Fukushima

Nuke Puke Disposal Plan

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 11, 2015

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Amongst the numerous other problems we have with Climate Change, Population Overshoot and Geopolitical Conflict, one of the main worries these days amongst KollapsniksTM is the residue of the Nuclear Power Industry which grew up in the aftermath of WWII, when a few brilliant scientists applied the ideas Albert Einstein had about the equivalence of Matter and Energy, most remembered by the famous equation E=mc2.  What that tells you is that the amount of Energy contained in a bit of "matter" (the stuff around you) is equal to that amount multiplied by the Speed of Light SQUARED. For the mathematically challenged, "squaring" means multiplying a number by itself. The speed of light by itself is pretty darn fast, so square it and you get a REALLY big number!  Lots of energy contained in Matter, if of course you can convert the matter to energy, and figuring out how to do that was not in Einstein's Department.  Einstein was a Mathematician and Theoretical Physicist, not an Engineer.

However, this potential source of Energy and POWER was pretty seductive, particularly in a big time WAR like WWII, where if you could harness said energy, you could make a REALLY BIG BOMB, and wipe out entire cities with it.  The RACE WAS ON between the scientists on either side of the Pond as to who could figure out how to do this first!

The Krauts put together their team…

German Experimental Pile - Haigerloch - April 1945.jpgThe German nuclear weapon project (German: Uranprojekt; informally known as the Uranverein; English: Uranium Society or Uranium Club), was a clandestine scientific effort led by Germany to develop and produce nuclear weapons during World War II. This program started in April 1939, just months after the discovery of nuclear fission in December 1938, but ended only months later due to the German invasion of Poland, after many notable physicists were drafted into the Wehrmacht.

A second effort began under the administrative purview of the Wehrmacht's Heereswaffenamt on 1 September 1939, the day of the Invasion of Poland. The program eventually expanded into three main efforts: the Uranmaschine (nuclear reactor), uranium and heavy water production, and uranium isotope separation. Eventually it was assessed that nuclear fission would not contribute significantly to ending the war, and in January 1942, the Heereswaffenamt turned the program over to the Reich Research Council (Reichsforschungsrat) while continuing to fund the program. The program was split up among nine major institutes where the directors dominated the research and set their own objectives. Subsequently, the number of scientists working on applied nuclear fission began to diminish, with many applying their talents to more pressing war-time demands.

The most influential people in the Uranverein were Kurt Diebner, Abraham Esau, Walther Gerlach, and Erich Schumann; Schumann was one of the most powerful and influential physicists in Germany. Diebner, throughout the life of the nuclear weapon project, had more control over nuclear fission research than did Walther Bothe, Klaus Clusius, Otto Hahn, Paul Harteck, or Werner Heisenberg. Abraham Esau was appointed as Hermann Göring's plenipotentiary for nuclear physics research in December 1942; Walther Gerlach succeeded him in December 1943

The Amurkans put together their team…

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-30qtjDmvmJA/U4p002ATb_I/AAAAAAAARmw/crgtMMiDzVo/s1600/J-Robert-Oppenheimer.destroyer-of-worlds.meme.stevepiper.net.jpgIn August 1939, prominent physicists Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner drafted the Einstein–Szilárd letter, which warned of the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type". It urged the United States to take steps to acquire stockpiles of uranium ore and accelerate the research of Enrico Fermi and others into nuclear chain reactions. They had it signed by Albert Einstein and delivered to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt called on Lyman Briggs of the National Bureau of Standards to head the Advisory Committee on Uranium to investigate the issues raised by the letter. Briggs held a meeting on 21 October 1939, which was attended by Szilárd, Wigner and Edward Teller. The committee reported back to Roosevelt in November that uranium "would provide a possible source of bombs with a destructiveness vastly greater than anything now known."[2]

Briggs proposed that the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) spend $167,000 on research into uranium, particularly the uranium-235 isotope, and the recently discovered plutonium.[3] On 28 June 1941, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8807, which created the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD),[4] with Vannevar Bush as its director. The office was empowered to engage in large engineering projects in addition to research.[3] The NDRC Committee on Uranium became the S-1 Uranium Committee of the OSRD; the word "uranium" was soon dropped for security reasons.[5]

In Britain, Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls at the University of Birmingham had made a breakthrough investigating the critical mass of uranium-235 in June 1939.[6] Their calculations indicated that it was within an order of magnitude of 10 kilograms (22 lb), which was small enough to be carried by a bomber of the day.[7] Their March 1940 Frisch–Peierls memorandum initiated the British atomic bomb project and its Maud Committee,[8] which unanimously recommended pursuing the development of an atomic bomb.[7] One of its members, the Australian physicist Mark Oliphant, flew to the United States in late August 1941 and discovered that data provided by the Maud Committee had not reached key American physicists. Oliphant then set out to find out why the committee's findings were apparently being ignored. He met with the Uranium Committee, and visited Berkeley, California, where he spoke persuasively to Ernest O. Lawrence. Lawrence was sufficiently impressed to commence his own research into uranium. He in turn spoke to James B. Conant, Arthur H. Compton and George B. Pegram. Oliphant's mission was therefore a success; key American physicists were now aware of the potential power of an atomic bomb.[9][10]

At a meeting between President Roosevelt, Vannevar Bush, and Vice President Henry A. Wallace on 9 October 1941, the President approved the atomic program. To control it, he created a Top Policy Group consisting of himself—although he never attended a meeting—Wallace, Bush, Conant, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General George C. Marshall. Roosevelt chose the Army to run the project rather than the Navy, as the Army had the most experience with management of large-scale construction projects. He also agreed to coordinate the effort with that of the British, and on 11 October he sent a message to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, suggesting that they correspond on atomic matters.[11]

As we all know now, the Amurkan Scientists beat the Kraut Scientists in this Horserace, and these were the results at Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

http://www.hiroshima-remembered.com/photos/hiroshima/images/HR02.jpg

http://666moon.webs.com/Hiroshima_victim1.jpg

Talk about TERRORISM!  Beheading a few Journalists is NOTHING compared to this!  You got entire countries quaking in their boots if they won't Kowtow to you and accept your Dollar as World Reserve Currency!

At the point in the war these two Weapons of Mass Destruction were dropped, the Nipponese were already FINISHED.  They were beaten back to their own islands, their fleet had been destroyed in the Battle of Midway.  They could simply have been embargoed and left to starve, but nooooo… a demonstration of POWER was necessary to make to the rest of the world (the Ruskies in particular) aware that we were mean sons of bitches, and don't fuck with us or we will incinerate you in a heartbeat.

http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/China-Pollution.JPEG-0bfec-555x370.jpgBad as all that was, it may turn out that the worst of the Nuke Puke curse brought on by the insatiable appetite for POWER in the species Homo Sap will not come from the Wartime use of Nukes as Bombs, but from the Peacetime use developed after the War to generate Electric Power for the growing energy consumptive society.

Nuke Puke Power Plants sprung up like mushrooms in the aftermath of WWII, and now there are something like 400 of them sprinkled around the Globe, mainly in the FSoA and Europe, but quite a few other places too. The Chinese want to build still MORE of them to boot!  Even though the coal is coming dirt cheap these days, they would like to be able to breathe the air in Beijing without having to wear an Activated Charcoal Filter mask all the time, but of course still keeping the lights on and juice for the Factories to produce toys to be sold at Low, Low Prices Every Day at Walmart.  Who will have working money to BUY those toys also remains an open question these days.

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Global Nuclear Power Plant Distribution

As you can see by the map above here, the worst Bad Newz on Nukes is on the eastern side of the Mississipi River in the FSoA, in Europe and in Japan.  The Chinese will catch up here if they can, but chances are things will go south before they have opportunity to build too many of them.  Also it should be noted that this does NOT include all the Nuke Puke reactors aboard Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and in various research facilities in Universities around the globe.

The BIG PROBLEM nobody ever came up with a real good solution for was what to do with the SPENT FUEL from these reactors.  NOBODY wanted Nuke Puke in their backyard, the NIMBY problem.  For a while the Salt Mines in Yucca Mountain were proposed as a dumping ground for Nuke Puke, but after a few $Billion$ were spent developing this White Elephant, this idea got shelved.

The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, as designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendments of 1987, is to be a deep geological repository storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and other high level radioactive waste. It is located on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, about 80 mi (130 km) northwest of the Las Vegas Valley. The proposed repository is within Yucca Mountain, a ridge line in the south-central part of Nevada near its border with California.

The location has been highly contested by environmentalists and Nevada residents. It was approved in 2002 by the United States Congress. Federal funding for the site ended in 2011 under the Obama Administration via amendment to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, passed on April 14, 2011.[2] The Government Accountability Office stated that the closure was for political, not technical or safety reasons.[2]

This leaves US non-governmental entities, such as utilities, without any designated long term storage site for the high level radioactive waste stored on-site at various nuclear facilities around the country. The US government disposes of its waste at WIPP in New Mexico, in rooms 2,150 feet (660 m) underground.[3] The Department of Energy (DOE) is reviewing other options for a high-level waste repository and a Blue Ribbon Commission established by the Secretary of Energy released its final report in January 2012. It expressed urgency to find a consolidated, geological repository, and that any future facility should be developed by a new independent organization with direct access to the Nuclear Waste Fund, that is not subject to political and financial control like the DOE.[4]

What's wrong with Yucca Mountain as a repository for the Nuke Puke?  Well, besides the fact nobody in the neighborhood wants this toxic waste in their backyard, it will take constant maintenance in order to keep the shit from either melting down or going super critical and blowing up.  Who is going to pay for that maintenance for the next 1000 years…no wait 1,000,000 years?

So what to do with this shit?

Fire it off into space heading for the Sun on one of Richard Branson's spaceships?  The Sun is already a nuclear fireball, so that should be OK, right?

A few small problems with this idea.  There is Tons of this shit out there, every last one of the Nuke Puke plants has spent fuel ponds with 30 or 40 years worth of Puke in them.  We are not talking a few small communications satellites or glorified RVs we put into low earth orbit and call them "Space Stations", we are talking Container Ship loads of the stuff!!!!  How much Rocket Fuel do you think it would take to jack all that up even to low earth orbit, much less get it out of the Earth gravity well and hurtling towards the Sun?  Answer: a lot more than we got available here.

http://strategiya.az/images/news_images/small/08-2015/1%20(2)_36315.jpgSecond problem even if you had this much energy to do the job is the slight issue of ACCIDENTS occurring, since you would need 1000s of rocket flights up carrying the Puke into space.  Just ONE of them explodes like the Challenger did, and the Puke rains down on everyone.  Not a good scenario there obviously.

There is another location right here on Earth though where lots of nuke puke resides already, the Core of the Earth, generally composed of Uranium because it is so dense.  It provides the internal heat engine for the planet through fission (the Sun works opposite, Fusion of small elements to larger ones).  How to get the man-made Nuke Puke down there though?

Well, there are spots under the ocean floor where the crust is pretty thin, and as the plates move over one another, in some spots there are subduction zones, where part of the crust of the earth gets pushed down into the Mantle and gets recycled there.

One such zone is located in the Marianas Trench, the very deepest canyon in the Pacific Ocean.

The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench[1] is the deepest part of the world's oceans. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. The trench is about 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) long but has an average width of only 69 kilometres (43 mi). It reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,994 m (± 40 m) or 6.831 mi (36,070 ± 131 ft) at the Challenger Deep, a small slot-shaped valley in its floor, at its southern end,[2] although some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11.03 kilometres (6.85 mi).[3]

At the bottom of the trench the water column above exerts a pressure of 1,086 bars (15,750 psi), over 1000 times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level. At this pressure, the density of water is increased by 4.96%, making 95 litres of water under the pressure of the Challenger Deep contain the same mass as 100 litres at the surface. The temperature at the bottom is 1 to 4 °C.[4]

Now of course, the idea of taking Nuke Puke and dropping into the ocean is a big turn-off for the environmentally conscious, not to mention there are all sorts of International Treaties that make this illegal.  This does not however seem to stop the Japanese from unloading millions of gallons of Nuke Puke contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean, and so far nobody from the Hague has arrested the TEPCO managers either.

The Marianas Trench Nuke Puke Disposal PlanTM though is significantly different than the current Nipponese method of dumping the Nuke Puke straight into the bay next to Fukushima and letting it then disperse across the entire ocean.

In this method, you're not actually disposing of the Puke into the ocean, but rather into the crust of the earth BENEATH the sea bed.  I don't think there are any international treaties covering that, or who owns it either.  Also, there is no NIMBY problem, since nobody's backyard is even CLOSE to that.

How do you get the Puke into the crust?

Drilling Capsules!

http://www.funkidslive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Tunnel-Boring.jpg

In this case, rather than working against gravity and trying to lift up the Nuke Puke, gravity helps you and accelerates the capsule on the way down, and like a Rifle Bullet it will begin to spin if designed as a screw shape.  It will drill itself into the ground on impact.  The material contained inside can be glassified and solidified so it won't dissolve in the water, and then after that the Earth itself does the work subducting this zone back into the mantle!  Problem Solved! 🙂

Can such a plan be implemented before complete collapse takes hold?  Unfortunately probably not for numerous reasons.  First of all, if you start shutting down the Nuke Puke plants, you're going to have shortfalls in electric power wherever they supply the grid, and nobody wants to see their lights go dark, so we'll probably keep them switched on until it is too late.  Then you have the issue that environmentalists would likely oppose the plan, and exactly how you would finance it also is pretty tough to figure.  So in all likelihood the eventual outcome is a vast number of meltdowns and a lot more radionucleotides in the environment.  Whether Homo Saps can survive that and for how long and where remains an open question, but the Tardigrades should make it through at least.

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52392000/jpg/_52392786_c0089246-spl.jpg

Tardigrades are extremophiles, and can survive just about anything, extreme heat or cold, lack of water, radiation, the WORKS!

Tardigrades (also known as water bears or moss piglets)[2][3][4] are water-dwelling, segmented micro-animals, with eight legs.[2] They were first discovered by the German pastor Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. The name Tardigrada (meaning "slow stepper") was given three years later by the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani.[5] The phylum has been sighted from mountaintops to the deep sea, from tropical rain forests to the Antarctic[6] Tardigrades can survive in extreme environments. For example, they can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water (100 °C), pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space.[7] They can go without food or water for more than 10 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.[3][8][9][10]

So, anyone suggesting that the Earth will be "barren & lifeless" in anywhere near the near term as Guy McPherson did in a recent essay either doesn't know the biology of tardigrades or else they are being purposefully melodromatic.  There are even extremophilic organisms which thrive in wicked conditions, such as around the Sulfur vents on the sea floor.  None of these organisms are going to the Great Beyond anytime too soon, no matter what happens to the higher life organisms currently populating the planet, including Homo Sap.  Nothing short of an impact with a Planet Killer Asteroid is going to wipe out all life on Earth in any kind of near term timeline.

If past history is any guide, Global Average Temperature will top out at 25C, as it always has even in the Pleiocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

25C is a cakewalk for a Tardigrade, and in fact many organisms can survive this AGT, just as they did through the millenia of the PETM.  The ancestors of Homo Sap were among those creatures.

DONE ONCE, IT CAN BE DONE AGAIN!

Can, Will Homo Sap make it through this Zero Point, the 6th Great Mass Extinction Event on Earth?  Maybe, maybe not, but either way the planet won't be lifeless for quite some time to come.  For eukaryotic organisms (both unicellular & multicellular species), the Earth's environment should hold up for another 300M years or so, when the Sun starts fusing so much Helium that its radiation output will make the Earth too inhospitable for anything but a few prokayotes.  Even the Tardigrades will be toast.

In the meantime, the objective of all living creatures is to live as long as they can until they eventually, inevitably succumb to death.  Nothing lives forever, not even Planets live forever.  Far as life goes on Earth, it is already in its senecense, the equivalent in the human lifespan of being 90 with a 100 year life expectancy.  How much longer we can survive remains an open question, although the timeline of 15 years to Human Extinction is highly improbable.  The further out on the timeline you go, the more probable this is.

In the immortal words of Chuck Palahniuk:

http://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-on-a-long-enough-timeline-the-survival-rate-for-everyone-drops-to-zero-chuck-palahniuk-285421.jpg

One thing is certain, there is no possibility for survival if you quit and say it's all OVAH already and hopeless.  You make your best effort to survive as long as you can, and then when you no longer can, you will die.  Just like every other life form that was ever born on the face of the Earth.

It ain' OVAH till the Fat Lady sings for you though.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/1369077040_fat%20lady%20sings.jpg

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Japan Gets ONGED!

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Great Screen Saver!

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Let’s Go Hiking!

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It seemed like a good Parking Spot yesterday!

Onged Definition:

Having your society systematically destroyed by a combination of Natural and Man Made Disasters, Population Overshoot and Resource Depletion.

Snippet:

…All things considered, it’s a pretty quiet day today in the world of collapse, besides the fact the first Out of Africa case of Ebola transmitted in Spain to a local nurse, and the fact yet ANOTHER Super Typhoon is bearing down on the Nips, following just a week or so behind the path of PhanFone, this one called VongFong. The next one is sure to be HongKongLongDong. LOL.

This is another one of those Picture Perfect Cyclonic Storms that make great Screen Savers for the Doomophile TM, and it’s even bigger than Haiyan which devastated the Phillipines in 2013, which itself was a good deal larger than Katrina was.

So basically what you have here for the Nips is something an Order of Magnitude or so larger than the equivalent of NOLA being hit by Back-to-Back Katrinas. To be fair, the reason Katrina caused so much Havoc in NOLA is the city is at or below Sea Level in many places, so when the levees failed the water did not simply drain back out to sea, it had to be pumped back out, which took some time and plenty of fossil fuels to run the pumps.

The geography of Japan is a bit better for taking a Typhoon hit than New Orleans, it’s basically an archipelago of Volcanic Islands which rise fairly regularly from sea level up to the tops of Mt. Fuji and a few other choice Volcanoes currently getting more lively, including Mt. Ontake which blew off last week while numerous Hikers including Sum Dum Phuk and Wrong Dope Wrong Time are now missing, while the Nip rescue squads attempt to locate them before the next Typhoon rolls in…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 5, 2014

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I’ve spent the better part of the last decade Blogging Collapse.  It’s the Gift that Keeps on Giving, not a day or week goes by that something ever more egregious occurs in the Global Theatre, there is NEVER a shortage of Collapse stories to write on or examine.  Right now for example, ongoing we have:

1- Ebola Rising

plague

2- Hong Kong Occupy

04Occupy2RDV-tmagArticle

 

3- Oil Prices Collapsing

http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/53f5edf569bedd5b100120d6-1200-900/cotd-brent-oil-1.jpg

4- ISIS

isis

5- Ruskie Sanctions

http://www.usnews.com/dims4/USNEWS/be1ba1b/2147483647/resize/652x%3E/format/png/quality/85/?url=%2Fcmsmedia%2F09%2Fb4%2Fa84230e14cf9ac0e9054288e46b4%2F20140422edcmc-a.tif

6- CA Drought

http://sites.psu.edu/carlyjean/wp-content/uploads/sites/9696/2014/02/2014-01-05-Drought2013EarthDrReeseHalter2-thumb.jpg

 

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/snap.pngAnd those are just the relatively new ones!   Fukushima hasn’t stopped Nuke Puking into the Pacific, a few dozen new species go extinct every week and the number of people on SNAP Cards inexorably climbs while the number of people in the workforce inexorably declines.  The Greeks are about to Default (AGAIN!) too.

As a Blogger, you can randomly just pick one of the topics out of a hat and there is something to write about and examine on any given day.  With this explosion of collapse topics, you would think that this would translate to an explosion of Blogs and Bloggers writing about them, but the exact opposite is true.  The longer this goes on, the fewer people who write on them there are, and of those that do, the less often they publish.

Some of the folks I used to read regularly like Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) of The Automatic Earth almost never publish anything new.  Other folks like George Mobus of Question Everything have turned towards topics of a theoretical nature that interest them, but are only tangentially related to collapse if at all.

Here on the Diner, my fellow Bloggers Lucid Dreams of Epiphany Now and William Hunter Duncan of Off the Grid in Minneapolis just about never publish anymore, concerned more with their own daily lives than the Big Problems of the world.  Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves still publishes occassionally, but his Blogs come sporadically, maybe one a month.

Discussion in the commentary of some Blogs and on Forums is settled into a kind of formula for each place and is generally entirely predictable wherever you go, if you have been following collapse for any length of time anyhow.

Why is this?  It’s obviously not due to a shortage of topics, that is for sure.  The most obvious reasons to me are Collapse Overload TM on the part of the readers and commentariat, and Collapse Burnout TM on the part of the Bloggers.  It’s been going on so long now that anyone concerned with these topics has pretty much shot their wad on their own opinions and ideas and has read everything anyone else had to say about it, formed their own opinion on where it is going and what it means, and now is just living their life as best they can in the face of it.

For the most part this means finding or keeping a job and continuing to scratch out a living in the industrial economy.  Only a few people can afford to build their own Doomsteads © and try to become at least partially self-sufficient, and even that idea gets bollixed up by changing climate and precipitation patterns.  Diner Eddie who has a Doomstead © in Texas is quite aware that the progressing drought there makes that place likely unsustainable in the medium to long term.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/newsphoto/2013-05-06/450/CFP433417743-182026_copy1.jpgBesides Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM in the long time Cognoscenti of Collapse TM is the more serious problem of Collapse Frustration TM.  For Doomophiles TM,  after years of jawboning Doom & Collapse on the net, the apparent inability to actually DO anything about it or even get the large majority of the population with their noses stuck in their I-Phones to even realize it is occurring leads many Doomers TM to throw up their hands and just give up!  Why bother talking about it or even DOING anything about it, because we are so seriously fucked here nothing makes a difference anyhow!

This is the meme over on Guy McPherson’s Nature Bats Last, where the Batters there have drawn the conclusion that not only are we economically fucked but we are all Doomed to Near Term Human Extinction by the now updated date of 2030.  Definitely, if we are all going to be extinct by 2030, there is not a whole lot of point to be blogging anymore, start working on your Bucket List instead!

The fact so many Bloggers have succumbed to Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM is actually a benefit for the Doomstead Diner ©, since newbies seeking out information about Collapse have fewer places to surf to on a daily basis these days, which translates to an ever rising Alexa Ranking for the Diner! Doom Surfers like the Diner so much they hang out for an amazing 17 Minutes a Day Time on Site now consuming Doom on the Diner! LOL. Most sites are lucky if they can keep short attention span readers on site for even 3 minutes! I personally battle the CO & CB Demons by sprinkling in some humor with the Doom, if you don’t look at the Lighter Side of Doom TM, you get Gloomy & Depressed and that makes it hard to keep going.

Besides Humor, the other way to battle against the Depressing Side of Doom is to NOT give in to the idea that everything is HOPELESS and there is nothing you can do, particularly if you are FRNs strapped without a lot of money to set up your own Doomstead ©.  There still are many strategies to explore, which is why we created the Non-Profit Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation, at SUN4Living.com.  While a case can be made that Collapse is inevitable and things are not going to be improving as time goes by here, there is still plenty to work out in terms of how to deal with it as it does progress.  I don’t see it as worthwhile to capitulate here as of yet, while the situation looks pretty grim, it is always Darkest Before the Dawn, as the saying goes.  Visit with us on SUN to help workout the logistics of a BETTER TOMORROW TM

In any event, the fact so many folks concerned with Collapse have left the stage or just sing the periodic aria has left a huge GAP in Collapse Analysis on the net, and a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for the Diner!  At the very least, I have got every good Collapse & Doom Term & Slogan either Trademarked or Copyrighted here!  LOL.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.

http://www.cheatcc.com/imagesfeatures/futuresobrightwegottawearshades.jpg

This is not the time to GIVE UP!  So what if the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?  Are you going to let a few Dead Phytoplankton get you down?  How many people ever born get to live through the Collapse of their Civilization?  It’s like Winning the LOTTO!  Let’s get out there and grab this opportunity to build a BETTER TOMORROW TM

NOTHING IS OVER UNTIL WE DECIDE IT IS!

http://www.isd547.com/Elem/extras/images/dogreporter.jpgDon’t miss the latest New Feature on the Diner Blog, Knarf’s Knewz!

Knewz Storiez Carefully Curated and Selected from around the Web by a Buddhist Monk filling you in on some of the less  well known Collapse Shenanigans.

Find the latest in Collapse Storiez in Knarf’s Knewz Widget on the Diner Blog!

Classic Rant Series: TSA Follies & Myths of Transportation Security

Fukushima: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

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Fukushima-Simpson…Topic for today is the Disaster Gift that keeps on Giving, Fukushima. You may not remember this since it long ago dropped off the pages of the MSM and Faux Newz, but Fukushima was the Nip Nuke Reactors that melted down, caught on fire and began spewing radioactive material out into the environment back in 2011 in the aftermath of Sendai quake and ensuing Tsunami that hit the coast of Honshu Island smack dab in the Fukushima prefecture.. The latest newz from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, aka TEPCO is that so solly, we will need to start dumping 100 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific every day. However, we ASSURE you the radiation level of this water is perfectly safe. The reason we can assure you of that is because every time the readings go higher, we declare higher levels to be safe!

Da Goobermint here in the FsoA follows much the same path, in this case though rather than keep raising the bar on what is an acceptable level of daily Radiation Vitamins to ingest, they simply elect not to monitor it! On the theory that if you don;t know about it, it can’t hurt you. Not to mention when leukemia victims start suing, they can claim this wasn’t under their jurisdiction and therefore they are not liable. Go sue TEPCO…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!

The Week That Was in Doom, May 25, 2014

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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on May 25, 2014
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“We’re all fucked. I’m fucked. You’re fucked. The whole department is fucked. It’s the biggest cock-up ever. We’re all completely fucked.”
― Sir Richard Clive Mottram 

  

By anyone’s measure, this week’s headlines are, each in turn, harbingers of a grave, impending doom-o-pocalypse, demonstrating the extent to which we are well and truly fucked. Time once again to blow the dust from this threadbare franchise, and consider The Week That Was in Doom.  Sir Richard, above, got overheard in a semi-private conversation as a British public servant, and spent a bit of time explaining himself. This week’s headlines explain themselves. So much of what we think and write about on the Diner concerns the relationship between energy, finance, and the consequences which flow from changes in the relationship. This week, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

Fuk-U Hard

Let’s first consider the news out of Fukushima, with reporting from ENENews by way of Washington’s Blog:

Here’s reporting from Will Ripley of CNN, no longer known for much in the way of groundbreaking investigative journalism:

A senior scientist and his research team at Fukushima University just published a study claiming the power plant’s operator Tepco grossly underestimated the amount of radioactive poison — Cesium-137 — released during the meltdown. This material has already gone into the ocean. It’s already there. He’s especially worried about contaminated fish in a country where most meals come from the sea. His research team says cesium spewed into the air during the meltdown and later fell into the water contaminating the North Pacific Ocean and the Japanese mainland. Tepco says the company’s radiation estimates come from the best information they have, but a spokesperson admits nobody really knows for sure.

Anthony-Freda-War-MindWe’re sure that TEPCO has its best minds on the case. We’re told the cleanup continues apace, as the yakuza continue to cruise the alleyways of Tokyo and Yokohama to recruit “cleanup workers.” Meanwhile, Asahi Shunbun reports that workers had widespread fear that Reactor No. 3 would ‘break apart’ just before it had a massive explosion and after signs Reactor No. 2 vessel was destroyed, 90% of workers fled the  plant in ‘mass desertion.’ TEPCO’s transparency is already well known and a matter for public ridicule. This week they started dumping “controlled quantities” of water with “low radioactivity” into the sea. TEPCO calls this “groundwater bypass,” thus do corporations impoverish not only citizens but language. By this method TEPCO plans to reduce the alarming accumulation of hundreds of tons of contaminated liquid. This  matters only if where you live, eat, drink or breathe makes contact with the Pacific basin.

You might wonder why, or why now? Shanghai Daily reports:

The utility is still grappling to deal with the daily accumulation of around 400 tons of highly radioactive water, with the same volume of groundwater seeping into the basement of reactor buildings where it’s being mixed with the reactors’ highly toxic coolant water. 

Following protracted negotiations, local fisherman finally agreed to the release of the contaminated water into the Pacific Wednesday, once they’d been convinced that the contaminated water would not adversely affect their business, but the agreement came as the utility had to deal with a fresh headache involving the breakdown of a water treatment system for the highly contaminated water held in thousands of makeshift tanks.

A water treatment facility called the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), installed to remove the most dangerous nuclides, was completely shut down again this week and has not been fully operational since it was installed nearly two years ago, causing the manager of TEPCO to state that the repeated leaks and technical malfunctions at the plant have been a constant ” embarrassment”.

TEPCO has pumped a total of 560 tons of groundwater from wells dug in the mountainside of the plant with the operation beginning on April 9 and finishing five days later, and having confirmed that the radiation levels have met legal criteria and will release into the ocean Wednesday using a bypass system that funnels the contaminated water towards the Pacific.

So if you’re scoring at home, this means that TEPCO’s failure to operate its own cleanup facility lead to its desperation to seek legal relief, such that it could literally dump its failures into the Pacific. Meaning, on all of us.

Let the bonuses commence.

Speaking of externalized costs, even as Walmart led the way with “low everyday prices” subsidized by safety net benefits for its impoverished workforce, corporations have continued to dump their expensive-to-mitigate costs onto we the sheeple. And thus does Fuk-U come home– the California Coastal Commission released this report in which the truth is hard to spin–

The most recently reported measurements of radioactive cesium in North Pacific seawater indicate that the Fukushima plume is beginning its arrival off the west coast of North America. … It remains uncertain exactly when, and at what concentration, the radioactive plume will reach the California coast … Once the radioactive plume does reach California, concentrations of radiocesium are predicted to increase to peak values between 2016 and 2019, declining gradually thereafter over the next several decades.”

When the plume of radioactivity currently spreading across the North Pacific reaches the California coast, local marine life will accumulate Fukushima-derived radioactive cesium (and other radionuclides present at much lower levels, such as 90Sr). … marine organisms are unlikely to accumulate dangerous quantities of radioactivity. However, on-going monitoring of the situation is clearly warranted.” [See also: Professors: Seafood off N. America coast predicted to exceed gov’t radioactivity limit — Fukushima radiation to reach levels ‘well above’ 1,000 Bq/kg according to model]

“Surprisingly little research effort has been devoted to [the potential for dangerous levels of contamination] in California. … Outside of Japan, ocean monitoring of Fukushima radiation has received much less attention and support from government agencies … neither the U.S. federal government nor the state of California is currently testing for Fukushima-derived radiation off the California coast.”

***

And closer to home, in Carlsbad, New Mexico . . . what, did you forget about that? Latest updates regarding the accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) nuclear storage facility, indicate we should not sleep on this one, either:

AP, May 21, 2014: Los Alamos National Laboratory [LANL] on Wednesday told state government it has isolated and is closely monitoring nuclear waste … packed with a type of cat litter suspected in a radiation leak at [WIPP]. [LANL] said the 55-gallon barrels have been secured in special containers and moved to an isolated area with a fire protection system. They also are being monitored 24 hours a day for any change in temperature, smoking or other abnormalities. […] More than 100 other suspect containers are being stored temporarily at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas.

And if that’s not startling enough, you can follow the link to an interview with Arnie Gunderson about how the use of kitty litter (!) has made the whole as unstable as nitroglycerin. But, as in Fuk-U, our Best People are On The Case:

KOAT, May 20, 2014: 500 WIPP barrels of questionable nuclear waste packed with kitty litter — New Mexico environment officials said more than 500 barrels of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory were packed with the kitty litter suspected of causing a chemical reaction and radiation release […] In addition to 369 containers at the dump, environment officials said 57 more are still at Los Alamos and more than 100 are in storage in West Texas.

***

And then there’s Hanford: The Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State may be causing severe health defects:

New data shows spike in babies born missing parts of brain around leaking US nuclear site — Official: We’re really concerned it remains so high, we hoped it would go away — NBC: Many locals say Hanford to blame — CDC Expert: Cases “not focused near Hanford”; and  NBC: ‘Bizarre’ cluster of severe birth defects haunts experts in Pacific Northwest — “I definitely believe something is going on… Maybe it just hit once and blew through” — Officials refused to say how many new cases in 2013 — County on border of most polluted nuclear site in Hemisphere.

Ironies abound in that people decry Guy McPherson for being so unrelievedly negative about his assessment for near-term human extinction; remember that he is just talking about climate change and its consequences. What do you consider the consequences of aging, dodgy nuclear facilities all based on 50 year old designs, and each throwing off piles of radioactive garbage with no place to store it? Hope you enjoyed the soup and the first course.

Founding in Chains

Quite a Week  …

Meanwhile, in Sodom-on-the-Potomac, the gobshites who inhabit the people’s house took a break from their almost-constant repeal-Obamacare bukkake party to reject the AUMF sunset amendment, ensuring that the “war on terror™” will continue indefinitely, or until there is lasting peace on Mars.

While some have proposed rescinding the law entirely, including President Obama, who asked Congress last year “to refine, and ultimately repeal” the AUMF, others are concerned that revoking the AUMF would effectively disarm the United States, leaving no legal authorization for counterterrorism.

“We would be left with no authority to take action against terrorists bent on killing Americans,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said. “They just opened the 9/11 museum in New York in the last few days. Have we forgotten so quickly about what this AUMF is all about?”

The war profiteers certainly will have not. This also means that Guantánamo will remain open for business, as well as all the “defense” related industries that feast at the public trough. In the process, this gaggle also rejected an amendment that would have reduced the capacity of the United States government to indefinitely detain American citizens. You’ll recall that when Pres. Obama signed the 2012 NDAA Act into law, he said he would not use the indefinite detention powers provided by Congress. The amendment, offered by Adam Smith (D-Washington), would have made that moot:

“So basically anybody that we captured, who we suspected of terrorist activity, would no longer be subject to indefinite detention, as is now, currently, the law. That is an enormous amount of power to give the executive, to take someone and lock them up without due process. It is an enormous amount of power to grant the executive, and I believe places liberty and freedom at risk in this country.” 

Of course, the Liberty Bund in this country is concerned only about the “liberty” of billionaires and multinational corporations to hire tax lawyers and lobbyists in order to create gaping loopholes in tax law, to create new and exotic legal ways of ratholing fortunes overseas, and to otherwise keep the “nanny state’s” laws off their corporate body. Remember that a poor man has the same right as a rich man to go to a television network and purchase a multimillion dollar ad schedule, or to create an endowment to fund foundations to promulgate their ideas. Free Enterprise! Free-dumm! The capture of the Republican party by the libertarian right has created today’s entree in this banquet of consequences.

***

Big Hot Sad For Frackers…

And in other energy news, the US energy information administration cut its estimate of recoverable oil in California’s Monterey shale by 96%, thus causing a big hot sad among proponents of “Saudi America,” fracking apologists, and the other assorted shills, grifters and camp followers who attend this particular energy wagon train.

“The EIA concluded that the technical recoverability of Monterey shale did not look as strong in 2014 because of the industry’s difficulty in producing from the region,” EIA head Adam Sieminski told reporters in New York.

Technically recoverable reserves are often a moving target, changing as new drilling techniques develop and the price of oil fluctuates. Further drilling will likely provide clearer evidence of the Monterey’s true reserves, the EIA said. But fracking alone has failed to produce the same results in the geology of the Monterey shale in central California, dampening expectations for a resource once thought to rival other giant U.S. shale deposits and seen as an economic boon for the state. Some drillers have turned to other methods, including using acid to help melt rock, though progress has been slow and met with strong environmental opposition.

The original estimates were provided to the EIA by a private group that relied heavily on data provided in turn from Occidental Petroleum. it turns out that the rock and the oil are still there, but this particular formation is proven much harder to extract than others. Also the notable drought in California has made the diversion of already scarce water a dicey proposition, and thus politically charged. And the “3 million jobs” waved about as a sop to lawmakers who voted for approval for fracking? Another fugazi.

But that’s California. This past week, in the remarkably insane state of North Carolina, yet another right wing sociopath introduced a bill in the North Carolina Senate that would charge individuals with a felony if they were to disclose information about fracking chemicals, which are classified as trade secrets. Few states as of yet have trade secret laws that apply to such chemicals, but this North Carolina effort looks to get out in front of any potential litigation brought on behalf of mere peasants. One will recall Act 13 enacted last year in Pennsylvania (Marcellus shale country), which is seen by doctors and physician groups as a gag order that prevents a doctor from sharing information about exposure to such chemicals with the patient he is treating.

The industry reporting database FracFocus indicates that chemicals like ethylene glycol (used in antifreeze) hydrochloric acid and tetramethylammonium chloride are on the long list of chemicals that could be found in fracking fluid.

Much is still unknown about the health effects of fracking. Water samples taken near fracking sites have found elevated levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health wrote that at least four well workers have died since 2010 due to “acute chemical exposure” from flow-back fluid at fracking sites.

Fracking is banned in North Carolina until the state crafts rules to regulate the industry. A state panel in January passed a rule allowing companies to apply for trade secret status for fracking chemicals.

And let’s never forget that the Halliburton loophole to the Clean Water Act was engineered by Dick Cheney, Satan’s viceroy on earth, as part of the energy policy act of 2005. Oil and gas companies get a number of “byes” not available to other companies, including much less stringent standards under the Clean Air Act, and handling of waste water under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. It’s good to be able to write the regs under which your industry has to labor.

***


Be Suspicious…

In a PR offensive timed to coincide with the House’s consideration of a bill to limit NSA power, FBI chief James Comey made the news a couple of times. He was quoted Wednesday as saying,

“I believe people should be suspicious of government power. I am. I think this country was founded by people who were worried about government power so they divided among three branches.”

That is like coming out for motherhood. Comey went on to say that all of the FBI’s program to run responsibly and that their operations had helped track down kidnappers and save children, if not cats in trees. And in a story that moved earlier in the week, Comey averred that the FBI might have to rethink its policy on marijuana use. Apparently current policy makes it much harder to find tech savvy recruits, who are apparently all stoners.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said.

You can’t make this stuff up. And speaking of big hot sads, apparently Sen, Jeff Sessoms (R-Beta Centauri) was not amused at the specter of the FBI failing to genuflect emphatically enough in the direction of demon Marijuana. 

***

Tennessee To Bring Back the Electric Chair

cheney electric chairAnd speaking of retrograde, Republoconfederate attitudes, why should only Middle Eastern countries have all the fun of administering ninth century “justice”? As we’ve seen from following the headlines, torture is back and in the FSoA, we’ve got it. Notions of “civilization,” “progress,” “humanity,” at all are now so twentieth-century. Enough of that, mullahs! This week Tennessee decided to deal itself in.

Tennessee said Thursday that it would bring back the electric chair if it couldn’t get its hands on drugs to perform legal executions.

Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill Thursday evening, the Associated Press reports, amid growing shortages of the drugs used in lethal injections,questions about their humaneness and a recent botched execution. Though any planned electrocutions would likely spark legal challenges, one expert said the law made Tennessee the first state to bring back the chair without giving the condemned an option of how to die.

Apparently drug manufacturers had been holding back from supplying states with the combination of drugs necessary to administer lethal injections. One wonders whether it is criticism that the lethal injections are not humane enough, or fear of potential litigation that has restrained this trade. Some states have taken to getting local pharmacies to mix up a cocktail for lethal injections. In one recent example of botched execution, an inmate took more than a half hour to die, and then of a heart attack, prompting the Justice Department review and suspended executions in some states. Note that at no time is Tennessee considering reviewing their policy of execution.

And yes, this evening’s dessert course of consequences is a little bitter.

 

***

And how to conclude a banquet better than with a cup of fresh coffee? This last one hits close to home: Grist reports that my usual cuppa joe (or more to the point, potta joe) is in trouble:

Coffee lovers beware: Those miracle beans just got all the more precious. Coffee rust, a fungal disease, and Brazil’s epic drought are driving up the cost of that vital morning fix.

As NPR reports, wholesale coffee prices have jumped by more than 60 percent since January, and traders suspect that the worst is still to come. Some predict that during the main harvest next month, prices could shoot up to $3 a pound. The long-term forecast looks even grimmer: Global warming is only making it easier for the fungus to spread, and some studies even suggest that our favorite blends will be wiped out by 2080.

The only good news here is that 2080 should see me out.

***Find all statements of fact or other citations are in the embedded links.***

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Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and has been active in the Occupy movement. He lives in Southeastern Virginia with Contrary and a shifting menagerie of women both young and young at heart.

 

 

 

 

 

X-mas Goodies …

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia

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Published on Economic Undertow on December 23, 2013

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God takes it in the neck among Americans surveyed in a recent Harris Interactive poll, (click on graph for big). Belief in Almighty God has collapsed 8% from 2005 – 2009. So much for John Michael Greer’s postulation that the world is entering an era of increased religiosity. By 2030 belief in God will be less than belief in ghosts. Heaven and miracles have taken a swift kick in the pants along with angels. There is still public support for Jesus, the devil and hell, but all have lost percentages. Astrology, witches and UFOs get votes but no mention of elves, dwarves or Hobbits …

The joint-and-several ‘God’ is an unknown quality but religions, like other political entities, are creatures of credibility; they exist only so long as their adherents believe in them. There is a real, ‘if a tree falls in the forest’ character to religion which makes the cynical, deterministic aspect of the regime function properly. As with finance, religion requires ‘fools in the market’, credulity is the lubricant of the faith process.

With the passage of time and the advance of modernity religions have become more ‘useless’; they are excluded from policy making, record keeping and secular intermediation — which have been historical roles. As with economics, there is a greater emphasis on abstract articles of faith and the ascendency of doctrine, or one form of doctrine over others. Because none of the doctrines actually ‘work’ or effect a direct outcome — only a promised outcome in some indeterminate ‘tomorrow’ — religion must compete with television and other high-powered anti-imagination forms of marketing which more effectively offer the same thing. ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘the future’ have become big business monopoly goods like ‘pleasure’; religion has been crowded out. In the narrow spaces remaining between marketing campaigns there are marginal ‘doctrine providers’ competing for relevance: sadistic sharia law adherents versus self-interested high-tech militarists, a pope critical of finance versus finance itself.

Filling the void vacated by superstitions; Darwinian evolution has become more popular by 5%. What does this mean? Maybe there is such a thing as progress but there is still a ways to go before America becomes a nation of hard-headed realists …

Speaking of belief in fairy tales:

 

North America to Drown in Oil as Mexico Ends Monopoly

Joe Carroll and Bradley Olson

The flood of North American crude oil is set to become a deluge as Mexico dismantles a 75-year-old barrier to foreign investment in its oil fields.

Plagued by almost a decade of slumping output that has degraded Mexico’s take from a $100-a-barrel oil market, President Enrique Pena Nieto is seeking an end to the state monopoly over one of the biggest crude resources in the Western Hemisphere. The doubling in Mexican oil output that Citigroup Inc. said may result from inviting international explorers to drill would be equivalent to adding another Nigeria to world supply, or about 2.5 million barrels a day.

 

Sweep the bumbling Mexican government out of the way, add nimble innovators and entrepreneurs (Exxon-Mobil) and get that gusher of oil! The process is so simple it’s a wonder why nobody thought of it earlier. Here is another one (NY Times):

 

Surge Seen in U.S. Oil Output, Lowering Gasoline PricesClifford Krauss and Stanley ReedHOUSTON — Domestic oil production will continue to soar for years to come, the Energy Department predicted on Monday, scaling to levels not seen in nearly half a century by 2016.The annual outlook by the department’s Energy Information Administration was cited by experts as confirmation that the United States was well on its way — far faster than anticipated even a year ago — to achieving virtual energy independence.

The report predicted that the increase in United States production would contribute to a decline in the world oil benchmark price over the next few years to $92 a barrel in 2017 from a 2012 average of $112 a barrel, which should translate into lower prices at the pump for consumers.

… “The E.I.A. report confirms that the United States really is experiencing an energy revolution,” said Daniel Yergin, the energy historian and author of “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.”

Oil production in North Dakota and Texas is expanding so rapidly that a glut of certain higher grades of oil has already developed in the Midwest and Gulf States. That glut is beginning to stir a debate in Washington over whether the Obama administration should reverse a policy of banning most exports of oil that goes back to the 1970s.

 

Notice the sleight of hand: the promise of low gas prices morphs into exports: extra money for customers becomes all the money for bosses. These guys practice by stealing candy from babies in their spare time …

Sadly, gasoline prices simply cannot fall as drillers must receive a larger percentage of funds than their customers to meet real, geologically driven costs. These costs constantly increase. In a way, throwing deluges of money at Mexican oil fields is the model for the rest of the world’s oil plays. If the drillers’ level of funding does not increase there will be shortages.

Says Kurt Cobb (Resource Insights):

 

– The trouble with optimistic forecasts of fossil fuel availability is that we can’t fix the situation easily if those forecasts turn out wrong to the downside and we have made absolutely no provision for this possibility, that is, we’ve done nothing to enable us to replace those fuels or to live with less and less of them over time. If we base our policies and actions on such forecasts, they must be right or we are in deep, deep trouble. We should strive instead to create a forecast-proof society.- Therefore, the most prudent course given the stakes is to begin a deliberate, but expedited program of deep energy reductions (through efficiency and conservation), dramatically ramp up the rate of renewable energy production and work furiously to solve the problem of electricity storage since most renewable energy comes in this form.

 

It’s hard to make deep energy reductions when your economy depends on sales of more cars and tract houses. Cobb wonders if the shills in the ongoing energy Ponzi schemes will be held to account … ?

 

The U.S. energy independence story: Will anyone be punished if it turns out to be wrong?… I ask because the story — and that’s all it is right now — appears to be driving public policy and business planning practically worldwide.Often implied with that narrative is a corresponding abundance of oil globally. In fact, some are predicating worldwide abundance on a continuous rise in U.S. oil output. This is despite the fact that even many optimistic forecasts make such ideas seem foolish. The actual data for crude plus condensate (which is the definition of oil) show oil production in the rest of world declining almost as much as the United States has increased its production from 2005 onward. Worldwide crude volumes have barely nudged upward in the last eight years, just 2.7 percent versus 10 percent in the previous eight-year period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This is despite record oil prices and record investment!Now, a lot of people stand to get hurt by the energy independence/abundance story — which is, in effect, a forecast — if the story turns out to be wrong. This is because governments, businesses and households will not have prepared themselves for a negative surprise — all because they were assured that the United States and even the world had nothing to worry about when it comes to oil supplies.

 

Here’s a stuffer of some kind or other from Reformed Broker Josh Brown:

 

Sundown at the Permabear Alamo

I sure hope the US stock market pauses or corrects soon – because otherwise it’s going to be a complete and total permabear massacre.

China is stabilizing. Europe is growing – peripheral Europe is growing! Japan is percolating. US manufacturing is back above pre-recession levels and household net worth is too. American politicians are introducing bipartisan budget deals. Iran is talking peace. The gold investment complex is collapsing.

None of this was supposed to happen! It was all meant to unravel. WTF?

The pessimists have been absolutely routed this year, it’s becoming uncomfortable to watch. Their intellectual leaders are abandoning the cause or, worse, switching sides. None of their formulas or equations are working, they’re just losing more people more money every month. Those who answer to clients have run out of excuses, they’re now lashing out at everyone else to make themselves feel better.

 

What was the broker before he was reformed? What does he believe in? Elves? Fairies? That the money ‘making’ (stealing) is honest? That it is a substitute for creative and useful work? That it makes the world a better place? Indeed, the so-called ‘pessimists’ have been routed. Economic Undertow must confess missing one of the greatest stock bull markets in American history. Economic Undertow also missed the greatest stock bull market in Zimbabwe history …

 

Off Limits, but Blessed by the FedBy Gretchen Morgenson (NY Times)The good news arrived in a confidential letter from the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. Enron The nation’s biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, had won the right to expand its reach in a lucrative business that has nothing to do with banking: electricity.Areas like electricity are generally off limits to banks because of the risks involved. But with its June 2010 letter, the Fed let JPMorgan take an even bigger role selling electricity in California and the Midwest, saying the push would “reasonably be expected to produce benefits to the public that outweigh any potential adverse effects.”

Three months later, JPMorgan traders began a scheme to manipulate electricity prices, ultimately forcing consumers in those regions to pay more every time they flicked on a light switch or an air-conditioner, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission subsequently contended …

 

Wall Street is a self-financed, government-approved Ponzi Scheme. Everything looks great for the moment … from a safe distance. Only the Ponzi promoters will be able to convert their holdings into actual money … before the scheme collapses under its own weight …

USA = Albania in 1997; there has been a 25% return in this one year for the S&P 500! How is this supposed to be a normal return?

None of the finance analysts or even high-level economists discuss energy, the effect of rising real energy costs (not nominal costs) on the economy … Nor do they discuss asset bubbles-as-energy-price-hedges. These hedges — which include currency union(s), military invasions of oil producers and shifting jobs overseas have failed completely since 1973. The only noise from analysts is nonsense about ‘Energy Independence’, ‘Saudi America’ and ‘Fracking Revolution’. Fantasy thinking exudes from the governments … when all the bosses are blatantly lying it is best to head for the hills.

Nicole Foss:

 

Following the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, there was a spate of such schemes – notably MMM in Russia, Caritas in Romania, Jugoskandic and Dafiment Bank in Serbia, TAT in Macedonia, and VEFA Holdings, Xhafferi, Populli, Gjallica and several others in Albania. They were the topic of my academic research at the time. All of these lasted for quite a long time, and some paid out spectacular returns for much of that time. For instance, the Albanian funds , or quasi-banks, began by paying out 3-5% per month over a 6 month term and were eventually paying out 10% per month (and briefly much more as an interest rate war ensued very late in the game).

 

The payees were simply shills, many of them ‘reinvested’ their funds; why not? The person exiting the scheme was left with increasingly worthless paper money. What else to do with it? The Ponzis were together a contained form of hyper-inflation … just like Wall Street is now.

 

They were able to do this temporarily (offer extremely high interest rates) because the income from the buy-in of new entrants was supplemented by revenue from drug smuggling, oil sanctions busting, money laundering, gun running, human trafficking and a thriving trade in car theft from across Europe. There was some revenue from legitimate business interests, but not much in a country that survived mainly on a combination of remittances and politically supported criminal activity. Ironically, Albania was the darling of the IMF at the time.

 

Actually, the schemes could offer high rates because they didn’t actually pay anything. Returns were the famous ‘wealth effect’; paper gains. Outside of small cash payments to shills, funds flowed into the schemes and vanished. Promoters converted Albanian leks into harder European currencies using their long-established money laundering facilities. It was the absence of any real payout that kept the schemes running as long as they did. Think of the schemes as lotteries where the prizes became larger and larger with minimal payouts. Here is the IMF:

 

The Rise and Fall of Albania’s Pyramid SchemesChristopher JarvisDuring 1996-97, Albania was convulsed by the dramatic rise and collapse of several huge financial pyramid schemes. This article discusses the crisis and the steps other countries can take to prevent similar disasters.The pyramid scheme phenomenon in Albania is important because its scale relative to the size of the economy was unprecedented, and because the political and social consequences of the collapse of the pyramid schemes were profound. At their peak, the nominal value of the pyramid schemes’ liabilities amounted to almost half of the country’s GDP. Many Albanians—about two-thirds of the population—invested in them. When the schemes collapsed, there was uncontained rioting, the government fell, and the country descended into anarchy and a near civil war in which some 2,000 people were killed.

 

Change a few words here and there and it is easy compare Albania to Wall Street:

 

Why the pyramid schemes grewThe wide appeal of Albania’s schemes can be attributed to several factors, including Albanians’ unfamiliarity with financial markets; the deficiencies of the country’s formal financial system, which encouraged the development of an informal market and, within this market, of the pyramid schemes; and failures of governance.

 

Just substitute ‘Wall Street’s for ‘Albania’s, ‘Americans’ for ‘Albanians’; include laughable oversight and hyper-complexity of the formal finance system … change ‘shadow banking, black pools and over the counter swaps’ for ‘informal market’ … within this context the emergence of Ponzis is inevitable. Failures of governance in Anglo-American finance speaks for itself.

 

The proliferation of schemes had baleful effects. First, more depositors were drawn in. Although VEFA had the largest liabilities, it had only 85,000 depositors. Xhafferi and Populli between them attracted nearly 2 million depositors—in a country with a population of 3.5 million—within a few months. Second, the investment funds felt pressured to compete and began to offer higher interest rates on deposits. In July, Kamberi raised its monthly interest rate to 10 percent. In September, Populli began offering more than 30 percent a month. In November, Xhafferi offered to treble depositors’ money in three months; Sude responded with an offer to double principal in two months. By November, the face value of the schemes’ liabilities totaled $1.2 billion. Albanians sold their houses to invest in the schemes; farmers sold their livestock. The mood is vividly captured by a resident who said that, in the fall of 1996, Tirana smelled and sounded like a slaughterhouse, as farmers drove their animals to market to invest the proceeds in the pyramid schemes.Throughout the year, the government was a passive spectator to the unfolding crisis. Although the enormity of the problem became clear when the Bank of Albania discovered that VEFA’s deposits in the banking system were equivalent to $120 million (5 percent of GDP), and despite repeated warnings from the IMF and the World Bank, the finance ministry did not warn the public about the schemes until October. Even then, however, it drew a false and misleading distinction between companies with real investments, which were believed to be solvent, and “pure pyramid schemes.”

When it was suggested that some companies might be surviving by laundering money, President Sali Berisha came to their defense. Press and public reaction was mostly negative: the IMF was accused of trying to close down Albania’s most successful firms.

In November, in response to outside pressure, the government set up a committee to investigate the schemes. The committee never met. On November 19, Sude defaulted on its payments, and the collapse began.

 

The biggest difference between Albania and the Wall Street version is that the latter is self-financed, that is, the giant banks are lending to the speculators (their own investment arms) so that increase in worth — wealth effect — is collateral for more and more loans.

Meanwhile, here is a stocking stuffer for all the small children out there, not so much from Santa but from the endless clusterfuck in Fukushima, Japan:

 

Iodine-131 rises in Chiba prefecture.The most recent measurements of iodine-131 in sewage sludge from Chiba prefecture indicate the highest amount of I-131 since August. The last measurement was actually made on Dec. 3. It is the third highest measurement since May 2011.Iodine-131 from Gunma prefecture remained relatively low, as of Nov. 26.

 

This doesn’t come from The International Atomic Energy Agency or NRC but from a blog called ‘Bobby1′s Blog’! However, the information from Chiba and Gunma is real, from government web sites regarding real places. Here is a screenshot of the Gunma prefecture web page:

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 4.59.10 PM

Iodine-131 is a daughter product of nuclear fission, it isn’t a decay product. Iodine-131 is created by a nuclear chain reaction where an isotope such as U-235 is bombarded with neutrons. The fissile material decay chains do not include this isotope. The half-life of Iodine-131 is 8.2 days! What this means is there is are recent- or underway nuclear chain reactions nearby or within Gunma and Chiba prefectures.

Iodine-131 is used for medical radiation therapy and is also used as a tracer isotope for industrial purposes such as downhole logging in fracked gas- and oil wells. Isotopes for industrial or medical purposes are created by bombarding Tellurium with neutrons in a reactor. Otherwise Iodine-131 is a waste-product of a nuclear chain reaction: it is a percentage of nuclear spent fuel during and immediately after fissioning as well as a component of post-atomic blast fallout.

The sludge aspect is relevant only so far as that the isotope is concentrated: there should not be any Iodine-131 emissions at all. Below the radar of both the nuclear establishment and the media the Fukushima complex is actively fissioning. The Japanese are effectively running a reactor without containment. That they are not taking immediate steps to bring this to an end is incomprehensible.

The reactors melted down-blew up almost 3 years ago, long past the time to build a cofferdam around the site which would eliminate the flow of groundwater through the complex. It is likely that ground water is reflecting high-energy neutrons and creating chain reactions that are poisoned by Xenon-135. A measure of Xenon would determine the energy level of the reactions. A low-energy reaction is unlikely because the grid structure of the cores has been undone by their melting. More likely are very short high-energy reaction pulses that are poisoned by Xenon. This is very dangerous as high-energy reactions are unpredictable and can run-away into a prompt-criticality event. Such an event would be similar to the March, 2011 explosion in reactor unit #3. The Fukushima site would then be too radioactive for human workers to approach. There would then be the danger of follow-on explosions and fires on the site.

Keeping this in mind Fukushima Daiichi reactor units 5 and 6 must be decommissioned and de-fueled at once. If something goes wrong with the other reactors there is a chance that the fuel in these reactors would be adversely effected. Fuel assemblies from reactor unit #4 spent fuel pool are being shifted to the common fuel pool which is located approximately 100 meters from the four damaged reactors. If there is a significant radiation release from a damaged reactor it will be more difficult or impossible to approach the common pool to service it. All fuel must be removed from the site as soon as possible … regardless of the cost or sacrifice.

With a cofferdam in place it would be possible to seal the entire complex and contain radiation within a sarcophagus structure similar to that built over the ruined reactor at Chernobyl. Control of the underground water flows would reduce reactivity within the destroyed reactors and halt the flow of radioactive materials into the ocean. Radiation emitted by the damaged cores would be contained. It is hard to believe the Japanese have not made the all-out effort to build this containment. If the world’s third largest economy cannot properly manage failure one modest power plant complex how will it deal with its other reactors as the economy falters?

There is a creeping realization that radiation hazards from the Fukushima Daiichi complex are likely far greater than the establishment has been letting on …

 

Seventy sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan are filling suit against the Japanese company TEPCO after allegedly suffering radiation contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant melt down.The law suit states TEPCO downplayed the nuclear radiation danger until it was too late.According to the suit, radiation experts who assisted in the decontamination say the USS Ronald Reagan sailed straight into a plume of radioactivity, which contaminated the ship’s water supply. Crew members washed, brushed their teeth and drank potentially contaminated water.The law suit claims active and former sailors are suffering from cancer, blindness, impotence, and fatigue as a result of the radiation exposure.

 

How much longer can the Japanese establishment keep a lid on reactor casualties in Japan? It will become more difficult to do so as time passes.

We need to stop believing that ‘God 2.0′ — technology and ‘Free Enterprise’ — can fix things that the previous versions of God have damaged or ruined. We need to start telling ourselves the truth; it really isn’t that painful for us to do so. Only the lies of interested parties paint truth-telling as ‘too hard to bear’. Everywhere you look it is clear that things are falling apart: reactors, governments, climate, finance and big business. Dear Santa, please give all of us a change of approach.

Or else your popularity is going to take a hit!

Fukushima Breaking: Navy Sailors Dying of Cancer

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on December 18, 2013

FUKUSHIMA “BREAKING”…..75 US NAVY SAILORS HAVE CANCER AFTER BRIEF VISIT TO LEAKAGE SITE

Uss_ronald_reagan_cvn-76

Nimitz class carrier USS Ronald Reagan

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MURDER BY COVER-UP

bonnerVeteran human rights lawyer Charles Bonner (left) has practiced law for 27 years, so by now he’s pretty good at it. Mr Bonner has been the lead attorney in over sixty-five jury trials involving civil rights cases, police misconduct, child protection and a myriad other attempts to protect the vulnerable poor from the mendacious rich. Now he is leading a class action lawsuit against TEPCO, the regulator/owner of the Fukushima nuclear energy plant.

He’s unlikely to lose it, because he represents 75 sailors who came down with a host of medical problems, including cancers and leukemias, all kinds of gynaecological problems, and tumors on the brain. These service men and women are mainly young people in their early to mid twenties, and no one in their family had ever any of these kinds of illnesses before. Just since Bonner took the case, another 21 sailors have begun to show the same dire symptoms….of radiation sickness.

Their common link? They were all serving on board USS Ronald Reagan during a brief visit to the waters around Fukushima three years ago. As the Ronald Reagan desalinates all its water from the sea for drinking, bathing and other cleaning purposes, all the sailors were multiply exposed to radiation from the Fukushima accident. Calmed by the bollocks being put out about how “harmless” the radiation leakage was, these 75 service men and women now face death.

I’ve just been to eighteen internet sites. I have verified who Bonner is, checked the case credentials (“Cooper et al v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. et. al. case number 3:2013cv00773, filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California”) – and confirmed the case’s existence with Bonner’s law firm. This is not left-of-centre urban myth: this is the best indication so far, in my view, of just how serious the Fukushima disaster is going to be.

But not a single mainstream medium I can find within the US, UK or European mainstream has gone near it.

Al Jazzeera, Russia Today, and every eco-site you can find is crawling with the story. At first – obviously – that made me suspicious. I am always wary of any site with an agenda.

But this is not anti-Americanism gone mad. This is the Establishment in the dock, not the rogue sites.

The story is just beginning to leak into the more “respectable” questioning sites like silver doctors, which concluded yesterday:

‘Three days ago, The News Doctors published a story that drew some skepticism within social media.  Unfortunately, the story is not an internet conspiracy theory. 51 US sailors are reportedly suffering from Fukushima-radiation related medial issues, and have filed suit in US District Court against TEPCO.
Upon further investigation, this is NOT a conspiracy, and appears to be the sort of story that needs to go through multiple rounds of “distribution”  before the mainstream media is forced to cover the story.’

Yet the compainants being represented by Charles Bonner filed their case last April.

We should not be under any illusions: had this case come to light in China or Russia, the western media would be giving us daily 24/7 coverage and analysis of such serious, mass evidence of radioactive danger to human life.

The MSM loves to ridicule the blogosphere as consisting entirely of naive dupes and madcap amateurs. Well, I’d rather be an amateur investigator than a professional whore.

CP Snow said facts are sacred. They’re also inconvenient. I prefer George Orwell’s definition of being a good reporter:

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

orwellStill my hero after all these years

The Week That Was In Doom September 15, 2013

Off the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 15, 2013

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I don’t personally consider myself Dr. Doom. I call myself Dr. Realist, even though it’s less exciting and more boring than being called Dr. Doom. If you are consistently saying ‘the world is going to end,’ who is going to listen to you?”

~Nouriel Roubini

 end-world-survival-guide-staying-alive-during-zombie-apocalypse.w654

The story of the “little boy who cried wolf” is a familiar part of our culture.  The professional Cassandras who inhabit the doomscape, including this scribbler, are forever pointing to instances that confirm our bias of impending doom. In fact, there’s an entire subsection of American culture where the reputations of “end of the world prophets” are interred. To date, they’ve all been wrong, sometimes spectacularly so.

Last year we were treated to the spectacle of a superannuated Harold Camping,  who unsuccessfully predicted Judgment Day for last May 21. Camping had predicted that the globe would be destroyed by earthquakes, plagues, fireballs and other doomsday–style pyrotechnics. After May 21 came and went, Camping was at least decent enough to publicly apologize for what amounted to hubris in attempting to predict the end of the world, and, in the process costing many of his followers their jobs, retirement savings or college funds.


And then there was Marshall Applewhite, the google-eyed religious leader of the Heaven’s Gate religious group and suicide cult.  Drawing from both science fiction and Scripture, Applewhite predicted that Comet Hale–Bopp would be trailed by an alien spaceship that would provide new bodies for his followers. All they had to do was shed their earthly meat sacks, upon which  they would be transported to the alien vessel and provided with new containers.  After a last supper of sorts, Applewhite his followers took their own lives by imbibing vodka and barbiturates. Result? Uhh– not so much. On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach that alien space craft trailing  Comet Hale–Bopp,  was then at its brightest.

Thus it is clear that predictions of impending doom, judgment day, or the end of the world being nigh are fraught. End-is-nigh prophets thus far have a 100% record of being wrong.  With this preamble in mind, we bring up the troubling matter of Fukushima. In an article from Washington’s Blog posted this week within the Diner Forum, and on the Diner Facebook page,  the real danger at Fukushima has yet to be addressed.

A record of duplicity

Anyone who has followed this story of Fukushima has read a record of evasion, incomplete statements, incompetence, half-measures and outright lies, seemingly aimed at managing the news rather than coming up with solutions to insure public health.

To review the bidding, Fukushima has been a horrible mess since this story broke in 2011.  The Japanese tsunami of March 11, 2011 disabled the power supply and cooling for three reactors, causing the cores to melt in all three.  Initial efforts were to stabilize the reactors and to control decay heat from the radioactive fuel. Later efforts were directed to prevent the release of radioactive materials.  this past June, it was clear that  record high levels of radioactive tritium were measured in the harbor at Fukushima. Given recent reports this past August of contaminated water leaking from the three units, this effort has obviously not borne fruit.  At least one US senator has recognized that the Fukushima disaster is a national security issue for America.

Yet the greatest danger seems not to be from the copious amounts of radioactive water rushing into the Pacific Ocean, but from the fuel cores themselves.  From Washington’s Blog:

But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much bigger problem.

Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

Arnie Gundersen is an oft-quoted and well respected nuclear expert intimately acquainted with Fukushima.  He said:

There’s more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground…

But of course it would happen all at once.

It would certainly destroy Japan as a functioning country…

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.

It would appear that  Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO’s) incompetence has been exceeded only by its duplicity.  It would appear that much too much time has been spent on walls and ductwork, at the expense of the problems inside the reactors (which coincidentally are capable of visiting radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb).  Apparently TEPCO plans to begin removal of fuel rods and assemblies beginning this November.   In a masterpiece of understatement, Washington’s Blog has it thus:

No one knows how bad it can get, but independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”

***

The utility says it recognizes the operation will be difficult but believes it can carry it out safely.

Nonetheless, Tepco inspires little confidence. Sharply criticized for failing to protect the Fukushima plant against natural disasters, its handling of the crisis since then has also been lambasted.

Not only is the process of removing fuel rod assemblies technically daunting, but it is also fraught with danger. According to reports, each fuel rod assembly weighs 660 pounds and is 15 feet long. There are over 1300 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima site. And to up the ante, the spent fuel rods contain plutonium.  Plutonium is one of the most toxic substances in the universe.  And the rods are also vulnerable to fire should they be exposed to air.

An aerial photo shows the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in northern Japan. Radioactive water spilled during a tsunami-caused catastrophe in 2011 is slowly making its way toward the U.S. coastal area.

Like Pulling Cigarettes Out of a Crumpled Pack

The conditions described above would make the process of removal hard enough. But it’s even more complicated. Again, Arnie Gundersen explains the biggest problem with fuel rods:

I think they’re belittling the complexity of the task. If you think of a nuclear fuel rack as a pack of cigarettes, if you pull a cigarette straight up it will come out — but these racks have been distorted. Now when they go to pull the cigarette straight out, it’s going to likely break and release radioactive cesium and other gases, xenon and krypton, into the air. I suspect come November, December, January we’re going to hear that the building’s been evacuated, they’ve broke a fuel rod, the fuel rod is off-gassing.

I suspect we’ll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel out. If they pull too hard, they’ll snap the fuel. I think the racks have been distorted, the fuel has overheated — the pool boiled – and the net effect is that it’s likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a long, long time.

Given that many been following this story for two years, and that TEPCO has been consistently late, consistently wrong, and consistently duplicitous in its public stance, and it has no financial incentive to actually fix the reactors, many say that TEPCO should be removed from all efforts to stabilize Fukushima. Why this is not a matter of the gravest international import defies common sense. If our so-called governments had any interest whatsoever in the public health and welfare of the citizenry, they would move it to the top of the list. That they fail to do so should speak volumes.

Remember that US Navy “humanitarian aid?”

Sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan scrub down the flight deck in an effort to remove any potential radiation contamination during Operation Tomodachi, March 23, 2011. Kevin Gray/U.S. Navy, Flickr

In the wake of the disaster, the U.S. Navy dispatched the USS Ronald Reagan and other associated vessels to help, providing humanitarian aid and doubtless looking after American assets in Japan. In a story that’s received little play in the domestic press, a number of sailors have filed suit for millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for being irradiated while on duty.

A lawsuit that U.S. servicemembers have filed against Tokyo Electric Power Co. is now seeking more than $2 billion, with a growing number of plaintiffs claiming Japan’s nationalized utility lied about the dangers to those helping out after a nuclear disaster two years ago.

The number of plaintiffs has nearly tripled from nine, when the case was first filed in December, to 26, and attorneys said another 100 people are in the process of joining the suit, despite criticism from their peers that they’re just looking for an easy payoff and claims from the Department of Defense that the amounts of radiation they were exposed to don’t pose serious health risks.

For its part, the Navy said it took all necessary proactive measures  to mitigate the levels of Fukushima related radiation to personnel and equipment, blah blah.

“Ship’s company used sensitive instruments to identify areas containing radioactivity, took action to control the spread of the radioactivity and washed and cleaned areas of the ship that contained radioactivity. For perspective, the radioactivity is typically easily removed with soap and water.”

What is interesting is, that according to anecdotal sources, maintenance contracts for several of the ships involved were canceled. As of this writing I cannot find independent confirmation of this. I did find this item, however, about teams from Oak Ridge performing “surveys” of the affected ships involved in relief efforts.

 

I’m from the government and I’m here to help…

So what have our governments done in response?

Governments worldwide raised acceptable radiation level levels as part of a coordinated cover-up. Indeed, what is a safe level of radiation? That is determined by politicians rather than scientists.  In the real world, where people live, even low doses of radiation are known to cause cancer. There’s a reason why the radiation tech hides behind a lead lined wall while dosing you with x-rays,  and a reason why they give you that little lead codpiece.  Apparently the Obama administration quietly gave final approval to the EPA to raise acceptable limits for radiation levels in soil and water this past April.

“According to PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the new standards would drastically raise the levels of radiation allowed in food, water, air, and the general environment. PEER, a national organization of local, state, and federal employees who had access to internal EPA emails, claims that the new standards will result in a “nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90, a 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and an almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63? in drinking water.

Yes, these are the same people who told New Yorkers that the air was safe to breathe on 9/11.   And in a move you may have forgotten, the EPA put a halt to extra radiation monitoring, changing its focus to imported seafood.  This is from May, 2011, weeks after the disaster at Fukushima:

The Environmental Protection Agency has halted accelerated testing of precipitation, drinking water, and milk for radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the agency announced yesterday.

“After a thorough data review showing declining radiation levels related to the Japanese nuclear incident, EPA has returned to the routine RadNet sampling and analysis process for precipitation, drinking water and milk,” according to yesterday’s Daily Data Summary.

Milk and drinking water will return to a regular quarterly schedule and will next be tested in three months. Preciptation will be tested monthly.

The agency will continue to monitor air samples—where radiation is likely to appear first—in near real time and post the results, but “EPA is evaluating the need to continue operating the additional air monitors deployed in response to the Japan nuclear incident,” the summary states.

We don’t need no stinkin’ monitors.  We used to be concerned with radiation; now it’s just “vitamin R.” And about that carefully inspected Japanese seafood?

Hillary Clinton signed a pact with her counterpart in Japan agreeing that the U.S. will continue buying seafood from Japan, despite that food not being tested for radioactive materials.

American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborne radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising “acceptable” radiation levels.)

The Japanese government’s entire strategy from day one has been to cover up the severity of the Fukushima accident. This has likely led to unnecessary, additional deaths.

Indeed, the core problem is that all of the world’s nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry … as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.

And lest you think that “we’ve got our best minds on this, the hysterics must be pumping this up, there really can’t be anything to worry about”, there is this little noted story:

After the North American governments refused to fund testing, oceanographer Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass, along with Nicholas Fisher, a marine sciences professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and other concerned scientists, managed to secure private funding for a Pacific research voyage.  The results?

 

Cesium levels in the Pacific had initially gone up an astonishing 45 million times above pre-accident levels. The levels then declined rapidly for a while, but after that, they unexpectedly levelled off.
 
In July, cesium levels stopped declining and remained stuck at 10,000 times above pre-accident levels.
This means the ocean isn’t diluting the radiation as expected. If it had been, cesium levels would have kept falling.
The finding suggests that radiation is still being released into the ocean long after the accident in March, 2011.
Less than two weeks after the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, Michael Kane, an investigative journalist, reported, “In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life.”

The radiation has absolutely reached the shores of North America.  Water samples from across the continent have tested positive for unsafe levels of radioactivity.  The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times.”This means that the complete ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean is now poisoned with radiation and we aren’t being warned. 

The only people this will surprise are those not aware of how government regulatory agencies had been captured by corporate interests.

If you’re concerned by this, you can check-in with this website: http://radiationnetwork.com/

And if you’d like to monitor the spreading radiation from Fukushima in real time, there’s this: http://qz.com/121562/monitoring-the-spreading-radiation-from-fukushima-in-real-time/

In the meantime, a large plume of radioactive ocean water is due to reach US shores in 2014. So we’ll have that to look forward to.

A radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, which was crippled in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will likely reach U.S. coastal waters starting in 2014, according to a new study. The long journey of the radioactive particles could help researchers better understand how the ocean’s currents circulate around the world.

Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

Meanwhile, the geniuses at TEPCO are planning to build an ice wall to contain the radioactive water after the recent series of leaks mishaps and bad press. Who knows what will come of that effort?    What is truly interesting is that Fukushima is starting to attract more mainstream press attention. Forbes moved an article several hours ago. Russia Today is gloating about how the 2020 Olympics will be under contamination threat. ABC news has also moved a story in the last day.

So with all deference to Dr. Roubini, let him continue to be called “Dr. Doom.” I have no desire to be lumped in with the Marshall Applewhites, Harold Camping’s, or hair–on–fire bloggers predicting  impending Armageddon.  Yet it is no stretch to assert that Fukushima poses an existential threat of Doom-scale proportions. TEPCO has lost all control of Fukushima, and had no contingency plan for the disaster. Given the events of the tsunami and aftermath, it’s almost forgivable that they were not prepared for this. Yet if the governments of the world were serious about mitigating this disaster and its attendant health effects, there would be an international effort to address this issue and relieve it immediately. As noted above, the fact that there is not speaks volumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast: Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) on Energy-Part 2

Off the microphones of Nicole Foss, RE & Monsta

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 7, 2013

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Discuss at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

In this Podcast, Nicole, RE and Monsta discuss the Energy issues confronting Industrial Society as the Age of Oil comes to a close.

We delve into the economic and environmental issues surrounding both Nuclear Energy and Renewable Energy resources such as Solar, Wind and Hydro power.  How will credit contraction affect the development of future energy resources?  How will the Waste Disposal and decomissioning problems for the current generation of Nuclear Power Plants be handled?  Is Thorium Nuclear a viable option?

What are the true calculations for EROEI for Renewables?  How is the Renewable paradigm being pursued now, and is there a better way to develop these resources?

All this and much much more in the Podcast!

RE

This Was The Week That Was in Doom August 5, 2013

From the Keyboard of Surly1

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 5, 2013

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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

  ~MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

 exposing a crime

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemoller’s words, spoken at various times during the postwar era, and including various groups depending on the audience (Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists), served as an indictment of the cowardice of the leaders of German Protestant churches–their complicit silence throughout the Nazi era, turning a blind eye to the imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions.

It is irresistible to compare that era to this one as the spin-down becomes more pronounced, and the overreach more absurd. As in Germany in the 30s, the legal foundation for a more repressive order has already been laid here in the FSA, with laws and definitions sufficiently elastic as to enable any interpretation useful to TPTB. And now the meat is laid on the bone in the form of an unprecedented pursuit of whistleblowers, a panopticon of a surveillance state that ingests and stores every digital communication of every citizen, a hyper-militarized and nearly-out-of-control local constabulary, layers of federalized surveillance personnel, and one House of Congress as intent on wanton destruction and vandalism as the young serial-killers-to-be who, when I was a young boy, blew up a turtle with M80s, and equally possessed of empathy– sociopaths all.  And we watch in complicit silence.

“Complicit silence” is certainly a harbinger of these times, not only of churches, but of the other institutions of what used to be a social order. Media no longer informs, schools no longer teach, laws are written by scriveners employed by billionaires, to be duly passed by their craven hirelings in statehouses and Congress, industries control their own oversight, banks no longer lend money. When revealing the truth is a crime, we well and truly know we are governed by criminals. Voters are the only group in Washington without a lobbyist. And one might well quote Yeats, whose post World War I musings ring prophetic today:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

The Second Coming,” 1919

______________________________________________

Manning convicted on only 19 charges

Apparently the only male member of the Manning family not currently quarterbacking an NFL franchise, Bradley Manning was acquited of the absurd and overreaching charge of “aiding the enemy,” but convicted on 19 other charges by a military judge this week. He is due to be sentenced this week. The Manning trial and the Snowden flap illustrate in full relief the depth of the Obama administration’s hot war against whistleblowers of all stripes.

It is breathtaking to consider the contrast between the rhetoric of the Obama administration today from what it was in the election in 2008, When BHO was promising “hope” and “change”.

 

 

 

Manning was acquitted on the worst of the charges, that of aiding the enemy. Had the judge found him guilty of that charge, he would’ve faced a life sentence in prison without any possibility for parole. Some say that civil libertarians fear that a conviction on that charge, not used since the Civil War, would have chilled would be government whistleblowers. One wonders if this climate for whistleblowers could possibly be any colder; the Obama administration has taken the worst excesses of hunting down whistleblowers and extended it to exotic new heights (see the post about Edward Snowden, below.) Esquire’s Charlie Pierce even took a few moments off of his vacation to opine thus:

The “aiding the enemy” charge was so preposterous on its face, and so evil in its intent, that it tended to obscure how contrary to acceptable American jurisprudence the entire situation — from his detention to his trial — regarding Bradley Manning was. But it was in that charge that this administration — this Democratic administration, headed by a former professor of constitutional law — demonstrated its willingness, if not its eagerness — to elevate information into a tin god to whom we are all suppliants, and against whom we have no civil rights worthy of the name. A conviction on this charge literally would have criminalized the dissemination of information, which is the central purpose of the First Amendment, as long as one of our many purported enemies had access to a computer, or a buck to pick up The New York Times at the newsstand in Abbottabad. It would have made free expression subject to the hypothetical future acts of international criminals and sociopaths. The prosecutors claimed that Manning should be punished because the people in the compound in which Osama bin Laden had been murdered had downloaded some of the information that Manning had released to WikiLeaks, as if that proved Manning’s desire to assist our “enemies,” and not the fact that the Internet is a marvelous environment for getting out the word. This is the logic of authoritarians. That it was pursued so vigorously by a putatively democratic state should terrify us all.

Indeed it should. One of the great services that both Manning and Snowden (not to mention Assange) have provided to American citizens still able to pay attention is that they have smoked out the slavering lackeys of the national security state.  After last week’s close vote in the House of Representatives affirming funding for the NSA spying programs, it is clear that the safety of the state is the state’s highest virtue, and that the truth does not even show up on the radar. This comes as no surprise to readers of this blog; yet all the snow people who, being decent people themselves and good neighbors, find it difficult to believe in the level of depravity exhibited by our so-called elected representatives and their appointees…

In a memo to the CIA workforce this week, Brennan says the “Honor the Oath,” campaign is intended to “reinforce our corporate culture of secrecy” through education and training. The Associated Press obtained the memo Wednesday, marked unclassified and for official use only.

Brennan writes that the campaign stems from a review of CIA security launched last summer by former director David Petraeus, following what Brennan calls “several high-profile anonymous leaks and publications by former senior officers.”

Some of us thought we could expect better from elected Democrats. Not so:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s response to the Snowden leaks on NSA mass surveillance illustrate the establishment’s response to the exposure of truths, especially when those truths involve the governments systematic targeting of innocent Americans in clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Feinstein asserted:

“I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,” the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told reporters.

The California lawmaker went on to say that Snowden had violated his oath to defend the Constitution.

“He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason.”

We have handed over the keys to our government and its policy making institutions to people who are eager for us to forget who we have been. Interesting that Feinstein should cite the violation of. It seems that if you take an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution, and the policies of your government run directly counter to that of, then whistleblowing is an act of heroism rather than treason.

Should you have any interest in understanding the specific ways in which Bradley Manning has changed the world and added to our knowledge, follow the link below. We will not belabor this further.

Top 10 Ways Bradley Manning Changed the World

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Will Barry Get His Groove Back?

shinners-lsat-blog-pre-law-criminal-background

One sign that Obama is off balance is his unforced errors in dealing with Russia. The bizarre assumption from the get-go seemed to be that Putin would cooperate and hand over Edward Snowden once the Russian leader was prodded a bit.  That clearly didn’t happen, and now Snowdon has asylum inside of Russia. Given the status of US-Russian relations,  believing that Putin would hand this Snowden over was borderline delusional. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism had a terrific, in depth article this week. A Must Read. Here’s a taste:

Thanks to Obama’s famed “no drama” coolness, it’s hard to detect when he’s breaking a sweat. But if you look at the substance of his actions, it’s clear the President is losing his famed poise, at least as far as Snowden and the surveillance state revelations are concerned. I’m not sure yet whether his missteps are simply the result of personal obsession, or whether Obama recognizes he’s slipping into lame duck status, and his frustration with his declining power is most evident where he is most stressed, which is on the NSA revelations front.

One sign that Obama is off balance is his unforced errors in dealing with Russia. . . As Michael Hirsh explained:

In the decade after the Soviet Union’s collapse in late 1991, the United States offered up a lot of poor economic advice — high-minded tinkering by the free-market consultants at the Harvard Institute for International Development, as well as the IMF…

That era of mistrust of America led directly to era of Putin. Since then, despite various attempts at what former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called a “reset” of relations, the U.S. has tended to encourage Russian suspicions by generally treating “Russia as heir to the USSR’s policies and objectives,” Leslie Gelb and Dimitri Simes write in a new article in The National Interest…. “This creates an impression that the West’s top priorities, long after the Cold War, include not merely containing Russia but also transforming it.”

Putin cleared his throat early on and reminded the US that Russia had no extradition treaty with the US and in general did not extradite people. Packing Snowden off because the US asked for him was not on the table. Putin took the position that the Snowden wasn’t worth exploiting for his annoyance value to the US: “It’s like shearing a piglet: a lot of squealing and little wool.”

The Yves Smith article is well worth your time.

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The Death of Truth

 

The remarkable Chris Hedges, a national treasure, recently published an article in Truthdig that features an interview with Julian Assange  and which puts Assange, Manning, and wiki leaks in useful perspective.

U.S. government officials quoted in Australian diplomatic cables obtained by The Saturday Age described the campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks as “unprecedented both in its scale and nature.” The scope of the operation has also been gleaned from statements made during Manning’s pretrial hearing. The U.S. Department of Justice will apparently pay the contractor ManTech of Fairfax, Va., more than $2 million this year alone for a computer system that, from the tender, appears designed to handle the prosecution documents. The government line item refers only to “WikiLeaks Software and Hardware Maintenance.”

There are no divisions among government departments or the two major political parties over what should be Assange’s fate. “I think we should be clear here. WikiLeaks and people that disseminate information to people like this are criminals, first and foremost,” then-press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking for the Obama administration, said during a 2010 press briefing.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and then-Sen. Christopher S. Bond, a Republican, said in a joint letter to the U.S. attorney general calling for Assange’s prosecution: “If Mr. Assange and his possible accomplices cannot be charged under the Espionage Act (or any other applicable statute), please know that we stand ready and willing to support your efforts to ‘close those gaps’ in the law, as you also mentioned. …”

Republican Candice S. Miller, a U.S. representative from Michigan, said in the House: “It is time that the Obama administration treats WikiLeaks for what it is—a terrorist organization, whose continued operation threatens our security. Shut it down. Shut it down. It is time to shut down this terrorist, this terrorist Web site, WikiLeaks. Shut it down, Attorney General [Eric] Holder.”

It gets deeper, and more draconian:

The dragnet has swept up any person or organization that fits the profile of those with the technical skills and inclination to burrow into the archives of power and disseminate it to the public. It no longer matters if they have committed a crime. The group Anonymous, which has mounted cyberattacks on government agencies at the local and federal levels, saw Barrett Brown—a journalist associated with Anonymous and who specializes in military and intelligence contractors—arrested along with Jeremy Hammond, a political activist alleged to have provided WikiLeaks with 5.5 million emails between the security firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) and its clients. Brown and Hammond were apparently seized because of allegations made by an informant named Hector Xavier Monsegur—known as Sabu—who appears to have attempted to entrap WikiLeaks while under FBI supervision.

Hedges conducts an extneded interview with Julian Assange in an impassioned essay that travels (by way of Oscar Wilde and the Cadogan Hotel) to an impassioned conclusion:

The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.

This space cannot do this marvelous article justice. Read it at Truthdig.

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Earthquakes burp up methane bubbles

meanwhile, back here outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy, we still have to live on planet Earth, where conditions are going to get both hotter and meaner. Were already ticking away at carbon dioxide levels higher than we would have expected,  and as the earth gets warmer, the North Pole melts during a heat wave, the glaciers melt, methane bubbles up. As a greenhouse gas, methane makes carbon dioxide look like a piker.  Oh yeah, and then there are earthquakes:

The long-suspected link between earthquakes and underwater methane bursts has finally been confirmed, reports a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Though the temblor wasn’t caught in the act, the strong shaking left clues in methane-rich mud and sand offshore of Pakistan, where two of Earth’s tectonic plates collide at the Makran subduction zone. In 1945, a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck along the subduction zone, killing at least 300 people and triggering a tsunami.

Recently, researchers studying methane seeps in the Arabian Sea discovered unexpectedly large quantities of methane gas and minerals such as barite and sulfate just below the seafloor surface, on a ridge near the Makran subduction zone. The minerals and gas accumulate at a certain rate, so the team could calculate when the methane indicators first appeared — between 1916 and 1962. Combined with other clues, such as seismic surveys of disturbed sediments, the scientists concluded that the 1945 earthquake released methane gas into the ocean.

“Three lines of evidence came together saying the earthquake triggered the amplification of the methane flux,” said David Fischer, lead study author and a geochemist at the MARUM Institute at the University of Bremen in Germany.

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Fukushima radiation levels as high as 2011

  It goes from bad to worse at Fukushima. This week, water samples taken underground below the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contained levels of radiation comparable to those taken right after the catastrophe 1st occurred in 2011.

According to a Saturday statement by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the tested water contains 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter, and the radioactive water is now seeping into the sea. The findings were also evident from samples taken within a 50-meter radius around the plant.

TEPCO’s specialists have hit a wall trying to solve the problem of the leaking groundwater, which has persisted since 2011. However, unlike then, they cannot tell what the source of the new-found radioactivity is. The current explanation is that the radioactive water that had been left in the underground trench some two years ago is now mixing with the groundwater, which is in turn contaminating the sea.

The current investigation started back in May, when specialists registered a 17-fold hike in radiation levels compared to December 2012. More tests immediately followed.

It seems apparent that TEPCO does not really know how to contain the damage at Fukushima. It is quite unclear whether anybody on planet Earth does. Meanwhile, here in the FSA, the nuclear industry has come a cropper. The government has done everything possible to encourage nuclear power through subsidy, reducing safety standards after Fukushima, obliging Japan to restart its nuclear program, participating in a cover up of the severity of the Fukushima accident, raising acceptable radiation limits, shuttering radiation measuring stations, and agreeing to purchase radioactive Japanese seafood for consumption in the domestic American market. Your tax dollars at work.

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EPA Censored Key Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Study

 Perhaps you still retain some optimism. Perhaps you still believe in open change. Perhaps you think that in a Democratic administration, the co-optation of oversight agencies charged with protecting the commons, like the Environmental Protection Agency, would no longer be captive to special interests. That would mean you haven’t been paying attention to Obama’s appointees. But suffice it to say that the EPA brought the hammer down on its own study on hydraulic fracturing groundwater contamination in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Though EPA said Dimock’s water wasn’t contaminated by fracking in a 2012 election year desk statement, internal documents obtained by LA Times reporter Neela Banerjee show regional EPA staff members saying the exact opposite among friends.

“In an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation…staff members warned their superiors that several wells had been contaminated with methane and substances such as manganese and arsenic, most likely because of local natural gas production,” writes Banerjee.

“The presentation, based on data collected over 4 1/2 years at 11 wells around Dimock, concluded that ‘methane and other gases released during drilling (including air from the drilling) apparently cause significant damage to the water quality.’ The presentation also concluded that ‘methane is at significantly higher concentrations in the aquifers after gas drilling and perhaps as a result of fracking [hydraulic fracturing] and other gas well work,” Banerjee further explained.

It’s essentially a repeat of Steve Lipsky’s water contamination by Range Resources in late-2010 in Weatherford, Texas. In that case, EPA conducted a taxpayer funded study, determined Range had contaminated his water, sued Range – and then proceeded to drop the suit and censor the study in March 2012.

Really, how transparent doesn’t have to be to see that the fix is in?
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Tiny Plastic Beads Are Latest Pollution Threat To The Great Lakes

It appears that in our postindustrial age, we’re not capable of making anything at all that does not have lasting deleterious effects. As if racking did not cause enough problems with water, comes this notice this past week about the Great Lakes and tiny little plastic beads.

Tiny plastic beads from beauty products are showing up in North America’s Great Lakes, and an environmental group is calling upon companies to stop using the plastic particles.

Scientists have already found the particles, known as microplastic, floating in the oceans but recently reported the same contamination in the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth. The particles are often less than a millimeter (0.04 inch).

A team of researchers with 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit California-based environmental activist group, collected samples from lakes Erie, Superior and Huron last summer and found large quantities of round, plastic pellets.

“They matched the same size, color, texture and shape of the microbeads found in popular consumer products,” said the group’s executive director, Marcus Eriksen. He said the group plans to publish the research in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.

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 Dirty Hands: 77 ALEC Bills in 2013 Advance a Big Oil, Big Ag Agenda

While the House of Representatives votes for a 40th time to repeal Obama care, then dispatches itself on a 5 week paid vacation while the rest of the swelter in the hinterlands, we can comfort ourselves in knowing that ALEC never sleeps.

 

The American Legislative Exchange Council is busy writing legislation, which it then delivers to its hand-picked bill sponsors in nearly 30 states across the country. This off-the-shelf and ready to go legislation invariably serves corporate interests, is reliably anti-labor, and anti-environment. Not surprisingly, Alec’s tar sands and fracturing, and works diligently to make sure that those industries get the red carpet treatment for every time they show up at a statehouse.

 

At least 77 bills to oppose renewable energy standards, support fracking and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and otherwise undermine environmental laws were introduced in 34 states in 2013, according to a new analysis from the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org. In addition, nine states have been inspired by ALEC’s “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” to crack down on videographers documenting abuses on factory farms. 

ALEC, Fueled by Fossil Fuel Industry, Pursues Retrograde Energy Agenda

For decades, ALEC has been a favored conduit for some of the worlds largest polluters, like Koch Industries, BP, Shell, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil, and for decades has promoted less environmental regulation and more drilling and fracking. 

ALEC bills in recent years have pulled states out of regional climate initiatives, opposed carbon dioxide emission standards, created hurdles for state agencies attempting to regulate pollution, and tried to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation introduced in 2013 carries on this legacy. ALEC bills favor the fossil fuel barons and promote a retrograde energy agenda that pollutes our air and water and is slowly cooking the planet to what may soon be devastating temperatures.

“Disregarding science at every turn, ALEC is willing to simply serve as a front for the fossil fuel industry,” says Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. “Given the stakes–the earth’s climate–that’s shabby and sad.”

Shabby and said. That’s ALEC  at work, every day. Rust never sleeps.

 
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You’re Shitting Me, Right?

And we now come to that portion of the column in which the headlines beggar belief, let alone reason. In which we read the headline and say, this can’t be true. Were there must be a catch. Or I need new glasses…

Lifelong ‘frack gag’: Two Pennsylvania children banned from discussing fracking

The 7- and 10-year-old children of a Pennsylvania couple that reached a settlement following a lawsuit involving health issues brought on by fracking have been barred from discussing details of the case for the rest of their lives.

Though a gag order is not unusual in itself when large corporations reach a settlement with plaintiffs in court, the August 2011 case of a family that went to court with Range Resources Corporation, Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream, and Markwest Energy due to the environmental and health impact caused by gas fracking operations has raised eyebrows for its inclusion of the couple’s young children.

The Pennsylvania family reached a $750,000 settlement with the gas companies, and have used the award to relocate. In exchange, however, Chris and Stephanie Hallowich agreed that no member of their family could comment on the case “in any fashion whatsoever.”

Details of the case only emerged recently when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette managed to get court transcripts released. The paper’s reporters were originally barred from attending the settlement hearing, and had to wait until a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a lower court had erred in blocking the unsealing of the records.

Court records, which should have included details of the settlement but did not, paint a confusing picture for Chris and Stephanie Hallowich as they tackled the significance of their gag order.

“We know we’re signing for silence forever, but how is this taking away our children’s rights being minors?” Stephanie Hallowich asked the judge.

“I mean, my daughter is turning 7 today, my son is 10.”

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Armed Agents Raid Shelter to Kill Baby Deer — Apex of American Insanity Reached

www.dailykos.com

In a case that highlights absolutely everything wrong with this country,  Wisconsin state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agents and sheriff’s deputies “armed to the teeth” raided a non-profit no kill shelter based on multiple anonymous tips of a deer on the premises. Aerial photos were taken, warrant issued, and the raid ensued by heavily armed agents. The staff was corralled, not permitted to make calls and a cellphone was confiscated to delete pictures of the raid. A baby deer (named Giggles by the staff) was indeed seized and stuffed into a body bag…and then promptly killed by the agents. The presiding warden compared it to a drug raid to justify the SWAT-like tactics.So a local family finds a fawn they believed abandoned by its mother, so they take it to the shelter. Some whacked if-you-see-it-say-it super citizen notified the authorities. Department of Natural Resources investigates covertly, including capturing aerial photos showing the deer. They get a warrant. Heavily armed agents raid the place, staffed by animal loving volunteers. They find the deer. They seize the deer. They kill the deer (according to subsequent inquiry into the fate of the deer). Wisconsin law does not permit possession of wild animals you see. So it requires a SWAT like raid. With guns. Lots of them.

Two weeks ago, Schulze was working in the barn at the Society of St. Francis on the Kenosha-Illinois border when a swarm of squad cars arrived and officers unloaded with a search warrant.“(There were) nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Schulze said.

The focus of their search was a baby fawn brought there by an Illinois family worried she had been abandoned by her mother.

This is wrong on so many levels:

Are we over this police state shit yet? Does every damned thing require a SWAT like approach? It was a fucking baby deer! …at a shelter…staff mostly by kids.   And this took a raid? A warrant? Aerial shots? What, they send up a drone? Why not have a local DNR lady drive up in her state truck and walk through the fucking door like a sane human being? Where is the proportionality in our society?

Thus does our militarized police state justify the huge investment in military hardware. This is what happens when you give drones to Barney Fife.

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Fox host: Feeding hungry seniors is ‘called buying votes’ –

Fox Business host Stuart Varney on Tuesday accused the AARP of signing hungry seniors up for food stamps as part of a “buy-the-vote campaign” to benefit President Barack Obama.

On Saturday, the Tribune-Democrat reported that the Pennsylvania chapter of the AARP launched an effort to sign more people up for food assistance after finding that “almost 350,000 seniors in Pennsylvania do not always have enough money to buy food.”

“It’s called buying votes,” Varney opined on Tuesday. “It’s happening in Pennsylvania, Georgia, a couple of other states.”

“What about pride?” Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade wondered. “What about pride in not getting food stamps because they don’t need them?”

“The AARP, huge supports of President Obama, politically and financially, big supporters of Obamacare,” Varney explained. “And now they’re out there signing people up for food stamps. This is part of the buy-the-vote campaign. They’re really shifting America, changing what America really is.”

“But if they’re hungry they should get it, and if they qualify,” co-host Steve Doocy noted.

“Yeah, should they?” Varney grimaced. “Should people be going out there, ‘Give it to me! Give it to me now!’ You want that? Is that America?”

“They are acting on behalf of the president and, I repeat, I think it’s buying votes with taxpayer money,” he insisted.

This page wishes Stuart Varney an edifying hunger that will restore his humanity and fellow-feeling for his neighbors, and the early opportunity to choose between food and medications by means of survival.

Assplug.

 

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O’Reilly: Blacks need ‘peer pressure’ more than sex education and contraception

More from the source of most unintentonal humor, Faux Newschannel™.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly suggested on Friday that many of the problems in the African-American community could be solved by using peer pressure instead of sex education and contraception to prevent unmarried women from having children.

In response to protests over the George Zimmerman verdict, O’Reilly has spent recent days opiningon how to solve problems in the African-American community.

“The big one is the collapse of the family, traditional family in the African-American precincts,” he told Democratic strategist James Carville on Thursday. “I want a big, public campaign funded by the federal government to go in and tell the girls and the young ladies, ‘Don’t do this, this condemns you to poverty, it is destructive to your child, wait until you have a stable situation to become pregnant.’ Would you get behind that campaign?”

“I would get behind if it had comprehensive sex education and had easy access to contraception,” Carville replied.

“That’s all adjacent,” O’Reilly said.

“No, it’s not,” Carville insisted. “I think the idea that the federal government is going to tell a 17-year-old that you just wait and you don’t have sex, I don’t think that’s going to be effective.”

“It has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with getting pregnant,” the Fox News host quipped.

“Well, you know, one leads to the other,” Carville pointed out. “Let’s really fund Planned Parenthood.”

“So, you don’t want peer pressure brought, you want to fund, fund, fund!” O’Reilly exclaimed. “More money, more money.”

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The “anti-God” party

You can’t be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time, Virginia’s GOP candidate for lieutenant governor says. More from the man whose political campaign is tantamount to being the “Political Columnists Full Relief Act of 2013.” After decades of sporting road signs that announced, “Virginia is For Lovers” at major roadways entering Virginia, the regime of major grifter Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound has replaced them with signs that announce, “Virginia: Open For Business.” E.W. Jackson is Ultrasound’s intellectual spawn, as he hopes to occupy the statehouse with Ken Cuccinelli, the gubernatorial candidate. More proof that nowadays, Virginia is for haters. Salon posted this:

In a local radio interview this morning, Virginia Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson said the Democratic Party is “anti-God” and that Christians should leave it.

Jackson has said in the past that he thinks believing in God and voting Democratic are fundamentally incompatible, so WLEE host Jack Gravely asked if he still believes it. Gravely explained that he’s a Christian and tends to vote Democratic, just like his parents and family. Jackson didn’t back down.

“You are saying for us, we’re all wrong, leave that party. And all I’m saying to you is, if you said it before, you still have to believe it, why did you say it?” Gravely asked. “Oh, oh, oh I do believe it,” Jackson responded.

He continued: “I said it because I believe that the Democrat Party has become an anti-God party, I think it’s an anti-life party, I think it’s an anti-family party. And these are all things I think Christians hold to very dearly.”

Listen to the interview here.

Jackson, a bishop and outspoken social conservative, has run intro trouble for his stridently anti-gay and antiquated social views in the past. Even his running mate, the state’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, who is no San Francisco liberal himself, has distanced his campaign from Jackson’s.

While Republicans do tend to be slightly more religious than Democrats, 77 percent of Dems surveyed by Pew last year said they “never doubt the existence of God.” Sixty-two percent of Democrats also agreed that prayer is an important part of their daily life, and that “we will all be called before God at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.”

 

We may well all be called to answer for our sins in the fullness of time. And at times like these, “complicit silence” may be the greatest sins. Having a ringside seat to these perfidies obliges us to act upon the knowledge that we possess, according to our own best lights. In days where truth has been sacrificed to expedience in the name of profit, knowing and spreading the truth becomes a moral–if dangerous– act.

This Was The Week In Doom July 14, 2013

From the Keyboard of Surly1

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on July 14, 2013

http://991.com/newGallery/That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964.jpg

Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.

“The first change that takes place is in your mind.You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move. So when we said that ‘the revolution would not be televised,’ we were saying that the thing that’s going to change people is something that nobody will ever be able to capture on film.

It’ll just be something that you see, and then all of a sudden you realize ‘I’m on the wrong page.'”

  ~Gil Scott Heron

 

There comes a time in nearly everyone’s life when, either as the result of the catharsis or of a life-changing event, the idols you have erected for yourself fall: you realize that much that you have done, seen or own no longer serves you.  Suddenly you realize, “I’m on the wrong page.” Those of us old enough to remember a government that appeared, at least to advocate for the rights of ordinary people  in balance with those of corporate persons, that attempted to protect the public health and promote some level of general welfare, that even became an advocate for civil rights for the oppressed, who remember a republic that was at least functional,  able to enact policy via political compromise as opposed being captive to the economic terrorism of an entrenched and implacable minority, will know what I mean.  Much of the discussion in the pages of the Diner Forum centers around “fast collapse” versus “slow collapse.” Our current world of escalating cruelty and absurdity, in which the thoughtful are mocked while the basest and most ludicrous are elevated to celebrity status, shocks the senses. This week’s summary provides a luxury box with a panoramic view of what collapse looks like, with each detailed writ large– but when considered from a view high enough and far enough away, the pattern resolves a pointillist image of impending doom.

 

Zimmerman Acquitted

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Late Saturday evening, the Florida jury deliberating on the charges against George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin
acquitted  Zimmerman of charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter  in a case that alternately fascinated and appalled large segments of a spellbound nation. As the judge confirmed the verdict with jurors, one of the six women in the jury sat with a face flushed with emotion.

It did not take long for reaction to coalesce. as waiting demonstrators in Sanford Florida learned of the verdict, a chant arose that, “the system has failed!” As of this writing, it appears that people are even yet catching up with this verdict, and is difficult to know what will happen next. Needless to say, there is plenty of outrage to go around.

On July 10, Charlie Pierce uttered the stuff of prophecy:

‘A general consensus seems to be forming around the fact that George Zimmerman, who shot down an unarmed teenager for the crime of being in a place where Zimmerman thought the teenager did not belong, may well skate in his trial down in Florida. This will happen, it is said, for a variety of reasons. The state overcharged him. The jury will buy the notion that he was having a near-death experience. Florida’s preposterous stand-your-ground law was badly drawn and gave Zimmerman a loophole through which he was able to dive.  (An acquittal in this case is a virtual hunting license for every gun-totin’ wannabe in the state. The cops must be thrilled.)

But the simple fact underlying all of these explanation is that, if the races of the shooter and his victim were reversed, Trayvon Martin already would be on his way to Raiford. (We would like this other case marked as Exhibit A in support of our argument.) This has more than dawned on many people in Florida, and local law enforcement is already nervous.’

Anyone with any sense hopes this doesn’t happen. Which leaves out the nest of otherwise unemployables working at Breitbart’s Mausoleum, who are fairly slavering for a race war to break out after the verdict. Whatever you do, stay the hell out of the comments section. It will make you despair of being a human being. Said it before, will say it again. Nothing good will come of this case. Nothing.’

 

dexterrrrr

The lessons of history are pretty unmistakable about what happens when people are systematically denied justice.

Whatever the merits or faults of the prosecutions case against Zimmerman, the feeling on the street is that justice has been denied.  Even those who hung on every word of the proceedings, the thousands of de facto volunteer jurors in the case,  come to different conclusions based on what they heard.

And for those convinced that justice has been served, there is the story of how a Black woman fired a warning shot and gets 20 Years , whereas a white man shoots his wife’s lover and walks free.

Zimmerman’s adoptive godfather, Sean Hannity, was not available for comment.

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Radioactive Tritium At Record High Levels In Fukushima Ground- And Sea-Water

With the Western (and Japanese) media focused almost entirely on the actions of their central-planners-in-chief and how effective they are, it seems human’s omnipotence over complex systems is being greatly challenged by the ongoing Fukushima disaster.  Earlier this week, The Japan Times reported that TEPCO said that 600,000 becquerels per liter of tritium has been detected in groundwater at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant – 18% higher than levels a week earlier.

In a story Joe P. posted last night, a report by William Boardman pointed out even more grim news:

As with all nuclear reporting, precise and reliable details are hard to come by, but the current picture as of July 10 seems to be something like this: 

”   On July 5, radiation levels at Fukushima were what passes for “normal,” which means elevated and dangerous, but stable, according to measurements by the owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). 

”   On July 8, radiation levels had jumped about 90 times higher, as typically reported.  TEPCO had no explanation for the increase. 

”   On July 9, radiation levels were up again from the previous day, but at a slower rate, about 22 per cent.  TEPCO still had no explanation. 

”   On July 10, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) issued a statement saying that the NRA strongly suspects the radioactive water is coming from Fukushima’s Reactor #1 and is going into the Pacific. 

Furthermore, the utility also said it had measured a seawater tritium level of 2,300 becquerels per liter – the highest so far – near the water intakes of reactors 1 to 4. So it is that in a nation already suffering from a dreadfully declining demographic dilemma, the citizens are being exposed to highly cancerous substances still.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Here is a list of the purportedly “safe”  levels  of radiation in water.

”   10 becquerels per liter — The officially “safe” level for radioactivity in drinking water, as set by the NRA. 

A becquerel is a standard scientific measure of radioactivity, similar in some ways to a rad or a rem or a roentgen, but not equivalent to any of them.  But one need not understand the nuances of nuclear physics to get a layman’s idea of what’s going on in Fukushima.  Just keep the measure of that safe drinking water in mind, that liter of water, less than a quart, with 10 becquerels of radioactivity.

”  60 becquerels per liter — For nuclear power plants, the safety limit for drinking water is 60 becquerels, as set by the NRA, with less concern for nuclear plant workers than ordinary civilians. 

”   60-90 becquerels per liter — For waste water at nuclear power plants, the NRA sets a maximum standard of 90 becquerels per liter for Cesium-137 and 60 becquerels per liter of Cesium-134.

 so here is the current status what’s going on at Fukushima:

At some of Fukushima’s monitoring wells, radiation levels were in fractions of a becquerel on July 8 and 9. At the well (or wells) that are proving problematical, TEPCO has provided no baseline readings. 

”  9,000 becquerels per liter — On July 8, according to TEPCO, the company measured radioactive Cesium-134 at 9,000 becquerels per liter.  Since TEPCO characterized this as 90 times higher than on July 5, the implication is that the earlier reading (about 100) was less than twice as toxic as the allowable limit and only 10 times more toxic than drinking water for civilians. 

”   11,000 becquerels per liter — TEPCO’s measurement of Cesium-134 on July 9.    

”    18,000 becquerels per liter — TEPCO measurement of  Cesium-137 on July 8.

”    22,000 becquerels per liter — TEPCO’s measurement of Cesium-137 on July 9. 

”    900,000 becquerels per liter — TEPCO’s measurement of the total radioactivity in the water leaking from Reactor #1.  This radiation load includes both Cesium isotopes, as well as Tritium, Strontium and other beta emitters.  There are more that 60 radioactive substances that have been identified at the Fukushima site. 

This may well be too much statistical argle-bargle (geez, I actually quoted Nino Scalia) for most readers,  but suffice it to say that a situation that was already bad is getting much, much worse. And nobody can or will say why.  Water continues to flow through the Fukushima  accident site, both from groundwater and water pumped in from the ocean to contain other potential meltdowns. It is unclear what can be done, which is troubling. Even more troubling is the fact that radiation, like the weather, moves from West to East.

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 Add Hastings: LAPD Gag Order on Hastings Death Indicates Murder Cover-Up?

We typically disregard stories published on this site as the work of rightist conspiracy types with a Bircher bent.  Yet evidence persists that the death of Michael Hastings was most unusual, and witnesses continue to emerge with stories that a reasonable person might think would warrant further investigation. That is, if one were really interested in finding out exactly what happened, which is to say, more reasonable than the LAPD. So forgive us if we smell a cover up.

Michael Hastings

 

The Michael Hastings Car Crash: No Skids Marks, a Flying Engine and “Boston Brakes”

In cases such as the highly suspicious and tragic car crash/explosion that killed celebrated investigative journalist Michael Hastings, I try to reserve commentary for a little bit to let facts emerge following the initial speculative flurry. Particularly when it involves a journalist with whom I am only slightly familiar.  I think we can all agree at this point that based on what has come forward in the past several weeks it is more than likely Mr. Hastings was murdered. The following report from San Diego News 6 provides an excellent summary of what we know, and what we don’t know.  The LAPD doesn’t seem to care much about the latter.  From San Diego 6:

An eyewitness at the scene, Jose, employed at nearby business ALSCO Inc said, the car was traveling very fast and he heard a couple explosions shortly before the car crashed. In fact, the explosion was so intense that it took the LA County assistant corner, Ed Winter, two days to identify the burned-beyond recognition body of Hastings.

As news of the journalist’s death reached family and work colleagues another story emerged, one that would seemingly contradict the LAPD’s verdict. It quickly surfaced that Hastings reached out to Wikileaks attorney Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before his death claiming the FBI was investigating him.

One particular passage in Hastings book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” revealed that a former McChrystal staff member made a death threat. “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write,” the unnamed staffer said. Hastings coolly retorted: “Well, I get death threats like that about once a year, so no worries.”

He later wrote; “I wasn’t disturbed by the claim. Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me.”

But the most significant missing evidence was the absence of any skid marks—even though the car made a 60-degree turn into a palm tree.

Research of this topic reveals a new angle to this story, namely —Boston Brakes.

This theory was explained by a former Marine Gordon Duff who refers to the “Boston Brakes” technique, in which “drive by wire” cars, specifically a Mercedes Benz, can be manipulated remotely to simulate an out-of-control accident, according to his Veterans Today story (The 2010 story is a must read). The story details are eerily similar to Hastings fiery accident scene as there were no skid marks.

Adding credence to the possible car-hacking scenario is former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke. After news broke on the Hastings car accident, he confirmed the “drive by wire” concept.

Clarke told The Huffington Post that a single-vehicle crash is “consistent with a car cyber attack. There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car.”

Another significant detail pointed out by some members of law enforcement, is the intensity of the fire inside the car. It’s highly unusual since gasoline generally doesn’t burn that hot. Reviewing video footage from the scene, the intensity of the fire resembles a “thermite” burn.

Despite the LAPD’s categorization of the Hasting fatal accident as a “no (evidence of) foul play” accident, LAPD refuses to release the accident and toxicology reports, or make the Mercedes available for inspection which only fuels speculation.

Until such time as that vehicle and the reports are available for public inspection, the speculation is likely to continue.

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Wisconsin Paramilitaries

Once upon a time this might have been made the “unbelieveable” file,  but comes to us from Wisconsin, that living laboratory for what the Koch brothers have in mind for the rest of us once they get to fill statehouses with governors of their choice. Their hand-picked suzerain in Madison, Scott Walker, who Pierce describes as “the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage its midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin,”  is in the process of selling off the state piece by piece. This latest datum represents what is happening as Walker transfers public land to a massive iron ore mining operation.

In response to the protestations of some who actually find this transfer objectionable and have demonstrated that point in public, the money concerned has now mounted a private army to patrol said public land to protect their purported interests.

Imagine walking through the Wisconsin woods with your children only to suddenly encounter the fellow pictured above? We’re talking here about land that is actually *open to the public*, and the Private Sector militarized mercenaries do not even have the legal right in Wisconsin to actually  employ the weaponry that they are openly carrying around for the purpose of protecting property.

A company proposing a $1.5 billion open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin is drawing fire for hiring heavily armed security guards to protect the project site. State Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and State Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) Monday called on Gogebic Taconite to immediately remove the “masked commando security unit” hired to protect the company’s property in the Penokee Hills in Ashland and Iron counties. Gogebic Taconite spokesman Bob Seitz told the Duluth News Tribune on Monday that the company hired the Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities Force after teams of mining opponents “dressed in black and wearing masks violently attacked our drill site” in June.

More scathing commentary here, along with a VIDEO from a local NEWS station:

“MASKED, HEAVILY-ARMED PARAMILITARY RENT-A-COPS ARE FREAKING OUT WISCONSIN”
A brief taste:

But now Wisconsinites are getting a bite from a brand new flavor of shit sandwich that results from having a Republican-controlled legislature: Masked mercenaries with semi-automatic weapons are guarding the site of a controversial mining project that is being established near Lake Superior and understandably, people are freaking out about it.

Although there were serious environmental concerns about the mine, in March the GOP legislature pushed it through anyway. Since then there have been steady events protesting the mine, which will be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. Over the July 4th weekend, however, masked security guards wearing camouflaged uniforms and carrying multiple semi-automatic weapons started patrolling the future mine’s site. Forget about the firepower for a moment, why do these dudes require masks to do their jobs???

Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall did a little digging into the background of Bulletproof Securities the rent-a-cop on steroids firm—or as they put it, the “No Compromise Security Force”—that is minding the mine:

Here’s the Bulletproof website which lists all sorts of security/paramilitary type services. They even have their own ‘border security force’, which is something I thought the federal government took care of. But apparently not without occasional help from Bulletproof.

Indeed, as the site notes, “BPS has at its disposal the latest cache of specialized equipment for border security operations, not typically found in the private sector. As example, BPS owns heavily armored Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV’s), Tactical All Terrain Vehicles (T-ATV’s), FLIR (mobile thermal systems), mast equipment (eye in the sky), and many other state-of-the-art assets … The presence of BPS will prevent criminal organizations from posing a threat to your personnel or your mission.”

If your needs are different, Bulletproof can also provide “a QRF (quick reaction force) tactical unit to secure a manufacturing plant during a heated worker strike.”

It turns out that the company providing the paramilitaries is an Arizona company, owned by a real estate developer. Said developer clearly is in the business of providing armed assurance to the 1% who clearly don’t feel that the federal government is doing a good enough job of protecting the AZ border. Also interesting to note is that in the rush to convey this public land to the iron mining concern, the Republicans who votes pushes through promised that they would be creating local jobs. The first thing the iron mine did was import their paramilitaries from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the land is actually open to the public, and that Bulletproof’s armed mercenaries do not even have the legal right in Wisconsin to actually use the weaponry that they are carrying for the purposes of “protecting property.” And yeah, why the masks, anyhow?

The question answers itself. It’s not about “protection,” it’s about intimidation. If this doesn’t look like a symptom of “fast collapse” to you, I would submit you are not paying attention.

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Poison-proof mosquitoes might trigger a deadly crisis for thousands

And just when you thought it was safe to go outside comes this news from the World Health Organization.

 

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) cited insecticide resistance as a growing threat to malaria control campaigns in Africa, saying “urgent action” is needed to stem the spread. Globally, malaria kills an estimated 650,000 people every year, most of whom are young children. In Africa alone, pesticide failure could result in an additional 259,000 child deaths every year, according to the WHO’s projections.

In its report, the WHO called upon governments to implement tighter monitoring policies and to report cases of insecticide resistance with more diligence, underscoring a critical problem: data remains sparse, inconsistent, and, until recently, scattered across disparate sources.

A DEADLY CRISIS MAY LOOM ON THE HORIZON

Globally, malaria kills an estimated 650,000 people every year, most ly young children. In Africa alone, pesticide failure could result in an additional 259,000 child deaths every year, according to the WHO’s projections.In response, they’re developing a tool called IR Mapper. The website, which launched in April, collects data on confirmed and possible insecticide resistance from more than 50 countries  and displays them on an interactive map. Users can filter the data by type of pesticide and mosquito species, and can trace the spread of resistance from 1950 to the present.Ir_mapper_2

IR Mapper collects data on insecticide resistance and displays them in a single map interface.

The idea is to bring country-level data from various studies and publications into a single platform, allowing policy makers and experts to see where pesticide resistance is most prevalent, and act accordingly.

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Virginia Follies

Grifters delight…
Virginia is self-described as the “cradle of presidents,” as a disproportionate number of US chief Executives have come from the Old Dominion. Not to be outdone in the news cycles by the newly-insane  state of North Carolina, Virginia has its own home grown crop o’ craziness coming in full. The first issue is the trail of slime left by the revelations of financial impropriety by our esteemed Governor,  who had previously made certain choices and bleatings  about wanting to be the NEXT President from Virginia, a prospect receding further with each passing day.

For a while, the revelations of Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound’s financial non-disclosures were like the constant drip of a leaking faucet. That spigot was opened full bore with the revelation of the $6,500 Rolex watch and a paid for Final Four trip. This past week’s bombshell Washington Post report, carried in both The Virginian-Pilot and The Richmond Times-Dispatch, blew the spigot completely up, along with the glass house occupied by the Guv and his family,  who, incidentally, stand revealed as a set of grifters rivaling Alaska’s Palin family. The trickle of revelations has become a flood, and buried somewhere in the mud are the tatters of  Gov. T.U.’s reputation and future political ambitions. On the other hand, they resuscitated Nixon….

A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments.

The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said.

The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012.

 

This interview of McDonnell was broadcast earlier in the week, before the Post article broke. One wonders what he knew in advance about it when one is not busy feeding his secret hunchback. Schaudenfreude, indeed.

McDonnell has asserted that he has complied with Virginia’s loose campaign disclosure laws. It appears now that  statement may be, in the famous words of one Patrick Buchanan, “inoperable.” Also, my hunchback wonders what other shoes are left to drop?  Our Guv has garnered the attention of the Feds, and if it were only Virginia laws in question, one wonders why?

This reflects poorly on Virginia,  But then so has the entirety of the  McDonnell administration. This is a governor who, one will recall, who ran neck and neck with Scotty Walker to transfer public assets into private hands at breakneck speed, and with scant regard for existing law.  And his execrable war on women, led by his personal Iago, Ken Cucinelli, leaves an enduring stain on the reputation of the Commonwealth.

 And speaking of that current blight upon the body politic in Virginia,  otherwise known as the current attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate, there is this.

WASHINGTON — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP’s 2013 gubernatorial candidate, filed a petition Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to uphold Virginia’s anti-sodomy law.

Cuccinelli wants the court to reconsider a March 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit striking down the state’s “crimes against nature” statute. The 4th Circuit ruled that the law did not pass muster in light of the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which struck down the latter state’s anti-sodomy law as an unconstitutional criminalization of Americans’ sexual conduct. The Virginia law, however, remained on the books.

in Virginia, the hits just keep on coming.  And nothing this week from EW Jackson, Virginia’s firebrand Republican Lieut. Gov. candidate. Rumors that the Cucinelli campaign had trussed Jackson securely in a straitjacket, gagged and secured him in the basement of the governor’s mansion in Richmond could not be confirmed at publication time.

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TV Is Americans’ Main Source of News

This next item will come as no surprise to anybody who said, transfixed or no, while CNN provided 24–7 coverage of the Zimmerman trial. Had Martians landed in Washington, or nuclear war broke out in the Middle East, you can be sure that CNN would’ve remained all trade bond all the time.

 

The ubiquity of the idiot box makes the result of this Gallup poll somewhat dispurposeful. But if you’re the sort of evidence-based literalist who likes to actually see the data before making wide, sweeping generalizations about it to prove a point (for example, the way we do things here at TWTWID), then here you are.

 

Preferred news source varies by age, education, and politics, among other factors

PRINCETON, NJ — Television is the main place Americans say they turn to for news about current events (55%), leading the Internet, at 21%. Nine percent say newspapers or other print publications are their main news source, followed by radio, at 6%..

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Don’t Drink The Water

FrackMapUS

A tip o’ the Surly crown of thorns to haniel for this next item: On this map you can retrieve two types of information:  US rivers in blue and the fracking areas superimposed in red, from the documentary Gasland.

There is just one thing to be said regarding this sobering and terrifying map: Be careful if you live in a red area, your tap water may be contaminated and poisoned by the chemicals and other toxic substances used for fracking and described in the following report: Chemicals Used In Hydraulic Fracturing.

An important point of clarification: NOT ALL OF THESE RED AREAS ARE CONTAMINATED, but they have a higher risk of contamination due to a substantial concentration of fracking activity. The impact that fracking has on water is already firmly established.

I remember, as a child, how the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire and burned, in those days before the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. After nearly 40 years of class war and industry capture of regulatory agencies (remember Anne Burford Gorsuch?) we have largely returned to those unregulated times.  By no means will all people who live in a red area on this map  jeopardize their health if they drink their tap water, but if I did, I would be concerned.  Test your water yourself.

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Which will do it for this week’s edition of TWTWID.  This space will be vacant next week due to previous travel commitments and,  judging from the near complete absence of comments in the Forum. will not be much missed. Rest assured that while the reportage may be absent, that doom, in its various factors, will keep marching on. Because doom, like rust, never sleeps.

Let’s close with our brand new franchise, “You’re Shitting Me, Right?”

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You’re Shitting Me, right?

Sometimes there are just no words.  Times like this.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson came to the conclusion on Sunday that low student loan rates were to blame for long-term joblessness.

In an interview on Sunday, conservative economics professor Peter Morici explained that President Barack Obama’s health care reform law had caused a “disaster” because only 47 percent of the population was employed.

“So here’s the part I can’t get past, 47 percent of the population works full time,” Carlson said. “That means the other 53 percent is being supported by that 47 percent. That’s not a good ratio.”

“Absolutely not,” Morici replied. “Look what’s happening with young people, my students, many of them are getting into these part-time jobs, some of them not very meaningful. You know, you got a guy with a masters degree working at Starbucks so he lives with his parents.”

“What’s going to happen to these young people and all their big student loans? The answer is very bad things,” he added. “The president has been buying lower unemployment rates by essentially providing very cheap student loans and keeping people out of the labor market.”

“Exactly,” Carlson agreed. “So, cheap student loans keep people out of the labor market. This is a dangerous spiral.”

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#NoNeedToSatirize: Gohmert repeatedly shouts ‘Objection!’ to silence critics 

Gohmert repeatedly shouts ‘Objection!’ to silence claims food stamp cuts hurt hungry families

By David Edwards

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday objected over and over again in order to keep statements out of the congressional record that accused Republicans of hurting working families by taking food stamps out of the farm bill.

Before a vote could be taken on the Republican farm bill that drops the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — or food stamps — Democrats attempted to voice their unhappiness by inserting statements into the record.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks in strong opposition to the farm bill rule and the underlying bill because it will increase hunger in America,” Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) said.

Although requests to “revise and extend” remarks are routine, Gohmert immediate shouted, “Objection!”

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-IL) next asked permission to “revise and extend” his remarks in opposition to the farm bill “because it takes food nutrition away from working families.”

“Objection!” Gohmert yelled.

“What he is doing is he is not even giving members on our side the courtesy inserting their statement in the record?” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) asked.

As several more Democratic representatives attempted to insert remarks that the bill “hurts the working poor” and “increases hunger and poverty,” Gohmert repeatedly objected.

“I think it is extremely unfortunate that that members on the other side of the aisle would deny members on this side of the aisle the ability to insert written materials in the record,” McGovern noted. “In all my years here, I’ve never seen such uncourteous gesture.”

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When you make a promise to your god, your late father, and your wife to quit smoking, you should actually quit this time.

Turkish man Ibrahim Yucel wanted to keep his promise so badly that he crafted a medieval-style cage to wear on his head so he couldn’t smoke. Every morning, he locks his head in the cage and gives the key to his wife so he won’t give in to his addiction at work.

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The sinkhole, discovered Aug. 3, resulted from a collapsed underground salt dome cavern about 40 miles south of Baton Rouge. After oil and natural gas came oozing up and acres of the swampland liquefied into muck, the community’s 350 residents were advised to evacuate.

Texas Brine Co., the operator of the salt dome, is negotiating buyouts of residents who have not joined lawsuits filed against the company. Texas Brine spokesman Sonny Cranch said 92 buyout offers have been made, with 44 accepted so far.

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  And here is an article custom made for”You’re Shitting Me, Right?”I came across an article this week in which the Atlantic, God love them, investigated whether it is really possible to meet your maker by peeing on the 3rd rail.

Last night a man reportedly was killed while peeing on the third rail of the G train in Brooklyn, leading to a renewed debate over the myth that one can actually kill oneself by taking a leak on the super electrified subway track. The report from the New York Post suggests that the man indeed died because his pee came in contact with the deadly rail. “A drunken man was electrocuted and killed relieving himself on the third rail in Brooklyn this morning, sources said,” reads the report. But, both the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and law enforcement officials have denied a “whiz-3rd rail connection” to the Wall Street Journal’s transportation reporter Tedd Man. So, it sounds more like the man fell while peeing onto the third rail and then got electrocuted and died. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to die in such a manner. We investigate.

The idea behind the myth makes scientific sense: an electrical current could travel up the stream of urine through one’s penis, thus causing a jolt. Or, as a couple of New York City kids put it to a homeless man on the verge of peeing to his death: “Your dick will get blasted, bro.” A Yahoo answers commenter also insists the risk is serious, real, and terrifying: “Electricity can arc across gaps in your pee and zap you right in the nuts. Penile electrocution is very painful. And if the electrical current is sustained, your testicles will explode.”

 And it week of consummate weirdness, you can read the rest of the article here.
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Of Dogs and Corpses…

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia

Published on Economic Undertow on January 14, 2013

How Hwee Young, EPA-Al Jazeera, what the end of the World looks like: midday pollution in Beijing … the Chinese accept this as an integral component of ‘progress’.

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

On Sunday, the monitoring center released data showing particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5), had reached more than 600 micrograms per square meter at some monitoring stations in Beijing and was as high as 900 on Saturday. According to the World Health Organisation, the recommended daily level for PM 2.5 is 20, and the high levels in Beijing has been identified as a major cause of asthma and respiratory diseases.Air quality in Beijing showed airborne particles with a diameter small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs at a reading of 456 micrograms per cubic meter, the warning center said.The quality is considered good when the figure stands at less than 100, but a reading shown on the website of the US embassy in the city was above 800.

Beijing only measures up to a maximum value of 500, with the US embassy tweeting that their own readings were “beyond index” (“Crazy bad!”).

 

Beijing is located within the Chinese rust belt. The districts surrounding the city are filled with coal-burning heavy industries … Citizens are placated by the infinitesimal likelihood that they themselves might become tycoons. To tend the tiny flame of possibility the citizens endure every abuse. A number the Chinese need to keep in mind is 12,000 … Londoners who perished as a result of a similar coal-driven smog event that occurred in the UK from December 4th onward, in 1952 (pdf alert).

No telling how bad Chinese pollution will become as managers frantically aim to increase output and boost precious GDP. As usual, nothing will be done until there are dogs gnawing corpses in the streets …

No telling the effect of more Chinese pollution on the world’s climate … the prospect of more pollution is not something to look forward to. It is likely the Chinese will endure more extreme weather … more GDP … more pollution … more floods and blizzards … more dogs, in a vicious cycle.

The Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (PHP) and the Committee on Population (CPOP) has issued a lengthy report on the comparative fatality rates for different countries broken down by cause. Wolf Richter has filtered the report so as to bring forth information. From ‘Part One’ of his analysis:

 

How Americans Stack Up In Dying From Violence, War, Suicide, And Accidents … the first thing I did was check out the category “deaths from intentional injuries” and its three subcategories, “self-inflicted injuries,” “war,” and “violence.” Grisly statistics, all of them.As expected, the US has the most violence among the 17 “peer” countries in the study with 6.5 deaths per 100,000. Almost three times the rate of Finland, the next most violent country in the group with 2.2 deaths per 100,000 people, and over 15 times the rate of Japan with 0.43 deaths per 100,000 people. The third most violent country, Canada (1.6), is practically a bastion of safety for those Americans who make it across the border.The apparently permanent element of US foreign policy, “war,” killed 0.44 Americans per 100,000 in 2008. It killed a lot fewer people in the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and France, and none in the remaining peer countries.

Deaths from self-inflicted injuries are an immense cultural tragedy in Japan—and its literature is replete with it. But the Japanese rate of 19.8 suicides per 100,000 people is not that much worse than that of the Finns (17.7). Americans are in the middle of the pack (10.3). The least suicidal are the Italians (4.5).

Combine the deaths from all intentional injuries—violence, war, and suicide—and the leader of the pack is … drumroll … Japan! With 20.2 deaths per 100,000 it is a hair deadlier than Finland (19.9), somewhat deadlier than the US in third place (17.3), but 3.6 times deadlier than the country of the Mafia, Italy, where people are least likely to die of intentional injuries (5.6).

 

Humans are violent, machines make violence more efficient while denaturing it at the same time. Denature means altering fundamental characteristics, ordinarily to render unpalatable. Industry denatures violence into an anodyne ‘process’ that runs quietly in the background, outside of control. By this process violence becomes unremarkable, ordinary. Industry and its fetishes alter the style or ‘fashion’ of violence, giving it respectability then promoting its usefulness.

Managers strive to increase efficiencies … to inform company narratives so as to gain- or maintain credit flows … there are unintended consequences. Non-natural death can be considered a form of industrial pollution … Alternatively: accidents, disease, war and other forms of violence are all waste products of the industrial system. Violence-waste is a component of an efficiency-limiting negative feedback loop, a kind of cost. Waste increases along with efficiencies until the system modifies itself or is overwhelmed.

The managers demand others absorb the waste … or ‘adjust themselves’ to it. This is what happened after Chernobyl, is happening post-Fukushima, is happening now in Beijing, what has taken place after millions of car crashes and fatalities … what will happen after Newtown. The costs are agonizing … but not yet high enough to cause the system to modify itself or blow up.

Finance is subject to the same dynamic. Corruption and theft are the waste products of debt-money and finance speculation. The waste is denatured … in order to permit greater efficiencies and ‘finance innovation’. For the system to behave otherwise … to corral corrupt managers and reform the system … is more threatening than breakdown.

In this way, all of our human problems are larger or smaller versions of the same problem. As with fractals, our waste-cost dilemma scales. What this means is contriving strategies to cope with problems at one level would also produce workable strategies at other levels at the same time. This is something to think about when analysts insist that ‘this or that problem cannot be solved’ (except to give bankers more of the citizens’ money). Our problems aren’t irremediable predicaments. Rather, solutions are unpleasant to business tycoons who would be required to sacrifice for others than themselves.

More from Wolf Richter:

 

Even if you’re white, insured, educated, or in upper-income groups and live a healthy lifestyle, you’re still getting the short end of the stick … Americans under fifty are paying the price. We don’t know exactly why. Even the panel of experts that authored the massive report, U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, admits that it can’t entirely pinpoint the reasons. But we do know how Americans under fifty, particularly males, are paying the price: with their lives.The US health disadvantage, as the report calls it, is more prevalent among “socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.” But even if you’re “white, insured, college-educated, or in upper-income groups” and live a healthy lifestyle, you’re less likely to make it to 50 than your counterparts in the other 16 wealthy “peer” countries of the study …The report, based on mortality studies for the years through 2008, carves out three categories, “Deaths from Noncommunicable Diseases,” “Deaths from Communicable, Maternal, Perinatal, Nutritional Conditions,” and “Deaths from Injuries.”

“Deaths from Communicable, Maternal, Perinatal, Nutritional Conditions” is divided into dozens of categories and subcategories, and every country has its own nightmare. In Portugal for example, 7.4 people per 100,000 die of HIV/AIDS, more than double the rate of the country next in line, the US (3.4), and 246 times the rate of Japan (0.03).

“Something fundamental is going wrong,” lamented Dr. Steven Woolf, who chaired the panel. “This is not the product of a particular administration or political party. Something at the core is causing the U.S. to slip behind these other high-income countries. And it’s getting worse.”

The panel tried to nail down the culprits: a health-care system that leaves millions of people uninsured, the highest rate of poverty, education, eating habits, socioeconomic and behavioral differences, cities built for cars not pedestrians…. But it determined that these reasons cannot adequately explain the differences—because even wealthy, educated, insured whites with healthy lifestyles are getting the short end of the stick.

 

Numbers lie, so do reporting agencies, particularly if the numbers make bureaucrats look bad. Malnutrition will not appear in statistics from Greece, Spain and Portugal. The 1,000,000+ radiation deaths over the next 20 years are not going to show up in Japanese databases … If spent fuel pool in Fukushima Daiichi reactor number four collapses a large part of the country will receive lethal doses of radiation … any deaths that result will not be tallied. Keep in mind there are only 128 million Japanese so there is an upper limit to the body count.

Americans die like rats because we live like rats: the infernal car business has turned what was once a nice country into an ironic, Beelzebub-ish hell hole. To live in the US of A is to camp out in a cardboard McBox under a freeway overpass. To cope, a large segment of the population continually self-medicates: peeps abuse prescription drugs, over-consume alcohol, refine/manufacture street drugs like crack, crank, PCP and meth, import cocaine and heroin. Shifting to pot puts the medicant into prison. All this is ‘Life-enhancing’ … right?

Add to this is ordinary stress … the constant fear-mongering which has become the thump-and-drag of US advertising- and political business, the effects of pollution and radiation, the toxic chemicals in food and water, pharmaceutical misdeeds and medical incompetence … the breakdown of families and supportive communities … isolation and withdrawal into ‘self’ and entertainments. Humans are not adapted to this, modernity is ‘too new’ … there hasn’t been enough time for evolutionary process to work nor is there likely to be.

The Council report does not list ‘death by ignorance and greed’ … the two categories are all-inclusive.Our incredible consumer economy with all its various cogs … drives people insane. We’ve gained a lot of worthless diversions that have big costs that are shoved off onto those least able to bear them. Consumption is layered over with a fetishist obsession with images associated with militarism … not militarism itself. We’re cowards addicted to death porn.

We aren’t in the hands of evil men … we are the evil men and we cum all over ourselves in our ‘righteousness’ and ‘progress’.

The unraveling is underway, the proposed solutions are cosmetic, (Center for American Progress):

 

Preventing Gun Violence in Our Nation Neera Tanden, Winnie Stachelberg, Arkadi Gerney, and Danielle BaussanAfter last month’s senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut—in which 20 children and 6 adults were shot and killed—we need to immediately address the gaps in our current law that enable mass shootings, as well as the everyday shootings that on average claim the lives of 33 Americans each day.In this issue brief we recommend 13 legislative proposals and executive actions to prevent gun violence in our nation. These actions are targeted in the following three key areas:

– Better background checks

– Taking military-grade weapons off the streets and out of criminals’ hands

– Better data, better coordination, and better enforcement …

 

It’s most likely that the ‘modernized date (gathering) systems’ … would be used to snoop on Occupy Wall Street- and anti-nuclear activists, persecute organic farmers, harass and infiltrate climate groups … that is what ‘modernize’ means in the 21st century. Controlling firearm violence will be difficult and costly. There are no easy ‘user pays’ solutions. Keep in mind, firearm manufacturing is Big Business. The imperative is to sell products, it is the same for all industries at all levels. Selling firearms is a cycle: the first round of sales justifies successive sales of ‘better quality’ materiel so that the buyers can maintain a (illusory) qualitative advantage. This requires additional rounds of sales. The enterprise is self-perpetuating as long as it can be fed money. For example, sales of military goods are a way to direct funds sent to oil producers back to the United States.

Military sales are another ‘nothing for something’ trade. If the material is not used it is useless in a practical sense. If it is used it is likely damaged or destroyed and must be replaced.

The way to sell firearms is to sell fear first. The way to ‘un-sell’ firearms is to stifle the fear and make firearms unfashionable:

– End the war on drugs and de-fund crime organizations thereby. Prosecute high-level criminals such as Jon Corzine. The issue is lawlessness and the perceived (real) breakdown in the social order. Lawlessness starts at the top. Prominent figures in and out of government and business need to be held to account!

– Treat gun violence as a public health issue. Expand the concept to include all forms of mental illness and suicide prevention. If the current healthcare infrastructure cannot manage the task (it can’t (it is hopelessly corrupt) a parallel provider system needs to be installed …even if it is hated ‘single payer’.

If the government or lobbyists aren’t willing to extend themselves in this way they should simply shut up.

– Increase employment by creating non-industrial jobs … ! A 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps would cost little, employ many and money spent would flow into the economy rather than to banks’ reserve accounts or to offshore tax havens. Employment would reduce poverty and the incentive to commit crimes. Conservation is capital husbandry, an exotic concept that needs to be revisited in a period of runaway insolvency.

– Improve veteran mental health services including in-service care. How the govt treats its veterans is a national disgrace. Lurking in the background are the endless, pointless wars-for-profit. There is a connection between the wars and turmoil across the country: one is the cause of the other.

– Close Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and shift investigative services to FBI. End the ‘terror war’. Paranoia feeds violence, we are consumed by it.

– Crack down on private armies of all kinds: contractors, paramilitaries, ‘patriot’ and other neo-nazi & similar hate groups.

– Hold firearm manufacturers liable for damages.

– Further down the road, with less fear and more confidence steps can be taken such as to nationalize the entire defense industry complex and repeal the 2d Amendment … the same way the US repealed the 18th Amendment. By doing so the baleful consequences of these industries’ influence would be reduced.

The clock is ticking on our foolishness:
CLB 010613

Figure 1: How little time in one chart (click on for big), Brent crude amalgamated futures contracts (from TFC Charts). The top line represents the high price of crude oil beyond which the economy contracts. The bottom line represents the price required by the so-called ‘producer’ to bring each barrel of crude oil to the marketplace. This price relentlessly increases because crude oil becomes more difficult to extract with each day … and every 90 million barrels removed then wasted.

By the end of the year the price that triggers deflation will decline to less than $120 per barrel while the price that drillers will need to stay in business will exceed $100 per barrel. The endgame is when the price of crude cannot be met by wasting the fuel or borrowing against the wasting process. We’re almost there …

Hopeless Messicus

Off the keyboard of Lucid Dreams

Published on Epiphany Now on June 5, 2012

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner

 

What does it mean to prepare for the collapse of our petroleum laced convenience anti-culture? The easy answer is to learn how to grow your own food, but that’s too easy. Growing food isn’t easy but that answer is. “Ohh, just learn how to grow your own food, that will prepare you for the end of petroleum!!” Now walk out into your yard (which is probably surrounded by zombies) scratch the sod off and plant some seeds. Wa la…or as Merlin might say, “hockity pockity wockity wack.” Now just go back into the house and turn the television back on secure in the knowledge that food is on the way. Well you might want to make sure that you have at least planted something that is going to yield a lot of energy…like taters. Now all we have to do is get everybody in this anti-culture to start planting taters in their yards and we’ll all make it…won’t we?
 
While the taters are growing, let’s look at a few more items of concern for our petroleum people in this petroleum society which is made possible by…well…petroleum…and corn. The reality is that we have become fat and gooey in our air conditioning. About those taters that we just planted. It’s wonderful that we don’t have to worry about such things as colorado potato beetles or any of those other pesky pest insects. Let’s not forget a few other factors we would have to worry about if it were not for technotriumphalism. Factors such as the unknown affect of GMO’s on humanity, migrating insects that are in the wrong place at the wrong time due to the changing biosphere, or soil that looks more like the wore out innards of an elder prostitute. If it were not for those scientists out there pounding the “manipulating physical reality with cute gadget” pavement, we would have to worry about subjects like the laws of thermodynamics and biology.
 
Did you hear that ding? It was the sound of the potato that just got cooked in the ground. Thanks to nuclear power plants that are just leaking radioactive shit to beat the band out there in Aikido land, we no longer need microwaves to nuke what little bit of nutrition was left out of them taters. Now our genetically modified tater chips can add some nice radiation to our diet. Who needs radiation therapy any longer when you can just buy it for .99 cents at your local convenience store, and with free monosodium glutamate. Wait…but isn’t that fighting the cancer causing agents with cancer? Okay, I’m confused. Phew…it’s a good damn thing that high fructose petroleum sugar green guilt gulp drinks are so cheap. If they weren’t so cheap, I might have to drink that even cheaper rain water complete with every fucking toxin you care to guess at. You know the space brother’s are close when the rain water ain’t fit for human consumption and we’ve got zombies chewin’ each other’s faces off on the side of the interstate due to “bath salts.” Whatever the fuck that is…is that the slash and burn Walmart Meth that’s causing all of these zombies? Is it true that people go to Walmart and gain everything they need to manufacture meth while there? And is it true that they even make the meth there and then use it and leave? I heard that was true.
 
Our world has past the point where fiction can go. Orwell and Huxely didn’t even envision zombies chewin’ each other’s faces off as reality…at least not to my knowledge. Is this really reality now? I heard another story that broke my heart the other day. I heard that if you go to jail your gettin’ strip searched. Better not go to jail for any reason. It’s a good thing that the police can’t just pull you over for no reason and then take you to jail because you are suspiciously acting suspicious. It’s also great news that the federal government can’t show up and take you away for doing nothing wrong. Wait…so you can get pulled over by the law for no reason and then never be seen or heard from again? It’s a good thing I don’t have a job to drive to, or I might have to put myself at risk of never being heard from again for no reason. I guess it really doesn’t matter because just being alive gives you cancer these days. What a fucked up prize to inherit. It’s a wonder I’m not a pessimist, or facetious for that matter.
 
We need to learn to let go as a species, and I’m not talking about Buddhism here either. I’m talking about learning to let go of the leisure we have all grown accustomed to for the last 100 years or so. I suppose the “middle class” didn’t exist until after the second world war. That means this illusion we have been living in has only existed, this time around at least, for roughly 70 years (there’s always the possibility that technologically advanced civilizations existed on Earth and vanished with no trace…like Atlantis). Everything we know as normal about society these days ain’t even old enough to have died from old age yet. It’s gettin’ there though isn’t it? Think of all of the things about our technopoly that we take for granted every second of every day. Drinkable running water (you won’t die from a waterborne pathogen at least), electrical outlets, personal motorized transport, food that magically appears sterilized in grocery stores, climate control, free entertainment at your command, telecommunication technology. I could go on, but I’ve gone on long enough.
 
Knowing all of the above, who would remain optimistic about our future? Or as Archimedes might say, “Whoooo…I’ddd like to know Whoooo” (I’ve been brainwashing my son and I with Disney’s Sword in the Stone”). My wife has baby fever now that my son’s learning to use the potty. I’d love to have another child for many reasons. However…see above. The world is a clusterfuck and the prognosis is continual clusterfuck status for the next 100 years or so, and that’s being optimistic. If we are to listen to magi’s such as John Michael Greer, then we’ve got another 300 years before something like a steady state world will exist. That’s 300 years of worse than the year before, for members of civilizations at least. I keep thinking that I need to inject some hope into this blog, but I can’t seem to stop paying attention to reality. I feel like a fraud when I try to muster up some happy shit to say about the future.
 
I’m marinating in a permaculture tribe right now. I’m making connections with real people in person. The only problem is that I have to drive 70 miles to participate. I have to go up the mountain. How am I supposed to do this where I’m at? There’s nothing but zombies out there…chewing each other’s fucking faces off. They don’t even have the decency to do it in private. That’s the reality that I’m supposed to fight with optimism. I’m supposed to start my own tribe here in Stupidville, where they water their plants with electrolytes and they can’t figure out why they won’t grow. Where they think their vote for president counts and Coca Cola is good for them when they are sick. They go to the Dollar General to buy their sustenance for cryin’ out loud. Let’s not forget the shit house rat crazy southern baptists Christians that are the majority. These are people who like to spend their time exercisin’ demon’s in retard tongue. They don’t have to worry themselves with reality because Chebus is coming to save them. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. A majority class of people who never left their childhood.
 
I want so badly to believe that the 100th monkey is going to arrive for humanity before it’s too late. Yet I know that it’s already to late. What do you do when hope becomes gossamer delusion? Sometimes sadness is appropriate and healthy, and our society is a sad mess. There’s a very real human drive inside of me to do something about this fucked up prognosis. I am doing something about it, but men can’t be islands unto themselves. So I want to get on with it. The shit has already hit the fan but society is to anesthetized on stupid and ignorant to notice or give a shit. How am I supposed to grow a tribe in Stupidville? I can’t leave because leaving takes letting go of any sense of stability on my families part. My wife and I fantasize about becoming gypsies, but it’s just fantasies. This is where learning to live in the moment comes in handy. Much past the present moment and your just trying to kick water up hill. Why do we insist on trying to kick water up hill on our way to Hopeless Messicus? I’d like to know.

Hang ’em High

Discuss this article inside the Diner

One of the most difficult problems I face on basically a Daily Basis on the Diner is that I advocate for a change in the Legal Structure to allow for Capital Punishment for Banksters rather than the typical Perp Walks.   I often refer to this as “The Inquisition”, nomenclature coming of course from the Spanish Inquisiton. Most Diners, and in fact most people find all the excesses engaged in during the original Spanish Inquisition, along with the Reign of Terror run by Robespierre in the aftermath of the French Revolution to be highly objectionable.  Why?

Well, first off it’s lots of DEAD PEOPLE! Nobody likes the idea of lots of DEAD PEOPLE! Well, at least nobody besides some Satanist Illuminati anyhow.  Then there is the problem of one person or persons PASSING JUDGEMENT  on some other person or persons.  INNOCENT people could be put to DEATH, and of course if you do that, you cannot take it BACK afterward if you made a MISTAKE.

Thing is of course, even if you just wrongly IMPRISON somebody for a few years, you can’t take that back EITHER.  You spend 20 years in Prison for a Crime you did not commit, some dude owns up to it on his Deathbed and you get Set Free, you STILL lost 20 years you can NEVER get back.  So the process of Passing Judgement on people because all Justice Systems are fallible always has problems associated with it.

The problem here we are faced with is that ONGOING are HIGH CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.  This is not just limited to such outstanding and obvious Crimes like the Macondo Well Blowout in the GOM or FUK-U-Shima Fiasco, which is clearly a result of EXTREME levels of corruption between both Goobermint and Private Industry in Japan.   It extends to the AUSTERITY being forced down the throats of J6Ps all over the world as their Pensions are cut and current workers are laid off, all to SAVE THE BANKSTERS!  Bond Holders MUST be preserved at ALL COSTS!  Such costs of course include Greek Senior Citizens committing Suicide because they see their future Eating out of Dumpsters.

It extends to the continuing POISOINING of the Food Supply by Monsanto and other corporations with GMO Foods.  It extends into the pharmaceutical industry with Mercury based Vaccines. It extends into the Banking Industry with faulty MERS Titles and Foreclosures.  It extends into the highest tiers of Goobermint, where Politicians are literally paid MILLIONS to vote in the interest of Lobbies rather than their constituencies.  These Crimes Against Humanity are ONGOING, and they are ALREADY taking thousands if not Million of lives.

This does not even touch the ongoing WARS being pursued for the Oil Resource in MENA by the Big Ass Military of NATO,  led of course as it is by theFSoA. The “Collateral Damage” of Women and Children CIVILIANS being MURDERED by Drone Aircrraft is already uncountable. Yet STILL, nobody is HELD ACCOUNTABLE for it.

Nobody can be held RESPONSIBLE for this? All the Managers, all the Stockholders are UNNACCOUNTABLE, protected as it were by the veil of Corporate Personhood?Our Political Leaders are also not Accountable?  Its NOBODY’s RESPONSIBILTY here?  What?

NO.  There MUST BE ACCOUNTABILITY!

We cannot Save Ourselves or Save this Planet if people who are pursuing Evil for their own self-aggrandizement are allowed to do so without CONSEQUENCE for these actions. What consequence, what PUNISHMENT is appropriate for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY? There is only ONE Punishment that can meet this goal even partially, and that is DEATH.  People simply cannot be allowed to pursue such agendas which result in the death of MILLIONS and walk away scot free with Golden Parachutes in the Millions of Dollars or Euros  usually.  They must be STOPPED, and made an EXAMPLE of.

Right now, Crime does indeed PAY very well.  The BIGGER the Crime, the Bigger the Payday.  This is a thoroughly dysfunctional Legal System as it stands.  It must be ABOLISHED.   The Punishment must fit the Crime.  The Crimes have become SO Great now, SO systemic that we are backed into a very ugly corner, a Morton’s Fork of unprecedented proportions.  We are OUT of Options.  English Common Law must be REPLACED.   Replaced by what you ask?

The LAW OF THE INQUISITION!

Hang ’em High!

Hang em High

RE

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