Archive for March 12th, 2011

21st Century Chernobyl?

by lizard

Two cataclysmic acts of nature—an earthquake and subsequent tsunami—may have initiated what will ultimately be a man-made disaster that could have wide ranging effects for all of us.

It’s been interesting to watch mainstream news tonight. CNN seems to be the only cable news network interested in trying to figure out if a major nuclear meltdown is in fact currently happening in Japan. A quick scan of the other two channels turned up Huckabee salivating over a planned parenthood employee turned pro-lifer, and MSNBC’s Saturday night prison profiles.

Here is what is known: there has been an explosion at the Fukushima nuclear complex, an allegedly small amount of radioactive steam has already been vented, and in what appears to be a last ditch effort to keep the reactor from melting down, salt water is being pumped in as a coolant. This effort has been framed by the talking heads at CNN as a “Hail Mary”.

This is a very volatile situation, and we can’t expect to get accurate information for a number of reasons.

One reason is practical: up to 170,000 people are currently being evacuated, and to keep that evacuation from turning into panic-stricken chaos, now is not the time to disseminate worse-case scenarios.

Another reason is political: the financial beneficiaries of the nuclear power industry have good momentum going with Obama’s proposed budget, and a cataclysmic nuclear meltdown will kill their hopes of government subsidized corporate profit.

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal will call for tripling government loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors, an administration official said on Friday, a move sure to win over some Republican lawmakers who want more nuclear power to be part of climate change legislation.

The $54 billion in loan guarantees, which follows Obama’s pledge in his State of the Union address to expand nuclear power production, will be announced as part of Obama’s proposed 2011 budget that will be sent to Congress on Monday.

Obama on Wednesday called on Congress to pass an energy and climate change bill with incentives to make clean energy profitable. “And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country,” he said.

“As the world moves to tackle climate change and diversify our national energy portfolio, nuclear energy will play a vital role,” said Carol Browner, who advises the president on energy and climate change issues.

No one knows where this chain reaction is going to end up. What I do know is those who stand to capitalize on nuclear energy will try to down-play whatever happens to protect their investments, and we may be witnessing the initial stages of their damage control as evident from the lack of coverage from MSNBC and Fox News.

Madison rally in Wisconsin draws over 100,000 to protest authoritarian right wing legislature’s attack on freedom and the middle class.

farmer’s union joins freedom lovers protest over GOP authoritarian rule in Wisconsin today.

this is going way past the point of a rally. it is becoming a national movement. last estimates of crowd in madison right now is over 200,000 people. this is what loving democracy looks like.

by problembear

the movement in madison wisconsin in response to authoritarian right wing conservative attacks on freedom in this country have already dwarfed any tea party gathering ever held. and it is just getting started as a national movement.

one hell of a good book. i am downloading it now…..

tip of the hat to larry kralj for making me aware of it over at LITW

“Social conservatism and neoconservatism have revived authoritarian conservatism, and not for the better of conservatism or American democracy. True conservatism is cautious and prudent. Authoritarianism is rash and radical. American democracy has benefited from true conservatism, but authoritarianism offers potentially serious trouble for any democracy. ”
— John W. Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience)

“Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, “enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral.” And that’s not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades.”- John W. Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience)

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