News and Peace Links
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower April 16, 1953
Lt. Ehren Watada http://www.thankyoult.org/
Courage to Resist! http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/
Active-Duty Military Petition Congress to End War http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/012307B.shtml
Military members opposed to the US involvement in Iraq gathered on January 15 to demand the withdrawal of American troops and prepared to present their appeal to Congress. More than 20 active-duty service members and about 100 supporters appeared at an event for Appeal for Redress, which calls for Congress to end the war. More than 1,000 military members have added their names to the appeal’s list.
Willie Nelson’s Peace Research Institute: http://willienelsonpri.com/
Iraq Veterans Against the War http://www.ivawhawaii.org/
Draft DU legislation for Hawaii [Word Document] [Adobe Acrobat file]
http://www.noduhawaii.com For further information on the DU story click here.
Good info here as well: http://www.veteransforpeaceny.org/vfpduvets.htm
Welcome to Code Pink on Maui! http://codepinkmaui.org/
Visit our sister organization: Maui Community College Peace Club at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~mccpeace/
To find up-to-the minute, factual news untainted by corporate censorship, these are some of many INTERNET sources:
http://www.democracynow.org/ with Amy Goodman (audio and video + internet news)
Martin Luther King’s 1967 Speech about Vietnam seems so relevant today!
YOUTH & MILITARISM, CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR STATUS:
Links to information about youth and militarism and conscientious objection:
MORE GOOD LINKS:
To order a $10 copy of the Oreo Budget Metaphor:
F.A.M.E., Finding Alternatives to Military Enlistment
Purple Hearts back from Iraq; Veterans and their stories
To understand the PEACE TAX movement and how to advocate for it to our reps:
To know what our reps are up to from a national library of factual information:
To find out progress on Senate and House bills:
Viet Nam Vets Against the War (VVAW)
Military Families Speak Out
Gold Star Families for Peace Military Families Speak Out
Counter Recruitment Sites
To know what our reps are up to from a national library of factual information:
Bring Them Home NOW
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace
A great source of current articles on Iraq, Israel/Palestine, etc.
An excellent source of essays and commentary by Chomsky and others.
Somewhat socialist in its leaning.
Lots of material, from news reports to personal postings. A good
source for information on breaking news related to protest movements,
but there can also be a lot of squabbling to sift through as well.
Internet Radio & TV
* Most of the following can be listened to with Real Player, available
for free from <http://www.real.com>. Others can be played in MP3
format, which can typically be played in web browsers, iTunes, WinAmp,
and others. Many offer access in a choice of formats.
Weekdays 1-hour [Real Player]
Probably the best radio source for progressive news and commentary.
Between the Lines
Weekly 30-minutes [Real Player]
Progressive roundup of the week’s news, some commentary, and a summary
of the week’s underreported news stories.
Weekly 30-minutes [Real Player]
Radio program by the progressive media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness
and Accuracy In Reporting). Each program typically focuses on two or
three major news stories from the past week, dissecting corporate news
bias and overlooked elements within the story.
The A-Infos Radio Project
Radio Archives [MP3]
An amazing resource of broadcast quality progressive radio programs
with all sorts of subjects and formats. Streaming audio is sometimes
sluggish, however; best to access with broadband internet access.
Free Speech TV
Video Archives [Real Player]
A great source of on-line activist documentaries, interviews, and
mini-news video segments.
Weekdays 1-hour [MP3]
News and activist commentary from KPFK in Berkely, California.
Freak Radio Santa Cruz
Live Stream [MP3]
A pirate radio station that combines progressive news (including some
of the other programs listed here), live commentary, and music.
Your Call Radio (formerly Working Assets Radio)
Weekdays 1-hour [Real Player]
Good progressive call-in show from the SF Bay area. Every Friday they
review the past week’s coverage of the news, where the media did well,
and where it failed to serve its readers.
Weekdays 1-hour [Real Player]
An intelligent, likable interview program. Often more focused on pop
culture than issues of news, social and environmental justice, etc.,
but it is occasionally a quiet voice for liberal sanity within NPR’s
status quo drone.
The Port Townsend Peace Portrait. www.ptforpeace.info
Education for Peace in Iraq http://www.epic-usa.org/
Important information on Chernobyl fallout withheld from public scrutiny
Learn about information on the long-term damage and danger caused by the Chernobyl disaster that the WHO and the IAEA are keeping from the public’s eye in this article by Dr. Janette D. Sherman, M.D., a resident of Virginia and formerly of Maui and a participating member of the Maui Peace Action network. She is the editor of the 2009 book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, written by A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko, published by the New York Academy of Sciences.
Chernobyl, 25 Years Later By Dr. JANETTE D. SHERMAN, MD http://www.counterpunch.org/sherman03042011.html
April 26, 2011 will mark the 25th Annivesary of the Chernobyl catastrophe, and for more than 50 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have abided by an agreement that in essence, covers each other’s back – sometimes at the expense of public health. It’s a delicate balance between cooperation and collusion.
Signed on May 28, 1959 at the 12th World Health Assembly, the agreement states:
“Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement,” and continues: The IAEA and the WHO “recognize that they may find it necessary to apply certain limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them. They therefore agree that nothing in this agreement shall be construed as requiring either of them to furnish such information as would, in the judgment of the other party possessing the information to interfere with the orderly conduct of its operation.”
The WHO mandate is to look after the health on our planet, while the IAEA is to promote nuclear energy. In light of recent industrial failures involving nuclear power plants, many prominent scientists and public health officials have criticized WHO’s non-competing relationship with IEAE that has stymied efforts to address effects and disseminate information about the 1986 Chernobyl accident, so that current harm may be documented and future harm prevented.
On the 20th Anniversary of Chernobyl WHO and the IAEA published the Chernobyl Forum Report, mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl.
After waiting two decades for the findings of Chernobyl to be recognized by the United Nations, three scientists, Alexey Yablokov from Russia, and Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko from Belarus undertook the task to collect, abstract and translate some 5000 articles reported by multiple scientists, who observed first-hand the effects from the fallout. These had been published largely in Slavic languages and not previously available in translation. The result was Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.
The greatest amount of radioactivity fell outside of Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia, extending across the northern hemisphere as far away as Asia, North Africa, and North America, while the greatest concentrations continue to affect the 13 million living in Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia.
Immediately after the catastrophe, release of information was limited, and there was a delay in collecting data. WHO, supported by governments worldwide could have been pro-active and led the way to provide readily accessible information, but did not. These omissions resulted in several effects: limited monitoring of fallout levels, delays in getting stable potassium iodide to people, lack of care for many, and delay in prevention of contamination of the food supply.
The number of victims is one of the most contentious issue between scientists who collected data first-hand and WHO/IAEA that estimated only 9000 deaths.
The most detailed estimate of additional deaths was done in Russia by comparing rates in six highly contaminated territories with overall Russian averages and with those of six lesser-contaminated areas, maintaining similar geographical and socioeconomic parameters. There were over 7 million people in each area, providing for robust analysis. Thus data from multiple scientists estimate the overall mortality from the Chernobyl catastrophe, for the period from April 1986 to the end of 2004, to be 985,000, a hundred times more than the WHO/IAEA estimate.
Given that thyroid diseases caused such a toll, Chernobyl has shown that nuclear societies – notable Japan, France, India, China, the United States, and Germany – must distribute stable potassium iodide (KI) before an accident, because it must be used within the first 24 hours.
Key to understanding effects from nuclear fallout is the difference between external and internal radiation. While external radiation, as from x-rays, neutron, gamma and cosmic rays can harm and kill, internal radiation (alpha and beta particles) when absorbed by ingestion and inhalation become embedded in tissues and releases damaging energy in direct contact with tissues and cells, often for the lifetime of the person, animal or plant.
To date, not every living system has been studied, but of those that have – animals, birds, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, insects, trees, plants, bacteria, viruses and humans – many with genetic instability across generations, all sustained changes, some permanent, and some fatal. Wild and domestic animals and birds developed abnormalities and diseases similar to those found in humans.
It takes ten decades for an isotope to completely decay, thus the approximately 30 year half-lives for Sr-90 and Cs-137 will take nearly three centuries before they have decayed, a mere blink of the eye when compared to Pu-239 with a half-life of 24,100 years.
The human and economic costs are enormous: in the first 25 years the direct economic damage to Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia has exceeded $500 billion. Belarus spends about 20% of its national annual budget, Ukraine up to 6%, and Russia up to 1% to partially mitigate some of the consequences.
When a radiation release occurs we do not know in advance the part of the biosphere it will contaminate, the animals, plants, and people that will be affected, nor the amount or duration of harm. In many cases, damage is random, depending upon the health, age, and status of development and the amount, kind, and variety of radioactive contamination that reaches humans, animals and plants. For this reason, international support of research on the consequences of Chernobyl must continue in order to mitigate the ongoing and increasing damage. Access to information must be transparent and open to all, across all borders. The WHO must assume independent responsibility in support of international health.
Janette D. Sherman, M. D. is the author of Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer and Chemical Exposure and Disease, and is a specialist in internal medicine and toxicology. She edited the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature, written by A. V. Yablokov, V. B., Nesterenko and A. V. Nesterenko, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009. Her primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and www.janettesherman.com
The latest (good) news in the ongoing issue of depleted uranium in Hawaii
NCR to ARMY: DU Monitoring Plan Won’t Work
By Alan D. Mcnarie
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 12:04 PM HST
The U.S. Army’s plan to monitor the air over Pohakuloa Training Area for depleted uranium has drawn sharp criticism from some Native Hawaiians, environmentalists, activists and independent experts. Now the Army has gotten an admonishment from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“We have concluded that the Plan will provide inconclusive results for the U.S. Army as to the potential impact of the dispersal of depleted uranium (DU) while the Pohakuloa Training Area is being utilized for aerial bombardment or other training exercises,” wrote Rebecca Tadesse, Chief of the NRC’s Materials Decommissioning Branch, in a recent letter to Lt. General Rick Lynch, who heads the Army’s Installation Management Command.
Tadesse and her staff reached that conclusion after reviewing the draft plan proposed by the Army and ORISE, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which would conduct the monitoring for aerial DU contamination at Pohakuloa and at various other locations around the island. The NRC experts concluded that the plan was inadequate in several areas: the number of air samples planned was “insufficient,” optimum locations for monitoring needed to be determined and established, and “Continuous monitoring should be performed during the testing and also prior to and following testing to determine background conditions,” so that the army would have a basis for comparison with any high readings. The letter also noted that the army proposed to conduct its air monitoring specifically during live firing exercises — even though the Army had told the NRC that it would not “use high explosives and bombs in areas where DU is present.”
“If that is true, why would there be an expectation that DU might be dispersed during such training exercises?” Tadesse asked.
The Army’s handling of the DU issue at Pohakuloa is also drawing fire from some independent experts, including retired army doctor Lorrin Pang, Los Alamos National Laboratory consultant Dr. Marshall Bland, and Dr. Michael Reimer, a retired geologist with a background in radiation monitoring. And Sierra Club researcher Cory Harden has used recently released Army documents to challenge the Army’s own estimates of how much DU may have been released into the environment at Pohakuloa.
“The NRC review seems to vindicate Dr. Pang and myself for claiming that the monitoring was insufficient,” Reimer told BIW.
According to the NRC’s Greg Pukin, his agency doesn’t generally have jurisdiction over weapons, but does have authority over DU and other radionuclides. The Army has applied to the NRC for a permit to possess DU at Pohakuloa — a permit that, if granted, could allow the recently discovered remains of depleted uranium spotter rounds from the Army’s cold-war-era Davy Crockett nuclear howitzer on site at the training area — spotter rounds whose presence in Hawai’i the army had denied until a citizen’s group unearthed an e-mail about their discovery in 2006. A group of local residents, including Harden, antiwar activist Jim Albertini, and native Hawaiian activist Isaac Harp had filed a challenge to the Army’s application on the grounds that its monitoring and clean-up plans were inadequate, but were recently denied standing by the NRC. Harp has appealed that denial.
Both Pang and Reimer testified as experts on April 14 at an NRC phone conference to consider Harp’s complaint. In addition to noting Tadesse’s criticisms, Reimer observed that the 5-micron filters that the army planned to use to capture possible DU particles for monitoring were a bit on the coarse side.
“Five-micron size [particles] would fall out within a mile,” he said. “Smaller sizes may be carried by the wind.” He recommended .45-micron filters.
Pang also challenged the army’s general credibility by citing a number of former army statements about DU that Pang said simply weren’t true.
“The Army stated to the Dept of Health Environmental Chief that inhaled DU (from exploding weaponry) was not a worry since DU is heavier than air and would not become airborne, therefore not inhaled,” he noted, for example. He testified that Army consultants, when discussing the amount of DU needed to produce radiation readings reported by civilian monitors at Pohakuloa, had held out their hands to indicate chunks the size of basketballs.
Pang also claims that an Army study setting human safety thresholds for DU inhalation was scientifically flawed.
“That study has been widely, publicly debunked by the scientific community,” he said. “The Army investigators did not count effects like tumors (both malignant and benign) in the exposed group.”
“The kind of air monitoring that the Army is using, they’ll never find it,” commented Harden at the conference call.
Harden also challenged an Army estimate that about 700 Davy Crocket spotter rounds may have been fired at Pohakuloa.
“To back up their claim they quoted from a report, which I only managed to obtained after ten months of repeated requests,” testified Harden. Their quote for the lower number does not match my copy of the report…. For soldiers to follow training manual requirements of that time, about 2,000 spotting rounds would have been needed at Pohakuloa. Now the Army didn’t find 2,000 spotting rounds recently at Pohakuloa Training Area, only four fragments. They speculate that range clearance may have been done, but offer no evidence to support this theory.”
Based on the discrepancies, the Army’s critics argued that the NRC simply couldn’t trust what the Army said about DU in Hawaii – nor could the public.
“Since we can’t rely on the military to shine their light on the hazards its left behind, we need help from NRC,” Hardin concluded.