Budgets as Moral Documents Nuclear Weapons and the Fate of Life http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/11/nuclear-weapons-and-the-fate-of-life/by ROBERT DODGE
April 15th, Tax Day, our nation funds our national budget. On this day we fund the nation’s business and provide a proclamation to the world of the U.S. priorities for the next year. Ultimately, because they reveal our choices, budgets are moral documents and are supposed to represent the people’s priorities.
What are those priorities? Surveys show them to be education, economic security, environmental protection, healthcare, climate change, peace and security. With so many challenges facing us as a nation and planet how will we wisely provide for our future and spend our finite treasure on infinite need? We must ask, are there opportunities to reallocate funds to more pressing needs?
Nuclear weapons programs provide an obvious example of the misallocation of resources. This year the United States will spend roughly $57 billion on nuclear weapons programs. Weapons that must never be used, are militarily purposeless, and threaten our very survival every moment of their existence. These illegal, immoral weapons are an example of the disconnect between rhetoric and reality.
The dollars diverted from communities to finance these programs literally rob communities of precious funds that could be spent on urgent needs. Examples of community nuclear weapons programs expenditures for tax year 2013 range from Ventura County, California spending $176 million to Seattle wasting $172 million, Los Angeles misspending $1.7 billion and New York City throwing away $1.69 billion. To find other examples or calculate your personal contribution go to www.c-p-r.net. Each of us must ask ourselves if this is acceptable.
The impossibility of using these weapons was shown in a report by the International Physicians for Social Responsibility this past year on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. It demonstrated that 2 billion people are at risk of death from catastrophic climate change following a limited nuclear exchange using less than ½ of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals.
The world’s nuclear arsenals contain 17,000 nuclear weapons and a full scale nuclear war between the nuclear super powers would end life as we know it.
Last year’s important book by Eric Schlosser, Command and Control, combined with our own military’s recent revelations of compromised nuclear missile officers highlight how sheer luck continues to be an important component preventing the unleashing of these apocalyptic weapons.
The use, threat of use, and even the possession of these weapons was declared virtually entirely illegal by the International Court of Justice in 1996. The United States and P5 nuclear states are in breach of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that commits us to good faith efforts to work toward nuclear disarmament. Here is the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. While professing the vision of a world without nuclear weapons we continue to ‘modernize’ our B-61 nuclear gravity bomb and work on our entire nuclear stockpile and delivery systems projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.
Fortunately the non-P5 nuclear nations of the world are taking matters into their own hands. In meetings this year in Germany, Norway and Mexico, approximately 150 nations met to discuss the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war and are moving toward a nuclear weapons convention, a ban on nuclear weapons similar to previous conventions on chemical and biological weapons and landmines.
So ultimately this tax season as so often in the past, we will pay out of our pockets for something most of us abhor, financing our own instruments of national suicide. As a people, the choice is ours—or in the end there may be no choice. Will we stand on the right side of history or will we continue down our present course?
Robert Dodge is a family physician in Ventura, California. He serves on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (www.psr-la.org) and on the board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He writes for PeaceVoice (www.PeaceVoice.info).
an economic model based on perpetual growth continues on its own terms to succeed, though it may leave a trail of unpayable debts, mental illness and smashed relationships. Social atomisation may be the best sales strategy ever devised, and continuous marketing looks like an unbeatable programme for atomisation.
Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out Buying more stuff is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive George Monbiot The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December 2013 “……There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness.
But research conducted over the past few years seems to show causation. For example, a series of studies published in the journal Motivation and Emotion in July showed that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing (good relationships, autonomy, sense of purpose and the rest) diminishes.As they become less materialistic, it rises……. Continue reading
How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn’t a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind. And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)
And yet clearly there’s a relationship between the two issue stances. If you’re in doubt, watch this Climate Desk video of a number of members of Congress citing religion in the context of questioning global warming:
Using the Bible to Resist Climate Action: A Supercut
Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian “end times” believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming……. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/11/why-climate-change-skeptics-evolution-deniers-joined-forces
Omens good for Iran nuclear deal at second bite Foreign ministers ready to fly to Geneva as diplomats make further progress on draft agreement over uranium enrichment Guardian, Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Geneva 21 Nov 13 Foreign ministers from six major powers are poised to fly to Geneva by the end of the week if nuclear talks with Iran lead to an agreement, western officials said on Wednesday night.
A new round of negotiations over the future of Iran’s nuclear programme got under way on Wednesday, bringing together the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and top diplomats from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Officials involved in the talks – the third session since the election of a reformist Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani – said they were going well, overcoming the disappointment of the previous round, attended by US secretary of state, John Kerry, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, their French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, and other foreign ministers.
Those talks appeared to come close to clinching a historic deal but the talks broke up in early hours of 10 November, amid some acrimony over who was responsible for the failure……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/21/iran-nuclear-talks-geneva-progress
As Iitate’s population plummeted in the spring of 2011, Hosokawa managed to find new homes for more than 80 of his horses. Then, in January this year, he noticed that several among the 30 that remained, mainly foals, had become unsteady on their feet.
Within weeks, 16 had died in mysterious circumstances. Autopsies on four of the horses found no evidence of disease and tests revealed caesium levels at 200 becquerels per kilo – twice as high as the government-set safety limit for agricultural produce,
Fukushima horse breeder braves high radiation levels to care for animals Despite the departure of all his neighbours and the unexplained deaths of some of his stock, Tokue Hosokawa refuses to budge Justin McCurry in Iitate theguardian.com, Monday 28 October 2013 Until March 2011, Tokue Hosokawa had only to peer through the window of his home in Iitate village to confirm that all was well with his 100-year-old family business.
The 130 or so horses that once roamed this sprawling farm in Fukushimaprefecture have sustained three generations of Hosokawa’s family. Some were sold for their meat – a local delicacy – but his animals were better known for their appearances in commercials, period TV dramas and films, and local festivals celebrating the region’s samurai heritage.
For decades, the 62-year-old horse breeder barely registered that his farm was just 25 miles north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant. But the rural idyll was shattered on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, when the facility was hit by a towering tsunami that caused meltdowns in three of its reactors…….
two and half years after the accident, Iitate has become a nuclear ghost town. When Hosokawa looks out of his window these days, it is at empty, irradiated fields. Continue reading
Tokyo Professor: I want to stress that Japan is on verge of collapse after Fukushima — Osaka Professor: If you don’t recognize health risks and take action right now, you have no future (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/tokyo-professor-i-want-to-stress-japan-is-on-verge-of-collapse-after-fukushima-osaka-professor-if-you-dont-recognize-health-risks-and-take-action-right-now-you-have-no-future-video
September 24th, 2013
Title: 0.23μ㏜ – Fukushima: Is There a Way Out?
Source: Arirang TV
Date: Sept. 9, 2013
Fukushima: Is There a Way Out? [...] What kind of tomorrow awaits Japan? [...] The Japanese public spends every day in fear and anxiety, as the repercussions of the nuclear crisis can be felt everywhere, and there is no end in sight yet. [...] Where is Fukushima headed? Will Japan be able to find a way out?
At 42:00 in
Professor Taisei Namura, Ph.D., National Institute of Biomedical Innovation (Under jurisdiction of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, located in Osaka): Cancer doesn’t happen immediately. If you don’t recognize it and take action right now, you have no future. We must raise public awareness. We can’t rest assured just because it’s a small amount. The symptoms will not appear until decades later.
At 46:00 in
Professor Eiji Makino, Hosei Universityy (“One of the most traditional private universities based in Tokyo”): This tragedy has revealed that Japan’s political, social, economic, and moral standards are falling apart. I think we’re facing a big crisis. I want to stress one more time that Japan is on the verge of a collapse.
Watch the 48 minute broadcast here
As conservatives, we believe that increasing our use of renewable energy will improve public health and help protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Study after study demonstrates the negative health effects on people who live near coal plants. They are, by and large, people who are too poor to move. The quality of our air and water impacts not just your health and mine and people across Michigan. They also affect the health and life of the unborn.
As conservatives, we believe that using more renewable energy will reduce the amount of fuel we import from other nations
Conservatives should lead on renewable energy as way to protect God’s creations http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/09/keith_den_hollander_ renewable.html By Keith den Hollander State Committee Member at Michigan Republican Party Chairman, MI Chapter at Christian Coalition, 22 Sept 13 In the next few days, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled the first of four reports on renewable energy that could potentially reshape Michigan’s energy economy.
Conservatives have a real opportunity to lead in the area of renewable energy and we should applaud Governor Snyder for his leadership in the energy sector……. Opinions like those expressed by the Mackinac Center’s Ken Braun (9/14/2013), who downplays the importance of renewable energy to Michigan, do not fully reflect the conservative viewpoint on energy.
Humankind has a moral obligation to be good stewards of the Earth and the resources that God has put on this planet for our responsible use. We are free to use coal, natural gas and oil – and also the wind, sun, manure and any other resource that can be economically and responsibly used or harnessed to create energy.
An “all of the above” approach to energy generation is beneficial to our state, economy, and long-term sustainability. This approach can help reduce the amount of energy derived from fossil fuels, and increase the amount generated from renewable sources. Continue reading
Radiation makes Mars mission unlikely USA Today, Todd Halvorson, Florida Today September 22, 2013 NASA would have to knowingly expose astronauts to possibly lethal levels of space radiation. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An American expedition to Mars is the Holy Grail of U.S. human spaceflight, but more than a half-century after the dawn of the Space Age, the reality is this: NASA is “no-go,” at least for now.
To send an expedition to Mars today, NASA would have to knowingly expose astronauts to cancerous, or even lethal, levels of space radiation. It’s an ethical quandary for those involved in NASA’s renewed push toward deep-space exploration. And it’s being explored by some of the most distinguished scholars, scientists, engineers, health professionals and ethicists in the nation.
It’s “the elephant in the room,” NASA Chief Astronaut Robert Behnken recently told a National Academy of Sciences committee.
“We’re talking about a lot of ionizing radiation, almost a guarantee for cancer, and you are really close to the edge of the range for lethal exposure,” Continue reading
TV: We’re talking about generations being affected by Fukushima, and also their future healthcare… How are those in charge getting away with this, time after time by just saying sorry? — What do we tell the younger generation about what happened to our ocean? (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/tv-were-talking-about-generations-of-people-being-affected-by-fukushima-and-also-their-healthcare-into-the-future-how-are-those-in-charge-getting-away-with-this-time-after-time-
Asia Today, , Aug 23, 2013 – James Chau, Anchor (At 2:30 in): How is this one company been able to get away with this time after time, and just coming up with a sorry? Because we’re talking about generations involved here — and also their healthcare into the future.
Watch the Asia Today broadcast here
CNTV, Aug. 23, 2013 – Tomioka Residents (At 1:00 in): “What can we tell the younger generation about what happened to our ocean?” “It is not acceptable to say the water has accumulated and unfortunately some of them slipped into the sea.” Residents fear the situation may be uncontrollable. “It is no longer a matter for the Tokyo Electric. It is becoming an international matter and I want the government to take the initiative to prevent these occurrences.”
Nuclear Experimentation: Year 68. Oped News By Ethan Indigo Smith, 20 Aug 13
“……….Admittedly the global nuclear experiment is difficult to wrap one’s head around, but the fact is that we know it is made up of entropy and death. Here are a few simple ideas to remind people who have chosen to remain ignorant of nuclear experimentation because it is nightmarish and complicated:
1. Primarily and originally weaponry.
2. Some elements used in the experiment will remain toxic the next couple of million years, others the next couple hundred thousand.
3. The nuclear industry elements must be mined which like other mining as well as oil and natural gas extraction destroys the environment it is mined from, the area it is processed in and the area it is used.
4. The nuclear experimentation industry is based on secrets beginning with militarization in World War Two. The nuclear experimentation industry is based on lies beginning with the first meltdowns and illegal dumping of who knows what in around in beautiful southern California at Santa Susana Labratories where all information was hidden and covered up.
5. Nuclear experimentation threatens the genetic viability of all the world’s offspring, of all your children and children’s children.
6. Nuclear experimentation requires that nothing go wrong ever. Fukushima proved natural disasters lead to nuclear disaster. Chernobyl proved natural human imperfection leads to nuclear disaster.
7. Currently there are about four hundred nuclear power generation experiments in the world. Consider the two major disasters, Fukushima and Chernobyl, unfolding requiring massive generational work just so the problems do not spread making more and more of the planet uninhabitable. That’s about 450 nuclear power generation experiments over 70 year span resulting in two global catastrophes.
8. There has already been a nuclear war on Earth Mother. There have been over 2,000 atomic/nuclear detonations in and on every strata of creation.
9. After Fukushima the EPA turned off public access to radiation monitors………http://www.opednews.com/articles/Nuclear-Experimentation-Y-by-Ethan-Indigo-Smith-130820-379.html
Nuclear Experimentation: Year 68. Oped News By Ethan Indigo Smith, 20 Aug 13 “………All the most powerful nations in the world cannot help one of the most powerful nations in the world because they are only powerful because of their ability to wage war. It is interesting and important to know how the language of the Fukushima disaster was controlled, it was constantly referred to as the worst nuclear experiment (most don’t the word experiment for it is too accurate and language in reference to nuclear experimentation is moderately or extremely euphemistic) disaster “since Chernobyl.’ Anyone who took ten minutes to research Fukushima knew that it was the worst nuclear disaster ever eclipsing the Chernobyl disaster.
Nuclear experimentation has destroyed whole regions of the planet and altered the entire planet. Next on the watch list of nuclear tragedies is the unfolding disaster in Hanford, Washington. Deadly materials are currently leaking from storage tanks and could ignite sometime between now and the next few millennia.
Nuclear experimentation is the supreme catastrophe, the very real unleashed a Pandora of mythical and equally fiery proportions. And if we do not change our mind state, our apathetic culture of separation, of bucket list celebration we will continue to kill ourselves. However we can’t see it, we can’t even quantify it totally and as much as we do understand its dangers, it is all an experiment, we really don’t understand it completely. And yet it is amazing how we all act like we understand Earth Mother and nuclear experimentation, the same way we do weather cycles, when really we have no idea.
When many talk of climate change caused by global pollution in the netherworld oligarchy people use reference points that are limited. One cannot understand Earth Mother’s cycles by referencing your life experience for at best one has limited information to base one’s understandings on. Many people who claim to understand global environmental climate change are ignorant of their ignorance. The same goes for nuclear experimentation it is entirely too complicated to understand completely. However the most important thing for people to consider, the most powerful information that might begin to get people to wake up and stand up for doing something about the institutions of their creation nuking the world is that their precious children are doomed, their very biological lineage is threatened by nuclear experimentation, that radioactive elements cause permanent mutations, biological deformity and infertility in offspring and death.http://www.opednews.com/articles/Nuclear-Experimentation-Y-by-Ethan-Indigo-Smith-130820-379.html
“Nuclear Guinea Pigs”: Deadly Experiments and Contaminated Reality By Greg Guma Global Research, August 11, 2013 “……….Scientists and journalists like to believe that they are neutral witnesses who don’t affect the objects of their observation. But this is at best convenient self-deception, and at worst a callous lie……
Finally, there is the largest experiment of the moment, known as corporate globalization. Described by many experts as an indisputable fact of post-modern life, it is actually another deadly project, a sequel to the industrial revolution. And we know how well that one has gone for the planet. But like the victims in Nevada, the South Pacific, and the Amazon, we haven’t been told about the real costs or objectives. The truth, after all, might lead to resistance and accountability.
As many scientists now acknowledge, conceiving any experiment is the experience of an observer who is also a participant. Building on the theory of relativity, quantum physics has demonstrated that every measurement requires an act of intervention. As quantum physicist John Wheeler explained, “Participator is the incontrovertible new concept given by quantum mechanics. It strikes down the term ‘observer’ of classical theory, the man who stands safely behind the thick glass wall, and watches what goes on without taking part. It can’t be done, quantum mechanics says.”
And so, if there is really no way to observe any event or phenomenon without somehow affecting what happens, what are journalists or scientists to do? Well, at least act responsibly. This means acknowledging bias, intervening with compassion, and providing enough information to let the public make its own, fully informed choices. http://www.globalresearch.ca/nuclear-guinea-pigs-deadly-experiments-and-contaminated-reality/5345606
.it wasn’t necessary to use the bomb against the cities of Japan in order to win the war but our possession and demonstration of the bomb would make the Russians more manageable in Europe.
The real purpose in incinerating two high-density civilian population centers, says Stimson, was “to persuade Russia to play ball.”
that’s the very definition of terrorism: using violence or the threat of violence as the means to achieve political ends. It’s terrorism with a vengeance. Americans just don’t do that kind of thing. Americans would never behave in such a horribly depraved and cruel manner. But, in fact, we did. And, as Part II of this article will make devastatingly clear, we still do. And it won’t stop until America awakens to the truth about itself, and, openly acknowledging that truth with a show of genuine heartfelt remorse, proceeds to make amends where amends are due.
America’s Nuclear Madness: Terrorism With A Vengeance (Part I) By Robert Quinn” OpEdNews 8/11/2013 “………The inhumanity of it all couldn’t be more telling. The dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki was especially brutal and cruel. Knowing of the horrendous horrors that had already been unleashed in Hiroshima, three days later the U.S. did the same thing to the civilian population of Nagasaki. Why? Japan’s surrender was already assured without the bombs. Surely surrender would soon be following on the heels of Hiroshima’s decimation. So, again, why the second bomb?
The answer is as simple as it is grotesque. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki because Japan’s surrender was never the issue. Getting Japan to surrender was the pretext. The bombs were dropped to make a point. There were political reasons for nuking those two high-density civilian populations, and the United States was not going to let Japan interfere with its political agenda by way of an untimely surrender. The dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki was part of a political maneuver that had already been decided upon — a one-two punch stratagem designed to strike fear into post-war Russia (our ally in the war against Germany) and convince them to accept their subordinate position on the postwar world stage.
Atomic Bombs Were Dropped On High-Density Civilian Populations In Japan To Make A Political Statement Continue reading
Apparently, in the minds of most Americans America can do no wrong. An act that would be perceived as profoundly immoral if any other nation were behind it, is seen as being quite acceptable and even laudable when it is America that sits in the driver’s seat. No matter how grossly immoral a particular action may be, when America is the actor that action is somehow magically transformed in light of America’s perceived exceptional greatness into something good, wholesome, and even holy — certainly nothing deserving of an apology.
I can think of no better example of this than America’s 1945 atomic bombing of the two high-density civilian population centers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki..
America’s Nuclear Madness: Terrorism With A Vengeance (Part I) OpEd, By Robert Quinn, 12 Aug 13, ” The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. — George Orwell
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. — Thomas Jefferson
This month marks the 68 th anniversary of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki………..right-wing media made much of a Wikileaks-released diplomatic cable claiming to tell of plans President Obama had to apologize for America’s 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his 2009 visit to Japan. Investors Business Daily castigated Obama for his alleged plans to “apologize” to Japan “for defending freedom” and “for winning with devastating finality the war Japan started.”The National Review Online, Rush Limbaugh, The Drudge Report, and Fox News, among other right-wing media outlets, followed Investor Business Daily’s lead, claiming that the only reason Obama’s planned apology failed to materialize is that Japan had the good sense to disapprove of the plan.
The White House denied that there ever was any plans to apologize to Japan for America’s WW II atomic decimation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Wikileaks cable bears this out. Following a meeting with Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan cabled Secretary of State Clinton expressing Japan’s concern that a visit by Obama to Hiroshima, coming on the heels of Obama’s previously expressed commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons, would fuel speculation, particularly among anti-nuclear groups, whether an Obama apology might be in the offing. Japan worried that such speculation would play into the hands of these anti-nuclear groups, providing them with greater visibility and a stronger voice in their efforts to garner increasing public support for their anti-nuclear agenda. The diplomatic cable was sent, then, not to ward off a planned Obama apology as Obama’s detractors have claimed, but rather to ward off any speculation that such an apology might be in the works, and that an Obama visit to Hiroshima might serve to provoke. To this end, Japan’s foreign ministry recommended that both governments do what they can to keep all such speculation to a minimum, and that this could be accomplished by having Tokyo be the primary focus of Obama’s 2009 visit. End of story.
What if Obama actually did have plans to apologize to Japan on behalf of America for its atomic incineration of two Japanese high-density civilian population centers? What of it? What exactly is the crime in this? Might it just be that such an apology is in order, and long overdue? The media has given no consideration to this at all. Instead, the entire focus has been on whether Obama is guilty or not of having had plans to apologize for America. The right-wing conservative media assumed Obama’s guilt, the left-leaning liberal media came to his defense, and the mainstream media, where it wasn’t following the right wing’s deceptive lead, reported on the controversy. The important issue in all of this — the moral justification, or lack thereof, of America’s atomic bombing of Japan — was entirely ignored.
Is Apologizing When You’ve Said Or Done Something Detestable Un-American? Continue reading
Pacific Church Body Pushes For Nuclear-Free Region Call comes as Japan reveals nuclear waste leaking into Pacific WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2013) – The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) says regional leaders must urgently revive calls for a nuclear-free Pacific.
The PCC call comes amid revelations by the Japanese government that radioactive waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean for two years.
The PCC’s general secretary, the Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says Pacific churches have for nearly four decades consistently called for a nuclear-free Pacific and they renew this call today.
He says Japan has a moral responsibility to keep the region informed of what is happening with the waste and what is being done to contain the seepage.
The Reverend Pihaatae, who is from French Polynesia, draws parallels with the French territory’s failure to properly deal with the impact of nuclear tests there.
“That issue has not been really been taken seriously by our local government, but the impacts and the damage that the nuclear waste will do upon our people in the Pacific, because it is leaking and it will be spreading all over our ocean.” Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
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