Our man in Fukushima

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Will

Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I do not endorse twitter but, maybe, he’s okay.

    http://twitter.com/theinductive

    There is a couple of tweets that say (and I’m quoting here):

    @Drudge_Report You’re a fucking asshole. I’m actually here in Japan with no idea what I need to do to save my children because assholes…

    …like you keep sensationalizing EVERYTHING. Which way is the fucking wind blowing, and how many goddam microsieverts are there!?

    Good luck, Carr. I (we) hope you and your loved ones pull through.Report

  2. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Christopher is looking for reliable info. If anyone has any please link it here.Report

  3. Avatar Scott says:

    I understand being stressed but why take it out on Drudge?Report

  4. hey guys, I’m in Niigata City, west of the power plant and safe I think, but even the authorities here are advising people to stay indoors. I will have A LOT to say once this is all finished. As for taking it out on Drudge, I’ll admit that that was more or less the last straw in a heap of misinformation and sensationalism, and it happened to be the only time I have had access to Twitter over the last week or so since the quake. The media doesn’t realize that in events like this, people actually depend on accurate information. CNN, Fox, and various governments are equally to blame for creating a panic. There is no food, gas, or water in northern Honshu right now, and no one has any idea what the radiation levels are. Incidentally, the Chinese and Russian governments have been the heroes here. Again, I will have A LOT more to say once the situation has stabilized.

    Also, apologies for not checking this until now. Internet access has been limited.Report

    • Take care of first stuff first, we’re pleased to know you’re well.

      If you have access to multivitamins, take some multivitamins.

      Be well and know that the theists are praying for you and the atheists are visualizing good things happening or whatever it is that atheists do instead of praying.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Well, I forgive you for not checking this until now. Seriously though, be safe and take care of your loved ones and I’m sure we’d love to hear about this after it’s all long over.Report

  5. After 9/11 I was simply too stunned to participate on the various forums that constituted my usual haunts. Then on the same day a few weeks later I saw threads on a couple of them, asking if anyone knew if I was okay. Startling and touching both.

    Chris, I’m glad you’re okay, and when circumstances allow, look forward to hearing your testimony.

    Be safe.Report

  6. And to return to Fukushima, the breath-takingly brave men returning to fix the nuclear plant, ala K-19: The Widowmaker.

    “However, CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that a handful have stayed on the job, risking their lives, to try to save the lives of countless people they don’t even know. The exact number of workers is unclear and has been reported to be anywhere from 50 to 180.

    Although communication with the workers inside the nuclear plant is nearly impossible, a CBS News consultant spoke to a Japanese official who made contact with one of the workers inside the control center.

    The official said that his friend told him that he was not afraid to die, that that was his job.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/15/eveningnews/main20043554.shtml

    [Yes, via Drudge, although I’m embarrassed to have been distracted by that nonsense just now.]Report

  7. Avatar Bill Hubbard says:

    May I pose a comment to all you libertarians?

    Pat Moynihan famously said:

    The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.

    May I ask you to juxtapose that bit of cultural critique with an imagined “cultural” continuum:

    HAITI…..KATRINA…..JAPAN

    Three “existential” disasters.

    How much was each culture’s response to each disaster the result of a concerted, long-term, POLITICAL impetus?Report

    • Mr. Hubbard, I’ve been thinking on Moynihan this very hour:

      The quote seems wiser than it is, in praise of politics, when viewed through the prism of America’s historical shame on race issues.

      As it turned out, Brown vs. Board, overturning legal segregation via Plessy, was finally a fulfillment of our constitutional principles [incl. the 14th, of course]. Our constitutional principles, perfectly wrought, are not “political” as such. [Politics is the realm of opinion, not “self-evident” truth.]

      And yes, there was a decade of battle on the ground [Little Rock, Selma, Bull Connor].

      And I give no small credit to Lyndon Baines Johnson, the cracker who twisted every arm he’d ever met in Congress to bring the Civil Rights Act of 1964 home.

      But in the end—and I think he was just speaking the American consensus—it was Sen. Everett Dirksen’s not-famous enough speech that broke the Dixiecrat filibuster:

      “It is said on the night he died, Victor Hugo made this closing entry in his diary: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.” Later it was put in more dramatic form: “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose hour has come.”

      This is the issue with which we have been wrestling for months. There will be continued resistance for one reason or another. There will in some quarters be a steadfast refusal to come to grips with what seems an inevitable challenge which must be met. The idea of equal opportunity to vote, to secure schooling, to have public funds equitably spent, to have public parks and playgrounds equally accessible, to have an equal opportunity for a livelihood without discrimination, to be equal before the law—the hour for this idea has come and it will not be denied or resisted.”

      As it turned out, although they resulted in substantive political change, the civil rights marches were in the end cultural: they convinced the whites of the righteousness of the cause, but also convinced the blacks who marched that this was important enough to them to call on the American conscience.

      [Non-violently, no small forbearance on their part, against Bull Connor’s firehoses. Anybody can riot when their ox is gored, see Greece of late.]

      The other thing was how the Moynihan Report was vilified in its time, telling people what they don’t what to hear and the delegitimization directed against it. But one crisis at a time.

      Yes, the Civil Rights Movement was political on its face [by its very name, “civil” rights], but a government and its laws cannot remake a society, for it cannot remake the human beings that populate it. The remaking of American society toward racial equality came about not through the civil rights legislation, but by changing the American mind. And the American mind was changed by the heroes who stood up to Bull Connor’s firehoses far more than those who simply “spoke truth to power.”

      Talk is cheap.Report

  8. If anyone wants to friend me on Facebook, I’ve been posting what I know. I’m using several credible sources and working in conjunction with other people.Report

  9. Avatar Lyle says:

    Here is a link to comments on the status of the plants by the MIT Nuclear engineering program. They include comments on known radiation levels etc. Now of course there are a lot of unknowns but this blog at least has a group that knows what they are talking about:
    http://mitnse.com/Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Lyle says:

      The problem is that Tepco has lied about the level of nuclear materials at Fukushima Daiichi, so all of the assessments of nuclear experts may be true for the situation as Tepco describes it, but ultimately it all goes back to the faulty premise that Tepco’s reporting is accurate. The company is notoriously corrupt even before this incident, so really who knows how much radiation we’ve been exposed to. Right now readings are apparently around 300 microsieverts around the plant and 220 or so some distance away inside the quarantine zone. At these levels, cumulative exposure could be as high as 30,000 microsieverts (a rough estimat since we dont really know when or how much started leaking) since this exposure level must be multiplied by total time of exposure. For young children, the risks are apparently up to 100 times greater. I don’t know whether or not this means that the cumulative radiation level goes up to 3,000,000 microsieverts or not for young children, but if it does, this is more than enough to significantly increase the risks if developing thyroid cancer. I’m no radiation expert, but this is the best I can do given limited resources.Report

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