Thursday, April 24, 2014

Okay, now they're just trolling us.

On a tour of a science museum in Japan, President Obama was introduced to Honda's Asimo robot. Its handlers had Asimo bow to Obama while the world press held its breath to see if Barry would give 'em the photo op...

"I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords."
Yup. He would.

Is there anything this guy won't reflexively bow to?

Ironically, Barry was in Japan to promise them that we would be their staunch ally in case of attack, which has to be all kinds of reassuring coming from ol' Cap'n Obseqious there. I'm wondering if this wasn't set up by the Japanese government to see if they need to start up a crash nuclear weapons program?
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29 comments:

Evyl Robot Michael said...

Asimo is Honda's cute version that they expose to the public. There are reasons we haven't yet seen their top secret battle drones and mechas.

gth871r said...

Based on the photo op and the existing Japanese nuclear program I"m waiting for the bright flash over the North Pacific shortly after lunch.

Anonymous said...

"Is there anything this guy won't reflexively bow to?"

I'll take The United States Constitution for $500, Alex.

Shootin' Buddy

Borepatch said...

Is there anything this guy won't reflexively bow to?

The Constitution.

Joel said...

Aw, c'mon. When a cute Japanese robot bows to you, ya gotta bow back. It's an international law or something. Reagan would have bowed.

When the giant Japanese battle robot bows to you, shoot while its head is low. It's their only weakness.

Tam said...

Joel,

Over on the Book of Faces, PDB wrote "In an alternate universe, the leader of the West gave the robot a pat on the head and a sushi order."

:D

mikee said...

The only thing I know about a Japanese nuclear weapon program I learned from a Tom Clancy novel, so I'm out of date and pointing the missiles in the wrong direction.

But whenever a nuclear Japan comes up, I have to quote a Chinese lecturer at my university, teaching Asian Studies: "Japan is no world power. Two nukes, whole damn island slide into ocean."

And that was in the 1980s.

D.W. Drang said...

So, that would be the alternate universe where the West has a leader?

And, yeah, as hard as it is for me not to ding on His Imperial majesty, an Asian bows on introduction/greeting, a slight bow in return is acceptable.

Paul said...

Following Moochelle's trip to the communist overlords.

Anyone who believes these clowns, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, Cheap.

Noah D said...

Well, Japan is the place where bowing would be appropriate, as long as you follow the protocols.

(Were he not bowing to everyone else, I'd give it a pass.)

But the devil is in the details: who went lower, him or the robot?

Rob K said...

I'd like to think that Japan's nuclear weapons program is a key-turn and a switch-flip away.

Stretch said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese could produce a DELIVERABLE nuke with off the shelf (and out of the power plant) parts inside a week. That's a Japanese style work week.
The plans, parts list, pull sheets, and delivery schedules have probably been in the hands of "top men" for years.

Robb Allen said...

Bowing in Japan is a mutual thing, akin to a handshake, so I won't fault him on *this* occasion.

His bowing before kings though was, IMHO, a truly impeachable offense and illustrated his inability to hold the office.

Randy said...

What cracked me up was "Obama, 2nd from left". I'm not sure who in the picture could be mistaken for Obama. Maybe it was written for robots who don't know who bows to whom?

Mike_C said...

"Is there anything this guy won't reflexively bow to?"
I'll take The United States Constitution for $500, Alex.

Ahahaha! But seriously, he has people to run roughshod over the Constitution for him. No need to get his own shoes dirty.

>an Asian bows on introduction/greeting
Depends on from where. My father (Chinese) routinely mocks "the dwarf rapists" for all the bowing. Then again, he grew up in cosmopolitan Shanghai so Dad may not be typical. But the few times I've visited Japan (and Taiwan where some of the old people retain Japanese customs due to having been essentially colonized by the Japanese back when) I've had to take a day or so to adjust to all the bowing without looking behind me to see who they were bowing to. (I mean geez, what kind of idiot would bow to a Michigan boy like me?)

Personally I've switched to the "kung fu style" arms bent, hands in from to chest, left-hand-over-right-fist, plus a nod, greeting when introduced to a group of people too numerous to shake hands with. At informal stuff, of course. I'm a crank, but not that much of a crank.

Anonymous said...


Obama won't bow to reason and common sense.


Nuclear warfare is about both defense and attack. Do the Japanese have a secret missile defense system in place? I wouldn't bet against it, they certainly have both the technology and the motivation.

They also have 16 attack subs. Wonder if one of them is shadowing the Chinese carrier every time it leaves port?

Al_in_Ottawa

ProudHillbilly said...

Dear Japan: Ukraine.

Sport Pilot said...

Japan did quite a bit of nuclear weapons research in WWII with a lot of mysteriously missing documentation after the fact. Given our own Governments willingness to tell everyone how to builds God’s own pedestrian flash bulbs at one time…Why wouldn’t they have some nukes now?

Windy Wilson said...

When I studied Karate I learned that as you bowed to your opponent at the beginning of the match, you did not bow so low that you could not see his eyes. Some Karatekas like to strike while the iron is, if not hot, still warming up.

Joe in PNG said...

I suspect that the Japanese will have no problems with the giant robots. It's the flying submarine spaceship giant robot carrier that's going to be the hard part.

Robin said...

I am not worried until they raise Yamato from the seabed.

Sigivald said...

What Joel said.

This one, not problematic.

It's being polite and cutely playing along with the robot demo.

Plus, even in other contexts, a two-way bow is a show of mutual respect, just as is shaking hands.

It's a unilateral bow that is potentially an issue; I want a President to show mutual respect to even hostile foreign leaders, because diplomacy.

I do not want him to show submission to them by bowing unilaterally.

(Sport: Japan is 100% technologically capable of having really nice nukes.

If they don't (which is likely), it's because of domestic political/cultural reasons.

It is widely believed - but impossible to prove - that Japan has no nuclear weapons...

... but does have "not nuclear weapons" that can be assembled in a very short period and then delivered by the SDF or by missile.

If you have the cores lying around not quite assembled, you can honestly say "we possess no nuclear weapons", after all.)

Jonathan H said...

Japan has the components, material, and knowledge to build nuclear weapons - they could become a nuclear power any time they chose to, probably in even less than a week if they were in a hurry. They don't for purely political reasons.
As for a missile defense system, their Aegis cruisers have all the capabilities ours have, probably including the SM-3 missiles and the anti-satellite features we ostentatiously do not have deployed.
Sigivald - Israel is likely in the 'does not have' category with the no cores trick; I doubt Japan has gone that far - YET!

Joe in PNG said...

And Asimo? Shouldn't Japan be producing andriod catgirl fembots by now?

Parallel said...

"Despite its international pledge not to possess excess plutonium, Japan has kept large amounts of the material sitting around for years. The amount to be returned to the U.S. — enough to produce 40 to 50 nuclear weapons — is a fraction of Japan’s overall stockpile, which is about 44 tons." --http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/24/national/japan-to-return-weapons-grade-plutonium-to-u-s/

Ed said...

"Japan is no world power. Two nukes, whole damn island slide into ocean."

It's been done, and it was observed that the "whole damn island" did not slide into the ocean. However, it did get their attention, along with the Soviets attacking from the north. That was "not necessarily to Japan's advantage".

Anonymous said...

Asked a guy in the know about how long it would take Japan to get nuclear weapons. He looked at his watch and said, "Lunch?"

Brass

staghounds said...

Our fellow inhabitants of the planet seem like they learned Napoleon, the Kaiser, Hitler, Tojo, and Communism's negative lesson- don't get in a hurry to overtly challenge a benign paramount maritime power.

And maybe America's positive one- when the benign paramount maritime power gets tired, be in a position to offer an easy transition.

People all over the world born this year will have interesting lives indeed.

Bram said...

I assume the Japanese and South Korean nuclear programs are at about the same stage.

Like saying "I don't own a functional gun" - just a completely field-stripped M16 with empty magazines and 1,000 rounds in the next room.