All bombed out.

Today's post was going to be about a very exciting little strepsirhine primate, the slow loris. In the face of nuclear armament, however, it will simply have to wait until tomorrow. *sigh*

So, it would seem like all of the issues up for discussion today have a good side and a bad side. Let's start with an issue that has largely fallen out of public favor these last few weeks:

First lady on health care: 'Doing nothing ... not an option'
 

via CNN.com (for the full article, click the link above!)
"We don't have a choice," the first lady told CNN's Larry King in an interview that aired Tuesday night.
"When we look at these statistics, we're spending billions of dollars on preventable diseases, and new health care legislation could go a long way to improving prevention, first and foremost."
She addressed the need for people to have access to specialists such as pediatricians who can gather critical information and track it.
"So we have to get this done and I'm hopeful that Congress will come together, that the American people will recognize that doing nothing is absolutely not an option."
At least she's still confident in lawmakers' ability to enact effective, efficient health care policy. The rest of us aren't so sure--especially after that horrid Stupak Amendment.

But she is right: doing nothing is not an option. Everyone deserves affordable health care. Everyone.
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An update on the positively scandalous affair that is the Prop 8 Trial:

Judge Overseeing Prop 8 Trial is Gay (*yays!*)
 via American_Asylum

It would appear as though Judge Vaughn Walker (I knew I liked him...) has been outed from his closet. Which is a two-edged sword, really; it certainly isn't fair for this man's private, personal life to receive such celebrity and publicity, regardless of what it may mean in lieu of his ruling. This from TheKnightWhoSaidNi:
 Before you get all excited, though, keep in mind that this district judge – Vaughn Walker - is a closet-case who has only been outed through media speculation and annonymous sources. Also, he has made homophobic rulings in the past.
It’s unclear whether or not he’ll rule in favor of or against Prop 8. If he rules against it, it’s a victory for us, but the opponents will now almost certainly appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they’ll make an issue of the judge’s homosexuality, claiming that it’s a conflict of interest.
Given that the nation’s Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations have personhood, at least when it comes to political campaign contributions, they might just be stupid enough to get railroaded by a petty complaint about Judge Vaughn Walker.
 Here, here!

more on this article @ PinkNews
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and last, but certainly not least...

Nuclear Armament:  
mankind's most depressing innovation
or,
Why atomic weaponry scares me shitless.

Let's examine the issue, most recently brought into media, political, and public focus by:

Iran to begin enriching its stockpile of uranium
via NYTimes.com
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency on Monday that it would begin enriching its stockpile of uranium for use in a medical reactor, prompting officials from the United States, France and Russia to call for stronger sanctions against Tehran.
Late Monday in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that it had received a letter from Iran declaring its intent to begin enriching uranium up to 20 percent.

If Russia does join the other world powers in backing President Obama’s call for tougher United Nations sanctions, that would isolate China, which has said such action could make finding a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis even more difficult.

The United States has begun circulating ideas for possible sanctions among its closest allies on the Security Council and is hoping that Iran’s announcement might convince China that Tehran’s real purpose is to create a weapon, and not the civilian use of nuclear energy.
 Well, that should sit well with the UN. And Obama. NOT.

“We have bent over backwards to say to the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are willing to have a constructive conversation about how they can align themselves with international norms and rules and re-enter as full members of the international community,” President Obama said in a news conference on Tuesday. “They have made their choice so far.”

The United States, Mr. Obama said, will be working on “developing a significant regime of sanctions that will indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole.”
The goal would be to increase the cost for those who do business with Iran so much that they would cut off ties.
French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, (France currently holds the position of Security Council chair) has been aggressive in pushing for new sanctions, especially in the energy sector, according to American and European officials.

So what's our solution? Keep reading:

U.S. ready to offer Iran alternative to nuclear plan
via CNN.com
In what appears to be an attempt to call Iran's bluff on its nuclear program, the United States is poised to offer Tehran a way to obtain medical isotopes that Iran says it desperately needs to treat cancer patients, according to the State Department.

The United States, along with "other countries," will present a new proposal to the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide Iran with those isotopes, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday.

"Our point is, if Iran feels it has a specific need, we are willing to engage constructively and try to identify ways in which the international community and potentially the United States can meet that need," Crowley said.
 This is all well and good, except that the UNITED STATES STILL POSSESSES A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF NUCLEAR CAPABILITY. Including weaponry. So, who are we to decide who can and who can't participate in nuclear development?

Why only Western European nations? When N. Korea, China, Russia, and Iran express intent to develop or possible stockpiles of nuclear technology, the rest of the world (by which I mean the privileged elite controlling the United Nations) has a conniption. And rightly so, honestly, although WE certainly are not offering up any plans to disassemble or stop developing our own arsenals, are we...?

However, I do respect Obama's intentions. I respect that at my age, he was writing about the necessity of nuclear disarmament, and a vision in which the world was free of the threat of nuclear and atomic warfare.
Twenty-six years later, the author, in his new job as president of the United States, has begun pushing for new global rules, treaties and alliances that he insists can establish a nuclear-free world.

“I’m not na├»ve,” President Obama told a cheering throng in Prague this spring. “This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence.”

Yet no previous American president has set out a step-by-step agenda for the eventual elimination of nuclear arms. 
(via NYTimes.com)


For a real--and very much disturbing--understanding of the horrors of nuclear and atomic warfare, check out this book:


The Last Train From Hiroshima
 by Charles Pellegrino

 From the NYTimes:
The term “ground zero” originated with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those who survived up-close encounters with these new American bombs did so thanks to sheer, blind good fortune. They were in exactly the right place at the right time, sheltered from the gamma and infrared death rays, and then from the flattening blast, in spots that acted as natural shock cocoons.


The Hiroshima survivors learned invaluable lessons about surviving a nuclear detonation, but they were discouraged from disseminating this knowledge in the immediate aftermath. Japan’s military leaders did not want to spread “bad stories” and “rumors of defeat.” Some of these survivors talked anyway. They surely saved some lives.


The Japanese called the atom bomb the pika-don, the “flash-bang.” One lesson about it was this: If you see and survive the pika, you have a few seconds to duck. The don is on its way. Another lesson: wearing white helps. One doctor, Mr. Pellegrino writes, “reported numerous instances of women and children wearing patterned clothing, sometimes displaying flowers on white cloth. The dark flowers were now branded permanently onto their skin.” 

The atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima, Aug. 6, 1945
Yet another lesson: the sound of a B-29 bomber diving and flying like hell, straining its engines to get out of the way, is a sound to take seriously.


Many, many other things were still to be learned about these bombs, each worse than the next. People who wore wristwatches were branded where the metal met their skin, and quickly developed radiation sickness. The bombs acted like a microwave oven, heating metal until it glowed.


Many people reported that the smell of burning human flesh was “quite similar to the scent of squid when it was grilled over hot coals,” Mr. Pellegrino writes, “with a few pieces of sweet pork thrown alongside.” And then of course were the lingering horrors of what the Japanese called “atomic bomb disease.”


“The Last Train From Hiroshima” is a clear-eyed catalog of every such horror, and not for the weak-stomached. Mr. Pellegrino follows his survivors as they trudge through wastelands that make “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy read like “Goodnight, Moon.” He describes the so-called “ant-walking alligators” that the survivors saw everywhere, men and women who “were now eyeless and faceless — with their heads transformed into blackened alligator hides displaying red holes, indicating mouths.”


The author continues: “The alligator people did not scream. Their mouths could not form the sounds. The noise they made was worse than screaming. They uttered a continuous murmur — like locusts on a midsummer night. One man, staggering on charred stumps of legs, was carrying a dead baby upside down.”
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Among the worst tragedies of America's brutal, bloody history, the bombings are to date the ONLY attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare, killing nearly 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day.

The point I hope you take away from today's post:

NUCLEAR WEAPONS SUCK.

And no one should have them.

Period.


wildcoyote

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