Joe Michael Sasanuma Obituary

Joe Michael Sasanuma, who earlier today died at the eternal age of 18, never had a moment in which he didn’t enjoy life.

He lived by the words “What’s the point of living if you can’t feel alive?”, a line fittingly taken from the James Bond movie “The World is Not Enough”.  Of the many things Joe loved about life, watching and critiquing movies, with the James Bond series closest to his heart, was on his list of top ten.

Joe’s unique talent was having opinions and verbally expressing them, often with very little thought.  One-liner insults were his specialty.  Joe referred to actress Denise Richards, who co-starred in the aforementioned James Bond film, as “The bitch who ruined a perfectly fine James Bond film.”  Of Picasso, he said “I know shit when I see one.”  But Joe always kept the best lines for liberals, about whom he memorably declared “Everyone has the right to be wrong.”


To Tristan, My Newly-Married Friend: Thanks for the Friendship Defined by Differences

(English Only) Tristan, As I attended the ceremony celebrating your matrimony with Becca, I thought about our friendship–about how it all began, how it deepened over the years and how it’s thrived on our many differences. I remember your joking once that I’m the first Republican you’d ever met, and


Donald Trump’s Election Requires All of Us to Listen, and Have Faith in the U.S. System of Government

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

Donald J. Trump is president-elect.

Much like me, you are probably stunned with this statement and are still unable to comprehend how this is so.

One thing is for certain, though. What you witnessed last night was fury in ways previously unseen.

Consider: only 37% of the voters believed that Donald Trump was qualified for the presidency and only 34 % believed that he had the temperament for the office. This is a stunning statistic. In effect, many voters said they knew Donald Trump wasn’t fit for the office of the most powerful man in the world–and they didn’t care.

This can only be called a “scorched earth” philosophy of voting: just throw a grenade into Washington, D.C. and see what happens, results be damned. People were that angry with the status quo.


No, I’m Not Voting for Trump, but I Get the Message

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

But if you are dismissing the entire Donald Trump phenomenon as merely a movement by racist, xenophobic, sexist white Americans, you are part of what has created the problem.

If you take issues with this, consider: how would you describe a person who goes to church every week, is not troubled by prayer in public schools, owns a gun, believes abortion should not be readily available and gives credence to intelligent design?


A Modest Suggestion for the Politically Inclined

I have a suggestion for those who are politically interested: surround yourself with people who are disagreeable. Surround yourself with a lot of them.

That means that if you’re in college, odds are you should be seeking people who go to meetings of College Republicans (yes, those people exist, in surprisingly large number). If you’re a working adult who find yourself getting your news from Fox News, you should be looking for people who worship MSNBC (those also exist, although increasingly in smaller number).

Why do I think it’s a good idea to become ideologically uncomfortable among the company you keep? Because only the people with whom you’ll never fully see eye-to-eye can provide you a sense of self-perspective, keep you honest and make you empathetic.


Principles Do Matter, Which is Why Mitt Romney is So Offensive

When I bemoan Romney’s lack of principles to my Republican friends, the response that I always received was “so are all politicians.”

Actually, no.

I have interned at congressional district offices and volunteered for multiple electoral campaigns. Through these experiences, I have come across numerous politicians across different aisles, of various inclinations with different interests and personalities, in both Japan and the United States. From the perspective of policy, I agree with many and disagree with some, but almost universally, I have come to respect politicians for their sense of public service.

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