Some people here are familiar with the technology of genetic engineering and modification, which has been deployed for nearly 40 years to create those 'New and Improved!' food crop cultivars Monsanto, et al. are so het-up about (so as to have practically criminalized the traditional practice of seed-saving and contaminated the entire Western Hemisphere's heirloom maize stockpile). Some are also no doubt familiar with genetic engineering as it relates to medical research and pharmaceuticals that the multinational gigacorp owners of concerns like Monsanto (Pharmacia) like to pretend they invented. And of course there's the larger issue of such corporations getting patents on genes and gene variants readily found in nature as part of the normal genomes of viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals - including humans. The whole issue is one huge complicated worldwide mess that most people don't wish to think much about, so we generally don't.
The Ugly Truth About Three Mile Island
Last Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the accident at Three Mile Island, the worst accident in the [known] history of civilian nuclear power in the United States. There have been a handful of diaries in the past week marking this anniversary. By Kossacks who remember the event, know people who were impacted by the event, an ongoing series with a lot of linked sources for the curious, and even a short diary by me about how much of the truth has been 'lost' over the decades.
In several of these diaries a cadre of pro-nuclear shills descended to defend the nuclear industry against its own worst mistake. Most of these pro-nukes have been at DKos for awhile, and have made no secret of their position. Which is fine, so long as the discussion is general. When it comes to something so historically significant as the accident at Three Mile Island, the standard propaganda, half-truths, false dilemmas, hyperbolic fear-mongering, ridiculous lies and orders to STFU are less well tolerated.
Lies, Damned Lies & Zombies
From WGAL Susquehanna Valley news:
"On March 28, 1979, a water pump in the non-nuclear part of the plant failed. Cooling water contaminated with radiation drained into other buildings in the facility. The reactor's core overheated to more than 4,000 degrees -- just 1,000 degrees short of a meltdown."
Well, there you have it. After 30 years, numerous official and unofficial investigations, scores of lawsuits, a stack of criminal convictions, hundreds of quiet settlements and a class action lawsuit with more than 2,000 plaintiffs that went on for years, we get three innocuous little sound-byte sentences. A failed water pump, some contaminated cooling water and not even close to a meltdown. Wow.
Oh, good golly! I encountered this company as a 'top ad' on the Front Page here at DKos, and de debbil prodded me to click on it. So of course I did click on it...
It's called Cyclone Dairy, and it offers milk from 100% cloned cows. At first I thought it was some sort of satirical joke, but unless these people are very good jokesters, I don't think it is. The 'Mission' statement offers just 4 reasons for why you and your family should pay extra for super hi-tech cloned-cow milk, just in case your local grocery store isn't offering that scrumptious, pus-laden rBGH Monsanto milk anymore.
This is a 'personal' sort of diary. I don't diary often (not much to say outside of comments), but sometimes I do. I've made no secret here of the fact that I am a Clown. Professional Fool is an honorable profession, though we too often get blamed for the likes of George Bush. He's not a pro. He's a wannabe.
We bid good-bye to a friend of 30 years day before yesterday, a guy who was Internationally Unknown and Totally Unfamous when we met him at a closed-down rest stop on the edge of the Rio Grande gorge in northern New Mexico all those years ago. He did become internationally known and completely infamous in the years since, but I prefer the original honorific. If you read below the fold, I'll ask you to suspend your disbelief for long enough to get through it. I've known lots of famous (and infamous) individuals, my old friend was the most infamous of all...
BarbinMD's front pager on The Speculation Game already had more than 800 posts when I got to it, and I can't download that kind of 'meat' with my meager dial-up. But I did notice that my favorite for Secretary of State in an Obama administration only got honorable mention after John Kerry, Richard Holbrooke, Chuck Hagel and Sam Nunn. Deal is, Bill Richardson, current second-term governor of New Mexico and recent candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, is the best, most obvious and most reasonable choice for the position.
The only voter in our 4-voter household who hasn't yet voted is our daughter, who has this 'thing' about voting on official election day. Here at the west end of our western NC county, I do not anticipate any problems with that, given that by the number of ballots already in the precinct boxes when hubby, grandson and I voted two weeks ago, there's probably not more than a couple of dozen voters still left at either of our precincts for Tuesday.
Last night hubby and I were driving home through the mountains from Tennessee, so I sought a radio station that would actually come in despite the interference. That turned out to be FoxRadio, the Neal Boortz show. Being as it was Halloween, I figured hate-radio would be appropriately scary, and it sure enough was.
Seems this nut has a great idea for how to make sure the "little people" don't get to elect leaders to office that he doesn't approve of. Boortz said he'd support a "constitutional amendment" that would give citizens the vote, which made us laugh. No amendment needed, dear. We already have the right to vote, despite the best efforts of recent Republicans to interfere. Then he added that rich people should have more votes than poor people, up to five per rich person! I nearly choked on my fountain drink.
I actually do understand why bigots like Boortz would want to have more votes than 'lesser' citizens, but there's not a snowball's chance in hell such an idea would make it past the one-person one-vote situation we now enjoy, because he's only got one vote, just like me. But what really got to me was his rationale...
My husband, grandson and I voted Monday evening at the library in our little town of about 750 people in western North Carolina. Grandson got to register and vote at the same time, turned 18 in May. He registered Independent - probably so he could be the 'rebel' in our household - but his heart's in the right place.
One of the reasons we voted Monday instead of Tuesday (when the library's One-Stop will be open until 9 instead of 5) is because of what happened to Obama supporters in Fayetteville on Sunday. Not only were McCain/Palin supporters stationed to shout epithets and harass the long voting lines after Obama's speech, but about 30 of the attendees of that rally got their tires slashed. Very ugly.
I have mentioned in comments to various threads over the past week the fact that whole sections of the Southeast have been suffering "rolling gas shortages" since the hurricane, some of which are NOT getting better as time goes on. For several reasons. In one diary today I was asked by someone incredulous about the situation how come nobody's heard about it. Despite the fact that there have been several diaries about the situation in Tennessee and Georgia (primarily shortages and lines in Nashville and Atlanta), and in Charlotte.
So I offered a handful of articles in today's press about the situation. Fortunately, a couple of these do offer some reasons for why we are still suffering shortages two weeks later. Here's the run-down...
Now this probably won't turn off any Dobsonites out there, but it definitely should give the MSM some ammunition when McMansions starts lying about what he knew (and when) per this increasingly incredible choice for Veep.
Digby's got the dirt on this sordid affair, and it looks like the Hail Mary was indeed to the evangel-inionists of the hard-right WingNut faction.
It's my birthday today (too old to count, not old enough to be in the way). We're not planning anything very exciting, so I thought I'd just say a little something about my husband the Perennial Presidential Candidate, and why he's NOT running this year. For a change. Because Barack Obama is there instead.
After we left an unsatisfactory past-life in science, my hubby went into professional clowning. I went into journalism, but still managed to make the costumes, keep the props, build the puppets, and write the skits. Very soon he'd enlisted our son and daughter into the act - son was the Best Juggler anybody'd ever seen, daughter has a degree in theater tech and is a heckuva set designer and puppet builder. It quickly became a family business, and we've done pretty well with it over the years.
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