Japan rocks the Ludwig Van.

You see, this is what I like about the Japanese: when it comes to cultural stuff, they have two favorite settings.  Off, and eleven.

This is them cranking Ode To Joy up to eleven.  Crank it up, and budget some time.


Via kung fu grippe, via AoSHQ.

Moe Lane

PS: How the Hell did Schiller and Beethoven manage to make German sound lyrical, anyway?

I never thought I’d see this outside of a video or roleplaying game.

Heck, I never thought that I’d see this at all:

Astonishing accident involving eight Ferraris ‘world’s most expensive car crash’

A fleet of high-performance cars, including eight Ferraris, has been involved in one of the most expensive accidents in history after an astonishing multi-car pile-up in Japan.

Apparently, they weren’t even traveling in a pack or anything. They all just… happened to be on the road at the same time when everybody critically failed their Driving checks. Fortunately, nobody was reportedly seriously injured, but there was broken sports car everywhere…

White House: We don’t know nothing about nothing.

Call an expert.

This exchange between Jake Tapper, ABC Senior White House Correspondent, and Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary is, bluntly, bizarre.

For context: Jake is asking Carney about, naturally enough, the situation with the nuclear reactor problem in Japan. Specifically, the most recent details about the nuclear reactor problem, given that both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Japanese government are both keeping mum on the subject. The standard procedure for a Press Secretary who doesn’t have the answer to a question like that? “Well, Jake, that’s a good question and I’ll get back to you on that.” Which is a weasel, but it’s a successful weasel because that’s also the answer that you give when you really don’t know the answer.

Carney went… elsewhere. Continue reading White House: We don’t know nothing about nothing.

#RSRH QotD, A Heck Of A Thing To Hope For edition.

Glenn Reynolds, on whether the post-tsunami nuclear reactor problems in Japan will affect nuclear power development (such as it is) in the USA:

[T]his is a good argument for the several newer, inherently-safe nuclear designs. The good news: General Electric, which is joined at the hip to the Obama Administration, is big in the nuclear business. So corruption and interest may do the work that should be done by sound policy here…

Well, you go to establish energy independence with the President that you have, not the President that you want.

North Korean nuclear test successful?

Well, they’re claiming that it was, and there’s evidence that it happened in the form of an earthquake,so that’s how everyone is betting.  Japan is calling for an emergency UNSC meeting; South Korea, dealing simultaneously with this and the suddenly-more-murky suicide of its former President, is doing the same.  The White House hasn’t put up the President’s official statement on this yet, but you can read it here – it differs from the White House statement in 2006 most notably in its unconscious reliance on the UNSC to resolve this situation.  Also missing is any indication that the President has personally consulted with our allies in the region, but no doubt he’ll address that when he holds a press conference this morning on the North Korean crisis.  Note that I am merely assuming at this point that there will be one, and that it will take place before noon.

Meanwhile, John Bolton predicted that this test was going to happen last week; he also noted last week that the administration wasn’t taking the possibility of a second test all that seriously.  Compare the White House statements from today and 2006 again and ask yourself, Which one sounds like it was written by people taken by surprise? Also ask yourself, Is Bolton right when he suggests that not taking even a soft line on this will merely encourage North Korea – and Iran – to proceed?

Please also note that we are in a situation where two of the biggest current, active, and intractable threats to world peace are rogue nations simultaneously pursuing nuclear weapons and missile technology.  Successful creation of both will put at immediate risk our regional allies; allies that we have spent a lifetime cultivating; and who are genuinely alarmed at the activities of their neighbors.  And in both cases, the enemies of said rogue nations were picked for essentially irrational reasons, meaning that normal rules of deterrence may or may not work.

Meanwhile, President Obama wants to gut missile defense programs*.

Um, no.  That’s stupid.

Moe Lane

*Via FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog, via Michelle Malkin.

Crossposted to RedState.

Japanese to take more aggressive anti-piratical stance?

Step by step – sometimes almost painfully so – the Japanese are getting themselves back into the game:

Japan’s MPs back anti-piracy bill

The lower house of Japan’s parliament has approved a bill to allow the country’s naval ships to take a bigger role in fighting pirates off Somalia.

The bill will mean the navy can escort non-Japanese ships and use weapons for more than just self-defence purposes.


Although the bill is likely to be rejected by the upper house, the government can still turn it into law.

Apparently the way that works is that the government, if it wants to, can have the bill reintroduced into the lower house of the Japanese parliament – which would then presumably pass it again.  Continue reading Japanese to take more aggressive anti-piratical stance?

A quick question for the Obama administration on the Japanese counter-missile thing.

Let’s say that the Japanese carry through with their promise to try to sweep from the sky any North Korean missile that even looks like it’s going to violate their airspace (yes, I’m paraphrasing, and running the statement through the politeness filter). And let’s also say that they do so.

If that happens, can we assume that the missile defense system that they used – and developed jointly with us – will be sufficiently ‘proven’ to satisfy you?

Continue reading A quick question for the Obama administration on the Japanese counter-missile thing.