Monday, September 22, 2008

American Financial Collapse アメリカの経済が滅びる

Recently, anyone watching the news on planet earth knows that America is in deep financial trouble. How did this happen? Well I am not financial expert, but let me try a few words. Let’s start with greed and over optimism.


To gain more profits, too many American financial companies engaged in lending practices that had little or no prospect of long-term success. In the short term, a few did profit, but eventually reality returns, and now these companies cannot be maintained.


I think one reason for this crisis is that many American’s always believe that the economy will continue to grow no matter what. The entire sub prime loan system was based on the premise that the American economy would always expand.


The whole sub prime was nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme. But how could this happen?


Successive American Presidential administrations have consistently favored corporations, and many watchdog organizations have lost their power to oversee corporate operations. The idea was that market forces would cause corporations to behave in a responsible manner. Companies would police themselves.


Many Americans on the right accuse government supervision of the economy to be a form of socialism. And to the American mind socialism symbolizes something close to Communism, and therefore un-American. Which is why it has proven impossible to establish a national healthcare system in the United States.


Japan, along with China, Russia, and European countries, has much investment in America. We cannot afford to let America collapse, yet I think it is within our rights to push the American government to watch the financial operations of its companies more closely in the future. And of course, expensive wars with no solution simply waste money.


In Japan we have similar situation with the Hakken phenomena. While this employment practice will not bring financial collapse like America’s disaster, we are creating a large class of young people who have no hope of escaping Hakken employment. They cannot marry and they cannot lead normal lives, they live as slaves.


Eventually, this can have tremendous effects on Japanese society, up to and including leftist revolution.


I think that in both America and Japan, we need much stronger government oversight to prevent such excesses.


A ponzi scheme 1920年代でイタリアからアメリカへ移民したポンジさんの投資計画でした。基本的に彼の計画は投資すると数が月後に20%利益が戻ります。しかし問題は投資する人が増えないと最初の投資人に利益を払いません。こう言う計画はいつもどこかで滅びる事に成ります。ポンジさんは懲役5年に成りました。

Thursday, September 11, 2008

基本主義キリスト教のアメリカ社会と政治の影響 Fundamentalist Christianity and it's effect on American society and politics

The earth and all it’s creatures were created intact in one week in the year 4004 B.C. Dinosaurs and humans lived together in peace in the Garden of Eden. The dinosaurs were all vegetarians. When Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, she committed sin, and some of the dinosaurs became meat eaters. All of the dinosaurs were killed in the great flood. But that was not before some of them helped the Egyptians build the pyramids. The Grand Canyon was also made in the Great Flood.


However, we live in the End Times. All true believers of Jesus will be taken up to heaven in the Rapture. After a time of warfare on earth, there will be great battle on the plain of Armageddon in Israel, where God will destroy the kingdoms of Gog and Magog, which are really Russia and Iran, and Jesus will then return to Earth to rule the kingdom of true followers.


Hello everybody, this is Max writing now. But look at those two paragraphs above. How would you feel if you found them to be the basis for science and history education in your children’s school? However, the truth is that in America legal battles are now being fought by Christian Fundamentalist groups in more than ten states to have Bible based education taught in public schools. Many schools are using texts that have text content very much like those two paragraphs.


I would like to explain a little bit about Christian Fundamentalism, and their relation to American politics and society.


At this moment, we are in the middle of a Presidential campaign in the United States of America. As everyone knows, the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, has made a controversial choice for his Vice President, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.


Let me explain why. At first, I was extremely surprised. How could he expect such an inexperienced woman to attract dissatisfied Hillary Clinton votes? But a closer look shows that that was not the main reason. The main reason is to pull the Christian right wing voters to his cause. And in that it seems that John McCain has succeeded.


She is very much what Christian Fundamentalists want to see in America’s leaders.


Present Christian Fundamentalism began around 1975. America had lost the Vietnam War. During the war, a mass protest movement arose to protest the war. This movement also protested what many people considered to be traditional bedrock values of American society. Conservative people felt lost, that the country was going to fall into ruin.


In particular, it seemed that the people protesting the war did not believe in the role of the military in American society, believed in free sex without marriage, condoned homosexuality, and took illegal drugs.


These things scared conservative Americans. It was at this time that the present type of Fundamentalist Christianity began to arise. What was new was that these Fundamentalist churches pulled religion into every aspect of daily life. According to these churches, all aspects of daily life could, and should be interpreted according to the Bible. Not only that, Fundamentalist Christians are working to recreate America as a Fundamentalist Christian society. To their thinking, older mainline churches are not true Christian churches. This includes Lutherans, Methodists, Unitarians, Catholics, and many others.


Since that time, they have worked hard to change America into their type of religious society. They have done this by joining the government at local levels. Then they attempt to pass Christian laws in their communities. The American Republican party has many of these Christian workers. Many staffers in the offices of Senators and Congressmen are Fundamentalist Christians. Christian Bible colleges, operated by Fundamentalist Christians, make a special effort to send their people to be staff for lawmakers. They then try to take over the personnel section for staffers, and only recruit other Fundamentalist Christians for staff positions. Particularly they have achieved great power in the present Bush administration. They are working very hard to change the laws and customs of America to what they believe in. I believe that in choosing his Vice President, Senator McCain had no choice but to obey them. In America, we call this struggle the “Culture Wars”.


A quick overview of Christian Fundamentalist main points.


Abortion. In 1973, a law that enabled women in every state in America to have an abortion if they wished was passed. This is one of the centers of the Religious Right’s activity. They wish to change the law to make it impossible for any American woman to have an abortion for any reason, except in extreme case medical emergencies where the mother may die.


They believe the Bible justifies them in this, that all lives are precious and must be saved.


Of course, they do not believe in any form of sexual education in schools. To young people, they preach abstinence, to married couples contraceptive use is forbidden. They wish to forbid the sale of contraceptive products. To their thinking, God will decide how many children you will have. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden.


In the case of Sarah Palin’s daughter, it is forgiven because the two kids will get married. This is then regarded as obedience to God.


Recently some states in America have experimented with the idea of some sort of legal relationship for homosexual couples. Of course the Fundamentalist Christians are very against this. They regard homosexuality as a disease to be cured, and maintain many groups who specialize in trying to force homosexual people into heterosexual relationships.


Another major important thing for them is the Darwinian theory of evolution. They believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs and humans existed together in the Garden of Eden. At that time, the dinosaurs were all vegetarian. However, when man sinned by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, some dinosaurs became carnivores. Of course, all dinosaurs died in the Great Biblical flood. That is why we find so many fossils today.

基本主義キリスト教信者のもう一つの大切な話題は、ダーウィン進化論理です。基本主義者の考えで、6,000年前に神様が一週間で地球を造りました。エデンの園で、恐竜と人間は共同生活をしました。その時に、恐竜達は全部菜食主義でした。人間は知恵の樹の食禁止果物を食べて、 罪を理解して、いくつかの恐竜も肉食主義に成りました。大洪水で恐竜達は全部死にました。その理由で、現在、私たちは化石をいっぱい見つけます。

There is no reference in the Bible of humans and dinosaurs living together. There is mention of “Leviathan” and “Behemoth” these are simply described as large creatures. The Fundamentalist Christians understand this to mean dinosaurs. Also, they believe that they can pull many children into Christian fundamentalism by talking about dinosaurs, as dinosaurs are popular with children.


Ideas like those above are actually taught as Biology class in Christian schools, and in public schools where Fundamentalist Christians have strong influence. But having their own Christian schools is not enough for them. In their thinking, all public schools in America must teach their ideas, and the teaching of Darwinian Evolutionary theory is to be forbidden. To achieve this goal, Christian Fundamentalists are trying to get as many of their people in political power in America as possible.


Sarah Palin has a very short resume. But when she was mayor of the town of Wasilla in Alaska, she thought about banning books from the town library. It is not specified which books she did not like, but Fundamentalist Christians do not like any book that has any reference to sex, homosexuality, also Harry Potter books are evil in their opinion. This is because the central theme of those books is magic. According to the Bible, magic is evil.


To their thinking, all such books must be banned from America.


These are only a few of their ideas. However, for them to live their own ideas separately in American society is not their goal. To their thinking, all Americans must live in their way by Bible principles. Americans who are not of their beliefs will become second class citizens.


Even though Sarah Palin has very little experience in government, her Christian beliefs are very fundamentalist. To the Christian Fundamentalists, that is fine. One does not need experience, only belief.


Also, the End Times is very much a part of their philosophy. They spend much time studying The Book of Revelations.


They believe that a final war will come in our lifetimes in the Middle East, and it will be nuclear. They believe that Russia and Iran are the evil nations that will invade Israel and start this war. Jesus will then come and take all true believers to Heaven in The Rapture. All people who do not believe as they do will spend the rest of eternity in hell and torment.


Some of them think that the United States should start this war to help Jesus hurry up. And of course, they do not see any point in worrying about Global Warming, since Jesus will take us to heaven soon. They do not see any reason to stop using so much resources and to stop creating such pollution, to them it will not matter. The Bush administration has had deep consultations with such people on Middle Eastern foreign policy.


They believe this is so written in the Bible, there fore it is absolute truth.


Christian Fundamentalist represent about 42% of the American population at this time.


I personally think abortion should be a personal decision between a woman and her doctor. I believe the public schools should have be very good at teaching science, especially evolution.


And I certainly do not believe in nuclear war.


These people are afraid, they are trying to use only the Bible as a way to find certainty. But it does not work that way. Along that road, lies madness. A person should not only study religion, we must also understand the world we live in.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

アトランタ市のヒートアイランド Atlanta Heat Island Part II

Here, I will talk a little more about hurricanes, and the massive drought in the southeastern United States. In a previous post, I mentioned my belief that the people of the American southeast will have to eliminate the Atlanta heat island to prevent the region from turning to desert.


Well, in the latter half of the month of August, the people of Atlanta did have a great hope. This was Hurricane Fay. Many people thought that it would break the drought and fill Lake Lanier, the primary source of Atlanta water.


In fact, its projected track did have it hitting Atlanta head on. The storm, after leaving Cuba, was forecast to go straight north, parallel to the west coast of the Florida peninsula, and continue north, hitting the city of Atlanta directly.


But something strange happened. I have included a link below that gives you the actual course of Hurricane Fay.


As the Hurricane approached south Florida, it began to cross the peninsula to the east. It then reached the Atlantic Ocean, where it stopped for several days. Then it suddenly turned 90 degrees and headed straight west. Atlanta got very little rain, the drought is still strong. This kind of 90-degree turn is very unusual in a hurricane. It is my feeling that the massive amount of hot air from the Atlanta heat island forced Hurricane Fay to change course.


This is a very bad sign for Atlanta. Very little rain is falling naturally. Hurricanes are being pushed away by the heat island. In any case, simply hoping for a Hurricane is like hoping for a miracle. Hurricanes are rare events, and unpredictable. And the heat island is stronger than the Hurricane.


If Atlantan people do not change their lifestyle soon, and adopt measures to reduce heat, I feel the region will soon become desert.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The danger of nuclear war in Georgia グルジア戦争と核兵器戦争の危機

In 1962, the United States of America and the Soviet Union came very close to nuclear war over the Cuban missile crisis. I was a young child in Chicago, and I remember the church bells. In the event of a nuclear attack, all the church bells of the city were to be rung as a warning. That would mean nuclear missile strike in 20 minutes or so from Cuba. I remember the system being tested, and asking my father if we were going to die.


20 minutes is not enough time to do much more than say goodbye to your family and few friends. So far, in human history, that incident is the closest the human race has been to major nuclear war.


Until August 23rd of 2008. On August 8th, the army of The Republic of Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a territory under Russian protection. The Georgian army attacked Russian troops based there on a peace keeping operation. Russia responded, and we all know the result.


However, the great danger of nuclear war came about August 23rd. By the 22nd of August Russian forces began to withdraw from Georgian territory. However, hardliners in America were not happy. US warships were sent to the Black Sea, and ordered to dock in the harbor of Poti in Georgia. This would have been very dangerous, as there were still small units of Russian troops very near Poti. This would have created a very dangerous situation, with Russian army troops and US Navy sailors in close contact. The possibility of someone accidentally firing a weapon was very high, If Russian troops and US Navy ships had traded fire, I do not think we could have stopped things before they eventually escalated to full scale nuclear war. Most of human civilization in the northern hemisphere of the planet would have been destroyed.

しかし、その核兵器戦争の危機は、8月23日でした。8月22日からロシア軍はグルジアから撤退を始めました。アメリカ右派政治家はロシアの反動に怒りました。その右派政治家の命令で、アメリカ軍艦をグルジアまで進行しました。その軍艦の目標は、グルジアのポチ港で停泊する事でした。しかし、ポチの近くにロシア陸軍の偵察隊はまだ居ました。この状態はとても危険です。アメリカ兵とロシア兵はお互い近い所に居ます。どちらの兵隊も間違いで武器を使う可能性が高かったです 。戦いが始まったら、核兵器戦争まで拡大する可能性が高いです。地球北半球の人類文明は滅びる事に成ったでしょう。

Very fortunately, the United States Navy High Command intervened, and the US ships docked at Batumi, far to the south in Georgia and away from Russian troops. A war was avoided.


So who was responsible for The US ships in the Black Sea? The Navy did not want to go there. In my opinion, it was two men who created this problem, Vice President Richard Cheney and Senator John McCain.


In fact, Senator McCain has deep ties to Georgia, his chief advisor, Randy Scheunemann, was a formal lobbyist for the Georgian government. President Saakashvili himself claims to have been in frequent telephone contact with Senator McCain during this crisis.

マケイン上院議員は、グルジアととても深い関係が有ります。彼のチーフ相談者は、ランディシューネマンさんで、彼は最近までアメリカ国会のグリジア国代表でした。グリジアのサアカシュヴィリ 大統領は、マケイン上院議員とこの戦争中にたびたび電話で話しをしていると言っています。
What? That is the job of the President, not Senator McCain.


In any case, we are very lucky that major war was averted between Russia and America.


Now Senator McCain has made a very strange choice for his Vice Presidential candidate. I am very sorry to say, but Governor Palin of Alaska has virtually no experience at all other than being a housewife. I do not see how she can be the Number Two in the strongest nation on earth.


I think the only reason that Senator McCain chose Governor Palin, is to use her attraction to Fundamentalist Christians. The thing is, if Senator McCain were to become President, and he became too ill to do his job, Governor Palin would become President of the United States.

I am very surprised and shocked to see Senator McCain make two such dangerous decisions, pushing for a war between the United States and Russia, and in picking a totally inexperienced woman as his number two.