jump to navigation

Fukushima Fascism 21/01/2014

Posted by zoidion in History, Mundane.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
trackback

Twin Cities ephemera: Oh what a beautiful morning, the chill notwithstanding. It was a calm, clear, seven-below dawn as I stepped outside and tramped to the end and back of the partial labyrinth I’ve made–the Nazca pattern, to be more precise. That’s a first-time thing, motivated by the lack of one at Coldwater Spring and the recognition that wintertime living so easily becomes rutted and dreary, routinized by moving about in limited pathways through the snow: more than a foot deep now. No doubt the frost is also deep, deeper below than the snow lies above. But somewhere down there, below the sleeping worms and roots and seeds, water is moving, even as only a tiny trickle. The cherry tree, the pear trees wait patiently, along with the currants, the sorrel, the comfrey, the garlic. The mosquito eggs too. All awaiting Earth’s signals.

I was drawn further, toward a view of the horizon, and I was rewarded with the sight of Venus reborn as a morning star, and the sight of Moon and Mars near the zenith. A beautiful day, or at least a beautiful start.

Not far from my mind’s surface: the scene last week at a restaurant that has conspicuously supported the local food movement, where two urban beekeepers reported on the destruction last year of several honey beehives. Not by vandalism, as subsequent investigation revealed, but by the application of a fungicide at some distance. There was no overt comment about the date, but I suppose it was commonly noted: 11 September. And as the events of twelve years before were at least facilitated by domestic ineptitude, this destruction was committed by a society seemingly rushing toward collective suicide. How many more such sumptuous meals will Earth provide when bees, monarchs and other pollinators are decimated?

With a state legislator and city council member speaking, another (newly elected) city council member and two park board commissioners present, there was plenty of talk and plans for a “pollinator resolution” to be presented at caucuses next month. It’s a state legislative election year, and that’s the level of “control” over chemical pesticides: The State of Minnesota has preempted any local laws regulating “any matter relating to the registration, labeling, distribution, sale, handling, use, application, or disposal of pesticides.” One of many ways in which home rule across the country has been hijacked by agents of the corporate juggernaut and their elected hench(wo)men.

I’m not a beekeeper, and have no plans or dreams to begin. But I’ve made efforts to help a more healthy habitat become established in my modest urban yard, yet I have no say in the spraying that takes place literally in the next yard–but if I wanted to host a beehive, I’d have to obtain those residents’ approval. Fat chance of that. Multiply that situation, dominated by values of decorative appearances, by many thousands, and a vast body of resistance comes into view. And with a powerful industrial agriculture machine reaching across the southern half of this state–the chemicals flushed each year out of the Minnesota River watershed contribute disproportionately to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico–a healthier shift soon enough seems most unlikely.

Though I felt strengthened in meeting familiar and new people with a common recognition of our collective predicament, I couldn’t conjure a sense of hopefulness. Among the flyers I brought home is one on how to build a “beehouse” for wild bees; I’ll do it–I’ve been mulling the idea for a couple of years–but the prospect fails to suffice. Despite reports of excellent and dedicated work by the Bee Lab, hope seems more than audacious: false. 

Hope: “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Nope.

It’s that certain thing that’s a problem: It’s a would-be solution, and I’ve forsworn solutions. But that doesn’t mean it would be pointless to look into other responses. Maybe not. Perhaps there is a point to looking at Leila Darwish’s Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Repairing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes, and the county library has three copies. 

Halfway across the world, other efforts to manage contamination and breakdown are, well, breaking down rather badly. As fans of “amateur” sports salivate for the impending opening of the winter Olympic games at Sochi, in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, another set of Olympic politics is beginning to unfold thousands of miles away, in Shinzo Abe’s Japan: Tokyo has been chosen to host the summer 2020 Olympics. It’s just as ugly, so much so that it’s being soberly summed up as Fukushima Fascism.

Hyperbole? Even politicians inside Japan’s ruling bloc, which recalled and re-installed–well, there were elections–the discredited Abe in December 2012, admit that a major motivation for desperate measures is to silence the critical media, squelch whistleblowers, and ensure that the nuclear disaster is out of sight and out of mind well before the Olympics. The new state secrets law, passed by Parliament on 6 December 2013 and diplomatically approved by the government of Barack Obama’s America, stipulates up to ten-year prison terms for violations by public officials and private citizens, and five-year terms for journalists. Official denial reigns, while dire but plausible reports leak out.

Meanwhile, the ecological and social fabric continues to fray: A zone of contamination is seeing five centimeters (slightly less than two inches) of soil scraped away–and dumped where? Many families in the accident area are being broken by “Fukushima divorces”: the women and children leaving the radiation zone, the men staying. Big cities, especially Tokyo, have become the theatre for recruitment of homeless men to work–until radiation sickness takes them–in the attempt to secure the stricken power plant.

Containing the sundered reactors at Fukushima has been a fruitless quest. Groundwater was not a problem at Chernobyl, where the Soviet authorities built a giant “sarcophagus” to contain the failed reactor. The situation is quite different and profoundly more serious at the Fukushima plant: built at the seashore, on a former riverbed, over an active aquifer. In a short video, nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson explains why groundwater makes Fukushima so hard to clean up, and why radiation levels there will require an exclusion zone for at least a century.

And for many of the hapless sailors of the USS Reagan, life is also cruelly unraveling. That vessel was directed to provide assistance in the emergency immediately after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, and its personnel were in the path of radioactive fallout. With essential no precautions or warning, they were silently sacrificed: Some even playfully participated in on-deck snowball fights: scooping up, hurling and being hit by radioactive snowballs.

Across the Pacific credible reports of dangerously increased radioactivity in the air, ocean currents and fish have been made, but the curtain of official silence has descended. One example: The State of Washington’s Health Department says: “For a period of time after Fukushima nuclear reactors were damaged, we posted daily readings of radiation around the state. We stopped posting readings when radiation levels were what we normally see.”

Everything’s fine, folks. Go back to the mall. Get your minds back on those apps.

But it’s hardball politics in Japan, with echoes of a not-so-distant past. The crackdown on whistleblowers and journalists is just one thing that has Koichi Nakano worried. A professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and director of the Institute of Global Concern, he stated in an interview on “Democracy Now”:

“It is particularly worrisome because it reminds us of what happened before the Second World War, actually, when Tokyo was destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1923. And the peace preservation law that eventually led to the birth of state secret police and the brutality of the military regime was also enacted two years right after the big earthquake that destroyed Tokyo back in the 1920s. So, the parallel is quite spooky.”

The push toward a resurgence of militarism in Japan throughout the era of defeat, occupation and deference to America, has been insistent, with more and more end runs around the constitutional prohibition against permanent military forces. See, for example, “The Sun Also Rises.”

The astrological pattern for the current incarnation of the Japanese nation–represented by the restoration of sovereignty (28 April 1952, 10:30 pm. local time, Tokyo)–shows the military factor barely held in check: the Sun in opposition to Mars in domicile in the relentless sign of Scorpio. (Each Sun-Mars opposition–when Earth is between Sun and Mars–is also when Mars is at perigee: closest to Earth.) The opposition represents a crisis unresolved, however, and anytime that configuration is repeated–such as (especially) in April 2014–there is strong potential for events and a shift of political energies that break the channels that have defined the state.

A number of astrological factors point out the coming months as crucial: the alignment of Sun and Mars (exact on 9 April at 19 degrees of Aries and Libra) closely with the vertical axis of the sovereignty chart, and with Neptune. The latter represents the nation’s sense of universal purpose and significance, and–just as problematically–its scandals, corruption of vision, and the results of confusion and deception. One outcome of this period is likely to be a greater unavoidable reckoning with the nation’s long-running economic decline.

Japan-Sovereignty

In the weeks to follow, Mars–continuing the retrograde phase begun on 1 March–tightens and energizes the already-tight configuration of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto: all configured with Mercury (communication media), Saturn (the apparatus of state control), and Uranus (rebellious, especially fascistic, elements). Thus, astrologically literate people can anticipate national and even international deployment of forces to contain a situation rapidly unraveling: ecologically, economically, politically. (To add punctuation to the drama of the period, a solar eclipse is scheduled for 29 April at eight degrees fifty-two minutes Taurus: on the exact degree of the Sun in the sovereignty chart.)

Note that the conclusion of Mars’ retrograde phase on 19 May takes place zodiacally at nine degrees and two minutes of Libra: exactly on the place of Saturn in the sovereignty chart. Watch for clues to defining governmental actions in the week before and the week after this date. What is decided and what happens in the months to follow will largely determine the answers to two very large questions that ripple through every part of the post-modern world: How long can that island nation–lacking virtually all the ingredients of industrial civilization on its own soil–remain a modern corporate state? How tortuous must be the process of “going medieval”?

< – zoidion – >

P.S. Re: Militarization: In late December 2013, the Japanese legislature passed a measure to increase military spending by 5% over the next five years.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Dave of Maryland - 22/01/2014

Thanks for another great post. On local politics:

You might remember a lot of socialist movies of the late 1930’s that painted the local mayor as a bogey man – His Girl Friday, The Grapes of Wrath, among them.

The result, as soon as the smoke of war had cleared, was to make mayors figureheads, under the new “city manager.” Who, as he was a political appointee, found it advisable to cater to the figurehead mayor and councilors by promoting real estate interests. Which was done through zoning. Which made everybody rich through the creation of strip malls, shopping centers, industrial parks, residential developments, etc, all tied together with cars and roads. All modern and neat and the best social science they could find. It was win-win for everyone who had land or something to sell, but destroyed the towns and the communities in them. We now have congestion and a landscape of empty car parks.

Fast forward to the 1980’s and the distress we all felt at the time that voter turnout was falling and falling. Well, the obvious solution was to have local elections on their own special days, so they would not get confused with state and federal elections. Oh, yeah, and we have to have our own local primaries as well, because there has to be primaries, there just have to be.

The result was local election days that no one knew about. Turnout, which had been maybe 50%, plunged to 10% or less. Most people in fact did not know there were elections. I did not.

Add in special elections, such as the one in Santa Fe, where a special sales tax was levied to support a municipal bus line. More than adequate funding to support a very nice system.

But most of the money was stolen by the city, right from the start, and used to fund various pet projects. When one councilman was asked how he justified flaunting the Will Of The People, he shot back that he had to stand for elections and he had always gotten more votes than the g*d damned bus ever did.

I’ve lived in Kansas and New York and California and New Mexico and Maryland and I’ve always been puzzled as to when the local election day was. Finally I realized that if the big federal day was the first Tuesday in November (Scorpio), that the local day would be the first Tuesday in May (Taurus), which made sense.

Except that here in Maryland, it wasn’t. Signs went up at Thanksgiving, Vote for Me!, but no clue as to the polling date itself. I presumed it would be, like, the first Tuesday in February or maybe the first Tuesday in March. I’ve been in Maryland since October 2002 and have wanted to vote in local elections but never knew when they were.

About three years ago I actually found out when primary day was and went to vote. Only to find there were no Democrats running, only Republicans. As there’s no point in being a card-carrying Dem in a one-party Republican town, I switched my party on the spot. Now can I vote, I asked?

No, the clerk replied. You have to wait for the next time.

But because I did not note the format of the election day itself, I was again unable to determine when the next primary election would be. More years pass.

But as a card-carrying Republican – and damn proud of it, may I say – I got on the local Republican mailing list. Right bunch of loonies they turned out to be.

So when I got a campaign flyer in the mail a month ago, Vote for Me, Vote for Me! I shot him an email and asked, WHEN IS THE ELECTION?!!! Because not even in the campaign literature, not even on the candidates’ web pages, is that Holy and Sacred Date given.

And I got a prompt and courteous response. The upcoming Maryland primary day will be Tuesday, June 24.

And this time I got it right. Primaries in Maryland are the FOURTH Tuesday in JUNE. Who would have known? Who would have thunk?

It just happens to be the week before the 4th of July. Just the biggest federal holiday of them all. Not to mention stuck smack in the middle of the American vacation season. If I wanted to set a date when no one was likely to vote, I could hardly have picked a better day.

Amazingly enough, it was TWENTY YEARS before the Tea Party came along to exploit it. Because, clearly, if you could get a couple dozen of your friends to the polls, you could get yourself elected to any office you wanted. In a one-horse town, which most of America is, one way or another, if you can win the primary, you’ve won the election. Once you win your first election, you’re established and have a career as an elected politician.

So now you know why we have a Tea Party and why we cannot get rid of it. Since the legislative bodies like the situation the way it is, the only way to get primaries on dates that work (the first Tuesday in May, anyone?) would be by referendum.

And it’s the same for the legally hard-wired Republican and Democratic parties. The only way to flush the laws that keep them going will be by referendum. Any 100 citizens who band together ought to be as much a party as anyone else. That would be the Centurion Party, come to think of it.

America’s political problems are structural. Laws were put in place, deliberately, to make things the way they are. Hey, I hear you say, whose blog is this, anyway? Well, yours, of course, and a very good one, too. Thanks for letting me mouth off a bit, and apologies for the length.

zoidion - 23/01/2014

Apologies not necessary, Mercurious. (Besides, this “place” tends to be as quiet as a library, except when you show up.) And what you have to say is funny too, if it weren’t so sad.
Quite a racket the Republicrats have going, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big break in the duopoly fairly soon, playing out in the wake of events timed to the much-written-about Grand Cross triggering Sun-Saturn in the USA Declaration of Independence chart. Said “structural” Saturn is another example of why I’ve come to be quite skeptical of the “blessings” of planetary exaltations.

2. Dave of Maryland - 22/01/2014

PS. I was at the DMV last week, getting my handicapped permit renewed. As they do voter registration, I asked the greeter to tell me what day the election was.

Gee, she said, I’m just a temp, I have no idea.

And then because I had come first thing in the morning, my number had already been called, so I went to the clerk.

And asked her.

Gee, she did not know, either. Had been there for years. No one knew. That was last Thursday.

It’s the forth Tuesday in June, I said. Now you know.

TOP SECRET ELECTIONS.

TOP SECRET ELECTIONS.

I sure do love them Top Secret Elections. Can’t get enuf of them thar Top Secret Elections.

zoidion - 23/01/2014

“Just a temp, no idea”–democracy AND capitalism on the cheap. And we get what we pay for.
I heard yesterday that lotsa voting technology brought into service following the debacle of 2000 now supposedly needs replacing.

Dave of Maryland - 23/01/2014

I did note that myself. Why is the state hiring temps, etc. On the other hand, I just now remembered that the temp route is the way that governments traditionally get new hires. They don’t come through the official exams and qualifying interviews. They invariably start as temps and then get converted to permanents. This is because managers don’t like being forced to hire the results of tests, and also because they want to try out the candidate before they commit.

I once walked in to the Santa Fe DMV office and made that comment at the desk and half the room looked up at me in guilty recognition. Each of them had thought they were the exception.

But to me, with a chart loaded with oppositions, this is another example of how the world is never truthful or straightforward. Since I am intellectually addled (yes!) I always think that what I am told is the truth and act upon it as if it were and am always disappointed to find it was not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Into the Ruins

The best in deindustrial, post-industrial, and post-peak science fiction

gaylaellis

photos and words

Demystifying the Aquarian Age

© Copyright Terry MacKinnell All Rights Reserved

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Family Yields

one family's approach to permaculture

Stormstalker

The weather junkie's fix.

ClubOrlov

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

weathersage

Home of Long Range Weather Forecasting

Small Batch Garden

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Autonomy Acres

Tales From the Anthropocene * Urban Homesteading * Permaculture * DIY Living * Citizen Science

Turkeysong

Experimental Homestead

Paul Douglas Weather Column

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

22 Billion Energy Slaves

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Strong Towns Media - Strong Towns

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The view from Brittany

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The Archdruid Report

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

%d bloggers like this: