On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Posts from — April 2011

Justified Criticism Of The Japanese Response

The CBC reports that a Japanese government nuclear adviser quits

A senior nuclear adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned, criticizing the government for ignoring his advice on radiation limits and not doing enough to deal with the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Toshiso Kosako, a professor at the University of Tokyo, was only recently named an aide to Kan on March 16, five days after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan

In a teary news conference on Friday night, Kosako said he could not stay on while the government set, what he deemed, inappropriate radiation limits for elementary schools near the plant.

“I cannot allow this as a scholar,” he said, adding that he also opposed the government raising the limit for radiation exposure for workers at the plant.

The government has set 20-millisievert limit for radiation exposure as safe, but according to Kosako, that is 20 times too high, especially for children, who are considered more vulnerable to radiation than adults.

Professor Kosako has no intention of being associated with what he believes to be terrible decisions by the government. It has been evident for some time that the government is allowing TEPCO make the choices and then rubber-stamping them, just like the US government did with BP and the Well from Hell.

The only question now, is how soon will the Japanese elections held?

April 30, 2011   Comments Off on Justified Criticism Of The Japanese Response

Canada Votes

Canada VotesThe vote for a new parliament in Canada can have an effect on the US, if only indirectly. It might provide the left and center-left in the United States a bit of relief that some people have figured out the scam that is being operated by the oligarchs and their “conservative” employees in government.

The Conservative Party of Canada has picked a lot of the GOP’s bad habits and imported them, including attitudes about women’s health and guns.

The final composition of the 40th Parliament is:

Conservative party of Canada Conservatives :
143

Liberal party of Canada Liberals :
77

Bloc Québécois party of Canada Bloc Québécois :
47

New Democratic party of Canada New Democratic Party :
36

Green party of Canada Greens :
0

Independents: 2

Vacant: 3

A majority in Parliament requires 155 seats.

[Read more →]

April 30, 2011   Comments Off on Canada Votes

Pot v. Kettle On Color Choice

The ABC demonstrates the total lack of self-awareness on the part of “Tsar Vladimir”: Putin raps Japan over nuclear crisis reaction

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has criticised Japan for its “slow” reaction to its nuclear disaster and for building nuclear reactors in earthquake-prone zones.

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor complex was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, touching off the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 as radiation from damaged reactors spewed into the surroundings.

Mr Putin says Japan should have promptly brought electricity storage devices such as batteries and accumulators to the complex to help pump in water to cool stricken reactors.

“They didn’t manage to do that on time, and then problems erupted,” he said, speaking at a Russian nuclear industry meeting in the Volga region city of Penza, 630 kilometres south-east of Moscow.

[Read more →]

April 30, 2011   4 Comments

Hexennacht

It’s Hexennacht and the moon is a waning crescent, but there is no Blocksberg available for dancing down here and local fire officials frown on bonfires during “Fire Weather Warnings”.

Of course the Church grabbed this holiday too and called it Walpurgisnacht in honor of one of their Anglo-Saxon saints, rather than good German witches [Hexen].

The Celts celebrate Beltaine at this time of the year.

Archæoastronomy

April 30, 2011   Comments Off on Hexennacht

Canadian Election

Canada is voting for a new parliament on Monday, May 2nd.

The CBC coverage is certainly more complete and serious than anything we get in US election coverage, which is generally heavily biased towards the “horse race” and what people are wearing.

When the Conservatives took a minority government win after the October 14th, 2008 I thought that two years would be their maximum time in power. I didn’t know about “proroguing Parliament” to put off an election.

It would be nice to see a big turn-out this time to settle the issue of what Canadians want from their government.

April 30, 2011   2 Comments

UK Referendum On Voting

Britain is having a rare event on May 5th: the Referendum on the voting system for the UK Parliament.

Currently elections are decided by the “first passed the post” method, which in a multiple party system results in many seats being won by people who receive a good deal less than half the votes. This referendum would change the system to what they are calling Alternate Voting, a form of preferential voting.

As this is a bit complicated, British voters might want to reference an instructional video, like this one that was recorded for moggies.

Even if you aren’t a moggie, if you can vote in Britain you should. I like preferential voting systems, but it’s your system, and your vote.

April 29, 2011   3 Comments

Hard Times Are Coming

The BBC reports that Wal-Mart to bring back guns to hundreds of US stores

Wal-Mart has said it will soon bring back the sale of firearms, including rifles and shotguns, at more than 500 of its US stores.

The retail giant stopped selling guns at hundreds of its 3,600 US stores in 2006, citing slumping consumer demand.

But a spokesman said guns would return to the shelves as “part of the overall push to bring 8,000 products back”.

Thursday’s news comes two months after Wal-Mart announced a seventh straight quarterly decline in US sales.

Federally-tracked gun sales grew more than 12% in the first quarter of 2011. However, growth has mainly been seen in handguns, which Wal-Mart does not carry.

Wal-Mart thinks that more people are going to turn to hunting and fishing to supply or supplement their food supply, and wants to sell them the hunting weapons. After almost two years of sales declines, Wal-Mart knows the hard times are not going away anytime soon.

April 29, 2011   6 Comments

Not Surprising

The BBC reports that India chooses European fighters over US rivals

India has shortlisted two European fighters and ruled out two US rivals for a key $11bn military contract.

The Indian defence ministry picked the pan-European Eurofighter and France-based Dessault’s Rafale ahead of jets made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The US ambassador in India said the US was “deeply disappointed” by the news.

So, Zero goes to India and negotiates with them, just like he negotiates with the Republicants, i.e. he gave them everything they wanted before anything was decided.

The Indian Air Force and their defense¹ ministry have been observing the Typhoon and the Rafale in service with Britain and France. They looked at the reliability, and hard cost-of-ownership figures, as well as the incentives that would go along with the purchase. They know about working with everyone in the arms market, and have decided that the two European fighters are in line with their goals and budgets.

The nuclear deals that might have helped the US manufacturers are already done, so they have no real value any more. Obama really doesn’t have a basic understanding of the principles of negotiations. US military hardware is expensive, and you need a “sweetener” to sell it, but you provide the added incentive after the sale.

1 – UK v. US spelling difference, like “colour” and “color”.

April 29, 2011   7 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Molly 1994-2011

Friday Cat Blogging

It is time.

[Editor: Molly was a yearling when Hurricane Opal hit in 1995, but she made it through outside, as well as all of the others that have hit us. As she was always tolerant of people, she was spayed early, which is probably the main reason for her longevity. Despite having neither sisters nor daughters to back her, she made her way through the hierarchy of the local clan to become the alpha female over all of the families.

She suffered a stroke at the beginning of April, and went into hiding for two days. After she returned, I supplied her with special food, and she was adapting to getting about despite some paralysis on her right side. Then this past weekend she decided it was time and left to find the bridge.

She will be missed.]

Friday Ark

April 29, 2011   10 Comments

Next Up – The Flood

Dr. Masters can be a very depressing read in the morning. In addition to charts, graphs, videos and analysis on the tornado explosion of the past week, he provides a preview of the 100-year flood that will occur on the Mississippi.

Congress had better be ready to spend some money, or to tell their Southern base to accept the “will of G*d” for their sins [voting for Republicants?].

This sort of weather, of course, cannot have anything to do with global climate change, because the “kerning was wrong” on those hacked British e-mails, and Al Gore has a big house.

April 28, 2011   3 Comments

Ideology & Political Fund-raising

The State of Columbia, South Carolina tells the tale: Amazon packing after House vote

Amazon all but told South Carolina goodbye Wednesday after the online retailer lost a legislative showdown on a sales tax collection exemption it wants to open a distribution center that would bring 1,249 jobs to the Midlands.

Company officials immediately halted plans to equip and staff the one million-square-foot building under construction at I-77 and 12th Street near Cayce.

“As a result of today’s unfortunate House vote, we’ve canceled $52 million in procurement contracts and removed all South Carolina fulfillment center job postings from our (Web) site,” said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president for global public policy.

“This rejection is a slap at everyone in unemployment lines,” said Scott Adams of Lexington, a telecommunication equipment executive who supported the Amazon proposal.

Other critics called the exemption too much on top of a free site, property tax breaks on equipment, state job tax credits and abolition of longtime Sunday morning sales restrictions in Lexington County to facilitate Amazon’s round-the-clock opposition.

[Read more →]

April 28, 2011   4 Comments

Mid-South Mugged

CNN’s latest round-up on the Southern storms:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) — Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 231 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where as many as 149 people perished, although Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters Thursday there were 131 confirmed deaths.

A breakdown provided by Bentley’s office showed that violent weather claimed lives in 16 Alabama counties. Thirty people perished in DeKalb County in northeastern Alabama; the death toll in the hard-hit city of Tuscaloosa, in west-central Alabama, was at 36 as of Thursday morning, said Mayor Walter Maddox.

[Read more →]

April 28, 2011   6 Comments

Do They Look In The Mirror

Barrie Cassidy on the ABC works up a bit of indignation with his opinion piece: Who cares about the important stuff?

It was the ultimate sideshow.

President Barack Obama called a press conference on Wednesday to distribute copies of his birth certificate, trying to put to rest persistent claims that he was really born not in Hawaii but in Kenya. And remarkably, almost all of the major networks took the event live to air.

As the president observed, had he been talking about national security, that would never have happened.

He pointed out that two weeks ago the nation was embroiled in a budget crisis, but the dominant story nevertheless was his birth certificate.

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” he said.

He makes a point and it filled time until the ABC was able to report: Britain withdraws Syria envoy’s royal wedding invite

Britain has withdrawn the Syrian ambassador’s invitation to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, saying the regime’s crackdown on protesters made his presence “unacceptable”.

Foreign secretary William Hague made the decision and the royal family agreed that Sami Khiyami should not attend Friday’s ceremony, the Foreign Office said in a statement, following criticism from rights groups.

Which helped to continue the average of 15 minutes between new stories about the event that only effects two families and the manufacturers of tawdry memorabilia.

Sorry, Barrie, but the polls are still open for the “ultimate sideshow”.

Update: CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports that carnival barkers are upset that they were compared to Donald Trump.

April 28, 2011   2 Comments

In The Running For …

The lamest excuse ever: Apple blames iPhone tracking file on ‘bug’

(CNN) — After a week of silence, Apple on Wednesday responded to widespread complaints about iPhones and iPads tracking their users’ whereabouts by saying “the iPhone is not logging your location” and announcing an upcoming mobile software update.

The next version of Apple’s iOS will store data about a phone’s location for only seven days instead of for months, as was previously the case, the company says. Apple blamed the fact that so much location data had been stored on users’ phones and computers on a software “bug.”

“The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly,” the company said in a news release. “We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data.”

“When I turn off Location Services, why does my iPhone sometimes continue updating its Wi-Fi and cell tower data from Apple’s crowd-sourced database?” the company asks itself in a Q&A posted on Apple’s media relations site.

“It shouldn’t,” the company says. “This is a bug, which we plan to fix shortly.”

If “the iPhone is not logging your location”, how did the data base with all of those locations in get into the memory – immaculate inception? I realize that Apple thinks its user base is a group of morons who will buy anything with the company’s logo on it, but they are not going to “buy” an incredibly stupid and obviously wrong statement like that.

We already know that Apple included the feature so it could sell location-based advertizing. Apple says it is doing it in their user licensing.

There may be a bug that causes the data base to grow until it fills up storage, but the software was designed to track the user.

April 27, 2011   10 Comments