Sunday, May 6, 2018

Worth It

The Left better have its plans in place for “Day After.” “Day After” is a blanket expression that refers to whenever the U.S. lets another one fly. That other one is another outbreak of what the U.S. does best: Make War. It’s the only thing the U,S. really does, (besides mass incarceration) in the vain hope that it will “get it right,” despite defeat after defeat. 

Yet, like baseball and football, making war is a super favorite among the voters, and determines whether people get elected or not (although voters seem not to like domestic mass shootings all that much—especially in grammar and high schools). We love our hawks and we like them carrying a big stick—or a big whatever.

Case in point: the Sixth fleet is steaming through the Mediterranean, to cow what we assume are weaker governments, readying itself for another surgical strike wherever it may be needed.

This battleship could pay for yearly teacher attrition twice over

And Netanayu, Prime Minister of Israel, seems to be the one originating our foreign policy these days, calling for action against Iran on the pretext that Iran still has a nuclear weapons programme, something the Iranian government mothballed ages ago under the aegis of the UN inspection team.  Not to mention that  poor little put-upon Israel stores over 80 nuclear warheads at Dimona, its poor little put upon nuclear site, a truth revealed by whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, according to The Guardian, who took a hard rap for his efforts. This included 18 years incarceration, 11 of them in solitary, and prohibition from leaving Israel, or holding interesting conversations, any of them planned ahead of time, and any of those not to last in excess of 30 minutes.

It’s a curious relationship, that between the U.S. and Israel with its brand new and shining capital slated to be located in Jerusalem—such is the power of empires it moves capitals of other countries at will) as to which tail is wagging which dog, and what dirt which holds over which. Only time will tell exactly where that dirt is to be excavated and when, and meanwhile we have all the nice decimation of the Middle East to contemplate, not to leave out anti-Muslim turmoil, and the deaths of millions, from war, starvation and cholera, (but of course they will all be “worth it.” as Madeline Albright, ex-Jewish, ex-Secretary of State assured us). And of course, she had a point: in a fibrillating market, “Defense” is the only sector doing spectacularly.

Dwight Cocke Obituary  


California lost one its most historically important anti-nuclear activists on the night of of April 27th when Dwight Cocke passed away at his long term residence in San Francisco. Dwight played the key role of getting proposition 15 on the statewide ballot in 1976 that stopped all further expansion of nuclear power in California.  His role in bringing the nuclear issue up for public debate was the first time in America if not the world.   In the 1960’s, California was held up as a world leader in promoting nuclear energy with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) calling for the construction of up to 60 reactors in its own territory, but due to prop 15 ended up leading the world away from nuclear and into renewable energy development.

Dwight was one of the two staff people with Californians for Nuclear Safeguards that coordinated the 1976 California statewide proposition 15 initiative.  Thanks to Dwight’s coordination, the group setup a statewide network of thousands of volunteers that obtained the 500,000 signatures needed to put it on the statewide June ballot.  The initiative campaign made national news when three General Electric engineers quit to form MHB Associates.   PG&E and pronuclear advocates were so frightened by Prop 15 that the company agreed with alternative legislation that banned any future nuclear power development in California until there was a working solution for spent nuclear fuel.

The legislation’s ban led to General Electric’s San Jose nuclear headquarters being closed and the abandonment of nearly 30 nuclear stations being planned at that time in the state.  The group then took on the giant $4.8 billion nuclear project that was fronted by PG&E for the L.A. Dept. of Water and Power located near Bakersfield in Kern County.   Dwight coordinated the campaign against the 1978 Kern County nuclear permit advisory ballot initiative (it included a door to door county wide canvass) that voted down the proposed 4 units by a whopping 70%.  In 1983,  PG&E contested the legislation banning further nuclear development to the U.S. Supreme court but failed.  Many other states would enact similar legislation that played a major role in limiting new reactor development.

Dwight would also become executive director for the first Fate of the Earth Conference held in 1982.  Dwight also coordinated the Sept. 11th, 1986 satellite Spacebridge tel-conference between Moscow, San Francisco and the east coast with top scientists from the two countries for Esalen’s Russian exchange program.   He was also a director of the Oakland based Russian-American joint medical exchange program called Heart-to-Heart.

To read more about Dwight’s history please see chapter Five and Six of Marc Evanoff’s unpublished book on the history of California’s anti-nuclear movement from 1981.
In later years, Dwight worked for the consumer watchdog organization called TURN (The Utility Reform Network) who gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 during their 35th anniversary celebration.  TURN monitors the activities of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Dwight once told me that during the early 1970’s when he first started working against nuclear power he would routinely be called a communist by nuclear proponents in public.  His fearless dedication and work that created the first public debate ever around the dangers of nuclear energy played a key role in it being phased out in California and for this he should be remembered as one of our most important activists.

Dwight William (Jr.) was born in 1937 to Dwight and Florence Ziegelasch in Washington DC.

A memorial is planned for July.

Call Congress to demand they stop the  ICE practice of family separation. The Department of Homeland Security cannot account for the whereabouts of 1400 such children.  Sign also.

Stop raids on agricultural workers unless you want to pay a hella lot more for food.

A bill repealing the death penalty has passed both chambers of the New Hampshire state legislature. Sign the petition demanding Gov. Sununu not veto it.


EU bans bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. (Common Dreams)

Scientists create plastic-eating enzyme.  But we do not yet know what the planetary consequences may be.  (Daily Kos.)

Puerto Rico made history by briefly becoming the largest U.S. territory to be renewable energy powered.  (Solartopia.)

SCOTUS could give native American tribes new legal traction to flight for environmental protections. (Daily Kos.)

A state appeals court rules that valve turners can proceed with necessity defense. (Common Dreams.)

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announces termination of Levy County Units 1 and 2, acknowledging that a cypress swamp may not be such a good place to build two nuclear reactors.


Both North and South Korea embrace at Panmunjom and agree to bring official end to the Korean war after 55 years and fully de-nuclearize the peninsula. (Common Dreams.)


Waffle House hero James Shaw gets real. (Daily Kos.)


Nearly 5,000 JetBlue flight attendants voted to unionize: (Sara lahm in these times.)

Maryland Senator starts paying interns.  (Daily Kos.)

Arizona teachers stage first statewide walkout as teacher revolt grows. They join w. Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Colorado.


The Courts & Mass Incarceration

Because of Philadelphia’s new DA, Meek Mill has been released. (Color of Change.)

Seattle moves to vacate more than 120 years of marijuana-related convictions. (Daily Kos.)

Connecticut   becomes the 12th state to pass the National Popular Vote bill guaranteeing that the U.S. presidency will go to the candidate reeiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and D.C.


More than 75% Americans back campaign finance reform.  (Common Dreams.)

More than 100 U.S. mayors sign pledge to defend the open internet at the local level. (Common Dreams.)

Democrat Steve Stern wins a seat in New York 10th Assembly District.

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