Thursday, March 17, 2011
March 17 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Electricity - It's Use Isn't Necessarily The Problem... But Generating It Certainly Is
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March 17 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Electricity - It's Use Isn't Necessarily The Problem... But Generating It Certainly Is
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In The News:
Thanks this morning to ChrisM, my MP3Angel, for supplying the news and commentary audio files.
[After the commentary, The Kinks suggest a better way... No electricity required. Courtesy of the respective artists.]
» What would have happened if a Pakistani national had done this in the U.S.? Raymond Davis, the CIA/Xe operative apparently responsible for drone strike targeting in Pakistan, captured with a cell phone full of al Qaeda related phone numbers after shooting two 'muggers' (at least one of them FIVE TIMES in the back...) has been released after a deal was made with the victim's families for 3/4 million dollar compensation per victim, avoiding a rather nasty public trial in which he could have easily been sentenced to death. His arrest caused a major diplomatic row between the US and Pakistan.
» Japan is still battling four, or perhaps five runaway nuclear reactors and the 30,000 person minimum death toll caused by an earthquake and tsunami last week. One of the reactor's storage pools has drained dry and is definitely burning and releasing large amounts of radiation.
The US has sent planes to evacuate US citizens if they desire, and have told them to maintain a 50 mile distance from the reactor site. Other damage caused by the tsunami generated by the earthquake... The tsunami swept over Midway Island killing this year's hatch of Petrels and Albatross.
Meanwhile, Japanese military helicopters and fire trucks are dumping water on the burning reactor even as the US says it "stands behind its nuclear program" (waay behind... out of radiation range... See this article by Dimitry Orlov insinuating that people who promote nuclear power are sociopaths...)
It's nice to see they're so confident, considering the US regulatory agencies ignored the atomic science community decades ago (1977) in regard to flaws in this type of reactor's design, and possible fixes, because of construction/maintenance economics and the hesitance to go 'over the head of the heads' of the nuclear power generating industry.
The unspoken argument against requiring that US nuclear power plants be retrofitted with filtered vents was that the industry thought that they were already safe enough and that the expense would be wasteful. And, as today, the commission did not want to force the industry to do more than it was willing to do. [Source: Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsThis is the same reason our coal fired power plants have gagged us with pollution and despoiled the environment in their own inimitable way for years.
In the meantime... SOMEONE has to ask the 'hard question' "Could the same thing happen here?"
At California Nuclear Plant, Emergency Response Plans Don't Include Earthquakes» Muammar Al Gadaffi's forces have taken the city of al Bayda' near Benghazi, the rebels headquarters. The rebel confiscated weapons and ammno from regional military bases but the ammunition is beginning to run out. The UN and NATO have stood back from involvement in the apparent civil war, but the US IS considering going it alone. See: "U.S. mulls air strikes as battle for Benghazi looms", Reuters.
By Chris Kirkham
As the world's attention remains focused on the nuclear calamity unfolding in Japan, American nuclear regulators and industry lobbyists have been offering assurances that plants in the United States are designed to withstand major earthquakes.
But the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which sits less than a mile from an offshore fault line, was not required to include earthquakes in its emergency response plan as a condition of being granted its license more than a quarter of a century ago. Though experts warned from the beginning that the plant would be vulnerable to an earthquake, asserting 25 years ago that it required an emergency plan as a condition of its license, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fought against making such a provision mandatory as it allowed the facility to be built.
Officials at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the utility that operates Diablo Canyon, did not respond to calls seeking comment before the story was published. After publication, a spokesman for the company said the plant does have an earthquake procedure that had been implemented during a 2003 earthquake near the facility, and that staff are trained to respond. The company did not provide further details upon request.
As Americans absorb the spectacle of a potential nuclear meltdown in Japan -- one of the world's most proficient engineering powers -- the regulatory review that ultimately enabled Diablo Canyon to be built without an earthquake response plan amplifies a gnawing question: Could the tragedy in Japan happen at home?
Experts who recall how the California plant came to be erected offer a disconcerting answer: Yes [In Full @ The Huffington Post]
Hint... If you want to make absolutely sure al-Gadaffi regains complete control of Libya, just put U.S. boots on the ground there. As Joseph Goebbels infamously said years ago: "Just tell the people they're under attack from an external enemy and they'll just follow along... It works the same in every country."
» There will be a showdown in Sacramento California today as the legislature meets to continue hashing out a budget extension, already cut to the bone, including the dis-assembly of the state's redevelopment agency (ie. the end of gentrification in California if it happens, to the benefit of everyone who lives there except the land owners and developers) and cuts in programs for the developmentally disabled. The budget may go to to a special election this spring.
In OTHER current and upcoming news:
» The copy at al Jazeera read "Saudi-led military forces have arrived in Bahrain to support the beleaguered government"
Legitimate journalists and diplomats must take exception to the semantic of that headline... A "Beleaguered government" by a country's own people is an impossibility. Unless it's a non-democratic forced or imposed government.
More myth-busting at Foreign Policy magazine where Abu Muquama AKA Marc Lynch conceptually destroys the myth of a Sunni-Shia divide in Bahrain.
The MSM is playing the situation as an ethnic dispute, but there ARE vested interests with their 'fingers dug deep and hard into the media's shoulder' insisting on a self-serving interpretation from the 'talking heads':
Bahrain Brings Back the SectarianismThe MSM's attempts to portray the trouble in Bahrain as a "proxy fight" between Saudi Arabia and Iran is particularly disturbing given the nature of US-Iranian relations right now, and again, an incorrect assumption.
Posted By Marc Lynch
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
While the American and international debate over Libya continues, the situation in Bahrain has just taken a sharp turn for the worse. A brutal crackdown on the protestors followed the controversial entry of security forces from Saudi Arabia and three other GCC states. Media access has been curtailed, with journalists finding it difficult to gain entry to the Kingdom (I was supposed to be in Bahrain right now myself, but elected not to try after several journalists let me know that they were being denied entry and several Embassies in Doha warned me off). The road to political compromise and meaningful reform -- which appeared to have been within reach only a few days ago -- now appears to be blocked, which places the long-term viability of the Bahraini regime in serious question.
The response of the Bahraini regime has implications far beyond the borders of the tiny island Kingdom -- not only because along with Libya it has turned the hopeful Arab uprisings into something uglier, but because it is unleashing a regionwide resurgence of sectarian Sunni-Shi'a animosity.
Regional actors have enthusiastically bought in to the sectarian framing, with Saudi Arabia fanning the flames of sectarian hostility in defense of the Bahraini regime and leading Shia figures rising to the defense of the protestors. The tenor of Sunni-Shi'a relations across the region is suddenly worse than at any time since the frightening days following the spread of the viral video of Sadrists celebrating the execution of Saddam Hussein.
The sectarian framing in Bahrain is a deliberate regime strategy, "not an obvious reality." The Bahraini protest movement, which emerged out of years of online and offline activism and campaigns, explicitly rejected sectarianism and sought to emphasize instead calls for democratic reform and national unity.
While a majority of the protestors were Shi'a, like the population of the Kingdom itself, they insisted firmly that they represented the discontent of both Sunnis and Shi'ites, and framed the events as part of the Arab uprisings seen from Tunisia to Libya. Their slogans were about democracy and human rights, not Shi'a particularism, and there is virtually no evidence to support the oft-repeated claim that their efforts were inspired or led by Iran.
The Bahraini regime responded not only with violent force, but also by encouraging a nasty sectarianism in order to divide the popular movement and to build domestic and regional support for a crackdown... [More @ Foreign Policy]
» As remote-controlled drones bomb civilians in rural Pakistan … as whole villages are obliterated by 25 tons of bombs dropped in Afghanistan … as permanent bases are established in Iraq, already ravaged and torn apart by years of war and a corrupt and brutal regime set up by the U.S. … as torture at Guantanamo and Bagram prisons continue in our name...
WE CANNOT BE SILENT
Resist the War Machine!
What is life like in Iraq after eight years of U.S. occupation?
Iraqi and Johns Hopkins’ physicians count more than one million Iraqis killed. According to the Veterans Administration, more than 50,000 veterans have killed themselves since these wars began. 4.5 million Iraqis were displaced. 50,000 U.S. troops remain, re-named “advise and assist troops.” But they are still killing and dying in Iraq, and the American media has left.
The Iraqi government routinely tortures prisoners with the full complicity of U.S. forces. Journalists are detained and beaten, and women now have fewer rights than under Saddam Hussein, as Human Rights Watch detailed in a report just released...
Send a message to the people of the world on March 19, the anniversary of “shock and awe” on Iraq
TO ALL OF HUMANITY, WE SAY: U.S. wars & occupations are not in our name!
Stop These Wars Now!
Saturday March 19th: 12 noon at the White House.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-973-4463 for more information.
» Quantico, VA - Support Accused Whistleblower Bradley Manning
Sunday March 20: Rally at 2pm (in Triangle, VA at intersection of Main Street and Route 1), then march to the gates of Quantico Marine Base, where Bradley is imprisoned.
Buy a bus ticket from DC to Quantico for the day online. Invite your friends via Facebook. More info.
More protests for Bradley Manning are happening around the country and around the world on March 20th.
Scroll down HERE to find a protest near you.
Global Bradley Manning Action Days in Support of Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower
A short message from "We Are Not Your Soldiers"
"The U.S. government is clearly signaling that murdering, raping, mutilating and assaulting are not nearly as serious as allegedly making available to the public documents that reveal embarrassing and/or criminal actions of senior government officials."
This coming Sunday, the day after mass protests and demonstrations around the United States marking still another anniversary of the yet unfinished war on Iraq and it's people, there will be a 'gathering' at Quantico Marine Brig in Virginia in support of Bradley Manning, who stands accused of leaking NON-CLASSIFIED military documents available to all intel analysts and officers in the Iraq theatre of operations. He has been imprisoned at Quantico brig under media reported inhumane conditions.
Senator Kerry has voiced concern and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has been stonewalled in his request for a meeting with Mr. Manning, has compared the incarceration conditions of the prisoner as equivalent to Abu Ghraib.
PJ Crowley, long time US government spokesman resigned by his own words when he referred in public comment to Manning's incarceration as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” just days ago.
"My recent comments … were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership," he wrote. (src)
More at the Bradley Manning Support Network
On March 19-20, 2011, activist organizations and individuals will take to the streets to protest the U.S. government’s treatment of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. Manning, 23, has been held in isolation for nearly 300 days, charged with releasing classified documents, including a video that shows American troops shooting and killing 11 people, including two Reuters employees, in 2007.For the more technically savvy, or those who despise "Stupid" and the people who would be so ... Visit Us: irc://irc.anonops.in/opmanning, or fire up your IRC client and /join #opmanning at the above named server (alt server .ru)
Organizers are calling on supporters around the world to take public action to protest Manning’s inhumane treatment at the Quantico brig...
(...and try not to let your government kill too many 'dusky natives' in the process OK?)
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