Tuesday, July 31, 2007
On my Soap Box
As I've highlighted in this space before, the Japanese make the most wonderful and sincere apologies, occasionally acting them out and quite literally taking them to the next level. But they do seemingly have difficulty doing the same in regards to some of the historically sensitive things that might be deserving of the deepest bows and sacrifices accorded to say, a failed trading system, or manufacturing defects that cost consumers their lives. This is particularly acute in regards to Japan's war-time atrocities in Manchuria, treatment of POWs and other brutalities in pursuit of forced labour, and of course, there are the comfort women throughout the Pacific, Southeast, and East Asia. Alongside "scientific whaling", these rate as some of the most monumental errors in public relations emanating from a usually cohesive TeamJapan. The Japanese, of course, have no monopoly the stupidly absurd. Perhaps, like these past seven year of the Bush Amdin, and republican Congress, these cock-ups are merely the last throes of a dying generation of conservatives.
But consider for a moment that the US Congress is in session for not more than 220 days per year. Take away Friday alcoholic lunches & golf, and you're down to no more than 170. In that time, Congress must tackle an inconceivable number of issues ranging the budget, defense, transport, education, the environment, healthcare, energy, foreign relations, intelligence, homeland security, agriculture, veterans affairs, all the while trying to find time to meet lobbyists to raise money in order to get re-elected. Whew!! A cursory glance of the past seven years suggests that it all must be overwhelming for aside from continued increasing expenditures and requisite appropriations, concomitant to large seminal decreases in the marginal income tax and capital gains rates of the wealthiest, decidedly little positive legislation has been forthcoming in respect of energy policy, healthcare reform, the environment, agriculture, foreign relations, public transport or, for that matter, education, international trade policy, or Federal fiscal deficits, which makes yesterday's resolution decrying the lack of a Japanese apology to Comfort Women of The World, such an eye-popping event. Where did they ever find the time? And how could an issue of such supreme current importance (especially with Iraq, Darfur, Zimbabwe, nucular I-atollahs etc. in plain view) have slipped our representatives attention for so long (ummm 60 years!!)? Yes I now, they've been really busy working on the most important public poicy issues like prohibiting gay marriage, banning assault rifles from public schools, making it nearly impossible to obtain a late-term abortion, or for that matter birth control, or morning-after pills. Oh yes, and they've been insuring that African women understand the importance of "abstinence" as a first line of defense against unwanted pregnancy. And they've been preoccupied insuring that fuel mileage standards stay on the shelf, and that Monster-Trucks remain classified as "Cars", and "ketchup" decidely, a vegetable.
It is re-assuring to know that despite the large workload, our Congressmen are not deterred from making important decisions about important policy matters that effect the present and future course of our nation, our children and the World. I am certain that as we speak they are just cooperating intently upon bi-partisan bills to more perfectly craft the legislation that will serve the public interest, rather than those of the interest groups that, to date, have so effectively prevented virtually all meaningful legislation or reform from ever seeing the light of day. Errrr, right?
You may now return to your regularly scheduled programs.