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(Reuters) - Israel has no plan to review its nuclear policies, a government official said on Friday, playing down efforts by world powers at a U.N. non-proliferation conference to promote a Middle East free of atomic arms.
When you have something to say, do you wonder how to let your elected representatives know? Remember, they are working for you!
The best way to make a real impact on your representatives in government is in person. Show up at town meetings and events and speak out. If that's not possible, call them. Don't be shy, that's what they're there for.
If you prefer to write in- a real letter will probably make a stronger impression, but sometimes time is tight and emails are much better than silence. No matter how you choose to make contact, remember they multiply your comments. For every person who takes the time to write or call in, they figure there are a certain percentage more who feel the same way.
You will always be making a difference.
Find out who your elected officials are at this link:
Contact U.S. Senators via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard : (202) 224-3121
Notes from the Non Proliferation Treaty Conference: A new decade for disarmament? Reaching Critical Will takes a look at what's happening. While some delegations are pushing for real disarmament, as eloquently expressed by Reaching Critical Will: "...several delegations pointed out on Tuesday, there is a real risk that the 2010 Review Conference will end in failure as it did in 2005 if governments cannot work together."
Although the numbness induced by PowerPoint presentations is hardly news, a new concern has surfaced over the distancing effect caused by endless slides and bullet points. When the presentation of information takes precedence over its true nature, there is an erosion of what James Carroll calls “the capacity to attend to the causal connection between events.”
Carroll draws a parallel between the PowerPoint “death by droning” effect and the military’s use of drone weapons that kill by remote control, without conscience of “village level consequences.” The devastation of bullets, tidied up into bullet points, leading to the dehumanization of the true story of war.
NYTimes: The opening Monday of a month long United Nations conference to strengthen the main treaty meant to halt the spread of nuclear arms is likely to be dominated by Iran’s president denouncing the West and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warning that if Tehran gets the bomb, the rest of the Middle East will soon follow.
But far less visibly, the Obama administration has been mounting a country-by-country campaign to go beyond the treaty and ensure that Iran’s push toward atomic mastery does not ignite a regional nuclear arms race.
Once again, the information shows a frightening lack of attention to critical safety details. Can we really afford to trust to luck with such dangerous, potentially lethal technology?
A leaked memo revealed that two British nuclear submarines were sent to sea with safety valves, designed to release pressure from steam generators in an emergency, completely blocked. John Large, an advisor on nuclear safety, described it as a “very significant failure.”
Large said that “if the pressure had built up to dangerous levels, the submarine's steam circuit could have burst, leaking radioactivity into the submarine and shutting down the reactor. There would be a risk of fatalities. This was such a glaring and fundamental omission. It's jaw-dropping."
"The stark truth is that one single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history." These words of Helen Caldicott's are haunting Robert Koehler. The Cold War is over, yet the nuclear weapons industry continues to thrive. The money earmarked for weapons never became available for non-military spending, and the cost of the nuclear weapons years has not been merely financial. It has been paid for in 1000's of human lives.
At the same time we hear the government advocating the safety of all things nuclear, a different kind of legislation is being introduced into Congress this month."The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act has put the suffering born by so many Americans -- who lived downwind of the nuclear tests, worked in the industry or mined the uranium -- back into the news."
Richard Rogers muses in The Guardian about the generation gap and nuclear fear. Most people over 35 remember black & white movies with mushroom clouds, school drills, Mutually Assured Destruction, and warnings of atomic war. The debate over Trident has provoked some very different reactions between generations. Why is that? If we are looking toward a non-nuclear future should we be worried or hopeful that the post 9/11 generation doesn't share these memories.