Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goethe by Andy Warhol
Tuesday Morning EDT/
Tuesday Evening Japan Time
Katastrophen und Unglück Bericht
With the Assistance of  
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
28 August 1749- 22 March 1832

"The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth."

Today TEPCO officially classified the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster all the way to level 7 from level 5, equal to Chernobyl on the official scale of nuclear disasters. Level 7 is defined as the release of tens of thousands of terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131. This followed the disclosure that 10,000 terabecquerels (a terabecquerel is one trillion becquerels, 1TBq = 1 trillion Bq = ~ 27 curies) of radiation per hour were estimated released into the environment for a time (as yet unknown) after the series of unfortunate events in March. Authorities say with confidence that radiation release is now under 1 terabecquerel an hour. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano apologized again today for the accident but said, "Unlike in the case of Chernobyl, we have not seen cases of direct damage to health because of the accident." It is early yet Mr. Edano and the problem is not under control. The nuclear beast takes his time. At one time a gentleman could only apologize for a colossal screw up like this by suicide in Japanese culture. No suicides of TEPCO executives have yet been reported.
Strong aftershocks continued today in northeast Japan. Authorities say their prime job is to protect the smashed nuclear site from further damage resulting from such aftershocks. Water is still being applied to reactor cores and cooling ponds to prevent meltdowns and spontaneous combustion of radioactive waste. 

"That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way after us."

Prime Minister Naoto Kan had encouraging words for the masses today in a televised press conference.
 "Step by step, the reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are moving toward stability. The level of radioactive materials released is declining." 
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better" ["Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux."]-motto at the asylum of French psychologist Émile Coué de Châtaigneraie

"Whatever you can do or dream, begin it."

Kirstie Alley fell down again on dancing with the stars last night. Now we can attribute a cause to the aftershocks in Japan today. 

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."

PG&E, the owner of California's Diablo nuclear plant decided not to seek licence renewals for two plants near major fault lines until earthquake vulnerability studies can be completed, or, at least until all this hysteria has subsided. Remember this: nuclear energy is the most government protected and subsidized energy thanks to the lobbying industry and crooked politicians. It produces expensive electricity if one is honest enough to total up all the costs. In fact, an honest accounting shows it loses money. No private company or investor would indulge in nuclear energy if there were no public protections and money involved. It is not clean. It is not safe. The taxpayers indemnify the operators for their mistakes. It is welfare for giant corporations that pay no taxes. Hello GE! That means you.

"If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses."

A year ago April 20 BP's Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform exploded and burned leading to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Fran Ulmer, a member of the commission tasked to make recommendations  to prevent another such catastophe, expressed regret that the President and Congress had failed to act on any of the recommendations of that commission. In fact, Congress has acted to facilitate drilling and bypassing existing environmental protections since the spill. America is a great country if you are a corporation, a big corporation that can afford to buy corrupt politicians.

"It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal gave us hope. They said the big oil drilling corporations have done some "soul searching" and made changes on their own. BP has re-emphasized training for their drilling subcontractors. Wonderful!

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'

The World Bank and the IMF are meeting in Washington this week, with events April 12-16.
There are a lot of "work" presentations. Here are a few.
Wednesday at 10:00-IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks before Brookings Institution "The Global Jobs Crisis: Sustaining the Recovery through Employment and Equitable Growth"
Thursday at 08:30- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a conversation with Lionel Barber of the Financial Times at the "Back to Work: Innovation, Investment & International Open Markets" conference.
Friday at 09:00- IMF roundtable on "Youth, Jobs, and InclusiveGrowth in the Middle East and North Africa." Participants include Dominique Strauss Kahn, IMF managing director, and Mustapha Nabli, Central Bank governor, Tunisia.
[Yes, the Arab Spring may replace the "leaders" but the bankers are eternal.]

 "All that philosophy can teach,
The lore of jurist and of leech,
I've mastered, ah! and sweated through
Theology's dead deserts, too,
Yet here, poor fool! for all my lore,
I stand no wiser than before."

Kumi Machida, Perch

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