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Letters to The Crisis Papers

 

A note to our readers: We're eager to hear from you, and to provide a forum for your words to be read by others. Here are some helpful hints: Short, several paragraph letters have the best chance of being accepted for publication. Sign the letter with your name; we don't want to be giving out your email address to strangers. Unless you instruct us otherwise, we'll assume it's OK with you if we post your letter, or excerpts from it.

Send your letters to us at:

    gadfly@igc.org (Ernest Partridge), or
    yonwax2@comcast.net (Bernard Weiner)

This page has retained letters for the past three uploads.

Thanks. -- The Editors 


Below -- Letters Responding to:

Russia -- An Appreciation.  (Partridge)
Thinking Like a Russian  (Partridge)

How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier  (Partridge)
Debate Creationism vs. Evolution?  Why Bother?  (Partridge)
Crisis in Capitalism:  Who Are the REAL 'Takers'  (Weiner)


MARCH 18, 2014

 About Bernard Weiner's Essay:

Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in U.S.?
 

See Reid Tanaka's long letter, "Shedding Light on Fukushima Fog," which we have included as a Guest Essay, here.

 

How do we go about getting global attention to the need for more transparency on this (Fukushima/radiation) issue? I want to take action, but don't know where to begin. Writing letters to our local representatives, won't do anything, unless it is done on a national/global level.

Gale M. Audia (PDA/Reno)

Bernard Weiner reponds:

Each person wanting to become more active on this and other issues must start where they feel most comfortable. Letters to local elected representative, urging governmental action (maybe just establishing a radiation monitoring station in the area, or writing to members of Congress urging more stringent national oversight bodies) -- these can't hurt and can only help, especially when the mail starts pouring in on an issue. But doing nothing but expressing nervousness and anxiety and anger to your friends is no longer an option. Action happens when enough citizens demand it. Thanks for your comments.
 



Dear Mr. Weiner:

One of my correspondents pointed to your recent op-ed titled "Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in the U.S.?"

There are good sources of information about the events at Fukushima and the efforts to stabilize and clean up the site. One of the most comprehensive sources gets updated two or three times per week at hiroshimasyndrome.com.

Les Corrice,  the owner of that site, is a retired nuclear professional who spent time as a nuclear plant operator, an environmental monitoring technician, and a health physics design engineer. He has compiled several very readable e-books about the accident and the aftermath.

T.K.



WOW! Great piece!!!

Thanks for all the effort you have put into this issue pulling together information from so many sources.

I assume you are fine with our re-sending it to others, right?

We all need to work on this topic full strength.

Jean Colvin
 



Thank you for the update. Obviously, the Northwest states will be the last to let us know if it's safe or not safe, and then we still won't be able to rely on that information. Your push helps us regular citizens to keep abreast.

Mr. Gee
 



There have also been numerous articles about Fukushima published on ANS Nuclear Cafe, at Atomic Power Review, and on my own site at Atomic Insights.

For the authors at those locations, the terms bequerel, sievert, and millirem are not mysterious code words designed to obfuscate or confuse laypeople; they are terms of art with specific, discoverable definitions that enable accurate communications about risk and effect.

Rod Adams
Publisher, Atomic Insights

Bernard Weiner replies:

I wasn't very clear about my intent. I wasn't suggesting that writers should not use those scientific terms of measurement. Given that most lay readers would not understand those terms, good writing also would require plain-English descriptions that all could comprehend. For example, how many bequerels would equal five mammograms, or whatever? In other words, a nod in the direction of bringing the lay readers into the discussion, so we're all more or less on the same page when talking about radiation. Thanks for writing.

 



I'm an American living in Japan; age 60, and with a background in security, construction, banking, finance, governance and law. My highly abbreviated (and sanitized) take on this subject:

(Increased radiation) is in the air, the water, the soil, building and street surfaces, and the entire food chain. Even worse, Fukushima-region vegetables and livestock are real cheap for food vendors and restaurants to buy and use - and there's no problem with them doing that, since the Japanese government doesn't restrict it with anything more than rhetoric. Same with fish caught in Japan waters. Doing more than nothing would literally wipe out at least NE Japan's economy, and the Japanese government knows it. As icing on the public threat-cake, there is precious little consumer protection law in Japan, including no requirements to inform consumers where food comes from, or even whether rad-con testing is performed.

I have made several attempts to obtain donated equipment with which I would personally take rad-con measurements, samples, archive them, publish the results, and submit samples to a qualified lab(s). No takers - zero, zip, nada, bupkus: nobody wants to support a direct action which would have sweeping impacts on Japan's economy and even its government in general.

Think about it.

In the meantime: I thought that scientists and scientific instrument companies could be counted on for some integrity, especially when my solicitations for equipment were based on the assumption that I would take on all the measurements - and all the associated risks - "personally," and take those measurements at any location deemed a worthy measurement target, including Fukushima per se. So at this juncture, I think it's safe to say that pretty much "everybody" is full of their own brand of digital-pulpit B.S. - all blow, no go.

But I guess none of this should surprise me, since we live in an era marked by the largest single perpetual case of sweeping global financial frauds in human history; and increasingly despotic police-state governments which bail out fraud-bankrupt money-changers using taxpayer monies.

Strangely, it occurs to me that some guy dressed in a Darth Vader outfit is out there someplace laughing his ass off.

There endeth the short version of my POV. Apply to affected area. Discontinue if rash occurs.

Doc Weston
Toda-shi, Saitama, Japan
Just N/NW of Tokyo
 


Dr. Weiner,

My comment posted at TruthOut.org to your "Fukushima Fog" article:

Let's go back to square one.

We people born in the 20th century have accepted all our lives that ionizing radiation, the kind emitted by unstable radionuclides changing their status into a different atomic element, is dangerous to cell function and health. Even dangerous to the genetic integrity of species, including our own.

Why have we believed this? Speaking for myself, I believed it because I heard the corporate media and Hollywood telling me so. Why else would I believe it? I certainly didn't have the biomedical expertise to figure it out for myself.

A big event occurred in my mind in March 2011 - the televised debate between Helen Caldicott and George Monbiot. In that debate Monbiot began by accepting the premise of radiation danger, arguing that it would have to be managed in order to leave fossil fuels in the groundin order to preserve earth's biosphere.

But Caldicott's strong assertions during the debate motivated him to follow up with questions in the following days, requesting references for certain statements.

Amazingly, Caldicott was unable to provide legitimate scientific evidence for most of her assertions.

It hit me: "If CALDICOTT doesn't have information about the underpinning of bio-radiation danger, then WHO DOES?"

So I studied up on the Herman Muller research in the 1920-30s regarding genetic mutation of fruit flies, which was the first human attempt to examine bio-effects of radiation. Here's what I learned:

1) Muller had no access to the electron microscope for directly viewing cell chemical structure, let alone DNA strand breaks. That research tool wasn't available until 1939.

2) Muller likewise had no access to a mass spectrometer, the basic biochemical tool for detecting molecular changes in organic material. Even crude spectrometers weren't available until the late 1930s.

3) Muller's MINIMUM dose to the fruit flies was 2700 milliSieverts, in a single burst.

Regarding issues 1) and 2): Without the electron microscope or mass spectrometer, the only biological features that Muller could observe were gross changes in the insects' appearance -- mostly eye color. No cellular variation was observable.

Regarding issue 3): The amount 2700 mSv is a massive dose. It is not indicative of biochemical behavior under doses that occur on earth. Even the Hiroshima /Nagasaki bombs produced an average exposure of 200 mSv among the survivors who were monitored by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, later the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. Muller's minimum dose was 13 times greater.

My take: Muller's research, for which he received the Nobel prize in physiology /medicine in 1946, has nothing to say about cell-level biological effects of low or medium exposures to radiation.

On to the Stewart /Mancuso study of the Hanford nuclear workers, 1946-1978. It was surprising to discover that the Stewart study, which was frequently referenced, had no access to any medical treatment records of the Hanford employees. It relied solely on their individual radiation exposure rates, which were carefully recorded, and entries on local coroners' death certificates regarding cancer as cause of death.

But even relying on notoriously unreliable coroners' statements, the cancer death rate for Hanford workers was not statistically significant at the 90% level of confidence. That is, the recorded cancer death rate was so little different for the nuclear workers that no statistically valid conclusion could be reached.

Later, Stewart and Mancuso were forced to justify their conclusions by asserting that the death rate for Hanford workers should have been even lower than that of the general population in Washington state, the control group, because Hanford workers were initially very healthy due to the stringent hiring practices.  That's where the Stewart /Mancuso study still stands today.  

The recent Yablokov book about Chernobyl has been thoroughly discredited by radiation scientists, not least because it acknowledges that it takes no account of any medical history for the relevant populations. It simply looks at death rates in the affected areas in the decade before 1986, compares that to the death rates in the two decades after 1986, and assumes that ALL excess deaths in that vast area of Europe were caused by Chernobyl.

After this eye-popping experience, here's what occurred to me: "As important as the issue of radiation exposure is, why hasn't anyone done any genuine structured research about it?" (As distinct from just waiting for some accidental discharge, then rushing in to try to gather information about the victims, after the fact, with no well-defined control group.)

It's gratifying to see that we are finally starting to get off our duffs about this matter. A 2012 study published by the US Department of Energy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Environmental Health Sciences and publicized for us lay persons by the MIT news office had a remarkable outcome.

A test population of mice were irradiated with about 400 times the average natural background dose for Americans. The test subjects showed an average increase of 12 damage events per cell per day, out of a base rate of approximately 10,000 damage events per cell per day from normal ongoing biological processes. That is, their damage rate increased by only about 0.1% due to radiation exposure equal to 400 times the background rate.

Note carefully that I am not saying that low and medium levels of ionizing radiation are known to be safe. I am saying that humankind has not done the requisite investigative research to understand anything about such exposure.

We should be asking our political leaders to organize and fund structured, long-term, varied dosage, biological testing of mammals.  That's the only way we will know the truth about the biomedical effects of radiation.

For more information about the MIT study and other radiation research, see

http://theenergycollective.com/roberthargraves/347786/radiation-facts

or https://sites.google.com/site/radiationsafetylimits/ or blog

Timothy Maloney

t.maloney@bex.net  
 



Dear Dr. Weiner --

Your OpEd piece in Crisis Papers raises many questions about TEPCO's dissembling and U.S. corporate media doing next to nothing to inform concerned U.S. citizens about the dangers posed by the continuing leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi solid fuel nuclear power plant operated by the Japanese monopoly utility.

I watch English-language news broadcasts every night originating at NHK television studios in Tokyo. These broadcasts have faithfully followed the stories, almost daily, of TEPCO executives and mouthpieces saying one thing; bowing deeply in regret; then coming back the next day to explain that what was previously said was imprecise; bowing deeply in regret; then coming back the next day to explain.... etc, etc, ad nauseum.

The fact is, you cannot trust Large Corporations or their "press relations" representatives to tell the truth. It requires a free and unfettered press to do the job, despite the smoke screens and barriers to the truth erected by "evil doers" who are protected by "official secrets gag laws" in places like Japan and U.S. Thank you for doing your best to bring "the truth" to a largely apathetic U.S. audience -- one that is so completely familiar with being lied to. It requires a "newspaper (or website) of record" like the one that supports you to get past the self-serving corporatist "press information" that poses as fact.

I urge you to look into the liquid-fuel Thorium Energy Community, of which I am an enthusiastic supporter. Missing in all this reporting on Fukushima is a look at alternative "Liquid Fuel Nuclear Power" science from a chemical-based energy process proven in the 1960's at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee under the direction of Dr. Alvin Weinberg, and scuttled for political reasons by the Nixon Administration.

There would be no discussion about "hydrogen explosions" or "nuclear contaminated cooling water" had the Nuclear Regulatory Commission developed the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor of Dr. Weinberg's design. Developed for "peaceful purposes" because it produces no Plutonium (for weapons), this remarkable design of Dr. Weinberg's was shelved for decades -- until Wired Magazine ran a remarkable article that rekindled interest in this non-solid-fuel source of nuclear power.

I urge you to look into Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (ThMSR) science, many of whose supporters are listed in this e-mail.

Stephen J. Colvin (a concerned citizen who cares about how much cesium is in the sushi that I eat)

colvininc@sbcglobal.net

 



My name is Rick Spisak, News Director of PNN.  We are a weekly political journal webcast focusing on Activists.

I have connected with a video journalist who has visited the Fukushima site several times a year with a German Public Television unit. He's based in Asia.  I invite you to listen to his recent interview. [Fukushima Feb 15th].

Unfortunately he points out that all the incentives are against the Commercial Media covering the story. Since the stories of Hanford and New Mexico are also missing from Mainstream media we have little reason to hope that Mainstream Media will perform its duties to inform.

Leaving those responsibilities to Citizen Journalists like us (you, me, other activist lay people).

Rick Spisak, News Director of PNN
(janhuss@bellsouth.net)
 



Very nice, Bernie! I'm glad you mentioned the diffusion of radiation molecules in both water and air. The Pacific Ocean is vast, as is the ever-moving atmosphere.

…We are all bombarded by radiation by cosmic rays from space (and from radon) all the time. It is known that one experiences more radiation exposure when flying or living at a higher altitude. But how much is too much? There are some official limits on what a person can absorb when working with radioactive materials. But there is no agreement in the scientific community regarding how little radiation is too little to worry about.

This makes it pretty hard to formulate a science-based opinion about how much additional radiation exposure from something like Fukushima is too much. I personally understand why government officials are uneasy making any pronouncements about this.

But, let's assume for the sake of discussion that less radiation exposure is always better. (Although, confusingly, here's some evidence to the contrary):

"Small amounts of radiation are actually beneficial. this was demonstrated by a study done by Johns Hopkins on 88 thousand shipyard workers. Half worked on nuclear subs and were exposed to radiation and the other half did similar work on non radioactive subs. The radiation workers had less cancer and heart disease than the non-radiation workers. The more radiation that the worker got the lower the adverse effects. Another study done in China found the same. A good selection of articles on low level radiation is here."

Let's also assume that the harm to us here on the West Coast that we are primarily worried about is an increase in cancer rates (putting aside for the moment the poor people close enough to the disaster to get a form of radiation poisoning.)

I have recently read the magisterial review of the history of cancer and cancer treatments, "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. With apologies to Dr. Mukherjee, I think that we can generalize about the cause of cancer. It is when a gene in one of your cells goes off the tracks, due to damage or mutation, and starts a process of uncontrolled growth of cells that do not contribute to the functioning of the body, but rather (eventually) interfere with it.

One of the things that can cause cells to go rogue is damage caused by radiation exposure. If you are unlucky, any given cosmic ray might hit you in the wrong place and cause a cell to start replicating chaotically. Of course, the more radiation you are exposed to in addition to normal background radiation, the more likely one of these "strikes" might happen to you.

For all the reasons you mention in your piece, I have no expectation that the US Government is going to put any economic pressure on Japan to clean up the Fukushima site faster or better than they are doing. (It isn't like they're doing nothing. The PBS Newshour featured several stories about Fukushima yesterday, including one about people testing fish that swim directly in the plume of waste water still escaping (from the leaking reactors):

In sum, I certainly think it's worth being informed about this, but in all humility, I am more worried about population growth and climate change.

Meredith Watts
 



Bernie, this is powerful. I have to say that it makes me very pessimistic about all aspects of it: willingness to discover, willingness to act, knowledge to act. But you at least have pushed the window open a little more, and I hope you are getting lots of response. This is a conversation that needs to happen. Thanks for doing it.

Ginna Fleming
 



Dr. Weiner: Thank you for writing and posting this.

Given the massive lobbying power and money of the energy industry, I strongly doubt the U.S. government will make public anything it knows about Fukushima's radiation, unless it's time to issue an evacuation order along the West Coast.

It's in the energy industry's vested interest to keep things quiet for a number of reasons:

1) to prevent opposition to existing plans to build new nuclear power plants;

2) to prevent public outrage over existing nuclear power plants and their potential hazards ;

3) to avoid as long as possible the need to decommission the existing power plants;

4) to continue passing along the costs of decommissioning or upgrading these plants to the ratepayers;

5) to try and decrease the public's demand for wind and solar power, for fear that people or communities will drop off the nation's power grid and cause the utilities to lose customers;

6) to keep their stock prices up.

LiberalEsto
from DemocraticUnderground.com
 



Our salmon who come here to spawn, go there to grow up.

It ain't rocket science. I just wonder if those four-year-old salmon just won't show up because they will have died or if they will come with a present and how big that present will be?

tavalon
from DemocraticUnderground.com
 


Um, okay.

I should worry about this more than big fucking earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanoes? (All of which could happen here on the "Left Coast")

Or the greenhouse gases that will destroy this civilization?

Or the crap fossil fuel extraction and use releases into water?

Or maybe a train carrying oil could crash and burn, incinerating people in my city.

What about mercury in fish? That poisonous crap has a half-life of FOREVER.

I hate posts like yours. They seem to be disrespectful of the people who lost everything in the catastrophe. You know, like getting shredded up and drowned by a giant flood of saltwater...

The Fukushima power plants are a huge expensive mess to clean up, and a handful of people may die from the radiation released, but for gods sakes man, 16,000 humans perished and thousands more are missing because of water.

Furthermore, who the hell knows how many non-radioactive toxins were spilled? Things much worse than the stuff leaking out of the nuclear power plant, stuff that's undetectable by Geiger counters, stuff that will only be noticed when the grass won't grow, farm animals don't thrive, and clusters of birth defects and cancer are detected.

Hunter
from DemocraticUnderground.com
 



Thank you for your thoughtful article.

Helen Caldicott, MD, has characterized Fukusall as "Random, Compulsory Genetic Engineer for the rest of time." Given the ever increasing frequency of nuclear disasters surely more "accidents" are bound to happen beyond those already here such as Three Mile Island, Cherbonyl and Fukushima. These nuclear power plants and atomic bombs are "Death Machines" and need to be shut down or eliminated. Thousands of tons of nuclear waste continues to pile up from these power plants and nuclear bomb production activities -- further threatening life on the planet for thousands of years. The latest WIIP plutonium accident in NM is a more recent disaster - and it has a half-life of about 25,000 year so it will take about 250,000 years before it decays to background radiation levels.

Polluting the ocean with radionuclides that can be bio-accumulated by up to a factor of 1,000 in animal and sea life should be a huge warning bell. What if something happens to the plankton (a mutation) and it stops producing oxygen?

I have a Ph.D. with a minor in theoretical physics and like this I am aware of Wolfgang Pauli, a Nobel Laureate, comment on fissioning the atom being a BLACK MASS that will cause matter to come against humanity because fissioning produces 1942 toxic radioactive substances in nuclear power plants when they come unglued.

Spraying sea water on the Fukushima cores "weaponized" the radiation by helping it to become airborne over greater distances in the form of fullerenes - - buckyball fullurenees. Further, ocean spray as mist can carry this radiation hundreds of miles inland from shorelines in concentrations 841 times that found in the seawater according to a UK study of nuclear power plant pollution off its coast line.

The ObamaNation of desolation is beholden to nuclear power; see his home state of IL in this regard.

Morbid
from OpEdNews.com

Bernard Weiner replies:

Dear Morbid: R

Thanks for adding to our knowledge pool -- especially your pointing to the awful ramifications of pouring sea water ("ocean spray as mist") onto the melting cores, and the negative effects by so doing. I hadn't thought of that quite that way before.

Actually, one of the main reasons I wrote this Fukushima piece was precisely to generate an exchange of information, since so much has been hidden for far too long. I'm a mere layman with regard to nuclear power plants, but in just a few days i've heard from nuclear physicists, engineers, navy personnel, etc., all contributing important facts and insights, no doubt with more to come. Thank you for writing
 


Our world leaders and their corporatist cronies, can no longer be entrusted to tell us the truth. It is only a natural progression, for the trade winds and ocean currents to bring that radiation close to the West Coast if not directly contacting it. The contamination of the food chain in the Pacific itself, threatens our existence on this planet. We live in a very fragile environment, that depends on everything being just right. This obviously has upset the apple cart. Our beautiful planet will never be the same!

Arianna Marie Cigoliini
from OpEdNews.com
 



Thank you, Dr. Weiner. Most informative and disturbing news, tying a lot of dots together.

When and if humans begin to understand en masse that the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology are essentially unmalleable, there is that outside chance that it won't be too late to use the brains we were born with and act accordingly.

P.S. The only seriously confusing statement in your essay was reference to "respectable U.S. news outlets." I had no idea they existed.

Daniel Geery
from OpEdNews.com
 



Now there are reports of die-offs of scallops and oysters off the west coast. I did read that the starfish die-off is happening on the east coast as well, which, I suppose, lets Fukushima off the hook.

undrgrndgirl
from smirkingchimp.com
 



A sampling from more than 200 letters to Truthout.org.
 

That, by now, so much of our leadership is still rationalizing and defending nuclear energy says what? I mean, about humanity. Perhaps we should be more seriously discussing spiritual existence after the death of humanity on Earth. We're only one generation away from extinction or near extinction. The President just o.k.'d $6.5 billion for a nuclear plant (can't find a dime for one new vocational high school or mass funding for solar and wind energy) and, then, gave the green light to Viet Nam to start building nuclear plants off the coast of the South China Sea.

Klauser  
from Truthout.org
 



For all concerned,
www.enenews.com has been reporting on Fukushima DAILY for almost 3 years.

Enenews gets its information from the mainstream media, actual released scientific studies and abstracts, and interviews from experts.

Enenews also has a wonderful community of commenters who add a MOUNTAIN of information every day.

Enenews also has a Forum of people with radiation monitors all around the world who post their results.

Enenews also has a Forum of people who watch Fukushima webcams.

Enenews has proven itself to be an above-board, highly respectable source of news on Fukushima.

DidYouForget
from Truthout.org
 



Their cover is that there is nothing to worry about, and hence we don't need monitoring. Which is false and they know it. What the problem seems is that there aren't many people able to read radioactivity and be able to do spectral examination to determine what is causing the radiation they are able to read on their counters except -- wait for it -- the USA military. They do have and are using the equipment and know where and what radioactivity is out there.

There is a paper out in the Asia Pacific Journal titled "Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty." Through the Freedom of Information Act there are some facts in there that make this clear. They knew Tepco was incorrect and that there was major meltdown happening from what they was reading. That the USA is not telling the American people the numbers is wrong, but we should be used to these people using our money to futher themselves and nothing for the people that pay for them to have that knowledge.

This goes along the same line that if the earth was about to be hit by a meteorite, the people would be the last to know, and would only know once the government is safe and secure. And with the way the USA Goverment is covering for Japan is the good ol' boy system at work, and the USA is teaching them how to control their society. Cutting off their internet and controlling what is allowed to get out. Who is the USA loyal to , the American people or the Japanese goverment? The answer is apparent.

As for the nuclear engineers out there, after several conversations with these people, their knowledge is appalling and shows the depth of lack of understanding and just shows that humans shouldn't be messing with anything radioactive. They are either actually stupid or outright misleading people.

I'm old and have lived my life, but the life of those just starting out will be dealing with this. Sad future that we have left. Man Sucks…

Chernobyl taught that entombing (the reactors) in concrete was not the way to go, didn't work and is crumbling. Chernobyl is also only a part melt down of one reactor, and the coruim is confined to the building, Here are three cores melted down and they still haven't found the material. Chernobyl is a good read to attempt to understand what is happening at fukushima.

badforu
from Truthout.org
 



Several years after the Chernobyl disaster, the Russians drilled into the reactor and sent in a camera. The only thing remaining: a few pipes and graphite-moderator blocks. The entire core had melted. And it was a big reactor.

It held 190 tons of fuel. The three melted reactors at Fukushima held 257 tons. Chernobyl was a reactor sitting in a warehouse. It had no containment whatsoever. The steam explosion blew the lid off and destroyed the reactor building. The core was open to the atmosphere. The graphite caught fire. The Fukushima cores melted through the reactor vessel and the containment vessel and ate their way into the basement.

Chew
from Truthout.org
 



Nice article! It sickens me that TEPCO and the Japanese Government really don't care about the people they have contaminated with radiation! The people should know that just after the reactor meltdown started, an American internet company and the factory that makes a natural mineral radiation detox product called Zeolite offered a full shipping container load of Zeolite to both TEPCO and the Japanese Government for FREE! This free shipment of zeolite was enough to safely remove the radiation from thousands and thousands of peoples bodies both in Japan and on the American aircraft carrier called the Ronald Reagan where many sailors are now extremely sick from radiation poisoning! The fact is both TEPCO and the Japanese Government REFUSED THE FREE ZEOLITE! These people should be thrown in prison for crimes against humanity but here we are years later and they are still screwing everything up by poisoning our planet, lying about everything and getting away with it! THIS HAS TO STOP!

Barry
from Truthout.org
 



The meltdown is already complete. Those three cores have already melted down into the earth below the nuclear plant; and if they hit the water table, we're all fracked. But they are already emitting extremely high and dangerous levels of several lethal forms of radiation, which is in turn radiating dust and being blown, and falling out, all over the Northern Hemisphere. There was talk of building a "diaper" underneath them to prevent their further descent, but nothing has been done to accomplish it; and, thus, they continue to descend deeper and deeper underground.

Mr. S. Wolf Britain
from truthout.org
 



The GE horrible design of the Fukushima reactors that a first-year design student would know better than to do, places all the spent fuel rods on the 4th floor, in an unstable building that has leaked 300 tons of radioactive water daily below the building and in the Pacific since the original 3/11/11 quake. AND there is an underground stream from the mountains behind the site and natural runoff into the sea, with sandy soils--i.e. liquifaction conditions. One more quake and the largest nuke reactor on earth melts down with America's west coast in the direct airstream. Capiche?

Suzanne De Cornelia
from truthout.org
 



Bad design, absolutely. And that is about all you got right. 300 tons of groundwater passes through the power plant property every day. Some of it leaks into the basements of the reactor buildings and leaks out. If the underground stream were to liquify the soil it would have done it already because the plant was built over 40 years ago. The decay heat is .02% of what it was when the reactors were shut down; the average decay heat in the spent fuel rods in the #4 spent fuel pool is .01%. If the spent fuel pool were to collapse and all the remaining spent fuel rods spilled out onto the ground there wouldn't be enough heat to melt anything.

Chew
from truthout.org
 


 

It has liquified the soils, the soils are 'mushy' as stated repeatedly by those visiting the site.

Date: Aug 27, 2013: Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer: "The big problem is the nuclear reactors themselves have cracked floors. The buildings in those reactor buildings have cracked floors. And groundwater is getting into those buildings, and becoming contaminated, and then leaking out. So, in addition to what’s in those tanks, the physical plant itself is contaminating the groundwater as well.

So what Tepco tried to do is to build a wall along the water. They injected basically a concrete type of a compound and made the ground less porous....a poor idea — because what happened is the mountain that’s behind Fukushima continues to pour the water into the ground. Now it’s got no place to go. So now the groundwater’s rising and rising and rising and likely over-topping this wall, certainly going around it on the sides. So we’ve got radioactive water that can no longer be stopped from getting in the ocean.

It’s worse than that though. The radioactive water has made the site seismic-response different. The buildings that were on dry land are now on MUSHY land. So that if there were to be another earthquake, the seismic response of these buildings — which was already marginal — is further compromised because the ground that they are now on is wet soggy soil, when before it had been firm.

Suzanne De Cornelia
from truthout.org
 



Information about Fukushima should be more forthcoming and perhaps it's possible to eventually get various countries and their agencies to collaborate on some sort of long term cleanup and mitigation plan.

But the greater problem in this and many ecologically threatening events and practices is mankind's tendency to think only in terms of borders. Probably the single worst educational tool used for centuries is the Political Map. Such maps define boundaries and instill a sense of ownership over various parts of the planet and with that a a sense that when things happen "on someone else's property" everything will be fine as long as "they" take care of it. And if "they" don't take care of it, then "they're" the ones who will have to live with it.

This kind of thinking has to stop.

It is this worldview that has created a debate about climate change where none ought to exist because of a "can't see it from my house" way of thinking --that if something happens on the far side of the planet, it may be bad for "those people" but the rest of us needn't worry.

Indeed, our current policies of shipping carbon abroad is the very essence of this thinking. We tell ourselves that we will use the so-called "clean fuels" while the "dirty" fuels derived from tar sands and other sources are shipped to places like China, South Asia or Africa where "they" will burn it in "their" backyards so there's no need to worry about what happens here despite the fact that the atmosphere encompasses ALL backyards and whatever is pumped into it will affect us all.

The REAL globalism shouldn't be about commerce or economics but rather about the fact that whatever anyone does to this planet anywhere will have consequences for people everywhere and that environmental threats do not respect political borders and cannot be made to stay in the "backyard" from whence they originated.

Voice of Reason
from truthout.org
 



Dr. Weiner: Finally, a well written, intelligent article on this disaster. I will look forward to a follow-up article in time. No one in the mainstream seems to take any notice of the precarious and dangerous situation in Japan. I even wonder whether they will ever actually host the Olympics in four years.

dvgk
from truthout.org
 


 

A sampling from more than 250 letters to Facebook


WHY? Isn't it obvious. The 'lies' that we are told act as pacifiers. They (Governments) Have NO solutions!!

Elaine Wilson
 


 

Just like the U.S., the free world is lining up in support of censorship. Of course if General Electric was held responsible for their design errors here, Japan wouldn't have to hide anything. Why isn't the U.N. getting involved?

Wyatt Wood
 



I worked for the Boston Edison Co at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant, spills, accidents no supervision and massive cover ups. I pumped radioactive waste. We'll see more and bigger problems here in the states. I'm sure of that.

Tom Mulcachy
 


 

Thank you for a very informative article. The apathetic response internationally from world leaders is seriously unbelievable and alarming.

Suzy Cashmore

from Facebook.com

-------

Well now, isn't that unsettling.....I smell the mighty dollar blocking the appropriate concern and monitoring.

Pam Holt |



Most people I talk to think everything at Fukushima is over and done with. I recently spoke with a group of retirees and asked them and none of them was aware of the leakage into the Pacific Ocean going on everyday. It is because six media giants control almost all of the media in the USA. Fox is controlled by two foreign nationals -- that was unheard of a generation ago.

Roy Gunter
 



They've had to release 100's of tons of radioactive water into the ocean because they are still trying to find a way to quickly & easily store all that waste water in tanks of which they're running out of - good luck & good night …..One reason: they , nor the world , don't know what exactly to do about this safe , clean energy plant that is in a meltdown situation . As for me , no more Pacific seafood for a few decades or longer.

Ron Stout
 



And why isn't the US government protesting the secrecy law in Japan? Why aren't the rest of the world governments demanding transparency? Instead, President Obama passed new "guidelines" for the EPA increasing "acceptable" levels o radioactivity OUR water and soil, a move that was denounced by scientists in the U.S. warning of the potential increase of cancer for people exposed to these new levels.

Dolores Bardoneschi
 



I believe that now we all have Fukushima molecules in our lungs, next to the Chernobyl molecules who were starting to feel lonely. Poor things!

Shiva Layananda Pashstupati
 



Why isn't' the UN involved in this global catastrophe with an international response in terms of money and work?

Nancy Pitt
 



Certainly it can't have anything to do with the corporate media in Corporate America!

Enviro Show
 



I live in Northern California and every time I bring this up I get called a 'chicken little' because they say, there's no scientific proof yet that its a problem for us. Maybe not yet, but how could it not eventually be a problem for us.

Joel Christian Cook
 


 
The full story isn't as dramatic as the hysteria being invented by conspiracists. The real story is that the leak is so well-contained that even the emergency workers who were in the damaged reactor and their radioactive cooling water pools haven't come down with any tumors or cancers at all. None of them died.

John T. Steiner
 



"Experts" often believe that the "non-experts" are too stupid to be involved, while repeating "public-engagement" mantras.

Stanislav Birko
 


MARCH 18, 2014

About Ernest Partridge's Essay: Russia -- An Appreciation 


Very good, Sir

As a Russian immigrant and an honest America, I salute you.

Thanks,

Mark Sashine
OpEdNews
 


Thank you. Russia is a great country who has suffered much over the years from without and from within. My mother is an escapee from the Bolsheviks.

Hosea McAdoo
OpEdNews
 



Russia is a great country that is unfortunate enough to have dictators with imperial ambitions for most of its history.


Sergey Yesenin: Selected poems

"My heart will rise as throbbing sun,
Then I will say, in whispered shout:
"I'm just like you, O fallen one
I also have now no way out."

On crooked streets in Moscow bright,
My loving dog has fled the rod;
My measly house has stooped in fright:
I am to die, thus deemed my God"

1922

Translation Hadi Deeb"
From theinkbrain.wordpress.com:

BFalcon
 


Well Said, and Valuable. By valuable, I meant "highly educational." Having lived through the "cold war" and read books designed to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid, in re "Communism," this article ties many dots together for me, and gives me a remarkable glimpse into my own brainwashing. Thanks for posting!

Daniel Geery
OpEdNews
 



If we could get most people to ignore the power mongering politicians and their media echo chamber and just communicate with each other across international boundaries, we could create the kind of world we want.

This essay is but one example of how this can be done.

Thanks.

intotheabyss
OpEdews


Bravo. That needed to be said.

McCain's gas station remark is self diagnostic.

Today's evil empire isn't out to get the communists, it's out to get the Russians themselves. In fact, historian A Sutton wrote that Wall Street put the bolshies in power there in order to destabilize Russia. 

It's always been about Russia the Rival power or people. Like Churchill said, WW2 wasn't against Nazism, it was against the German people per se.

Ditto the bankster's war on Russia and its people.

John Paul Leonard
OpEdNews
 



Very interesting. but I suspect that there are several different kinds of RUSSIAN life, some less cultured than this. still in all, this is a remarkable story.

And he covered pretty much everything, except that they alone in the world were willing to give SNOWDEN refuge.

trollhjem
The Smirking Chimp
 



I don't remember what year it was when some Soviet pilot stole one of their brand-new, top-of-the-line fighter planes and flew it to Japan, where he then sought sanctuary.

As I recall, all the top military brass couldn't wait to dissect the plane and learn something about the then-current state of Soviet arms technology. I also heard that after examining it, they were stunned by how well the Soviets had managed to match the performance of our fighters, but using what we considered outdated, antique technologies. They specifically mentioned the plane's much greater weight than the US counterpart, but noted that the extra horsepower it's' engine provided more than made up for the weight difference. There was a bunch of other stuff, about the Soviets using cast iron for all sorts of things that would be titanium or aluminum in our version. The bottom line being that although it was obvious several of their technologies were years behind ours, they had compensated for them quite amply, and the plane was considered by them to be a damn fine piece of engineering, given what the designers had had to work with, and very much a match for any plane we were fielding at the time.

I guess they were stunned because it had always been assumed that if the Soviets fielded a plane that performed as well as one of ours, they were convinced it could only have been because they stole the technology from us and reverse-engineered it. What they found apparently told them otherwise, that they just had really good, competent designers and engineers who found solutions to some problems that we just hadn't thought of, because we didn't have to deal with the lack of some items and materials we just took for granted. Strength through adversity, indeed.

Anybody who attempts to label Russia as backward doesn't know much about Russia, or Russians. They also usually don't take kindly to being labeled backward, but then again, who would?

Their list of eminent scientists alone is pretty imposing. The fact that most of them were able to match scientific achievements of the West, using at the time what was considered here as substandard equipment, computers, and facilities, might make them BETTER than their western counterparts, all things considered. Certainly it shows their determination and ability to focus, if nothing else. I have nothing but respect for the state of Russian science and technology. They also make extremely good weapons. But since most of those were ostensibly designed to be used for the destruction of our military, it becomes hard for the average American to think of the tech involved in creating them as innovative or clever, due to an inherent bias people seem to have against things designed to kill them.

Who'd have thought

JohnnyD
 



Perhaps it was this guy, very interesting
From wiki;

Belenko was born in Nalchik, Russian SFSR in a Ukrainian family. Lieutenant Belenko was a pilot with the 513th Fighter Regiment, 11th Air Army, Soviet Air Defence Forces based in Chuguyevka, Primorsky Krai. His name became known worldwide on September 6, 1976, when he successfully defected to the West, flying his MiG-25 "Foxbat" jet fighter to Hakodate, Japan. This was the first time that Western experts were able to get a close look at the aircraft, and it revealed many secrets and surprises....

Maine451
The Smirking Chimp
 



Putin's tactical genius has allowed Obama to stiff-arm the NeoCons and Russo-phobes twice already, once on Syria and again on Iran. (Too bad the Norwegians on the Nobel Committee hate Russians.) I wish the inveterate Putin-bashing could stop for at least five friggin' minutes.

The USSR fought and largely defeated Hitler along a 2,000-mile front while the US and Brits were gallivanting around in North Africa. Can we at least credit the Soviets with the friggin' win in World War II? If not for that victory, Churchill and his later compatriots might well be speaking German.

Coalition of the Unwilling
The Smirking Chimp
 


Yeah! But what do they know about the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo, March Madness and the Super Bowl?

Stalin and waiting in line for bread helped sully the Russian mystique you and I are fascinated by, Ernest, and, I have never read a better writer than Fyodor Dostoevsky. See: It was we Russians who invented the world's biggest microchip! This is sour grapes, acknowledging that a country exists whom we could never best in a war.

The T-34 tank together with Adolph's underestimation of it did as much to defeat Germany as Eisenhower or Patton, together with their armies. Its sloping frontal armor was the prototype for all the tanks around the world that followed it, including the incomparably inferior, ramshackle Sherman, our mainstay during the war, the one the German 88mm cannon could shoot right through at point blank range. The T-34 was more dependable than the panzers and its parts were mass produced and easily to replace, it started reliably in sub-zero weather.

It was so successful and such a factor in the Big War that the Russians, dependent on tank warfare, once owned a million of them, to defend the motherland in the Cold War. The Pentagon has been fixated on fighting Russian successors to the T-34 in the Fulda Gap, invading the rest of Europe, discounting the counterinsurgencies we have been fighting and losing since 1945.

REJames50
The Smirking Chimp
 


 

MARCH 15, 2014


About Ernest Partridge's essay: Thinking Like a Russian.

 

Good evening,

I am in the process of writing something similar. Russia has been attacked more than by Napoleon and Hitler. I tabulate Russia has been invaded about 15 times, 4 times by Poland. I think Russia must be the most invaded nation on the planet, and the USA the least.

I also suspect that there is a racism in the US mind vis-a-vis Russia. They are thuggish, uncivilized, brutal, etc., as a stereotype. But that confounds USSR and Russia. For most of its history, the USSR was controlled by non-Russians. Both had capitols in Moscow, but they are very different political beings.

I fear that a conventional land or air war, would show how weak Russia really is, and they would have to revert to missile war. Missile war would take about 30 minutes to become nuclear war.

I think Obama and the EU are unnecessarily and foolishly playing with catastrophe, when we have enough troubles without making more.

Floyd Rudmin

Ernest Partridge Replies"

Thanks for your informed comment, with which I largely agree, of course.

I seem to recall that ethnic Russians constituted slightly less than half of the population of the Soviet Union.

As you probably know, Stalin was Georgian, as was his immediate successor, Malenkov. Khrushchev was Ukrainian. I don't know about some of the others -- Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernyenko. Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin are all Russian. As was Lenin.

As for the nature of the "next war," I'm not so sure. Historically, Russia has excelled in land war, As Napoleon and Hitler learned to their sorrow, the Russians absorbed and exhausted the invaders in the vastness of the Russia territory. The Wehrmacht was crushed by those magnificent T-34 tanks and Stormovik fighter-bombers.

But times, technology, and consequently military tactics and strategies have changed. Yet military leaders of all sides insist on fighting the previous war, and often lose as a consequence. Still, I am inclined to believe that if the US and NATO were foolish enough to engage in a land war on Russian soil, they would not prevail.  Thus if a missile and nuclear war were to follow, it would likely be initiated by the West.

God Forbid!

If not God, then perhaps the Russian people will forbid it -- along, let us hope, with some cooler heads in the West (Obama and Kerry, apparently not included). Putin's grip on the Russian masses and the media is not Stalinistic. The Russians of my acquaintance, unlike most Americans, have learned not to trust their media.  The memory of the overthrow of the USSR and the counter-revolution of 1991 is still fresh. Note the anti-war protests in Moscow last week.

Neither governments are in full control of events. And that is hopeful.

Ernest Partridge
 



It’s all about money

Most of us in AMERICA cannot relate to the dilemma facing the UKRAINE. our border disputes are so long ago, the TEXAS/MEXICO or “54-40 or fight!” and none have histories going back centuries. and mix in a little ISLAM to boot.

On the surface, this is a no-brainer. If the US had an ounce of sanity, and desire for a stability in the region (not bloody likely!) we would get the hell out of RUSSIA’S back yard.

" ... On our side, the neo-con warriors – McCain, Palin, Graham, Bolton, FOX News ..." etc.  It is impossible to understand what motivates these people. It seems to be the cold-war mind set that took us into VIET NAM, which is mostly only paranoia.

However, we need to look a little deeper. US foreign policy has less to do politics abroad and more to do with control of wealth and power. the USD is in decline globally. If it were to collapse, such as seems immanent, the role of the US is bound to collapse with it. I see the US as grasping at straws to achieve two goals: to maintain our imperialism abroad (which includes oil production and pipelines,) and to institute martial law at home.

It’s all about money, big money.

Trollhjem
The Smirking Chimp

 


 

About Ernest Partridge's Essay:

How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier.


From OpEd News:

Eric, there are many very knowledgeable people - including IPCC experts, a group you seem to consider beyond reproach - who have doubts about the theory that manmade CO2 is determining global climate patterns.

Secondly, there is a perfect right fro everyone to look at the arguments and evaluate them for their logic and their honesty.  Take, for example, your survey of the climate scientists. The original and much quoted '10 000 experts' survey I seem to remember, sent a questionnaire to 10 000 experts but only received about 3000 back. How many people have been surveyed? I'd say 3 000. However, on the basis of the responses, the researcher then threw away (excluded) about 90% of what was left. How many people is that? I'd call it a rather unrepresentative survey, skewed by the selection of who is eligible to be considered a 'climate scientist'.

Or take that claim about he Himalayas melting. Who can judge that? You say we have to rely on experts to tell us. They say the snows will be gone in about 30 years. (This was written before global temperatures in all but the Arctic region cooled off.)

Who wrote it? The IPCC, that body your challenge question suggests is the impartial arbiter. Do you now know this story? Or about other claims made by the IPCC (e.g. on the Amazon drying out) that originated with green campaigners - not 'climate scientists' at all.

But now you take to the internet to attack, broad-brush, all those (like me) who have troubled themselves to think a little longer and harder than evidently the IPCC did, about these kinds of issues.

Martin Cohen


Ernest Partridge Replies:

Taking Mr. Cohen's points in turn:

(a) He says "there are many very knowledgeable people - including IPCC experts ... who have doubts about the theory" of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). Very well, please identify these dissenting IPCC experts and explain why, if they disagree, they signed on to the IPCC report. In fact, as the late Stephen Schneider reported in his book, "Science as a Contact Sport" (National Geographic, 2009), the IPCC reports, as consensus documents, are systematically conservative and cautious.

(b) I don't question the "right" of "everyone to look at the arguments and evaluate them for their logic and their honesty." But as Sen. Moynihan famously remarked, "everyone is entitled to their own opinion, everyone is not entitled to their own facts."

(c) I am intrigued by the claim that 3,000 of the 10,000 surveyed "experts" responded to the "the original and much quoted survey." What survey was that? Not the "survey" that I cited. What validation does Cohen have of the claim that only 30% were "returned" and, still worse, that "the researcher threw away... about 90%"? Remarkable! Now why should I believe this. "I seem to remember" just does not cut it as responsible rebuttal.

In fact, I cited, "not a survey," but a study of 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications,  97% of which affirm ACC, and the remainder either deny or are unconvinced. If this is the study that Mr. Cohen has in mind, it is not the case that 90% were "thrown away." Instead, publications that did not deal with the issue of ACC (in fact, 66%) were not included. Seems to be a reasonable requirement that study of ACC related publications not include non-ACC related papers. (See also Tom Zeller's "Scientists agree (again): Climate Change is Happening But if that is not enough to convince Mr. Cohen, he might consider this: In more recent survey found that in 2013 alone, of 8974 peer-reviewed scientific articles about climate change, just ONE rejected ACC.

(d) Who can validate the claim of Himalayan melting? Answer: Scientists who study the issue and publish in peer-reviewed journals. But less formally, there is abundant photographic evidence.  (Google: "Himalayan Glaciers Melting," click on Images for Himalayan Glaciers Melting).  Take a look. Who do you believe, the ACC deniers or your own lyin' eyes? 

(d) I am not aware that any IPCC scientists claimed that the Amazon was "drying out." If they did, please cite.  "I seem to remember" won't do.

And finally, my name is Ernest, not "Eric."
 


 

MARCH 3, 2014

 

About Ernest Partridge's Essay:

Debate Creationism vs. Evolution?  Why Bother?


From OpEd News

Here's my argument FOR creationism:

A man finds a Rolex watch in the beach sand. He does not exclaim and say: "What wonderful random forces brought this watch into being". He KNOWS it was created. Yet.... the human body, infinitely more complicated than a Rolex watch is a result of RANDOM coincidences? I can't believe that.

Granted, much of the Bible is not scientifically accurate, many of the verses are parables. Jesus, himself, taught in parables. The Bible should not be interpreted as a science book, but a book of spiritual guidance. Just my opinion.

Bob Gormley
 


Reply to Bob Gormley:

"Yet.... the human body, infinitely more complicated than a Rolex watch is a result of RANDOM coincidences?"

You're selling the universe short.

J. Edward Tremlett
 


Reply to Bob Gormley:

But while the Rolex watch just wears out and stops working if a watchmaker doesn't fix it, the human body constantly rebuilds itself, at least until it has fulfilled it's biological function to replicate. So the creation is within, not an external force, and has been going on for billions of years before anyone decided to cobble together a bible, or manufacture an outside Agent.

This Ham has as much credibility in his dating and superstitions as Harold Camping, so why is he still getting air time?

Dave Winship
 


Reply to Bob Gormley:

I didn't find even one bit of science in what you said. Just gut feelings. I suppose you were born knowing everything. The while science of biology is based on a study of evolution and this also includes medicine.

If you want to present your ideas using facts I would like to see them. By the way I am a biologist and a physician.

Hosea McAdoo


Reply to Hosea McAdoo:

Right, I didn't use one bit of science, I didn't need to. Yep, I was born knowing everything (sarcasm). Maybe there is a higher science you aren't aware of. " The while science of biology is based on a study of evolution and this also includes medicine." I have no idea what the previous sentence intends to be saying.

Prove to me that the human body is a product of random occurrences. You can't, no one can. It's just a theory based on faith , just like creation.

Bob Gormley


Reply to Bob Gormley:

Judging from the text and context, I think the statement should read:

"The whole science of biology is based on a study of evolution and this also includes medicine."

Make sense?

It was Theodosius Dobzhansky who said that "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." That is one of the great virtues of evolutionary theory - that it singularly, elegantly, and flawlessly explains all the observations of biology. That is why virtually every biologist, ecologist, geneticist, paleontologist, etc, believe evolution to be true - because it explains so much, and has not been falsified in 150 years, and counting. Indeed, all new scientific discoveries, particularly in genetics, support and confirm evolution.

Maybe I can't "prove" to you that "the human body is a product of random occurrences"; but I can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a reasonable, and reasonably intelligent, person that chimps and humans have a common ancestor. The bible doesn't predict that fact of nature; but evolution does...

Jay Clemons


Reply to Bob Gormley:

Perhaps the best way to deal with this apparent dilemma is to decouple science from religion (or metaphysics). Riddles are interesting (were we born 15 minutes ago with a memory was always a favorite when I was young) but science rests on uncertainty whereas faith (religion) is not so stymied by the possibility of being "wrong". Let the compelling need to explore, to be curious and test rigorously proceed uninhibited by the need some have for ending the conversation with unwavering belief.

In any case the best resolve is to reconciling these matters as forming human nature - the desire for certainty (comfort in say the hereafter) and curiosity (the creative play of exploration). They can co-exist as long as fundamentalism (scientism / creationism) is set aside.

Art Costa


Biblical literalism is a form of epistemological fundamentalism, which is motivated by a psychological need for rational "certainty". It is not enough to recognize that you have good empirical evidence and coherent logic supporting your tentative conclusions. These people need to believe that their knowledge is rationally certain, not subject to doubt, and their conclusions are not subject to change in the light of new evidence or a more coherent explanation of the evidence.

Young Earthers are far from alone in the camp of epistemological fundamentalists. Darwinists believe in evolution by random mutation and natural selection, even though there is zero evidence in the fossil record that those mechanisms drove evolution. The evidence of the fossil record contradicts Darwinism, but fundamentalists continue to hold onto that rock that their faith is built upon. They invent all kinds of Rube Goldberg logic to convince themselves that the evidence really "does" support their theory.

Global warmers are "certain", beyond the possibility of reasonable doubt, that humans burning fossil fuels are causing the Earth to warm up. Are they aware that we live in the geological era called the Holocene, which is an interglacial period within the Pleistocene era of ice ages and interglacials? Earth has been undergoing dramatic global cooling and global warming cycles for the past 3 million years. What caused the global warming that ended all those previous ice ages? Were our ancestors who walked with dinosaurs burning too much wood in their caves?

Lots of people have their certainties, and are convinced that they know things "for sure".

Mark Twain said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so."

Everybody has their "facts". Some of them might even be true. Rational understanding recognizes its inherent uncertainty. But then rational understanding is not built from "facts" that are true "fer sure". It is built from logically coherent explanations of the evidence.

Young Earthers, Darwinists, and global warmers have two things in common. They are certain of the truth of their theories, and their theories do not explain the evidence.

Derryl Hermanutz
 

Ernest Partridge Replies

Mr. Hermanutz,

With all due respect, I submit that you simply do not understand how science works. Those who do understand the history and methodology of science, will conclude, contrary to popular opinion (yours and Bob Gormley's included), that science is not "just another dogma."

You assert that "Young Earthers, Darwinists, and global warmers have two things in common. They are certain of the truth of their theories, and their theories do not explain the evidence." While that "certainty" may apply to some naive "Darwinists and global warmers," most of these individuals are as ill-informed as "young earthers" and they too do not understand science. Few if any active scientists are included in this category. For these scientists, the evidence validates their theories -- your dogmatic assertion has that connection totally reversed. Again, that's how science works. If a paper submitted to a scientific journal is not supported with replicable evidence or citation of same, it will surely fail peer review and never be published in such a journal. And justly so, for such a paper would not be "scientific."

The widespread belief, prominent among the OEN responses to my essay, that "science is just another dogma" is refuted by these fundamental features of science:

Scientific activity is public and replicable. "Once-only" anecdotal or hearsay "evidence" does not qualify as science.

Science is cumulative, building upon prior accomplishments.

Science is systemic, coherent and comprehensive. Its components are mutually supportive. Relativity theory and evolution are prime examples of these qualities.

Science is empirical and experimental.

Scientific assertions (contrary to your claim) are fallible and falsifiable.

The order of scientific inquiry proceeds from evidence to conclusion. Dogmatists already "know" the truth, and thus seek out "evidence" to support their foregone and unassailable conclusions.

In science, as in criminal justice, the burden of proof is on the affirmative.

I haven't the allowable space to expand upon and explain these criteria. Fortunately, I have done so in my essay, appropriately titled: "Is Science Just Another Dogma?"

However, one of these criteria, "falsifiability" deserves elaboration for it bears directly on your comments. Put simply, for an assertion to be scientifically acceptable it must implicitly describe what it would be like to for that assertion to be false. If the assertion is well-grounded, then evidence will show that such a conceivable falsification does not exist in the real world. We know what kind of geological and DNA evidence would refute evolution. We also know what kind of evidence would refute anthropogenic global warming. But that data can not be found in the rocks or genes or ice cores or tree-rings, etc. Thus evolution and global warming pass the falsification test. But both these theories remain in principle forever open to falsification should verifiable contrary evidence be forthcoming. Thus, due to its fundamental structure, science is non-dogmatic. Even so, some scientific principles are sufficiently established to be well beyond reasonable doubt. These include gravity, heliocentrism, Newton's Laws of Motion, relativity and evolution.

As for Darwinism, this is not current science. The theory of evolution is current science, which has "evolved" from Darwin's work more than a century and a half ago. Darwin, for example, knew nothing about mutations or DNA. But he did correctly note that there is variation within species. That, along with natural selection, served to explain "the origin of the species." A great deal of (falsifiable) scientific research since then has enriched and advanced Darwin's original insights. As for your claim that "the evidence of the fossil record contradicts Darwinism," this is flatly false as any competent historical geologist would tell you.

Regarding climate change, I must be brief. More than 98% of the thousands of active climate scientists endorse anthropogenic climate change. I have often asked the deniers to explain how these thousands of scientists can be wrong. Those who bother to reply offer no plausible explanation. For much more about this, see my "How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier."
 

Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:

Good points. Like I said none of us can prove what we believe in. I can't prove creation, but I can see what makes the most sense to me based on what data I have available to me. Likewise, Darwinists can't prove the theory of evolution either.

I think the mistake some people have is that science is the only valid method to determine the truth. Science AND spiritual insight helps make a better decision.

Are scientists locked in a box? Are science deniers locked in a box?

Bob Gormley
 


Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:

Sorry, Derryl, but to lump believers in evolution together with Young Earthers as "epistemological fundamentalists" is very wrong, verging on a category error.

In the first place, biologists and other scientists START with the observed and observable evidence, and fashion an explanation (evolution) that is the basis of prediction and is subject to falsification. Young Earthers, by contrast, start with an ancient text (that did not have the benefit of "modern", heliocentric, knowledge) and try to make the observations fit their belief system. These are two very different epistemological approaches.

Your observations related to the disciplines of the biological sciences and climate science seem to be devoid of actual knowledge of the facts and the evidence. To say that "there is zero evidence in the fossil record that [random mutation and natural selection] drove evolution", and that "the fossil record contradicts Darwinism", is spectacularly uninformed. The fossil evidence for evolution, by itself, is extremely compelling; and when conjoined with the genetic evidence, it is incontrovertible. You would do better to go find the rabbit fossil in the Pre-Cambrian rock strata than so disrespectfully to disparage the considered epistemological judgments of hundreds of thousands of highly educated scientists.

Oh; and the theory of evolution explains "the evidence" better than anything you can offer. Thought experiment for you; on a piece of paper, write down everything you "know" about biology. Maybe two pieces of paper? In either case, ask yourself: which explains these observations better: evolution, or the bible? Beware; it's a trick question...

Jay Clemons
 



Creationism and evolution both require blind faith. To date, neither one can tell us how the world actually came into being, and hence, how people came into being. Woops. If you believe in one or the other, then you have the "proof" that YOU need. However, the proof that you need is not always identical to the proof that other people need.

Ultimately, I think that it is fair to say that the jury is still out on both philosophies. It will remain out for the remainder of my life, and no doubt your lives as well.

Which begs the question: Why worry about things that we have little or no understanding of? Just live life as you see fit and get on with living. How it all started does not change the fact that it all will, most likely, end in death or self destruction.

Doc McCoy


In the beginning time did not exist although God did. So he created the laws of physics including the speed of light and what people call gravity which is actually the property of mass curving space-time. (He may also have formed multi-universes, since Heaven is not to be found in ours.)

The rest evolved (as part of an eternal plan?) when time stared to pass, once the so called big-bang began. The Bible is an old-fashioned means for explaining this, so that less broad-minds could grasp some of the reality (which is a big subject, itself).

Does this theory conflict with either creationists or evolutionists? Can anyone show that this simple theory is wrong?


I Forgot to answer the question. The reason for providing explanations about how the universe got going is so that we can find our place in it with better assurance, and consequently be better at organizing our lives to meet what should be mankind's universal needs.

David Chester



Very well said, Ernest! Thank you! Hopefully the next time such a debate is held, your excellent points can be incorporated into the arguments for evolution.

Jay Clemons
 


You depict Ham as belligerently ignoring the possibility of being wrong, and yet you make the same mistake yourself. "Why bother"? Please, bother. How can you critically analyze your own theories and interpretations without counterarguments? Debates such as this aren't supposed to figure out who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps debates like this exist for us to analyze our own faults, weaknesses in our theories on origins.

If there is a reason at all not to bother to have this discussion, let it be because neither side has a credible concrete fact to their name. They are both globally leading theories and should be dealt with in respect. So please, show some respect.

Ben Piña


Reply to Ben Piña:

I have to respectfully disagree with your premise(s). If you had bothered to READ THE ARTICLE, you'd have seen that the last quarter of it gave several reasons for evolutionists "to bother" to debate creationists. Maybe you just missed them; but they are pretty obvious, and actually very well prepared by the rest of the article. Indeed, in an important way, Mr. Partridge extends and improves the debate with some important concepts that Mr. Nye did not emphasize in the live debate..

Debates such as this ARE supposed to figure out who is right and who is wrong. By "such as this", I mean a debate between two points of view that are mutually exclusive; it is not possible for the world to simultaneously be 6000 years old and 4.5 billion years old. Someone is right, and someone is wrong. When both sides give their best arguments for their belief, critical listeners can decide which is the stronger argument, and thus who is right and wrong.

Evolutionists are well known for saying, "Sure, I'll change my mind; just show me a rabbit fossil in Pre-Cambrian strata!" But if you saw the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, you will remember Ken Ham being asked, "What evidence could change your mind about evolution/age of the earth?", and he basically said "Nothing can change my mind." While you may admire the strength of his religious faith, that is an untenable attitude for any scientist to maintain.

Finally, while I can agree that the Young Earthers have no "credible concrete fact to their name", scientists have a great deal of evidence that is as solid as a rock. In fact, it IS rock! You could learn a lot from rock!

Jay Clemons
 


From Countercurrents:

It was refreshing to see Ken Ham make mincemeat of the intellectually dishonest Bill Nye. The ridiculous notion that 'happenstance' and millions of years just so happened to develop the minute details of life itself flys [sic] in the face of intelligence. Anyone who gave a 'thought' to the majesty of life itself from the insect world, to animals, to humans and somehow embraced evolution is not thinking in the first place. That alone should make the deniers of a creator pause and reflect and perhaps ask God to reveal himself since you apparently cannot see the forest for the trees for the evidence of creation before your very eyes. If the deniers still want to believe you came from primordial soup then we should still be seeing that today but since it's never happened, it's a figment of the deniers imagination.

 


 

JANUARY, 2014 


About Bernard Weiner's Essay,

"Crisis in Capitalism: Who Are the REAL 'Takers'?"


(The Essay engendered more than 600 reader responses. Here is a sampling of some of the best.)


Dr. Weiner:

You make good points on what can be done from a Keynesian approach to our economic situation to rectify the long recession, and many others have made similar proposals. But how will you ever implement these solutions?

We are living in the era of "Citizens United" where money is the main determinant of a candidates success. Those holding economic power today will not allow candidates to even broach the subject of taxation to alleviate the crisis. And in an information environment where mainstream broadcast media is firmly in the grasp of the corporations, your message will only be heard on the internet. No candidate with a platform supporting your proposals will receive the funding to wage a winnable campaign and the media will turn a blind eye and deaf ear to such a candidate.

On top of these factors, sad to say, the American public is either dumbed down or too afraid to fight the economic forces that are pauperizing our society. I can even see the possibility of a fascist movement arising from our economic and political dysfunction, as suggested from the likes of Chris Hedges. Such a movement will have a nationalist economic program that is antithetical to your advised solutions.

As I see it our prospects are for either a prolonged recession of economic stagnation resulting in the end of the middle class or a Tea Party fascism that will destroy the essence of our republic, with an equally disastrous economic outcome, but with a police state to keep order.

Mark Thron

Bernard Weiner replies:

Dear Mark Thron:

Nobody said it's going to come easily. And, as I wrote, this major social/political transformation can happen only if and when there is a bottom-up popular/populist demand for it that not even unfriendly politicians can ignore. I share all your reasons why this "revolution" cannot possibly take place -- but not to try would be a moral abdication of our responsibility as citizens and humans. Thanks for writing.
 



Dear Dr. Weiner,

I read your essay with interest, and I agree with you that we're approaching a tipping point in America, as we were in the 1930s. Unfortunately, many of the solutions you suggest are simply the same old fixes to patch up capitalism a little longer that started with Roosevelt. While I can understand concerns about the form that a revolution might take, I believe you know as well as, and perhaps better than, most that it's capitalism itself that is the problem, and fixing it is no solution.

In the long view, it's all part of the process. As a reminder, both socialism and communism are, in most of the world, longstanding and recognized political forces, and so are they here in America as well. It is true that the American oligarchy has resisted and attacked us fiercely, and we're currently in somewhat of a disarray -- but we're not gone. As a communist, I submit to you that we know revolution is coming. We hope for a peaceful one.

People are getting hungrier. It's just a question of when - and we're waiting. ;)

Thank you for your timely and thought-provoking essay.

Solidarity,
P. Perkins


Bernard Weiner replies:

Dear P. Perkins:

"People are getting hungrier. It's just a question of when..." Yep! And who knows, maybe all the fix-it patches will weaken it further.

A little humor: "Capitalism is that economic system where man exploits man. In communism, it's just the reverse."

Thanks for writing.
 



Bernard Weiner,

Have you looked into the work of Richard D. Wolff and Gar Alperovitz?

I say this because, unless we advocate for democratizing the workplace - as the Worker Cooperative does - and leave Capitalism's few at the top in place to make all the workplace decisions, human behavior tells us that the few at the top are free to exploit. At Worker Coops there is a fettering of Capitalism at the local level, within the workplace ... through the workplace votes.

What are your thoughts regarding this?

Brian Marc Schatz


Bernard Weiner replies;

Dear Brian Marc Schatz:

Wolff & Alperovitz are filled with good ideas. Question is how to implement, on a large enough scale, to make a difference. Thanks for writing.
 



Hey Bernard,

Great article in Truthout on Capitalism and I guess what would be considered a pitch for socialism. To bad you got it wrong, but you already know that.

When ideology overrules common sense then you get what you ask for...right? And, what you are asking for makes no sense.

Americans do need help and part of that help would be to get the government out of the way, out of their pocketbooks, and then you would see money actually flow back into the system. But, you already know that.

We both know that a RESET is coming. Most likely sooner than later, and when this one hits people are going to die based on past history. Fingers will point and the true crisis will be upon us.

Welcome to the Fourth Turning. The Crisis Turning. Hope you and your family are prepared?

Dumb ass.

Trapper Pettit
from Truthout.org


Bernard Weiner replies:

Dear Trapper Pettit:

It sounded like you were interested in having a civil debate -- based on a well-reasoned set of principles -- and then you had to blow it up with your insulting closing line. Sad. But thanks for taking the time to write.
 



You are right on target, Bernard. Our economy is crawling along because the 1% are not and do not need to spend their money. The rest of us are suffering and the Republicans are insisting on cuts to the 99% who spend. It is insanity and pure greed. Also stupidity, as you point out. I love your "basic income" ideas. Our income tax system needs to be turned back into a true progressive system. Keynesian economics always works and "trickle down" economics is a farce.

Howard Schneider
from OpEdNews.com
 



"In our own time, we're still suffering the after-effects of a semi-permanent economic depression fueled by greed and the lack of tough, appropriate regulation of the finance and banking sectors."

I disagree. These don't need regulated - they need to be completely replaced. The money system needs to recreate how money is circulated and it needs to be operated like the public utility it is. Bitcoin may succeed or fail butsomething will replace the current system.

Thomas Brown
from OpEdNews.com
 



Capitalism is a work in progress, an experiment, and a game at best. Like all games, limits are set when the ideal size of the playing field has been established. Since money must be fluid and moving, like blood, like a shark, to stay alive; the rules --about how much can end up inactive in one place before the play is over-- need to be arrived at. I think it's small to vilify the system or its winners. Remember, it's a game in which 'fair' and 'unfair' have yet to be established. --

molly cruz
from OpEdNews.com
 



There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with socialism - other than so many people being ignorant of it. Take a close look at the Scandinavian countries - Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, all doing very well in spite of their social inclinations. There is nothing wrong with sharing the pie with everyone. The problem with capitalism is: destructive greed - I have mine, you look after yours. Lack of social conscience.

Vera Gottlieb
from Truthout.org
 



Great article. One more suggestion, a massive infrastructure program which includes fixing the bridges, school and creating a smart grid. Also the country needs a massive buildout of solar farms and wind turbines via/vis an infrastructure bank.

David Weinstein
from Truthout.org
 



wtf? Rachele Maddow is not progressive; she is a corporate tool, who only says what her corporate masters let her say. never disses the fake left like Obummer and Hilary. Abbey Martin and Thom Hartman -- they are progressive, and regularly skewer our fake liberals and fake liberal media corporate conservatives.

Dr. Blais
from Truthout.org
 



AWESOME piece that really gets to the heart of it:

What do we all really know is right and what do we want?, and if we don't get it we will get revolution. Amazing encapsulation in such a short summary. Keep it up, Mr. Weiner. I have been reading and supporting all Progressives since 2006. You are right on target. And I hope to read more of you.

AS1124
from Truthout.org
 



No one and I mean NO ONE ever asks the question "where is the money coming from?". If your philosophy can't answer this question your philosophy is useless.

RichardRichartTS
from Truthout.org
 



(Responding to RichardRichardTS:)

No conservative troll and I mean NO CONSERVATIVE TROLL will ever acknowledge the 1% have all the money they need plus all the money everyone else needs.

If your philosophy blinds you to what is plainly visible your philosophy is useless.

ARW
from Truthout.org
 



Did You Read The Whole Article?  

The billions that went to bail out the banksters & ensure their year-end bonuses came from the US Treasury. Take money from all the various Pentagon black budgets. Put a sales tax on stock market transactions. Restore the tax cuts the uberwealthy got from babyBush. Close out subsides to Big Oil, Big Agriculture, Big Pharma. There's plenty of money, flowing like a river in springtime. Redirect that river. End the steady privatization of legitimate government functions. We have a choice before us: Barbarism or Civilization.


TRE
from Facebook.com

 


i agree. we do not have capitalism in this country. crony capitalism, as you describe, is failing all of us because tax dollars, the people's money,are trickeled upward and disappear into the pockets of the power elites in DC and their chosen cronies. great for them bad for us. and the divide just gets wider and wider with each consecutive administration.

Andrea Salsedo
from Truthout.org
 



The solution is free-markets. Keynesian "economics" doesn't fix shit. Government is the cancer here, not the solution.

Until we do have free-markets, I'm for some genuine austerity. Cut more taxes for everyone, repeal hundreds of thousands of regulations, abolish federal agencies, (including, but not limited to-the CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA, DHS, DOE, ATF, ICE, etc.) end all subsidies, end all foreign aid, end all foreign bases, end every war, end the drug war, and so on.

antistaterick
from Truthout.org
 



If you libertarians would put the joint down and get straight and run the wish list of libertarianism to its conclusion they just might see that it IS Feudalism. I call it Nuevo Feudalism. 

I can speak about this philosophy because I was a Libertarian for decades being in at the beginning and rationalizing it's faults. It is a faith.

steppingrazor
from Truthout.org
 



The problem with a totally free market is simple
Them as has, gets.
If you have a lot of money, it is easy to get more
As an engineer I call this positive feedback.
Also as an engineer I know that this is inherently unstable.

Such a system simply concentrates the money to fewer and fewer people. As a student of history I also know that it doesn't normally get that far. 

As described by Adam Smith the system simply moves in that direction until the rich use their financial power to change the rules to ENSURE that the plebs don't get any.

A totally free market leads straight to an aristocracy.

Duncan Cairncross
from Truthout.org
 



there is no capitalism in this country. not for a long time. when beltway politicians take public dollars and funnel them to wealthy corporations in the guise of subsidies, tax breaks, tax credits and a WHOLE different tax rate for their kind of money,a free market capitalist system does not exist.

Latina4
from Truthout.org
 



I will never shut up! I will never roll over and play dead -- not when so much is at stake. People's lives are being put at risk just for greed. The planet that keeps us alive is being destroyed for profits by Capitalistic lunatics.

It's one thing to want to be filthy rich, it is another thing thinking polluting, poisoning and destroying our food air and water, oceans to be rich is OK. It's not as if these rich MFkers aren't able to be more responsible for protecting people and the planet! They have enough money to do that. But they are lunatics. They think they are immortal! That's what is so horrible - the destruction that goes along with their endeavors to attain wealth- leaving a trail of destruction and death behind them, and that's NOT OK! There can be such a thing as responsible Capitalism!

...This is our form of Capitalism: for every job there are 3 people looking for a job and hundreds of thousands have stopped looking. tens of thousands perhaps millions are considered disposable trash. People have no value but corporations want the same rights as people and now as nations but in reality the majority is considered disposable garbage. So what will people do? Starve and die in the gutter? Die quietly in the night? This is the corporate mentality and the corporate agenda they are working for. A complete lack of regard for people's lives yet the NSA is so busy spending tens of billions supposedly there to "protect" us!!!!!!

THIS IS A GREAT DEPRESSION.

THE CORPORATIONS AND THE 1% ARE THE BIGGEST TAKERS OF ALL. PREDATORY PARASITES WHO WOULD LET MILLIONS DIE AS THEY SUCK OFF OUR ECONOMY!!!!!

...This form of Capitalism is not tempered as it is in other developed nations where workers get paid a good wage as in Germany for example where Walmart is forced to pay its workers much more and unions are represented in the govt. The form of capitalism in the U.S. is killer Capitalism and behaves in a predatory way that hurts people, the economy and the environment. This cannot be sustained without destroying our nation, people and the planet. There needs to be a balance for a healthy society to survive. There needs to be a moral base, it can't just be feed them poison, let them starve and kill the planet -- that is what is happening and this is insanity. This is why the world is being faced with extinction. The last two issues of the New Yorker have an extensive article about this by Elizabeth Kolbert -http://www.newyorker.com/repor...

...I noticed that other than Sen Bernie Sanders of VT we don't hear anything from the progressive caucus in Congress, so what's the deal? I called one of the reps and asked why they never speak out and the person on the phone seemed very uncomfortable and wanted to get off the phone right away. That person sounded scared. I wonder what kind of threats they are experiencing?

Vardette
from Truthout.org
 



Get to the point: tax the rich like we did in the 1960s. It is this simple. All of the bluster and bulljive generated is a diversion from this simple truth.

Sandy Sanders
from Truthout.org
 



Most people don't even get what pitchforks represent! And as far as a populist revolution, good luck. Our society is amusing itself to death, drugged on video games, pop culture, porn, sports, Facebook and the internet in general.

Pontifikate
from Truthout.org
 



I totally agree with Dr. Weiner's points (couldn't have put it better myself) but your points are also stated well. Until the people wake up en masse, very little is going to change. It may take incremental steps unless something totally unexpected happens. One step that might help us get started in this cause is to reverse the terrible Citizens United decision by the SCOTUS. It's hard for the masses to buy the same amount of "free speech" that the plutocrats can with just a stroke of the pen. There are several states which have come forth and have stated they support a constitutional amendment to overturn this decision. That might be a starting point….Bernie Sanders is working toward its repeal as well. I think there are several groups working toward ending it.

Cainer
from Truthout.org
 



Mr. Weiner is merely arguing for reform within the present (hopelessly corrupted) system. That this is so is proven by his dismissal of socialism as "highly unlikely," a tacit denunciation of the only effective antidote to the infinite evil of capitalism. Then by citing Democratic Party activists he tries to evoke a sense of hopefulness in a political process that has repeatedly proven itself nothing more than a cruel charade since the 1963 coup that elevated Lyndon Banes Johnson to the presidency. Thus Mr. Weiner reveals himself as yet another propagandist for the capitalist status quo. Nevertheless those of us who are socialists should be heartened by the escalating efforts of our opponents: the One Percent aristocracy Mr. Weiner so obediently serves is clearly frightened. The pivotal question is whether its legions of soldiers and federalized cops will follow orders or stand down in 99 Percent solidarity, as their Petrograd counterparts did at the Neva River bridges on 8 March 1917.

...The USian One Percent -- like its counterparts in pre-revolutionary France and Tsarist Russia -- is arrogance personified. Hence they believe all they need do is throw us bones of pseudo-placation -- Mr. Weiner's or Ms. Maddow's sorts of reassurances, more candidates like Obama the Orator who promised change and then became Barack the Betrayer.

But while the Ruling Class quakes at Socialist Kshama Sawant's victory in Seattle and recognizes in it the potential of a nationwide third party movement, their arrogance blinds them to the fact our hunger will no longer be assuaged by their lies and manipulations even as we ourselves are awakening to the implications of our 99:1 numerical superiority.

The historical parallel is Tsarist Russia, with this period in our development analogous to the time between 1905 and 1917. Beyond the obvious institutional differences, the grass-roots conditions are eerily similar. Our 1905 was the Occupy Movement. No one can say what year will be our 1917 or what spark will ignite it, as did a spontaneous strike by the 5,000 women of the Lesnoy Textile Works, who boiled into the streets of Petrograd to protest the firing of five Bolshevik union organizers and so began the revolutionary process that, eight months later, culminated in what John Reed so aptly described as Ten Days That Shook the World.

Loren Bliss
from Truthout.org
 



(About the extremely wealthy and their supporters:) It's called psychopathy, you can't assume they have a shred of decency in them, their brains literally function differently. They do not, nor can not comprehend the suffering of anyone. They have no conscience, if they cry it's only for themselves or for getting caught. They don't genuinely love anyone, they don't feel empathy, or compassion. Lack humanity.

Cjazzy
from Truthout.org
 



Violent revolution is our only alternative!

timetoriot
from Truthout.org
 



It's a sad truth: We, as a society, are still a long ways from that violence, but from a cold, historical perspective, revolt against ruthless government oppression has only been surrendered after a bloody conflagration. If the general population were capable of comprehending how the ruling elite perceive us, it would be quite frightening.

Not that long ago we were openly referred to as the Great Unwashed, Joe Six Pack, John and Mary Lunchbucket and "little people". Now we are simply a product "American people". A term of rank disparagement bereft of our patriotic stature and role as citizens. "We The People" bleed, suffer and die for our country and when we return we are treated as chumps.

PublicAdvocate
from Truthout.org
 



I clearly don't understand even though I repeatedly try. The wealthy became wealthy by squeezing the middle and lower classes until they have drained every red cent they possibly can from them through deception, fees, fines, overcharges, cornering us into contracts, raising the cost of oil production, redrawing voter districts, and so on. They don't own everything, why can't we charge them a rich man's wages for the services they need from us to survive. Why aren't we cleaning the air and water and handing their companies, corporations, and share-holders inflated bills for the associated damages. It's like we are paralyzed or something. I'm tired of seeing quarterly earnings with skyrocketing profits and then having them raise prices when they are down just a bit to guarantee profits next quarter.

CJazzy
from Truthout.org
 



I hate to see a revolution, but it seems the 1%er's and politicians just don't understand the seriousness of their terrorist crimes against the people. I guess they think their black belt classes and body guards will protect them. I think we can do this peacefully and quietly. It is already happening.

Gramerck
from Truthout.org
 



(Respone to timetoriot:)

I hope someone comes up with a better viable alternative than the "violent revolution" you so cavalierly advocate.

The "establishment" has all the heavy weapons and spying capabilities. You sound like an "agent provocateur" that wants the people to stick their neck out so it can be easily whacked off… I wonder who you really work for.

evalderramaster
from Truthout.org
 



Well we could also resort to many multitudes of calls to Obama and our reps and big protests as they have done and are doing in the Ukraine and Korea where tens of thousands of protesters are coming out not just once but over and over and I don't mean camping out, I mean consistent large protests on an ongoing basis and tens of thousands of calls to Obama 202-224-3121 and your rep 202-224-3121- I believe big public out cries make a difference. But no one should expect instant results - violence does not achieve good results….

Corporations are on a big free ride at the expense of the majority, our environment, our health, safety and welfare and our economy and the very survival of the planet! All they want is to take the money and run with zero interest in the consequences of their actions.- And now corporations want the same rights as nations minus any oversight, regulations, accountability, protections, rights or laws for the people via the TPP- and on top of no accountability for anything they also want the right to sue ANYONE OR ENTITY that impinges on their profits no matter how harmful to anything and everything!!!! This is a corporate free for all and Obama- Yes Obama has agreed to fast track this very destructive trade agreement that will have and is already having devastating impacts on nations like Canada and Australia.

Vardette
from Truthout.org
 



History suggests that the 99% are 'farting-against-thunder' (pardon the base expressionism) if we're hoping that the 0.01 are going to want to relinquish - even a fraction of their ill-gotten gains to engender a more financially-pluralist society. Avarice grounded in self-interest is more often than not horribly intoxicating, dulling any vestiges of compunction of even the brightest intellects. I fear that, once again, ‘le-guillotine’ will be the final solution to stop the madness of acquisitional- psychopathy.

...It worked when Mother Jones led a parade of children cross country to remind Teddy Roosevelt that children,t he future cirizens of America, needed food and shelter. NOW!

Ir worked in cities where the city bought back the housing with eminent domain. It will work when even more media actually start telling the truth about climate change, fracked water, GMO foods.

We need to cut the war money and do like ancient Greece. If the general lost he had to leave the country and people voted whether to go to war or not.

Governments have to get the money out to smaller groups too. When that happens the quality of work improves and for the cheats and dissemblers have no where to hide then in smaller groups.

The French Revoultion was gutting its own people and, one day, the one straw too many broke that camel. A war against Iran or in Africa -- in our time, that could be that straw.

People need to remember that all those soldiers with no jobs do know how to use all kinds of weapons. Everything starts with one unexpected moment -- there's a Mr. Bouazizi in every nation. When there is no hope -- then that's starts the revolution and that kind of movement is really hard to stop.

Flummoxed
from Truthout.org
 



The prez is all talk. He's still pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. And siding with corporations every chance he gets. His bullshit doesn't register as anything but empty platitudes. Sen. Sanders has a much more credible take on capitalism. The Pope I think is sincere.

Shawn Dirks
from Facebook.com
 



Now capitalism has reached the metastatic phase; there's nothing left to devour but itself.

Jeanie Bauer
from Facebook.com
 



PITCHFORKS ! it is un-American to allow remedial misery to continue. the swiss have proposed that everyone gets a basic monthly income.

Doug Lamy
from Facebook.com
 



Absolutely NOT Hard-Line Capitalism, and definitely not Starbucks' Breakfast Blend. My vote is for the Capitalism With a Human Face/Democratic Socialism Blend.

David J. Capers
from Facebool.com
 



Corporate capitalism has failed over 90% of us. Time for a democratic-socialist economy.

Bob Millar
from Facebook.com
 



What's with this "new blend"? It's sounds like a trick to me. I'll vote for straight socialism. That has the most "human face" to me!

Perry Weiner
from Facebook.com
 



The bank bailout is admittedly around $800 billion starting with Bush and ending with Obama, this is a min. estimate. what if we had capitalized from the bottom up instead of the other way. Give every family in the US 1 million bucks, what is that 200 million? Homes saved and paid off, college paid, auto's bought, businesses started etc.etc etc. This puts the size of the theft (done with full intention) in real perspective. This country is been completely taken over by criminals.

 Rama Singh Khalsa
from Facebook.com
 



The discussion in this article is good, and pretty sound, from a very simplistic, thirty-thousand foot level, but from the very first sentence there is a huge issue. That is, there is not a crisis of capitalism, there are two crises caused by capitalism: the accumulation crisis and the ecological crisis. Capitalism as a world-system has been on a decline since the 1970s, but what continues, in the guise of capitalism, is the neoliberal economic mind-set that Obama is all about, and so will be any President in this country until the people wake the hell up from their opulence-induced haze. Obama has made things way, way worse, and he will do more before he leaves, such as the TPP. Look it up. We have to merge the crises of capitalism into a dialectic unity and then we can really begin to get at the real issues, which are labor, territorialization, resource extraction, and financialized capital.

Christopher Cox
from Facebook.com
 



Millionaires are receiving billions in taxpayer-funded support every year that helps them pay for everything from child care to bad debts to boats and vacation homes. People who individually earned more than a million dollars in 2009 even managed to collect a total of nearly $21 million in unemployment insurance.
http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/SubsidiesoftheRichan...

Kyle Cunningham
from Facebook.com
 



(Charles Dickens:) "In pure capitalism, things like child labor laws, Social Security, anti-discriminatory hiring practices and a minimum wage have no place. Capitalism rejects all government intervention in economic matters." If you think that is a good thing, remember that Oliver Twist is based on a real life story. http://money.howstuffworks.com/capitalism1.htm

Eric Schmall
from Facebook.com
 



Brian Schatz To fix and repair Capitalism, I like what Richard D Wolff and Gar Alperovitz have to say.

Democratize wealth.

Democratize the workplaces and the banks.

Examples are: Worker Cooperatives (Evergreen, Mondragon, Arizmendi, Isthmus) and State Banks (the Bank of North Dakota)….

And with Capitalism, we have always had a mixture of market based capitalistic exchanges with socialistic entities. All countries using capitalism have this mixture with some having more and some having less.

The Ron and Rand Paul Libertarians pine for a day of pure Capitalism where every exchange is done in the market. Everything is privately owned. Everything, even the military, the police and the fire department. There is no government except for the courts and for the lawyers.

If you want to travel down a road, you will have to pay a toll. If the proprietors rig all the roads they own and raise your price, you hire a lawyer.

In a Libertarian World it will be lawsuit land where Joe is suing Mary because her road was too expensive for the fire truck to come down, so her house burned down and she prepaid them with her yearly fire fee but didn't know they were boycotting that expensive road and took the long way around to save money.

Brian Schatz
from Facebook.com
 



Mr. Bernard Weiner,

Have you ever asked yourself why - despite experiencing the Keynesian policies of Roosevelt - America ended up in the hands of 1% ? Have you learned any lessons out of this ? Keynesian policies are only knee jerk reactions - compromises - by ruling classes which will be reversed at the most immediate instance. If you are for a change you have to overthrow the system and remove these classes.
Else this cycle of fooling and looting by capitalists will continue.


Janarddan
from CounterCurrents.org
 



 


Crisis Papers editors, Partridge & Weiner, are available for public speaking appearances