JOURNAL OF THE 24TH YEAR
Japan's Fukushima Disaster
The Shura Case
Death Row Inmates Exonerated
NUGGETS FROM THE NUT HOUSE
From Netanyahu to Mladic
Edward S. Herman
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
Veterans Support Manning
Double Dip Recession
Iara Lee's Culture of Resistance
Len Weinglass (1933-2011)
Michael Steven Smith
Checkmate In The Great Game
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Colonial Predator Legacy
Against Corporatocracy Rule
Bruce E. Levine
The Mideast & South Central Asia
Bin Laden and the Arab "Awakening"
From Poppies to Fentanyl Lollipops
The Lacandon Jungle and the Carbon Market
Displacing People for Profit
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Japan's Fukushima Disaster, Echoes of Chernobyl and War
It’s an old saw in anti-nuclear campaigns that the worst thing that can happen is to be proven right. There is nothing but desperation in knowing that
On April 4, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) began dumping 11,500 tons of contaminated reactor cooling water—out of a total of at least 60,000 tons in need of “disposal”—directly into the sea. The deliberate contamination of the Pacific, whose currents move directly toward the Alaskan fishery, came after three weeks of uncontrolled gushing of radioactive water from an unknown number of broken pipes and cracked tanks, as well as from three potentially ruptured reactor vessels and waste fuel pools.
At least three large explosions of tritium gas, the radioactive form of what was universally referred to in the media only as “hydrogen,” were followed by major releases of radioactive steam and water from reactor structures. Forbes reported on April 11 that cesium from Fukushima had been found in milk in Vermont and that iodine-131—near the EPA’s recommended maximum level —was in drinking water in dozens of U.S. cities. The EPA found cesium and tellurium in
Even prior to the massive dumping of contaminated waste water, seawater samples taken April 2 found cesium-137 at a level 1.1 million times the legal limit. Iodine-131 concentrations were 5 million times the limit. On April 5, the iodine contamination rose to 7.5 million times the permitted level. Cesium is especially dangerous because it persists in the environment for 300 years, moves quickly up the food chain, and concentrates in muscle tissue and the liver.
On April 11, the disaster was declared a Level 7 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s scale of radiation releases—the worst possible. However, the designation is badly outdated because it was established after
The Institute for Energy & Environmental Research estimated that in the first several days about 2.4 million curies of iodine-131 and half-a-million curies of cesium isotopes had been released by the wreckage. On April 12, Japanese officials said 10 million curies had been released, but on June 7 it doubled this estimate to 20 million curies in the first week after March 11.
Beginning in April, some news groups stopped referring to “harmless,” “insignificant,” or “safe” levels of radiation and began saying that the cesium posed no “immediate” danger. Nicholas Fisher, a marine scientist at the State University of New York, was asked about eating cesium-contaminated fish: “You’re not going to die from eating it right away, but we’re getting to levels where I would think twice about eating it.” This is a reference to the incubation or “latency” period for cancer, which can appear 20 to 40 years after contamination.
Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility explains, “The press is reporting that 100 millisieverts (mSv) is the lowest dose that increases cancer risks. But, according to NAS, if you are exposed to a dose of 100 mSv, you have a one in 100 chance of getting cancer, but a dose of 10 mSv still gives you a one in 1,000 chance of getting cancer, and a dose of 1 mSv gives you a one in 10,000 risk. Those odds sound fairly low for one individual, but if you expose 10,000 people to a one in 10,000 risk, one of them will get cancer. If you expose 10 million people to that dose, 1,000 will get cancer.” Cesium-137 continues “to emit particles for centuries” the Times acknowledged March 22, three centuries to be exact. As it cycles through the food chain cesium concentrates in muscle and the liver.
A Forbes report misstated the EPA’s position on radiation risk. Noting that a
On April 14, the Japanese health ministry disclosed that cesium 25 times the legal limit, as well as radioactive iodine, had been found in young sand lance—a popular edible fish. “One sample of the tiny fish, whose sale has been halted, had a cesium level of 12,500 becquerels per kilogram, far exceeding the 500 becquerel/kilo limit,” the Kyodo News reported.
Fueling new allegations of government information control, the NRC announced May 16 that its 24-hour operations center had stopped monitoring the reactors at
But the Obama administration, the EPA, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, and the FDA will be dismantling their emergency radiation monitoring. Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste specialist at the group Beyond Nuclear, warns: “Now once every three months the government will look at the milk supply to report on contamination and once a month it will look at rainwater. The government doesn’t want to know what’s in the air, water, and food supply, and doesn’t want us to know.”
John LaForge is on the staff of Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog group in
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.