The burning of books creates a powerful symbol, to this day people kill and die over such an action. In this reading from Michael Parenti’s History as Mystery a book burning story is told that is deeper, and maintained for centuries longer than any of these efforts before or after. Parenti discloses who the biggest purveyor of book burnings of the last two millennia was and how the real perpetrators and academics tried to shift the blame.
An Extension of the popular REAL HISTORY Project
A considerable number of historians, political scientists and psychologists have begun to rely on psychology to explain political phenomena. They treat individuals as driven by covert, personal emotions, distorting our understanding of political life. Using the examples of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and US President Herbert Hoover Parenti proves what is wrong with that analysis.
Enrico Fermi’s experiment, setting off the first nuclear chain reaction, provided the blueprint for the plutonium bomb. In his commemoration of this little known event that changed the world, the historian of technology, Iain Boal, describes the mindset of the early nuclear scientists who began releasing the most long lived toxic substances on earth. He also sketches the beginning of resistance to nuclear weapons in SDS and CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK).
Enrico Fermi and Henry Moore
Did the nuclear age begin at Alamogordo, in Hiroshima, or with Fermi’s experiment? Fermi set off the first nuclear chain reaction in the middle of Chicago in 1942, risking a first China Syndrome. With the help of a Chicago street gang he built an unshielded graphite pile with uranium pellets and control rods tacked to a two by four. His experiment led to the building of the plutonium bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Iain Boal is a historian of technology and author of Resisting the Virtual Life (City Lights Books) and The Green Machine, a history of the bicycle, just out by Notting Hill Editions, 2011.
Today’s last of four program presents important information on the plight of the children of Chernobyl who – to this day – need vacations in uncontaminated areas to detoxify their bodies from some of the embedded radioactive substances that they absorb in every day life. Also explained is how to set up ongoing measures, under control of local communities, to deal with the persisting radiation and find methods to measure the burden of internal radiation.
This program presents the consequences of the Chernobyl explosion on the environment. How has the radiation affected – and continues to affect air, water, the soil, plants and animals. How does radiation move, disperse, bio-accumulate and enter the food chain. Specific examples are from studies on rivers and lakes, wild and domestic animals, birds, fish, fungi, bacteria, viruses, studies that show that they were all affected, in varying degrees, but without exception.
The extensive section on health effects in this book offers a whole new view of the consequences of radiation induced disease that affect body systems such as the whole endocrine system, not just the thyroid, or the immune system, the respiratory and the reproductive systems. Also a brief explanation of “half life” “hot spots” and why background radiation is different from radiation from nuclear processes.
Instead of honoring its victims at this time Chernobyl is referenced to minimize the impact of Fukuchima.
Supposedly only 35 people died. The World Health Organization and the IAEA, whose mission is to promote nuclear power, claim that “there is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality rates or in rates of non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure from Chernobyl.”
That the reality on the ground is very different comes to life in a book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.
Kay Drey and S. David Freeman
Kay Drey speaks on Routine Releases by nuclear reactors. They emit dangerous gases and fission products during their day to day operations. David Freeman states that no nuclear power plants should be built since they are dangerous, cost prohibitive, and can easily be replaced with renewable energy. He also says that we need a police state to live with them. He closed down 8 nuclear reactors during his tenure as Chief Executive at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and one more when he was General Manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD).
The disaster at Fukushima makes it apparent how little is known about the operation of a nuclear power plant. For example the so-called “spent” fuel in the cooling pools on the rooftops is many times more dangerous than the fresh, non irradiated fuel. The biggest danger from the Fukuchima nuclear accident comes from unit 3 that was stocked in September 2010 with MOX, a new mixed oxide reactor fuel that contains plutonium – not as a fission byproduct – but from the outset inside the fuel rods. MOX fuel is many times more lethal than uranium fuel.
As world attention is focussed on the severely damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan it become apparent how little is known about the radioactive substances being released and their impacts on life.
Helen Caldicott says that 200 new elements are made inside a nuclear reactor, all intensely radioactive, some lasting seconds, some 17 million years. Many of them are carcinogenic, some are mutagenic. In this speech she explains how radiation induces cancers and mutations, and describes the effects of the four most significant isotopes present in nuclear power plants: radioactive iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium-239.
Who inside Germany was resisting the rise of Hitler and why were they not supported by Britain and France? Why did the Western Allies allow Hitler to take over Austria and Czechoslovakia? Why did Britain and France refuse to enter an anti fascist alliance with the Soviet Union?
Parenti says that fascism is a new order and consciousness that served
the same old power structure and promised to solve the ills of the many
while protecting the interests of the few. He answers in detail who
financed the fascist parties and what services the fascists rendered in
Why did the US give verbal support to the Cuban liberation movements against Spain while selling weapons to Spain to fight the poplar movement? The Spanish American War was an important turning point in the transition of the US to an imperial power and many of the forces at work are eerily contemporary.
As the US government claims to spread democracy around the world and is ghost writing constitutions for other countries, the spotlight falls back on this country. Is the current US system a democracy? Has it ever been one? In The Myth of the Founding Fathers Parenti takes us back to the early days of the republic. Who were the founding fathers, what were their goals in writing the US constitution? Who did they exclude and who did they favor? How many of them actually wanted to create a monarchy? And who, in the end, ratified the constitution after it was written?