Will O'Reilly Boycott Sushi Now That Japan Has Gone Socialist?
Please God! If enough rich Republicans stop going to Matsuhisa, Katsu-Ya (the real one in Studio City; they're certainly welcome to the joke versions in Glendale, Hollywood, Encino and Brentwood), Asanebo and Mako it might be possible to get in (with reservations) without waiting on long lines. All that clean energy talk is going to drive O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the lunatic fringe propagandists even crazier than they already are. And raising corporate taxes? Expect right-wing saki sales to plummet the same way sales of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Armagnac went into a tailspin in Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma when O'Reilly started his boycott of all things French.
Sorry for the tangent; I'm fasting today. Yesterday Japanese voters kicked out the bums-- in a really big way. The election and the stunning, historic defeat for the right-wing LDP, was all about change, change and more change. I hope they're luckier with that than we've been. It looks like the progressive party (DJP) has won over 300 seats in the 480 seat parliament. The new government of Yukio Hatoyama will be only the second ever in Japan not controlled by conservatives.
Speaking to jubilant party members in Tokyo, he said he remained committed to the mantra of change that had swept the DPJ into power. "The people are angry with politics and the ruling coalition," he said. "We keenly felt that people wanted a change in their lives, and so we fought this election for a change in government."
Taro Aso, the outgoing prime minister, indicated he would resign as head of the LDP to take responsibility for a disastrous night that could see the party's strength reduced from 300 seats to just over 100.
"These results are very severe," he said. "There is deep dissatisfaction with our party."... With an overwhelming public mandate secured, Hatoyama will quickly come under pressure to make good on his manifesto pledges. He has promised to eliminate wasteful public works, challenge elite bureaucrats' policy stranglehold and invest heavily in social security in one of the world's most elderly societies.
Even more likely to rile up O'Reilly and the teabagger brigades was an Op-Ed Japan's incoming prime minister wrote last week about the U.S.-Japanese relationship, the nature of predatory capitalism, and the failure of Bush's military adventures. Would you say this might be enough to drive O'Reilly to swear off... are loofahs Japanese?
In the post-Cold War period, Japan has been continually buffeted by the winds of market fundamentalism in a U.S.-led movement that is more usually called globalization. In the fundamentalist pursuit of capitalism people are treated not as an end but as a means. Consequently, human dignity is lost.
How can we put an end to unrestrained market fundamentalism and financial capitalism, that are void of morals or moderation, in order to protect the finances and livelihoods of our citizens? That is the issue we are now facing.
...The recent economic crisis resulted from a way of thinking based on the idea that American-style free-market economics represents a universal and ideal economic order, and that all countries should modify the traditions and regulations governing their economies in line with global (or rather American) standards.
In Japan, opinion was divided on how far the trend toward globalization should go. Some advocated the active embrace of globalism and leaving everything up to the dictates of the market. Others favored a more reticent approach, believing that efforts should be made to expand the social safety net and protect our traditional economic activities. Since the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2001-2006), the Liberal Democratic Party has stressed the former, while we in the Democratic Party of Japan have tended toward the latter position.
The economic order in any country is built up over long years and reflects the influence of traditions, habits and national lifestyles. But globalism has progressed without any regard for non-economic values, or for environmental issues or problems of resource restriction.
If we look back on the changes in Japanese society since the end of the Cold War, I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the global economy has damaged traditional economic activities and destroyed local communities.
In terms of market theory, people are simply personnel expenses. But in the real world people support the fabric of the local community and are the physical embodiment of its lifestyle, traditions and culture. An individual gains respect as a person by acquiring a job and a role within the local community and being able to maintain his family’s livelihood.
I hope Obama-- and the corrupt Wall Street crowd he has chosen to surround himself with-- are paying attention too.