June 12, 2008

Important Update to the Akihabara Stabbing Post...Scroll Down 2

Updated With Actual Text: A Quick recap in light of the important corrections that I made to the previous post as well as additional information.

First, by the numbers
Death Toll is 7.
Injured 10.
This is a total number of 17 victims rather than the previously reported 14. I'm guessing that the 3 run over by the truck were initially omitted from the count as they were not stabbed.

Danny Choo has a very good, succinct post  on the incident that gives a timeline. It does appear from the news reports that the perp was stopped by a policeman drawing his weapon.
 Danny links to this You Tube.

The perpetrator does seem to have gotten a remarkable distance, though at least one person tried to tackle him and was stabbed. Also, the bastard was reportedly an impressive athelete.

Japan Probe has an interesting article on the use of deadly force (or lack there of) by the Japanese police...

Which requires a note to my fellow members of  the 82nd chairborne division:

 While this is certainly a situation where deadly force is authorized (this was the sort of scenario in which we were told in Maritime Law Enforcement School to "take the shot") This was Akihabara... on a Sunday. Any of my readers who have been there know that there was likely no clear shot presented to this officer. There are kids all around and the Cop has to hit a flailing, moving, crazy ass target at range with a .38 caliber revolver...this is a no win situation. According to the video he prepared to fire in the less populated alley. This is a call best left to the officer on the scene. Keep in mind that if he had missed and hit a bystander or the bullet had gone clean through and hit someone, the cop would be castigated by the same people who are upset he did not fire into a crowd.

Another, rather creepy bit of information via Danny Choo.

According to him, there have been 3 previous stabbing incidents this year similar to this one. In all four incidents, the perps, upon being apprehended, said..

 "Anybody would have been fine."

This is worrisome, not just because of the utter sociopathic nihilism it indicates, but 4 murderers saying the exact same thing in such short order is just creepy. Is it a copycat spree, or something organized like one of those suicide chat rooms?

Meh this is just speculation but damn, that's odd.


One final thing... Those pics in the post below came from Japan Probe, which I gather from the .jpeg titles got them off of 2chan. These pictures are extremely important as they show something that the newscasts and newspapers (other than the Youtube linked above) do not.  People jumping to action before the paramedics arrived.

The mainstream English language coverage of this showed no such thing and it is an important thing that needs to be seen.

This is an awful thing, but these kids are alright...


.

So Brickmuppeteers, give a big thanks to Japan Probe for posting these heart wrenching but important and informative pictures.

UPDATE: Welcome Gunpundit readers!

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Wow!

Pixy provides us with this version of Hatsune Miku doing the caramel dance...

No really, you should click on it...



Wait for it....

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June 11, 2008

The Akibahara Stabbing

Several days ago a bitter, worthless, little man drove into the Anime, gaming and comic mecca of Japan, Akihabara. He ran over 3 people, exited the truck he had taken for the purpose and began stabbing people. 7 are now dead.


Japan Probe has a very good roundup here including the medias inevitable focus on the fact that the killer was an Otaku who had virtually no possessions aside from Doujinshi...While this line of reportage is understandable given recent events involving the impending release of another crazy Otaku, it tends to confuse cause and effect. Humanity had bitter petty killers long before modern video games...before Pac-Man,  before Dungeons and Dragons, before cartoons, comic books, dime novels, plays at the Globe, Jousts, or tournaments at the Colosseum. Media is unlikely to have made this sicko sick. No modern day Hays Code or Comic Code Authority is likely to have filled the dark void in this nihilists soul...

The real question is how he was able to stab 14 people before being subdued

UPDATE: Upon reflection, and after sleep, that question is easily answerable...Akihabara on a Sunday is wall to wall highschool and college kids. 14 stabbings, if he was fast would take roughly 14 seconds, especially if the people were unaware of who he was or what he was doing (given the location he could have been momentarily mistaken for a cosplayer doing some ad-libbed street theater).

 Rather more importantly, it appears from the Japan Probe pictures that first aid was indeed being rendered mainly by bystanders including the two in this picture trying to save the stabbed policeman.  



Also here performing mouth to mouth and other first aid..there doesn't seem to be a first responder in sight yet but these kids and someone with a first aid kit have stepped up...



Additionally,  it appears from this picture that a bystander actually helped subdue the assailant (unconfirmed, but likely from the pic)...look at the picture to the left.


None of this has been in any English language media that I've yet seen which does a disservice to the people of Tokyo. The purpose of the post was never to rag on the Japanese in the first place, but this omission needed to be corrected in this post....we now resume the otherwise unmodified ....  but now rather less topical rant...
 



Steven Den Beste mentioned the sad story on Sunday and it provoked this thoughtful and disturbing comment from Toren Smith. Here is an excerpt, but read the whole thing..

...there was a recent incident on a train where an unarmed guy flashed a girl, and when she protested, he beat her up right in front of the other passengers and at the next stop stuffed her down between the train and the platform.  No one did anything to stop him during the act or his escape, and no one even stayed as a witness...snip... When one of the witnesses to the train flasher assault later came forward via anonymous phone call to a TV station, he said the reason he didn't want to get involved at the time was he didn't want to get hurt (the pathetic pussy) but worse, he would have been late for work if he'd stayed to be a witness for the cops.  He was dead serious with that excuse and had called in to make it clear he had a perfectly understandable reason for not getting involved.


Like a lot of east Asian nations, Japanese culture has what we in the west might perceive as a passive streak. A society influenced by close proximity and limited resources Japan tends to place high premiums on honor, courtesy and not bothering each other. 

That is not the issue here.

There is a large difference between the sort of nonconfrontationalism born from centuries of basically urban society and the sort of aloofness referenced in Toren's comment..

That is NOT unique to Japan. It is becoming endemic in many parts of the world. It is symptomatic of a deeply disturbing sheep-like mindset and is not at all consistent with an adult worldview.

It is every persons responsibility to have at least a cursory preparedness for something out of the ordinary happening and lending assistance if at all possible for those unable to do so.
This is called adulthood.
If you are uncomfortable with that sort of existence, take heart, after adulthood you won't have to worry about it any more.

It should be noted in passing that some of the most restrictive gun control laws on the planet did not prevent this from happening. On the contrary, one of the reasons for having adult citizens being armed in some way, even with a leatherman, is not just for personal safety, it is good citizenship, as it provides a robustly decentralized safety net and deterrent against things such as this. Japan is singularly unlikely to adopt this model for historical and cultural reasons and as such this particular option is of mainly local (USA) interest in discussing this incident...but it does bear discussing.

 However, even in circumstances such as Japan, the UK or Washington DC, where even a cursory armament  is not possible, there are things an adult can do to be prepared...things as low maintenance as simply making a note of the nearest fire exit or knowing enough to apply direct pressure to a wound...or having the gumption to pull someone out of oncoming traffic...
...or to not stand by and let a kid get knifed, do something, throw rocks or your cellphone...
...something....
...yet doing just that....which is nondebateably the right thing...is being criminalized.
Toren again...
Also, the honest truth is there is much less likelihood of the passersby stepping in to do anything (mostly for passive societal reasons).  The Japanese are as comprehensively disarmed as the British.  As there, using any item as a weapon proves intent and possession--ie, pick up a rock at the side of the road for defense and you are have now "voluntarily armed yourself "with an "weapon intended to do bodily harm."


(emphasis mine)

This is not unique to Japan. Toren mentions the oft mentioned disarmament in both body and spirit in the UK, and it is a mindset not unheard of here either. But like everywhere it is generally supremely impolitic (and often downright rude) to ask...
 ...for instance...
...why a large group of basically military age people might scamper out a window and leave an 76 year old instructor alone to face an assailant with a .22 ...without so much as helping the old man hold the door shut..... These are painful and indeed hurtful questions but they need to be asked.

Murdoc has rather related thoughts in this well thought out Gunpundit post.

  Citizens need to be adults for a republic to work and,  rather happily,  history has shown they are quite capable of actually  being able to do so.
 
UPDATE: Post revised 3 hours after timestamp to fix hyperlinks and replace an accidentally deleted block of text...in order to (hopefully) achieve coherence.

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June 09, 2008

Wow! Widget Works! Wo0t!

Hah!

Some months ago one of the cables to my camera was lost. Recently I got a new 35 dollar widget that allows me to download pics. Even more recently I dug out my Japan pictures chip.

Behold...Himeji Castle.

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Most Awfulest Merchandising Idea EVAH!

Murdoc's other blog Gunpundit, is generally worth a read. Be advised that eye and soul protection are hardly ever required because stuff like this almost never happens over there.





Yes Mr. toy designer....we mean you.

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Hot

It is hot.

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These Tomatoes are Bad for you.

The FDA is expanding its warning about Salmonella tainted Tomatoes.
The local WAWA seems to be pulling their salads as well.

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June 08, 2008

Unitydansen...

Yesterday was good day for the opposition, and they deserved every bit of it.

The lefties don't understand much about economics, history, energy tech, the strategy of technology or the enemies we face...but they do understand that politics is a team sport.

This is a lesson many of us on the right would do well to learn lest we join the Libertarians in the aloof moral superiority of utter irrelevancy.

One of the few Democratic candidates with actual cajones', Hillary may be a  narcissistic, leftist, Nixon in a dress, but there is little doubt that were she to be president she would whip out the Ghurka knives on the nations enemies (as well as her political rivals).

So, naturally, the Dems , upon realizing that,   nominated an articulate (and certainly likeable) version of Jimmy Carter with the actual experience removed.

Still, as utterly unsuitable as their policies are for running the country, the Dems are well poised to win it. They certainly deserve their unity dance. The fact that a person of color has a better than even chance of being elected is a fantastic thing for the country. The fact that the odds on favorite to be POTUS is a person with  Obamas' policy views, particularly now, is, IMHO....more than a little worrisome.

I respectfully suggest my fellow conservatives stop with the drama queen temper tantrums and back McCain.

In the meantime, we can all give a tip of the hat to two people who really did break new ground, and open new horizons, as well as the voters who made that happen.


Kudos to the anonymous 4Channer who did the .gif


 ...and managed to politicize the Carmeldansen.
IS NOTHING SACRED?!!?! 

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Last Years Dr Who Finale in a Nutshell..


Not one of mine...found on the interwebz....

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A Positive Review of Speed Racer...

...from John C. Wright...

....And then there are the triple-backflipping ninja-Viking deathcars, covered with spikes, that try to mug Our Hero with their hidden weapons systems. And there are ninjas. And a monkey.


High praise indeed.

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June 05, 2008

VIKINGS VERSUS PIRATES!!!

With the UN having finally declared pirate season open, the Swedes are sending 2 Goteberg class corvettes (and, presumably a tender) to go a'viking in puntland.

Assuming the ROE are not absolutely retarded, I'm betting on the Vikings.



UPDATE: Galhran ( who has been blogging up a storm lately) beat me to this and has a more in depth analysis. (His commenter's beat me to the obvious as well.  )

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"NEVADA TAN" to be freed.

I can't stop myself from thinking that this is going to be like the "Escape of the Bat Child" for the 4-Channers.

The Sasebo Slasher, referred to by authorities as "Girl A" and better known to many on the internet as Nevada-Tan has reportedly has had her umm... "freedom restrictions" lifted as of Sept.14th.

The girl, now 15, fatally stabbed a 12 year old classmate with a box cutter when she was 11. 
  Because it involved girls of such a young age, this story shocked Japan.
  Because the girl was a gamer, a fan of the film Battle Royale, and frequented some of the more gory nooks and corners of the internet, the  murder  had a similar effect on public perceptions of fandom as the Myazaki killings of the late 80s.

As a testimony to the well adjusted  psychology of these here interwebs, the Otaku connection in this sad tale catapulted the unnamed young girl into celebrity status, inspired morbid fan art like the uncredited piece to the right and massively boosted the sales of  University of Nevada pullovers...I've tastelessly used this meme myself from time to time but it is a good day to reflect on  the forgotten person in all this, Satomi Mitarai, whose life was cut short by the whole sad affair.
.

I am not a forgiving person when it comes to crimes particularly capital ones, but given her age and the better than even chance that this was actually a vicious catfight that became manslaughter, I hope that this girl can maintain her anonymity and lead something of a normal life.

(..and not stab anybody else.)

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June 03, 2008

Wow

Hillary...just wow.

Holy toledo.


Barak would have to be suicidal or a lunatic in order to put someone in his VP slot when that person already has a knife in his back.

I do like the fact that the talking heads on FOX are largely unable to talk at the moment. I agree with their sentiments regarding pizza.

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June 01, 2008

Fuel Cells...on the Cheap?


Despite completely unrelated text on her chalkboard, one of the Brickmuppets' Crack Team of Science Babes tm reports on progress on the fuel cell front.
  It seems that two separate science teams, one at MIT and one at Basque University in Spain have developed improved Methanol fuel cells that not only have increased output but are dramatically cheaper due to  the reduction in the amount of platinum required.

The inability to find a substitute for platinum has been one of the big sticking points in fuel cell developments and the major hitch in the Administrations ambitious fuel cell initiative from 2001. The previously anticipated substitutes did not pan out.

Methanol fuel cells run at much lower temperatures than other types and are anticipated to have many applications, particularly personal electronics, as they would have far greater run time than any batteries and could in theory be powered by off the shelf rubbing alcohol methanol from a fuel cartridge or something.  Fuel cells in general are also much more efficient than even diesel engines in producing electricity, though they tend to be very fuel specific and there have been scalability problems.

This is potentially a huge breakthrough.

'Science Babe' is a one second gag from Lucky Star that I did not get....screencap was shamelessly stolen from Chizumatic. Go buy the DVD and support Avatars' livelihood!

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Navy Contemplating Withdrawal

Via Yankee Sailor, the US  fleet on station off Myanmar Burma are on the verge of giving up and leaving as the evil murderous Junta will not allow any save a trickle of aid through....Anybody the aid might have saved at this point is likely dead already.

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China Earthquake Pictures

Galrahn has linked to some incredible pictures from the recent Chinese earthquake.

Many, like this one are hear wrenching....





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