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A SIMPLE BLOG OF A SIMPLE MAN including teaching, photography, independent film, writing, music, living in a foreign land, the HARD FACTS of life, and a sprinkle of tounge-in-cheek comedy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Those of you who know me would all know that I switched from PC (Personal Crap) computers about 2 years ago when I bought my first Mac (an iBook G4) as a xmas present for myself and I have and will never, regret it! Until then I was ignorant of the computer world and brainwashed by Bill Gates and his mates (millions of them by now) to believe that every thing I touched had to be Microsoft.

Well, not any more! I have broke free from that mental slavery, monopoly and ignorance and basically become somewhat of a computer geek (Mac only) to the point that a large number of my waking hours (and indeed, my life) is dedicated to cyber-play. The numerous blogs and websites that I administer means that I have to look at a web browser constantly. Now if one checks the plethora of web browsers available they will soon see that there are so many that actually work (unlike IE) and work fast, secure and reliably.


Then, why on earth is IE so god damn popular, I hear you ask? Hmmm... well, ignorance is a powerful thing especially when it is backed up by money and a monopolising agent (MS). The millions who continue to support IE are responsible for its dominance and market share peaking at 96% in 2002 (now around 85%) but never fear because fortunately this damage can be reversable by the same people who are responsible for it (ironically).

Now if we dig a little deeper we find out that these important stats:
1. IE is boxed with all windows based computer responsible for its monopoly.
2. IE is so tighly intergrated with Windoze... zzz Woops sorry! Operating System that removing it can cause issues with your PC that may give you many more problems in the future (gee thanx a bunch Microsoft).
3. Much of the spam, spyware, adware, and computer viruses across the Internet is made possible by exploitable bugs and flaws in the security architecture of Internet Explorer.
4. Microsoft has also not responded as quickly as competitors in fixing security holes and making patches available. Not only are there more holes in Explorer, but holes remain unpatched for a longer time. Hello... Danger Mouse!
And last but not least;
5.IE, if used for browsing the net for some time, will also emit a powerful form of electromagnetic radiation coupled with hypnotising frequencies (that only bacteria can hear) which causes absolute insanity and the need to buy more MS products!!!

Okay, I made the last one up but I think you get the picture... IE is WRONG and the following story will prove it and is NOT made up.
For some time my blogs (blogger websites) have presented me with a frustrating pain in the ass that has caused me to try everything thing in my tool box to fix it! The problem was that my blogs were viewable as designed and intended (with their links on the right side) on a Mac but for some reason when viewed on a PC, were not. The links were pushed to the bottom of the screen, making the whole blog look SHIT! I edited the HTML many times but nothing solved the problem until just today, when I had an Idea: Maybe it wasn't the blog but the IE Web Browser that was responsible. Guess what? I was right IE is the only browser that seems to have trouble displaying my simple blogs (huh!).

So what can you do?
Well, its actually quite simple: STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER NOW! And teach others to Say NO to IE also for the good of all concerned and our sanity!

For more info on this topic (if you don't trust a raving Mac geek) go to this online article:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


When we think of Japan a number of words come up that are usually in uniform agreeance amongst most, if not all, 'gaijin' (foreigners) and they are as follows: Strange, weird, busy, a land of contrast, exciting, pop, culture, manga, sex, cute, Japlish etc... The list goes on and on and it wouldn't be fair to say that some of them aren't generalisations or cliches. Having said that, CRIME is not one of the words that comes to mind in fact, the opposite is usually true. Japan is a SAFE country compared to western standards and most foreigners would agree on two things:

1. Tokyo although, one of the largest cities in the world and not entirely void of crime, is EXTREMELY SAFE (similar to entering a kindergarten dressed in a riot police uniform with a bunch of sweet candy)
2. The Japanese Police have easy jobs compared to other police forces around the world and tend to waste much of their time on the so called 'Suspicious Foreigners' and 'Bicycle Theives' that run rampant in Tokyo (?).

So, it was to my dismay that earlier today (in the middle of the day) I was approached by a uniform cop at the Kawaguchi Train Station (just outside the exit) and handed a pamphlett on, you guessed it, CRIME! (See actual pamphlett below).

This pamphlett describes the prevalence of 'Bag snatchers...' (ひたくり hitakuri) and warns you to '...be on the look out!!' (ご用心!!goyoujin) for these bike riding rascals who pray on women (95% of the time) with front bicycle baskets (80% of the time) and snatch their Louis Vuitton, Prada, Guchi or just plain, boring, old shopping bags (if they're really hungry) and ride off into the viscious gettos.

Back to the cop and our not so brief (unfortunately) exchange that followed. As I exited the station I remembered that I had to confirm the next lesson with one of my students so I stopped to send a quick email (on my mobile phone). No sooner had I flipped the vodafone top open when the uniform started making his way towards me with an uncomfortable urgency. The dialogue that followed went something like this (translated into english for convenience):

Cop: Hello, I'd like to give you this pamphlett (above).
Me: Really (already suspicious of his demeanor) what is it?
Cop: It explains the recent increase in bag snatching around this area!
Me: Why are you giving it to me then?
Cop: Because you have a bag (I was wearing a backpack).
Me: Ok thank you...
Cop: By the way, where do you live?
Me: Here actually.
Cop: Can I see your Gaijin Torokusho (Foreign 'Alien' Registration Card)?
Me: Why?
Cop: Its standard procedure!
Me: But I'm kinda busy right now... (taking out my Gaijin Card and handing it to him like the good samaritan that I be).
Cop: What is your job? (at this point the 20 questions begin).
Me: I'm an English teacher...
Cop: Oh, really (trying to sound impressed) and why then does your card say Akabane on it? (My previous address as I have just moved to a new apartment).
Me: I haven't yet changed the address (now becoming frustrated at the sudden interrogation).
Cop: Again, where exactly do you live...?
Me: Again, tell me officer, why the 20 questions?
Cop: Its just routine, you know?
Me: Well, I'm sorry but I don't really have time for this (some of us have to work, you know?).

Enter second cop from a distance.

2nd Cop: Is everything ok here?
Me: It kinda was but now I gotta go, ok?
2nd Cop: Where do you live?
Me: (fuck not again!) Over there, in that nice new mansion, where the good people live, you know right next to the station where people who are neither criminal nor suspicious, reside. (The last part was NOT explicitly stated but I tried to make it understood through more indirect means of which the Japanese are generally very good at themselves).
1st Cop: Which one?
Me: Look guys, sorry but your times up and I'm outta here, so catchya later, ok?
Cops: Go to the ward office and change you address, quickly, ok?
Me: Hai Hai (yes o' fuck'n kay!) bye bye.

Exit me with my backpack and temper on the boil... down the nearest escalator to freedom.

As I was walking home to do some overdue work and prepare for my next lesson (which just happened to be a test) I could'nt stop thinking about the episode that had just passed so when I got home to my safe (from bag snatching) enviroment I decided to do a little research and something about it and here is what I found out... (to find out more about your rights click on the title now to go an excellent site explaining what you should do when in this situation, yourself).

Basically, the police do have the right to ask for your indentification (Gaijin Card) as you do theirs but only if there is 'suspicion'. So basically they can only ask for your card if you look like a 'suspicious person' and/ or a doing something that is suspicious (this is the law!). A tricky cop might say that 'This applies only to Japanese people' but in fact he (or she) would be wrong again because the law states 'This applies to all individuals in Japan regardless of their nationality' (Keisatsu hou dai hyaku roku juu ni gou ni yorimasu to, wagakuni no kojin ni atehamarimasu. Kokuseki wa kankei arimasen).

So I ask you all this question: Was the above pamphlett there to inform me of criminal activity within my local area or, was it just an excuse (smokescreen) for the often bored and prejudice Japanese police to stop me and ask me 20 personal questions, regardless of whether I looked suspicious or not? I will let you be the judge on that and leave you with something to think about...

Who is truly comitting the crime on the people?

A 'people' definition = those who are of 'Japanese look' and even those who may be suspicious to look at.

We all have rights (legal and human) and even if we don't look like we should have... we should have! So do yourself a favour and check out this great website dedicated to helping you understand them and hopefully make you feel safer in this 'Crime filled' society! (?)


And here is a something you can print out, fold up, put in your Gaijin Card (plastic cover) and show to the Japanese Police next time you are rudely interrupted from your daily routine with 20 questions about your suspicious nature (?).
Cut and paste into your browser this link:


Power to the people...





警察官職務執行法 第二条 警察官は、異常な挙動その他周囲の事情から合理的に判 断して何らかの犯罪を犯し、若しくは犯そうとしていると疑うに足りる相当な理由の ある者又は既に行われた犯罪について、若しくは犯罪が行われようとしていることに ついて知っていると認められる者を停止させて質問することができる。
In Romaji: Keisatsukan Shokumu Shikkou Hou, Dai Ni Jou Keisatsukan wa, ijou na kyodou sonota shuui no jijou kara gouriteki ni handan shite naniraka no hanzai o okashi, moshikuwa okasou to shiteiru to utagau ni tariru soutou na riyuu ga aru mono mata wa sudeni okonowareta hanzai ni tsuite, moshikuwa hanzai ga okonawareyou to shiteiru koto ni tsuite shitteiru to mitomerareru mono o teishi sasete shitsumon suru koto ga dekiru.
YOU: According to the KSS Law, only suspicious characters can be questioned. Excuse me, but specifically what am I doing that is so suspicious?
(In Romaji: Keisatsukan Shokumu Shikkou Hou ni yorimasu to, kyodou fushinsha dake ni shokumu shitsumon suru koto ga dekimasu. Sumimasen ga, gutaiteki ni donna fushin na koui o shiteimasu ka.
(In Japanese: 警察官職務執行法によりま すと、挙動不審者だけに職務質問することができます。すみませんが、具体的にどん な不審な行為をしていますか。)
This might stop the cop in his tracks. If the policeman comes back with:

COP: This law applies to Japanese only.
YOU: No. According to the Police Law Number 162, it applies to all individuals in Japan.
In Romaji (ie, chigaimasu. Keisatsu hou dai hyaku roku juu ni gou ni yorimasu to, wagakuni no kojin ni atehamarimasu. Kokuseki wa kankei arimasen.
いえ、違います。警察法第百六十二号によりますと、我が国の「個人」 にあてはまります。国籍は関係ありません。)
One fine but important point. Can't he just drag you to the Kouban and preserve his secret identity? Actually, no. Unwarranted demands to come to the Kouban are illegal too. According to that fat law up back up there called the Keisatsukan Shokumu Shikkou Hou, Clause Two, I quote:
"It is possible to ask a particular person to accompany the [police] to a nearby police station, police branch [i.e. kouban], or any police administration area for questioning if it is determined that this place is unsuitable for questioning because it obstructs traffic or is disadvantageous to the questionee."
which means that the police have the right to ASK you. However, the next clause, Clause Three, says you have the right to REFUSE and they have no right to restrict your movements without a formal charge or arrest. I quote:
"Unless there is a regulation relating to criminal action, officials may not confine, bring back to any police administration area, or else coerce a person to reply to questions against his will."
This is pretty straightforward and deserves to be known about. So if the policeman demands in public that you come with him to another area, like a separate room at Haneda Airport for questioning, refuse. Print up and pull out this law:
警察官職務執行法 第二条 第二項 その場で前項の質問をすることが本人に対して 不利であり、又は交通の妨害になると認められる場合においては、質問するため、そ の者に附近の警察署、派出所又は駐在所に同行することを求めることができる。 警察官職務執行法 第二条 第三項 前二項に規定する者は、刑事訴訟に関する法律 の規定によらない限り、身柄を拘束され、又はその意に反して警察署、派出所若しく は駐在所に連行され、若しくは答弁を強要されることはない。
In Romaji: Keisatsukan Shokumu Shikkou Hou, Dai Ni Jou, Dai Ni Kou, sono ba de zenkou no shitsumon o suru koto ga honnin ni taishite furi de ari, mata wa koutsuu no bougai ni naru to mitomerareru baai ni oite wa, shitsumon suru tame, sono mono ni fukin no keisatsusho, hashussho mata wa chuuzaisho ni doukou suru koto o motomeru koto ga dekiru. Keisatsukan Shokumu Shikkou Hou, Dai Ni Jou, Dai San Kou, zennikou ni kitei suru mono wa, keiji soshou ni kansuru houritsu no kitei ni yoranai kagiri, migara o kousoku sare, mata wa sono i ni hansite keisatsusho, hashusso moshiku wa chuuzaisho ni renkou sare, moshikuwa touben o kyouyou sareru koto wa nai.)

Note: Do this at your own risk but remember you are doing it for the greater good and if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to answer for!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. turndownthesuck