Fukushima Daiichi Update

Fukushima Workers

I squeezed some of this topic into a recent podcast on My Podcasts on YouTube. It’s important to know that the Fukushima reactor is still not fully scrapped and that while radiation levels are low they are also not decreasing by any significant measure in all recent online published studies.

Resources and Blogs:

IAEA Updates

The Guardian Reporting On Worker Death In Decommission Process; accidental death by all reports and not a direct failure of TEPCO to safeguard their employees health and well-being in this specific case.

Fukushima Update Blog (LA Times Reporters)

Fukushima Diary (Iori Mochizuki)

Radiation Warning

My YouTube Podcasting Has Erupted

This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.

It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.

Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.

These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.

If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.

Chapel Hill Shooting: Atheists / Anti-theists Are Responsible?

Craig Hicks, charged with shooting death of 3 Muslims in N.C.

Some less than spectacular people out there on the Inter-webs are calling for vocal atheists and anti-theists to own up to the Chapel Hill Shooting being our version of the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. No, we won’t be doing that. At least not at this time. Should the available facts on record change, such as a confirmed manifesto being released, any reasonable person would adjust their views to include this. But what we have here is a horrible tragedy with no clear motives, nothing more. Charlie Hebdo was killing in the name of religion being held higher in importance than freedom of speech and human life; no comparison.

Standards of acceptance of evidence is probably the core difference between atheists and theists. For instance: I don’t see any evidence that is at all compelling for a historical Jesus of Nazareth nor for a God of Abraham. The commonly used “personal experience” routine is crap on multiple levels but mainly because people lie to further their own goals all the time and religious labels don’t instantly cure a person of unethical behaviors.

I’ve studied the Bible at length, researched non-canonical texts, applied the standards of historical veracity to both the Old and New Testaments and none of it amounts to the claims of “divinity” and “divine truth” made by Bible-believers. At the most, and this is being very generous, there was a Jewish rebel priest put to death by the Romans that had a chain of hearsay turn him into a demigod in the eyes of certain men who were all born around a hundred years after his execution.

Islam and the Quran are different in the sense that the central figure is much, much more so a verified historical figure but shares in the same issues of the Torah and the Bible where none of the claims to divinity and ultimate truth are any more compelling than when the Greeks, Egyptians or the Pagans wrote of their mastery of the ethos of life and contemplation. The endless contradictions anyone can find with enough time spent with almost any “holy book” placed to the side, the issue with any form of religious extremism boils down to dehumanizing those who will not conform to the point where an act of torture or murder upon them is not only acceptable but mandated from on high.

Thing to remember here is some people believe in UFOs and anal probes but it’s rare to the point of being unheard of that one of them would go shoot up a skeptic conference in the name of being unhindered to spread the message of the coming alien overlords to the masses. But both radicalized Christians as well as Muslims, and even the heavily pacifist Buddhists, have done exactly these kinds of actions in both isolated and organized acts of violence. All this in recent decades and not even bothering to dredge out old history books citing violence over the centuries committed in the name of religious “purity.”

No respected atheist anywhere is advocating you solve your disputes with acts of murder or that the best way to silence an ideological opponent is to kill them in their home or place of business. But I could troll the right-wing radio Christian waves for awhile and bring back some moron who is doing exactly that and same with the nationalistic Islamic newsgroups and forums. This would not in turn implicate all Christians and all Muslims in those statements but only those who identify with the speaker’s views which is not an easy thing to assess unless someone declares it to be so.

Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

 

As always when I cover tragic stories my deepest condolences go out to the family members and friends of the victims of this horrible event.  I do not speak merely for myself when I say that this man should face the full force of the legal justice system and hopefully this will bring you some measure of peace.

American Hero: Brad Manning (WikiLeaks)

(Photo: AP)

This WikiLeaks story is very similar to the “Deepthroat” in days past in terms of Spc. Brad Manning bringing the raw truth to the public with his very life and freedom on the line to do so.

With any luck this will mirror the effect of the Pentagon Papers in that it will stir up enough public distaste for these wars that the White House will be forced to take actions that bring this to a quicker close.

Much of what was disclosed are things that I have contended are true, like that thousands upon thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians are killed in Afghanistan by U.S. forces but the corrupt mainstream media will not report it because they bought and paid for by corporate interests that make more money off war and endless bloodshed than any gov’t ever did.

But beyond that they lend credence to what was only speculation in regards to the Pakistani Intelligence being a major funder of Afghan insurgents, which means we pay our tax dollars to Pakistan and then those same dollars go to kill Americans.

People need the truth, not a bunch of gov’t whitewash, in order to make an informed decision.

Right now Spc. Brad Manning is sitting in a jail cell for bringing the truth to the public.

All the claims that this endangered the security of troops is completely false. I haven’t read all the documents but they are mostly reports of missions that happened seven months ago or further back than that.

He got it out of there by using a CD-Rs that originally contained music (Lady GaGa & others that he faked lip-synched to while copying the 95,000 docs) which is something anyone with security clearance could have done.

He didn’t ever hit a security wall because there weren’t any in his way. (According to major networks and press outlets, which have deceived us in the past so it’s possible we are missing vital parts of the story at this time.)

This was a huge amount of accounts of what really happens in Afghanistan that people like you and me are usually not allowed to know until years after a war is over.

Thanks to WikiLeaks and Manning we can see these reports right here and now.

Personally I think that’s a good thing.

I’ve had enough bullshit. I don’t know about you.

This young man is a hero.

ElPasoTimes: ’15-Year-Old Shot And Killed By Border Patrol’

While we hear about everything from a teen sailor lost on a boat for a few hours to a cop in Seattle punching a teenager in the face on camera there was a story only a rare bunch of news outlets have picked up.

An innocent child was gunned down by a U.S. Border Patrol agent for reportedly throwing rocks from the Mexican side while two agents rode by on bikes on the U.S. side.

I support the immediate extradition of this Border Patrol agent to the Mexican authorities. Let them handle this likely child killer as they see fit.

El Paso Times:

EL PASO – The 15-year-old boy shot dead by a Border Patrol agent near the Paso del Norte bridge was part of a group that entered the United States illegally, agency administrators said today.

Chihuahua state officials said today that the boy shot dead was Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, a Mexican national. They asked for a full investigation of the shooting. The agent who shot Huereca had a .40-caliber pistol on him. He may have had additional weapons, too, Cordero said.

“Every agent is issued a .40-caliber pistol and available to us is a series of long arms and that includes shotguns and machine guns, and on top of that pepper spray and tasers,” he said.

Agents only have access to weapons that they have been trained to use and they go through training quarterly, Cordero said. The Border Patrol did not identify the agent who fired. He has been placed on paid leave, Cordero said.

The Mexican Secretary of State today condemned the death. Mexican officials said they want the U.S. to conduct a full investigation into the events that prompted the shooting. The use of firearms in response to a rock attack is a “disproportionate use of force,” officials said.

The number of Mexican nationals who have been killed or injured by border agents has increased in the last few years from five in 2008 to 12 in 2009. There have been 17 Mexican nationals killed or injured during the first six months of 2010, officials said.

Telemundo: Mentally Disabled American Deported

These are the kinds of incidents we can expect more of under the unconstitutional Arizona immigration power-grab and racial profiling law.

TelemundoChicago.com:

LOS ANGELES — The family of a mentally disabled man claims that the federal and local governments mistakenly had an American citizen deported and said U.S. officials should help find him in Mexico.

Relatives of Pedro Guzman, 29, are suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit this week over what the civil rights group contends was the wrongful deportation of a developmentally disabled man.

Pedro Guzman was serving time in Los Angeles County’s Men’s Central Jail for misdemeanor trespassing when he was deported to Tijuana on May 10 or May 11, according to the ACLU. The family said they’ve been looking for their loved one in Tijuana for a month. Michael Guzman said his worst fear is that his brother is “no longer living.”

He said Michael can’t read, gets lost and often can’t remember the family phone number.

The suit said Pedro Guzman was sentenced in April to 120 days in jail for a misdemeanor trespassing violation. The suit said that sometime after that the Sheriff’s Department identified him as a non-citizen, obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States and turned him over to federal authorities for deportation.

Guzman, who knows no one in Tijuana, was last heard from on May 11, when he phoned his brother and sister-in-law’s home to say he had been deported to that city, but the call was interrupted before he could say exactly where he was, according to the ACLU.

Guzman’s mother, brother and sister-in-law traveled to Tijuana and searched shelters, jails, churches, hospitals and morgues, but have not found him and fear for his safety, ACLU officials said.

“This is a recurring nightmare for every person of color of immigrant roots,”

Mark Rosenbaum, the legal director of the ACLU’s Southern California branch, said in a statement.

There are no circumstances under which a U.S. citizen can legally be deported.

Texas Joins In On The Science-Denial Trend

The state of Texas has jumped on the science-denial bandwagon currently gripping the right-wing. Texas has challenged the EPA findings that greenhouse gas emissions are classified as “dangerous,” claiming that the findings are based on flawed science. This is of course a false and absurd claim coming from the leading greenhouse gas emitter of the U.S.

Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional director over Texas, said the agency is confident the finding will withstand any legal action. He also said the move isn’t surprising considering Texas’ pattern of opposition to the EPA.

“Texas, which contributes up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial sources in the United States, should be leading the way in this effort,” he said. “Instead, Texas officials are attempting to slow progress with unnecessary litigation.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said it’s the first legal challenge by a state, though industry groups have also challenged it.

Texas says the EPA’s research should be discounted because it was conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for its work on climate change but has since been embarrassed by errors and irregularities in its reports.

(Nobody ever successfully connected the so-called “Climategate” hacking incident, which I assume are the “errors & irregularities” mentioned, and the matter of the Greenhouse Gas Effect or the Climate Science findings as a whole in any way except political partisans with obvious Big Energy funding and absolutely no facts to back up the case they make.)

The guys and gals of The Great State of Denial, good ol’ Texas, seem to hold different standards of The Scientific Method and Comparative Analysis. Maybe those words are just too big for Texas.

I see this as just a symptom of a much larger problem breeding under the surface: the praise of ignorance over knowledge; the willful destruction of critical thinking.

The “debate” over climate change can be settled in moments by the most simple process of comparing the credibility of the sources and the amount of raw data on both ends. There is not a debate going on in the scientific community, there is a consensus with a few skeptic holdouts that have almost all published debunked papers at some point or another, but within the political community and the business community they would like very much for this issue to be up for debate. But it’s not, an overwhelming body of evidence exists in favor of Climate Science and skeptics fail to bring any new data (“Climategate” was the biggest joke on conservatives and their complete inability to rationally review data ever) so it’s simply “denial” and nothing more from these Big Money influenced talking heads. The Deniers and the Consensus; Texas just put itself on the side of the Deniers.

What lies under the surface here is the desire to squelch all rational discussion and replace it with bumper-sticker sound bytes. If anyone dares speak out against these ridiculous claims circulating and tries to use facts instead of rhetoric, then you can bet they will start up the personal attacks and just making even more broad claims about more unproven garbage. If you are even perceived as “smart” then you must be a “elitist liberal” who will only “lie to confuse you.” They are teaching people to hate intelligence and love stupidity in the once great state of Texas, all in the name of keeping their rich friends happy and scoring cheap political points while they are at it too.