National Security: Crisis In Japan

On Friday,  March 11, 2011

Northern Japan was hit by a massive 9.0 earthquake just off its eastern coast. The earthquake spawned a huge tsunami that washed away villages and caused tremendous destruction. At least 2,700 people are confirmed to have died, but many thousands are missing and more than 10,000 people are presumed dead, as bodies have begun washing ashore . To make matters worse, a number of nuclear reactors were in the center of the disaster. Three are now in danger of meltdown, as Japanese emergency workers struggle to contain a nuclear disaster that is already the worst since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. Much of the country is now experiencing rolling blackouts, and many of the 400,000 displaced survivors living in makeshift shelters are struggling with limited food and water. The turmoil has caused havoc in Japan’s now recovering economy, leading to a massive drop in the stock market and fears of an economic collapse. The situation is also having an impact in the United States and is prompting a renewed debate over nuclear power and the role of government.

NUCLEAR CRISIS: The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was hit directly by both the earthquake and the resulting tsunami. Three reactors were severely damaged, creating multiple failures in the system that cools the nuclear fuel rods. This has led to a series of explosions that have further damaged the nuclear reactors and released radiation into the air. In the hopes of preventing a full-scale meltdown, emergency workers at the nuclear plant have desperately sought to inject seawater into the reactors to cool down the nuclear fuel rods, but the results have been mixed. The temperatures of the reactors continue to rise, prompting fears of a widespread meltdown. The New York Times noted, “Japan’s nuclear crisis verged toward catastrophe on Tuesday after an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air.” “Experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months.” Eight hundred workers from the plant have been withdrawn, while 50 heroically remain, despite their increasing exposure to radiation. The Japanese government has also told people living within 12 miles of the reactors to evacuate and those within 20 miles were told to stay indoors. The Times quoted a senior nuclear industry executive who had been in contact with his Japanese counterparts who said Japanese power managers are “basically in a full-scale panic. … They’re in total disarray, they don’t know what to do.” Also, the “pool storing spent fuel rods at that fourth reactor had overheated and reached boiling point and had become unapproachable by workers.”

The Japanese government has formally asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for assistance, which dispatched experts to Japan to provide technical assistance. Joe Cirincione, a nuclear expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund, said, “This is an unprecedented crisis. … You have multiple reactor crises at the same time. We’ve never had a situation like this before.”

NUCLEAR DEBATE: The nuclear crisis in Japan has renewed debate over the safety of nuclear power not just in the United States but around the world. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said on Face the Nation, “I don’t want to stop the building of nuclear power plants. … But I think we’ve got to quietly put…the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami.” Rep. Ed Markey, (D-MA) has called for a “timeout” on new reactors and said that the U.S. should have a moratorium on building reactors in seismic areas of the country. The crisis threatens the bipartisan consensus that emerged over the need for more nuclear power. Nuclear power has been seen as an alternative to burning fossil fuels since it omits zero carbon. William Saletan of Slate warned: “Let’s cool this panic before it becomes a political meltdown. … If Japan, the United States, or Europe retreats from nuclear power in the face of the current panic, the most likely alternative energy source is fossil fuel. And by any measure, fossil fuel is more dangerous.” At the same time, Joe Romm and Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress write that the nuclear crisis “remind[s] us that nuclear power is inherently risky. … Let’s be clear: If something goes wrong with a U.S. nuclear reactor, the American public will be in double jeopardy — we’ll suffer the health consequences and then also have to pay for it.”

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: The crisis in Japan clearly demonstrates the importance of government safety regulations. As we learn the full causes and outcomes of the Japanese disaster, the U.S. should revisit and improve safety rules for both existing and proposed reactors. Romm and Caperton explain that, “because taxpayers have so much to lose in a nuclear disaster, the government has a responsibility to take every precaution to minimize that risk.” David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains in the New York Times that there is a “need to revisit emergency plans to ensure that people get the help they need even when disasters overlap.” Yet Media Matters reported that “in the wake of the crisis at Japanese nuclear reactors, the conservative media have pushed for the removal of ‘obstacles’ to nuclear power and a faster nuclear permit process for nuclear plants.” The proposed budget cuts from Republicans in the House of Representatives further threaten to undermine the safety of the American people. Romm and Caperton warn that “Congress must not cut funding for NOAA’s tsunami warning service. House Republicans have proposed cutting funding to NOAA — the agency directly responsible for tsunami monitoring and warning — restricting the government’s ability to respond. America has a number of reactors that could be affected by a tsunami.” Furthermore, despite the massive 9.0 earthquake, much of the damage in Japan was not caused by the earthquake, but by the tsunami. Thousands of lives were saved due to the strict government-enforced building codes that were absent in a country like Haiti or China, which experienced a significantly higher death toll.

Source: internet


Truly remarkable African American women… a repost

March is Women’s History Month and the National Museum of African American History and Culture is shining a spotlight on remarkable African American women who overcame racism and gender discrimination to shape our nation’s history.

Here are just three of the pioneering African American women who the Museum is honoring this month – amazing individuals whose stories every American should know!

  • Mary McLeod BethuneMary McLeod Bethune was an educator, civil rights activist, stateswoman, and philanthropist. Born in 1875 to parents who had been enslaved, Bethune developed an early belief in the power of education and attended college – a rare achievement for African American women at the time. In 1904, she started a private school for African American girls in Florida that later grew to become Bethune-Cookman College. Bethune went on to become a leading advocate for black Americans, particularly women, and founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. A close friend of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, she served in the “Black Cabinet”, an advisory board to the Roosevelt Administration on issues facing African Americans. Bethune died on May 18, 1955.
  • Shirley ChisholmU.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, was the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first major-party African American candidate for president. Born to immigrant parents from Guyana and Barbados on November 30, 1924, she distinguished herself early as a dedicated student and skilled debater. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1946 and later earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Columbia University. After working as an educator, Chisholm launched her political career, winning a seat in the New York State Assembly in 1965. In 1968, she was elected to Congress, where she served seven terms. In 1972, she waged her historic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a quest chronicled in the award-winning 2005 documentary Shirley Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, directed and produced by African-American filmmaker Shola Lynch. Chisholm died on January 1, 2005.
  • Henrietta Lacks was the unwitting source of the first human immortal cell line – now known as the “HeLa” cell line – which has been used in vaccine and treatment research, gene mapping, chemical safety testing and countless other scientific pursuits. She was born on August 1, 1920, and went on to have five children. After the birth of her last child, a cancerous tumor was discovered on her cervix. Cells taken from the tumor without her consent were cultured to become the HeLa line. Unfortunately, the cancer metastasized throughout Lack’s body, and she died on October 4, 1951. Her life and legacy are celebrated in Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling 2010 book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, which was featured in Oprah’s book club.

When we open our Museum’s doors on September 24, 2016, these women and other notable African Americans – both well-known and the nearly forgotten – will finally receive the recognition they are due. And as a supporter, you can take personal pride in helping to bring the stories of these African American heroes to life.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to make the National Museum of African American History and Culture a reality!

Lonnie Bunch All the Best,
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Lonnie G. Bunch
Founding Director

P.S. We can only reach our $270 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider joining as a Charter Member or making straight gift donation today.

Marxism? Socialism? What ism are you?

beaseedforchangestickersGREENjust another rant …

So, is anyone else finding it almost amusing to see how easy folks seem to throw out labels to describe the actions comments, and stances of candidates of the Democratic Party in a time when this government is seemingly in a  kleptocracy moment while living a kakistocracy with a wannabe autocratic tendencies…

trump, is NOT popular and lost that vote by approximately 3Million. The plan to change America was set a while back, and it appears or seems Mcconnell and the other republicans like paul ryan were waiting for their chance …. and if you remember ryan’s comments, he said something about how he has been waiting for a “Unified republican government”.  Thing is, no one really wanted that acting gig until the birther grabbed us by the …bleep and while setting all our government agencies on fire, the rule of law, regular order, and norms being replaced with dic-tator wannabe behavior.  NOW, we need to trust the Democratic Party because our morality seems at risk each day in the hands of republicans! This makes you think back to at least POTUS41 … Not too long because you’ll get sick, but then reality steps in as POC continue to be targeted, police seem triggered more than ever and the problem of a certain group of males continues to gain access to guns hurting others and in most cases, themselves and that is a shame. We have more kids, babies,  Seniors, POC massacred at malls,  kids in school lockdown,but nowhere to hide, and never ever forget all the babies who have died. There are lockdown drills, some states have given teachers guns yet, and another mass shooting occurs, but nothing changes. There was a case of a teacher threatening to shoot her students after having just had training… It makes you wonder what could go wrong and sadly more unarmed black men and women are dying or are dead!

We have had so much Chaos and btw; the whole thoughts and prayers, thing, is NOT enough anymore.

The idea that an activist is actually run over, and some states decide to pass red flag laws but can’t improve background checks, is amazingly offensive.   We should all know that even folks belonging to the NRA think better background checks are reasonable, but the gun industry is very strong and so when its fav pr organization says to jump many rs and most do jump … though in this era of trump many instances of violence have erupted, it also will be a timeline few will want to remember in the new year of 2021

We have to remember the bush timeline, aside from the obvious, is sad; the guy acted impetuously then drove our economy into a ditch literally while Wall Street’s “creative accounting procedures” finally came to an ugly head. There was once an epic documentary called  House of cards by David Faber on CNBC. It was a cruel reminder and or an awakening at how greed affects the mind; it was a truthful documentation of the nasty journey our economy took … for whom, by whom, and how it (they) brought all of us down with them knowing the Government would pay for it all along …

Unfortunately, the current trump unreality show doesn’t look at all like the one we watched shortly after our financial system collapsed because this is a moment in time when the question below isn’t so far-fetched…  or worse a dystopian society? 

Are You having an existential crisis?

The existential crisis is something many people may face at one point or another in their lives when the world seems to become less meaningful and purposeful. People may question the inner logic of social systems, of their religion, of everything they have once held true, and they do so while becoming much more conscious of the brevity of life.

What is an existential issue?

Quite simply, these are issues that have to do with the plight of human existence, with the meaning of life, and what meaning, if any, our lives have.

trump has definitely set off a cause and effect with certain behaviors of human nature

… is anyone else questioning their inner selves? Hoping trump supporters are; of what it means to affirm one’s own individual personal  choices and the consequences for such choices …and yes in this current hostile environment living an authentic life is important but at risk

If we have to subscribe to labels … idk call me a Marxist who believes in Socialism at this time. lol

I also believe in capitalism, but only with a lowercase c …   We need someone who cares, who is socially responsible, and who believes the gap between the haves and none needs to shrink; school me …what can be wrong with caring for all the people of the US … not just the one percent… especially since that one percent has been wheeling and dealing;  and that attitude about prosperity trickling down to Main street is still bs .

Obama was not a socialist or a Marxist … he was a centrist, a person whose political opinions may not be extreme: a person whose beliefs fall between those of liberals and conservatives … The question is, what do trump supporters call him now?