Thursday, May 31, 2012

OWS Week 5/30 - Boeing, Teachers Union, Tax Dodgers, Occupy Farms, GMO

This episode of the show covers the Chicago Boeing protests, Teachers' Union demos and Stand Up Chicago anti-corporate tax dodgers protest.  OWS Week's correspondents also attended the Occupy general assembly for planning in Washington and Chicago and compiled a report on Occupy farms:  A movement to counter genetically modified crops.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

OWS Week 5/23 - G8, Chicago NATO Summit, Tom Morello and more

All eyes turn towards Chicago, beginning May 17th, as 99 percenters rode solidarity bosses from New York City and other cities across the country to meet up with fellow patriots and protest against NATO.

NATO has killed many civilians in Afghanistan, bombed Libya into the Stone Age to plunder its oil.  This is while it ignores repressive regimes in Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt.

NATO forces, backed by the US, invaded Iraq and as a result Iraqi petroleum sources ended up in Western hands.  Cuts are being made to healthcare and students are being crushed by a trillion-dollar debt.

In a protest against NATO warmongering policies, veterans returned their medals. They protested the huge amounts of money being spent on wars at a time of austerity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"We" Unauthorized by Arundhati Roy

submitted by Gabrielle Price

This was a must share for me.  Ms. Arundhati's words have always carried much weight with me and as a music fan, I am hard pressed to find a better 'soundtrack' for her words.  Includes music by Curve, Dead Can Dance, Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets and more...

Well done, anonymous ninja artists.  Well done.

We is a fast-paced 64 minute documentary that covers the world politics of power, war, corporations, deception and exploitation. 

It visualizes the words of Arundhati Roy, specifically her famous Come September speech, where she spoke on such things as the war on terror, corporate globalization, justice and the growing civil unrest.

It's witty, moving, alarming and quite a lesson in modern history. 

We is almost in the style of a continuous music video. The music used sets the pace and serves as wonderful background for the words of Ms. Roy and images of humanity in the world we live all in today.

We is a completely free documentary, created and released anonymously on the internet.

Japan Officials raise allowable amount of radiation

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Japanese officials have raised the allowable amount of radiation from one millisievert to 20 millisieverts after the accident. This will result in an increased incidence of cancer. The public is being mis-led by government.  We need to be fully informed with correct information -- which is difficult to wade through in several different groups as it is coming in fast and daily.  It is not my intention to alarm people unnecessarily but we're past the point of sugarcoating what these governments aren't doing and what they feel is 'the right thing to do for the bottom line' rather than to get the information to the public who will be effected by the contamination already released.  Another earthquake could mean the  irradiation of Northern Hempisphere of the planet which would make uninhabitable.  

I gain nothing by sharing this information, I earn no money from any group, I have no industry ties and no institutional affiliations -- I am here to warn you to protect yourselves and your family as best you can.  I do this work on donations only -- as a researcher, news analyst and mother, my concern is the planet and the health of the creatures and humans on it.

As of today, there is no word of containment -- no word of plans for containment.  So please sign the petition in solidarity with the 72 Japanese signatories to urge UN action to facilitate a global response to this ongoing emergency.

Nuclear power is not something to be politicized or trifled with -- it is dangerous and those who lie about its effects are no more safe in denying that fact than if they were to stand in a hurricane and say the weather is fine.  Food and products are shipped from Japan and other areas effected by this fallout -- it is more than reasonable for us to want to know the truth about what is being done to contain this fallout.

One main reason why I do not believe that any nuclear corporate entity has the right intention and why we as a collective whole need to demand this situation be addressed:
From December 27th, 2011 - The Australian:
They admit it...but that doesn't mean it 'goes away' -- it just means they will not take responsibility for it.
Denial doesn't make you safe -- it makes you sick unless you learn from and prevent further mistakes.

We need to work together -- we are our own civil defense.  Step up.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Greece Is The Word

The following lengthy quote is from a learned Greek scholar:

"So revolutions broke out in city after city, and in places where the revolutions occurred late the knowledge of what had happened previously in other places caused still new extravagances of revolutionary zeal, expressed by an elaboration in the methods of seizing power and by unheard-of atrocities in revenge.  To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one might expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense.  Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted and anyone who objected to them became suspect.  To plot successfully was a sign intelligence, but it was still cleverer to see that a plot was hatching.  If one attempted to provide against having to do either, one was disrupting the unity of the party and acting out of fear of the opposition.  In short, it was equally praiseworthy to get one’s blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong, and to denounce someone who had no intention of doing any wrong at all.  Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership, since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever. These parties were not formed to enjoy the benefits of established laws, but to acquire power by overthrowing the existing regime; and the members of these parties felt confidence in each other not because of any fellowship in a religious communion, but because they were partners in crime.  If an opponent made a reasonable speech, the party in power, so far from giving it a generous reception, took every precaution to see that it had no practical effect.
Revenge was more important than self-preservation, And if pacts of mutual security were made, they were entered into by the two parties only in order to meet some temporary difficulty, and remained in force only so long as there was no other weapon available.  When the chance came, the one who seized it boldly, catching the enemy off his guard, enjoyed a revenge that was all the sweeter from having taken, not openly, but because of a breach of faith.  It was safer that way, it was considered, and at the same time a victory won by treachery gave one a title for superior intelligence.  And indeed most people are more ready to call villainy cleverness than simple-mindedness honesty.  They are proud of the first quality and ashamed of the second.
Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils.  To this must be added violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programmes which appeared admirable – on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy – but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves.  In their struggle for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still.  Here they were deterred neither by claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour.  Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action.  As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.
As the result of these revolutions, there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world.  The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist.  Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion.  As for ending this state of affairs, no guarantee could be given that would be trusted, no oath sworn that people would fear to break; everyone had come to the conclusion that it was hopeless to expect a permanent settlement and so, instead of being able to feel confident in others, they devoted their energies to providing against being injured themselves.  As a rule those who were the least remarkable for intelligence showed the greater powers of survival.  Such people recognized their own deficiencies and the superior intelligence of their opponents; fearing that they might lose a debate or find themselves out-maneuvered in intrigue by their quick-witted enemies, they boldly launched straight into action; while their opponents, overconfident in the belief that they would see what was happening in advance, and not thinking it necessary to seize by force what they could secure by policy, were the more easily destroyed because they were off guard.
Certainly it was in Corcyra that there occurred the first examples of the breakdown of law and order.  There was the revenge taken in their hour of triumph by those who had in the past been arrogantly oppressed instead of wisely governed; there were the wicked resolutions taken by those who, particularly under the pressure of misfortune, wished to escape from their usual poverty and coveted the property of their neighbors; there were the savage and pitiless actions into which men were carried not so much for the sake of gain as because they were swept away into internecine struggle by their ungovernable passions.  Then, with the ordinary conventions of civilized life thrown into confusion, human nature, always ready to offend even where laws exist, showed itself proudly in its true colors, as something incapable of controlling passion, insubordinate to the idea of justice, the enemy to anything superior to itself; for, if it had not been for the pernicious powers of envy, men would not so have exalted vengeance above innocence and profit above justice.  Indeed, it is true that in these acts of revenge on others men take it upon themselves to begin the process of repealing those general laws of humanity which are there to give a hope of salvation to all who are in distress, instead of leaving those laws in existence, remembering that there may be a time when they, too, will be in danger and will need their protection."
Although the passage is descriptive of contemporary events in Greece, it was written by Thucydides about 2,500 years ago.  Actually, it could apply throughout history.  How soon until it arrives on our civilized shores?

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

OWS Week 5/16 - BoA & ALEC protests, Veterans, Europe 99

This episode of the show reviews protest actions from BoA Charlotte North Carolina to New York Hunger strike.  The program also attempts to highlight the large number of deaths among US war veterans on their return to "civi-street" from tours of duty overseas.  OWS Week has for a one-off included the massive European Occupy protests with over a million 99ers taking part in the UK, Spain and Germany.

You support OWS Week by simply viewing these programs every week.
Follow OWS Week on Facebook and Twitter
...and stay tuned...
Next week's show should be chock full of footage from the massive
G8 and NATO protests scheduled this weekend.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Memo To Marketers

submitted by Gabrielle Price


CC: Wall Street, To Big To Fail Banks, Mainstream Media, Oil Companies, Natural Gas Industry, Monsanto, Nuclear Industry, Pharmaceutical Companies, Public Relations Firms and your Corporate Government Accomplices.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fukushima Estimate of Situation / Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine

submitted by Gabrielle Price
May 14, 2012

Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III (US Army Ret.), President of the Natural Solutions Foundation, an international NGO (non-governmental organization), released a 27 minute public service Estimate of Situation about Fukushima, Japan focusing on the immediate threat to the Northern Hemisphere emanating from the highly radioactive ruins of the 5 Fukushima nuclear reactors.

Maj. Gen. Stubblebine has issued previous warnings about the swine flu vaccination and most notably, a warning about GMO foods which sparked a national conversation and movements all over the US to educate the public and push for labeling.

Gen. Stubblebine’s prognosis of Fukushima is dire: “When the highly radioactive Spent Fuel Rods are exposed to air, there will be massive explosions releasing many times the amount or radiation released thus far.  Bizarrely, they are stored three stories above ground in open concrete storage pools. Whether through evaporation of the water in the pools, or due to the inevitable further collapse of the structure, there is a severe risk.  United States public health authorities agree that tens of thousands of North Americans have already died from the Fukushima calamity.  When the final cataclysm occurs, sooner rather than later, the whole Northern Hemisphere is at risk of becoming largely uninhabitable.”

General Stubblebine details the amounts of radioactive materials that will be propelled across the Pacific and across the United States if the Fukushima reactor structures (especially Spent Fuel Pool Number 4) collapse.  With over 15,000 ‘spent fuel rods’ on the site, the Fukushima reactors have accumulated one of the largest stockpiles of these dangerous, intensely radioactive materials on the planet.  No remediation work is being done at the site; there is no official remedial planning or disaster preparation. No private remediation, or public discussion of the need for it, is permitted by the Government of Japan under its new suppression of nuclear discussion laws.

The Natural Solutions Foundation joins seventy Japanese NGOs in calling upon the Secretary General of the United Nations and Prime Minister of Japan last month to coordinate emergency action to shore-up critical structures now at imminent risk of collapse.  [This petition lists 72 Japanese NGOs and has now been signed by over 1500 concerned global citizens.  It will also be sent to the UN and several other officials, world leaders, notable activists and high profile people on the heels of these efforts to get this information on many radars -- sign it here.] 

It has been variously estimated, that a relatively mild earthquake (i.e., 5.0 or greater) will collapse the previously damaged Spent Fuel Rod holding tank of Unit No. 4, containing 85 times the amount of radioactive Cesium137 contained in Chernobyl’s now-entombed reactor.  An estimated 1 Million Europeans are believed to have died as a direct result of that radiation emission following the nuclear explosion of Chernobyl.  

As a humanitarian, strategist, intelligence analyst, father and grandfather, General Bert understands that doing nothing is, quite simply, not an option.  Following his incisive Estimate of Situation, General Bert’s free public service video outlines four simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.  Please share this link with all your circles of influence.

The Trustees of the Natural Solutions Foundation, the largest health freedom organization in the world, urge your participation in disseminating this message since the mainstream media has remained curiously silent in the United States on this massive increase in radiation.  The lack of information is, however, a matter of State policy in Japan where it is now a felony offense to discuss negative aspects of either nuclear power or the Fukushima situation in particular.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fukushima: It May Be too Late Unless the Military Steps in

Published on 5/11/12 

The highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plants present a clear threat to the people of Japan and the world.  Reactor 4 and the nearby common spent fuel pool contain over 11,000 highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies, many of which are exposed to the open air.  The cesium-137, the radioactive component contained in these assemblies, present at the site is 85 times larger than the amount released during the Chernobyl accident.  Another magnitude 7.0 earthquake would jar them from their pool or stop the cooling water, which would lead to a nuclear fire and meltdown.  The nuclear disaster that would result is beyond anything science has ever seen.  Calling it a global catastrophe is no exaggeration.

If political leaders understand the situation and the potential catastrophe, I find it difficult to understand why they remain silent.

The following leaves little to question:
1.  Many scientists believe that it will be impossible to remove the 1,535 fuel              assemblies in the pool of Reactor 4 within two or three years.
2.  Japanese scientists give a greater than 90 percent  probability that an earthquake of at least 7.0 magnitude will occur in the next three years in the close vicinity of Fukushia-Daiichi.
3.  The crippled building of Reactor 4 will not stand through another strong earthquake.
4.  Japan and the TEPCO do not have adequate nuclear technology and experience to handle a disaster of such proportions alone.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter to Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, on April 16, 2012, discussing his fact-finding trip to the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Senator Wyden, senior member of the United States Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, mentioned that “the scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what [he] expected and the scope of the challenge to the utility owner, the government of Japan, and to the people of the region are daunting.”  He also mentioned that “TEPCO’s December 21, 2011 remediation roadmap proposes to take up to ten years to complete spent fuel removal from all of the pools on the site.  Given the compromised nature of these structures due to the events of March 11, their schedule carries extraordinary and continuing risk if further severe seismic events were to occur.”

Many of us echo Senator Wyden’s concerns.

Has the government of Japan and other world leaders considered the facts above that would lead to a global catastrophe, and do they have a clear strategy to prevent this worst case scenario?  Are there any means to shorten the period for the completion of removal spent fuel from all of the pools, in particular of Reactor 4, within two years or so?  Are we able to trust such extraordinary tasks to TEPCO and the private sector?

I believe that the government of Japan should lead the way and embrace all means at its disposal in order to prevent a disaster that would affect our dozens of generations of our descendants.  In this context, I cannot help but consider the role of the military in addition to the international technical support team. They possess the technological and logistical capacity that a company such as TEPCO does not.

Deploying the Japanese self defense force (military) inside the country’s borders would be an incredibly controversial political decision, but the political fallout for the government from this step would pale in comparison to having such an immense global catastrophe occur on its watch.

For this reason, I flew to Japan from New York in April to convey my concerns to Japanese political leaders.  Ambassador Mitsuhei Murata and I  met with Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary, who assured us he would convey our message to Prime Minister Noda before his departure for Washington to meet with President Obama on April 30.  Both leaders might have discussed the Fukushima nuclear accident issue at their private meeting, but the idea for an independent assessment team and international help for the disaster were not mentioned publicly.  I am old enough to understand the politics of the matter, but I cannot accept them.  It will be an irreversible mistake that affects our population for thousands of years if they do not take action now.

If this catastrophe occurred, regardless of policy and politics, all 440 nuclear power plants throughout the world would be forced to shut down, yet our descendants no matter what will have to carry the risk of radioactive materials in the nuclear waste repository for 100,000 to 200,000 years.

This is a long amount of time to conceive of, so let me put it in context.  It is said that our anscestors might have made their journey to the rest of the world from South Africa about 100,000 years ago, and crafted our first tools of the Stone Age about 20,000 years ago.  We will need the same amount of time that our human species has existed for in order to safely deposit radioactive material!  How do we envision the poison to be transferred on to our descendants for so long and how will we find a way to indicate the location of the radioactive repository?  Are we sure that the hundred radioactive repositories throughout the world would be protected from severe seismic events for this incredible period of the time?

If this global catastrophe occurs, the best we can hope is that the memory of our disaster might be passed on to our future generations in the hope that they might invent the new technology to prevent them from another such catastrophe.

Akio and President Gorbachev
Akio Matsumura is a renowned diplomat who has dedicated his life to building bridges between government, business, and spiritual leaders in the cause of world peace.  He is the founder and Secretary General of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival with conferences held in Oxford, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, and Konya.

OWS Week 5/9/12 : May Day Actions, Ohio Bridge Bomb Plot

submitted by Gabrielle Price

This episode of the show reviews all the May Day demonstrations, arrests and police action from the major US cities in April and through May Day, 2012.  OWS Week also examines the Cleveland, Ohio alleged bridge bomb plot and FBI's role in the affair.

You support OWS Week by simply watching these programs.
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The Infinite Growth Model Myth

Is Capitalism Failing Us? 

Capitalism is endorsed as an economic system which promotes democracy and prosperity.  These assertions are vehemently defended by capitalists and concepts such as supply and demand are even referred to as laws.  Such notions are branded into the minds of Americans from birth and make it nearly impossible to critically discuss some of its flawed features.  The very idea that this economic system might need to be altered or even ended, to fit the demands of a changing world, seems radical; for some, downright un-American. Nevertheless, without serious analysis into some of the extreme failures recently brought about due to population increases, mechanization and globalized trading trends, the basic needs of billions of people will not be met.  Other complications, which are responsible for the current destruction of our planet and its life sustaining resources, have presented us with an ethical dilemma of monstrous proportions which can no longer be casually brushed aside or saved for a more convenient time. 

The entire purpose of capitalism is to produce a good or service based upon a demand and continued growth of that business is expected to happen until the demand is met or subsides.  Those that are most successful in a market will grow larger and larger and hire more and more workers and will require more and more natural resources to do so.  In other words, growth is the truest measure of success under this system (and of course, excess capital will be gained for the effort by the capitalist).

This sounds really great if you don’t take into account several mounting problems which are quickly complicating this simplistic view of supply and demand capitalism.  Firstly, our planet is finite and this literally means that we only have so much available landmass and water.  That is fixed and can’t be changed.  Technology may be able to change an environment to give us greater usage of the landmass but the actual area can’t be changed and this is already starting to present us with some real problems. Urban sprawl, for example, has swallowed up land that might be used for other purposes such as farming, or as a source for renewable resources, or might be used to maintain biodiversity.

As populations continue to increase, energy demands also rise which results in serious complications, including warfare.  In order to meet these challenges and sustain a continued growth rate, energy providers will frequently encourage military intervention of their respective governments in order to secure deposits of rare earth minerals, gas and oil reserves.  Other increasingly dangerous industry practices are frequently used, such as offshore drilling, which can have serious impacts upon the health of our oceans aquatic life and even disrupt the food chain.  The recent catastrophic BP Gulf oil spill is a poster child for the severity of environmental damage that can occur from a single botched incident of industry that is legally bound to maximize profits.

Bigger corporations not only require more natural resources for continued growth but also can threaten the democratic will of the people and this inevitability is directly related to how capital organizes labor; as Einstein astutely noted…
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones.  The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.  This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.  The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population.  Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education).  It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
Concentrated wealth has always conflicted with the democratic will of the people because it accrues more political influence as it becomes bigger.  The larger and more monopolistic a corporation becomes the more predatory it becomes to its own market and innovation in similar markets gets suppressed, which limits the choice of the consumer.  Important markets to national security, such as energy, become intertwined with  government and start to rely upon taxpayers money, such as subsidizes or tax cuts, in order to remain dominate.  Alternative solutions and markets never see the light of day under such conditions and eventually corporatism results.  All legislative and judicial measures start to morph into functions for corporate interests and corporate personhood is nothing short of the declaration by corporations of their newfound powers over we the people

Mechanization must also be seriously considered as we think about economics and more specifically the functions of capitalism in today’s world.  During the US industrial revolution populations were smaller and resources were plentiful.  Capitalists made quick work of staking claims on natural resources and production monopolies soon developed which would  later be trust-busted by the enactment of antitrust laws.  As Senator John Sherman remarked...
"If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life."
Mechanization started to mean greater production of goods, which was fine, given the populations of the time and energy consumption needed to fulfill early industrial requirements.  The notion of sustainability wasn’t important to early Americans as they tried to carve out a higher standard of living for themselves.  Workers started to organize and fight for a greater say in how their working lives would be managed.  Economic democracy wasn’t realized, but basic labor laws were achieved.  The culmination of these events created a fledging middle class.

Tying it all together in modern times
In modern times, mechanization is a becoming a more complex issue.  Firstly, it means the replacement of workers with machines which consume huge amounts of energy.  As developing nations move into their own industrial age, such as India, the rate of needed resources climbs upward which encourages increasingly reckless practices of energy producers.  It causes warfare, as more natural resources are needed by nations, because they have growing populations which consume more. To further complicate matters, other renewable energy sources developmental plans are undermined by oil and fossil fuel corporations which control governmental energy policy.

Globalized trade is proving itself to be a huge energy consumer as ships, planes, trains and trucks move goods across hundreds of miles.  Simultaneously, it is responsible for driving down the living standards of workers who  live in developed nations, as they try to match their developing nation counterparts’ poor labor standards and substandard environmental regulatory laws.  As capitalism moves across the globe, under various governmental forms, it still has only one primary purpose and that is to create  profit, profit and profit.  The globalized picture is one of exploitation of resources and people alike.

Is this a sane way to manage our lives?
Millions of people across the globe are starting to recognize that something has gone horribly wrong with the way the modern world works.  They understand that profits are being made off of the misery of others and that our Earth is being carved up by economic vultures.  They realize that a proper economic system must provide for the needs of people first and take care of the Earth, which sustains all life.  Such people are fighting for resource sustainability, not because they are irrational or aren’t sympathetic to those in need of work, but because they realize that we can’t keep consuming more and more on a finite planet.  They are advancing the notion of a return to community ethics and local cooperatives which strengthen direct democracy and economic democracy.  The time is upon us to finally realize what we have wanted all along, the ability to contribute the unique skillsets that each of us have to offer for the betterment of ourselves and our communities, to manage our own lives without unjust interference from others and to make sure that there will be enough left over for our children to do the same.  We can do better.
He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~ Harold Wilson

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Mother of All Shifts Is Here

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Oneness: We Are All Endangered Species

I have spent the last week pouring through information about Fukushima and administrating over the global petition to the UN, [cc: POTUS, NRC, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sen. Wydon and other Senators, Representatives and orgs], sending messages to high profile activists, entertainers and discussing with others in research groups, the best way to get information out quickly about this already life-altering disaster and what could possibly amount to the single most devastating event to all species on the planet as we know it.

What I have been struck by is the lack of self-preservation in regards to taking even the smallest action to create a tsunami of accountability to avert continued devastation.  It's like we've gone back in a time machine to the 1950's and I'm stuck in the movie Pleasantville.

The news from Japan is frightening, infuriating and shocking.  It is also familiar.  The feelings I am experiencing are parallel to the ones many in the Gulf region of the United States have been through but on a scale times 10.  Yet, I am calm enough to focus to do the best I can to get this information out simply because I have been in this position before and learned from it.  Perhaps, on a spiritual level, have learned how to understand and cope with the devastating effects of the folly of hubris.

Meditation helps...but I am very angry.  I honestly don't know a soul who isn't angry or offended or disgusted...and I'd like to add that these feelings ARE OKAY TO HAVE.  We are human, we have feelings -- a great ocean of them -- and burying them solves nothing and serves no greater purpose to you or anyone you claim to love or want to protect, including yourself.  Owning those feelings and focusing on constructive action is the only way to heal the planet -- and ourselves.

Burying legitimate feelings is akin to burying the truth.  They are there to serve as your warning bells. To ignore them is to ignore your intuition. And that, my friends is the exact goal of propaganda or PR.  To make you question yourself and your good sense for a means to their ends.

I have chosen focused anger, warrior energy channeled into constructive action because at this point on my journey, at this time and place in history, it is literally all I know how to do. I look at this moment as THE biggest shift, the awakening of many -- the realization of oneness -- because this nuclear disaster can and will touch the lives of every single living thing on the planet.

You can't get more connected or understand oneness of this magnitude -- unless a comet were to come crashing down upon us and we knew in advance.  We'd spend every moment doing exactly what we said we always wanted to do, tell people the things we always wished we could say, practice radical forgiveness, detachment from illusion and come together to open our hearts to the people we love.  The only difference is that with Fukushima, something can still be done to stop future destruction because we DO have the information -- a year's worth and counting.  We cannot reverse the damage already done in a year -- but the possibility of saving the planet and species still left on it, CAN occur with ACTION.

In regards to the moments of doing or saying those important things we said we always wanted?  Do that, too...but first, understand that it will take your righteous action, global action to demand that constructive action be taken.  There are brave people out there who would volunteer to save the world but we first need to acknowledge the world is in peril.  And unfortunately, the one thing standing in our way is, again, the hubris of man -- to think he could contain a power as awesome as the sun...then lie about the fact that he can no longer contain it.

For what?  The same things people of conscience fight against, occupy on behalf of and demand accountability for:  Power, greed and control.  Illusion.  Samsara.  The transitory.  In the face of this disaster everyone will see, know and understand exactly how transitory these things are that we have spent eons hanging society's values on.  To our own detriment and the detriment of the planet we call home.

Hubris in History
Current history shows us we're still battling an ages old problem -- the inability of man to see his own folly in trying to control things that are simply beyond his capability to master.  A friend of mine shared a song the other day -- Godzilla, by Blue Oyster Cult -- which in this instance may seem like callous jocularity, but there is a lyric within that song that speaks louder than most words I've heard uttered recently in regards to this situation:  "History shows again and again / How nature points out the folly of men."  Never a truer lyric was penned.

This is a time when we can make history -- we are history, we are the shift -- those who see nature pointing out the folly must let men know of their mistakes before they can learn from them.  Right now, they are trapped in a bubble of their own illusions and if we don't do everything within our power to burst that bubble, mankind could perish.

Take for instance the Cuban Missile Crisis -- [source: Wiki] " of major confrontations of the Cold War and generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict.  It also marked the first documented instance of the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD) being discussed as a determining factor in a major international arms agreement."

There are vast examples of hubris in history that would fill volumes in libraries stacked to reach to the moon.  The 'unsinkable' Titanic comes to mind and has been aptly mentioned many times in regards to the same handling of our economy -- that hubris has already hit an iceberg -- and illustrates that the solutions to these larger global problems cannot be solved with money.  The only sane choice is mutual action for the sake of self-preservation of our species, all species, rather than the current course of assured destruction.

If during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the global leadership recognized this basic truth about the future of mankind -- it can be recognized and discussed again.  This is, in essence, the duty and imperative role of leadership.  If you recognize this, I put to you that it is also your duty and moral imperative to lead in this global discussion as well...

Nuclear age culture - Remember when?
Young people may not have a broad understanding of this age like their parents and grandparents certainly do.  Many recall the old Hollywood movies that were part and parcel of the dawning of the nuclear age -- films that served to warn mankind about this 'mutually assured destruction', albeit in a very fantastic way.  The production of popular narrative films with nuclear topics largely conforms to periods of heightened nuclear awareness or fear, such as the fear of fallout from nuclear testing manifested in the atomic creatures in science fiction movies of the late 1950s.  By their very numbers, and through a set of recurring stylistic and narrative conventions, nuclear films reflect a deep-seated cultural anxiety.  The films have ranged in themes as they relate to the first atomic bombs (The Beginning of the End), to nuclear testing and fear of fallout (the Godzilla factor), to the Cold War arms race (Dr. Strangelove), to nuclear war (The Day After), and post-apocalypse (The Terminator). [1]

While this might be otherwise compelling in a nuke-free and safe world, it is currently frustrating as hell to those who remember -- we appear to have missed the messages of not only the culture [Silkwood, The China Syndrome] but also history [Three Mile Island, Chernobyl] and have regressed once again back to an almost 1950's mindset of being strangely comforted by those in leadership to not only think, "that couldn't possibly happen" but actually believe "nuclear energy is safe" after all this time and after all the evidence glaringly dictates otherwise.

Art forms like film, reflect our cultural climate throughout time and have historically reflected the underlying problems we face.  This doesn't happen often enough in the current film industry, in my opinion, simply because corporations, media and the military are involved in a lot of the debasing of our cultural currency as well.  Yes, a bright, shiny gold or silver coin of a film slips through their cracks on glorious occasions....but the current nuclear industry PR is so pathetic in its inability to be honest about the dangers, especially when they avoid mention of the aged and failing infrastructure, that  their reassurance means little to those who remember Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and have evolved well beyond the 1950's mindset.

Acronym irony
Let's do a comparison of what I'll call the "Pleasantville" mindset* to the reality of disaster capitalism in a nuclear age.  Take into consideration these recent quotes from two nuclear "experts" and compare them to the 1952 GE nuclear campaign claims in the PR film below.  The idea here is to help you understand that the 'official word' is more often the 'corporate' word because of this addiction to growth and profit margins.
"The best place to be whenever there’s an earthquake is at the perimeter of a nuclear plant because they are designed so well." − Ziggy Switkowski, 14 March, 2011, ABC
 "There is no credible risk of a serious accident. The risk of meltdown is extremely small, and the death toll from any such accident, even if it occurred, will be zero.  There will be no breach of containment and no release of radioactivity beyond, at the very most, some venting of mildly radioactive steam to relieve pressure.  Those spreading FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] at the moment will be the ones left with egg on their faces.  I am happy to be quoted forever after on the above if I am wrong ... but I won't be." − Prof. Barry Brook, Adelaide University
Although the "Atoms for Peace" campaign was formally launched in 1957, corporate America began to promote peaceful uses of atomic energy as early as the first few months after Hiroshima.  A Is For Atom, an artifact of this effort, takes this highly loaded and threatening issue straight to the public in an attempt to "humanize" the figure of the atom.
A Is For Atom speaks of five atomic "giants" which "man has released from within the atom's heart": the warrior and destroyer, the farmer, the healer, the engineer and the research worker.  Each is pictured as a majestic, shimmering outline figure towering over the earth.  "But all are within man's power and subject to his command," says the narrator reassuringly, and our future depends "on man's wisdom, on his firmness in the use of that power."
General Electric, a long-time manufacturer of electric appliances, power generation plants, and nuclear weapon components, is staking a claim here, asserting their interest in managing and exploiting this new and bewildering technology.  Its pitch: this is powerful, frightening, near-apocalyptic technology, but managed with firmness, it can be profitable and promising.  This "Trust us with the control of technology, and we'll give you progress without end" pitch resembles what we've seen in films like General Motors' 'To New Horizons' but the automobile, of course, wasn't a weapon of mass destruction.
Note the ironic use of an acronym in the second quote above the film and the closing, "if I am wrong...but I won't be."  Strange how the word 'if' even shows up at the end of a long-winded statement meant to quash uncertainty and doubt, isn't it?  It's the end of that quote that says loudly, "I don't speak for science, I'm speaking for industry."  Scientists don't deal in absolutes and would never be so cocky in the face of such awesome power that commands respect.  As you can see by the claims from GE in the film synopsis, which sounds as if it were written by Ayn Rand on crack, to not hold nuclear power in cautious reverence is man's folly -- that is the ultimate in hubris.  And knowing that is the key to being able to tell the difference between real science [which always seeks knowledge = understanding] and PR [which claims absolutes for a means to an end = profit].  Unfortunately, capitalism has turned into Godzilla and its lower-functioning brain does not recall that acronym: MAD.  Naomi Klein coined the term "disaster capitalism" in her groundbreaking book, The Shock Doctrine.  It is quite literally the closest cousin to Mutually Assured Destruction.

The destruction happening every minute in Fukushima is mutually assured unless we act.

Energy is best focused on solutions.  EPA is not doing it's job nor are most government agencies who are charged with protecting the health and welfare of the people.  This problem is global in scope as evidenced by the media blackouts in Japan.  Agencies that we should be able to rely upon in situations of this magnitude, like the NRC, are now compromised by corporate infiltration. Press releases and conferences [more PR] are designed to keep you out of the loop, politics designed to make you feel ungrateful for this 'clean energy' solution they claim WE wanted, and as a consequence, we are ill-advised and unequipped to protect our own hide from the dangers that have already effected the ocean, the food chain, the west coast of the US and beyond.

Many of the people who realize the extent of the damage already done, know that at this point, we have 'crossed a Rubicon' and need to accept that we may be exposed to some amount of radiation already.  We should use every tool we have [medicines, nutrition, homeopathy] to mitigate the effects of exposure.  We need to stay committed to work, first and foremost, toward a global effort to help Japan with containment of Fukushima, with all the brilliant minds and might we have around the world -- and then on to focus locally, following the lead of other nations like Germany, Switzerland and hopefully France, in safely shutting down all US nuclear plants.

Focus on mutually assured cooperation while we still have the resources and technology at hand.
The leaders, bankers and capitalists of the world wanted one kind of globalization.
Let's show them they are getting quite another.

Do you see?  It is our collective consciousness -- our oneness -- that is what they fear.
The more we understand and use this power, the better off we will all be.
Don't underestimate it...

Everything else we do is building sandcastles...until this is dealt with.

Please join us in signing the global petition to demand action at Fukushima.
Current addressees/recipients of the petition:

The President of the United States
Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Rep. Edward Markey (MA-07)
Rep. John Conyers (MI-14)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (Ambassador Susan Rice)
Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Gregory Jaczko)
Outreach Associate Union of Concerned Scientists (Chrissy Elles)
[This list is growing daily]


[1] Source: Film and the Nuclear Age: Representing Cultural Anxiety (Garland Studies in American Popular History and Culture)
* This little golden coin of a film deserves an honorable mention and recommendation.

Friday, May 11, 2012

PSA : Mainstream Circus / Smoke And Mirrors Media

submitted by Gabrielle Price

...drowning in paid opinions is more accurate...
Which leads us to...
We certainly aren't paid to do this -- so who benefits?
Can't fight the "moneychangers" if you don't know who they are...

And during election season -- the disinfo goes to 11.

Turning off the TV is a good place to wrest some of your power back.
My personal solution 5 years ago was get rid of mine.
Whoever is at the end of your pointed finger isn't the problem -- your information is.
So stop getting it from monkeys in suits who are paid to press your buttons.
By the way, when you repeat what they say, you are easier to spot.
Equal parts blue and red...a parrot is a parrot.

Support indie media and you support brain food for democracy, 
not finger-pointing, poo-throwing monkeys who are told what to say.

In Support Of the Working Class

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. ~ Abraham Lincoln

In the United States, class struggle isn’t a new concept but one which remains greatly ignored by our educational institutions and news media groups, alike.  The consequences to our nation for the blatant disregard of this economic feature weaken the ability to effectively react to and organize against economic attacks made contrary to the working-classes' best interest.  What you don’t know can hurt you and comprehending the nature of class struggle is paramount to understanding the workings of the economy and one’s own role within it.

What we aren’t in short supply of, are the explanations about the importance of markets to our economy or how the laws of supply and demand are a central fixed feature to human activity.  These buttresses of capitalism are relentlessly preached from every major media pulpit and are neatly interwoven with concepts of democracy, such that, the very notion that one can exist without the other seems impossible to the average American.

It’s the labor, stupid.

In the most basic sense, labor produces something of use; there is a tangible good or service provided which benefits a real economy.  Resources are often the foundation of labor and must be considered an essential part of the economy.  That tree (over there) becomes a table, should labor craft it into one, for example.  Labor is superior to capital because it always advances the practical notion of a real world and one in which humans have physical needs.  Labor's primary function is to fulfill some kind of a need.

Capital, on the other hand, has managed to move beyond this basic concept of a real economy and the investments necessary to provide the goods and services needed by men and ventured into the territory of a false economy, through financialization.  This new banking wizardry has manufactured a fictional economy which has become the equivalent of a parasite to the working-class.  Investments no longer just support the furtherance of a real economy but often act counter to people’s well-being.  Excessive speculation, for example, can drive up costs of raw materials well beyond the ability for them to be used in production or commodities can become priced out of the reach of the consumer and cause starvation and untold misery.

All of the past class struggles meant to elevate labor: workers safety protections, child labor laws, minimum wage standards, etc., which achieved a decent standard of living and developed a sizable middle class for the US, are now being undermined by this fictional banking world, which siphons wealth from the real economy and concentrates it into the hands of a few.  The bankers of Wall Street have no intention to ease the suffering of the working-class in this inverted economy because labor's financial loss is their immediate gain.  Cutting benefit packages of workers, for example, can make the purchase of a corporate stock seem more attractive and steeply increase its value.  Not only have these practices been responsible for aggregated wealth to the top 1% at unprecedented levels, they are also wrestling power away from the people and decimating the democratic process itself.  

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mereappendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organizedmoney is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.” ~ FDR, 1936

The failure of government to intervene on behalf of labor to stop these practices has created an environment for finance capital to thrive over the last several decades: even as workers’ wages have stagnated since the 1970’s, even as millions have been tossed from their foreclosed homes, even as the dollar has weakened, even as millions have lost employment, even as millions have lost benefits, even as thousands fight and die in wars designed to secure more natural resources, even as they come after our social security insurance, even as they come after tax dollars set aside to help feed our needy and elderly, even as they dismantle US factories and ship them abroad, even as they let our family members die from lack of healthcare.

So when they tell you that this isn’t a class war, or that your labor is unimportant, or that you have to compete with a developing nation's wages or benefits due to lackluster profit margins, or that the wealth will trickle down, or that the only way to balance a budget is on the backs of the working-class, or that we need to pay over 1 trillion a year for warfare, or that you’re Un-American for caring about your fellow countrymen’s general welfare, or that it’s unreasonable to feed the poor, or that banks are too big to fail and can’t be prosecuted for overt criminal activity, or to just go and find a job…when they tell you these things out of ignorance or smug indifference to the suffering of others; please remind them that this country was built with labor's blood and sweat and that we have just as much a right to stake a claim in the way this nation operates and who will benefit from it, as they do.  Tell them that change is going to come because we value what is real and that means each other.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Urgent Request to UN : Intervention to Stabilize Fukushima Unit 4

submitted by Gabrielle Price
[courtesy of]


May 2, 2012

To: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

An Urgent Request on UN Intervention to Stabilize the Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Nuclear Fuel
Recently, former diplomats and experts both in Japan and abroad  stressed the extremely risky condition of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4  spent nuclear fuel pool and this is being widely reported by world media. 

Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies  (IPS), who is one of the best-known experts on spent nuclear fuel,  stated that in Unit 4 there is spent nuclear fuel which contains  Cesium-137 (Cs-137) that is equivalent to 10 times the amount that was  released at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Thus, if an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to  drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving  nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima  Daiichi plant sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with  roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at  Chernobyl.
Nuclear experts from the US and Japan such as Arnie Gundersen, Robert  Alvarez, Hiroaki Koide, Masashi Goto, and Mitsuhei Murata, a former  Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, and, Akio Matsumura, a former UN  diplomat, have continually warned against the high risk of the Fukushima  Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.

US Senator Roy Wyden, after his visit to the Fukushima Daiichi  nuclear power plant on 6 April, 2012, issued a press release on 16  April, pointing out the catastrophic risk of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4,  calling for urgent US government intervention.

Senator Wyden also sent a letter to Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s  Ambassador to the United States, requesting Japan to accept  international assistance to tackle the crisis.

We Japanese civil organizations express our deepest concern that our  government does not inform its citizens about the extent of risk of the  Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.  Given the fact that collapse of this pool could potentially lead to  catastrophic consequences with worldwide implications, what the Japanese  government should be doing as a responsible member of the international  community is to avoid any further disaster by mobilizing all the wisdom  and the means available in order to stabilize this spent nuclear fuel.

It is clearly evident that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool is no longer a Japanese issue but an international issue with  potentially serious consequences.  Therefore, it is imperative for the  Japanese government and the international community to work together on  this crisis before it becomes too late.  We are appealing to the United Nations to help Japan and the planet  in order to prevent the irreversible consequences of a catastrophe that  could affect generations to come. We herewith make our urgent request  to you as follows:

1. The United Nations should organize a Nuclear Security Summit to  take up the crucial problem of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent  nuclear fuel pool.
2. The United Nations should establish an independent assessment team  on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and coordinate international assistance in  order to stabilize the unit’s spent nuclear fuel and prevent  radiological consequences with potentially catastrophic consequences.

30 April 2012
Shut Tomari (Japan)
1-2, 6-4 Higashisapporo, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo 003-0006 Japan
TEL: +81-90-26951937 FAX:+81-11-826-3796 email:

Green Action (Japan)
Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan
Tel: +81-75-701-7223 Fax: +81-75-702-1952 email:

Endorsed by:
Hiroaki Koide Kyoto University Nuclear Reactor Research Institute (Japan)
Mitsuhei Murata Former ambassador to Switzerland and to Senegal
Board member, Global System and Ethics Society (Japan)
Akio Matsumura Former United Nations diplomat
Robert Alvarez Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C. (USA)
Masashi Goto Former Nuclear Plant Engineer (Japan)

Signing organizations: 72 Japanese organizations have signed this petition (as of 30 April 2012)
1. Shut Tomari, Hokkaido
2. Green Action, Kyoto
3. Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo
4. Osaka Group against Mihama・Ooi・Takahama Nuclear Power, Osaka
5. Aging Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Group, Tokyo
6. Stop Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant!, Shizuoka
7. Espace des Femmes, Hokkaido
8. “Let’s learn Pluthermal” Shiribeshi Citizen’s Network, Hokkaido
9. Hairo Action Fukushima, Fukushima and Evacuation Areas in Japan
10. STOP MOX! Fukushima, Fukusima
11. Fukushima Moonlight, Fukuoka
12. Yawatahama Women’s Group to Protect Children from Nuclear Power Plant, Ehime
13. Ikata People Against Mox, Ehime
14. We Do Not Want Plutonium! , Tokyo
15. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial Support Group, Fukuoka
16. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial support Group, Fukuona
17. Pluthermal and 100 Years of Saga Prefecture Group, Saga
18. No Nuclear Plants! Yamaguchi Network, Yamaguchi
19. Food Policy Center・Vision21
20. Genpatsu Yamenkai, Fukuoka
21. Japan Environmental Law Lawyers Association (JELF)
22. Nonviolent Direct Action Network (HANET)
23. Anti-Nuclear-Power and Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Protest Advertising Group, Tokyo
24. Kochi Green Citizen’s Network, Kochi
25. Kaku-no-Gomi Campaign, Chubu, Nagoya, Aichi
26. Aloha from Hawaii
27. Tohoku Asia Information Center, Hiroshima
28. No-Nukes Citizen’s Network, Tokushima
29. No-nukes Net Kushiro, Hokkaido
30. Fukushima Meeting for Environment, Human Rights and Peace, Fukushima
31. FoE (Friends of the Earth Japan), Tokyo
32. Citizen’s Group on Nuclear Waste, Horonobe, Hokkaido
33. Team From Now On, Hokkaido
34. No Nukes! Protect Children from Radioactivity
35. Concerned Citizens for Children’s Human Rights, Ehime
36. Protect the Sea of Sanriku from Radioactivity, Iwate
37. Iwate Organic Farming Study Group, Iwate
38. Dandelion House, Tokyo
39. Decommission All Nuclear Power! Women’s Group for Protection of Kariwa Village, Niigata
40. Sapporo Shoku Machi Network, Hokkaido
41. Citizens Wind for Peace, Tokyo
42. Together with the Earth NPO, Osaka
43. Kawauchi Tsuyukusa Group, Kagoshima
44. Group against Construction of Kawaunchi Nuclear Plant, Kagoshima
45. Hassei Group against Ikata Nuclear Plant, Ehime
46. For Citizen’s Autonomy, Hokkaido
47. No-Nukes Women Group・Hokkaido, Hokkaido
48. Hokkaido Peace Net, Hokkaido
49. Future for Fukushima Children, Hokkaido
50. Good Bye Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Project, Niigata
51. Weaving A Better Future Mothers’ Group
52. Group Aozora MeeMee
53. Mothers and Fathers’No-Nukes Declaration 2011
54. Southern Osaka Network for Protection from Radioactivity, Osaka
55. Kansai Network on Protection of Children from Radioactivity, Kansai
56. Journey To the Future
57. Morinokoya
58. Kaburaya
59. Nishiyashiki
60. Dandelion Fortress, Fukuoka
61. Dohatsuten Wo Tsuku Kai, Fukuoka
62. Global Ethics Association
63. Buppouzan Zenngennji
64. STOP Nuclear Plants BEFORE Huge Quake Strikes!
65. Lee Group to Prevent Earthquake Disaster and Nuclear Accident
66. Rokkasho Village・ Home of Flowers and Herbs, Aomori
67. Anti-TEPCO-Nuclear-Power Consumers Group, Tokyo
68. Miyazu Mitsubati Project, Kyoto
69. Citizen’s Plaza, Minoh , Osaka
70. Monoh Citizen’s Group on Good Bye Nuclear Power, Osaka
71. Campaign Fukuoka against Nuclear and Uranium Weapons, Fukuoka
72. Seeking for Japan-US Security Treaty Termination Notice, Tokyo

[Here is the link to the US petition to add to the growing number of signatories -- we HAVE to let the UN and the Japanese people know -- that the people of the United States SEE what is happening, regardless of how sugarcoated the news is or has been ignored entirely, to the great peril of the people and creatures who inhabit this beautiful planet.  Nothing else you do in your lifetime will be as important as this.  Please share, tweet, Digg, Reddit and take this viral.  Thank you - GP]



What's in that smoke? The lost physics lesson of Fukushima

submitted by Gabrielle Price

Chapter 12 - Fukushima Daiichi

In March 2011, emanations from the embattled reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi complex were described by the global scientific community, the Japanese government and international media as 'black smoke,' 'grayish smoke,' 'white smoke,' 'steam,' and 'vapor.' Yet, collectively, these entities negligently failed to educate people that these smokey plumes were a form of radioactive pollution rarely seen on Earth and a form that was incredibly dangerous.

It all started on the day of the first explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex, which occurred on March 12th, the day after the great earthquake. On the 12th, the host of CNN 'Saturday Morning' asked a guest expert about the smoke rising from Unit 1 following a hydrogen blast [1] earlier that day:
KAYE: ...there were a couple of explosions being reported this morning. We were just looking at pictures of this white smoke coming that was coming from one of these plants. That does concern you? 
HIBBS: Right, well, the plume would propel the nuclides high into the atmosphere.'  But what exactly did Hibbs mean?   Exactly *how* were 'nuclides' rising up from the reactors via the scary-looking smoke?
The general public wasn't given much assistance with this question by CNN's guest, who was Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Either it was the CNN approach of "it just rises, that's all" or it was a very technical explanation, much like what appeared in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on March 18th. [2] In the WSJ article, reporter Gautam Naik interviewed Lars-Erik De Geer, a research director of the Swedish Defense Research Institute, who gave an overview of what happens to an overheating reactor:
"First, a range of less-dangerous gasses are liberated, including tritium, krypton and xenon. ...Overheating fuel rods then discharge gaseous forms of certain volatile radioactive elements, including cesium, iodine, strontium and tellurium. As these rise, they latch on to dust in the air and become particulates, a quarter the size of a grain of sand.... The radiation emitted...[that] still poses a big danger to workers or cleanup crews ...[includes] released volatile elements such as cesium and iodine."
So, there were so-called 'less dangerous' radioactive gasses being immediately released from Fukushima's overheating reactors that were followed by gaseous forms of things that - it sounds like - aren't ordinary gasses. Does this mean these things were liquids and then boiled off? Or were solids and somehow turned to vapor? If you believe this is the answer, you are right. As long as a reactor overheats enough, and has holes or cracks in its various 'containments,' it would leak out gaseous forms of things like radioactive strontium and cesium that are ordinarily solids. What CNN's host was referring to as 'white smoke' was part water vapor, part smoke from fires but, most importantly, part vaporized radioactive solids. If you put your vitamin pills, which are comprised of minerals like selenium and iron (not really different than minerals like strontium and cesium), into a furnace, you would have an odd-colored plume, which is vitamin minerals in their vapor form!

If we are to understand and speak the language of physics when it comes to vapor coming out of Fukushima's reactors, the 'key' word is 'volatile,' or 'volatization.'  We sometimes hear that the stock market is 'volatile.'   In physics, volatization is what happens when a solid or a liquid is turned to vapor. 
[1] On March 12th and March 14th, the Unit 2 and 4 containment structures - one of those 'boxes' - at Fukushima Daiichi, respectively, blew up, and we were told that these were caused by a build-up of 'hydrogen' gas. Some of that smoke was debris from the shattered concrete walls, etc...

[2] WSJ article: 'Low Levels of Radioactive Material Begin to Be Detected Across Pacific'

Read more HERE