Monday, March 13, 2006
First lets stop at NHK. In Iwakuni it seems the people have spoken and it would seem that they have more sense than the United States government does:
IWAKUNI, Yamaguchi Pref. -- A majority of Iwakuni residents voted "no" in a closely watched plebiscite Sunday, rejecting the central government's plan to move 57 U.S. warplanes and 1,600 additional marines to the area, according to partial vote counts and exit polls.According to Iwakuni City Hall, 21,000 residents had voted "no" and 3,000 "yes" as of 10:30 p.m. Sunday, with 48.31 percent of the votes counted.
The Iwakuni plebiscite was the first held since Japan and the United States agreed to restructure U.S. bases last October. Although the result is nonbinding, the vote was closely watched by leaders in both countries.
Both Tokyo and Washington fear that a rejection by Iwakuni will prompt other municipalities where opposition is strong to take similar action.Sunday's cold and gloomy weather had those who pushed for the plebiscite concerned that turnout by Iwakuni's roughly 85,000 eligible voters would fall below the 50 percent needed for the mayor to declare it valid.The turnout was tallied at 58.68 percent.
Of course the poll is non binding and the governments of both the United States and Japan are moving forward as if this never happened. Moving CVW-5 to Iwakuni makes zero sense and most people at the worker bee level know it. So too it would seem do the citizens of the city. It seems its just the leaders that don't get it.
Here's a question, given the expense and the increased difficulty of getting the wing moved to the ship, does it really make sense to keep a forward deployed ship/airwing in Japan? Or would it be cheaper and make more sense from a business case just to maintain a constant carrier presence here in the Western Pacific using carriers from the United States? That in turn would suck about 5000 people out of the Kanto plain, and as a bonus, solve some of the issues with getting people to come to Japan to live.........I'm not advocating that, but if the wing moves to Iwakuni, it will be breaking something that was not broken. Where is the logic in that?
On over to the sports channel. Japan lost to the United States today 4-3 in baseball. Japan is screaming they were robbed bythe umpire. 彼は泥坊 です。嘘をはんしました。（He's a thief! And the call is a lie!). At least that is what Ichiro thinks:
Japanese manager Sadaharu Oh and star Ichiro Suzuki were upset by a controversial overruling that denied Japan a run in a 4-3 loss to the United States at the World Baseball Classic. Alex Rodriguez hit
a two-out, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning to plate the winning run in a second-round thriller that was spirit-crushing for the Japanese, who thought for a moment they had taken a 4-3 lead in the eighth. "It's unfortunate the play was overruled," Oh said. "It's just unimaginable this could have happened, this did happen, in the United States, where baseball is very famous and very popular."
Tsuyoshi Nishioka tagged up and raced home from third base on Akinori
Iwamura's fly out to left field and appeared to give Japan the lead. The US team appealled and second base umpire Brian Knight ruled the run counted. US manager Buck Martinez complained to home plate umpire Bob Davidson, who then overruled Knight, saying Nishioka in his haste to beat a throw to home plate had departed the base before US outfielder Randy Winn made the catch.
Flip on over to the movie channel. Bull Durham is on. Great flick. Except the AFN morals police cut out most of the sex scene between Sarandon and Costner (He's a 60 minute man!):
SIXTY MINUTE MAN
(William Ward)The Dominoes
Lead Vocal : Barry Carl
Well, listen here, girls,
I'm telling you now,
They call me loving Dan,
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all night longI'm a sixty-minute man.
And if you don't believe I'm all I say,
Come up and take my hand.
As soon as I leave you go, you'll cry"Oh yeah, he's a sixty-minute man!"
There'll be fifteen minutes of kissing,
And then you'll holler, "Danny boy, please don't stop!"
There'll be fifteen minutes of teasing,
fifteen minutes of pleasing,
Fifteen minutes of blowing my top (mop! mop! mop!)
Well, if your man ain't treating you right,
Come up and see your Dan.
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all night long
I'm a sixty-minute man.
And of course Costner chants the Skippy mantra in the movie:
Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
Where's that damn remote control?
Back to the news. Russ Feingold is going to introduce an amendment to censure Bush. Feel good measure though it may be ( and well deserved by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave), it is doomed to failure. And as a weekend bonus, give the Republicans something to rally around. Although the Senator did make a convincing case........... Leave Bush to his own devices, he can do enough damage to himself. Wait till he gives his speech about "How all is well" in Iraq.......
Speaking of Iraq, Thomas Friedman has a great article about how its not a "we problem" in Iraq its a "they problem", they being the Iraqis who cannot decide if they want to be Iraqi-- or Shite or Sunni...........Friedman prescribes a dose of cold water, as in threatening to throw them in the deep end of the pool without a life preserver. I've been advocating that for about a year. ( You have to pay to get his column, thus no link.)
Another great idea stolen from me! Wordsworth may have had it right:
What wonder, then, if in such ample field
Of old tradition, one particular flower
Doth seemingly in vain its fragrance yield,
And bloom unnoticed even to this late hour?
Now, gentle Muses, your assistance grant,
While I this flower transplant
Into a garden stored with Poesy;
Where flowers and herbs unite, and haply some weeds be,
That, wanting not wild grace, are from all mischief free!