Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trump abandoned to abandon Obama Care

Trump administration submitted the bill of American Health Care Act, repealing the Affordable Care Act established by Obama, on the Congress. As no expect of collecting the affirmative lawmakers, however, Trump had to withdraw it before the vote.

Abandoning Obama Care was the priority for Trump administration. Therefore, this defeat will be disappointing for supporters.

The New York Times: In Major Defeat for Trump, Push to Repeal Health Law Fails

Actually, American Health Care Act was infamous not only for Democrats but also many Republicans. It is interesting that some Republicans were worrying that the repeal would destroy citizens' life, while others the act was inadequate to cancel Obama Care. Trump could not settle these opposite opinions.

Most Republicans, as well as many American people, are fond of taking their responsibility of their own life. Health insurance should be selected by each person, instead of forced admission, according to them.

On the other hand, it was unclear how much the budget would be saved by the repeal of Obama Care. Although the administration claims that abandoning Obama Care is essential to improve the fiscal status of the US, its economic impact may be limited.

Only ten voters were below than the approval, according to Trump. But, it is suggestive that not a few Republicans believed that withdrawal of Obama Care was a stupid idea. I hope the US government will change the direction to the right way.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scandal around Akie Abe, the Prime Minister's wife

Japan parliament is stormy because of a scandal of Abe Shinzo's wife.

Akie Abe, the wife of Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, is suspected to have been involved in a tricky discount in selling a public land to an educational corporation.

Moritomo Gakuen was planned to be established as a primary school belonging to an educational corporation.

The kindergarten operator testified to parliament that the first lady, Akie Abe, gave him an envelope containing 1m yen (£7,100) and said it was from Shinzo Abe. The government denies the claims.

Moritomo Gakuen group was planning to build a new elementary school in Osaka. Yasunori Kagoike, the president of the group, claims that Akie Abe was involved in the approval of the planning. He also stated that Akie had given him a million JPY as a secret donation. Akie denied his claim.

The Guardian: Shinzo Abe and wife accused of giving cash to ultra-nationalist school

The land on which the new elementary school would be built was sold from the government to the corporation for very low cost. The official said that it was because many wastes were buried in the land. But, there are unclear things around the contract of transferring the land.

Yasunori Kagoike was summoned to the Parliament to reply the questions of lawmakers. However, the gap of the speech between Kagoike and the Prime Minister's wife became widened. Opposing parties are keen to pursue the issue, because Shinzo Abe declared that if he were arbitrarily involved in the scandal, he would abandon the seat of the PM.

To be honest, I am indifferent to the fact about this scandal. It is not illegal for a politician to make a donation outside of his constituency. Cheating in selling public lands is, of course, problematic. But I do not think it is so critical.

Akie Abe is an active woman. She is not always on the side of Shinzo Abe, but she behaves based on her own opinion. In this sense, I admire her policy.

However, I do not like her ideology as a nationalist. It is true that Akie is inclined in the policy of Moritomo Gakuen. In the kindergarten administered by Moritomo, children are encouraged to admire Shinzo Abe. According to the media reports, even hate speeches against Korean people are heard in the kindergarten. If true, they are not education but brainwash.

Although the liberty of thoughts should be accepted, I am shameful that the wife of the Prime Minister approves such a nationalistic education. In this sense, I dislike Akie Abe.

Friday, March 24, 2017

London Parliament attacked

London was attacked by a terrorist.

It occurred in front of the Parliament building in Westminster. A vehicle rushed into pedestrians, to hit many. And then, a person with a knife got out of the car to run into the parliament. After killing a police officer, he was shot to death by the police.

A total of five people were killed and over 40 were injured. It is a terrible incident in London since a deadly attack occurred in 2005.

Aljazeera: Westminster attack: Five killed outside UK parliament

Before the background of the perpetrator was clarified, Theresa May mentioned that it was not by chance that outside of the Parliament was chosen as the place of this tragedy. Thus, it was estimated that the criminal had some extreme ideology.

At first, I did not think it was an organizational assault. If so, explosive objects would have been used to maximize the victims. I wondered the police had identified the suspect before the incident.

However, ISIS claimed that the culprit was a soldier.

RT: ISIS claims its ‘soldier’ carried out UK Parliament attack

Even if ISIS' commitment is correct, the offender might not be a professional terrorist, but a person who had inclined to the ideology of Islamic extremists.

ISIS is disguising to represent the voice of pious Muslims who are discriminated in European countries. It is the reason nonoccupational terrorists emerge in several countries repeatedly.

By the way, almost a half of the cases aiming at an important person is conducted by a person with mental disorders, according to a study. Extreme thoughts are often hardly distinguishable from delusion.

The absolute truth is that we should never accept any violence. I pray for the victims.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

World Happiness Report 2017 revealed

World Happiness Report was published recently. In this report, all nations are ranked according to some elements, including GDP per capita and social support.

World Happiness Report

The top of the list is Norway. Northern European countries are listed up in the upper class. The UK is ranked at 19th, and the US is 14th.

Surprisingly, Japan is out of top 20th countries. Furthermore, Japan is ranked at 51st. Japan has the greatest life expectancy and also good GPD per capita. But, it is inferior in the segment of generosity and dystopia.

It seems World Happiness Report is constructed taking a high value on liberty, as well as social security. This sense of value is well matched to Scandinavian countries.

In contrast, many Japanese people are indifferent to the freedom of ideology. Though youths are critical to authorities, elder people are rather conservative and dislike people who are not obeying the local rules of the community. On the other hand, some Japanese tend to distrust the government, while they rely very much on the government in their life. This imbalance is unique, and I guess it is hardly explainable to foreign people.

UK people also seems to have felt shocked to the result. The difference between the UK and Northern European countries is the cost of social security, according to the author of the article below.

International Business Times: Britain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – so why aren't we happier?

However, the sense of value in people differs from each other. It is extremely difficult to establish the definition of happiness applicable to people in any countries. Even commonly shared values such as life expectancy and liberty are not equally prioritized among countries.

Also, sense of happiness is highly subjective, as well as relative. In my opinion, people feel happy when they expect to become happier in the future. In this sense, I agree with the opinion that people in a developing country look happy, even they are less happy in an objective view.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Julia, an autistic character in Sesame Street

Sesame Street, a popular cartoon muppet show, is going introduce an autistic character.

Julia, an autistic girl, has been displayed in cartoons and books, but has not appeared on the children's show. The developer seems to utilize Julia's unique character to enlighten youth audience to let them know autistic disorder precisely.

The Guardian: Sesame Street introduces muppet with autism to teach children about disorder

There are several works featuring autism. "Elephant Man" is one of the most popular films whose hero has autism. Mark Zuckerberg in "Social Network" is also described as if he has Asperger's syndrome, though I do not know the real Zuckerberg is autistic.

However, it is relatively rare to describe a person belonging to the minority in films or comics for children. Children can bully those who share the characteristics of the person in fiction. Especially Japanese teachers and parents are likely to think so.

Linus in Snoopy has some characters of autistic syndrome. He always keeps security blanket and believes in Great Pumpkin while he is fond of philosophic thinking. This unbalance of thought and behavior is typical of autistic people. But he is not explicitly  described as autism.

Nobita and Gian in Doraemon, a popular Japanese cartoon, was described as ADHD by Eriko Shiba, a child psychiatrist. Actually, however, they seem not to have ADHD, for my sense. Maybe Shiba utilized them to make a simplified explanation of ADHD.

By the way, men are much more likely to have autistic disorder than women. In this sense, Julia is not typical as an autistic child. I guess autistic girls are easier to describe in fiction than boys.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Karalla, an excellent frying machine

Recently, I bought Karalla, a cooking machine.

Karalla is sold by Shop Japan, a famous e-commerce company. It can fry several kinds of food without oil.
As you need not boil oil in the pan, you can save excessive oil while cooking fried chicken, fried potatoes, or cutlet. The products include fewer calories than those deeply fried with oil.

I cooked fried potatoes using Karalla. To be honest, it was for the first time for me to cook fried something.

Potatoes were delicious but had less rich flavor than those eaten at McDonald's. It is quite natural that fast foods provide us instant satisfaction. Of course, I believe my fried potatoes are healthier than McDonald's.

There are several similar fryers available. As reading some entries comparing them in Japanese, Karalla is more popular in Japan than other fryers. Japanese companies are enthusiastic to adapt machines to Japanese customers' favor. Philips Airfryer, The Original Airfryer with Bonus 150+ Recipe Cookbook, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black HD9220/28

In recent years, cooking machines made significant progress so that we can cook various menus with little stress. It is very welcomed.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The US and North Korea are approaching the war

The circumstance in the Korean peninsula is now in tense ever before.

The US President Donald Trump suggests the possibility of military actions upon North Korea. Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary emphasized the words "all options are on the table."

The Star: U.S. ready to take military action against N. Korea, if necessary, Tillerson says

North Korea repeatedly take provocative actions against the Western nations so far. Recently, it declared to have accomplished an experiment of a hydrogen bomb. It was very threatening for neighbor countries.

My past entry: North Korea declared successful hydrogen bomb experiment

The previous Obama administration attempted to keep a gate of conversation with North Korea. His purpose was to make North Korea gradually less tyrannous. Unfortunately, however, it resulted in a failure. Maybe, Trump considers Obama's diplomatic strategy made North Korea rather arrogant.

On the other hand, I hardly understand the reason that Trump is concerned about the environment of Korean Peninsula. Trump's doctrine is America first, and he is even considering to abandon South Korea. I do not believe that attacking North Korea will profit to the US.

On the contrary, if the war begins, the nation which is likely to be damaged the most is South Korea. Once the battle starts, the US will be able to ruin North Korea. After that, enormous refugees will enter South Korea. South Korean government will have to struggle to maintain the order and function of Seoul and other major cities against chaotic situation brought with the refugees. North Korea has no resources and technologies the US and South Korea want to gain. The nation itself is a waste, for developed nations.

China is likely to be injured by the war. It has close relationship with North Korea. Therefore, China is trying to calm the US down.

I never want this war. To begin with, the idea that a military force will bring the peace is out of date, considering the outcome in Iraq. Trump and the US should learn this issue.