Meeting Obama’s chief designer and other trans-Pacific stuff

I had the distinct pleasure this evening of meeting Scott Thomas, who is here in Tokyo the past few weeks. Thomas is the man who designed the Obama circle logo. And the other design features of the Obama campaign last year. This is a link to his page on It is worth the visit.

I am an accountant by trade, and maybe a lawyer by education. So I don’t have any credentials in design. But arguably, the Obama “O” (which is that familiar blue “o” from last year, framing a sun, and above fields represented by the white and red stripes of the U.S. flag) is already a historic part of Americana.

Here in Japan, Obama’s victory is still carrying much more weight than the health care troubles back home would indicate.

So it is greatly satisfying to hang with a group of people who are excited to meet someone who made the Obama campaign happen. And to share that sort of “feeling” that arises when two cultures meet and exchange. What a great feeling!

So anyway, I want to get back to the forthcoming election and the Pacific Alliance between America and Japan.

Like I was saying last month or earlier this month, when General MacArthur effectively ran Japan (1945-1951), I think he made a number of decisions that were intellectually dishonest, but in the end were for the good of many people.

One, as I’ve said, is to pretend that only seven or eight people were responsible for carrying out Japan’s aggression in World War II. Not even the Emperor Showa, but a handful of military guys, and their enablers–the ones who didn’t kill themselves beforehand— were put to blame. (Anami and Konoe did themselves in before MacArthur could get to them. They knew what was coming.)

I would be a definite minority among the Japanese today, but I do strongly believe that the Modern Japan exists as it does today because of America.

And so I delight in these cross-cultural exchanges.

I know that the talk coming out of Minshuto, who will win on Sunday, is that Japan need not rely on America. Instead, look to the other countries of Asia.

But the reality is that the other countries of Asia have NOT forgotten about the aggressions of World War II. Like I say, “Japan may have forgotten about what they did to the Chinese in World War II, but the Chinese probably haven’t forgotten it.”

So the day that America is gone from Japan, is the day that the Third Sino-Japanese War is in effect. That is the truth.

The value of America in Japan is that it makes any foreseeable conflict a conflict with America. Which Korea, nor China, nor any other trouble maker wants.

The value of America to the Pacific Alliance is that we are willing to put our “skin in the game”. We don’t have the unilateral ability to defeat China or Korea. it’s just that we signal to the warlords in those countries that messing with Japan is equal to messing with America.

This is what keeps peace in the region. Otherwise, they would be meancing Japan every week.

So I was thinking about this after the presentation by Scott Thomas.

At home, Obama’s enemies are already messing with him.

I think design is important. But it can only go so far, maybe.

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