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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, May 23, 2005
If America Is Dead, Why Won't We Lie Down?
Reports of our nation's death have been premature. Once again, the mainstream media abandons facts for the opportunity to bash America.

The February 2 Japanese edition of Newsweek (yes, Newsweek again) ran this lovely cover story.

The title translates to "The Day America Died — The ideal of ‘freedom’ falls to the ground due to Bush continuing in office". Of course, the domestic Newsweek didn't run the story and had a story about the Oscars on the cover. Thank goodness that Riding Sun, a conservative New Yorker living and blogging in Japan, jumped on the story. It then got noticed by Little Green Footballs and James Lileks (who insists that we're not dead, just pining for the fjords).

I haven't actually seen an English translation of the article, though I didn't look very hard, and if someone leaves a link to it, I'd appreciate it. I heard radio talk-show host Larry Elder today say that the article was an anti-American hit piece arguing that the American dream is dead. The author of the article is apparently a professor at a lefty (American) think tank. Startling.

Well, this made me worried. Maybe Newsweek is onto something and just doesn't want to incite a panic at home. Maybe we are dead, as the article claims, but too self-deluded to realize it. Better do a quick national pulse check before reaching for the defibrillator paddles.

Let's see… One of the things a non-dead country does is make stuff. How're our gross national product (GNP) and gross domestic product (GDP) doing, given our recent demise? According to Wikipedia in 2004 we were the most productive country on Earth. Oh, good. We're not dead yet! We're feeling much better. "Ah," the wise skeptic will say "but this is simply because of your enormous population. You aren't more productive; you're just huge." OK. Fair enough. Let's look at per capita GDP. Depending on how you calculate that, we're either eighth (following Luxembourg and a bunch of northern European countries, with Japan coming in at 15) or third (behind Luxembourg and Norway, with Japan number 12). Well, now. If this was the Luxembourg edition of Newsweek they may certainly have a point, but for Newsweek in Japan to call us dead, makes Japan what? Decomposed? Japan has about 40% of our population and can boast one Nobel Prize compared to over thirty won by Americans, the most of any nation. Oh, and our military is unmatched. It looks like America may have a few more years in her yet.

Newsweek should ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for the mainstream media.
I believe the exact translation is: "A super happy flag in garbage is you!"
I wonder if this is a knock at Japan itself, as well, since I'm fairly sure the current Prime Minister is buddy buddy with the dreaded Bush-san.
I'd like a copy of that Newsweek. Anyone in a position to sell me one?
Psychotoddler: I see you've discovered the joys of Engrish.

Ralphie: Hmm. Didn't know that. Interesting.

Oven: If you click on the link to "Riding Sun" in my post, you'll get a link in his post to the Japanese Newsweek site. (The link is in the picture of the magazine cover in his post.) You can read the article there, but it's in Japanese. I don't have a copy of the paper edition. Sorry.
Anyone knows Japanese around here?
Irina: Oven spent a summer in Japan in high school. This was the early 80s when we were all sure that Japan was going to take over the world. I don't know how fluent he is.
That's pretty cool!
The Sage from South Central. A wise man indeed.
Irina: maybe you can persuade Oven to write about it. He had a very interesting summer.

Jack: I see we have another Elderado here! When can we celebrate your registration as a Republican?
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