Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tying the Knot

Two noteworthy events have headlined the recent news:

1. Negotiators representing  some 168 nations (of the 192 nations represented at the UN) got together and crafted a nuclear weapons ban treaty, the first time in over 70 years there has been a successful effort to avert nuclear war—this at a time when international tensions have never been higher. Formally known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it was adopted July 6, 2017 at the final session of the conference. Big Brother’s presence was predictably absent.

2. The two houses of the Japanese Diet, where a two-thirds majority of PM Abe’s conservative party rules, enacted a conspiracy law, with the very real potential of criminalizing protest, according to the Tokyo Bar Association and the UN rapporteur for human rights.

The first event appears to have international implications (although without the participation of the Nuclear Nine), the second appears to apply only to a small island nation, but that perception misses recognizing the global dimensions of the recent Japanese phenomenon and how the two might be related. About the new law, Koichi Nakano, professor of political science at Tokyo’s Sophia University said:  [It] shows both [PM Abe’s]  arrogance and his weakness….We’re seeing the personalization of power, and it’s not all that different  from what we see in the Trump administration.”

First some comic relief (Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado comes to mind): originally criminalizing over 650 acts, after some negotiation, the Diet knocked down the number of offenses to a mere 277. The bill was rushed through the Diet with only some 16 hours allocated for debate. Why? A phenomenon called “look at the birdie,” namely the dreary ploy in vogue by all political criminals to distract: Japanese PM Abe faces two scandal probes. And the law was snuck in in advance of Tokyo municipal elections to be held in July.

Officially, the Japanese government needs to pass the bill in order for Japan to become signatory to the UN convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by UN member states in 2000, which targets human trafficking, narcotics trading and money laundering, Which is why the new law criminalizes:

  • Sit-in protests against the construction of apartment buildings (Berkeley, take note!) 
  • Racing motorboats without a license
  • Mushroom gathering in protected forests
Although ostensibly the new law purports to target terrorism and to avert terrorist attack, it may be useful to note that last year crime statistics for Japan listed one fatal shooting, and that the last terrorist act occurred in 1995 with the sarin gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo, a shadowy Japanese cult, in the Tokyo subway.     

But the unofficial government rationale is that the government of Japan needs to be safe from protest.

To “Serve and Protect:” Do the cops need more power?

World over, fear is universal and profitable. Fear afflicts global populations as political figures sabre rattle for fun and profit: they are the living, real time mouth pieces for the international weapons trade (someones are getting awfully, awfully rich on a steady diet of M & Ms: maimings, mayhem, and murder). Fear-mongering pervades the government-managed media as it happily amplifies the message of the living, real time mouth pieces.

Fear is useful. Surveillance legislation, sugar-pilled by intriguing acronyms (P.A.T.R.I.O.T., for example) crops up, not just in Japan, or the Unied States but as a global phenomenon. Effectively managed, fear works to persuade the world’s populations to go along with sacrificing their freedom and privacy. Maybe not entirely willingly (39% of Japan’s population approves of the new Conspiracy Bill vs. 41% opposed).

Qui Bono

In the case of the Japanese conspiracy legislation, besides affording PM Abe a comfortable smoke screen obscuring his own misdemeanors, the act is now in place to dissent especially now that PM Abe
            •wants to restart Japan’s nuclear reactors in one  of the world’s most seismically active regions,

            •plans to host the Olympic games slated for 2020—in areas some of them still heavily contaminated by nuclear fallout, notably in Miyagi and Shizuoka Prefectures.

            •intends to convince some 154,000 souls originally evacuated from areas      contaminated by Fukushima’s nuclear fallout that the area is now, magically and suddenly perfectly safe for them to return there. And to insure their willingness to return, the Japanese government is terminating their living subsidies.

(The above link will lead readers to a propaganda video describing how Japan has now overcome nuclear contamination and made Fukushima's coastline "safe" for displaced persons who are now being forced to return to their contaminated villages.)

At the same time, the law criminalizes any possible conspiracy such as
collusion by Japanese entities with foreign Olympic teams or other entities, which might express a certain reluctance about scheduling athletes to compete in contaminated areas, inhaling nuclear particulates as they run, jump, and row.

Twin Janus Face

Dr. John Gofman, the anti-nuclear world’s late messenger, wrote that if we espouse nuclear energy we agree that someone will have to die. (He did not include athletes.) He was referring to injury and death associated among others, with the people living in the area close to nuclear plants, and to worker injuries inevitable in a criminally risky industry (vide the recent tunnel collapses at Hanford (nuclear) Generation Station, and the injury of dozens of workers at the recent WIPP nuclear waste storage facility in Carlsbad, not to mention the death-by-cancer statistics of Navajo (Diné) miners working the uranium seams in New Mexico). Nuclear infrastructure  will also have to be maintained under conditions of secrecy.

But the rationale for nuclear plants is to develop weapons grade plutonium for atomic bombs, without which they cease being profitable. John Gofman was referring as well to the magnitude of death statistics from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the little recognized Port Chicago (now renamed Concord Weapons Depot) disaster of 1944 which pulverized four loading area blocks and incinerated all the black seamen loading ordnance there.

Port Chicago multiple-block explosion - 1944

Obedience Behind closed doors

The connections between secrecy on the one hand, and conformity on the other are fairly obvious. Japan needs to insure both, especially now that, as a matter of course,  the world seems to have accepted Abe’s brash offer to hold the Olympics both in Tokyo (areas of which were contaminated by fallout of hot particles) and some of the games nearer to the disaster’s epicenter, in a PR stunt related to whitewashing the dire and permanent consequences of the Fukushima catastrophe.

With the passage of the States Secrets Act in 2015, and now the Conspiracy Act of 2017, Japan has tied a Gordian knot, guaranteeing both.


Sign the Petition agreeing that Trump cannot act unilaterally with respect to North Korea

A Few Roses Amidst This Week’s Thorns

Aside from the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted July 6, 2017 at the final session of the conference,

In the face of illegal and expanded Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, UK Court ruling allows council’s pension plan to boycott Israel.

Guantanamo’s child prisoner, its most abused detainee, Omar Khadr, may his soul be blessed, and 15 at the time of his detention, to receive an apology and at least $10 million from the government—of the US? in a pig’s eye.: Canada.

Directly in the path of the proposed pipeline.  Nuns of the order of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ build chapel to thwart Pennsylvania Adorers of the Blood of Corporations pipeline.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day (and that is sometimes good news):Trump nominated Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the health commissioner for Indiana and a strong advocate of needle exchanges to avoid the spread of disease, to be the surgeon general of the United States.

Trump is expected to tap Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald as the new director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to two administration sources.  She was the face of the Deal administration’s effort to combat the spread of the Zika and Ebola viruses, and helped reduce wait times for a program that provides life-saving medications to thousands of uninsured Georgians with HIV or AIDS.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, a Pine Ridge Reservation project, is developing a regenerative community  over 34 acres, building homes, creating jobs, and producing its own energy, clean water, and food.

U.S. court throws out Feds’ policy limiting prosecution of killers of endangered wildlife.

Regulators in the state of Mississippi end a coal plant project, converting it into a gas plant and refusing to pass the all the $7.5 billion construction costs along to consumers.

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