METI plans bilingual app that scans sake labels

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to develop a free smartphone app that scans sake labels to provide information in Japanese and English.

The app will display such data as alcohol content, the variety of rice used and recommended drinking temperatures, as well as information on where the breweries are located. It will also display videos about the sake-brewing process.

The move is part of the Cool Japan campaign, a government effort to promote Japanese culture overseas. The ministry plans to release the app in October.

The app will initially be tested on about 10 brands of sake, with coverage slated to expand in fiscal 2016 beginning next April, and beyond. The ministry hopes to eventually cover 1,000 or more of the 1,700 to 1,900 brands available in Japan, officials said.

Takakuwa Art Printing, which prints about 70 percent of the sake labels in Japan, will cooperate with the ministry in providing the data.

According to the National Tax Agency, sake exports in 2014 rose about 10 percent to ¥1.15 billion compared with the previous year, breaking the record for the fifth year in a row.

While there are no standards governing the use of sake labels or definitive translations of sake-related words. The ministry hopes that the app will address these issues and help raise sales overseas.

In another effort to promote overseas sales, the tax agency plans to define only sake made in Japan from domestically grown rice as “Japanese sake.”

Toward the Feminist Dystopia

@JanetheActuary is an outside-the-box thinker you should follow on Twitter, and her musing today on Patheos deserves notice:

The increasing unmarriagableness of men is often identified as the reason why the rates of unwed motherhood have climbed so much . . . Women report thinking of the father of their child as “just a child himself” — whether because young women tend to be more mature than their same-aged counterparts or whether motherhood itself makes those women more mature. . . .

She then notes an apparent tendency toward bisexual/lesbian “experimentation” among young women and considers the possibility of women forming what might be called pseudo-lesbian families:

If women, to a significant degree, give up on men and form all-female households, no specific woman has harmed any specific man. But the harm to men, and society, in general, would be significant.

She asks if this is “too far-fetched,” but in fact this is already happening in various ways. Most women in their 20s nowadays are unmarried, and most of those women share apartments with other young women. Although the vast majority of these women do not think of themselves as bisexual (and certainly not lesbian), the shortage of marriageable males results in these young women experiencing conflicts and instability in their relationships with men, so that their female friends and roommates are a more enduring emotional influence in their lives than are their on-again/off-again boyfriends. We should not be the least bit surprised if some women in this predicament “give up on men,” and feminist theory would certainly encourage women to do this:

“In terms of the oppression of women, heterosexuality is the ideology of male supremacy. In order for men to have a justification for exploiting women and an ability to enforce that exploitation, heterosexuality has to become, not merely an act in relation to impregnation, but the dominant ideology.”

That was first published 40 years ago in a book co-edited by Charlotte Bunch, who subsequently became a distinguished academic at Rutgers University and in 1999 was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President Bill Clinton. (Click here to see C-SPAN video of Hillary Clinton’s speech at the December 1999 ceremony.)

You must never forget: Feminism Is Queer!

Feminism is Queer is an introduction to the intimately related disciplines of gender and queer theory. While guiding the reader through complex theory, the author develops the original position of “queer feminism,” which presents queer theory as continuous with feminist theory. While there have been significant conceptual tensions between second wave feminism and traditional lesbian and gay studies, queer theory offers a paradigm for understanding gender, sex, and sexuality that avoids the conflict in order to develop solidarity among those interested in feminist theory and those interested in lesbian and gay rights.

You see this is not “fringe” feminism or “extreme” feminism. This is simply what feminism means for university students in the 21st century.Feminism is Queer is a 2010 textbook whose author, Mimi Marinucci, is a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Washington University. Accepting feminist gender theory, as I’ve explained, requires the de-normalization of everything:

To be a feminist means that you cease to believe that there is anything natural about the human condition and, furthermore, you must reject everything “normal” as inherently oppressive. . . . By constantly sharing everything, all their feelings and stories and selfies, feminists forge the bonds of Radical Sisterhood, as they struggle to overthrow the power of Male Supremacy.

My book, Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature, explains this in depth. Based on the writings of dozens of feminist authors — Kate Millett, Susan Brownmiller, Dee Graham, Judith Butler, Sheila Jeffreys, et al. — who are quoted at length, Sex Trouble exposes the anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology of what can only be described as a Totalitarian Movement to Destroy Civilization as We Know It.

Canada: Convert to Islam approves of jihad attacks on Canadian police & military

We see it again and again: when someone in the West converts to Islam, he or she no longer considers himself to be a citizen of the country of his birth. Loyalty to the umma, the global Muslim community, supersedes all national allegiances.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials should consider the fact that while Muslim groups are making concerted efforts to convert young Westerners to Islam, no non-Muslim groups are making any attempt to counter those efforts. One might think, in light of the story of Aaron Driver and so many others like him, that authorities would see doing so as a matter of national security. But that would be “Islamophobic.”

“Aaron Driver defends ISIS, attack on Parliament, but denies he’s a threat,” by Caroline Barghout,CBC News, June 24, 2015:

Aaron Driver doesn’t consider himself a terror threat and doesn’t think Canadians should fear him, despite the Winnipeg man’s justification of the attacks on police and military members here at home.

“I think if a country goes to war with another country, or another people or another community, they have to be prepared for things like that to happen,” Driver said in a nearly 90-minute phone conversation with CBC News.

“And when it does happen, they shouldn’t act surprised. They had it coming to them. They deserved it.”

Driver was arrested near his home in Winnipeg’s Charleswood neighbourhood on June 4 and detained for eight days. RCMP took his custom-made computer, phone, flash drives and Qur’an.

RCMP want a peace bond against him, saying they consider him a terror threat.

Court documents said Driver “will participate in, or contribute to, directly or indirectly, the activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, pursuant to S.810.01 of the Criminal Code.”

Driver caught the attention of CSIS in October 2014 when he was tweeting his support for ISIS. That activity landed him on a watch list.

The 23-year-old regularly shared his views on social media, and he was regularly shut down by Twitter for doing so.

He calls the Oct. 22 attack in Ottawa “retaliation” and the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo “justified” for Canada’s role in bombing Muslims in Syria and Iraq.

“These are not attacks on malls or any kind of public place, like churches. These are attacks on police officers and these are attacks on soldiers. These are people who are part of the system. It’s entirely different,” Driver said.

“That’s my opinion, those are my personal beliefs, and I don’t think my opinions or the things I’ve said online have had a direct impact on anyone else or that I’ve inspired anyone to carry out any kind of attack or anything like that. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

He added, “I think the big issue is I’m a Canadian living in Canada, and I’m OK with soldiers or police officers being targeted for what they’re doing to Muslims.

“I think it’s a little hypocritical that people would take issue with people retaliating against them … when it’s the police and the military who are killing Muslims.”
Interrogated for hours

Driver was arrested as he was walking to a bus stop just before 7 a.m. on June 4. He said an unmarked white van pulled up in the wrong lane and several armed officers surrounded him and took him away.

“I think they were hoping that after arresting me they’d find something, you know, they’d find things on my hard drive or my phone,” he said.

“They probably think they’d find a gold mine and they didn’t, so I think that’s why I’m out right now and I’m not in jail.”…

“Basically I retweeted something from a fighter or recruiter or something in Syria and the interrogator was just asking me over and over again why I did that. What was I thinking, what was the purpose?” Driver said.

Driver doesn’t remember the exact motivation behind the retweet, but said he believes he found it funny at the time.

After eight days in custody, Driver was released on bail under 25 conditions.

He surrendered his passport and must live in Winnipeg for the next 12 months. He has a curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. He can’t have a computer or smartphone or log into any of his social media accounts.

Driver is forbidden from contacting any members of the Islamic State or own anything with the ISIS logo on it. He’s also supposed to get religious counselling, but he doesn’t know what that entails.

“I feel like I’m living in a prison now, you know, without having access to the internet,” he said.

“I feel really cut off from the outside world. I’m not sure it will be that much different than me being in prison, so yeah, I’m going to fight the peace bond.”
Found Islam online

Driver was born in Saskatchewan to a Christian family and has lived in New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba. His mother died when he was seven years old.

His father later remarried and joined the Canadian Forces. Driver said he’s never gotten along with his father or stepmother and isn’t close with them now.

Driver said his father caught him smoking a joint at age 14 and sent him to London, Ont., to live with his sister. For the next three years, he hung out with the wrong people and got into trouble.

But that changed when Driver was 17, after he discovered his girlfriend was pregnant.

“That’s why I stopped drinking and I stopped doing drugs and I stopped partying and stuff, and I started reading the Bible … because, you know, I had a lot of responsibility coming my way very soon,” he said.

The Bible is also what Driver said drove him to Islam.

“I just decided it couldn’t possibly be the word of God, so I started watching debates to find some answers. A lot of debates between Christians and atheists and Christians and Muslims, and the Muslims were always destroying them in these debates,” he said.

When asked how he turned from devout Muslim to a “radical extremist,” Driver said it was a result of reading up on the Middle East online.

“Seeing some of the things that happened in Syria, it infuriates you and it breaks your heart at the same time. And I think that if you know what’s going on, you have to do something. Even if you’re just speaking about it,” he said.

“Something has to be done. People need to know what’s happening to Muslims so I think maybe that’s why.”

And while Driver may justify acts of retaliation for injustices against Muslims, he said violence isn’t in his nature.

“I don’t have a violent history. I’ve only been in a few fistfights in my whole life,” he said.

“No, I don’t think I’m a threat, and I don’t think there’s a reason for Canadians to think that I’m a threat.”

He thinks religious counselling might mean the RCMP want him “deradicalized.”

When asked what would it take to change his views, he said, “for the West to stop killing Muslims, stop bombing, stop arresting Muslims … take responsibility for the crimes they’ve committed and just stay home and work on their own problems.”…


Published on Apr 15, 2015

All to often, I see and hear people demonizing planet Saturn, throwing around the term *Black Sun* as if it’s a convincing conviction of Saturn’s evilness… their foolish endeavors and scant accusations, are like watching a chimp trying to force fit a square peg into a round hole! It’s obvious; these simpletons do not fully comprehend the term Sol Niger, as the *Black Sun* has very little to do with the planet, and much to do with the Sun.

Taipei-Keelung area education plan to be scrapped

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei City’s Department of Education yesterday announced that a joint draft plan created for Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung slated for use for the 2016 school year would not be implemented. An alternative strongly pushed by many Taipei district parents may be put in place, with that plan calling for next year’s enrollment to be determined using measures that have historically been provided by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

A lack of consensus among the three Northern Taiwan regions was cited for the reason that the plan, called the “216 Plan,” was ultimately rejected. Last year, rules were put into place that would admit students if school enrollment quotas were not able to accommodate all applicants. The complicated ranking scheme for incoming high school students is based upon a series of performance scores for each student in various fields and levels earned on the Comprehensive Assessment Program (CAP).

Previously, the education departments of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung had planned to implement the “216 Plan,” which would put greater weight on the CAP scores in the ranking process. Although it was defended by the three governments at the time for maintaining local autonomy and fairness in allocating students, its critics say that the “three-tiers, four-symbols” delineation system — which grades students by A, B, C, and then increments in between — waters down the precision of the ranking method and disadvantages students who are not from elite schooling backgrounds. Parents against the plan rallied outside the Taipei City Government yesterday demanding that measures be confirmed.

Department of education officials in Taipei City indicated that a meeting between mayors Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Eric Chu (朱立倫) earlier in the week created an agreement under which conditions for this year’s publication of examinees on July 3 will be noted and considered for the next school year. Both mayors concluded that if residents find the system suitable, it will be used next year. Should it be deemed unsatisfactory, changes will be implemented.

While the MOE had agreed to provide statistical information for Taipei for its rankings methods up to this year, there are currently no plans in place for it to continue providing statistics beyond 2015. MOE officials had deemed this the task of local education agencies. It had also encouraged local city and county governments to conduct special exams in order to better gauge and categorize gifted students. It is unclear whether the MOE will accede to demands to provide data that would allow a measuring meter to be constructed.

The Department of Education Commissioner Tang Chih-min (湯志民) said that if parents find this year’s policy to be sound, it will work to obtain the measuring meters from the MOE.