BLOG BIZ: Warning to Debito.org Commenters about being cyber-stalked; don’t use your real name as moniker anymore

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IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito
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Hi Blog.  Let me devote today’s blog entry to a fear being expressed by Debito.org Readers.  Got this comment a few days ago:

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May 18, 2011
Hi Debito,

I just wanted to let you know that last week on ‘tepido naruhodos’ page, I saw a thread that included a large amount of communication between some posters about the posters on debito.org. They were discussing that of that date they had collectively identified 63 debito posters through e-mail addresses and social media sites.

I don’t know if you were aware of this, or if it was brought to your attention.
The posts on that subject disappeared at some point around the weekend.
Quite frankly, I think that they are a strange bunch. I think tepido naruhodo/Ken YN/LB lives in my area, but I can’t identify and confront him on this issue.

I don’t know if you might want to warn your readers that they might be stalked, or if you have ideas for other action? — Anonymous

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COMMENT:  Thanks for letting me know.  I don’t read sites that are only out there to trash me personally.  I would not have heard about this unless others had taken the time to stick their head in Internet garbage.  Sorry and thanks for doing so.

Yes, I have been cyberstalked by these creeps (and others; there is even a site out there devoted to the possibility of my being Jewish merely because I’m an activist) for many years now.  And I am sorry that these creeps are now trying to use the same tactics towards other posters on this site.  How vicious.

And hypocritical.  These creeps decry their lack of freedom of speech on this blog (I no longer approve their posts here; one look at the tone and commentary on the Tepido et.al sites will give you an indication why).  Yet they are taking action not only against me, but also against others who express themselves here, just because they don’t agree with Debito.org Readers or with me personally.

I’m no certified mental health specialist, but I would say that these anonymous creeps (who remain mostly anonymous, of course, to evade any semblance of responsibility or maturity) have an unhealthy obsession with me personally and the issues on this site.  Makes one wonder if they devote any time to having a real life away from the keyboard.

As for those primary anti-Debito.org people we can actually identify (in the same spirit of exposure that they decided to employ), the organizer of the Tepido site is run by blogger (see photo here from a Japan Times profile and you’ll get a decent impression of what kind of boy we’re dealing with:)

and Panasonic computer nerd Mr Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson (aka Ken Y-N, see his Linkedin Profile here, since he checks mine obsessively).

There is also toy store employee Mr Lance Braman, who coyly goes by “LB” wherever he leaves his droppings; you might want to keep an eye on him if you enjoy foamy self-mutilating performance art.  (UPDATE: Since Braman has deleted his LinkedIn Profile from LinkedIn.com and apparently from the Wayback Machine too, here’s GM Lance Braman’s position of department head at a hobby products distributor (courtesy public documents at www.hlj.com, namely http://www.hlj.com/documents/hljwholesale.pdf):

Try tracking their obsessive one-note postings on other perfectly legitimate discussion sites, such as Japan Probe, Japan Today, Mutantfrog, Hoofin, etc..  These two are the only ones with the balls to show themselves; now just imagine what kind of creeps, the slime that stalk other people, still keep themselves underground…

(As an aside:  I have also heard that the new Google Chrome browser software doesn’t allow access to Debito.org.   I know somebody who works at Google, maybe I should ask him what’s with that.  Freedom of speech and all that, right, Google in China?)

As for dealing with these cyberstalkers:  I suggest that Debito.org Readers, when you post, from now on avoid using your real name.  Choose a unique moniker and stick with it (I generally remember them).  Your comments are welcome.  Just protect yourself from the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Goes with the territory, some might say, but I disagree; it wasn’t always like this.  But the Internet has become a haven for bullying and few people are doing much about it.  So protect yourself and keep your privacy intact.

Thanks.  Arudou Debito

69 comments on “BLOG BIZ: Warning to Debito.org Commenters about being cyber-stalked; don’t use your real name as moniker anymore

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  • Well, thank goodness I’ve been using a alias this whole time. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Well – as I was kind of defending Japan in my opinions about the book cover…what will I get do you think? They’ll give the secret handshake and invite me into the fold? With friends like that…

  • “But the Internet has become a haven for bullying and few people are doing much about it.”

    Perhaps it’s a generational divide, I grew up with computers, BSSes and the internet, but I find your comments about the internet rather grating. What can be done exactly, mass censorship? The consequence of easy global communication is, strangely enough, easy global communication. You could blame the internet, but, how would you react were this occurring in your place of business? Indeed, it doesn’t sound like they’ve broken any laws, just acted in an impolite manner.

    Can’t say I agree that anonymous posting is about trying ‘to evade any semblance of responsibility or maturity’ either. It would have made posters here safer against cyberstalking.

    What would be really nice would be some information on which poster’s have been identified and what information has been compromised. The comment about poster identification doesn’t mention that only those who used their real names are affected. Indeed, this shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but any pseudonym you use on the internet can be linked to every other use of that pseudonym – unless it’s a common one or it’s not attached to any personal info, you can still be tracked down.

  • james grey says:

    Oh my god! Thanks for the photo link! I do know this ‘houlier than thou’ scumbag Tepido Naruhodo. Now I can confront him directly.

  • @Protoph
    “What would be really nice would be some information on which poster’s have been identified and what information has been compromised.”
    Don’t worry such a thread never really existed, I think Debito’s source is pranking him.

    — We’ll let the source comment, thanks. Anyway, given the nature of these creeps (and their past stalking tendencies), I think monikers are a reasonable safeguard for the Commenters as well.

  • Are email addresses published? Has the database been hacked?

    — They are not published (nor are IPs), and I don’t think there has been a hacking.

  • I hope you took a copy of the positing Debito as they now appear to be denying it!

    It’s pretty easy to cross identify people once you have their alias, I don’t think any hacking has taken place.

  • Notrace Mike says:

    This latest tirade is getting into “defamation of character territory. I’d suggest getting a lawyer experienced in internet cases like this – anonymous posters, moderators who choose to allow defamatory speech on their websites, and so on. ”

    I found this statement to be bizarre. They got a whole site dedicated to bashing and defamming debito, but then flip the script to try and accuse debito of defamming them? Whats up the Eido Inoue and the other naturalized Japanese over there? Attacking one of their own? Its a strange world.

  • james grey says:

    It was me that tipped Debito off. They were discussing how they had used e-mail addresses and social networking sites to identify ‘about 63’ posters on debito.org. It was a discussion amongst posts on a thread. I think tepido naruhodo deleted all the comments, because they all disappeared (I think tepido has been sharing the e-mail addresses of posters on his site with his stalking friends). But they are a strange bunch of semi-obsessed japan apologists, and spend all their time speculating about Debitos location and relationships. I didn’t like the idea that they might identify and cause trouble for innocent posters here, in the real world.

  • Ryan the fifth says:

    Meh I don’t pipe in all that often. I probably will when I finally reach Japan and by then I’ll have a cool nickname.

    Given what Debito said about IPs and emails not being published I think everyone is pretty safe unless they republish their comments somewhere else with more personal info.

    Of course here I am changing my display name… better safe than have your identity stolen…

  • Notrace Mike says:

    its funny watching them go bizerk wondering who “zeke” is. Talk about paranoia.

  • Shame on them if true. Anyway thanks for the hint – will be leaving comments with alias from now on 🙂

  • Notrace Mike. Some people enjoy the status quo. Also if you really want a good example of how stupid people can be/are just read about the end of the world in the news and just follow the current american political talk going on in general.
    Debito: the internet will always be a cover for those who feel they have a right to bash anyone they disagree with. It’s how bullies work, until you actually punch one in the nose. As for my mail well this is my ‘business mail’ which means it is not my actual one I use for personal use. When I sign up for a site or some such I use this mail. So all spam and idiots can try to do what ever they want.

  • Ken Aston says:

    Google Chrome has been showing debito.org just fine. Looking at it in Chrome right now.

    — Good, glad to hear. Thanks.

  • this is an absolute disgrace,but not what id call a surprise.
    is it worth getting the police involved?
    i believe you successful sued someone on the net before (?)
    just a thought.

  • Those characters pay attention to my blog quite a lot. I really don’t know what to say, because there are always unusual people around, and you can’t police the internet.

    What’s more troubling, as the months have passed, is that a few of the tepido regulars (I count this at about 12 people whenever I get a mention on their site) have branched out into writing a slam blog about other people who have an internet presence. One of these is a WordPress blog called “Japan Blog Review”, which recently took shots at both Debito and Glenski (of GaijinPot fame). None of my contacts in the restaurant industry know the one writer, an alleged entrepreneur, and the other one is a mystery as well. Outside of “independent” sources that could easily be created by one’s own computer, there’s no confirmation that these critics even exist. But plenty of evidence that ties the writing back to the tepido gang.

    I came to the conclusion that Ken Yamamoto-Nicholson really just wants to be somebody on the internet, and he hit on the idea of going after one of expat Japan’s well-known bloggers. I do not see this blog, or its commenters, as particularly controversial; but that wouldn’t stop somebody from trying to make like the site is. And for overreach, I suppose that won’t stop yet others from doing a stalking of those who post.

    Besides trying to limit invasions to your privacy (which you don’t really control anymore in the days of giant search engines), the only other thing the commenting community can do here is sit back and wait. Someone who builds a site off personally attacking regular users of another site is going to screw up inevitably. When he does, it will hurt.

  • I come to this site to learn about and reflect on things; I don’t expect to agree with everything but I do find much of this site, it’s author, it’s contributers, help me understand things from new perspectives. While I often get down about things when I read this site, I still think it’s a duty to make myself aware of uncomfortable realities.

    I’ve looked at the tepido naruhodo thing and am aghast: it seems to come out of a kindergarden and has no value whatsoever. Why would anyone read it?

    I would defend their right to put up and post even their most insubstantial and trivial pollution, even though I don’t find anything of consequence or interest on the site. After seeing this topic, I just looked and for example there is some sort of ad hominem attack on Debito with a picture of a middle aged man dressed in a costume (cosplay) that comes directly out of something you’d be embarrassed to admit you’d done in front of your shogako sensei. Infantile.

    But IF someone is actually doing what is claimed, identifying posters, then that’s different.
    And what a nasty bunch of losers.

  • I was rather surprised to find one day that one of the guys at Tepido built an entire post around one little comment I made on here once (a comment that wasn’t even about Japan, BTW). I even had to leave comments there asking (I think) LB to please portray my comments in the correct light if he plans on using them again in the future, as I felt they’d been taken out of context. It was weird to see how they used my non-Japan-related comment to attack you, Debito-san, as if they were just looking for anything to twist it into an anti-Debito tirade.

  • beneaththewheel says:

    I believe that James Grey is mistaken in his assertions. If he’s comfortable with it, I would like to here more about the posts he read.

    If his goal was to lower the readership of tepido, it has worked on me. I’ll no longer be participating in discussion at tepido or here. There must be a better way to discuss merits of integration vs accommodation. If you have read my criticisms of your views Debito (at tepido), I want to stress it’s always the view and not the person. I don’t condone personal attacks on anyone (be it you, Ken, LB or James Grey). I have wondered why your views appear to have gotten more extreme in recent months, as I feel it’s troubling. I wish you rethink your statements that people shouldn’t marry Japanese people, and that tourists shouldn’t come to Japan as a form of economic sanctions. I believe they are not statements of a person who likes Japan and wants to make it a better place.

    I hope this issue gets resolved.

    All the best.

  • Notrace Mike says:

    Even though they spend most of their time on the attack, I find they get quite sensitive when they are called out. They defend themselves with long boring rantsl, just look at Inoues lattest post. Brother Inoue should start his own blog about Japan instead of joining the nitpickers against Debito. Im starting to see holes in their armor over there.

  • I may be naive here, but what’s the issue these peculiar people have with someone who’s standing up for civil rights and basic decency?

    I’ve been following Debito’s activities for what must be two decades and see nothing but good. Writing as someone who moderates a very large Japan-related website as part of my job, I too despair at some of the anonymous commenters.

  • sendaiben says:

    To be honest, I’m not particularly bothered. I think it is prudent to assume that anything you put online could be linked back to you, and moderate yourself accordingly.

    If anyone wants to waste their time tracking me down (not that it would take very long!), go ahead and knock yourselves out 😉

  • I agree with PKU.

    If someone is identifying posters on a site they hate, then that’s different.
    The act of a nasty loser.

  • A Man In Japan says:

    I can remember my first time going about on the internet. The advice that was given in the media(when I trusted it) was, that you NEVER use your real name or give your real name but to use some kind of handle or online name. When filling out tedious online forms and when signing up for something, I don’t use my real name. And why the hell should I? I’m not required too.

    You should also use a throw away email addresses or use an email address that you wouldn’t even care about losing and only use your personel email address for important things, like paypal or banking accounts.

  • Seeing as how this message will not go through, those that see it take it seriously. The internet is all about anonymity, USE IT. Never Post your real creds, or names, or anything online. IP addresses that are logged, just be trustful that Debito will not publish these things, lest anyone does use Proxies, and Tor, or other such tools, and get your IPs reassigned, or do it yourself. The fact that I like Debito means I should not have to take these measures, and IMO Debito is just great. View it while you can.

  • I tried reading the tepido site once and it was nigh incomprehensible. It seemed to be written by and for 13-year olds.

    When those types of people are against you, then you know you must be doing something right.

  • Have you got Ken`s address so I can go and stalk him in reality instead of hiding behind a computer? Or I ll just go and complain to his mum.

    Just kidding (maybe…)

  • @Beneaththewheel
    I have wondered why your views appear to have gotten more extreme in recent months, as I feel it’s troubling. I wish you rethink your statements that people shouldn’t marry Japanese people, and that tourists shouldn’t come to Japan as a form of economic sanctions. I believe they are not statements of a person who likes Japan and wants to make it a better place.
    Thank you for posting this honestly. I am in complete agreement with you.

    Debito, I have been following your website for a number of years, although I have only started to contribute recently. I find some of the concepts and discussion to be very important, and whilst I do not always agree with your interpretations and have experiences that differ from your comments, I really appreciate your efforts.

    However, since your sabbatical things have really gone downhill here. Via a mention on this site I recently came across the Tepido site, which I have also found useful (not all the content is childish personal attacks – there is some well-reasoned discussion as well as some constructive criticism of statements here, which they claim is deleted when they try to post comments here).

    It seems some common problems and concerns regarding integrating resident NJ into Japan are shared by contributors to both sites and I don’t understand the history of why both parties are not working together rather than playing tit-for-tat insults.

    As regards the accusations here – since you prompted me to view Tepido.org, I have been a very regular reader there, and I can assure you that over the last few weeks I have not seen any mention of these 63 commenters (are there even 63 regular commentators on debito.org that the folk at Tepido would so strongly disagree with?). I think James Grey is either mistakenly interrupting a discussion or is deliberately winding you up. Maybe he is even someone from Tepido trying to increase visitors. In common with a number of postings here, I really do think you should check basic facts first before you hit the post button.

    — Even if it is a matter of somebody trolling this time (which I doubt it is), it’s not unprecedented now; I personally know several Debito.org Commenters who have for many moons now already had their personal backgrounds researched, then attacked quite viciously ad hominem by denizens of this site you find so “useful”.

    And don’t even implicitly blame me for either engendering their venom or encouraging your first visit there. What they do there has, and should have, no influence on what I do here (as they are merely reactionaries; they’ll never set the agenda).

    Anyway, this post is not a discussion about how Debito.org has “gone downhill” (after all, if you don’t like Debito.org, don’t read it, silly!). It’s a discussion about the vipers’ nests on the bullying side of the internet, and how Debito.org Commenters who present views contrary to those scumbags should protect their own privacy, for these amoral ruthless bullies have the tools at their disposal to root you out, and will do so. Are these the type of people you really want to be associated with? Stay there then, and enjoy the company.

  • Notrace Mike says:

    Actually I seem to remember something about them collecting info, I know they are obsessed about tracking every individual that post here. He/She must be identified and anybody that post a positive review about Debito is tracked and destroyed. Its not a flame war, its a one way flame attack. They must not be worth a shit at tracking, because they still havent figured out who “zeke” or “chibikirai” is..lol and going bizerk trying to track…dumbasses make me laugh. There are some very unhappy souls in Japan and the most grief I have every gotten is from other foriegners. Not saying all Japanese are saints but the attacks and venom out there in the foriegn community is strong, I have a theory on that, but dont think Debito will let me post it.

  • Steve King says:

    I do not need to use an alias to say that this ‘tepido’ website is weird, creepy and just plain vindictive. My suggestion to the people who operate it is simple: get a life

  • Notrace Mike says:

    I did a google on David Aldwinkle and all I saw were positive reviews and informative reads on numerous sites. I think the haters are off beat types, probably nobody pays them much attention thus the need to hate.

  • I cannot figure out why somebody would want to create a blog specifically dedicated to contradict and attack Debito in every aspect, going as far as calling the blog “Tepido”. I understand we all have different views and opinions, but it seems quite childish and obsessive to me to dedicate so much time and energy into this. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to create a simple opinion blog showing the views of Mr Yasumoto-Nicholson and his friends? So far, most of the content seems pure name calling and creepy obsessive rants.

    By the way, I discovered through this post that Tepido and the owner of “What Japan Thinks” are the same person. The surveys presented in the website have no scientific value whatsoever as the methodology and sampling are usually rudimentary and do not include statistical data. As acknowledged by the owner of the website, these surveys are “entertaining junk”.

  • james grey says:

    Now that I know that who Tepido and LB are, I understand why they are so consumed with hatred for Debito.
    They are both failed self-appointed Japan experts. They came here, stayed for a few years, got married to Japanese wives, and thought to themselves ‘you know what, I understand Japan pretty well now. I should write about it!’.
    Unfortunatly, having unremarkable lives and experiences in Japan, the pair of them never got beyond a couple of appearances in the Japan Times. Debito, on the other hand, has a regular column, and they are fiercly jealous.
    After the ‘becoming a journalist fail’, Ken Yasumoto-Nicholson fancied himself as a cult blogger. Unfortunately he has nothing to blog about: he is not special, in the same way that Mark David Chapman was not special. What did Chapman do? Become ‘special’ by assasinating John Lennon. Ken Y-N becomes ‘special’ by character assasination of Debito. Right down to the name. In himself, he is unremarkable, without Debito to feed off like a parasite, no one would ever heard of him. Tepido is solely dependant on Debitos fame for his own existance.
    Which leads me to one last point. If Ken Y-N has such a great home life, why does he spend so much time obssesing and blogging against Debito? Shouldn’t he be spending quality time with his Japanese family? Maybe that’s why he is recently attacking Debito’s warnings against marrying a Japanese so much. Maybe Ken Y-N’s home life is not so happy and Debito.org has too many home-truths that Ken Y-N doesn’t want to face.
    PS: The photo that Debito links to above is about 15 years out of date. Tepido has longer, but less hair, walks with a stoop, and although he posts like he is a teenager, is more like 55 years old.

  • james grey says:

    Pot calling kettle black ALERT!
    After accusing me of trolling Debito, Tepido offers me money!
    ‘congratulations on a job well done, James! Your cheque’s in the post.’
    Having seen the photo of Tepido on this thread, and now knowing who he is, since I saw him today on my way home, I replied on Tepido.org:
    ‘Don’t bother posting it Tepido. Next time I see you in Sannomiya, I will stop and ask you for cash, if it isn’t raining. Would have done it tonight, but didn’t want to embarrass you in front of your son.’
    Tepido replies:
    ‘That would be an interesting event that I’d love to witness.’ (ah! Bravado! But then gets worried when I say ok):
    ‘ getting into dodgy real-life stalking; I strongly recommend that you go no further.’

    Wasn’t my original concern that he was stalking us!? Now he calls me a stalker? Passive aggressive/defensive. I don’ know.

    — Okay, probably getting close to time to take your offline duel offlist.

  • Eh, the trolls just don’t have enough to do in real life. It would probably be better for their health to get a hobby that takes them outside once in a while. Or get some actual, face-to-face real people for friends. When I am off of work for a few days and I find myself getting into it with anonymous people on the internet, I remind myself that it’s just because I don’t have enough to do.

  • @James Grey

    I think you have hit the nail on the head there, such efforts at personal attack certainly point towards jealousy as a primary motive. Anyway this in-fighting is not very helpful, and these individuals do not have the calibre to be taking on Debito, I think Debito should respond proportionatly but in most part should ignore the attacks and stay focused on the higher agenda.

    — I have been largely ignoring the stalking for years now. However, other people were now being targeted similarly. That just won’t do.

  • A wise man once said:

    Don’t feed the trolls

    Sad how most sites with active forms devole into flame wars

  • OsakaGurl says:

    Hi
    Im one of the posters here at Debito.org that Kenny, Lance, and the other Tepido trolls have idenitfied if you need evidence! You can find it here:

    http://tepido.org/in-appropriate-by-arudou-debito-a-review/315

    here:
    http://tepido.org/debito-arudou-japans-jenny-mccarthy/371

    and finally here again on May 17th they identity me as OsakaGurl:
    http://tepido.org/flames-of-the-week/437

    So when they deny that they are doing this they are lying…

    We can also confirm that they are stalkers because within those posts they refer to my place of residence and my university research page. I’ve even had to password protect my personal website because of these trolls. What’s with that? I thought the internet was about open information and freedom of expression!

    And PS Kenny and Lance I’ve received more that 100,000US to fund my research – despite your empty claims that my research doesn’t exist, and to be transparent I recieved it from the Japanese Government!

    what a bunch of losers!!!!!
    (I made sure to add extra exclamation points, since they even criticize me for that!!)

  • Osaka Gurl – Good for you! Best of luck on your work.

    Well at least I know now one lives in Kobe. Would be interesting to sit down for a chit chat sometime.

    At least I now know who these people are.

    Cheers

  • Oh God osakagurl, I clicked on the third link. I feel like I have lost a few IQ points just looking at that page. I’m now literally dumber. Internet=1, Dr. H=0.

  • Notrace Mike says:

    “If any Debito.org readers feel they have been subjected to what James Grey is suggesting, please feel free to get a lawyer to contact me about any criminal acts that you believe have taken place, and I will respond accordingly.If James Grey wishes to apologise… ”

    I think somebody is getting scared…lol

    — The feeling of being stalked is not a comfortable one.

  • Notrace Mike says:

    “PS: Based on recent comments from neutral parties, let’s try to keep things a bit more civil; “Mr Arudou” and “Debito.org commenters” are preferred terms for “the other side”, for instance. I’m not going to start editing comments or randomly banning, but we are all 13 year-olds adults here!”

    “PPS: I see suggestions about a link between a commenter here and his employer – note that they have big scary lawyers, so unless you have concrete evidence I would recommend being very, very careful with what you say.”

    Uh oh! more disclaimers, more reversals..more paranoia…lol. He can surely dish it but dont like it when he got to take it…lol

  • He pulling the ole “cant we all just get along” squirm worm manuever now. He done dug himself in a hole, backed in a corner and looking mighty exposed. My suggestion? Apologize for starters.

  • Lurker292 says:

    There seems to be an entire network of bloggers and posters devoted to at least occasionally slandering and harassing debito.org commenters. Am I being too dramatic? Maybe, but I’ve seen some people come under scrutiny elsewhere for something they posted here, and in some cases some of their personal information was revealed in a way that really can’t be described as anything but stalker-like (for obvious reasons, I won’t link to the posts in question) Since everything that was posted about them falls under ‘information publicly available on the Internet’, like on their Facebook page, I doubt they can do much about it in legal terms, especially if they’re not based in Japan.

    If you ask me, this thing is terribly one-sided. Some of those people may not even know that they’re being called out like that and when they finally find out I can only imagine how disturbing it can be. Especially when those who post these things take gratuitous stabs at things that aren’t even remotely connected to the issue at hand, like speculating on a person’s background, competencies or even family life, which is probably most disturbing of all! To all who went through that, don’t let yourselves be intimidated into not expressing your views anymore. Yes, the Internet is all about free speech, and you can use that too.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, though: don’t reveal any information here that can lead them to your real life identity. No point in taking any risks, some of these people are seriously disturbed.

  • I posted a rather long comment responding to the criticism of Debito’s blog on the Japan Probe thread. Japan Probe did not see fit to allow my comment to be published. I will try to reconstruct my comment here.

    If Debito’s Japan Probe critic feels that he had to dissociate himself from Debito.org because Debito was being too alarmist about the nuclear crisis in Japan, then I think he is deluding himself. The nuclear incident at Fukushima is a severe disaster.

    Current estimates indicate that it will take at least $100 billion to clean up just the reactor site in the wake of this accident. The land lost to contamination will almost certainly add up to an equal amount. So far, NHK is reporting that about 500 people have died from the stress of living in group shelters. About half of the refugees in shelters in the Tohoku area are there because of the earthquake and tsunami and half are there because of the nuclear accident. Tens of thousands more have lost their livelihoods, homes, and neighborhoods. It is quite clear that TEPCO, probably the largest public utility company in Japan, will not be able to compensate the victims of this incident. The public will have to assume the burden of covering for TEPCO’s shortcomings. If the operators of nuclear power plants had to cover all the costs of their operations, they would not have any private investors pay to build a single nuclear power plant ever again anywhere in the world. It is quite clear that the total costs of nuclear power now exceed all possible benefits.

    It has been pointed out that the amount of radiation thrown into the atmosphere from Fukushima is “only” 10% of the amount released by the Chernobyl disaster. But it must be recognized that the crisis at Chernobyl is over, while the crisis at Fukushima is on-going. Moreover, the news from Fukushima seems to be getting worse with each passing day. Just this past week we learned that there has been a complete meltdown with both the reactor vessel and the containment vessels being ruptured. The Fukushima plant has dumped enormous amounts of radioactive materials into the ocean, something that didn’t happen at Chernobyl. And, there is little doubt that the cost and value of land in Japan is much greater than in Ukraine or Belarus. Japan also has a more significant fishing industry potentially ravaged by this disaster.

    It is comforting to think that Japan is going to great lengths to clean up school athletic grounds to acceptable radiation levels. But nothing is planned yet for cleaning up the roads, fields, and backyards of the homes where these school children live and walk to school.

    The disaster at Fukushima has played out exactly in the way foretold by critics of nuclear energy when they were trying to prevent nuclear plant construction. The safety assurances provided by the nuclear industry have been proved to be overly optimistic fantasies. There can no longer be any doubt as to which side was correct in this debate. History has revealed the liars.

    The site, Japan Probe, has a decidedly pro-nuclear position. I am not surprised that they refused to publish my comments. But they certainly have no claim to net neutrality.

    — Nor to any apparent moral high ground. Oddly enough, an alleged lack of neutrality and intolerance for divergent commentary is precisely what Debito.org has been accused of by forums like these! My, the hypocrisy of the critics is breathtaking.

  • Maxabillion Slartibartfast says:

    Debito, a few quotations you might take heart in:

    “You know you’re over the target when you start taking flak.” — unknown USAF pilot

    “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.” — Paul Newman

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” — Sir Winston Churchill

  • Congratulations to “Tepido” for successfully piggybacking their way into view. While they claim Debito and “his side” have done absolutely nothing to improve things in Japan for foreign residents (not just naturalized…that’s another topic) they have yet to show *anything* they have done that is any different. It’s easy to be a critic, all one has to do is stand, watch and say how much better one would have done. This is exactly what is going on now. As far as I am concerned Tepido can go back to being “sorry for the evils that the West has caused poor, innocent Japan” and continue to bow before his/her/its Japanese owners. Just because Debito “grew a pair” and acts like a normal human being in a land seemingly run by fear, idiocy, egoism and corruption, that isn’t a good enough reason make up rubbish filled tripe about what “he and his posters really think” and try to pass it off as constructive criticism.

    I am sure if he/we were back home, he/we would be just as involved and as passionate about the climate there as it is here. Personally, I am the biggest critic if my own country and it’s actions- there is no reason I should act any differently in Japan. I don’t agree with everything Debito has done (or says, for that matter) and in some things we are polar opposites- but there is no good reason to simply attack him outright for a personal opinion of him that is contrived solely by said opinionated (and the opinion of those you are trying to impress); unless of course one was trying to make a name for themselves in order to “look good” to their handlers.

    So to Tepido and Japan Probe: enjoy your ten minutes of fame. That being said, if any of you cowards even attempt to harass me or anyone I am associated with you’ll find out what the “sh!te end” of the stick is in *no uncertain terms*. My apologies in advance for the ferocity of this post, which was written from a cellphone.

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