Japan. Spent zirconium fuel rods, usually submerged under forty feet of water, now lie uncovered in the drained spent fuel pools where they are stored.
The fuel rods at all six reactors at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi complex contain plutonium — better known as fuel for nuclear weapons. While plutonium is more toxic than uranium, other radioactive elements leaking out are likely to be of greater danger to the general public.
Only six percent of the fuel rods at the plant’s Unit 3 were a mixture of plutonium-239 and uranium-235 when first put into operation. The fuel in the other reactors is only uranium, but even there, plutonium is created during the fission process.
This means the fuel in all of the stricken reactors and spent fuel pools contain plutonium.
In the heart of not one but six nuclear reactors some fuel rods maybe broken…ready to melt down, ready to spew radioactive material into the atmosphere.
Here I link you to the Vlogbrothers simple yet elegant explanation of nuclear fission…for those of you who may not understand what is going on. Technically.
Critical mass imminent? Likely? Who the hell knows.
Critical mass means that there is enough fissionable material to produce and sustain a chain reaction, which grows exponentially within a miniscule passage of time. This chain reaction is precisely what happens in nuclear weapons and could happen in Japan.
We are witnessing critical mass in other parts of the world: Bahrain where the government saw fit to shoot little children demonstrating with their parents. Libya where after the United Nations imposed a ‘no fly zone’. Gaddafi proclaimed a cease fire…then promptly bombed the rebels. Where, you may ask, were the fearless British and the noisome French?
Critical mass in Wisconsin is growing daily but completely ignored by almost all of the US news media who are frankly perplexed when confronted by white Americans behaving like anything other than bovine subserves.
Last night I, uncharacteristically, turned on the TV and sat with Rachel Maddow for a few irritating minutes. She was blathering on about how in the 1950’s the Democrats benefitted from the last time the Wisconsin Republicans tried to vote away collective bargaining, unions and the like. Well, that was then Rachel…when the Democrats served the people and as an effective opposition to the rabid corporation obsessed Republicans. In a time, long ago, when America and Americans were relevant.
Occurs to me that even if Rachel Maddow believes the Democrats can benefit from getting behind American Working People (she may be right) the working people of America will not be served by those Democrats they elect…most of whom are already bought and paid for by the corporation. Who said that capitalism means the enslavement of the people?
As fabulously bright as Maddow is there is something vaguely mithering and condescending in her tone. More worryingly..her solutions are rather naive.
Meanwhile…if it couldn’t get any worse for the LGBT community…
In Congress the ultra right-wing, motivated by crazy house leader John Boehner (Boner), is so deeply committed to dialing back rights for LGBT Americans that nearly 100 of them are co-sponsoring a resolution condemning President Obama for his decision last month to no longer defend DOMA in court.
As Americans struggle to recover from the recession, they just want their government to do right by them. Republican House leaders are doing the exact opposite – committing taxpayer money and precious time to defend a law that most Americans oppose, and a social agenda that most Americans reject.
Finally, critical mass at the micro level rather than the macro…I am suing somebody. It stinks…but it has to be done. Business is business and I hope that he doesn’t take it personally.
…which was how somebody found the blog yesterday. Nothing worse than a tranny with buyers remorse.
Resting my lap top on my ball. Did I learn nothing? I can feel it burn my thighs.
NYC. Why so secretive? Secret love? Maybe. Secret litigation. YES! Not so secret. Secret parties after the Armory? Well…of course. Secret drama at my favourite places? Definitely. Secret film stars at NYU. Secret fuck buddies who don’t want to wear condoms.
Secrets…and I am on the verge of giving birth to this huge secret shit.
A love affair? maybe.
Walking the dog as usual. Selling art. Not selling art. Fuck!
Met up with a gay friend who is just so pissed at Obama and the HRC and can’t imagine how things are going to change for him and his lover. How are things going to change?
It’s only a matter of time.
Don’t give up. Read this:
Speech Michael Moore delivered at Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, March 5, 2011
America is not broke.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic — and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.
I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here’s what I learned: Money doesn’t grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the state can’t function. The schools can’t produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs. That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation.
The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. It’s part of the Big Lie. It’s one of the three biggest lies of the decade: America/Wisconsin is broke, Iraq has WMD, the Packers can’t win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.
The truth is, there’s lots of money to go around. LOTS. It’s just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn’t work, they’ve got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:
1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day – this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart — because you — yes, you, too! — might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, don’t rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.
2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it’s Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin’ awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. “Here! Take our money! We don’t care. We’ll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!”
The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).
Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant know as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone tells us America is broke and broken. It’s just the opposite! We are rich with talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of America!
So how do we get this? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.
Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois — whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn’t have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn’t be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more – something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job — their $19,000 a year job. That’s how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilots flying people here to Madison. But he’s stopped trying to get better pay. All he asks is that he doesn’t have to sleep in his car between shifts at O’Hare airport. That’s how despicably low we have sunk. The wealthy couldn’t be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They wanted to take away his sleep. They wanted to demean and dehumanize him. After all, he’s just another slob.
And that, my friends, is Corporate America’s fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement — a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don’t understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. “Why are they all standing out there in the cold? I mean there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!
“There’s something happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you…?”
America ain’t broke! The only thing that’s broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it’s one person, one vote, and it’s the thing the rich hate most about America — because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!
British class shame is nothing a regular gun-toting American would or should know anything about. Whether or not one has an understanding of manners, social hierarchy or top hats is neither here nor there.
I have spent blog time bashing America but really, the Brits are just as bad-if not worse. My friend Pierre in New York, upon moving here at the behest of his company, missed London terribly but after a short while, much less time than I, understood why we come here and why we want to stay. Pierre began to notice a change in himself and those around him. He felt valued, pumped up, fearless. In America he could feel like a man.
Like me, when he meets Brits who stay at home he marvels at their naivety.
It takes a huge amount of self-loathing to ‘know your place’.
In the USA there is no shame about bettering and reinventing ones self. There are rules, of course, but every one of the rules (guiding principles) is designed to be broken.
You may have to pay a disgruntled employee a ton of money for a spurious sexual harassment claim but that’s how the dispossessed get their share of the pie.
Everyone is on the make, everyone! It’s an on the make, nickle and dime affair that I am having with the USA. It’s better than pecan pie and nuclear waste! It’s more thrilling than Guantanamo Bay.
As a Brit I still hanker after public art and healthcare but the rampant small mindedness of my countrymen, their embittered jokes masquerading as irony, their post imperialist arrogance and their total inability to allow anyone to grow beyond the class they were born into keeps me from going back home.
I suppose for all my anti-American sentiment I love the hurly-burly, the hegemony, the extremes, the greed, the excess, the stupidity. I love their terror of art and history. I applaud their dogma and their denial. I love that they think that they are the very best at everything they do when they are patently not. I love that they behave like willful children. I love that they think knowing about nature or food is elitist. I love that an engaging presidential candidate can emerge from nowhere and take the world stage-where as the British produce a bunch of familiar, threadbare politicians like so many provincial repertory actors delivering lackluster performances in what passes for political theatre. Imagine British MP’s sitting in their shared dressing-room waiting for lurid makeup to be applied before performing their ‘great scene’ during Prime Ministers Question Time. Smoking, sinking rummers of whiskey, discussing their expense claims, squabbling over cabinet positions and who’ll wear what at the state opening of parliament.
We don’t cast our parliament terribly well. Here they cast the Whitehouse like a huge movie. No wonder Rahm and Ari Emmanuelle are behind Barrack. They recognized his star potential and like a baby starlet hanging out in the Chateau Marmont plucked him from obscurity and handed him the best role ever in their box office blockbuster political thriller-so whilst the Emmanuells steal the money they got themselves the bestest alibi ever..a black president. They got themselves a well-dressed first lady descended from slaves. They got tears of joy at the inauguration and a divided, blind sided America whilst the spoils of the middle class were being divided up by unscrupulous hedge fund managers and Ponzi schemers betting on the downfall of their own and other nations.
So, there’s Barrack blustering over the war and the economy in his professorial tweeds, his sweet and sexy demeanor softening the hearts of the liberal elite and providing drama and focus for the next lot-the emboldened white Christian right. There he is dithering over healthcare and everything continues just the way it was.
Am I the only one who can’t imagine Tim Geitner having sex with anyone other than himself? He is such a WEED.
If China wasn’t running the world-this could look dangerous!
When British politicians get caught with their hand in the till-what paltry amounts of money they steal! Awarding their friends dodgy $150,000 construction contracts and creaming a few quid and a meat pie for themselves…subsequently getting caught and fired. An American politician wouldn’t waste his time or his position stealing so little. Tony Blair is the only politician to get away with stealing real money. He got away with the money and murder. He understood what few in the UK do-that American politicians are not elected to represent their constituents but to steal as much money as they can within their 4 years in office.
And, you might ask, why shouldn’t he? The Blair’s are just doing what the Royal family and the landed gentry have done for hundreds of years. He just took what he thought he was owed for getting to the top of the pile. It must piss our lowly politicians off to go through all the pain of getting elected to public office and then once there, look around…bleak…lonely…underpaid. Servants of the democracy that we hold dear and never really getting what they deserve-compared with the politicians in the USA who are on the fucking gravy train!
Drill baby drill, bailouts, healthcare, there’s money in them there policies..money for every politician in Washington, TONS OF IT! Politicians accepting donations from whomever and where ever.
Poor old Dennis Kucinich-he’s the congressman President Obama lassoed into helping change the mind of the bold progressives who were holding out for a radical public option during the last few moments before the Healthcare Bill was forced into law.
Well, dear Dennis lives in a one room apartment in Washington…never accepts a dime from anyone..but he lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his wife Elizabeth. If he had played his cards right, abandoned his principles and cut himself free from the people he was sent to represent then he could be living in a huge house in Georgetown-which is what the people expect by the way. To the average American there is something vaguely retarded about a man who is able to steal the money but doesn’t.
That’s why we elected you into office! To steal the money but, mind you, not so much that you piss the other thieves off who have seniority or think you are stealing too much. Of course, once in a while an odd politician needs to be thrown to the lions so that the public think that the other politicians have some sort of morality.
This is America and once you get a handle on it it’s not that bad. As long as you understand that to survive here you have to learn how to steal. You have to learn how to lose. Learn how to pick yourself up. Not get trampled in the stampede.
You must definitely learn to rub belly..pat head..