Uniffors


Sen. Sotto and me

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 30th, 2012

The lachrymose Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III turned bellicose after a week of relentless beatings by the plagiarism police. He had enough of it and he was not going to take it sitting down anymore. So he stood up and delivered a privilege speech.

He absolved himself of plagiarism and questioned the motives of all those who disagreed with his views on artificial contraception, defended Eat Bulaga and recited a poem by Joey de Leon the poet laureate of the Philippine Star and the Joey in the Tito, Vic, and Joey comedy team, and he moved that one out of several paragraphs that he mindlessly copied word for word from five blogs and one briefing paper be stricken off the Senate journal.

After his speech, Sen. Sotto joined Senate President Enrile in proposing a law that will target blogs and social media. Sotto felt he was a victim of cyber-bullying.

    “Ako yata ang kauna-unahang senador ng Pilipinas na naging biktima ng cyber-bullying.” (I may be the very first Philippine senator who became a victim of cyber-bullying).

Well, Sotto is different. Or maybe I’m the one who’s different. He has a lot of fans, I don’t. He disappointed a lot of admirers when he ran on Gloria Arroyo’s senatorial slate in 2007 but they got over it and sent him back to the Senate in 2010. I don’t have any admirers to disappoint. People laugh at his jokes. I’m laughed at. He’s a multi-millionaire. I’m a thousandaire. He can grow facial hair, I can’t. He plagiarizes, I don’t. And if ever I inadvertently plagiarize, I will apologize and make amends. He won’t.

This is as far as he will go:

    “Mr. President, with the permission of this body, I move that the paragraph containing reference with the study of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride which can be found in Journal No. 8 page 162 dated August 13, 2012 be stricken off the record in order to lay this matter to rest.”

An apology would have laid the matter to rest; striking it off the Journal of the Senate as if it never happened will not. Sotto could have explained that he could not access the book of Natasha Campbell-McBride so he looked for references to McBride’s work and found it in a blog called “Sarah the healthy economist.” Consequently, he copied and pasted the words of Sarah believing that they were direct quotes from McBride. Honest mistake. Sotto would have been forgiven for it. Hugs and kisses all around.

And Sotto would only have to make up excuses for the remaining four bloggers and one briefing paper that he also plagiarized. Hey, five counts of plagiarism are better than six, right?

But excuse me, Senator, I shouldn’t be calling them counts because counts refer to criminal offenses, as in six counts of theft. You did not commit any crime according to the law books you consulted . And Atty. Louie Andrew C. Calvario from the Office of the Director General of the Intellectual Property Office, also said you did not commit any crime.

So, okay, plagiarism is not a criminal offense in this country. That’s settled. Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is not a criminal. That’s settled too. We can lay the legal issue to rest.

The only issue remaining, at least for those who have not liberated themselves from the tyranny of delicadeza, is the shamelessness in the commission of a shameful act, the sin vergüenza-ness of plagiarism and the brazen rationalization that followed. Sotto is obviously not bothered by that at all. Shamelessness liberates, Sotto proved it. He is a free man. I’m still a slave. That’s the last difference I can think of. For now.

Deleted post

Posted in UNIFFORS STATEMENTS by uniffors on the August 29th, 2012

Deleted the article posted yesterday – “What’s plagiarism?” A blogger pointed out that the facts were wrong hence the whole article was based on nothing. Our apologies.

On Jesse Robredo

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 25th, 2012

I guess the best way to honor him is by building a nation where a man like him would be the rule rather than the exception.

Where is the decency?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 24th, 2012

Decency it is often said is a liability in politics. That’s why lowlifes excel in politics. Public service should not be confused with politics. Public service is what decent human beings like Jesse Robredo do. Politics is what scoundrels do. It is important to make that distinction because public service and politics often intersect.

Jesse Robredo ventured into politics to become a public servant. He engaged in politics but he remained a public servant. Unselfish, putting others ahead of himself and his family, he went to his death with his good name intact. He now serves as a model and an inspiration for others.That’s not easy. There are not many who have the strength to resist the temptations of public office. How many idealists have gone into public service only to turn into scoundrels? How many good men ended up becoming crooked and power mad?

Jesse Robredo should be allowed to be buried in peace, as a good man who served others unselfishly and to the best of his abilities. He does not deserve to be turned into a soapbox for assholes who want to use his death for their own or their paymaster’s political ends. I’m talking about those who accused the President of shedding crocodile tears over the tragedy, who insinuated that the President should be blamed for Robredo’s death, and who suggested that the “real” reason for the plane crash is being covered up.

Wrote one:

    “Dear Liberal Party Senate candidates: Is it too much to ask you not to descend, locust-like, on Naga City and make political hay out of the funeral of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo? Never mind if your party chieftain asks you to come and wave to the Bicolano crowd as you ride on top of Robredo’s hearse, as Teddyboy Locsin fears. Please resist the temptation of once again shamelessly using a national tragedy to further your political plans and confirm to everyone that you cannot see a significant number of people assembled without thinking about the number of votes you get from them.”

    “Robredo died because he took a light plane that somehow could not make the trip from Cebu to Naga City on that fateful afternoon last week after delivering a speech that Aquino was supposed to give.”

    “If the President and the politicians really wanted to know why Robredo died, they can always investigate the crash itself. If they wanted the people to know, as well, they would allow Robredo’s aide (who seems to have disappeared after surviving the crash and being quizzed by Aquino himself) to appear at an investigation that will be open to the public.”

Wrote another:

    “HYPOCRISY: Now that Robredo has died while on official duty — standing in for his President who was in Manila — those who did not treat him properly in life, those who had kept him out of the loop, are now tripping all over themselves praising him and touching his coffin.
    It is too late for all that. The melodrama is nauseating.

    A housewife signing in as @malougm10 on Twitter described the farcical act as: “Naghuhugas ng GUILT. Or plain HYPOCRISY, pakitang tao.” I retweeted that.”

Those assholes think they are scoring points by turning grief over Robredo’s death into anger, if not hate, against the President and members of his administration. In fact, they are insulting the family of Robredo. They diminished Robredo, not the President, not his official family, not the Liberal Party. They painted Robredo a fool who could not tell who his real friends were, someone who did not have enough sense to differentiate sincerity from insincerity and, worst of all, they raised questions about the man’s character and motives for why would he want to serve in an administration that did not want him in the first place?

Imagine going to Robredo’s wake uninvited to tell his grieving family, “You know Jesse would still be alive if the President didn’t order him to go to Cebu and deliver a speech for him. You know they never wanted him in the administration. They never cared for him. Their tears are fake. They are only here to campaign. They will just use his hearse as a soapbox.” That is what those assholes did through their editorials. Where is the sympathy and the decency in that?

How would you feel if someone condoled with you in that manner?

Sen Sotto busted for serial plagiarism

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the August 17th, 2012

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Seems like the lachrymose senator Sotto plagiarized material for his anti-RH Bill speech from five bloggers and not just one as earlier reported. (Read Raissa Robles, “Did Sen. Sotto copy from 5 bloggers?” HERE)

UPDATE FROM RAISSA ROBLES BLOG: In addition to those five bloggers, Sotto also plagiarized a briefing paper.

    He had lifted this (passage from briefing paper) verbatim from a briefing paper entitled ” Six More Problems with Women Deliver: Why Attempts to Redefine Maternal Health as Reproductive Health Threaten the World’s Women”

Recall that Sen. Sotto denied he plagiarized.

    In an interview on Headstart on ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, Sotto said he did not plagiarize in his “turno en contra” speech against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. Sotto guested on the show on Thursday, August 16.

    “Itong blogger na sinasabi nila, eh pareho kami ng pinagkunan eh. Ang pinagkunan namin si Natasha Campbell-McBride. And in my speeches, even in my first speech and my second speech, I’ve always said, every now and then sinisingit ko, hindi po ako nagdudunong-dunungan ha. Hindi po galing sa akin ito.” (This blogger they’re mentioning, we got it from the same source. Our source is Natasha Campbell-McBride. And I’ve always said, I’m not pretending to be wise. This does not come from me.)

    “Bakit ko naman iko-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon. Ang kino-quote ko si Natasha Campbell-McBride.” (Why should I quote a blogger? She’s just a blogger. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride.)

But Sen. Sotto’s chief of staff admitted that portions of Sotto’s speech were plagiarized from a blogger.

There’s an interesting exchange summarized in Rappler between Sen Sotto’s chief of staff, Atty Hector A. Villacorta, and one of the bloggers whose work was plagiarized.

Below is the actual exchange referred to in the Rappler articler.

The blogger, Sarah Pope, wrote:

    It seems one of your esteemed Senators, Tito Sotto, plagiarized a blog post I wrote on February 23, 2011 entitled How The Pill Can Harm Your Future Child’s Health, lifting entire sections of the article basically word for word that were delivered in a speech to the Senate Floor regarding the possible passage of the highly controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

    What’s worse, Senator Sotto is denying the charge of plagiarism, saying in an interview with ABS-CBN:

    “Why would I quote the blogger? I was quoting Natasha McBride.”

    Nice touch Senator. You almost had me convinced you were a nice guy with the tears and all. Many of your citizenry have emailed me assuring me that was a put on, and I’m starting to think they are right.

    A thief is a thief, Mr. Senator. Denying it doesn’t get you off the hook; it just makes you a lying thief.

    On the bright side, I am thrilled that your lapse of moral judgment has brought much needed attention to the fact that the birth control pill can have devastating consequences to a woman’s long term health and possibly those of her children and even grandchildren. Gut dysbiosis is a serious condition that has multi-generational consequences that women need to be educated about and completely aware of before making the very personal decision to use them.

    It was indeed brave of you to take this controversial position. Kudos to you for that.

    By the way, I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. As the mother of two sons myself, I can only imagine the pain and devastation you have felt from such an experience.

    While this has been a highly charged and hopefully enlightening experience for all involved, it’s time now to set the drama aside and get back to fighting the good fight by continuing to educate people about how their food and pharma choices affect not only themselves, but also those they dearly love.

    And although my attorney will likely try to persuade me otherwise, for now I’m moving on as I’ve got work to do.

    Women of the Philippines: I am terribly sorry my blog was used and twisted against you. You deserve the choice to use The Pill if you want or need to based on your particular circumstances. While I want you to know that this choice has health consequences, I in no way would ever condone taking this choice away from you! Mabuhay!

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sen. Sotto’s chief of staff posted the following comment, using the account name Lezel:


    August 16, 2012 at 8:18 am

    i am atty hector a. villacorta. i am the chief of staff of senator tito sotto. i understand you felt slighted that your blog was not attributed to you which became part of the speech of the senator. let me say that after asking my staff, indeed, your blog was used but only in quoting also from the same book of dr. campbell- mcbride. we are both indebted to the book’s author but if you wish that you also be credited with the contents of the book, let this be your affirmation. i can do it and by this message, i am doing it. hope it satisfies you. but if it does not, what would you want us to do? what have we done to deserve your incriminating words. the senator did not lift it himself, we did. did you want us to tell him to admit what he did not do? who would you like to crucify for this oversight? all the unborn wants very much the right to be born and they need everybody’s help, including yours. remember, rizal was the seventh child of 11 children of teodora alonso and francisco mercado. be on our side. please, and don’t deflect the debate to this matter of plagiarism. it is so out of sync in this great debate. join us in the side of life and truth. forgive us our single trespass. we had no malice, we thought you would be happy about it. there was no injury. hope this makes you feel better. warm regards.

    Atty. Hector A. Villacorta

    Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Sotto

Sarah replied 29 minutes later:

    Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist
    August 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I don’t like the fact that my blog was used without my permission against the education of the women of the Philippines and their reproductive rights. That is the issue and it was indeed plagiarism. If his staff did it, he condoned it. He is responsible for your actions. My BLOG was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words.

    A woman needs to know that the Pill can indeed harm her but this is NO REASON to take away this choice from her in the first place.

    I do not agree with Senator Sotto’s position on this issue and he twisted the message of my blog to suit his own purposes against the women of the Philippines.

    No, your lame comment does not make me “feel” any better.

And Lezel replied, an hour later, this time without Atty. Villacorta’s name at the bottom:

    lezel
    August 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

    dear sarah;
    a blog is meant to be shared and we shared it.

By the way Sen. Sotto finally explained what he meant when he said The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. (READ HERE)

    Last Monday, I mentioned that I will show how the RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. My point in stating that is we should not be pushed over by any state or international organizations in determining what is best for our country. Hindi po porque ginagawa na nila sa kanilang bansa, ay dapat gawin din natin. Tandaan natin na may iba’t iba tayong kultura, kasaysayan at tradisyon, at higit sa lahat, pangangailangan. Sino sila para magdikta sa atin? Hindi tayo gaya nila na iba ang pagpapahalaga sa pagkakabuklod-buklod ng pamilyang Pilipino at pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao.

Okay. There are “outside” forces who advocate artificial contraception. And there are “outside” forces who advocate against it. However, the point, Mr Senator, is neither of those forces can compel us to do what they want. Whatever we decide to do will be our choice. So there is no violation of sovereignty at all. Maybe you don’t understand what the word sovereignty means. Or maybe that was your voice but you were not doing the talking.

Sen. Tito Sotto: The RH Bill violates Philippines sovereignty

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 14th, 2012

Yesterday, Sen. Tito Sotto delivered the first installment of his four-part speech against the RH Bill, designated SB 2865 in the Senate. (Read Here)

He enumerated his 7 objections starting with this:

    1. The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty, the Philippine Constitution and existing penal laws;

The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty ????

I was waiting for the good senator to expound on it but he did not. Maybe someone out there knows what he meant by that.

Can you explain how the RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty?

People are dying around them so they close their eyes

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 13th, 2012

The Sin Tax, as passed by the House, faces tough opposition in the Senate. Senate President Enrile said it will be madugo. Why should it be bloody?

The bill, according to its opponents, deals primarily with revenue enhancement and only secondarily as a public health issue. And so, while people are dying from emphysema, cancer, liver cirrhosis and a whole host of ailments  associated with smoking and heavy drinking, some senators will pretend that the issue at hand is fair and effective taxation and the welfare of those who depend on tobacco and alcohol for their living, not health.

Sen. Ralph Recto, chairman of the Senate committee in charge of all tax measures, opposes the Sin Tax. He says it penalizes consumers. He believes it is his duty to protect smokers and drinkers from high taxes. 


    “It’s not the cigarette or the alcohol company that would pay, but Juan dela Cruz, the public, me included, because I am a smoker and a drinker, occasionally. The job of the Senate is also to temper taxes that would be imposed to the public,” he said. 

Okay, senator, let me see if I understood you correctly. The Senate must temper taxes on tobacco and alcohol so as to make suicide, which is what smoking and heavy drinking is, as painless as possible. That’s what you’re saying, right?

Sen. Enrile shares Recto’s concern for consumer welfare but with a pro-poor twist added. 


    “Sino ang tatamaan doon? Jeepney drivers, telephone operators in call centers, ordinary workers who could not afford heavy tax,” he said.
     

But, tell us senator, shouldn’t smokers and drinkers take responsibility for their chosen addiction? Why pass on the cost of their stupidity to the non-smoking, moderate-drinking taxpayer? Why not consider the Sin Tax as their downpayment for the inevitable medical costs they will incur? 

Other senators who share Enrile’s pro-poor stance, Jinggoy Estrada for one, looks at the tax from the tobacco farmer’s perspective. 


    “On my part, what about the plight of our tobacco farmers? Who will suffer the most? Is it our farmers? Who will gain the most? Is it the importers of cigarettes? Kasi kelangan balansehin natin,” he said. 

Good questions, senator, if we are talking only about farmers growing crops that do not cause death and disease. But tobacco causes death and disease so there’s an over-riding public health issue involved here. You might want to ask what would make more sense, spend billions to help tobacco farmers shift to other crops or protect a status quo that burdens the taxpayer with never-ending ever-increasing billions in health care costs? 

There are other costs as well. Tobacco growing is not environment friendly. Enormous amounts of pesticides are required from planting all the way to harvesting. Pesticides do not harm the farmers only, they harm all of us because they leak into the soil and the waterways thus finding their way into the food chain. Tobacco also extracts a lot of nutrients from the soil, more than most crops. Without fertilizers, land planted to tobacco would become barren.Thus tobacco-ed land becomes dependent on fertilizers.  But the biggest cost of growing tobacco is the trade-off of land that can otherwise be used for food production. Why grow tobacco when you can plant crops that sustain life? 

The last Sin Tax law was passed in 2004. That bill was a carefully worked-out compromise between the tobacco and alcohol industry and government. Unsurprisingly, the compromise worked in favor of tobacco and alcohol. 

First, the law made a distinction  between old brands (pre-1996) and new brands. Old brands would be taxed based on 1996 prices notwithstanding the fact that the prices of those products have gone way up over the years. Second, the government created four price tiers, from cheap to expensive brands, with corresponding tax rates for each tier. Third, the government did not index taxes to inflation. In effect, while the price of everything was going up for everybody including government, the tobacco and alcohol industry did not have to share the burden. In fact, for many brands, the tax increase was below the inflation rate. So nakalamang pa sila.

The new Sin Tax bill passed by the House and pending a bloody fight in the Senate provides for a transition from a four-tier to a two-tier and finally to a unitary rate on all tobacco and alcohol products. No more tiering, just one tax rate. Simple with no loopholes for tax cheats. Second, taxes will be automatically indexed to inflation. No more free rides. Third, the price freeze classification based on “old” and “new” brands will be eliminated. No more favored brands. And so from a purely revenue enhancement and collection perspective, the new Sin Tax is superior to the old one. 

And there’s more. Part of the incremental revenues from the bill will be used to help the transition from tobacco to more productive endeavors. More importantly, the bulk of sin tax revenues will augment the universal health care program of the government. So why spill blood fighting the new bill?

Because the revenue argument does not end there. 

Smuggling has been raised as an issue against the Sin Tax. It is a valid argument. Countries that imposed high sin taxes experienced a corresponding increase in smuggling. However, the question is do you not do anything because you are afraid of smuggling or do you do what you have to do and try to control smuggling at the same time? Besides, will the revenue lost because of smuggling surpass the savings on the health and social costs of smoking and excessive drinking? 

Recto also asked a question that strikes at the heart of the revenue enhancement aspect of the bill. 


    “Mahirap sabihin na kaya natin tinataas para ang tao di manigarilyo. Eh bakit nyo sinasabi kokolekta tayo ng napakalaki? (You say that the reason we are raising taxes is to stop people from smoking. So how can you claim we will collect a lot of taxes when there will be less smoking going on?)” 

It is a sensible question if enhancing revenue were the only purpose of the Sin Tax. But there is a larger issue at stake. Public health. If the Sin Tax does not earn as much revenues as projected, if all it will accomplish is to discourage smoking and immoderate drinking, it would still be a good law. It will have reduced public health care costs and more importantly suffering and death from smoking and drinking. 

The Sin Tax will penalize the hell out of smoking and drinking so only the rich will be able to afford cigarettes and alcohol. That means only the rich will die. Take note of that you pro-poor senators, your masa votes will be alive and well!

But seriously, the high prices will lead not only to less consumption by current consumers but will also discourage first-time users. That’s excellent, isn’t it? “It’s bloody great!” as my Anglo cousins would say. So why make passing the Sin Tax madugo? Why defend a status quo that causes so much suffering and death?

If senators opposed to the Sin Tax are truly concerned about the public’s welfare they will introduce amendments to strengthen the bill passed by the House and not water it down to favor the purveyors of death.

What do you think the Senate will do?

Singapore needs more babies

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the August 10th, 2012

While we are talking about curbing population growth, Singapore is trying to spur it. Watch this video

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Fukushima: alive and dangerous

Posted in Brownman's Posts by uniffors on the August 9th, 2012

Fukushima Hangs by the Devil’s Thread
by HARVEY WASSERMAN

    Our lives still hang by a Devil’s thread at Fukushima.

    The molten cores at Units 1, 2 & 3 have threatened all life on Earth. The flood of liquid radiation has poisoned the Pacific. Fukushima’s cesium and other airborne emissions have already dwarfed Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and all nuclear explosions including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Children throughout Japan carry radioactive burdens in their thyroids and throughout their bodies. Hot spots in Tokyo demand evacuation. Radioactive tuna has been caught off San Diego. Fallout carried across the Pacific may have caused spikes in cancer and infant mortality rates here in the United States.

    And yet, 16 months later, the worst may be yet to come. No matter where we are on this planet, our lives are still threatened every day by a Unit 4 fuel pool left hanging 100 feet in the air. At any moment, an earthquake we all know is coming could send that pool crashing to the ground.

    If that happens—and it could as you read this—the radiation spewed into the atmosphere could impact every living being on Earth. And that certainly includes you.

    Cecile Pineda lays it all out in her brilliant new DEVIL’S TANGO: HOW I LEARNED THE FUKUSHIMA STEP BY STEP (Wings Press).

    With poetic fury, Cecile rages in satanic detail about how Fukushima was built despite volumes of whistleblower testimony underscoring its fatal flaws. But after agreeing with proof that the GE designs were patently insane, NRC Chair Joseph Hendrie approved them anyway because doing otherwise would have killed the nuclear industry.

    There are 23 of these Mark I monsters in the US alone, far more worldwide. Pineda’s passionate prose runs the gamut from detailed technical critiques to heart-wrenching dirges about the birth defects and malformations imposed on countless downwind victims.

    One reads with horror Cecile’s descriptions of hundreds of horribly deformed children of Chernobyl. In three towns near Fukushima, nearly half the youngsters already suffer from low-level thyroid exposure.

    In Iraq and Bosnia, Pineda writes, vaporized depleted uranium shells have carpeted the countryside with radioactive powder. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, children born at Falluja were eleven times as likely to suffer from “neural tube defects affecting the brain or lower extremities, with cardiac or skeletal abnormalities, or with cancers.” As elsewhere in Iraq, and in Bosnia, premature births, spontaneous abortions and birth defects have become a plague.

    Some uranium by-products can kill for 4.5 billion years—a common estimate for the lifespan of the Earth itself. Pineda takes us on a tragic tour of other facilities with radioactive burdens, including nuclear waste dumps, weapons factories and power reactors.

    But nothing quite matches Fukushima and how it threatens us today. Astonishing as it may seem, the GE Mark I design includes waste storage pools perched 100 feet in the air. Around the world, thousands of tons of the most radioactive substances ever created are swung out of reactor cores and into these “swimming pools” to sit for months or years, suspended in air.

    The presumption has been that they would somehow be removed and shipped to a central repository. But nowhere has one been approved. Nor has anyone devised a safe way to get the rods there if one is.

    Experts like Robert Alvarez are begging that Fukushima’s rods be removed to dry casks where they might be out of immediate harm’s way.

    But at Unit 4, more than 1500 rods remain suspended in air. Called “a bathtub on the roof” by CNN anchor Jon King, the damaged pool teeters atop a building decimated by seismic shocks and at least one hydrogen explosion. The question is not if, but when it will come crashing down.

    Thus far, TEPCO has removed just two rods, and says it won’t get the rest until late next year.

    Meanwhile, we are all hostage. DEVIL’S TANGO provides ample evidence that the Fukushima disaster was caused primarily by the earthquake of March 11, 2011. The tsunami that followed made things worse. But the atomic reactors there and around the world remain far more vulnerable to seismic shocks than their builders want us to know.

    This means Indian Point, New York; Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, California; in Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina and virtually everywhere else these reactors sit.

    All these reactors—including virtually every one in Japan—could be destroyed by shock waves like those that took down Fukushima.

    Cecile Pineda makes it passionately clear that our species has no more pressing priority than to get those fuel rods out of the Fukushima 4 pool and onto the ground before another earthquake does it for us.

    The only way out is a switch to Solartopia, to a world based on technologies that will end forever this death dance that is atomic energy.

    Meanwhile, as those rods still sway above Fukushima, the Devil’s Tango has us right at the brink of a hellish world of radioactive hurt.

From Counterpunch

Is China over-obsessed with gold medals?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the August 8th, 2012

China’s Global Times takes a look at the current debate over the country’s drive for gold medal dominance in this year’s Olympics. And it concludes:

    The London Olympic Games has resulted in new happiness and confidence for Chinese society. Four years ago, the Chinese delegation topped the gold medal tally on home soil. This time, Chinese athletes continue to win glory overseas. The Chinese public is surer about the country’s capabilities. No matter what the critics say, sporting achievements attest to the country’s progress.

    Patriotism cannot be denied. It is not denied in any country. It is one of the core values of China, helping sustain its civilization for thousands of years. Patriotic feeling is strong and authoritative. A few try to win attention by condemning patriotism. As long as China has an open public opinion platform, such voices are bound to exist.

And it takes a swipe at those who think otherwise:

    Liberal tendencies are strong in China’s public opinion sphere. Extreme voices often cross the bottom line. We can just check people around us. Are there many people who would like to see Sun Yang or Liu Xiang lose? Are they in the majority? The answer is clear. We don’t have to care too much about a few grudge Internet posts.

If there ever is any question about what the Olympics is all about, a look back at the 1936 Berlin Olympics will provide the answer.

Here’s an interesting read on the genetic manipulation of athletes. Is it in the works or is it already happening?

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