Syria: No Easy Answers

Heard on CNN about Obama’s strategy: if we can’t get the British, then go to Congress.

Horrendous deaths and a horrible dilemma. So much bigger regionally than a waffling president’s red line. We’re broke. People are suffering. Inhumanity abounds. There are forty-five million refugees worldwide. How could more bombing be the answer? We never talk anymore. Yoko: Imagine peace.

Women’s Healthcare Joins 21st Century

In this “modern” era, when we spend billions of dollars to fight wars to extend the US penis promote and preserve Democracy around the world, women are now equal in health under the law. Obama announced Thursday, January 19, 2012, that insurance companies will be required to cover birth control without a co-pay. BIRTH CONTROL! Can you believe it? Are we not living in the dark ages?

In their article, the Hill quotes Planned Parenthood:

Birth control is not just basic health care for women, it is an economic concern,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “This common sense decision means that millions of women, who would otherwise pay $15 to $50 a month, will have access to affordable birth control, helping them save hundreds of dollars each year.

Of course, it’s the elephant in the room. We live with the unspoken irony that Viagra is covered and birth control is not. So, a man can have his turn-on paid for, yet there’s a cost for the recipient woman to not become pregnant? How does this make sense? I’ve always said this “arrangement” would be very different if men got pregnant.

It’s interesting that besides a thank you to Obama from Planned Parenthood (which I recommend you sign), the current coverage (and a good article) I found was from The Hill. Because it is a conservative blog, the comments were predominantly and extremely negative toward women being treated equally regarding reproduction.

Although this news broke last week, I didn’t want to let it go by without posting something.

Update: On Friday, January 20, the administration announced it would allow a year for religious institutions to comply. In their article, The Hill notes that Obama’s initial announcement was made after HHS Kathleen Sibelius rejected over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill, which outraged women’s reproductive rights groups.

When the Upside is Three Mile Island

Two days ago I felt like saying, “this is going from bad to worse,” but I held my tongue thinking it was too pessimistic to put out there — just focus on recovery from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. How could it get worse?

And now, fifty people are left to protect Japan and the world from having a nuclear catastrophe at four of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daichi facility. Each of the reactors is equal to one Three Mile Island.

Back up power and emergency systems are gone. There have been radioactive releases. There’s more waste in the spent fuel pools than in the reactors. Normally the water should be twenty feet above the fuel. Perhaps the rods have fallen down into the water. At Three Mile Island, it took five years for the system to cool down. Only then did they discover that there had been a fifty percent meltdown after the system was turned off for only two hours. In Japan it’s been much longer.

All the fuel could melt and go through the bottom of the pressure vessel. None of these structures is made to cope with this kind of event. If this happens, there would be an easier path through the molten vessel to the outside. Once the spent rods are in the pool, no one thinks about it (protecting them further).

Wikileaks revealed the U.S. had said that Japan wasn’t properly regulating its nuclear power industry. Japan built six reactors at one location, concentrated them there, because everyone said “not in my backyard.” (duh!)  That’s never been done before, and it makes things much more complicated and likely to happen with them all subject to the same conditions.

GE whistleblower – In 1975, in the design of Mark 1 containments they hadn’t taken into account loads caused by loss of water and other events. At that time he was asked to be project manager. Event: large loss of coolant accident – break of pipe and release of steam and containment products into the pool itself. Heavy vibrations weren’t considered. The steam from a large break should be condensed by water in the suppression pool. You could have a meltdown, or an uncontrolled release of radiation.

The cause of accident is the combined earthquake and tsunami which wiped out all backup systems onsite, so they haven’t been able to cool the system as designed. On all five of the Mark 1 plants at Fukushima, the spent fuel is on the reactor fueling floor. Why? It’s handy because they don’t have to move it very far. After it cools, the fuel is moved into another storage pool that’s outside of the reactor building. Under normal circumstances, it’s water-filled.

Usually you’d have a couple of days in which to act. Unit 4, which is now under threat of meltdown due to a fire wasn’t even in operation at the time. (Now @ 9pm ET, it’s claimed the fire is out.) However, in a horrible confluence of events, Unit 4 was under a maintenance program, and all of the fuel in the reactor had been off-loaded from the reactor into the fuel pool. So, it was verrryyyy hot.

* This post is comprised of my notes from Elliot Spitzer’s interviews of nuclear energy experts on his CNN show tonight 3/15/11. Although they are experts, these interviews are opinion and likely we will not know exactly what happened for a long time — if ever.

Obama needs to re-chart his energy course, which is heavily laden with nuclear, NOW! Declare a MORATORIUM on building new plants! Here we go again: NO MORE NUKES! NO MORE NUKES!

Praying for Japan and its people. God bless us all.

My PUMA Chronology of 2008 Election

Coming up to the inauguation of the 44th President, as we’re still in the first month of 2009, thought I’d post the Top 10 Posts I’ve written, based on popularity. It’s my travelogue, so to speak, chronologically along the road of how we got HERE.

1. Hillary’s Convention Speech: Keep Going!

2. Did Hillary Lose? Not So Fast: Taking Stock

3. NYC McCain PUMAs vs. Obie Pinocchios

4. Oops, Didn’t Realize I Was So Late: Dean’s DFA

5. Null and Void: Democrats’ Roll Call in Retrospect

6. Obamakids: Not Just For Grownups Anymore

7. Meet Murphy, Puma PAC Founder (video)

8. In Your Wildest Dreams . . .

9. We Will Get By—Lessons From Yertle the Turtle

10. Let’s Not Forget Why We’re Here, Okay?

11. House Bailout Does Not Pass GO

12. Hillary Clinton—Final Primaries Speech (Video)

13. Our PUMA Anti-Convention

14. Acorn, Freddie, Fannie, and Frank

15. Women’s Bodies Held Hostage = Election Year

16. The Clampdown: Coming to Your Neighborhood

17. Normalizing Hillary: Connect the Vote Dots

18. Breaking: Hillary on Ballot at Convention

19. The Week That Was Lipstick On A Pig

20. Obama’s Thought Police State

21. How Many States Are There Now, Sen. Obama

22. Where Do We Go From Here? Just Say No Deal (Video)

23. She-Deviler Media Gang Unrepentant-Boycott MSNBC!

24. Progressive? Obama’s Energy Platform: Nuclear and Coal

25. How We Got Here in Three Easy Steps — contact geeklove

26. We Are You: DNC RBC Rally (Pics)

27. Obama’s Mentor Spreads Hillary Hate

28. Dear Superdelegates, My Vote Is Not For Sale

29. Test, Test, Roar! Puma Has Radio

30. Sexism, Misogyny, Hillary Clinton (Video)

31. Raise Your Hand If You Think Florida Is Over

32. Bill Clinton Tells It On The View 9/22/08

33. Hillary Voters Are Lonely, Imaginary People

34. Greta Pounces on Nancy Like a PUMA

35. Dean: “So what do you want?” Now He Asks

36. Delegates Mad As Hell: Scramble for Floor Vote

37. Why Even Have A Convention?

38. Hillary Speech of a Lifetime (text 6/07/08)

39. Obamaniac Wheel of Fortune

40. Hill Can’t Buy a Thrill — What a Week It Was

41. Deja AP All Over Again: Delegates Not Released

42. Give ’em Hell, Harriet! (Interview)

43. Caucuses Fatally Flawed

44. Pelosi Prepares to Stop the Race Before Convention

45. Delegate Hijack = Party Unity Path? (Ickes Video)

46. What Me Cede? Hillary Election Night Remarks (Text)

47. Obama Opts Out At What Cost? (Video)

48. Hillary’s Remarks, AIPAC Conference, June 4, 2008

Progressive? Obama’s Energy Platform: Nuclear and Coal

Liberals take note! All ye who cling to Obama for his most liberal on high policies: The very foundations of progressive politics that stemmed from the sixties anti-war effort are given little attention in his overall plans. Remember? Our tenets are: No Nukes! Reduce Greenhouse Gases! Reduce Coal Mining!

On today’s 5/4/08 MSNBC Meet the Press broadcast, Obama states clearly — as he also did in the debates — that his energy policy will rely on nuclear power and coal. And this platform is not “Washington as usual”? This would-be-president is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, once again. He is merely re-packaging and co-opting the language of idealism to clothe a weak, out-dated energy policy.

I’ve had to link to the entire video broadcast above, because MSNBC showed its bias once again, and did not include in its shorter recap pieces — read: edited out — the two minute snipet where Obama speaks his mis-guided opinions about nuclear and coal. You will find it about 30 minutes into the video.

We have our answer about Obama’s energy policy — one that’s been reported this year, last year, and beyond. He’s for safe nuclear and coal, but seems to give short shrift to developing an energy policy like Hillary’s that would put money into developing solar, wind, methane, and more comprehensive corn-based technologies and create thousands of jobs. Here’s an NBC News piece about Obama’s record from February, 2008. It appears that Godley, IL citizens living near a leaky nuclear power plant got the short end of the stick, and instead the power company Excelon benefited. When it came to a choice between the people of his state and corporate interests, Obama chose the corporation, despite the health dangers it posed.