Photos of our craven president bowing to yet another foreign leader have set off the usual nuts like me who find it distasteful that he would break a 200 -year tradition of American leaders not kneeling or bowing to royalty, but far more interesting is the reaction of the Japanese, sent me by a reader.
As I noted above, there’s lots of commentary on Japanese discussion boards. Lots of folks remarking that Obama showed more deference and respect than even the prime minister of Japan generally displays for the Emperor, and lots of the typical patting-the-gaijin-on-the-head comments. But all of the commentary suggests that the Japanese saw this as a remarkable gesture. Here are some representative comments from discussions boards:
-Does the US president bow this deeply? Is our Emperor that impressive?
-The emperor should have bowed, too. After all, he and the president are equals on the international stage.
-Obama, you’re lucky to have met the only true royalty in the world.
-The emperor must be amazing if he can get the president of the United States to bow this deeply. Obama must have been overwhelmed by the Emperor’s aura. Doesn’t he have his back hunched over, making him look really small? . . . One of the seven wonders of the world.
-He is the [American] president. Isn’t this level of respect a little excessive?
-The Emperor is the only person in the world who could walk in front of the Queen of England, the US President, and the Pope.
-This is impressive. If I were suddenly thrust in front of the emperor, I’m not sure I’d be capable of bowing this deeply.
-Is it possible that even Obama feels nervous when appearing before our royal family?
-The emperor’s expression suggests he’s thinking “I’ve got to do something with this guy.” I feel sorry that he has to deal with shits like this.
-We should make him an honorary Japanese.
-Obama was brought up well, wasn’t he?
[Obama,] you really don’t have to go that far . . . it makes us feel uncomfortable.
-Did Obama join the cult of the Emperor?
-Obama gets it.
-For better or worse, he knows how to grab Japanese hearts.
-He’s the kind of guy who would bow like this intentionally when he wants to insult the Japanese.
-An amazing photo. The royal family is really something…
-This shows the power of the emperor.
-Prime Minister Hatoyama should learn from Obama how to properly respect the emperor and the national flag.
-Obama heard that the Emperor had ordered him to make an appearance and flew over right away.
-Well, it’s obvious that the US President is about the same level as our Foreign Minister…
-Obama is an impressive person with an amazing grasp of the situation.
-Well, he is the descendant of slaves.
-This is the first 90-degree bow I’ve ever seen by an American. Obama’s impressive for being able to give the most respectful bow possible to our emperor.
-The US president will probably get criticized for bowing this deeply to the Emperor, but I was moved by it. The Emperor’s obviously a wonderful person but Obama is too.
-This one picture has made me like America.
-Obama’s bowing his head lower than his waist; it’s too far. Where’d he learn this?
-After we lost the war, I never thought I’d see this.
-He has a lot more respect [for the emperor] than [Prime Minister] Hatoyama does.
American Indians, too, practiced a religion of pieces
Cops: Murdered man butchered, sold as kabobs.
If George Bush took your money and handed $33 billion of it over to huge home builders, you and the mainstream media would probably be upset. When Obama hides that giveaway in an unemployment benefits bill, no one seems to care except, bless her black heart, Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times. (I occasionally fantasize about the effect on the Times’ editorial board were they ever to read Morgenson’s work, but that’s not going to happen).
Congress took away income averaging from individual taxpayers years ago but it remains a popular way to reward friends and Obama’s dragged it out the cupboard again to do just that. Hope and change.
Tastes like rattlesnake!
Pigeon lovers flock to Old Greenwich Civic Center. What famous Cos Cob residents will Scusie spot there, I wonder?
After using our money to bail out the auto industry, federal officials; bureaucrats and Congressmen alike, are demanding they be let into the auto show free as a reward for their largess. Does this mean that they can come into your house if you are a mortgage bailout beneficiary? Restrict your right to an abortion if you are on ObamaKare? And how about this: all these parasites did was take our money and give it to someone else – how come they reward themselves and you and I still must pay admission? Final question: did the Soviet oligarchs pay admission to their auto-shows?
Reader IB’R sends along this link to a depressing look at the middle-to-high end market in California by Mark Hanson. Mr. Hanson thinks that market is in for a long slog and I suspect the same can be said for Greenwich. We are seeing a rebound in the $2.5 and up market – 36 have gone to contract in the past 60 days and more are rumored to be almost there, but, as Hanson points out about California’s sales, many of these represent big losses for their sellers. One Ivanhoe, for instance, is rumored to be going to contract, but the owners surely aren’t celebrating. The previous owners paid $2.7 for it in 2001 while these folks paid $3.150 in 2006 and then sunk a bunch of cash into redoing the baths, adding central a/c, etc. The listing price is just $2.795, so they’ll be lucky to get back to 2001 levels and all those improvements? Up in smoke.
So yes, houses are selling again, but for the most part, only when buyers see real value, which usually means the seller is taking a loss. How much this will hurt the sellers depends on their cash position, I suppose. The ones who took out 80% mortgages a few years ago have lost their equity and will probably have to bring cash to the closing table. That hurts. The lucky ones who paid more cash up front will have lost much of it but at least they don’t have to dig into their pockets to undo their purchase. How many in each category? I don’t know, honestly, but I do know there are some painful readjustments occurring daily in town.
By the way, the comments to the New York Times article about price wars, posted below, are mostly negative and one reader makes an interesting observation: the huge number of cash sales in the City are a reflection of the fact that so many banks aren’t lending money. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t buy a house. That’s not true here, but it is certainly true that anyone without rock solid financials isn’t going to get a loan. That may be ultimately all for the good, but it significantly cuts down the number of buyers capable of buying your home.
The One’s decision to stage a terrorist trial in downtown New York will place that zone squarely in the bull’s eye of every scum bucket Muslim (no, not every Muslim, every scum bucket Muslim – I’m told there’s a difference) for the next ten years while the trial drags on. I can think of nothing better for all the empty office space in Greenwich and Stamford.
Can Sheik Diaper Head get a fair trial in NYC? Of course he can. NYC is what, 88% Democrat? And 61% of all Democrats believe, or are unsure whether they believe, that Bush/Cheney knew of the 9/11 attacks in advance. You pick a jury of Democrats and the Sheik is home free.
But oh, what a circus we’re in for! Years of fun, with Yale law professors coming down to strut their stuff, depositions of Bush and Cheney, arguments about jury makeup, allegations of torture – it will be two years, minimum, before a trial ever begins, and then three or four more years of spectacle. Add the inevitable hung jury and we’ll be enjoying this mess well beyond the Messiah’s second term.