We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As I said earlier MF needs to do a deep search into the new ambassador to China--Gary Locke will make the poor Japanese people pay 10X for every drop of water, food, supplies, etc. that comes from China. As to ownership of national industries--ha wait and see what he does with that one!
A lot of Japan's dogged good manners in the face of catastrophe may be due to the homogeneity of its population. They have high standards for their reactions to fellow Japanese, just as England had among its aristocratic elite ["England expects every man to do his duty," etc.]. There is an element of xenophobia there in their attitude toward everyone but themselves. They can be polite to Westerners, if said Westerners are initially polite to them, and can be charming in a distant kind of way. But they reserve their best behavior to others like themselves.
For Americans, who glory in our diversity, this is sometimes hard to understand.