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Everything’s fine… 12 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

9 April: Earthquake victims line up for food at an evacuation shelter in Fukushima city     [Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images]

From a gallery at the Guardian, photos taken inside the exclusion zone.


Don’t worry.  No danger.  Everything is fine.


1. marisacat - 12 April 2011

Democracy NOW:

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think Japan needs to do right now?

THOMAS BREUER [head of the Climate and Energy Unit for Greenpeace Germany, on the ground inside the exclusion zone]:

So, there are urgency measures. So, it is now clear that, since we did our field research, we warned the government that there are a lot of cities and villages outside the 20-kilometers evacuation zone where the radiation levels are so high that people need urgently to be evacuated, especially children and pregnant women, because they are the most vulnerable part of the population to radiation. And so, they have to do that now. They have to screen the whole Fukushima area, where there are other hot spots which need to be evacuated.

And then they have to—what they haven’t done so far—really, really explain to people who are still living there what to do, how to behave.

So, we were approached from a lot of farmers during our field work, asking us whether we can come to their fields and do food testing, because they have no idea whether they still can eat the food or sell it or whatsoever. So, that’s a very difficult situation. We have been in Fukushima City. That’s a city with 340,000 inhabitants, and we found very high levels of radiation in the city all over again. But life seems to be like, on the surface, like normal life, and it has to do with the fact that the government did not put out information, how to behave, what to do. So people are really left alone with this accident, which wasn’t caused by them.

Madman in the Marketplace - 12 April 2011

So people are really left alone

unfettered global free trade leads directly to this outcome.

marisacat - 12 April 2011

yeah, very clear…..

2. BooHooHooMan - 12 April 2011

Federal Budget Showdown
Liberals worry Obama has given up ground

Henh. Heh henh. Heh heh henh and so forth.
Poor babies.
Where’s Astroturf Barry we all know and love?

ts - 13 April 2011

Those kind of headlines always give me a chuckle.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 April 2011

David Byrne playlist of Japanese music, which he was putting together for a festival in NYC when the tsunami etc. hit.

It was sort of a coincidence. I’d been reviewing the CDs I picked up on my trip to Japan a few months ago, and then I sat in with If By Yes as part of the Japan music festival here in NY last week. Then the earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear mess all hit—all of which made me want to get this Japanese playlist together faster than I normally would have. Thoughts of Japanese friends, culture and countryside welled up, and this music became a kind of soundtrack to my thoughts and feelings.

This music arrived largely through friends. Thanks to Yusuke, and all the folks at Vacant Gallery in Tokyo, who invited their musical friends round, who tipped me to a lot of new stuff I didn’t know about. Thanks Deerhoof for arranging that Ichi (from Nagoya) perform here at LPR. (One of the most pleasantly surprised NY audience reactions I’ve seen since Tune Yards opened for Dirty Projectors!) Thanks Diego Cortez for the Oorutaichi CD. Thanks Hideaki Matsuura for the tip about Soothe.

Can we help?

Traditionally, the Japanese have issues with charity. They see themselves as proudly self-reliant, and offers of aid after the Kobe earthquake were initially refused. However, times change, and maybe now there is an understanding that offers of help are as much a gesture of solidarity and mutual feeling as they are about money. The urge to reach out is as much about our own feelings as it is about Japanese needs. For folks outside Japan, it stems from an altruistic urge to show some connection and a human bond in a time of crisis. To say “you are not alone.”

Here are two ways to donate. Yuka Honda sent a link to a fund set up by Japan Society here in NY who are donating 100% of the donations that get sent (they’re even swallowing their administrative fees):

Seiji Nagai in Tokyo sent a link for Red Cross in Japan:

There is more in the post about alternative energy resources.

We know just enough to light these fires, but we don’t yet know how to put them out. Would you set something on fire in your house if you had no idea how to really, really put it out (you’re not allowed to toss it out the window in this analogy)? That mind-boggling scope of contamination and long timeframe is the difference between nuclear and coal. Though, realistically, coal is not the answer. It has been responsible for much of the climate change we are experiencing, and it is not a viable energy option going forward. Besides, it will run out. Quite a few environmentally aware folks have advocated re-approaching nuclear power, as it won’t cause the same kind of climate change that we know for certain coal is causing. I saw Bill Gates at TED last year make a presentation about small nuclear plants that re-use spent fuel. The idea of dealing with the fuel disposal issue seemed very smart, but now, after Japan, does any reactor seem like a safe, secure and viable way forward? There are just no guarantees with this stuff.

Some places are looking at alternatives, and some of them are working! Not just theories either. Portugal—little Portugal!—45% of its electricity will come from renewable sources this year (that’s up from 17% five years ago)! To get some perspective on that, Obama’s goal for the U.S. is to run on 20-25% renewable energy sources by 2025. Those renewable sources in Portugal are wind, hydropower, solar and ocean waves. Not all of those are right for everywhere in the U.S., I admit, but some of them are (the U.S. has geothermal as an option as well).

This amazing change meant a big outlay for Portugal and her people—they pay plenty for electricity (though maybe that will level out after the initial capital outlays have been paid back). They were laughed at by Berlusconi, amongst others. Something tells me Berlusconi won’t be having the last laugh on much of anything these days. But Portugal’s case proves it CAN be done, and in a short time—five years! And they’re not exactly the richest country in Europe either.

marisacat - 12 April 2011

Obama’s goal for the U.S. …

Famous last words. ObRama hadda lotta “goals”.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 April 2011

How a Fukushima-Level Disaster Would Affect You In New York, LA or Chicago

In the case of New York, more than 20 million people in the metro area would have to be evacuated, leaving the city deserted, from Long Island to the Bronx. If there were a Fukushima-level accident at Indian Point, including the release of massive quantities of highly radioactive water, the city would be even more affected because of the Hudson River.

marisacat - 12 April 2011

I think the NYC scenario is one of the absolute worst. COMPLETELY un-doable.

Madman in the Marketplace - 12 April 2011

scary maps

lucid - 12 April 2011

Yep… Hopefully Cuomo is successful in shutting down Indian Point.

5. diane - 13 April 2011

Babyfat Hunter must be proud:

Chicago school bans home-packed lunches

CHICAGO, April 11 (UPI) — A Chicago school’s controversial policy of banning pupils from bringing lunches from home is aimed at encouraging healthy eating, the principal said.

Elsa Carmona of the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Little Village Academy said pupils must eat the lunch served in the cafeteria unless they have a medical reason to bring their own food, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

Why not just separate all the kiddies from their parents at birth …the country gets creepier by the day.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

And New Orleans TSA fully patted down a 6 year old. A dr and his wife travelling home to Bowling Green KY with three daughters, 2, 6 and 9 all were scanned and then TSA in its infinite wisdom selected the 6 year old to be hand patted.

The parents asked for her to be rescanned,refused, they tried to refuse for her to be hand patted, TSA said (according to the mother) “we are going to do what we do”…

Somehow they caught it on tape… and she cried after wards, wondering what “she had done wrong”.

Lousy fucking country.

diane - 13 April 2011

Dare I say it, the powers that be seem hell bent on provoking us terrerist citizens towards blowing their goon lackies’ heads off. So glad I don’t have kids; nor own a gun, or know how to shoot one…

lucid - 13 April 2011

That’s absurd. Let’s see. Mystery meat from a factory farm plus overcooked vegetables and grains > fresh fruit, raw honey, whole grain bread, etc. You know, the standard stuff I brought from home every day as a kid…

diane - 13 April 2011

yeah really, god forbid the kiddies should eat any food prepared by those terrerist parents…I’m always stunned at the pedantic chiding that goes on when anyone makes a comparison to the Nazi’s insidious and sadistic violations of family bonds.

6. marisacat - 13 April 2011

Just a few mins to Ob’s death defying speech.

To think I almost slept thru it!!!

ts - 13 April 2011

You would have missed some words.

Don’t even know what he’s supposed to be speaking on, nor do I care. Each successive President has shortened the amount of time I can actually listen to their speeches without dislocating my eyeballs from over-rolling.

I didn’t get tired of Bush I until the end of his term, Clinton about 3 years, Bush II didn’t really get annoying until Iraq (15 months), but Obama has been grating from the get go, as have been all the nabobs making excuses for him…still.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

Well yesterday I heard, I thought, that he was speak at 10:30 am. But i am jsut reading now it is set for 1:35PM.

If I rewemeber will watch. it is already reported he will punt.

Tho I don’t know what else he does really, but punt.

ms_xeno - 13 April 2011

I love this comment. As we old-timers like to say, I give it four stars.


7. ts - 13 April 2011

Taibbi’s latest: Rolling Stone

In August 2009, John Mack, at the time still the CEO of Morgan Stanley, made an interesting life decision. Despite the fact that he was earning the comparatively low salary of just $800,000, and had refused to give himself a bonus in the midst of the financial crisis, Mack decided to buy himself a gorgeous piece of property — a 107-year-old limestone carriage house on the Upper East Side of New York, complete with an indoor 12-car garage, that had just been sold by the prestigious Mellon family for $13.5 million. Either Mack had plenty of cash on hand to close the deal, or he got some help from his wife, Christy, who apparently bought the house with him.

The Macks make for an interesting couple. John, a Lebanese-American nicknamed “Mack the Knife” for his legendary passion for firing people, has one of the most recognizable faces on Wall Street, physically resembling a crumpled, half-burned baked potato with a pair of overturned furry horseshoes for eyebrows. Christy is thin, blond and rich — a sort of still-awake Sunny von Bulow with hobbies. Her major philanthropic passion is endowments for alternative medicine, and she has attained the level of master at Reiki, the Japanese practice of “palm healing.” The only other notable fact on her public résumé is that her sister was married to Charlie Rose.

It’s hard to imagine a pair of people you would less want to hand a giant welfare check to — yet that’s exactly what the Fed did. Just two months before the Macks bought their fancy carriage house in Manhattan, Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan’s penchant for dabbling in thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million, they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages. The loans were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer) would eat 90 percent of the losses. Given out as part of a bailout program ostensibly designed to help ordinary people by kick-starting consumer lending, the deals were a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose investment.

If you can keep your food down, read the rest.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

That deal Christy and Susan set up is pretty mind boggling, even in our thieving plutocrat system.


8. ts - 13 April 2011

Good article day all around today:


Obama’s much-heralded withdrawal announcement was, in short, a lie, one promulgated with the full knowledge and cooperation of Ms. Administration Shill Maddow and MSNBC “News.” For some reason, I doubt they’ll be “reporting” on this sudden reversal, since there are, after all, more important things happening in the world – like the unmitigated evil of those nasty old Republicans, who insist on cutting the budget because we’re, you know, bankrupt.

Oh, but never mind that – that’s old news! Here’s some new old news: the Egyptians are back in Tahrir Square, and the sainted Egyptian army is shooting at them. Not only that, but they’re arresting bloggers again – this time for failing to show sufficient respect for the armed forces. And it looks like the Libyan rebels are again on the defensive, with Gadhafi’s forces on the road to Benghazi and due to arrive at the city gates any minute….

All of which leads me to fear Nietzsche was right: that we do, indeed, live in a nightmare world of eternal recurrence, a universe where US troops are always “withdrawing” from Iraq, only to change course at the last moment. Where the Egyptian military invades Tahrir in perpetuity, and repeatedly drags bloggers away in chains. Where the Libyan rebels are in jeopardy unending, always on the cusp of defeat – and the US and its allies are permanently poised to plant boots on the ground to save them from certain annihilation.

Which means the neocons will be eternally calling for a US invasion of somewhere-or-other – and that there will always be neocons. This last is bad news indeed: it’s like a cancer diagnosis, except there’s no relief in the form of death. Just pain that goes on … forever.

ts - 13 April 2011

Reminded me of this classic movie:

T.V. Interviewer: How do you account for the fact that the bombing campaign has been going on for thirteen years?

Mr. Helpmann: Beginners’ luck.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

Forever War.

They can name episodes terrible names like “Odyssey Dawn” but the real name is Forever War.

9. marisacat - 13 April 2011

A piece at Cpunch from a 20 year resident of Tokyo:

It has been long been rumored that the Japanese nuke industry uses homeless and other desperate workers to carry out dangerous cleaning operations in their aging reactors. A 1995 British television documentary entitled “Nuclear Ginza” revealed this astonishing practice. Photo journalist Kenji Higuchi presented stunning interviews with workers who had suffered radiation exposure in the plants. Higuchi once told me the film was blocked from being shown on NHK, the government TV news station. [what a shock!! – Mcat]

The public must also endure the uncertainty of knowing whether the air, food and water are safe to ingest. Fish, which are a major part of the Japanese diet may now be contaminated with cesium.

Masayoshi Yamamoto, a professor of radiology at Kanazawa University, finds the cesium-137 to be the most worrisome because of its 30 half life. He stated that if continuous leakage into the ocean is not prevented, “[a]ll of Japan’s sea products will probably be labeled unsafe and other nations will blame Japan if radiation is detected in their marine products.”

10. marisacat - 13 April 2011

I think the speech is DOA. He blames Bush 2 wihout naming him. Everything was “fine til 2000”, then he blames the tax cuts to the wealthy and the prescription drug program. Not sure he blamed wars (which could backfire!)


At least it is vaguely entertaining. But so PLODDING….

11. ms_xeno - 13 April 2011

Arrggh. Every single “news” page I waltz by today has President Hopes smug-ass face all over it. I’m gonna’ scream if I have to see that self-congratulating, self-absorbed shithead one more time today.

Some elected Demo-putz in WA state was on NPR yesterday saying that he knows the economy and all this budget-cutting “sucks.” Oh, well. How nice for you, Asshole. Where’s your personal budget cutting, your list of taxpayer-funded perks that you’re ready to forgo, your call for elected officials (and the corporate/military hogs who are your true bosses) to engage in their own wage freezes and wage cuts and “austerity”?

Fuck. You. When the New-Age touchy-feely sugar coating is rubbed off, you’re just like that repulsive Right-wing fuckhead Walker, only without the stupid assertion that Jeebus gave you permission to live high on the hog while telling everyone else to suck up their catfood retirements and deal.

Sadly, while Jeebus isn’t coming down from the sky with plates of rice and beans for us, your brand of corporate secularism isn’t, either.

You make me want to puke.


marisacat - 13 April 2011

you’re just like that repulsive Right-wing fuckhead Walker

Yup, two of a kind.

ms_xeno - 13 April 2011

One is a parasite. The other is the parasite that lives inside the parasite. Or something. :p

diane - 13 April 2011

a pin worm inside of a tape worm.

ms_xeno - 13 April 2011

That would explain the constant itching whenever I try and sit down. 😀

marisacat - 13 April 2011

there you go!

diane - 13 April 2011

glad I could assist! …however bleakly….. sigh ……;0(

brinn - 13 April 2011

Speaking of assists, dunno if you saw me thank you in the last thread, d.

but if not, thanks, but I’m not quite there yet! Use the $100 for something that makes you feel good, k? 🙂

ts - 13 April 2011

He sent us government plebes a personal letter right after the shutdown was averted saying he had “confidence in us”. I suppose that meant confidence that we would be happy to do our have a job no matter how much the budget fucked us over.

So we got away without getting our pay cut more (still frozen through 2013) this month, but whoa nelly are we gonna get the shaft come September.

12. brinn - 13 April 2011

Watch the video.

People are doing this kind of crap to kids and getting paid, and I can’t find a job?! WTF?

ms_xeno - 13 April 2011



Just the kind of PR public schools need in the age of Bill & Melinda’s Adventures of Superman. Yup.

brinn - 13 April 2011

The day that someone annoints my child with holy water at school is going to be a bad day for that someone indeed.

brinn - 13 April 2011

‘course, holding a mock slave auction with 9-year-olds would have me in a bezerker rage as well…

What the hell was she thinking?

This is what happens when we have the uneducated teaching…..

brinn - 13 April 2011

How’s things with you ms_x? Sorry I never sent off my “grand idea” to your…it’s been an insane few weeks, hell months….

I am racing like crazy to try to keep from going under and I’m going to have to slow down for a day or so, or I’m not going to be good for anyone….I’ve lost count of the days/weeks since I’ve had a full day off.


ms_xeno - 13 April 2011

No worries, Doll. I hope your boy’s feeling better now, at least. [hug]

Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you from this end. Dog knows, we’re not prospering but at least we’re not completely under. Yet.

I finally got my first check from the Gummint overlords last Wednesday. Huzzah!

brinn - 13 April 2011

Yeah, the tummy troubles seem to be mostly over, but he’s been complaining of dizziness and came home today saying that he’s “seeing things all brown”….

dunno. I’ll give this a day or two and then take him to the doc.

There has been just a HUGE amount of random particles of all kinds in the air lately…we are having yet another drought…


brinn - 13 April 2011

Oh, and thanks for the offer — can’t think of anything offhand, but the encouragement sure helps!

Thanks , and congrats on the check from the overlords!!

I worked doing scoring for Pearson last week. 16 hours over 3 days, but when all was said and done (minus what was taken out of my UI check, minus gas, minus taxes), I netted about $23 bucks plus two free lunches.


marisacat - 13 April 2011

take some hours off, brinn (if you can)… even if you just sleep. people get frazzled when frantic..

brinn - 13 April 2011

Wait, are you saying that there’s another mode of existence that DOESN’T include being frazzled??

marisacat - 13 April 2011

well…………….. extra frazzle.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

But! was the lunch healthy — with grains, fresh raw vegs and fresh fruit? Low fat no fat milk?

I sure hope so.

13. brinn - 13 April 2011
ts - 13 April 2011

I have been trying to angle my background into a job like that. Rest assured, if I can somehow con my way into that kind of a gig, a little something something is gonna be coming everyone’s way. I figure I can support 46 other families and work one hour a year.

14. diane - 13 April 2011

Marisa, are you aware of the California Code regarding Private Security “Cops?” Was in in a Santa Clara County convenience store recently, in line next to a psycho/sociopathic looking, short ass, Overton Security, motherfucker who gave me a real nasty look as I tried to swallow my “cop” paranoia – be civil and try a smile (just in case it was the only job he could find) – when he sneered way “down” at me (much taller than him). He had holstered cuffs at his lower spine, looked like a seven, or more, pointed badge on his nipple, and what looked like a holstered gun on a belt about a third as wide as he was “tall.” Was mostly wondering about packing a visible gun. From what I’ve witnessed on any jaunts through ‘Saint’ Clara Valley ……there’s a pestilence of Corporatized Private Security Dicks invading whatever sane benevolent thoughts a “terrerist” law abiding citizen can muster ….in these horrid times.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

I’m not aware of the code that relates to it… but I am pretty sure people, corps, entities can hire anyone they want. And I would think “armed security” can be as simple as someone with a gun permit and the gun for wich the permit applies on his or her person.

Obviously there is a reason people who can afford it go thru agencies, contacts that use off duty cops… but I am sure not necessary.

diane - 13 April 2011

Thanks hon… now that’s gotten me to wondering what the cuff law is ….citizen’s arrest’n all …. further, in a lovely cartoon …(cuz I would love to…. but certainly won’t be attempting it….(at least not in this month …perhaps in the lovely month of May?, at the [insane] rate at which things are going)), I customize a belt with holstered cuffs, and cuff some Private Security Sociopath when he/or she breaches US/or California Code, however obsolesced it may be, in reality.

marisacat - 13 April 2011

I jsut want to stay away from them all.

Madman mentioned he went to a conference in Chicago, in the tower office of a mxed use (offices, condos and lower level shopping, sounds like Embarcadero Center in SF, where I worked) and to ge upstairs to the conf he had to check in with ID and they took a photo image of him, which is retained.

So you know. Ever tightening.

diane - 13 April 2011

ever tightening and suffocating …

I worked in one of the Embarcaderos briefly, and also fairly close to that shootout in the nineties, off Market? I found San Francisco to be every bit as brutal, if not more so, than anywhere else; …of course there’s never been any validity allowed for non ‘physical,’ or visually apparent, lethal wounds ….

diane - 13 April 2011

hmmm …I believe that bears repeating, …for any one …. whipping themselves – for a failure -… which most certainly, isn’t their’s:

…of course there’s never been any validity allowed for non ‘physical,’ or visually apparent, lethal wounds

marisacat - 13 April 2011

Those killings were 1993 “the 101 Cal killings”.

I’ve always maintained SF is a mean town. But you know, we blue wash ourselves. We’re “Liberal”.

diane - 13 April 2011

..sigh …;0(

15. diane - 13 April 2011

after a bit o barley ….I intuit that …the “US” got nostalgic with it’s serfs today, and got all Walrus and the Carpenter boo d hoody (there aren’t any more clams to eat …whatever shall we do?), fine, Pharoic linen hanky, on them ….bringing back, for those who missed it ….Howdy Doody Time …..

diane - 13 April 2011

Howdy Doody time

the Hollowood concept of a Puppet … who is wiser than most humans, …now brought to its fruition ……………..

16. marisacat - 13 April 2011



………. 😯

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