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I believe that people, all people, deserve respect and consideration.

Here are three news stories to illustrate my belief.

First, via Drudge, an essay entitled “10 Reasons Not To Kill President Bush“. Here’s the best part.

In all seriousness, I don’t hate President Bush. I dislike a lot of his administration’s choices, but I think he’s a good man doing a difficult job. As a leader, you’re always going to be hated. I am too often shocked by the vitriolic repulsion many people feel for our leader and America in general, especially because the loathing is often poorly informed. I’ve met people on this campus who see America as the worst human rights abuser in the world (unlike the angelic paradise of Cambodia) and people who sway liberal not because they actually know anything about issues but because it’s popular.

Liberalism has to be more than a college fad or a collection of loudmouths whose idiotic comments stir headlines. The rabid dislike some people feel for a man they’ve never even met makes me ashamed to be a Democrat.

Second, a Japanese-American will be making a documentary about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to air on cable next summer.

Steven Okazaki, a 53-year-old third-generation Japanese-American, said he hopes the documentary would convey to Americans the sentiments and messages of people who suffered the U.S. atomic bombing in August 1945.

Ignore, as always, the vitriolic and idiotic comments from the peanut gallery at Japan Today. The sheer amount of “They deserved it!” notes is appalling. I have heard a lot of debate about the bombing, and I understand the practical argument that it “saved lives”, but I can’t stomach casually dismissing the suffering of the people–men, women, and children–who were burned, melted, maimed, pounded with horribly painful, slow-killing radiation, and (in the merciful cases) incinerated.

It’s important to remember the past, and not just as numbers. I’ve been to Hiroshima’s Peace Park twice, and I welcome the chance to see this documentary. Not out of some sort of guilt, but because I respect the people who had to make that choice, I respect the victims, and I don’t ever want to forget why such a thing can never occur again.

And third…Gaijin, stay home!

Almost 90% of the Japanese public are concerned that a growth in travelers from overseas may lead to an increase in crimes, a transport ministry survey showed Sunday. Asked about the negative aspects of a rise in visitors, 89.4% said criminals, who pretend to be tourists, may enter the country, followed by 33.4%, who responded they worry about problems caused by differences in languages and customs.

This makes me uncomfortable. It feels like a decided step backwards for Japan.