|Are you scared, are you really scared, ARE YOU REALLY, REALLY SCARED???|
The tsunami whacked a four reactor nuclear power plant shutting down its cooling systems and causing the reactors to fail. Some radio activity has been released. Reliable information suggests that areas within 50 miles endured some contamination, but so far none of it appears lethal. There is much to learn. Take a look at the picture above.
The reactors could melt down, but the plants are designed to contain the damage. Given the special circumtances of this horror, the containment might not be completely successful. It won't be as bad as Chernobyl that laid to waist a huge piece of real estate in the Ukraine. More than 50 people died as a direct result of the reactor's explosion. How many died from the far reaching effects vary tremendously from those who try to minimize it to those who madly exploit it. Surely, somewhere in the low thousands sounds most realistic. Take a look at the picture above.
The worst case scenario in Japan would suggest a Chernobyl like experience is almost impossible. It's way too soon to talk about permanent damage or how bad this will be. By this time next week, much more will be known.Take a look at the picture above.
Even if things blew up like Chernobyl, damage would not travel across the Pacific Ocean and harm the United States. Sure there would be a radio-active cloud. Sure detection devices would indicate an increase in radiation. Almost certainly on television news some blonde anchor girl who has roasted herself in a tanning bed and is frequently seen with a cell phone pressing against her ear who peered into CRT monitors for years, will be asking frightening rhetorical questions about what does this really mean to us, How much should YOU be concerned about YOUR safety.Take a look at the picture above.
The news coverage is all about the nukes, the nukes, the nukes, the nukes, and more about the nukes. When will they explode? Just how bad are they? Folks fear they're not getting the whole story? What should YOU do to be prepared?
Fact; Iodine pills have all but vanished from US suppliers as scared to death Americans have rushed to the stores to grab pills "just in case." Just in case of WHAT? We're probably much more likely to have one of our plants blowup and spew some radioactivity than anything resulting from Japan. Furthermore, folks who are ingesting iodine tablets, "just in case" are more likely to suffer severe harm from the Iodine tablets than any source of radiation. There's nothing that's going to expose anyone to what one would encounter with an x-ray or CAT scan. Folks gladly expose themselves to all kinds of radiation in pursuit of a lovely tan.
American local news has long specialized in "if it bleeds, it leads." Big fires, shootings, horrible accidents, and stuff blowing up gets the big lead story. Regardless of what happens, they have a tacky way of taking any story and then pretend to report -- so what does this mean to you? They can't come right out and say unless a person has friends or family in Japan, there's nothing to worry about.
Take a look at the picture above.
Alas, the media wants that image -- the atom, the mushroom cloud, the steaming nuke plant fixed in our minds. They want us anxious. They want us on the edge of our seats. They want us wondering what will happen next. Why? They know that's how they can get us to watch their sappy excuse for a newscast that spends more time on women's health issues than what's going on in the state legislature, local schools, or what the city or county government is wasting its money on.
The national news is doing much the same thing, but they'll also concern us whether Washington is doing all it can do. They'll get us all worked up whether Japan is being honest with us -- conspiracies get people worked up.
It's all about us -- terrible things are happening to the Japanese, wonderful people who work hard and have behaved themselves far beyond what Americans would achieve as witnessed by Hurricane Katrina. Things are horrible in the middle East. Qaddafi is killing his own people and now our planes are joining with other countries to enforce a no fly zone. Young men are killing other young men in our inner cities and low rent districts. The situation along the southwest border continues intolerable, and things are very scary in Juarez, Mexico. What's happening down there and how it is spilling into the United States where parts of Arizona are virtually occupied territory gets far too little press, but can that affect us? YOU BET IT CAN. Maryland is encouraging drawing the problem to the once called "Free State" -- well the Free State now offers in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Real Maryland kids will get bumped out of real Maryland colleges. WHO'S SCARED ABOUT THAT?
The media has proven to be sensationalistic and off focus while the American people are acting smug, helpless, and worried to death. It's all about us, all about me, me, me, and absolutely ME, ME, ME!!!
How are the Japanese folks coping? What do they need? Are kids getting food? Are old folk getting medical care? WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP OUT?
It's so screwed up right now, if a person from Japan just got off an airplane the yahoo-stupid American would be more likely to recoil in fear frightened that the Japanese visitor might be contaminated and could be contagious. Who'd walk up to that person, voice reassurance, "We're hear for you brother or sister?" and then wish that soul all the good fortune and blessings for him and his family.
2011 is off to a bad start. Terrible things are happening. However, how can the news report or hold up a big mirror that shows us just how ridiculous, petty, and narrow minded our public is as if we're all as thin skinned as Sarah Palin in some way or another. Speaking of the worst America has to offer, look who's off to the Middle East.
Big bad America is living up to its reputation no matter how many resources we've contributed to helping Japan. That's not sexy news and lots of folks don't want us spending our money on helping others ignorant that our best defense very well could be how well we treat our friends around the world.
Japan might be smouldering, but the United States is flaming out.