[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
On the home front.   

Posted by philarktos - Aug 28, 2003 - 7:47am
12 comments on this journal entry.

Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:43pm

This is the very first story on June 6, 2013 by Glenn Greenwald of data leaked to him by Edward Snowden, while Snowden was still anonymous—

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

This is by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill on June 6, 2013—

NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others

This one is by Aaron Blake in the Washington Post on June 6, 2013—

Al Gore calls Obama administration’s collection of phone records ‘obscenely outrageous’

This is by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong on June 9, 2013—

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward
Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence
contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the
last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the
moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to
opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have
done nothing wrong," he said.

This is by the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, on June 10, 2013 in the Guardian—

Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America

This is by JILLIAN RAYFIELD in Salon on June 12, 2013—

ACLU sues over NSA phone surveillance

This is by JAMES BAMFORD in Wired on June 12, 2013—

Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA’s Massive Spy Center


This is Greenwald from June 14, 2013—

On Prism, partisanship and propaganda

This is by Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian on June 14, 2013—

Al Gore: NSA's secret surveillance program 'not really the American way'

This is by Ewen MacAskill, Nick Davies, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger and James Ball in the Guardian on June 16, 2013

GCH Q intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits

This is by Glenn Greenwald on June 18, 2013—

Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process


This is by Glenn Greenwald on June 26, 2013—

The personal side of taking on the NSA: emerging smears


This is by Jeff Cohen on Michael Moore's website on June 26, 2013—

Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?


This one is by Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman on June 27, 2013—

How the NSA is still harvesting your online data

This one is also by Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman on June 27, 2013—

NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

This is by Glenn Greenwald on June 29, 2013—

Speaking on NSA stories, Snowden and journalism

This is by Ewen MacAskill in Rio de Janeiro and Julian Borger in the Guardian on June 30, 2013—

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies

This is Greenwald from July 3, 2013—

James Clapper, EU play-acting, and political priorities


This is by Louise Egan and Hugh Bronstein from a Yahoo link to Reuters on July 3, 2013—

Latin America fumes over Bolivia incident in Snowden saga

The unusual treatment of the Bolivian military aircraft touched a sensitive nerve in the region, which has a history of U.S.-backed coups. Regional leaders, particularly from the left, rallied behind Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president and a former union leader of the country's coca farmers.

"(These are) vestiges of a colonialism that we thought were long over. We believe this constitutes not only the humiliation of a sister nation but of all South America," Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said in a speech in Buenos Aires...

The comment was a stark reminder of the United States' history exploiting South America's natural resources and supporting some repressive right-wing governments...


This is Greenwald from July 6, 2013

The NSA's mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians

This is from Glenn Greenwald on July 8, 2013—

Edward Snowden: US surveillance 'not something I'm willing to live under'


This is by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras, Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe on July 11, 2013

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

This is by Glenn Greenwald on July 16, 2013—

Email exchange between Edward Snowden and former GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey

Former two-term GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire emailed Edward Snowden yesterday—

Mr. Snowden,

Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.

Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion.

I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere...


Edward Snowden's 'open letter to the Brazilian people' – in full


It has been a long week for the National Security Agency. Last Monday, a federal judge ruled for the first time that the agency’s continuing sweep of Americans’ phone data — a once-secret program legally sanctioned for seven years and illegally conducted for five years before that — was very likely unconstitutional. Judge Richard Leon denounced the agency’s activities in collecting data on all Americans’ phone calls as “almost Orwellian.”...

All three branches of the federal government are now on record as recognizing that the agency has repeatedly misused, if not plainly abused, its powers, and that it must be reined in...


Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer

(Reuters) - As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.


N.S.A. Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses

By JAMES GLANZ and ANDREW W. LEHREN, NYT, December 20, 2013

Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses...

Details of the surveillance are described in documents from the N.S.A. and Britain’s eavesdropping agency, known as GCHQ, dating from 2008 to 2011. The target lists appear in a set of GCHQ reports that sometimes identify which agency requested the surveillance, but more often do not. The documents were leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden and shared by The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel.


NSA surveillance programme: 'It's going to get worse'

Dave Eggers, The Guardian, Friday 20 December 2013

Think back to all the messages you have ever sent. All the phone calls and searches you've made. Could any of them be misinterpreted? Could any of them be used to damage you by someone like the next McCarthy, the next Nixon, the next Ashcroft? This is the most pernicious and soul-shattering aspect of where we are right now. No one knows for sure what is being collected, recorded, analysed and stored — or how all this will be used in the future. "Citizens of a democracy need a zone of privacy, and have control over it," Levinson-Waldman says. "If you really don't have control over it, you can't become an actualised member of society."


Bernstein, who survived McCarthy, whose former friends used to cross the street rather than be seen talking to him, is as scared as he's ever been. I asked him to convey advice to writers and to us all.

"Well," he said, "All I can say is that you need to resist. Resist. Resist. Resist. Resist."



Report: CIA helped Colombia kill rebel leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — A covert CIA program has helped Colombia's government kill at least two dozen leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the rebel insurgency also known as FARC, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The National Security Agency has also provided "substantial eavesdropping help" to the Colombian government, according to the Post. And the U.S. provided Colombia with GPS equipment that can be used to transform regular munitions into "smart bombs" that can accurately home in on specific targets, even if they are located in dense jungles.


ACLU 6-4-2014 — A Message From Edward Snowden, One Year Later 

Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:43pm

Inside America's Dirty Wars
APRIL 23, 2013


Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:36pm


Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:36pm

French Strikes in Mali Supplant Caution of U.S.

January 14, 2013

 BAMAKO, Mali — French fighter jets struck deep inside Islamist strongholds in northern Mali on Sunday, shoving aside months of international hesitation about storming the region after every other effort by the United States and its allies to thwart the extremists had failed.

 For years, the United States tried to stem the spread of Islamic militancy in the region by conducting its most ambitious counterterrorism program ever across these vast, turbulent stretches of the Sahara.

 But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials...




locator map of Mali 

Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa, was once a part of three prominent empires: the Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, and Songhay Empire.

It's early history is marked by strong leadership and kin-based societies that lacked structured geographical boundaries. The Ghana Empire was the earliest known in the region, and was dominated by Mande-speaking peoples. From the 8th century through the end of the 11th century they expanded throughout West Africa, and controlled the trans-Saharan gold and salt trade centers. Mali Empire on the upper Niger River in the year 1230. The empire consisted of various kingdoms and provinces, extending over a vast area of land, and reached the height of its power during the 14th century. 

Internal unrest ultimately resulted in the downfall of the Mali Empire, and in the late 14th century the Songhais assumed the entire eastern portion of the fallen Mali Empire. After Morocco brutally invaded the Songhais in 1591, the empire collapsed, and the entire region lost its role as a trading crossroad. In the 1800's, Mali was part of the French Sudan; then, along with Senegal, Mali gained independence in 1959 and became the Mali Federation. In 1960, the Mali Federation became the nation of Mali.

The first president, Modibo Keita, established a one-party system and implemented nationalization of Mali's economic resources. The Keita regime was overthrown by a military coup, led by Moussa Traore, in November of 1968. Traore attempted to reform the economy, but was hampered by the political turmoil and a devastating drought which killed thousands.

A coup in 1991 brought a more transitional government and the writing of a new constitution. Alpha Oumar Konare won the first multi-party democratic presidential election, and was in office until 2002, when he was succeeded by reited general Amadou Toumani Toure. Mali was widely regarded as a politically and socially stable country during this democratic period, however, in January 2012 the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad staged an insurgency against the government.

The northern part of the country has since been left to MNLA rebels, while the government controls only the southern part. Mali today is one of the poorest countries in the world. The average worker's annual salary is around U.S. $1,500. The key industry is agriculture, with cotton as its largest crop export followed by gold and livestock.


Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:34pm

Perspective on the Deal
by Paul Krugman
The New York Times
January 1, 2013

So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.

If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.



Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Dec 24, 2012 - 12:34pm

Robert Feinberg: The Fateful History of Fannie Mae
Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 01:42 PM
By Robert Feinberg

Wednesday, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a book forum for James Hagerty on his new book titled “The Fateful History of Fannie Mae.” The book chronicles the process of the politicization of mortgage finance by Fannie Mae and its sibling Freddie Mac in the decades since the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Fannie Mae were created by the Roosevelt administration to prime the pump for the housing industry during the Great Depression...

 Here is where to watch it on C-SPAN BOOK TV...  the video cannot be embedded, so just go to this hyperlink to see it...



Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 29, 2012 - 6:36pm

Leo explains what's a screen shot and how do I make one — snipping tool and snagit data

lf you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding...

Is That Antacid Killing You?
by Brenda Watson

There's a growing concern among physicians about the hidden dangers of heartburn and many are now warning patients who have had severe gastric esophageal reflux disease for several years that they shouldn't keep popping Tums, Pepcid or other pills without seeing a doctor first. Heartburn seems to be driving the nation's fastest-increasing type of cancer, a type of esophageal disease called adenocarcinoma. The occurrences have jumped six-fold in the last 30 years and many suspect heartburn is the culprit.

What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean
by The American Heart Association

My summary— Total cholesterol needs to stay below 200 milligrams a day — an HDL of 60 mg and above is considered protective against heart disease, while an LDL of less than 100 milligrams a day is optimal...

my response to The Heart of Perfect Health by Brenda Watson

I watched the program on GPB tonight, and it was very interesting. There were kernels of good information surrounded by thick layers of advertising to buy her book and send money to GPB. Since PBS is a reputable source of journalism, I paid close attention to what Brenda Watson said, but something to bear in mind is that she is the president and co-founder of Tampa Bay, Florida-based ReNew Life Formulas, Inc., which develops and manufactures herbal supplements.

She described how the cause of all sorts of chronic diseases, including heart disease, is called chronic inflammation, also known as silent inflammation. Silent inflammation has been linked with buildup of cholesterol deposits in the walls of arteries. The first sign of silent inflammation is high cholesterol. The body makes the cholesterol in the liver to try to heal the chronic inflammation. High blood pressure is also caused by silent inflammation. High blood pressure happens when the arteries thicken and harden.

She said the total cholesterol needs to stay below 200 milligrams a day — I just got this defined by The American Heart Association — an HDL of 60 mg and above is considered protective against heart disease, while an LDL of less than 100 milligrams a day is optimal, as described by The American Heart Association under the heading What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean.

She described how high blood sugar makes blood vessels stiff and weak and it makes HDL go down and LDL to go up. Obviously, sugar and high fructose corn syrup affect the blood sugar, but I was really shocked by how she described the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar.

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high sugar levels can cause everything from cardiovascular disease to arthritis.

Brenda Watson said that people should keep their consumption of sugars to 10 teaspoons a day. She said she has figured out a way to calculate the teaspoons in sugar from carbohydrates by the labels on food packages, since the labels describe everything in grams. Take the total grams of carbohydrates and subtract the total grams of fiber, and then divide the resulting number by five. That will reveal the teaspoons of sugar in food.

What was shocking to me is that one bagel hits the limit of 10 teaspoons of sugars a day. Here's how her formula calculation works — a bagel has 50 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of dietary fiber, so 48 divided by 5 practically equals the 10 teaspoons of sugars a day.

Brenda Watson discusses leaky gut syndrome. She said it is increased intestinal permeability. People have a mucus lining in the small intestine that filters good vitamins into the blood stream, but it is a barrier that keeps toxins out of the blood and in the waste to be expelled by the body. Things like gluten and high fructose corn syrup can punch holes in the intestinal lining and let more toxins out into the blood stream. She used a metaphor to describe then as sandpaper on the small intestines.

According to her, the leaky gut syndrome is the leading cause of silent inflammation. Now, this is where she is getting wobbly on theories versus proven facts. Here is some of what is posted on wikipedia about leaky gut syndrome

"Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed condition of an altered or damaged bowel lining. The term is used by some alternative medicine practitioners, but the syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis. It is hypothesized to be caused by increased permeability of the gut wall resulting from toxins, poor diet, parasites, infection, or medications. The leaky gut then allows substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules to leak through an abnormally permeable gut wall. Proponents suggest that these out-of-place substances affect the body directly or initiate an immune reaction... Although leaky gut syndrome is not an established diagnosis, there are several research and clinical diagnostic tests that actually measure permeability of the gut wall. Practitioners who most often diagnose leaky gut syndrome usually do not use these and instead rely on symptoms... Health care practitioners who diagnose this syndrome explain that intestinal inflammation which may originate from intestinal dysbiosis or other sources of irritation, widens the junctions between the cells of the intestinal lining, allowing endotoxins and incompletely digested particles to be partially absorbed.... While many practitioners maintain that leaky gut syndrome is a bona fide pathological condition, the area of 'gut problems' lies between conventional and alternative medicine..."

So this is getting into some theoretical stuff that has yet to be proven by scientific facts, and her theories make a LOT of money for her company. I am saying this to preface her recommendations, because we simply don't know yet if the theories are true.

What Brenda Watson theorizes is that people should make sure they have enough enzymes to digest food, so probiotics help protect against the leaky gut syndrome. It is pointless to eat yogurt because all of the sugars in it cancel the benefits of the probiotics. Get a probiotics supplement. And a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids also causes leaky gut syndrome. Eating fish for omega-3 fatty acids is a risk because of the threat of mercury poisoning, so get an omega-3 supplement. And she says to get a fiber supplement.

The woman is making a fortune off of her supplement products. This is from a public relations website and it is dated October 20, 2012 from Clearwater, FL—

“Clinical research continues to offer compelling evidence for the heart, joint, digestive, and brain health benefits of Omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA,” says Brenda Watson, C.N.C., PBS and national health educator, and President of Renew Life. The American Heart Association recommends from 1000 mg to 4000 mg of Omega-3 EPA/DHA per day for optimum cardiovascular health. Norwegian Gold Super Critical Omega provides 1,125 mg of Omega-3 per softgel for those looking for a higher potency product so they don’t have to take as many pills.

On her PBS show, she said that it is best to look on the label of an omega-3 fatty acids suppliment to see how many grams of omega-3 are actually in the pills. The milligrams should be around 1,000 each, because a person wants to take 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids a day. She said the product must be "enteric coated", which allows it to be absorbed in the small intestine. Make sure the product has vitamin D added. The product must be approved by the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS).

At first glance, there is some fishy stuff about IFOS, as though they want to associate themselves with the Consumer Reports magazine—

IFOS Consumer Reports and they make this statement—

"Consumer Reports are easy-to-understand, batch-specific summaries of a product's IFOS testing results. The reports include a 5-star rating for each product, allowing consumers to compare fish oil products based on their safety, purity and quality... Note: The IFOS Program is a third-party program and therefore we do not promote, endorse or recommend any particular fish oil product or brand."

Anyway, I am not saying Brenda Watson is wrong. I just hope all of this data I am sharing is good food for thought.



Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 29, 2012 - 6:36pm

oldslabsides tells new member how he should behave—

oldslabsides posted— Dec 2, 2012 - 9-11am

ChillBabe wrote:
the collective "your"... as with the collective "we"...hmmmm, I have confessed to being no poet, admit the collective comparison may be flawed...perhaps not as bright a bulb as my perception fooled me into believing...eh, I'm OK with that :D

oldslabsides wrote:
Imagine this forum as a community of people, many of whom have known one another for years; you've just come to town. We have many relationships - and acronyms - of which you are completely unaware. If you wish to participate, go slowly and ask questions, but never assume that something you don't understand has anything to do with you.

oldviolin posted November 29, 2012 - 4:46pm in forum Media Bias—

Whatever. Kurt is a good guy regardless of your petty little peanut gallery insults and deserves a little more respect as a regular around here than that. He's not even replying to you. Have a modicum of dignity and self respect for crying out loud. At least for the community at large.

Miss her so much—

Cynaera Posted July 04, 2010 - 16:16

Me too - leave romeotuma alone. He's got a good soul, and just because he loves music, it shouldn't be a reason to slag him on this board. He posts comments here that make some people doubt whether he has two brain-cells to rub together, but I assure you, he's far more intelligent, articulate and sensitive than he allows at these boards (wise decision, I'm learning.) If a song is "good for the ears," I'm all for giving it a chance or two.

Don't mess with him, or you mess with me. And I'm not nearly as benign as he is.

Let's move on now, okay? It's about the music, not the commenter...


Cynaera Posted Aug 20, 2010 - 16:55
Hi, romeotuma! {#Wave} So far, it's been pretty damned good. Two hummingbirds (Mom and baby), a weird cat kafoffel ending in a serious nap-attack, and Bro is at our sister's house, getting dinner and home-made cinnamon rolls for his 56th birthday. I'm off to take a bubble-bath, with RP blaring. Sometimes, life is really good. I hope it's good for you, too, my friend.

Cynaera Posted Sep 01, 2011 - 14:50

Romeo - you put a silly grin on my face every time I read one of your posts. Um, and how many people do you have in your hotel room right now? Beware of the fire marshall... I know him and he's diligent to the point of obsession...


Cynaera Posted: Oct 04, 2011 - 19:06 in song comments for Cowboy Junkies — I Saw Your Shoes

Hiya, romeotuma! Guess what?! I CAN dance like a maniac!!!! Get out here - let's show 'em how it's done, okay? LOVE this song!!!!

ScottN — my response July 9, 2012 - 6:00pm to a poem he posted in the Poetry Forum

Why are you posting this drivel? Is there some reason that you like to hear an 18-year-old whine about how hard life is for him? This poet is first person obsessed in this putrid excuse for a poem— 13 first person references in 10 lines, and the only second or third person reference is to an ambiguous "true friend"— and the reference shows no empathy for the friend— it just demonstrates the putrid poet's demands for this "true friend"... according to this putrid poet, a true friend is somebody who only thinks about what this putrid poet desires...

this is abstract dull emotively-dead drivel where the poet whines about what he wants out of the world... this is a textbook example of bad poetry... a good poem under this title would demonstrate why life is hard with vivid, concrete details, rather than crybaby exposition of desires... life is so hard he marks his calendar with a check... yawn...

as real writers say, "Show, don't tell..."

what— did this poem crawl out of your ass and die on the floor so you just had to share it with everybody??


Lazarus Avatar

Location: Bethany

Posted: Oct 24, 2012 - 7:46pm

Iraq records huge rise in birth defects
by Sarah Morrison
The Independent
October 14, 2012

New study links increase with military action by Western forces

It played unwilling host to one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war. Fallujah's homes and businesses were left shattered; hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed. Its residents changed the name of their "City of Mosques" to "the polluted city" after the United States launched two massive military campaigns eight years ago. Now, one month before the World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the two battles for the town, a new study reports a "staggering rise" in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.

High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad...




Weapons of Mass Distraction

by Dennis Kucinich
October 10, 2012

Ten years ago, on October 10, 2002, the United States House of Representatives made one of the most calamitous mistakes of a generation. Congress, with willful blindness, voted to attack, invade and occupy a sovereign, oil-rich nation in the Middle East that did not attack us and did not pose a threat to the American people... Many are trying to rewrite the history of the Iraq war. The people who led us into a war based on lies want us to believe that the intelligence community was duped. They don't want us to ask questions, because they don't want to be held accountable. Those repeating the myth that America was duped are perpetuating one of the biggest lies in American history.

Iraq did not pose a threat to the United States. Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. We were not duped. We were not fooled. It was obvious at the time. The evidence was in publicly available reports for anyone who cared to look. I personally distributed this memo to Members of Congress. In it I address the false justifications for war, point-by-point and establish the truth. I made the case in an hour-long presentation on the House floor. One hundred thirty-three Members of Congress were not duped; they voted against going to war with Iraq. The Bush Administration lied to the Congress and the American people to sell its war. The intelligence community wasn't duped. The American people were duped, and we are still paying the price...

Robert Alvarez served as a senior policy adviser to the Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration, so he is not attacking NPR politically...  he knows what he is talking about... he wrote a recent report called Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the U.S.: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage (available as a PDF download) and this is how he begins the report—

As Japan's nuclear crisis continues, this report details the nature and extent of radioactive spent fuel stored at nuclear reactors across the United States and how it can be made less hazardous.

U.S. reactors have generated about 65,000 metric tons of spent fuel, of which 75 percent is stored in pools, according to Nuclear Energy Institute data. Spent fuel rods give off about 1 million rems (10,00Sv) of radiation per hour at a distance of one foot — enough radiation to kill people in a matter of seconds. There are more than 30 million such rods in U.S. spent fuel pools. No other nation has generated this much radioactivity from either nuclear power or nuclear weapons production.

Nearly 40 percent of the radioactivity in U.S. spent fuel is cesium-137 (4.5 billion curies) — roughly 20 times more than released from all atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. U.S. spent pools hold about 15-30 times more cesium-137 than the Chernobyl accident released. For instance, the pool at the Vermont Yankee reactor, a BWR Mark I, currently holds nearly three times the amount of spent fuel stored at Dai-Ichi's crippled Unit 4 reactor. The Vermont Yankee reactor also holds about seven percent more radioactivity than the combined total in the pools at the four troubled reactors at the Fukushima site...

So what are we going to do with 30 million of those rods here in the USA? Why did Obama give a green light to two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle? (The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has been very concerned about the controversial $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee offered for Southern Company's proposed new reactors at Plant Vogtle that President Obama announced in February 2010...)

Where are the French storing all their spent rods, and what would happen if they were exposed in a disaster? Etc. etc. etc...

I see a world of questions about all sorts of energy problems, with no easy answers, and I think globally journalists are dropping the ball about this, which practically guarantees more disasters "too big to fail"... and I like NPR...

Nuclear Tuna and NPR's Trivialization
by Robert Alvarez
Institute for Policy Studies

May 31, 2012

Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a story asserting that cesium-137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident found in Bluefish tuna on the west coast of the U.S. is harmless.

It's not harmless. The Fukushima nuclear accident released about as much cesium-137 as a thermonuclear weapon with the explosive force of 11 million tons of TNT. In the spring of 1954, after the United States exploded nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, the Japanese government had to confiscate about 4 million pounds of contaminated fish.

Radiation from Fukushima spread far and wide. Like American hydrogen bomb testing, the Fukushima nuclear accident deposited cesium-137 over 600,000 square-miles of the Pacific, as well as the Northern Hemisphere and Europe. With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 is taken up in the meat of the tuna as if it were potassium, indicating that the metabolism holds on to it.

According to a previously secret 1955 memo from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission regarding concerns of the British government over contaminated tuna, "dissipation of radioactive fall-out in ocean waters is not a gradual spreading out of the activity from the region with the highest concentration to uncontaminated regions, but that in all probability the process results in scattered pockets and streams of higher radioactive materials in the Pacific. We can speculate that tuna which now show radioactivity from ingested materials have been living, in or have passed through, such pockets; or have been feeding on plant and animal life which has been exposed in those areas."...

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius
Zissy Avatar

Location: 90804

Posted: Aug 31, 2003 - 3:18am

Je m'en branle
AliGator Avatar

Posted: Aug 29, 2003 - 3:01pm


n4ku Avatar

Posted: Aug 28, 2003 - 5:03pm