Category Archives: Japan

Painful Memories Linger

The people of Japan live with the memory of what their soldiers did during World War II. From 1941 to 1945 they occupied China and proceeded to murder at least four million people. Their invading army occupied the city of Nanking and proceeded to rape over 100,000 women as well as killing untold thousands. During the war, Japanese soldiers murdered captured prisoners, they beheaded US pilots, in the name of their emperor and society. One would assume with this track record, Japanese officials would apologize for their atrocities. No such apology has ever been given.

The people of Germany inflicted the Holocaust on six million Jews and murdered over 30 million other Europeans. Since the end of WWII, Germany has engaged in excellent education programs to ensure its youth remembers what their grandparents did. However, Japanese officials refuse to acknowledge any wrong doing. Dozens of Japanese lawmakers, including members of the Cabinet, visited a shrine dedicated to those  who murdered and raped.

What will it take to persuade Japan to accept responsibility for the horrors it inflicted upon the innocent?

Rocky Road For Japan And China

There are occasions in life when nations have absolutely no reason to become upset, but for some officials the opportunity to let the nation know they will not back down is a wonderful photo op. There are five uninhabited islands which lie off the coast of China or Japan or Taiwan depending on how one gazes out from their place of origin. There have been mass demonstrations in China and Japan as people riot over islands which they could not locate on a map.

Actually, no one even agrees on the name of these islands. They are eitherthe Senkaku or Diaoyu islands depending on whether you are Japanese or Chinese. Now, do you want to know the real reason for this great dispute? Take one guess. OK, you are right, it is all about the POSSIBILITY of oil in the vicinity fo the islands.

Ah, we have come a long way from the time when China was being bossed around by a bunch of European nations of invaded by Japanese soldiers.

Anyone for common sense??

G8 Ain’t Happy Time For Many

There will be another meeting of G8 leaders who will gather in Chicago in order to discuss the state of world economies. Protesters will gather in the near vicinity of these illustrious heads of states, but it is doubtful if their words or sounds will ever reach the ears of those with power. One young protester summed up feelings of his group: “All we want to do is work, to her able to support ourselves. But, thanks to the rich being greedy, we can’t even do that.”

First, let us clear up some confusion.  Those who are rich are wealthy because they are wealthy. Protesters seek to transform a billionaire into someone who has to survive on a few hundred million. God has ordained that those with money are his favorite children. Just ask them. Let me make clear to those protesting, please check out the garbage area of hotels and you will find ample food for an evening’s mail.

Idiot’s Delight In Japanese Government

There is increasing evidence the modern world is led by men and women who lack something we might term as “common sense.” The people of Japan were hit by a huge tsunami which devastated the country and resulted in the death of thousands. Of course, having nuclear plants build in areas which might be hit be waves from the ocean was not the brightest idea in the world. A few months ago the Minister for Disaster Management was fired for making insulting remarks.

So, along comes a new Minister for Disaster Management and he proceeds to be a public relations disaster. Tatsuo Hirano explained to the media what happened when the waves hit. “There were those who  moved to safety and thought, w’ll be safe here.’ Then, there w ere idiots like my old comrade who didn’t take shelter. He is dead now.”

OK, we all might be guilty of a slip of the tongue. But, terming people who died, not due to their own fault, as being”idiots” is hardly what one expects from government officials. Just another example of  idiots calling others idiots.

Oh, Tatsuo did apologize, sort of. “I apologize if my remarks upset anyone.”

To Nuke Or Not To Nuke?

To develop nuclear energy plants or not to build nuclear energy plants is now the question of the hour. The disaster in Japan provides evidence constructing nuclear plants in area which are subject to earthquakes may not be the most responsible manner of dealing with nuclear energy At least two Japanese nuclear plants are sending out radiation into the atmosphere and it is still uncertain whether or not one of these plants will explode. Those involved in development of nuclear energy are now rethinking the entire process and wondering if it is possible to secure from governments and local populations support for these edifices. Frankly, we do not know how to deal with this issue, but we do know it must be confronted and those within the physical environs of such plants should be provided the economic means to leave if they fear for their safety.

It is a tough call, but if an individual is living in the area they should have the right to leave–and be paid for their homes. On the other hand, perhaps we could use a nice controlled atomic disaster. It at least would create jobs.


I was raised in an east European Jewish Socialist working class neighborhood in the Bronx, New York City. I guess today, they would term us, “disadvantaged,” but we call ourselves, “poor” and that did not mean we felt any disadvantage. I learned Street Corner Wisdom. Some, I retain, other aspects of this “wisdom” have been discarded.


When playing stickball, hit the ball where they ain’t.

Always trust an Irish politician, he keeps his word.

When walking in a strange neighborhood, walk on heels, not toes. Toe walking is too aggressive.

Never rat on anyone.

Jewish girls don’t do IT. Irish girls DO.

Never sign a paper. Your handshake is your word.

Teachers never go to the toilet. Where they go is the mystery of life.

Never vote for a Republican. They are for the rich.

If you see a police car coming, just run.

Never step on a blade of grass growing out of the pavement.


I noticed there is an online discussion about Where is God in Japan? I assume the inference is since thousands of innocent humans died due to an earthquake and subsequent tusunami it means God has abandoned humanity. For some strange reason, if there is a calamity God is blamed for the calamity. If someone wins a lottery, the individual cites luck or their innate intelligence. I do not attend any church, mosque or synagogue since my interactions with the entity humans describe as “God” are strictly personal. The question certainly was posed during the Holocaust by millions. The assumption behind the question is that God’s duty is to prevent evil, and if brutality emerges anywhere in the world, it is His fault. In all honesty, I have thought about God when things go bad in my life, but, in the end, it is clear to me that my decisions are in one way or another the reason for my lack of money or lack of girl friends or lack of job or my inability to pay the mortgage. God has nothing to do with my calamity.

We humans kill one another by the millions, we allow a few wealthy people hoard our money and then most feel sorry if the poor, poor wealthy person is asked to share some of his money with fellow man. I would be more interested in the question of God’s relationship to the selfish, vicious group known as “the wealthy” who hoard money, who use their money to pay off legislatures and governments. Sorry, God is not the culprit for the Japanese calamity. Blame it on the people of Japan for mistakes.

God has enough problem wandering billions of planets to worry about an earthquake on one tiny little speck of dust in the universe.

Germany Says No To Nuclear Power

Chancellor Angela Merkel was for extending the life of her nation’s 17 nculear reactors before she read opinion polls that revealed most Germans opposed further nuclear development. She switched nuclear power in midstream which did not impress German voters. In the state of Baden-Wurttenberg which her party had controlled for over half a century, voters gave power to a Green -Social Democratic alliance. It is interesting that Merkel played the anti-Turkish card, but that did not appear to impress voters. People are primarily concerned about jobs, about the health and safety of their lives and hate just does no make the top ten list of what they want in their lives.

French elections showed the same trend as right wing political parties were voted down while Social Democrats rose in popularity. We suspect, England is next on the list.

On Use Of Nuclear Sources

Each day brings more bad news concerning the nuclear plants in Japan. Explosions at the plants raise fears of a devastating outcome that might impact, not merely the people of Japan, but other areas of Asia. What happens if a plant explodes and sends radiation into the atmosphere? We know from the Russian nuclear explosion in the 1980s that radiation could drift hundreds of miles and lead to many deaths as people become ill. At a time when oil prices are rising due to events in Libya and other areas of the Middle East, the attraction of nuclear power grows more enticing. As in any situation dealing with power or energy, the cost benefits must be examined. Is the risk worth the cost is a bottom line? Should we pursue nuclear energy in order to avoid being trapped in the oil vise of Middle Eastern nations?

Perhaps, events in Japan and the Middle East really make clear the importance of moving away from these sources of energy and investing huge amounts of money into wind or hydrogen or sun sources of energy that are renewable and not dependent upon human errors. Barack Obama has urged building trains. Why not end cars in major cities and require people to use trains? Why not make trains from suburban areas run like subways and then declare cars are off limits during week days?

Japan Confronts Aftermath Of Disaster

There is little one can add to the story of what has happened to the people of Japan. The media depicts the horror of a tsunami and its effects in dramatic visual images while reporters tell tales of fear, disaster and a world suddenly gone mad as people scramble to survive. Each day, figures rise as to the number of dead from the initial one thousand estimate to figures reaching over ten thousand or even twenty thousand. Meanwhile, two nuclear plants are leaking radiation and fears grow of an atomic explosion. It would be ironic if an atomic blast rocked Japan, the only nation in the world to have the experience of a nuclear devastation –aside from one incident in Russia twenty years ago. Meanwhile life goes on and stories emerge of those hoarding supplies of food and water and other necessities. It has been too long since the people of Japan, as a society, confronted disaster and now emotions of life in a capitalist society emerge. Fear, greed, me, are emotions now all too common.

Eventually, the people of Japan will have worked their way through these troubled times. Eventually, they will decide whether or not to continue an atomic energy power policy. In the meantime, bodies emerge from the wreckage. In the meantime, each person must confront his or her obligation to society.