Monday, October 28, 2013

The Ultimate Horror - Spent Nuclear Fuel

"Fear is a cloaked enemy that whispers negative thoughts into your mind, body and soul.  It tries to convince you that you will not succeed and that you cannot achieve your full potential." ~ Marc Chernoff, Scared to Death
I have posted many blogs on our urgent need to address the issue of spent nuclear fuel and with each post I suppose I might have at least implied there might be a conspiracy that exists between governmental agencies and the nuclear power industry.

Perhaps I was wrong making this implication. Perhaps the reality is that what to do with nuclear waste is so scary and such a horror that scientists themselves are scared stiff. The ultimate horror so awful it is impossible to speak of.

A cone of silence has been lowered of Fukushima soon after the terrible disaster occurred. Worldwide news media was quick on the scene when it they were covering the earthquake-tsumni event. Then the horror occurred with the meltdown of the Fukushima-Diachi nuclear facilities. It went from bad to worse to an unknown situation.

We try to raise our children on the belief to always tell the truth. But sometimes the truth is so horrific and devestating that a little white lie has to be told instead. And then that little white lie gets so covered with dirt and soot that it becomes a terrible big black lie.

Terrible events are occurring right this minute at Fukushima, you probably won't find it being covered on CNN or your local news but the stories are out there if you dig for them. The latest is so scary it is hard to even write about.
"There are three major problems at Fukushima: 
(1) Three reactor cores are missing
(2) Radiated water has been leaking from the plant in mass quantities for 2.5 years; and 
(3) Eleven thousand spent nuclear fuel rods, perhaps the most dangerous things ever created by humans, are stored at the plant and need to be removed, 1,533 of those are in a very precarious and dangerous position." ~  Source: 3 reactor cores melt into the earth
For those interested in reading more about what is going on a Fukushima here is a link for more information:  Risky Repairs At Fukushima.

My heart goes out to the people of Japan, they are living this horror. And my heart is with the rest of the world as we sit in wait for the next shoe to drop. I am convinced that here in the United States we will do nothing until a disaster occurs. We come close to it but these little signals don't have the same motivation as death itself.

The nuclear power industry loves to boast of how safe nuclear power is and that we have never had a death here. But it is only a matter of time and they know it. I think everyone just hopes it is not on their watch. And even if you could put down a bet in Vegas, I wouldn't want to do it.

But I can see why we are doing nothing, because spent nuclear fuel is the ultimate horror. And when you think about it there is nothing you can do but hold your breath and stay very still. And wait.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sound Off Sunday

Social media have their Throwback Thursdays so why not Sound Off Sunday. I know I express my opinion a lot but you should hear all the stuff I don't say. Hang on to your laptops friends I may never do this again.

All those selfie shots with the girls wrangling their tongues cyrus-style.... stop it, it is disgusting.

People shouldn't feel compelled to apologize for their Halloween costumes - get over it people, it's HALLOWEEN, one day to be able to dress up stupid without repercussions.

I'm not an animal lover, not an activist for their causes.  Hate it when dogs poop on my lawn! But I did see Blackfish and agree that whales belong free in the sea and not locked up in aquariums to amuse us. Not a fan of zoos either.

Singers who perform the National Anthem at sporting events and treat it like a exercise of their vocal range should stick to singing in the shower and save us the auditory pain.

Corporations with management teams that approve really stupid and offensive commercials from ad-agencies should automatically be put on the 'don't buy from' list.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Invisible and Unheard

"To be invisible in your distress, unheard in your terror — that is a disaster indeed and one that, in much of the world, requires no imagination at all."  ~  A. O. Scott, NY Times

Thursday, October 17, 2013


"12 Years A Slave" is a new movie by director Steve McQueen. It tells the true story of Solomon Northup a freeman who in 1841 was snatched off the streets of Washington and sold into slavery.

It is a powerful story and one worth telling. As a reminder we need to know also that slavery still exists in this world today, it has been estimated that 30 million people around the globe are living in conditions termed as modern-day slavery.

Half of this number, 13 to 14 million people, are in the country of India alone and China comes is second with an estimated 3 million people living in slavery. For the Global Slavery Index published by the Australian Walk Free Foundation the term slavery is used to mean:
"The index says the term "slavery" is used mean a variety of conditions, such as forced labor, human trafficking, the sale and exploitation of children, and forced marriage."
In a New York Times movie review of "12 Years A Slave" writer Manohla Dargis notes:
"The genius of “12 Years a Slave” is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price."
I would add to use the present tense when discussing slavery. The Global Slavery Index ranked 162 countries using three factors: "estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, levels of child marriage, and levels of human trafficking into and out of the country". The United States came in 134th.

There is still much work to be done to abolish slavery off the face of the earth.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fukushima Dodging Wipha's Wrath

Typhoon Wipha blew through Japan causing havoc and leaving 17 dead. There just doesn't seem to be any let up to the devastation caused by nature for the island nation of Japan.

Already hurting and severely damaged Fukushima nuclear plant seemed to get past this latest challenge with only minimal impact.

Links to more stories on Wipha can be found below:

Once-in-a-decade typhoon heads toward Japan nuclear plant

Typhoon Wipha hits Tokyo killing at least 17

Typhoon Wipha Threatens Japan, Fukushima Nuclear Plant Prepares

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It isn't about Tea any more...

Those Tea Party wackos are still out there and still spewing forth their snake oil venom. What gets me is the fact they don't go away. They are this small populous and as irritating as a tiny stone that gets caught in your shoe.

Just when I am getting used to saying "Sarah who?" ~ Miss Wasilla rears her beautifully coiffed locks yet again. The woman has no shame, she would diaper her grandson in the American Flag if she thought it would garner her some attention. Don't the Veterans ever get tired of her ability to use them for her own gain?

I hate to be a quitter but there is only one 'lost cause' I continue to hold at hope for and that is that the world will wake up in time when it comes to nuclear waste. This other stuff I give up. I can't stomach what the extreme right-wing wackos have done and continue to this country.

In the not too distant future I will be relinquishing my citizenship and find a saner corner of the world to live out the few years I have left. I will leave the fight to the young people of this land to reclaim what was once theirs.

Oddly enough I don't think they care. There was a time when young people were politically involved, not so much today. I think they feel more a citizen of the world. The disrupters; the Cruz's, the Palin's, the wild-eye claimant from "pray away the gay" fame - are not what the young kids think about today.

Go to the Tea Party website and you will see some interesting pictures posted there. A shot of President Obama behind bars to attract you to their story 'Obamacare navigator has outstanding arrest warrant' and below that photo a photo of Cruz and Palin with hands over heart 'join protestors at World War II memorial'.

It's not an easy read but if you want to know what the looney tunes are up to you really have to take the time and read the crap they toss out there, everything from the petition to impeach President Obama to working on their Youth Firearm Training Initiative with this catchy little slogan:


Let's see now... how does that old adage go? Praise the Lord and pass the barf bag.

Monday, October 14, 2013

And the winner is?

Three Americans awarded the Nobel Prize in economics while at the same time the U. S. Government is shut down because Congress can't figure out how to fund the government.

How ironic is that.

Here is a teaser, you can read the full story here Nobel Prize in Economics

"The three men, who worked independently and whose findings are contradictory in some respects, together painted a picture of stock and bond markets moved by a mix of rational and irrational considerations."

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good News to Report

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Passenger Spurs Rescue Operation

(7:00 a.m. EDT) -- A Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescued three sailors from their capsized speedboat after a passenger heard their cries for help from her balcony.

Jewel of the Seas was on its way to Saint Martin from San Juan on the first night of a week-long Caribbean cruise when Kendra Nagy woke up at 4 a.m., opened her balcony door and heard the men's cries for help.

She immediately called the ship's main desk who passed her concerns along to the captain. He took the reports seriously, turned the ship around, issued the alarm signal for a person overboard and searched the area with floodlights. After about an hour, they found a white spot in the ocean. 

“When it finally hit on something that was clearly sticking out of the water a little bit, that was a rush,” her husband Roy told a local TV station. As the ship got closer, we saw the guy there waving. That's when we really got goose bumps.”

The three rescued men had been in the water for about 10 hours, after capsizing their speedboat en route to St Croix from St Thomas. Once onboard they received food, water and medical treatment, before being dropped off at St. Martin the next day. 

"We are just glad that we were at the right place at the right time to help them," a statement from Royal Caribbean said.

The couple, who are from Massachusetts, became minor celebrities for the rest of the cruise, posing for photos with the rescued sailors and receiving praise and gifts from the captain, crew and fellow passengers. 

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor  ~ Cruise Critic

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chief Heckawi and the Chicago Cubs

Chief Heckawi is scanning the horizon looking for a team he can help out. I think the Cubs should take the Chief up on his offer before Jake Peavy get his voodoo hands on him, or Billy Weier for that matter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Let's Get Rid of the Alphabet

Oh, hell, let's just get rid of the damn alphabet. That way we rid ourselves of the A-word, the B-word, the C-word, the D-word, the E-word, the F-word, the G-word, the H-word, the I-word, the J-word, the K-word, the L-word, the M-word, the N-word, the O-word, the P-word, the Q-word, the R-word, the S-word, the T-word, the U-word, the V-word, the W-word, the X-word, the Y-word and the dreaded Z-word.

Without letters there are no words and without words we can all go into the forest and live in peace. As for all you writers out there, you will just have to come up with a new approach to writing or maybe an old approach.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Library of Congress - Does it come into play in your daily life?

I am a big Twitter fan and I noticed a Tweet the other day by  that said due to the government shutdown he would lose access to some the Library of Congress photos that he uses a lot in his Tweets.

I kind of dismissed this all to the Twitter-world, no big deal, right?

Then today I read this from a friend of mine, Casey Shain, whose livelihood involves the publishing industry, where he posted this on his Facebook page:

"The government shutdown is affecting so many areas of life people don't normally think about. I'm working on several books that won't be able to be published on time because we can't access the Library of Congress for images and image permissions, and several other books are delayed because we can't get the CIP data for the copyright page (Cataloguing-in-Publication data). This is conceivably hundreds of thousands of dollars in delays for a publisher that is struggling as it is." ~ Casey Shain, Facebook
I wonder why this type of story doesn't make the nightly news. This is the real impact of the shutdown, something that goes far beyond what is being discussed each night on the evening news.

On the surface it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Then you get a first hand story and all of a sudden your ears perk up and you take notice.

Hello Congress, if you want to play games how 'bout starting a Bunko Party on Friday night and get some work done and stop this game playing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The High Cost of Death

Put to Death versus Condemned to Die in Prison

When I read that it costs more to execute a prisoner than to sentence that same prisoner to life without parole (LWOP), I thought, “what, how could that be?”

There are sufficient arguments against the death penalty and for me leaving the door open as opposed to executing an innocent person is argument enough. But to be honest I have also believed that execution had to be cheaper than keeping an inmate behind bars for years and decades.

The ACLU in a published article The Truth About Life Without Parole: Condemned to Die in Prison brings up some interesting points and is worth reading.

The article stated that in the State of California it costs taxpayers an additional $90,000 per prisoner per year over housing them with the general prison population.

I don’t agree with all of the arguments in the ACLU article but I found it interesting to read.

More than half of all executions carried out in the U.S. stem from cases in just two percent of counties, yet taxpayers nationwide have shouldered the estimated $25 billion cost of death row sentences since 1973, a new study found. ~ Source: Majority of US executions stem from 2 percent of counties

California, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida are states where criminal offenders have a disproportionate chance of ending up on death row.

Crime may not pay for the criminals but the taxpayers certainly end up paying for the crimes.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

T'is the Season


When Maria Kennedy lost a child, she fought despair and reclaimed her life. A year later, she gave birth to Jenny, who is now four years old. Maria would do anything to protect her, but how can you protect your child from something the world has never seen? The danger closing in on Maria Kennedy and her daughter seems unstoppable. This Xmas, something new is coming. And it wants little Jenny.

Xmas Carol is Keith O'Connor's first published book and it will have you on the edge of your seat as you read the through the horror that comes to Maria Kennedy and her family.

Xmas Carol is available on iTunes and at Amazon. Ebook is available for just $2.99 ~ this is the perfect time to escape the horrors of Washington DC and settle in with a good seasonal horror story and a nice glass of wine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Meanwhile Away From Home...

Greenpeace Activists from Arctic Sunrise Charged with Piracy

Today the following charges were levied by Russian authorities against Greenpeace Activists:

October 02, 2013

14.50 - UK activists Alexandra Harris and Philip Ball are officially charged with piracy.
14.30 - Argentinian activist Camila Speziale, Dutch activist Faiza Oulahsen, Dutch crew member Mannes Ubels, Polish activist Tomaz Dziemianczuk, and a Russian crew member are officially charged with piracy.
14.00 - UK activist Anthony Perrett and a Ukranian crew member have been officially charged with piracy.
11.20 - Greenpeace activists in Germany chained themself to a Gazprom gas pump at a petrol station in Berlin at the same time the activists and journalists of the Arctic Sunrise, which had peacefully protested at a Gazprom oil platform, were formally charged with piracy.
10.50 - Russian activist Roman Dolgov, Finnish activist Sini Saarela, and Swedish/American activist Dima Litvinov are officially charged with piracy.
09.50 - Crew member Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil and freelance videographer Kieron Bryan from UK are charged with piracy.
Responding to the news, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: “A charge of piracy is being laid against men and women whose only crime is to be possessed of a conscience. This is an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest. Any claim that these activists are pirates is as absurd as it is abominable. It is utterly irrational, it is designed to intimidate and silence us, but we will not be cowed.”

Here is a link to the complete timeline since September 18, 2013

"It ain't easy being Greenpeace."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beau Geste

Just the other day I looked up the meaning of this term. The definition I found was the following:

n. pl. beaux gestes or beau gestes 
1. A gracious gesture.
2. A gesture noble in form but meaningless in substance.

And then today,  almost out of the blue,  came a perfect illustration of this in my inbox from my Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Such fun learning new things like the meaning of words and how congress works.

International Day of Older Persons

"By 2050, the number of older persons will be twice the number of children in developed countries, and the number of older persons in developing countries is expected to double. This trend will have profound effects on countries and individuals."  ~  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations has designated October 1st International Day of Older Persons. They did this back in 1990 when there weren't so many old people kicking around. Now, world-wide there are about 600 million persons aged 60 years and over. That total will double by 2025 and by 2050 best estimates put the number at two billion, that's a fifth of the world population.
In a first ever index released by Global AgeWatch Index  Sweden comes out on top as the best country to be over 60, the United States comes in 8th place. But Sweden has been working on the problem longer, in fact a hundred years to be exact.
When Sweden started a hundred years ago life expectancy was 59 years and retirement age was 67. Now in Sweden one in ten children are expected to live to be 100 years old. The life expectancy today has risen to 81. But it's not going to be a free ride to old age for the Swedes as the Prime Minister contemplates the 'live longer, work longer' approach to aging and under consideration is raising the retirement age to 75.
As the older population increases more and more pressure is put upon the pension and health care systems and it stands to reason the longer that healthy, older members of the population can continue to work, it will lessen the strain on the system.
But the critical component is a 'healthy' aging population. If you are healthy why not continue to work. Many of America's retired senior citizens find themselves as volunteers for a variety of charities and hospitals today. The key will be to stay active and involved, not just whiling away the days sitting on a park bench.