Abe literally worse than Hitler and other awful articles

There’s been two pretty bad articles recently, one by Jake Adelstein, and another by someone who could easily be his disciple. Let’s skim through and find the :facepalm: First, Jake:

The domestic press hasn’t been controlled by the state to this extent since, arguably, 1937.

Jake Adelstein hasn’t written a worse article since, arguably, 1973.

why the government didn’t seem particularly interested in saving the Japanese hostages in Syria.

That’s an interesting spin – one could claim that the reluctance to hand over $200 million indicated a lack of interest; is that what he wants to say, or is this just criticism for the sake of criticism?

A freelance journalist who attempted to go to Syria last month was even directly threatened with arrest.

That person was a photo-journalist, I believe, and there is an interesting argument about the right of free movement over the duty of the government to protect its citizens, but again, subtlety is abandoned for the sake of criticism.

The Asahi then also retracted important testimony on the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, perhaps out of fear.

Nope, that is nonsense; it was retracted because it was false. Admittedly, the Asahi could have feared being made a laughing stock again, but that’s not what Jake is trying to falsely convince the reader of.

Kenji Goto, the journalist who was beheaded by jihadis after Abe’s Cairo speech.


Now, the Huffington Post:

Japan, it seemed, was increasingly uncomfortable with the nationalist alternative that Abe and others were offering. But Hatoyama himself lasted less than a year — in large part because of U.S. pushback against his unorthodox foreign policy positions 

That’s not why the DPJ got elected, and unless you could Okinawa as foreign, Hatoyama’s only unorthodox (is that a polite way of saying “insane”?) foreign policy was his East Asian EU, and he lasted less than a year due to cocking up Okinawa all by himself.

The visit sends […] a message to Japanese that this prime minister will push his constitutional agenda forward regardless of the domestic obstacles.

Really? It’s not like he came back and said that the ghost of Tojo told him to invade China.

Less publicized was his participation in an important Shinto ritual that happens every 20 years — the rebuilding of the Ise Shrine — that effectively blurred the distinction between religion and state.

That’s an, err, interesting way of describing it.

Last July, Abe issued a cabinet decision — the Japanese equivalent of a presidential order — that committed Japan to collective self-defense, which means that Tokyo can fight on behalf of allies even if Japan itself is not under attack.

That’s not the way I understand it, or at least there are sufficient checks and balances that say they can support allies attacked within Japanese territorial waters. (Of course, please correct me if I am wrong here.)

the Abe document would not just remove Article 9

No, the draft doesn’t remove it.

The rest about Okinawa is interesting, but it fails to mention that by delaying the Henoko project, Futenma is left sitting in the middle of the town it is in; that is a significant point, I feel. (Oh, as for the current test boring stuff, the crushing of coral by the concrete anchors needs to be addressed, and Abe’s speech for the opening of the Diet in January (I think it was) where he said something to the effect of Okinawa’s residents will be treated with respect has been shown to be empty words, but I’ve not seen anyone pick him up on it recently, either in English or Japanese.)

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  1. Shisaku has chimed in…with sanity:

    First there was Noah Smith. (Link)

    Then there was John Feffer. (Link)

    Now we have Jake Adelstein getting in on the action. (Link)

    To which I say, “Um….really?”

    It’s a very good read. I particularly agree with this:

    Frankly speaking, given the laws that were already on the books before the Designated Secrets Act, there is no way Japan’s news media should have been ranked as high as 10th in the world in terms of press freedom. The drop to 61st place is equally absurd, demonstrating nothing but the volatility of the human heart.

    Well, not law per se (I’m not quite up on all that), but the kisha club set-up, yes, and the far right, who’ve been intimidating people with fair impunity for decades. Things are far from perfect, but the yo-yoing is bullshit.

    Also this:

    It cannot be denied that the preceding Democratic Party of Japan-led government, had it continued in power, would have presented and passed a similar bill [to the secrets act].

    Alas, it is constantly denied every time someone makes it out to be a key part of Abe’s attempt to recreate the conditions for the country’s utter humiliating military defeat at the hands of a superpower or whatever psychosis they’re prepared to attribute to him.

  2. “Inflammatory articles … aren’t helping [the Japan Times]’ circulation numbers”

    FTFY, Dr. Mtzlpk.

  3. In other meta news, I see that Japan Times has set the flag requiring people to have accounts and login in order to UPVOTE, not just downvote, posts.

    Oh noes, what will Steve Jackman do this month for JBC?! :razz:

  4. By the way and out of curiosity, havill, do you know if the Japan Times (or any website that uses Disqus) can see the IP addresses of Disqus account owners that comment in a thread?

  5. @Ketsuro Ou:

    I believe so. Japanprobe used to publish the IP addresses of people who made violent threats.

  6. @Ketsuro Ou:

    Yes, that is a feature of Disqus. The IP address last used is displayed for moderators, and they can whitelist/blacklist based on this.

    More info:

    (The is where the IP address would be)

  7. Thank you for your answers, fellows.

    I was just curious as to whether or not the Japan Times could (or even would) identify and ban sockpuppets.

    I find it so very difficult to believe that Slippery Jim DiGriz and his cohort (RonNJ, Steve Jackman, Fight Back, Jonathan Fields etc.) are all unique individuals.

    And yet, the Japan Times gives them all a pass.

  8. Also, Google+ / Blogger and Facebook community/page/comment systems will not show users/moderators ip addresses.

  9. Ken on another phone

    Jim is Fight Back, but I think the others are all distinct, although I’ve never seem anything by Johnathon Fields.

  10. I am pretty sure that “Steve Jackman” is another one of Slippery Jim’s.

    Jonathan Fields just showed up last week. He may very well be an actual person, but the content of his posts are almost indistinguishable from Steve Jackman and company.

    In any given thread, you could exchange the names and the posts of these people and nothing would seem out of place.

  11. On a somewhat related note, awhile back I actually read the novel “The Stainless Steel Rat”, where the name “Jim DiGris” came from. It was quite enjoyable. A little dated, but enjoyable.

    The Internet “Jim DiGris” may be a total sociopath, but he has good taste in Science Fiction.

  12. Just looked at this month’s JBC. I think I’m going to need a longer barge pole.

  13. I’ve always thought RonNJ was a Debito sockpuppet. You know Debito can’t resist flapping his gums on topics in JT, yet he rarely posts under his actual name, and RonNJ is super quick to pop in on any dog whistle topic.

    He is also usually one of the first to comment on each month’s JBC, always in lock step with Debito’s opinion.

    Just my hypothesis, but I haven’t seen anything to contradict it.

  14. @Smorkoid:

    All debito.org commenters are in lockstep with debito. Anyone else gets deleted.

  15. @Smorkoid:

    He’s not. I know this because I’ve corrected RonNJ on stuff that Debito should/does know. And RonNJ politely thanked me for the info. That would never happen if he was a sockpuppet.

  16. @havill: Fair enough. I guess all bombast sounds alike.


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