Anti-Radiation Pill Plan

Anti-Radiation Pill Plan May Be Nixed This article is a clear example of the continuing idiotic policy of the Bush administration. In this case, once again the Bush administration placed more import to public perception and the possibility of “undermining confidence in US nuclear plants” over that of qualified professionals in the nuclear power industry.

Worse is the childish infighting the Bush administrations directive has caused with one member of the HHS stating “”If you entrust our kids’ health to nuclear engineers instead of doctors — you are inviting disaster.” Problem is, HHS does not exaclty have the greatest record in protecting children. I’m honestly not all that surprised given Bush is a big oil guy who has shown that he has no clue how to run the federal agencies of the US Government. Just look at the large number of agencies that are now mismanaged, misdirected, ineffectual, underfunded and understaffed: FEMA, the FDA, the Border Patrol, ICE, HHS, NRC, the EPA, etc., etc.

I live relatively close to a nuclear power plant here in Arizona, though well outside the 20 mile zone covered in the pill plan and have always had confidence in the plant and it’s technicians ability to contain any potential radiation dangers, especially given what I know about the inherent safety plans and contigencies of the plant. I’m glad one of the readers who posted a comment on the story tried to educate other readers with the truth about nuclear plants to try and mitigate the fear mongering of the article and the sheer idiocy of the Bush administrations reasoning.

I honestly can’t help but wonder if this is another shell game by the Bush administration with regards to alternate energy sources. Afterall, Bush keeps claiming and insisting America need to become less dependent on foreign oil yet does nothing to support initiatives for alternate energy sources on a large scale. Instead bush supports some questionable alternatives like fuels generated from food crops at a time when food prices are on the rise and the need for food around the world is at an all time high.

NASA Won’t Disclose Air Safety Survey

NASA Won’t Disclose Air Safety Survey – AOL News I’m not really surprised by the new article regarding air safety in the US. I’d rather the report be delayed and thoroughly analyzed to prevent future air traffic incidents than simply have it out there scaring people and placing more pressure on the aerospace industry, which had not been in the best condition before being crippled by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent unfunded regulations of the government.

Many Americans, despite their constant use of the aviation industry for their travels, have little to no understanding of what is involved in operating and maintaining aircraft, airlines, and airports or the regulations they are placed under with little to no support from the federal government that imposes these rules. I think most would be more than willing to wait and allow the professionals in the air safety field to come to appropriate solutions to the problems.

New Times vs. MCSO

As many residents in the Valley (aka the Phoenix Metropolitan area in Arizona) know, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and the New Times alternative newspaper have been at odds for a number of years over a variety of issues ranging from medical marijuana to illegal immigration. Often their political, legal, and philosophical disagreements have led to an outrignt hostility between Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the owners, editors, writers, and publishers of the New Times. This animosity has now led to a troubling incident that ended up with the founders of the New Times under arrest. The New Times apparently printed exerpts of a grand jury inquiry that the MCSO claims was a misdemeanor violation.

If the New Times violated the misdemeanor law as stated then I have no problem with that. One of the things that concerns me, however, are legal experts, other valley journalists, and consitutionalists all noting that the MCSO does not have a legal case or justifiable cause to even arrest the newspapers founders. I’m sure all this will get hashed out one way or the other.

My bigger concern though was a couple of suspiciously repressive and dictatorial demands by (1) the MCSO demanding all paperwork and files related to articles criticizing some of the MCSO and Sheriff Arpaio’s activities and (2) demanding internet records of all thiose who have visited the New Times website.

The first demand concerns me because the MCSO claims that since these documents are part of an “investigation” the New Times could lose possession of the these files nor could they refer to them in future articles related to MCSO activities since they would be considered evidentiary in nature. Whether suspicions turn out to be founded or not, these actions appear suspiciously like an attempt at a cover up of suspected misconduct by MCSO members, including family members of MCSO members.

The second demand is even more concerning as it, rightly or wrongly,appears like an ill-concealed retaliatory threat against the newspaper’s online readers. The MCSO has indicated it wants to know what else site readers may be doing on the internet. This begs the question: why? The New Times in the past has advocated changes to laws they disagreed with and even advocated unpopular and sometimes questionable positions and activities but no more so than other news outlets and publishers.

Whether intentional or not, these threats of censorship and intimidation are a disturbing new trend with the MCSO and the Sheriff before it gets completely out of hand. The MCSO and Sheriff need to remember that they are there to enforce the law, not make the law or abuse their position of enforcement as a means to quash opposition to political or social policy. Conversely, new agencies do need to act responsibly to ensure they obey laws put in place to protect the public when presenting their stories regardless of political or social slant. Responsible journalism is as imprtant as responsible police enforcement.

Science and bigotry

DNA pioneer makes racist remarks | The Australian It’s sad that men of science still try to push their own bigoted opinions ignoring available scientific evidence. What’s particularly sad about this scientist is he makes no distinction between genetics and enviornment (in this case educational opportunities) instead opting for a blatantly racist line of thought.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Many scientists have made ridiculous discriminatory assertions over the centuries in order to foist their personal bigotry and hate on others such as women, blacks, gays, and so on. It’s just truly said that supposedly well educated and otherwise well reasoned people act and think in such an unreasonable manner.

Hydrogen Cars Vehicles and Infrastructure

Those who know me know that I am a big proponent of the United States converting over to renewable and alternate resources that not only shackle the county to questionable corporate business practices and foreign relations but also hamper US citizens and businesses. These limitations include ever increasing financial costs related to use, environmental damage, and degredation and decreasing quality of life issues (jobs, health, food supply, etc.) related to these growing problems.

So for those interested in one possible alternative: Hydrogen Cars Vehicles and Infrastructure. I like this particular site since it lists a wide variety of vehicles as well as more information on hydrogen fuel alternatives.

Gadgets: LifeReader

Seemingly drawn straight out of science fiction I was impressed when I first heard about Radar Scope, a device used by the US military to detect people based on their respiration. No there is one better: LifeReader.

LifeReader is a new device that can read heart and respiration through walls. The military applications are obvious but so too are it’s use by law enforcement, search and rescue, medicine and numerous other emergency services. While currently carrying a hefty pricetag, the possible applications for LifeReader are quite impressive. Time and use will of course make HeartReader become affordable and, hopefully, a common place technology in the near future.

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama So the Dalai Lama was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal today and not surprisingly China acted childish in response caliming that US-Sino relations would be damaged. Of course, China has always been quick to blame their problems on the Dalai Lama and others associated with liberating Tibet from Chinese occupation and oppression.

Perhaps one of the more amusing accusations by the Chinese government is that the Dalai Lama is a Tibetan seperatist intent on destroying Chinese sovereignty. One, Tibet was invaded by Communist China’s military. It never was a part of modern China. This leads to point two: China has no genuine sovereignty over Tibet except as an unwanted, unwelcomed, brutal invader and occupier.