Living with Fukushima City's radiation problem
Blogpost by Ike Teuling - December 8, 2011 at 15:27
We spent four days in Fukushima City doing a radiation survey in the neighbourhoods of Watari and Onami. People there have been left to cope alone in a highly contaminated environment by both the local and national governments. Our radiation experts found hot spots of up to 37 microSieverts per hour in a garden only a few meters away from a house and an accumulation of radioactivity in drainage systems, puddles and ditches. Overall, the radiation levels in these neighbourhoods are so high that people receive an exposure to radiation just from external sources that is ten times the annual allowed dose. How high their internal exposure is from eating contaminated food and inhaling or ingesting radioactive particles remains unknown, since no government program is keeping track of this...
...The decontamination done by the local authorities is both uncoordinated and thoroughly inadequate. The subcontractors they are using are badly instructed, risking their own health and spreading the radioactive contamination instead of removing it. We found radioactive run-off water from a decontamination process leaking directly into the environment. And because there is no storage site for radioactive waste from decontamination work, the waste is buried directly on people’s property, sometimes only a few meters away from their houses.
The Japanese government doesn’t know how to deal with the massive contamination caused by the nuclear disaster. Instead of protecting people from radiation, they are downplaying the risks by increasing the allowed radiation levels far above international standards. And professors like Dr. Yamashita, who make statements like ‘If you smile, the radiation will not affect you’ are being employed as official advisors on radiation health risk.
In short, it is clear that the situation in Fukushima is rapidly spinning out of control, and if the national government does not take full responsibility for the protection of its population, the people affected by the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi will continue to suffer for a long time to come.
Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 07:11 PM PST
Nests of Snakes Revealed: A Story of Fear, Intimidation and Threat in Walker's Wisconsin
by noise of rainFollow
...When I went to the prearranged coffeshop I expected to meet a fiery activist. You know the type: aggressive, full of fight, tough and determined, battle-scarred weary, but ready for the next round. Instead, waiting for me at a table was a sweet looking early middle-aged woman, nicely dressed, nice smile… someone I might expect to meet walking her Jack Russell Terrier at the dog park, or at my son's middle school parents' night. Her gentle demeanor could not hide the palpable worry in her eyes. She is a single woman living alone, and constant fear has plagued her since August.
Last summer, a couple of activist friends from Madison contacted Mary to see if she would help them administer their anti-Walker Facebook pages. They were being harassed by an amorphous group of rightwing Walker supporters, and needed someone to delete troll posts and unfriend trolls. It was really nothing, and not expecting any consequences for such mundane housekeeping chores, she agreed to help out. "If only I knew then what I know now," she exclaimed...
...Within days of Mary's summer admin work, four different Facebook pages went up attacking her. The goons found an old resume and began to troll her side business of jewelry sales, registering constant false complaints and negative endorsements to dissuade online business. They began to post her home address and phone numbers throughout their sites. And they began to constantly call and spam her place of work, complaining about her behavior and the job she does.
Kristi Lacroix, the "teacher" in the new pro-Walker ad (she is a teacher, but at a charter school) posted on Mary's jewelry page: "'Geri Gems' has a Facebook page. Maybe it is time to post on it so that prospective customers can know who they are buying from." William Jenkins (assumed alias) then posted on the business page "This company runs a shady operation. If you like cheap ass jewelry from a disgusting slob of a person, this is a place for you. Suck a cock, whore." And the fun-loving lads in the rightwing circle-jerk Photoshopped Mary's face on the head of a fornicating pig, expressing that they were "feeling sorry for the other pig" and of course, posted it all over the internet. Dan Briski suggested that they "Definitely need to rattle her tree…" in context of her home address being posted, and Walker Backers Watching Walker Stalkers' Santo Ingrilli agreed, "yes we should rattle her cage a bit."
Last summer, this same cluster of Facebook fascists published residence information of another activist, a young woman from Madison, with the suggestion that "people should visit her." A few days after that, her apartment was broken in to. Madison police were sympathetic, but felt that cause and effect were too tenuous for charges or arrests. With no proof of connection, nothing has happened regarding the crime...
One of the Most Chilling Photos from OWS
by Hrag Vartanian on November 18, 2011
There haven’t been very many iconic images or art works coming out of the Occupy Wall Street movement yet things may be changing. In addition to the OWS “bat signal” that we posted about earlier today, this photograph in The Guardian by AP photographer Randy L. Rasmussen may be one of the most incredible images captured during the international protests.
Taken yesterday, during the November 17 day of action at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, the young protester being pepper sprayed by riot police is a visual symbol of the power imbalance taking place at this protests. Seemingly faceless black-clad police with visors and helmets are pushing back and harming non-violent protesters. Here the protester’s face is fully exposed to a stream of pepper spray, according to the caption, while an adjacent protester holds up the peace sign. We can only imagine the brutal burning sensation the protester was about to experience the moment after this image was taken.
From the Institute for Policy Studies:
These are not my sentiments necessarily, but the picture is sort of humorous.
Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 06:17 AM PDT
Dear Mayors and Police Chiefs
Do you see what happened in Oakland? That was what you call fucking stupid. Let me tell you why.
I had no idea that there were Occupy protests in Oakland. But I do now. Guess why.
All you all do by attacking peaceful protesters is make the protests grow even more rapidly than they otherwise would. Secondly, you end up spending a great deal of money on police overtime and equipment. Third, you make your municipality and yourselves vulnerable to lawsuits and investigations. Fourth and finally, you put yourself on the wrong side of both public opinion and history.
Bet you didn't expect to critically injure a two tour veteran Marine, did ya? Well you fucking did!
So now look at yourself. You spend a shitload of taxpayer money on some guys carrying signs and shouting slogans. Memo to you: A person carrying a sign isn't dangerous. Truly dangerous people don't walk around in public spaces carrying signs. You'd think I wouldn't have to tell you this because its so fucking obvious...
...Here's an idea: You got occupy protesters on your public grounds? Send one squad car around. Have the guys get out, go talk to the protesters: Here's the speech:
Hi I'm Officer Dave and this is Officer Joe. We want you to be able to exercise your constitutional rights in safety. Safety for both you and the general public. Please keep this space tidy and clean or else were going to have to start issuing fines. Don't get rowdy and harass any passers-by or else we will have to arrest you. You should behave yourselves in public as im sure your parents taught you to behave. Me and my partner will be right over there if you need us. We will let you know when there is a shift change. Have a nice day.
See that? Cheap. Simple. Nobody gets hurt. Saves taxpayers money. Saves your careers.
Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:11 AM PDT
Socialistic Hitler Fascist Death Panel WMD Terrorist Job Killing Kenyan Muslim Regulation Tyranny
From now on, people who have used these words in the past or present to dismiss a conversation or hijack it should no longer be taken seriously.
I'm done with wasting time in a dishonest debate...
...If you support torture, I don't want to hear about Hitler from you.
If you support subsidies for extremely profitable oil companies I don't want to hear about wealth distribution from you.
If you support the never ending wars at all costs I don't want to hear about deficits from you.
And if you insist on hijacking honest debates about our future by calling it Socialistic Hitler Fascist Death Panel WMD Terrorist Job Killing Kenyan Muslim Regulation Tyranny you should no longer be taken seriously. We don't have time for your dishonesty. You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Consider #OccupyWallStreet a nationwide intervention, because some people are drunk on greed and power...
Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:30 AM PDT
CNN poll: Americans overwhelmingly support policies in Obama jobs bill
by Jed Lewison
According to CNN's latest poll (October 14-16, ±3%), Americans support each of the major policy proposals in President Obama's jobs bill by a wide margin:
Yet despite that overwhelming support, here's how Republican senators voted when the jobs bill came to the Senate floor last week:
Republicans have picked their side, and it's the wrong one.
Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 04:09 PM PDT
By now, he's an Orphan
I haven't posted anything in years but I'm here almost daily keeping up with things. What happened on Friday shook me to my core and made me so mad that I was in tears. I didn't immediately write this diary, in part because I needed an emotional break. But here it goes.
I am a high school science teacher in the DFW metroplex. On Friday, one of the other teachers came to see me about a student of mine, Chris (his name has been changed for the sake of his privacy). About six months ago Chris's father died of a heart attack. He owned a construction company and they were struggling financially. They suspect the chronic stress from his failing business and attempting to provide for his family finally resulted in his death.
I can relate to this because I lost my father two years ago. My father worked in the financial sector. When everything collapsed in 2008 he was let go from his job. He was unemployed for a year and then he found another job, only to be let go 8 month later. Seven months after being laid off and worrying about ever being rehired at 55 and losing his medical insurance, he suffered a heart attack and passed away. I didn't realize how dire his financials were until I was tasked with sorting through his belongings. The daily stress of what bills to pay and what he could defer must have been unbearable. But I digress...
In all of my interactions with Chris, you never would have known that he had just lost his father. He is such an upbeat student who tries hard at every assignment I give him. I get a "thank you" for every assignment I had out and for every question I answer. In the inner city that's rare. He lights up the classroom and is nice to all of his classmates. He never makes a joke at someone's expense and he is the first to help me if I need it. He wasn't in class on Friday.
For the past few weeks Chris's mother had been sick and was getting worse. They didn't have insurance because after his father died his mother simply couldn't afford it. They waited until they couldn't wait any longer to take her to the E.R. After running some tests they discovered that she had Stage 4 cancer and on Thursday they gave her less than 48 hours to live. He spent the night with her at the hospital, refusing to leave her side...
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