By John Johnson
As we go to press that jetliner is still missing in the Indian Ocean.
Amid confusion in the Middle East, world powers maneuver to seize the Ukraine. Russia appears to have annexed the Crimea, but at the moment the US and United Nations retain some control over the Ukraine. Various factions in Syria, Iran and Iraq and Al-Qaeda continue lobbing missiles at each other, and, as always, the killing continues.
In the US Republicans and Tea Party idiots launch massive campaigns to control local and state governments in the Midwest and South. Their bills pass effortlessly in right wing legislatures, gutting social benefits, lowering taxes on corporations and trying to erase Obamaís tepid health care provisions. (Despite the Presidentís staunch pro-corporate stand, those provisions – for whatever they’re worth – do enable millions who formerly fell between the cracks to get medical insurance.)
ALEC, the right wing corporate sponsored group, and the AMA have been getting laws passed which give states the right to restrict Obamaís very anemic health care package. The Fed has taking them to court but it still leaves many on not so solid ground. The doctors (and the hospitals, and the HMOs, and the insurance companies, and the big pharmaceuticals, and the AMA, and the lawmakers who are crammed into the pockets of all these Goliaths) want to keep getting that big money, and to hell with the patients.
The Three Hikers who were arrested and put in prison for over a year, Sarah Shourd (32), Shane Bauer (28) and Joshua Fattal (28), would not have been freed without a World Wide campaign. I donít think they made a safe call, hiking in a border region of Iran with many different tribes and ongoing warfare. Without the campaign they would still be in a Iranian prison.
Nuclear Information and Resource Services instituted a month-long public action in March commemorating the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster hoping to mobilize lawmakers to contain low level ionizing radiation. Despite Marchís having ended, you can still call the US Senate Switchboard, 1-866-220-0044, state your senator’s name and leave message. The following talking points remain timely:
1) Demand that no Japanese reactors be restarted. 2. Refocus Japanese Government efforts on containing Fukushima radiation and protecting groundwater. 3) Replace TEPCO oversight with an international group of contractors and scientists not employed in the nuclear industry. 4). Open up the health, environmental and radiation studies to unbiased and transparent international independent investigators. For this item, phone the Japanese Embassy, 1-202-238-6700. 5) Improve the radiation standards for returning evacuees, and, 6) Stop burning radioactive waste across Japan, and 7) Adopt the radiation protection standards of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, in both Japan and the US. These three measures would help to prevent avoidable cancers. Additionally, 8) For US Senators, demand that a workable evacuation plan be put in place before any nuclear reactors are licensed or relicensed. Better yet, shut them all down now! 9) Also US Senators: reduce the amount of allowable radiation in our foods, and prevent the EPA from loosening already lax standards. Right now Japan can legally sell us a lot of contaminated food they can’t sell in Japan.