Friday, September 6, 2013

Advice To Walker As He Jets Off To Japan

Gov. Walker is diverting off his national campaign-for-cash tour for a quick trip to Japan Sunday.

Great frequent flier miles for just a three-day stay.

If there are trade deals afoot, you can assume they're nailed down already, as being there for just a few days doesn't leave much time for actual negotiations or side-trip junketeering.

Anyway: before we say sayonora, can some Walker adviser - - and let's just say it has to be a brighter bulb than whomever green-lighted the withdrawn Chief Erwin phantom job and pay raises, or the cancelled $500,000 'sportsmen's' contract - - tell the boss a few things about Japan?

Like that when people bow to him, it's a formality. It doesn't mean they think you are going to be President.

And remember - - generally speaking, it's a polite, non-confrontational culture, and though I haven't seen who's in the entourage, if you're taking Big Fitz, Mike Ellis or Bill Kramer along, tell them not to pack their tempers.

And given that the well-being of a group is highly-valued in Japan, you'd better get cracking on talking point to explain why you'd be arresting peaceful singers or booting people off state health-care coverage.

And since rice growers in Japan are among the most powerful forces in a country that respects its historical traditions, be ready to justify your threatening threatening an indigenous wild-rice growing culture in Northern Wisconsin. You can bet that your reputation, via The Google, precedes you.

Also: Ride the subways and great inter-city trains. Yes, we know, we know - - Tokyo is very densely-populated, so rail there is a must, but small Japanese cities also have great rail connections.

And yes, we know that the high-speed trains you blocked between Milwaukee and Madison would not have reached Japanese train speeds, but the Wisconsin-built trains were slated to run faster in just a few years on unimproved tracks installed by Wisconsin workers. 


Anonymous said...

Are you comparing the Madison - Milwaukee metro combined population to Tokyo?

Wisconsin had 5.7 million residents in 2012. Tokyo had 35 million.

Toyko is a city. Wisconsin has a slightly (snicker) larger geographical area.

Which of these comparisons make ridership of a high speed train more likely?

James Rowen said...

@ Anonymous: I can't help you if you don't read.

Larry St Croix said...


Gol-lee! I can't imagine anybody preferring to ride a train stress free for 45 minutes rather than battling traffic.

The current once daily train schedule does not encourage usage, you can't commute for example. The high speed train would have had a more frequent & hopefully more convenient schedule.

Don't even think about the local jobs created by making the coaches, the stimulus to State economy by workers paying taxes and spending wages.

Max B said...

Great post, James. Once again you've pointed out the evil follies wrought upon Wisconsin by the Walker bunch.

I shudder to think of the reputation we'll have with the Japanese when this whatever-you-callit is over. The Japanese culture is all about respect, a word and concept certainly unpracticed, maybe unknown to Walker and ilk. It would be great to hope that Walker might learn a thing or two about how to serve, act with respect, take personal responsibility, show humility, and be honest. How embarrassing for us Wisconsinites to be represented internationally by this clueless, ill-educated, petty hick.

James Rowen said...

Thank you, Max. I spent three weeks in Japan on a reporting fellowship. Quite the eye-opener.

Max B said...

Maybe you should go back as Walker's press secretary. You would do much better than: "We suck." or, "It's Syria's fault for creating uncertainty" or [bunch of] "radical extremists" [protesting at the mine site], or "I've lived transparency." or "Make sure there's no paper to connect us to this [teenager's unnecessary death by falling concrete panel].

Much, much better.

James Rowen said...

I think I'll pass.