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Baobab's Journal
Baobab's Journal
May 27, 2016

'I still hate the glow of the sun': Hiroshima survivors' tales by Shingo Ito

For survivors of the world's first nuclear attack, the day America unleashed a terrible bomb over the city of Hiroshima remains seared forever in their minds.


Though their numbers are dwindling and the advancing years are taking a toll, their haunting memories are undimmed by the passage of more than seven decades.

On the occasion of Barack Obama's offering of a floral tribute on Friday at the cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park -- the first ever visit by a sitting US president -- some of them share their stories with AFP.

Emiko Okada

Emiko Okada, now 79, was about 2.8 kilometres (1.7 miles) from ground zero and suffered severe injuries in the blast. Her sister was killed.

"All of a sudden a flash of light brightened the sky and I was slammed to the ground. I didn't know what on earth had happened. There were fires everywhere. We rushed away as the blaze roared toward us.

"The people I saw looked nothing like human beings. Their skin and flesh hung loose. Some children's eyeballs were popping out of their sockets.

"I still hate to see the glow of the setting sun. It reminds me of that day and brings pain to my heart.

"In the aftermath, many children who had evacuated during the war came back here, orphaned by the bomb. Many gangsters came to Hiroshima from around the country and gave them food and guns.

"President Obama is a person who can influence the world. I hope that this year will be the beginning of knowing what actually happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the mushroom clouds."

Keiko Ogura

Keiko Ogura, now 78, has devoted her life to keeping alive the memory of the devastating day.

"Shortly after (the bomb exploded) it rained. It was a sticky black rain and made my clothes wet.

"I saw a line of seriously burnt people, like silent ghosts.

"Suddenly, a girl grabbed my leg and said in a weak voice: 'Give me water.' Others also said: 'Water. Water.'

"I brought water to them, but some died right after they drank it. I regretted giving it to them.

"I saw smoke from a nearby park where bodies were being cremated. Sometimes I could smell the bodies burning.

"We faced the horror (of nuclear weapons). I tell everybody that it was hell. But they don't understand.

"There is no peace in Hiroshima. There is horror here."

Park Nam-Joo

Park Nam-Joo, now 83, is an ethnic Korean, who has suffered from breast and skin cancer because of the radiation she was exposed to that day.

An estimated 20,000 Koreans were among the dead in Hiroshima. Many had been taken to Japan as forced labourers during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula:

"Everything was broken to pieces. Everywhere was rubble. It's beyond description. It was inhumane.

"Hiroshima was a sea of fire. People bled from everywhere on their bodies: 'I'm burning. I'm burning. Please help,' they cried.

"The wounds of the living were infested with maggots. There was no medicine for it.

"People say human life is to be revered but the lives of those who died in the atomic bombing were just like those of insects.

"I still shed tears when I recall the scene. Many people don't want to remember that.

"I want people to know that not only Japanese but Korean, Chinese and others also suffered in the atomic bombing.

"I'm Catholic. Wearing a rosary and with a statue of the Virgin Mary next to me, I pray at night for a peaceful passage to heaven."

Misako Katani

Misako Katani, now 86, is one of the rare survivors of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When her mother and sister were killed in the Hiroshima bomb she took their ashes to the ancestral graveyard in Nagasaki -- only to be caught up in the second atomic blast.

"My father told me 'Your mom and Tamie (Katani's sister) should be there.' So I removed the rubble and found my mother's ashen bones.

"I put them into a box. And then I found bones which were too fragile to pick up. My father said: 'Those are Tamie's.' I guess my mother tried to escape while holding my sister. And then the house collapsed on them and they burned to death.

"I still vividly remember the scene. It's unforgettable. I almost cry when I revisit the past.

"I suffered from a lot of lung afflictions such as pneumonia. Whenever I sit at our family Buddhist altar, I tell my late mother, 'Hi mom, please take me to your place.' but she never does.

"The colour of my memories is grey.

"I don't dislike America although I hated it in the past. I want to meet (President Obama) and tell him, 'Please do not wage war anymore'."

Shigeaki Mori

Shigeaki Mori, now 79, is known for his study of the fate of US prisoners of war who were in Hiroshima. He now researches the fate of Australian POWs in Nagasaki.

"I was blown into a river while walking on a bridge. I was under the mushroom cloud. I decided to stay in the river for a while.

"I crawled up out of the water and saw a woman tottering toward me. Blood was everywhere on her body, and internal organs hung from her abdomen. While holding them, she asked me where she could find a hospital. Crying, I ran away, leaving her alone.

"People who were still alive were collapsed all around me. I escaped by stamping on their faces and heads. I heard screams from a broken down house. But I ran away as I was still a child with no power to help."

Sunao Tsuboi

Sunao Tsuboi, now 91, is co-chairperson of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations. He suffered serious burns and developed cancer and other diseases, but remains active in his lifelong campaign for a nuclear free world.

"I suffered burns all over my body. I had a terrible experience. Naked, I tried to run away for about three hours on August 6 but finally could no longer walk. I then wrote on the ground (with a small rock), 'Tsuboi dies here.'

"I lost consciousness several times and eventually came to on September 25.

"I can tolerate hardships for the sake of human happiness. I may die tomorrow but I'm optimistic. I will never give up. We want zero nuclear weapons.

"An apology doesn't matter. I just want (President Obama) to come and visit Hiroshima and see real things and listen to the voice of survivors."
May 26, 2016

Hillary is too much like Trump to debate him effectively. I think Hillary is also hobbled by Chelsea

and Ivanka's friendship. Think about that for a moment.

There are 350 million people in America, and of all of them, Chelsea's best female friend, her buddy, is Ivanka Trump.

They are admitted "best friends".

This should recuse Hillary from the race because like it or not, she is too friendly with Trump to oppose him.

Likewise with Trump and Hillary. Trump is trying to look scary and arbitrary by picking positions which he knows will distress Democrats (he actually was one for almost a decade quite recently- until after his friend Hillary lost in 2008.

One could say that Trumps positions might well have been picked in order to scare us into voting for Hillary.

In any legal proceeding this relationship would create a presumption of conflict of interest. The Presidential election is of all things, the one that should be the most strict on conflicts. Even the mere illusion of impropriety needs to be avoided otherwise the future President is likely to be seen as having attained their position through illegitimate means.

We cannot change the Republican nominee, we can only make sure our own nominee is the best possible advocate for the interests of the American people available.



(source http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/03/ivanka-trump-chelsea-clinton-friendship )

May 26, 2016

Sanders: Yes, A Convention About Real Issues Might Be 'Messy'


DNC should focus on welcoming energized newcomers, not attending private fundraisers hosted by big donors and corporate lobbyists

As he outlined his progressive agenda on Monday, Bernie Sanders said the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia could get "messy," adding: "Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle."

Sanders spoke with the Associated Press as he announced his picks for the Democratic National Committee's platform drafting panel—which included a group of renowned progressive activists, scholars, and lawmakers such as Dr. Cornel West, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Native American activist Deborah Parker—and called on the party to allow newcomers a platform at the convention.

The Vermont senator said:

We are bringing in a lot of new people into the political process, people who have never gone to a convention before, and they hope very much that their voices will be heard. The leadership of the Democratic Party has a very fundamental choice to make. And that choice is do we open the doors to many, many million of people—often working-class people, people who are working maybe two or three jobs to make ends meet—to young people who have never perhaps voted in their lives? Do we say, 'hey, come on in, we're delighted to have you, we're excited to have you, this is great for the Democratic party.'

Or do we say, 'hey, you know, you're not really one of us. We're too busy going to fancy fundraisers at $50,000 a plate, and you're really not what this party wants.' That's the choice.

"I think if they make the right choice and open the doors to working-class people and young people and create the kind of dynamism that the Democratic Party needs, it's going to be messy," Sanders continued. "Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle but that is where the Democratic Party should go."

"Democracy is messy," he continued. "Every day my life is messy. But if you want to be quiet and orderly and allow... things to proceed without vigorous debate, that is not what democracy is about."

The interview comes just ahead of the California primary on June 7, where 475 pledged delegates are at stake.

"What happens if I win a major victory in California? Will people say, 'Oh, we're really enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton despite the fact that Bernie Sanders has now won whatever it may be, 25 states, half the states?'" he said.

In that case, he said, superdelegates "may rethink that."

"This is why you want the process to play out."

May 26, 2016

Bad Government Has Consequences: China's Great Famine: A mission to expose the truth


China's Great Famine: A mission to expose the truth: An economist who survived one of the greatest man-made tragedies is determined to reveal how policies killed millions.
May 26, 2016

The Kubrick Site: The Case For HAL's Sanity by Clay Waldrop



Some viewers of Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey" have theorized that HAL, the computer genius turned villain of the spaceship Discovery, went mad during the Jupiter mission. However there is an alternative theory: that HAL acted rationally and logically, indeed with cold, calculating precision befitting a machine of his intelligence. This alternative theory will be presented here, with supporting evidence.
Before proceeding, let us acknowledge that Arthur C. Clarke, in his sequel novel "2010: Odyssey Two" says (in effect) that HAL went mad due to conflict in his programming. However, the 2001 novelization and its sequels differ in many respects from Kubrick's movie, so I will exclude them from my examination, and refer exclusively to the movie for evidence

The Chess Game

The first piece of evidence arises from the chess game between Frank Poole and HAL. The initial position shown on the computer screen is:
May 25, 2016

Why Is This Fed Official So Worried About a Solar Storm? A regional risk expert published a grim

Why Is This Fed Official Worried About a Solar Storm?: A regional risk expert published a grim assessment of how the U.S. economy would fair after a crippling solar storm.



On the Probability (frequency of occurrence) of severe solar storms.


May 25, 2016

What is a "service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority" under Article I:3(b) and (c)

What is a "service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority" under Article I:3(b) and (c) of the General Agreement on Trade in Services?

This is one of the core issues standing in the way of single payer in the US and its one that will require the US stand down from a cornerstone of "our" trade policy, an extremely problematic position that has the effect of a global war on public services such as health care and education.


May 25, 2016

Single Payer will "Never Ever Come to Pass" - Hillary Clinton (video)

The real reason it can never come to pass is detailed here. A "Free Trade Agreement" - signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 - that BARS it completely.
May 25, 2016

I pledge not to vote for Trump

no matter how much I dislike Hillary.

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