Friday, May 28, 2010

Democracy Dies in Japan

Our current imperial government under Barack Obama has apparently strong-armed the Japanese government into keeping the military bases at Okinawa.

Hatoyama came to office last September promising to create a "more equal" relationship with Washington and move the Marine base off the island, which hosts more than half the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan under a 50-year-old joint security alliance.

Fortunately, Washington was able to use the conveniently well-timed incident between North and South Korea as a bludgeon.

The joint statement appeared to highlight rising tension surrounding the March sinking of a South Korean ship blamed on a North Korean torpedo. "Recent developments in the security environment of Northeast Asia reaffirmed the significance of the Alliance," it said.

This will not end well.

The United States is on the verge of permanently damaging its alliance with Japan in a dispute over a military base in Okinawa. This island prefecture hosts three-quarters of all U.S. military facilities in Japan. Washington wants to build one more base there, in an ecologically sensitive area. The Okinawans vehemently oppose it, and tens of thousands gathered last month to protest the base. Tokyo is caught in the middle, and it looks as if Japan’s prime minister has just caved in to the U.S. demands.

Let’s go back to using the United States military for the defense of the United States rather than as centurions pissing off people in the far flung reaches of the American Empire.

From 1950 to 1953, the American bases in Okinawa were used to fight the Korean War, and from the 1960s until 1973, they were used during the Vietnam War. Not only did they serve as supply depots and airfields, but the bases were where soldiers went for rest and recreation, creating a subculture of bars, prostitutes and racism. Around several bases fights between black and white American soldiers were so frequent and deadly that separate areas were developed to cater to the two groups.

The U.S. occupation of Japan ended with the peace treaty of 1952, but Okinawa remained a U.S. military colony until 1972. For 20 years, Okinawans were essentially stateless people, not entitled to either Japanese or U.S. passports or civil rights. Even after Japan regained sovereignty over Okinawa, the American military retained control over what occurs on its numerous bases and over Okinawan airspace.

The bases in Okinawa were used to support two wars we should not have been involved in anyway. Good enough reason to close them before we get involved in another. Declare victory in Afghanistan and Iraq while we’re at it.

Bring the military home, make it a Memorial Day to remember!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meet the New Hegemon

China showed more evidence today that they are the new hegemon on the block. Instead of spending a vast proportion of their wealth on military gizmos that likely have no use and are defective for their intended purpose, they have quietly amassed huge amounts of European and American debt.

Stocks had another turnaround Thursday and rocketed higher after China reassured investors it doesn't plan to sell the European debt it holds.

China's show of confidence in Europe let the market resume a rally that stalled late Wednesday following a report that the Chinese government was considering cutting its European debt holdings. If that were true, such a move would have signaled that China didn't think Europe would be able to contain its debt crisis. The agency that manages China's $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves denied the report.

Let’s hope they are as benevolent when it comes to our debt.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Which I Side With Glenn Beck

I gotta say that  Rep. Anthony Weiner really should back off on this. Anything that separates Tea Party dumbasses from their money is alright with me. It’s just less they have to contribute to any candidates who might have a chance of winning. And Goldline likely isn’t going to financially back any candidates because they’re just in it for the dough. A win-win.

Fox News host and conservative talker Glenn Beck is firing back after New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner issued a report critical of Goldline International, a gold retailer and one sponsor of Beck's cable show.

You go Glenn, and you too, Goldline!

The report says the gold retailer has entered "an unholy alliance with conservative pundits" — among them Beck, Fred Thompson, Dennis Miller, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham — to "promote Goldline by playing off the fear of inflation."

"What we have found, by looking through the public records, is that very often they use their public programs to advocate purchasing gold, and then immediately, advertisements begin for Goldline," Weiner said in a news conference Tuesday.

A fool and his money and all that. Fuck it, I got some magic beans I’ll sell them. I’m not trading for a cow, though. Cash or their overpriced gold coins, it’s one or the other.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Career Opportunities

Apparently, Jonah Goldberg has been doing some thinking about his career:

Now, I must go change my name and become an assistant manager at a Footlocker in the Midwest, to escape the wrath of the suits who are undoubtedly cross with me for revealing even a glimpse of our proprietary stats.

Well, maybe if Lucianne pulled some strings again. Otherwise, I don’t think Jonah would be starting right in at assistant manager. I mean, what the fuck does he have for experience?