quarta-feira, maio 31, 2006

What all schoolchildren learn

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Canada, Fascism, Public Evil, Thread Back: The Gods Must be Crazy.

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.


Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarRead it and weep: Globe: Troops told Geneva rules don't apply to Taliban, (Archive).

This is Captain Nichola Goddard, a Canadian soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week. She has my greatest respect and admiration; I have shed tears for her and for her family.



Now I have to ask: She died for mere thuggery?

We must love one another or die.

September 1, 1939 - Wystan Hugh Auden

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarA psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarInto this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThe furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarFrom the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThere is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

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terça-feira, maio 30, 2006

RCMP - Shame!

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Summer Solstice, longest Day, Thread Back: RCMP - Still No Answers.

More news in the past few days on the subject of Ian Bush's death at the hands of RCMP Constable Paul Koester:
Globe, May 30: Case mired in mixed messages, (Archive).
Globe, May 28: B.C. Attorney-General urges patience in police shooting, (Archive).
Globe, May 27: Man's family sues for damages after his death in police custody, (Archive).

The powers that be are playing silly buggers and hoping it will all blow over; "Who me? Oh, I don't know anything, I can't say anything, another month and maybe we will tell you something."

Thank goodness for Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail who is still on the case.

Why should I have to thank the press for doing the job I am already paying politicians and bureaucrats to do? Why is it taking so long for the truth to be told?

Ahh yes I know; this is the Hamlet side of the psyche of this fat complacent country we call Canada; Mr. Dithers was nothing more than our epitome.

Shame on the RCMP and shame on their masters. Shame on those who were elected at all levels to represent Ian Bush. Shame on the maggotty bureaucrats hiding beneath their slimy stones. Shame on Canadians for not standing up and demanding answers.

I'm a glutton for punishment - I looked 'em up this morning and called 'em on the telephone - got nowhere of course, nobody is talking; but I feel better for it, my conscience is as clear as it can be, and my name and number are on their message machines to prove it. Lame huh? Best I could do. More lame huh?

Try it yourself: you can find Stephen Harper (the Prime Minister of Canada), Stockwell Day (the man actually in control of the RCMP), and Nathan Cullen (Ian Bush's MP), in the list at Government of Canada Directory, and you can find Gordon Campbell (the provincial Premier), Wally Oppal (the Attorney General, the guy who should br prosecuting Paul Koester), John Les (the Solicitor general who sets police policy), and Robin Austin (Ian Bush's MLA), at Government of British Columbia Directory, and you can find the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP. They all have telephones. They mostly have e-mail too but I tried them all quite politely more than three weeks ago and I had no replies.

I don't like to be so shrill, makes me feel like a feminist, at least I didn't do it all in BOLD CAPS. I tell ya what; go ahead, laugh up your sleeves at the corruption of Brazilian police; wring your hands at the Mullahs of Iran who arrest and torture Bahá'ís; the Palestinian 'Authority', the Turks, the Egyptians beating on demonstrators, all the rest; no problem. Not here, oh no, not in Canada, these RCMP are all good little Canadian boys and girls; tell me about it, I know some of them, I know that they are mostly good people for sure, I have heard some of their stories. But I also remember the RCMP calling for MACE in 45 gallon drums for the economic summit a few years ago in Vancouver and never being properly called to account for it, and more.

This Paul Koester guy will get off with a slap - ain't it clear? At the worst it will be an out-of-the-way desk job.

Remember it if you can; this was the thin edge of the wedge bein' slipped into your cool Canadian pucker. You who think Brazilians and Iranians and that lot are sooooo different.

Who was that guy who haunted Parliament Hill in Ottawa for a year or so in the late 80s or early 90s sometime? Carrying a teddybear and screaming 'Lyin' Brian!' - man, I saw him there and I can't remember his name. They eventually passed an Act of Parliament to get him to quit doin' it - embarassing for the PM in his limo to have to listen to it eh.

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segunda-feira, maio 29, 2006

The Gods Must be Crazy

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: What all schoolchildren learn, Thread Back: Yea, Yea; Nay, Nay..

Cgao Coma, N!xau, N!Gau, enough different spellings of the guy's name. All I know about him is from the movie The Gods Must be Crazy. He died on Monday June 30, 2003, maybe it was Tuesday July 1 - went hunting and didn't come back, from tuberculosis - he had treatment but it was drug-resistant apparently. 59 years old (or so). Here is an obituary from the Namibian: Cgao Coma - bridging ancient and modern, (Archive).

I found these pictures of him and of his wives:
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That's it. Just a small tribute to a man who gave me a lot of pleasure laughing at his movies, and a hummingbird-beakful of enlightenment finding out more about his life.

Here's a story from another diminutive man, also now dead, Herbert de Souza, Betinho:

Houve um incêndio na floresta e enquanto todos os bichos corriam apavorados, um pequeno beija-flor ia do rio para o incêndio levando gotinhas de água em seu bico. O leão, vendo aquilo, perguntou para o beija-flor: "Ô beija-flor, você acha que vai conseguir apagar o incêndio sozinho?" E o beija-flor respondeu: "Eu não sei se vou conseguir, mas estou fazendo a minha parte". There was a fire in the forest and while all the animals ran in fear, a little hummingbird went from the river to the fire carrying drops of water in her beak. The lion, seeing this, asked the hummingbird, "O Hummingbird, do you think you will succeed in putting out the fire all by yourself?" And the hummingbird replied, "I do not know if I will succeed or not, but I am doing my part".

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarBetinho died of AIDS (which he got through transfusions related to his haemophilia, you see ... you have to say that eh?), and may have been the originator of the notions that lead to Lula's Fome Zero - No Hunger campaign and program.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThe Pope visited Auschwitz and said,"In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?" Good question - theodicy (from Greek, theo, God + dike, judgement, order, right), so, defending God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil, or not - the Pope seems far away and hard to see clearly.

sábado, maio 27, 2006

Hansel & Gretel

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Hans Christian Andersen, The Snow Queen, Thread Back: Briar Rose - Lucky 13!.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarOne of the threads in Thomas Pynchon's 'Gravity's Rainbow' is various re-tellings and blendings of the story of Hansel and Gretel. Later I will paste in a few bits from that.

This morning I went to consult the 'original' Grimm story. Two quite different versions can be found at: Hansel and Gretel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: a comparison of the versions of 1812 and 1857, compiled and translated by D. L. Ashliman.

The two children's stories I have posted here: The Butterfly that Stamped from Rudyard Kiplings 'Just So Stories', and Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams; are both quite internally consistent and there is only one version of each. The brothers Grimm seem to have been working to a different standard - I had the same problem when I posted on Briar Rose a while ago - more on that later maybe too.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarCould be Ophelia and Hamlet? ... Medea and Jason? ... Mervyn Peake's Fuschia & Steerpike come to mind; and Lord Groan, transformed into an owl when his library is burned by Steerpike.
Click to Enlarge / Click para Aumentar

... to be continued ...

sexta-feira, maio 26, 2006

Muslim Persecution of Bahá'ís

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Hamas - National Reconciliation Document, Thread Back: Yad Vashem.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThat looks like a Rastafarian hat in the background, but these are three Bahá'í sisters, among those arrested on May 19 in Iran for the crime of serving their neighbours. They had applied for and received all the necessary 'permits' that are required for such activity in Iran, and still ended in jail.

The crime? Teaching underprivileged children as unpaid volunteers. This was not proselytizing - Bahá'ís do not indulge in trying to make converts. This was not a mere 'tactic' - this was community service; some non-Bahá'ís involved have already been released.

I heard this story from my sister - it did not make it into the news services I use, which is something to think about too. There is coverage at the Bahá'í World News site, here: Update on arrests in Iran, and here: 54 Bahá'ís arrested in Iran.

Brutal persecution of Bahá'ís in Iran has been going on for a long time - since the very beginning of the Bahá'í faith in the mid 1800's. It gives the lie to any notion of an open Muslim society. Bahá'ís I have met talk of "escaping" from Iran and some of the stories are horrific: A man and his wife and their infant crossing the desert on a small motorcycle, barely escaping with their lives.

"Yellow Star" for Infidels
As if we didn't know eh? National Post: A colour code for Iran's 'infidels'.
I have been told that this is false news - but I don't have time just now to check into it.

Also worthwhile checking out the Hojjatieh Society (Wikipedia) a clandestine organization vehemently anti-Bahá'í and anti-Sunni.

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quinta-feira, maio 25, 2006

Cod Fish

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: As I Roved Out, Thread Back: Bogus Newfoundland!.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI started this blog with a picture of Bonne Bay taken when I drove out there last spring to see my daughter. The wind was blowing so strong that day that it smacked the door right off my car when I stepped out to take this picture. Hahaha - loved it! Savage, Brutal & Frightening! Woke me up and I remembered something I had been forgetting.

Last Sunday, sitting up on Signal Hill with a couplea Tims and my copy of The Independent, I read this editorial: Stop fishing (Archive); straight talk, a bit clumsy maybe and half a century too late, but straight - good on 'im.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarA guy I knew in Rio said to me one time, talking about the garotas de programma, the program girls in the Copacabana clubs, "They're all doin' it for the thrill eh?"; I didn't think so, he didn't care, goin' on about some un-shaved girl fresh from from São Paulo he met wanted him to use a 'johnny' (condom) and he didn't like it, I had to laugh, wasn't funny.

In his editorial Ryan Cleary says, "That life was brutal — no one in his right mind wants to go back to that." Builds character though, ya know; and I for one would go back to it in a heartbeat - there was a place in that society for out-of-work old-farts for one thing. He decries 'romantic' notions of what outport life was all about; I expect he would have decried sentimentalism too if he had thought of it. You will have to trust me that what I know of it (first-hand) is neither romantic nor romanticized nor sentimental - in a heartbeat, yes.

Bob says, "God knows there's gonna be no more water but, fire next time" (Under The Red Sky, 1990). I think he is referring to God's rainbow covenant after Noah's Ark in Genesis chapter 9 but I am not sure about the fire part. Still, a prophet's a prophet; I figgure it will be nuclear fire; just on simmer maybe but it's the same. There can be brutality in a click of the keyboard by some co-opted bureaucrat or scientist; same as in the basement of a Residential School or a sex club in Rio. Somewhere else Bob says, "When the cities are on fire with the burning flesh of men" (Down in the Groove, 1988). People want what they want and sometimes they get it.

A friend of mine asked me, "Well, how can a nuclear physicist justify it then?" I thought I knew but really I don't, just guessing.

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quarta-feira, maio 24, 2006

Estatuto do PCC : Law of the PCC

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: None Yet, Thread Back: O Primeiro Comando da Capital.

Skip to translated text of Estatuto do PCC : Law of the PCC.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An excellent article discovered in Vanity Fair: William Langewiesche: Letter from São Paulo, City of Fear.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A blanced view: Brazil’s historic test; Sue Branford at Open Democracy (Archive).
A general view of the shift to the left: Latin America's Left Turn, Jorge G. Castañeda in Foreign Affairs (Archive).

Friday, June 2, 2006

An article from the socialists; they have an obvious point of view but it is still worth reading: Brazil: The social contradictions underlying the violent eruption in Sao Paulo, (Archive).

Another lieutenant: Orlando Mota Júnior, 'Macarrão'.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Terra: Cronologia da onda de violência.

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These pics are of the PCC leader, Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, called 'Marcola'. The author of the treatise below is reported to be Mizael Aparecido da Silva, called Miza, who was killed in February of 2002 in Pentientiary 2 of President Venceslau Jail. I have been unable to find out much more about Miza. The two main lieutenants at the moment are Julinho Carambola and Gegê do Mangue.

Some acronyms: DEIC - Departamento Estadual de Investigações Criminais, CPI - Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito do Tráfico de Armas.

This article from Spiegel, Violence in Latin America, The Mafia's Shadow Kingdom (Archive - Translation Coming Soon), Technorati Discussion, is a typical northern view I think; bourgeois, myopic, and terribly frightened of the 'left'. (I would say that Lula's left, red star and all, is quite a fair bit right of Mao or even Sub-Comandante Marcos, but that's another story.)

Global Voices Discussions.

When I was in Rio the Comando Vermelho was in the news from time-to-time and I thought that it was nothing more than gangsters putting on airs, a twisted kind of homage to the Red Brigades of the 70s, or maybe the Khmer Rouge - anything with 'red' in it. I still think that way - the gangsters do not really have any ideology beyond survival. Nonetheless several manifestos have shown up in the Brasilian press, the one below by the PCC and another from the Comando Revolucionário Brasileiro da Criminalidade - CBRC (Archive).

It begins to look like a manifesto competition. I doubt many of these guys can write well enough to put such a thing together, and I doubt many of their members can read it. At roughly 3/4 functional illiteracy Brasil's culture is more oriented to sights and sounds - no disrespect intended. I was just wondering who these manifestos are meant for? I think they are done to puff and preen for the press and the police/political machinery. If you have watched Cidade de Deus, or Ônibus 174, or Carandiru you may have picked up that some measure of what goes on in these gangs is establishing a "visible identity" for otherwise entirely marginalized and invisible men - keep in mind that the oppression, torture, rape, and so on is the way it is in Brasilian jails. Then maybe the manifesto gets picked up by someone like Jens Glüsing who wrote the Spiegel article; and by a commodious vicus of recirculation you wind up with a Brasilian version of the Sendero Luminoso / Shining Path. A couple'a Maoists read about it on the net and decide to slide in there and organize their Brasilian brothers.

Encontrei isso no Folha Online. I found this at: Folha Online.
ESTATUTO DO PCC MANIFESTO OF THE PCC
1. Lealdade, respeito, e solidariedade acima de tudo ao Partido. 1. Loyalty, respect, and solidarity to the Party above all.
2. A Luta pela liberdade, justiça e paz. 2. The Struggle for liberty, justice and peace.
3. A união da Luta contra as injustiças e a opressão dentro das prisões. 3. The alliance of the Struggle against the injustices and oppression inside prisons.
4. A contribuição daqueles que estão em Liberdade com os irmãos dentro da prisão através de advogados, dinheiro, ajuda aos familiares e ação de resgate. 4. The contribution of those who are at Liberty with the brothers inside the prison through lawyers, money, support of relatives, and rescue action.
5. O respeito e a solidariedade a todos os membros do Partido, para que não haja conflitos internos, porque aquele que causar conflito interno dentro do Partido, tentando dividir a irmandade será excluído e repudiado do Partido. 5. Respect and solidarity to all Party members, so that there will not be internal conflicts, because whoever causes internal conflict inside the Party, trying to divide the brotherhood will be excluded and rejected by the Party.
6. Jamais usar o Partido para resolver conflitos pessoais, contra pessoas de fora. Porque o ideal do Partido está acima de conflitos pessoais. Mas o Partido estará sempre Leal e solidário à todos os seus integrantes para que não venham a sofrerem nenhuma desigualdade ou injustiça em conflitos externos. 6. Never to use the Party to resolve personal conflicts, against outside people. Because the ideal of the Party is above personal conflicts. But the Party will always be Loyal and committed to all of its members so that they may not come to suffer any inequity or injustice in external conflicts.
7. Aquele que estiver em Liberdade "bem estruturado" mas esquecer de contribuir com os irmãos que estão na cadeia, serão condenados à morte sem perdão. 7. Any who may be at Liberty 'well established' but who forget to contribute to the brothers in cells, will be condemned to death without pardon.
8. Os integrantes do Partido tem que dar bom exemplo à serem seguidos e por isso o Partido não admite que haja assalto, estupro e extorsão dentro do Sistema. 8. The members of the Party have to set a good example if they are to be followed and for this the Party will not allow that there be assault, rape and extortion inside the System.
9. O partido não admite mentiras, traição, inveja, cobiça, calúnia, egoísmo, interesse pessoal, mas sim: a verdade, a fidelidade, a hombridade, solidariedade e o interesse como ao Bem de todos, porque somos um por todos e todos por um. 9. The party does not tolerate lies, treason, envy, greed, slander, selfishness, personal interest, but yes: truth, loyalty, dignity, solidarity and the interests of the Good of all, because we are one for all and all for one.
10. Todo integrante tem que respeitar a ordem e a disciplina do Partido. Cada um vai receber de acordo com aquilo que fez por merecer. A opinião de Todos será ouvida e respeitada, mas a decisão final será dos fundadores do Partido. 10. Every member must respect the order and discipline of the Party. Each one will receive in accordance with whatever he did to deserve it. The opinion of All will be heard and respected, but the final decision will be by the founders of the Party.
11. O Primeiro Comando da Capital PCC fundado no ano de 1993, numa luta descomunal e incansável contra a opressão e as injustiças do Campo de concentração "anexo" à Casa de Custódia e Tratamento de Taubaté, tem como tema absoluto a "Liberdade, a Justiça e Paz". 11. The First Command of the Capital PCC founded in the year of 1993, amid an enormous and tireless struggle against oppression and the injustices of a concentration Camp 'annex' at the House of Custody and Treatment of Taubaté, holds as absolute principles "Liberty, Justice and Peace."
12. O partido não admite rivalidades internas, disputa do poder na Liderança do Comando, pois cada integrante do Comando sabe a função que lhe compete de acordo com sua capacidade para exercê-la. 12. The party does not tolerate internal rivalries, disputes about the power of the Leadership of the Command, so each member of the Command knows the function that he competes for according to his ability to do it. (?)
13. Temos que permanecer unidos e organizados para evitarmos que ocorra novamente um massacre semelhante ou pior ao ocorrido na Casa de Detenção em 02 de outubro de 1992, onde 11 presos foram covardemente assassinados, massacre este que jamais será esquecido na consciência da sociedade brasileira. Porque nós do Comando vamos mudar a prática carcerária, desumana, cheia de injustiças, opressão, torturas, massacres nas prisões. 13. We must remain united and organized so that we may avoid new massacres similar or worse than those at the House of Detention on the 2nd of October in 1992, where 11 (111?) prisoners were cowardly killed, that massacre that will never be forgotten by the conscience of brazilian society. Because we of the Command are going to change the practice of incarceration, inhuman, full of injustices, oppression, turtures, massacres in the prisons.
14. A prioridade do Comando no montante é pressionar o Governador do Estado à desativar aquele Campo de Concentração "anexo" à Casa de Custódia e Tratamento de Taubaté, de onde surgiu a semente e as raízes do comando, no meio de tantas lutas inglórias e a tantos sofrimentos atrozes. 14. The increasing priority of the Command is to press the State Governor to decommission that Concentration Camp "annex" of the House of Detention and Treatment at Taubaté, whence grew the seed and the roots of the command, in the midst of such inglorious struggles and with so much atrocious suffering.
15. Partindo do Comando Central da Capital do KG do Estado, as diretrizes de ações organizadas simultâneas em todos os estabelecimentos penais do Estado, numa guerra sem trégua, sem fronteira, até a vitória final. 15. Leaving (?) the Central Command of the Capital of KG (?) of the State, the instructions (?) of simultaneous organized actions in all of the State penal establishments, in a war without respite, without border, until the final victory.
16. O importante de tudo é que ninguém nos deterá nesta luta porque a semente do Comando se espalhou por todos os Sistemas Penitenciários do estado e conseguimos nos estruturar também do lado de fora, com muitos sacrifícios e muitas perdas irreparáveis, mas nos consolidamos à nível estadual e à médio e longo prazo nos consolidaremos à nível nacional. Em coligação com o Comando Vermelho - CV e PCC iremos revolucionar o país dentro das prisões e nosso braço armado será o Terror "dos Poderosos" opressores e tiranos que usam o Anexo de Taubaté e o Bangu I do Rio de Janeiro como instrumento de vingança da sociedade na fabricação de monstros. 16. The [most] important of all is that no one will stop this struggle because the seed of Command has spread throughout the Pentitentiary Systems of the state and we are also succeeding in establishing ourselves on the outside, with many sacrifices and irreparable losses, but we consolidate at the state level and in the medium and long term we will consolidate at the national level. In coalition with the Red Command - CV and PCC we will revolutionize the country inside the prisons and our strong arm will be the Terror "of the Powerful" oppressors and tyrants who use the Taubaté Annex and Bangu 1 in Rio de Janeiro as instruments of vengeance of (?) society by making monsters.
Conhecemos nossa força e a força de nossos inimigos Poderosos, mas estamos preparados, unidos e um povo unido jamais será vencido. We know our strength and the strength of our Powerful enemies, but we are prepared, united and a united people will never be beaten.
LIBERDADE! JUSTIÇA! E PAZ! LIBERTY! JUSTICE! AND PEACE!
O Quartel General do PCC, Primeiro Comando da Capital, em coligação com Comando Vermelho CV. The Headquarters of the PCC, First Command of the Capital, in alliance with the Red Command CV.
UNIDOS VENCEREMOS. UNITED WE WILL CONQUER.

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terça-feira, maio 23, 2006

Trojan

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Slugs and Maggots, Thread Back: Nuclear Power Controversy.

Trojan ... get the connection? Here is the visual symbol of the place going down, being the cooling tower at the Trojan Nuclear Facility near Rainier, Oregon - hey, that's Ken Kesey country.

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Going ... going ... going ... Gone! Well, not really 'gone'; there are 34 'concrete casks' full of fuel rods stored at a place called Hanford (I will post a map after a while), and I bet they are just about a full semi-trailer load each those 'casks', no more 45 gallon drums dumped in the ocean for this lot - they have learned something at least; and I doubt the half billion pricetag (below) takes that into account.

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This pretty much recapitulates my exact train of thought; from thinking globally to acting locally to The Simpsons to a 'boobage' tattoo (or magic-marker as the case may be, fingerpaint?) sent to me by a piper friend a while ago.

Trojan was built by Bechtel for Portland General Electric (PGE) in the late 60s and early 70s, came on-line in 1975; some toilet-training problems apparently, the discovery of a fault line running through the place, some bad valves, some bad concrete work, some lawsuits and what not, settled out of court like big boys. Enron has a piece of the puzzle, fitting.

A source of major inspiration for The Simpsons.

A long struggle by environmentalists, somebody called Lloyd Marbet among them; place closed in 1993 and has been being slowly de-commissioned since; 1999 the fuel went to Hanford, last week they blew down the cooling tower.

I can't find any conclusive evidence on the de-commissioning costs - 500 million or so looks like, half a billion, still seems low to me, I don't think the ultimate storage of the fuel is in there fr'instance but I can't find detailed info on it.

Sources:
Wikipedia.
MapQuest.
PGE Website.
The Willamette Week from 1975.
News from Centre for Energy.
News from The Olympian Online.
A Spreadsheet from Bonneville Power Administration on De-commissioning.
News from WTOP Radio - Bonneville International Corporation around Washington DC.
A bit from the Peak Oil discussion at Lutherans Online.

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Maps: Ranier & Portland, Ranier, Hanford.

Put aside the costs of decommissioning Trojan for a minute - what are the costs of cleaning up Hanford going to be? They have been dumping 'transuranic' things there since the 1940s - some of it has found its way into the soil and to the nearby Columbia River. There is a largish report on the risks: Risk/Impact Technical Report for the Hanford Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project, Margaret MacDonell. Part of her recommended approach is to "develop reality checks"; I am not faulting her here by the way, there is no question this is a good idea. But it does let you know where they have been 'coming from' all these years.

Back to decommissioning; Potential Energy - The Cost of Nuclear, came up with 70 billion Euros for the plants in Great Britain; there are 23 of them according to The Eisenhower Institute, that would be ... rule of thumb ... roughly 3 billion a pop, Euros that is - at todays rate ... almost 4 billion US$ a pop, not chickenfeed.

Sorry, that was Pounds not Euros - comes out closer to 6 billion $US, 5.64 or something, but I checked the initial estimate, which came from the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and these numbers are understood to be soft.

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