Friday, September 30, 2011

Flame Retardants in Our Blood...

Reuters: Internet Firms Co-Opted for Surveillance

Fukushima Reactor # 1 RADIATION SPIKE

NYT: "Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit"

very good article by Nina Bernstein of the New York Times

[Excerpted] "It was just a small part of a pattern on three continents where a handful of multinational security companies have been turning crackdowns on immigration into a growing global industry...

But the ballooning of privatized detention has been accompanied by scathing inspection reports, lawsuits and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect, sometimes lethal. Human rights groups say detention has neither worked as a deterrent nor speeded deportation, as governments contend, and some worry about the creation of a “detention-industrial complex” with a momentum of its own...."

MAJIA HERE: Read the entire story linked above. BELOW please find an exerpt from my book GOVERNING CHILDHOOD concerning the treatment of illegal immigrants by the growing private security complex.

The U.S. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights argues in a report titled Human Rights and Human Security at Risk that abusive and discriminatory immigration enforcement was exacerbated by the re-location of immigration enforcement within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003 (Nimr, Tactaquin, and Garcia).
The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report in 2007 detailing that the number of immigrants detained between 2002 and 2007 grew from 90,000 to 283,000. The report claims that detainees were often improperly barred from making a single phone call to a lawyer (cited in Hsu “No Phone” A2). In February of 2009 Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner reported publicly that 108,000 deportees had children who were legally U.S. citizens (Gamboa A21). Failure to explain what happened to the citizen children of deported parents raises the specters of forcibly abandoned children and deportations of child citizens.

The U.S. government treats illegal immigrants as criminals although most have not committed any crimes beyond their illegal entry and many detainees have committed only minor administrative violations such as overstaying their visas (“Death”). As reported by Hsu in The Washington Post

Federal law enforcement agencies have increased criminal prosecutions of immigration violators to record levels, in part by filing minor charges against virtually every person caught illegally crossing some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new U.S. data. (Hsu “Immigration Prosecution” A1)

In May 2008 a raid of a meatpacking plant in Iowa resulted in criminal prosecution of 297 illegal immigrants. The decision to sentence the immigrants under federal criminal, rather than civil statutes, led to 5 months of imprisonment followed by immediate deportation (Weintraub).

Growing numbers of immigrants are subject to incarceration before deportation. Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, argued in 2008 that “Homeland Security is one of the largest jailers in the world, ‘but it behaves like a lawless local sheriff’'' (cited in Bernstein B3). Since 2004, 83 immigrants have died in retention centers: critics claim detainees are routinely denied basic rights, such as medical care, visitation, and legal materials (Bernstein B3; Bernstein and Preston A18; Gorman B5).
The Homeland Security Department Inspector General reported in 2006 that an audit of 5 publicly and privately operated detention centers found all were out of compliance with general standards on health care, disciplinary procedures, and access to legal materials. Inexplicably, the 5 had been rated “acceptable” in the immigration agency’s annual reviews (cited in Bernstein B3).
A separate report criticizing practices of immigrant detention issued in 2007 noted that at the privately run Hutto detention center in Texas, women received inadequate prenatal care, children received only 1 hour of schooling daily, children as young as 6 were separated from their parents, and threats of separation were used as “disciplinary tools” (Swarns B17).

Detention facilities have followed the trajectory set by the outsourcing of U.S. prisons. The Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group have successfully contracted with the federal government to provide immigration detention services (Gorman B5). The federal government also contracts with state and local jails and criminal detention centers to hold immigrant detainees.
Private contractors are not subject to the same freedom of information (FOI) provisions applicable to government run agencies and private criminal detention centers treat immigrants as if they were criminals. Consequently, a GAO report concludes, "Without sufficient internal control policies and procedures in place, ICE is unable to offer assurance that detainees can access legal services, file external grievances and obtain assistance from their consulates" (cited in Hsu “No Phone” A2). Immigrants continue to be denied basic rights and due process because of the lack of universal, enforceable standards governing detention (Bernstein B3).
Public sentiment increasingly allows this type of sovereign intervention and incarceration despite the protests of immigration and religious groups and despite a majority consensus among Americans that immigrants are hard working and create jobs (Constable A15)....

The practices of detaining, incarcerating, targeting, and punishing children for adult conflicts contradict the principles of child protection codified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, (General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989). Entered into force 2 September 1990, Article 37 of the Convention states:

No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age; No child shall be deprived of his liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. . . . (


Cold Shutdown? NOT!!!

Asahi: Water at 3 Fukushima reactors under 100 degrees for first time

"Water temperatures in the pressure vessels of three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant were all below 100 degrees for the first time since the crisis started, Tokyo Electric Power Co

"Achieving water temperatures below 100 degrees at all reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is one of the required conditions for a stable state known as "cold shutdown."

"However, further action is needed to prevent radioactive substances from spreading from the reactors, eliminate the dangers of hydrogen explosions and mitigate other potential risks."

This story would almost be funny if it wasn't so tragically awfull. The story reveals the lie at its heart. The third sentence tells all and contradicts the optimism of the first two sentences.

Yes it is true I'm not a nuclear engineer or physicist. But Tepco admitted melthroughs occurred months ago.

I recommend reading blogger Ex-SKF's recent post and the comments on this subject.

Japanese officials are now openly admitting to finding plutonium miles from the plant. How did plutonium get there?

The lies really need to stop so that the people of Japan and the rest of the world have an honest understanding of an ongoing critical situation that threatens human health and welfare for potentially hundreds of years.

NHK: "Panel Finds Government Manipulation"

[EXCERPTED] An independent panel has confirmed government involvement in manipulating public opinion on nuclear power.

The panel was set up after workers at Kyushu Electric Power Company and its affiliates sent e-mails in favor of restarting 2 reactors at its Genkai plant to a meeting of local residents in June.

In its final report on Friday, the panel also confirmed 2 other cases in which government officials urged utility companies to offer opinions in favor of nuclear power....

Majia here: At least the Japanese press are reporting on this undue influence. I cannot imagine a comparable story running in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NYT: Fukushima’s Contamination Produces Some Surprises at Sea

DAVID JOLLY Sep 28 2011

[Excerpted] "Off the coast, the early results indicate that very large amounts of radioactive materials were released, and may still be leaking, and that rather than being spread through the whole ocean, currents are keeping a lot of the material concentrated.

Most of that contamination came from attempts to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools, which flushed material from the plant into the ocean, and from direct leaks from the damaged facilities..."


Low Dose Radiation and Public Health: Asthma

I've noticed a very interesting correlation between my asthma and our beta radiation levels as reported by the EPA for Phoenix.

Every time for the past 5 months that my asthma has kicked in there has been a corresponding spike in radiation in Phoenix (where I live).

The power of suggestion is not operative here because I've not been checking our radiation levels in Phoenix daily.

Recently I've only checked when my asthma kicks in and, when it does, I see a corresponding spike in our beta levels

I feel good this morning after really suffering early in the week. I've had my hepa filter running continuously. Check out the levels.

It is possible that higher levels of ionizing radiation are contributing to, or correlate with, other atmospheric factors, such as high ozone (a known asthma trigger), that are producing the asthma-exacerbating conditions.

I just don't know, but i find the certain correlation very interesting.

Enenews is reporting on a story from Fukushima Diary that is disturbing because it means we will be seeing more high levels (higher even than what we currently have).

It appears from the web cam that there was a fire in the spent fuel pool #4 on Sep 29 after the earthquake Saturday

At this point the story is unconfirmed, but if we see spiking radiation levels in cities currently located under the jet stream we will know where the radiation is coming from.


Asahi journalist interviews Ikuro Anzai, professor emeritus at Ritsumeikan University who specialized in radiation protection. He offers pointed insights. I recommend reading the entire article. I am including only his last words:

ASAHI: "Radiation expert believes more food testing needed"

Prof. Anzai: "The actual condition of radiation contamination is spreading nationwide in such a manner that will not allow for easy acceptance. I believe everyone should be prepared to face living in a troublesome time."



Asahi: "Ministry sets radiation levels requiring decontamination"

"The Environment Ministry will decontaminate areas with an estimated annual dose of 5 millisieverts or more from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which the government will shoulder as its burden in cleaning up the mess.

All the areas recording 5 millisieverts or more are in Fukushima Prefecture and encompass 1,778 square kilometers, or 13 percent of the prefecture's area.

"Five millisieverts in an annual dose is equivalent to about 1 microsievert per hour based on the assumption that people spend eight hours outdoors and the rest of the time indoors...."

MAJIA HERE: (1 microsievert an hour)24 hours X 365 days = 8.760  MILLISIEVERTS A YEAR!

The Japanese are ARBITRARILY reducing the level by saying that people don't spend all of their time outside so the total exposure is less than 8.7 millisieverts and voila it is 5 millisieverts a year.


Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds pointed out that people's HOUSES TEND TO GET MORE CONTAMINATED THAN OUTSIDE because people track radioactive contamination into their houses with their clothes, shoes,  hair, etc.  To reiterate, houses become more contaminated over time than outside areas.

FURTHERMORE, this entire calcaulation FAILS TO ADDRESS EXPOSURE TO INTERNAL EMITTERS that occurs as the Japanese (and North Americans) inadvertantly inhale and ingest radionuclides in their air, rice, water, vegetables, etc.


Asahi: MORE THAN 1 Microsievert An Hour is Level For Decontaminating Japanese Schoolyards

Majia here: This level is NOT acceptable. 1 Microsievert an hour equals 8.76 millisieverts a year. This level is about 8 X higher than what is safe for kids.

Asahi News writes:
"In mountainous areas of Gunma Prefecture, where accumulated cesium amounts were quite large, the radiation levels were 0.5 to 1.0 microsieverts per hour. In other areas of the prefecture, the radiation levels were less than 0.5 microsieverts.

The criterion that requires removal of radioactive materials from schoolyards is more than 1.0 microsieverts.

The ministry has released the results of measurements in each prefecture on its Japanese website":

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

JCast Readings 25 Times Lower Than Actual Levels?

Hat tip Xdrfox

Jcast Radiation Readings 25 Times Lower Than Actual Level
"The ministry in charge of the Jcast radiation data has stated that their initial readings in July and June were incorrect due to errors on their part. Actual readings in Fukushima Prefecture by Jcast system were 25 times higher. The announcement doesn’t clarify if it was all reading locations that had this issue or just certain reporting locations."

Original story in Japanese:

MAJIA HERE: It will be interesting to see where this story goes.

I also recommend reading Ex-SKF's post and, especially, the comments on this entry

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Fuku I Hydrogen Gas Update: It Was 63% Concentration

NYT: Measuring the Recession's Toll

Arizona Republic: Few Seeking Welfare in Fla, on Drugs.

9/28/2011 p. A3

"Preliminary figuress on a new Florida law requiring drug tests for welfare applicants show that they are LESS LIKELY than other people to use drugs, not more"

Health Insurance: Pay More, Get Less

Washington Post: Surveys: Health insurance costs shifted to workers, even as premiums surge

“Without any real national discussion or debate, there’s a quiet revolution going on in what we call health insurance in this country,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser foundation, which conducted the annual survey of employers in conjunction with the Health Research & Educational Trust. “Health insurance is becoming less and less comprehensive. . . . And we expect that trend to continue.”

Middle Class Death Watch

Middle Class Death Watch -- 33 Frightening Economic Developments

Downward mobility, homelessness spreading to the middle class, 200,000 public employees laid off? Here are some frightening trends to keep an eye on.

Mainichi: Gov't to decontaminate areas with radiation exposure of 5 millisieverts or more per year

Mainichi: Gov't to decontaminate areas with radiation exposure of 5 millisieverts or more per year

"if 100 percent of the designated areas were to be decontaminated, the amounts of radioactive soil and other materials to be removed would reach 28.785 million cubic meters, which would fill the Tokyo Dome stadium 23 times. Of the estimated total amounts of soil and other materials to be removed, 1.02 million cubic meters comes from residential and urban areas, 17.42 million cubic meters from farmland, and 8.75 million cubic meters from forests. The total area is 2,419 square kilometers, which is equal to about 17 percent of Fukushima Prefecture"

Mainichi: "Residents near Fukushima nuclear plant make own radiation map, clean contaminated areas"
The council has also published a radiation map that is twice as precise as the one released by the government, making it the most up-to-date and detailed radiation map available for the area...
radiation levels in all inspected locations were measured at 0.25 to 4.62 microsieverts, but with the exception of mountains and forests in the western part of the prefecture, radiation was comparatively low."

Majia here: I am rather skeptical of the 2nd story on the residents' map because the story essentially states that radiation levels were below 5 millisieverts a year "in all inspected locations," which is inconsistent with the top story above about government clean-up efforts in areas of 5 millisieverts a year or more.

However, this NHK story takes all for unrealistic optimisim:
NHK: Fukushima reactors cooled below 100 degrees

Reactors 1 and 3 are most definitely nowhere near 100 degrees. The lower readings probably reflect the fact that the fuel is no longer contained in the reactor pressure vehicle
'Melt-through' at Fukushima? / Govt report to IAEA suggests situation worse than meltdown

Enenews is reporting via Fukushima Diary of extremely high radiation readings at the plant
Confessions of a workers’ discovery of 10,000 mSv yet! After another refused work (Google Translation), Gendai isMedia, September 24, 2011:

Furthermore, Fukushima Diary has been reporting about the hydrogen gas being produced at the plant

Also see Blogger Ex-SKF Tuesday, September 27, 2011
#Radiation Map by Ministry of Education: Gunma Looks Worse Than Expected

I have posted quite a bit on the melt-throughs reported at the plant

and the spiking levels of iodine in May and June pointed to re-criticalities:

I want the situation to be contained as much as anyone does but I don't think lying about the situation is going to help resolve it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ASAHI: "U.S. secretly asked Japan to help dump nuclear reactors"

[excerpted] "The United States secretly sought Japan's support in 1972 to enable it to dump decommissioned nuclear reactors into the world's oceans under the London Convention, an international treaty being drawn up at the time.

Countries working on the wording of the pact wanted to specifically prohibit the dumping of radioactive waste at sea.

But Washington wanted to incorporate an exceptional clause in the case of decommissioned nuclear reactors....

"...It was apparent that the United States constructed nuclear reactors without having decided on disposal methods, forcing it to consider dumping them at sea after they were decommissioned..."


And the War Drags On...

Washington Post: 800 additional U.S. military trainers to be sent to Afghanistan by March

"Caldwell said training in these areas was needed to enable Afghan army units to be better prepared to operate without U.S. support by 2014, when American combat troops are scheduled to leave."

Majia Here: Watch Adam Curtis' The Power of Nightmares

And then try and explain why we are escalating troops in, and/or attacking, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and who knows where else.

Is it mineral wealth? Is it strategic rare earths we are after? Is it oil or oil pipelines?

Is it that we have become a homicidal nation with a military-industrial complex so powerful that it demands being exercised?

Why not read behind the headlines with alternative news analyses?

Pakistan and "The Haqqani Network" : The Latest Orchestrated Threat to America and The End of History by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

What is the true cost of the Afghanistan War
Why the US Won't Leave Afghanistan Pepe Escobar

When Corporations Rule the World...

Fukushima Diary reports on bribes paid by Tepco to the government committee handling compensation disputes

"It has become clear that 2 members of the government’s examination committee in charge with the disputes regarding the compensation for the damage caused by the nuclear (accident), received “reward” from the “Japan Energy Law Institute (Tokyo)”, which is connected to the electric power company (Tokyo Electric Power Co.)"

Majia Here: I reported on this yesterday after reading about it in Asahi.

There will be no justice until the Japanese government takes control of this terrible and ongoing disaster from Tepco.

Furthermore Blogger Ex-SKF reported that the evacuation zone is going to be lifted in large areas
"The Japanese government says it will abolish the "evacuation-ready" zone in 5 municipalities that lie between 20 to 30-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on September 30, all at once..."

My bet is that this move will make it even more difficult to receive compensation.

Additionally, I read recently (I've temporarily lost the citation on this) that Tepco will not pay for losses in product sales because of "perceptions" of radiation contamination (of radiation "phobia" on the part of the population). I'll try and track down this citation later tonight when I have more time.

Update: NHK reporting today that Tepco has announced it will simplify the form. The public outrage worked, at least, it seems to have led to some improvements. Hopefully the Japanese people will start becoming more aggressive demanding assistance with evacuation, clean-up, compensation, etc.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nuclear Event in South Haven at Entergy's Palisades Nuclear Plant

Hat tip "Heart of the Rose" who posted the link at Enenews

Nuclear Event in USA on Tuesday, 27 September, 2011 at 03:09 (03:09 AM) UTC.

"Entergy’s Palisades nuclear plant near South Haven is venting radioactive steam into the environment as part of an unplanned shutdown triggered by an electrical accident. This shutdown, which began Sunday evening, came just five days after the plant restarted from a shutdown that was caused by a leak in the plant’s cooling system.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Prema Chandrithal said that the current shutdown happened because an object slipped during work on a circuit breaker and caused an arc that took out power for one of two DC electrical systems that power safety valves and other devices.

According to a notice filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the plant is stable and “controlling temperature using Atmospheric Dump Valves.” “The steam that would normally go to the generators, that steam is now going into the environment … through the steam stack,” said Chandrithal..."

On Radiation Released...

Asahi is reporting on the amount of radiation released for Cesium and Iodine-131. However, I do not  believe these numbers because it is very difficult to know with certainty how much radiation was (is still) released over the LAST 6 MONTHS in air and water.

Plus,the Japanese government has a vested interest in keeping totals low enough that the numbers look survivable.

I think everyone should read the Fukushima Diary post I just linked.

Anyway here is the Ashai story: "Fukushima accident released far more cesium than Hiroshima bombing" August 27

"The radioactive cesium-137 released by the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was about 168.5 times the amount emitted by the Hiroshima atomic bomb, according to documents released on Aug. 26 by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).

"The amount of iodine-131 was 2.5 times that released at Hiroshima, the same documents said.

"However, a NISA official said it was not possible to make a "simple comparison of effects" based on the amount of radiation emitted...."

 MAJIA HERE: All these efforts to quantify the radiation released reflect the human desire to impose order on the catastrophe and to reduce uncertainty by having a model that allows humans to calculate the various "risk scenarios."

However, to reiterate, the truth is that the amount of radiation released is probably impossible to calculate and it grows daily because the plant continues to spew. 

Hirose Takashi wrote  (2010) Genshiro Jigen Bakudan – Daijishin ni Obieru Nihonretto (Nuclear Reactor Time Bomb – The Japanese Archipelago under the Danger of Great Earthquakes) (Diamond).

There is an interview with Taksahi available here at the Asia Pacific Journal

Takashi is quoted describing the disaster scenario he envisioned as threatening Japan in his 2010 book:

“If you ask, “Will Japan still be here in ten years?” I have the evil foreboding that the answer might be, “There is a very strong chance that it will not” . . . . In the future there awaits an unknowable, vast dark age. I don’t want to contemplate its form, but it is the fear of a genpatsu shinsai syndrome brought about by movements of the earth that no human knowledge can control"

Takashi's fear that an earthquake would lead to nuclear meltdowns has been realized. Now he remarks on the normalcy bias that afflicts the Japanese people in the wake of this mega-disaster:

He writes: "even though now that the genpatsu shinsai syndrome has actually occurred, the people of Japan seem not to have grasped the nature of the crisis. Unbelievably, though anyone who looks can see that the situation is getting worse day by day, television and the other media keep repeating “there is no crisis”, “There’s nothing to worry about” over and over, and show no inclination to report the critical nature of what is happening at Fukushima Daiichi....

In the past, on television only scholars who are proponents of nuclear power have given commentary as “experts”. We listened to them telling their fantastic lies and offering their impossibly optimistic predictions, and as a result the people, having been given none of the facts, have gone on living as normal right up to the edge of the collapse. Now everything the “experts” told us has proved wrong, and the worst has happened...

Majia Here: Our unwillingness to confront reality enables elites to succeed with their lies. We all will suffer as a result.

Everything Falls Apart...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Government Panel on Fukushima Damages Biased? What a Surprise!

September 23, 2011

Asahi reprots: "The integrity of a government panel setting the compensation guidelines for damage from the Fukushima nuclear accident is being questioned amid revelations two members accepted monthly payments from a research institute with close ties to the electric power industry...."


Preventing Another Explosion...

Preventing another explosion at Fukushima has been key to the success of the narrative that the plant is "under control" and that radiation releases are "small."

There are many reasons this narrative is false.

First, radiation releases at the plant have not been small, despite public pronouncements. Please see my post here for details

Second, the plant is not under control and there is very strong evidence that the cores of at least 1 reactor and maybe more have melted through all containment and are now fissioning under ground.

Third, the absence of an explosion does not equate with a stable or even, necessarily with a less-hazardous radiation environment. Radiation is being released daily and the tent being built at the plant will loft that radiation higher, which will help plant workers but likely increase jet stream contamination.

These reasons demonstrate the fraud at the heart of the narrative that no explosion means everything is under control. 

However, we are creatures of conditioning and we tend to believe that all is fine so long as everything looks relatively normal. The normalcy bias is presently quite strong because we cannot "see" radiation and because its effects take years to be detected.

Tepco has done everything it can to ensure that their narrative of normalcy and control survives. Nitrogen was injected into unit 3 over the summer to prevent another hydrogen explosion. So far that move was (and perhaps continues to be) successful.

Tepco must be very worried about the hydrogen now accumulating in reactor #1, as reported by Enenews

Enenews was reporting on a story published by Asahi: Hydrogen accumulates in pipes at Fukushima's No. 1 reactor

Asahi reports: "Hydrogen has accumulated to a level higher than previously thought in pipes connected to the No. 1 reactor containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the plant's operator said Sept. 23...

"An explosion can occur in a gas containing more than 4 percent hydrogen and more than 5 percent oxygen....

"TEPCO has been pumping nitrogen into the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactor containment vessels to drive out hydrogen from their interiors. The injection of nitrogen is also intended to create higher pressure levels than those outside to prevent oxygen in the air from entering the containment vessels.'.."

Majia here: The possibility of another explosion must make Tepco and governments all over the northern hemisphere quake because an explosion will reveal--disclose--the fraud that has been foisted upon the global public.

The fraud is the lie that all is controlled at Fukushima and that releases are "small."

Ok so my guess is that another explosion will not occur so long as it is humanly possible to prevent one because too many careers and too much corporate money are at stake.

Yet, the public needs to be awakened. The public needs to discard their normalcy blinders. Although the radiation released will not kill most of its victims quickly (those outside of Japan), Fukushima radiation will bio-accumulate and slowly kill and maim across generations, just like Chernobyl did and continues to do.

And unlike Chernobyl, Fukushima has been releasing large amounts of radiation for months, unchecked by containment.

Cutting Funding for Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

 The Washington Post: "Autism treatment benefits could be jeopardized by federal health law provision"

This Washington Post article examines proposed changes in the federal health legislation that would change private insurance mandates for covering autism treatments. 

I personally do not think private insurance should be forced to cover speech, OT, and cognitive and behavioral therapy for children with autism.

I feel this should be a responsibility of the federal government under a variety of federal acts including
The Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) (P.L. 94-142)

and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

I've seen how sensory integration therapy (OT), speech therapy, and well-designed cognitive-behavioral therapy can transform small children with autism, enabling them to live happy and socially productive lives.

Financial calculi and constraints should not dictate the availability and quality of therapeutic programs for children and adults with disabilities.

We as a society need to support our most vulnerable members and we will be a healthier and more resilient people if we act together to ensure our most vulnerable members' welfare.

Private insurance is not the answer. Nor should funding be left to the states. The federal government should assume responsibility for our vulnerable children and adults.

I reject the premise that only war and financial banksters deserve federal government spending and support.

Government derives its legitimacy from its ability to promote social welfare.

Our government's war on the developing world and upon our own poor and vulnerable fails to promote social welfare.

Let us assume responsibility for our government and re-direct its energies productively toward promoting the common good, rather than destroying it.

The Banksters Destroy States: First Greece and Ireland, Second Spain, Third the US

Naomi Klein described how ruthless capitalists used the shock doctrine as a strategy for pillaging, first in Latin America in the 70s and 80s and subsequently in the Middle East. The shock doctrine entails use of severe austerity in government spending on education and social welfare and the privatization of state assets, combined with unregulated and predatory capitalism.

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are together the source for the most interesting and detailed interviews on how the shock doctrine is being applied in western industrialized nations. Here is an example interview with activist David DeGraw of Amped Status

Washington's Blog uses the illustration of the debt crisis to demonstrate how the shock doctrine has been applied in the US

David DeGraw also describes the deliberate destruction of the US middle class through the shock doctrine

Today The New York Times describes the effects of the shock doctrine, which is currently being employed in Greece

"While banks and European leaders hold abstract talks in foreign capitals about the impact of a potential Greek default on the euro and the world economy, something frighteningly concrete is under way in Greece: the dismantling of a middle-class welfare state in real time — with nothing to replace it.

"Since 2010, the government has raised taxes and slashed pensions and state salaries across the board, in an effort to rein in the bloated public sector that today employs one in five Greeks. Last week, the government announced it would put 30,000 workers on reduced pay as a precursor to possible termination and would cut pensions again for nearly half a million public-sector retirees..."

MAJIA HERE: The shock doctrine is namely a strategy for shifting wealth from the many, to the few. The shock doctrine is mainly a strategy for capitalists to pillage public assets.

The shock doctrine leaves entire populations impoverished.

Iceland rejected the shock doctrine and chose to default on the excessive debts that were ran up by the banksters. Michael Hudson helped advise them against socializing the banksters' losses.

When the banksters losses are socialized private citizens are left holding the debts acquired by the banksters.

Iceland's economy is growing today because the populace chose not to assume all of their banksters' losses.

Greece could also default and thereby re-structure losses that are now being forced upon the population. Max Keiser explains in the Keiser Report Trucks, Troikas, and Junta

US banks remain in poor shape because they will not write down losses that resulted from fraud and corruption.

Consequently, lending in the US to individuals and small businesses remains limited.

US citizens could demand that banking and finance be reformed to serve the people rather than being a parasitic force capable of destroying lives.

California is currently considering a public bank option. A public bank that offers low-interest loans to its citizens and that serves the people, rather than the monied elite, is one concrete strategy for resisting the shock doctrine in the US

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Radioactive Food

I feel very discouraged reading about rice contamination in Japan

High levels of radiation in rice from Obama district — “Set off alarm in the Japanese media”

The original story and link at Mainichi

"The Fukushima Prefectural Government said on Sept. 23 that it had detected 500 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram -- the government-set allowable limit -- in a sample of "Hitomebore" rice collected in Nihonmatsu's Obama district...."

Blogger Ex-SKF is also running the story

Someone named "Robert" posted an important comment at Ex-SKF's blog post about this isssue:

Robert said...

"These standards of 500 or 200 are arbitrary. Less than 200 becqerels per kg due to radiocesium in rice does not make it safe to consume the rice. If the Government of Japan were honest they would publish a table showing the risk of cancer as odds of getting cancer for every kg of rice consumed for people of every age from 5 to 90 years old. World renouned late physicist and physian John Gofman published such a table of risks of getting cancer from common medical x-ray exams in a book he wrote with a similiar title. The risks were in the form of odds such as 1 in 500,000, or 1 in 87. He tabluated these risks, and they varied widely depending on the type of exam and the age of the person. The youngest people including children had the highest risk, because risk is greater for the people with the satistical greatest continued life span. While obviously double blinded studies are unethical to study cesium, enough data can be obtained from data from previous accidents and other sources to enable an educated estimates. THIS WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY CONSIDER IT DANGEROUS OR NOT BASED ON THEIR OWN VIEWS OF LIFE. Another thing Dr. Gofman discovered is that there is no safe threshold for radiation. He also discovered the fact that, low radiation is more dangerous than the proportional numbers would indicate. That is consuming rice at 50 becquerals per kg is more than 50 percent as dangerous as consuming it at 100 becquelals per kg. So learn the facts and beware and don't depend on arbitrary standards that are moved up and down like a yo yo to accommodate the current economic viewpoint of the big interests."

Majia here: consuming radioactive food is a big problem. Rice is just the tip of the iceberg because beef, vegetables and water have also been contaminated in Japan. Let me provide some examples of reports of contaminated food that occurred earlier in the disaster plus an assessment of the dangers of radioactive food, which supports comments made above by Robert

       Gov't orders 4 prefectures to suspend some food shipments TOKYO, March 22, Kyodo. The government ordered Fukushima and three other prefectures Monday to suspend shipments of spinach and another leaf vegetable following the detection of radioactive substances in the produce at levels beyond legal limits, while trace amounts of radioactive substances were detected in tap water samples collected Sunday and Monday in nine prefectures.
      High levels of radioactive substances were also detected in seawater near a troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, according to the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. The company said it is too early to assess the impact on fishery products

       Radioactive iodine and cesium have been found in spinach and ''kakina,'' another leaf vegetable, produced in and around Fukushima Prefecture at levels exceeding legal limits since the radiation leaks at the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
       Spinach with radiation 27 times higher than limit found in Japan TOKYO, March 21, Kyodo
Spinach with radioactive iodine 27 times more than the government-regulated limit was found in the city of Hitachi in Ibaraki Prefecture, more than 100 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but the radiation levels do not affect human health, local authorities said Sunday.
       The World Health Organization says the detection of radiation in food is a more serious problem than first expected, and food contamination is not a localized problem. It says, however, there is no evidence of contaminated food from Fukushima reaching other countries.
       Meanwhile, tap water collected Sunday showed both radioactive iodine and cesium in samples from Tochigi and Gunma prefectures, while iodine alone was found in samples from Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata and Yamanashi prefectures, according to a nationwide survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
       THE LIES 'Eating food with (radioactive levels) exceeding provisional limits isn't going to affect your health,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano added, urging the public not to overreact to the findings.

       Barbara Rose Johnston is an anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology. She is the co-author of The Consequential Dangers of Nuclear War: the Rongelap Report. Look for her latest book from Left Coast Press, Life and Death Matters: Human Rights, Environment, and Social Justice, to be released in July 2009 published at counterpunch 3/21/2011
       [excerpted' "The assertion that low-level exposure to radiation represents no human threat is an artifact of Cold War-era science that was shaped to meet government and industry needs. During the Cold War, scientific findings on health effects to nuclear fallout that contradicted the official narrative were typically censored. Scientists were not only punished for their work, they were also blacklisted -- one example of this was American anthropologist Earle Reynolds whose work for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission was censored in 1953 by the US government. His research showed that Japanese children who were exposed to fallout were not only smaller than their counterparts, but had less resistance to disease in general and were more susceptible to cancer, especially leukemia
       Johnston writes: "Several … sources document radiogenic health outcomes that sharply contrast mainstream reports: Declassified records of US human radiation experiments and similar Soviet records; Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission records; new research conducted by Japanese scientists; long-term research on Chernobyl survivors; and research done for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal proceedings.
       But what does this mean?...
       For example, fallout and the movement of radionuclides through marine and terrestrial environments ultimately get into the food chain and the human body.
       The toxicity of contaminants and radioactivity in fallout represent significant health risks.
       Acute exposures are further complicated when followed by chronic exposure, as such assaults have a cumulative and synergistic effect on health and well-being.
       Chronic exposure to fallout does more than increase the risk of developing cancers, it threatens the immune system, can exacerbate pre-existing conditions, affects fertility, increases rates of birth defects, and can retard physical and mental development, among other things. And we know the effects of such exposures can last for generations

Commercial Real Estate

WSJ "Commercial Space Starts to Wobble" 9/21 p. C1, C9.

"US banks might face more headaches over the $1.4 trillion in commercial real-estate loans still on their books"

"'Many small and some medium-size institutions remain unprepared for the harsh realities ahead,' given their limited captial to deal with billions in troubled mortgages, the Deutsch Ban reprot warns"

Majia here: The problem of leverage and the lack of collateral continue to haunt banks and the entire financial sector. Commercial real-estate was one big bubble that was part of the larger policy of extend-and-pretend promoted by the last 2 presidential administrations.

Bad loans that remain on books hurt lending today. Banks need to be forced to write-down unperforming loans...

Some background

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Propaganda Sep 23

Yesterday the WSJ reports in "Storm Strikes Central Japan" Sep 22 p. A10

"officials at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where engineers are still struggling with small radiation leaks due to the tsunami damage, said the typhoon's driving winds and rain caused no immediate problems there other than a broken security camera..."

Majia Here: Let us examine the outright lies first.

Number 1: Lie 1 is that the plant was damaged only, or primiarly by the tsunami. In actuality, the plant was in trouble before the tsunami hit. 

Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds has reported quite extensively on this fact. His conclusion is that any sustained power loss causes the Mark 1 boiling water reactors to have a meltdown and, furthermore, these reactors are susceptible to melt-throughs because of holes engineered into the reactor containment structures. Visit Fairewinds and listen to his analyses to substantiate my claims made here.

Number 2: Lie 2 is that the radiation leaks are small. In fact, the radiation leaks are NOT small. I wish they were. See the paragraph of data I paste at the end of this post.

Even NHK is reporting releases of "200-million becquerels per hour in the first half of September"

And EPA levels for the US continue to remain high and are actually increasing in some areas, like California and Arizona.

Now that we have examined the outright lies, let us examine the other claims.

Number 1: The WSJ reports that Tepco claims the rain caused no additional damage.

However, radiation levels in Japan spiked during the time of the tsunami.

Furthermore, we know from NHK reporting that Tepco was very concerned about additional water flooding the basements and thereby producing yet more highly radioactive water.

I strongly doubt that the terrible storm improved conditions at the plant and the storm most surely increased the radioactive water that Tepco is struggling to de-contaminate.

Number 2: The only damage reported was a broken security camera.

Before going blank, the security camera showed rain and a collapsing crane in the area of reactor #3. There is some debate about whether the crane was collapsed or collapsed unintentionally. Then the camera went black.

Given all the other outright lies in this WSJ report (asserted by Tepco), I see no reason why we should believe that the camera was broken by the storm. A more likely scenario is that the camera was disabled so that any substantial problems at the plant that occurred during the storm (or were feared that might occur) were not recorded.


data on releases

Japan Times reported on August 27 that Fukushima’s Cesium Leak Equal to 168 '45 A-Bombs.”[i] As of September 2011, the situation at Fukushima continues to worsen. Dr. Chris Busby reported on the Russian television network RT on August 17 that air filters from Tokyo are showing levels of Cesium-137 that are 1000 times higher than the levels of that radionuclide found in the air at the peak of atmospheric atomic weapons testing in 1963.[ii] Busby also stated that plant emissions were reported to the Japanese Prime Minister by Tepco to be 10 to the 13 becquerels per hour.[iii] Likewise, during an interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, broadcasted online in September of 2011, Arnie Gunderson stated that he had been told that Fukushima was currently emitting a gigabecquerel per day (gigabecquerel or GBq 109 Bq), in radiation, which he described as over 2 billion decays per second a day.[iv] This radiation is contaminating Japan and the entire northern hemisphere as it is swept away by the Jet Stream. The latest data from Japan as of September 2011 has found 2,000 square kilometers to have radiation contamination levels at or in excess of 1 microsievert per hour at a measured height of .5 o 1.0 meter,[v] leading an annual external exposure rate of 8.76 millisieverts from soil contamination alone.

[i]              “Cesium Leak Equal to 168 '45 A-Bombs: NISA Compares Contamination to Hiroshima Blast,” Japan Times (2011, August 27):

[ii]             Dr. Christopher Busby interviewed by Russia Today (RT) and uploaded to YouTube “Christopher Busby: Chernobyl-like radiation found in Tokyo,” [RussiaToday] YouTube (uploaded 2011, August 17):

[iii]             Ibid

[iv]            Helen Caldicott interviews Arnie Gunderson: “Arnold Gundersen with a Fukushima update,” If You Love This Planet (2011, September):

[v]               “Up to 1/7 of Fukushima May Be Contaminated,” Mainichi (2011, September 15):