Written by Atheo | Aletho News | October 10, 2010
A cascade of insurmountable obstacles now stand in the path of development of the widely trumpeted new generation of nuclear power generating plants in the US despite generous federal loan guarantees offered by Obama’s Department of Energy.
Natural gas prices have fallen to a fraction of their peak as new extraction technology has more than doubled proven reserves. In many locations natural gas is less costly than coal, and new electrical power produced with gas runs about half the projected cost of new nuclear power even after factoring in multiple levels of government subsidy for nuclear power, including assumption of liability and waste disposal. Financiers are well aware of the historic cost over-runs for nuclear power plants which often double or triple original estimates.
Demand for electricity has been declining, due to both reduced economic activity as well as improved efficiency and conservation. Private investment capital is not attracted to making a bet on these factors reversing even in the intermediate term. The prospects are so bad that the only way that these facilities will be built is if the entire financial as well as environmental risk is borne by the public, even a 20% equity stake on the part of investors is deemed too risky. The Washington Post on Saturday reported the withdrawal of private , for profit, involvement in Maryland:
Constellation Energy has shelved its proposal to build a new reactor at its Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant, Obama administration officials said Friday, even though the administration had decided to award the project a $7.5 billion loan guarantee.
There is one nuclear project currently slated to go forward, in Georgia, the difference being that regulators there allow rate payers to be billed for the cost of construction before the plant is in operation which allows the risks of cost over-runs to be carried by the public. So Georgians face risks on multiple levels; default, uncompetitive power prices and catastrophic environmental calamity.
The Baltimore Sun points out that the real trouble for the nuclear ‘renaissance’ lies with Congress’ failure to pass cap and trade legislation which would have made nuclear power competitive with carbon based fuels. The chances of this type of legislation passing evaporated with the exposure of the Climategate emails almost a year ago, which along with the exposure of IPCC claims that Himalayan Glaciers were to melt by 2035 as being fraudulent, reduced the chances of an international agreement on carbon emissions to nil.
While some nuclear projects have been underway for years and represent significant stranded investment, utilities and financiers are now cutting losses and calling it quits. The Baltimore Sun goes so far as to describe the recent abandonment of the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland as “a huge setback for, if not the end of, the American nuclear renaissance.”
Also by Atheo:
January 9, 2012
November 13, 2011
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Canadian Concentration Camps
By world standards Canada is a country that respects and protects its citizens’ human rights. That has not always been true, however. Many people are familiar with the story of the internment of Japanese-Canadians in BC during World War II. But not many people are aware that the Japanese were not the only Canadians imprisoned during wartime simply because of their ethnic origin. The history of Canada includes more than one shameful incident in which the Canadian government used the law to violate the civil rights of its own citizens.
The War Measures Act
The War Measures Act was enacted on 22 August 1914, and gave the federal government full authority to do everything deemed necessary “for the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada”. It could be used when the government thought that Canada was about to be invaded or war would be declared, in order to mobilize all segments of society to support the war effort. The Act also gave the federal government sweeping emergency powers that allowed Cabinet to administer the war effort without accountability to Parliament, and without regard to existing legislation. It gave the government additional powers of media censorship, arrest without charge, deportation without trial, and the expropriation, control and disposal of property. This Act was always implemented via an Order in Council, rather than by approval of the democratically elected Parliament.
World War I
After Great Britain entered the First World War in August 1914, the government of Canada issued an Order in Council under the War Measures Act. It required the registration and in certain cases the internment of aliens of “enemy nationality”. This included the more than 80,000 Canadians who were formerly citizens of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. These individuals had to register as “enemy aliens” and report to local authorities on a regular basis. Twenty-four “concentration camps” (later called “internment camps”) were established across Canada, eight of them in British Columbia. View a list of World War 1 Concentration Camps. The camps were supposed to house enemy alien immigrants who had contravened regulations or who were deemed to be security threats. In fact, the “enemy aliens” could be interned if they failed to register, or failed to report monthly, or travelled without permission, or wrote to relatives in Austria.
Other less concrete reasons given for internment included “acting in a very suspicious manner” and being “undesirable”. By the middle of 1915, 4,000 of the internees had been imprisoned for being “indigent” (poor and unemployed). A total of 8,579 Canadians were interned between 1914 and 1920. Over 5,000 of them were of Ukrainian descent. Germans, Poles, Italians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Turks, Serbians, Hungarians, Russians, Jews, and Romanians were also imprisoned. Of the 8,579 internees, only 2,321 could be classed as “prisoners of war” (i.e. “captured in arms or belonging to enemy reserves”); the rest were civilians.
Upon each individual’s arrest, whatever money and property they had was taken by the government. In the internment camps they were denied access to newspapers and their correspondence was censored. They were sometimes mistreated by the guards. One hundred and seven internees died, including several shot while trying to escape. They were forced to work on maintaining the camps, road-building, railway construction, and mining. As the need for soldiers overseas led to a shortage of workers in Canada, many of these internees were released on parole to work for private companies.
The first World War ended in 1918, but the forced labour program was such a benefit to Canadian corporations that the internment was continued for two years after the end of the War.
World War II
During World War II the War Measures Act was used again to intern Canadians, and 26 internment camps were set up across Canada. In 1940 an Order in Council was passed that defined enemy aliens as “all persons of German or Italian racial origin who have become naturalized British subjects since September 1, 1922″. (At the time, Canada didn’t grant passports and citizenship on its own, so immigrants were “naturalized” by becoming British subjects.) A further Order in Council outlawed the Communist Party. Estimates suggest that some 30,000 individuals were affected by these Orders; that is, they were forced to register with the RCMP and to report to them on a monthly basis. The government interned approximately 500 Italians and over 100 communists.
In New Brunswick, 711 Jews, refugees from the holocaust, were interned at the request of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill because he thought there might be spies in the group.
In 1942, the government decided it wanted 2,240 acres of Indian Reserve land at Stony Point, in southwestern Ontario, to establish an advanced infantry training base. Apparently the decision to take Reserve land for the army base was made to avoid the cost and time involved in expropriating non-Aboriginal lands. The Stony Point Reserve comprised over half the Reserve territory of the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point. Under the Indian Act, reserve lands can only be sold by Surrender, which involves a vote by the Band membership. The Band members voted against the Surrender, however the Band realized the importance of the war effort and they were willing to lease the land to the Government. The Government rejected the offer to lease. On April 14, 1942, an Order-in-Council authorizing the appropriation of Stony Point was passed under the provisions of the War Measures Act. The military was sent in to forcibly remove the residents of Stony Point. Houses, buildings and the burial ground were bulldozed to establish Camp Ipperwash. By the terms of the Order-in-Council, the Military could use the Reserve lands at Stony Point only until the end of World War II. However, those lands have not yet been returned. The military base was closed in the early 1950’s, and since then the lands have been used for cadet training, weapons training and recreational facilities for military personnel.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, the government passed an Order in Council authorizing the removal of “enemy aliens” within a 100-mile radius of the BC coast. On March 4, 1942 22,000 Japanese Canadians were given 24 hours to pack before being interned. They were first incarcerated in a temporary facility at Hastings Park Race Track in Vancouver. Women, children and older people were sent to internment camps in the Interior. Others were forced into road construction camps. There were also “self-supporting camps”, where 1,161 internees paid to lease farms in a less restrictive environment, although they were still considered “enemy aliens”. Men who complained about separation from their families or violated the curfew were sent to the “prisoner of war” camps in Ontario.
The property of the Japanese Canadians – land, businesses, and other assets – were confiscated by the government and sold, and the proceeds used to pay for their internment. In 1945, the government extended the Order in Council to force the Japanese Canadians to go to Japan and lose their Canadian citizenship, or move to eastern Canada. Even though the war was over, it was illegal for Japanese Canadians to return to Vancouver until 1949. In 1988 Canada apologized for this miscarriage of justice, admitting that the actions of the government were influenced by racial discrimination. The government signed a redress agreement providing a small amount of money compensation.
Could This Happen Today?
The War Measures Act was repealed in 1988. It was replaced with the Emergencies Act. The Emergencies Act allows the federal government to make temporary laws in the event of a serious national emergency. The Emergencies Act differs from the War Measures Act in two important ways:
1. A declaration of an emergency by the Cabinet must be reviewed by Parliament
2. Any temporary laws made under the Act are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Thus any attempt by the government to suspend the civil rights of Canadians, even in an emergency, will be subject to the “reasonable and justified” test under section 1 of the Charter. Restrictions and limitations on freedom were inevitable during times of war. To the Canadian government, internment during both World Wars was a practical solution to a perceived security problem. However the terms of the Orders in Council, and the methods used to carry them out, reveal that the government was influenced more by racial discrimination and anti-immigrant sentiments than by any real threat to national security. The stories of the internees are a reminder of how human rights are vulnerable in situations of crisis.
By Diana Breti
Centre for Education, Law and Society (CELS)
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia
- 71 Years Ago Today, FDR Signed “NDAA of 1942″ Authorizing Internment Camps (silverunderground.com)
- BC’s Japanese Internment Camps (CJIC Prt 1) (habitualrunaway.wordpress.com)
- Remembering the internment of Montreal-Italians during WWII (globalnews.ca)
JERUSALEM — Israel’s government on Sunday approved a proposal to require every non-Jew wishing to become a citizen to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.
Twenty-two ministers voted in favor of the proposal, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Eight ministers were opposed.
Speaking ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the amendment to the citizenship law would require that “anyone seeking to become a naturalized Israeli citizen will declare [that] he or she will be a loyal citizen of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”
“No one can preach democracy or enlightenment to us,” Netanyahu said, adding that “There is no other democracy in the Middle East.”
Critics of the proposal question the democracy of forcing non-Jews to swear allegiance to a Jewish state. The bill will primarily affect Israel’s Palestinian minority as Jewish immigrants to Israel usually enter on the state’s Jewish Law of Return. Around 20 percent of Israel’s population are non-Jewish Arabs.
Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouthi said the move was “the last straw in the consolidation of a racist, apartheid system in Israel,” describing the law as “an official declaration of apartheid.”
Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy panned the move in a piece published shortly after the vote. “Remember this day,” he wrote. “From now on, we will be living in a new, officially approved, ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist country. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t affect him is mistaken.”
During peace talks in Washington last month, President Mahmoud Abbas refused Israel’s request to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” saying that it would forfeit the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a final status issue in negotiations. Further, he said it would threaten the civil rights of Palestinians living inside Israel.
Negotiations have reached a deadlock over Netanyahu’s refusal to stop building settlements on Palestinian land. At an Arab League summit in Libya on Saturday, Abbas said the international community realized the “absurdity” of continuing to negotiate with Israel while it expanded settlements and unilaterally imposed borders.
Former intelligence officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer’s new book reveals that BushCo knew that plans were being made for the 9/11 attack, but chose to do nothing to stop it and a few things to make sure it succeeded.
This is why the Defense Intelligence Agency recently demanded, after buying up the first 10,000 copies of the book, that all references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book’s author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, be removed from the book. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Col. Shaffer alleges that the head of the 9/11 Commission was told about the identification of Mohammed Atta prior to the attacks. So why wasn’t any mention of this made in the final 9/11 report?
Shaffer, who was undercover at the time he spoke with Zelikow in Afghanistan, said there was “stunned silence” at the meeting when he told the executive director of the commission and others that Atta had been identified as a terrorist as early as 2000 by Shaffer’s “Able Danger” research team. And if this is true, why wasn’t Atta on some kind of terrorist watch list at every airport on 9/11?
According to Shaffer’s account of their meeting, “Dr. Philip Zelikow approached me in the corner of the room and said, ‘What you said today is very important. I need you to get in touch with me as soon as you return from your deployment here in Afghanistan’.”
Once back in the U.S., Col. Shaffer says he contacted the 9/11 Commission as requested. Without explanation, however, the commission was no longer interested in any evidence that Atta had been identified as a terrorist a year before 9/11. An inspector general report by the Department of Defense then concluded there was “no evidence” to support the claims of Shaffer and others. But Fox News has obtained an un-redacted copy of the IG report containing the names of witnesses, who backed up Shaffer’s story when contacted for comment.
What role did our Department of Defense play in preparation for the events of 9/11?
A growing number of credible scientists and engineers have proven beyond any doubt that the destruction of the World Trade Center was caused by controlled demolition. The “hard science” and “hard evidence” is there for anyone to examine. Telltale thermate residue was found in almost all the dust and ash from the demolition of the twin towers, and there are no longer any doubts about this in the minds of anyone willing to examine the evidence with an open mind.
Moreover, every aspect of the official investigation into the events of 9/11 has been shown to have been compromised and/or openly interfered with, and all this has been carefully documented, yet not widely reported in the United States.
Here’s what is being discovered:
1. An Arab terrorist group began planning the 9/11 attacks during the late 1990s and was infiltrated by the Mossad and/or agents working for the CIA
2. The original terrorist planning was supplemented, paralleled, augmented and perhaps eventually replaced by a vast and highly complex domestic “false flag” attack, the ultimate purpose of which was to realign some of the world’s political and economic realities.
3. Israel, with its considerable influence over American mainstream media, and its ability to operate openly and with impunity inside the United States, took the lead in making sure the attacks would take place without fail. Arabs would quickly be blamed and a carefully scripted press account would “seal the deal,” while a rigged investigation was already “in the can.”
In an attempt to maintain the supposed “integrity’ of the falsified investigation, the Pentagon recently paid $47,000 for 9,500 copies of Operation Dark Heart, the memoir of former intelligence officer Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer. We were told the book contained classified information on Afghanistan — information that would aid the enemy. But this was a lie. What the book contained was a chapter on Operation Able Danger, a Pentagon effort involving Shaffer and other officers using the Internet and “open source” information to track terrorist organizations. By this means, Shaffer and his group, Captain Scott Phillpott, James D. Smith, and Major Eric Kleinschmidt, identified, as early as 1999, the group accused of planning and executing the 9/11 attack! Further, Shaffer’s group had created a chart showing the structure of the terrorist organization. Mohammed Atta, reputed leader of the 9/11 operation, was prominently featured, his photograph placed in the “number one” position among the terrorists who were being tracked or should be tracked.
When attempts were made to inform the FBI about this discovery, the Department of Defense ordered that all information on the future hijackers be destroyed, and that the group’s efforts to warn appropriate counter-terrorist organizations be stopped.
In 2005, 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean said he was aware of the Able Danger report but that no evidence had been provided that backed up the claims of any foreknowledge of 9/11. However, on June 14, 2004, an unnamed high ranking Navy officer informed the 9/11 Commission that he had reviewed the charts and other materials we now know to have been destroyed on orders of the DIA. The Commission chose to ignore this officer’s report and omitted any record of it from their findings.
So here we have evidence that, not only did the government have full knowledge of the accused hijackers 2 years in advance of the attack, but that they destroyed the evidence and thereby prevented the terrorists from being arrested prior to their planned date for the attack!
And now the members of the 9/11 Commission are unable to give any credible reason why they failed to investigate these allegations of Lt. Col. Shaffer and his team of researchers.