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The "Fukushima Fifty"

Tyler Durden's picture


Whatever one thinks about the near-criminal strategy taking place behind the scenes as to how Japan is handling the bailout, one thing is certain: the 50 Tepco workers who are currently laboring at Fukushima, doing all they can to restore the plant back to life, even at the cost of their own lives, are doing a tremendous service to their fellow citizens (futile or otherwise), and deserve to be called heroes. The Mail has compiled what little information is available about these impromptu martyrs, of whom five are believed to have already died and 15 are injured while others have said they know the radiation will kill them, in a piece that everyone should read, especially those who are wondering just who it is that is doing everything in their power to offset Hitachi's criminal conduct in the construction of the power plant as disclosed earlier. "The darkness is broken only by the flashing torchlight of the heroes who stayed behind. These first images of inside the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant reveal the terrifying conditions under which the brave men work to save their nation from full nuclear meltdown. The Fukushima Fifty - an anonymous band of lower and mid-level managers - have battled around the clock to cool overheating reactors and spent fuel rods since the disaster on March 11."

Conundrum: Two of the Fukushima Fifty pour over plans as they try to work out how to fix the stricken plant
Darkness: A worker looks at gauges in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the plant
Grainy: Workers collect data in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2. They must wear rubber suits to prevent as much radiation from entering their bodies as possible
Teamwork: Outside the men connect transmission lines to restore electric power supply to Unit 3 and Unit 4


Damage: A collapsed eave lies outside the security gate for Unit 1 and Unit 2. Much of the plant was destroyed by the tsunami

Water spray: Workers at Fukushima yesterday try to cool the plant

More from the Mail:
Despite sweltering heat from the damaged reactors, they must work in protective bodysuits to protect their skin from the poisonous radioactive particles that fill the air around them.

But as more radiation seeps into the atmosphere minute by minute, they know this job will be their last.

Five are believed to have already died and 15 are injured while others have said they know the radiation will kill them.

The original 50 brave souls were later joined by 150 colleagues and rotated in teams to limit their exposure to the radiation spewing from over-heating spent fuel rods after a series of explosions at the site. They were today joined by scores more workers.

Japan has rallied behind the workers with relatives telling of heart-breaking messages sent at the height of the crisis.

A woman said her husband continued to work while fully aware he was being bombarded with radiation. In a heartbreaking email, he told his wife: 'Please continue to live well, I cannot be home for a while.'

One girl tweeted in a message translated by ABC: 'My dad went to the nuclear plant, I've never seen my mother cry so hard. People at the plant are struggling, sacrificing themselves to protect you. Please dad come back alive.'

But it is becoming even more pressing that the Fukushima succeed after it was revealed today that Tokyo's tap water has been contaminated by unusual levels of radiation.

While only praise can be showered on these 50 or so volunteers for the true greater good, the biggest punishment possible should be doled out for those who knowingly let this catastrophe occur, if indeed corners were cut in the design of the NPP, and also for those who continue to lie to the population in an attempt to prevent a panic (yes, we have all heard the Mutual Assured Destruction lies of a government that does "what is best for everyone") while simply allowing an ever greater number of people to succumb to radiation poisoning or worse.

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Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:51 | 1092178 prophet
prophet's picture

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano unveiled estimates that people outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the plant, in which residents have been ordered to evacuate or remain indoors, could be exposed to radiation of 100 millisieverts or more, an annual dose believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer."

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:07 | 1092276 redpill
redpill's picture

"Today's fun fact: living near a coal power plant exposes you to roughly four times as much additional radiation as does living near a properly contained nuclear plant."

Thanks, Captain Irrelevant.  If this nuclear plant was "properly contained" we wouldn't be fucking discussing it, now would we.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:35 | 1092410 clymer
clymer's picture

Max max max.. These rediculous posts are not going to bring you any closer to making a reality out of that Ann Coulter poster in your basement that you pleasure yourself to so frequently.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:41 | 1092427 prophet
prophet's picture

Appreciate your comment, but the way you make your point is the point I've been trying to make:  We don't deal with this until its too late and then it fades from the agenda.

There is no amount of benefit that can outweigh this kind of risk.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:33 | 1092931 TuffsNotEnuff
TuffsNotEnuff's picture

You're getting scammed on the risk numbers.

Chernobyl had no containment -- after the big explosion -- and the reactor itself did a full meltdown. Yet we get this Dr Wotawa:

1. the iodine released from Fukushima in the first three-four days was about 20 percent of that released from Chernobyl during a ten-day period.

2. Caesium-137, ...50 percent.

That claim does not fit with SPEEDI readings made public. Not what I can find at their site or at If this isn't another faked BBC tweet, then the guy is incompetent.

Here's Edwin Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, and no friend of commercial nukes:

"One has to remember that there's still no evidence that the containment structures of the damaged (Fukushima) reactors 1, 2, and 3 have been significantly breached, which is a difference from Chernobyl where the confinement structure was destroyed in the very early stages of the accident."

The Fukushima containments are fully intact despite earthquake and tsunami damage to pipes and valves. That belies the Wotawa claim.

Then there is a claim that one worker has received a "high dose" of radiation. Here is the actual report:

The IAEA also had information about eighteen workers at the site which had been exposed to radiation since the accident, including one who got a dose rate of about [ 106,300,000 nanoSieverts ] although no medical treatment was required.

35,000,000 nanoSieverts (or nanoGrays) per year matches to the maximum recommended lab worker exposure. This is equal to 5 REM. 

The dose to this worker equals 3 times the IAEA recommended maximum annual dose.

Serious, yes. Deadly, no way. Obviously the guy is out of there.

No one is getting killed from radiation.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:48 | 1092975 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"The Fukushima containments are fully intact"

You can spout this propaganda with a straight face?!! Blind moron.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:45 | 1092625 CPL
CPL's picture

Doesn't matter Red.  I'll be walking by your corpse in a couple of months and using your shit for fun.  You keep believing what you wish.


Problem with faith is it actually has to bring something eventually.  Hope your kids/cousins/grandkids die a horrible death coughing up blood and shitting themselves to death in a long wait at the hospital.


How's that for friendly?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:49 | 1092636 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

You realize, he (Red) was addressing Mad Max whose comment was down-rated so much that it disappeared ...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:06 | 1092674 CPL
CPL's picture

I know.  I'm not a big fan of the human herd.  But these folks in the plants are sweating blood at this time.


The offer I mentioned at the bottom of the comments still stands.  Fully paid house and ten acres in the Ottawa Valley.  Even teach them how to duck taxes.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:21 | 1092717 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Would that not be great if Canada (or the US, yeah right...) would man up and offer the families of the stricken heroes a nice place to live for free for the rest of their lives.

I really do not know if I would be as brave as those guys, The Fukushima Fifty...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:50 | 1092815 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Right on!

To go into that situation in the full knowledge of what the end result will be.....That is 'True Grit'

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:05 | 1092876 philipitus
philipitus's picture

Worked in one of these places (in Canada) years ago and had the run of the place.  Freakish enough when it was all working properly, checking yourself for contamination at each checkpoint (and laughing at the joint butts in the more remote areas).  Can't imagine the terror fishing around in the dark knowing that every second your lifespan is being unavoidably shortened.


Hats off and thank you.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 06:56 | 1094289 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Makes you wonder if the guy in charge is available in his office during normal working hours, or if he pissed off sharpish as soon as the klaxon went off...

I take my hat off to these guys.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:08 | 1092280 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Max, not at these radiation levels. These people are dying in vain over there for their callous overlords you jack off. My junk was included.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:51 | 1092990 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I am proud to take any junks here. Whoever you were f*ck off.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:15 | 1092309 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

Mad're a piece of shit!!!!  Exactly what radiation levels are you reassuring people about????  The ones that the Japanese government is displaying in real time on the internet for all economically and socially important areas around the reactor and in Tokyo!!!???  It's funny....I haven't been able to find this information.

I'm beyond tired of bullshit propaganda and those who repeat it, so that rich men can try to retain wealth by sending poor men and the ignorant to their deaths.  This evil bullshit must end...and it will.....soon!

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:31 | 1092386 steveo
steveo's picture

The first link down on my blog page here has a geiger counter in Tokyo on an office building, indeed showing an increase after the 21st spraying.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:47 | 1092802 anyways
anyways's picture

well said! The Junkies are paid by the gov.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:20 | 1092334 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Max you are indeed a jack-off. Even the trolls on here wouldn't say anything that stupid. You should seriously leave ZH forever. Seriously.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:39 | 1092428 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

who is max, where did he go

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:57 | 1092481 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I think we are late to the kick Max's ass partaaae...  Reads like it went well though, plenty of ass kicked..  My prayers for these men.  The U.S. has forgotten what real heroes are, these boys fit the bill..

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:50 | 1092644 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Max hit the down-and-out Junk threshold of 50 ... so comment gets deep-sixed

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:54 | 1092840 Blano
Blano's picture

I didn't know that, thanks. 

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:49 | 1092936 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Yup, the herd of rabid sheep won this time.  No point listening to comments they don't want to hear.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:21 | 1092336 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

Iv'e never seen that many junks collected before, well done.

The theme of this thread was what again Max?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:34 | 1092940 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

The theme of the story is one thing.  The theme of this part of the comment thread is "junking comments you disagree with because they don't fit your narrow, media-driven worldview."

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:37 | 1093119 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Yes. Try to reassure yourself. You've been here long enough to know only true fucktards get that many junks. Congrats! It sure must be an honor.

Wish I could have seen the post for myself. It's mostly free speech around here.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:29 | 1092378 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

This is the map to be looking at, not the wind currents:

This is not a government site, they have no agenda, etc. I've been watching it for a week, and it is gradually creeping up due to the disaster in Japan, however levels still remain very low.  If you guys are really worried then why don't you GTF out of dodge right now instead of typing on your keyboards?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:28 | 1092593 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

"If you guys are really worried then why don't you GTF out of dodge right now instead of typing on your keyboards?"

If I WAS worried, then where would I GTF to?  South America?  Do you understand that people can be pissed without being afraid?  There is no getting out.  That's why we're pissed.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:18 | 1092703 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I agree with your sentiments, Colonel, but I´m in Peru right now (and for 10 days more).

¿Radiacion, que es eso, señor?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:14 | 1092900 live free
live free's picture

I've been sleeking around here for several years, and I think my family and I are ready to look at relocating from NH to a south american country.... Any advice on the area or job prospects?  Im a mechanical engineer in product development in the medical/consumer arena.  Thanks,


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:50 | 1092977 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

If you want to continue in your profession, it will have to be a fairly big country: Brazil, Mexico. You should be able to speak the language (Portugese, Spanish). Engineering is a licensed profession in Central and South America. It would be best to work for a US multinational with offices in the country you want to live in. Intel has a factory in Costa Rica, for instance. The big problem will be work permit and/or residency for the family. Some countries have special rules for retirees with government pensions, also for inward investment if you have a couple million to work with. Before you go on a South American adventure, I highly recommend Australia and New Zealand. Check to see if your profession is in demand. There are good employment agencies and immigration agents to advise what's possible Down Under. Nicest people on the planet IMO. Excellent schools. Safe streets. Good food.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:42 | 1092621 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

What is your Nobody credible thinks that the US is going to get nuked. The larger point, imo, is that a tragedy of unspeakable gravity is unfolding before our eyes.

Furthermore, what does it say that a handful of technically proficient finance geeks has done a better job of of predicting a critical path than nuclear plant managers have done?

My sphincter tells me that is bad news.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:23 | 1092726 trav7777
trav7777's picture


Nothing "Durden" has said or any of the smug "regulars" have maintained about this accident has come to pass.  Not a fucking thing.

It's been nonstop insinuation, omission, and yellow journalism, ironically the same thing as the TEPCO and Jap gov't are accused of.

In the absence of facts, they just highlight the negatives and let people who are essentially site astroturfers fill in the apocalypse.

Been a banner couple of weeks for ZH...surely they do this for free, right?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:51 | 1092800 Chumbadumba
Chumbadumba's picture

You suck almost as much as "mad max".. Go back to cambodia, you racist pos


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:52 | 1092826 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

You mean the part where we said it's a terrible accident, but not yet an outright catastrophe?  Or the part where we said that sacrificing first responders was basically just keeping a finger in the dike?

I'm still pretty solid on the big picture we've painted here actually.  Although the cesium contamination is getting pretty bad. 

As are the atmospherics on the site...still, the best information by far.  Your input included, trav7777.  I think you know I don't give you shit--you're mostly on the ball.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:03 | 1092871 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Trend lines, baby boy.

Chart this one.

I guarantee Munich RE has done so.

Not good.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:33 | 1092941 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

There you go, bringing facts and reality into it again.

Once upon a time, ZH regulars cared about facts and reality.  Now it's like reading comments to yahoo news articles.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:25 | 1093110 romanko
romanko's picture

don't even try with these dweebs - they've drank the nuclear-doomsday koolaid and have become fully accredited nuclear experts, and they didn't even have to leave their mom's basement

it's like some soviet youth pep-rally here, dare to disagree with the "consensus" and you'll be vilified, kinda ironic don't you think, ZH being part of the alternate media

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:35 | 1093129 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

You and Trav must not read any of the articles anymore - straight to the comments. Measurements of cesium and Celsius must not mean anything to you two.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:43 | 1093156 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Do you mean Caesium and Kelvin?  No, perhaps you mean Valium and Fahrenheit...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 22:22 | 1093257 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Confused much?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 22:49 | 1093364 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture


the answer is yes.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:54 | 1092834 anyways
anyways's picture

thanks for the link.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:09 | 1092278 Guldbuddha
Guldbuddha's picture

I believe this chart is relevant here.

Just to put things in perspective.

That said, 100mSv and beyond, as a one-time dose, is not healthy.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:20 | 1092339 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

Damn. And the Japanese government played it down all along.

The bureaucrats should be cleaning up this mess if it weren't for the incompetence.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:38 | 1092417 drchris
drchris's picture

I've seen this chart floating around.  It's claiming ~3.6mSv per day at Fukushima, which is nothing.  However, if that is the case, then how are workers dying?  You have to assume they are being treated for radiation sickness.  Therefore, they need at least an 4Sv dose.  That is over 100x the claim.  Something doesn't add up.  

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:06 | 1092516 Guldbuddha
Guldbuddha's picture

It's because you read the chart a bit too fast.

The ~3.6mSv you are refering to, is 50km (some 32 miles or so) NW of Fukushima, about a week ago.

It says nothing about the plant...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:38 | 1092774 drchris
drchris's picture

Ah, you're right.  When I first read it I only saw "two sites" at Fukushima and thought it meant at two of the reactors.  My Bad!

The disclaimer at the bottom of the PNG basically states the author has 0 confidence in it dispite the sources.  So it has that going for it.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:05 | 1092874 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

The chart doesn't seem to be complete. Is it an advertisement or propaganda?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:53 | 1092181 tmosley
tmosley's picture

True heroes indeed.

Sadly, Japan has lost the war.  You are supposed to get the other guy to die for his country.  Here, there is no other guy.

Those responsible for this mess should be the ones there doing the grunt work.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:14 | 1092294 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

I so admire and honor these sacrificing heroes.  And shame to those responsible for not acting quickly enough if they had knowledge of the inevitable deterioration, or contributed to substandard practices like the spent rod location.  Still, difficult to imagine a 9.0 earthquake with a tsunami of that magnitude.  

Meanwhile, here in the US (and elsewhere), a financial storm was long brewing and easier to forecast, but those in the know continued to profit by ignoring what they knew would end in tragedy.  Perhaps not so random were the tragedies, but it blew apart many families, motivated suicides, and wiped out many people's livelihoods and wealth.  And those responsible not only aren't "doing the grunt work" - they continue to conduct the high life and promulgate the same broken model.    For shame.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:51 | 1092639 B9K9
B9K9's picture

If there is no heaven nor any hell, then what is the point, other than to amass the largest fortunes, snort the best blow, and have the world's most beautiful women debase themselves for your personal pleasure whenever you're in the mood?

Gleefully reveling in the discomfort one creates amongst the idiot sheep merely provides additional bonus points. To the alpha predators, killing for killing's sake doesn't even begin to slake the blood lust.

At the end of the day, their troop of chimps beat the shit out of our troop of chimps. Perhaps in another 9-10 million years, those dominant traits will manifest themselves across widespread populations.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:24 | 1092728 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I would say your view is very dim, and predisposed to nihlism.

However, those of us predisposed to killing the fuckers you are talking about must admit that losses will be had.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:24 | 1092729 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

You make a point.  And it is one reason Charlie Sheen is so revered.  Tiger blood and winning.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:21 | 1093100 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The "point" is to reproduce, and pass on your genes.  That is the only real reason all of "this" exists.

You either understand this implicitly, or you let genetics drive you toward the behaviors that allow you to reproduce.  The only potential alternative is to become immortal, which is difficult, though not impossible (unless you believe in Heaven or Hell, in which case none of this really matters, save in the way that an admissions test matters).

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:15 | 1092300 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

When I saw this post, I got a chill.


I would not be able to do it.

And indeed what you say, those responsible will yet again get away with it with some lame ass excuse.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:28 | 1092370 AG BCN
AG BCN's picture

me too, sort of hit home a bit.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:39 | 1092515 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


if those "responsible" do not fall upon their own swords when the concrete is poured, they will probably "fall" on someone else's, or worse, need to leave japan due to a shun burn.

let's stop the "ain't it awful" game for a few minutes and recognize that these people are serving us, also, and others, around the globe, at the most essential level.  they are working for all children's futures.  not oil, unleaded, or corn.  should we do less?  their "sacrifice" is really well-designed and timely.  how we doin?  we'll get to bat, too, i would imagine, eh?  nuf sed.

and it may take thousands more, to get the job done.  if they can not get the reactors to cool, pdq, they may hafta remove whatever roofs are intact and get the shit out with cranes, spread over/under blankets of lead, covered with boron, sand and more lead----whatever design will do to allow the forms to be built, the iron tied, and the concrete poured.

it's not gonna be pretty, but it is gonna get done. lor' willin, & the creek don't rise.

and may God, or, The Universe, if you prefer, have mercy on us, everyone, especially those who have not yet arrived, whose "time" is not here, yet. 

people can kill each other and hate each other and blow each other's tanks and boats and planes and selves up, all day long, for gold, and oil, and power, and the fuking moronic "homeland".   still, maybe we can learn something here.  about growing the economy.  the bottom line.  progress.  thermo nulclear science, safety, and waste.  and the limits of our living world. 

maybe even ourselves...?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:20 | 1092712 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Ure a sweet lil pi-rat, ya know that?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:26 | 1092731 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1000

The Fukushima Fifty serve all of humanity.  Looks like many more heroes will fall as well.

I sure do agree with a lot of the sentiment up and down this thread that the criminals and the criminally inept should be in there instead.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:50 | 1092814 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I just understood why some hate your fucking guts.

I adore you.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:34 | 1092937 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Yes, we can learn somthing here - we can force the upper management, the government officals to march in there sacrafice themselves. Instead its always the low ranking regular folks that get the shit detail. Hey, we f'd up real bad, lots of people are gonna die, let me see the hands of you volunteers that are going sacrafice yoursleves for your family, your country, and your bankers.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 04:34 | 1094171 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

and all they get is a lousy T-shirt...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:16 | 1092318 Misean
Misean's picture

No, they should not be doing the grunt work, as that would be FAR worse. No, they should tag along, mute, as they watch the work being done to salvage what can be salvaged.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:43 | 1092432 connda
connda's picture

No shit.  But those responsible will be the ones giving mealy mouthed eulogies at the rank and file's funerals, after which they will receive obscene tax-payer funded bonuses for saving the day.  It's at times like these that you start to understand the frustration and anger the precipated events like the French Revolution -- and the more current events that are popping up around the globe.  "Let them eat cake."  "Let them eat irradiated iPods." Same, same.  Different day.  Wonder what the outcome will be this time around when the average guy-on-the-street finds themselves "Madder than hell and not going to take it anymore."  Maybe when they start seeing their kids dropping dead from radiation poisoning.  What a mess...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:13 | 1092549 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Does anyone else feel like an ant trapped in a vicious child's unbreakable ant farm?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:03 | 1093036 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Personally, I thought your previous unanswerable and rhetorical question more astute. But certainly this one is actually more answerable : yes.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:54 | 1092184 Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

Amazing courage, and am amazing sense of duty. I wonder how many people would do this in North America..

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:57 | 1092211 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

FDNY comes to mind.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:58 | 1092218 Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

Very true.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:12 | 1092290 greenfire
greenfire's picture

Yes.  FDNY and a lot of the other public employees are often in a position to lay down their lives for others. It's what they do.  I imagine Ayn Rand would find their behavior unfathonable.  These are the very folks that have been reviled and belittled, as of late, by those in the financial sector.  After being made whole by government bailout and a $600 billon tax cut for the wealthiest, those who need help the least are quick to pull the plug on police, teachers and that they have driven our debt to astronomical highs.  Suddenly we have a public employee pension crisis.  Would there really be a crisis if our 'heroes' (in terms of compensation) paid their way, instead of being coddled.

In desperation we look around for heroes and now have found some in Japan.  Our actions suggest that bondholders, Wall Street financiers, CEOs and sports/entertainment figures are our heroes.  Really....?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:16 | 1092305 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

dont confuse corrupt unions with individual workers

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:24 | 1092354 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

I'm glad you didn't make a completely fucking stupid comment by blurring unions with people's basic sense of civic duty and community.

Uggghhh, there are serious shit eating morons at the site now.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:06 | 1092524 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Also too bad some shit-eating conservatives believe they're entitled to the benefits of that sense of civic duty and community without compensation for those who are called by it.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:15 | 1092556 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

I think it's safe to say when everyone is truly 'up against it' that your socio-economic status, political leanings, and perceived superiority doesn't mean jack shit.

As if a UAW worker and a Manager wouldn't work together in a dire safety issue or some other actually catastrophic circumstance due to 'work rules'.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:31 | 1092603 greenfire
greenfire's picture

CEOs, bankers and others in the financial elite were the first to hop Lear jets off the Island of Japan.  Just tell the kiddies not to drink the water.  

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:40 | 1092619 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Where to start...

1. Not all public employees are in a position to lay down their lives, police and fire are a small percentage of public employees. When IRS agents and zoning managers, DMV and SEIU pukes lay down their lives in the service of their country, we can talk.

2. The $600B tax cut was for everyone. It just so happens that the wealthy pay the majority of the taxes. BTW, I work my ass off 7 days a week, I put my own money into my company and had zero job security or pension. I took risks to build the business, but if sucessful I should have to pay a much larger tax in the window that I earn it, instead of spreading it over the lean years. You have no concept of risk, of not knowing how you'll make payroll, of having no pension and having everything on the line, all you know is soak the rich...for the kids.

3. Always with the teachers, fire fighters, and police. What about the DMV, or other incompetent public unions?

4. Yes 90% of business start-ups fail, some do very well through hard work. But I'm sure that in your mind they were all coddled, while the pood DMV admin was risking her life.

Wake up to reality. In a world where the AVERAGE firefighter in Las Vegas makes $199K per year and retires at 50 getting that same pay for his life and the life of his surviving spouse, you claim it is the poor public union worker who is trampled upon. You, sir, are a fool who is completely brainwashed by public union BS!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:45 | 1092964 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

k... first off you are a fucking liar. No offense though, although you disgust me.

I understand that you actually believe the stinking bullshit you just shoveled into our brains.

1. Your entire point is bullshit. People choose to do what they will do. Public employees very often sacrifice themselves to save others. I want to smack you in the face for this one point alone.

2. Just go fuck yourself now. Swear to fucking god you are going to try to run that one here? Pure sophistry. You want to claim that the rich pay more in taxes because 1% of their income equals more than 20% of ever4ybody elses income? Swear to fucking god? You want to defend that? go fuck yourself

I'm too disgusted to go further.

You are a liar.

No real small businessman in America would try to fly this shit. Go fuck yourself.






Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:05 | 1093037 i-dog
i-dog's picture

" are a fucking disgust me......the stinking bullshit you just shoveled into our brains......Your entire point is bullshit......I want to smack you in the face......Just go fuck yourself now......Pure sophistry......go fuck yourself......I'm too disgusted to go further......You are a liar......Go fuck yourself"

Nothing like some good solid facts to make a strong rebuttal!! Eat shit and die you worthless turd! (see...I can do it, too).

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:16 | 1093077 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Yes, but I thought my hyperbole more entertaining. Fuck off.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 00:17 | 1093726 zhandax
zhandax's picture

Usually your hyperbole is more entertaining.  As I learned the hard way at the roulette wheel in Freeport one night, you can double down on black 10 times in a row and have it come up red every time.  You missed the point on this one.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:54 | 1093186 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

When you have no argument, just go ad hominem.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 23:03 | 1093411 Vanderdekken
Vanderdekken's picture

Amen to that!


It works for the politians, why not the common folk?


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 23:23 | 1093518 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

What do you mean I have no argument?

It should certainly be clear even to a cocksucking corporate lacky like you, that the one sentence I could get out without choking that your ass is kicked.

Honestly, you want to argue that because 1% of the income of the rich is greater than 20% of the income of everone else, that they somehow pay more in taxes?

Suck my cock.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:48 | 1092979 piceridu
piceridu's picture


+ the untold paychecks you didn't take on your entrepreneurial journey!



Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:59 | 1093194 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Not only lack of paychecks (and paying everyone else first), but also putting in more money when the cash flow isn't there and convincing friends and family to do the same, and having no vacation for years, while working 6 or 7 days a week. It's a whole different world from the 9-5 full benefits, paid vacation, etc.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:54 | 1092830 puckles
puckles's picture

I'm afraid that you are quite misrepresenting Ayn Rand, who thoroughly recognized the necessity of shared emergency services and armed forces (the latter to protect only from invaders).  However, she envisioned a society, admittedly not to everyone's taste these days, where ALL citizens would contribute to such services, because it was in their self interest, as demonstrated by the first house allowed to burn to the ground. They would be able to afford it incrementally, because free markets promote the accumulation of wealth. She did allow for PRIVATE charities, although not anything freely riding on a tax code.

Her position is not really different from the arrangement suggested by our forefathers, who railed against the tyranny of Great Britain.  They risked everything, not merely their own lives, but their fortunes (and all were very wealthy), and the lives of their families and even their relatives; many of them, and their relatives, died defending this ideal.

Ayn Rand would understand exactly what the martyrs at Fukushima are doing.  They are doing it for the greater good of their polity, their fellow citizens and families; they are not being ordered to lay down their lives.  They are doing this of their own cultural will (I hesitate to say free will, as the very idea has been greatly disparaged, and correctly so).

 Their act is quite similar to that of our forefathers, in the sense that the latter understood that they might well die in order to ensure a better future for their families.

Incidentally, I lived and worked in Japan for a while, and I do understand the culture rather well.  It is an island culture, and because of that, has similarities to that of Great Britain.  The forcible reawakening of Japan to the West in the 19th century tended to lead Japan to German culture, which is still reflected in the schools, self-defense forces, and corporations. But it is also a culture of great inner Confucian/Buddhist strength, which the native Shinto cult enhances by creating a great reverence for all things deriving from nature.

It is because of all of these forces combined that we are witness to these remarkable events. I pray for the remarkable people who are at the front lines at Fukushima; their terrible sacrifice will be remembered for many generations in Japan.  But I also pray for the Japanese I know and love, and wish them Godspeed.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:15 | 1093072 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

Ayn Rand was an evil bitch who instilled a new sense of selfish entitlement in the morons who follwed her. Unfortunatey for us, Greenspan was part of her posse, and her influence helped to guide that moron to argue that the rats should be trusted with ALL the cheese.  We are on the edge of the financial abyss because of the influence of that evil tramp on the greedy bastards in the US - who were looking for a philosophy that would justify them turning their backs of their fellow countrymen in need, and increasing their share of the financial pie to the detriment of others.  The consequences of her twisted philosophy are now playing out, and the results will be catastrophic.

T.E.I.N. everyone! 

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:26 | 1093111 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You don't know Rand from a hole in your head.

Greenspan ranks above Judas in terms of traitors to their teachers.  He has done the EXACT OPPOSITE of what she advocated, you fool!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:43 | 1093158 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

She advocated a Godless society where men are rewarded based on hedonic pursuits, and where those members of society who could not produce should be left to fend for themselves!!!  In an Ayn Rand society, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer....which is exactly what has been created with the help of Greenspan and the laissez-faire capitalism promoted by Rand.......EVIL!!!

Perhaps you should dwell of this issue a while longer before commenting on my analysis of Rand's culpability for our current crises...

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 22:03 | 1093205 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

+1 when everyone pursues their own interests it creates the invisible hand. Instead we get the visible bitch slap from government and many fools here respond "Yes sir, may I have nother please." Nice turn of phrase with the Greenspan/Judas, I couldn't have said it better (or even close).

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 23:07 | 1093429 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Romantic claptrap that appeals to romantic fake tough guys and selfish twerps.  To put it charitably as it also feeds an evil global elitist platform.

'We The Living' is an OK sort of memoir/fable.  The rest of it is rubbish.

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary" by itself is sufficient to place the Founding Fathers light years ahead of Rand's petulant pulp.  To it one could add "Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit."

Go read some Marcus Aurelius and Adam Smith.  You'll feel better, and think better too.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:08 | 1092281 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Are you fucking serious?  I seem to remember several hundred fire fighter rushing up the stairs of a burning skyscraper about 10 years ago.

How fucking dare you suggest that Americans wouldn't respond the same way?  Go eat a bag of shit, really.  We're back to this total fucking non-sense of suggesting that Americans, the actual people, are without a spine or sense of collective togetherness as a people.  Jesus Christ, I'm so fucking sick of that shit.

We hate our government and not each other you fucking asswipe.  I'm quite confident, if faced with the same situation, our 'people' would make enormous sacrifices as well.

Where does this shit even come from?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:23 | 1092343 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Who are you responding to?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:24 | 1092363 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture
by Gubbmint Cheese
on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:54


Amazing courage, and am amazing sense of duty. I wonder how many people would do this in North America..

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:31 | 1092398 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

He said very true though when someone brought up the FDNY. But no, when SHTF here, people will not rally together. It will be an absolute mess.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:55 | 1092472 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Yes, the Japanese are just a better brand of human.  How could I have been so wrong.  Americans have no history of pulling together when facing adversity.  We'll just fold and then shit on each other.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:51 | 1092643 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Having spent a lot of time in Japan they have an interesting culture that focuses on duty and honor. They follow rules/laws like no other culture I've seen. No jaywalking at all. Corporate and government leaders commit seppuko or hang themselves when they have disgraced their company/position. They had the kamikaze pilots. Their culture is very different. It is no surprise that when the shit hits the fan the workers there felt a duty to right the wrong. VERY few in the US have this sense of duty and responsibility. The military, fire and police do (the front lines). But I strongly suspect that our nuclear workers would not. Personally I would like to see some disgraced politicians and bank CEOs fall on their swords, quite literally.


BTW, Ayn Rand didn't write about the military, firemen and police, she wrote about business and politics. 


BTW the link for the Las Vegas fire fighters is here:  

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:53 | 1092649 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

I don't, however, consider the Japanese morally superior. They can be brutal as evidenced by the Bataan Death March and their treatment of dolphins and whales. Different, not better.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:26 | 1093112 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Two things in play here:

1) The desperate need for heroes. The Fukushima Fifty, it has such a ring to it. FF, media loves it, someone will write a song, because it rhymes. While the real heroes will go unsung. In a media mad world, to be expected. Not to detract from their role at all, but seen this gig too many times around. Pay attention to how Veterans are treated in America and the total lack of public outrcy to understand "MEdia Deer in Headlights" effect vs. the recognition of real heroics.

2) The lionization of a battered culture. I can say with with the confidence of years of direct dealing, frequent visits and long stays in Japan that it is the most mind-controlled, dociled, repressed society in the world. The seethign anger just 3 inches under the steel crust of social programming would blow your mind. They are not responding like "nice" people, they are responding like sheep to slaughter. Programmed.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:53 | 1092821 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

"only the worthy live and die the way of the samurai"

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:52 | 1092827 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

"only the worthy live and die the way of the samurai"

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:34 | 1092761 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

I didn't say they were a better brand of human. Many people here that primarily utilize independent media for their news, refer to the people in our country as sheep. I would agree. There is a reason you are on Zerohedge. It is because you aren't getting your needs satisfied by Fox Business or CNBC, or you just know the truth.

Sheep get slaughtered. Our dollar is soon to be worthless, illegal immigrants have overwhelmed our society and social services, and greed/corruption rules our politicians. Those are just a few of the problems that I'm sure you agree with.

This patriotic, our country is the greatest and people will help each other when SHTF, is just plain bullshit. The ideas of our founding fathers and true representation of the people is what I believe in. All the shit in the paragraph above is what our country has become. What the fuck do you think is going to happen when a 9.0 earthquake wipes out LA? Do you think Americans are going to be as calm as the Japanese? You are fucking nuts if you think so...Americans go fucking nuts if they hit 5 minutes of traffic. Just wait until they haven't eaten for a couple days. Have fun.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:35 | 1092611 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

you're only looking into your own heart man, dont make calls on everyone else.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:50 | 1092645 trav7777
trav7777's picture


ALL of the natural disasters that DON'T make the heavy news, you see EXACTLY that.  People HERE rally together.

Dont fucking define the US by what BLACKS did in Katrina.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:35 | 1092770 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Not you. The unemployed troll. You'll probably be one of the clowns looting.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:42 | 1092958 bjennings
bjennings's picture

Do you remember the report on Katrina where they were in KMART and the reporter asked the resident "Where are the Police in all this..."  Do you remember the resident saying "Oh, they're on aisle eight."  Um, I think they were white cops.  Your perception of blacks looting in Katrina was one shaped by the "credible media" showing pictures of white people carrying food from a store and the caption reading "Survivors forage for food," and the same media showing the same picture of blacks carrying food and the caption reading "Survivors looting."

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 21:37 | 1093138 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

+1 Well said.


Thu, 03/24/2011 - 11:19 | 1095329 Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

Cognitive dissonance can be a bitch.  I'm sure most on this board consider themselves to be above the MSM brainwashing, yet turns out they are not...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:33 | 1092403 BigJim
BigJim's picture

He's wondering, is all. Why does that upset you so much?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:56 | 1092485 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Complete unfounded and unwarranted bullshit makes me upset.  I'm funny like that.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:22 | 1092348 Fenlander
Fenlander's picture

You had three junks when I read your post.  I can't "unjunk" you by one, but I'll say publicly that whatever else went on on 9/11, those guys from FDNY and PDNY, and ther PA who went into the Towers were heroes at a level that we can all understand.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:28 | 1092374 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Agreed, they were.  As were the young boys that died to stop Chernobyl, I'm sure. 

The fact that someone would take the effort to insinuate that Americans wouldn't be as brave or committed makes me want to puke.  It simply never ever ever stops with the anti-American RIDICULOUS garbage.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:45 | 1092439 BigJim
BigJim's picture

You seem easily nauseated. Perhaps you should check that your background radiation levels are not dangerously elevated.

Questioning whether the average American is as conscious of the collective good as the average Japanese is a perfectly legitimate question.

How can we establish the answer? Let's see... during the war, many, many Japanese volunteered for kamikaze (suicide) missions. Obviously, that was 65 years ago, and their culture has changed quite a bit since then. Shall we compare modern crime statistics? When we do, we see amply demonstrated that Americans do not rate other Americans' wellbeing as highly as Japanese do their fellows'.

Of course, these measure statistical aggregates. But still...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:48 | 1092449 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

We also don't sell young girls' panties in vending machines.

Whether you agree with Iraq and Afghanistan you have to say that the level of courage shown by those young Americans has been astounding. 

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:59 | 1092493 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

It's truly astonishing how some Americans have been brainwashed to believe they are somehow categorically inferior to...well...everyone.  Simply astounding.

Amazingly enough, 9 out of 10 expat workers never go back home, the waiting list for legal immigration is backlogged by the millions, and people risk their lives, daily, to try to sneak in. 


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:15 | 1092552 BigJim
BigJim's picture

What, you're saying that 9 out of 10 expat Japanese in America never go back home? That Japanese risk their lives, daily, to try to sneak in to America?

This is news to me. And even if it were true, it's also completely irrelevant. The argument isn't over whether people would prefer to live in America or Japan, it's over whether Americans are as willing to sacrifice themselves for their countrymen as the Japanese appear to be. And I would argue that crime statistics show an opposite inclination.

If you think I'm in error, please point out the failure in my logic. Blind patriotic fervour, however, is no substitute for reasoning.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:18 | 1092567 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

You're not much of a concept kinda guy...are you?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:30 | 1092596 BigJim
BigJim's picture

It depends on the concept.

I think you've completely over-reacted to a perfectly reasonable question -

    would North Americans respond as well in the same situation? (paraphrasing here)

with blind patriotic fervour. I am deeply suspicious of 'patriotism', as in my experience it tends to stunt reasoning powers, and lead people to do horrible, albeit often brave, things... like going to foreign countries and kill people simply because enough people in positions of authority say it's the 'patriotic' thing to do.

So if the concept is patriotism, then, no, you're right, I'm not a concept kind of guy.

But back to the topic. If crime statistics show that Americans regularly harm other Americans more than the Japanese harm their fellow citizens, do you think this may indicate the original question may have some merit?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:07 | 1092523 BigJim
BigJim's picture

We also don't sell young girls' panties in vending machines.

True. But unless you think that is somehow indicative of Japanese being more or less concerned with their fellow Japanese wellbeing, completely immaterial to the topic at hand - are Americans as willing to sacrifice themselves as Japanese?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:09 | 1092530 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

I think the point was that it isn't SUPERIOR to how Americans would respond when faced with the same conditions.  But, hey, whatever.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:52 | 1092819 velobabe
velobabe's picture

hey big jim, why did hitch hiking die in america? i mean it really is a great concept. i use to pick up hitch hikers. aspen use to have a hitch hikers station on main st. got took down, of course†

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:30 | 1092927 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Yeah, I used to hitchhike a lot too when I was younger. Met a lot of interesting people, had a lot of fun, stood around a lot cursing people who wouldn't stop to help their fellow man.

Don't do it anymore, of course. Only a drunkard would stop to give someone who looks like me a lift, and I'd rather walk.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 22:26 | 1093270 Battleaxe
Battleaxe's picture

Some Americans are willing to sacrifice, some aren't.

My father-in-law died a horrific death. Cancer ate him away, and in the end he got to a point that nobody would want to get to. I'd hate to get like that and wish I'd done something heroic to save others when I had the chance when I was younger and instead there I am shitting myself and being cared for like a baby. I'm in no way suicidal, and don't wish for a situation, but if it comes I'd save a younger person or several people if I could.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:00 | 1092496 reader2010
reader2010's picture

100% Bullshit. The Japs, particularly the youth, got brainwahsed into believing any lies and shit told by their ruling elite before and during the WWII. They volunteered for Kamikaze attacks? You need to brush up history lessons, dude. 

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:07 | 1092520 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Well, while you're at it...shall we bring up the Hitler youth?  You know, since Americans are chicken shit selfish bitches and all and everyone else is so fucking awesome culturally and otherwise.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:38 | 1092614 BigJim
BigJim's picture

The Japs, particularly the youth, got brainwahsed into believing any lies and shit told by their ruling elite...

That could be equally argued for any kind of American sacrifice (other than for one's family), no? Or any other kind of sacrificial action by a person of any nationality. Yes, they were brainwashed, but they still volunteered.

However, as I pointed out, because 65 years has passed, it's probably better to look at modern data to establish if there is any validity to the idea that Americans are less willing to sacrifice themselves for their countrymen than the Japanese are. Crime statistics are one such body of data, with the advantage they are collected over many years, cover the entire country, and are thus less prone to 'distortion by anecdote.'

And as crime statistics clearly show that Americans harm their fellow citizens more than the Japanese do, I'd say the original premise may take more than some brainwashed "rah-rah America!" to dismiss.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 22:55 | 1093387 Hicham
Hicham's picture

Well right from the "red scare' Americans have been brainwashed into thinking 'communism' was infiltrating their nation....

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:24 | 1092583 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

"...during the war, many, many Japanese volunteered for kamikaze (suicide) missions..."

Yup, the American GIs dismounting off of troop carriers on the shores of Normandy Beach were such slackers -- I mean, all they had to do was trape about 200 feet through water ducking bullets, crawling up an unfamiliar shoreline and then take out a well dug enemy positions -- complete self absorbed wiennies

As for crime rates - yo, I live in the country where all my neighbors have guns, we all carry, including when we're drinking at the local bars, bowling alleys, etc.   Ya know, not a murder or assault with a deadly weapon in the years I've lived here

Sterotyping is stupid, counter productive and the product of a lazy mind

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:44 | 1092627 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Please see my reply #1092614, with particular reference to the time having passed.

As for

      Sterotyping is stupid, counter productive and the product of a lazy mind

the original postulation - that Americans are less willing to sacrifice themselves than the Japanese - is by definition dealing in aggregates.

I'd guess you've never looked into actuarial science, but you'd still be offended if you were charged the same car insurance as an 18-year old.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:55 | 1092650 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Lay on the  data....Show me how you come up with the generalization that

"Americans are less willing to sacrifice themselves than the Japanese"...  It isn't a self evident statement to me, but it is a sterotypical statement...


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:05 | 1092671 BigJim
BigJim's picture

My reasoning is that if Americans harm each other more than Japanese harm each other - which is hard to dismiss if you compare murder, robbery, assault, and rape statistics - then that proves Americans are less likely to sacrifice themselves for their fellow countrymen, as the perpetrators are unwilling to sacrifice whatever benefits they receive from these crimes, for the sake of the wellbeing of their victims (ie, their countrymen).

And as I have pointed out previously, such judgements are necessarily in aggregate, and do not imply that there are not any Americans willing to sacrifice themselves. Merely that there appear to be fewer of them than there are in Japan.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:44 | 1092783 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

BigJim - you know that Japan is a far more homogeneous country than the US.    If you look at most places in the US, you will find behavior like Japan's -- I'd even submit, more 'caring', if one looks at charitable contributions, volunteerism ,etc.    Most of what you describe, happens in the creepy crawly places of the US.   And it has nothing to do with white .vs. non-white, since many non-white (mostly Asian, Indian, Iranian, etc) communities in the US exhibit the same positive characteristics.

But if you want to pick on the uneducated, underachieveing black and Hispanic communities, you can find the same makeup in Britian, France, Germany, etc.    Also, a look at the muslim ghettos of France, Holland, Sweden, etc would show the same thing.   Those ghettos, in proportion to those respective countries are still small -- but they are growing, and so is the crime

Japan is insular -and that brings good and bad


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:34 | 1092866 BigJim
BigJim's picture

I liked Japan when I visited it a year or two ago. It was clean, civilised, and polite. The public transport is clean, cheap, and fast, if a bit overcrowded. It was only on my third day that I realised no matter how crowded it was, the seats on either side of mine were almost always empty... and this was true of all the other Westerners I saw on the carriages.

But my original point was to rebut what I deemed boilermakers' blind fury at what seemed a perfectly reasonable - not necessarily correct, but reasonable - hypothesis: that Americans were less willing to sacrifice themselves for their countymen than Japanese. Boilermaker was so infuriated that he demanded to know how the hypothesiser 'dared' to make such a suggestion. Or even ask such a question.

This was a comparison of aggregates, and I think an interesting one, and I attempted to provide an interpretation of readily available, objective data to suggest that, in aggregate, the hypothesis was not without merit.

And I agree that if we were to accept this methodology as reasonable, then we'd have to accept that Britain, France, & Germany would also fall into the same category, as they all have higher crime rates than Japan, too. In fact, most countries do.

BTW - I wasn't dissing Yanks in particular. I doubt I'd be able to summon up much valor in Fukushima, Normandy, WTC, etc myself.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:47 | 1092448 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

+ Pat Tillman

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:56 | 1092480 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Pat Tillman wouldn't even want to be knows as a 'hero'.  That's truly how great that guy was.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:11 | 1092691 Debtman And Robbin
Debtman And Robbin's picture

"The cheapest form of pride however is national pride. For it betrays in the one thus afflicted the lack of individual qualities of which he could be proud, while he would not otherwise reach for what he shares with so many millions. He who possesses significant personal merits will rather recognise the defects of his own nation, as he has them constantly before his eyes, most clearly. But that poor beggar who has nothing in the world of which he can be proud, latches onto the last means of being proud, the nation to which he belongs to. Thus he recovers and is now in gratitude ready to defend with hands and feet all errors and follies which are its own."

Arthur Schopenhauer


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:42 | 1092430 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Where does this shit even come from?


Glenn Beck and Fox news started this crap in the media with all of their "There is no looting" bullshit.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:56 | 1092486 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Whoever junked me please pony up and refute my claim.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:03 | 1092504 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I did not junk you but I would like further explanation of the above..  "There is no looting"  In Japan you mean or our financial looting taking place daily?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:06 | 1092517 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

I love the fact that you go well past the cliche' "apples and oranges" analogy and toss in an coconut just for fun.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:10 | 1092540 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Boiler maker got upset (rightly so) from the suggestion that somehow the Japanese are somehow better than Americans in a time of crisis. Then he asked where this shit comes from?

The earliest I had seen on the MSM was on Fox. There may have been other reporters suggesting this in the same way but Fox (particulary Beck) ran with this notion.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:39 | 1092615 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out that the Japanese are not rioting and looting everything in sight. It's kind of news because looting is common under these circumstances. I can't see how that can be seen as a suggestion that Americans are inferior. I don't recall any looting during the Iowa flood in '08 (correct me if I'm wrong). People there behaved much like the Japanese are doing now as far as I know.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:49 | 1092635 BigJim
BigJim's picture

To be fair, there's not a lot left for the Japanese to loot, unless they've got a thing for uprooted trees and mangled cars.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:43 | 1092794 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Iowa?  How about we compare one of the biggest cities in the world (Tokyo) to another one (Los Angeles).  Rodney king ring a bell?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 18:56 | 1092653 trav7777
trav7777's picture


Figure it the fuck out already.  Stop denying the obvious and inarguable because you feel guilty.

America is NOT defined by its black population, which is responsible for over half its violent crime, the majority of prisoners, majority of school dropouts, etc...all from a mere 12% of the population.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:00 | 1092663 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

+ >50%

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 19:41 | 1092784 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

If you knew some of my students, you couldn't hold on to the view you do. Smart, kind, I'd have these folks as neighbors and count myself lucky (come to think of it, I have several black neighbors, and they are good neighbors, never thought about it before).

I think you know I like you (and yeah, you don't care, I know that). The hatred you carry in your heart is SAD.

Lemme get blunt, you are hurt and you act the role of the bully to protect yourself. You are scared of black people. Who fucked you up? Don't answer that here. But you, who value rationality, are irrational.

White people also took things from stores. They were labeled by the press as being resourceful. Blacks loot.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 20:12 | 1092891 Blano
Blano's picture

I'm not trying to defend him, and I know the same kind of good folks you do, but he does have a point.

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