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A Stark Nuclear Warning: Gov. Jerry Brown reviews William J. Perry's new book

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/07/14/a-stark-nuclear-warning/

A Stark Nuclear Warning
Jerry Brown
JULY 14, 2016 ISSUE

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink
by William J. Perry, with a foreword by George P. Shultz
Stanford Security Studies, 234 pp., $85.00; $24.95 (paper)


I know of no person who understands the science and politics of modern weaponry better than William J. Perry, the US Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997. When a man of such unquestioned experience and intelligence issues the stark nuclear warning that is central to his recent memoir, we should take heed. Perry is forthright when he says: “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”1 He also tells us that the nuclear danger is “growing greater every year” and that even a single nuclear detonation “could destroy our way of life.”

In clear, detailed but powerful prose, Perry’s new book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, tells the story of his seventy-year experience of the nuclear age. Beginning with his firsthand encounter with survivors living amid “vast wastes of fused rubble” in the aftermath of World War II, his account takes us up to today when Perry is on an urgent mission to alert us to the dangerous nuclear road we are traveling.

<snip>

In his foreword to the book, George P. Shultz describes Perry as a man of “absolute integrity.” His record is remarkable: Ph.D. in mathematics, vast technical training and experience in high-tech business, management of research and weapons acquisition as an undersecretary of defense under President Carter, and deputy secretary and then secretary of defense under Bill Clinton.

<snip>

No one I have known, or have even heard of, has the management experience and the technical knowledge that William Perry brings to the subject of nuclear danger. Few have his wisdom and integrity. So why isn’t anyone paying attention to him? Why is fear of a nuclear catastrophe far from the minds of most Americans? And why does almost all of official Washington disagree with him and live in nuclear denial? Perry himself may provide the answer:

Our chief peril is that the poised nuclear doom, much of it hidden beneath the seas and in remote badlands, is too far out of the global public consciousness. Passivity shows broadly. Perhaps this is a matter of defeatism and its cohort, distraction. Perhaps for some it is largely a most primal human fear of facing the “unthinkable.” For others, it might be a welcoming of the illusion that there is or might be an acceptable missile defense against a nuclear attack. And for many it would seem to be the keeping of faith that nuclear deterrence will hold indefinitely—that leaders will always have accurate enough instantaneous knowledge, know the true context of events, and enjoy the good luck to avoid the most tragic of military miscalculations.


While many complain of the obvious dysfunction in Washington, few see the incomparably greater danger of “nuclear doom” because it is hidden and out of public consciousness. Despite an election year filled with commentary and debate, no one is discussing the major issues that trouble Perry. It is another example of the rigid conformity that often dominates public discourse. Long ago, I saw this in the Vietnam War and later in the invasion of Iraq: intelligent people were doing mindless—and catastrophic—things. “Sleepwalking” is the term historians now use for the stupidities that got European leaders into World War I and for the mess they unleashed at Versailles. And sleepwalking still continues as NATO and Russia trade epithets and build their armies and Moscow and Washington modernize their nuclear overkill. A new cold war.

Fortunately, Bill Perry is not sleepwalking and he is telling us, in My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, to wake up before it is too late. Anyone can begin by reading his book.


http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/jerry-brown/

Jerry Brown is Governor of California. (July 20016)

Jupiter: Into the Unknown (NASA Juno Mission Trailer)



Jupiter: Into the Unknown (NASA Juno Mission Trailer)
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
190,302 views
Published on Jun 15, 2016

Secrets lie deep within Jupiter, shrouded in the solar system's strongest magnetic field and most lethal radiation belts.

On July 4, 2016, NASA's Juno spacecraft will plunge into uncharted territory, entering orbit around the gas giant and passing closer than any spacecraft before.

Juno will see Jupiter for what it really is, but first it must pass the trial of orbit insertion.

For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu

After centuries of seeing their colonies declare independence, the UK wanted to try it out.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/4pn39f/after_centuries_of_seeing_their_colonies_declare/

Omar Mateen's 'gay lover' claims Orlando shooting was revenge against HIV-positive partner

Source: Telegraph

A man who says he was Omar Mateen's lover has claimed the mass murderer acted out of revenge after finding out one of his partners was HIV positive.

<snip>

In an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision the man, who was identified only by the name Miguel, claimed he and Mateen were "friends with benefits".

<snip>

He claimed Mateen had sex with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom he later discovered was HIV positive, and that he became "terrified".

The man said: "He hated gay Puerto Ricans for all the stuff they did to him. I believe this crazy horrible thing he did was for revenge.

"When I asked him what he was going to do now his answer was: 'I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me'."

<snip>

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/22/omar-mateens-gay-lover-claims-orlando-shooting-was-revenge-again/

Tens of thousands protest on Okinawa to close key U.S. bases in Japan

Source: USA Today

Tens of thousands of protesters Sunday on Okinawa called for the closure of all U.S. military bases on the strategically important island, following last month's rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in which a U.S. base worker is the suspect.

It was one of the largest anti-U.S. base protests in Japan in decades and comes amid delicate negotiations over relocating a key American air base on Okinawa and China's increasingly assertive behavior in the Asia-Pacific region.

A crowd estimated by Japan’s Kyodo News service at 65,000 rallied in sweltering conditions at an outdoor sports stadium, holding signs reading, “Marines, Withdraw” and “Our anger has reached the limit.”

Thousands more protested outside Japan’s parliament building in Tokyo, and protests were planned in more than 40 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, according to local news reports.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/19/okinawa-protest-marines/86110434/

Orlando shooter worked for G4S (Wackenhut), which guards nuclear facilities

http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2016/06/12/orlando-shooter-worked-g4s/

Orlando shooter worked for G4S

The Orlando nightclub shooter worked for G4S, one of the world’s largest security companies, according to multiple news reports. WPBF, a TV station in Palm Beach County, Fla., where the company is based, quoted a statement issued by G4S that said Omar Mateen had worked for the company since Sept. 10, 2007. “We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, as they conduct their investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends, families and people affected by this unspeakable tragedy,” the statement said in part.

G4S, formerly known as Wackenhut, was a major security provider at the government facilities in Oak Ridge until it lost its contracts in the wake of the 2012 break-in by protesters at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. Mateen reportedly lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., and there is no indication he was ever involved in any Oak Ridge-related activities.

Wackenhut provided security at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge facilities, beginning in 2000. Its security contract at Y-12 was terminated after the security breach, and B&W Y-12 — the managing contractor at the time — absorbed the security duties as part of its work.

G4S/Wackenhut also lost its contract to provide security at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Federal Building in 2013 when DOE awarded the job to National Strategic Protective Services.


http://www.g4s.us/en-US/Industries/Nuclear/

Nuclear Facility Security

High-risk facilities need a partner with the experience and capability to deliver comprehensive security solutions
As the security solutions pioneer for the high-level critical infrastructure industry, G4S has an outstanding reputation, strong historical commitment and unsurpassed expertise for our clients.

- G4S has partnered with more than 90 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities

- Our force-on-force prep has sites earning a 100 percent passing rate

- Our engineering team has performed design work for more than 80 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities

- Our technology has systems in more than 70 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities

<snip>

DPJ leaders deny urging cover-up of Fukushima meltdown

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Former government leaders vehemently rejected suggestions in a report that they were pulling the strings behind a suspected meltdown cover-up when the Fukushima nuclear disaster was unfolding in 2011.

The report, compiled by an investigation panel commissioned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, said Masataka Shimizu, who was TEPCO president at the time of the accident, instructed employees not to use the term “meltdown,” leading to a delay in the official announcement.

But the report also implied that Shimizu was acting on orders from high up in the government.

<snip>

TEPCO declared the meltdown at three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in May 2011, two months after it occurred.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606170063.html

Court upholds injunction to halt Takahama nuclear reactors

Source: Reuters

A Japanese court on Friday upheld an order to keep two reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant closed, operator Kansai Electric Power said, leaving efforts to get a struggling nuclear industry up and running in limbo.

The court decision, upholding a petition from residents living near the plant concerned about safety, keeps the legal battle center stage in a struggle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to restore atomic power five years after the Fukushima disaster.

The Otsu District Court on March 9 ordered Kansai Electric, Japan's second-biggest utility, to shut down the reactors in Fukui Prefecture west of Tokyo, in the country's first injunction to halt an operating nuclear plant.

<snip>

Friday's decision denied the utility's attempt to temporarily halt the shutdown order. Kansai has separately requested that the court revoke the injunction, and a decision on that is expected to come sometime soon, possibly by July.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606170022.html



Let's hope they stay shut down permanently.

Dear Obama, Trudeau and Peña Nieto: Act Now to Save the Monarch Butterfly

Source: Huffington Post

More than 200 scientists, writers and artists have signed a letter addressed to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in advance of the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa later this month.

The signers urge that swift and energetic actions be taken to save the monarch butterfly from the threats that endanger its survival. All three countries must work together to mitigate the loss of the butterflies’ breeding habitat and to terminate all logging and mining in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, Mexico.

Among the many signers are Margaret Atwood, Robert F. Kennedy, J.M.G. Le Clézio (Nobel Prize), Bill McKibben, Michael Ondaatje, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Ashbery, Yann Martel and Simon Schama. The letter is reproduced in full below.

President Barack Obama
President Enrique Peña Nieto
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Honorable Gentlemen:

<snip>

A principal cause of the 90 percent plunge in monarch numbers over the last 20 years is the massive use of glyphosate herbicides on land in the U.S. corn belt planted with genetically modified herbicide-resistant soybean and corn crops. Extensive spraying of these crops in the major summer breeding area of these butterflies has decimated milkweed, which is the only foodplant that monarch caterpillars can eat. New generation crops are being developed to resist additional herbicides, so the threat to milkweeds is increasing.

<snip>

The three North American heads of state will meet on June 29, 2016, in Ottawa, their first joint meeting since 2014. We, the undersigned scientists, writers, artists and concerned citizens, call upon President Enrique Peña Nieto, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take swift and energetic actions to preserve the monarch’s migratory phenomenon. Success will require activity within all three countries: mitigation of the loss of breeding habitat due to milkweed-killing herbicide usage by protecting parcels of land with milkweeds and native nectar sources; termination of all logging in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve; and a prohibition of mining in the Reserve. Leadership responding to these challenges is crucial; monarch butterflies are among the most extraordinary and iconic creatures on the planet, beloved by many, and they represent a fundamental connection of our three countries.

Sincerely yours,

<snip>


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/homero-aridjis/save-monarch-butterfly_b_10511748.html

Orlando gunman said he carried out attack to get 'Americans to stop bombing his country,' witness sa

Source: Washington Post

The gunman who opened fire inside a nightclub here said he carried out the attack because he wanted “Americans to stop bombing his country,” according to a witness who survived the rampage.

This account from Patience Carter, a 20-year-old who was inside the club during a three-hour hostage standoff, offers the first glimpse at what the shooter said spurred him to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Carter said the gunman made his claims about his motivation during the same 911 call in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

At one point, while about two dozen hostages were in the bathrooms inside Pulse, Carter said the gunman asked if there were any black people in the room. When one man said yes, the shooter said, “‘You know I don’t have a problem with black people,'” Carter recalled during a news conference. She said he added: “‘This is about my country. You guys suffered enough.'”

<snip>

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/06/14/fbi-director-orlando-shooting-probe-also-looks-backward-into-agency-files-on-shooter/?utm_term=.91382e3c6f58
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