Archive for March, 2011

Radiation Anyone?

Posted in Environment on March 21, 2011 by Mort the Sport

If you’re wondering how much radiation is good for you, here’s a link to a handy dandy chart.

I vote we ban nuclear energy.

And while I’m at it, here’s another article that I haven’t read:
Lesson from Japan: We don’t need nuclear power to solve the climate crisis

War on Libya

Posted in Africa, Middle East with tags , on March 21, 2011 by Black Pumpkin

The US has now attacked a third Middle Eastern country.  I am against all the wars in the Middle East.  I understand about wanting to get rid of Moammer Khaddafi, but I don’t think joining a civil war was the right thing to do.  The only thing that does hold a little sway in my mind is that some of the “rebels” fighting against Khaddafi’s forces did call for intervention to help them.

It is a cold comfort that this operation is being handled by more than just the US.  Both Britain and France have used their militaries to strike Libya.  But the operation is presumably authorized under UN Resolution 1973 (2011).

I have this fear that more civilians will die because we attacked than would have died otherwise.  Hopefully I’m wrong.  Fortunately, we won’t have any boots on the ground.  Or that is what keeps being said.  We’ll see how true it remains.

What One Can Find on Al-Jazeera

Posted in Economics, Morty's Question of the Week, WTF? on March 20, 2011 by Mort the Sport

I found this great tidbit on the English version of Al-Jazeera under the title “US: Waking Up to Class Politics“:

“A CEO, a union worker and a Tea Partier (a member of the emerging right-wing political movement) are at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 and says to the Tea Partier: “Keep an eye on that union guy, he wants your cookie.”

I think it’s great.

And the lesson: Revolution is the response to inequity. Now the question is what is the response to an anesthetized society that is more or less comfortable with the one cookie it gets?

I know. What the hell am I doing reading Al-Jazeera?

Libya — What about the Oil?

Posted in Africa, Environment, Middle East on March 18, 2011 by Mort the Sport

One writer at Grist has offered a fairly familiar reason that the US and the UN are doing very little in Côte d’Ivoire and have taken steps to set up the no-fly zone in Libya. One word: Oil.

After we ban nuclear energy, I vote we ban fossil fuel. I vote we get really innovative and drastically change our societies across the globe before a major die back changes our societies for us. Who’s with me?

Japan and Nuclear Power

Posted in Asia, Environment with tags , on March 17, 2011 by Black Pumpkin

Japan is suffering through a three part disaster.  First came the earthquake, then the tsunami, and now the meltdowns of their nuclear power plants.  My heart goes out to all the people of Japan and especially those that have been directly affected by one of these three disasters.  But I can’t help but think about the issue of nuclear power.

Nuclear power is not safe.  And it never will be safe.  There is always the potential of something like this going wrong.  And when it does, thousands and perhaps millions of people are affected.

Many people like to tout nuclear power as the answer to global warming since nuclear power doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases.  But we cannot forget about the very real danger that nuclear power plants pose to people all over the world.  All it takes is one natural disaster or terrorist attack to unleash nuclear radiation over a very wide area.  Not to mention the normal operation produces waste that needs to be stored for thousands of years.  That is just the normal operation.  It is really amazing that these things have been allowed to operate at all.  But the incident in Japan really needs to give everyone pause before we say that nuclear power is the way of the future.

All from McClatchy

Is Nuclear Worth It?

Rethinking Duke Energy’s plans

Is California in Peril from its Nuke plants?

Bahrain attacks protesters

Posted in Middle East with tags , on March 17, 2011 by Black Pumpkin

There are lots of ways to handle protesters.  The Egyptian government just left them alone.  Other countries have not been nearly as nice.  Not only did Bahrain use live ammunition against protesters, they then stopped the wounded from seeking medical attention.  In other words, this is about the worst you can get, short of just killing everyone.

Here is the story from McClatchy.

Revolutions

Posted in Domestic, International on March 10, 2011 by Black Pumpkin

Not surprisingly, I have been thinking about revolutions.  Beginning with Tunisia and continuing throughout the Middle East and North Africa, we have seen a lot of political change.  Regimes have fallen, people are demanding more rights and elections.  It is really great to see the power of what people can do when they work together.

Also, it is interesting how the different revolutions are playing out in each country.  The revolts in Tunisia and Egypt have been relatively calm compared to the ones happening in Libya for example.  In Libya, the people have taken up arms and are now fighting against the army.  But in Egypt, the army just stood around for the most part.  Of course, if the army or even the police forces had wanted to they could have caused a lot of havoc by cracking down on the protests.  But for whatever reason (probably because they believed in what the protesters were doing) they just sat on the sidelines and allowed things to unfold.  It was quite something to see.

Unfortunately, in this country, we see people working together but still not getting what they want.  Of course, I am speaking about Wisconsin and the people’s fight to protect the collective bargaining rights of their unions.  The Democrats did what they could (they left the state) but the bill was still passed that took away the collective bargaining rights.  Hopefully they can use some form of direct democracy to get those rights back.