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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,077

Journal Archives

Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant Leaking Contaminated Water (As Much As 120 Tons)

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: As much as 120 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from Fukushima nuclear plant, officials say - @Reuters http://t.co/Au9fiQdNn7

Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant leaking contaminated water

Fri Apr 5, 2013 10:48pm EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - As much as 120 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from a storage tank at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, contaminating the surrounding ground, Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday.

The power company has yet to discover the cause of the leak, detected on one of seven tanks that store water used to cool the plants reactors, a spokesman for the company, Masayuki Ono, said at a press briefing.

The company plans to pump 13,000 cubic meters of water remaining in the tank to other vessels over the next two weeks.

Water from the leaking tank, which located 800 meters from the coast, is not expected to reach the sea, Kyodo news wire reported, earlier, citing unidentified officials from the utility.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE93501I20130406

PHOTO: Robert & Ethel Kennedy Console Coretta Scott King


Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) tweeted at 8:30pm - 5 Apr 13:

RFK chartered the plane bringing MLK's remains back to Atlanta--here he & Ethel console Mrs. King in her bedroom:

http://t.co/XXgqIECIPI (https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/320332758041886720)

Trayvon Martin's Parents Settle Wrongful Death Claim (Against Homeowner's Association)

Source: Orlando Sentinel

Trayvon Martin's parents settle wrongful death claim

By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel
12:30 pm, April 5, 2013

SANFORD - Trayvon Martin's parents have settled a wrongful death claim for an amount believed to be more than $1 million against the homeowners association of the Sanford subdivision where their teenage son was killed.

Their attorney, Benjamin Crump, filed that paperwork at the Seminole County Courthouse, a portion of which was made public today.

In the five pages of the settlement that were available for public review, the settlement amount had been marked out. Lower in the agreement, the parties specified that they would keep that amount confidential.

When asked during an earlier interview whether the amount was higher than $1 million, Crump said: "I have no comment on that subject…I know you did not get that from me."

Read more: http://touch.orlandosentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75229786

Krugman in NYT: The Urge To Purge ("Now The Fact is These Ranters Have Been Wrong About Everything")


The Urge to Purge
Published: April 4, 2013 339 Comments

When the Great Depression struck, many influential people argued that the government shouldn’t even try to limit the damage. According to Herbert Hoover, Andrew Mellon, his Treasury secretary, urged him to “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers. ... It will purge the rottenness out of the system.” Don’t try to hasten recovery, warned the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter, because “artificial stimulus leaves part of the work of depressions undone.”

Like many economists, I used to quote these past luminaries with a certain smugness. After all, modern macroeconomics had shown how wrong they were, and we wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of the 1930s, would we?

How naïve we were. It turns out that the urge to purge — the urge to see depression as a necessary and somehow even desirable punishment for past sins, while inveighing against any attempt to mitigate suffering — is as strong as ever. Indeed, Mellonism is everywhere these days. Turn on CNBC or read an op-ed page, and the odds are that you won’t see someone arguing that the federal government and the Federal Reserve are doing too little to fight mass unemployment. Instead, you’re much more likely to encounter an alleged expert ranting about the evils of budget deficits and money creation, and denouncing Keynesian economics as the root of all evil.

Now, the fact is that these ranters have been wrong about everything, at every stage of the crisis, while the Keynesians have been mostly right. Remember how federal deficits were supposed to cause soaring interest rates? Never mind: After four years of such warnings, rates remain near historic lows — just as Keynesians predicted. Remember how running the printing presses was going to cause runaway inflation? Since the recession began, the Fed has more than tripled the size of its balance sheet, but inflation has averaged less than 2 percent.


MoveOn Calls Obama’s Proposed Social Security Cuts ‘Unconscionable’

Source: TPM

MoveOn Calls Obama’s Proposed Social Security Cuts ‘Unconscionable’


The liberal advocacy group MoveOn on Friday blasted President Barack Obama's budget, calling the proposed cuts to Social Security "unconscionable."

Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn, said in the statement that Obama's proposal is especially baffling given that "Republicans in Congress aren't even asking for this Social Security cut."

"President Obama's plan to cut Social Security would harm seniors who worked hard all their lives. Under this plan, a typical 80-year-old woman would lose the equivalent of three months worth of food every year. That's unconscionable.

It's even more outrageous given that Republicans in Congress aren't even asking for this Social Security cut. This time, the drive to cut Social Security is being led by President Obama and Democrats.

Millions of MoveOn members did not work night and day to put President Obama into office so that he could propose policies that would hurt some of our most vulnerable people. Just as we fought and defeated President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, we will mobilize and stop this attempt to diminish the vital guarantee of Social Security. MoveOn's 8 million members will not stand by and watch a Democratic President chip away at one of the most successful government programs of all time. Every member of Congress -- Democrat or Republican -- who votes for this proposal should expect to be held accountable."

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/moveon-calls-obamas-proposed-social-securtiy-cuts-unconscionable

U.N. Rights Boss Calls for Closure of Gitmo ("indefinite incarceration 'clear breach of law'")

Source: Reuters

@Reuters: UN Rights Chief Pillay calls for closure of Guantanamo prison saying indefinite incarceration "clear breach of international law" #breaking

U.N. rights boss calls for closure of Guantanamo prison

Fri Apr 5, 2013 10:04am EDT

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations' top human rights official called on U.S. authorities on Friday to close down the Guantanamo prison camp, saying the indefinite imprisonment of many detainees without charge or trial violated international law.

Navi Pillay said the hunger strike being carried out by some inmates at the facility in southeastern Cuba was a "desperate act" but it was "scarcely surprising".

"We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold," she said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9340IU20130405

Roger Ebert's Amazing TED Talk: "Thank You Leonard Cohen for Saving My Life"


Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice

FILMED MAR 2011 • POSTED APR 2011 • TED2011

When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.

After losing the power to speak, legendary film critic Roger Ebert went on to write about creativity, race, politics and culture -- and film, just as brilliantly as ever.

Roger Ebert: "I Do Not Fear Death"


THURSDAY, SEP. 15, 2011 11:01 AM EDT

I do not fear death

I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn't shake my sense of wonder and joy


Roger Ebert was always a great friend of Salon's. We're deeply saddened by reports of his death, and are re-printing this essay, from his book "Life Itself: A Memoir," which we think fans will take particular comfort in reading now.

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

- snip -

What I expect to happen is that my body will fail, my mind will cease to function and that will be that. My genes will not live on, because I have had no children. I am comforted by Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clichés that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many. They will all also eventually die, but so it goes.

- snip -

That does a pretty good job of summing it up. “Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.


Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel on "The Critic"

For First Time, Majority of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

Source: Reuters

For first time, majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana

Thu Apr 4, 2013 7:39pm BST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For the first time, a majority of Americans back legalizing marijuana, marking significant changes in public opinion toward the drug, especially among the young, a survey by the Pew Research Center showed on Thursday.

The survey showed 52 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, which the federal government deems an illegal drug even as many states have loosened restrictions on "pot" use.

Support for legalizing pot has risen by 11 points since 2010 and was up from just 12 percent backing in 1969, when 84 percent of those polled opposed legalization. In the most recent survey, 45 percent of Americans opposed legalization.

"For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana," Pew said in a statement.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKBRE9330YE20130404
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