I left town last week for a little vacation, but really wanted to comment on Friday's "opinion" piece. I use the old quote unquote, because the so called opinion in this case was really nothing more than a Heritage Foundation talking point. I can't verify this and don't really feel the need to, but the fact that there were so many propaganda outlets talking about how there has been "no looting in Japan" (see the article reference in the Fox News blog here, note that they actually might be referring us to a source that isn't owned by news corp! -I could be wrong though-) makes it pretty obvious.
Friday's piece, entitled "Japanese response a model for the world" was wrong on so many levels, that it is difficult to know even where to begin. I've taken a few seconds to think it over, and I believe the best place to start is here - by pointing out that the article was just plain wrong, literally. As a few days have passed, there are a number of articles, but this one entitled "Japan earthquake: Looting reported by desperate survivors" discusses how there has been looting in Japan, quite a difference from the statement in The Oklahoman and other sick outlets that there has not.
So to what the article said specifically, and why they jumped the gun as they did on this situation. To begin, they state that "...What didn't happen, among other things of note, is an outbreak of widespread lawlessness such as looting or an epidemic of entitlement mentality as manifested by complaints among the populace about fuel, food or water shortages." Using phrases like "entitlement mentality" and "widespread lawlessness" are used for pretty obvious reasons, and that is to get the faithful reader of this disgusting rag to form an image of fat black Cadillac driving mammas who love to vote for Democrats and eat Cheetoes at taxpayer expense, and then loot like hell whenever there is a tragedy in their neighborhood. I think that is pretty safe to say.
The next statement is a lot more interesting, and takes some knowledge of Oklahoma City to know just how gross The Oklahoman really is. The statement "...After the Oklahoma City bombing, outside observers applauded the people here for pitching in and not taking advantage of a situation through lawlessness. Such an event tends to focus the attention of police and emergency personnel on the disaster, thereby leaving the rest of the city vulnerable. But the bombing isn't remembered for peripheral lawlessness."
Now, lets step back and think about this statement. The Oklahoman's David Thompson (President of the OPUBCO Publishing Group) has been a part of a viscous campaign against Oklahoma City's Police and Fire via his position at The OKC Chamber of Commerce and in the Editorial pages of The Oklahoman (I'll provide links soon). Something worth noting here might be that as a result of this, OKC had more Police and Fire in the days of The Murrah Bombing than they do now, despite the fact that the City is quite wealthier and has significantly more inhabitants. It would have been a good idea to point this out, but it would be too harmful to the stupid op ed pieces validity, on many levels. Since the Murrah Bombing can no longer be used as an ideological weapon for OKC's elites to get whatever they want (darn you 9-11!), it is best to sweep a lot of the realities of what happened back then under the rug, along with the heroes of that day.
The BBC quoted Christopher Beam as saying "...His other theories why there isn't any looting in Japan include the police presence and organised crime. "Police aren't the only ones on patrol since the earthquake hit," he says. "Members of Yakuza, Japan's organised crime syndicate, have been enforcing order." This suggests that not only does Japan have ample police (unlike most of us in the States who no longer do, as money to pay them has been given to hedge fund hoodlums and other nice guys) but that their groups similar to The OKC Chamber of Commerce can co-exist with them in keeping the society running smoothly.
The piece concludes with "...So why isn't this happening in Japan? Analysts say the main reason is a culture that discourages individual entitlement and instead pushes group and family responsibility. " As always, it would be interesting to know just who these "analysts" are. The Oklahoman always does this. Comes up with some wacky idea, or borrows one from some Grover Norquist group, and then uses the old "people are saying" or "experts agree" or one of those old tricks. But if one were to really do a serious analysis of why perhaps looting is less in Japan, pushing away things like in many parts of the Country there is nothing to loot as entire areas have been obliterated, and if you are outside you get exposed to high amounts of radiation - there are a lot of things you can find out about The Oklahoman and a functioning society in general. What you might find with regards to this in Japan involve things like years of protectionism of their economy, taxes, things like that...too controversial to mention...I could go on and on about this hellish op ed piece but wont.