Friday, June 24, 2011

I have the answer.

No, really. :-)

So, the Republicans have managed to bring all lawmaking and government in the USA to a crashing halt, yes? Government by blackmail. Set up some phony "moral imperative", in our case, "no taxing the rich", and sit down in the middle of the road, announcing that you will never never be moved from your moral high ground.

Not only is the USA about to go into a government shut down; since no budget is going to be passed. And maybe a sovereign default. But my own state of Minnesota is in the identical place; Democrat governor, Republican legislature; absolute stalemate.

The thing is, the Republicans are all gleeful, since they've discovered the power of "just say no". Like all 12 year-olds, they are having huge fun. And the grown-ups in the situation, whoever they may be, are just really struggling to find any kind of a handle. Alas, corporal punishment of 12 year old Congressmen is probably not an option.

So, it occurred to me. What do you DO, when your kid climbs up a 40 foot tall tree, and refuses to come down?

There's the answer, staring us in the face. You tell the kid- "ok, fine. Stay up there! Have fun!" And you leave.

So; the Republicans think it's grown up to walk out on negotiations?

Fine. They want to run the country?


All Democrats- whenever a Republican says "no, we need to do it THIS way" - your BEST option is to smile and say "Fine! You're in charge! Go do exactly what you want!"

I can't imagine a fiercer revenge.

Since they've brought it all to a halt anyway- and are blaming the adults who keep trying to make things work-

Let them run it. All. You wanna guess how well that will work out? A whole bunch of really bad things are about to happen, economically. We all know that. Whoever is nominally "in charge" will, of course, be blamed for it - any and all realities in the case notwithstanding. So; why not let the Republicans take all that nice responsibility?

It's the best possible way to insure 100% Democratic legislatures voted in, next election.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Polka Dot Gallows! - 6/23/11

I have started new posts several times in the past weeks- and never managed to get them finished to the point where they were ready to put up. Too many interruptions from the Universe, which seems sometimes to be looking to change its name to the OmniPerverse.

Besides that big storm which tracked all across our county, which tossed oak branches through the potty house roof, and which incidentally turned out to be a genuine tornado- we're having a very cool, soaking wet year so far. Making most of the processes on any farm slow and difficult; when not impossible.

The other reason for not finishing the posts- they're serious ones; and I really want to do them right, and well. Still working there.

Meanwhile. When I bump into some news that is just mind-bogglingly mind boggling, I do get the urge to share. The Polka Dot Gallows concept is related to the German phrase for mordant humor, often called "dark" humor in English. They call it "galgenhumor", literally "gallows humor". I figured as long as so much of our humor these days is coming from the gallows- we might as well go ahead and make the gallows a fun place. Hence my polka dots.

As you might guess, today's Polka Dot Gallows entries are from Japan. So much of the news there has just been purely horrifying, that I figure a little lightening up will be useful.

You'll be glad to know that Japan is now Safe To Visit! We know for sure!

Our Primary Source of Truth And Expertise has proclaimed it. Lady Gaga. Of course.

"Pop singer Lady Gaga has assured the world that Japan is safe to visit following the March 11th earthquake and nuclear accident."

Thank goodness, we can relax at last. If you find it a bit peculiar that the Japanese government is relying on pop singers for public relations expertise, you may want to consider Item Two for the Polka Dot Gallows today:

If you're wondering if Homer Simpson is actually in charge of nuclear power oversight in Japan, wonder no more. They've fired him; and replaced him with The Three Stooges. (And yes, you're correct, they're dead.)

See, Tepco has installed a nifty new "American made" filtering system, so they can filter out some of the incredibly radioactive crud in the water in their basements, and then, maybe, reuse that water to "cool" the corium still melting its way through their reactor floors.

Except, after several days; the nifty new filters are not working.

They think, today, they may have finally figured out why.

Basically - they hadn't turned it on. That was the "American built" system. Just incidentally, for more fun, they add "The test-run was interrupted on Tuesday after a pump to send water into French-made decontamination equipment stopped, also due to the wrong setting of a valve."

So we're in good hands, folks. Lady Gaga and The Three Stooges.

Hopefully there's someone a little more adept in charge in Nebraska right now. They're close enough to us that I am, in fact, worried. Although the Nuclear Regulatory Commission now has 6 people on site, instead of the normal 2; and are putting out press releases that they've "made extensive preparations" - I have yet to see any statement that the cooling systems of these plants were designed to run under water, with no electricity.

And do remember how forthcoming all the world governments have been, and the power companies, and the press, with information about malfunctioning reactors.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More unhappy stuff from Japan.

I know we don't need more depressing news. This bit seems to be in imminent danger of disappearing, however, so-

Japanese Public Television reported this morning that the suicide rate in Japan was up 18% in May. 3 hours later- the story has vanished from their news feed; though my saved link still worked. Here it is:

Suicides top 3,000 in May
More than 3,200 people killed themselves in Japan last month, exceeding the 3,000 mark for the first time in 2 years.

The National Police Agency says the number of suicides totaled 3,281 in May, up 499, or 18 percent, from a year earlier.

By prefecture, Tokyo topped the list with 325 suicides, followed by 210 in Kanagawa and 206 in Osaka.

In areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, Fukushima saw an increase of 19 suicides to 68. The figure for Miyagi was unchanged at 50 while Iwate saw a decline of 3 to 32.

Until March, suicides had been on the decline since last year. The government had stepped up prevention measures, including opening numerous counseling counters.

After the disaster in March, however, the figure increased for the next 2 months.

The police agency says it does not know whether the disaster is related to the increase. It says it will make detailed analyses of individual cases in cooperation with the Cabinet Office and other ministries.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 09:46 +0900 (JST)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Education for the future.

This is not fun. Nobody wants to still be thinking about leaking reactors. But; you really, really, need to know this.

This news release comes today from the official Japanese Public Television station, NHK.

I'm going to simply include all of it here, since there is a very high probability that in a few days, you won't be able to find the information easily; or perhaps not at all.

Gov't didn't release radiation data after accident

The Japanese government has expressed regret for not disclosing some important results of the radiation monitoring conducted near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant soon after the accident.

The central and Fukushima prefectural governments collected the data to determine evacuation measures as well as food and water restrictions for residents.

A reading on March 12th, one day after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, shows that radioactive tellurium was detected 7 kilometers away. Tellurium is produced during the melting of nuclear fuel.

Three hours before the data was collected, the government expanded the radius of the evacuation area around the plant from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers.

But the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported at a news conference several hours later that the nuclear fuel was intact.

The government also failed to disclose the high radiation levels in weeds 30 to 50 kilometers from the plant. On March 15th, 123 million becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram were detected 38 kilometers northeast of the plant.

The nuclear safety agency says it deeply regrets not releasing the data.

Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University says radioactive iodine has a high effect on children. He says that if the data had been released earlier, more measures could have been taken to protect them from exposure.
Saturday, June 04, 2011 15:27 +0900 (JST)


There is hardly any comment needed; but I'll summarize. Yes, the Japanese government- and ours- knew; for certain; that a reactor had melted down completely; and exploded- one day after the tsunami-quake. That's the only way to get tellurium seven kilometers away. Nothing else could possibly have been responsible.

And- 123 MILLION becquerels of radio Iodine per kilo????? 38 kilometers NW? That's a number you only expect to find INSIDE a reactor core.

And- just like in all the disaster movies- they elected to NOT TELL THE PUBLIC. And the other world governments; with scientists all advising, and seeing what was going on from satellites I do assure you- went right along with it. Gosh, we don't want to scare anyone. Even though their kids are now playing in the spewed out guts of a nuclear reactor.

Apparently though, they believe in "Trickle Down Truth" - because they are quietly telling us now, and oh, yes, gosh, they are sorry about that.

You are really, really, going to want to remember this example in the future.

No "conspiracy theory" delusions here; just the hot, melted facts.