A recipe of blurbs by a hungry dad-filled with sarcasm, truth, and a dash of that rare ingredient, common sense.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Thoughts On Japan

I have been watching the news coverage of the events which happened a week ago last Friday and also the events which have happened since then. I am addicted to watching the video footage that was shot by average people as the tsunami was coming in. There is not a word in the dictionary which can describe my sadness for the people of Japan and the people who have been in the region and or affected by what happened there on that fateful day.

Unless you have been living under a rock and don’t know what happened in Japan, I will tell you.

On the March 11 an 8.9-9.0 magnitude earthquake struck 50 or so miles off of the north eastern coast of Japan. The quake was so powerful that it made buildings in Tokyo 150 miles away shake and sway violently.

About 10-30 minutes after the earth quake, a massive tsunami wave washed out everything (well pretty much everything) along the coast of Japan closest to the quake. If you have not seen any footage of the wave that came in, it destroyed everything in its path. Look at the picture below. Yes that is a two story ferry boat sitting on top of a two story building.


If an earthquake and a tsunami were not bad enough, as a result of those two things the power and backup systems went out a nuclear power plant there. And as a result of the loss of power there have been multiple explosions there and there is a possibility of a large release of radiation as a result if they cannot get power restored to the plant and soon.

As if the first three things to happen were not bad enough, it was freezing cold there. It was literally snowing in some of the footage of the tsunami that I saw. Imagine losing your home, your town, your family, having no food or water, and you are freezing cold.

I have been praying for these people daily since the disaster struck them. The amount of damage, destruction, and death is just too hard to imagine.

And while watching the events unfold I have some thoughts about the tragedy, some of which you may or may not agree with me on.

Some positive thoughts:

An earth quake, a tsunami, a near nuclear meltdown, and snow all in one day. And you do not see any of the Japanese people looting, stealing televisions, or getting mad at the lack of help. If you ask me I think that this fact alone speaks volumes about the Japanese people and who they really are. I think the people of New Orleans should be forced to study this disaster and the people of Japan. I am sure that they could learn something from this disaster and how the people of Japan have behaved during this tragedy.

I think this disaster shows how prepared the Japanese people are for earth quakes and tsunamis. The buildings there in Tokyo are still standing and only had minimal damage. The nuclear power plant in question was not built to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and the mere fact that it was still standing after the quake speaks volumes about Japanese engineering. The tsunami warning system was activated within minutes of the earth quake. Can you imagine how many more people would have died had they not been prepared for it and had a tsunami warning system?

In one city I heard reports of the power being out as soon as the quake hit causing wide spread power outages. So the local fire department went out in their trucks alerting the people themselves of the tsunami since the power cut off the warning system.

Some negative thoughts:

After seeing footage of the nuclear power plant in trouble I want to know who the hell puts a power plant right next to the ocean in a tsunami prone region. But then I watched some more news coverage and noticed that someone else had asked the same question and showed a nuclear power plant in southern California right next to the ocean.

Who does the planning for CNN’s commercials? They seriously lack compassion. The show live pictures and videos of the tsunami followed by commercial for Sandals resorts all over the Caribbean. Yes I actually saw that one during a commercial break. Here take your mind off of the tsunami; here are some images of the beautiful undamaged beaches in Jamaica. Give me a damn break.

The blood is not even dry on the concrete in Japan and the media and environmentalists are all over the tube screaming at how unsafe nuclear power is. And the event there at the power plants is not resolved yet, and the investigation has not even begun. And actually nuclear power is one of the safest and cleanest forms of energy.

I actually heard one idiot commentator on CNN suggest that global warming was to blame for the earth quake. Are you FUCKING SERIOUS? Plate tectonics has been going on longer than man has been burning fossil fuels. Plate tectonics have been going on longer than mankind has been on earth. Plate tectonics has been going on since before plant and animal matter even formed the fossil fuels we currently use. In fact plate tectonics have been going on longer than there has been ANY LIFE on earth. And yet this fucktard in the media thinks global warming is to blame.

Where the hell are Bush and Clinton at and why are they not on every damn tv station trying to raise money to help the victims? Oh that is right Japan is a “well off” nation unlike the victim nations of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Fuck that, regardless of how wealthy Japan is or isn’t they have undergone a very destructive tragedy and NEED HELP as well.

I think there should be resources available (ie water, food, clothing, medicine) stock piled somewhere (in multiple countries) which could be deployed in one hours time with wheels up on the plane to aid ANY nation which undergoes a tragedy like this one. Regardless of whether or not they are a friendly nation or not as I would help my neighbor if there house was on fire even though I don’t care too much for them.

I honestly do not think that our country is as prepared for a disaster of this magnitude.

Why the hell has our country (ie the President) not done more to get help there? Why the hell has the rest of the world not done more to help Japan? Maybe the world is trying and our wonderful “media” just is not reporting it. But I would think if the whole world is trying to help out, that someone out there would be reporting it.

Well those are my thoughts on some of what has happened in the last few weeks.

If you can afford to, please donate to the American Red Cross to help out some of the victims of this tragedy. And if you can’t afford to donate to them or another worthy group, please pray for these people.

45 comments:

  1. Liked and agreed with what you said especially on the positive and negative side.

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  2. Thanks, OT. The world needs more of you!

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  3. Oil Field Trash. I know you do not see my comments to my local news or what I write on twitter. I am not a religious person but I live on the Gulf of Mexico to the East of New Orleans, and wrote an article to My local news. I was humiliated to be a resident of the coast after Katrina and the fact that New Orleans and it's broken levees got national news with it's lazy fat welfare thieving people got coverage when the good people who had 2 weeks notice, took care of each other, and lost entire cities and loved ones. Entire cities were gone. not just areas of cities flooded by a broken levee in areas news crews didn't cover. But it was a political move, made by the news. To show lazy people with signs. Do you know how far I can walk in 4 days carrying my child? a hell of a lot further than to an on ramp holding a sign that says where is my help. I can walk to food, walk to help. They stole not food, but TV's, shoes, and whatever they could, the police let criminals free, the health care workers left old people and babies to die. There was so little honor in that city before, during and after, yet it helped push to this new joke of a presidency I can't help but be humiliated to this day as I watch as the honor of the people of Japan, the Dr's and nurses who refuse to leave the patients, the people who go hungry but will not even break a vending machine even though they are hungry, no pushing, no stealing, true honor, true respect. This is a core of moral fiber that most of our country lacks so deep, that we will remain unable to be great until we can fix it. Maybe when our children stop being "entitled" to participating trophies" and begin " earning" things and understanding honor again, we will start the next generation with honor again, ours lost it. No one should be elected because we feel guilty, and no one deserves help, it is a gift. Remove the Victim mentality and enact the accountability.

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  4. I totally agree with you on everything except the relief effort from our country. There are a lot of military families in southern california with marines and sailors over in Japan right now. On top of the people being deployed to help there are a lot of us military bases stationed on Japan (like a very extensive amount of bases on top of annex locations.)

    Regardless of what anyone thinks about the government and the country, the US military has honor and I think we all should give credit where it is due.

    I helped out during Katrina when a lot of the people fled and ended up at my airforce base. Thousands of families crammed into our base and our unused confrence building and making a new life in Texas becase there wasnt anything to go back to in new orleans at the time. We took care of their kids with an onsite daycare service so they could start looking for their families and rebuilding their lives.

    Sorry for the soapbox. I'm ex military and from a military family, and what we went through every day of our lives waiting for a loved one to come home or facing the possibility of deployment and never coming back to your family is nothing to just disregard.

    There are people of honor in every place in the world and in all walks of life. Not specific to one nation. The douche bags just make it hard to see sometimes.

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  5. It's a horribly tragic, everything that's happened to Japan. I know what you're saying about the commercials too, I've felt the same way.

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  6. @ Lurker, thank you.

    @ Laughingmom, thanks.

    @ Peachy, that is a very good point. The destruction in Mississippi/Alabama pissed me off because entire areas got flattened and did not even make the news. I agree with you.

    @ Brandi, I made a comment that there could be possibly others helping but that the media is not reporting about it. And it appears to be the case here. You brought up a valid bunch of points.

    @ TS, yes I know.

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  7. Kudos OT ~ You hit the nail(s) on the proverbial head.

    I think the entire world could take a lesson from Japan; Respect for each other is what makes them what they are. A trait that is seriously lacking in most other parts of the world; including the US and Canada.

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  8. Bravo OT, Bravo! Your compassion is admirable and your points are very valid. Great post and hopefully it helps bring some additional awareness to the situation that is not covered in the media.

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  9. OT I wasnt going after you with that...I just get a little riled. And there are lots of things that are done behind the scenes that media never touches.

    Theres a thing with that though. Most of us dont want attention for what we do. Its just something we feel the need to do. You start adding media and blasting it everywhere then people come in that are fake and looking to get attention and then people stop actually caring about others.

    Media attention is so detached an void of any genuine emotion.

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  10. Great words my friend!
    I've also noticed that the natural gas and coal industries are now running commercials on CNN.

    Oh yeah, I live about 15 miles from that southern California nuclear plant that was on the news. It's been on my mind for years...

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  11. it is sad what the japanese people have had to suffer through over the past week and a half :(

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  12. Brandi, that was partially my point, also, we just took it from differant directions. I country from me not a building was left for miles upon miles, yet those people took each other in under tarps held by sticks, people drove to our ares in uhauls, with diapers, water, baby wipes and t-shirts, individuals, with shovels, to help clear the muck from our roads, they weren't the gvt, they weren't doing their job, they were humans, helping humans, I watched teenagers who a week before were starting high school caring water they had learned to hand pump from wells, ride horses to houses to elderly people every morning and night, it was what humans do. Then weeks later when the news came on and phones started working we found out the shooting, looting, crime and coverage was all, on the "victims" of katrina, and the checks that were handed to people who had never worked a day in their life and chose to be criminals and leaches off society. Our area has a large population of military people, most of the members were deployed leaving the dependents behind, they were active in helping and in being cared for in our area. NONE of the american media is actually there to provide news anymore it is geared towards serving a purpose and will show what it needs to to prove a point. a 5 or 10 minute delay of a president making a choice, in 1 situation will be vilified where in another a presidents absence completely for weeks on end will go completely unmentioned this is what I see. The news is just an extension of the political parties now, not actually news. Hats off to the military and to those who love them.

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  13. @ Primed, thank you. And I agree with you.

    @ Randomgirl, thank you.

    @ Brandi, I know your beef was not with me.

    @ Pat, thank you. I have seen those commercials as well. And I am glad I am not alone in thinking that about that particular plant.

    @ Kage, yes it is very sad.

    @ Peachy, I could not have said it any better myself.

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  14. Peachy and OT.. I have to say, I was also stunned by the way things went in New Orleans. I lived through Hurricane Hugo here in SC, and it was AWFUL! But everyone pulled together and did things to help each other. We talked to neighbors we had never spoken to before, and dug out the houses of people we couldn't stand. Everyone banded together! And I couldn't believe when the Governor of LA said on TV that she didn't know who to call when it happened? WTF??? You have to ASK for federal help, people. Bush couldn't just send people in. States rights were the whole point of the Civil War, but Bush was blamed for not responding faster. New Orleans and the state was not prepared, just like those levies should have been reinforced long before then.

    Peachy, I'm glad to hear that what we saw on the news was NOT all that was going on. We've seen corruption from that situation with arrests that even happened near us for fraud from Katrina. I feel the same way you do, that I damn sure wouldn't have sat on my ass in the Super Dome waiting for help. I would have found a way to get me and my family out of there to get what we needed, just like we found ways after Hugo. (My home was destroyed during Hugo.)

    The whole thing with Japan has been awful, and I know they are getting more help than we think, OT. I do think there should be more fundraising going on, but a small part of me gets a little bitter when other countries complain about what we will and won't do when we are always one of the only countries to respond to help. Where is help for us when we need it? I'm not saying we shouldn't help, and I'm doing my part. I just hate that it's expected of us all of the time without at least releasing us from some debt we might owe those countries. My prayers are definitely with all of those people. I can't imagine what they have been through. (Sorry this is so long.)

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  15. I have been absolutely consumed by this tsunami and concern for the Japanese as well. A friend of mine had a brother (and his girlfriend) living in Sendai during the disaster and he was missing for four days before he was able to make contact. Numerous other people I know have friends/family there. Watching the videos of the destruction just breaks my heart. I did donate but I wish I could do more.

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  16. @ Krissy, those are some good points there.

    @ Averagegirl, thank you.

    @ Cake, wow you are the third or fourth person to tell me recently that they have friend/family that were living there.

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  17. Xkcd.com/radiation
    it gives amounts of radiation levels that are safe and unsafe.

    Also, I know we've talked about this already so I am just gonna say "nice post"

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  18. I can't watch the footage. It gets replayed over and over like it is movie footage. To me, it feels like it de-sensitizes the severity and realness of it all. I can't watch people die in the water. I know it is real and it happened, but I personally find it too disturbing to watch someone die.

    I think that while there were bad apples during Katrina, it wasn't a reflection of all of the people living there (re: looting, etc.).

    It's always hard to get a real handle on what is happening in terms of ground efforts/help/relief, when it is all filtered through our own media.

    We see what people at CNN want us to see.

    I am so sad for the people of Japan. I wish there was a way that I could comfort them and keep them warm, outside of my generic donation.

    I hope that nuclear reactor does not end up adding to the death toll.

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  19. Couldn't say it any better!
    Thumbs up!

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  20. OT...I think you speak for many of us here in the US. It is tragic that our country doesn't have it's priorities straight and have gotten so messed up. The TV shows aggrevate me as well going from tragedy to wealth and nirvana looking places. These people of Japan have grace and dignity and are my heroes.

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  21. This is why I make it a point to NEVER watch CNN.... I can't wait for the REAL story to come out about those brave 50 people who are risking their lives at the plant....

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  22. OT, it's beyond aggravating what some of the media have done with this.

    A friend of mine was telling me that a local shop owner immediately dropped the prices, so that people could get essentials. Some of the stories of how dignified and helpful they are, are incredible.

    About the location of the reactors, one of the reasons they were built there, decades ago, so they could transport the radioactive waste by sea.

    I have been thinking of putting up a FAQ post...

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  23. Your positive and negatives are spot on. True the japanese culture is not one to take advantage (looting) during a disaster. I really do hope they all get the help they need.

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  24. I don't have much to add, since you hit the nail on the head so perfectly. I can only echo what you have already said.

    I'm fairly broke, but I donated. You have to help your fellow man out whenever you can.

    Well said. Very well said.

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  25. @ Miley, thank you.

    @ Stephanie, I agree with you.

    @ Mash, thank you.

    @ Al, thanks.

    @ Barb, thank you.

    @ Sharaf, thanks.

    @ Kristen, I normally don't watch CNN either but in the first few days they were the only ones wiht 24/7 coverage.

    @ Kryptos, I figured as much as to the reason.

    @ Copyboy, thank you. I am glad you agree.

    @ Lost, thank you.

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  26. @ All, I would like to note that our country started a THIRD DAMN war over the weekend. But yet we are not full blown helping.

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  27. What a great post. Love it!!

    All of the news stations insist on focusing on the unimportant 'nuclearcrisisdisaster' instead of the important 'people are freezing, starving, dehydrating' facts.
    Like how they keep going on and on about how there was radiation found in the spinach. But they fail to tell you that you would have to eat 2-3 kilos a day, every day for a month to reach the minimal amount of radiation that could cause any damage to your body.

    The U.S. News - Focusing on the bad stuff, but failing to inform you of the good stuff, because it keeps our ratings up. :/

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  28. well said the world need more people like you

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  29. OT I agree with everything you said. The world needs to stop being so self centered and start getting prepared and HELP people. Instead of handing out money to people who use and abuse the system how about we use that to get prepared and help our fellow man as a whole.

    If more disasters are going to happen more frequently then we need to act more like the Japanese.

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  30. @ Ranchermom, I am glad you agree with me.

    @ Becca, thank you.

    @ Jung, thanks.

    @ Cakeologist, thank you.

    @ Ditz, thanks for agreeing.

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  31. No one or nation could ever be prepared for tragedies like this. I think blame is an automatic response. Instead, we need to just help, help, help.
    Thanks for this post.
    xoRobyn

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  32. I choose to say nothing on the topic. hope it works out.

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  33. @ Robyn, that is very true.

    @ Mack, ok.

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  34. May I send you a big THANK YOU! In the wake of such tragedy, it is a glorious thing to see the people of Japan remain respectful of each other--no looting, or other equally appalling behavior. How they have responded to the destruction has been nothing short of honorable, but I have to wonder how many people around the globe truly recognize it. I'm so glad you posted as much.

    On the negative side...another THANK YOU. Some of the talking heads need to be gagged or something. Seriously. It's annoying, disrespectful, and just plain stupid.

    My prayers are with all of Japan.

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  35. The Australian Government has sent acutal people to help in the hardest hit areas but you won't see that on CNN or any other American news channel. Also, China has sent a large contingent.

    The reason the power plants are near the ocean is that they use sea water to cool the towers.

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  36. The UK Government have sent search and discovery teams.

    http://www.dfid.gov.uk/japanearthquake

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  37. @ Virgin, thank you. I am glad you agree.

    @ Tracey, well that is something that was not reported here. That much is true.

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  38. I agree with your thoughts. Nothing to argue with her! Good post sir!

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  39. I have to wonder about the people in the US buying those doomsday bunkers and radiation kits that are "flying off the shelves" (according to CNN). Holy cow how stupid...

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  40. @ Manager, thank you sir.

    @ Wye, I have not heard about that. But I must say that it does not shock me in the least as we have some really dumb people living here.

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