Tuesday, March 22, 2011


You haven't heard anything further from me on the situation at Fukushima Dai'ichi mainly because there has been very little substantive change since this weekend. TEPCO has begun restoring grid power to the site and the reactor units are stable (though still in bad shape). The spent fuel pool for Unit 4 is still giving them fits due to high radiation fields. They are getting more workers on site, which is crucial work in high dose areas. Things are still much better than late last week and I am actually sleeping at night again. There was no zirc fire in the spent fuel pool, so in the end, this will probably be a nasty contamination event, but not a horrible tragedy.

On another discouraging note, as we feared might happen if mood were stay biased towards negative, cop killings are on the increase:

Holder announces safety initiative after rise in officer deaths
By Carol Cratty, CNN
Washington (CNN) -- Attorney General Eric Holder announced a Law Enforcement Safety Initiative Tuesday, calling the number of law enforcement officers killed in the United States so far this year "simply unacceptable."

Holder's comments came as he met with a group of police chiefs and the heads of several federal law enforcement agencies to talk about the problem. He said the initiative will involve all U.S. attorneys around the country meeting with their local police and others to discuss the issue and to try to find solutions.

According to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 49 officers have been killed so far this year, compared to 41 for the same period last year, an increase of 20%. Holder said 23 of those officers lost their lives due to gunshot wounds, including five who worked in federal law enforcement...

The conflict in Libya took me by surprise as well. Expect more and more of these foreign policy "surprises" as mood craters. Domestic "surprises" may catch up as well. Keep an eye on Yemen - if that particular domino were to fall into some sort of anarchy, that could spell very bad news for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all that lovely oil that rests underneath it...


David said...

Rising authoritarianism makes cops ever more the tip of the spear that is piercing the very citizenry the political system is supposed to be protecting.

As regulations, restrictions, taxes, and confiscations are heaped on people by politicians and bureaucrats, amplifying the conflict between those "inside the fraternity" and those they rule over, the "Us vs. Them" militarization of the police will lead to ever-greater numbers of deaths.

I don't pay as much attention to the number of cops killed each year; I look much more closely at the number of people killed by cops, both intended and unintended shootings & beatings.

That's a figure that does not seem to matter much to the likes of Eric Holder.

Wild Bill said...

I wohder if the count the cops killed by other cops? It happens a lot more than one would think.