No Illusions 23 – “Atomic” Rod Adams on Fukushima

As I mentioned on episode #22, Rod Adams (@atomicrod) is a self-professed nuclear energy “obsessive” since 1981. He writes at the Atomic Insights blog and has produced the Atomic Show podcast on TPN since 2005. He chatted with me tonight about Fukushima – why the risk to human health is extremely small, how it’s different from Chernobyl, what to do with nuclear waste (see ‘Traveling wave reactor’ below) and his theories on why we’re seeing so much hysteria about it in the mainstream media.


The nuclear accident underway in Japan does not raise doubts about the safety of nuclear power, and calls to abandon it altogether are just another example of the strange irrationality that surrounds the issue. – Cosmos Magazine

Traveling wave reactor – Wikipedia

IAEA warned Japan over nuclear quake risk: WikiLeaks

Chernobyl health effects

Whatever Happens Next, Lets Think Clearly About Nuclear Risks

Japan worst-case scenario unlikely to cause catastrophic radiation release

BTW, have you seen Stitcher yet? It’s a great iPhone app that STREAMS podcasts – no need to sync with iTunes! Listen to No Illusions on Stitcher here.

The Lies About Hiroshima

John Pilger has written a terrific article to commemorate the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (6 August, 1945).

I was talking about Hiroshima with American friends while in France. They gave me the usual answer “it was horrible but it stopped the war and saved lives”. These friends are Democrats – anti-war, anti-American Imperialism. And yet they still believe that old line about it saving lives. I asked them why America couldn’t have just shown the Japanese video footage of the bombs being dropped in the desert and used it as a threat. They replied that the Japanese were too arrogant and wouldn’t have stopped their war for anything. This is what even the good Americans want to believe. They have bought the propaganda.

To this, Pilger writes:

The most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and save lives. “Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Instead, the US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US air force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. He later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb”. His foreign policy colleagues were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.” The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

Gore Videl on Hiroshima

In this video from The Real News, Gore Vidal makes the suggestion I’ve heard a number of times that the USA knew Japan was defeated and had surrendered BEFORE they dropped the atom bombs on them. But they went ahead and did it anyway.

I’ve been reading lately about “NSC 68” or “National Security Council paper 68” which was drafted in 1950. That’s pretty much where many of the world’s current problems started and signaled the the beginning of America as a global bully and the corresponding decline of their moral authority. Read about it here and here.

From Wikipeda:

“NSC-68 would make the case for a US military buildup to confront what it called an enemy “unlike previous aspirants to hegemony. .. animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own.” The Soviet Union and the United States existed in a bi-polar world, in which the Soviets wished to “impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” This would be a war of ideas in which “the idea of freedom under a government of laws, and the idea of slavery under the grim oligarchy of the “Kremlin” were pitted against each other. Therefore, the US as “the center of power in the free world,” should build an international community in which American society would “survive and flourish” and pursue a policy of containment.”

Cam’s World 16 July, 2007

Sean Bonner is posting great photos from Japan including this one of a canned coffee vending machine. Mmmmm. And I thought Nescafe sucked!


On The Cranky Middle Manager Episode 101, Wayne interviewed guest Anita Bruzzese, a workplace columnist who’s “On the Job” is syndicated in dozens of Gannet-run US newspapers and sometimes

Anita reciprocated by writing an article on Wayne’s podcast that came out in a bunch of papers this week, this one is from the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Thanks Anita from all of us at TPN!

G’Day World #263 – American Concentration Camps!

Today my guests are Andrew and Kevin – an American and a Brit living in Japan – to talk about some current conspiracy theories, including hundreds of “concentration camps” being built in the USA to house ‘unlawful enemy combatants’ and Rex 84, “a plan by the United States federal government to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of massive civil unrest or national emergency”.

Be A Good American!

Here’s some links to scare the pants off of you:

  • Halliburton’s prison camps in America
  • Military Commissions Act of 2006
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Admits Military Commissions Act Vote Was Mistake
  • NYT: No Habeas Corpus
  • Kellogg Brown and Root
  • Civilian prison camps run by the Army
  • FEMA Camp Footage
  • The Georgia Guidestones
  • FEMA’s 911 Concentration Camps
  • Rex 84
  • Rumsfeld Sept 10, 2001: The Pentagon cannot account for $2.3 TRILLION
  • Operation ENDGAME
  • The Bush Family Crime Chart
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    Cam’s World for 21 April, 2007

    I’m scanning the headlines this morning and see this one on “Priest claims praying ‘pointless’“. You just know that’s going to get my attention, right? I thought to myself “I can’t wait to show this to Father Bob!”

    You should have heard me laugh when I opened it and read:

    “SOUTH Melbourne priest Bob Maguire says church leaders across Australia can pray for rain “until they go black in the face” but it won’t solve the water crisis.”

    I love it when Bob says what he really thinks and bucks the establishment.

    This week’s episode of The Father Bob Show on TPN should be fun. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about our “duty of care” to the indigenous population of Australia and I want to talk to Bob about it.


    I have decided that I am a racist. And it bothers me deeply.

    Let me explain. A racist isn’t just someone who thinks other races are inferior to one’s own. I’m not that kind of racist. A racist is also someone who values another race less than one’s own. And based on my growing understanding of the situation that the indigenous population of this country is in, combined with how little I have personally done about it, I have decided that I must have valued their lives less than I should. And I think that makes me a racist. And I’m going to change.

    200 years ago, European Christians, mostly from Great Britain, came to Australia. They invaded the country. Committed an act of mass genocide. Stole the entire continent from its traditional owners. They took children from their families, as recently as 40 years ago, thrusting them into Christian educational institutions.

    What reparations has the United Kingdom made? What reparations has Christianity made? What reparations have *I* made?

    Me? What did *I* do to them?

    Nothing directly. But I am profiting off of what was done to them.

    What duty of care do the people of European descent in this country have to the descendants of the aboriginals who were treated so abhorrently?

    It doesn’t matter if our direct ancestors weren’t involved. WE are still profiting from that theft. The asset that was stolen from the indigenous population, this land, is our greatest source of wealth and prosperity.

    If scientists found a living dodo specimen, wouldn’t we all feel a duty of care for it, even though our direct ancestors may not have been the ones who wiped out the rest of the dodo population?

    Why then don’t we feel the same duty of care for an entire race?

    Saying ‘it was 200 years ago’ isn’t a justification. Only 60 years ago, the international community gave the Jewish people an entire country which hadn’t been theirs for thousands of years. That’s a precedent for reparations.

    Let’s say that when Napoleon annexed Italy in 1796 it had stayed under French control until now. Do you think the international community would be telling France to give Italy back to the Italians? 200 years isn’t a long time.

    What if Japan had successfully invaded Australia during WWII. What if they have murdered the majority of Australians, taken their land, their homes, their crops. What reparations do you think we would be demanding today? Would we be satisfied with an annual stipend and access to education? Would we be saying “well that was your parents, not the current generation, so nothing can be done to turn back the clock?”

    West Germany paid reparations to Israel for the Holocaust. What is the statute of limitations on genocide?

    The Australian Aboriginal people lived here for 40,000 – 75,000 years before the Christian invasion and genocide. It is estimated that there could have been 750,000 – 1,000,000 of them at that time. By the early 20th century the indigenous population had declined to between 50,000 and 90,000. Today there are less that 500,000 descendants.

    A friend of mine, Andrew Mullins, put it to me this way a couple of years ago:

    “What if scientists discovered a population of humans living deep in the jungles of the Amazon who had been around for 40,000 years? How do you think they would treat them? They would wrap them up in cotton wool and treat them with the utmost respect.”

    He opened my eyes to something, I am embarrassed to admit, that I hadn’t given much thought to. It is my belief that the media, the government, and the education system in this country, in fact ALL of us in this country, have willfully and knowingly obfuscated and belittled the issue of our responsibility to the indigenous peoples of this country.

    Now – giving back the land, moving 22 million people out of Australia, is obviously impossible. But what, then, do we do? I am increasingly uncomfortable with the general opinion I hear from other white people in this country that “we give them money and they get unequaled access to opportunities – what more do they want?”.

    We cannot wash our hands of this.

    Russell Buckley asked me recently:

    “What are we doing today that our descendants will look back on in disbelief and ask themselves how on earth we could have done that, thinking it was normal, or certainly harmless?”

    I think perhaps our minimal concern over our duty of care to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia is one of those things.

    Building An Aussie Online Startup Keiretsu

    For a while I’ve been thinking about putting together a ‘keiretsu‘ of Aussie online startups.

    Technically, a real keiretsu in Japan is “a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings”.

    More loosely speaking, a keiretsu is a group of non-competing businesses with a strategic relationship. It strikes me that in Australia we have a bunch of non-competing online startups each individually fighting to build their audience and trying to nimbly outmaneuver larger, richer, powerful businesses. When I had dLook CEO Theo Tsiamis on the show last month, and he talked about their hundreds of thousands of visitors, I thought “hmmm, they have hundreds of thousands of visitors, TPN has hundreds of thousands of visitors, we should do something together”.

    Theo and Meg were all for it and so today I’m happy to announce a strategic alliance between TPN and dLook.

    You may have noticed recently that the newly re-designed TPN homepage carries a very prominent advertisement for dLook. In my opinion, dLook is the best place to search for Australian businesses. If I have a choice between supporting a small, Aussie startup run by entrepreneurs or a billion dollar company run by managers living off of someone else’s risk, I’m going with the little guys, especially if their service is as good or better than the big guys. As consumers, you should support the innovative startups because without them the billion dollar companies play the “maximize profits, stifle services” game.

    And, from today, when you are searching dLook for businesses, you will see some TPN advertisments. For example, check out their restaurant listings and keep an eye in the banner on the right hand side. Hopefully, some of dLook’s users will want to grab themselves some excellent podcasts.

    I’d like to invite other Aussie online startups to join the keiretsu. We can support each other to build big audiences for our respective services. The more successful we all are, the stronger Australia’s startup community becomes which, in turn, will improve funding opportunities, accelerate revenue models, and generally strengthen the Aussie online market. As they say “a rising tide carries all ships”. Let’s work together more closely than sharing VC tips over beer. Let’s build genuine value.

    I say that if we throw our weight together, we can make an impact in the local marketplace faster and stronger than we will alone.

    G’DAY WORLD 198 – The Harvard Business Review’s Ideas for 2007

    Every year, the editors of Harvard Business Review find twenty essays on provocative and important new ideas.

    Here is my review of the 2007 list.

    They are:

    1. The Accidental Influentials

    2. Entrepreneurial Japan

    3. Brand Magic: Harry Potter Marketing

    4. Algorithms in the Attic

    5. The Leader from Hope

    6. An Emerging Hotbed of User-Centered Innovation

    7. Living with Continuous Partial Attention

    8. Borrowing from the PE Playbook

    9. When to Sleep on It

    10. Here Comes XBRL

    11. Innovation and Growth: Size Matters

    12. Conflicted Consumers

    13. What Sells When Father Knows Best

    14. Business in the Nanocosm

    15. Act Globally, Think Locally

    16. Seeing Is Treating

    17. The Best Networks Are Really Worknets

    18. Why U.S. Health Care Costs Aren’t Too High

    19. In Defense of “Ready, Fire, Aim”

    20. The Folly of Accountabalism

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    The G’Day World Theme Song is “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts.

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