Posts Tagged usa

United States to examine the effectiveness of nuclear weapons using minute amounts of plutonium in letters

What!!?!?? I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.

U.S. defends plutonium tests in response to protests from Hiroshima+.

[yframe url=’’]

Tags: , , ,

U.S. no-go zone ‘overreaction’ | The Japan Times Online

It is information from the scientific community that, on the whole, has been of the greatest usefulness in this crisis.


  1. Dr Josef Oehmen’s letter to a friend in Japan, Why I am not concerned about Japan’s nuclear reactors, written a couple of days after the tsunami hit.
  2. The Brave New Climate blog
  3. World Nuclear News website
  4. Marketing Japan – for news about Tokyo situation and links to radiation level readings and general upbeat humour
  5. Excellent chart of radiation dosage levels and effects (which I found on the BraveNewClimate blog)

 It is media articles by journalists, whose job is to sell newspapers and eyeballs to their advertisers, not to purvey news, that have been not only much less useful but have fanned the flames of panic (because that sells, duh). Here’s another informed source, this one commenting on the 80-km no-go zone whcih was first announced by the U.S. military in Japan, then repeated by the U.S. government. The author also compares Fukushima with Chernobyl, based on his personal experience of the latter.

The U.S. government may have overreacted in setting an 80-km radius no-go zone for U.S. citizens near the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, an expert on radiation and cancer immunology said Tuesday in Tokyo.

U.S. hematologist Robert Gale, who treated Chernobyl exposure victims in 1986, said the current exclusion zone by the Japanese government that covers a 20-km radius around the plant is already “conservative.”

“There is no solid reason for the U.S. government to suggest a wider evacuation,” considering the current level of microsieverts detected in the region, he said.

Gale was one of the few doctors from the West who took part in the rescue mission at the 1986 Chernobyl incident, where he flew to Moscow and treated firefighters who were exposed to high levels of radiation.

He has taken part in medical rescue efforts after the 1999 nuclear chain reaction accident in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Brazil’s Goiania nuclear incident in 1987.

“Generally speaking, the public, even the educated people, have (little) knowledge of radiation risk, and do not trust authorities and information — even if it is correct,” Gale said of reactions to nuclear accidents.

Tens of thousands tried to flee Kiev, a city about 100 km south of Chernobyl, when the nuclear meltdown occurred, but that turned out to be unnecessary, he said.

via U.S. no-go zone ‘overreaction’ | The Japan Times Online.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Yes we can… what?

The newspaper headline yesterday (Thursday, Nov. 6th, 2008) was イエス・ウィー・キャン  We can what? Americans pride themselves on being a can-do nation: not just a nation of practical people of ability, but also of an optimistic attitude that is expressed in that old chestnut: “The possible we do straight away. The impossible takes a little longer.” An admirable attitude, and one that is rooted in a strong sense and understanding of personal freedom, and the excitement that generates.

But just being able to do something (or anything) is not, in itself, suffficient. A sense of ethics, or a code of values, is also required in order to judge which of many possible courses of action should be chosen. In this area, recent events do not inspire immediate confidence. When I say “recent”, I include 1945 and the decision to drop not just one, but two atomic bombs on civilian populations.

And the other question that occurred to me as I read the headline was, “Who is ‘we’?” This is often an interesting, and fruitful, question to ask. In movies and popular fiction, the lead character is often a magnet for the viewers’ and readers’ hopes, fears, expectations and dreams. In the opening chapters (actually, more like the first third- to one-half of the book) of any Harry Potter novel, Harry himself actually does very little: he more of a foil for all the other characters. But the reader imagines himself or herself in Harry’s shoes and easily relates to his situations – of embarrassment, of anger, of alienation, of revenge, of being mistreated and misunderstood. Harry needs to do very little. The reader does most of the work.

In a similar way, when a politician says “we”, he or she does not need to define this “we”: the listeners, viewers or readers fill in the empty space by themselves.

I was reminded of an article by GoldMoney founder James Turk, Government Money or Sound Money? in which Turk takes the government to task for the proposed $700 billion bailout. Turk wrote,

Secretary Paulson even brought out an old bromide to justify this pillaging of American taxpayers: “The financial security of all Americans…depends on our ability to restore our financial institutions to a sound footing.”

Note the use of the communistic “our” in Paulson’s quote. It’s not “our financial institutions”. I don’t own any bank stock, nor do most Americans. What’s more, it’s not the “financial security of all Americans” that is at stake here.

Well spotted, Mr Turk.

Tags: , , ,