Home > Election 2008, Focus on Japan Miscellaneous > Bits & Pieces, April 15, 2008

Bits & Pieces, April 15, 2008

April 15th, 2008

In Akita Prefecture, Japan, there is a measure coming before the legislature to ban door-to-door sales to minors and the elderly. Naturally, several categories of businesses (financial, insurance, and retail, according to the report–I’m surprised that newspapers were not mentioned here, as they do tons of door-to-door sales) are whining, saying that this will ruin their businesses. All I have to say is, if these businesses cannot function without conning people of limited capacity into buying their product, then they deserve to fail. Me, I’m waiting for them to go all the way and give “no solicitors” signs the force of law. Oh, wait, they’re doing that too!

The ordinance will also ban door-to-door sales of financial products in which the principal is not guaranteed, including investment trusts, stocks and variable pension insurance, for all people.

Under a proposed registration system, sales people will be banned from visiting homes of consumers who have registered with the prefectural government as people who do not want sales staff to visit. The registered consumers can also display a sign at their homes to keep away sales people.

Yayy! I wonder what real estate prices are like in Akita? Better yet, how about Tokyo legislators getting off their butts? Next: start punishing people who fill your mailbox with ads. Meanwhile, they can similarly outlaw NHK collectors, now that the politicians are calling for NHK to drop all pretenses and become an official propaganda arm for the ruling party. Yeah, I’d love to be forced to fund that, thanks.

(Hat tip to f*cked gaijin)

“Liberal” (turncoat) Joe Lieberman wonders aloud (on Fox Noise) if Obama is a Marxist. Um, yeah, right.

Bonus: Andrew Sullivan points out that in 2006, Lieberman loved Obama, inviting Obama to speak for him in Connecticut. Obama held no different stands then relative to now, so apparently Lieberman loves Marxists. Er, potential Marxists.

John McCain, playing up his imprisonment and torture on the campaign trail, also had this to say:
We cannot ever, in my view, torture any American, that includes waterboarding.

Apparently, everyone else in the world is fair game.

Obama, meanwhile, says this:

We have to be clear and unequivocal. We do not torture, period. … Our government does not torture. That should be our position. That will be my position as president. That includes, by the way, renditions. We don’t farm out torture. We don’t subcontract torture.

I’m glad that McCain’s impressive foreign relations credentials have not turned him into a wishy-washy hypocrite.

Wow. They’re calling it “Bittergate.” Also a “huge political firestorm.” Certainly, Obama suggesting that Pennsylvanians are bitter is not nearly as newsworthy as John McCain violating campaign finance laws that carry a five-year prison sentence, or revelations that the Bush administration approved the crushing of children’s testicles at the highest levels. Yeah, calling Pennsylvanians “bitter” was way out of line, and I can easily see such a huge gaffe wiping those other stories clear off the media’s radar altogether.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, they tend to agree with Obama:

As a native-born, small-town Pennsylvanian, a son of native-born, small-town Pennsylvania parents – one from the coal region, one from Lancaster County – let me assure you that the so-called offensive, condescending things Barack Obama said about the people I come from are basically right on target.

“Bitter” perhaps best describes my late mother, an angry Irish Catholic who absolutely clung to her religion.

Dad, also a journalist, wasn’t really bitter as far as I know, but he sure liked to hunt.

So, despite carping from Hillary Clinton and annoying yapping from her surrogates (really, it’s like turning on the lights at night in a puppy farm), I take no offense.

What’s offensive to me is suggesting that small-town, working-class, gun-toting and/or religious Pennsylvanians are somehow injured by a politician’s words.

Are you kidding me?


  1. ykw
    April 16th, 2008 at 03:56 | #1

    Given the spectrum of bad things happen in war, I don’t consider waterboarding so bad. If one did surveys that established what is worse that what (e.g. would you rather get x days in a bad jail or waterboarding?), one would find many things that are worse. My understanding is that the most extreme form of torture done by USA on anyone at any time does not involve permanent damage to body parts. And people are getting damaged all over town in a war zone, so I tend to focus on that more than the waterboarding.

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