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Was April 7, 2020 the Day That Sealed the Fate of America?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/29/was-april-7-2020-day-sealed-fate-america


No, it was April 8, 2020, the day that Bernie suspended his campaign, that sealed our fate, although an argument could be made that it was the day in 2015 or 2016 when the DNC decided to rig the nomination for Hillary that was the true beginning of the end.


Actually it was two decades ago when the Democratic Party decided not to demand a 2000 POTUS election recount in Florida that would have put Gore ahead of Cheney and his puppet Dubya and landing Gore in the White House.

Knowing they could make Nader the fall guy for that decision, the Democrats proceeded to be complicit in Dubya’s Iraq invasion and other Dubya regime crimes that have never been brought to justice.


Did I hear rightly? Bernie Sanders voted YES on the 1994 crime bill?
Correct me if I’m wrong. Something happened April 7th, but should it be called “sealing the fate” of the USA? Was spreading Covid-19 more like a “sacrifice zone” and weren’t Blue States likewise denied federal emergency status? What fate have we sealed with such despicable partisan denial of human rights? Has White Supremacy fully infected the Republican Party to its core? Is there another so-called Conservative party to replace what has become a Death Cult?

Thanks Thom for bringing to light how far the darkness has encroached upon this once again terribly suffering nation. Trump IMO is a murderous Mussolini racist intentionally misdirecting our nation to World War III. He shows that intent in demanding a 3rd and 4th term as did President FDR. The difference between the two Commanders in Chief is that DJT#45 would show no regret for the deaths of millions. “The Stock Market is doing great!” he’ll proudly boast as WMD stocks skyrocket.


He discussed this in detail several times during the campaign, but you missed it. He said he felt he had to vote yes based on features he felt would add protection for women from domestic violence and rape. He was on the floor of Congress arguing against the mass incarceration aspect to the bill. I read this article a while back - there may be better ones: ~https://www.vox.com/2016/2/26/11116412/bernie-sanders-mass-incarceration


Republicans struck from the bill the measures that could’ve been helpful. But, the reason I bring it up, is recently some poster plainly stated absolute opposition to Biden because of his vote on that issue, yet decried Sander’s unfairly treated campaign. I’m trying to win votes for Biden from those who jump to the worst conclusions; the result of wholly false or misleading propaganda principally from the Right wing though Left wing politicians are not immune from corrupt influences.


I see. So in that case, I would say there is still a difference between voting for something, cheerleading for something, and authoring something. For the crime bill, Biden was an actual author (“Senator Joe Biden drafted the Senate version of the legislation in cooperation with National Association of Police Officers president Tom Scotto.” from Wikipedia). For the Iraq War, Biden was a cheerleader. If Biden had simply voted for the crime bill, he and Sanders would be equivalent. If he had merely voted for the Iraq War, he and Hillary Clinton would be equivalent (assuming she wasn’t a big cheerleader too - I forget). But in both cases he was worse. Trump of course is a disaster on both these issues (he’s an outright liar on his views about the Iraq War and he is famously irrational on criminal justice sometimes very bad such as saying the central park 5 should be executed and he does some OK things other times (I took a look at ~https://www.politico.com/interactives/2020/justice-reform-biden-trump-candidate-policy-positions/ which appears to be a decent summary of the high level points on the criminal justice issue - with Biden coming out looking better).


I was just about to reply with that!

Granted, dara has a better handle on this issue than me. My perspective though is almost always an unusual angle I believe a worthy pursuing. In a courtroom one swears an oath to tell the Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but the truth. The Whole Truth is hardest to admit in court after a lifetime of telling only Half Truths that amount to lies - deceptions wherein people are misled to believe lies, without technically lying. Politicians are recognizable as professional deceivers always above the law, unaccountable for harms caused, and transparent like a common conman. Biden proposes ‘modular’ nuclear power systems that opposition rejects as another “centralized” power system when “decentralized” rooftop solar (rather than solar farm) rooftop matched to household EVs is more resilient. Silicon Valley is the smart ass know-it-all capital of the nation.
Oh sure, “driverless” cars eh? Uh huh, suuure.

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I didn’t know that. I doubt he understands this field of science any better than other fields he comments on incorrectly, but it is interesting. I see ~https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2020/08/17/what-will-a-biden-harris-administration-do-for-nuclear-energy which linked to the company NuScale which I read a bit about on Wikipedia (~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power). I’m not excited about water cooling for the main reactor even though the claim is made that it can be done passively (“In the event that AC power is lost for normal cooling systems, the pool water in the pool begins to absorb heat and boil.” I like the sound of MSR designs better which sound safer and have a huge advantage in supporting a fast reactor design option which could burn down existing spent fuel and nuclear weapons if we ever come to our senses and start disposing of those things.

I suppose NuScale will have demonstration reactors by 2029 (Biden will be gone, probably long gone) and we can see then if there was anything promising to this design.

@Trog, do you have any comments on this style of reactor?

By the way, for anyone who wants an entertaining YouTube channel discussing technology, energy, and climate, I’m liking Just Have A Think quite a bit so far. I see he does one (maybe more) on nuclear power (~https://youtu.be/yofGtxEgpI8) which I’ll have to listen to. I enjoyed the one on the “liquid air” energy storage system.

I nominate November 22, 1963 as the day that sealed the fate of the USA. That’s when the true Deep State took over the government, and sent every future president the clear message: do NOT mess with our agenda of world domination and domestic inequality, or you will suffer the same fate as JFK.


Utter unhumanity

In black and white

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Dara entones "I didn’t know. I doubt he understands this field of science any better than others. I see linked to NuScale company on Wikipedia. I’m not excited about water cooling main reactors, though the claim is made can work passively; In the event AC power is lost for cooling, the water in the pool absorbs the heat and boils.”

Yeah well, you’re answer Nuke Power is what MiC wants;
(emphasis on industrial intended) Industrial what? Streaky Sky Blues?
Why oh why fly? Fly here, fly there, fly back, fly with no choice.
Hotels run by landlords running their municipal entities across this divided un-united nation?

DJT#45 wrought beyond his command as commander in chief. Chief Bullshit artist commander chiefy? Vulgar cowardly belligerent conman warmonger in the world among too many like him. Law and Order: The fascist pig files?

Do have anything coherent to say to improve the quality of discourse in this forum? It sure doesn’t sound like it.

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Sorry. My tangiential thinking, like I said is almost always unusual yet I felt worth pursuing.
Sometimes I think of myself as a 21st Century Nikolas Tesla debating Thomas Edison whether AC is necessary before then prominent DC. Decent enough counter-perspective respectable. I’m a damn engineer. Blame me. Fricking State Depts of Highway Robbery “Plan for more driving” every damn DOT employee chortles on the way to the bank. Driverless Tom Cruise Minority Report techno-futurama robolimo call ride is nonsense, another sort of vulgar pretense.

The name is fairly apt. The scale is new, and almost nothing else is. It’s old-tech nuclear in a different form factor. It uses basically the same kind of fuel, produces the same kind of spent fuel. I suspect they are right that meltdown risk is reduced, but it’s still there. It’s not going to make much of a dent in cost. It still operates at too low a temperature for good efficiency, or competitive turbine cost, or for thermal storage. It has more flexibility than big plants because the core is broken up into small pieces that can be run independently, but it’s still going to be mediocre at load following. It has water cooling needs that are proportional for its size to traditional plants, and it’s still going to require a lot of site-built construction. On balance, I think their approach has advantages over old-tech nuclear, but basically, they have become like Solyndra. Their business model now depends on more competitive options not arriving before they can get out of the gate, and I don’t think they have enough time left. And like Solyndra, thanks to their bipartisan political ties to Texas, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, I expect they will get a few hundred million dollars in public support before they flame out. Overall, I think they will be an impediment to the development of better forms of nuclear. (Same goes for that overpriced Versatile Test Reactor of the wrong kind that had the right kind of political connections.)

“By the way, for anyone who wants an entertaining YouTube channel discussing technology, energy, and climate, I’m liking Just Have A Think quite a bit so far. I see he does one (maybe more) on nuclear power”

I saw his video on Thorium molten salt reactors a while back. It had elementary errors and some more fundamental errors, repeated some myths, and it completely missed some of the biggest issues. The content was about the level of a C-grade high-school research paper, but with better video graphics. I’ll check out your link later to see if the feedback he got on his previous effort inspired him to up his game this time.


I am wary and unavoidably suspect up-front trolls on every comment board. But they succeed by turning otherwise conscientious advocates for social justice into unwitting spreaders of misinformation. I’ll respond to a screed with a grain of salt hoping the decent reader can be better informed. I practice a Yin/Yang balance to keep from jumping to the worst conclusions about others. Political leaders have no excuse for spreading wanton misinformation though it must be legal.

My weekend has one hopeful outlook. I won’t mind if our abominably corrupt mayor wins re-election. He will be called to court early next year and won’t be able to defend his record. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler will be removed from office. Other agency directors and department heads will lose their jobs at Oregon State DOT, municipal transit agency Tri-Met, regional government Metro as well as Portland and Tigard City Halls. I’m avoiding news shows until Tuesday. Those who believe in reincarnation think it not a coincidence that DJT was born shortly after Mussolini was executed. Hitler reincarnated as GWBush was how I told that joke during those years.

My forte is travel/transport and land-use planning. The only GND proposal I’ve seen worthy is from Wheeler’s challenger - Sarah Iannarone. It’s kind of an amazing document. Simpler first steps to determine direction of more difficult steps that follow. All other GND plans I’ve perused thus far are designed or directly influenced by Silicon Valley mavens and their well-dressed sycophant courtiers of all things high tech. Sarah is a natural speaker and conveys honesty in her grasp of understanding the issues at hand. She’s a managerial type, but not overbearing at all. She’d be fun as mayor.

So called centrists, who of course are nothing of the sort, only right wingers in all but name, who think that they’re somehow down with people of color and gay people, will keep licking that corporate, neoliberal boot. It fools only the gullible now. After the election, they will have nothing to hide behind and the game will be up entirely.

The world that you thought you and other right wing ‘centrists’ knew, where the Democratic Party are some sort of opposition to Trump and the GOP, not enablers, is gone and there is no normal to return to. The Democratic Party are the new Republican Party and the people have had enough. That’s largely why both of the state approved parties are now minority parties, who represent only their corporate donors. It’s time to wake up. The two state parties are increasingly irrelevant and will be bypassed entirely by genuine resistance movements. Centrists are as much the enemy of the people as are Republicans and will be treated as such going forward. Biden, if he wins, and his right wing apologists and enablers, are in for one hell of a surprise when the uprisings, strike waves and other actions, not only continue under him but expand exponentially.

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Ouch. I really didn’t know anything about liquid air storage so it seemed informative. I’ll watch a few more including the thorium one and see what I think. Do you recall any of the errors he made? I can be a sucker for good graphics and was thinking the show might be good for my 11 year old - I’ve shown him Cosmos and Nova and he hasn’t been interested.

He might be great in other areas. But it’s clear he’s a total newbie to nuclear.

“I’ll watch a few more including the thorium one and see what I think.”

This is the one I saw. ~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nUjvpxzFbk

“Do you recall any of the errors he made?”

I was just going to refer you to the comments section, because I remembered they caught some of the errors, but skimming through them now, I see the comments are full of errors and misinformation too.

However, it’s a short video, so on second viewing:
Says 1 kg of U-235 is capable of releasing 500,000 MJ of energy. (Should be more like 80,000,000 MJ/kg.) Says when U-238 absorbs a neutron, it transforms into nasty waste products like weapons-grade plutonium 239. (U-239 is only a waste product if you throw it away. The issue of whether it is weapons-grade depends on the proportion of other Pu isotopes present. Most power reactor designs do not or would not produce weapons-grade plutonium.) In describing fission, he says if you don’t bother to control the chain reaction, you get a nasty meltdown, and eventually a fairly-unpleasant explosion. (Meltdowns are overwhelmingly not from failure to control fission, but from loss of cooling, and the only power reactor case where runaway criticality produced a explosion–a steam explosion, not a nuclear explosion–was Chernobyl, and there, the explosion came first, and the meltdown after.) Says water in today’s plants is the moderator and the coolant to stop the chain reaction overheating. (As a moderator, it’s purpose is to increase reactivity, and the coolant keeps the fuel from overheating. Chain reaction overheating isn’t a thing.) Says once the uranium-235 reaction has been kicked off by the neutron bombardment (what?), it’s not going to stop for a very long time and there’s nothing much you can do about it except actively and relentlessly manage the water cooling process to keep things safe. (Reactivity can easily be controlled using the control rods. Water cooling has nothing to do with reactivity control.) Says in “all three” of the nuclear accidents, at TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, it was a problem somewhere in the water cooling systems that caused the catastrophic failures. (Chernobyl was entirely due to loss of reactivity control, which was in no way caused by any problem in the water cooling system, Fukushima was fundamentally a loss of power problem.) Refers to waste from uranium nuclear reactors containing weapons-grade plutonium. (No spent fuel anywhere has weapons-grade plutonium.) Says when uranium 233 splits, it releases more neutrons than U-235 (true) and then says that tends to make the chain reaction more “efficient”. (Meaningless. U-233, U-235 and Pu-239 would all make perfectly serviceable bomb fuel, which is way more reaction “efficiency” than a power reactor will ever need. The significance of the neutron return ratio relates to breeding.) Says unlike uranium reactors, if you want to stop the process (chain reaction) you just stop firing the neutrons and the whole process shuts down. (He appears to be confusing thorium reactors with sub-critical accelerator-driven reactors.) In reference to the dump tank, he says if you did get an overheat situation, the freeze plug melts, and the molten liquid drains out into a storage vat where the neutrons can’t “reach”. (The neutrons originate in the fuel salt itself. Reactivity shuts down because the neutrons are not moderated in the dump tank.) Refers to no risk of a hydrogen explosion from a pressurized steam release. (Makes it sound like a pressurized steam release can produce a hydrogen explosion.) Says uranium ore contains only 3 to 5% of the “useful material”–i.e. U-235. (Actual proportion is 0.7%) Says a thorium-uranium cycle doesn’t produce any of that rather inconvenient weapons grade plutonium as a waste product. (Misleading. In reality, the U-Pu proliferation risk is almost nil, while the Th-U proliferation risk would be high, because it could easily produce weapons-grade U-233.) In addressing why we didn’t go the thorium route back in the 50’s and 60’s, he helps propagate the myth that it was because all about the weapons-grade plutonium. He does venture that might not be true, but if he wasn’t going to go into the real reasons, he shouldn’t have brought up the issue in the first place. He shows a map of locations supposedly pursuing molten salt thorium reactors, and the pointer locations aren’t actual. And for the Con side of the argument, he gives some of the usual FUD about unproven technology (the standard argument against doing anything new). Cites the high cost of old-tech nuclear as an argument against completely different kinds of nuclear. Mentions why people won’t invest, but then mentions Bill Gates as an investor. (Not in any kind of thorium reactor.) And then cites 11 year deadline to reduce emissions and proposes false dichotomy between developing new kinds of nuclear or going ahead with renewables. So his “con” arguments were weak and mostly bogus, but he didn’t even mention the serious protactinium problem and proliferation hazard.

I’ve also checked out his video about SMR’s now, and it’s not as bad. He still has goofs, like referring to the Fukushima accident of 2012, and talking about power plant “waste” that has been sitting in “interim storage” since the 1940’s. But most of the problems this time weren’t so much errors of fact and theory as muddle errors caused by talking about particular properties of some SMR’s as if they apply to all SMR’s. Mostly, it’s just skimpy and vague–which is pretty much what can be expected when trying to address too big a subject in too little time.

“I was thinking the show might be good for my 11 year old”

Maybe his other stuff. I wouldn’t recommend his nuclear stuff to anyone.

“- I’ve shown him Cosmos and Nova and he hasn’t been interested.”

I would tend to agree.

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