Monday, November 18, 2013

Nuclear Nightmares

When you can't fix the problem, can the guy who brought it to your attention. That's the message Bechtel sends from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation boondoggle Bechtel has been in on for some two decades now. After all, getting rid of whistle-blowers is easier than getting rid of the most toxic mess on Earth.

At least that's what San Francisco-based Bechtel Corporation thought when having its subcontractor URS can Walter Tamosaitis, the research and technical manager for the nation's largest Superfund cleanup. Tamosaitis' concerns about the nuclear waste processing plant design and safety -- communicated internally -- are now the subject of a lawsuit filed by Tamosaitis against Bechtel subcontractor URS, as well as in discussions at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Given Tamosaitis' concerns are about preventing the release of deadly radiation, one would hope boondoggle dreams don't completely overshadow nuclear nightmares.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Share the Apples

When the community of Oakland joined #Occupy Oakland in a march for justice, a four-year-old led the march carrying a sign that said "Share the Apples." Her mother told her that all their friends and family had planted and nourished an apple tree, and that people on Wall Street were taking all the apples from the tree.

Her mother and others decided to find a way for people like themselves to spread the word while teaching their children. Colorful Mamas of the 99% Creative Family Action Toolkit rocks.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Hijacking Mythology

We saw War & Peace at the 2002 San Francisco International Film Festival, and were blown away. Spectacle, myth, theater, and propaganda--it's all there in this exquisite documentary by Bombay filmmaker Anand Patwardhan.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Peter Norman

A little known figure from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City is Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who placed second in the 200 meter, just behind Tommie Smith and just ahead of John Carlos. Norman, a devout Christian white man, chose to support the two black American sprinters from San Jose State University on the Olympic medals podium, by wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge--an act of solidarity for which he was ostracized by his home country.