Nuclear Triage?

This is pretty grim news, if true.

Even still, in the context of the major catastrophe there, it’s small potatoes. It’s going to cost billions to reclaim much of the land just from the seawater inundation (perhaps including dikes, with some advice from the Dutch). This just may mean that there will be a small part of it that will never be reclaimable in the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, they can console themselves with the thought that this probably won’t happen again for a few hundred years.

The Fragility Of Complex Societies

Thoughts from Victor Davis Hanson:

I don’t know quite why many of our environmentalists and urban planners wish to emulate such patterns of settlement (OK, I do know), since for us in America it would be a matter of choice, rather than, as in a highly congested Japan, one of necessity. Putting us in apartments and high rises, reliant on buses and trains, and dependent on huge centralized power, water, and sewage grids are recipes not for ecological utopia, but for a level of dependence and vulnerability that could only lead to disaster. Again, I understand that in terms of efficiency of resource utilization, such densities make sense and I grant that culture sparks where people are, but in times of calamity these regimens prove enormously fragile and a fool’s bargain.

Actually, many of them do favor decentralization and “appropriate” technology. But most of them also favor depopulation. And some of those favor it by whatever means are necessary.

Public-Employee Union Thuggery

Some thoughts:

In the letter to Wisconsin businessmen, however, we see why so-called collective bargaining is particularly corrupting to the police. Although the letter explicitly threatens only an economic boycott, when it is written on behalf of the police–of those on whom all citizens depend to protect their safety–it invariably raises the prospect of another kind of boycott. Can a businessman who declines this heavy-handed “request” be confident that the police will do their job if he is the victim of a crime–particularly if the crime itself is in retaliation for his refusal to support “the dedicated public employees who serve our communities”?

Sykes sums up the letter this way: “That’s a nice business you got there. Pity if anything were to happen to it if, say, you didn’t toe the line and denounce Governor Walker like we’re asking nice-like.” He’s right. “Organized” law enforcement bears a disturbing resemblance to organized crime.

Outlawing public-employee unions was one of the few good ideas that Franklin Roosevelt had. And most notably, for the right reasons.

[Update a while later]

Pedagogy:

Aren’t you forgetting a thing or 2? You’ve got them chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Scott Walker has got to go” — but what do they know about Scott Walker? That he’s done something the teachers don’t like. So, maybe some day, when you do something they don’t like, some kid might start “Hey hey, ho ho, [TEACHER’S NAME] has got to go.” Today, you’re pleased to teach them “The children, united, will never be divided.” I’m picturing them repurposing that chant back in the classroom.

What will you do if they learn the lesson you’re teaching them, to denounce legitimate authority when it crosses your heartfelt interests?

I don’t know which is more of an abomination, a policeman’s union or a public-teacher’s union. If one of those kids were mine, I’d sue, but then, I probably would have pulled them out of the public schools long before.

Better Late Than Never

Steven Chu finally steps forward:

The Obama administration’s most vocal advocate for nuclear power said Tuesday that the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan will eventually help the United States strengthen safety at its 104 reactors.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel that “the American people should have full confidence that the United States has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly.” But he said that the administration “is committed to learning from Japan’s experience.”

It’s not just about improving existing reactors, but in designing the many new ones we will need. But I’m glad they’re not using this as an excuse to pander to their technophobic base, as they did in the Gulf mess with the moratorium.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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