Bryan @ WhyNow? first alerted me to this story:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.
The plane took the cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for decommissioning Thursday, the Air Force said.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A three-year veil of secrecy in the name of national security was used to keep the public in the dark about the handling of highly enriched uranium at a nuclear fuel processing plant – including a leak that could have caused a deadly, uncontrolled nuclear reaction.
The leak turned out to be one of nine violations or test failures since 2005 at privately owned Nuclear Fuel Services Inc., a longtime supplier of fuel to the U.S. Navy’s nuclear fleet.
Gotta love your private nuclear contractors.
And then there’s Entergy. Look what BusinessWeek has to say.
Good thing for their profits they don’t know anything when stuff breaks.
And Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are unconcerned.
The Bush administration is a danger to the security of the United States. Nothing could be clearer. Every day this regime stays in power constitutes a threat to our safety—yours, mine, our families, our communities, our country. Even if you discount the subversion of our Constitution and our tradition of liberty, even if you ignore the shameful policies of secret prisons, torture, and lawless detention—just on the basis of national security alone, the impeachment of George Bush and Richard Cheney must be initiated, if only to slow down the destructive machine that threatens our very lives.
The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant was abruptly shut down Thursday afternoon while technicians were conducting a trouble-shooting test of one of the plant’s four turbine stop valves.
Rob Williams, spokesman for plant owner Entergy Nuclear, said the plant went into automatic shutdown mode at 3:12 p.m. and will remain offline until workers evaluate what happened and fix any problems.
A company news release said the plant was in “safe and stable condition” late Thursday afternoon.
“This automatic shutdown is part of the conservative design of this plant,” Williams said. “The system is constantly checking for any signal, and any abnormality is immediately sensed and will cause the reactor to go into automatic shutdown.”
Williams said the shutdown will likely last several days.
Perfectly safe. Nothing to worry about.
A cooling tower structure at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that partially collapsed Tuesday underwent a full inspection as recently as this spring and was found to be in good condition, a company spokesman said Thursday.
“It was determined acceptable for continued operation,” said Rob Williams, spokesman for plant owner Entergy Nuclear.
Williams said the collapse, which occurred Tuesday afternoon and left a gaping hole in the side of the structure, caused Entergy to reduce power output by 50 percent until repairs are carried out.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said the tower collapse does not pose a safety threat.
You’ve got to be kidding me. They seem more concerned about the fact that someone took a picture.
Hey, contact lens wearers, according to a CDC survey, more than half of you have no clue that Advanced Medical Optics recalled their Complete MoisturePlus lens cleaner. The multipurpose solution fails to protect users from an amoeba that can cause acanthamoeba keratitis. Over 25% of users who contracted the infection required a corneal transplant, and if that doesn’t scare you, consider this quote from the CDC:
“This is just as serious as the fusarium outbreak,” said Lola Russell, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to an outbreak of fungal eye infections last year that was linked to Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc lens cleaners.
WASHINGTON – Toy-maker Fisher-Price is recalling 83 types of toys — including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters — because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead.
The worldwide recall being announced Thursday involves 967,000 plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States between May and August. It is the latest in a wave of recalls that has heightened global concern about the safety of Chinese-made products.
The recall is the first for Fisher-Price Inc. and parent company Mattel Inc. involving lead paint. It is the largest for Mattel since 1998 when Fisher-Price had to yank about 10 million Power Wheels from toy stores.
Poisoning Big Bird is not nice. Boo.
How many children have been exposed?
I know I should not write on politics, but this hits me where I live. I was talking with a friend about his affair with a married woman whose husband is assigned away from the US. It is a sad story, and it is one I have heard mirrored many times. It is one with all the other stories that, like mad cats drawn from the same sack, scratch and claw at us. So forgive me being weak, and writing on a topic that should be forbidden to anyone who must by profession be faceless, blank and without core or surface soul. Forgive me for saying this.
Come home America, come home.
It is time to come home from distant wars against fictions and phantoms. It is time to come home to your wives who miss you, to your children who need you, to your families that feel the pain of missing souls.
It is time to come home America, home to the cities that have been flooded, the forests left untended, the fields left untilled. It is time to come home America, to the work left undone, the minds left unschooled. It is time to come America, to the home you did not leave behind, because no home ever lasts if left unrepaired.
It is time to come home America, and when you do, you will ask how you ever let that home be put into hands such as the ones that now have it. You will wonder at how they ever seemed to be giants, and on the back of which ant the cameras were mounted to make them look that way.
It is time America to come home. Home to the words which we written on parchment, printed on paper, but engraved on hearts and minds, with stylus of firearms, and ink mixed of blood and gunpowder: “when it becomes destructive to these ends… to alter or abolish it.”
Look at the man who wields the seal of 13 arrows and 13 stars, of 13 leaves and 13 olives, of 13 stripes and countless hopes and dreams. Ask yourself a single question: is he worthy of placing your sons lives in his hands? Hands that have signed so many laws unjust, unwise and unAmerican. Hands which have rubber stamped commands from other unelected. Ask yourself if his words are to be trusted, coming from the same mouth that has spat out so many of us on to the ground.
I have spent my life studying ruins, and I feel this home becoming one. I have spent my life studying kings, and know their portraits by heart. And in history’s wake I feel, I know and must believe because without this belief there is no hope in me: that all the crosses of gold and silver crowns, must in history’s turn be struck down. But I am not the one to do it, I can only call to you, who are still across the sea, or buried in your own affairs, to look up, and see. See that we are losing our America, from mountains blasted for blacker coal, to roads that crack and creak, to nursing wards for veterans that stink and reek, to schools that are dour and bleak.
Come home America, while there is yet time, let not the sands cover us, nor the waters wash us away. It is not out there that our freedom lives, but here. It is not a Vatican in Baghdad that we must build, but a shining city on hill which we must rebuild, our golden domes pealing, our silver stars tarnished, our private places violated by rude disruption, for an adventure we did not wish, nor want. Let dead caesars have their triumphs, let forgotten pharaohs have their obelisks. Let emperors have their might tombs, let them have them, one and all their arcs and boulevards.
Ask your son, your daughter, your wife, your lover. Each will tell you what I say here. “I don’t know why were are there, I just want you home.”
To our public servants I can only ask: “What do you think we changed the government for? We demanded only a few simple things. End the flow of corruption, end the war, and end the reign of error.” You have voted for another year for corruption to flow, already. You have not voted to end the war, yet. You have said that you will not act to remove those who have committed hight crimes and misdemeanors, ever. We sent you once to Washington, we can send you right back home again if you forget why we sent you there.
I don’t know what else to say, it is an old story, of Ulysses coming home, and cleaning the house of suitors that sought to suck the blood and treasure from his house and steal his wife. To servants who had forgotten their duties, and to all the animals save two that had forgotten his scent. He came home and bent his bow and slew the suitors on sight. But to bend his bow, the great hero first, had to come home.
Please, please, please. It is time to set right what has gone so horribly wrong.
Terrorist? You decide.
Hat-tip Donna Woodka.
Update: Cannablog is pleased to join the sippy cup anti-massacre movement.
Update 2: Wow! in the comments below, suggests watching this:
Update 3: A commenter points out that if it had been milk in the sippy cup instead of water…:
As for milk, milk, formula and juice are allowed… perhaps you and Monica Emmerson need to read the rules. These are the same rules that guided my wife and I and we have had nary a problem with sippy cups. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm
Though I’m not sure, on reading these rules it only seems to say she could have milk or juice in the carry-on, not necessarily in the sippy cup, and not water. You have to be very careful reading these rules… I think if Monica had just said it was “nursery water” in the sippy cup they’d have let her go through without hassle, because they were trying to say it was okay if it was milk.
Children’s toys, above, poisoned with lead paint.
(Article from the Consumerist forwarded by my wife.)
Jon Swift has an idea:
It is the Second Amendment that makes our country free. A Global Second Amendment would make the world free. Nuclear proliferation could be the key to making the world safe for democratic proliferation.
We’d have to accept a Nuclear Regulatory Body, being necessary to the security of a free World.
Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
By Montel Williams
You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana’s medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren’t treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.
If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don’t see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.
My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn’t sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.
All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn’t take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to become a junkie.
When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.
I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.
You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It’s common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It’s typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don’t help much, whatever the specific illness.
The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can’t walk.
This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the “gold standard” of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.
What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.
In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.
Here’s what’s shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there’s no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They’re lying, and they know it.
Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It’s long past time for that to change.
Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it’s recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.
The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of “Climbing Higher” and other books.
Special to the Post-Dispatch
Rez Dog at Mockingbird’s Medley provides a good wrap-up of some very suspicious military deaths that require investigation. I’m copying the whole thing because I don’t want you to have to go farther than necessary to find out more information about each of these cases.
A petition worth your attention is one on behalf of PFC LaVena Johnson whose death in Iraq was ruled a suicide despite obvious signs of a beating. Read the whole story at Welcome to Pottersville. I found the story at Shakespeare’s Sister where Waveflux has been blogging the story for a while.
Here’s yet another suspicious set of circumstances that masks the reality that the chain of command would rather ignore. Here in Arizona, we have a similar military death, SPC Alyssa Petersen of Flagstaff, whose suicide came after she was displayed too much empathy with detainees and was unable to interrogate them as directed.
Arizona, of course, has the well-known case of fabricated events in the death of SPC Pat Tillman but everybody knows that. The less well-known are easily overlooked by the electronic circus that passes for news in this country. All the more reason for citizens to speak out and ask questions.
Murdered, November 6, 2006.
Nov. 6 — Derek Hale is shot to death by Wilmington Police Lt. William Browne, while Browne and other officers and troopers were attempting to “take Hale into custody.”
Nov. 7 — Police release some information about the killing. In a written statement, Wilmington police say Hale (whom they hadn’t yet named) was shot three times because an “officer in close proximity to the developments feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat. That officer then utilized deadly force.”
Nov. 8 — Police identify Hale. Asked if he ever threatened officers, police say, “In a sense, when he did not comply with their commands.” As to why Hale was being sought, Wilmington police defer to the Delaware State Police, who declined to comment.
Click e-mail for more.
Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, have a certain “half-life” in the atmosphere before they are eliminated by natural processes, such as by plant respiration. When the production of new greenhouse gases has equilibrium with the elimination of circulating greenhouse gases, the climate is kept in balance.
Much discussion of reducing and controlling global warming has focused on how we may regulate the production of new greenhouse gases, and we must do so or we could never eliminate them quickly enough to prevent their building without limit and turning the earth into a place uninhabitable to humans.
It would also be helpful to begin encouraging the reduction of circulating greenhouse gases by broad based home agriculture. One green plant can reduce the carbon footprint of one person by a significant amount. If climate science has taught us anything, it’s that small changes over a large population make a huge difference.
It rhymes, so it must be true.
Update: Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.
You do not have to eat poison, and you can be sure that if you consume enough of some things you will die.
Some things are so benign you can eat them without limitation and become healthier.
Recognize the difference.
Public safety be damned, Lubbock would rather have revenue. Radley Balko has the story.
Keith Olbermann has the story,
Crooks & Liars has video of Nancy Pelosi on this manufactured scandal about her “personal plane.”
Here’s the scenario, not to alarm the public so it cannot be detailed without great care by the speaker herself, but you must understand how the line of succession works. If something happened, a terrorist incident, and the president is killed or incapacitated, there must immediately be a president already in full possession of capacity to act on behalf of the United States of America, a successor is therefore established in advance. If Dick Cheney were to be also incapacitated in this scenario, Nancy Pelosi would be the president as soon as anyone could swear her in.
That wouldn’t be a good time to be stuck on a long-distance commercial airplane. To have to force it to land with all its passengers on board, and everything that entails. Should I go on, and explain how she cannot even land such a plane in the kinds of secured locations she would need to be taken immediately to.
Nancy needs an airplane that gets her across the country without having to secure an extra landing strip and refueling station for every trip. It’s less expensive to get the bigger plane. I just wish it didn’t look so expensive.
This is an historic time. We do not have the luxury to hope for opportunities in the future to correct what must be fixed now.
You are connected with a third rail, the blogosphere is powerful and can shock you if you are not properly grounded.
Fulla Nayak, 120. With her family, on the right. Her 92 year old daugher lives with her, as does her 72 year old grandson.
NTodd has an interesting perspective on the issue of birth control, of which abortion is only one component. I tend not to write about this issue often because it is so deeply a matter of personal conscience what determines the relative value of a given human life over another. I also take a Monty Pythonesque view on the issue of contraception, which is to say their true view and not the view they satirize by their famous song.
Let me take a moment to point out the obvious hypocrisy of anyone with a purportedly pro-human life outlook being advocates of war. Obviously they value some lives more than others, and some are entirely dispensable to them.
No sane person wants there to be unwanted children or abortions, if it were possible to avoid having them without doing violence to women (or men). We should not want to mutilate people’s genitals, we should not want there to be any harm done to the innocent.
We don’t often enough stop to consider that the cause of violence is usually violence. Stop non-consensual sex and you will stop most or all of the abortions that occur. Stop adultery and you will stop the rest.
Oh, but you don’t want to stop adultery, going by what I see.
Except to punish the woman, because she is the one who is subject to violence from her spouse if she is caught with child.
We have to end the violence done to women, and you know that divorce must be a right for that very reason. But what many of you don’t know or publicly admit due to the risk of persecution is that violence can be tamed by cannabis — marijuana. It is a lie and an obvious one at that when prohibitionists associate cannabis with violence, when the only violence is involved in the criminal aspects of prohibition itself.
End cannabis prohibition and you will see that the very thing you criticize about “hippies” is their non-violence.
End cannabis prohibition and you will end the war in Iraq and in the rest of the middle east. Cannabis can be grown to fuel our economy. Cars and trucks can run on clean biological oils. Paints and chemicals can be made from it. Cannabis may be sacred but she is also profane. We have a petroleum economy today but we cannot have a petroleum economy forever.