No. 119 – February 17, 2012

THE BEGINNING OF THE DOWNFALL

In 1948 the Dixiecrats (Evangelical Element of the DEMOCRATIC party) walked out of the Democratic National Convention – and slimed their way into the GOP.  From that point on it was all downhill.

Yes, the Republicans elected Eisenhower – 2 terms – failed with Nixon in 1960 – failed with Barry Goldwater in 1964 (he was totally marginalized by the Evangelicals in his presidential bid), then failed again with Nixon in 1968 and 1972 (that is spoken with tongue in cheek for those of you too PC to realize it) – won with Reagan twice – got both Bush Senior and Junior – lost with McCain in 2010 – and will fail again in 2012.

I am not blind to the fact as to what the GOP has – and has not – accomplished.  What I am saying is that if the convention is not a brokered convention – and if EITHER Santorum or Romney is the GOP standard bearer – then the Democrats win.  It is as simple as that.

The GOP – as predicted in a number of previous newsletters – would somehow find a way to bring their two favorite items to the fore – Abortion and Gay Rights (Union/Marriage).

I was ridiculed at the time for saying this.  Many readers said that I was off base, “hated” Evangelicals, was a “true Liberal” for thinking that way.

The truth is, I was RIGHT again.  It is getting too easy to predict the GOP these days.  Let me reiterate:

I said in previous editions that if gas prices come down AND the economy picks up – Obama would win.

This is now happening.  All those know-nothings that were saying it is the “economy stupid” were the dumb ones. The economy IS getting better – much to the secret chagrin of GOP insiders.

I also said that the GOP would bring their Evangelical Element into the forefront – and rely on SOCIAL ISSUES for their candidate to succeed.

This is now happening.  Rick Santorum is THEIR MAN.

And I will say it now – if Rick Santorum is the GOP nominee – the GOP will go down in spectacular fashion.

I predict, unequivocally, Barack Obama will win in 2012.

That is all I have to say on the subject – except for one final note.

If all this does truly happen – then the Evangelical Element should be expunged from the GOP forever – or, a NEW PARTY should be formed – and eventually eradicate the Grand Old Party for good.

Notice, I did not say a third party – I said a NEW PARTY.

A COMPARISON – JAPAN AND AMERICA

As most of you know, I have lived and worked in Japan for over 25 years.  I am now in transit within Japan and would like to make a few casual observations.

But first, a caveat.  When I talk to most people in America about Japan, I usually hear the retort, “Well if Japan is so damn good why don’t you go back and live there.”

That is the response of a cultural imbecile.

To criticize your own country for the better is the highest form of patriotism.  To deny there is anything wrong is the action of a traitor.

I love BOTH countries – but can see some horrendous failings in America – that most others who have only lived in America have no idea what is actually happening.  Let me explain.

Since I have been back I have been – again – astounded at the level of service.  The cleanliness of the cities and towns are something to marvel at.

Transportation in this country is simply magnificent.  The Bullet Trains (Shinkansen) are a true pleasure to ride, with polite, well-groomed attendants serving cold drinks, coffee – and BEER – up and down the aisles.  The Japanese Bullet train has never had a serious train accident.  How many of you have ridden American trains recently?

The streets are safe – anytime of the night.  And there is not ONE pothole in the whole city.

And the BIG ONE for me was how the Japanese WORK hard as hell.  There are no beggars asking for “spare change.”  There are no handouts.  Their are no whiners and complainers.  People here simply buckle down – and work their asses off.

And it shows in every way.

SO WHERE DOES THE DISTINCTION ACTUALLY LIE?

In  nutshell – the Japanese Education System.

Japanese students study hard – in elementary, junior and senior high school.

The students are still taught to READ and WRITE.  And they do so with proficiency.

Japanese students can do algebra, geometry, calculus and basic statistics – by the time they graduate from HIGH SCHOOL.

Students are required to clean their own classrooms, in many cases wear uniforms, are taught to be polite and respectful, how to work together – and how to look out for one another.

OF COURSE, there are exceptions.  But what I have described above is the RULE not the EXCEPTION.

In America, the opposite applies.

Students are hard-pressed to write a coherent paper in legible, handwritten English.  Forget spelling, punctuation, and proper grammar.  It does not exist.

American student language skills are #26 in the developed world.

American student math skills are #28.

But beyond this, you don’t see slovenly dressed students hanging around after school sucking on ice cream cones or smoking marijuana in Japan. Japanese students are off to more study classes, sports clubs and the like.

And another thing.  Japanese students are NOT obese.  They eat a good diet and are in relatively good health.

And few, if any tattoos, body-piercings and other such nonsense.

In short, they are taught respect, how to study and work hard, love of country and strong family values.

It is a shame that I cannot say the same thing about America.

AN UNDERLYING CONCEPT

So, does this mean that Japan is the perfect utopia?

Far from it.  However, I believe that Japan has come to this state, through a sense of truly understanding HUMAN NATURE.

By that I do not mean from a religious or philosophical aspect.  I mean from really understanding what people are all about.

They understand that human beings are infinitely fallible.  They can be corrupted by simple acquisition of power.

Japanese politics would make Chicago politicians gnash their teeth with envy.

And that is where the distinction lies.  The Japanese people realize that their leaders are corrupt.  They ALL are.

Yet, with this corruption, comes a trade off.

As long as the politicians do not take TOO MUCH – then the people are satisfied with that.

Japan has a wondrous transportation system.  America does not.

Japan has a national health system that works, is efficient and CHEAP.  America does not.

Japan has an educational system it can truly be proud of.  America does not.

Japan has one of the best police forces in the world.  America does not.

Japan’s murder rate is one of the lowest in the world.  America’s is one of the highest.

Japan has one of the strictest immigration policies in the world.  America’s borders are basically open.

I could go on – and ON – but you start to get the point.

This society still puts its stock in family values – not abortion and homosexual rights – but REAL family values, like eating dinner together, going to the park together, taking small trips together, talking together and living in relative harmony with each other.

The stark contrast between what America used to be – and what Japan is today – still astounds me.

And yet America insists on going in the wrong direction.

After this trip to Japan, I wonder if America will ever get it RIGHT again.

SAYONARA FOR NOW

That is it from Japan.

Hope you all are well and enjoying life as well as can be.

Keep thinking positive.

Lawrence Klepinger
Editor/Publisher
THE AMERICAN TELEGRAPH

 

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Comments:

9 Responses to “No. 119 – February 17, 2012”

  • Steve Topper Says:

    Larry, thanks for having the courage to provide us with this stark contrast between two countries. Like you, I never cease to be amazed at the brainwashed morons who suggest a person leave their country simply for pointing out its shortcomings. We need much more of this open honesty about what’s wrong with America. To simply go along with what’s happening means you are an enabler. Perhaps this enabling trait is an outcome of our dysfunctional education system. Citizens who dare speak the truth about America are the ones really wanting positive change and hope that by talking about it will help bring it about. Keep up the good work, many of us really appreciate your honesty and insights.

  • R. W. Klepinger Says:

    I don’t get it, Larry. You claim that Santorum would lose by large numbers to Obama; that improving our public education, public transportation, etc. is desirable; that returning to past values not based on ‘social’ issues are to be applauded. Most of us would agree, it would be good change. My interpretation of Santorum’s politics would fit hand-in-glove with what I hear many Republicans say is necessary to put us on a proper path to economic and social recovery.

    2012 will be interesting to watch but difficult to understand and accept.

    Cheers.

  • John Says:

    You said gas prices…yesterday, the cut-rate Arco went of 10 cents, a 20 cent jump in a week & half. Still about 15 cents below major brands at $3.81 a gallon. Sam’s Club is last known at $.30 less than Arco. Does that tell you something about the cost of gas to companies?

    Most people I talk to just love watching the “stupid” antics of the GOP, but none think about the outcome or what to do. So What, 4 more years!!

    Yep, ya are callin this one all the way!!

  • John Says:

    You compare education! I volunteer at school and am on campus all day. Most schools are teaching towards testing so that the students can do good. Why? because the Administration wants to have great test scores! The Political part of education in Government uses this to manage. Need I say more?

  • Gerrit Kuiken Says:

    I take issue with a number of things Larry has written in this issue of the A.T. but especially that Dixiecrats joined the Republican Party after the Civil Rights Act and Evangelicals can be blamed for the success or failure of various Republican Candidates down over the years.

    Since it was the Congressional Republican’s vote that put the Civil Rights Act over the top, how does that logic make any sense? The Dixiecrats join the party that (historically) favored civil rights? And the assumption that the Dixiecrats were all “Evangelicals” is so absurd, that I won’t even address it.

    Here is a statement out of a editorial column I researched:

    “(Senator John) Kerry also maintained that all the Dixiecrats became Republicans shortly after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, another big lie. Richard Russell, Mendell Rivers, Clinton’s mentor William Fulbright, Robert Byrd, Fritz Hollings and Al Gore Sr. remained Democrats till their dying day” For the complete article, see:

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/12/13/194350.shtml

    In issue after issue of the A.T., Larry seems to be focused on (be obsessed with?) stating over and over that the success or failure of Republicans to elect presidents can be attributed to (or blamed on) the “Evangelicals.” And that in order for the Republican Party to be successful, Evangelicals should be purged from the party, etc.etc. ad nauseum. That might be flattering to the power of Evangelicals but demographic/statistics just simply don’t support that conclusion.

    When self-identified by religious group – about 25% call themselves “Catholic”, or (2008 statistics) 57.2 million Americans.

    Only 3.8% of Americans, (2.2 million) self-identify as being “Evangelical/borne again) Christians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religions_of_American_adults

    Admittedly – there are main-stream Christians that support “Evangelical” tenets of faith – but as can be seen by the recent flap over Obama’s attempting to force contraception measures on Catholic organizations, etc. – that it is the Catholics when it come down to a crunch, that are willing to fight for their closely held tenets against such things as contraception/abortion, etc. Again, admittedly, the Evangelicals stated when it comes to those issues, “We are all Catholics”.

    But the fact is, self-identified Catholics outnumber Evangelicals at a ratio of 8 Catholics to every 1 Evangelical. And in 2008, 59% of Catholics voted for Obama – probably the most significant identifiable voting block that put Obama in office! So, the facts just don’t support McCain’s failure to be elected can be attributed to the (much smaller) “Evangelical” vote. Shear numbers show that that conclusion simply not be either possible or the truth.

    Faulty logic.

    Further – to state that in order for the Republicans to be successful – “the Evangelical Element should be expunged from the GOP forever – or, a NEW PARTY should be formed – and eventually eradicate the Grand Old Party for good” again attributes much more power to the Evangelicals then the numbers would belie – unless of course – the 3.8% of the American population can sway the other 96% to voting their lead!

    And incidentally – since when has America decided that “freedom of religion” means that certain (small) religious groups among us must be ostracized from one of our major parties? And who is going to decide that?

    During WWII, people of Japanese ancestry were rounded up & imprisoned in concentration camps, maybe we ought to round up all the “Evangelicals” and put them in camps! As a minimum – since they aren’t that big a voting block – maybe an amendment can just be made to the Civil Rights Voting Act, and just simply take away their voting rights! That makes about as much sense as stating that Evangelicals should be banned from the Republican Party! Crazy talk!

    While I admire Japan and what they have accomplished very much (I was stationed in Okinawa for 2 years – 1953-55), I find it ironic that until America/Americans influenced the Japanese culture, that they were stuck in the middle ages in terms of personal freedoms, especially with their women being considered simply chattel, to be trained and traded into life long servitude to whomever male they were “sold’ to, but the whole Japanese culture – pre-WWII, was strictly a chaste system where a Japanese baby was born into a class from which he and especially she – were stuck in for life, period. “Personal freedom” was simply an alien word in Japan and a concept that wasn’t even understood – even up to Japanese citizens willingly giving your life for the state, if asked.

    Remember the millions of Japanese that fought to their deaths rather then surrender on the various Pacific islands that we captured, or even Japanese that piloted “Kamakaze” (Suicide) fighter planes, rather then surrender. That’s not “freedom”.

    Until forced (by their WWII defeat & under Gen Douglas MacArthur postwar leadership), the Japanese adopted a democratic form of government and enough of the American culture – which afforded personal freedom among all Japanese, regardless of life station or sex. And I think they are much better for it!

    Some aspects of the American culture have become obsessions among the Japanese, baseball, golf, rock & roll- and of course – our lousy diet/habits! But I think, on the whole – American interference in the Japanese culture has been a plus! Would be that the positive aspects of the Japanese culture, i.e. work ethic, study habits, eating largely vegetarian, etc.etc. as Larry pointed out – could be forced on the Americans! But that’s a whole different subject!

    According to what I have been reading – because of a number of factors (price of crude oil being in record prices for this time of the year/several shut down gas refineries/uncertainly of Iran/Strait of Hormoz, etc) that gas prices are presently rising and are expected to rise even more, especially this summer.

    Also – with Greece hovering on bankruptcy – threatening the European bank’s solvency, and indeed, even American banks (who have also underwrote European debts), I am not as sure as Larry that the American economy is going to be all that rosy this coming fall/November voting season.

    Regarding Larry’s statement – “I said in previous editions that if gas prices come down AND the economy picks up – Obama would win.”

    Here is my view:

    And as usual – Obama is voting “present” on all of the U.S./World’s major issues, not providing leadership, and instead, is embroiled in whether American women need free contraception or not? That is really doing a lot to deal with our national security and establishing jobs! NOT!

    And about gas prices, Obama blocks the Canadian/Texas pipeline? HUH! That is really going to help bring down gasoline prices! NOT! One of his stupider decision!

    And for the 4th? straight year, Obama’s suggested budget is dead on arrival (DOA) @ Congress (according to both Dem & Repub leadership) while Obama’s latest budget projecting a 1.3 trillion deficit, again for the 4th straight year! (Last year, the Senate voted 97-0 to reject Obama’s budget) That budget is really going to bring down the national debt! NOT!

    The above are just a few of the nails in Obama’s coffin – putting his re-election in jeopardy, regardless of who the Republican Candidate turns out to be!

    There are voting blocks that voted for Obama in 2008, that have big time “buyers remorse” and are bailing off the Obama band wagon in droves, including the Catholics, the Independent/crossover voters and even minority groups, i.e. Hispanics and especially women voters and youngters.

    As compared to other presidential years, those self-identifying as Democrats or Republican, the Dems percentages are at an all time low while the Repubs are at an all time high.
    See: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/partisan_trends

    Does that sound like Obama’s re-election is a shoo-in?

    There are a lot of things that can happen between now and 6 November, 2012 that could tip the presidential election one way or another.

    Just to name a few – Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities or refinery – (perhaps with America’s help?). And jam up the world availability of crude oil – given that a large percentage of the world’s crude oil must pass through the Hormoz Straits. Thereby that threat driving the price of gasoline out of sight! (already is!)

    Greece will most probably go bankrupt and the Euro Currency could collapse – and throw the whole world’s economy into a state of depression like we have never seen before, the world’s stock markets hitting new lows, etc.

    So, where does that leave the prediction that gas prices will be low and the economy improving! Too soon to make that assumption!

    There are several Supreme Court/other court’s opinions that could be made before the election, i.e. declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional – or even one of the birther’s law suits declaring Obama not to be eligible to be on some state’s ballots, etc.etc. that could work against Obama’s re-election. Again – too early to tell. Lots of uncertainty.

    It’s not over until the fat lady sings, and while I admire Larry’s guts (and desire – for purposes I suppose of being provocative in his A.T.’s) in making all sorts of (dire) predictions – I am willing to wait and see – and enjoy the drama that this “once-in-a-lifetime” election provides!

    Oh, and yes, while we are making predictions – whomever the Republican candidate turns out to be – he will win in a landslide! 🙂 (Tongue firmly in cheek!)

    Right now, I’d say it’s a “toss-up” and the tip could go either direction. The basketball game is only in the “first quarter” – lots of basketball to be played before the the final whistle! Heck, one of the teams hasn’t even chosen it’s team captain yet! gk

  • David Klepinger Says:

    So, Larry, was that a tacit endorsement of Newt Gingrich, or perhaps Ron Paul? I think you would prefer the latter, although his chances are not as good as Newt’s, which are pretty bad at this point. Still Newt got my vote here in Georgia. I also got to vote YES for alcohol sales on Sunday. Yippie! I know, it sounds pretty backward for some to hear that. I never even knew what a dry county was until I came to the Bible Belt. Anyway, safe travels, and please say hello to the family for me.

    Your bro,
    Dave

  • Andrea Says:

    First, I don’t know about California but I can attest to the fact that gas prices are nudging close to $4 a gallon in WA state. And the media touting a robust economy is nothing but a blatant LIE. The morons in the public sector can choose to believe that but the true numbers do not bear that out. Don’t be so quick to pat yourself on the back.
    I personally don’t believe we should even have political parties in the U.S. I think the people should elect the person most qualified for the job, no party affiliation necessary.
    Americans are the reason America is dying.

  • David Klepinger Says:

    Ignorance: a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education
    Stupidity: the quality or condition of being stupid
    The difference: Ignorance is found in one who has the potential, but has not been taught; stupidity is found in one who has been taught, but just doesn’t get it.
    Voting for Obama once shows ignorance; voting for him twice shows stupidity. Please, don’t get fooled again, America!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5DkwmrB4N4

  • joe winstead Says:

    David K-

    The one thing you can’t fix is stupidity.
    And America is well populated with them.
    And most of them will again vote for Obama.