Sunday, November 12, 2017

Armistice Day

In the rush to militarize everything that moves in these United States, the only calendar day celebrating that rusty concept called PEACE has been rebranded as Veterans Day, this in spite of the fact that returning vets are twice as likely to become chronically homeless as other Americans..  

Yesterday, while many enjoyed the long weekend, No Nukes Action Committee held its monthly rally outside the closed doors of the Japanese Consulate, memorializing the three-core meltdown at Fukushima-Daiichi on March 11, 2011, and drawing public attention here and in Japan where the monthly event is live-streamed, to the  dangers inherent in a technology that has exploded the genie bottle never ever to be stuffed back inside. The soils, the waters and the forests of Japan are contaminated for all eternity or for 250,000 years, whichever comes first, and ever since 2011 the oceans of the world including all the living beings living there are contaminated because of irradiated water constantly running off, some of it deliberately dumped. Fukushima is the gift that keeps giving and will continue giving. It is not yesterday’s news. It will be today’s news and tomorrow’s news for all eternity or for 250,000 years, which ever comes first. And all because of human negligence—such an accident could have been prevented with appropriate controls and oversight.

Chizu Hamada speaking at the No Nukes Rally
What does the nuclear industry, both its energy- and war-making cycles have to do with a day once devoted to peace, a day which now—like any other American day, is consecrated to war making and global killing? (The United States has expanded its global war to include Niger, and Mali in addition to Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. At the going rate, the wars costs each taxpayer an average of $23,000 a year.) The only economic rationalization for installing the approximately 400 nuclear plants now existing  throughout the world, justifying their disproportionate cost-to-benefit ratio is to develop weapons-grade plutonium. Nuclear energy and nuclear war are joined at the hip. And now the bombs that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaski, are a boy scout picnic compared to the potential for global destruction posed by the B-83 which at 15 megatons equals one thousand (1,000) Hiroshima bombs. 

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, a clone of Donald Trump, taking advantage of the growing tensions exacerbated by the United States between North and South Korea has been re-elected despite massive opposition. What might be instructive is to view Japan as a laboratory able to predict exactly where the United States is headed.

•46% of the Japanese electorate feel that the voting system does not reflect the people’s will.

•worsening labor conditions, low wages, long hours, and tiered salary schedules with the employment of temporary workers has resulted in massive recalls, and defective products, and tarnished Japan’s reputation as a “can-do” manufacturing nation.

•the passage of the secrecy act makes disparagement of the government a criminal offense, punishable by fine and incarceration.

Traditionally, Armistice Day was always observed with one minute of silence to commemorate the war dead, not just those who “served” but those millions of civilian victims, mostly women and children, of war. But yesterdays’ demonstration in downtown San Francisco could barely be heard at times for the horrific roar that blasted San Francisco’s streets. A commercial was being filmed for TV, and in a nation whose business is business, it’s no secret what comes first.

And war? War pays.

A Scattering of Roses Amongst This Month’s Thorns

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