Thursday, June 30, 2011

And Now A Word from Rep. Jeanie Riddle of Missouri

Rep. Jeanie Riddle from Mokane, Callaway County, Missouri

Rep. Riddle is a supporter of HB124 which would provide the early site permit for Callaway Nuclear Plant #2. I suppose this comes as no surprise since Callaway Nuclear Plant #1 is located in her district.

If you are interested in listening to 17:23 minutes of introductory chat on HB124 you can listen to it here  but I warn you it is all about money and electric rates AND NOT ONE WORD ABOUT SAFETY.  In the spirit of fairness the date of this committee hearing was before the Fukushima disaster, unlike Rep. Riddle short comments in the above video.


(courtesy of MBEF - Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future)

The nuclear site permit bill, which allows Missouri to obtain a site permit for the potential construction of a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County, has statewide support. In addition to the endorsement of Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future, this bipartisan legislation is endorsed by dozens of organizations that understand the need for creating a long-term plan for keeping Missouri’s electric rates as low as possible while meeting future demand for clean, reliable energy.

This list is growing daily. If your organization would like to be added to this list, please email

Elected Officials

- Gov. Jay Nixon
- Sen. Mike Kehoe
- Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal
- Sen. Jane Cunningham
- Sen. Tom Dempsey
- Sen. Bob Dixon
- Sen. Kevin Engler
- Sen. Tim Green
- Sen. Brad Lager
- Sen. Jim Lembke
- Sen. Ryan McKenna
- Sen. Brian Munzlinger
- Sen. Brian Nieves
- Sen. Mike Parson
- Sen. Ron Richard
- Sen. Scott Rupp
- Sen. Rob Schaaf
- Sen. Kurt Schaefer
- Sen. Bill Stouffer
- Sen. Jay Wasson
- Sen. Robin Wright-Jones

- Rep. Jeannie Riddle
- Rep. Jay Barnes
- Rep. Tony Dugger
- Rep. Mike Bernskoetter
- Rep. Steve Cookson
- Rep. Sandy Crawford
- Rep. Charlie Davis
- Rep. David Day
- Rep. Charlie Denison
- Rep. Tony Dugger
- Rep. Sue Entlichter
- Rep. Ward Franz
- Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger
- Rep. Don Gosen
- Rep. Jason Holsman
- Rep. Jay Houghton
- Rep. Andrew Koenig
- Rep. Bart Korman
- Rep. Bill Lant
- Rep. Donna Lichtenegger
- Rep. Thomas Long
- Rep. Mark Parkinson
- Rep. Darrell Pollock
- Rep. Craig Redmon
- Rep. Todd Richardson
- Rep. Rodney Schad
- Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst
- Rep. Dave Schatz
- Rep. Stephen Webber
- Rep. Bill White

Investor-Owned Utilities

- Ameren
- Empire District Electric
- Kansas City Power & Light
- Missouri Energy Development Association

Rural Electric Cooperatives

- Atchison-Holt
- Barry
- Barton County
- Black River
- Boone
- Callaway
- Central Electric Power
- Central Missouri
- Citizens
- Co-Mo
- Consolidated
- Crawford
- Cuivre River
- Farmers'
- Gascosage
- Grundy
- Howard
- Howell-Oregon
- Intercounty
- Laclede
- Lewis County
- M & A Power
- Missouri Rural
- New-Mac
- North Central
- Northeast MO Electric Power
- NW Electric Power
- Osage Valley
- Ozark
- Ozark Border
- Palmyra Board of Public Works
- Permiscot-Dunklin
- Platte-Clay
- Ralls County
- Sac Osage
- Se-Ma-No
- Sho-Me Power
- Southwest
- Three Rivers
- Tri-County
- United
- Webster
- West Central
- White River Valley

School Districts

- Eldon School District

Municipal/Public Utilities

- Carollton Municipal Utilities
- Carthage Water & Electric Plan
- Chillicothe Municipal Utilities
- City of Albany
- City of Butler
- City of Fayette
- City of Fulton
- CIty of Higginsville
- City of Holt Summit
- City of Independence
- CIty of Jackson
- City of Kahoka
- City of La Plata
- City of Marceline
- CIty of Milan
- City of Odessa
- CIty of Paris
- City of Rockport
- City of Rolla
- City of Shelbina
- City of Trenton
- City of West Plains
- Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission
- Kirkwood Electric
- Macon Municipal Utilities
- Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities
- Palmyra Board of Public Works
- Rolla Board of Public Works

Economic Development Organizations

- East Central Missouri Development Association
- The Gateway Leadership Foundation
- Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council
- Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission
- MissouriCore
- Missouri Economic Development Council
- Missouri Farm Bureau
- Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council
- Northeast Missouri Development Partnership
- Rolla Regional Economic Commission

Chambers of Commerce

- Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce
- Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce


- Alliant Bank
- Continental Cement
- Diamond Pet Foods
- Emerson Electric
- Fred Weber, Inc.
- Mississippi Lime

Labor Organizations

- BAC Local 15 Mo/KS
- Boilermakers LU 27
- Boilermakers LU 83
- Bricklayers LU 1
- Columbia, Jefferson City, Mo. & Vicinity Building and Construction Trades Council
- D.C. #2 Painters
- Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers LU 1
- Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers LU 63
- IBEW 11th Dist.
- IBEW LU 1439
- IBEW LU 1455
- IBEW LU 257
- International Union of Elevator Constructors LU 3
- International Union of Operating Engineers LU 148
- International Union of Operating Engineers LU 513
- Ironworkers LU 396
- Joplin Building & Construction Trades Council
- Kansas City Building & Construction Trades Council
- Laborers LU 662
- Missouri AFL-CIO
- Northeast Building & Trades Council
- Pipefitters LU 533
- Plumbers & Pipefitters LU 178
- Plumbers & Pipefitters LU 45
- Plumbers & Pipefitters LU 562
- Plumbers LU 8
- Roofers LU 20
- Sedalia Building & Construction Trades Council
- Sheet Metal Workers LU 2
- Sheet Metal Workers LU 36
- Southeast Building & Construction Trades Council
- Springfield Building & Construction Trades Council
- St. Joseph Building & Construction Trades Council
- St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council
- Teamsters LU 833
- UA Road Sprinkler Fitters LU 669

Cities and Counties

- Callaway County Commission
- Camden County Commission
- City of California
- City of Kirkwood
- City of Lebanon
- City of Linn Creek
- City of Osage Beach
- City of Rolla

Better Than Living in a Box Some Say

How much sadder can this situation get? 
Really, Earth Beings, do any of us care?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rachel Maddow Show - Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

On June 28, 2011 Rachel Maddow did a really informative piece on the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant you can see it on this link Forty Years To Life It is nice to see this getting some media coverage. It's important to pay attention folks.

Thanks to commenter Katie in NJ for the heads up on this one. It does take a village.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Los Alamos Nuclear Lab Under Siege From Wildfire

Smoke from the Las Conchas fire fills the sky near the Los Alamos Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., Tuesday, June 28, 2011. A vicious wildfire spread through the mountains above a northern New Mexico town on Tuesday, driving thousands of people from their homes as officials at the government nuclear laboratory tried to dispel concerns about the safety of sensitive materials. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)



LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico (AP) — "A wildfire burning near the desert birthplace of the atomic bomb advanced on the Los Alamos laboratory and thousands of outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste Tuesday as authorities stepped up efforts to protect the site from flames and monitor the air for radiation."

"We are throwing absolutely everything at this that we got," Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said in Los Alamos.

I swear I am not making this stuff up - for the full AP story click here Los Alamos Lab  In addition we have the For Calhoun nuclear power plant in  Nebraska under alert because of floodwater from the Missouri River. That story can be found HERE.

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant - June 2011


"First, on the positive side, the power plant's single reactor has been in cold shutdown since April for maintenance. But that's not a guarantee against problems. After all, Fukushima Daiichi's Reactor 4 was also down for maintenance, and the spent fuel in its cooling ponds still overheated and caused problems with hydrogen explosions and fires. That said, a reactor in cold shutdown is significantly less vulnerable than one that's operating."

"Second, on the downside, the power plant got into trouble with federal regulators last year, because its flood defenses weren't up to standards. But, on the positive side, that's ended up meaning that the flood defenses that Fort Calhoun is currently dependent upon are newly improved and inspected—the results of mandated upgrades."

Rational, thinking human beings should be getting the message by now that maybe, just maybe nuclear power facilities carry more of a risk than we should be willing to take. Fukushima / Fort Calhoun / Los Alamos have all been caused by 'natural disasters'  - can you imagine what would happen under a different scenario?

Mark Twain Stamp

Mark Twain ~ 1835 - 1910

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens  in the small village of Florida, Missouri, Clemens spent his young years working at various jobs. His job as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River would give him the name that later would make him famous. Big steamboats needed about 12 feet of water - two fathoms, or "mark twain" in the cry of the leadsman who measured the river's depth - to float safely.

Mark Twain would become a prolific writer of the adventures of young boys. His most beloved works no doubt being Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which Twain told the tale of an abused boy and a runaway slave who became friends while riding a raft on the Mississippi River.

Other works by Twain included A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Pudd'nhead Wilson and Life on the Mississippi.

When Twain was four his family moved to the town of Hannibal, Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River. The Mark Twain Library and Museum is located in this town where his boyhood home can still be viewed today.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Disaster in Japan - Challange to Cool Reactors

Click on the above tool to be taken to an interactive site map which plots events at the Fukushima Power Plant and the efforts to control the leakage that is occurring and to cool the nuclear reactors.

This has been an on-going struggle since the massive quake struck Japan last March 2011. The recovery has been fraught  with multiple breakdowns of back up systems since day one. For some reason the U.S. media has under-reported aornot reported anything at all about these current events.

Again what happens in Japan does not stay in Japan - it can have an effect on the United States - Japan does not reside in a vacuum under a bubble. For your own safely keep yourselves informed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Weather Report - A Hard Rain

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall performed by Joan Baez

I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
I heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
~ A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall - Bob Dylan

OK, You've Got It, Now What?

Nuclear waste : The threat...

Yucca Mountain: Nuclear Waste in Nevada

Yucca Mountain, located 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is the proposed site of a repository to hold the nation's nuclear waste. The U.S. Department of Energy wants to use the mountain to bury 77,000 tons of radioactive waste.

DOE Says No Chance For Yucca Atomic Waste Site

A top U.S. Energy Department official on Monday said there is no chance of reviving a plan to build a long-term underground atomic waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, Reuters reported (see GSN, June 13).

"We do not see Yucca Mountain as a solution here," Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman said during an international conference in Vienna, Austria, on nuclear safety. "It is time to turn the page and try to find a better set of solutions."

Republican lawmakers and a number of Democrats have strongly protested the Obama administration's 2010 decision to request withdrawal of a license application for Yucca Mountain with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The waste site had faced considerable opposition from Nevada politicians and residents.

"I think any policy -- the success of which can only be measured over many decades -- can only succeed with strong bipartisan support and strong support from the communities affected," Poneman said.

"It was equally clear that Yucca Mountain was not going to have that kind of support," the Obama official continued.

The commission determined that Yucca Mountain was a reasonable nuclear waste storage site, even while the administration questioned its safety, GOP legislators said in June.

The White House has directed a blue-ribbon task force to explore alternatives for the storage of U.S. civilian nuclear waste. There are 104 atomic reactors in the United States and their generated waste is held in temporary storage conditions that have been criticized by some as vulnerable to attack (see GSN, March 24).

Meanwhile, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna urged nations to analyze safety threats to their atomic energy reactors within the next year and a half. The assessment would be intended to ensure they would not be undone by natural disasters similar to the earthquake and tsunami that severely damaged Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March (see GSN, June 20).

Amano additionally suggested enhanced global safety inspections, or peer assessments, on reactors across the planet that would be overseen by the Vienna-based body. That suggestion could face opposition from countries that wish for safety issues to remain under their governments' purview.

Poneman said Washington was a "strong supporter" of the peer assessment suggestion. "We have called in the IAEA many times to provide additional oversight," he said.

"I think the question that is going to be presented is whether the mandate of the IAEA is going to run to that additional level," the Energy Department official said (Fredrik Dahl, Reuters, June 21).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Typical Spent Fuel Pool - Swimming Not Allowed

The U.S. NRC - Nuclear Regulatory Commission has this to say about the storage of 'spent fuel':
There are two acceptable storage methods for spent fuel after it is removed from the reactor core:
  • Spent Fuel Pools - Currently, most spent nuclear fuel is safely stored in specially designed pools at individual reactor sites around the country.
  • Dry Cask Storage - If pool capacity is reached, licensees may move toward use of above-ground dry storage casks.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has this to say:

The Problems with Spent Fuel Pools

When fuel rods in a nuclear reactor are “spent,” or no longer usable, they are removed from the reactor core and replaced with fresh fuel rods. The spent fuel rods are still highly radioactive and thus continue to generate heat for years. The fuel assemblies, which consist of dozens of fuel rods, are moved to pools of water to cool. They are on kept on racks in the pool, and water is continuously circulated to draw heat away from the rods. 

Because no permanent repository for spent fuel exists in the United States (or elsewhere), reactor owners have kept spent fuel at the reactor sites. As the amount of spent fuel has increased, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized many power plant owners to increase the amount in their storage pools to as much as five times what they were designed to hold. As a result, virtually all U.S. spent fuel pools have been “re-racked” to hold spent fuel assemblies at densities that approach those in reactor cores. In order to prevent the spent fuel from going critical, the spent fuel assemblies are placed in metal boxes whose walls contain neutron-absorbing boron
If a malfunction, a natural disaster, or a terrorist attack causes the water to leak from the pool or the cooling system to stop working, the rods will begin to heat the remaining water in the pool, eventually causing it to boil and evaporate. If the water that leaks or boils away cannot be replaced, the water level will drop, exposing the fuel rods. 

Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to suffer damage, which in turn could release large amounts of radioactive gases, such as cesium-137, into the environment. A typical spent fuel pool in the United States holds 1,000 or more tons of fuel, so a radioactive release could be very large.

Spent Fuel Pool Vulnerabilities

The spent fuel pools are located only within the secondary containment of the reactor—the reactor building—and not within the more robust primary containment that is designed to keep radiation released from the reactor vessel during an emergency event from escaping into the environment. Thus, any radiation released from a spent fuel pool is more likely to reach the outside environment than is radiation released from the reactor core. Moreover, because it is outside the primary containment, the spent fuel pool is more vulnerable than the reactor core to terrorist attack. 

Continuing to add spent fuel to these pools compounds this problem by increasing the amount of radioactive material that could be released into the environment. A large radiation release from a spent fuel pool could result in thousands of cancer deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in decontamination costs and economic damage. The amount of land contaminated by a release from a spent fuel pool could be significantly greater than that contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster. 

Like the cooling system for the reactor core, the cooling system for the spent fuel pools is powered by the electric grid. However, the reactor core cooling system has two back-up power supplies—diesel generators and either a four- or eight-hour DC battery—whereas the spent fuel pool system typically has none. More generally, the industry and the NRC have given little thought to spent fuel pool accidents, and there is virtually no operator training for handling such accidents.
 Dry Cask Storage

Advantages of Dry Cask Storage

The risks from spent fuel in storage pools can be reduced by placing some of it in dry casks. Dry casks are made of steel and concrete, with the concrete providing shielding from radiation, and are stored outdoors on concrete pads. To become cool enough to be placed in the dry casks currently licensed and used in the United States, the spent fuel must first spend about five years in a spent fuel pool. By then it is cool enough that further cooling can be accomplished by natural convection—air flow driven by the decay heat of the spent fuel itself.
By transferring fuel from spent fuel pools to dry casks, plants can lower the risk from spent fuel in several ways: 

First, with less spent fuel remaining in the pools, workers will have more time to cope with a loss of cooling or loss of water from the pool, because the amount of heat released by the spent fuel is lower. With less heat, it takes longer for the water to heat up and boil away. 

Second, if there is less fuel in the pool, it can be spread out more, making it easier for water to cool the fuel. When fuel is densely packed, less water flows past each fuel assembly. 

Third, because there is less fuel in the pool, if workers are unable to prevent an accident, the amount of radioactive gas emitted from the pool will be much lower than it would be otherwise. 

The combination of reducing the likelihood of an event and reducing the consequences of an event significantly reduces the risk from a spent-fuel accident. In contrast to spent fuel pools, dry casks are not vulnerable to loss of coolant because their cooling is passive. 

While dry casks are still vulnerable to safety and security hazards, those risks are reduced. In contrast to the large amount of fuel in a single spent fuel pool, each dry cask only holds about 15 tons of spent fuel. Thus, it would require safety failures at many dry casks to produce the scale of radiological release that could result from a safety failure at one spent fuel pool. Likewise, terrorists would have to break open many dry casks to release as much radioactivity as a single spent fuel pool could release. Therefore, an attack on a dry cask storage area would, in most circumstances, result in a much smaller release of radioactivity than an attack on a storage pool.

UCS recommendations

  • All spent fuel should be transferred from wet to dry storage within five years of discharge from the reactor core. This can be achieved with existing technologies.
  • The NRC should upgrade existing regulations to require that dry cask storage sites be made more secure against a terrorist attack.
  • The NRC should significantly upgrade emergency procedures and operator training for spent fuel pool accidents.
 Source:  Safer Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Report Updated 03/24/11

"Notification of Unusual Event"

Cooper Nuclear Station declares "Notification of Unusual Event"

Now that is an "attention getter" headline especially if you live near Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska. On June 19, 2011 the Nebraska City News ran this story and what makes me feel just a little nervous is that we heard a lot of this same 'not to worry' news from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) when the Fukushima disaster occurred. But hey, if aliens landed in my backyard I would call that an 'unusual event' as well.

Cooper Nuclear Station, an electric power plant in southeast Nebraska, declared a "Notification of Unusual Event" this morning at 4:02 a. m. The declaration was anticipated throughout Saturday by the power plant's operators, who closely tracked the river's steady increase in elevation due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' releases from dams upstream.

The notification was made as part of safety and emergency preparedness plan the station follows when flooding conditions are in effect. The plan's procedures dictate when the Missouri River's water level reaches 42.5 feet, or greater than 899 feet above sea level, a notification of unusual event is declared.

There is no threat to plant employees or to the public; the plant continues to operate safely. Appropriate local, county, state, and federal agencies were also notified.

Cooper staff continuously monitors the river's water levels as part of normal operations. However, on May 30, site personnel began additional preparations in anticipation of the Corps' release of higher volumes of water. Personnel have been proactive in preparing the station for flood conditions by filling sandbags, constructing barricades, procuring materials and supplies, and reinforcing the access road plant staff use to get to the station. More that 5,000 tons of sand was brought in for constructing barricades, such as Hesco barriers placed around the station's switchyard of transformers and other electrical equipment.

Should the river's level increase to 900 feet above sea level, plant personnel will also barricade internal doorways as another layer of protection for facility equipment. If the river's level increases to 45.5 feet or 902 feet above sea level, plant operators would take the station offline as a protective safety measure. The plant was built at 903' MSL, which is 13 feet above natural grade.

A Notification of Unusual Event is the lowest and least serious of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants. If placed on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the least serious level of an emergency and 4 being the most serious level of an emergency, a "Notification of Unusual Event" would equal a 1.

Cooper Nuclear Station is located three miles southeast of Brownville, Nebraska, near the Missouri River. It is owned and operated by the Nebraska Public Power District, with headquarters in Columbus, Nebraska."

2008: Before Fukushima Disaster

Nuclear Power Safe? Obama and Congress take note!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Have a Mission...

A wise person once said to choose your battles carefully. I found this quote that I really like:

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win."   ~Jonathan Kozol

World peace is high on my list but sadly not small enough to win. But I think seeing to it that the United States moves to shutting down all of its nuclear power plants is a winnable project - with proper organization and help. My state of Missouri has one nuclear power plant - the Callaway Plant #1. There are plans in the making to get Plant #2 approved and off the ground.

So this is where the battle will begin. Make sure that Callaway Plant #2 gets stopped once and for all, not just put on hold. Then we will work to get Plant #1 shut down.

Will you help me in this project? You can help by doing research in your own state and getting yourself informed. You can help by continuing to read my blog as I will be posting information as it becomes available to me. For now this is just a little heads up to the direction I am taking my blog.

Shutting down the nuclear plants in the United States is a battle big enough to matter and small enough to win -- with YOUR help.

For starters read or re-read my post of April 27, 2011:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Google Doodles Celebrates Summer

Google selects Japanese artist Takashi Murakami for their summer solstice doodle. I love it, kind of makes you want to run outside and play in the sprinklers or at the very least sit on the curb and enjoy an ice cream cone. Enjoy your summer everyone - today it begins.


Friday, June 17, 2011

UN Backs Gay Rights

Breaking News: UN Backs Gay Rights - First Time Ever

(Click on above link for full story.)

Mr. Michele Bachmann

"They are barbarians, but I can help them."

I am not writing this to put down Christian beliefs, but merely to point out something that should be known about the beliefs of Michele Bachmann and her husband which I consider to be very wrong. Marcus Bachmann is a Christian therapist who believes that homosexuals are suffering from a curable disease and has even called them "barbarians". You can read the fully story by David Graham in his The Daily Beast article Michele Bachmann's First Dude

Religious belief to me is a very personal one; between that person and his god. I am not a Christian so I suppose it is easy for me to see the wrong in calling homosexuals barbarians and if this is God's teachings as well, then I am sorry, that God, is wrong in this belief.

The Bachmann's appear to be a loving family with five children of their own and twenty-three foster children. I hope for the sake of those children they will not be psychologically harmed being nurtured with this barbarian belief.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Turning A Blind Eye

I was actually going to post a nice and light bit about my Cubbies winning, but I'm putting that on the back burner to talk AGAIN about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. It is something I follow on an almost daily basis. It has become an obsession with me. Why?, you ask - because terrible things are being discovered each day and reported on in the news media BUT NOT here in the United States.

We get daily over-dosing about Weiner's wiener but NOTHING about that fact that in Japan in the aftermath of the 9.0 earthquake and destruction of the nuclear power plants in Fukushima there is a meltdown of global proportions occurring. For the latest in-depth story on this read Dahr Jamail article - It's much worse than you think.

He answers in part my question on why we are not getting this news here. Here is a little excerpt of explanation:
"Nuclear operator Exelon Corporation has been among Barack Obama's biggest campaign donors, and is one of the largest employers in Illinois where Obama was senator. Exelon has donated more than $269,000 to his political campaigns, thus far. Obama also appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future."
You know there are just some things you can't turn a blind eye to - at least not and still have a clear conscience. Fukushima does not have a bubble over it that makes it a very local situation. Like it or not Fukushima is happening to you Los Angeles, Omaha, St. Louis, Ogden... and the sooner you realize that the better we will be for it.

On May 30th the German government announced that it will take the necessary steps to shut down all nuclear power plants by the year 2022, click here for The Guardian article of May 30 It would be my hope that the United States will follow this lead. If you believe as I do that nuclear power carries with it more harm than good, then join in this cause. It can start with you at your own local level. If you live in a state with nuclear power plants join the movement to see that these plants are shut down.

Talk to your local representatives, your senators, your congressmen and ask that they move toward seeing to it ALL nuclear power plants in the United States get shut down. Oh and take a minute and look up who contributes to your representatives campaign coffers. And be prepared, know that big money is on the side of keeping them. But remember for them it's a matter of PROFITS and for you it's a matter of LIFE OR DEATH.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Neil Diamond Songs I Really Love

Four Neil Diamond songs from about a ten year span - whew,  re-listening to them again just now I realize how they were little snapshots of my life from 1969 to 1978. I am carried back in an instant to exactly where I was in time with each song.

Sweet Caroline - 1969 an unanticipated affair and falling in love...
Where it began
I can't begin to knowin'
but then I know it's growin' strong.
Was in the spring
then spring became the summer.
Who'da believed you'd come along ?
Hands, touchin' hands
Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you.

I am I said - 1971 driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, windows down and music blaring. This was me... no one heard...

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

"I am"... I cried "I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Song Sung Blue - 1972 moving on - I've got no choice...
Funny thing, but you can sing it with a cry in your voice
And before you know, start to feeling good
You simply got no choice

You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore - 1978 and so it is over, but the memories remain...
But used-to-be's don't count anymore
They just lay on the floor, till we sweep them away
And baby I remember all the things you taught me
I learned how to laugh and I learned how to cry 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day - Not For Just the Tea Party Day

You're a Grand Old Flag

by George M. Cohan
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag. 

George Cohen wrote this song in 1906 based upon an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran at Gettysburg, the story goes as follows:
The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, "She's a grand old rag." Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune "You're a Grand Old Rag." So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a "rag," however, that he "gave 'em what they wanted" and switched words, renaming the song "You're a Grand Old Flag."          — Library of Congress

Today it seems that the Republican Party,  and especially the Tea Party element of that party, wants to lay claim to being the only ones in America that are entitled to love this country, while at the same time bashing the President at every turn of the pen or word uttered.

So today I am going to be brave and reach out and grab our flag back and wave it proudly. And I am going to remember too some of the words Cohen wrote: "And forever in PEACE may you wave." -- "Where there's never a boast or brag." -- "The home of the free and the brave."

~ ~ ~

Monday, June 13, 2011

For Mr. Right

 Hotel Costes 2 - Mr. Scruff - Get a move on.

  Hey You ~                                           

See I remember, I hope you do too.

Me <3

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Tony Awards

The award was founded in 1947 by a committee of the American Theatre Wing headed by Brock Pemberton.The award is named after Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, who had died in 1946.
The first awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1947, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The first prizes were "a scroll, cigarette lighter and articles of jewelry such as 14-carat gold compacts and bracelets for the women, and money clips for the men." It was not until the third awards ceremony in 1949 that the first Tony medallion was given to award winners.
Since 1997, the Tony Awards ceremony has been held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in June and broadcast live on CBS television, except in 1999, when it was held at the Gershwin Theatre and 2011, when the ceremony will be held at the Beacon Theatre.  Source: Wikipedia search 'Tony Awards History
I think the Tony Awards has to be one of the best awards shows going. I mean you really get a chance to be entertained. Broadway actors work really hard and love what they do and fully acknowledge that the main part of the show is the audience. I have been pleased to have attended three Broadway shows in my lifetime, there is nothing like it. If I lived in New York I'm afraid I would be Broadway-Poor. Thank you all you, Broadway-actor's past, for the memories and enjoyment I carry with me today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Sisters

A young Sarah Palin and a young Carrie Nation 
It really is amazing how much these two ladies have in common. I was listening to NPR today as I was driving - they were doing a little history on Carrie Nation when all of I sudden I thought OMG she sounds like Sarah Palin.

Both ladies feel they are working on carrying out a message from God - Carrie out to save the souls from the wicked evils of drink and Sarah saving the souls of the wicked left wing establishment. Carrie wielded a hatchet to bring her message home and Sarah likes to brandish an M-16.

Surprisingly both ladies wanted to copyright their names, imagine that!

If Carrie Nation had access to today's television media she would no doubt have had her own reality show as well, sadly all that was available to Carrie was to become an act in a traveling sideshow. But both ladies were excellent at collecting speaker's fees, marketing themselves and selling their image.

Carrie would burst into a bar, hatchet in hand and greet the bartender on duty with, "Good morning, destroyer of men's souls." If I close my eyes I can actually hear these exact same words being uttered by the lips of our dear Sarah.

I wonder if Carrie were alive today if she would have considered a run for the presidency, interesting thought.

Disclaimer Notice: In the spirit of today's current practices, none of the above should be considered a true and accurate depiction of history. It may be, but on the other hand it could be just how I perceive history. Just so you know, if you are considering using this as a reference for your term paper. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Come on guys, take a seat and we'll have a little talk...

Remember the story about the little wooden puppet, Pinocchio, that wanted to be... President, er...Senator... oh, heck you get the idea. Well here is a tried and true suggestion for you (all)...

Don't forget... give a little whistle!

The Wurzels - An Andy Roddick Favorite

Your mental health break for the day...

I hope they provide Andy with the proper motivation for the next great tennis tournament...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tiny Apocalypse

David Byrne - Tiny Apocalypse

Raise up - shake them lazy bones
Read the T-shirt but still don't understand
Comin' home with a little apocalypse
It comes, now do you have time for this?

A 3-tone carpet and a Jackie Chan spear
Lookin' at a hairdo and a belly full of beer
Well I ain't no poet, ain't got no rhyme
Well I got me a car and I don't know how to drive

In the event of a pressure loss
All our lines are busy now
I will be laughing out loud anyhow

Ev'ryday, a little apocalypse
Lay down, lay down next to this
Lookin' at the body well I don't even know his name
Call me in this morning was a friend of mine

Well the wind so strong, it's blown us all around
Wind so strong, nobody settle down
Ev'ryday another apocalypse
Had a TV but I don't know how deep it is

Please read the print advisory
Would you like to go ahead?
Dancin' wherever she goes - Tippytoes


Little sister gotta take her medicine
Baby brother, gonna do it all again
Runnin' fast but cannot catch the bus
Funny feelin', this is part of us

And you must take your medicine
Getting better everyday
Good for a limited time - Feelin' fine

We will return your things to you
When it's time for you to leave
So quiet nobody knows - Tippytoes 

~~ From Wall Street 2 - Money Never Sleeps

1981 - Remembered

A blog friend reminded me with his post today "How To Survive a Plague" that this week marks thirty years since the AIDS virus became known to the medical community. A lot has been done to raise awareness about the disease and sadly small achievements toward seeking a cure that is yet to be found.

I just read, also this week, about Elizabeth Taylor and her work to raise money and awareness for AIDS - really the first Hollywood celebrity to step forward on the AIDS issue so many years ago.
"It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance. " ~Elizabeth Taylor
This is a good time to remember there is still a lot of work left to be done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The middle class in America is losing ground, while overall income has grown by 27% since 1979, 33% of the gains went to the top 1%. And what has happened to the bottom 60%? - well they are actually making less, 95 cents for each dollar they made in 1979.

The income ratio between executives versus laborers has grown so out of proportion it is astonishing. In 1960 the ratio of CEO pay to factory worker pay was 42:1, in 2000 that ratio was as high as 531:1, partially due to CEO's cashing in big stock options. So things are better, right? Well. yes, if you are happy with a 344:1 ratio as it was in 2007.
From 1990 to 2005, CEO's pay increased almost 300% (adjusted for inflation) compared to production workers gain of 4.3% At the same time while CEO salaries increase the "effective" tax rate for the top 400 actually declined, down to a paltry 15% in 2007 thanks to tax cuts; a 6% drop under Bush and 7% under Clinton.

And what happens to you and me, average earners making about $25,000/year? -  we paid about 20.5% in taxes when all taxes are taken into account, and the lowest 20% of the earners, who average $12,400/year, they shelled over about 16% of their income in 2009.

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. We call them the top 1% of households, i.e. the upper class, i.e. The Ruling Class. It is this 1% that makes up twenty-five percent of the nation's income and if you discuss this is terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1% control forty percent.

Twenty-five years ago the figures were 12% of households controlling 33% of the nation's income. So it looks like we have taken a step or two back from the American Dream. The little guy running the local store in your hometown, gone. Your neighbors down the street with the 'in foreclosure' sign in the front yard, gone.

And what makes me mad is that it is this 1% that is running the show. They make the contributions to both political parties to keep the access doors open, they run the lobbyist groups to make sure their companies stay in business. They don't care about public education, their kids all go to private schools. They don't care about a national healthcare plan, they already are covered by corporate incentive packages and can see the best doctors.

They do care about taxes; keeping capital gains taxes low or not at all, and making sure that inheritance taxes won't stand in the way of their passing on this wealth to the next generation.

It is when The Ruling Class becomes so small and so powerful that the crooks in the Wall Street scandals remain untried and free and in some cases still in influential government positions - that is when "Too Big to Fail" sends chills down your spine.

Wall Street panics and wheels and deals and comes up with a plan where they get the government to make them zero percent loans, while at the same time appearing to having their arm twisted. And what do all those banks do? Make loans, right? Stimulate the economy, wrong... they sit on the money and improve their balance sheets.

So it is exactly this type of climate that Marx may have been talking about in his Manifesto. When the big guys get too big to fail and the little guys get trampled on. It is then the people - that bottom 60% - look for a voice to represent them.

The 60% that needs a job to go to, the 60% that needs to feed and house his family. The 60% that wants to remain healthy and see his children educated and with hopes for a better life. It's that 60% that needs a voice and it needs it soon.