News, Rube

From this point forward, I will be calling out anyone who spreads false stories. If you are the type to share a link from some unknown Macedonian-run website claiming to have big news concerning US politics, I’ve got my eye on you.

If I see you share a link that says something along the lines of, “CONFIRMED! Bill Paid $1,000,000 to Get Hillary off Terrorist Watch List,” or, “Trump to Announce Son for Cabinet Position,” your transgression may be met with the following:

Nice work, Dantana.

If you get a, “Nice work, Dantana,” you should take that as a criticism of your investigative skills. It should be interpreted as, “Maybe do ten seconds of research next time, sucker.”

If you don’t get the joke, watch The Newsroom.

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A Glimmer

2016 has solidified its legacy as the worst year in recent memory. After Trump, “Brexit”, and Arnold Palmer, the fine people of Planet Earth are struggling to find a glint or glimmer of hope, happiness, justice, or just plain old good.

I thought I’d share one.

When I woke up in Ishinomaki City on March 11th, 2011, Miyagi Prefecture was unknown worldwide, other than the fact that its name rang a bell because of The Karate Kid. Later that day in Miyagi alone, anywhere from 10,553 to 11,788 people lost their lives, 82,999 homes were completely destroyed, and 325,884 civilians sought refuge at evacuation shelters[1].

This major event forever connected me to the city of Ishinomaki, the prefecture of Miyagi, and the country of Japan. It changed the course of, among many million others, my life. I now work for the government of Miyagi. One of my duties is interpretation when non-Japanese speakers come in as guests of the prefecture.

On June 13th of this year, a group of such guests, about twenty university students from California, came to my building as a part of a study tour. A representative from the government delivered a presentation in Japanese, and I interpreted.

In that presentation, I relayed to our English-speaking guests that at at the end of 2015, 39,896 Miyagi residents were still living in temporary housing, and nearly 5,000 were temporarily living outside the prefecture.

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Prefabricated temporary housing like this once housed more than 50,000 people in Miyagi.

I am interpreting the presentation again on Friday, and I will be telling this group about how 15,500 Miyagians live in temporary prefabricated housing, and 3,700 are living temporarily outside the prefecture.

After years of living in cold, cramped, crappy metal boxes, thousands of people here moved into Disaster Public Housing units, which can be permanent apartment complexes, duplexes, and stand-alone homes this year.

2016 was a good year for some people.

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Disaster Public Housing will now house many of the victims of the 2011 disaster.

2016

The American people: Look, Madame Secretary, you’re just too corrupt.

Clinton: I played the game. I did literally what every other politician was doing.

America: So if every other politician jumped off a cliff…

Clinton: So that makes it OK to vote for an illiterate rapist?

America: OOOOH PLEASE HILLARY! Don’t go making this about him!

Myself

I look toward looking back
Pondering the things I lack
To be complete and well at rest
Or fit or rich or heaven’s best
Having not toiled a day
For having perfect words to say
A life renown or envy earned
But giving nothing in return
In comfort finding wonder’s end
But offer all to live again

No need at all to live again
I look toward my future end
This precious life I need just one
Then pass to daughter or on to son
Enjoy my short time on Earth and
Find myself a novel person