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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Saturday, March 26, 2011


                                        Photo by Rex B. Thompson

My brother was in the Navy. He helped control the nuclear reactor on a submarine. After leaving the Navy, he went on to work for a company that trained the controllers of nuclear reactors owned by private utility companies.  He always assured me that nuclear energy was safe, and cited the Three Mile Island disaster which was contained because of the design and the controls in place. He also said that it was an operator error that caused the accident, not a flaw in the system. He convinced me that nuclear power is the cleanest and the safest. Of course, that was before Chernobyl. That disaster was caused by illegal tests that were being conducted at the behest of some bureaucrat.

Now we have the nuclear crisis in Japan, which occured after an earth quake and a tsunami devastated the area. Six nuclear reactors were clustered together on the shore of the ocean on top of a fault line. Radiation is now leaking into the ocean. It has entered into the food chain and we don't know how many people have been exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation.

No, nuclear energy is not safe. Not because of the process, but because of man. There will be failure to regulate, because the Republicans hate regulations. There will be failure to fund the regulators who ensure that the reactors are safe. There will be failure because of the greed of the corporations, who own the reactors, who will cut corners to increase profits. There will be failure because of our demand for cheap energy. In other words, there will be failure because of the stupidity of man.

And if you think that none of this matters because we have coal, a scientist recently reported on the BBC nightly news that fossil fuel has done far more damage to the environment than all of the nuclear accidents put together.

We need to find alternatives and we need to do it now.