It is with great sadness that I light this lovely Siglo I and think about how fortunate I am to be sitting in a dry dusty garage as my buddy gets his hands dirty with the oil dripping into the pan under my car as he changes my oil filter and tells me about his friend in Japan who is writing to him and describing what he has seen in the last few days.  I wonder why the Supreme Being has decided to shake up the lives of some of the most loving, hard-working and compassionate people on our planet.

I’ve seen Japan from Kobe to Sapporo and felt the hospitality of men and women who looked at me with almost a childlike innocence as they offered me tea, great beer or a place to sleep for the night.  I remember thinking to myself that it was almost impossible to believe that a country of hugely populated cities had dark alleys that I walked down and at NO time was I ever in any danger.. I’m serious, I could be drinking for many hours in a bar or restaurant and then walk back to my hotel at any time of the night and stagger into strangers in the dark who only either gave me a smile or walked idly by without me feeling concerned about my safety.  Would I be able to do that in our hemisphere?  Yeah Right!! What have we become?? OR.. What have we always been???

Yet the Supreme Being decides to punish THEM !!!!

Take a look at some of the video clips on www.liveleak.com and tell me that you don’t feel anything when you see giant surges of water bulldoze houses over and you notice a tiny human form running for high ground.  These are truly frightful digital clips of widespread destruction that we now see almost as it is happening.  Many years ago we would only have read about it in the paper and with any luck get a glimpse of some blurry photo.

I feel optimistic that the Japanese government will do all that it can to help it’s citizens rebuild their lives and recreate employment.  I’m sure we’ll watch, in months to come, a loving group of Japanese officials do all that it can to make the lives of their people as comfortable as possible.  Quite a contrast from a different government in a different hemisphere who, after the water went back into the sea, seized the opportunity to punish the people of a city because it felt they had a history of voting the wrong way.

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