I bought 120, 170mg potassium iodate (KIO3) pills online, yesterday. For those not in the know, potassium iodate or potassium iodine, is to protect the thyroid from cancer, in the event of radiation poisoning.
Why did I buy potassium iodate tablets? Because I woke up yesterday to a 20 minute report on NPR about a rogue nuclear program. What rogue nuclear program? Iran's, of course.
Three days ago TEPCO, the company responsible for the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility (Japan), started removing fuel rods from reactor 4. There are more than 1500 fuel rods in reactor 4, many of which may be damaged, nobody seems to know for sure. Some, they do not even know where they are. It is being called by others the most difficult engineering task ever undertaken, and reactor 4 is apparently going to be the easy part. Worst-case-scenario but entirely plausible, is total meltdown, the evacuation of Tokyo, nuclear fallout raining down on America. And here in America, there is almost total information blackout about it. I couldn't even find mention of Fukushima in Huffpost, on the main page, Green, Science or Tech pages.
Am I in danger of radiation poisoning, from Fukushima? I have no idea. I do know, the company that is responsible for fixing this problem, TEPCO, is the same company that was storing new and used nuclear fuel rods, on an ancient river bed above streaming ground water, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, on the Ring of Fire, ON THE TOP FLOORS OF THE REACTORS. This is the same company that lied about 200-300 tons of nuclear water pouring into the ocean every damn day for 2.5 years. The same company that had record profits last quarter, despite their lies and incompetence. I have ZERO faith that TEPCO is going to fix this. I have exactly that much faith that my government is going to protect me from TEPCO. The American MSM is mostly silent on Fukushima, with a decided lack of urgency when they do report it, NEVER questioning TEPCO's ability to follow through effectively, it being heresy in this country to seriously question corporations; while the MSM cannot report enough on Iran, is suggestive to me of this government's (and assorted ruling elite) treatment of the people as stupid children who must be manipulated.
It's not just Fukushima that I worry about, but every one of the 400+ nuclear facilities on earth, esp the two 35 miles on either side of me, on the Mississippi River. Do I think Xcel Energy, which owns both facilities, which is storing massive amounts of spent fuel at both (at Prairie Island, on a flood plain on an island in the Mississippi - do you remember those unprecedented biblical floods recently in Colorado?), which has extended the life of these facilities to 2030 and beyond despite mounting problems, despite being more than 40 years old already (with the complicity of this state government and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)) - is Xcel a more honest company than TEPCO? I think Excel is like most corporations, convinced of it's righteous infallibility, masters of the universe status. I'm certain Xcel believes nothing seriously bad could ever happen to any nuclear facility they own. I believe Xcel as a corporate "person" does not care about ANYTHING but quarterly profits no matter what. No amount of biblical flooding anywhere apparently, is going to convince Xcel or the state gov of Minnesota or the NRC, that storing nuclear material on a flood plain island in the Mississippi is a bad idea.
Anyway, when I heard NPR on Iran, and surmised their lies of omission, I was like, that's it, I'm buying some potassium iodate. It's a small thing, something tangible I can do to protect myself and my family, giving me at least a little peace of mind, knowing my government and this nation's corporations care more about short-sighted self-preservation, about maintaining political hegemony in the Middle East and globally, than they do about doing what is right.
Fukushima is a cancerous tumor releasing toxins into the body of the earth. One might imagine humanity stopping everything, to heal. But all goes on as if there is no problem, as if the profits of TEPCO are more important than the health of the body of the earth, of the health of people.
Well, at least if TEPCO fucks this up worse than they already have, and there are Fukushima nucleotides raining down on America, we'll have a first-rate Health Care Industry to take care of us. Eh? LOL
What budding fascism did I wake up to today? Apparently the FDA has decided spreading manure on farm fields is bad. The current "organic" rule, which "organic" designation is already next-to-meaningless by government/corporate fiat, is that if you put manure on a field, you can't sell market greens for 4 months. They are saying 9 months now, but of course only for those businesses that have more that $500,000 in sales, per year. In other words, the FDA is in the process of KILLING any remaining non-corporate, food production competition for uber corporate Agri-business. Never mind that near 100% of pathogen related, fresh green problems arise out of uber Ag, pretending to be organic or not, sending those greens all around the country.
Evidently, the FDA is chock-full of lackies who shill for corporations, just as the USDA is. See, 4 tons of topsoil loss per acre/year is acceptable. Atrazine in the water, no problem. Gigatons of fossil fuel derived ammonia spread on the fields, is what God intended. Pesticides that devastate honey bees, other pollinators? According to the FDA and USDA, it isn't agriculture if it isn't laying waste to natural systems, genuflect before corporate efficiencies.
This of course is related to the TPP and the TAP, which if you aren't familiar with, is Fascism in America 2.0. The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic trade pacts being negotiated in secret which Obama want's to fast-track into law, will effectively negate all consumer protection law, all Internet protections, all environmental law, anything protecting anything, EXCEPT that which protects the right of corporations to make a profit. In real terms, that means, if international corporation comes into your neighborhood promising jobs, and they pollute the water supply sickening your children, you can go to Brussels and talk to the tribunal of corporate lawyers masquerading as judges. If you think I overstate it, well, I've stated much the same in the past and I have seen nothing to suggest that I am wrong, if these trade pacts become the law of the land. There is a reason why they are negotiated in secret, that not even Congress can look at it, that they want to make it law before anyone who didn't write it gets to see it. A full corporate attempt to destroy the sovereignty of governments, exactly what anyone should expect, if you treat corporations like demi-gods. How long have we been hearing, "you should run government more like a business!" Well, a corporation is a fascist, totalitarian anti-democracy. What did you think would happen to government?
If the TPP and the TAP are passed, it will be effectively illegal in America or anywhere in the world, to criticize a corporation. No more ranting. :)
What good is the ranting for anyway, but crazy making? I drive through the suburbs every day, and I know well the denizens of that habitat pretty much all think corporations are GREAT! The NPR crowd? Not one whit less enamored of corporate everything; NPR is like a boomer lullaby, yes everything about your existence is well and good, justified, sleep tight. The Tea Party Patriot? LOL. Whenever I hear a libertarian/free market-er going on about freedom and liberty and personal responsibility, I hear "I want to be free from government interference to participate as I please in the ongoing rape of the planet."
I keep heading in a different direction. I keep thinking plants, greenhouses, rocket stoves, scaling down. Brew my own brew and grow my own food. Because I expect at any time the whole facade of this current arrangement, i.e. the currency and the fossil fuels that drive it, are at the precipice of breaking, so what is there to do but practice living with less? I'm better at ranting. LOL.
Anyway, I keep working on my apple obliterator. I have seeds planted in my garage greenhouse. I have a plan to insulate the garage and build a rocket stove to heat it, and if that works, retrofit this house. That might be worth reporting on, eh? How about a humanure pile to feed my veggies, piss-off FDA, city inspectors? LOL. If the garage greenhouse works, attach one to the house?
Less ranting, more doing.