Saturday, April 30, 2011

Epicenter 日本 in the info wars

TEPCO executives bow to apologize for continuing to lie to Fukushima area refugees. (Al Jazeera English, which cable t.v. in the US refuses to carry. Get it online, while you still can.)
Japan is kind of off the radar now that weeks have passed; beautiful people are having lavish weddings, the Arab spring shows no sign of peaking, we're bogged down in Afghanistan, and the clowns representing the false dichotomy are up to their usual antics.

But I'm still paying attention.

I'm not very knowledgable about science, but I know people who are. They tell me about what radiation dangers really exist and continue to loom over all of us as the result of the earthquake-tsunami-Fukushima disaster.

Information is my thing. So here is some for you all.

The Japanese Prime Minister's expert on radiation quit in protest over the government ignoring his advice by raising acceptable levels for children to unacceptable levels for scientists.

You may remember Yoichi Shimatsu's article a few weeks back suggesting that some of the contradictions and omissions in TEPCO's public statements could be explained if there were a secret nuclear weapons facility concealed within Fukushima's plant. He untangles some of the specific statements and contradictions he's talking about in a subsequent article on the website Global Researcher.

Japanese are crowd sourcing radiation data because they can't get good information from either TEPCO or the government. There is a website where you can join in contributing financially to support the effort.

Meanwhile I am just about through co-teaching the book Hiroshima to 9th graders. It was purely coincidental that their regular English teacher had planned this spring to guide them through John Hersey's historic account of the first mass radiation sickness event. She knew I'd lived in Japan and invited me to infuse some history and some literacy support into a unit she's taught before.
Barefoot Gen, a manga about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Image from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The students' excellent big question as they near the end of the book: Why was an atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima?

They already know about WWII and Pearl Harbor, but that doesn't seem to them sufficient to explain the level of suffering inflicted on civilians.

What's the best answer -- so the U.S. could colonize and permanently militarize a nifty archipelago just off China's eastern coast?

The students most likely don't know about the suspicions around what's really going on at the Fukushima plant, because they really have no news sources. And, even if they did, the ones they would be almost certain to encounter would NEVER cover a critically interesting investigative story like that.

A parent told me the other night that she was amazed that she, herself, had never heard of Rachel Corrie being killed by an Israeli bulldozer until her daughter came home talking about it. The mom is sure that if she had ever seen this news on t.v. or in the newspaper, she would have remembered.

Why isn't information allowed to be free? Because information is power. (Radiation data site here.)

And the Forces of Greed want to make sure the youth of the U.S., and the people of Japan, and the world, don't get their hands on it.

postscript: !Bravo! to Peru for passing legislation that Internet access is a fundamental human right.

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