On United Ethanol sets up memorial fund for Janesville man killed in grain silo
What makes this a "nice gesture" -- there's no mention in the story that the company contributed a dime to the fund. An employee dies while working at their plant, and they ask the community to help out his widow and children... maybe raise enough to bury the body? Yeah, I don't think so.
On Round and round over roundabouts
The issue, as presented, is a false dichotomy: aside from roundabouts being 1)good or 2)bad, there's at least a third option: 3) WISCONSIN roundabouts are bad. Their radius is too small for American trucks and the speed of traffic on the road; their signage is excessive; and implementing three in a short distance, as is often done, overloads the driver with a staggering amount of information, if s/he isn't already familiar with the roundabout. One sometimes sees drivers who are older and/or unfamiliar with the area basically parked within the roundabout while they try to sort things out.
I've used European/UK roundabouts and they were generally well designed; their radius was often much larger when they were used on roads with fast traffic... One didn't have to slow down as much, and there was more separation between the entering streams of traffic. And I don't recall ever being expected to read dozens of signs within a fraction of a mile.
On Digging for jobs: Walker visits Scot Forge to tout mining bill
Scot Forge: A great example of what a 100% employee-owned company can do when it's freed from Wall Street parasites.
On Federal court issues scathing order against GOP
Systems that rely purely on people's selflessness and integrity... never work, at least in the long run. The scoundrels who gerrymander districts deserve whatever nastiness comes their way, since we actually should demand selflessness and integrity from our politicians, but it's a mistake to have a system that assumes it.
And, yes, Democrats have been known to gerrymander districts too. Eleven states have now delegated the redistricting process to non-partisan or bi-partisan commissions... I'm sure that it's not perfect, but it's got to be better than having part of the legislature drawing their own, and their friends', districts.
On Group presses county board to drop prayer
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen." -Matthew 6:6. Seems clear enough to me, in case the preceding verse wasn't.
Politicians love to pray in public and make public claims of faith because it is in their own interest to do so. For this exact reason, Machiavelli advised that 'the prince' "should appear a man of compassion, a man of good faith, a man of integrity, a kind and a religious man. And there is nothing so important as to seem to have this last quality. Men in general judge by their eyes rather than their hands... Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are... The common people are always impressed by appearances and results."
So, if someone wants to open public meetings with prayer because it's pragmatically sets the stage for cynical manipulation of a gullible populace, I can't argue that it won't work, only that it's bad Christianity.
Public prayer means little and accomplishes less. Scoundrels and fools inevitably wrap themselves in religion and flags. Christians might do well to listen to Christ's admonition: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men." - Matthew 6:5.
However, talk is cheap when one is in the majority, and much easier than feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the stranger, comforting the sick and visiting the prisoner, as we are instructed to do in Matthew 25.
On Officials investigating Illinois reactor shutdown
These forums seldom allow meaningful discussion of complex issue. If I've wasted the time to put up 12 posts over the last few years, I promise to kick myself hard and make this my last one for awhile...
Yes, normally operating nuclear plants release minimal radiation. I can't explain the German and French studies showing a 2X rise in childhood leukemia in the vicinity of a reactor, and I won't try. The real problems lay with meltdowns, waste disposal and proliferation; it takes a lot of bananas to equal one Chernobyl or Fukushima.
As a practical matter, IMHO, we in the U.S. can phase out the existing generation of power plants -- especially coal and the GE nukes, like the one at Dresden, SW of Chicago -- by doing two things: (1) Cutting back energy consumption by a factor of two (with little real sacrifice) through a combination of conservation and technology; and (2) Expediting the R&D on a new generation of thorium-based reactors, along with wind, solar, etc. where it's practical.
The current generation nukes are the misbegotten children of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Things would look very different if we'd started out to develop nuclear power from scratch -- something that India is now working on.
baegucb - I wouldn't believe everything that you read. It's incredibly hard to come up with a good number for nuclear power risks, even if you're doing your best to be honest -- and not everyone is. Industry numbers are a joke, and I wouldn't put a lot of trust in numbers from Greenpeace, etc., either.
Take Chernobyl: you can choose between claims for fatalities, from 20 to 1,000,000. Myself, I'd tend to believe the estimate of 30,000 to 60,000 premature cancer deaths, but it's very tricky to make good predictions when you have relatively low risks spread over huge populations. For Fukushima, they're still gathering data, but you'll notice that the estimates for the level of contamination keep getting worse. Unfortunately, the Iodine-131 was long gone before it was surveyed adequately.
Tritium's mean life is 12.3 years, and its decay energy is 18.6 keV. Also, while it can form tritiated water and be absorbed into one's body, it also tends to wash out quickly.
In comparison, in a core meltdown, one of the more dangerous components is iodine-131, which has a 606 keV decay energy and concentrates in the thyroid (though it decays quickly, so that longer-lived components like cesium-137 and strontium-90 dominate the problem after a few weeks).
I'm pretty confident that noone is going to die from this sort of release, but Exelon needs to give more information and fewer snowjobs...
Since the release is from the secondary loop, the radiation release shouldn't be a big deal. And it's also true that tritium is much less scary than, say, I-131 and Cs-137 (as were released from the Fukushima meltdowns in Japan). It's also much less scary than the thorium, mercury, CO2, etc. that are released from burning coal.
That said, Exelon's statements about having normal readings from monitors around the plant aren't particularly meaningful, since releases tend to go up and over the fence monitors. Other statements from Exelon yesterday, that "tritium occurs naturally and is found in virtually all surface water" are even more misleading -- the question is not whether tritium is 'natural,' but how much was released, where it went and what the effects will be. And, finally, while Exelon may argue that the public was never in danger, our safety margin was cut drastically. I.e., if the on-site generators had also failed, the situation would not be good; the Fukushima units were also doing OK... until the on-site generators failed.
Page 1 of 2
» More most emailed stories
» More popular discussions
Staff Directory |
Contact Us |
Legal Notices |
Subscriber Services |
Site Help |
Site Map |
Latest News |
Public Record |
Special Sections |
Political Cartoons |
Photo Galleries |
Slide Shows |
Blog List |
Latest Blog Entries
Customer Care |
Newspaper In Education |
Reader Rewards |