Japan, The U.S., The Moon And More,

Japan, The U.S., The Moon And More, Weldon Berger, Bad Crow Review

Links are at the end, with the steam trains.

The train station had a 7-11 outside the platforms. The station was near my hotel and I went there for evening snacks a few times—bentos and musubi and azuki bean pastries and the like. Good food, really, in context.

I miss trains, as regular readers will know. Trains and crows, neither of which I got any good shots, the latter because they wouldn’t fucking stand still and the former, I don’t know, just because. Japanese train platforms aren’t really designed for dawdling.

You have to watch the Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins video linked below. It will leave you questioning everything you think you know. Also I’ve reconsidered my position on Tilly and the Wall from yesterday.


Hyatt Regency Osaka will soon offer cat-friendly hotel rooms for you and your feline friend


Every day is Caturday in Osaka as of February 1 this year. The upscale chain has your kitty’s back.1  Check’um out:

Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency Osaka

In addition (to the cat tree and cat hammock), a scratching post, nail clippers, corrugated cardboard, and toys are also at you and your cat’s disposal. Forget exploring the city–this room has everything you need to enjoy a quick getaway!

No vacation would be complete without some fine dining, and luckily, Hyatt Regency Osaka also offers an incredible room service menu geared towards cats and dogs. The menu includes delectable-sounding Daisendori chicken meatballs, deer pot-au-feu, fish, and vegetable dishes that your pet can enjoy while you (presumably) order off of the human menu yourself.

None of the cats with which I’m on speaking terms travel well, but if I had any money I’d be tempted.

Which reminds me: if you like the Review and you’re not already subscribed, consider signing up. It’s free unless you want to pay.


Hawai’i Supreme Court Assaults An Obvious


I love Hawai’i but damn, the political culture here can be maddening.

The Hawaii Supreme Court said in a ruling Tuesday that the Honolulu Police Commission was wrong when it decided that the city should defend ex-HPD Chief Louis Kealoha in one of Hawaii’s biggest corruption trials.

The high court said Kealoha didn’t qualify for city legal representation because he acted in his own self-interest when he helped frame his wife’s uncle, Gerard Puana, to gain leverage in a civil dispute over money, according to the ruling.

“Kealoha’s duties did not include overseeing a criminal conspiracy to hide his and his wife’s misappropriation of funds belonging to others,” the justices wrote. “Nothing in this record indicated that Kealoha was acting in any way to perform his duties as chief of police.”2

I think the commission also paid Kealoha $250,000 to resign, although they may have gotten that back. In any event, he and his now-former wife are doing significant time in the federal pokey, and the city has paid out more than a million bucks to her uncle for his trouble.

Still, Hawai’i nō ka ʻoi.


“We have to recognise as a national crisis this under-representation of women in politics”


Not the U.S. for once. I like a lot of things about Japan, but in many, maybe most respects the formal attitude toward women sucks, which this BBC story about the mayor of one Tokyo ward illustrates.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy, but it has an abysmal record when it comes to the gender gap index. In the most recent report released by the World Economic Forum in July 2022, Japan ranked 116th out of 146 countries.

It is the worst performing G7 nation when it comes to gender issues. The country has never had a female prime minister, and there are only two women in the current cabinet.3

Satoko Kishimoto ran and won with no political experience and after a long sojurn in Europe, where she was sensitized to political issues around women.

As things stand, she is one of only three female mayors in Tokyo’s 23 main districts.

“We have to recognise as a national crisis this under-representation of women in politics,” Ms Kishimoto said.

“Women’s representation has stayed almost the same for 75 years. This is insane!”

Kishimoto said she had been routinely harassed while running, and that the men in her government are sulky to an extreme about answering to a woman, making policy discussions and simple administration a chore. A city council member in another Tokyo ward, Tomomi Higashi, added some graphic details from her experience.

“I was most surprised by the physical harassment,” Ms Higashi said – saying there were times when she was touched inappropriately during the early days of campaigning. “I was shocked.”
. . .
“Being showered with insults by old men. [Men] coming very close to me and interrupting my speeches. Being asked to come for drinks at midnight. That’s when I really felt the male-dominated society. It was a wake-up call for me,” she said.

The U.S. is obviously not great on women’s issues, including political representation, but even conservatives here have a better record than Japan, with women holding important cabinet posts in the last two Republican administrations. And of course Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in her run.

In 2021 the LDP – who’ve been in power almost uninterrupted since 1955 – proposed allowing five female lawmakers to join its board meetings as observers – under the condition that they stay silent during meetings.



Lunar Standard Time


What time is it on the moon?

Since the dawn of the space age, the answer has been: It depends. For decades, lunar missions have operated on the time of the country that launched them. But with several lunar explorations heading for the launchpad, the European Space Agency has deemed the current system unsustainable.

The solution, the agency said last week, is a lunar time zone.4

Midnight on the Dark Side. The surprisingly crowed body will see missions from the ESA and a half-dozen countries during the next few years, as well as the construction of a multinational lunar orbital station to serve as a staging ground for lunar expeditions.

So maybe not right away but relatively soon, we can talk about lunar time, as devised to adjust to earth’s lying atomic clocks.


Music, sweet music


Those Darlins are fun; The Detroit Cobras were (are? I’m not sure) a punk/garage band fronted by the late Rachel Nagy, whose vocals could be described as uncompromising; the Jennys in the next two groups are both Jenny Lewis, who has a wonderful sense of humor; Laura Stephenson is more into ballads than I generally care for but has a lovely voice and plays a nice guitar; Ex Hex is a power-pop trio which I’m enjoying, and the linked live video is a good one.

Those Darlins, “Blur the Line;”5 The Detroit Cobras, “Life, Love and Leaving;”6 Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, “Rabbit Fur Coat;”7 Jenny and Johnny, “I’m Having Fun Now;”8 Laura Stephenson, “Laura Stephenson;”9 Ex Hex, “It’s Real.”10

That, Comrades, is all there is

Still a little dazed from yesterday’s ketamine adventure, I must say.

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Be well, take care.

1 SoraNews24 with the skinny on the Hyatt cathouse

2 Honolulu Civil Beat on the Hawai’i Supreme Court’s scorcher

3 The BBC on Satoko Kishimoto’s rough mayoral go

4 NYTimes on lunar time

5 Those Darlins live, In the Wilderness

6 Detroit Cobras, Feel Good

7 Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rise Up With Fists

8 Jenny and Johnny live on Conan, Big Wave

9 Laura Stephenson live on NPR’s Tiny Desk

10 Ex Hex live, Everywhere