To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kickbacks For Cash Flow

Sure, the Japanese prime minister could easily afford his own iPod, but this just seems tacky:
Rock star Bono bowed deeply and gave Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda an iPod at the start of a meeting Saturday to try to get more Japanese support for the fight against poverty in Africa.

The gift broke the ice as Fukuda sat down with Bono, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other major supporters of more aid for Africa.

Again, it's a pretty trivial gift. But still, Jesus Christ, try to follow the rationale here... The gift is to get the Japanese PM to pledge more "Japanese support." That makes it sound like Fukuda-san would just whip out his wallet and hand the poor people of Africa $1000-Yen per person.

But Bono's not interested in Fukuda's money. He's interested in the Japanese taxpayers' money. To make it sound like anything else is underhanded bullshit. Although I don't believe it's a Japanese taxpayer's moral responsibility to give money to the poor in Africa, that's not the point. If any citizen of Japan wishes to send money to Africa via any medium available, he or she is free to do so.

What is disgraceful here is that Bono has the balls to hand the prime minister of Japan anything; be it an iPod, a Pepsi from the vending machine, or a slap on the ass; and expect the prime minister to be more likely to pledge the hard-earned yen of his taxpayers towards Bono's pet cause.

Bono, seriously... I don't want the people of Africa to be poor any more than you do. But can you at least be straightforward about what you're proposing? I'd have so much more respect for you if you'd just say, "I think every person in the world should be forced by his or her government to give $100 per year to the poor people of Africa" than this lobbying of government officials to get them to spend taxpayer money per your demands.

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