Things seem to be going from bad to worse and even beyond in Japan. I skimmed an article today written by Cynthia Tucker that emphasized a point that I have made in talking to others. That would be the dependence upon and even faith that we have in technology. Her article drew an analogy between the tragedy in Haiti and the three-pronged tragedy that has occurred in Japan. In an underdeveloped country such as Haiti, one would somewhat expect a natural disaster to cause the enormous devastation that took place. But, one of, if not the most technologically advanced countries in the world, with all of its preparation has still incurred enormous devastation of its own from the tsunami and earthquake. This holds a lesson for other advanced countries, particularly one that has a significant population in the Pacific Ring of Fire( Hint, hint, San Francisco,etc).
But there are still other ironies that are hard to ignore.Japan , of course, is the only county ever to suffer the effects of a nuclear attack. Now, it is incurring an as yet undetermined effect from damaged nuclear power plants. I think that there are some points to be made vis-a-vis Japan and its reliance on nuclear power to generate its electricity. One would almost think that Japan is the mpst nuclear dependent country in the world. Japan’s 54 reactors produce about 30% of its electricity. That figure puts the country as the 15th most nuclear dependent country, far behind both Lithuania and France,both of which get over 75% of their electricity via the nuclear route.
But, having said that, what still nags at me the most is that of which I spoke at the onset. Technology is not the cure-all and science does not nor will it ever have all the answers. Yet, we( meaning the United States primarily, but others to be sure) think that if we throw enough money or scientific knowhow out there, that anything is possible. Sometimes, it makes me to just want to unplug, sorta the human equivalent of acoustic music, huh?
- Japan Earthquake vs Haiti Earthquake (anadder.com)
- Japan vs Haiti: Why The Disparity? (anadder.com)
- The irony (ourdinnertable.wordpress.com)
- What can we ‘Learn from Nature’, from the Japanese disaster? A great deal… (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
Today, we are privileged to hear the words of two of Hollywood’s leading actors. Both have been honored for their acting achievements, twice winning Best Actor Oscars. Both are somewhat to the left politically, which is not at all uncommon in their industry. The estranged wife of one actor was actually the costar of the other in one of his Oscar-winning roles. And, both, albeit in a different manner, seem compelled to voice their views from time to time.
Shame, shame if you have not correctly identified Tom Hanks and Sean Penn by now. Upfront, i will admit to enjoying several of Hanks movies, although not lately. As for Mr Penn, not so much.
So, what pearls do they share with us today ? One is political, one not so much. Hanks is a big Obama supporter and had this to say today about the President;s performance.He id doing a spectacular job in the face of this insanity he said on MSNBC today. Another Obama opinion, but first something he said about health care. This comment was framed in light of those who he sees as obstructing the progress of health care reform. To paraphrase, he referenced an un-named member of Congress whose resistance is that kind of thing that would prevent a parent from being able to take their feverish child to the hospital. He does know that hospital er’s must see a patient regardless of insurance? He knows that, right?
Ok, the other Obama reference. “We have elected a wise, calm, man.” Your opinion of that is your own.
Now, the angry Sean Penn. He is in Haiti, presumably at his own expense doing relief work. Good for him, But that does not square up with he told CBS reporter Lara Logan. He was asked if his work in Haiti is a n attempt to distract people from his high-profile divorce from Robin Wright Penn. I read this response several times and will probably watch “Sunday Morning” this weekend to hear it. He said he was too busy to pay much attention to his critics, but he had time for this phrase. “Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer?” Yeah, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on it.” Wonder what tortuous fate he would wished for had he given it some thought? Good freakin’ grief!!
So, folks, there you have it. Two of Hollywood’s finest.
Or,”who’s in charge here? Alas, this well could describe the situation in the earthquake ravaged Haiti. ( By the way, we know now what caused the earthquake. Hugo Chavez has announced that it was caused by a new U S weapon. His statement would by ludicrous beyond belief if not for the fact that there are people who will believe it. And others who blame it on George Bush.) Now back to our original subject.
My son and I were talking briefly about things in Haiti and one or both of us commented on Haiti’s state before the earthquake. They already had a barely functioning government and crushing poverty and now this devastation caused by a massive earthquake. Virtually anywhere else in the world would have better positioned to deal with the aftermath than Haiti.
So, what is happening there? The country’ s leadership is either dead or invisible. The United Nations has suffered grave losses in personnel and facilities so who takes charge, provided security, operates the airport etc.? It seems, almost by default, that the U S military has taken charge ( see title quote by Francois Rabelas) of the country in a sense. And that brings a vast amount of criticism, from numerous sources.
People such as our friend Chavez, good ol Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua, the group Doctors Without Borders, Bolivian leader Evo Morales, various French groups and other humanitarian groups. Our troops are in a no-win position. Someone has to do what they are doing. And no , they are not there to occupy the country. Without some semblance of order the over one billion dollars that has been pledged so far will be squandered, stolen or worse.Our own Time magazine is calling it a” compassionate invasion.” Thanks for nothing fellows.
82nd Airborne troops are already there, probably some Marines and Navy as well as directed by Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen. So, just one question, maybe two for all these clowns who are protesting. Who do want to handle all this stuff ? Political commentator Janet Daley, writing in the U K Telegraph called it a case of ” America is always wrong, part 85.” Reckon the French are just jealous. She made this telling point. If our interventions are kept to a minimum, they are “callous” and ” selfish.” If we accept full responsibility we are engaged in “imperialist occupation.”
For the troops that are there, I wish you God speed. We know you will do your country proud.
The Senate race in Massachusetts is coming down the homestretch with the election just a couple of days away. Republican Scott Brown has an excellent chance to win over Democrat Martha ( Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan) Coakley. It seems that the Democrats are pulling out all the stops now.
Chuck Schumer has blasted Brown, the Dems have run an unauthorized commercial “borrowing” the UPS advertising slogan and have been told to stop. Bill Clinton is even linking Coakley’s election and aid to Haiti. He called them ” two sides of the same coin.” And these are just the politicians talking.
Members of the mainstream media are chiming in as well. Two of the most intriguing/outrageous examples both work for MSNBC. Our old friend Chris Matthews longs for the day when one could just by enough votes. Shucks, that might still happen. An even better line comes from Ed Schultz who says he would vote 10 times if he lived in Massachusetts. “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out.” Finally, an honest cheater.
All this in a state, uh, commonwealth, where registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans. Almost forgot, the President has visited as well. Who knows if that helped or hurt. If Coakley loses, the Democrats can always blame her for running a bad campaign or being a weak candidate. But they would not do that, would they?
Guess Tuesday will tell the tale.
The devastation in Haiti is almost incomprehensible to those of us watching on television. Former NBA player Alonzo Mourning, who is there hard at work says that the pictures do not come close to accurately portraying the magnitude of what has happened. So much tragedy and loss of life in a country that was already suffering. Even people who were there providing through the United Nations and other agencies became victims themselves.
Many will go, but most of us cannot. We can give as we are able and in so doing enable other to provide desperately needed assistance. Choose wisely the recipient of your donation, preferably one with whom you are familiar and who has a proven track record. The Red Cross is a great option as is Samaritan’s Purse, located in Boone, NC and ably directed by Franklin Graham.
One interesting thing I noticed is the president announcing that the United States fund-raising effort will be jointly led by former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. That to me is a unique and wonderful feature of our style of government. I commend them both for their willingness to serve.
Oh, by the way. There are elements of the media that are almost inexorably comparing Obama and Haiti with Bush and Katrina. Ignore it if you can because it is totally unnecessary and misguided.
Pray for those who suffer and those who seek to aid them.
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