Monday, March 31, 2008
There is an amazing invention that allows anyone with access to the internet to determine the approximate temperature in my room. Just find out what the temperature in Kyoto is, and that is how it is in my room. Even the wind readings are approximately true. It's cold. It will be in the 40s for the rest of the week. That is cold to me. But there is a kerosene heater. I have always been hesitant, but now I love it. Oh kerosene, penetrate my sinuses.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Also, they are serving up the dolphin as school lunches without telling anyone what the meat is or where it comes from. It is loaded with mercury.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
other alts who lived in the leo palace this year are also having a same situation like u and waiting for the leo palace paper works then salaries and so far we dont have any problems with others...i also just checked with masako and she told me she has mentioned about it when she had to talk to you about the apartment.
In some ways that is reasonable and can be viewed as friendly. In other ways it is really not. It seems to be saying that I am the guilty party and can't cope with the situation. As I have said from the beginning, I have been given no real information by which to make decisions. It is making me look like a child who needs a handout. I don't see in what way I am wrong for asking to be paid ten days after I should have been paid according to my contract. Blaming it on Leopalace, the apartment company, seems a bit of an excuse. Do we believe that my company doesn't have the money? Here is my response:
Yes. Masako told me on the 18th when I talked to her about not being paid. She said it would take 10 days. That was 10 days ago. I waited. I also don't like problems. But saying that you don't like problems and not having problems are two different things. I don't see this as being my problem. I haven't done anything wrong. I have done what was asked of me and waited patiently for money that is owed to me. If I had known that renting an apartment through the company would cause so many problems I would not have done it. But it was offered to me by the company. It wasn't my idea. I appreciate your offer of lending me money, but you shouldn't have to. I should be paid like a normal employee. In any case, for me to go to Osaka tonight would cost even more money that I don't have. I don't miss work. I don't show up late. I don't take sick days or ask for holidays. I am a good teacher and do my job well. I don't think it is appropriate to characterize it as me being "a problem" when I wonder why I haven't received my salary ten days late.
Thank you for your help,
he problem is that everything takes a long time for the leo palace even they told u the cleaning fee is about 3-man,
Hmm. Interesting. Does this seem reasonable? Does this seem intelligible? This is the person who governs my life. That is reassuring isn't it. She adds:
That could almost be mistaken for helpful. Here are two issues. I told her that my phone was cut off two days ago, since I can't pay for it, so there is no way for me to call her. The other issue is that this all makes it appear as if I am irresponsible and having some kind of crisis. My only crisis is that I couldn't save up enough money to move and not be paid my salary at the same time. This after being told how important the new contract is for them and me going and knocking the doors of the Board of Ed. yesterday.
Here is my response:
I mentioned this two weeks ago. Not yesterday. I am not arguing with you, but I have been put in a very difficult situation by the company. I understand that you don't have control over the situation, but I have even less control.
Masako never told me about this until I called to ask why I wasn't paid. Of course I need money today. I needed money two weeks ago. I am lucky that my landlord is very patient. I can't call you because my keitai was cut-off two days ago. I can't pay any bill because I haven't been paid my salary.
By the way, early next week is next month.
I am not trying to argue with anyone. I think I am being very patient waiting more than 2 weeks for my salary, which it states in my contract will be paid between the 15th and the 18th.
You can clearly see why one of us is in charge of the Kansai branch of a major company and the other has to hope that potatoes go on sale. If this was a once a year occurrence it would be no big deal but for the last 2-3 years I have had this happen to me constantly. That makes it very hard to save when you are always having to scramble. It is a good lesson in why being poor leads to being poorer. There is no way to be economically poor. Especially when you are asked to endure everyone else's fuck-ups.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I was there early, discovering that there were two exits, like I had said and been laughed at by my ridiculous supervisor. Not wanting to leave the station for fear I wouldn't be able to find the other teachers I was supposed to be meeting, and having had my phone cut off since I haven't been paid yet, I ate at McDonald's for the first time in a year or so. It is still bad.
We grouped. We met by chance, oh we chosen few teachers. We deemed worthy of Neyagawa and their experimental English program. One teacher, one school, they boldly assert. Three of us, by chance, had attended Kansai Gaidai, me one year ahead of the other two. "Did you meet your wife at Kansai Gaidai?" Our ridiculous supervisor, rife with indigestion, asked another in our party. "No." He answered. "We met later by coincidence." "That's funny, I met his wife at Kansai Gaidai." I offered wittily. What charm. What drollery. What man is this with $53 in the bank. Oh, did I crack wise.
I volunteered to do the demo lesson first. It was the present progressive form and 7 Boad of Ed workers were my students. Within mere minutes, dear reader, they were able to express that right now, in fact, our beloved Godzilla "is sleeping." I killed. As Randy Newman is known to have said, "We gonna ride it till we can't ride it no more." I am honored that you think of me as the Randy Newman of teaching. What could be more accurate. On to the elementary school lesson in which we learned the colors and then found them around the room. A hit. A hit. I sunk all of their proverbial battleships. On to the Q and A in Japanese. The college professor abused me with his fancy talk but I played it low. I played the humble yeoman. Oh uppity college professor with your housing stipend, do you look down on us so while we do the work that makes your back sore and your hands dirty? Forgive us, it is our burden. To the long extended statement by the earnest, mid-level employee that I mistook for a question and then stumbled about in the dark for a cogent answer, as if playing a real life game of Zork for the next, uncomfortable 5 minutes or so.
Inane supervisor. Victim of tomato ramen. Victim of bad fashion. Victim of your own dedication to being an asshole. How you did congratulate me so on my sheer awesomeness. Did I not tell you just last week, "Wind me up and I'll teach the shit out of that motherfucker." Was that not clear by my swagger, all over-worn suit and arthritic knees? Didn't you see it coming when I knew there were two exits to a station I hadn't been to in ten years? Ten years ago when you yourself were a bad student in a mediocre junior high. Didn't you know it when my wrinkle tie came in double Windsored and all of the other teachers thralled at my wisecracks? I ask you, dear supervisor, "Where the fuck be my money?"
One of these will be my new school. Singular. Sweet.
The only message board I ever check and post on, an MMA blog, has been having an extended reaction to the openly gay fighter I talked about yesterday. The interesting thing is, and this goes back to what I was saying about younger people and the Obama/race thing, is that the overwhelming reaction is "good for him" and/or "who cares." That is about it. It is very heartening, I was ready to go to battle. Most regular posters are late teens to mid-twenties and they really don't seem to care. It is a pretty macho, American site. hmmm.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Boys and Girls Together
by Neil Gaiman
Boys don't want to be princes.
Boys want to be shepherds who slay dragons,
maybe someone gives you half a kingdom and a princess,
but that's just what comes of being a shepherd boy
and slaying a dragon. Or a giant. And you don't really
even have to be a shepherd. Just not a prince.
In stories, even princes don't want to be princes,
disguising themselves as beggars or as shepherd boys,
leaving the kingdom for another kingdom,
princehood only of use once the ogre's dead, the tasks are done,
and the reluctant king, her father, needing to be convinced.
Boys do not dream of princesses who will come for them.
Boys would prefer not to be princes,
and many boys would happily kiss the village girls,
out on the sheep-moors, of an evening,
over the princess, if she didn't come with the territory.
Princesses sometimes disguise themselves as well,
to escape the kings' advances, make themselves ugly,
soot and cinders and donkey girls,
with only their dead mothers' ghosts to aid them,
a voice from a dried tree or from a pumpkin patch.
And then they undisguise, when their time is upon them,
gleam and shine in all their finery. Being princesses.
Girls are secretly princesses.
None of them know that one day, in their turn,
Boys and girls will find themselves become bad kings
or wicked stepmothers,
aged woodcutters, ancient shepherds, mad crones and wise-women,
to stand in shadows, see with cunning eyes:
The girl, still waiting calmly for her prince.
The boy, lost in the night, out on the moors.
I am pretty sure once we get to the schools, where the teachers hate our company and the school board as much as we do, that things will fall into place. In the meantime I have to endure the bullshit. These systems that exist to leech off the education system and are completely unnecessary .
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Next will be the walkway out front. I am tackling it this weekend with the same formula. I seriously think that for a $100 investment, I can bring the property value up significantly. Plus, this neighborhood has such incredible entranceways that are an inspiration. I will do photos of them at some point too.
My room will come later. It is crazy. It is a little less than 6 feet wide, but maybe 25-30 feet long with a very high ceiling that peaks in the middle. It is the ceiling of the old kitchen. The view out my window is a series of old, Japanese rooftops. I might build a loft. The winter will be rough if I stay, but it is nice to have a house to work on. It's nice to have a big kitchen with a gas stove. I am also kind of happy to live with nice people. Keeps me from getting in so much of a rut.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This is one of the reasons that I think that the Obama campaign is important for all of the superficial reasons. For most people of my generation, the race issues that Obama's pastor brought up are not shocking or bothersome in the least. If you grew up listening to hip-hop or any African-American comedy, you have already had to process some black people's views about white people and why some people might still be angry. I would be angry. What Obama's preacher said doesn't bother me in the least. It doesn't even surprise me. I think it is important to listen to and process. But a large segment of our population has never had a cause to process this kind of thing. Of course at Fox they clown on this and pretend to be upset and shocked for effect. That's what they do. But the wheels are coming off, as they did during Katrina. One should note that Brain Kilmeade, who walked off the set, is a long-time sports reporter, and therefor is actually close to some black people. It might have something to do with why he couldn't tolerate the garbage anymore. Then Chris Wallace couldn't take the stupid anymore.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Graduation went well. I didn't cry. I almost did when Tamayama, captian of the track and field team and all around doofus, was trying not to cry. Also, when the graduates were singing, they stopped and one person stood up and thanked their parents. Then another one stood up and thanked the teachers for all the work they had done for them. Most teachers started crying at this point, but I toughed it out. It was a good ceremony all around. I have more to say, but I am in an internet cafe.
I have been asking about what would happen with work since Novemeber or so. Telling them that I need to make arrangements for the next year and I needed information to make my decision. I was ignored. When asked when I would move out of my apartment, I gave a random date because I had no idea about my job. Throughout all of that I kept asking though. My company advertised for job openings in another city, near Osaka, where I used to live. I told them I would take it. They didn't report back to me. I had to rent a storage space (which cost a lot of trouble and $340 for the first month, $84 after) to put my stuff in. I moved by myself, in the rain last Friday. As soon as the last load was in the storage space, I got a mial saying they wanted to re-hire me. Now I live in a guest house with 10-15 other people, in the middle of nowhere. It is run-down and has one toilet and one dirty shower. My apartment was brand-new, and in town. It had broadband internet and a super toliet. The water was always warm and it wasn't too hot or too cold. Roaches never showed up. $300 will be deducted from my salary as a moving out fee. I am sure they will try to take more as I am a foreigner. I mailed my work back and told them I would take the job if they could help me out with an apartment. They wrote back, "No, but I can give you a list of realators." I know how to find an aparmtent. That isn't a problem. But getting an apartment in Japan, especially if you are a foreigner, is a process of extortion. You are expected to pay 1-3 months rent up front, and a "deposit" That you will never see again. After paying for everything regarding moving I had about $17 in my bank account.
I waited for pay-day. No money came. I waited through the weekend. No money came. I called my work. "Oh, didn't we tell you? YOur pay will be 10 days late because you are moving." "No, you didn't tell me. That isn't going to work. " "I will call my supervisor, maybe we can give you an advance." I don't know how paying you a few days late can be considered an advance. "But I have no money to eat." "Do you have any friends?" Fuck you. This is what Kayoko asked me when she stopped paying me and said, "But I gave you a bag of rice."
Now at this point you might be saying, "Wes, why don't you just move home?" Good point. I would have loved to at many different points, but I have been broke for 2 years. I couldn't afford a plane ticket home if I didn't eat for two weeks. I still wore the same clothes I had in high school. I wear the same suit I bought when I got on JET. I sewed up the pants for graduation with a sewing kit I got at the dollar store.
The advance came. I went to the company through which I got my old apartment in hopes of getting it back. "You want an apartment in March, in Kyoto?" He laughed at me. He laughed. Kyoto is a college town and the school year starts in April. Everyone who transfers jobs, transfers in April. I could have planned for this if my work told me anything earlier. The man, with his rotting teeth, finding me amusing, manged to find an old, wooden apartment, outside of town. The first payment will be $2,500. That is feasible. Why not $25 million. It is the same thing to me.
Work called today. The company. They asked why I hadn't responded to the email about signing my contract next week. I live in a broken down guest-house north of the city where there is a filthy community room with a broken down, out of date computer in the corner the you can pay $1 to use for 30 minutes. It doens't look like it works and there is a note on top saying that you can only use it for mail and information. I told them the date and time of the contract signing were okay but I was unhappy with how I was being treated. The lady in cahrge of this stuff, who is 8 years younger than me and whose English is worse than my Japanese, kept trying to change the conversation rudely back to English explaining that the company had budget concerns this year an would only pay for people relocating from far away. "How is that different from me?" I kept asking. "Let me ask you a question? Where did the money go?" Fuck them. It went to all my diamonds and watch collection. It would to my stocks and gold reserves. It went to charity. It went to fuel for my plane. I work for a haken company and live in Japan.
This call was also to introduce me to my new supervisor who laughed when I spoke Japanese to her.
I told the other lady that I had done a very good job for her company. That the teacher, the students, the principlas loved me and that that had to reflect well on her company which was trying to get a new contract with the 3rd most populous city in Japan. "Whether you did a good job, that may or may not be true." Ho demoralizing. After last weeks graduation with everyone crying and telling you how they want you to come back and seeing the kids that you love do so well, and fitting in with all the teachers, a jerk in an office who can't even dress herself (just my theory) reduces all the energy you have put into "You may or may not have done a good job." It is almost enought to make me take my $17 and down to the travel agency and get a ticket down the street.
I know I will love the job once I get to the schools. I hate being treated like this. As a nutmeg of consulation, the lady mailed me a list of places I could live in Osaka. I live in Kyoto. I thanked her for the list, but it was all foreginer houses. I am not a human being. I am not being trated as a human being and I have no recourse. I told the lady this. She said "Maybe you shouldn't work here." I knew it was coming to that. I told her I liked the job, but I didn't think they were being fair.
I am out after this contract. I can't take this shit. I love the job, but I hate the system. I love my gym though.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Kumar,Thank you for being my friend I will never have another one like you and I’ll miss you everyday.Thank you for teaching me that you don't have to be bitter to be smart.That you don't have to be isolated to have integrity.Thank you for being exactly who you were meant to be every moment of everyday.Thank you for your endless dedication to the perfect smoothie.Thank you for single-handedly trying to make the knock-off sleeveless soccerjersey the height of fashion.Thank you for playing the drum on national television at the world cup with the Senegalese flag painted on your chest and a big doofy hat on, just like me andEmily knew you would. I think you still have my tape of that. Speaking of which; thank you for getting your kit off at every imaginable opportunity.Thanks for letting me sleep on your floor.Thanks for talking me into drinking the night before the nobeoka marathon andthen letting me throw up at your house all the next day. Thank you for me you and Kate in Nobeoka.Thank you for me you and Kate at the Aya marathon, you broke out way past me and Gerd and as you doubled back past us at the halfway point, we cheered too, how could we not(your kit was off again by the way)..I think you came in in 18 minutes.Thank you for me you and Kate at Oura.Thank you for me you and Kate. Except when you made her cry, you bastard.Thanks for your ponderous yoga stretches that delayed our entry into the ocean by something that must total in the hours at this point.Thank you for Kisaki and Oura and Shojuen and Tanegashima. Thank you for laughing along with me when I fucked up and cheering me on when I did well.Thank you for taking the time when you didn't have to. "If the goalies off his line kick it." "you need to get your hips around more on those corners""if it's offshore at Kisaki try Shojuen" "if nothing's happening that's when you bust out the beers and get it started!"people who are really good at things are often terrible at giving advice to those that aren't. You could do it without being patronizing. You would have been a great coach.Thank you for my surfboard and its ridiculous two whales swimming in a yin-yang sticker which when I sarcastically said, “cool sticker mar-mar" you responded earnestly “I know huh? "thank you for; “dude there were three of them"thank you for, “boom and bag it"thank you for, “blow blow blow blow” both in the club and in the ocean thank you for “alllrighhhht"thank you for "totally" thank for your laugh which sounded like something popping up from the bottom of your lungs. Thank you for laughing at my jokes, even when they were at your expense. Thank you for all the soccer. I don't have to tell you how good you were. You already know that.Thank you for yelling, “Ed ball!" and me passing it yelling “Fuck you Kumar,I’m not Ed!"Thank you for the move that will forever be known to me as "the Kumar."thank you for that night at CUBE when me and you split a tab of ecstasy (both for the first time) and ended up letting these girls take us to that underwater bar singing karaoke RUN-DMC and slapping each other 5's 'cause wewere such goddamned superstars-then telling the girls that all the ramen shops were closed so we had to go back to ours and make pasta. The two of you quickly disappeared and I got stuck with a boiling pot of water and the friend. You got laid and passed out and I got to drive the girls home. Par for the course. We spent lunch the next day staring at each other and asking,"Did that all really happen?" "What if we go back and that bar isn't there?"Thank you for all the lunches; nobody loves food like your ass. How many times have I listened to your elaborate descriptions of meals I cared nothing about? And your sheer excitement and getting to eat...always releasing a giant cry of “yaaahhh" or some such.Thank you for introducing me to Tomo, Saho,Kris, Rolan, everyone in Tanegashima, and that girl in Tokyo who we went out for drinks with. You said later that you thought she was so cool you couldn’t ask her back to your place…well there’s a first time for everything.Thank you for playing our first show with us. It seemed to be okay to do stuff if it was with you, even if you were wearing a big Dashiki the whole time.Thank you for liking my songs. "I was feeling' it"Thank you for having your flaws too. You were the worst morning grump ever.But if I could get you out the door or some coffee in you it was all okay. You couldn't play the guitar for shit. Your taste in movies was questionable at best. After you went on a date to xXx, I asked you how it was, "It was like James Bond with skateboards!"
You had four things that you would forsake your friends for; food, sleep, girls or waves. But it was okay because you would forgive the same transgressions.Thank you for sitting next to me at the Lord of the Rings premiere and every time there was any reference that could possibly be construed as relating to weed you let rip with a "allllrighhht" "yehhhh dude." Thank you for smoking a brother out. Thank you for your childlike enthusiasm. The first time you got on Todd’s skateboard you kept squealing, “it's just like surfing!"Thank you for getting nervous about the silliest stuff. Like at Kisaki,"everyone is wearing spring suits and I have this full suit on...I just feel so lame!"Outside of that stuff thank you for being fearless.Thank you for you and Peter in the mirror for 30 minutes trying to get your clothes right for the evening. It must have been a trick shirt. It had sleeves. Thank you for the beautiful double meaning in your families naming of your website "ambassador for peace and love" I don't know if they are aware of how seriously you took your "ambassador of love title." I suppose you weren'tkeeping me up at night- and occasionally waking me up in the morning- with the racket from your incessant humping downstairs. You were just engaged in some serious trade negotiations. I should have taken minutes.
Thank you for our last day together at Shojuen. Driving to Nichinan, listening to the Pogues. We talked about graduate school and about how you wanted to get serious about peace studies and human rights but you might drop it all for marine biology. Just the two of us and a few guys at shojuen. I got tired and frustrated as usual and went back in, you kept catching everything. When you realized I was on the beach you would throw your arms up and start waving me back out. I guess that is were you will always be for me, “the king of stoke.” It was enough to get me back out .
Thank you for the following conversation:
“is that mail from the half Peruvian stripper”
“no, it’s her twin sister….oh, man. She wants to be friends”
“you know Kumar, you would win life if you could work something out there.”
“yeh, I guess that is something everyone wants to do before they get married.”
Right Kumar, a three-way with half Peruvian/half Japanese twin strippers is just something off the list before you get married. If you are Kumar.
Thanks for trying to talk Chad into splitting the price of a tank of gas for giving you a ride to the airport in my car.
Thank you for the smoked salmon. I’m sorry I didn’t eat it.
Thank you for the funniest Bob Marley impersonation I have ever heard. “True rasta man don’t cut off dem toe.”
Thank you for calling me out of nowhere with the most ridiculous dilemmas and never taking my advice.
Thank you for meeting up with me in Tokyo. We met in Harajuku and you made sure we found a vegetarian restaurant. We wandered around and checked out the bands. We had a drink with that girl and talked about tattoos.
Thank you for the trail mix.
Thank you for covering for me at work. In just two weeks you managed to score one juku teacher and convince all the kids to this day that my name is Kumar.
Thank you for getting drunk at Beat Crap and grabbing me in a big bear hug and saying, “I said, when I met you…’that Wes, he’s a great guy!” All I could think to say was, “really, when we met I thought you were from New Zealand.” What I meant to say was, “That really means a lot coming from you."
At a time when we are told that our heroes should be soldiers, thank you for showing that living for peace can be just as dangerous but far more worthwhile.
Thank you for that time in Tanegashima when we were waiting on a wave and you said, “You ever look at a wave and you can’t catch the wave but you think, ‘man I’m glad I got to look at such a beautiful wave.” John’s response was, “Shut up Kumar, no one ever thinks that.” We got a lot of miles out of that one over the years. But now, thinking about all the times we had and all the times we won’t have, I can say that, yes Kumar, I know exactly what it is like to look at a wave and not be able to catch it but thinking, man I’m glad I got to look at such a beautiful wave.
Kumar, Thank you for being my friend, I will never have another one like you and I’ll miss you every day.
===Back to 2008=== Please take a day for Kumar to consider that reggae might be powerful. Hippies might not all be dumb. That you might be braver than you think you are. That trying something new isn't silly. We all miss you Kumar.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
What has also been skipped over is that racism played a part, large or otherwise is unknown, in Clinton's win in Ohio. Witness the reporter who was told, "I won't vote for the nigger." (I can't find the quote on the internets right now, but the reporter who talked about it was on The Young Turks earlier this week.) I would give Clinton the same challenge I would issue to Republicans. Come out and say to those people that you are not interested in their support. But, of course, she is. Anyone who wants to win in America is.
Friday, March 7, 2008
A friend from college showed up and bought me a Patrick O'Brien novel and took me out for Chinese food. That was good. but the restaurant was empty and they kept playing this Ben Folds CD over and over again, which only makes me nostalgic and sad.
I went to Purebred in the morning and did crazy circuit training with my new best friend; the medicine ball.
The next day we went to see a German poster exhibition at the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art. It is nice to live in a city. The posters were interesting but I have to say that French posters from the same era are more my thing. It was disturbing to see a society go from exploring new possibilities in art to genocide in 30 years or so. Instructive.
A sunny day turned into a crazy snowstorm as we exited. Then back to a sunny day again. Strange Kyoto weather. Crazy Smarch weather.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
It was my birthday and all I got was a shiner from this mofo. Who is somehow being choked out yet finds a way to beat me around like a wet doll pulled out of the garbage by a hungry dog. Not that I wanted more for my birthday. That was pretty much it. I plan on going to the gym everyday (with a few rest periods) for a month. Nice. That is all. Although Susan remembered my birthday, as always. And Summer threatens me with violence and lungfish....two of my favorite things. My dad also remembered my birthday but I couldn't get out of bed to answer my phone. Prodigal son, your act is tired.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I didn't realize that Rina's English was so good. I don't know how many times I have to tell the kids that "Mr." plus someone's first name sounds odd. I love Rina. She is really humble and very good at judo. She is big and strong and kind of goofy looking but I think that that makes her super rad. She also studies really hard. I like fighting her too. I am always scared she is going to kick my ass but when I beat her she says "I can't beat you." But I am thinking the same thing about her and she is a 15 year-old girl.
This is a message I got from Yuri. She is a 2nd year. Her father was transferred to the U.S. when she was in elementary school. He worked in New York and she grew up in Connecticut. My argument is that the majority of education in Japan is teaching kids how to be Japanese. Yuri missed out on a lot of that, but her English is great. I think it must be a tough road for her, although she fits in pretty well at school. I worried a lot that she hated class. She wrote me this letter.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Gurgel vs. Halverson: No one cares. Gurgel by decision.
Sanchez vs. Bielkheden: I don't care. I am a Sanchez fan. True, "Dirty" is a goof ball, but I believe that, on the whole, his powers are for good. He is a talented, exciting fighter. Sanchez by submission in the 2nd.
Koscheck vs. Hazelett: I am starting to think that Koscheck can't help being a doofus. I pull for him. His striking is still robotic, but robots are strong. Koscheck will put Hazelett on his back and hurt him. Koscheck by TKO in the 3rd.
Fioravanti vs. Cummo: How can you be chubby and fight professionally at 170? I don't hold it against a brother, his name is Luigi, what's he gonna do? Cummo has a better pace and it will get him a decision.
Arlovski vs. O'Brien: Oh to be relegated to the kiddie table. Poor Arlovski's knees won't fit under the rusty card table. The small chair is bending with his weight. The king has returned and has to sit in the corner. I like Arlovski. He is a good, good fighter. O'Brien could make this really boring, but I hope Arlovski comes in pissed. Arlovski by KO in the 3rd.
Fitch vs. Wilson: Wilson could be better than people think. He will still lose. Fitch is the real deal. How many people have to say it? This fight offers him nothing really. He should be fighting for a championship. Fitch by submission in the 2nd.
Okami vs. Tanner: I would normally pull for Okami. Okami is the better fighter in this fight. Okami will probably win this fight. There is no reason that Okami shouldn't win this fight. Do you understand? I can't go against Tanner. Back from a two year fall into alcoholism, financial despair, and various adventures, Tanner has little hope of winning. Tanner by decision.
Leben vs. Sakara: When your nickname could be "The Cat Smasher" and you go with "The Crippler", you have already lost. I enjoy Sakara even when he looks like garbage. He always finds a new, inexplicable way to lose. I can't root for Leben. Sakara by KO in the 2nd.
Herring vs. Quedraogo: I am excited about this fight. It is truly hard to call. I have been pulling for Kongo up until now. Herring's "I ain't no homosexual" outburst is embarrassing. Herring was a good fighter, but, like Coleman when they took away headbutts, he has lost his bread and butter. With no knees to the head on the ground, Herring looks lost and desperate. Remember though, he was there until the end with Fedor. He seldom gets knocked out. He is as awkward as Kongo is slick, but somehow I see this adding up to a win for Herring. Plus, at the heavywieghts, chubby guys do better. Herring by decision.
Henderson vs. Silva: This fight is huge. I said less than a year ago that I didn't see Silva losing for the next few years. Then the UFC got Hendo. I believe that Silva might be the best striker MMA has ever seen. I also believe that Henderson might be the best athlete to ever fight MMA. Henderson doesn't always seem to have a harness on that athleticism however. He fights the fight that he gets sucked into. Often, his giant right hand, along with his iron chin, will bail him out. Can a brawl overcome Silva's precision? I don't know. I am often surprised by how big Silva is and how small Henderson is. Looking at them separately you would think that it is the other way around. That could give Silva leverage in the clinch and on strikes. Somehow I still see Henderson's physicality winning out. This should really be a great fight. Of course, that 'should' almost guarantees that it will not be. Henderson by decision.
Is the fact that the percentage of violent crime committed by U.S. soldiers stationed in Japan is less than the percentage of crime committed by Japanese criminals shows that we misunderstand the threat, that we have something to crow about? It seems a given that professional representatives of their country in the service of their country abroad would commit less violent crimes than the resident criminal population. Michael Hassett seems astonished at the pride this embiggens in him. His small anecdote about Kendrick Ledet makes it seem that the world should be thankful that the U.S. military only releases a small amount of psychopaths into unsuspecting communities.
However, there were no arrests in Japan of SOFA-covered individuals for rape or sexual assault in 2006, even though the NPA did arrest 1,094 Japanese for rape and another 4,733 for sexual offenses — that's nearly 16 a day.
What does this statement tell us? Nothing really. There were no arrests. Does that mean that there were no complaints? No investigations? No crimes? No attempted crimes? No unreported rapes? No reported rapes dealt with in other ways? Hassett claims to be surprised by the amazing stats that he has discovered, but he seems to be more relieved by the imagined stats he has coaxed to the surface.
Many feel that society would be great if we had no need for military forces, but as long as governments don't feel the same way the fact remains that we have to put them somewhere.
Do they force journalists to come out with absurd sentiments like this? Yes, Okinawa has been begging to be occupied. First by the Japanese, now by the Americans. And even if they hadn't, what are you gonna do? As long as governments love militaries, how can this be helped?
All of which raises the question: Is it hypocritical to give such disproportionate media exposure to crimes committed by U.S. service members when the data shows that their adherence to our laws apparently exceeds our own?
More pasty journalist hack false sentiment. No, it isn't hypocritical. One is a foreign military presence crammed down the local population's collective throat over their much ignored objections. The other is the local criminal element. Equivocation, the mainstream journalist's Vaseline.
attempting to silence the voices in my head.