April 14, 2007


Japan takes step toward amendment (Bruce Wallace, April 14, 2007, LA Times)

The Japanese government took a historic step Friday toward revising the country's pacifist constitution, winning parliament's endorsement of procedures for a national referendum necessary to make changes to its postwar charter. [...]

Rewriting the constitution is a central goal of Abe's government, which wants to shuck off what it sees as a foreign constitution that imposed non-Japanese values on a defeated country. In particular, it wants to change Article 9, the pacifist clause that renounces Japan's right to wage war or use force to settle disputes. The main parties agree that restrictions in Article 9 should be loosened, but differ over the conditions under which the use of force should be allowed.

Critics say the referendum bill has exposed illiberal tendencies in the Abe government. The law would ban public servants and teachers from participating in campaigns on either side of the referendum question.

Opponents say those restrictions run counter to the constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and academic freedom.

"Conservative politicians hate the teachers union and the public servants union because they are supporters of the current constitution," said Sayo Saruta, with the Japan Bar Assn.

Civil service reform was supposed to make it less political, not more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 14, 2007 10:44 AM

The s.o.b.'s have done it: they have debased language to the extent of unintelligibility. I speak of the sentence, "Conservative politicians hate the teachers union and the public seervants union because they are supporters of the current constitution."

What does "conservative" mean in this sentence?
Does it mean people who want things to stay the way they are now, like the pro-Communist "conservatives" in the FORMER SOVIET UNION and the "conservative" Islamacists in Iran?

Or does it just mean whatever the speaker wishes at the moment, just a word which may mean forward-looking, or perhaps backward-looking, but which therefore means nothing at all. Really, this is so gay.

Anyone who respects and loves words should be revulsed at this sort of debasement. It is the sin of Babel in our time and place.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 14, 2007 11:23 AM

"Conservative" is the opposite of "progressive". (The latter which include "environmentalists", despite their being against human "progress" in any form.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 14, 2007 12:40 PM

"Conservative politicians hate the teachers union and the public seervants union because they (meaning conservatives) are supporters of the current constitution" and progressives would dearly love to amend the current constitution to reflect their leftwing ideology.

Posted by: erp at April 14, 2007 2:32 PM

Not wanting to change the constitution is conservative. Conservatives oughtn't be embarrassed to acknowledge when we're the revolutionaries.

Posted by: oj at April 14, 2007 5:12 PM
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