Rubella         Emperor          guns

I haven’t had the opportunity to write over the last couple of weeks.

We’ve had sickness in the family.

Our daughter’s two boys have both had German measles (rubella).  Although not very serious, it’s miserable.  A red rash accompanies a very high fever.  Try explaining to an eight-month-old and an eighteen-month-old that it won’t last very long – all they know is that they are miserable and can’t sleep.  In turn, that means parents and grandparents are also miserable and can’t sleep!  Because they live with us, we were able to help.   When our daughter is at work, we watch the boys for up to twelve hours – really exhausting for a couple of seniors.

Our son’s two girls were here for a few of those days.  They also got sick, with a high fever but no rash appeared.  They were immunized for rubella some years ago.  Maybe the fever was rubella trying to break through.  Who knows?

We felt somewhat isolated.  We didn’t get to church for fear of spreading disease.  Rubella can cause congenital defects in babies, so it’s especially important to stay away from pregnant women.

One of our daughter’s friends came over to see the boys.   As she is pregnant, we had to ask her to leave.  We still felt bad telling a friend to get out of our house immediately!

The sickness seems to be over.  Last night, Mom took the boys out for a walk to get some fresh air.  So Diane and I had some time to ourselves.

After dinner we rented the movie “Emperor.”  I knew it had not made it into theaters, implying that it would not be popular.  But I saw it at Redbox and it was only $1.20 plus tax.  So I checked it out as the subject matter interested me.

The movie tells the story of the ten days after World War II when Douglas MacArthur, the US general overseeing the occupation of defeated Imperial Japan, had to make a decision on whether to prosecute and hang Emperor Hirohito for “war crimes.”

In spite of numerous flash-backs that made the movie somewhat incoherent (similar to “Alexander,” another historically accurate box office flop a few years ago), the movie was fascinating, especially the last twenty minutes when MacArthur met the Emperor.

There was no nudity, bad language, special effects or excessive violence in the movie, which may explain why it went straight to DVD.  But I’m glad it’s available.  It saddens me that most Americans have so little interest in their own history.  MacArthur’s decision to save the Emperor, arguably, saved Japan, which remains a loyal American ally to this day.  It could all have gone so differently if MacArthur had chosen to hang the Emperor – which is what Washington wanted.  Revolution and civil war would have likely followed, with Japan going communist like its neighbors China, North Korea, and Vietnam.

It’s hard to imagine so much depended on one man, the Emperor.  Well, two men when you factor in that MacArthur had to make the final decision.

At that time, America’s reputation was at an all-time high.  Today, it’s quite different.

Putting aside the fact that the Obama Administration is rapidly losing the Middle East and that the US government may be in default in a few weeks, small, sometimes seemingly insignificant events can often have a major impact.

Such is the case with the senseless murder of a 22-year-old Australian student in a suburb of Oklahoma.  He was shot by three teenagers who were, quite simply, bored.

Sadly, there was a racial element.  It will be interesting to see whether the press makes as big a deal over this one as with the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmermann case.   Here the victim was white and the perpetrators non-white, the reverse of the famous case in Florida.

The US press may be inclined to leave it alone but the Australian press won’t.   At the very least it will deter Australians from visiting America.  At worst, there is talk of an international tourist boycott of the United States, at a time when our hotel industry and some resorts are already struggling.  The demand is that the US do something about guns.

Most western countries, including Australia, have strict gun controls.  Proportionate to population, the US has more guns than anywhere else on earth.  Yemen is in second place, a country with never-ending tribal violence.  Could this happen in the United States?  Already, our big cities are plagued with gang warfare, a euphemism for ethnic strife.

It’s a tragedy but there’s also an element of farce.  One question the world has is why we can’t keep guns out of the hands of teenagers when they can’t buy a beer until they’re 21.  That’s a very good question.



  1. We also can’t keep beer, cigarettes, and illegal drugs out of the hands of teenagers. If there’s a law against it, some will find a way to acquire it. They are thrill seekers. If we try to keep something out of their reach, for their own good, they automatically think it must really be good and they find a way to get it. They don’t have a clue that they are too young to be able to handle such things. And it can’t be totally blamed on parenting. Despite very involved parents who do their very best to rear their children with principles, some children will rebel against their parents and those things for which they stand. The influence of this world and its plummeting morals is strong on our children. “Thy kingdom come.”

  2. Look forward to seeing the movie. I don’t know if it is true of other countries, but yes, most Americans have almost no historical perspective when it comes to their own country. It is also true most do not have much historical perspective in any aspect of their life. More and more we live day to day, week to week, drawing on very little wisdom, and potential lessons learned, from the past.

  3. Legally they can’t buy guns or beer, but those that want either one, or both, still get them. Guns aren’t the cause our problems and neither is the beer. God has been removed from nearly all facets of everyday life in our country and we are seeing the consequences of the lack or His influence on our moral values.

  4. Thank you for introducing this movie that you watched. It is true that Americans have no idea what is really happening in the world today. They are too busy with jobs, entertainment for children via hand-held pads, etc. As like the Roman empire, our country is being destroyed from within. Obama has no idea how to rule a great nation. Putin had to step in and help Obama out of the mess with Syria. Now, part of our government is shut down. There is no idea when Obama will make concessions over his health-care plan that will continue to destroy jobs and have people try to get insurance that is going to cost more than what was told by Obama. Our nation is falling but we should not be shocked. We have known for many years that this was to happen. Now that it is, people just think…well, it will soon be over with and our nation will continue as usual.

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