Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good morning to you all. We have wind today but should also get some sun. I may be able to reach the last of the containers to take the lids off. We had a block of snow about 6 ft by 3+ft by 4ft in that area that also spread over the three big containers on that side of the patio. The other side melted off quickly so those containers have been open for a week now.

The news had a good bit of coverage on the Senate hearings on Muslim radicalization. Then I read stories like this one and am amazed at the myopic stupidity of some of our legislators. Of course, the militias are white and largely fundamentalist christianist so I guess they are somewhat ordinary. It is only brown, non-christianist radicals that scare the crap out of our elected leaders. Or it is only brown, non-christianist radicals that can be used to scare the crap out of their constituents so they are more easily diverted from much more pressing matters--like how the proposed budget cuts will screw us over. And then Russell King (no relation he emphatically declares to N.Y. Rep King) has a superb take on this drivel.

The news concerning the Fukushima nuclear power plant, damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, seems to go from bad to worse. Stratfor gives some of the details and some of the possibilities. NHK provides more details on the story including some statements on the explosion that may have damaged the containment structures and the expanded size of the evacuation zone around the reactor. Perhaps we should look much more carefully at any proposals to expand our own nuclear industry. After all, Japan's nuclear plants are state of the art and incorporate multiple levels of safety and redundancy. For a more personal account go to Bob Brady's blog Purelandmountain.

It seems that the Wisconsin public employees' union isn't the only one proposing to boycott a bank that is seen as unfriendly to members interests. Political, religious and other leaders in New York are closing their accounts at Chase to protest the banks past practices including predatory loans, failure to negotiate re-financing, and paying obscene bonuses to the people at the top who helped create the mess. Good for them. As I have said before--starve the bastards.

Last night's Nightly News contained a little throw-away line that we should all pay some attention to. Japan had only a few minutes warning of the tsunami because the quake that caused it was so close to the shore. (The sirens in Japan went off almost as the quake tapered off). But Hawaii and California had much more warning because of the network of tsunami sensors maintained by the National Weather Service and NOAA. But those agencies are slated in the proposed GOP budget (for the rest of this fiscal year) for some big cuts. More on the story here. And Crooks and Liars has also made some good comments on this pit of penny pinching.

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