Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Voicemail to the FCC 

"I am calling because of the apparent intent of the current management of the FCC to roll back Net Neutrality protections. I am a freelance Japanese document translator. I work almost entirely out of my own home, and have been able to make a successful living doing it. This would not be possible without fast, efficient and cost-effective access to the internet. I need it to both receive and send documents to my clients. I need it in order to process work orders, purchase orders and invoices, often done via my clients’ online portals. I need it in order to search the internet for reference documents and other materials that support my work. Some clients are even having me work via online platforms that require a safe and secure connection. Any changes in my current access will both make my work less efficient, and, if my fears are correct, eat into my profits. The FCC is currently under the umbrella of a Republican administration, which traditionally portrays itself as pro-business. I cannot fathom why it would undertake steps that would ultimately hurt small business owners such as me. Please reconsider your position, and do not roll back Net Neutrality in the interests of our society and economy. If not, please be assured that I will never consider voting for a Republican candidate, will never support the actions of any Republican administration, and will throw as much energy as I can against the current one."

Be sure to leave your own. Yes, it might not amount to much, but it is still better than nothing.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Promoting Peace with Urban Warriors
Reposted from the blog of Chicago Aikido Club (CAC).

(P.S. I'm leading these workshops)



Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) will be partnering with Urban Warrior Fitness in Rogers Park to present two free Monday night introductory aikido workshops on October 30 and November 13. Both workshops will last 90 minutes and start at 7:00 pm.

The workshops will emphasize the use of aikido to develop mindfulness through movement, breathing and balance, as well the self-defense aspects of the art.

Both groups hope these workshops may be helpful to the local community, which is still dealing with the aftermath of a fatal shooting incident that took place on October 13.

Aikido Workshop at Urban

Monday, October 30 and November 13

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

at Urban Warrior Fitness

1546 Howard St, Chicago, IL 60626

For more information, call (773) 754-7351, Ext. 0

Facebook event page

Monday, October 16, 2017

I don’t have a “Me too” to offer

I don’t have a “Me too” to offer. Thank God, I guess. But I do have a reflection. And that is I must regretfully admit that the collection of nerds, artists, martial arts enthusiasts, self-proclaimed intellectuals and liberals amongst whom I count myself and have many friends includes just as many abusers and gas-lighters as the jock bullies and bro-types commonly stereotyped as perpetrators. And though I have a few proud moments, such as when I ratted out a college dorm-mate engaged in an early form of cyber-bullying, or when I punched an actor backstage for making lascivious comments about an actress, there’s plenty of times I turned a blind eye and did nothing. Or I self-rationalized what I saw or heard. Or joined ‘the boys’ in locker room banter or lewd jokes over beers. And for that, and whatever other contribution I may have inadvertently or passively made to support the worst aspects of male American culture, I offer an apology. And I hope others do as well.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

“Night at the Nisei Lounge” (2013)

(reposted from the blog of Chicago Aikido Club)

Erik Matsunaga, head instructor of Ravenswood Shorin-ryu Karate Dojo and who profiled Chicago Aikido Club (CAC) senior instructor Joe Takehara Sensei in Discover Nikkei recently shared this memorable photo and memory from 2013 with members of the two dojo getting together at a Japanese American community fundraiser at the Nisei Lounge bar in Wrigleyville.
Left to Right: Ryan Yokota, Dean Yamada, Dwight Sora, Joe Takehara

Thursday, October 10, 2013

“Night at the Nisei Lounge” was a benefit fundraiser for the Japanese American Service Committee. Nisei Lounge is among the final vestiges of what used to be a sizeable Japanese American community that once resided in the shadows of Wrigley Field.

At one time, Takehara sensei lived on Newport Avenue, a half block east of the Nisei Lounge. He opened his dental practice one block south on Clark, across the street from Tony Muranaka’s home, whose matless, marble-floored basement served as the original gathering place for the Illinois Aikido Club. Incidentally, Detective Muranaka was the first Nisei on the Chicago Police Department.

After moving out of Muranaka's 3-flat basement, the IAC opened its first dedicated, storefront dojo with makeshift mats across the street from John Omori’s (co-founder of IAC) optometry practice.

And the Japanese American Service Committee, whose Uptown facility a mile-and-a-half up Clark Street currently hosts Takehara sensei and the Chicago Aikido Club, once triangulated these positions at its old location two blocks south of Nisei Lounge, on the corner of Sheffield and School.

I’d venture to guess Takehara sensei was the first Nisei his generation’s namesake tavern had seen in a long time, and quite possibly the only one since. For more information as to why that would be, peruse & listen to WBEZ’s recent Curious City feature: "What Happened to Chicago's Japanese Neighborhood?"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Goldfinger – Donald Trump Comparison

「Goldfinger images」の画像検索結果「Donald Trump images」の画像検索結果

1)         Both wealthy, aging, overweight men of German descent (with Anglicanized names)
2)         Both operate legitimate businesses (respectively jewelry/horse-breeding and real estate/brand licensing)
3)         Both engage in illegal businesses (respectively gold smuggling and Russian money laundering)
4)         Both collaborate with organized crime (respectively US and Russian mobsters)
5)         Both collude with foreign governments against the US (respectively China and Russia)
6)         Both surround themselves with beautiful women out of their league (and when no longer useful respectively have them killed and divorce them)
7)         Both have fat, creepy lackeys (respectively Oddjob  and Steve Bannon)
8)         Goldfinger employs Pussy (Galore), Trump grabs pussy
9)         Both like golf (and cheat)
10)     Both have access to nuclear weapons
11)     Both like gold


12) Goldfinger is defeated by a dedicated civil servant . . .

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The history of the Trump administration told entirely through ABBA song titles

Money, Money, Money
Take A Chance On Me
The Name of the Game
The Winner Takes It All
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
Should I Laugh Or Cry
Under Attack
Slipping Through My Fingers
When All Is Said And Done
The King Has Lost His Crown

Friday, February 3, 2017

May this Presidential Administration Die Hard with a Vengeance

Trump's supporters think he's this guy

I feel like Trump’s supporters think he’s like John McClane in the original Die Hard: A no-nonsense, tough-talking New York everyman who shoots straight and kills all those foreign terrorists who literally declare a ‘War on Christmas' and take a bunch of hard-working, all-American (largely white if I recall) corporate employees hostage in order to rob their company (which ironically, is a Japanese firm, if you remember) on the night of their holiday party. Despite their fancy tailored clothes, organizational savvy, high-tech gadgets, and eloquent, erudite continental mastermind leader Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, chewy scenery with aplomb), McClane defeats them with sheer guts and determination, showing not just the bad guys who is boss, but all those pencil-necked, bureaucratic West Coast lawmen and bumbling feds who get in his way, as well as a useless media embodied by a craven, self-serving TV newsman.

But Trump is really this guy

Me, I think Trump is Harry Ellis. If you don’t remember, Ellis is one of the corporate hostages – a cocky, coked-up, snooty and obnoxious yuppie who blatantly hits on McClane’s wife Holly and goes out of his way to belittle McClane’s working-class status when they first meet. Later in the film Ellis decides to take matters into his own hands, telling Holly, “Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash.” However, his ‘negotiation’ consists of blowing McClane’s true identity to Gruber and trying to get McClane to surrender (and likely be killed). It doesn’t work, and for his troubles Ellis doesn’t even make it to the end of the movie. Which is what I’m hoping for the current demented presidential administration.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dear concerned parents of America: 

Buy books. Lots of them. Read to your kids. Take them to museums and libraries (for as long as we have them). Point to the sky at night and inspire them to wonder. Repeat to them names like Galileo, Einstein, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Newton, Twain, Steinbeck, etc. Introduce them to people of every age and color and encourage them to listen patiently to their stories. Arrange visits to churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, everything. If you weren't good at math, or science or history as a kid, don't hide it from your own children. Use this opportunity to study together. Take absolutely nothing for granted. Because we can't.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lessons from Gandhi to use Today

Satyagraha - "insistence on truth" or “truth force.” The form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948).

Code of discipline laid down by Gandhi for volunteers in the 1930 protests against the British colonial government

  1. Harbor no anger but suffer the anger of the opponent. Refuse to return the assaults of the opponent.
  2. Do not submit to any order given in anger, even though severe punishment is threatened for disobeying.
  3. Refrain from insults and swearing.
  4. Protect opponents from insult or attack, even at the risk of life.
  5. Do not resist arrest nor the attachment of property, unless holding property as a trustee.
  6. Refuse to surrender any property held in trust at the risk of life.
  7. If taken prisoner, behave in an exemplary manner.
  8. As a member of a satyagraha unit, obey the orders of the satyagraha leaders, and resign from the unit in the event of serious disagreement.
  9. Do not expect guarantees for maintenance of dependents.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bear witness.
The federal week in review:
1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee's salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump's first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department--for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don't like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.
We - progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative - need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.

COPY AND PASTE this entire post into your own status update instead of sharing. More of your friends will see it.