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By Dave Lindorff
In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.
The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.
As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.
TONIGHT!!! Wednesday, July 6, 8-9pm EST
Join award-winning author & columnist Bob Koehler
with Harvey "No Nukes" Wasserman at the
SOLARTOPIA! GREEN POWER HOUR
Go to www.talktainmentradio.com and call (877)932-9766.
Welcome to our Green-Powered Earth!!!!
Lies, Damn Lies, and Safe Nuclear Power - by Stephen Lendman
In any form, nuclear power is inherently unsafe. For decades, nuclear expert Helen Caldicott warned it must be abandoned, saying:
"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced."
Anti-nuclear activist/expert Professor Karl Grossman agrees, calling "Atomic Energy: Unsafe in the Real World" in his June 29 article, saying:
"Nuclear power requires perfection and no acts of God" to avoid accidents that may become catastrophes. Humans and technology aren't perfect. Natural and other type disasters happen. "(W)e can't eliminate them. But we can - and must eliminate atomic energy" or it will eliminate us.
By Harvey Wasserman
Humankind is now threatened by the simultaneous implosion, explosion, incineration, courtroom contempt and drowning of its most lethal industry.
We know only two things for certain: worse is yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it -- at least to the extent of what they actually know, which is nowhere near enough.
Indeed, the assurances from the nuke power industry continue to flow like the floodwaters now swamping the Missouri Valley heartland.
But major breakthroughs have come from a Pennsylvania Senator and New York’s Governor on issues of evacuation and shut-down. And a public campaign for an end to loan guarantees could put an end to the US industry once and for all.
FUKUSHIMA: The bad news continues to bleed from Japan with no end in sight. The “light at the end of the tunnel” is an out-of-control radioactive freight train, headed to the core of an endangered planet.
By Laura Leigh
You learn many interesting things traveling on public lands following the wild horse issue in the American West.
You learn that after standing in sub-zero temperatures, attempting to document winter roundups, that returning to the relative warmth of your parked vehicle can make your glasses crack. You learn that chemical toe warmers are good as wrist, neck and “slip into your coveralls attach to your underwear” warmers as well. You learn that rattlesnakes don’t always rattle.
You learn the maneuvers the federal government will attempt to hide their actions when “managing” America’s wild herds: Maneuvers that range from lying about facility contracts to a roadblock on a remote dirt road operated by armed men who stop three woman from seeing the wild horses being captured.
On June 19, 1971 both houses of Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro, act without a single dissenting vote. That act read:
"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.
Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.
Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.
"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."
Mountaintop Removal: Environmental and Human Destruction for Profit - by Stephen Lendman
Activists call it "strip mining on steroids." So did John Mitchell in his March 2006 National Geographic article titled, "Mining the Summits: When Mountains Move," saying:
Julia 'Judy' Bonds, "(a) coal miner's daughter....no longer (could) tolerate the blasting that rattled her windows, the coal soot that she suspected was clotting her grandson's lungs, and the blackwater spills that bellied-up fish in a nearby stream."
As a result, she moved downstream and joined Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW), an activist group against mountaintop removal.
CRMW is an initiative "to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal, to improve the quality of life in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities."
Access its web site through the following link:
Americans are feeling the chill of economic malaise, and the policy response should be to divert part of the defense budget and to tax U.S. corporations' offshore profits to develop an alternative energy infrastructure, columnist Cate Long writes.
Jun 8, 2011 - Our nation is in a serious economic crisis. Both political parties dance around each other with varying demands for cuts in entitlement programs, tax increases and a rise in the debt ceiling. It’s a doomsday prospect and the American people are feeling the chill of economic malaise.
By Annika Breidthardt
BERLIN | Mon May 30, 2011 3:04pm EDT
(Reuters) - Germany plans to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022, Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition announced on Monday, in a policy reversal drawn up in a rush after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
ScienceDaily (May 18, 2011) — A session presented May 18 explored the inhalational exposures and respiratory outcomes of military deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Presenters reviewed current knowledge on complex inhalational exposures, epidemiologic studies, animal toxicology studies, and clinical lung findings in U.S. military men and women who are returning from Southwest Asia.
Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman
Visual evidence now confirms what earlier was known: namely, that Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station experienced at least one core nuclear meltdown, perhaps much worse than now admitted.
An earlier article explained, accessed through the following link:
Nuclear expert Karl Grossman calls it the ultimate nuclear nightmare, a real time China Syndrome, portrayed fictionally in the 1979 film by the same name.
On May 12, Hiroshima Peace Institute Professor Robert Jacobs told Russia Today TV that plant conditions "are much more serious than we were told earlier."
In fact, confirming a coverup, he explained:
DAVID SWANSON: Okay, we’re recording, this is David Swanson, I’m speaking with Harvey Wasserman, long time wonderful activist, author, author among other of wonderful books of "Solartopia," and Harvey, you were emailing me yesterday a little bit about success stories. Do you want to elaborate?
Orangutans are endangered by loss of their forest habitat. (Photo © naturepl.com / Anup Shah courtesy WWF)
April 29, 2011 (ENS) - Environmental leaders and politicians from around the world today called for an urgent move towards a global green economy in order to achieve sustainable development and wildlife conservation over the next 50 years.
Low-carbon technology, green infrastructures, investment in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture are essential in combating climate change, poverty and water shortages, said participants in the summit convened by WWF to mark the global conservation organization's 50th anniversary.
Physicians for Social Responsibility marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986) by releasing a new interactive Evacuation Zone Map. It shows a person’s residence in relation to a nuclear reactor and its evacuation zone. One third of the population of the United States (over 111 million people) lives within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor.
In this I will just add a few reports I've come across this morning while waking up, might add some more as they trickle in.
Poisoning Mother Earth: America's Gulf and Fukushima - by Stephen Lendman
As best we know it, the shocking truth is that preventable disasters keep proliferating life destroying contamination globally. Yet news about them is suppressed, so few people everywhere are unaware how calamitously they're being harmed.
As a result, distinguished environmental researcher, Dr. Ilya Perlingieri, now warns to stay out of rain because it's likely radioactive. So is drinking water, food and air with unknown levels because governments like America and Japan won't say.
However, Norwegian Institute for Air Research static and dynamic maps show radiation contamination across the Northern Hemisphere with estimates of potential releases, increasing daily. Access them through the following link:
Also, Radiation Network.com gives levels across America, accessed through the following link:
By Ted Glick
Oh why can't you see
It's my life that's at stake
When you sell out our world
You are stealing my future.
Can you look in my eyes
As you gamble our lives?
When will you stop the lies
So that we can survive?
If you represent me
Not the fossil fuel industry
You must stop wasting time
Chasing your dollar signs.
Oh, say will you listen to
If you refuse to hear us now
Then we have to shut you down.
-sung to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner
There were two nonviolent civil disobedience actions that bookended the powerful Power Shift conference this past weekend in Washington, D.C. organized by the Energy Action Coalition. Because of these actions, and because of the success of Power Shift, there's reason to have hope that we could soon be seeing a much-needed, more massive, nonviolent direct action wing of the climate movement, of the progressive movement, led by young people.
A year ago BP began filling the Gulf of Mexico with oil.
Last week BP blocked a woman from entering its annual meeting.
Which will prove the bigger mistake?
BP may have chosen the right country to hit with the worst oil disaster in world history. If there's any population that will take seeing its land and water destroyed for corporate profit lying down, it's got to be us. We're split between gratitude and indifference: should we thank BP or just stay out of its way?
Alarming New Fukushima Reports - by Stephen Lendman
Five weeks after Japan's disaster, reports suggest worse, not improved conditions. It portends serious regional and global trouble ahead, besides what's already happened.
On April 16, AP headlined, "Radioactivity Rises in Sea Off Japan Nuclear Plant," saying:
"Levels of radioactivity have risen sharply in seawater near (Fukushima), signaling the possibility of new leaks at the facility, the government said Saturday."
The announcement followed a 5.9 level aftershock rocking the country early Saturday. So far, no additional damage reports were issued. However, seawater radioactive Iodine-131 spiked to 6,500 times above normal, up from 1,100 times Friday, and Cesium-134 and 137 rose nearly fourfold.
Fukushima Elevated to Level 7 - by Stephen Lendman
Fukushima's disaster will scar much, perhaps all of Japan for generations, including fetuses and newborns to be genetically harmed by radiation poisoning.
Kyodo News announced the latest news headlining, "Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl," saying:
"The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) upgraded its provisional evaluation based on an estimate that radioactive materials far exceeding the criteria for level 7 have so far been released into the external environment...."
NISA and Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) estimate that 370,000 - 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been released from Units 1, 2 and 3. One terabecquerel equals one trillion becquerels.
A few days ago, I drove past the house we sold in 1994 to move to Nashville. There was a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Later, I went to the web, curious about the price. It’s three times what we’d accepted. Then, I scrolled through the photographs. Had I not seen the front of the Tudor row house and known the house number, I wouldn’t have recognized the rooms. Complete renovation. Gone was the breakfast bar my husband designed and built. Gone were the balcony tiles I’d helped him install. All gone, except the memories.
Mostly, friends came to us. It’s what we preferred, because of our children.
We sat around the large table in the octagon-shaped dining room, its walls covered in a moody, almost smoldering coral.
It was the late 80s and early 90s and we called ourselves the Seinfeld gang. I was Jerry. My best friend Joan was Elaine.
We amused each other.
By Betsy Ross
We are now on the brink of the mother of all meltdowns in more ways than one.
Last weekend, The Times quoted Alan Hansen, a nuclear engineer and executive vice president of Areva NC, a unit of Areva, a French group that supplied reactor fuel to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plan, who spoke before a private gathering at Stanford University. “Clearly,” he summarized, “we’re witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.” What the on-going release of cancer-causing radioactive fragments means in terms of human health and the environment is only beginning to come to light.
Powerful Aftershock Rocks Japan - by Stephen Lendman
Measuring 7.1 (one or more other reports said 7.4), rocked northeast Japan, causing more damage and disruption to a devastated area. It cut electricity to four million homes, disrupted power at two nuclear facilities, and according to Kyodo News:
"Radioactive water spilled from pools holding spent nuclear fuel rods at the Onagawa power plant in Miyagi Prefecture," according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).
For up to 80 minutes, power was lost at Onagawa and the Higashidori nuclear facility. "A small amount of contaminated water spilled on the floor (inside) all three (Onagawa) reactors....In all, water spilled or leaked at eight sections of the plant," also run by Tokyo Electric (TEPCO). In addition, blowout panels designed to control pressure were damaged in reactor number three's turbine building, TEPCO saying a complete damage assessment was ongoing.