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March 12, 2005


Off the Record

"my own Japanese is limited to words such as "sushi" and "samurai", although I have read Sun Tzu"

Sūn Zǐ was Chinese, but I bet your Japanese friend was impressed by your mastery of the Taco Bell menu.

Off the Record

To clarify, in the event that your font is missing some tone markers, the name of the Chinese general that wrote "The Art of War" (though "Military Method" is probably a better translation for Bing1 Fa3) was Sun1 Zi3. Maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you meant Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings". Somehow I doubt it though. Either way it still suggests that you are filtering your "understanding" of Asian culture through a "Kung Fu Theater" mentality. It's like assuming that ever German eats pretzels and reads "Mein Kampf", or that every French person is a horny beret wearing skunk. This is typical liberal multiculturalism, a superficial understanding of the world trying to pass itself off as deep appreciation.


Dear Off The Record,

Fully aware that Sun Tzu (the imperfect english language version of his name) was a Chinese general. I was actually making your point by making fun of myself - the idea that many Americans do understand Asian culture largely through a "Kung Fu" theatre lens (as you eloquently point out) or through the poor use of chopsticks. I agree with you!

Sun Tzu's thinking, among others, did ultimately have a large influence on Japanese thought. Pearl Harbor had many classic Sun Tzu elements in its strategy and implementation, as one example.

btw- In addition to the French wearing berets, didn't they also invent french fries and french toast? :)


Mastery of the Taco Bell menu is no small feat!


For the most part, younger generations have been fed doubtful misinformation about the war in the pacific, especially the ending. There was a good chance that we were looking at more dead Americans than the previous 4 years total. Note that we let the Russians take Berlin, encuring hundreds of thousands of casualties.

The Germans and the Japanese wrote the book on making civilian casualties. They liked to do it up close and personal. The two bombs on Japan were horrible and regrettable, band so was every other death in WWII. Zero American casualties were not. No North and South Japan.

The Japanese had plenty of time to surrender prior to August 1945. The Germans and Japanese jumped on the atomic bomb concept within months of the discovery of nuclear fission and the feasability of such a bomb. The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima three weeks after the first atomic bomb in history was detonated in New Mexico.

Fallujah, I doubt that many innocent civilians were deliberately targeted. There was no rape of Fallujah.


As far as America's future is concerned, we're going to get overthrown eventually - probably sooner than later. We're the only superpower left right? What other place is there for us to go? Not to mention our foreign policy gets worse by the day, our laws get more draconian, and our people are getting more and more upset with each other and their government.

I'd like to comment on the soliders as well; the line "War is about killing your enemy before he kills you" is obviously from someone who doesn't work on reason. If that's so then why don't we nuke them all and stop letting our boys and girls be killed for no good reason?

Also about the blogging in general, I find most journalists are somehow afraid of bloggers. Bloggers don't pose any kind of threat to people's views because

1. you've already got to trust and like whoever's blog you read on a daily basis so whether they're lying or not won't matter,

2. you have to -find- the bloggers and those who are famous or popular will usually have the exact same kind of editorial rant you might find in a left- or right-wing periodical, and

3. nobody's opinion about bloggers matter. we have the right to say whatever the hell we want in our little corner of cyberspace and if people don't like it they don't have to read it. whether or not there's a "danger" to people getting disinformation is really irrelevant. what people should be asking is how can we use bloggers to get more information faster? it's a virtual drone army of people who have inside information and don't necessarily have any other forum to express their opinions or share information. but nobody seems to be taking an interest... the only way i find out something from someone's blog is if a person who runs a zine or website reads that particular blog and produces a link and a short story. we need some kind of massive RDF feed of every blog and be able to sort them by viewers or referral links or something.

So I think journalists are just insecure and are spreading their -own- seeds of mistrust so they don't lose their jobs. After all, wouldn't it be absolutely horrible if we got our news from other people for free instead of paying for it?

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