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agila61



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:00 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.
Yes, "not necessarily" ~ but normally, "son of an immigrant" means born here, and "immigrant" means naturalized citizen.

Its true that there are edge cases like McCain who was a son of a US citizens not strictly speaking born on US soil, until some kind of law after the fact made it honorary US soil for a period of time.

But most of the time, its like President Obama, where "son of immigrant" has the normal meaning of born in the US. The opposite case of a US citizen by birth would normally be referred to as "son of US citizen born abroad".

Its true that there are fairly small fraction of people in the US, but a surprisingly large number of people who have convinced themselves that President Obama's mother hopped on a plane from Hawaii to Kenya to have her son on Kenyan soil and had shadowy co-conspirators place the birth announcement in her local Hawaiian newspaper and then flew back from Kenya to Hawaii to raise him in the US ... and somehow brought the baby back without a passport of his own or an entry on her passport.

But a piece on ANN can't be written with people that gullible as the target audience.
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ptolemy18
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:29 pm Reply with quote
doc-watson42 wrote:
Jason Thompson wrote:
Kaiji Kawaguchi…but Eagle (the "making of…" subtitle was added for the American edition) is his only work that's been translated, except for a rare Kodansha Bilingual edition of Zipang.

And the even more obscure part of chapter 5 of Silent Service, in Mangajin No. 13, with an introductory article by the redoubtable Frederik L. Schodt. Smile


My hat is off to you, sir! Smile For those who don't want to track down old issues of Mangajin, Fred Schodt's short article on Silent Service in Dreamland Japan is good.
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doc-watson42
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:17 am Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:
doc-watson42 wrote:
Jason Thompson wrote:
Kaiji Kawaguchi…but Eagle (the "making of…" subtitle was added for the American edition) is his only work that's been translated, except for a rare Kodansha Bilingual edition of Zipang.

And the even more obscure part of chapter 5 of Silent Service, in Mangajin No. 13, with an introductory article by the redoubtable Frederik L. Schodt. Smile


My hat is off to you, sir! Smile For those who don't want to track down old issues of Mangajin, Fred Schodt's short article on Silent Service in Dreamland Japan is good.

Thank you. EmbarassedVery Happy Another obscure Mangajin first publication is Dr. Slump in issue numbers 32 and 33.

http://library.osu.edu/​wikis/​library/​index.​php/​Mangajin_No.​_32_(February_1994)

http://library.osu.edu/​wikis/​library/​index.​php/​Mangajin_No.​_33_(March_1994)

But what I really want is for some bug-s*** crazy company (they'd have to be) to license and translation all fifteen volumes of Kono Hito ni Kakero, my absolute favorite of Mangajin's manga (in issues 47–55).
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Carl Horn



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:23 pm Reply with quote
I'm a little reluctant to add to this discussion, because to write all my thoughts about Eagle and its production would take a very long time. Anime smile But since, realistically, readers are more likely in 2011 to encounter this article than to encounter the manga itself, I thought I might touch on a few of the elements mentioned in the review.

It was suggested that "today, it's not hard to picture a candidate from a non-white immigrant background getting questioned about what country he's loyal to, something Kawaguchi was too naive or noble to even imagine." However, I feel there are some elements of this in Eagle. The second gunman in the assassination attempt (who seems presented as mentally ill, unlike the first gunman who's driven by white-power ideology) talks to his family about not wanting them to have to move to Japan, which he seems to think would happen if Yamaoka were elected. The graffiti in Yamaoka's old neighborhood says "J A P G O H O M E!" suggesting that at least some people see him as not American, not just non-white. Incidentally, Kenneth Yamaoka is a presented as a third-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle, but educated on the East Coast where he later made his political career; at certain points he admits he has little political credit in his home state, and, despite his ethnicity, speaks little Japanese.

"In one unbelievable scene he goes into a honky-tonk bar in Texas and convinces the cowboy-hat-wearing cattlemen that America needs stricter gun control laws." They aren't actually shown to agree with his proposals per se. My impression is that Yamaoka was supposed to be seen as having won their respect for his guts in meeting them on their own ground (you're right how handlers are largely absent from this story, being a character-driven manga) rather than necessarily having convinced them. Right before Don Taylor decides to back him, he calls Yamaoka a fool, and suggests his attitude towards the arms industry will cost him his life (in fact he says "that's what happened to JFK"). Now, making your enemies respect you through fighting spirit may be another example of manga suspension of disbelief, but I suggest that's different from the disbelief of convincing the good ol' boys of his arguments, which I don't think he is shown as doing; at most it is suggested that he made them think. In fact, when he finally breaks the ice with them (at the end of vol. 10), it's not over gun control, but his knowledge of the issues that affect their economic interests as farmers and ranchers. 

Exactly what Yamaoka says to them about gun control is also interesting. Kawaguchi has a penchant in Eagle for sometimes using what might be called traditionally right-wing arguments for traditionally left-wing policy objectives--which might never work in real life (although there are examples--Republican Jack Kemp, for whom racial inequality was a serious issue, used to call himself a "bleeding-heart conservative"), but for which he deserves credit as a writer with ideas. For example, Senator Yamaoka does not stress the health or safety issues to argue gun control, as a more typical liberal Democrat might--in fact, he straight up tells the Texans, "guns don't commit crimes, people do," giving the contrasting examples of Morton Grove, IL and Kennesaw, GA to argue his point. Rather, Yamaoka accepts an idea the Tea Party would agree with: that the right to bear arms, at its core, represents more than the right to hunt game or even protect one's self against crime--it represents the sovereignty of the individual American. So why does he want stricter gun control? Because, he argues, this sacred principle is cheapened by the fact guns are, in his view, far too easy to get: "You and I here tonight are mortal men. Without wisdom, how can we stand here, and say we deserve that power to kill?" Having served in the Marines in Vietnam (as a volunteer), Yamaoka is shown as someone who has shot and killed people at close range, and who was himself shot and nearly killed; he doesn't speak about the effect of guns in the abstract, or as a policy wonk. 

Vietnam is the central event in Yamaoka's life and the thing that drives him to seek the presidency; he tells Takashi that he doesn't consider himself a veteran because he's "still in Vietnam." His campaign manager and closest confidant, Arthur McCoy, was a combat medic in the war. At one point it is even mentioned that Albert Noah, the Al Gore character, served in Vietnam, although not in a combat role (which is true--in real life, Al Gore was an Army journalist stationed near Saigon). In this, Kawaguchi's character rings true--every presidential election in the U.S. since 1992 has seen the candidates have to answer in one way or another over what they did, or did not do, during Vietnam. In the case of McCain and Kerry, it was the core of their identity as candidates; the narrative behind Kerry's campaign was that his combat experience would make him a better wartime president than Bush (in Eagle, the Republican philosophy is summed up in the phrase "A Strong America;" ironically, Kerry's 2004 campaign slogan was "A Stronger America," as if to suggest one-upmanship). We may continue to see Vietnam as an issue even in 2012; Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, for example, are both of the 1960s generation, although neither fought in Vietnam.

Kawaguchi, not incidentally, is also of the 1960s generation (his manga Medusa details the radical-police battles of his college days that at times raged through Shinjuku Station and Tokyo University). It might surprise people today, but the 1960s communiqués of the radical left Black Panther Party often quoted the Second Amendment. From today's political perspective, the Black Panthers were what we would call a "militia movement," believing in armed local self-defense against a government they viewed as oppressive. Tea Partiers have been spotted at rallies carrying guns, but the Panthers famously did the same thing at the California State Assembly building in 1967--not one but thirty of them showed up with rifles to protest a gun-control act then under consideration. I point this out not to weigh in on whether bearing arms in public is actually a good political tactic, but to note that what today is seen as a ultra-right gesture was, in Kawaguchi's youth, also an ultra-left gesture, and was defended using the same constitutional arguments. 

It's interesting that Kawaguchi writes off neither Texas good ol' boys nor United States Marines as "the opposition"--either from a Japanese perspective, or the perspective of a Democratic candidate. In other words, the manga presents as admirable characters from both traditionally "liberal" and "conservative" backgrounds, and suggests the candidate can (and indeed, has to) respect them, just as he can respect a union leader or a big-city mayor. Eagle is not MW. Yamaoka did in fact kill a mother and child in Vietnam, yet Kawaguchi sets this up not as an atrocity but as self-defense (or as Yamaoka would bluntly put it, murder to avoid being murdered). There have been scandals over Marines committing rape in Okinawa, but Kawaguchi does not suggest Yamaoka took advantage of Takashi's mother or that she lacked an independent mind (indeed, she is shown as more mature than him). Much as Kawaguchi is able to simultaneously think American intervention in Vietnam was wrong, yet have sympathy for an individual U.S. Marine's circumstances in that war, Takashi's mother makes it clear to that same Marine that she doesn't like having to live under American occupation (this was not merely a figure of speech; whereas the U.S. military occupation in most of Japan ended in 1952, it lasted in Okinawa until 1972) but she also makes it clear she loves him as a person and as a fighter.

I would also disagree that we never really see inside Yamaoka's head, or discover his human side; much of the final volume deals with this. Yamaoka is an idealist when it comes to what he wants to do as President, but the manga shows him as unscrupulous and reckless when it comes to how he's going to become President. His and McCoy's plan to confront the race issue and win the election is like something out of Glenn Beck (I mention this to point out that millions of Americans actually do believe in unrealistic, melodramatic, manga-like conspiracies--and by believing in them, make them part of political reality). Senator Yamaoka is egoistical and arrogant, the flip side of the charisma and self-confidence that has gotten him ever closer to the presidency. He clearly sees himself as a man of destiny, but, as you note, Eagle is the story of a family, and what nearly breaks him at the end is discovering what his messiah complex has done to his family. It seems to be where he realizes for the first time the destructive potential of his charisma (a great leader can lead people to their deaths even more easily than to a new life), which of course, can serve as a metaphor for Kawaguchi's view of America itself--certainly an amazing nation of extraordinary people, but how will it choose to use its greatness?
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doc-watson42
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:48 am Reply with quote
Carl Horn wrote:
Kawaguchi, not incidentally, is also of the 1960s generation (his manga Medusa details the radical-police battles of his college days that at times raged through Shinjuku Station and Tokyo University).

For a good account in English of these political street battles, see the early part of Manabu Miyazaki's autobiography Toppamono: Outlaw. Radical. Suspect. My Life in Japan's Underworld.

Oh, and I encourage readers—especially those who are interested in learning Japanese—to track down copies of Mangajin (WorlCat (libraries) and Bookfinder.com (used copies).
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ptolemy18
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:17 am Reply with quote
Carl Horn wrote:
I'm a little reluctant to add to this discussion, because to write all my thoughts about Eagle and its production would take a very long time. Anime smile But since, realistically, readers are more likely in 2011 to encounter this article than to encounter the manga itself, I thought I might touch on a few of the elements mentioned in the review.


Thank you for taking the time to post! You did an amazing job researching and rewriting Eagle (not to mention the actual physical lettering work you had to do keeping all the cars driving the right way and all the American landmarks unflopped, since the rest of the manga read left to right). I can't imagine anyone doing a better job on the English edition, and I hope my post didn't seem too dismissive. My criticism of the manga boils down to three things, most of them partially subjective:

(1) it's unrealistic at times, particularly in its depiction of Yamaoka's amazing people powers
(2) this is really just connected to (1), but also, I'm very cynical about the likelihood of Yamaoka's sweeping ambitions taking root in American politics; of course, "manga is fantasy," but I think Kawaguchi doesn't present Yamaoka's antiwar platform as the major challenge it would be in real life. The manga could *begin* from the point Yamaoka gives that speech -- that's like the first step climbing the mountain -- but instead, at that point the manga's already entering the final act and this potentially huge plot point is given short shrift. Of course, that's a slight exaggeration, since it does tie in to Yamaoka's character and all, and maybe I'm just projecting my own cynicism... but still.
(3) the final arc is so quick, and has a different focus than I think most readers would expect; as I said in one of the other comments, I think it's simply a case of Kawaguchi not writing the story I wanted to read, but I think to any American interested in politics, the road to election night is at least as dramatic as the road to the party nomination.

Quote:
It was suggested that "today, it's not hard to picture a candidate from a non-white immigrant background getting questioned about what country he's loyal to, something Kawaguchi was too naive or noble to even imagine." However, I feel there are some elements of this in Eagle. The second gunman in the assassination attempt (who seems presented as mentally ill, unlike the first gunman who's driven by white-power ideology) talks to his family about not wanting them to have to move to Japan, which he seems to think would happen if Yamaoka were elected. The graffiti in Yamaoka's old neighborhood says "J A P G O H O M E!" suggesting that at least some people see him as not American, not just non-white.


I do like the way that race is used in the final volume, although almost all the racists and race-baiters in Eagle are depicted as being pretty fringe. There's no Glenn Beck figure in Eagle, casting aspersions about Yamaoka on national TV, but of course, Kawaguchi couldn't have predicted the future. (See? I'm totally projecting my cynicism...)

Quote:
Exactly what Yamaoka says to them about gun control is also interesting. Kawaguchi has a penchant in Eagle for sometimes using what might be called traditionally right-wing arguments for traditionally left-wing policy objectives--which might never work in real life (although there are examples--Republican Jack Kemp, for whom racial inequality was a serious issue, used to call himself a "bleeding-heart conservative"), but for which he deserves credit as a writer with ideas. For example, Senator Yamaoka does not stress the health or safety issues to argue gun control, as a more typical liberal Democrat might--in fact, he straight up tells the Texans, "guns don't commit crimes, people do," giving the contrasting examples of Morton Grove, IL and Kennesaw, GA to argue his point. Rather, Yamaoka accepts an idea the Tea Party would agree with: that the right to bear arms, at its core, represents more than the right to hunt game or even protect one's self against crime--it represents the sovereignty of the individual American. So why does he want stricter gun control? Because, he argues, this sacred principle is cheapened by the fact guns are, in his view, far too easy to get: "You and I here tonight are mortal men. Without wisdom, how can we stand here, and say we deserve that power to kill?" Having served in the Marines in Vietnam (as a volunteer), Yamaoka is shown as someone who has shot and killed people at close range, and who was himself shot and nearly killed; he doesn't speak about the effect of guns in the abstract, or as a policy wonk.


I find this idea plausible in theory but I doubt it'd ever work in practice to convince someone that gun control is a good thing, since it doesn't take into account the huge anti-government feeling in America and in particular the libertarian edge of the anti-gun-control movement.

Quote:
Kawaguchi, not incidentally, is also of the 1960s generation (his manga Medusa details the radical-police battles of his college days that at times raged through Shinjuku Station and Tokyo University). It might surprise people today, but the 1960s communiqués of the radical left Black Panther Party often quoted the Second Amendment. From today's political perspective, the Black Panthers were what we would call a "militia movement," believing in armed local self-defense against a government they viewed as oppressive. Tea Partiers have been spotted at rallies carrying guns, but the Panthers famously did the same thing at the California State Assembly building in 1967--not one but thirty of them showed up with rifles to protest a gun-control act then under consideration. I point this out not to weigh in on whether bearing arms in public is actually a good political tactic, but to note that what today is seen as a ultra-right gesture was, in Kawaguchi's youth, also an ultra-left gesture, and was defended using the same constitutional arguments.


There's a great article about the Black Panthers and gun laws in the latest issue of The Atlantic, actually! I just read it the other day.

Quote:
I would also disagree that we never really see inside Yamaoka's head, or discover his human side; much of the final volume deals with this. Yamaoka is an idealist when it comes to what he wants to do as President, but the manga shows him as unscrupulous and reckless when it comes to how he's going to become President. His and McCoy's plan to confront the race issue and win the election is like something out of Glenn Beck (I mention this to point out that millions of Americans actually do believe in unrealistic, melodramatic, manga-like conspiracies--and by believing in them, make them part of political reality). Senator Yamaoka is egoistical and arrogant, the flip side of the charisma and self-confidence that has gotten him ever closer to the presidency. He clearly sees himself as a man of destiny, but, as you note, Eagle is the story of a family, and what nearly breaks him at the end is discovering what his messiah complex has done to his family. It seems to be where he realizes for the first time the destructive potential of his charisma (a great leader can lead people to their deaths even more easily than to a new life), which of course, can serve as a metaphor for Kawaguchi's view of America itself--certainly an amazing nation of extraordinary people, but how will it choose to use its greatness?


I still don't see Eagle as a fully three-dimensional portrayal of a person. Maybe I'm just demanding some crying-candidate moment, some extra-emo moment from Yamaoka, but I keep seeing in Eagle the sort of 'strong man syndrome', the same 'the idealistic end justifies the means, so shut up and trust me' that we see in manga like Sanctuary. (And BTW, the Douglas Copeland quote about empty speeches in manga would have been much better applied to that manga than to Eagle, I have to admit.) There's obviously some moments where Kawaguchi and Takashi ask "DOES the end justify the means? Just HOW ruthless is Yamaoka?", notably the great dinner scene in volume 2, but I'm not satisfied with how Kawaguchi answers the question at the end. Still, maybe I'm just projecting my own desires onto the manga; there's no reason a political hero can't just be a hero (albeit a hero with a dark side), there's no reason Mr. Smith can't just go to Washington.

Considering the huge challenges for Kawaguchi in writing a manga about the American political process, and the chutzpah it must have taken to even attempt it, I have to admit that he did a better job than not. With regard to the way that real-life events turned the U.S. totally away from Yamaoka's proposed foreign policy, well, hindsight is 20/20. In the end, I basically wish that the story could have gone on longer and the last volume of the manga was several times as long, so that Yamaoka's grand scheme and its challenges were fleshed out more, and so the manga didn't seem to rush to a conclusion just at the time in an election when, IRL, I would be addicted to CNN politics and cable television and time would seem to slow almost to a stop.
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Charred Knight



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:41 am Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:
[
(2) this is really just connected to (1), but also, I'm very cynical about the likelihood of Yamaoka's sweeping ambitions taking root in American politics; of course, "manga is fantasy," but I think Kawaguchi doesn't present Yamaoka's antiwar platform as the major challenge it would be in real life. The manga could *begin* from the point Yamaoka gives that speech -- that's like the first step climbing the mountain -- but instead, at that point the manga's already entering the final act and this potentially huge plot point is given short shrift. Of course, that's a slight exaggeration, since it does tie in to Yamaoka's character and all, and maybe I'm just projecting my own cynicism... but still.

I find this idea plausible in theory but I doubt it'd ever work in practice to convince someone that gun control is a good thing, since it doesn't take into account the huge anti-government feeling in America and in particular the libertarian edge of the anti-gun-control movement.


The thing is that you can't expect any work of fiction to be completely accurate. It's more important to get his point across than to have some guy say that while they won't be able to change America's foreign policy completely in the first year but they can get America moving in the direction they want. I mean what would it read like if Yamaoka stated that he won't be able to get America to change it's way but he will set the foundation for future people to complete his work? It would make Kawaguchi's viewpoint look weak. If Kawaguchi gets his point across than that should be enough.
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ptolemy18
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:59 am Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
The thing is that you can't expect any work of fiction to be completely accurate. It's more important to get his point across than to have some guy say that while they won't be able to change America's foreign policy completely in the first year but they can get America moving in the direction they want. I mean what would it read like if Yamaoka stated that he won't be able to get America to change it's way but he will set the foundation for future people to complete his work? It would make Kawaguchi's viewpoint look weak. If Kawaguchi gets his point across than that should be enough.


Heh. ; ) You have a very good point. I suppose a depressing political manga that kept emphasizing how difficult it is to make major changes in the US political system would make for a pretty bad read.
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Snomaster1



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:49 pm Reply with quote
I read the column on "Eagle" and there are some things I like to say. I remember read one part of this that has gotten a lot of attention. He gives a speech that not only attacks Vietnam veterans but also suggests that we hand off our defense to the U.N. I agree with Mr. Thompson that if any presidential candidate gave a speech like that his presidential run would be ended. But I also think that there are people that Yamaguchi and his fictional presidential candidate left out.
Not only would Vietnam veterans be angry at him but also Vietnamese,Cambodian,and Laotian refugees who live in this country and their American children. They would say that America tried to defend their countries but it was people like Yamaoka who let their countries be overrun by people like Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot. They would also say that they had lost loved ones because of policies that Yamaoka supported.

Also,Korean immigrants and their families wouldn't like him either because they feel that if America had not fought the Korean War that all of Korea would have been under the control of the Kim dynasty and you probably have heard the horror stories of what life is like in North Korea. I think that Yamaguchi left those people out of his story probably didn't know that other Asians live in America or he didn't care to find out.
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rinmackie



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Snomaster1 wrote:
I read the column on "Eagle" and there are some things I like to say. I remember read one part of this that has gotten a lot of attention. He gives a speech that not only attacks Vietnam veterans but also suggests that we hand off our defense to the U.N. I agree with Mr. Thompson that if any presidential candidate gave a speech like that his presidential run would be ended. But I also think that there are people that Yamaguchi and his fictional presidential candidate left out.
Not only would Vietnam veterans be angry at him but also Vietnamese,Cambodian,and Laotian refugees who live in this country and their American children. They would say that America tried to defend their countries but it was people like Yamaoka who let their countries be overrun by people like Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot. They would also say that they had lost loved ones because of policies that Yamaoka supported.

Also,Korean immigrants and their families wouldn't like him either because they feel that if America had not fought the Korean War that all of Korea would have been under the control of the Kim dynasty and you probably have heard the horror stories of what life is like in North Korea. I think that Yamaguchi left those people out of his story probably didn't know that other Asians live in America or he didn't care to find out.


Since his main character is an ASIAN AMERICAN, I imagine Yamaguchi is aware that Asians live in America. As for getting involved in Vietnam, that turned out to be a disaster for us. Also, if I remember my history correctly, what happened in Cambodia was mostly our fault. And I don't remember anything about helping the Cambodians. The Korean War ended in stalemate. I don't necessarily believe we should be just like Japan, but we have overextended ourselves militarily since WW2 and at least in some cases, done more harm than good.
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Snomaster1



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:49 pm Reply with quote
Also don't forget is that Yamaguchi's candidate thinks that we should hand over the defense of America to the U.N. Unfortunately,the U.N. has a very bad image among a lot of Americans due to it's succor to despotic regimes and it's constant Israel and America-bashing. Recently,I'd heard about a law that would see to it that no U.S. taxpayer money goes to the U.N. unless it gets some serious reforms. Also,the blame-America bit with Cambodia is silly. Many in this country had no idea just how bad things got. Only when the Vietnamese boat people reached America and other places did the truth about what happened there come out.
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