Tuesday, March 15, 2011

certainties of modern life, indeed

from "certainties of modern life upended in japan," in the new york times, we read:
In a country that prides itself on its orderliness and predictability, these are very anxious times. While their brethren in the north pick up the pieces of lives smashed by an earthquake and tsunami, residents of Tokyo, which suffered relatively little damage, are wondering whether to trust government reports that the city is largely out of harm’s way.
it goes without saying that things have been turned upside down in japan, but that is hardly a new phenomenon in a country that lives under constant threat of quakes. and it hasn't been all that many decades since what we call "man's inhumanity to man" was irrevocably scorched into the psyche of a generation of survivors.

japanese know what it's like to get the shit kicked out of them.

what's more at issue here is somewhat weakly referred to as "trust in government," when a more honest appraisal is that they have found they were sold out by a government that was seduced by a western way of doing business, and sacrificed to the gods of commerce for a handful of gold pieces.

earthquakes are nothing new but being hung out to dry in the worst nuclear disaster in history is another matter altogether. these developments out of the nuclear plant were plainly predictable, left to the fates, while the connivers were well away from the scene of the crime, and counting their loot.

and make no mistake: what happened here is like what will happen again in all of our lifetimes, unless the public stands up and demands that corporations and the immoral thugs that run them are brought to heel. until there is no profit motive driving industries like nuclear power, there is no way to ensure that corners won't be cut, or compromises made, the wring an extra nickel of profit out of the enterprise.

whether nuclear can ever be made a safe source of electricity is doubtful -- at least with current tecchnology, and especially under a system that rewards dishonest players with financial rewards for shoddy and dangerous work. until the incentive to cheat and profit is removed, how can we trust corporations with the health and safety of the human race?

for the japanese, we hear about how we should pray. that seems a bit weak under the circumstances. what is needed is action on the part of all of humanity to foreclose the possibility that powerful interests will never be able to wreak havoc on a people as have the slimy capitalists of japan.

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