Friday, March 11, 2016

Last Call For The Chicago Way

Donald Trump holding a rally in Chicago went exactly as you would suspect Trump showing up at a university campus in a large Northern urban city would go.  It's what he was counting on.

A scheduled rally for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Chicago on Friday was postponed.

A spokesperson for the GOP presidential front-runner cited safety concerns for the “tens of thousands gathered in and around” the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavillion.

This story has been updated.

The event drew thousands not only to the arena, but protests outside and inside the venue. A live stream from the scene captured Trump supporters blaming reporters for the cancellation; one woman could be heard yelling, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”

The activist group Voto Latino released a statement calling on demonstrators to also participate at the polls.

“The frustration felt tonight in Chicago has been felt by communities across the country. And while we should all work together and take a stand against hateful rhetoric, we must do that by rising and organizing,” said the group’s president, Maria Teresa Kumar. “We urge those protesting to channel this discontent to engage their communities, to encourage everyone to participate, register our families and friends to vote and together take a stand against hate.”

According to the Associated Press,Chicago police released a statement saying that they did not advise Trump to cancel the event, and that the department did not tell him there was a security threat at the arena.

Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said the department felt it had enough officers at the scene to maintain order at the rally.

The progressive activist group MoveOn released a separate statement saying that Trump and Republican candidates supporting “hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events.”

“To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough,” said Ilya Sherman, the group’s director of political action. “To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”

Amazing stuff here, and Trump will play the victim here as much as he can.

We'll see if he gets away with it.

Trump Cards, Con't

The most awful moment of last night's GOP debate was how none of the four candidates condemned the beating of a black protester at a Trump rally in NC this week. When given the opportunity by CNN's Jake Tapper to condemn the attack, nobody had the courage to call what happened wrong, not even Trump's opponents.

"I think for every one of us, we need to show respect to the people. We need to remember who it is we're working for," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). "You know, we've seen for seven years a president who believes he's above the law, who behaves like an emperor, who it is all about him and he forgot that he's working for the American people. And let me — let me ask, turn the camera our here. How many of y'all feel disrespected by Washington?" 
When some audience members cheered, Cruz said confidently that "the frustration that is boiling over" came from people feeling disrespected.

Cruz blamed Obama but at no point said that the violence was wrong.

But John McGraw, the man arrested for assault in North Carolina, did not give reporters the impression of a man driven to temporarily over-reaction by big government. Interviewed by Inside Edition, he expressed no remorse. 
"Yes, he deserved it," McGraw said. "The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don't know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization." 
None of Trump's rivals opted to condemn that action — or condemn Trump for anything he'd done to incite it. 
"I worry about the violence at a rally period," said Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio). "I mean, it's — you know, elections are important but the unity of this country really matters. Jake, here's what I think is happening. There are people out there who are worried about their jobs."

Kasich blamed Obama and unemployment.  He's worried, but that's as far as he's willing to go.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ran even further away from the context, opting — like Trump — to immediately change the subject from vigilante violence at a rally to how law enforcement officers "deserve our respect" every day. 
"On the issue of anger: Yes, people are angry," said Rubio. "Of course they're angry. Every institution in America has been failing us for the better part of 20 years or 30 years." 
The "violence" round of the debate was in sync with the rest of the night, as candidates passed on chance after chance to criticize Trump. (Cruz was often the exception, but he said little that was not recycled from stump speeches.) The debate ended with none of Trump's rivals criticizing him for incitement, or for expressly criticizing the violence that had swallowed a day of news — and more directly, injured a peaceful protester.

Nobody on that stage gave a damn about a black man getting his face punched in for the crime of being a black man at a Trump rally.  Nobody who supports these monsters cares,  Nobody who enables these monsters cares. Nobody who created these monsters cares.

Here's Trump's response this morning to the assault:

Let me just tell you, we’ve had some violent people as protestors. You know, they are not just people saying, ‘Oh’ — these are people that punch. These are people that are violent people. I get the biggest crowds, by far, not even a contest and — you know, you people don’t like to report it, but actually the one thing good about protestors is you have to go and go into these stadiums, these massive stadiums with 25,000 and 30,000 people and you have to — [indecipherable] because the cameras never turn. I bet the cameras never, ever turn and show the stadium. I always say turn and show the — they don’t. But when is a protestors up in the corner it’s great, because the camera is all there [indecipherable]. Because, you know it’s a negative as opposed to a positive so they turn.

But we’ve had a couple that were really violent. And the particular one when I said, like to bang him. That was — a very vicious — you know, he is a guy who was swinging very loud and then started swinging at the audience. And you know what? The audience swung back. And I thought it was very, very appropriate. He was swinging, he was hitting people and the audience hit back. And that’s what we need a little bit more of. Now, I’m not talking about just a protesters. This was a guy who was — should not have been allowed to do what he did. And frankly, if you want to know the truth, the police were very, very restrained. The police have been amazing. But the police were very, very restrained.”

What rough beast, indeed.

Land Of The Rising Core Temperature: Five Years Later

As I mentioned this morning, today is the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which resulted in tens of thousands dead, tens of thousands more displaced, and a nuclear plant meltdown that will continue to cause detrimental environmental effects for generations.

Reactor number one at Fukushima Daiichi is still so hot that five years later, robots still can't enter.

The robots sent in to find highly radioactive fuel at Fukushima's nuclear reactors have “died”; a subterranean "ice wall" around the crippled plant meant to stop groundwater from becoming contaminated has yet to be finished. And authorities still don’t know how to dispose of highly radioactive water stored in an ever mounting number of tanks around the site. 
Five years ago, one of the worst earthquakes in history triggered a 10-meter high tsunami that crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station causing multiple meltdowns. Nearly 19,000 people were killed or left missing and 160,000 lost their homes and livelihoods in the quake and tsunami. 
Today, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it has proven impossible to get into its bowels to find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods, weighing hundreds of tonnes. Five robots sent into the reactors have failed to return. 
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco)  has made some progress, such as removing hundreds of spent fuel roads in one damaged building. But the technology needed to establish the location of the melted fuel rods in the other three reactors at the plant has not been developed. 
“It is extremely difficult to access the inside of the nuclear plant," Naohiro Masuda, Tepco's head of decommissioning said in an interview. "The biggest obstacle is the radiation.” 
The fuel rods melted through their containment vessels in the reactors, and no one knows exactly where they are now. This part of the plant is so dangerous to humans, Tepco has been developing robots, which can swim under water and negotiate obstacles in damaged tunnels and piping to search for the melted fuel rods. 
But as soon as they get close to the reactors, the radiation destroys their wiring and renders them useless, causing long delays, Masuda said. 
Each robot has to be custom-built for each building.“It takes two years to develop a single-function robot,” Masuda said.

And so the cleanup will continue, probably for the rest of the lives of the people there working to decontaminate the site now.  It's a massive environmental disaster that should have been the end, worldwide, of nuclear power technology.  It's not.  And there are hundreds more potential Fukushima meltdowns waiting to happen.  We do this to ourselves and see the results, and we still do it.

We only get one planet, and we've killed it multiple times over.


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