Saturday, June 20, 2009

This blog is not updated anymore

Please note that this blog is not updated anymore and many of the links are not working. I nevertheless believe that the information contained here is important and anybody who wants to check the accuracy can easily do so by using Google.

I started more blogs and web pages - organized around particular subjects - than I could handle and I reorganized them. Now I have one blog and links to all the other web addresses (including this one) where I published are on it.

I now use labels to retrieve posts with respect to particular topics.

Thank you for your understanding.

Please visit MountPleasantNotes.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two nuclear plants to be built to supply oilsands projects

It didn't take long and of course they call it 'clean and safe' although it is neither if one considers the whole fuel cycle, including the unresolved problem of storing the waste.

Energy Alberta Corporation has chosen Peace River, Alta., as the site for its proposed $6.2 billion nuclear power plant. ... Energy Alberta says it plans to start with one twin unit that will produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity with a target start date in early 2017.

It seems that this is only the beginning and this is not good news.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Promotion of nuclear energy in Canada

The federal government has given approval in principle for the underground disposal of nuclear waste. The 36,000 metric tons of waste produced so far is stored above ground at nuclear power stations ... "This is a safe, long-term approach," said [Natural Resources Minister Gary] Lunn, telling reporters that the waste would be monitored continually. Trucks and trains ... will be rolling across Ontario [New Brunswick and Quebec] within 30 years, the federal government confirmed in giving the go-ahead yesterday to a multi-billion-dollar industry scheme for long-term waste storage.

Why the announcement now if it's going to take decades before this can be carried out?

The Edmonton Journal (June 15, 2007) got it exactly right with the subtitle the editor chose:

Decision opens door to expansion of atomic energy industry.

“In its desperate bid to avoid effective action on climate change, the federal government is trying to sell Canadians on big spending on nuclear power” said Emilie Moorhouse, atmosphere and energy campaigner for the Sierra Club of Canada. “Nuclear power is inherently risky, expensive, and inefficient power source, and will not solve the climate crisis.”

To be safe it would have to be guaranteed for tens of thousands of years that no leakage of the containers and no underground water flows take place at the storage site. That's impossible.

Furthermore, neither transport by rail or road has a perfect safety record.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This Pope is appalling!

First he insults all Muslims at a time when passions are so inflamed that many innocent people have died.

Recently he not only insulted the natives of Brazil, he made statements that - given his level of education - I'm tempted to call a lie. He claimed, according to the BBC, that the Christianisation of the region 'had not involved an alienation of the pre-Colombian cultures'. It is well known to any student of American history that the catholic Church gave the Spanish permission to commit genocide in the form of the Requirement (scroll down) and that much of Indian culture was destroyed as the work of the devil. "Christians" are responsible for the murder of millions of natives and the destruction of their culture bemoaned by many contemporaries, e.g. de las Casas.

I cannot believe that he doesn't know the history of the region. (Hence the temptation to call it a lie.) Or perhaps the histories he read were cleansed by catholic "historians" to omit the atrocities committed by his church. Whatever way one looks at it, his words do not reflect the truth.

Absolutely appalling!

From: Survival International, Press Release 15 May 2007


Brazilian Indians have reacted with anger to Pope Benedict XVI's claim during his recent trip to Brazil that their ancestors had been 'silently longing' to become Christians when Brazil was colonised 500 years ago.

Jecinaldo Sateré Mawé of the Amazonian Sateré Mawé tribe called the Pope's remarks 'arrogant and disrespectful'.

Pope Benedict XVI also claimed, according to the BBC, that the Christianisation of the region 'had not involved an alienation of the pre-Colombian cultures'. ...

The Catholic Church's Indian advocacy group in Brazil has called the Pope's statement, 'wrong and indefensible'.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

4 Years after declaring victory in Iraq

Juan Cole's entry for May 1, 2007, Mission Accomplished, 4 Years On: A large number of impressive links chronicle the unfolding disaster.

Iraq war lie by lie

It's four years today that President Bush declared victory in Iraq. It wasn't his first lie.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The tiniest bundle of joy

The survival of this girl is a miracle to me.

Her parents named her Amillia - which means resilient in Latin, a fighter and hardworking - to reflect her survival against the odds.

She weighed 10 ounces (284 grams) at birth, one month earlier than the date considered viable for most babies, at just 21 weeks and six days gestation. Babies under 14 ounces were thought to stand no chance of survival. Amillia spent a little under 22 weeks in her mother's womb, a world record according to the University of Iowa which keeps track of premature babies born throughout the world. Babies who go to full term are born at 37 to 40 weeks. Initially, doctors held little hope for her survival. She measured just 9.5in (241mm), about the length of a ballpoint pen. Amillia was breathing without assistance and even made several attempts to cry when she emerged.

For a short video clip, click on Watch Amillia at 22 weeks at this link (same as above).

She was supposed to go home yesterday but her doctors are said to worry about possible infections and say they want to keep her a little longer in the hospital. "She's like a real baby now," her mother, 37-year-old teacher Sonja Taylor, told the Miami Herald. "Now I can feel her when I hold her."

Against all odds

Amillia Taylor shouldn't be alive. She was born at less than 22 weeks - in the US, where babies aren't considered 'viable' until 23 weeks. But her desperate mother lied to doctors about how far gone she was, and Amillia is now the most premature baby to have ever survived. Aida Edemariam reports on her extraordinary story and asks: should we be saving such tiny babies? ... You hope everything will turn out fine, of course you do: but you already know you love this baby anyway, and you know that nothing is going to change that. Not a doctor's grim predictions today; not a teacher's pessimistic evaluation tomorrow; not the fact that your friends' babies can do more, and earlier. You have that one, precious person and the world will be brighter and better because of it. ...
A thoughtful article

My best wishes go out to this little and very brave creature. I sincerely hope she continues to beat the odds.

Previous tiny babies:

The smallest on record in 2003 was a US baby who weighed just 11 ounces at birth. Twenty years ago, approximately 20% of babies weighing less than 1,000 grammes (2lb 2oz) at birth survived, compared with 80% today.

Cheney: US will leave Iraq with honour

"We want to complete the mission, we want to get it right and then we want to come home with honour," Mr Cheney said, in a thundering speech that may have been aimed in part at critics of US policy within Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government.

John F. Kennedy said the same thing about the war on Vietnam, another undeclared war of aggression the USA waged.

Was this scene in Saigon April 1975 an example of "leaving with honour"?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins, an American journalist whose articles I always read with great pleasure even when the topics were depressing, has passed away. She had a powerful pen and a big heart that shone right through the words.

... Boy, will we miss Molly Ivins, the writer and happy agitator who succumbed Wednesday [Jan 31, 2007] to cancer -- a disease, she said, not sparing herself from her own lashing wit, that "can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person." Yes, we will remember her for being raucously funny, always at the expense of the wealthy, the powerful or the Texas Legislature.

But because she made you laugh and broke all the rules of polite commentary ... Molly made you forget how deadly serious she was about politics, democracy and social justice. ...

[Molly Ivins:] "Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce."

An archive of articles she wrote between April 2000 and January 2007 can be found here.

Her memorial site is here.

We will miss you Molly. Rest in peace.