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When You're Making Other Plans

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.

English Information on the Earthquake & Nuclear Disaster in Japan

FYI at

YUMI KIKUCHI’S BLOG AND PODCAST

Yumi is a committed worker for peace & justice and translated the book ADDICTED TO WAR into Japanese.

Premediated Murder

Premeditated Murder
By Missy Comley Beattie

I used to joke with my peace-movement friends, telling them I might self-immolate in front of the White House to make a statement about war. And, then, I’d laugh, saying there was just one glitch in the plan—I’d require so much Valium I’d be unable to strike the match.

For weeks, I’ve thought about a 26-year-old Tunisian man. Mohamed Bouazizi, educated, jobless, unable to feed his family, and desperate, doused himself with gasoline and died from his burns. This sacrificial act triggered the uprising in Tunisia and inspired other people across North Africa to do the same.

We are witness to revolution, civil wars, in which ordinary people are demanding basic rights.

Lately, I’ve been obsessing about the catastrophe of Fukushima, a crescendo of events as/more devastating than Chernobyl.

Petition to HELP JAPAN Shut Down Hamaoka & Tokai Nuclear Power

Dear Friends,

Yumi Kikuchi & Gen Morita are our good friends who live in Japan. They are anti-war & anti-nuclear activists who have done so much good work, both in Japan & internationally on these issues. Yumi & Gen translated "ADDICTED To WAR" into Japanese and were responsible for over 70,000 copies being sold in Japan. They also put Japanese subtitles on my film “What I’ve Learned About U. S. Foreign Policy” and screened it at the first ever Tokyo Peace Film Festival, which they organized. I could go on & on listing many of the things they have done to promote Peace in the world. Below is what they are asking us to do to help them now.

Frank Dorrel
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 007 Los Angles, CA
-----------
The petition can be accessed through Yumi Kikuchi's blog below or contact her at yumik@fine.ocn.ne.jp

You Can Help Japan : STOP HAMAOKA and TOKAI Nuclear Power Plants Now

Peril of Nuclear Weapons

New Book on the Peril of Nuclear Weapons Highlights the Archive's Nuclear Vault

Ron Rosenbaum's How the End Begins Lauds "Astonishing Compilation" of Declassified Documents on the Bomb

MORATORIUM: Any Radiation Exposure Is Unsafe

Physicians for Social Responsibility Calls for a US Moratorium on New Nuclear Reactors, Citing Medical Risks

Warns Any Radiation Exposure Is Unsafe

Washington, DC - March 19, 2011 – Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) today called for a nationwide
moratorium on new nuclear reactors in the United States and a suspension of operations at the nuclear reactors with a similar design as those involved in the disaster in Japan, as well as those on fault lines. PSR cited the medical risks associated with any level of radiation exposure regardless of how small. Lower doses result in less chance of harm than higher doses, but any dose level can put an individual at risk.

Report Underscores Ticking Time Bomb Of US Nuke Power Plants

By Linn Washington, Jr.

A timely report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, based on data from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), contains troubling news about the state of America’s vast network of nuclear power plants.

The report, which examined serious incidents at 14 U.S. nuclear power plants nationwide from New York to California in 2010, finds fault with both plant operators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which is supposed to oversee them.

“Many of these significant events occurred because reactor owners and even the NRC tolerated known safety problems,” states the report, entitled: “The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010: A Brighter Spotlight Needed.”

While none of the 14 safety incidents tagged in the Union’s report as “near misses” produced harm to nuclear plant employees or the public, the report terms the frequency of these incidents, which averaged more than one per month, “high for a mature industry.”

Power Corrupts, Nuclear Power Corrupts Absolutely

Michael Collins

Each day of the Fukushima I disaster brings news that in some way invalidates previous news on developments. There was a hitch, however, when Reueters reported that the only option left was to bury the plant (Reuters Pulls Story on Nuke Plant). The story was "disappeared" entirely. The one thing we know for sure is this - the nuclear industry is predicated on industry needs for profit and survival. Their time is up after this disaster.

Seismology, Nukes and Bracketology

By Missy Comley Beattie

It’s blue here in Kentucky, true blue, a landscape of royal blue, this altar to basketball and home to the Kentucky Wildcats whose devotees are historically and hysterically frenzied for victory.

The same day I awakened to breaking news of breaking tectonic plates, breaking nuclear reactors, and breaking hearts, I left my sister Laura's house for exercise and heliotherapy. An elderly woman pushed her walker in the middle of a street, a man entered his house with a giant box of Pepsi Cola attached to his arm, and another person was at his mailbox. All were costumed in Big Blue fan-ery.

On Sunday, the Cats defeated the Florida Gators to win the SEC tournament. Often, during the action, we zipped to CNN’s coverage of Japan’s tsunami, earthquakes, and maybe-yes, maybe-no, Chernobyl-like meltdowns.

The Idiocy and Hubris of Engineers: Will GE Get Whacked for the Catastrophic Failure of its Nuke Plants in Fukushima?

By Dave Lindorff

GE, the company that boasts that it “brings good things to life,” was the designer of the nuclear plants that are blowing up like hot popcorn kernels at the Fukushima Daiichi generating plant north of Tokyo that was hit by the double-whammy of an 8.9 earthquake and a hugh tsunami.

The company may escape tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in liability from this continuing disaster, which could still result in a catastrophic total meltdown of one or more of the reactors (as of this writing three of the reactors are reported to have suffered partial meltdowns, and all could potentially become more serious total meltdowns with a rupture of the reactor container), thanks to Japanese law, which makes the operator--in this case Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) liable. But if it were found that it was design flaws by GE that caused the problem, presumably TEPCO or the Japanese government could pursue GE for damages.

Japan's Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

By Harvey Wasserman, Editor, NukeFree.org

Had the massive 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake that has just savaged Japan hit off the California coast, it could have ripped apart at least four coastal reactors and sent a lethal cloud of radiation across the entire United States. (http://nukefree.org/ace-hoffman-computerized-graphic-what-if-chernobyl-h... )

The two huge reactors each at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon are not designed to withstand such powerful shocks. All four are extremely close to major faults.

All four reactors are located relatively low to the coast. They are vulnerable to tsunamis like those now expected to hit as many as fifty countries.

San Onofre sits between San Diego and Los Angeles. A radioactive cloud spewing from one or both reactors there would do incalculable damage to either or both urban areas before carrying over the rest of southern and central California.

Pakistani and Indian Newspapers Say US CIA Contrtactor Raymond Davis is a Terrorist

By Dave Lindorff

Pakistani and Indian newspapers are reporting that Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor in jail in Lahore facing murder charges for the execution-slayings of two young men believed to by Pakistani intelligence operatives, was actually involved in organizing terrorist activities in Pakistan.

As the Express Tribune, an English-language daily that is linked to the International Herald Tribune,reported on Feb. 22:

“The Lahore killings were a blessing in disguise for our security agencies who suspected that Davis was masterminding terrorist activities in Lahore and other parts of Punjab,” a senior official in the Punjab Police claimed.

Why Pakistan Cannot Release the Man Who Calls Himself Raymond Davis

Shaukat Qadir

Islamabad--By now journalists everywhere (except in the US) have come to the conclusion that there is far, far more to Raymond Davis than is being revealed by the US or by Pakistani officials. That he was engaged in anti-state activities in Pakistan and that the two young men he killed were intelligence agents tailing him is virtually an accepted fact.

The US, never famous for its diplomacy (The Ugly American, which made that point more than half a century ago, became a best seller and a very successful movie, starring Marlon Brando), seems to have discovered fresh depths to its strong-arm, coercive diplomacy. The mere fact that no less a personage than the US President has asked that this low-ranked person be granted absolute immunity, is indicative of the US desperation to get him him out of Pakistan and its court system.

60 Years of Disaster

by Jim Haber, Coordinator of Nevada Desert Experience

Global Zero Leaders Herald U.S. Senate Ratification of New START Treaty

Statements from U.S. START 1 Chief Negotiator Amb. Richard Burt and Russian Sen. Mikhail Margelov

Washington DC – Leaders of the Global Zero movement today heralded the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty.

Amb. Richard Burt, START 1 chief negotiator and Global Zero U.S. Chair, said:

“The Senate’s action today was imperative for national security. The New START Treaty will continue the important process of reducing and monitoring U.S. and Russian Cold War arsenals, and pave the way for the critical next step: bringing all nuclear weapons countries into multilateral nuclear arms negotiations for the first time in history.

The Treaty will strengthen U.S-Russia relations -- which is essential for our efforts to prevent Iran from getting the bomb and to build a strong international coalition to stop nuclear proliferation worldwide.”

What I Saw at the Pro-Nuclear Proliferation Press Conference in the U.S. Capitol

By Jay Marx

This sad event, held in a small conference room in the Capitol Visitors Center (Senate side), was sparsely attended by press, and sponsored by an outfit called the "New Deterrent Working Group," evidently an offshoot of the Center for Security Policy, and skipped by Sen Kyl (who evidently "had to go vote...").

But B*sh era relics John Bolton and Rick Santorum said their bits, and a few other notables offered statements. After an hour of paranoia, innuendo and misrepresentation, they did take a few questions and I was able to ask the first. Incredibly, they let me get all three questions in one. For those who are interested, they're below:

"Jay Marx, Proposition One. One correction if I may, as the Senate has held 18 committee hearings on the NEW Start treaty, not 12 as Mr. Gaffney just stated.

December 13 2001

Welcome to the bush start of the 21st century cold wars arms race and destruction of national security, the past decade of the wars and hate rhetoric from here have done the rest!!

U.S. quits ABM treaty

"Today I am giving formal notice to Russia that the United States of America is withdrawing from this almost 30-year-old treaty," Bush said in the White House Rose Garden. "I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks." {continued}

Potentially Hazardous Dust in Iraq and Kuwait

And you'll never guess just what they found in that dust, wink wink!!!!

Iraq, Kuwait dust may carry dangerous elements

MC2 Ace Rheaume / Navy Builder 2nd Class Eric Clark, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, is caught in a sandstorm May 4 at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. A Navy study suggests that dust from Afghanistan contains metals that may cause respiratory problems and brain damage.

Dec 8, 2010 - Researchers studying dust in Iraq and Kuwait say tiny particles of potentially hazardous material could be causing a host of problems in humans, from respiratory ailments to heart disease to neurological conditions.

Book Review: Whole Lotta Lies

By Charles M. Young

Howard Zinn, probably the most influential American historian ever, had an amazing sense of humor when he lectured or met people in person. He could make fun of himself and the audience in a way that exploded the guilt and ambivalence that so often paralyzes liberals, progressives, greens, socialists, anarchists, communists and everyone else on the more-or-less left. Only occasionally, however, did Zinn use his sense of humor in print. His masterpiece, A People’s History of the United States, had no humor at all, as he himself pointed out, because he didn’t find anything funny about the Trail of Tears and all the other ghastly episodes he wove into a narrative that convinced millions of citizens the United States was something less than what they had believed.

The Secret Transfer of Nuclear Materials

START needs to be restarted, which was totally scrapped in the previous administration, and vigorously negotiated, with total common sense goals, to rid the planet of these Weapons of Total Mass Destruction!!

U.S., Kazakhstan complete secret transfer of nuclear materials

November 16, 2010 - Working under extraordinary secrecy, the U.S. and Kazakh governments in the past year have moved nuclear material that could have been used to make more than 770 bombs from a location feared vulnerable to terrorist attack to a new high-security facility.

In the largest such operation ever mounted, U.S. and Kazakh officials transferred 11 tons of highly enriched uranium and 3 tons of plutonium some 1,890 miles by rail and road across the Central Asian country.

A-bomb survivors outraged at Obama over subcritical nuclear test

By The Mainichi Daily News

Victims of atomic bombings expressed their disappointment at U.S. President Barack Obama after his administration carried out its first subcritical nuclear test last month.

"In a word, we feel betrayed. We strongly object to any kind of nuclear testing by any government for any cause, and it was unacceptable," said Sunao Tsuboi, 85, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations.

Haruko Moritaki, 71, co-director of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA), also criticized Obama, saying, "It was a sign that the U.S. government is poised to maintain its nuclear development and capability while advocating a world without nuclear weapons. Such a contradiction is unforgivable. Furthermore, his approach can give countries like India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea an excuse to hold onto their nuclear arsenals."

Democrats Flummoxed: Republican Right Offers Reagan Redux

By James Ridgeway

The Republican right’s Pledge to America is widely being compared with Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. But for those of us with long enough memories, it more clearly harkens back a decade further, to the early days of the Reagan Administration. Now, as then, the Republican agenda has two major political thrusts.

Obama’s DOE conducts nuclear experiment

By Andrew Kishner

On Wednesday, September 15, the United States Department of Energy
conducted a subcritical nuclear explosive experiment under the NNSS
(Nevada National Security Site) facility in Nevada formerly known as
the Nevada Test Site. The subcritical test dubbed 'Bacchus' is the
24th such controversial 'almost' nuclear test whereby plutonium is
bombarded by conventional explosives, short of blowing it up. The
first subcritical test was conducted by the U.S. in 1997 and the most
recent was 2006. The DOE is expected to give a 48 hour notice to the
world community in advance of any full-scale subcritical test but it
does not appear that this precedent was followed, and rather was
completely disregarded. One Nevada activist group has indicated that
they were on a list to get 48-hour notices but never received one.

The DOE's subcritical testing program, which is part of its Stockpile
Stewardship program, is problematic because it is nearly impossible to

Experiencing the Bomb

By Suzy T. Kane, Taos Horse Fly, Taos, New Mexico

I asked a bright and educated 33-year-old friend if she ever thought about the atomic bomb.

“No,” she replied.

“What would it take for you to read an article about the bomb?”

“Well, I guess I’d read it if it were a story about people.”

Shigeko Nimoto Sasamori

I met Shigeko over two years ago when she came to Taos [New Mexico] to introduce the screening of the documentary “White Light, Black Rain: the Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in which she appears. This year commemorates the 65th anniversary of the bombing and because her mission is to make people aware of what happened so that such suffering and destruction will never happen again, she agreed to talk with me by telephone for this article.

Farmland is being readied for a nuclear crop

By KEVIN COLLISON, Kansas City Star

* Bulldozers are rolling on a billion-dollar project that will transform a former soybean field in south Kansas City into America’s only privately developed plant making parts for nuclear weapons.

When it comes to the area economy, there is no question about the importance of the facility being built for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies.

With 2,500 workers, the Honeywell plant now in the Bannister Federal Complex is the area’s third-largest manufacturing facility, after the Ford and General Motors factories.

The replacement project will keep 2,100 well-paid Honeywell jobs in Kansas City. About 1,500 construction workers also will be needed to build the five-building, 1.5 million-square-foot campus, the biggest construction project since the Sprint campus was completed a decade ago.

Fidel Castro: We Have to Persuade Obama to Avoid a Nuclear War

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 30 (acn) “I don’t want to be absent these days. The world is going through its most interesting and, at the same time, dangerous moment and I’m very much committed to what might happen. I still have things to do,” the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, said in an interview published on Monday in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada.

Cuban News Agency

Federal Nuclear Waste Panel Overlooks Public Mistrust, Experts Say

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — According to 16 social science researchers from across the country, a renewed federal effort to fix the nation's stalled nuclear waste program is focusing so much on technological issues that it fails to address the public mistrust hampering storage and disposal efforts.

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Science, experts including Sharon M. Friedman of Lehigh University say that President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future is not focusing enough on the social and political acceptability of possible solutions. "While scientific and technical analyses are essential, they will not and arguably should not carry the day unless they address, substantively and procedurally, the issues that concern the public," the experts write.

The Test Ban Challenge:

Nuclear Nonproliferation and the Quest for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Posted - August 11, 2010 - Government Officials Since Eisenhower Have Seen Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban as Vital for Curbing Nuclear Proliferation, According to Declassified Documents

Craters from underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test site. According to the Department of Energy's caption: "Most subsidences leave saucer-shaped craters varying in diameter and depth, depending upon the yield, depth of burial, and geology. This is the north end of Yucca Flat. Most tests have been conducted in this valley." The current U.S. moratorium on underground tests would be confirmed by ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Photo from National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office.

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