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Thursday: Watching the fear roll in

I can’t say I’m a fierce advocate of nuclear power – not by a long shot – I’m skeptical about our ability here in the US to adequately regulate the plants from the design phase through the operations.  And the worst case scenarios of what can happen when things go wrong scare me witless.  And I’m really scared for the Japanese right now.

But, isn’t the current situation in Japan bad enough (could it be worse?) without videos like “Forecast for Plume’s Path Is a Function of Wind and Weather” spreading fear that radiation from Japan is going to kill us all here in the USA?

Play the short video and you’ll see the “radiation” spread across the Pacific, pretty much blanketing the western United States.  It’s scary for sure.

It’s got to be deliberate that not until you actually read the small print that you find out that:

The forecast does not show actual levels of radiation,

and

Health and nuclear experts emphasize that any plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States

And what is going on in the background while we’re trembling in fear of our lives?

Well, the Obama administration has it’s eyes on the prize:

Social Security Suicide

Via Jonathan Chait, The Hill reports that Obama administration economic officials are pressing for Social Security benefit cuts.

It’s starting to look like a particularly vicious form of slight-slight-of-hand to me.

39 Responses

  1. all part of his plans to destroy America.
    Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone 😦

  2. With wind and water as a source for energy, I have never understood the nuclear decisions around the world. Especially with how the waste created cannot be safely disposed of.

  3. Of course, people like Rush Limbaugh think it is hugely amusing that the Japanese are having to cope with nuclear fall-out. Again.

  4. Limbaugh is an embarrassment for the human race.

    They just can’t wait to get their hands on our SS money. 👿

  5. Good point. Krugman is having a “WTF?” moment over the Obama admin’s serious debate to reduce social security for future retirees.
    It really burns my oatmeal that geithner would even consider such a thing. What are we supposed to live on? Does he think the stock market is going to increase indefinitely? Isn’t that what house buyers thought in 2007?
    Obama’s guys are the most detached bastards that ever bothered to call themselves Democrats. Can we STOP calling them Democrats now?

    • Krugman’s final sentence kind of made me sick:

      I wish I trusted the president not to give in to the reported desire of some of his advisers that he immolate himself and his party for no good reason.

      But, that’s a whole different post than this. [like Obama is making a sacrifice here? ah, NO — it’s OUR sacrifice and no one’s asking us. I don’t give a sh*t about Obama or his party]

    • Can we stop falling into the Republicans vs Democrats trap now? Isn’t it crystal clear that it is big money/oligarchy vs the rest of us?

      • True that, I’ll drop the GOP tag and stick with my note of the two groups closely identified as the factions that are its sponsors.

        Since the RBC debacle, the DNC convention and the abandonment of its platform, the Democrats have proven they can be as fully corrupt as the “other party”.

        But that’s politics.

        And, being a member of the grassroots, I still like the “we the people” views of those around me in those grassroots settings a lot better than the “we are the chosen ones” geschtalt that I get from those on the other side of the political aisle.

  6. Not scared about the radiation levels. I think the US media has hyped this to gargantuan proportions. Radiation in japan is a lot higher than it normally is but normal is pretty low. It’s all relative. This disaster isn’t anywhere as bad as the Chernobyl disaster.
    Most recent reports is that west coasters are buying potassium iodide and supplies are running short.
    {{sigh}}.
    We really are hopeless when it comes to assessing risk. Those west coasters might be doing themselves more harm by taking the iodine. The risk of radiation posioning from Japan is very, very low.

    • I know …. but, I think those people are being whipped into a frenzy. And people aren’t taught reasoning skills anymore? Most people seeing that cartoon would naturally think it meant Danger …. you actually have to think to realize that it would be pretty thinly dispersed by the time it got all the way across the Pacific.

      • The people who have been drinking whatever the MSM feeds them in between commercials believe this stuff. CNN has been going to town with Anderson Cooper “on location” and you know amping up the panic helps to increase ratings.

      • I don’t know anyone here who has bought iodine tablets. I do know that every single one of us checked our earthquake kits and restocked stuff like noodles, canned peaches and water. I recycled out my month of meds and put a fresh batch in there… I checked to make sure the emergency shut off wrench was still hanging off the gas meter.

        Major earthquakes tend to remind us to do those sorts of things.

        I’m about 20 miles from San Onofre. I admit my brother and I discussed different ideas of what we should do if a major quake hit and the plant was damaged – stay or go and where…

        Pre-planning tends to go a long way if communications get knocked out.

        It strikes me that it is possible those Californians that are purchasing iodine might not be taking it but rather tossing them in their emergency kits.

  7. If Obama touches that third rail, he will be electrocuted.

    Been that way for a long time…and they (apparently) never learn.

    I paid into benefits for all of my working life. I DEMAND that I get them back – as promised. No compromise. Figure out another way to pay back the money that has been stolen from my retirement account.

    • And yes, I guess I’m a greedy old person (just turned 65).

      I also support single payer health care, education, no war, women’s rights, human rights and every other truly liberal position you can name.

      Maybe that’s my problem.

      • It must be mine too. I’m thinking about government ownership/control of utilities too.

        Or I would, if I could think of some way to get around the corruption issues.

    • Just think of it, so many of have been unemployed during the Great Recession and will NEVER make the same salaries as before that there will be millions and millions of us more dependent on social security than ever. Instead of retiring on our investments, our nest eggs will be frozen at 2011. I have to wait almost two decades before I get to retire. That’s a long time to be more or less permanently undemployed. So, I will be looking forward to the social security payouts that I have been socking away since I was 17.
      And I want every penny of it.
      Can’t pay back the IOUs? Go soak some rich person who invested heavily in Chindia.

      • I agree. we didn’t just pay into SS all these years, we’ve actually paid extra.

        The massive, extended unemployment is causing the pain – why don’t they get a commission going to fix that!

    • I am always shocked at how easily the younger Americans refuse to demand Social Security for themselves. They just lament that it won’t be there for themselves and therefore who cares if they take it away from the old people. They need to stand up and demand it for us and themselves. They are so weak and compliant. They need to figure out how to stand up and push back and fight for us all. We older people didn’t just fight for ourselves. We fought for our parents, ourselves and our kids. and now the kids want to throw in the towel and us under the bus.

  8. OT. From Politico:

    Clinton has made similar “I’m not here forever” comments before – but it was the timing of her remarks to CNN on Wednesday that raised eyebrows, coming at a critical moment in her fierce internal battle to push President Barack Obama to join the fight to liberate Libya from Muammar Qadhafi.

    How stupid do they think we are! The “timing” was of Blitzer’s doing not Clinton’s! And “her fierce internal battle to push”? Sure, this is absolutely going to be known as her war.

    Clinton’s persistence in the anti-Qadhafi cause has been such a constant in the White House in recent days that Obama, according to reports, joked about Clinton lobbing rocks through his window during his remarks at Saturday night’s Gridiron dinner.

    Ah, right! She’s constantly nagging! He on the other hand is just so cool!

    (And why, as is later done in the article, the need to reference her as “The former New York senator”?)

    • One more – rhetoric – question: Who else in the administration are, constantly, asked these questions? For whom else does Blitzer have a “list of other future ambitions” to “tick off”?

      If the president is reelected, do you want to serve a second term as Secretary of State?” Blitzer asked.

      “No,” Clinton replied bluntly.

      And “no” was her curt response when Blitzer ticked off a list of other future ambitions – Vice President, Secretary of Defense and another run at the presidency in 2016.

  9. Not that I have any reason to trust Gaddafi, but this does get my hopes up a bit: Libya ready for ceasefire.

  10. Barack Obama’s team seeks new ways to fire up his base.
    (Via commenter Ga6thDem at TL)

    Obama acknowledged the challenge last week in Boston. “Somebody asked me, how do we reinvigorate the population, the voter, after two very tough years?” he told Democratic donors. “How do we recapture that magic that got so many young people involved for the very first time in 2008?”One answer, the president said, is to persuade hardcore liberals to swallow their anger over political compromises the administration reached with Republicans, even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.

    • When you bargain away your stated position before negotiations even begin then what you have is capitulation. Not compromise.

    • Obama could tell us he’s not running for a 2d term. That would sure fire ME up.

    • he of course misspoke and meant to say…liberals should just swallow regardless of all of his political betrayals….

  11. I keep reading here on this blog that the media is blasting away here in the U.S. that the West Coast (where I live) and Hawaii are going to be affected by the radiation. While I am hearing a bit of this here and there, for the most part, I am only hearing that we are not in danger. And, I watch/read a lot of news reports. I do think it is a good idea to take a look at our nuclear disaster preparedness though ….. we are not prepared for a such a disaster, either nuclear wise or earthquake/tsunami wise. Certainly, no one I know is whipped into a frenzy here over the possiblity of radiation poisoning.

    On another note, there was damage in Crescent City, Hawaii, Santa Cruz (and I am sure other coasts, possibly Oregon) by the powerful surge. Of course, it pales in comparison to the Japanese disaster, but nevertheless happened and affected people’s lives; one man was swept out to sea; fisherman have lost their boats, etc. Again, this is an opportunity to prepare for the likely occurrence of a tsunami/earthquake on the West Coast.

    I also don’t think that people are as gullible as some make them out to be as far as media memes goes. As another said here, I think they are buying iodine tablets to sock away in their emergency kits; for afterall, there is no better time to prepare than when a disaster occurs somewhere else.

    Thanks for listening.

    • I got the information from Derek Lowe’s blog In The Pipeline. Apparently there are shortages of potassium iodide and reports of people giving it to themselves.
      I know you don’t want to hear this but your risk of getting a Chernobyl type accident in the US is close to zero. Even the incidents in Japan are way bigger in the mind n they deserve to be. Just think about all the displaced people in Japan waiting it out in school gymnasiums with overflowing toilets and no heat. In northern japan, it’s still winter. And there are about 17000 casualties from the earthquake and tsunami. So, while west coasters are panicking and self dozing themselves with iodine, the stricken in japan look on our hair-on-fire behavior with disbelief.
      I’m really ashamed of us. It’s embarrassing to live in a country at is so self centered and irrational.
      There is no legitimate excuse for the fear mongering or the vulnerability to it. It’s digesting.

  12. […] katiebird: And what is going on in the background while we’re trembling in fear of our lives? […]

  13. “Social Security Suicide”:

    Hmmm. why am I not surprised by this latest Obama kabuki?

    Maybe because as has been observed and written by me here, BO is and will be doing this kind of things for the fact that it is his payback for the corporations that gave money to his 2009 campaign and also as a revenge because we the common people fought tooth and nail to derail(even if unsuccessful) his pet bills.

    As observed by me, he has an aversion to defeat as evidenced by his elimination technique in the Chicago Senate race and his race-baiting tactics in the Democratic presidential selection w/ Hillary Clinton (just to cite 2 examples).

  14. social Security was only supposed to be a safety net. For people who make a lot of money, investments, interest, wages to also collect full SS benefits does not make sense. This went into effect under Clinton. They didn’t need to freeze everyone for the past two years, only cut in gradually depending on how much other income you have coming in. I know with globally circulating information it is impossible for most people to sift facts but it is still necessary for places like this.

    • Are you speaking of being taxed on your social security income? Social security has always went to everyone based on what they paid into the system. No means test to receive payments.

  15. Yes, all of us West Coasters are running around popping potassium iodide washed down with Appletinis between trips to the tanning salon. Also working on a Godzilla versus the Monster Tsunami screenplay. Because, you know, it’s all about us, 24/7.

  16. Local news show had a doctor on. In the interview, the anchor asked if he had any safety advice about the potential radiation. Doctor replied “Always wear your seat belt. Look both ways crossing the street. You’ be fine”.

    🙂

  17. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/africa/20libya.html?hp

    If you have not read this pathetic piece of propaganda from the Obama-NY Times team, do! As always Obama’s smallness is overwhelmingly pathetic and late. It turns my stomach as he and his team continue to display his incompetence and pettiness with tripe like this. And way way late, this Country understands to well who puts in the work effort and has the brass in his Administration. The Administration sources feigning Power’s and Rice’s capabilities on any foreign policy matter is nothing if not creepy.

    My question remains when will the real Democratic Party’s 2012 nominee show themselves?

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