Monthly Archives: March 2011

Why US Stopped Building Nuclear Plants


Why US Stopped Building Nuclear Plants
Mar 16, 2011 3:40pm by Mickel Adzema in
Politics

Everything that is happening now was predicted a long time ago by antinuke activists. That is why we stopped nuclear plants being built in this country in the early 80s. We did manage to do that, unfortunately we still have 104 in this country, which each provide a danger, and of course we are not safe from the plants in other countries, as Japan shows. With half-lives for radiation being in the thousands of years, you can bet all that is being released anywhere in the world will make it into our ecosystem and affect us all (and that means YOU, whoever you are).

Btw, others who helped in the movement below and are still doing admirable activist work today include Gary Kutcher and Michael Carrigan, both of Eugene, Oregon. There were others, of course, but I’m reluctant to name names under the current veil of corporacrisy (see, e.g., "Fascism Has Come to America..Hello, 1984" at http://bit.ly/AM-m84 http://bit.ly/OB-84m http://bit.ly/AN-84m http://bit.ly/GB-84m http://bit.ly/PT84m).

For more on nukes and environment, see http://bit.ly/AM-12 and (apocalypse emergency) http://bit.ly/4alarmAmAp, http://bit.ly/9NeHQI http://bit.ly/afZdwn http://bit.ly/PT-ae
Why US Stopped Building Nuclear Plants

My tweets

  • Mon, 11:50: RT @governpoint: Some Perspective on Nuclear Power: James Delingpole, Daily TelegraphMonday 14 March 2011 | Blog Feed | All feeds… htt …

Each nuclear plant has the potential to set off a “2012″ apocalypse. Listen up, Barack!

Each nuclear plant has the potential to set off a “2012″ apocalypse. Listen up, Barack!

Republicans "claim" to be worried about burdening our "grandchildren" with debt ("claim" because they are liars who in fact have been responsible for the run up in the National Debt), as they pursue policies pushing things that will ensure that there will be no humans, let alone grandchildren, alive. Thanks a lot, mo-los!
Amplify’d from http://www.mercurynews.com

Staff at California nuclear plant fear retaliation

SAN ONOFRE, Calif.—Workers at the San Onofre nuclear power plant fear retaliation if they report a safety concern, according to a leaked internal company memo.

Still, a survey of workers conducted by a commission inspector shows workers fear for their jobs if they report safety issues. The findings were included in a Feb. 3 company memo leaked this week to the environmental group San Clemente Green

According to the memo, the commission received 63 allegations of safety concerns at the plant between 2008 and 2009, and 25 of the people making the allegations feared retaliation.
Read more at http://www.mercurynews.com
Each nuclear plant has the potential to set off a “2012″ apocalypse. Listen up, Barack!

My tweets

Read the rest of this entry

First They Took the Campuses, Much Later Was Wisconsin..Next?

Wisconsin Now, First Were the Campuses

Once they attacked and dismantled liberal arts programs on campuses in the 70s, the wealthy elite, the Matrix, could methodically dismantle human rights and economic justice in America, with few educated thinkers in a generalist, let alone a humanist tradition, to speak against it. What is happening in Wisconsin now is a direct outgrowth of the movements of the 60s and the backlash that occurred to them among the "filthy rich," which involved an all-out culture war, which is only coming out into the broad daylight now but has been going on for decades, imperceptibly yet powerfully changing the face of America and what it means to be an American.

In spring 1971, after some of the biggest antiwar demonstrations in history had rocked the nation in the previous 18 months, after a million spoke out in Washington, DC, at Moratorium Day, 1969, after the nationwide student-professor walkout to protest Nixon’s illegal bombing runs into Cambodia in the spring of 1970–the campus closings which were highlighted by the killings of students at Kent State and Jackson State—a nationwide all-out culture-war assault by the filthy rich against free thinking on campus was launched. They actually fired professors on my campus, not because they were radical or speaking out against the war, but because they were cutting back departments that had anything to do with the Humanities—even the social sciences, religious studies!!!…anything that involved encouraging students to be independent thinkers or to learn anything different from the elementary and secondary school propaganda we’d been taught before. Philosophy, for one, was considered as dangerous for students to be studying as taking LSD (er, God forbid! in either case…)

We stormed the administration building and found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/universities in America. We demanded the Dean appear on the steps of the Administration building and answer to the charges and respond about the documents, as a condition of us leaving the building. He showed up, sheepishly, and mealy-mouthed his way through his responses to r evidence. He never denied it.

Some students chipped in (what little they could) to pay for some profs to continue teaching the next semester. We couldn’t use any facilities; we sat on the grass, outside. Of course, we could not afford to continue to do this; nor could the profs get by on the $1-$25 voluntary donations!

And before the corporations there were the rich of other times and under other economies, in particular the feudal economy. Filthy rich nobility kept the peasants as virtual slaves.

The point, I guess, is that we are all taught something quite different about America, from kindergarten on up. So since it is all untrue, I wonder how different it is from the brainwashing and propaganda that we heard that totalitarian societies engage in, especially the Communists in the Soviet Union who were used as examples for most of my life.

But is it corporations that do these things, the enslaving? Let’s say it exactly so we can pinpoint who are really the actors. Is it not the people who own/run the corporations? So, that, in my opinion, makes it what one network (CNN, I think), who did a documentary a couple years ago on the obscenely increased wealth and power of this class (occurring during the Bush Administration), termed “the Filthy Rich.” I think it is high time we started being specific about who is running this country into the dirt.
Wisconsin Now, First Were the Campuses

WI Republicans Attack on Democracy Today

Wisconsin Republicans Attack on Democracy Today

Once they attacked and dismantled liberal arts programs on campuses in the 70s, the wealthy elite, the Matrix, could methodically dismantle human rights and economic justice in America, with few educated thinkers in a generalist, let alone a humanist tradition, to speak against it. What is happening in Wisconsin now is a direct outgrowth of the movements of the 60s and the backlash that occurred to them among the "filthy rich," which involved an all-out culture war, which is only coming out into the broad daylight now but has been going on for decades, imperceptibly yet powerfully changing the face of America and what it means to be an American. I wrote up some of my own experiences, e.g., http://bit.ly/LA-Am "I personally observed the downfall of the ideal of liberal arts in higher education. Its ideals came directly out…"
WI Republicans Attack on Democracy Today

Obama Order Institutionalizes Indefinite Detention

“Obama Order Institutionalizes Indefinite Detention” (aclu) and
“Fascism Has Come 2 America” Hello, 1984. Re: …Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, the fascism that is no longer creeping, torture of truth-tellers in America, and the article “A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America” by Chris Floyd http://bit.ly/AM-m84
http://bit.ly/OB-84m
http://bit.ly/AN-84m
http://bit.ly/GB-84m
http://bit.ly/PT84m

clipped from www.aclu.org
March 7, 2011

NEW YORK – President Obama today issued an executive order that permits ongoing indefinite detention of Guantánamo detainees while establishing a periodic administrative review process for them. The administration also announced it will lift the ban on bringing new military commissions charges against detainees that don’t already have ongoing cases in the substandard system.

inddet_home.jpg

The American Civil Liberties Union has long called for Guantánamo to be shut down and opposes the indefinite detention of prisoners there, some of whom have been imprisoned by the U.S. without charge or trial for nine years. The ACLU has also long called for an end to the illegitimate military commissions and for the government to prosecute terrorism suspects in the federal criminal courts.

  blog it

My tweets

Read the rest of this entry

The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan, The Myth of the Good Reagan Presidency.

The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan
Mar 7, 2011 12:13am by Mickel Adzema

The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan; The Myth of the Good Reagan Presidency. The Origin’s of Today’s Biggest Woes in the Reagan Presidency (and why and how the moneyed interests would do all they could to present an opposite, untrue story of Reagan, fabricate a good Ronald Reagan presidency mythology, smoke and lies)

Peter Dreier’s illuminating article debunks the mythology swirling around Ronald Reagan. We see how Reagan is the the father of America’s slide into the financial ruin, cultural mediocrity, fascist government policy, and social distress that we are immersed in at the moment. Some highlights of his article include:

let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.

a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents. That’s hogwash.

During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over

  • a widening gap between the rich and everyone else
  • declining wages and living standards for working families
  • an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class
  • a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness
  • and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession

Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.

Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions

Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution

Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.

But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.

Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.

Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets.

Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined
Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.

When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.

Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis.

Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.

In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”

Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm
We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm
Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called "truthiness":
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not." March 4, 1987
Amplify’d from http://www.thenation.com

Reagan’s Real Legacy

Peter Dreier

As the nation embarks on a celebration this Sunday of the hundredth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth—with conferences, museum exhibits and lots of speeches—let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency.

Why not let Reagan, who died in 2004, rest in peace? Because a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents.

That’s hogwash.

During his two terms in the White House (1981–89), Reagan presided over a widening gap between the rich and everyone else, declining wages and living standards for working families, an assault on labor unions as a vehicle to lift Americans into the middle class, a dramatic increase in poverty and homelessness, and the consolidation and deregulation of the financial industry that led to the current mortgage meltdown, foreclosure epidemic and lingering recession.

These trends were not caused by inevitable social and economic forces. They resulted from Reagan’s policy and political choices based on an underlying “you’re on your own” ideology.

Reagan is often lauded as “the great communicator,” but what he often communicated were lies and distortions. For example, during his stump speeches, while dutifully promising to roll back welfare, Reagan often told the story of a so-called “welfare queen” in Chicago who drove a Cadillac and had ripped off $150,000 from the government using eighty aliases, thirty addresses, a dozen Social Security cards and four fictional dead husbands. Journalists searched for this “welfare cheat” in the hopes of interviewing her and discovered that she didn’t exist. But this phony imagery of “welfare cheats” persisted and helped lay the groundwork for cuts to programs that help the poor, including children.

Reagan’s most famous statement—“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem”—has become the unofficial slogan for the recent resurgence of right-wing extremism. The rants of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the lunacy of Tea Party, the policy ideas promulgated by propaganda outfits like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation masquerading as think tanks and the takeover of the Republican Party by its most conservative wing were all incubated during the Reagan years. Indeed, they all claim to be carrying out the Reagan Revolution.

What did that revolution bring us?

Many Americans credit Reagan with reducing the size of government. In reality, he increased government spending, cut taxes and turned the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation. During his presidency, Reagan escalated the military budget while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working-class Americans and protected consumers and the environment. Not surprisingly, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps.

But, unfortunately, so did Bill Clinton. During his first campaign for the presidency, Clinton correctly observed that “the Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.” But a few years later, as president, Clinton proclaimed, echoing Reagan, that “the era of big government is over,” which he carried out by slashing welfare benefits for poor children.

Indeed, Reagan’s most important domestic legacy is our government’s weakened ability to do its job protecting families, consumers, workers and the environment.

How did Reagan revise America’s thinking about the role of government? Before Reagan took office, the American public was already growing more skeptical about government and politicians, exacerbated by the lies told by Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon about the Vietnam war, Nixon’s Watergate scandal and President Jimmy Carter’s inability to deal with the twin problems of rising prices and unemployment, often called “stagflation.” But Reagan—with his avuncular style, optimism and just-plain-folks demeanor—turned government-bashing into an art form.

And he had a lot of help. Accompanying the Reagan era was the rise of a well-oiled corporate-funded conservative propaganda machine—including think tanks and lobby groups, endowed professorships at universities, legal advocacy organizations, magazines, and college student internships to train the next generation—designed to demonize activist government and glorify unregulated markets. Years before Rush Limbaugh began his radio ministry to his conservative congregation of ditto-heads, Reagan and this right-wing echo chamber were on the job.

Reagan’s fans give him credit for restoring the nation’s prosperity. But whatever economic growth occurred during the Reagan years mostly benefitted those already well off. The income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined and the nation’s homeownership rate fell. During Reagan’s two terms in the White House, the minimum wage was frozen at $3.35 an hour, while prices rose, thus eroding the standard of living of millions of low-wage workers. The number of people living beneath the federal poverty line rose from 26.1 million in 1979 to 32.7 million in 1988. Meanwhile, the rich got much richer. By the end of the decade, the richest 1 percent of Americans had 39 percent of the nation’s wealth.

After signing the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in 1982, Reagan presided over the dramatic deregulation of the nation’s savings-and-loan industry. The law allowed S&Ls to end their reliance on home mortgages and permitted banks to provide adjustable-rate mortgage loans. The S&Ls began a decade-long orgy of real estate speculation, mismanagement and fraud. The industry indulged in a wild ride of merger mania, with banks and S&Ls gobbling each other up and making loans to finance shopping malls, golf courses, office buildings and condo projects that had no financial logic other than a quick-buck profit.

When the dust settled in the late 1980s, hundreds of S&Ls and banks had gone under, billions of dollars of commercial loans were useless and the federal government was left to bail out the depositors whose money the speculators had looted to the tune of over $130 billion.

Under Reagan, government’s role shifted from policing Wall Street and protecting consumers to a see-no-evil enabler, encouraging banks to engage in irresponsible practices. This was just the first chapter in the slide towards today’s financial crisis. Things got even worse—much worse—in the decades after Reagan left office. Both Bushes, as well as Clinton, took up where Reagan left off in granting banks and insurance companies permission to wreak havoc on consumers and the economy. This lead to the epidemic of subprime loans and foreclosures of the past three years and the costly federal bail-out of “too big to fail” Wall Street banks.

Reagan’s indifference to urban problems was legendary. Early in his presidency, at a White House reception, Reagan greeted the only black member of his Cabinet, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Samuel Pierce, saying: “How are you, Mr. Mayor? I’m glad to meet you. How are things in your city?”

Reagan not only failed to recognize his own HUD Secretary, he failed to deal with the growing corruption scandal at the agency that resulted in the indictment and conviction of top Reagan administration officials for illegally targeting housing subsidies to politically connected developers. Pierce and others rigged the allocation of subsidies for housing projects to favor Reagan’s campaign contributors and GOP lobbyists, such as former Interior Secretary James Watt. Fortunately for Reagan, the “HUD Scandal” wasn’t uncovered until he’d left office.

Reagan didn’t invent the pay-to-play game or the revolving door of top government officials becoming well-paid lobbyists and government contractors. But his hands-off attitude toward government oversight contributed to the deepening culture of corruption in our nation’s capital.

The 1980s saw pervasive racial discrimination by banks, real estate agents and landlords, unmonitored by the Reagan administration. Community groups uncovered blatant redlining by banks. But Reagan’s HUD and Department of Justice failed to prosecute or sanction banks that violated the Community Reinvestment Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in lending. During that time, of the 40,000 applications from banks requesting permission to expand their operations, Reagan’s bank regulators denied only eight of them on grounds of violating CRA regulations.

The declining fiscal fortunes of America’s cities began during the Reagan years. By the end of his second term, federal assistance to local governments had been slashed by 60 percent. Reagan eliminated general revenue sharing to cities, cut funding for public service jobs and job training, almost dismantled federally funded legal services for the poor, cut the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program and reduced funds for public transit.

These cutbacks had a disastrous effect on cities with high levels of poverty and limited property tax bases, many of which depended on federal aid to provide basic services. In 1980 federal dollars accounted for 22 percent of big city budgets. By the end of Reagan’s second term, federal aid was only 6 percent. The consequences were devastating to urban schools and libraries, municipal hospitals and clinics, and sanitation, police and fire departments—many of which had to shut their doors. Many cities still haven’t recovered from the downward spiral started during the Gipper’s presidency.

The most dramatic cut in domestic spending during the Reagan years was for low-income housing subsidies. In his first year in office, Reagan cut the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half. Congress thwarted his plan to wide out federal housing assistance to the poor altogether, but he got much of what he sought. In the 1980s the proportion of the eligible poor who received federal housing subsidies declined substantially.

Another of Reagan’s enduring legacies is the steep increase in the number of homeless people, which by the late 1980s had swollen to 600,000 on any given night—and 1.2 million over the course of a year. Many were Vietnam veterans, children and laid-off workers.

In early 1984 on “Good Morning America,” Reagan defended himself against charges of callousness toward the poor in a classic blaming-the-victim statement. He said that “people who are sleeping on the grates…the homeless…are homeless, you might say, by choice.”

Since his death, we’ve named a major airport, many schools and lots of streets after Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now, as we celebrate the centennial of his birth, a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench—where at least one homeless person sleeps every night—in honor of our fortieth president.

2. posted by: aznative at 02/06/2011 @ 10:18am

Ugh, the beginning of the end, I remember it well, the 80’s, the time when everything went to sh*t. Reagan cared for nothing along with his cabinet. I will not forget.

7. posted by: ljsopjes at 02/06/2011 @ 1:33pm

We also need a piece which clearly dispels the myth that Reagan was responsible for ending the Cold War.

8. posted by: darthchris67 at 02/06/2011 @ 4:20pm

Without the Gipper, where would W have been able to come up with what Stephen Colbert called "truthiness":

"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not." March 4, 1987

Read more at http://www.thenation.com
The Truth Behind the Good Ronald Reagan

My tweets

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: