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Old 2011-10-04, 12:34   Link #2381
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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All disasters are bad. I agree with TRL's view we sometimes overlook the less-favored parts of the world, especially if they're not historically, culturally, or economically linked to our own home country. So I can understand why someone might get the impression Japan got a bloated amount of attention after their disaster. For instance, I recall hearing next to nothing about Cyclone Nargis when it hit in 2008, despite it being one of the deadliest cyclones recorded (same can be said of Sichuan and Kashmir quakes).

I can also understand why pointing this out might ruffle Enzo and Mystique's feathers a bit. Certainly, any place in need deserves our help and attention and we shouldn't scoff at others attempts to help, however minor. It's an undeniable point, however, regardless which side of the fence you're standing on, that well-off countries like Japan and the US (9/11, Katrina) get perhaps an undeserved degree of attention compared to less-fortunate sectors of the globe. That doesn't mean we should lessen our attempts to help places like Japan, on the contrary we could always do more. What it does say, to me, though, is we really need to be a bit more egalitarian in our efforts to help nations following disaster. That much, I think anyone can agree on.
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Old 2011-10-04, 13:25   Link #2382
Vexx
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You tend to help the people you feel more connected to - that's just basic human behavior. Giving someone a hard time for helping people they have more connection to? I'm not really following the point and its a bit hard not to think there's just a bit of grouchy balloon-bursting going on here

edit:
I have to say.... as an engineer I think nuclear power is a tech that *could* work but that it will *never* work because the thing is run by people either too incompetent or too greedy to do it right. They certainly don't do their cost-benefit and risk assessment analyses worth a squat or maybe they just ignore the results from the "wack engineers who don't understand the big picture" ... the "big picture" usually turns out to be "my wallet needs to be fatter" of course...

... and I kind of understand the intent of TRL and Jinto, I just think the thread stepped into a 'hard to articulate' verbal minefield.
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Last edited by Vexx; 2011-10-04 at 21:33.
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Old 2011-10-25, 07:37   Link #2383
andyjay729
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http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/envoy/20...143640503.html

Creepy thought there. I've read that after the Krakatoa eruption in Indonesia, blocks of pumice drifted across the Indian Ocean to Africa in ensuing years--sometimes with bearing human bones.
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Old 2011-10-25, 12:55   Link #2384
Vexx
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There's almost certainly lots of things in the floating debris mattress.... I'll be surprised if the Japanese don't perform some sort of cursory examination of the mess. Heck, the *fishing nets* are worth going after (they cost a fortune and are often salvaged).
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Old 2011-10-25, 17:19   Link #2385
Zetsubo
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I have a friend, who is a member of the poor side of his family.

He and his mom are often, left out and dealt with harshly because they are from the poor side.

His cousins, are from the wealthy side of the family... they together will go at extreme lengths to help each other.

When it came time for my friend to go to college... the wealthier side of family didn't want to take him in as he had to come to their side of the world to live.

He had to eventually struggle and go it on his own.

His cousin, was immediately taken in by the same family that rejected my friend.

They say... that even among family... the poor members are sometimes scorned.
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Old 2011-11-03, 11:13   Link #2386
TinyRedLeaf
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Japan's barriers that never seem to go away
Quote:
Kamaishi, Japan (Nov 3, Thu): After three decades and nearly US$1.6 billion, work on Kamaishi's great tsunami breakwater was completed three years ago.

Nearly 2km long, over 60m deep and jutting nearly 6m above the water, the quake-resistant structure made it into the Guinness World Records last year and rekindled fading hopes of revival in this rusting former steel town.

But when a giant tsunami hit Japan's north-east on March 11, the breakwater largely crumpled under the first 9m-high wave, leaving Kamaishi defenceless. Waves deflected from the breakwater are strongly suspected of contributing to the 18m waves that engulfed communities north of it.

Its performance that day, coupled with its past failure to spur the growth of new businesses, suggested that the breakwater would be written off as yet another of the white-elephant construction projects littering rural Japan.

But Tokyo quickly and quietly decided to rebuild it as part of the reconstruction of the tsunami-ravaged zone, at a cost of at least US$650 million.

After the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, some Japanese leaders vowed that the disasters would give birth to a new Japan, the way the end of World War II had done. A creative reconstruction of the north-east, where Japan would showcase its leadership in dealing with a rapidly ageing and shrinking society, was supposed to lead the way.

But as details of the government's reconstruction spending emerge, signs are growing that Japan has yet to move beyond a postwar model that enriched the country but ultimately left it stagnant for the past two decades.

As the story of Kamaishi's breakwater suggests, the kind of cosy ties between government and industry that contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster are driving much of the reconstruction — and the fight for a share of the US$120 billion budget expected to be approved in a few weeks.

CONTINUED ON NYT
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Old 2011-11-05, 01:38   Link #2387
Terrestrial Dream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Speaking of repeating a failed result.



From what I understand Japan with their all their defecit should be wiser when it comes to their budget.
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Old 2011-11-05, 11:52   Link #2388
andyjay729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Unfortunately a lot of right-wingers (especially Americans) will use this as another example of the folly of economic government stimulus. Since this tsunami barrier failed, it would only be folly to build another, taller one. And certainly the government mustn't spend a single yen on rebuilding the destroyed cities and roads. /sarc

And yes, I realize that the public well is not inexhaustible, and I also feel that governments of all levels MUST try to pick and choose their spending carefully. For instance, 2011 saw a record number of FEMA disaster declarations throughout the US. However, a number of those declarations were somewhat questionable, as exemplified in the beginning of this article with Vermont's flooding in June versus the much more significant damage from Hurricane Irene just a few months later. There was also all the declarations for heavy snow at the start of the year versus the major tornadoes last spring and Texas' punishing drought and wildfires. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but especially in a time of strained finances, governments of all levels should always try to remember a true "rainy day".

But again, we still cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. Going back to earthquakes, already a lot of fuss is being made about the replacement of the Alaskan Way freeway viaduct in Seattle. They say it'll become a "white elephant project" like Boston's Big Dig...but consider that some of the faultlines around Seattle are very similar to the one that broke off Japan, and some evidence suggests quakes on the scale of the Tohoku disaster have happened there in past. Meanwhile that viaduct is not ready for such a disaster. So replacement of the viaduct, like reconstruction of Japan's tsunami defenses, is an expensive yet necessary investment to be made in America's infrastructure (especially considering that the road runs right by Seattle's busy port and carries a lot of cargo).

As for the issue of corruption in the construction efforts... Yes, I know it's easier said than done, and perhaps I'm being way too naive about some types of people in the public and private sectors, but surely there must be some people with senses of ethics in Japan's government-construction company liaisons, as well as in the Washington State Department of Transportation. With the Japanese government currently carrying out large PR campaigns to boost the country's safe image and bring back tourist money after the quake, taking a harder line against Yakuza influence in reconstruction programs can't be a bad thing in improving their image. If anything, the corruption and incompetence in the Big Dig and New Orleans should be held up as examples of what NOT to do. Again, we can't afford to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The people of the devastated towns can't live in "temporary" barracks forever, and if the Alaskan Way is left to collapse in the inevitable major earthquake, the results will be much more tragic.

Last edited by andyjay729; 2011-11-05 at 13:36.
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Old 2011-11-06, 08:17   Link #2389
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post

From what I understand Japan with their all their defecit should be wiser when it comes to their budget.
I think the reason is that nobody really knows how to get past the stagnation. I call it the "growth block" as akin to writer's block, there aren't many ideas left.

IMO, the real problem is with the societal control with "Japanese values", etc. Sure as they keep morality of the society on track, though being too hardcore about it isn't going to lead things anywhere.

I guess the only thing we can do is to watch the yen, since the Japanese are pretty confident about their currency; and that signifies the economy mover as a whole.
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Old 2011-11-06, 22:21   Link #2390
Fahd
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From the NYT article:
Quote:
The insistence on rebuilding breakwaters and sea walls reflects a recovery plan out of step with the times, critics say, a waste of money that aims to protect an area of rapidly declining population with technology that is a proven failure.

Japan’s dwindling resources would be better spent merging destroyed communities into inland “compact towns” offering centralized services, critics say.
That to me is really the crux of the argument. The havoc caused by this tsunami whilst tragic offers an opportunity to change the (social) direction of the north-east. Rebuilding (or even repairing) an expensive seawall which took ~30 years (1978 - 2008) to build, failed on its first major tsunami, and for a community that may only number a few thousand retirees when the next tsunami turns up sounds like economic madness.
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Old 2011-11-07, 00:42   Link #2391
Ithekro
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Means they need something more variable, and (because this is Japan) high tech. Energy Shielding.
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Old 2011-11-07, 01:05   Link #2392
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Means they need something more variable, and (because this is Japan) high tech. Energy Shielding.
Water would short out the barriers. Unless you are talking about lightwave barriers.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-11-11, 19:24   Link #2393
Vexx
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Probably easier to solve the elemental sorcery magical girl shortage than to use energy barriers
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Old 2011-11-11, 20:11   Link #2394
Ithekro
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Well it would be able to be a variable size to stop any size wave.
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Old 2011-11-14, 11:45   Link #2395
Zetsubo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I think the reason is that nobody really knows how to get past the stagnation. I call it the "growth block" as akin to writer's block, there aren't many ideas left.

IMO, the real problem is with the societal control with "Japanese values", etc. Sure as they keep morality of the society on track, though being too hardcore about it isn't going to lead things anywhere.

I guess the only thing we can do is to watch the yen, since the Japanese are pretty confident about their currency; and that signifies the economy mover as a whole.
Oh... do not think Japan has run out of ideas.

What has happened is that Japan has run out of great leaders.

How many Heisei period Prime Ministers has Japan had to the date of this post ?

15

2 of whom had less that 70 days in office.

Bad boy Koizumi Junichiro is the longest serving of all... and well he had relatively good results... but since Zumi-san left office... in 2006 there have been 6 Prime Ministers in less than 6 years !!!!


No developed nation can progress beyond stagnation with such rapidly changing leadership.

Political growth, Political will, is essential for the other aspects of any nation to grow.
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Old 2011-11-15, 05:04   Link #2396
TinyRedLeaf
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How Japan has changed since the quake
Quote:
By Yoichi Suzuki
for The Straits Times

...Japan faces tremendous challenges: changing demographics, huge public debts and the ever-pressing need to open up the country further to remain competitive. Japan has been seen as somewhat missing in vigour to respond to these challenges and transform itself. I believe we are now better disposed to meet them...

...The experience of receiving help from the international community, including the visits to the affected areas and people by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other foreign leaders, made us realise how much we are related to the world.

The same can be said about our perception of defence and alliance. Alliance was for many Japanese an abstract notion. During Operation Tomodachi ("friendship", the United States Armed Forces relief effort after the earthquake and tsunami), many Japanese people witnessed US soldiers in action. We are deeply grateful...

...We somehow thought we could live somewhat detached from the outside world. The hesitation to open up Japan further arises from this sentiment to a large extent. Our recent experiences will see some change to such attitudes...


The writer is the Japanese ambassador to Singapore. The commentary is adapted from a speech he delivered on Oct 24 at a forum at Tembusu College, part of the National University of Singapore's U-Town campus.
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Old 2011-12-08, 19:38   Link #2397
Terrestrial Dream
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Japan using quake disaster budget for whaling aid
Quote:
TOKYO —
Japan on Wednesday confirmed it planned to use some of the public funds earmarked for quake and tsunami reconstruction to boost security for its controversial annual whaling hunt.

Greenpeace charged that Tokyo was siphoning money from disaster victims by spending an extra 2.28 billion yen ($30 million) on beefed up security amid looming battles between the whaling fleet and environmental groups.

Japan’s whaling fleet left port Tuesday for this season’s annual hunt in Antarctica, with the coast guard saying earlier that it would deploy an unspecified number of guards to protect it from anti-whaling activists.

Fisheries Agency official Tatsuya Nakaoku said the extra security was designed to ensure safer hunts, and ultimately help coastal towns that largely depend on whaling to recover from the March 11 disasters.

“The government will support the reconstruction effort of a whaling town and nearby areas,” he told AFP Wednesday.

“This program can help it reconstruct food processing plants there… Many people in the area eat whale meat, too. They are waiting for Japan’s commercial whaling to resume,” he added.

In February, Japan cut short its hunt for the 2010-2011 season by one month after bagging only one fifth of its planned catch, blaming interference from the U.S.-based environmental group Sea Shepherd.

Last month, Japan passed a 12.1 trillion yen extra budget, the third this year, to finance post-quake reconstruction and revive the economy reeling from the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

About 498.9 billion yen was earmarked for fisheries-related spending, including 2.28 billion yen for “stabilizing whaling research.”

“We will bolster measures against acts of sabotage by anti-whaling groups so as to stably carry out the Antarctic whaling research,” the fisheries department said after the budget was passed.

Commercial whaling is banned under an international treaty but Japan has since 1987 used a loophole to carry out “lethal research” on the creatures in the name of science.

Japan says it is necessary to substantiate its view that there is a robust whale population in the world, but makes no secret of the fact that whale meat from this research ends up on dinner tables and in restaurants.

Anti-whaling nations and environmentalist groups routinely condemn the activity as a cover for commercial whaling.
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Old 2011-12-08, 22:29   Link #2398
sa547
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Looks like some of them are really desperate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
I'll not be surprised soon if some determined extremists, becoming tired of using non-lethal methods, would start using surplus torpedoes or RPGs to sink whaling ships.
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Old 2011-12-08, 23:21   Link #2399
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Looks like some of them are really desperate.



I'll not be surprised soon if some determined extremists, becoming tired of using non-lethal methods, would start using surplus torpedoes or RPGs to sink whaling ships.
If they do this, they might lose much of their support. Plus they might even end up to be considered as pirate with all the consequence.
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Old 2011-12-09, 08:35   Link #2400
Random32
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Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
If they do this, they might lose much of their support. Plus they might even end up to be considered as pirate with all the consequence.
They are already doing things that would get anyone else considered a pirate/terrorist. And they get widespread support still.
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