Google Street View are now just about everywhere (which probably includes your gastrointestinal tract), which once again allows me to do a re-run of one of the Pacific Northwest wilderness roads I drove back in 1999 (last year, via Street View, I did a rerun of the Dalton Highway, which is 500 miles long and goes up to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska).
Out of all the roads I drove in the far north, the Cassier Highway was the best, both for its awesome scenery and real ‘wilderness experience’, not to mention the bears. From Watson Lake, in the Yukon, the Cassier Highway runs due south into British Columbia for 450 miles to the Skeena Valley, east of Prince Rupert. You get the usual warnings before setting out on the Cassier Highway: don’t contemplate the journey unless your vehicle’s in top condition, take at least two spare tyres and spare fuel containers, blah, blah, blah After doing the Dalton Highway such warnings were old hat. I wasn’t the least bit worried about tackling the Cassier Highway, the first part of which runs through endless, silent birch trees; an enchanted forest…
The Cassier Highway then climbs up into hills that are the tug of war between the Cassier and Skeena Mountains. All along the highway there is a never ending chain of lakes, rivers and streams..
Earlier this year the Asia-Pacific Journal published a detailed report called Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty, which amongst other things shows clear evidence, from the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that the USS Ronald Reagan and its Carrier Fleet were exposed to levels of radiation that were 30 times greater than normal (and by the way, ‘normal’ is worldwide elevated levels of radiation as a result of decades of atom bomb tests and nuclear disasters like Chernobyl). In response to a request from Congress, this month the US Navy published its own report, which, of course, says stuff like this:
The estimated radiation doses for all individuals in the Operation Tomodachi registry, including sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan, were very small and well below levels associated with adverse medical conditions.
‘Operation Tomodachi’ (‘Friendship’) was a humanitarian relief effort carried out by the US Navy, in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It put the USS Reagan and part of its carrier fleet right by the Fukushima Daaiichi nuclear power plant, just as it was blowing-up and melting down. The sailors, marines and airmen on these US warships (some 12,000 in total) received large doses of radiation, and many of them are now sick and dying. This makes the following video clip absolutely heart breaking to watch. It was shot at the time, onboard the USS Reagan. All doors leading to the flight deck were sealed, except for the one shown in this clip, where they were testing the sailors for radiation exposure as they came down from the deck (you can hear the warning beeps from the geiger counters they were using)…
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged Charles Bonner, Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima disaster, Libbe HaLevy, meltdowns at Fukushima, Navy report on USS Reagan, NRC, Nuclear Hotseat blog, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Operation Tomadachi, Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, radiation levels in Pacific ocean, sailors with radiation sickness, Steve Simmons, TEPCO, Theodore Holcomb, Tokyo Electric Power Company, US Navy, USS George Washington, USS Reagan sailors' lawsuit, USS Ronald Reagan
In the immediate aftermath of Jimmy Savile’s death, I don’t think too many people were surprised to learn that he was a prolific paedophile; after all, Savile was generally perceived to be ‘a bit weird’ and rumours had been flying around for decades (folks might have been shocked when it was later revealed that Savile was also a necrophiliac). However, when Rolf Harris was convicted and sentenced last week, to five years and 9 months in jail, I think many people were shocked. Harris, of course, is just one of a string of 1970s UK tv stars who have been arrested of late for ‘historic’ child sex abuse crimes. Some people believe that the likes of Harris are sacrificial lambs, to draw attention away from much more powerful people, because of course there’s also been rumours flying around for decades about a paedophile ring at the heart of the British establishment.
This brings me onto Ben Fellows, a former child actor who claims that during the 1990s he was molested by a very high ranking member of the John Major government (later in this post I’ll get on to a high ranking member of the Thatcher government who is an alleged paedophile). Now, for the usual legal reasons I’m not going to name names in this blog. However, every link I give in this post does show the high level people involved in this alleged child abuse. Some people doubt the veracity of Ben Fellows (here), yet interestingly the person he’s making these serious allegations against has not sued him for libel, despite the fact that these allegations are now widely discussed by the alternative media. Also, in his statements, Ben Fellows does name Elm Guest House, which was a brothel in south west London where the clients were supplied with children:
Elm Guest House VIP Paedophile Party List (scroll down the page to see the list)
In recent decades the mainstream media have shied away from covering Elm Guest House and paedophile rings (a D-Notice, perhaps?), despite it now being widely discussed by the alternative media, such as this recent piece, which states that these high level paedophile rings are being massively covered-up and it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be exposed. However, there are still people in Westminster with some integrity, and almost 150 MPs have now signed a letter, coordinated by the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, urging Theresa May, the home secretary, to set up a Hillsborough-style panel to investigate historical child abuse allegations. Here is the text of the letter:
Posted in Politics
Tagged Ben Fellows, Bill Maloney, British establishment paedophile ring, British government corruption, child snuff movie, Chris Fay, Cyril Smith, Elm Guest House, enquiry into establishment child sex abuse, Geoffrey Dickens, Jimmy Savile, Ken Clarke, Leon Brittan, Operation Fernbridge, paedophilia, Rolf Harris, Thatcher government paedophiles, Theresa May, UK police corruption
If you want an idea of just how demented some members of the human race are you only have to look at all things nuclear. Last week the five senior members of the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) testified on the recommendations of their task force, which was created after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster began. The Senate Oversight Committee asking the questions was chaired by Barbara Boxer (D-Calif). The event made political news in the US, because of a heated exchange between Boxer and David Vitter (R-La.). However, there were a number of other quite remarkable exchanges during this Oversight Committee hearing that didn’t get reported on. I’ll get on to that in a bit, but first here’s the Boxer-Vitter clash that did make the news…
(The above clip is approx. 51 minutes into the original C-Span video.)
Bear in mind that the five NRC officials were testifying under oath, but perjury seems to be the fashion thesedays (RE: James Clapper, director of the National Security Agency, who last year told a blatant lie to Congress with regard to mass surveillance, but has never been prosecuted for it). During last week’s Oversight Committee, NRC official William Ostendorff openly lied about the condition of spent fuel pools at Fukishima, saying: “to date we’re not aware of any damage to the spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, as far as structural integrity goes”. The following photo has been supplied by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant operator. It was taken in September 2011 and shows unit 3, which suffered a massive explosion in the early days of the disaster:
The above photo can be found here along with many other pics of the damaged reactor buildings.
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged Alison Katz, Allison Macfarlane, Barbara Boxer, C-Span video, cancer pandemic, David Vitter, Fukushima Daiichi, General Electric, IAEA, IndependentWHO, International Atomic Energy Agency, James Clapper, Libbe HaLevy, man-made radionuclides, Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors, National Security Agency, NRC, NRC Oversight Committee, Nuclear Hotseat, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, post-Fukushima recommendations, San Onofre nuclear plant, Senator Jeff Sessions, TEPCO, Tokyo Electric Power Company, United Nations, WHO, William Magwood, William Ostendorff, World Health Organisation
It’s now the 25th anniversy of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The immediate build-up to it were student-led events that occurred during April, May and early June of 1989 (note: this was six months before the Berlin Wall started to be dismantled; and remember, there was no Internet or other forms of mass communication back then). I won’t go into the background of it all, because if you’re interested, it’s all well documented. Suffice to say that reforms in China had started a decade earlier, in the late 1970s, when Deng Xiaoping became China’s leader, following the demise of Chairman Mao in 1976.
But reform was not happening fast enough for many young people, leading to the events on 3rd and 4th June 1989, when, depending on who you believe, anywhere between 300 and 2000 protestors were murdered on the streets of Beijing by state security forces. I travelled through China a few years later, and in Beijing, in Tiananmen Square, you could still see bloodstains on the ground; no doubt left uncleaned as a not so subtle reminder that the plebs should know their place.
One of the iconic images of the Tiananmen Square protest is known as ‘tank man’. This is a young man who stood in front of a massive convoy of Type 59 tanks, and held them up. Tank man is unarmed, casually dressed and carrying two shopping bags. His name is rumored to be Wang Weilin, and he was executed by the Chinese state a few weeks later (here).
The following footage was shot by CNN, the Cable News Network, which at the time became known as the Chicken Noodle Network. CNN were the first 24 hour rolling news network, who shot to prominence a few years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, during the 1991 Gulf War (when Iraq invaded Kuwait). There are many ironies in history, and perhaps one of the biggest is that the western mainstream media have now become a corporate sham. We need new Chicken Noodle Networks, and we need more people who would have the balls to stand in front of a tank to defend their civil liberties (don’t try this at home, kiddies)…
I’ve just started reading Autobiography by Morrissey. The opening paragraph is four and a half pages long and contains lines like this:
Past places of dread, we walk in the center of the road, looking up at the torn wall-paper of browny blacks and purples as the mounful remains of derelict shoulder-to-shoulder houses, their safety now replaced by trepidation. Local kids ransack empty houses, and small and wide-eyed, I join them, balancing across exposed beams and racing into wet black cellars; underground cavities where murder and sex and self-destruction seep from cracks of local stone and shifting brickwork where aborted babies found deathly peace instead of unforgiving life.
The prose is both ‘flowery’ and very direct, just like the songs that Morrissey wrote. Despite the dense prose, from what I’ve got through so far, it’s quite readable and written mostly in the present tense, which is nearly always a good trick for an autobiography. Morrissey is just five years older than me, and I can easily relate to what he says about his childhood in Britain in the 1960s and 70s, particularly since we both come from a working class background. However, younger generations of Brits and international readers might find this childhood stuff difficult going, with the way that Morrissey presents it.
Anyhows, I’m only 60 or so pages into what it a 450 page tome. If anyone’s interested I’ll post a full review once I’ve finished the book. I suppose I’m only making this post as an excuse to highlight the totally sublime Hand in Glove. Written by Morrissey and Johnny Marr, and released in May 1983, it was ‘The Smiths’ first single. How many bands kick-off with a blinder like this..?
Many people perceive the United Nations to be some kind of noble and august organisation. The reality is somewhat different. In fact, the UN is more like a talking shop for a bunch of spivs and gangsters (aka our glorious leaders). Nowhere is this more apparent than with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Alison Katz is a sociologist and psychologist who worked for the WHO for 18 years, and has an intimate knowledge of the corruption and outright criminality that goes on. Katz is a leading player in IndependentWHO, a grassroots movement that aims not to reform the World Health Organisation, but to replace it entirely. Katz was recently interviewed by Libbe HaLevy on the Nuclear Hotseat podcast. I know a little bit about all this IAEA and WHO stuff, yet I was surprised by some of the things Katz says; and it’s not conjecture: she backs-up everything she says with facts. The programme is an hour long but well worth a listen (you can find the original podcast here)…
Outtakes from the above interview, containing even more information, can be found here.
An earlier post about the UN nuclear cover-up can be found here. Search this blog for Fukushima Daiichi for all posts on this subject.
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged Alison Katz, Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi, IAEA corruption, IndependentWHO, International Atomic Energy Agency, Libbe HaLevy, Nuclear Hotseat, UN nuclear cover-up, WHO, WHO and IAEA agreement, WHO lies, World Health Organisation
In February there was quite a serious radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Program (WIPP), in the New Mexico desert. WIPP was supposed to be the long term repository for America’s nuclear waste, most of which is left over from the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction (you can find one of my posts about it here). WIPP has been up and running for fifteen years. Its mission was to safely store nuclear waste for 10,000 years, which seems a strange statement, since much of this stuff remains lethal for hundreds of thousands and even millions of years. Welcome to the world of Dr Strangeloves, where every year more than 400 reactors worldwide churn out tons and tons of this lethal nuclear waste that no one knows what to do with. The Strangeloves appear to believe that sometime in the near future, pixies will magically appear and spirit away all this lethal crap. Oh well, the best laid plans of psychotics, which includes 55-gallon barrels of highly dangerous nuclear waste that explode. I’ll let Arnie Gundersen explain, in an interview he gave yesterday to CNN…
The above CNN piece is somewhat surprising, because thesedays it’s unusual for the mainstream media to give any proper coverage to issues that matter (the corporate toe rags who run CNN are obviously perturbed by those exploding barrels). To highlight this I’m going to go back more than 30 years, to a landmark American tv movie called The Day After, which was made by the ABC Motion Picture Division. The Day After aired in November 1983 and was watched by a then-record-breaking 100 million Americans. The movie was about full scale nuclear war and its effects on the United States (if you like being manically depressed you can find the complete movie here). Incidentally, a year later there was a BBC co-production called Threads, which was set in the UK and was a much more gutsy take on nuclear war (you can find the complete Threads here). But getting back to The Day After, immediately after it was aired, ABC News broadcast a live debate about nuclear weapons, hosted by Ted Koppel. Taking part were the scientist Carl Sagan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the philosopher Elie Wiesel, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, General Brent Scowcroft and conservative commentator William F. Buckley. The only remotely sane people in this debate are Carl Sagan and the host, Ted Koppel (the full debate follows at the end of this post); but my point is, could you imagine such a debate taking place today, about, say, the ongoing horror story that is Fukushima?
As you can see by the photos below, Herricka has kittens again. This is her fourth lot, and she’s only three years old! This time she didn’t have the kittens in the barn. We’re not quite sure where they were born. Earlier this year, Herricka went awol for more than two months. She showed-up again in April, and it was obvious from her nipples that kittens were around somewhere. Sure enough, the kittens appeared this week. Four of the damn things, and being stray cats they immediately figured out how to use the cat flap into the apartment. I woke up Thursday morning to kitten mayhem. They are about five weeks old. Suffice to say the cat flap has now been locked. Herricka and the kittens don’t seem to mind and have now taken up residence in the barn, the same barn where Herricka was born 3 years ago.
We did say last year, after the third lot of kittens, that we’d get Herricka ‘done’ (you can find my post about it here) but we never got round to it – probably because it costs 150 euros, and she is a stray cat. This year, though, we must make it a priority, because Herricka is a nice little cat and gets along just fine with the chickens, and the world does not need more unwanted kittens.
Here’s a short clip from Fox ‘News’. It shows Sean Hannity interviewing Kevin Barrett about the 9/11 truth movement. This interview was conducted in 2006, and I include it here not to get into all the 9/11 stuff, but to highlight what a complete joke the corporate controlled mainstream media has become…
Whatever you believe about the events surrounding 9/11, the same media blackout of any real reporting applies to stuff like genetically modified food, or the Snowden revelations or any of the idiotic wars that have been fought in recent years (Vietnam was probably the last major war that was reported on objectively, which is why popular opinion brought the war to a close, unlike the endless ‘war on terror’ that we now have). With regard to Iraq and Afghanistan, the huge amount of depleted uranium munitions that the Americans and Brits used amounts to war crimes on a large scale (you can find my post about it here), but not a peep about it in the mainstream media. Which of course brings me on to the nuclear industry, which has the longest history when it comes to deceit and lies. A few years back, Karl Grossman was interviewed on Nuclear Hotseat, a weekly podcast by Libbe HaLevy. Grossman was very lucid about the nuke industry and the media, and even if you’re pro-nuclear I think you’ll find what he says interesting…
A direct link to Karl Grossman’s free book (in PDF format), Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power, can be found here.
I’m fairly sure that members of the present Japanese government, along with certain people in the corporate world, will eventually be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Naoto Kan, who was Prime Minister of Japan when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck, is now an anti-nuclear campaigner (here). The present Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, is pro-nuclear on steriods and wants to restart Japan’s 50 or so nuclear reactors, which were shut down after Fukushima Daiichi blew its top. What’s going on in Japan at the moment, everything from the secrecy law passed in December, to the incineration of radioactive waste, to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is a case of you-couldn’t-make-it-up.
The following video contains excerpts from from today’s Sophie Shevardnadze show on RT (you can find the complete show here). Sophie interviewed Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba, in Fukushima Prefecture, and what he said is spine-chilling stuff. As far as I’m aware, this is the first time that an official has spoken so frankly about what’s going on in Japan. With the country rapidly turning into a fascist lunatic asylum, Mr Idogawa is a very brave man. I would guess he’s speaking out because he knows he’s received heavy doses of radiation and might not have much longer to live…
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged corruption in Fukushima, Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima disaster, Fukushima Prefecture, health problems in Fukushima, incineration of radioactive waste, Japan secrecy law, Japanese fascism, Japanese government, mayor of Futaba, Naoto Kan, Shinzo Abe, Sophie Shevardnadze Katsutaka Idogawa, thyroid cancer children in Fukushima prefecture, Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Last week, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras flew to New York City, to accept a George Polk award for journalism, along with The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill and The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman (here). Greenwald and Poitras went through JFK Airport, accompanied by an ACLU lawyer; and, here’s the rub: they weren’t hassled at all by the authorities. Remember, during the initial Snowden revelations, Republican Peter King called for Greenwald’s arrest and prosecution, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper obliquely referred to journalists who helped Snowden as “accomplices”. Also, David Miranda, who’s Greenwald’s boyfriend, was detained and questioned for nine hours last summer as he was transiting through Heathrow Airport. Miranda was returning from a visit to Laura Poitras, who to all intents and purposes lives in exile in Berlin. Documentary maker and activist Poitras has long been a thorn in the side of the US authorities (she filmed the now famous first appearence of Snowden). This describes a previous trip to the United States: In Vienna, Poitras was eventually cleared to board her connecting flight to New York, but when she landed at J.F.K., she was met at the gate by two armed law-enforcement agents and taken to a room for questioning. It is a routine that has happened so many times since then – on more than 40 occasions – that she has lost precise count. On one occasion, Poitras says, they did seize her computers and cellphones and kept them for weeks (from this New York Times piece). Now, given this background it perhaps seems a bit strange that Greenwald and Poitras were able to breeze through JFK Airport last week. This might be because the Snowden stuff is now much more mainstream (or at least, it is in the US; in the UK it’s still barely talked about), and the US authorities didn’t want to risk the ensuing media coverage if they hassled Greenwald and Poitras.
Posted in Politics
Tagged Barton Gellman, David Miranda, Director of National Intelligence, Easter Sunday, Edward Snowden, espionage quote, Ewen MacAskill, George Polk award for journalism, Glenn Greenwald, James Clapper, Jeremy Scahill, John Cook, John le Carre spy quote, Laura Poitras, Republican Peter King, Snowden revelations, Snowdens question to Putin, The Intercept, Vladimir Putin
In a previous post I was banging on about what appears to be quite a serious radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Program (WIPP), in the New Mexico desert. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a Department of Energy (DoE) ‘experimental’ nuclear waste dump (mostly the crap left over from the manufacture of nuclear weapons). The waste is stored 2000 feet below ground in vast salt mine caverns. The WIPP has been in operation for 15 years now, apparently without any incidents. Then, on 5th February, dense black smoke was seen coming from a mine ventilation shaft. It was announced that one of the vehicles in the mine had caught fire, which seemed plausible at the time. However, the plot thickened when it was announced that on 14th February a “puff” of unfiltered radiation came up one of the mine’s vent shafts, and contained isotopes of plutonium and americium. Apparently no one was in the mine at the time, although a number of workers above ground were contaminated. Since then things have become very confused. It would seem that no one has been down the mine since the vehicle fire on 5th February, and that there is a continuous release of radiation.
Much of the stuff stored at WIPP is transuranic waste (‘TRU’), which consists of man-made radionuclides, alpha emitters like plutonium. It’s lethal stuff, both at a chemicle level and an atomic level, which is why they have to put it half a mile underground. Ever since the 14th February radiation release, to allay concerns the Department of Energy and the WIPP have been holding a public meeting every week in the town of Carlsbad, which is 26 miles to the west of WIPP and the nearest large population centre. Fran Williams is a WIPP technical advisor. At a 6th March public meeting she came out with the following quite astounding statement…
You can find the complete meeting here.
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged alpha emitters, Carlsbad, Department of Energy, DoE, Fran Williams, iPhone charger radiation, man-made radionuclides, New Mexico, Nuclear Hotseat, nuclear propaganda, nuke industry lies, Plutonium, radionuclides, transuranic waste, Waste Isolation Pilot Program, WIPP, WIPP radiation release, WIPP technical advisor
No apologies for concentrating on Fukushima again, because it’s a huge story, and yet there’s barely a word about it in the mainstream media; but I’ll get on to that later. In the meantime, the following short video is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a US federal agency. It’s a model of radiation dispersal between 12th March and 12th April 2011, the first month of the Fukushima disaster…
The above model is based on dispersal of cesium-137, which is mostly a beta emitter but also gives out gamma rays and thus is easy to detect (not so easy to detect is the plutonium, strontium, etc, which accompanies the cesium). The high concentrations of radioactivity (in red) shown in the early part of this model are doubtless a result of the explosions that occurred between 12th and 15th March, in Fukushima Daiichi units 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Although most of the radiation released during that first month went out across the Pacific, Japan was still heavily dosed (and continues to be 24/7). Chiho Kaneko, a member of the Board of Directors of Fairewinds Energy Education, was recently in Japan and has put out a video about her experiences. Amongst other things, Kaneko talks about the extremely high rates of thyroid cancer amongst children in Fukushima prefecture. This indicates just how heavily dosed they were, because we’re still only three years into the Fukushima disaster, whilst at Chernobyl it took five years before the first thyroid cancers started showing-up. The following is an excerpt from Kaneko’s presentation (the complete video, which is 19 minutes long, can be found here)…
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged Bronze Age, cesium 137, Chiho Kaneko, Fairewinds Energy Education, Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima disaster, Fukushima radiation model, Iron Age, MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Nuclear Age, Plutonium, radiation dispersal across the Pacific, radiation in Japan, Steam Age, Stone Age, strontium, thyroid cancer children in Fukushima prefecture
This week, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) released a major report about the health effects of the Fukushima disaster; in fact, I think the report was released on April Fool’s Day, which seems quite appropriate. I say this because it’s highly reminiscent of the somewhat infamous United Nations Chernobyl Report, originally published in 2005, which stated: A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident (here). There’s a mountain of peer reviewed studies that show this statement to be completely mendacious, everything from the 2006 TORCH Report, which stated that there would be up to 60,000 cancer deaths, to Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, which draws on thousands and thousands of studies and concludes there will be up to 1,000,000 deaths.
Incidentally, all these estimates are only short term, because many of these man-made radionuclides remain lethal for 10s of thousands, 100s of thousands, millions, and even billions of years. They don’t go away or ‘disapear’, and will keep killing living things over and over again, ad infinitum. This is the crap that the loons and psychos, otherwise known as the Nuclear Priesthood, are releasing into our environment.
But let’s get back to this latest report from UNSCEAR, which states that there will be very little extra cancer deaths as a result of the Fukushima disaster. This statement is so patently ridiculous that it’s barely worth responding to. The problem is, the mainstream media give head to these bare-faced lies and propagate them (you can find an example from Reuters here). So, bods like me have to try and counterbalance the narrative. The UNSCEAR report is more than 300 pages long (you can find it here). Here’s a paragraph from page 47 of the PDF document:
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged 2006 TORCH Report, barium, Becquerels, caesium, Chernobyl Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Fairewinds, Fukushima Daiichi, hot particles, iodine, Marco Kaltofen, Nuclear Priesthood, Plutonium, radiation in Japan, radioisotopes, radionuclides, strontium, United Nations Chernobyl Report, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, UNSCEAR Fukushima report, west coast radioactivity
After watching a recent Oxford Union address by George Galloway, called ‘The State of Britain’, I was reminded of his famous testimony before a US Senate committee, back in 2005, in which he basically called members of Congress a bunch of thieves, liars and war criminals, and backed it up with convincing arguement. It was classic stuff, and the sort of thing you’ll witness only very rarely in politics (for those unfamiliar with the background to all this, you can find a fairly good assessment of it here). In fact, the body politic has become so corrupt that I doubt very much if someone like Galloway would now be allowed such a platform.
Whatever your views on George Galloway, few would argue that he lacks intelligence and integrity. Even those on the right might reluctantly see him as a refreshing change in a stagnant political system. This is perhaps proven by the fact that people vote for George; he wins elections, most recently becoming the MP for Bradford West, a previously safe Labour seat, with a jaw-dropping 58% of the vote in an eight party race.
But getting back to 2005, Galloway’s testimony before the Senate committee lasted for about 45 minutes. I’ve edited out ten minutes, and was having tech problems while doing so, but I hope this doesn’t detract from what is a quite brilliant piece of political theatre…
The complete 45 minute testimony can be found here. Galloway’s recent address to the Oxford Union can be found here.
Chris Hedges was on fine form last month, when he opened a formal debate at the Oxford Union. The proposition was: This house would call Edward Snowden a Hero. Speaking for the yays were Hedges, Annie Machon, a former intelligence agent with MI5 and MI6, William Binney, a former American intelligence agent, and Chris Huhne, former Secretary of State for Energy. Speaking for the nays were Charles Vaughan, a member of the Standing Committee from St John’s College, Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN and the New Yorker, Stewart Baker, former General Counsel for the NSA, and Philip J. Crowley, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (you can find all these speeches on the Oxford Union YouTube channel). The yays won the vote by quite a narrow margin, 212 to 175.
Amongst other things, in his speech, Hedges talks about how speaking truth to power can put one’s life in danger, and he also touches upon the NDAA lawsuit (Hedges vs Obama) in which he is the lead plantiff (you can find one of my posts about it here). As an aside, one of the other plantiffs in the case is Tangerine Bolen, a civil rights activist and founder of ‘Revolution Truth’, a small, international organization dedicated to defending whistleblowers, rule of law and legitimate democracies. Tangerine has been struck down by a ‘mystery illness’ which has left her in a very grave condition. You can find out more about it here.
Anyhows, here’s Chris Hedges; and whatever side of the debate you’re on, all of the participants gave feisty speeches and are well worth listening to. Stewart Baker, who used to work for the NSA, and was arguing for the nays, is of particular note. His speech is included below.
Posted in Some other Stuff
Tagged Annie Machon, Charles Vaughan, Chris Hedges, Chris Huhne, Edward Snowden debate, Jeffrey Toobin, Oxford Union, Philip J. Crowley, Revolution Truth, Stewart Baker, Tangerine Bolen, William Binney
This one’s for those jolly chaps at the NSA and GCHQ…
It’s an oft asked question: how could the land of Schiller and Beethoven be taken over by a bunch of mass-murdering lunatics..? Actually, everything the Nazis did, including the Holocaust, was legal under German law. They made it so. I wonder how many people in 1930s Berlin realised what was coming? With regard to growing totalitarianism, the first thing you look out for are the laws that the bastards are passing. This has been a very worrying development in the US and UK over the last decade (here); but getting back to Berlin, it’s a place I knew very well during the Cold War, and of course back then it was a divided city. West Berlin was a small island of capitalism in a communist sea. East Berlin was run-down and typical totalitarian-land. Many of the buildings still bore bullet marks from the battles in 1945. In both East and West Berlin the sense of history was tangible, and of course there was that infamous wall. Berlin was at the front line of the Cold War and back in the day it was a pretty wild place, egged-on by the fact that there were a huge number of military personnel stationed there. Everyone knew that war could break out at any moment – WW3 here we come – and life was lived to the full. I imagine it was much the same back in the 1930s.
At the end of the Second World War, Berlin was divided into four sectors. West Berlin comprised of the French, British and American sectors. East Berlin was the Russian sector. It was actually quite easy to go across to East Berlin (they wanted your hard currency), although the border controls weren’t for the faint-hearted. For non-German civillians there were just two crossing points: Checkpoint Charlie, which was a road crossing, and Friedrichstrasse, which was a railway crossing. I have the dubious distinction of being one of a small number of people who crossed the Berlin Wall without having the necessary paperwork, although it did involve a night in the cells and interrogation by the Stasi (if interested you can find my scribblings about it here). Once in the Russian sector there wasn’t much to see or do. However, your money could buy two rather splendid things: a sumptuous restaurant meal and sex in one of the dilapidated brothels.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, ‘Monitor’ was a flagship arts programme on British television. In 1964, the year I was born, they put out an episode called Down Cemetery Road, which had John Betjeman interviewing Philip Larkin. Even if you’re not into poetry I think you’ll enjoy this programme. It’s classic television, everything from the scenes of 1960s Britain to the poesy Betjeman wearing a black leather raincoat and Fedora hat, to Larkin referring to himself as “a miserable sort of fella writing welfare state sub-poetry”. It’s brilliant stuff! Oh, and the title of the programme comes from a Larkin poem called Toads Revisited, which ends thus…
When the lights come on at four
At the end of another year?
Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road.
(you can find the complete poem here)
Without further ado, here’s two old gits wandering around 1960s Hull, pontificating about life, the universe and everything. John, I just love that black leather raincoat…
Posted in Arts
Tagged 1960s Britain, British poets, Down Cemetery Road, Hull, John Betjeman, Monitor arts programme, Philip Larkin, poetry, Toads Revisited, UK poetry, welfare state sub-poetry
“I feel that at least several hundred scientists trained in the biomedical aspect of atomic energy – myself included – are candidates for Nuremberg-type trials for crimes against humanity for our gross negligence and irresponsibility. Now that we know the hazard of low-dose radiation, the crime is not experimentation – it’s murder.”
Dr. John Gofman, former Manhattan Project scientist, speaking in 1979.
As the third anniversary of the ongoing Fukushima disaster rolls around, we get yet another reminder that monkeys should not play with atoms: last month, on Valentine’s Day, there was, apparently, quite a bad radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), in the New Mexico desert. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a Department of Energy (DoE) experimental nuclear waste dump. The waste is stored 2000 feet below ground in vast salt mine caverns. The Department of Energy announced that the Valentine’s Day leak was a “puff” of unfiltered radiation that came up one of the mine’s vent shafts, and contained isotopes of plutonium and americium (here). Now, as with all things nuclear, there’s a great deal of obscurification and thus confusion surrounding the event at WIPP. The DoE have been coming out with the usual “It’s only a small leak, nothing to worry about” stuff. Test results published by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring Research Center (CEMRC) show that levels of plutonium and americium released at the site were ‘moderate’ (here), but of course the thing about stuff like plutonium is that if only a microscopic amount gets in the body there’s a good chance it will kill you. Going on the figures given by CEMRC, this blogger calculates that 461 grams of plutonium were released into the environment. It’s generally accepted that one millionth of a gram is enough to kill a person (it won’t kill you straight away. It can take many decades before cancer develops, which is how the nuke industry get away with mass murder).
Posted in Politics, Science
Tagged Albuquerque, alpha emitters, alpha radiation, americium, Arnie Gundersen, Carlsbad, Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring Research Center, CEMRC, Department of Energy, DoE, Dr. John Gofman, Fukushima disaster, geiger counter, Godzilla, how dangerous is plutonium?, KRQE News 13, New Mexico, nuclear industry propaganda, nuclear waste dump, nuclear waste storage, Plutonium, plutonium release at WIPP, pro-nuke lies, RadCast org, the Isotopes, transuranic elements, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, WIPP
On Wednesday, RT news anchor Liz Wahl resigned live on air, as a protest against Russian interference in the Ukraine. RT = Russia Today, a 24 hour rolling news channel that’s funded by the state. It’s often called ‘PutinTube’, because of its pro-Russian government slant. This bias is very noticeable during stuff like the Ukraine crisis. Here’s Liz Wahl giving Putin the finger…
At the start of her spiel, Wahl refers to another RT presenter who also protested against Russian involvement in the Ukraine, but didn’t actually resign. This was Abby Martin, who spoke out earlier in the week, as she wrapped-up her Breaking the Set programme. Despite the prejudices, I actually find RT (and also Al Jazeera) to be a better source of news than the corporate controlled western media. Of course, when it comes to reporting what’s going on in this crazy fucked-up world there’s no such thing as an objective media. This has always been the case, despite the fact that the Fourth Estate supposedly exists to provide checks and balances against those in power; which is why the rich and powerful always try to hijack the media and muzzle it, and use it to attack ‘enemies of the state’. It’s all about control of the masses, everything thing from Operation Mockingbird to the most recent Snowden revelations which show the totally illegal shenanigans that the spooks get up to in order to ‘protect the state’.
Posted in Politics
Tagged Abby Martin, Alyona Minkovski, Alyona Show, BBC, Breaking the Set, CIF, CNN, Comment Is Free, corporate media bias, Edward Snowden, Feminism in the Media, Fourth Estate, Gaddafi, Goebbels, Liz Wahl, LSE, mainstream media propaganda, Natalie Hanman, Operation Mockingbird, Piers Morgan Show, RT, Russia Today, TV License, Ukraine
Last October, Glenn Greenwald announced that he was going to stop writing for the Guardian newspaper; this, after spending the summer reporting the Snowden revelations. To quote Greenwald: “As many of you know, I’m leaving the Guardian in order to work with Pierre Omidyar, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and soon-to-be-identified others on building a new media organization” (here). The organisation Greenwald’s talking about is called called First Look Media, and there’s ongoing controversy about it; but before I go into all that, Greenwald’s latest piece for The Intercept (which is published by First Look Media) comes from the information he was given by Edward Snowden. Amongst other things, Greenwald’s article states:
Western intelligence agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
Tactics they boast of using to achieve these ends are: ‘false flag operations’ (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting ‘negative information’ on various forums.
These surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity.
The state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls ‘false flag operations’ and e-mails to people’s families and friends.
It’s a very detailed article and is called How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations.
Posted in Politics
Tagged Boiling Frogs Post, Edward Snowden, First Look Media, GCHQ, Glenn Greenwald, Jacob Appelbaum, Laura Poitras, National Security Agency, NSA, Pierre Omidyar, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), Stasi, The European Court of Human Rights, the Guardian, The Intercept
Paul the sheep farmer came round yesterday afternoon, bringing us a freshly slaughtered lamb. Before being dispatched, Paul’s lambs romp around in the field across the lane. The meat is excellent quality, even at this time of year, and Paul charges 8 euros per kilo (the one we bought from him yesterday weighed just over 18 kilos). Paul is now well into his 70s and is semi-retired. Many years ago his father used to own our house, and Paul was born in 1937 in what is now the sitting room.
We rent the house out as a gite, and on the kitchen wall we have a display board which relates the history of the house (which is 300 years old) and the surrounding area. There’s also photographs, some copied from local history books and some of the house prior to the renovation I did in 2007 – 2008. Here’s the first bit of the blurb on the display board:
200 million years ago a huge meterorite struck between what is now the village of Pressignac and the town of Rochechouart (12km / 8 miles south of here). It was one of the largest meterorites ever to hit the earth and is estimated to have been 1.5km in diameter, travelling at a speed of 20km a second and with an energy some 14 million times that of the Hiroshima atom bomb. All life within 480km / 300 miles of the impact was wiped out. Millions of years later, all of the old buildings in this area were constructed from stone, because stone was in plentiful supply and is a good insulating material. Much of this stone originated from the meterorite. In otherwords, you’re in a house that is partly constructed from material that came from outer space.