Category Archives: Ideas

Global Marshall Plan?

Future Construction
Future Construction

Is it time for global Marshall plan?

One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, hit Japan overnight, and here on the East Coast, it was breaking headline news, that we all woke up.

My late-night friends on the West Coast, reported and posted, that they were beginning to see the first videos from Japan.

The social networks have been taxed with the spiked increase in usage.

The 24-hour news channels have been showing videos all day long.

It is just amazing to watch the Tsunami waters rolling over the landscapes of Japan, and people caught on the highways and bridges looking at the water heading towards them with no place to go.

It is still far too early to know what the final death toll and financial cost of this earthquake will be, but it is easy to guess that is going to cost billions.

While witnessing the reporting, it occurred to me, that there is going to be a need for a great deal of human power to resurrect what is left in Japan.

I have already read reports indicating that Japan has activated their lobbyists to get money from the United States.

As a human I know we need to give them the money to help them, that is not a question, but are we going to put any constraints on these funds?

Maybe, we should require them to buy US goods, thereby helping to rebuild our manufacturing base and our economy.

Maybe, we should revisit the Marshall plan of World War II, that helped rebuild Europe, updated, and apply it to Japan.

We could also use unemployed Americans, which were willing to travel to Japan, a decent wage to help rebuild the Japanese country, or offer them tax breaks.

The problem that I see with restarting our manufacturing base is that it has been so gutted over the past few years, that it may take time to start producing materials, but this maybe a possible kick start is needed for our economy and may be the world’s.

It would definitely take a massive amount of money to do this, but why not pay Americans?

Local resources in Asia, will most likely get inundated by the immediate needs of such a large scale recovery, but here again, American factories may be able to contribute in some fashion.

Another thing that should be looked at, is making a concerted effort to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power. The Japanese culture in general, is far more open to earth friendly designs then we are here in the United States. This could also spur a growth in research and development within our own borders.

Initially there is going to be a great deal of need for just people power to clean up all the debris that this event has beset upon Japan.

We should also explore the possibility, of reusing as much of the debris as possible in some recycled fashion or another. Plastic and the such gathered and re-manufactured into new items.

This may also be a perfect time to revisit the ideas of apprenticeships in a more hands-on fashion.

There are many experienced people available that could be used as teachers and mentors, to introduce a whole new generation interested in a new potential career. During this crisis we do not have the time for formal classroom training, but needed knowledge can be absorbed by doing the tasks in the field.

If the Marshall plan is going to be used as a framework for this endeavor, we should also look at it as a framework for the potential rebuilding of the Middle East.

Who should run such an operation?

From the beginning of this effort it needs to be realized that this is an international effort, but at the same time there are local customs and considerations that need to be taken into account.

The United Nations would be a likely candidate, but at the same time, tends to be too political in a time where efficiency and urgency is needed.

Maybe we consider, combining two different organizations for this effort.

Because of the large amount of material that needs to be moved in a timely fashion, the military could be used for getting supplies from here to there, which they are ready do as part of their daily routines. They also have the benefit of having the infrastructure to already do this.

But once the supplies are on site, who would run the efforts from there?

The organization that runs this part of the operation needs to be very much aware of the local environment. Obvious issues include language and cultural barriers.

There also needs to be concern for the potential corruption of local efforts that have been witnessed in the past. Record-keeping and accountability need to be monitored for any possible anomalies that could occur, and if any rules or regulations are broken, there needs to be swift remediation. If too much politics gets involved, there will be needless losses.

These are just some quick thoughts…

– Andrew
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Major Overnight 8.9 Earthquake Hits Japan

Bronze Statue of Amita Buddha Daibutsu or Great Buddha
Bronze Statue of Amita Buddha Daibutsu or Great Buddha


3/15/2011 – A new group was started on Facebook that I think needs to be highlighted:

I will open my home to a family from Japan

It is a great idea, and if you think you can NOT afford it, remember, they have NOTHING!

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If you are just waking up, there was a major 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan overnight.

This is one of the largest ever recorded, and from early reports, has caused all sorts of damage, including issues at one of the northern nuclear plants. Many after quakes have also been reported, and many of those are 6.0 and above.

On Facebook, I have gotten notice that friends/neighbors that are in China are safe and sound, I can only wait, hope and wonder for those I know on the main island.

Some of my friends and followers on the west coast, have posted that they watched video of some of the Tsunami reaching Hawaii, live.

I had the chance to go to Japan in 1994, just before the big Kobe earthquake several months late, and while I was there, a small 4.3 shook the house that I was in.

If you have never been in an earthquake, it is a very strange sensation, namely because one has no control of what is going on around you.

Needless to say, in the coming hours, days, weeks and months, there will be much sorrow, pain and suffering.

Also, be aware, that in times like this, some people will try and take advantage of donations. Be very aware of which organizations which you pledge your money.

I do not subscribe to any particular religion, but please take a moment today, to just send your thoughts to those that may have lost a great deal.

– Andrew
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Related Sites and Info

Japanese Quake Person Finder
Earthquakes near Japan –

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Cold Weather and our Outside Neighbors

When I got back home after dropping of Logan at daycare, I looked out on to our deck, and I saw “Sarah”, our red/orange tingled squirrel that the kids name a couple of years ago.

Not sure why “she” has that coloring, especially considering all the other gray squirrels, but it does make “her” easier to identify, plus “she” is a little bit smaller than the rest of the “gang” that inhabits our backyard which filled with Black Walnut trees.

Seeing her today, reminded me of my chores for our outside friends at this time of year, and hence the reason for this blog post.

Here is a list of some simple things to help out our furry outside neighbors:

  • Fresh Water – At this time of the year, unless you are near running water, the birds and squirrels that are still running and flying around still need water. So please take a moment and fill a container with water so they have something to drink.You will have to change it in the morning, but it is a great way to get kids thinking about nature.
  • Bread Crusts – Madison does not like the crust on her bread (yet), so we have a little container next to the cutting board to collect the what is cut off, and those scraps are then later put on the deck.
  • Pop-Tart Edges – Don’t know why, but the kids do not like them either, but the squirrels do!I have not figured out what their favorite flavor is, but I have watched one of our squirrels trying to get a long piece through the railing on the porch. Very entertaining! (Think of a dog with a long stick, trying to get through a fence door…)
  • Stale Snacks – These can take on many forms, cereal, pretzels, cheese balls, cheese curls, pop corn, french fries, you name it! You may not like it, but our furry friends do not seem to care, especially the crows! (Ever notice what the crows eat on “Trash Day”?)”Crow Salad“/”Critter Granola” – Trying mixing a bunch of items together! It my look gross to you, but trust me, our friends will not care!
  • Kitty TV – This is more for our indoor animals, but our two cats. Jessica and Joy, love to sit/lay on the couch and watch their outdoor friends as they eat!

These are just a few thoughts and suggestions, and I hope I will hear some more from my readers!

- Andrew
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