Memorial Day weekend open thread

What’s on your mind this holiday weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers?

Several energy-related stories caught my eye this week. New analysis suggests the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant is worse than initially thought, because “containment chambers of damaged reactors […] were likely breached.” In terms of radioactive material released into the ocean, Fukushima could become “even larger than Chernobyl.”

Earlier this month, the Japan Times reported, “High radiation readings taken in the No. 1 reactor building the night of March 11 suggest it was the quake rather than the loss of cooling that critically damaged the Fukushima No. 1 power plant […].”

As part of its response to the nuclear crisis, the Japanese government may require “all new buildings and houses to come fitted with solar panels by 2030.” Solar power has the potential to reduce demand for electricity during peak hours.

In local news, Ben Foster, a former campaign staffer for presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, pleaded guilty this week to public intoxiation during an embarrassing incident this spring. Authorities dropped a trespassing charge against Foster, who tried to get into the wrong house in the middle of the night. He’s lucky he didn’t get charged with driving drunk en route to this misadventure.

Sarah Palin will be the focus of a two-hour-long film, which its director will premiere in Iowa “late next month before expanding the release to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.” No word yet on which Iowa theater will show the movie. Meanwhile, a former top aide to Palin during her time as governor of Alaska just published a “scathing tell-all” book.

Senator Chuck Grassley’s twitter technique caught the eye of Steven Nelson at the Daily Caller. I disagree with Grassley twitter detractors like Sam Biddle. It’s refreshing to see a politician speak in his own voice, without running it by communications staff. This is still my all-time favorite Grassley tweet.

  • Fukishima Schmukishima


    Seems nobody really gives a flying furry rat’s ass about nuclear issues anymore.

    We have more people in federal prison for nuclear resistance than at any time in the past several decades. Six of my friends, that is, people I know at least as well as you, are currently serving federal prison sentences for resisting nuclear proliferation, all sentenced this year.  There were dozens sentenced this year alone for protesting various aspects of U.S. policy regarding nukes.

    Any mainstream press on the arrest and incarceration of these folks?

    Not that I saw.  

    And as far as Fukishima goes, it doesn’t really matter anymore. The background rad detector at Nukewatch in Luck, Wisconsin went off the charts in early April.  The radioactive plume bearing Cesium and other nasty crap has already been consumed by bovines and is in the milk you

    have been giving your kids.  You’ve probably inhaled fallout from Fukishima when you’ve mowed your grass.  

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but short of moving to the southern hemisphere, there is nothing that could have been done to avoid exposure to the radioactive fallout from Fukishima.  The government will argue that the levels of exposure to these various elements are only slightly over regular levels, nothing to be concerned about.  Except most of these elements do not exist in nature, so what constitutes a “slight elevation” to naturally occurring levels of these substances?

    It’s a done deal.  And nobody seems to give a shit, except a radical few.


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