59336ecd5d052.imageMy job is to help Japanese students of English improve their ability to understand our amazing, mongrel tongue and hopefully, to express some of the less inscrutable mysteries of Nipponica.  Mr. Obama gave me plenty of effective material with some excellent examples of the wit and seamless logic English can deliver.  Now Mr. Trump is helping me show the Japanese that English is capable of being even more inscrutable that their own ambiguous vernacular.

I got the following article from The Guardian online newspaper, made several alterations to both content and layout to make it a more effective teaching device, and then made up a vocabulary quiz since the prime motivation for many masochistic Japanese learners is to endure a painstaking test at the conclusion of each lesson.

I insist they lock up their ubiquitous electronic dictionaries and simply follow the text as they consider the meaning of each word. You can download and print out the test if you are into verbal self flagellation.TrumpTrans1TRANSTRUMP 2TRANSTRUMP MATCH 1TRANSTRUMP MATCH 2

We Got Trouble!


David Horsey, The LA Times – 8 Nov. 2016

(Fake lyrics lifted from The Music Man)
(Apologies to Professor Harold Hill and Mr. Meredith Willson )
Citizens of America!
Heed the warning before it’s too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
The moment the president wakes up,
Does he grab his cellphone,
run to the Lou
and start tweeting?
Is there a copy of “The Camp of the Saints”
laying on his nightstand?
Mein Kampf” hidden in the oval office?
Is he starting to memorize hateful lines?
Lines from Il Deuce and V. Putin?

 Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
Words like “PURGE?”
And that fake patriotic rally cry

Well, if so my friends,
We got trouble,
Right here in the U.S.A.!

With a capital “T”
That’s a ‘hyuuge’ golden “T”
And that stands for Trump!

We’ve surely got trouble!
Right here in the U.S.A.!
Remember the babble;
The Wall, the Mimic,
Grab ‘em by the P*ssy
And the Muslim Ban!



Portrait  Presidential Candidate Donald TrumpThis 13-year-old, 2nd year junior high school boy didn’t answer the question but he gets an ‘A’ anyway. Last summer he wrote a perceptive speech critiquing President Obama’s Hiroshima speech. This term I gave him Trump’s inaugural speech to study.

8. What are some differences between the Obama Hiroshima speech and Trump’s inaugural speech?

[Actually, couldn’t find the differences between Obama and Trump from their speeches. I only found that Trump’s strategies are related to his business skill. (But I’m not so sure he’s that good at business).]

Trump said too many extreme things during the election campaign. I thought, “That crazy, old idiot won’t be chosen,” but he became the president!

Recently, I thought he might be calculating what people want to hear. He had his eye on poor workers who weren’t happy with Obama and those people voted for him. But then I thought maybe he is not clever enough to calculate those strategies. He is good at business though, so I thought his strategies might be related to business management.

First he had to catch people’s attention, so he used the media to let people know the Trump brand. People thought, “I’ve never seen this kind of funny politician. He could be good.” And they bought it. (this means they voted for him). After the Trump brand became famous, and was chosen by a lot of people, he could expand his market. (This means he can sign a lot of executive orders.)

Now we don’t know what is going to happen. But I guess there are only two possible ways; Trump’s brand will flourish or his brand might perish.


EZ CONSTITUTION: The 25th Amendment

The impeachment of Andrew Johnson, 5 March 1868, (1872).The Constitution of the United States of America

AMENDMENT XXV  –  Section 4.

Whenever the parties of the VP*
transmit to the parties of Congress*
their declaration that the President is disabled*,
the Vice President shall immediately
assume the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President
transmits to the parties of Congress*
his declaration that no inability exists,
he shall resume his office
unless the parties of the VP*, within four days
transmit to the parties of Congress*
a second declaration that the President is disabled*.

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue,
assembling within 48 hours.
If the Congress, within 21 days
determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses
that the President is disabled,
the VP shall continue as Acting President;
otherwise, the President shall resume his duties.

The parties of the VP*
the Vice President and a majority of either
the principal officers of the executive departments
or of such other body as Congress may by law provide,
The parties of Congress*
President pro tempore of the Senate
and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office

Passed by Congress July 6, 1965.
Ratified February 10, 1967.


161231-rizind750-004wThe usual clear blue Kanto winter sky was lacking its usual bitter breeze this year when we arrived at Saitama Super Arena to celebrate Oshogatsu as guests of RIZIN MMA ring announcer Lenne Hardt – a.k.a. my little sister.

161231-rizind750-002wAfter a 45-minute drive on an unusually clear expressway, we had a nice walk with Louis and Maggie in the people park next to the car park. They would be enjoying a nice long nap in their favorite sleeping nook – Kayoko’s Suzuki micro-mini van.

161231-rizind750-014wThe arena is part of an ultra-modern complex arising like a grove of steel and concrete bamboo shoots in the middle of the Saitama suburbs.

161231-rizind750-015wLenne’s ayatollah Malcolm met us with our complimentary tickets in front of Royal Host. 161231-rizind750-016wAnrei came with us and Naoto Sasaki and friends were the first to rendezvous with us.161231-rizind750-017w




151228-kyoto-ninnaji-065-monsterBy Dane Degenhardt

Long, long ago, in old Britain,
the Celtic people celebrated New Years Day
on what is now November 1,
so their New Year’s Eve was October 31.

In those days,
evil spirits and powerful monsters
lived just below the island’s crusty surface.

These horrible creatures from hell
rose up out of the ground
on the night of every full moon.

They would pull their slimy bodies
up through the many caves
that were found around the country.

These creatures took many different forms,
each horrendous and horrifying
in its very own way.

Some were vampire bats
that let out bloody screeches
as they flew in the dark night air.

Some were huge, hairy tarantula spiders
that would creep silently
across the cold, damp ground.

Some were fiendish zombies –
decaying bodies of long lost souls–
that crawled out of their graves
to find and steal a human spirit

Still others were ghastly ghosts –
gaseous visions of bodyless souls
who would hunt the living for their bodies.

At the start of each year,
these grotesque inhabitants of hell
had only enough power
to climb to the earth’s surface,
but no power to do any harm.

Even the weakest young boy
could easily push them away
with a casual thrust of his small arm.

But, with the coming of each full moon,
the army of underground mutants
gained more, and more strength.

By the time of the last full moon of the year,
on the very night of New Years Eve,
Satan’s hordes of murderous soldiers
were as strong as they would ever be.

The poor, helpless people of Britain
were in the greatest danger.

The now strong spirits of the dead
were desperate to catch a living soul
before their power was again exhausted
with the coming of the New Year.

To save themselves from a horrible death,
the Brits built huge bonfires in every village.

To hide themselves from the evil ones,
they dressed in odd costumes
and hid their faces in hideous masks.

Throughout this night of terror,
the people danced, sang,
and screamed with fear
until the New Years sun was near.


Dylan’s artistic worth has not always been so highly evaluated.


Some people today still agree with Vonnegut
and many were surprised when Dylan
was chosen to get the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I guess the Nobel people decided that
Dylan’s works meet the basic criteria for great art.

UNIVERSAL — appeal to most everyone
PERSONAL — speak to each one directly
ETERNAL — timeless
INFLUENTIAL — impact other artists.

They may be right. As for me,
Dylan’s droning voice always stood between me
and any merits I might have found in his songs.

But this is the first time the award has gone to a lyricist
and I think that’s a good thing because
I believe song lyrics are the poetry of our time.