New York Times editor Bill Keller's comments about the range of leaked documents by WikiLeaks fell into three categories: First was the importance of protecting individuals who had spoken candidly to American diplomats in oppressive countries. We almost always agreed on those and were grateful to the government for pointing out some we overlooked: That sometimes meant not just removing the name, but also references to institutions that might give a clue to an identity and sometimes even the dates of conversations, which might be compared with surveillance tapes of an American Embassy to reveal who was visiting the diplomats that day. The second category included sensitive American programs, usually related to intelligence. We agreed to withhold some of this information, like a cable describing an intelligence-sharing program that took years to arrange and might be lost if exposed. In other cases, we went away convinced that publication would cause some embarrassment, but no real harm. The third category consisted of cables that disclosed candid comments by and about foreign officials, including heads of state. The State Department feared publication would strain relations with those countries. We were mostly unconvinced!
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is creating an analog of the Hague Tribunal and the Commission on Human Rights. He made a statement to that effect during the show "Hello President". According to him, that proposal has already been supported by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. According to Chavez, the action will promote greater independence in Central and South America. This was Chavez's hint that the dictatorship of the West, meaning the United States of America, which rules South America with an Iron Hand, will not achieve a unilateral dictatorship over Central and South America. Chavez points to the number of Serbs which were hunted by the West, often exceeding others involved in the conflicts in the Balkans, including Albanians, Bosnians, and Croats, among others. The action initiated by Chavez is apparently an act of self-defense, especially in view of the possibility of judicial action for the possibility of judging Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi, for shooting at "civilians" with combat aircraft. At the same time, Chavez is concerned about his own fate: Like Libya, Venezuela has large oil reserves, which may be subject to outsider exploitation of more powerful superpowers like the United States.
US government officials, in private sessions on Capitol Hill Friday, repeatedly declined to give details of radiation measurements at the stricken Japanese nuclear complex, saying the situation is shrouded in a "fog of war." Separately, the Obama administration said Friday "miniscule quantities" of radiation from the Japanese nuclear accident were detected Friday at a monitoring station in Sacramento, Calif., a day after similar traces of radiation were detected in Washington state. The administration said the levels of the radioactive isotope xenon 133 were approximately equivalent to one-millionth the dose received from the sun, rocks or other natural sources. The Obama administration's reluctance to detail in public what it is learning from radiation-detection operations around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi complex in Japan highlights a broader sensitivity in the US's posture toward a stricken ally. The shift comes after statements Wednesday by the head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that painted a grimmer picture of the nuclear crisis than Japanese had offered, and suggested that the US didn't trust the information coming from the Japanese government.
Engineers at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant in northern Japan have extended a new emergency power cable to the front of the complex - hoping to create a medium-term solution to the plant's ongoing cooling problems. Staff at the plant have been battling to maintain cooling systems at the plant since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake a week ago - and the resulting tsunami - knocked out both the primary and backup cooling systems at each of the plant's six nuclear reactors. Each core reactor has faced the possibility of overheating as a result - with some of the active nuclear cores already having gone into partial meltdown. Overnight, however, engineers finished laying a new industrial electricity supply to the plant - a move which could allow the primary cooling systems to be restored, allying any major fears of further meltdowns. Operations to restore power through the new facilities were underway at the time of publication, government spokesman Yukio Edano confirmed. If the operation proves unsuccessful - or even if it is - a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has acknowledged that it could pursue the so-called "Chernobyl solution" to stop any further radioactive emissions from the facility. That solution would involve effectively burying the plant with sand and concrete to seal it off from the outside world - a tactic which, as the name suggests, was used at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine after its explosion in 1986.
Three reactors are in partial meltdown, two are leaking radiation, at least one pool full of eighty tons of "spent" uranium fuel rods may be burning, two other such pools are getting very hot. Three major explosions have destroyed much of the Fukushima plant's basic infrastructure, like cranes, monitors and mechanical controls. Japanese officials have prevaricated, fumbled and have now largely retreated; the distressed plant is just too hot. Their understanding of the crisis is fragmentary. What they tell the public is even more limited. In total desperation they bombed the site with water dropped from helicopters but aborted that plan when radiation exposure proved too dangerous. Radioactive fallout is already sickening people, and this is just the beginning. Fukushima is a grave warning. The message is clear: Systems fail, the unthinkable happens. Yet even in the face of this catastrophe, a gang of pro-nuclear zealots, like Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California, are saying the crisis will actually be good for the much-hyped but elusive "nuclear renaissance." Nunes wants the United States to build 200 new nuclear plants! But that figure, while stunning, is largely meaningless. Why not call for 301 or 517 new plants?
Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America's true living legends, an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher, and one of our world's highest rated speakers: Here's what he has to say to Obama: "You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived, and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you. You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support. You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America, and culturally you are not an American. You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll. You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core. You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others. You scare me because for over half your life, you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America, and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail. You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad. You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country, where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector. You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one. You scare me, because you you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves. You scare me because you want to kill the America goose that lays the golden egg, which provides the highest standard of living in the world. You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations. You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals. You scare me, because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people. You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient. You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do. You scare me, because you want to demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh's, Hannity's, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view. You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing. Finally, you scare me if you serve a second term, because I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in eight years. By the way: Under George W. the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan numbered 575, while under Obama, they amount to 845. I rest my case!!
The nuclear disaster which is unwinding? in Japan has quickly refueled the debate in Europe over the risks associated with production of "nuclear" energy. Immediately after the disaster in the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear complex along Japan's east coast began, Western nuclear "experts" still tried to pacify public worries. It was, for instance argued that the "accident" involving failures of the cooling system in several of Fukushima's nuclear reactors ( yeah, right) could in no way be compared to the disaster that earlier that earlier took place in Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union. Don't forget: X is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is a DRIP under pressure! But I digress: The explosion and meltdown of one of Chernobyl's nuclear reactors in 1986 admittedly engendered worldwide opposition opposition against civilian nuclear production, but there was no question of a repeat. Instead, the "experts" argued that the Fukushima-Daiichi "accidents" could at most be compared to 1979 accident on Three Mile Island "accident" in our US. But there was NO question of a repeat!
The horrible and heartbreaking events in Japan present a strange "concatenation" (connected or linked in a series or chain) of disasters. First, the planet unleashed one of its primordial shocks, an earthquake, of a magnitude greater than any previously recorded in Japan. The earthquake, in turn, created a colossal tsunami, which, when it struck the country's northeastern shores, pulverized everything in its path, forming a filthy wave made of mud, cars, buildings, houses, airplanes and other debris. In part because the earthquake had just lowered the level of land by two feet, the wave rolled as far as six miles inland, killing thousands of people. In a stupefying demonstration of its power, as the New York Times has reported, the earthquake moved parts of Japan thirteen feet eastward, slightly shifted the earth's axis and actually shortened each day that passes on earth, if only by 1.8 milliseconds. But this was not all: Another shock soon followed. Succumbing to one the one-two punch of the earthquake and the tsunami, eleven of Japan's fifty-four nuclear power reactors were shut down. At this writing, three of them have lost coolant to their cores and have experienced partial meltdowns.
Of the estimated 700,000 people made homeless or evacuate in Japan after last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, about 4300,000 are in makeshift emergency shelters. Many remain without basic necessities, including food, electricity, heat and fuel. It has been snowing in the affected areas in the country's north-east, with overnight temperatures plunging to minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit). The situation poses grave dangers to the lives and health of survivors, especially the elderly. Japan's National Police Agency has raised the official death toll as of midnight Wednesday to 4,314, across twelve prefectures, while another 8,606 people remained unaccounted for in six prefectures. The government says that across the country, almost 2 million households are still without power, while millions more are subject to rolling blackouts. An estimated 1.6 million people lack water. People across Japan live in fear of more destructive aftershocks. An earthquake registering 6.0 on the Richter scale shook Tokyo yesterday afternoon. The final death toll is likely to be well above 10,000. Rescue and search and recovery teams are only now entering some areas hit by the tsunami. The work of searching through the vast area of debris and destruction is difficult and time-consuming.
One of the most disgusting features of our "Western news media" is the FACT that they are ready, willing, and able to work for the government, and not for us, their unfortunate citizens. The Japanese media is much more honest, like Yoichi Shimatsu, who writes: While grieving for the dead from the Tohoku quake disaster, we should also praise our colleagues in the Japanese print and television news media who have hammered at and punctured the steel curtain of official secrecy. Thanks to the unflinching reportage and persistence of Japanese reporters, editors and news reporters, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has started to realize that panic is "NOT" caused by disclosing the hard facts, but arises from public distrust of half-truths and attempts at cover-up. Following the decision on the second day of the crisis to vet regulatory agency reports to the media, the government yesterday has shifted to quickly conveying the facts to the world: As it turns out, nuclear-power company TEPCO was holding back information from regulatory officials, as disclosed in this morning's editio of Yomiuri Shimbun. "Although the explosion was being covered on TV networks, it wasn't reported to the Prime Minister's Office for about an hour. What's going on here?" Kan reportedly rebuked TEPCO senior officials and employees after he hastily visited TEPCO's headquarters in Tokyo, early Tuesday. Kan reportedly told them: "You're the only ones (to deal with this problem). Retreating (from the power plant's problems) is simply not an option. Be ready for anything. If you pull out now, that'll be the end of TEPCO, period." Now this sounds more like the proper application of Article 15 of the Constitution, which demands accountability from public servants. The government has forced TEPCO to join a new Nuclear Headquarters, or N-HQ, that will run a nonstop planning, monitoring and response operation for damaged nuclear facilities and provide timely information to the press. With the veil of censorship being lifted, this Monitor can become more occasional. News coverage is to be found at the English-language websites of these Japanese newspapers: The Japan Times, Yomiuri Daily and Daily Mainichi.
Japan's nuclear emergency worsened today, highlighting the dangers to the lives and health of perhaps millions of people, even as the full horror of the death and destruction left by Friday's earthquake and tsunami continued to emerge. A fourth explosion at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) Fukushima nuclear power plant, and a government warning of health-threatening serious radiation leaks, have heightened fears that the disaster could worsen. Officially the death toll from the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that struck the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan has risen beyond 2,400, with at least 15,000 unaccounted for. The actual number of deaths is much higher. Police said the total in the in the Miyagi Prefecture port town of Minamisanriku alone was expected to surpass 10,000. Searchers found 2,ooo bodies in the Miyagi Prefecture port town of Minamisanriku alone was expected to surpass 10,000. Searchers found 2,000 bodies in the Miyagi region yesterday, including 1,000 recovered from beaches along Oshika Peninsula, washed back in with the tide. Entire communities have yet to be reached by relief teams,and shocking video and photographic images are just emerging from remote areas, showing almost incomprehensible devastation. Whole towns have been wiped out, with many residents, particularly the elderly and frail, given little chance to escape. Although 66,000 military personnel were rushed to the scene, we are not certain whether they will be able to remedy the situation!
After three explosions and a fire in four days, the situation at Japan's earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant grew more serious Tuesday, chasing all but a handful of workers from the site ad raising fears of a far more dangerous radiation threat. The latest incidents, an explosion Tuesday at the plant's No.2 reactor and a fire in a cooling pond used for nuclear fuel at the No.4 reactor, briefly pushed radiation levels at the plant to about 167 times the average annual dose of radiation, according to details released by the International Atomic Energy Agency. That dose would quickly dissipate with distance from the plant, and radiation quickly fell back to levels where it posed no immediate public health threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. But the deteriorating situation and concerns about a potential shift in wind direction, that could loft radiation toward populated areas prompted authorities to warn people as far as 18.6 miles away from the plant to stay inside. There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out, according to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, asking people to remain calm!
Do the reckless anti-union machinations by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker make him the Charlie Sheen of politics? If only celebrated actor Martin Sheen received the same media exposure as his "troubled" son Charlie. Never has his long-time work for union rights been more needed in the public and media arenas. Five months before the statehouse crisis in Madison, Wisconsin awakened our nation to the enduring legacy of union rights. Five months before the statehouse crisis in Madison, Wisconsin awakened our nation to the enduring legacy of union rights, the elder Sheen was walking the picket line with Fairmont Royal York Hotel workers during the Toronto Film Festival. Invoking his own union membership, Martin Sheen told the hotel workers striking for better contracts and collective bargaining rights to "stick to it like a stamp." Appearing in Toronto last fall for the premiere of "The Way", his son Emilio Estevez's new film on a father-son journey for redemption along the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in northern Spain, Martin Sheen reminded the world of his extraordinary commitment to unions, human rights and a sense of humanity in his younger son Charlie's downward spiral.
On Friday, March 11, Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant was affected by a massive earth -quake, and is facing a possible meltdown. Uncertainty and fear have been feeding on each other over the struggle to cool nuclear reactors after a tsunami caused by Friday's 8.9-magnitude earth -quake swept away primary and backup cooling systems. The words "meltdown" and "Chernobyl" have conjured images of radioactive vapors rising from the coastal Fukushima nuclear facilities, and sweeping the Pacific Rim, raining down on crops and people. After all, the containment zone has expanded several times, and a blast at one reactor indicated a partial core meltdown. Yet a number of American and European scientists, as well as diplomats familiar with the thinking inside the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), are cautiously taking the edge off the worst fears: Robert Engel, former IAEA inspector and Swiss nuclear engineer told Reuters Sunday that a partial meltdown "is not a disaster", and that he doubted a complete meltdown is possible. The details of the current Japanese reactor crisis bear little similarity to the Soviet-era meltdown at Chernobyl, which came about through design flaws and human error before it spread a radioactive cloud across much of Europe and Asia 25 years ago.
Libya is among the World's largest oil economies, with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US. "Operation Libya" is part of the broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia, which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than those of the US. "Operation Libya" is part of a broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia, which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than sixty percent of the world's reserves of oil and natural gas, including oil and gas pipeline routes. Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, possess between 66.2 and 75.9 percent of total oil reserves, depending on the source and methodology of the estimate. With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, depending on the source and methodology of the estimate. With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, which is 10 times those of Egypt, Libya is the largest oil economy in the African continent, followed by Nigeria and Algeria. In contrast, US proven oil reserves are of the order of 20.6 billion barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The "Day of Rage" scheduled for Saudi Arabia on March 11th was completely eclipsed by the Japan Quake and Tsunami, followed now by a nuclear threat to that ravaged country. Not only was it eclipsed, but it just didn't happen. Nor have we heard a peep out of the protesters! In addition, the Saudi stock market, one of the only open ones today due to their Islamic week beginning on Saturday, was up 3% on the energy related impact of the Japan disaster. Didn't that work out nicely? Oil was just starting to retract the past few days, and now we're going to see the prices soar again. Coincidence? When oil is involved, you're talking about BIG money players: i.e. those who think they own us. Not much goes on that they don't control or try to control!