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We Are All Japanese Now: Etiquette Lessons from President Obama

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Did you hear the news? This week, President Obama pledged lifelong obedience and servitude to Japanese emperor Akihito. With one quick bow he turned over all American nuclear-weapons codes, signed over the contents of the U.S. Treasury, and gave the Japanese monarch special privileges with the First Lady. The American presidency is no more. Or at least that's what some in Washington want you to believe. With headlines like "HOW LOW WILL HE GO?" and comments from former vice president Dick Cheney about Obama showcasing "weakness," a portion of the punditry seems to think that the president's bow to the emperor went so far as to undo the defeat of the Japanese in World War II. Gentlemen, let the president's actions serve as an etiquette tip: A real man knows that politeness speaks a lot louder than a stiff back. A real man knows that being a courteous guest is a sign of strength, not weakness. And a real man who happens to be 6'1" knows that when he's meeting a dude who appears to only come up to his waist, he's got to bend down a little to hear the poor guy.

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