Thursday, August 31, 2006

My brain is full...........

I'm fried.

I have some great thoughts about the good Mr Rumsfeld's speech yesterday. Don Rumsfeld seems to think that I am facist sympathiser because I think the war in Iraq is not in the long term national interest. So when this farce of an exercise ends, I'll pass along my thoughts. I'll give you the bottom line up front: The Donald must not have paid much attention in history class. Because he has it all wrong.

For now though, I'll let others do the talking.

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and

shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.


Read the whole thing. Don's history lesson to follow. I'll give him a hint however, the war on terrorism began at Suez, not at Danzig. The US took the wrong turn there too..............

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lazy man's post!

I got back early this evening. So after an hour of watching TV , I said, "screw it!"
So I snuck out to my favorite little watering hole, to sit at the bar and admire the bartender and her strapless bra.....(beneath a revealing top). Now I'm back and off to bed.

But not before I send you to see this:

"TSA says don't forget the lube!"

According to Wonkette, " That’s right, frequent flyers: Bogus terror threats or not, Homeland Security wants you to have comfortable anal sex while flying."

But if you want a beer.......well that's a terrorist act!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So why am I here?

According to the Donald:

"U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he does not see North Korea as an immediate military threat to South Korea."

For the hours I am putting in I could be out playing golf if this is true.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The surrender declaration.....

As I pointed out yesterday the Navy is making a huge push for diversity.

Friend of mine showed me a brief the guys in the surface Navy put together. Its one of those "health of the community briefs" that talks about where the community is going. By the looks of one slide, it is going straight to hell a railroad car in the middle of a forest in France. Read(the key surrender clauses are in italics):


•Baseline SWE minority/female demographics by rank, rate, rating, NEC, ship, shore establishment and training or education site

•Produce a website for all minorities to access their ethnic group to see photos and bio’s on all leaders in the SWE including Flag Officers/Senior Executive Service, Commanding Officers, Command Master/Senior Chiefs, Sailors of the Year, Flag Aides, and other leaders of our community of female or minority status.

(Skippy comment: I suppose that others just have to get along with nothing?)

•Pulse commands to determine what mentoring programs currently exist, how these mentors are trained and how their mentoring is measured at individual commands

Measure the assignment processes for all Enterprise Flag Officers and commands to ensure a diverse pool of candidates for all nominated-type billets.

(Skippy translation: No nomination package will be submitted without at least one minority nomination)

Submit to CNO on behalf of the SWE a request that CNO/CNP officially restore the use of minority stamps and photographs on personal records on selection boards to assist all Navy Enterprises in properly identifying our minority personnel

(Skippy comment: Ask anyone who has been at selection boards how hard people fought to get that removed from the process so that the record gets viewed objectively on its merits. Please advise the OLA to standby for more Congressional letters............This is a huge step backwards.)

Ensure that admin screening boards such as XO/CO precepts capture the essence of the diverse total force such that all records are afforded their best opportunity for selection

(Skippy translation: Put quotas for numbers of women selected for command.)

•Provide timely, concise, and dependable demand signals to other Enterprises that intersect with the SWE in these matters

•Study ways in which our female Sailors can serve in our Navy and have families too

Skippy comment: This is the "mommy track". Daddies don't get one. They just get more time deployed to compensate for the lost numbers of deployables available.


Thanks guys! Thanks for putting down in writing what many had always expected. Wonder if men can now apply for disabled status because of the extra appendage they have to carry around................

(You can find the whole brief on the BUPERS Web site.)

The war is simulated.....

But the buffoonery is real!

Saw that on a patch today. I just had to buy one.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

In the middle

Never underestimate the benefit of a good nights sleep. I slept both Friday night and last night for over 9 hours each. God, it felt good! Now today its back to the salt mines and 5 hours a night for another week. The higlight of my day is that moment I put the key in the door at my hotel at night. The low point is closing the door each morning. As for the interval in between, well, the less said the better.

All kinds of banners up yesterday proclaiming women's equality day yesterday. Who **** came up wth that? When do we get to celebrate Men's empowerment day? Or White Anglo Saxon Protestant Men's Hisotry Month? Feminism at work again.

Its like everything else with this diversity kick, they can't leave well enough alone. Recently the Chief of Naval Operations announced that the Navy needs more women. By his saying that it puts an end of the idea of "gender neutral" promotions and selections. Welcome to the brave new world of affirmative action. "Most qualified" will be replaced by "Meets quota". It is crazy.

Also I noted that the Marines have begun involuntary recall of reservists. It's not suprising. They are bearing a huge burden in this war, as they have in every other war. As long as Iraq drags on the problem of resourcing it is going to get worse. How many times does one have to pay at the office? You see it in the service as I've seen friends who are eligible to retire, be denied retirement as they play hard ball to ensure they have enough folks to feed the IA mosnter. These folks saw the writing on the wall and were voting with their feet before the monster came to eat them. I feel for them. These are good guys who if required would go to sea and do anything else nautical, but are not simply going to get jerked around just to pay someone's twisted idea of how to do more with less.

These are the beginings of the cracks in the damn. They will get worse. Phibian has discussed who is responsible over at his blog. I don't hold folks in DOD responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. I do think they should be called on the carpet for not banging on the desks demanding enough resources if the administration is hell bent to take on as many commitments as it has. There is no wood dented yet.

Do more with less. But make sure it is diversified. Where did Nero leave his fiddle?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The most boring job in the world.........

Not like mine, which is the most mentally painful at the moment! For all the effort they are taking to simulate the war, makes me wonder if we should just start it and get it over with.........plus I spent 3+ hours trying to get databases sorted.

One database that must be very small is that of cars in North Korea. Being here has me fasicinated how the Hermit Kingdom can still exist. I keep wondering why the Chinese just don't cut the Jonger loose. After all look at this fine person who has the most boring job in the world:


A North Korean traffic cop!

While searching the internet I found these fascinating photos from a Russian who went there. Go here and here to see them for yourself.

It does not look like a Skippy kind of place................

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random musings.........

Another long day. Who came up with this idea? Oh yea, me. Remind me to kick my self.

Its been an interesting insight into the way our military does business these days. If I were a Flag officer I would go through my command center and rip out every VTC (Video teleconference) cable for 2-5 days, just so I could allow my department heads to get something done.

I have a sick vision:

It's 1944 and technology has evolved differently. Halsey is embarked in USS New Jersey full of steam to head north after Ozawa's carriers. Instead of making a decision he stays steaming in circle while, He and his subordinate commanders are sitting in front of a VTC camera. Some JO in a starched khaki shirt is reading from a powerpoint slide.

" Sir in the last 24 hours TAFFY-3 got schwacked, there are indications of Jap carriers North of Luzon and our battleships in Surigao straight are still stocked at 100%. Pending your direction that concludes my brief....."

" Admiral Halsey this Chet Nimitz, where is Task force 34? The world wonders".

BOOM! 18 inch shells from Musashi start penetrating the Iowa's armor............

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It is also a curse. Seems to me that today's flag officers spend more time parked in front of a VTC camera than making command decisions. With their staffs around them of course...........

Then again, this "all day VTC" strategy could be a way to keep the senior officers engaged and allow JO's to get on with winning the war. Napoleon did not need a VTC to take Austerliz..............

Don't even get me started on Powerpoint.

Speaking of Flag Officers watched Joe Sestak on TV tonight. I found it laughable that he was railing against the war in Iraq when he was in the belly of the beast when some of the decisions were being made. I'd love to be able to ask him:

" Sir. You drove a horde of fine officers out of the Navy because you were a workaholic and a psychopath.......Why now should I elect a known back-stabber and bastard to the US Congress?"

Then again, he would probably fit right in.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm still here you greasy bastards..!

Iwas very busy today. In at 6 am and out at 9 pm. Too tired to post anything long.

However I did here an interesting theory during all the chaos today. "The only nation that wants a united Korea is the United States."

The person then went on to explain that S. Korea really does not want it, because of what it would cost them to rebuild the North. China does not want it, becuase in the current circumstances N. Korea is a third nuclear arm for them. Japan does not want it for obvious reasons, not the least of which is that China would use an united Korea as a reason to lobby hard for less US troops in Japan and thus an easier time to take Taiwan if they wanted to. Plus it would give Korea refugees more reason to try to get to Japan through an opne conduit to Kyushu..........

Interesting theory. Reminds me of what Hemlock pointed out last year.

Odell asks me a simple but profound question. “Koreans… What the fuck?” I give him the country’s history in a nutshell. First, it was repeatedly invaded by the Japanese, then it was repeatedly invaded by the Mongols, then it was repeatedly invaded by the Chinese, then it was repeatedly invaded by the Manchus, then it got one big, maybe-they’ll-get-the-message-this-time invasion from the Japanese again, and in 1950 it invaded itself. This experience, I explain, has made these people the proud and noble mouth-frothing xenophobes we all know and love today, threatening to send hordes of vicious peasant warriors to Hong Kong if our Government does not honour their birthright as sons of the Hermit Kingdom, namely immunity from laws against assaulting policewomen with bamboo poles.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Not in the mood!

I'm still here and still in a funk. Its got me just fit to be tied. Had to do some work today a lot more tomorrow.

Nothing to see here my children, except for a sad man tonight. Move along to any of the links on the right side.

Friday, August 18, 2006

No time to post!

But not to bust to forget beer and babes.

And not forget my favorite babe, Mrs Bacon who is waiting for me to price that cheap imitation tokidoki purse. Its on tonights agenda, unless my recently discovered, favorite female bartender pours too many of these down me:



Thanks to General Bell and his predecessor, I have to live with the reactionary regime that imposes a curfew that includes contractors. What total and complete horseshit! Next time remind me to forgo SOFA status, and just be a tourist! Then I would not have to have Air Force pogues stopping me as I was walking down the sidewalk because I did not appear to be walking straight. F**K you! You guys are the ones enforcing a curfew, So if I walk home from the bar, what is the big deal? Oh excuse me, I forgot the USAF was all about enforcing morality, thus the reason for the stupid curfew in the first place. BITE ME!

Now I really Need:



Which is not coming any time soon, more so thanks to the stupid curfew...........

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not seeing the forest for the trees.........

Busy time here in Korea. Plus I'm in a real funk. Things are not working out on the project the way they should be. And I have 3 + weeks to go. Its more than the project, its life in general. I get up in the AM and go do what I need to do.

Plus I have been reading a lot. I am amazed at the way the debate about Iraq is devolving. Its all about American partisan politics. Iraq is about sacrifice, both by Americans and Iraqis. On the one side are those who believe that any negative ideas about Iraq are somehow unpatriotic. On the other side are the those who want to throw in the towel without understanding that you can't just walk away from an adventure that you created. The Democrats have made this about beating Bush, which is an acceptable goal, but not the reason to make a foreign policy decision.

Tom Friedman, who had clung to support for the war long after it stopped being fashionable, puts the dilemna well:

What should really worry the country is not whether the Democrats are being dragged to the left by antiwar activists who haven't thought a whit about the larger struggle we're in. What should worry the country is that the Bush team and the Republican Party, which control all the levers of power and claim to have thought only about this larger struggle, are in total denial about where their strategy has led.

Besides a few mavericks like Chuck Hagel and John McCain on Iraq and Dick Lugar and George Shultz on energy, how many Republicans have stood up and questioned the decision-making that has turned the Iraq war into a fiasco? Had more of them done so, instead of just mindlessly applauding the administration, the White House might have changed course when it had a chance.

Not only is there no honest self-criticism among Republicans, but - and this is truly contemptible - you have Dick Cheney & Friends focusing their public remarks on why Mr. Lamont's defeat of Mr. Lieberman only proves that Democrats do not understand that we are in a titanic struggle with 'Islamic fascists' and are therefore unfit to lead.

Oh, really? Well, I just have one question for Mr. Cheney: If we're in such a titanic struggle with radical Islam, and if getting Iraq right is at the center of that struggle, why did you 'tough guys'
fight the Iraq war with the Rumsfeld Doctrine - just enough troops to lose - and not the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force to create the necessary foundation of any democracy-building project, which is security? How could you send so few troops to fight such an important war when it was obvious that without security Iraqis would fall back on their tribal militias?



As I pointed out a year ago the public's patience is only so finite. They are willing to stick with it if they can see some tangible benefit. However people getting killed for something that folks do not see as defending the heartland, is going to make sure that the public gets alienated faster. We have no way forward but yet we are supposed to just stay the course.To hell with that. Either quit the field or go in and crush the little bastards. If that involves putting 500,000 troops over there and having Dresden style raids on all the major Iraqi cities, then so be it. Just bring the damn thing to some kind of conclusion.

Because right now:

Friends, we are on a losing trajectory in Iraq, and, as the latest London plot underscores, the wider war with radical Islam is only getting wider. We need to reassess everything we are doing in this 'war on terrorism' and figure out what is worth continuing, what needs changing and what
sacrifice we need to demand from every American to match our means with our ends. Yes, the Democrats could help by presenting a serious alternative. But unless the party in power for the next two and half years shakes free of its denial, we are in really, really big trouble.


What Mr Friedman said.............

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Liberation day......

Today is a holiday in Korea. Its Korean Independence day. And for those of you keeping score, its the 61'st anniversary of the Japanese surrender. They lost the war.....or did they? There was a period of time when Americans actually thought that. That Japan was actually fighting the US on a different front, the economic one, seeking to take over the US. Then the sleeping panda woke up in China and both the US and Japan found themselves fighting the same enemy.

Played golf in Osan today. Interesting course. Greens sucked though. It had some interesting reminders that just 100 or so miles to the north the Communist hordes are there, seething. Intersting things that reminded me of that as we made the circuit on the course. Saw Patriot missiles, machine gun boxes and 20mm gatling guns.........something to think about.

Back to work tomorrow. Will be very busy so blogging will be light.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Quick notes

Went up to Seoul today to pick up a colleague. The airport was a nut house!

I really need to learn to read Hangul. I feel just like I did when I first came to Japan over here.

Korean appears to grammatically like Japanese, but phonetically nothing like it. And the words Sumi da must mean the same as "desu" in Japanese.

In Japan they drive on the left side of the road. Here they drive on the right. yet Japan occupied Korea for over 50 years. I wonder if after the war, they had a big deal switching over. Or did they switch over?

The Korean women at the airport and in town sure are cute!

Saw a girl at the airport who was wearing a short skirt, hat, nice blouse, and she kept looking at me. My version is that she was digging me. Hers is probably that she could not figure out why I was staring at her with my jaw open....................

I still don't like Kimchi.

O.B. is pretty good beer.

Korea is not so hot as Japan was......I'd expected just the opposite.

My roomate from college was here in the 80's and regaled me with stories of getting "complete" haircuts. If that's still here, I sure can't find it!

I'm tired and need to go to bed.............

Speaking of air travel!

Steeljaw Scribe has a nice clip that reminds me of what I dreamed air travel was, but is not. The video at the link hearkens back to the days when service was important, stewardesses were pretty, and in light of the London plot, air travel was probably safer. Check it out.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Another blogless day.........

Traveling was every bit the pain in the ass I expected it to be...even on JAL. The flight to Korea is a short one however. The Bus ride from Incheon though.....well that is another story.

Incheon is a beautiful airport. Normal fal-de ral getting through immigration et al. Then finding and getting on the bus took some doing.

In a grumpy mood. Got some news I did not need to hear before I left. Expecting more this week.

Plus this whole thing of Muslims trying again to be stupid has me pissed off. The more I read about the plot, the angrier I get.

Lots to blog about no time. This coming week is going to be busy, tonight is one of my few nights out. I'm gonna enjoy it. More tomorrow I promise.

In the meantime read any of my links. Especially Hemlock. He's in good form this week.

Oh yes, read about the admiral in California and his new plan for social engineering. 0,0,0,1,3.
The last number is his rule for total drinks in a night. A night? Screw that! With all due respect, Rear Admiral Whatever your name is.....go **** yourself! So long as one does not drink and drive and shows up for work on time, the amount one drinks is his buisiness. I'll be sure to have 3 drinks an hour this evening. Read the whole stupid story in Navy Slimes. Why don't these idiots ever learn?

All you will do is drive your Sailors underground to do their drinking. Maybe if all the moral zealots rising to authority in this Navy today, actually knew how to have a good time they might understand that this is not the way to make incidents go down. It does however, guarantee, that when an incident does occur.....it will be spectacular. Moron. More on this in a later post.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The ultimate cconspiracy theory...........

Have been watching the news all evening about the arrests in England and break up of a plot to plant bombs on airliners enroute to the US from Heathrow. I can particulalry relate to the scene of the crowds at Heathrow since that airport is ill equipped to accomodate them. I spent 4 hours in line there 2 yearws ago, trying to get through immigration since the useless bastards at Bahrain would not check my bags all the way through to the US..........

Now along comes.........wait for it...........another bunch of Muslims, who by the way hold British passports, who have decided to keep faith with the other losers Muslims in the Arab world by blowing up airplanes. So much for the theory we are defending the US by killing Muslims in Iraq. Seems these guys did not stop there at all.

Me, I've decided that in lieu of anything better, I'm believing the US airlines put them up to it. By not allowing liquids to come on the plane, the airlines have what they really want. The ability to hold you hostage for drinks. Now every airline will follow the poor example of American and charge for drinks. Even non-alcoholic ones. Coffee-3 dollars. Coke-$1.50. Don't like it? Swallow hard for 6 hours.

Yes sir, the airlines have really hit the jackpot. Hey its a crazy theory, but then again I saw Elvis in Shinjuku last month.

Thanks again , you useless Muslim bastards. You have made my life a lot harder, the day before I leave for Korea. Thanks a**holes! Thanks a lot.

P.S. Mohammed sucks the big one!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Curve balls.....

Keep getting thrown my way........

My trip to Korea which is going to last almost a month has been moved up to this weekend. Blogging will be problematic, so we'll see how the posting goes.

McKinney lost............ Anybody want to bet a beer she blames on white people? (Even though her opponent is black).

Lieberman lost........but he's going to keep fighting. Seems to me if Connecticut voters so choose, they get to have their cake and eat it too. They can re-elect Lieberman as an Independent and still send the White House a big anti-war message. Or he could just run as a Republican......too late for that this year.

My golf plans are now in ruins.............

So too where my plans for whining dining......the S.O. Now I'll just be buying myself (or any Korean girl that wants one) beers.

And it rained all damn day today.

Yep, its gonna be a great week!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Electoral foolishness...........

First, its primary election day in the US in 5 states. In two, Georgia and Connecticut, the incumbents are in trouble. For the record I am hoping both lose. Cythnia McKinney because she is a moron, Joe Lieberman because he needs to be the victim in a bigger cause: sending George Bush a message that its becoming time to fold up in Iraq. That no amount of Iraqi lives is worth the life of even one American. Especially when they themselves can't fix their own problems. I'm tired of having to keep silent in the company of others when the subject of the war comes up. So let me be blunt. The Iraqis need to sink or swim on their own. It was never in the US long term interest to invade there, its hurt the overall US security posture and its harmed the Armed Forces of the United States in the long run, because the powers that be have refused to resource them properly for the length of effort it is taking. So either throw the Iraqi's in the deep end of the pool and let them figure out for themselves what to do, or bomb all their major cities into ashes. Make them see what the real price for being a Muslim is. And while I'm at it, the whole idea behind IA's is a crock of you know what too. If the Army needs help to win the war, make it bigger. Even if that means the Navy has to get smaller. Armies do what armies do. Navies do what Navies do.

Wow, that's not very rational now is it? But it is where we have gotten to, because of George Bush's obsession with the useless piece of what was once the Ottoman and British Empires.
The public tied is turning against the war, but not in the way that liberal Democrats think it will.

My own prediction is that McKinney will lose because voters in her district are tied of being embarrassed by the stereo type she engenders. A stupid person impersonating a Congressperson. I'll bet in her district there are at least a 100 people far more qualified than her to hold public office. I think Georgia voters are tied of seeing someone represent them who has done nothing more but make a career out of having a certain skin color.

With Lieberman though, I think he will win , but it will be a squeaker. There will be dead people on both sides voting, and when it is all said and done, he'll win . Because in the end the voters of Connecticut are more concerned about getting contracts for EB, Sikorsky, and for New Haven. They know a senior incumbent is in a better position to do that. And, truth be told, they are scared of what a Lieberman loss really means.

Because if he loses, it will send a message that if one believes in compromise and getting things done, you lose; well Katie bar the door. There will be no cooperation any more on either side. The Malkinesque and Coulter symptoms of the Republican sycophancy will grow even stronger. Moderates on both sides will wither on the vine. In the end the Republic will be poorer as a result.

So what am I saying you ask? Namely that the anti war foes have picked the wrong way to go about this. Lieberman is not the problem. Its the Nancy Pelosi's, the Hillary Clintons, and the other bozo's who pass for leadership in the Democratic party. Get some leadership with class, make the President work to get funding for his war, and take back ownership of the Senate. Not going to happen with the current crowd of Democrats.

So I expect to see a grey haired man giving a victory speech tomorrow and Democrats weeping in their beer. Sorry guys, you brought it on yourselves.

I still have to wait 3 months to vote against Rick Santorum. As if my absentee ballot will really matter.....................

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Gen baku no hi...........August 6th, 1945- Hiroshima.

Today is August 6th. The 61'st anniversary of the atomic bomb released on Hiroshima. Gen baku (原爆) is Japanese for atomic bomb. As you might expect there has been a lot of coverage on the various TV networks including bell ringing at the hour of the attack. The history is of course well documented:

August 6, 1945 is a day the Japanese will never forget. This is the day the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. The bomb fell from an airplane named the "Enola Gay" at 8:15 a.m. and exploded 43 seconds later, at 1,900 ft. above the city. The results were devastating. The intense heat generated from the bomb ranged from 7200 to 1000 degrees fahrenheit. Thousands were instantly killed, vaporized from the searing heat. Others were terribly disfigured with limbs melted from their bodies and skin peeling off in large strips. The intense heat melted the eyeballs of some who had stared in wonder at the blast. "Big black flies appeared and tried to lay eggs on human flesh. The injured were so weak that they could not brush away the flies that nestled in their hands and necks." (Doomsday) said survivor Michiko Watanabe. Throughout the city, parents and children were discovering one another wounded or dead. "A mother, driven half-mad while looking for her child, was calling his name. At last she found him. His head looked like a boiled octapus. His eyes were half-closed, and his mouth was white, pursed, and swollen." (Schell)

The blast was equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT. By present standards, the bomb was a small one, and in today's arsenals it would be classed among the merely tactical weapons. However, it was still large enough to transform a city of some 340,000 thousand people into hell in a matter of seconds. Only 6,000 buildings of the 76,000 were left undamaged; 48,000 were completely leveled. By the end of the day there were 100,000 dead. The figure would rise to 140,000 by the end of the year, due to radiation sickness and other complications.


What I found interesting today was talking with the S.O. about what we were seeing on TV. It is a classic case of the old adage, "where you sit, determines what you see". The S.O. made the comment that the Americans should never have done this (drop the bombs on Japan). With trepidation I waded into the pool, knowing damn well a deep discussion like this would go nowhere good.

"What then should the US have done?", I asked her, "They wanted to get the war over with after all....".

She replied that Japan would have surrendered anyway.

"Perhaps", I responded. "But when?. The Americans were planning an invasion of Kyushu in November and of Honshu the following March. The Russians were coming into the war as well. Have you ever considered what would have happened to Japan as a nation if your birth place, Sapporo, or even Sendai (where she grew up) had been occupied by the Russians? Or how many American and Japanese lives were saved by not having to invade?".

She had not, of course, only that it had killed a lot of Japanese. The Russian aspect, she seemed to have never heard about. Which, to tell you the truth, surprised me. Because, If the Soviets had been allowed to get their fingers into Japan, it would not be the great nation it is today. From the S.O.'s reaction there must be a lot of Japanese who do not realize that.

The news broadcasts here, also say very little about that aspect of the attack. They do focus on the tragedy of course. They always show the atomic dome. Pictures of the inside of the main post office, where many were trapped and died later. Interestingly, in the last 3 years I have been watching this, they always have coverage of Americans...either in America or visiting Hiroshima. It always seems to me, with my very incomplete understanding of Japanese, that these TV shows are always looking to show American remorse. They surely would not broadcast the facts which became clear long after the war:

An inner cabinet in Tokyo authorized Japan's only officially sanctioned diplomatic initiative. The Japanese dubbed this inner cabinet the Big Six because it comprised just six men: Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, Army Minister Korechika Anami, Navy Minister Mitsumasa Yonai, and the chiefs of staff of the Imperial Army (General Yoshijiro Umezu) and Imperial Navy (Admiral Soemu Toyoda). In complete secrecy, the Big Six agreed on an approach to the Soviet Union in June 1945. This was not to ask the Soviets to deliver a "We surrender" note; rather, it aimed to enlist the Soviets as mediators to negotiate an end to the war satisfactory to the Big Six--in other words, a peace on terms satisfactory to the dominant militarists. Their minimal goal was not confined to guaranteed retention of the Imperial Institution; they also insisted on preservation of the old militaristic order in Japan, the one in which they ruled......

........From mid-July onwards, Ultra intercepts exposed a huge military buildup on Kyushu. Japanese ground forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of four. Instead of 3 Japanese field divisions deployed in southern Kyushu to meet the 9 U.S. divisions, there were 10 Imperial Army divisions plus additional brigades. Japanese air forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of two to four. Instead of 2,500 to 3,000 Japanese aircraft, estimates varied between about 6,000 and 10,000. One intelligence officer commented that the Japanese defenses threatened "to grow to [the] point where we attack on a ratio of one (1) to one (1) which is not the recipe for victory."

Now I understand that everyone is not a history buff like I am. However in a country that is as well off as Japan and has labored under the shadow of the second world war as long as it has ( and many Japanese would argue they have paid for their sins over and over......) that the folks would know better their own history. A sample size of one is poor statistics I know. And the S.O. knows more about Coach purses than history.

It provides an interesting data point for me though. Not everything is understood by the American frame of reference. A lesson we have had to painfully re-learn again and again, most recently in Iraq. Then again having mastered the means to destroy our selves over and over again, collectively the world still pursues war. Give the Japanese credit, at least they now understand how wasteful the whole enterprise truly is.

Or do they? Given recent rhetoric.......who knows?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hanabi........

Today was a reasonably good day. I got up on the assumption that I was going to play golf el solo lobo. As I was making coffee at about 5:50 am I heard rumblings from the S.O.'s direction in our room. Now mind you, we had agreed that I would go early so I could get back and we could go to the Matsuri ( festival) tonight and watch the fireworks.

However, she decided that she was awake so she would go with me to play golf. Not a big deal but because we live farther away from the course now, we needed to get moving to get there before they closed the standby list. (Did not have a Tee-time......this is the first time I've played in a month.) So I informed her that she needed to HAYAKU her cute little Japanese butt along.

30 MINUTES LATER, we finally are pulling onto the expressway. GRRRRR! My dear, golf does not require makeup, putting laundry in the machine, or figuring out which hat to wear. I was 2 minutes shy of just leaving her there. ENGAGE THE WARP DRIVE Sulu! We are going to have to put some miles and smiles behind us quickly. Fortunately the traffic cooperated and we were able to make it. However its clear some training for the S.O. is required. I could have been on the road at 6 otherwise. Coffee is all I need (and my clubs of course....).

The rainy season is finally over here. Its ended about 3 weeks later than is normal, but today was one of the beautiful (?) Kanto plain days. HOT, MUGGY, and NO WIND.

However that is summer time in Japan. Which is a time I like. ITS SUM, SUM, SUMMERTIME!!!



Which means that Fireworks are going to be seen! And so we did.



But next time, if she's not ready.....she's walking.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Funny things to see......and read!

Out and about town that is.

Having gotten our cars all properly registered, we decided to put them to some use this evening. Out to Kura sushi for dinner. ( All plates 105 yen!). After gorging myself on 15 plates ( and thus tying my previous record....), I rolled out the door so as to take the S.O. over to the second hand store. She calls it a recycling store. I don't understand how a store that sells second hand goods can have the name "Hard Off". (And yes, my mind instantly zips into the gutter and wonders if I can get her to recycle something with the opposite name.........).

Fortunately they have used books, so I trot off to the manga section. Unfortunately, the manga I want to read: 18 才以上だけ。(18 years or older only) is all palstic wrapped. Damn! So I settle for the ones with cure schoolgirls. I also stumble across some for the Space Cruiser Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト):


A story about a boy and a girl who find love,
148,000 light years from home, in the heart
of the enemy.



Dodging a spending bullet, we head home. Fortunately the really expensive Noritake store is closed (Thank God!). I get on the computer and surf over to find Hemlock, who as usual is on a roll, documenting the plight of Chinese yuppies in Hong Kong. He's also found a job for me:

I could do this job, but they may not like the path I lead the child......

He does point out the hardships of being a Chuppie parent though:

For those of us who have baulked – or fled screaming – just thinking of the towering challenges of parenthood, this is yet another reason to rejoice at not having children. The responsibility of having to choose and manage a Filipino woman to feed, wash and clothe the child is daunting enough. And now, mothers and fathers must also assume the even more awesome duty of employing the right full-time mentor to educate and develop the little ones. There is no way I could face the burden.


Would that I had such problems..............

And of course Secretary McNamara Rumsfeld testified before Congress....after saying he would not. When did Congressional Subponeas become optional? Nonetheless it lead to this little moment of polictical hypocrisy on both sides: Hillary calling Rumsfeld incompetent. . Coming from Hillary, its the pot calling the kettle black. Actually the two of them are more alike than they realize: both are mean spirited, both don't care about their consituents, and they both provided poor advice to a sitting president..............

Anyway.......

Bubblehead has an article about the dangers of believing your recruiter.

And finally Sourrain bought a new purse.

How can a purse be worth so much? For that kind of money I could have bought a LOT of these:



And I'm sure you could, in some places, get a night with one of these:



All a matter of keeping your priorities straight!

Mel Gibson may not think this is funny.....

But I do.

Hongkie Town Redux: Bad Timing?

Now that is funny!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why I like trains..............reason 134.....

In this new job, I have to drive to various locations in and around the Kanto plain. So I sold my old car and bought a reasonably nice one. Plus, because I do go out in the car, vice just taking the train, I and the S.O. decided we should have a second car. Today was the day we went through that unique right of passage, for those who buy cars in Japan: going to the LTO (Land Tax Office).

Now there are companies that I could pay to handle all that paperwork for me, but I said, "Nah, I can Habla Nihongo, I can do this. Besides, I've done it before" - mistake number one.

The S.O. and I decided to get both cars done at once. So that meant she had to drive, which I felt would serve her right, because she has been on a "How Japan is so superior to the United States" kick lately. I knew going to the LTO would be painful, she had never been. This would be a good opportunity to put her in her place.

If you have ever cursed about going to the DMV, you never will do so again after going to the LTO. American DMV bureaus are like greased lightning compared to getting plates transferred and weight tax paid. Plus the little bastards have added a recycling tax since I last went through this, adding an extra 10,000 yen per car.

They take lunch from 11:30 - 1pm so we left at 12:15, because one other common feature about the LTO is that it is always located in the most inconvenient location possible and the Yokohama LTO is no exception. We both arrived about 1:15. 3+ hours later, we finally drove home. I had figured it would go smoother because the S.O. is with me, and she is a native Japanese speaker. Mistake number 2.

Turns out, the forms drove the S.O. nuts. Now mind you, they have a LOT of them, but they have examples on the walls and if you can read some Japanese you can figure out the rest. At least I could. I cannot write fast in Kanji, but I knew what to put where. Trying to explain it to her though, proved a minor challenge. I was surprised to say the least.

The other thing is that no one has ever done a time / LEAN analysis on the process. You start in one building. Go across the parking lot to another, and then finally have your car inspected at yet another place. Mind you, this is after you have paid BIG YEN to have it inspected at a dealer or service station. And if you have to change plates, as we did, someone has to come out and put the "seal" on the left screw of the rear license plate. I guess this is supposed to stop car theft, but for the life of me I do not understand how.

So 9 stops and 3 hours later we were done. Fortunately I was driving the "new" car, which has a CD player. I had loaded it up with Jethro Tull CD's and was a reasonably happy man going home.

After I told the S.O. that US car registration was a hell of lot better than in Japan that is.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Does anyone remember the Middle East War that really matters?

In watching the news networks in the last few days, I (and others) have been amazed at how the little fracas in Iraq has been shoved off the radar screen. Consider
( courtesy of the Duck...) this fact:

CNN will surely remind us today that it is Day 19 of the Israel-Hezbollah war - now branded as Crisis in the Middle East - but you won't catch anyone saying it's Day 1,229 of the war in Iraq. On the Big Three networks' evening newscasts, the time devoted to Iraq has fallen 60
percent between 2003 and this spring, as clocked by the television monitor, the Tyndall Report. On Thursday, Brian Williams of NBC read aloud a 'shame on you' e-mail complaint from the parents of two military sons anguished that his broadcast had so little news about the war.

This is happening even as the casualties in Iraq, averaging more than 100 a day, easily surpass those in Israel and Lebanon combined. When Nouri al-Maliki, the latest Iraqi prime minister, visited Washington last week to address Congress, he too got short TV shrift - a mere five sentences about the speech on ABC's World News. The networks know a rerun when they see it. Only 22 months earlier, one of Mr. Maliki's short-lived predecessors, Ayad Allawi, had come to town during the 2004 campaign to give a similarly empty Congressional address laced with White House-scripted talking points about the war's progress. Propaganda stunts, unlike Law & Order episodes, don't hold up on a second viewing.

The steady falloff in Iraq coverage isn't happenstance. It's a barometer of the scope of the tragedy. For reporters, the already apocalyptic security situation in Baghdad keeps getting worse, simply making the war more difficult to cover than ever. The audience has its own phobia: Iraq is a bummer. 'It is depressing to pay attention to this war on terror,' said Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on July 18. 'I mean, it's summertime.' Americans don't like to lose, whatever the season. They know defeat when they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality.

The specter of defeat is not the only reason Americans have switched off Iraq. The larger issue is that we don't know what we - or, more specifically, 135,000 brave and vulnerable American troops - are fighting for. In contrast to the Israel-Hezbollah war, where the stakes for the combatants and American interests are clear, the war in Iraq has no rationale to keep it afloat on television or anywhere else. It's a
big, nightmarish story, all right, but one that lacks the thread of a coherent plot.



The conservative nuts will blame the "biased MSM" for not broadcasting the truth and the good news about Iraq. That line of thinking ignores the fact that no one has yet to explain exactly, why Americans need to die for a bunch of useless Arabs who refuse to do anything for themselves. ( Or are at least incredibly slow about it.....). I've explained this before, but the lives that matter to me ; and the only ones I really care about, are AMERICAN. So its hard to for me to get excited about Lebanon, even though I am fanatically pro- Israel and I agree with Israel for striking back at Hezbollah. The problem in Lebanon is that Israel is going to have to kill a lot more Lebanese before this is over. However, its Israelis and more stupid Arabs that are invovled. At least Americans are not there any more.

Not so in Iraq. Not only are there 135,000+ US troops, there are also uncounted numbers of Americans working as contractors. And they work in a hot, thankless environment, amidst a people who don't show appreciation for what they do. And have an albatross called Islam around their neck.

But Iraq is old news you say. I beg to disagree. 4 brave Americans died in that hell hole yesterday. That's the only number that matters to me. Brave Americans who deserved better. Brave Americans who chose to serve. Americans who are , being only half heartedly supported by their own government in terms of pay and benefits, and who are lead by a Secretary of Defense who is only dedicated to reducing the numbers of their comrades and reducing their equipment. Led by a man who refuses to realize that if this is indeed a "long war" the services need to be resourced properly; by civilian leadership who considers their compensation "expensive".

The war in Lebanon is a sideshow. Lets get Americans focused on the game that matters to them. Its being played in a different field than that of Israel. NEVER FORGET AMERICANS IN UNIFORM!

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