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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Japanese News Coverage of Republican Debate Translated

Before we get to the funny pictures, I confess that after hours of laboring on this post, I was curious as to just how racially insensitive I was being to the Japanese culture. I am not a linguist and I don't speak Japanese, yet I was operating on an assumption of what English translations of Japanese sounds like. Most of these assumptions probably came from television so it was possible that I was way off base from reality. If my TV fed assumptions were right, then the Japanese language is poetic and direct all at the same time, and when translated back into English, many words are required to convey a point.

I had justified to myself that we deal in stereotypes all the time. Some stereotypes are benign. Their propagation does not foster enmity in any way. As a black male, I am keenly aware of that there are  stereotypes that strangers harbor of me that I may find favorable or detrimental. As a complex organism, any of those traits may or may not be true of me. If anyone were to describe me to another person, all I would ask is that they were accurate, whether or not their descriptions included black stereotypical behavior.

In that spirit I decided that I would verify the comedic premise of this post with the very first website that would back me up, and here is a link to that page. So with no further ado, here is Japanese news coverage of the CNN Republican debate translated into English.







Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wanted: Nuke Deal Defense With Some Backbone

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As part of their covenant to oppose Barack Obama at every turn, Republicans had been rubbing their hands at the chance to disparage whatever Iran nuke agreement that was to be struck by the “P5 plus1.” In spite of their efforts, it is in fact, a done deal. Senate Republicans do not have the votes to reject it. So in simple terms, it’s a victory for Obama. Sadly, the deal is still a casualty of a weak defense.



Like so many points to Republican arguments these days, their guiding light in opposition to the deal were just ways of sidestepping logic and reality. They led with five words that will never show up in Bartlett’s: “we need a better deal.” Simple words, but just enough to scare ordinary Americans who don’t negotiate accords with other countries on a regular basis. Their talking points actually came from people who don’t negotiate accords with other countries on a regular basis. Yet, Oklahoma Senator Tom Cotton can cast just enough doubts on  the seasoned diplomats and physicists who crafted the draft that ordinary Americans take a fearful note. With just a little TV time, Republicans have introduced to the fray, the notion that a Republican deal would have totally shut down the Iranian nuclear program and the Iranians would have just sat there and accepted it. They are entitled to their own opinion. But as a side note, I would just love to show them the criticisms ultra-conservatives lobbed against their spiritual pillar, Ronald Reagan for signing the INF Treaty with the Soviets in 1987.



While they will fail at squashing the deal, Republicans have remained true to one of their main objectives since January of 2009 – to undermine American confidence in the Obama Administration. And as expected, Democrats did their usual rhetorical capitulation by prefacing their defenses of the agreement with “This is not a perfect deal, but…,” or worse “this may be a flawed deal, but…” Why? Because Democrats are too afraid to realign the dialog from the perverted skewed perspective established by the Tom Cottons. In essence, the Democratic line of support is “I’m going along with this deal that I think is damaged goods.” That is insanity!



Why didn’t they just say “no agreement in our history has ever been a guarantee, but blah blah blah, or “Conservatives also disagreed with Reagan’s INF Treaty of 1987, but blah blah blah.” They don’t do that because they are congenitally predisposed to conceding victory to Republican fear-mongering. It is half-assed leadership promulgated by overly-practical people who believe that if you don’t give in somewhat to whatever false notions people may already believe, then you will come off as tone-deaf. So the result is a Democratic party that continually sings off key in order to convince people they have perfect pitch. Again. Insanity.



While he was Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick screamed in a speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention “It’s time for Democrats to grow a backbone.” Things would be better now if they had taken his advice. For one, they would be praising the allies and work of the professionals who  demonstrated statecraft the way it is supposed to be done. Instead they were all thrown under the bus with another piece of Dem credibility.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What's Blowin' Up on AotL

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