Thursday, March 21, 2013

Odds and Sods - Watch out for those rats edition

Although I realize the rest of the country is covered up in wetness of one kind or another, the weather here has been great, and I've been spending virtually all of my free time outside. Apologies for ongoing blogular negligence.

Below--graffiti on my beloved Swamp Rabbit Trail. (as always, you can click to enlarge all photos)

I also realize its been awhile since I did an Odds and Sods post, so here we go.

[] Starting off with an in-depth "first principles" (Right vs Left) political discussion I am having on another blog, which you all may find interesting. We're SO polite!

[] More apologies: I keep forgetting to post a follow-up to The History Project. I promise to rectify this sorry state of affairs before the end of the month! In the meantime, check out my first History Project post. (What kinds of 'progressive history' would people like to see, in particular?)

[] Tuesday evening, I attended an information session up at Furman University, featuring David Lochbaum, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Nuclear Safety Project. Mr Lochbaum discussed the uncomfortable, but inescapable, facts that the Oconee nuke is more at risk from earthquake and fire damage than the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan was.

Lochbaum believes that nukes would be generally safe if, you know, greedy corporations did not try to cut corners (and employees) and the regulating agencies actually did some regulating. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is funded by the nuclear industry, which means they are financially beholden to the industry they are supposed to be regulating. Good work if you can get it!

And today, we learn from the New York Times that a RAT was partially responsible for the nuclear accident at Fukushima, following the earthquake.

I guess nukes are safe if you can make sure no stray rats get in!

[] ANNOUNCEMENT of PUBLIC HEARING: April 4, 2013 (Speak up for the Broad River!)

The proposed WS LEE Nuclear Power Plant in Gaffney, SC needs an NPDES wastewater discharge permit to dump chemicals and heated water into the Broad River at 99 Island Reservoir. Folks concerned about the health and social impacts of this plant will attend the hearing to make public comments and request denial of this permit to protect downstream communities. JOIN US!

Restoration Church
1905 N. Limestone Street
Gaffney, SC 29340

6pm: A presentation by Dept of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) with questions & answers
7pm: public speaking begins
View the draft permit (PDF)
General information on Clean Water Act permits
from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

**Stay tuned for information on ride sharing from North Carolina communities.**

[] I fussed about Tumblr on New Years' Eve, and got my ass fried in short order by some youngsters who hate grandma (and what did I expect?)... so I haven't said much else or picked a fight with the Tumblrites. But I have since done some snooping, and I ain't the only one who thinks the place is a swamp.

I discovered the highly-amusing Tumblr blog "The Best of Social Justice"--and its a stone gas, as the late Don Cornelius would have said. (Note: Don't forget to read the FAQs, which contains a handy-dandy, useful glossary of social justice blogging-lingo. I've been waiting SO LONG for this! Thank you, whoever you are!)

I guess I should be embarrassed that these Tumblrites are (supposedly) social justice folks, but instead, I am simply relieved someone is subjecting their dopey excesses to ridicule. At this point, they are doing much more harm than good; thus I am far more embarrassed by the spectacle of their wallowing-in-oppression ('oppression') and their constant meddling/policing the language of the Left (which inhibits involvement by newbies and/or uneducated people who don't know the intricate insider-lingo), than I am embarrassed by exposing them in the first place. If anything, I think more such blogs are in order. They are laughable, so let's laugh at them.

Also, let me make it clear, I think lots of them are total fakes. Others are gifted exaggerators, obviously addicted to melodrama.

Which brings me to---

[] Back in July (yes, I only came across it relatively recently, she admitted), Shae McDonovan finally wrote what we have all been thinking: Pretending You’re Oppressed: The New Internet Fad. This is a must-read for progressives who hang out on social justice blogs, tumblrs, LJs, forums and other opinion-oriented websites:

Personally, I think they all suffer from plain old “being boring” oppression. You know, the kind where you’re dull and you watch too much TV and you feel a desperate need to be cool, different, part of a group. One could almost say that “interesting” people are oppressive, flaunting their interestingness in your face, telling stories of suffering and pain, while you know you live in a comfortable 2-bedroom apartment your mom and dad paid for, drive in a car that you’ve never had to personally get fixed, and the most harassment you ever received in your life was being told you were weird that one time you wore neon orange lipstick and spandex to your junior prom in high school.

But besides being all very ridiculous, it does have a clear-cut, damaging effect to legitimate oppression, those where people are actually dying, becoming homeless, being forced into prostitution, and living in dire poverty, unable to get a hand up. When you take the words of those who truly suffer, not because they feel emotions while sitting in their middle-class home behind their thousand dollar computer, but because they spent 15 years in jail on a trumped up charge they didn’t even commit, and are now unable to get a job due to stigmatization that doesn’t apply across the board, those people now receive less of the sympathy and help they need to survive. For every person that complains that a disagreement on the internet about their catbunnyanimusparklegirl status triggers them (despite them continuing the argument until the wee hours of the morning), someone who is so triggered they can barely breathe, curled up, reliving trauma, is invalidated, ignored, and not provided what they need.
[] I talked about our new Pope Francis on the radio, and therefore did not blog about him. The whole show is HERE, in which I also talk about the history of the Jesuits at some length.

Another good show, concerns Governor Nikki Haley refusing federal Medicaid money, thereby forfeiting $4.1 billion (in our taxes!) to other states. I DID blog about that one, and yeah, I am still pissed off about it.


Tomorrow our show will feature 2012 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, so we hope you will tune in. Local phone is 864-751-1033, so feel free to call and comment.