So while keeping up with Japan’s news recently, they were doing news story after news story about the panda couple they lent out to Japan. But what happened was this…

 

Chinese Outraged: “Those Japs Killed Our Baby Panda!”

Author: Artefact

 

The birth and death of a baby panda in Japan has jumped from being a media circus to a minor diplomatic crisis after Ishihara began tying them to the Senkaku Islands and Chinese began insisting the Japanese must have killed it to get back at them.

Japan’s media lavished coverage on the birth of an infant male panda to Ueno Zoo’s Shinshin, prompting what would turn out to be one of the most short-lived panda booms in Japanese history.

Its birth caught the eye of politicians as well as the press – none other than Tokyo’s dear leader Shintaro Ishihara caused a minor spat by failing to buy into the cult of panda adulation, saying “I’m not interested in that stuff at all. We’ll probably just have to return it to China in 2 years anyway.”

He also attempted to further bait China by saying “they should call it Sensen or Kakukaku,” referring to the disputed islands he is buying, and after its birth quipped that “call it Senkaku and then they can be happy when we return it.”

China’s foreign ministry was not amused and shot back that “whatever Japan chooses to call the panda it remains Chinese property, just like those islands.”

However, Shinshin soon abandoned her infant and took to munching bamboo, leaving zoo staff with an orphan panda which they attempted to nurture in an incubator.

Most mainstream media was at pains to avoid presenting the mother’s defective maternal instincts as anything less than exemplary panda parenting, instead reporting the zoo’s explanation that she was stressed and that they would try reintroducing the baby panda to her later.

However, it succumbed to “pneumonia” soon afterwards anyway – not a huge surprise, as as many as 70% of infant pandas expire within a week of their birth.

The infant panda’s death was announced tearfully by the zoo’s boss, and reported as national news throughout Japan.

Even amongst Japanese, there has been some disquiet about how the panda was reared – it emerged that whilst in an incubator the creature was not monitored continuously, although the instructions of the panda’s Chinese minders (all such pandas are only loaned out by the Chinese government as diplomatic pawns, for exorbitant fees and with the proviso that their offspring remain Chinese state property) were apparently followed.

Others have wondered what the point of the whole exercise is if they are obliged to return the baby pandas they breed to China after 2 years anyway.

Amongst Chinese however, the panda’s death was immediately the subject of  conspiracy theories alleging Japan had deliberately killed it, with 80% of respondents to a poll accompanying one major news story expressing fury at its death.

Suspicion centred on its death somehow being connected to Ishihara’s remarks – “Those wretched little Japs killed it…” [“Japs” in this case substituting for the slur “小日本”], “Japan’s dirty tricks extend even to our national treasures. This is an outrage!” and of course “Kill those dirty little Japs!”

 

The incubator they were talking about refers to this article. I know Japan and China butt heads more often than the US and the Middle East, but this could easily escalate problems between the two countries. We’re already dealing with a failing economy in the US and money is lost everyday when I see the stocks. It’s kinda scary to see how badly a country is failing. Speaking of failing countries…

 

Slap to Obama: GOP House Votes to Kill Health Law

By DAVID ESPO

Pressing an election-year point, Republicans pushed yet another bill through the House on Wednesday to repeal the nation’s two-year-old health care law, a maneuver that forced Democrats to choose between President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement and a public that is persistently skeptical of its value.

The vote was 244-185, with five Democratic defectors siding with Republicans.

By Republican count, the vote marked the 33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused GOP majority has tried to eliminate, defund or otherwise scale back the program — opponents scornfully call it “Obamacare” — since the GOP took control of the House.

Repeal this year by Congress is doomed, since the Democratic-controlled Senate will never agree.

But Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam said before joining other Republicans in Wednesday’s House vote: “Here’s the good news. The voters get the last word in November. Stay tuned.”

Nor was the vote in the House the only act of political theater during the day as campaign concerns increasingly crowded out bipartisan attempts at law-making in the Capitol.

One day after a campaigning Obama called on Congress to pass his proposal to extend tax cuts on all but the highest wage earners, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky offered to allow an immediate vote. “I can’t see why Democrats wouldn’t want to give him the chance” to sign the bill, he said.

enate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., countered by blocking an immediate vote. “We’ll get to the tax issues. That way we’ll be able to talk in more detail about Governor Romney’s taxes,” he said in a reference to Democratic campaign attacks on the GOP presidential candidate’s overseas investment, the relatively low rate of income tax he is required to pay and his refusal thus far to release personal tax returns dating before 2010.

The health care debate roiled the campaign for the White House as well as Congress.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew boos from his largely black audience at the NAACP convention when he vowed to wipe out Obama’s overhaul.

In the House, Republicans assailed the law as a job-killing threat to the economic recovery, but Democrats said repeal would eliminate consumer protections that already have affected millions.

“The intent of the president’s health care law was to lower costs and to help create jobs. … Instead, it is making our economy worse, driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. He cited a study by a business group that estimated that one of the bill’s taxes would cost up to 249,000 jobs, and a different estimate that a second tax would “put as many as 47,100 in jeopardy.”

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said repeal would take away provisions that guarantee coverage for children with pre-existing medical conditions, reduce prescription drug costs for some seniors, provide for protective checks for patients of all ages and ensure rebates totaling more than $1 billion this summer for policy holders.

“What a Valentine to the health insurance industry,” Pelosi said scornfully of the repeal measure. The party leader was a driving force behind the overhaul when she was speaker and Democrats held a majority.

At its core, the law will require nearly all Americans to purchase insurance beginning in 2014, a so-called individual mandate that Republicans seized on to make their case that the program amounted to a government takeover of health care. The law’s constitutionality was upheld two weeks ago in a 5-4 Supreme Court opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

There was never any doubt that Republicans had the votes to pass the repeal in the House on Wednesday — or that it would die in the Senate, where Democrats possessed more than enough strength to block it.

That’s what happened in January 2011, when the newly installed Republican majority first voted to repeal the law a few days after taking office.

In the months since, the GOP has taken repeated further swipes at the law, including votes to deny salaries to any government officials who enforce it, to abolish a board of officials charged with holding down Medicare costs in the future and to repeal a tax on medical devices.

With the exception of a few relatively modest changes accepted by the White House, all the rest have died in the Senate.

Some Democrats sought something of a middle ground.

Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., elected to his seat a few weeks ago, said the GOP-inspired repeal legislation was a charade and showed the House “cares more about political grandstanding than in getting things done.” At the same time, he said, “We must work to improve the legislation,” a bow to those who are less than enthusiastic about it, and a point he made during his recent campaign.

The five Democrats who sided with Republicans in the house vote were Reps. Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike Ross of Arkansas and Dan Boren of Oklahoma.

All five voted against the law’s passage in 2010. Boren, Ross and McIntyre voted to repeal the law in January 2011, while the other two lawmakers voted to keep it in place.

In an interview after Wednesday’s vote, Matheson said he opposed repeal the first time because he wanted the Supreme Court to rule on the law’s constitutionality. He said he supports some elements of the law, but on the whole “this does not create a path for us to have a sustainable health care system for this country and that’s why I think it’s time to hit the reset button and start over.”

Kissell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Boehner said Republicans wanted to give Democrats who had previously voted to sustain the law a chance to reconsider, contending that “most Americans not only oppose this health care law — they support fully repealing it.”

In a statement issued moments after the vote, McConnell said he would press for a vote in the Senate, as well.

Public reaction to the law has been consistently negative, but apart from conservative Republicans, it is less clear what support exists for repeal.

In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, 47 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the law, 47 percent said they supported it and 6 percent expressed no opinion.

Among those who said they were opposed or had no opinion, 33 percent said they wanted it all repealed, 30 percent said they wanted parts repealed and 34 percent said they wanted to wait and see what happens without repeal.

 

It is said that governments are cruel, men in suits should be feared, and never ever double cross the people at the IRS. But there’s something to be said about all the madness in this world and why you should continue to fear the governments for what they do. Yes, Obama tried to get the Reps to work with him, but he failed. It’s not his fault, it’s not the Dems either; though I have a bone or two to pick with the Dems myself. Republicans have proved it over and over again that they do not give a rat’s ass about the rest of the country and only themselves. Remember that mental image of a fat pig person stuffing their faces with bacon and lard and donuts? That’s the Republicans, not the rest of the nation, just them. They are the rich white fucks who will blow this nation for the next 4 years; 8 if we’re really unlucky. And like I said before, I’m not much of politician and I don’t support their little games, but we need someone up there in office, at least in the US. This is kinda why I like Japan, they only elect a Prime Minister, much like the UK. Japan and the UK aren’t that different, they still have their old world leaders aka kings/emperors/etc. but they have someone who is with the times and makes political decisions for the country. Japan’s luck has been pretty bad, but Japan is much like the UK and the US put together, bad leadership of the UK combined with the bad mentality of the citizens leads to shitty political deals and let’s not forget Live Door Co. back in 2004-2005 or six-ish. The CEO was indicted due to illegal dealings/laundering or whatever. The point is, this is proof that when you give society 2 choices one good/one bad, they will always choose the bad one. And that ladies and gentlemen is Murphy’s Law. I don’t know who came up with the whole ‘if something could go wrong it will go wrong’ ideology of Murphy’s Law but that’s not Murphy’s Law. Anyway, enough of my rants, let’s move on.

 

Would-be thief accidentally steals plastic sandwiches from 7-Eleven

 

Police are investigating after an employee at the 7-Eleven on Nicol Street in Nanaimo reported that a man stole two plastic breakfast sandwiches.

Around 3 a.m. today, police report that a man went into the store and attempted to steal two breakfast sandwiches. However, he had inadvertently taken two plastic sandwiches, valued at more than $70 each.

Once outside, the thief realized his mistake and threw one away but kept the other. He was found by police at a nearby hotel and returned the sandwich without further incident.

The store manager decided not to press charges because the items had been retrieved undamaged.

 

And here’s another bit of amusing news to close off tonight’s show

 

 

Being Obese Is Better Than Being Underweight

Jamie Condliffe

 

Modern society is obsessed with weight: everyone longs to be skinny, and obesity is demonized. But while being overweight does carry with it health risks, a new studysuggests that being underweight is far more dangerous than being obese.

In fact, the study, carried out at University of California Davis School of Medicine, shows that it is far more dangerous to be assessed as “underweight” than it is to be assessed even as “severely obese”. Prof. Anthony Jerant, one of the researchers, explains:

“There is currently a widespread belief that any degree of overweight or obesity increases the risk of death, however our findings suggest this may not be the case. In the six-year timeframe of our evaluation, we found that only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk of death.”

Jerant and his team surveyed almost 51,000 Americans of all ages over a period of six years to gather data for their research. Upon analysis, it transpired that those participants with BMI that determined them “underweight” showed a risk of death twice as high as the “normal” participants. Weirdly, it was considerably safer to be “severely obese” than underweight. Those with a BMI classifying them as such were just 1.26 times as likely to die as “normals”.

The result, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, in part shows a problem with the BMI measurement. Developed by a Belgian sociologist without medical qualifications, the truth is that Body Mass Index struggles to cope with extremes of height or mass. Validity of the measurement aside, though, the fact remains that—while being obese carries its own risks—a BMI classification of “underweight” is still something you want to avoid. Pass the pizza!

 

Thanks, Gizmodo, I can sleep better tonight. LOL!

 

That’s our show for tonight cause I got the blog up so late, so I’ll see you next time. Till then, this is Grass signing out.