Friday, April 1, 2011

NOT April Fools'

I hate April Fools' Day. Then again, I hate practical jokes. Unfortunately, fate seems to be playing one practical joke after another on us.

The situation in Japan, believe it or not, continues to get worse. Yes, that's true; I have said that before. More than once, even.

Radioactive iodine levels in the sea near the Fukushima nuclear plant are now up over 4000 times the legal limit, and officials are saying they may have a continuous leak.

Plutonium has been found in the soil nearby, and groundwater near the plant is also contaminated at up to 10,000 times the normal level. Oh, but the operators of the plant assure us there is no danger to human health. There is an EPA document on Plutonium here; it's written for the layman, and relatively easy to read and understand, so I'll let you judge for yourselves. The good news seems to be that the damned stuff isn't quite as chemically toxic as was thought to be the case 30-some years ago.

There have also been more explosions at the plant in recent days, just to keep us wondering. And the Japanese government has announced that "evacuations will be long-term", which is a de facto admission of heavy contamination.

In other related news, the Japanese government also announced that it will take control of TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is the operator of the Fukushima plant. This in the face of compensation liabilities which have been estimated in excess of $130 billion US.

While we're on the subject, let's compare that amount to something else. This whole nuclear disaster has incurred a liability of $130 Billion US. That's a lot of money. But it pales in comparison to the $700 Billion US that Obama gave away to the richest 2% of Americans by extending the Bush tax cuts.

Think about it. With the amount that our oh-so-dearly-beloved President handed to the Republicans on a platter, without even a fight, the whole nuclear mess in Japan so far could have been paid for five times over, with enough left to finance HR589 three times over.

And to think I was stupid enough to actually vote for that asshole.

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