So, guess we can finally close the book on our war with Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a historic visit to Pearl Harbor this week. He didn't exactly apologize for the sneak attack there in 1941, but he did acknowledge, sort of, that more than 2,400 people died there:
'President Obama, the United States of America, and the people around the world, as the prime minister of Japan, I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place and also the souls of the countless innocent people who became victims of the war,' Abe said through a translator.He also said we "must never repeat the horrors of war again," which gave President Obama the opening for one of his favorite riffs on getting over our differences. He asked Americans to "reject the politics of division" and said our current strong friendship with Japan shows that "the ruits of peace always outrweigh the plunder of war":
It is here that we remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward,' the two-term president, who leaves office in less than month, said Tuesday. 'We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.'
How the hell does his mind work? How do you get from commemorating a sneak attack that was part of the deadliest conflict in human history to "the politics of division"? What does "demonizing those who are different" have to do with resisting the expansionist lust of a militarized state? How do you connect those dots?
And, no, the fruits of peace do not always outweigh the plunder of war. If you're the one being plundered, war might be the only way you can survive.But Obama's world view is one of moral equivalence. There are no good guys or bad guys. The weapons are the only true evil, and if we can just get rid of those and have nothing with which to fight each other, well, everything will work out just fine. He was even clearer about that in the speech he gave during his historic visit. When he spoke at Hiroshima. Like Abe at Pearl Harbor, the president, we are told, did not apologize.
How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.
The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. That is why we come to this place….we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.
A "shared responsibility"? The person who resists the aggressor (stands up to the bully, if you will) is as responsible for the resulting violcene as the aggressor?
He then went on to share his wish for a nuclear free world:
We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.
That is just, well, it's insane is what it is.
There are good guys and there are bad guys, and we should pray that the good guys are always better armed. There is true evil in the world, and it won't be stopped by our earnest yearning to stop "demonizing those who are different." You can't always stop those who wish you harm by appealing to their better natures. I'm sure Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to explain that to Preisdent Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, but of course he can't get it through to them.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS
Benjamin Netanyahu's response to Secretary of State John Kerry: "Israelis Do Not Need to be Lectured About the Importance of Peace by Foreign Leaders." Yeah, getting stabbed in the back by the admiistration's abstention, then lectured by the likes of Kerry. It's sort of the perfect illustration of "adding insult to injury."
We were talking about the bizarre timing of Debie Reynolds dying on the day she was planning daughter Carrie Fisher's funeral, and somebody said she was surprised such things didn't happen more often. "I can't imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children."
With all the other celebrity deaths in the news lately, let's not forget an RIP for Richard Adams. "Watership Down" was one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. The rabbit characters don't seem like humans, but you also end yup believing they're more than animals.
Watch extremely lucky NYC driver hit 240 green lights in a row. There are a few stretches in Fort Wayne where you can hit as many as 10 in a row. One of them is (or at least used to be) Washington Boulevard coming into downtown from the east. If you hit that first light, you got 'em all. As satisfying as that was, I can't imagine the pure joy of 240 in a row.
Obama administration yanks Second Amendment rights from SSI recipients. If you get disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the federal government, the administration will now characterize you as a "mental defective" who can't be allowed to have a gun.
Captain America, the hero of the highest-grossing film of 2016, is a "bad ass libertarian" who "makes his own judgments and fights for his own sense of justice." He is "an American and reflects the values of individualism, not liberal collectivism."
A new study from the Institute for the Obvious says that boys prefer blocks and puzzles to dolls. Quick, somebody alert the gender equity police.
A certain number of career civil servants always leave when a new administration takes over. But there are some indications they'll be leaving in droves as Donald Trump takes over. Good. Don't replace 'em.
Banning cameras in the House of Representatives? Nah, not really gonna solve anything, so don't do it.
Sex gets better with age as focus shifts from quantity to quality in the bedrrom. Wait, what? Until I got old, I was supposed to concentrate on quantity? Think I might have screwed that up.
Passengers are flooding airlines with phony service animals. Anyone claiming a pet is for "emotional support" or is a "stress reliever" should be suspect.
If you were OK with coming down hard on bakers who won't cater gay weddings, how do you feel about the Hawaii cafe that refuses to serve Trump voters?
The Obama economy marches on: Food-stamp fraud is at an all-time high. Is it time to just end the program?
University of Kansas students are being offered buttons through the school's library system meant to make their preferred gender pronouns clear. The buttons come in three versions: 'He him his,' ''She her hers' and, for people who don't identify themselves as male or female, 'They them theirs.'
Nicolas Cage is worried that playing Ronald Reagan in a flattering light in an upcoming movie could damage his career. Wouldn't want that, poor baby, so just say no, OK? I'm just getting sick worrying about your career already, so you know what? I'm gonna stop watching any of your movies. I hope you feel much better now.
Good news from the Donald. He's considering a public-private option for VA reform that would allow all veterans to choose whether they want to receive care from the VA or from private doctors.