Two photos in the news elicited a few thoughts:
Even though my brain knows that Japan is a US ally now and that World War II was a long time ago, it was still a bit jarring to see this picture of a Japanese military platform bearing the “rising sun” military flag amphibiously “attacking” the US coast as part of a military exercise. Like South Koreans and Chinese – as the Wikipedia (!) entry on the flag notes – many people associate that flag with militarism and imperialism. I do too. In particular, I think of Nanking and Pearl Harbor. I wonder why the US didn’t forbid the use of this flag after WWII, especially since it only inflames anti-Japanese sentiment around Asia.
Pretty darn cool for George H.W. Bush to shave his head in support of a child’s fight against cancer. The child in the picture is the kid of one of the members of Bush’s security detail – pictured above. But aside from thinking well of Bush the Elder’s action, I was struck by how large his security detail is. If all of those men are securing a former President, imagine the cost to the US taxpayer! Those men don’t come cheap in terms of salary and benefits. Of course, it makes sense to offer protection to former Presidents, especially since this one was actually targeted after he left office. But are this many security personnel required at this point in time – 20 years after he left office and years since the death of Saddam?
HT: Farley at LGM.