Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Way Too Newsy Day

What we know after yesterday is:

- The DPRK is a miserably poor country locked in a Stalinist nightmare ruled by a kid who grew up in Switzerland who likely as not wishes the whole horrible structure would go to hell. The country can threaten the Republic of Korea with the annihilation of Seoul through artillery fire and Japan with a barrage of fairly reliable Nodong missiles. Other than that it is a pathetic candidate for a threat to human civilization.

In other words, it is right now a land offering a hint of opportunity, not to be walloped with the same tired routines of going to the UN Security Council for a bunch of whiff and poofing.

Also that Japanese news programs, driven by pressures from (viewers/advertisers/government/right-wing organizations/the United States - circle one or more) have an almost infinite creativity when it comes to thinking up pejorative alternatives, no matter how long-winded -- "the artificial satellite, in reality a long-range ballistic missile," "the long-range ballistic missile called an earth-sensing artificial satellite," "the artificial satellite in name only, actually a ballistic missile" -- to the simple, neutral term "rocket."

- You do not need a confession to convict a person of murder and sentence her to death. All you need is a string of bodies left behind someone who extorted all the money she could from the victims before they managed to commit suicide whilst drugged. (E)

Also that the lengthy trial of an unattractive woman capable of luring in, defrauding and killing three lonely men, keeping up a blog of her activities, is a huge draw among middle-aged and young women. For the record, which is slim, the these out-of-the-ordinary trial attendees have been dubbed the Kanae Girls (kanae gyaru).

- A former banker with Nomura Securities can go before the microphones in the Diet in sworn testimony, admit to producing accounts in no way reflecting the realities of the fund he was managing, admit to running a Ponzi scheme (tenbai sukiimu)-- and still insist he had no intent to defraud anybody.

The guy has got a hell of a lawyer: "Just keep telling the truth but repeating that you're sorry and you never meant to hurt anyone and the judge will go easy on you, I promise."

Sad thing is, that lawyer is almost certainly right.

- When you as a government body hurriedly approve the restart of two nuclear reactors, after the nation has suffered the worst civilian nuclear disaster since and the only one on a par with Chernobyl, based on a safety assessment finding that procedures for preventing the repeat of the disaster have, for the most part (omune ni), been put into place -- the Japanese public, prefectural governments and the press will go bananas. (E)

I mean like top-of-every-newscast, first-four-pages-of-the-newspaper-on-a-day-that-the-DPRK-fires-off-a-rocket bananas.

Yesterday I posited that the fate of Maeda Takeshi, the ethically compromised and extremely unhelpful Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, would be a page 2 story in this morning's newspaper.

Heck, he is not even in this morning's newspaper.

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