The frightening news out of Japan cannot help but hold our attention, as heroic engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station continue to try to save the plant’s crippled nuclear reactors from meltdown.
But, in addition to the devastating TV news reports, please do yourself a favor and read Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s essay on her memories and reflections as the terrifying and heartbreaking news from Japan continues to unfold. It will be in Tuesday’s New York Times. Here is how it opens:
ON Aug. 9, 1945, my great-uncle was out fishing in the Pacific, far enough away from Nagasaki, Japan, that he missed the immediate impact of the atomic bomb dropped by the Americans that day. My great-aunt was in their new house outside Nagasaki; the entire family had only a few days earlier fled the city because my great-uncle feared a repeat of the bombing of Hiroshima.
I heard this story many times during my childhood. Back then, it made me feel that my great-uncle was a clever man. As an adult, I realized he was also very lucky, because cleverness alone cannot keep you safe.
For 36 hours after the earthquake and tsunami that eviscerated the east coast of Japan on Friday, I was unable to get any word from my relatives who oversee and live in our family’s Buddhist temple in Iwaki City, south of Sendai, the biggest city near the epicenter. I wondered if they too were lucky and smart.
I wanted to know, and I did not want to know. I dipped into the world of the Internet, with its videos of water raging over the farmland and crushed ferries, and then quickly backed out. Not looking at the videos kept reality at bay, because the images of the coastline do not match the Japan that I know….
JERRY NEEDS FOUR REPUBLICANS TO PASS THE BUDGET, BUT WILL THE CRP’S THREATS PREVENT IT
Madeleine Brand had Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters on her show Monday to talk about how bleak the chances are that any Republican legislators will vote for Brown’s proposed budget.
According to Cal Buzz, it is not so much that certain moderate Republicans wouldn’t cross over party lines, as it is the fact that the California Republican Party is out-and-out threatening any Repubs who vote with the governor. Specifically, if they do the California Republican Assembly has proposed a resolution that…..
“….censures these traitorous Republicans-in-Name-Only, ask(s) for their resignation(s) from their positions within the California Republican Party, pledges to endorse and support efforts to recall them from office, and directs the California Republican Party staff, agents and officers to refuse to provide them with funding or assistance in future elections.”
Nice. That’s really putting the good of the state first. Well done, guys.
THE ART OF THE POLICE REPORT & NONEXISTENT APOLOGIES
Both of these stories were linked by Kevin Roderick at LA Observed:
First there is LAPD crime analyst and fellow Bennington MFA graduate, Ellen Collett, who has written a delicious piece that appears in the Utne Reader about the art of writing a good crime report, and a South LA cop named Martinez who is her favorite practitioner.
Roderick also links to the “correction” run by the LA Weekly’s Simon Wilson pursuant to her creepy, insensitive and marginally assaultive coverage of the February Tahrir Square attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan, coverage that was criticized by a number of other women journalists, myself included.
Not only does Wilson fail to apologize (which was what was called for), but her correction, such as it is, also manages to be creepy and vaguely assaultive.
The LA Weekly reported earlier in the day on February 15 that Logan had been raped, based on language in a press release from CBS. The CBS release said Logan had suffered a “brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating.”
But did the attack constitute rape? The legal definition of rape is penetration with any object, to any extent — the most extreme form of sexual assault. Experts on legal language have since informed us that CBS’ description of the incident implies repeated rape, but the Weekly has not been able to determine what occurred. CBS declines all further comment.
Therefore, we conclude that we erroneously interpreted CBS’ report of what happened to Logan on February 11, 2011.
Gee, thanks Simone, for the graphic “legal definition.” Very helpful.
Next time you have the desire to make things better, please don’t.
The photo of Sutter Brown, the state’s official First Dog, contemplating budgetary matters with the governor, was taken by Brown political adviser, Steve Glazer.