Obama’s Bracket-gate and Japan’s Katrina

March 17, 2011

- See all 35 of my articles

You would think that a woman who named her children Liam, Sean and Brendan would write something about St. Patrick’s Day or the Irish heritage of our leaders … but there is something more pressing I have to write about.

Obama, take note. When things are more important than what you want to do, you do the important things first.

With the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, as a world leader, our leader should be, oh, I don’t know, leading? But what was he doing? Filling out his NCAA March Madness Brackets on ESPN. Really? Really? Come on.

Now, I’m not anti-sports by any means. I’m planning on being in a few brackets myself. But for the “Leader” to take time to appear on ESPN and fill out his brackets? I don’t care if it was scheduled before the disaster in Japan. There are things you do and don’t do when a disaster like the one in Japan strikes.

As Josiah Charles Stamp said, “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” Come on, Obama. Lead. Don’t focus on picking your sweet sixteen. That’s not leading. That’s dodging.

Speaking of Japan, I think Americans need to take note. The comparisons between the response to the earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Katrina have been made. They’ve actually called this Japan’s Katrina. But I think the Japanese are handling this A LOT better than those effected by Katrina are handling it.

The Japanese had NO warning of the earthquake and tsunami. Those in New Orleans had DAYS of notice of the hurricane approaching.

People in Japan are helping each other. People in New Orleans were shooting each other.

There has been NO looting. There has been NO destruction of rescue centers. In New Orleans? Looting. Cases of rape, public urination and destruction of the Super Dome.

Japanese people are waiting, patiently in line, for food and water. New Orleans? People were shouting “Where’s the Government?” and using their pre-paid Visa cards for strip clubs. Some people are STILL living in FEMA trailers.

Come on, Americans. We’re the Country known for pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We need to take a look at how the Japanese are handling this situation and, God forbid if another natural disaster occurs in the United States we should follow suit.

It’s not all Americans I’m talking about. I live in Iowa. The last few years we’ve suffered through floods and natural disasters of our own. Are we having fundraisers for our disaster? Is the news broadcasting tornadoes five years later? No. Because we can take care of ourselves and our neighbors WITHOUT the Government handing us EVERYTHING.

Some may say, “Well, the Japanese live on fault lines, they should expect an earthquake.” Okay, sure. But New Orleans is a bowl surrounded by soup. What do you expect is going to happen?

I’m impressed at how the Japanese people are dealing with this disaster … and the disaster continues with the nuclear reactors melting down. And yet? Calm.

I know some people are probably thinking, “this white girl from Iowa is racist.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. Not everything comes down to race. It does come down to personal responsibility. Be responsible for yourself and your family. Only you can control your actions and reactions. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to events that happen to you.

So, I say, take responsibility for your actions. Obama? Be a President. Sure, you can fill out your brackets but do it AFTER you’ve commented on the situations in the world and AFTER you’ve discussed your plans to help those in need. Don’t have enough time? Don’t go on National TV with your brackets. Responsibility.

If a natural disaster occurs, I ask my fellow Americans to follow the Japanese’s example of civility, responsibility and calmness. We are an advanced nation, as is Japan. We should act as such.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 08:48:59

    “The Japanese had NO warning of the earthquake and tsunami.”

    Actually, I’ve been reading about how their early warning system may have saved a lot of lives. They have an earthquake early warning system that is much better than anything the US had.

    As far as Katrina, New Orleans actually took the hit from the hurricane pretty well. After is passed, people were saying how lucky they were. It was hours later when levy breaches flooded the town that the problems began.

    “I live in Iowa. The last few years we’ve suffered through floods and natural disasters of our own. Are we having fundraisers for our disaster? Is the news broadcasting tornadoes five years later? No. Because we can take care of ourselves and our neighbors WITHOUT the Government handing us EVERYTHING.”

    In the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area, the federal government did hand out quite a bit of money for flood recovery (mitigation efforts, buyouts, and yes … even FEMA trailers). I agree that people here were relatively patient (for the most part).

    And, yes, I agree that the topography of New Orleans creates some interesting problems 🙂


  2. Martin Kelly
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 11:36:15

    Oh, let the President have his half hour of fun. There is not much he can do in this disater anyway. As you pointed out, the Japanese are dealing with the problems. They are not just standing there in shock like the people and goverment of Indonesia did a couple of years ago. He has sent in the fleet, had a press conference to tell the world that the United States will stand by their allie and provide any support that is needed. That is about all he can do right now.

    I heard a commentatory complain that the President did nto address the earthquake and tsunami in his address on National Womens week. He talked about the topic at hand, women. I think that we as a nation really put too much faith in what our presidents can and cannot do.

    On the rest of your article, you are exactly right. Every location has its dangers. The way you handle problems defines you as a person, as a community and as a nation. Even with all of the whining and government intervention, the American people donated more time and money individually than the government provided. My church still has summer trips to help the towns that did not get attention in the Katrina region (not just New Orleans but all of Louisiana and Mississippi, some of the poorest counties in the country).


  3. Squeaky
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 12:14:26

    Right on Crunchy! The WORLD views the President of the US as a major icon and it seems that many areas/people hang on his every word. I only hope that he is doing more behind the scenes that it appears. I would only suggest to him that he watches all the seasons of 24 and try to pick up on some of the lessons. Yes, I know 24 is not real. I can also say that there is probably some valuable lessons that we can all take from the very plausible scenarios.

    Katrina—-Uggggghhhhhh. You are correct, the people of Iowa have shown their incredible strength in dealing with all the adversity. I have received several emails from people detailing the tornado’s that have hit areas. A few years ago a tornado hit the building that I am sitting in right now in Colorado. I made it to the 3rd floor (top floor) bathroom just moments before we took a direct hit. I watched out the door as the exterior windows were shattering, the ceiling tiles were shaking and allowing daylight to come through from the roof. I listened as hail, rocks, signs bounced off our building and all the cars in the parking lot. There was complete devestation to the area but the community got together and we ALL worked as one at picking up the pieces of destroyed homes, building, etc. My car was totalled, my sisters house damaged but still repairable. Our community was strong and we were not divided or adversarial like we saw in Louisiana.

    I agree with Martin that even the President of the US deserves some down time. I would still hope that in times of crisis, our President is making sure that all of his/her responsibilities are taken care of first. I don’t think we can say with certainty that Obama didn’t complete all of his responsibilities. That being said, perception is reality to people and I can say with certainty what my perception is.



  4. Evan @40Tech.com
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 14:26:02

    Argh. I said to somebody the other day that I wondered how long until someone on the fringe tried to bring politics into this. Please give it a rest. In a situation like this, it’s actually a bit offensive.


  5. The Angry Squirrel
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 14:46:03

    When it comes to this President and conservatives though squeaky what is real is never what is percieved anyways. I think all Republicans in Kansas now hope the Jayhawks lose in round one. If he says the earth is round then it must be flat, etc. As much as I dislike this President as a liberal, I am think that he is certainly able to multitask and take the little time out of one day it takes to do th little ESPN bit.

    It was refreshing though to see a conservative viewpoint on Japan that did not include saying that they deseved it, its God’s wrath on them, etc so despite disagreement with most of the rest of the post you decidrd not to go the predictable route for a conservative on that part at least.


  6. kosmo
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 15:39:23

    One question to ask … did Obama do this on his lunch break? If so, he wasn’t on company time, since he would have been clocked out 🙂

    The Japan bashing seems a bit odd to me. We’ve been allies now for, what, like 50 years? If something like this happened to England, would we say “Serves them right for the Boston Massacre?” I could understand if Pearl Harbor had been attacked last year, but it’s been almost 70 years. The people who planned the attack are either dead or very old at this point. The five year old kid who skipped off to school the day of the earthquake is no more responsible for the bombing of Pearl Harbor than I am for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


  7. Onij
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 23:03:32

    “You’ve got to be kidding me.”


  8. Eric
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 21:20:50

    Wow. This is your gripe? Admit it… you hate him because he is a Democrat, right?

    Frankly, though I think being a Democrat is dumb… but not as dumb as being a Republican. how can you get behind a party that claims to be conservative and spends as much as the Democrats… but doesn’t have the balls to vote for higher taxes to pay for it?


Leave a Reply