Thursday, January 30, 2014

This column was published in the West Quebec Post, January 23, 2014.

Dashboard Discussion

"George," I said to Himself, who was careening around the corner as we made our way to somewhere important, "George, I am now an anti-nuke activist."

"That's nice dear," said Himself. He was blistering the air with impatience at a red light now while inside I was steaming the windows with my hot flashes. I was thinking at least we had some protection against the bitter cold day besides the feeble efforts of our old car as it swept down the wintry streets.

"You know," I said, "I could have an entire tea service, cream, sugar, cups and saucers on the dashboard of this car and when I came to a halt they'd all be still there."

"And your point is?" he asked.

"Are we are going to have to start wearing whiplash collars for when you stop at red lights from now on? But that is not the point. The point is Fukushima. Nuclear power is not safe. It has never been safe and needs to be eradicated from this planet in short order."

"This is not Cape Breton. Nobody drives the speed limit here and nobody stops his or her car to let you walk across the street. And good luck with getting rid of nuclear power plants. How would I watch TV? They are a necessary evil."

"No. They are not. It just means that this world needs to learn to live within their means in terms of what Mother Nature can allow. Mother Nature used to be a renewable energy source, now it does things like extinction. Where are the sardines? Where are the seastars? What about the oysters off Australia?"

"Extinctions have always happened in the history of the planet. That's not new. Are you going to start dressing in black and running about handing out pamphlets and camping out at nuclear plants?"

"I wouldn't camp out at a nuclear plant if you paid me. They release tritium. The point is, I'm an anti-nuke activist and anybody after Fukushima who isn't is not just a traitor to their fellow human beings but a fool to boot. They have no method of disposing of the waste products that is even remotely okay. And they have no idea what is going to happen with the 3, count 'em 3, cores going into meltdown because they didn't anticipate this! What kind of an industry does this? What kind of industry would do something like this without anticipating worst case scenarios?! Okay… all kinds of industries do that. Pharmaceutical companies, e.g. But they needn't think that we are all so profoundly stupid as to believe the nonsense they put out there to serve their financial ends."

"Follow the money?"

"Exactly. Some estimates are saying the Pacific Ocean has six years left. I don't know whether to believe them or not, but from my research, it's not looking good out there."

"They will never get rid of nuclear power."

"That's because nuclear power plants are actually nuclear/military complexes that are required so human beings can wage war as they always have. If we did not have nuclear power we wouldn't have nuclear weapons. One day somebody is going to wake up with the grand idea that we shouldn't wage war."

"Didn't they do that in the 60s?"

"You know, the 60s didn't count. They slept in, grew their hair long, smoked dope and made love all day. They didn't have to get up in this world and go to work sometimes two jobs to put food on the table and pay the taxes. They were a privileged generation full of idealism where mommy and daddy footed the bills. There were jobs around every corner. Dreamers who eventually would become everything they railed against. ‘Tis always the way."

“But there was some good music.”

“Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind. Buckyballs in the wind.”


“Buckyballs are the result of salt water mixing with nuclear isotopes and becoming windborne dust-sized balls. They are deadly. But that is beside the point. David Suzuki has taken back his earlier unscripted statements on Fukushima. Why would he do this?”

“Follow the money?”

“Either that or there is nothing they can do and so we’re not allowed to know because it would cause mass panic… Much like your driving. Suzuki actually didn’t take his statement back. He actually said ‘he regrets having said it.’ He doesn’t cite any research to back up his turnabout. That’s likely because those peer-reviewed studies do not exist. Here is the point: we are being told what to think instead of being shown and that is one step short of criminal behavior when children are involved. If they put up the monitoring sites they took down and gave us real-time data, if they tested seafood in large quantities on a regular basis, if they checked for at least more than cesium of all 400 or so isotopes that were released, I’d be happy. Because they are not and have not, I’m now an anti-nuke activist and it is up to our governments to change my mind. And Cesium by the way, comes with Uranium, Plutonium and Strontium. They aren’t testing for those.”

“Yes dear. You realize they aren’t going to listen to you.”

“Yes. I know. I’m a small fish in a small pond. And probably radioactive too. A two-headed baby whale washed up ashore in California. What are the odds of that happening at just this time?”

“One to two? Twice as much as one?”

“Don’t annoy me dearest.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

This is my grandniece Izzie born in New Zealand around about that time there was such a big earthquake. I think she will be a delightful curmudgeon one day. There are so few of us. I'll have to put her in training to become one. It's an art as much as a disposition.

This is George Carlin. He's the only sane response to an insane world.

And this is last week's column published in the West Quebec Post, January 16, 2014.

Slippers and Synthesis

"George," I said to Himself who was busy at the kitchen table doing something rather mysterious with a cassette, scotch tape and my mother's silver butter knife. "George, thank heavens the holiday season is over."

"Yes dear," said Himself. The cat had managed to heave her great bulk up onto the table and was now sitting there examining George's work with great interest. She kept pawing at the odd assortment of screws and nuts much to his annoyance.

"There's a store now advertising JanYOUary sales. This is the new thing, all the deeply disappointed people who didn't get what they wanted for Christmas can now go out and buy what they REALLY wanted. It's somewhat disturbing don't you think?"

"Yes dear," said Himself again.

"I remember the old days. When I was a child I desperately wanted a pair of slippers that looked like bunny rabbits. I did indeed get slippers but they looked more like those ones that Bela Lugosi used to wear in those black and white films."

"It scarred you for life and now you run around barefoot in the house because of post-traumatic stress disorder?" suggested George.

"No. I run around barefoot because that is what any woman raised in Cape Breton does. Well, at least in my family. The point of all this is that I was disappointed but learned over time that it was the giving and not the gift that counted. This is a new generation. They want what they want and to hell with the consequences. There is simply no reasoning with the selfishness. It's now embedded in their programs."

"I see," said George who now had the dog sitting beside his chair staring mournfully at him because she had determined he was making some kind of snack and not sharing it.

"Makes you wonder what it's all about doesn't it?" I asked wistfully if not rhetorically, forgetting completely that George is a rhetorical answering machine by nature without a 'skip this message' button. In 21 years I have still not learned this, I thought.

"Asking what is the meaning of life or why we were put on this planet or what's the point of it all, or the meaning of everything, is all the same question as asking what is the point.  There is no point of everything since the point is included in everything.  It is it's own point. Therefore the question is rendered meaningless."

"Is the ultimate goal of life just happiness? Which, of course to this generation means consumerism and self-indulgence?"

 "These questions," said Himself dragging the cat off the table and shooing away the dog, "are meaningless. To quote Honey Boo Boo's mother, 'It is what it is.'"

"Yet people need something to strive towards. By labeling these questions as meaningless, you have created no reason for people to go on. By nature people strive. It is the nature of all beasts." The dog and cat had reassumed their positions of deep interest in whatever Himself was up to.

"If that is your definition. If you define yourself as that which needs to be defined to be, than yes. You either define life or live it. Understanding is not necessarily that which can be spoken. The truth that can be spoken in not the truth."

"You know," I said, “by definition there would be no such thing as a question if there were not an answer. Answers go with questions like whipped cream on strawberry pie."

"But this is a specific category of question dealing with absolutes, like asking to prove the existence of God.  There is no thesis/antithesis when dealing with absolutes, all differences fall away, like introducing infinity to a mathematical equation, all variables are equal.  Yes, I would agree that there is an answer for every question, but in this case it is the nature of the questioning and the answering that is at issue.  That is why God cannot be proven to exist."

"Then there is nothing spiritual or meaningful to our existence than that of a slug on a rock then," I said, suddenly noticing my bare feet lying on the floor in front of me maybe for the first time in my life. Why didn't I wear slippers anyway? I mean its all very well and good to rationalize my bare feet as a Cape Breton tradition but in the end, there you are, walking around with bare feet. 

"The point is there is no point, the meaning is there is no meaning, which should be understood as a state beyond the reflective antithetical mind and not as reason for suicide. And how can you presume to speak for a slug?"

"Somebody has to speak for the slugs of this world." I was now worrying about slippers. I could go out there and buy myself bunny rabbit slippers any time I want. Why haven't I done that? I'm 50 odd years old and have never bought myself a pair of slippers. I must be deeply disturbed. Certainly not fashionable or even, heaven forbid, normal. This is not good.

Himself was now mumbling about having to work under these conditions because the cat now had spread herself on top of his work, her great white belly exposed for a rub and a cuddle. The dog had one paw on George's knee. "Do you think," I asked, "You could take your great antithetical mind and make dinner since it is your turn?"

"Yes dear," said Himself.

"And after that we're going shopping because I need slippers."

"Yes dear."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

There are so many websites and forums about Fukushima it is overwhelming. Reading comments however from most people for those of us who have followed this largest disaster (ongoing) in human history and have researched it... we have found some things get old pretty fast. We do not have time to reinvent the wheel or teach even the basics anymore. It is time to get up to speed on this.

So, yes, I am the author of this. Before you post about Fukushima, read it. It might help.

This is posted at that most excellent website:

For a caring, intelligent and informative chat usually nightly on Fukushima visit:

For continued news on this issue the go-to website is Be careful to source each article however to ensure it is credible. The discussions are always informative.

Before you post about Fukushima

You know we need a permanent thread for Fukushima that says, if you are going to post about Fukushima please note the following:

1) The Godzilla joke is old.
2) Nuking the place is not a solution.
3) Radiation from bananas is not comparable to man-made isotopes from nuclear plants.
4) The situation is not over and is on-going.... forever.
5) Where there is caesium of this order there is also uranium, plutonium etc.
6) There is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation. It's cumulative.
7) The Fukushima situation is the equivalent of 71,000 Nagasaki bombs going off.
8) Chernobyl pales in comparison.
9) People who think are concerned.
10) People who don't think will benefit from the work of those who do.
11) This is not a movie with a happy ending, or a movie with a sad ending that you can turn off and say it was just a movie. It is real.
12) The people of Japan are under a gag order and are imprisoned for talking about Fukushima.
13) Doctors in Japan are not permitted to tell their patient they are suffering from radiation poisoning.
14) In Canada and the U.S. they turned off the radiation monitoring sites right after Fukushima and raised so-called "acceptable" levels for humans.
15) A mass of radioactive debris is heading for the coastline. 
16) The giant squid picture was a hoax.
17) The two-headed baby whale was not a hoax.
18) The seastars, sardines and now southern pacific oysters are becoming extinct.
19) A sarcophagus such as the one at Chernobyl will not work at Fukushima since much of the contaminated leakage is from underground contamination of the water table flowing into the Pacific.
20) It is predicted at this rate the Pacific will be dead in six years.
21) Isotopes in the ocean do not dilute. They disperse. They remain deadly.
22) Radioactive water has been and continues to flow into the ocean from Fukushima at the rate of 300,000 tons a day
23) GE owns large shares in the mainstream media and GE designed and built Fukushima on a fault line which has historically seen tsunamis
24) There are at least 3 cores that have gone into meltdown to China Syndrome. They don't know where they are. They don't know what will happen. It has never happened before. They built these plants without anticipating this.
25) They don't know what to do with the waste and in fact no nuclear plant has any decent method of disposing of waste. None of them. 
26) 28% of babies born in California since Fukushima have thyroid nodules.
27) 40% increase in infant mortality rates in Western Canada since Fukushima
28) Tepco, a private company running Fukushima has admitted to lying about numbers and has made repeated appalling errors since it began
29) Homeless people, untrained in dealing with this are the main workforce brought in by Japanese mobsters to work at Fukushima
30) The rain in the northern hemisphere has been and is radioactive. We get to live with that until Fukushima is fixed. Radiation is cumulative.
31) Fukushima will never be fixed.
32) Tepco made a profit last year.

There. Now post something about Fukushima.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Concerned about the nightmare

the Japanese are going through?

You should be. But you also need to be concerned about yourself.
It's not just Japan. For three years radioactive water has been streaming
into the Pacific. For three years Fukushima has been sending massive
amounts of radioactive aerosols over the northern hemisphere. There is
no end in sight and no viable solution on the table and no international
coalition working on it.

It's not just Japan.

Ask your member of parliament for explanations as to why scientists are
not allowed to engage in public debate, why radiation monitoring sites were
shut down in Canada and acceptable levels of exposure were raised when
Fukushima happened, and why they lied to us all when they knew the levels
Canadians were and are being exposed to.

Don't ask. Demand. It is time to grow up. The Pacific may be dead
within six years. If it goes, we go. If there is one thing you need to do in
this life, this is it. Demand answers. Now. 

And if they mention bananas, ask them about strontium, plutonium, and
uranium levels. Be forewarned. Press harder.

This may be all you can do but at least it tells future generations that we tried.