished two tall cans of Asahi beer when my mother-in-law said to me, "Are you alright?" I brightly answered, "Sure!"

Like I said, these are people who do not drink at all, so they thought that drinking from the morning was extraordinary and that two tall cans of beer was a ton of booze. And here I had always thought the Japanese were heavy drinkers!

That night my wife (who doesn't drink either) complained to me about my drinking and told me not to drink so much in front of her parents.

OK. No problem. Whistling the entire way, I put on my shoes and walked about 1 kilometer down the hill to the 7-11. There, I felt like a university student again, as I bought cigarettes and beer and stood there smoking and drinking in the parking lot.

It was wonderful! What a lovely day!

I sat for a while and had a few more beers. I was feeling good! I stood up, with beer in hand, to walk over to the other side of the parking lot to look around. As I did, I took a huge swig of beer.... Just then, as I lowered the beer, dripping off my chin and wiping it with my sleeve, a car drove by, right in front of me, and the two people in the car were staring at me with mouths gaping wide open.

It was my parents in law. They looked like they had seen a ghost.

I lowered the beer immediately and tried to act nonchalant, but I was caught red-handed!

Oh, how embarrassing that was! I couldn't believe it!

My mother in law asked me not to drink in public and asked me if I wanted a ride home. What could I say? I got in the car, tail between my legs like a dog who pissed on the rug, and rode home, not saying a word.

The next morning when I woke up my wife told me that her parents told her last night that they were very concerned about my drinking problem. And wondered if I should go see a doctor about my problem...

I laughed... "Ridiculous!" I thought. I don't have a drinking problem! My in laws have a drinking problem...... And that drinking problem is me!!!!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Japan Makes World Largest Hamburger - 136 kilograms (299.2 pounds)

2010 was a pretty lousy year for Japan. China surpassed Japan as the #2 economy; the Japanese government allowed public debt to hit over 200% of GDP; Toyota recalled 10 million cars; I have lost count of how many prime ministers we had this year and the Yomiuri Giants didn't win the Japan Series.... Again!

Well, there is one thing that can can, er, stand proud about, sort of... Japan now has the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest hamburger in the world.

From Breitbart:

MIYAZAKI, Japan, Dec. 27 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A giant hamburger, which was created in the city of Miyazaki last year and weighed 136.2 kilograms, has been certified as the world's largest hamburger on sale by the Guinness Book of World Records, its producer said Monday.

The hamburger -- 92 centimeters in diameter, 44 centimeters in height -- was made during a beach event on July 4, 2009, by Phoenix Seagaia Resort, the operator of Seagaia resort facilities in MiyazakiPrefecture.

We're #1! We're #1! We're #1!  (Looks awful)

It aimed at making a hamburger that weighed more than 113 kg as the population of the prefecture stands at 1.13 million.

Phoenix Seagaia sold two hamburgers of that size to a corporation and a vocational school in Miyazaki at 150,000 yen each before applying for the Guinness record.

The giant hamburger was made from beef, pork and milk from Miyazaki Prefecture and 15 people were needed to work for around one week to complete it, the company said. 




Here is a video of last year's monster:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Enapo & Poni-Camp: Japan's Legendary Punk Queen!

Yesterday, Dec. 26, 2010 was the final free live show for 76.1 InterFM's BAM! for 2010 and it was a killer show!


The bands that appeared were:


PONI-CAMP
MATTER
RAT CHILD


Enapou of Poni-Camp

and more with DJ: Wakaan spinning the tunes. It was a great show and thoroughly enjoyed by all. And, yes, I do have a hangover.

I also want to say thanks to my good friend Rob Schwartz from Billboard magazine taking the time out to grace us with his presence. I introduced Rob to Enapo of Poni-Camp and told him that this was a legendary girl in the Japanese punk rock scene. I promised to send Rob some information on Enapo and then decided, "Hey! This is interesting enough for a blog!" So, Rob and all my other friends, welcome to Poni-Camp and Enapo! 





This is a great explanation that I found on Youtube and decided that this says it all. Enjoy!


ENAZOU (later changing her name to ENAPOu) was the guitarist for LOLITA No.18. With her years with the band, the band was produced by Joey Ramone (RAMONES), as well as Olga from THE TOY DOLLS. 


Lolita 18 - Rockaway Beach (with Joey Ramone)



Touring the United States and Europe several times, they were able to release off of BMG (Germany) and made their Europe debut. 



Lolita 18 "Love Your Money"



Enapo left Lolita 18 in 2001 and formed PONI-CAMP inviting RAY the ex-bassist of THE JET BOYS (at that time, his name was Suzuki) and NOBU NAKAJIMA from DOMINGOS and NINGEN-ISU. The three also perform as a backing band for PUFFY AmiYumi. On a TV show they appeared on with PUFFY AmiYumi, they were asked to put their bands name on the TV screen. ENAPOu quickly came up with PONI-CAMP.

The band started playing in 2005, and in this day and age where digital media is everything, their first recording was a cassette tape (3 tracks). As ENAPOu also is an illustrator, she designed the jacket art herself. RAY took care of the recording and the dubbing and packaging was done all the band themselves. A perfect example of a DIY release! Then in December of 2005, they released their first CDEP /(U.U)..[uu](7 tracks). They even took part in the save CBGB movement.



(Here is a video link to my favorite Poni-Camp song!)
Poni-Camp - First Step
http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/howto/watch/v163330495TXGXmhg


Poni-Camp (L to R): Ray, Nobu Nakajima, Enapo


As the guitarist for PUFFY AmiYumi, the very talented ENAPO played in the Macys Day Parade in New York and is a voice actress in hit anime TV shows like BECK and Oden-kun.

In 2006, following a great demand for their music, they did another cassette tape release. That led to their first full album release Lop-Eared POP STAR☆(12 tracks) in November of the same year.


ENAPOu sings in TEKIWANATAIN (words & music: Elvis Woodstock (Lily Franky)) the theme song of the anime Oden-kun and released a single through avex trax.



Oden - Kun To Enapou - Tekiwanatain Oden


 PONI-CAMP have been extremely active in playing shows with no show of slowing down. This is a band to keep an eye out for!!!



Also! Enapo plays guitar for Duncan's Divas. Duncan's Diva's features Duncan Redmonds, the drummer and vocalist for Snuff. Duncan's Divas covers J-Pop idol hits in punk rock versions and their 2008 debut album sold 90,000 copies!


Duncan's Divas - Present



Enapo and Poni-Camp are definitely a legendary Japanese Punk Band.... The world over!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Get Ready for More Flu Season Nonsense

It's just past Christmas here and that means it's time to crank up the booga-booga and scare people into thinking that flu is going to kill us all so that the pharmaceutical industry can sell us vaccinations we don't need and the mass media can do something to try to hang on to their ever dwindling audience.

I wrote before how I was a part of the propaganda machine for many years and realized what a farce it all is long ago here.

Sure, the flu is serious business but common sense and living right will take care of it for most people. The only people who might consider flu shots are unhealthy people or the aged. Wash your hands often. Eat right. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fresh water. That's the best cold & flu prevention you can do.

But, that doesn't make for good ratings nor does it sell product... For that, we need our annual flu scare!

Kyodo News reports:

The influenza season is in full force in Japan with the number of patients reported totaling 6,758 at about 5,000 designated medical facilities across the nation last week, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Friday. The figure for the Dec. 13-19 period showed that the equivalent of 1.41 patients were reported at each facility, topping the barometer for nationwide epidemics of the equivalent of one patient at each facility, the institute said.

Now, let me point out how ridiculous this is. At 5,000 facilities, over the period of seven days, they only had 1.41 patients? They call this newsworthy? They call that. "The influenza season is in full force?" Gimme a break!

I can go to my local doctor at anytime and see his waiting room just full of people trying to get in to see him. I'd say it is an easy guess to figure that even at a small private practice like his, he sees at least 50 people per day... The government run hospitals have hundreds, if not thousands of patients a day.

1.41 patients over the span of one week is nothing.

Once again, we will be subjected to this constant bombardment of the dangers of some new flu and that everyone will need a vaccination.... Oh please!

Two years ago we were told that H1N1 flu was deadly... The total number of people in Japan who died from that? One.

Like I said, wash your hands often, eat right, sleep and get plenty of rest and drink lots of fresh water.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Japan's Government Determined to Bankrupt the Country!

This is just incredible. Japan just cross the rubicon a few weeks ago when our public debt went past 200% of GDP. Now, the government here has announced the new budget for 2011 and will actually increase our public debt once again.

As Yahoo reports:


TOKYO (AFP) – Japan's centre-left government on Friday approved a record 1.1-trillion-dollar budget for the next fiscal year that aims to boost the flagging economy but adds to a mountain of public debt.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan's cabinet backed the 92.41 trillion yen draft budget for fiscal 2011 which starts on April 1.
To finance the massive outlays, Japan aims to issue fresh bonds worth 44.3 trillion yen -- meaning that for the second year in a row new debt will be bigger than tax revenue, projected to raise just short of 41 trillion yen.
"I think it is not a normal picture," said Banri Kaieda, minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, commenting on the state of public finances. "We must correct it as soon as possible."
Japan's public debt is already estimated at about 200 percent of gross domestic product, the highest level among industrialised nations.
The new budget is slightly larger than the initial budget for fiscal 2010, which stood at 92.30 trillion yen.
It will finance some of the spending pledges made by Kan's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- which ended more than half a century of near-continuous conservative rule last year -- such as cash for families with young children.

The minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy says, "I think this is not a normal picture. We must correct it as soon as possible." Well, no kidding... But how do any of these fools propose fixing this disastrous situation?

With the same failed policies of the last 20 years that have devastated this countries finances: More deficit spending and so-called "stimulus." Insane.

Some people might think that this has nothing to do with them if they are living outside of Japan, but think again... Japan is just another of the big economic dominoes. When Japan goes, it will have a ripple effect that is felt the world over.... So is Japan before or after Europe or American states?

How much longer can Japan sustain this deficit until the day of reckoning comes?

Hope you own some silver or gold.

Merry Christmas! This is pretty funny!

Merry Christmas! This is pretty funny!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All Father's and Dad's!

Christmas is special because, if only for one day of the year, dad's will spend the day playing with their kids... It really is too bad that everyday can't be Christmas as they grow up so fast!....Think about it, dad's.

South Korea & United States Continue to Provoke North Korea

South Korea & United States Continue to Provoke North Korea. Why is this game of brinksmanship continuing?

News reports from Russia TV: