Let’s meditate on this irony — that disarmament, finally, means no more than growing old and weak and pathetic.
What brilliant Cold War Revival propaganda, masquerading, in the Los Angeles Timeslast week, as objective reporting. Let’s meditate on the dark chuckles of the Cold War technocrats, as they attempt to summon an extra trillion dollars or so from the national coffers to restore America’s nuclear weapons program to the glory of the 1960s and push on vigorously with the design and development of the next generation of nukes: our national strength, the foundation of our security. All that’s missing from the article — “New nuclear weapons needed, many experts say, pointing to aged arsenal” — is Slim Pickens screaming “Ya-hoo!” as he rides the bomb into human oblivion at the end of Dr. Strangelove.
The ostensible focus of the article, as well as a second article published two weeks earlier, both by Ralph Vartabedian and W.J. Hennigan, is the decrepitude of the American nuclear arsenal, with its myriad sites and delivery systems hampered with out-of-date technology and indifferent maintenance, e.g.: “Today, the signs of decay are pervasive at the Pantex facility in Texas, where nuclear weapons are disassembled and repaired. Rat infestation has become so bad that employees are afraid to bring their lunches to work.”
Oh, the horror. Rats and nukes. Next up, Godzilla? Any serious challenge to nuclear weapons as the ultimate manifestation and symbol of national strength is absent from these articles; so is any rational account of the danger their hair-trigger presence poses to humanity — not to mention the insanity of their ongoing development.
“John S. Foster Jr., former director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chief of Pentagon research during the Cold War, said the labs should design, develop and build prototype weapons that may be needed by the military in the future, including a very low-yield nuclear weapon that could be used with precision delivery systems . . .” (emphasis added).
During the Cold War, the primary justification for our gargantuan nuclear arsenal was contained in the acronym M.A.D.: mutually assured destruction. No more world wars, boys and girls! With the Cold War superpowers in possession of the means to destroy the human race, the only wars we could wage were relatively small, proxy wars in Third and Fourth World countries.
“Those who like peace should love nuclear weapons,” said Kenneth Waltz, Cold War academic extraordinaire and founder of the school of neorealism (as quoted recently by Eric Schlosser in The Guardian). “They are the only weapons ever invented that work decisively against their own use.”
But seven decades into the nuclear era, mission creep is making its presence felt along with the rust and rats. Link low-yield nuclear weapons with a word like “precision” and their use in a real war starts to feel almost justifiable — and so much more satisfying, apparently, than simply maintaining a nuclear arsenal for the purpose of never using it. Threat is power in the abstract. But a mushroom cloud over Central Asia or the Middle East is power made manifest, especially if one lacks the mental and spiritual capacity to grasp the consequences……….
What seems desperately outmoded and nearing collapse isn’t our nuclear infrastructure but our thinking about national security. The United States of America, nation of Manifest Destiny, was built on conquest and exploitation. This is the basis of its inability to believe that security could be based on anything except near-absolute power and the reason why, in the corridors of political power, disarmament is synonymous not with sanity but neglect.
Unless the paradigm shifts and we redefine ourselves as a nation — and we redefine our relationship to other nations, including our alleged enemies — our future is nuclear weapons we can use. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-koehler/beyond-mad-reviving-nucle_b_6272094.html
Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at commonwonders.com.
A scientific advisor to the Home Office raised the idea as part of plans for how Britain might rebuild after a nuclear attack – in a test exercise where the Home Office envisaged half of Britain facing ‘unimaginable’ destruction from bombs.
Home Office scientific advisor Jane Hogg suggested that psychopaths could be used to maintain order in lawless areas, saying that pscyhopaths tend to be, ‘very good in crises’.
Hogg pointed out that, ‘They have no feelings for others, nor moral code, and tend to be very intelligent and logical.
‘It is… generally accepted that around 1% of the population are psychopath. These are the people who could be expected to show no psychological effects in the communities which have suffered the severest losses.’
Hogg suggested psychopaths might be necessary to shore up numbers, as police would be tied up helping victims in areas which had suffered the most devastation from the blasts.
NBC stations reveal nuclear workers suffering severe brain damage, dementia — Toxic waste raining down from sky, wore baseball caps for protection — Brains being eaten away, teeth falling out — Workers raising safety issues framed using false evidence, fired — Gov’t not allowed in to investigate (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/nbc-stations-reveal-nuclear-workers-suffering-severe-brain-damage-dementia-toxic-waste-raining-down-from-sky-wore-baseball-caps-for-protection-brains-being-eaten-away-workers-raising-safety NBC Right Now,Apr. 30, 2014: Former Hanford Worker Sick from Nuclear Waste
- Jane Sander, reporter: A nuclear waste spill happened hours before at the tank farm.
- Lonnie Poteet, Hanford worker: I was already burning from my glove line to my t-shirt line and… starting to lose a little bit of vision in my right eye… Why didn’t they say something?
- Sander: Poteet describes living his life now as recluse… sharp pains in his head, they cause him to often twitch. He says medication prevents him from collapsing in pain due to severe nerve damage in his brain.
- Poteet: [More Hanford workers] are going to be exposed to the same situation… Nobody is going to do anything to stop it… As long as there’s profit… and they get their bonuses on a decent time, that’s all they care about… Most of the workers onsite right now are running scared. They will not bring up any safety concerns because as soon as you do, you’re going to be labeled and thrown off the site, just as fast as they can go. They’ll either create stuff that never happened, or they’ll find ways to get you.
NBC Right Now, June 5, 2014: Sick Former Hanford Worker Speaks Out
- Jane Sander, reporter: He sadly lives his life with a deadly disease…
- Lawrence Rouse, Hanford worker: I have toxic encephalopathy… it eats your brain away.
- Sander: Near the end of his almost 20 years at Hanford… he began to develop severe symptoms. Stuttering, memory loss, losing teeth…emotionally unstable…violent outbursts.
- Rouse: [My son] wrote this letter, this little poem, and said that his dad is gone… It would rain the chemicals on you from the stack. That’s why we wore the baseball caps.
- Sander: The Washington Dept. of Labor and DOE denied [compensation]… Since the [EEOICPA] program began in 2001, they’ve paid more than $1 billion in compensation and medical bills to [6,936 Hanford] workers…
- Rouse: DOE has always denied everything. And that’s not going to change.
- Sander: More Hanford workers continue to file claims for their illnesses.
- Watch the broadcast here
KING 5 Seattle (NBC), June 4, 2014: It’s an unprecedented series of workplace accidents in the state. Since mid-March the number Hanford workers seeking medical help after breathing in chemical vapors has risen to 34.
- Susannah Frame, reporter: Vapors causing serious illnesses at Hanford is not new… at the most contaminated workplace in the nation, OSHA can’t get past the gates to investigate.
- Diana Gegg, Hanford worker: It’s turned my life upside down.
- Frame: Brain damage, sudden tremors, vision loss, dementia – Illnesses the gov’t admits were caused by exposure… she can’t go out without a wheelchair, cook, or drive.
Nuclear Crisis: Can the Sane prevail in Time? By Jim McCluskey (about the author) OpEdNews 6/3/2014 “………Through much of recorded history it has been accepted as normal that, periodically, large groups of men should meet and hack each other to pieces. This was the method of choice for resolving disputes. In the last few hundred years, with the aid of science, our capacity for killing other members of our species has been accelerating way beyond reason. It has now reached an apogee. We are at the end of the process. We can now, in a few hours, incinerate every human being in existence. What an accomplishment! What an epitaph! We have two thousand nuclear weapons held on hair-trigger alert, already mounted on board their missiles and ready to be launched at a moment’s notice. This could happen at any time; perhaps when one of the nine nuclear states elects the ultimate psychopathic and/or narcissistic individual as their leader — one who believes that a first strike will enable him to win a nuclear war and rule gloriously thereafter.
Ian Hughes is a physicist and psychologist. He has just written a book entitled ‘Imperfect Design: How Our Psychology Threatens Our World’2. In the book he describes how psychologists and psychiatrists have recently identified three psychological disorders from which a small proportion of humans suffer. This psychologically diseased minority has tended to dominate the normal majority. The disorders can make the bearers a danger to the rest of us. And when such individuals get into power, with the destructive forces already referred to at their disposal, this danger could not be more acute and urgent. The disorders are Psychopathy, Paranoid Personality Disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Psychopaths lack the ability to empathize with others. They relate to people in a similar way to relating to things. Many psychopaths have demonstrated their ability to kill without conscience.
Narcissists suffer from the belief that only they are important and thus are unable to appreciate the concept of equality. They have a sense of entitlement. They are entitled to more wealth, more power, more of everything than everyone else.
Paranoid Personality Disorder sufferers live in fear. They are hyper-sensitive and see everything and everyone as a threat……..Tragically, in our corporate culture the psychopaths have a home in organizations that embrace their own values……..And the government itself in many instances exhibits psychologically dysfunctional behaviour.
The most dire example of all this keeps us all in a state of conscious or unconscious dread. The existence and deployment of nuclear weapons keep the survival of the human race on a knife edge. This is not rational behavior. ………most of us do not wish to prepare for the incineration of millions of fellow human beings to make us feel ‘secure’. This sounds as extreme as paranoia can get……….
At the same time as suffering from extreme paranoia the US leaders have an attitude of ‘exceptionalism’. They have a ‘manifest destiny’. They invade and attack other parts of the world at will (provided these are parts of the world that are unable to effectively fight back). The believe that they can do this ‘by right’. Narcissism. The narcissism of the leaders of the nuclear states takes many forms. Switzerland has no nuclear weapons but its government has built nuclear shelters for all its citizens. The US government decided not to build nuclear shelters for its citizens and then went on to spend more on building them exclusively for the government than it spent on all variety of needs and services for the rest of us.6………..
Leaders of Nuclear States Show Contempt for Us All
The nuclear states who are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (UK, US, Russia, China, and France) undertake to get rid of their nuclear weapons. The treaty came into force in 1970. Every five years there is a Review Conference to see how this is going. Before the Review Conference there are a number of Pre-Review Conferences (referred to as PrepComs) to decide what will be discussed at the Review Conference. The third (!) Pre-Review Conference for the 2015 Review Conference has just concluded — without adopting any agreed recommendations! All the nuclear states are renewing their nuclear arsenals. The British government has declared that it is building an arsenal for the next fifty years. The nuclear-armed states illustrated their commitment to making progress with disarmament by pleading that they had made a glossary of nuclear definitions! This ludicrous pantomime is treating the public with contempt. It is clear that the nuclear states have no intention of honouring the Non-Proliferation Treaty…….http://www.opednews.com/articles/Nuclear-Crisis-Can-the-Sa-by-Jim-McCluskey-Nuclear-Deterrence_Nuclear-Disarmament_Nuclear-Powers_Nuclear-Technology-Theft-140603-43.html
The onus falls on the media to report on health fears about wind farms cautiously, particularly given strong evidence that it is the discussion itself that may be creating and perpetuating health complaints.
Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can http://theconversation.com/wind-turbines-dont-make-you-feel-sick-or-healthy-but-spin-can-20845 Fiona Crichton PhD candidate in psychological medicine at University of Auckland 29 Nov 13
Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they live near wind turbines.
We’ve known for some time that exposure to negative messages about wind farms makes people more likely to report feeling sick after exposure to turbines. And new research, published by my colleagues and I this week in the journal Health Psychology, shows positive messages about wind farms may have the opposite effect – improve perceptions of health.
Speculation in the media and on the internet often attributes the symptoms to sub-audible sound produced by operating wind farms (infrasound). But the reality is that infrasound (sound below 16 hertz) is consistently present in the environment and is caused by wind, ocean waves and traffic. Importantly, research demonstrates there is nothing unusual about the levels of infrasound produced by wind farms. Continue reading
The dangers of nuclear hubris, Praful Bidwai Thursday, Jul 25, 2013, Agency: DNA Nuclear weapons and aggression always go together. So do nuclear weapons, hubris and machismo. Aggressiveness — and readiness to wreak mass destruction or inflict great cruelties upon an adversary’s civilians — lies at the heart of the nuclear weapons rationale, the acceptance and normalisation of their mind-numbing violence, and the development and deployment of such armaments, whether they are used or not.
Nuclear deterrence seeks security through terror, by threatening the enemy with “unacceptable” damage. As the Dr Strangelove film shows, nuclear scientists and experts quintessentially, yet naturally, imbibe deeply cynical, male-supremacist and pathologically aggression-prone attitudes. Many of them personally, literally, exude violence.
as more nations like North Korea obtain nuclear weapons, and as the US struggles to keep a credible nuclear umbrella over its allies from Asia to Europe to the Middle East, the world needs to find a replacement for the current system of maintaining stability based on the mutual fear of nuclear war.
North Korea’s threats show just how urgent that need is.
North Korea Has Feared An American Nuclear Attack For Decades http://au.businessinsider.com/north-korea-has-feared-an-american-nuclear-attack-for-decades-2013-4 THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITORTODAY THOSE AMERICANS WHO MAY BE FEARFUL OF NORTH KOREA‘S VERBAL THREATS AND ITS MISSILE-LAUNCH PREPARATIONS SHOULD TAKE NOTE: ITS LEADERS HAVE LONG EXPRESSED A FEAR OF AN AMERICAN NUCLEAR ATTACK.
As historian Ward Wilson points out in a new book, “Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons,” atomic bombs “were born out of fear, nurtured in and sustained by fear.” Their power to devastate requires a mutual fear to avoid their use.
The current escalation of threats between the US and North Korea illustrates how this reliance on fear can falter. Nations that rely on maximizing fear as a primary tool for defence will find the emotion very difficult to manage in all cases.
The North’s threats, for example, have now led South Korea to consider ending its ban on developing its own nuclear weapons. It is asking for US support to start a nuclear program.
Many in Seoul, South Korea, see the American people as too weary for war and the Obama administration as too eager to reduce the US nuclear arsenal unilaterally. They fear that the American “nuclear umbrella,” which has protected South Korea for 60 years, may no longer be credible enough to deter North Korea from either launching nuclear weapons or using them as blackmail.
MONITOR’S VIEW: Cyberattack on South Korea needs constructive responseFor two decades, the US has tried to talk down North Korea from possessing nuclear weapons by offering hope in place of fear. It tried to convince Pyongyang that the US was not a threat while offering its food aid and oil supplies in return for nuclear disarmament. It hasn’t worked, despite some limited help from China.
Similar persuasion is now being tried on Iran: Give up your nuclear ambitions and instead become a regional power through the strength of your economy, ideas, and culture. In other words, replace the fear that looks to nuclear power for comfort and instead build up your nation’s “soft power.”
President Obama, who came into office with the goal of eliminating the world’s nuclear weapons, has had a difficult time making his case. Instead, he has to now send B-2 bombers near North Korea to assure South Korea of the US nuclear umbrella and as a threat to North Korea. The tit-for-tat of fear only keeps rising.
MONITOR’S VIEW: In Obama trip to Israel, signs of US redirectionHis recent trip to Israel was designed in part to persuade Iran to cease its uranium enrichment. His visit was an attempt to reinforce faith in the US nuclear umbrella for the region, especially Israel. But as with North Korea, the logic of deterrence assumes that the leaders in Iran will be both fearful and rational.
In the past few decades, a dozen countries have given up their nuclear programs or handed over nuclear weapons on their soil. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, for example,Kazakhstan cooperated with Russia and the US to hand over the weapons in its possession. Most of those nations chose to seek safety in being a nation of peace, goodwill, and prosperity while also relying on an international system that depends to a large degree on the US maintaining it.
And most nations abide by international agreements banning the use of chemical and biological weapons. Fear of those weapons has been largely contained.
Yet as more nations like North Korea obtain nuclear weapons, and as the US struggles to keep a credible nuclear umbrella over its allies from Asia to Europe to the Middle East, the world needs to find a replacement for the current system of maintaining stability based on the mutual fear of nuclear war.
North Korea’s threats show just how urgent that need is.
the international scientific community has failed us and become the promoter of “Dysfunctional Science.”
“Science is at a tipping point because, having fragmented into specialties and sub-specialties, it is no longer equipped to deal with falsifying data. The barricades of technical jargon and self-serving politics prevent the specialists from seeing what would be all too obvious from a higher vantage point. Such a system is averse to outside challenges by ‘those who transcend the conventional,’ and leading authorities feel free to ignore them….
Few universities have shown the courage to insist on a broad and balanced picture of present knowledge or an even-handed comparison of theoretical assumptions and available alternatives. To apply such basic standards today would risk discrediting entire departments” (30).
Nuclear energy, which provides only 2.5 percent of global primary energy needs, is the most dangerous experiment humanity has ever undertaken. The time to end the insanity is now (31). Between reducing consumption, rearranging society in a less consumer intensive form, and implementing an array of alternative energy schemes, our problems could be solved
Underestimating Japan’s Nuclear Disaster By Richard Wilcox theintelhub.com November 30, 2012 “………Postmodern Postmortem Denial Syndrome The college aged students I teach in Japan are in denial and do not want to talk about Fukushima. Some have even give pro-nuclear presentations in class! Indeed, many are keenly aware of the nuclear dangers and are critical of nuclear power, but others have fatalistic attitudes. Some students told me their parents who live in Fukushima or near there are worried and angry about the situation, but if you ask the average person in Tokyo about the issue, they would probably just shrug their shoulders. People do not like having bad news pointed out to them or having their noses rubbed in radioactive debris. If they feel, or the mass media helps them to believe, that they are far enough away from the problem, they can convince themselves that it is not worth worrying about.
Escapism and distraction is the name of the game. Japanese TV variety shows can only be described as narcissistic, self-absorbed, childish, silly and often substance-less nonsense. This is great for creating a dumbed-down and subservient society but not good for long term sustainability. A thriving democracy depends upon a well informed public. The situation is similar in many countries.
What is the psychological dimension for understanding how a society can become so complacent while life-threatening dangers stare us in the face? Like a beautiful but beguiling snake that has been trampled upon, the venom released from the bite of its fangs can be deadly to the victim.
An apt illustration of our cognitive dissonance comes from journalist David McNeil, who endured the 311 nuclear crisis in Tokyo and notes with irony, “[t]hroughout the worst week of the crisis, a diligent clerk at my local video store phoned daily to remind me that I had failed to return a DVD” (27). Even though the country had been nearly brought to its knees, it was business as usual. Political analyst, Dean Hendersen, notes an historical aspect of this behavior:
“By indoctrinating people as to the omnipotence of the Emperor and of the need to make sacrifices in his name, the Japanese become in many ways the most exploited people on the planet- working long hours, never questioning their supervisors, singing company songs and drinking only with company cohorts after hours. Any resistance to this fascism is instantly branded anti-Japanese behavior. The perpetrator is considered mentally disturbed. Rather than challenge this state terror regime, most Japanese have learned to suppress their feelings…” (28).
The cultural underpinnings that led to the nuclear disaster are explained by Professor Shaun O’Dwyer, who studies modern Confucianism.
“There are two important habitual attitudes in postwar Japanese and East Asian governance that are arguably Confucian. There is paternalism on the part of governments, legitimized by the efficiency of a highly educated, meritocratic bureaucracy; and (until recently) reciprocating loyalty from citizens, grounded in a faith in the moral and intellectual ability of their leaders to work for their good.
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual