August 8, 2005


Japanese Prime Minister Dissolves Parliament: Koizumi Calls for Snap Elections (Anthony Faiola, August 8, 2005, Washington Post)

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi put his job on the line Monday, dissolving the lower house of parliament and calling snap elections for Sept. 11 in an effort to win a new mandate for sweeping reform of the world's second largest economy.

The move came after ruling party legislators rebelled against the prime minister's plan to privatize Japan's gargantuan postal service -- effectively blocking the centerpiece of Koizumi's drive for economic reform.

The Wife had a patient at the VA once who insisted on smoking through his tracheotomy opening as he died of lung cancer. The nurses wouldn't wheel him outside to smoke because they thought he should quit.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2005 4:59 PM

Er, isn't quitting smoking after getting lung cancer sort of like turning on your emergency lights after driving your car off a cliff?

My mom used to smoke a cigarette while carrying a small oxygen tank in a little sling over her shoulder. Scared the pants off of everyone nearby...

Posted by: Just John at August 8, 2005 5:09 PM

Just John:


Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 5:11 PM

Sure, because the anti-smoking crusade is a moral crusade more than a public health crusade.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 8, 2005 6:57 PM

No. Because Japan is the patient.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 7:07 PM

A friend who was a life long heavy smoker just died with the end of his last cigarette smoldering between his fingers.

Just couldn't stop.

Posted by: erp at August 8, 2005 8:16 PM

Quitting smoking after getting lung cancer is much more effective than the car lights/cliff analogy. It's more like the equivalent of stopping throwing gasoline on a raging house fire.
It may or may not be too late to help, but you can't know until you try, and if you're going to treat the cancer, it's absolutely unproductive to keep on doing what gave you cancer in the first place.

Orrin, I'm a bit confused about your position on the VA patient.

Based on previous posts, you wouldn't support this guy deciding to pack it in if he were paralyzed or in a coma, but you DO support his right to hasten his death by continuing his self-abusive behavior ?

If this VA guy were an IV drug user dying of end-stage AIDS, would you allow him to keep shooting up ?

If not, why not ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2005 11:23 PM

Things must die before they can be reformed. The U.S. threw out parliament along with the British and created a republic. Parliaments cannot work without an effective king.

But, personally, I wouldn't bet against Koizumi winning the election. Sharon has been ruling this way in Israel.

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 9, 2005 12:39 AM


I have no problem with the terminal killing themselves.

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 11:41 AM

We're all "terminal," oj. Like the old Onion headline: "Mortality rate holds steady at 100%"

Posted by: ted welter at August 9, 2005 12:02 PM


You confuse mortal with terminal.

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 12:23 PM