• Interview with NHK, Japanese TV

    July 27, 2014

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Economy

    Japan’s main broadcast station, NHK (similar to PBS here in the U.S.) dropped by for an interview about my new book, as well as a discussion about an event from my past, my brief encounter with chess great turned psycho Bobby Fischer.

    Ghosts of Tom Joad is of interest to Japan for two reasons. First, the main time frame in the book, the late 1970s and early 1980s, represents arguably the high point of the Japanese industrial economy. That was the era of Japan as Number One: Lessons for America, the time when Japanese investors poured money into U.S. real estate, including high-profile purchases such as Rockefeller Center and the Pebble Beach golf course. Of course, Japan’s economic ascendancy was fueled in large part by their industrial exports, especially cars and steel to the U.S. One of the factors of American de-industrialization was the loss of jobs to Japan.

    In the way that history loves irony, Japan has interest in Ghosts now also because it is experiencing its own era of de-industrialization. We’re painting in broad strokes here (economists, relax a bit), but much of Japan’s current industrial malaise is due to cheap imports from China and other parts of Asia. Japanese companies are increasingly moving production abroad in search of cheaper labor. Ghosts, to some in Japan, is both a history of Japan’s role in America, and a road map to it’s potential future, with a dash of prophecy.

    BONUS: About Bobby Fischer. Bobby you’ll recall was a Cold War hero in America after beating Soviet chess champ Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972. Fischer went on to lose to his mind, as well as play a for-money chess match in what was then Yugoslavia. The latter violated U.S. trade sanctions of the time, and turned Fischer into a wanted man. He avoided U.S. law enforcement for many years by traveling around the world, until by accident, aided by post-9/11 snooping, Homeland Security found him in Japan. My job at the U.S. embassy there included the revocation of U.S. passports. Homeland Security and State, via me, took away Bobby’s passport in a preview of what would later be done to Edward Snowden.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Bobby “Crazy” Fischer: “The U.S. and Israel have been slaughtering the Palestinians, just slaughtering them, for years. Robbing them and slaughtering them.”

      Wow, this guy is a real wacko.

      07/27/14 2:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Speaking of “crazy” talk:


      I always knew fast food was going to kill this country.

      07/27/14 2:52 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      C’maan Rich, whatta ya think the CERN scientists were trying to prove?

      07/27/14 11:09 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”Wow, this guy is a real wacko.”unquote

      Nominations for this years Great Moments in ROTFIGSL award.

      07/27/14 11:12 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”My job at the U.S. embassy there included the revocation of U.S. passports. Homeland Security and State, via me, took away Bobby’s passport in a preview of what would later be done to Edward Snowden. “unquote

      Shades of imminent threats. At least they didn’t incinerate him via a Hellfire carrying Drone. After all..the CIA abhors Check Mate.

      07/27/14 11:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “After all..the CIA abhors Check Mate.”

      …and Ron Paul too.

      Ron Paul: “CIA director George Tenet and other senior current and former CIA officials are said to be frantically attempting to prepare a response to a planned release of an unclassified version of a 6,500 page Senate Intelligence Committee study on the torture practices of that agency. The CIA was already caught tapping into the computers of Senate investigators last year, looking to see what information might be contained in the report. Those who have seen the report have commented that it details far more brutal CIA practices that have been revealed to this point.

      Revelations of US secret torture sites overseas and a new Senate investigation revealing widespread horrific CIA torture practices should finally lead to the abolishment of this agency. Far from keeping us safer, CIA covert actions across the globe have led to destruction of countries and societies and unprecedented resentment toward the United States. For our own safety, end the CIA!”

      07/28/14 9:30 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Hey Rich, you posted EXACTLY what I was referring to. The CIA will go to any lengths possible to keep this report out of the full Congress’s hands, let alone the public’s view. In fact, their full time troll, shill and sockpuppet crew are already combing the net to propagandize the report in a negative fashion.


      But they’re not the only ones.


      The net is a propaganda war zone now. And I call them out every single day on every single comment section where I find them. Funny thing is..you can smell them by their own stupid bullshit, cause NO ONE who is a citizen could possibly believe in the crap these scumbags say. No one. At least in my universe.

      07/28/14 12:25 PM | Comment Link

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