News & Notes May 15, 2011

The head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested at JFK airport yesterday and escorted off his flight to Paris as it sat on the tarmac.  He was charged with sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment for an attack on a maid at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square.  Dominique Strauss-Kahn was expected to run for President in France.  Instead he was running after a poor maid.  It brings new meaning to the term “the emperor has no clothes.”  Considering how the IMF has raped nation after nation this arrest may be too little too late.

In state news yet another effort to use tax money to fund private schools has died.  The school tax credit program would have encouraged businesses to give scholarship funds in return for tax credits.   Not tax deductions but tax credits.  Why do Republicans hate our schools and our children?  If our schools are so bad why do we have the most productive work force in the world?

Of course not every student graduates or succeeds.  The reality is that some young people have no interest in learning and some simply aren’t very intelligent.  The labor force also needs janitors and trash collectors too though so what’s the problem?  These students tend to be totally disruptive in class and make learning that much more difficult for everyone else.  If they don’t want to be in school let them drop out.  Teachers spend too much time simply keeping some decorum and discipline and avoiding threats and harassment.  The issue with our schools isn’t bad teachers it is bad parenting.

The Chinese have a very effective manner of dealing with dishonest businessmen who poison the public, make dangerous products or who collapse the world’s economy (well, on second thought those were OURS).  They put a bullet in their heads.   Imagine how quickly we could clean up Wall Street if we followed their example?

New reports are telling us that fracking fluid is thousands of times more dangerous than previously known.  How shocking, dumping hundreds of toxic carcinogens in our water is dangerous!  Stop the presses we have a story for you!

The Fukushima reactor 1 vessel is far more dangerous than previously thought as a water gauge failed revealing a meltdown inside the reactor.  It seems the level of the cooling water was three feet lower than it showed on the gauge.  Also, another worker at the plant has died.

Fukushima Update

There is continuing news coming from Japan regarding the situation at the nuclear power plant damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami.  Plutonium has now been found outside the reactor in the soil.  Reports of radiation 10 million times normal were erroneous and caused by translation problems.  It is merely 100,000 times normal.  17 workers at the plant have been identified as having been exposed to radiation and it does appear that one reactor core has been breached.  The radiation in sea water near the plant is disturbingly serious.  

Radiation in rain falling here in Pennsylvania has been detected but is infinitesimal, no danger exists.  It does show how these accidents can spread around the globe through weather patterns however so power plants anywhere have the potential to effect everyone.

This accident is causing people to rethink nuclear power.  President Obama embraced nuclear as an option to wean us off fossil fuels and now he’s a harsh political position going into 2012.  Should he continue this position it could hurt him with his base, what’s left of it at least.  Interest in renewable energy sources is gathering momentum and that’s good.  The potential for converting geothermal, solar, wind, waves and other possibilities is endless but it may never match what we currently consume in gas, coal and oil.  However when we increase renewables and increase conservation we can drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and possibly save the planet in the process.  This isn’t a matter of how we do it, we HAVE to do it.