The Dragonfly Ranch: HEALING ARTS CENTER recently hosted a two weeklong workshop for Europeans presented by a famous German musician/singer/sound healer, Christian Bollmann, and his lovely lady, Dr. Jutta Reichardt.
The workshop, blessed with many awesome experiences, was an extraordinary success!
Highlights of their journey were recorded with cameras and DVD as well as in our hearts and minds.
When the vans arrived, the weary travelers who came half way around the world, found his, her or their “spots” with ease, making like Goldie Locks to discover the perfect bed, sheets and pillows. Before eating dinner, the group gathered on the steps and sofa next to the Tang Dynasty Quan Yin and were told to close their eyes and “trust” as they were each “lei-ed” with fragrant plumeria flowers. They ate quietly, in awe, and retired early.
The first morning, while having breakfast in the bright, warm sunshine on the deck, the pueo (sacred Hawaiian White owl) flew atop the bamboo trees at 9:30 in the morning for a ½ hour preening in the sunlight. While this is not typical of owl behavior, it was predicted by a sensitive who just gave me a reading involving my mother. It was surely a happy omen of her approval and of blessed things to come.
Over fifty dolphins swam up beside the group at Hookena Bay, staying all day to play and sing and rest. While one woman was caught in a rip tide, a long time resident, Janey, from the shore sent a man with a dingy to pick her up. This resulted in a touching scene of appreciation that became a strong bond. Janey was invited to attend the going-away party at the end of the journey.
A trip to town one evening provided the group new friends who write songs and play music—long lost friends of mine who were also invited to the party.
Whales appeared while the group sailed on Captain Kiko’s double-hulled canoe trip in Keauhou.
When we learned that Makana would be singing in Hilo, the group quickly adjusted plans and made arrangements to include this special concert that had a number of the old time Hawaiian slack key artists playing with my dear friend, Makana.
On the way to the concert, the group enjoyed riding the waves at the long white sandy beach called Hapuna. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a picnic in the Kalopa mountain park. They were awestruck by a rainbow over Hilo bay before attending the exciting concert.
The Saturday morning Hilo market was a highlight for shoppers before proceeding to explore the East side of the island. Healing sound work while floating in the Puna warm ponds was another highlight for this group before stopping to pay homage to Madam Pele at the volcano on their return home from Hilo.
A full moon sunrise at the sacred Place of Sanctuary provided an awesome time of powerful prayer, meditation, and singing—all accentuated by a stunning double rainbow—representing doubly powerful “change” or “transformation”. This double “anuenue” over the ocean spoke of a strong ½ hour storm that blasted in and out a few hours later, providing the group with a clear and colorful hour-long showy (best of the year) sunset to remember.
Meditation, yoga, chi gung, dancing, walking the labyrinth, toning (with amazing overtones) and singing in the Illuminarium was an ongoing aspect of this groups amazing program. I cannot praise Christian and Jutta enough for their talented and skillful leadership, always light, always going with the flow, always with humor and grace.
For these mellow Germans, lots of relaxing and singing was a large part of their healing journey to Hawaii. They also took advantage of the opportunity to get lomilomi and have readings from other Dragonfly guests who were available to them. For insightful Tarot readings there was artist/reader, Penny Clements. For connecting with the “other side” by a “real deal” medium, Troy Parkinson also gave readings.
Systemic systems life coach, Martyn Carruthers, spoke on Huna healing one evening and also gave private sessions with people who were interested.
Since everyone fell in love with Capt. Kiko, they were all happy that he joined them on a day trip to Volcano. He talked story and shared the richness of the land where he was raised, delighted to be with his new German friends again.
We were paid a surprise 3-day visit from Ian Rush, an unusual man on a mission: www.100goalsin100weeks.com
Originally from England, and more recently from Australia, Ian, found himself surrounded by singing Germans who were delighted to include him in their joyous enthusiasm. While this event was not on his list of goals, I believe he was touched by the open heartedness of the group. Also, his “readings” made him a little skeptical about his skepticism. He left the Dragonfly a slightly changed man.
The Dragonfly garden, lovingly tended by this group of Germans, provided fresh organic greens for many meals catered with love and flair by talented chefs. Of course the delicious food was blessed with songs of gratitude before being gleefully eaten on the peaceful outdoor deck overlooking the ocean.
Prior to dinner, after everyone sang and danced and toned, in the labyrinth, our friend, Martyn Carruthers, suggested the group hold hands every which direction–getting all entangled and then…working at getting…unentangled. Quite an accomplishment that this very special group handled gracefully, punctuated with a little laughter here and there.
For the grand finale dinner party, after a traditional turkey (and salmon) dinner to remember, everyone got in a circle on the outdoor covered deck for the evening festivities. The music included friends, Jamila and Audie, who brought violin and saxophone as well as sufi dancing for songs that Christian and Jutta were familiar with singing but did not know the dancing part. Our dear friend/chef/gardener/musician, Phoenix, played a few of his tunes on his guitar.
Doing his extraordinary 3 overtone sounds for which he is famous, Christian played his guitar and added an ancient Tibetan instrument. Besides her loving voice and healing energy, Jutta adds a light touch of Tibetan bells here and there. The group, having practiced together for years, sang like a well-trained choir. While the Dragonfly has had many parties of renown, the chemistry of this unified group created an amazing party that no one wanted to have end.
Janey and other new friends were amazed at the harmonious sounds, joy and laughter. They joined in with their ukele and good cheer.
Much to our delight, another unexpected guest appeared just as Christian and Jutta were singing a beautiful song to me, in gratitude for providing the sacred space for them at the Dragonfly Ranch that my mother help me create. Starting 35 years ago, my mother and I knew this was the perfect spot for growth, transformation and healing. This unexpected guest was predicted to appear by Troy, our (temporary) resident medium who told me that my mother (who died in 1982) wanted to show herself in the form of a bird. I knew that my mother selected the pueo to be our family amakua (guardian angle/sign).
Near the end of that beautiful song sung for me, that I drank in with my whole heart, the pueo flew up and appeared like a flash of lighting, five feet behind our heads. I felt that my mother, Emelyn, in the form of the white owl, wanted us to know that from beginning to end, she approves of our activities and blesses each of us with her everlasting love.
“In the Sweetness of Friendship,
let there be Laughter
and the Sharing of Pleasures ”
Barbara Ann Kenonilani Moore
President of Hawaii Island Wellness Travel Association (HIWTA.org)
soul proprietor of Dragonfly Ranch: HEALING ARTS CENTER
Voted #1 B&B in West Hawaii by readers of West Hawaii Today daily paper
where Aloha abounds
72 degrees and sunny on Big Island’s Kona Coast
January 26, 2009
I had the pleasure of responding to an invitation from Greg Nelson and participating this morning as PSR’s representative in a White House ceremony at which President Obama announced his initial steps on energy and the environment. The content of his announcements were covered this morning in an anticipatory piece on the front page of The New York Times and I am sure will be in tonight and tomorrow’s news.
The invitation came at the last minute, yesterday, Sunday afternoon in fact but an audience of 80-100 folks appeared, mostly good friends of ours from the national environmental community. This group rarely has occasion to be together in the same room and the mood was celebratory. Members of the President’s energy and environment “team” were present including: Steven Chu, John Holdren, Carol Browner, Lisa Jackson, and others.
The President spoke for 10 minutes and was very business-like. The President’s tone sent a clear message. He opened with the urgent need to respond to the financial crises and linked his remarks on energy independence, CAFE standards, green house gas emissions to job creation and economic stabilization. He spoke of global warming as a matter of fact that we all understand and want action on. He spoke of the importance of science-based policy.
His presentation was low-key, as if he were saying: “I’m not telling you anything you don’t know… and here is what we are going to need to do…” I found listening to him a remarkable experience, like a light coming on after 8, or has it been 20, years in the darkness. Unlike previous White House events there were no photo ops; there will be no signed photographs of me with the President. He greeted a few of his own people in the front row and left the room. I am impressed.
I hope we see an event like this on nuclear weapons in the near future. This is a moment both to celebrate and to redouble our efforts.
Mike McCally, MD, PhD
Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Carol Browner, Global warming, John Holdren, Nuclear weapon, Steven Chu, The New York Times Company, White House | Comment (0)
MONDAY 19 JANUARY 2009 Signup for updates * * * * * * * * * * * * Opinion Olbermann | Bush Years: 8 in 8 Minutes Friday 16 January 2009 » by: Keith Olbermann,
George Walker Bush. 43rd president of the United States. first ever with a criminal record. our third story tonight, his presidency: eight years in eight minutes. early in 2001 the U.S. fingered Al Qaeda for the bombing of the USS Cole Bush counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke had a plan to take down Al Qaeda. instead by February the NSC had already discussed invading Iraq, and had a plan for post-Saddam Iraq. by March 5 Bush had a map ready for Iraqi oil exploration and a list of companies. Al Qaeda? Rice told Clarke not to give Bush a lot of long memos. not a big reader. August 6, 2001 a CIA analyst briefs Bush on vacation: “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” Bush takes no action tells the briefer – quote all right, you’ve covered your ass now. next month Clarke requests using new predator drones to kill Bin Laden the Pentagon and CIA say no. September 11th Bush remains seated for several minutes to avoid scaring school children by getting up and leaving. he then flies around the country and promises quote a full scale investigation to find those folks who did it Rumsfeld says Afghanistan does not have enough targets we’ve got to do Iraq. when the CIA traps Bin Laden at Tora Bora it asks for 800 rangers to cut off his escape Bush outsources the job to Pakistanis sympathetic to the Taliban Bin Laden gets away in February General Tommy Franks tells a visiting Senator Bush is moving equipment out of Afghanistan so he can invade Iraq. one of the men who prepped Rice for her testimony that Bush did not ignore pre 9-11 warnings later explains quote we cherry picked things to make it look like the president had been actually concerned about Al Qaeda they didn’t give a bleep about Al Qaeda July and Britain‘s intel chief says Bush is fixing intelligence and facts around the policy to take out Saddam January 03 Bush and Blair agree to invade in March Mr. Bush still telling us he has not decided telling Blair they should paint an airplane in UN colors fly it over Iraq and provoke a response a pretext for invasion the man who said it would take several hundred thousand troops fired the man who said it would cost more than a hundred billion fired the man who revealed Bush’s yellowcake lie smeared his wife’s covert status exposed the White House liars who did it and covered it up not fired one convicted Bush commutes his sentence then in Iraq, stuff happens: Iraq’s army, disbanded the government de-Baathified 200,000 weapons, billions of dollars just lost foreign mercenaries immunized from justice political hacks run the Green Zone religious cleansing forcing one out of six Iraqis from their homes Abu Ghraib the insurgency Al Qaeda in Iraq other stuff does not happen: WMD post-war planning body armor vehicular armor the payoff? oil and billions for Halliburton, Blackwater and other companies while Mr. Bush denies VA healthcare to 450,000 veterans tries to raise their healthcare fees blocks the new G.I. Bill and increases his own power with the USA PATRIOT Act with the Military Commissions Act public orders exempting himself from a thousand laws and secretly from the Presidential Records Act The Geneva Conventions FISA sparking a mass rebellion at the Justice Department secret star chambers for terrorism suspects, overturned by Hamdan v Rumsfeld. denying habeas corpus, overturned by Boumediene v Bush. 200 renditionings sleep deprivation abuse Rumsfeld warned in 2002 that he was torturing that it would jeopardize convictions out of 550 at Gitmo hundreds ultimately go free with no charges dozens are tortured eight fatally three are convicted on U.S. soil twelve hundred immigrants rounded up without due process without bail without court dates without a single charge of terrorism it wasn’t just Mr. Bush no longer subject to the rule of law he slashed regulations on everyone from banks to mining companies appointed 98 lobbyists to oversee their own industries weakening emission standards for mercury and 650 different toxic chemicals regulators shared drugs and their beds with industry reps the Crandall Canyon mine owner told inspectors to back up because his buddy, Republican Mitch McConnell was sleeping with their boss McConnell’s wife is Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao her agency overruled engineer concerns about Crandall Canyon and was found negligent after nine miners died in the collapse there Mr. Bush’s hands off as Enron blacks out California doubling electric bills after months of rejecting price caps Mr. Bush bows to pressure the blackouts end Mr. Bush further deregulates commodity futures midwifing the birth of unregulated oil markets which just like Enron jack up prices to an all time high until Congress and both presidential candidates call for regulations and the prices fall deregulating financial services and lax enforcement of remaining rules created a housing bubble creating the mortgage crisis creating then a credit crisis devastating industries that rely on credit from student loans to car dealers firms that had survived the Great Depression could not survive Bush those that did got seven hundred billion dollars no strings, no transparency no idea whether it worked unlike the auto bailout which cut workers’ salaries. a GOP memo called it a chance to punish unions but Bush failed even when his party and his patrons did not stand to profit investigators blamed management cost cutting communication for missed warnings about Columbia Bush administration convicts include sex offenders at Homeland Security convicted liars every kind of thief in the calendar and if you count things that were not prosecuted the vice president of the United States actually shot a man in the face the man apologized. Mr. Bush faked the truth with paid propaganda in Iraq on his education policy tried to silence the truth about global warming rocket fuel in our water industry influence on energy policy politicized the truth of science at NASA, the EPA, the National Cancer Institute, Fish and Wildlife and the FDA his lies exposed by whistleblowers from the cabinet down “complete BS” the treasury secretary said of Mr. Bush on his tax cuts. Rice’s mushroom cloud Powell’s mobile labs Iraq and 9-11 Jack Abramoff Jessica Lynch Pat Tillman Pat Tillman again Pat Tillman, again. the air at Ground Zero most responders still suffering respiratory problems. global warming carbon emissions a Clear Skies initiative lowering air quality standards the Healthy Forests initiative increasing logging faith based initiatives the cost of medicare reform fired US attorneys politically synchronized terror alerts the surge causing insurgents to switch sides that abortion causes breast cancer that his first recession began under Clinton that he did not wiretap without warrants that we do not torture. that American citizen John Walker Lindh’s rights were not violated that he refused the right to counsel heckuva job Brownie some survivors still in trailers New Orleans still at just two-thirds its usual population the lie that no one could have predicted the economic crisis except the economists who did no one could have predicted 9-11 except one ass-covering CIA analyst or thirty no one could have predicted the levee breach except literally Mr. Bill in a PSA that aired on TV a year before Katrina Bush actually admitted that he lied about not firing Rumsfeld because he did not want to tell the truth. look it up. all of it all of it and more leaving us with ten trillion in debt to pay for 31% more in discretionary spending the Iraq War a 1.3 trillion dollar tax cut median income down two thousand dollars three-quarters of all income gains under Bush going to the richest one percent unemployment up from 4.2 to 7.2 percent the Dow, down from ten thousand five hundred eighty seven to eighty two hundred seventy seven six million now more in poverty seven million more now without health care buying toxic goods from China deadly cribs outsourcing security to Dubai still unsecure in our ports and at our nuclear plants more dependent on foreign oil out of the international criminal court off the anti ballistic missle treaty military readiness and standards down with two unfinished wars a nuclear North Korea disengaged from the Palestinian problem destabilizing eastern european diplomacy with anti missile plans and unable to keep Russia out of Georgia 2000 miles of Appalachian streams destroyed by rubble from mountaintop mining at his last G-8 summit, he actually bid farewell to other world leaders saying quote – goodbye from the world’s greatest polluter consistently undermining historic American reverence for the institutions that empower us education, now “academic elites” and the law, “activist judges” capping jury awards and Bin Laden? living today unmolested in a Pakistani safe haven created by a truce endorsed and defended by George W. Bush and among all the gifts he gave to Bin Laden the most awful, the most damaging not just to America but to the American ideal was to further Bin Laden’s goal by making us act out of fear rather than fortitude leaving us with precious little to cling to tonight save the one thing that might yet suffice: hope.Politics | Tags: Al-Qaeda, George W. Bush, George Walker Bush, Iraq, Iraq War, United States, US, USA PATRIOT Act | Comment (0)
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The Most Ridiculous Speech of All
Friday 16 January 2009
by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Columnist
President George W. Bush
I don’t think there’s a punch-line scheduled, is there?
- Monty Python
… George W. Bush went on television to deliver the last major address of his time in the White House. Like it says in Psalms, this is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Of course, of course, of course, it was a ridiculous speech. Preposterous. The worst one of all, and boy howdy, that is saying something. This, after all, was the man who gave us “Bring it on” and “Mission Accomplished,” and who once was unable to think of any mistakes he might have made. Each of these was a legitimate phenomenon in every respect, to be sure, but the spectacle on Thursday night bent the definition of “absurd” into bold new shapes.
Let’s take it from the top.
Fellow citizens: For eight years, it has been my honor to serve as your president. The first decade of this new century has been a period of consequence – a time set apart. Tonight, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey we have traveled together and the future of our nation.
Translation: I like turtles.
This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house – September 11, 2001.
For the record, he went through exactly 240 words before bringing up 9/11.
Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security [DHS] has been created. The military, the intelligence community and the FBI have been transformed. Our nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists’ movements, freeze their finances and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them.
Where to begin?
The DHS is a hopelessly scrambled and hyper-politicized debacle. The military has been transformed into a shadow of its former self. The intelligence community is battered and discombobulated. The FBI works for a Justice Department that belongs in the script for a screwball comedy. The new tools include torture and indefinite detention, which don’t work and are against the law. The only real ally we have left is Saudi Arabia, birthing bed of al-Qaeda-style Wahabbist terrorism. File this whole paragraph under “FAIL.”
Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al-Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.
Afghanistan is a disaster we are about to pour even more troops into. The Taliban is umbilically connected to officials in Pakistan and can roam freely across the border. Casualty rates among US soldiers have nearly doubled in the last two years, and the poppy fields are doing just fine, thank you. As for that last bit, it kind of fits perfectly; after all, what would a massive, catastrophic economic downturn be without lots of really good smack?
As for Iraq, well, enough has been written about that galloping calamity to blow the roof off the Library of Congress. Let’s just say the “Arab democracy” he boasted of is being run by the same two groups that killed 241 American service members when they bombed the marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. These two groups, Dawa and SCIRI, by the by, are both part of the Iranian power structure. Essentially, Tehran now owns Iraq, and that’s a good thing … right?
This next bit might be the best part:
There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results.
The mind simply boggles.
I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering. We see examples of America’s character all around us. And Laura and I have invited some of them to join us in the White House this evening.
Can you believe it? The man could not face his final audience with the American people on his own two feet, needing once again to use people as props to hold himself up and hide himself behind. He actually used the “Distinguished Guests” trick that has become a common occurrence at State of the Union addresses.
Bush had the gall to smile down on a man from New Orleans, who had heroically worked to dig out from his city-annihilating failures during Katrina. He had the gall to smile down on a soldier, who suffered the torments of Iraq duty because of him. He had the gall to smile down on a man whose son was killed in Iraq. He had the gall. It was astonishing.
And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next president. And may God bless you and our wonderful country.
Sentiment expressed in one form or another by almost every American at the end of this last sentence: Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
It’s over. It really is over.
Almost.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
The last day of voting for the Ideas for Change in America competition is today! On Friday we will present the top 10 ideas to the Obama administration at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We’ll then connect the winning ideas to leading nonprofits and launch a series of national advocacy campaigns to turn each idea into federal policy.
You have voted for the following idea:
You also have 9 votes remaining, and we encourage you to finish voting for your list of “Top 10 Ideas” by going to www.change.org/ideas <http://www.change.org/ideas> before voting ends at 5pm Eastern this Thursday, Jan. 15.
We started the Ideas for Change in America initiative in the hope that we could translate the energy behind the Obama election into a citizen-led movement for change around the major issues we face. With over 500,000 votes thus far, each of you has helped deliver a clear message to the Obama administration that the American people want to participate in their own government again.
For that, we thank you. And we can’t wait to work with each of you to continue this momentum after the competition ends.
In the meantime, best of luck for each of the ideas you support!
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Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Change.org, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, United States, Voting, Washington DC | Comment (0)
On April 7, 2006, Citizens For Health (CFH) filed a formal Petition with the FDA, demanding that the FDA revoke its approval of sucralose, which you know as Splenda. The reasons at the time were numerous, as you can learn below. The FDA acknowledged receipt of the CFH Petition the day it was received, but the agency hasn’t been heard from since. The Petition remains pending to this day under FDA Docket no. 2006P-0158.
By way of background, an FDA Petition is a formal procedure for prompting action by the FDA. In theory, any citizen can do it. In practice, the Petition process is almost always used by industry, mainly because it’s so complex. See for yourself by clicking on the PDF for the Citizens For Health Petition here.
Next, you should know that it’s a requirement that the FDA “must respond within 180 days by either approving or denying the Petition (in whole or in part), or providing a tentative response indicating why FDA has been unable to reach a decision.” That hasn’t happened in this case, and we’re coming up on the 3-year anniversary of the Petition.
Since we filed our Petition, we’ve raised awareness about the Splenda issue several times. You can read some of our pieces by clicking here. Also, you can get another look at CFH Chairman Jim Turner‘s recent press release about the subject here. http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=150785
But the most striking news are the results of a very recent research study about Splenda from the Duke University Medical Center. This report contains the following conclusion:
“The findings of this study indicate the Splenda suppresses beneficial bacteria and directly affects the expression of . . . isozymes that are known to interfere with the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients. Furthermore, these effects occur at Splenda doses that contain sucralose levels that are approved by the FDA for use in the food supply.”
In other words, Splenda interferes with the body’s ability to use food and drugs properly.
Enough is enough! It’s not as if we need it, but this is one more reason to support AAHF’s petition to Reform the FDA. More specifically, the FDA must act now on our formal Petition. The FDA is putting American citizens at risk. Here’s a specific opportunity to prove our mettle, and hold the FDA accountable. This is the chief enforcer of our nation‘s food and drug laws that we’re talking about here. And what’s more, this isn’t even controversial -all we’re doing is demanding that the FDA do its job and follow its own rules.
Act now! Take Action:
to sign our email letter to the FDA Docket Manager and the FDA Ombudsperson. You can help further by forwarding this to friends, family and colleagues. Let’s make a difference on this one.
And as always, thanks for your support.
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Health | Tags: Drugs, Duke University Health System, Duke University Medical Center, Food and Drug Administration, Health, Jim Turner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, United States | Comment (0)
Obama is already under the thumb of the American Enterprise Institute, AEI, with his choice of Dennis Ross as his senior advisor on middle east policies. The American Enterprise Institute is the Zionist Israeli (located in the US) “think tank” whose members made up the majority of the Bush administration, and who hatched the Iraq war under Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Cambone, Bolton, Wolfowitz, Libby, Ross, all AEI “fellows/scholars” all Zionist Jews who control this country, and apparently newly elected Barack Obama as well. In their now famous document a “Project for a New American Century (PNAC)” initiated in the late 1990s, they mapped out the course of action to attack Iraq, inflame the middle east, and be able to fight at least 2 minor and 1 major war at the same time with Israel using the US government and military to do its’ work in taking over the world. Although the “project” has not gone as smoothly as anticipated, that has not deterred them, they press on now having co-opted the new administration by installing their members already and their agenda going forward. Their next project is for the US to attack Iran.
January 13th, 2009
Now we know the real reason the “powers that be” let Obama win: He’s vehemently pro-nuclear.
Obama’s nominee for Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, is utterly pro-nuclear. And in sworn testimony today before the Senate energy committee, Chu proved that you can win a Nobel Prize and yet still not know enough to get by productively in today’s world. The guy needs an education in dozens of nuclear issues, and his confirmation — almost certain — will be a calamity for honest energy decisions in America. Or for any hope of productive change in our society. Yeah, it’s that important. Energy is a huge chunk of our economy and the secretive cabals that control it — Dick Cheney‘s infamous energy policy meetings being only the tip of the iceberg — need to be exposed, and brought down. Corporations like AREVA. People like Steven Chu.
If nothing else, Dr. Chu proved today that you can win a Nobel prize in physics and not know much about radioactive waste. Supposedly, his current studies concern “biological systems at the single-molecule level” (according to Wikipedia). Clearly, though, damage to populations from radiation has escaped his attention (even though it all starts at the atomic and molecular level). Perhaps it’s too statistical for him, or too abstract, or too real, or too complicated, or too simplistic, or whatever. One way or another, he overlooked it.
So for more than an hour he promoted “recycling” of nuclear waste, which is actually still known as “reprocessing” among most people, including a number of the Senators at the hearing. Apparently the new term is “recycling” because it sounds more eco-friendly, and was portrayed that way by Chu and by various Senators.
But whatever you call it, reprocessing nuclear fuel ISN’T eco-friendly. However it took Chu more than an hour of promoting it before he admitted that he doesn’t actually know much about it. He did, however, admit it — in sworn testimony!
Then he went back to promoting nuclear fuel “recycling.”
France was cited as a bastion of successful recycling. What France actually does with its nuclear waste, and the waste from probably more than a dozen other countries (I don’t have the exact number; it’s hard to obtain, but is surely in that range), is grind up, chop up, and then melt down, burn up, or chemically dissolve the highly poisonous spent fuel rods. However, each gram of spent fuel contains over 500 DIFFERENT radioactive isotopes, representing the ENTIRE spectrum of known elements!
What is called a “success” in France is really just isolating the plutonium and uranium from these other elements, and then isolating specific isotopes of those two elements (and perhaps thorium). All this creates large amounts of chemical pollution, at a huge cost, and with the concomitant loss of vast quantities of radionuclides into the environment, Noble gases, for instance, are simply released to the environment. their quantities are barely even estimated. Many other elements such as Strontium-90, Cesium-137, Iodine-131 — France releases them all into the environment in order to accomplish “recycling.” It’s not clean. It’s not safe. The industry lies at every step so as not to annoy the public — and has plenty of help from the government in the form of covert operations against legitimate activist groups and official cover-ups of wrong-doing, leaks, etc.. Is this what we want in America?
Chu apparently doesn’t know any of this, but he’s all for it anyway.
But that’s not the silliest thing about Chu’s performance today before the Senate committee. Surely the silliest thing about his ambitious nuclear plans is that he believes that nuclear spent fuel rods can be safely stored somewhere. Obviously, he means “on-site” in something — some container — NOT Yucca Mountain.
Not that he opposes Yucca Mountain. He wants it to keep crawling forward. There is no Yucca Mountain, by the way. One activist today told me she thought it was already being filled with waste. It isn’t.
Another citizen witnessed, first-hand, what is called “safe” by Dr. Chu:
“Are they building another reactor at San Onofre?!?” he asked me this morning, after a recent fishing trip brought him close to the local nuclear reactor. ”No, that’s the spent fuel storage facility you saw. Soon it will be the #1 terrorist target in Southern California. If a small group of terrorists pierce that casing and light the spent fuel rods that will be stored there on fire, or if anything else causes them to burst, we’ll be dead within minutes (we live about 12 miles away) and SoCal will be ruined forever. And one millionth of a gram will kill you many times over.”
“They were as big as a cruise ship! It had to be seven stories tall! Is it going to be all steel?”
“No, it will have a lot of concrete around the steel. But not enough.”
Those “dry casks” have other problems, too, which Dr. Chu conveniently doesn’t acknowledge. There have been corruption issues with the design, the construction, and the implementation of NUMEROUS INSTALLATIONS of dry casks.
The security staffs protecting these spent fuel installations fall asleep on the job. This has been reported in — yep — NUMEROUS INSTALLATIONS in the past. And even if they’re fully awake, there aren’t enough guards at any one plant to overcome a concerted attack.
There never could be enough guards, because a concerted attack will STILL come from the air. It will be swift, it will be over in seconds, and it will be devastating. There is no defense planned, and Dr. Chu doesn’t care. To him, these casks are safe — despite the dangers from earthquakes and tsunamis (not to mention asteroids, improper construction, and a thousand other possible FATAL — to 500,000 people or more — FLAWS of spent fuel storage.
The operating nuclear power plants are an even greater threat — in terms of probability of an accident — than the spent fuel. But in terms of how many citizens could die from an accident? That’s a toss-up. Short-lived radionuclides would be released in a reactor accident — seal the windows and doors carefully with duct tape, don’t use up your oxygen too fast, eat canned food and drink bottled water for a few weeks and you’ll be fine, unless whatever exposure you do get (and you’re sure to get some) results in a cancer later, or heart disease, or inflammation, deformed children, or a thousand other ailments. If you’re outside or otherwise unprotected at the time of the accident, you will die a horrible death, wherein your cells are broken down by the radiation which gets inside your lungs, your gut, and is absorbed through your skin. Certain organs in your body are targeted by some radionuclides, other organs, by other isotopes. Either way, it’s often very painful, it can last a long time, it is usually accompanied by an agonizing and unquenchable thirst, and it will happen to perhaps half a million Southern Californians if we don’t close the plants and properly secure the waste. Such deaths – known as “acute radiation poisoning” — will occur as much as 500 miles downwind, and in broad swaths in every direction. You will not know where to run: The poison is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Roads will be crowded, or crowded with the dead. Or both.
Support Dr. Chu, and you support this fate. Chu’s policies are deadly. They are irrational. They will be expensive to implement, expensive to undo, and a million times MORE expensive if — and when — they fail.
And no, Yucca Mountain is not the solution. And yet, there is no known better solution! In fact, the Yucca Mountain team was allowed to suggest anything they thought was a better idea, other than simply choosing some other site and basically doing the same thing there instead of at Yucca Mountain.
I do not have a solution. But I assure you, neither does Dr. Chu. The difference is, he’s probably going to be confirmed as head of the most notorious promoter of nuclear power on the planet, the U. S. Department of Energy — and I’m one citizen out of nearly seven billion. And I DO have a solution to the GROWING problem of nuclear waste — STOP MAKING MORE.
Nearly every Senator asked about renewable energy solutions or “clean coal” which invariably meant “carbon sequestration.” And Dr. Chu always had an answer for these — he was all for biomass, and all for ethanol from sugar, and all for wind and solar, etc.
But don’t be fooled! This man will continue the death-train of nuclear poisons — created, released, ignored.
Dr. Steven Chu should not be confirmed, but he surely will be. Republicans love him. Democrats love him. The status quo loves him, because the status qua is to keep the 104 operating nuclear plants in America open — until an American meltdown shuts them. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who has a degree in “Industrial Management” and wants “300″ nuclear power plants in America, loves Chu. Senator Corker and others want to help Chu find more and more ways for the federal government to finance so-called “private industry” to restart the nearly-catatonic (thank goodness — but it ain’t dead, by any means) “Nuclear Renaissance.” They want nukes in THEIR state. Big money loves Chu. And everyone at our corrupt National Laboratories loves Chu too, of course.
And worst of all, with all Chu’s talk of renewables, environmentalists who don’t know any better will probably love him, too.
I think the Obama Administration’s great secret has finally been revealed: They’re no different. They won’t stop using Depleted Uranium munitions in war. They won’t shut the nuclear power plants. They won’t solve the nuclear waste problem (because that is a physical impossibility, as ANY physicist worth his degree knows, and 60+ billion dollars and 60+ years put into finding a solution should prove it “prima facie” to everyone else), and they won’t do anything to stop the criminal backroom deals that have allowed the nuclear industry to keep moving forward, despite the deaths it causes.
I do not believe Dr. Chu believes everything he said today. Maybe I just don’t think you can be that dumb and still win a Nobel Prize. Maybe I think his occasional rapid blinking and other mannerisms suggest blatant dishonesty. But either way, I am convinced Dr. Chu lied under oath. Well, we’re used to that, after the Bush Administration.
Come next Tuesday, when Obama is sworn in, it will be Business As Usual in America. And don’t expect any kind of national health care to pay for your illness when you get cancer!
It should be noted that it was surely not an accident that the biggest media event of the confirmation hearings — Hillary Clinton’s day in the sunshine — was the same day as Chu’s all-important Energy Committee hearing. This kept the press off the nuclear issue, so people wouldn’t hear the bad news.
Expect more Davis-Besse near-disasters, more Three Mile Island nearer-disasters, and a few Chernobyls (real full-blown nuclear disasters) in America during, or some time after, the Obama Administration. Don’t bother being surprised when it happens.
Radioactive death for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans, is as inevitable as sunshine and rain now. Chu is a shoe-in for Energy Secretary. Our fate is sealed.
The Code Killers: An Expose of Nuclear Crimes Large and Small, High And Low, Far and Wide
Jewish Voice of Peace wrote: Just a few days after the bombing of Gaza started, my rabbi, Rabbi Brant Rosen here in Evanston, Illinois had the courage to write something on his blog* that may forever change his life, and the lives of those around him. As I read it, I could literally feel the earth shift beneath my feet. He said, Send a note to Jon Stewart. Tell everyone you know to watch the segment. http://www.thankyoujonstewart.com We good liberal Jews are ready to protest oppression and human-rights abuse anywhere in the world, but are all too willing to give Israel a pass. It’s a fascinating double-standard, and one I understand all too well. I understand it because I’ve been just as responsible as anyone else for perpetrating it. So no more rationalizations. What Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza is an outrage. It has has brought neither safety nor security to the people of Israel and it has wrought nothing but misery and tragedy upon the people of Gaza. The earth is shifting on this issue when the people to whom we look for guidance about right and wrong, people like Rabbi Brant, finally speak the truth- that killing will not bring peace. Not for the Israelis, not for the Palestinians, not for anyone. Many people from my own congregation, including my own daughter, wrote him to say “Thank you, thank you for finally saying these words out loud.” I felt something similar when I saw Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Monday night. While almost all of the mainstream news in the United States has reported the story without any context whatsoever, repeating the lie that this is a simple case of Israel defending its people against irrational attacks, it was Jon Stewart, the main source of news for an entire generation of Americans, who got it right**. He talked about the “soul-crushing” siege of Gaza, the occupation that has forced Palestinians to go through checkpoints to do anything at all, the perverse logic of trying to “get a war in” just before Obama’s inauguration. When I watched this segment, I knew the earth was shifting. And I knew I had to thank Jon, and to make sure everyone I know watches his segment. We all know that if every Jew in America said no to Israel’s occupation of the Palesinians, it would still happen, because it has is seen as serving the interests of our country’s foreign interests. And it is supported by Christian fundamentalists who believe it is one step closer to the end times. That’s why we all need to work together- every single one of us. So thank Jon by going here. And then tell everyone you know to watch this video. Tell your friends that if it seems like what is happening now is wrong, that’s because it is. By the way, the last haunting words of Rabbi Brant’s post were ese: “There, I’ve said it. Now what do I do?” At Jewish Voice for Peace, it’s our mandate to answer that question. We’re planning a broad-based response that we know will make a difference, and the heart of that response will be every single one of you. We’ll ask you to have those conversations with everyone you know, to educate yourselves, to let the world know peace with justice is possible. Stay tuned, Lynn Pollack Jewish Voice for Peace * Rabbi Brant’s blog ** Israel losing the PR war (print headline)/In U.S., war of words over Gaza, San Francisco ChroniclePolitics, Uncategorized | Tags: Daily Show, Gaza, Human rights, Israelis, Jon Stewart, San Francisco Chronicle, United States, Warfare and Conflict | Comment (0)