Monday, March 14, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day Week: the Greening

Just think- in three days we'll celebrate the feast day of just one of the saints who rescued Ireland from darkness and illiteracy.


Things really don't look good for Japan right now.

Some happy news: a tsunami victim is rescued 10 miles out to sea:

A 60-year-old man has been found on the roof of his floating house nearly 10 miles out at sea, two days after the tsunami that devastated the north-east coast of Japan.

Hiromitsu Shinkawa must have resigned himself to his fate when he was swept away by the retreating tsunami that roared ashore in his home town of Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture.

As the wave approached, Shinkawa took the fateful decision to return home to collect belongings. Minutes later he was out at sea clinging to a piece of the roof from his own home.

Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.

Something to think about:

Japan is not Haiti, and how do I know? Well, I was living just outside of Kobe when the monstrous jishin (earthquake) hit in January 1995 and virtually destroyed the center of a major Japanese city, killing 6,600 people covering a 20-mile swath. I was right in the middle. Down the street from where I lived, a seven-story apartment building ended up being four stories. My next door neighbor died from a collapsed roof. When the quake hit, I thought it was a bomb going off.
Here's what didn't happen:
~There was no looting or breaking into food stores.
~There was no time for trying to blame anyone.
~There was no one cutting in the front of the line to get water.
~There were no calls to lawyers.
Here is what did happen:

~The people in the Kobe area were not waiting around for a US aircraft carrier.

~The military was deployed immediately to dig and search.
~The Yakuza (Japanese mafia) were the early suppliers of medical supplies and food (they had the connections and the means to get the materials to the folks).
~Within days, temporary housing was being constructed all over the area.
~Within days, portable showers and toilet facilities were set up all over the area.
~Within days, supermarkets were opened, and the queues stretched endlessly as they could only let a few people in the stores at a time. There was no anger, yelling, blaming, looting, or cutting-in-front.
~Within hours, clean-up began by everyone— students, teachers, seniors, Yakuza, politicians. Everyone seemed to be contributing in some way.
As a foreigner, I was treated like everyone else, and by the time I left Japan four years later, I would say 90% of the entire city of Kobe had been rebuilt (and consider that New York has been unable to erect a couple of building at Ground Zero now for going on 10 years).
So like I said, Japan is not Haiti— nor New Orleans. They don't need us…That is not to say they would not be unappreciative of any assistance, but probably the best thing we can do is provide portable medical facilities, staffing (if requested), and search-sniffing dogs.

Japan has avoided mob rule and the Kanye West babbling moron mode.

"George Bush doesn't like Japanese people."


Japan's Resilience.

Also related: South Korean soap opera actors care about their afflicted fans in Japan (that's nice of them).

Canadian doctors are shocked that parents would choose what they think is best for their ill child.

I have an idea: let's cut Pakistan off:

The UK’s most senior Catholic has hit out at the British Foreign Secretary for operating an “anti-Christian foreign policy”. Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s comments come as the UK Government announced plans to double overseas aid to Pakistan to more than £445 million, without requiring any commitment to religious freedom for Christians.
Earlier this month the only Christian in the Pakistani government’s cabinet, Shahbaz Bhatti, was shot dead by gunmen in Islamabad. He had previously spoken out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Noting the various attacks on Christians, the Cardinal said that conditions should be attached to any aid payments, requiring a definite commitment to protection for Christians and other religious minorities – including Shia Muslims.
Cardinal O’Brien’s comments come on the day a new audit of human rights reveals that;

75% of all religious persecution around the world is now directed against Christians.

100 million Christians around the world are now facing persecution


Because we can't forget Sarah Palin:

Politico's lead story on the Monday following Japan's earthquake leads with "Al Sharpton, Alaska version," and goes on to attack the former Alaska Governor for defending herself from the relentless mud-slinging thinly disguised as enlightened political rhetoric.

Did Politico forget about the devastating earthquake in Japan? How? Seriously- it's on, like, every channel. Is attacking one American political figure more important an enormous seismic event?


And now, bad St. Patrick's Day cakes. Really bad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Smart people don't like Kanye West. That is a dog in a sweater, though, ain't it. (Never seen anything like that before!)