Friday, August 31, 2007

Good news for me; bad news for pro-nukers...

August 31st, 2007

Dear Readers,

Yes, I'm BAAAAACK!!!!! The operation was apparently a COMPLETE
success, and the doctor feels fairly confident that he was able to
remove the ENTIRE tumor (it turned out to be just one big one, not
multiple little ones).

So for once in my life, I feel sorry for pro-nukers. But not very.

THANK YOU all for your prayers, cares, concerns, and not to mention
flowers, emails, phone calls, advice and encouragement. It all meant
a tremendous amount to me.

Now I'm supposed to relax and recover for about three weeks...

Warmest regards,

Ace

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer (new animation now online)

August 30th, 2007

Dear Readers,

I've posted a new animation called Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer. It
is an analog spin-dial "computer" from the 1960s. Also included is
an image of an MK-17 nuclear bomb, the Ionizing Radiation poster, and
a list of the 300 largest cities in the world.

The animation is FREE to peace activists. However, if any military
organizations wish to use it for targeting purposes, the cost is
$10,000,000.00 per user.

The purpose of the original Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer was to
allow soldiers to calculate the effects of a single bomb blast on a
city. Effects include such things as burst eardrums, overpressure,
injuries from impacts with hard surfaces, etc..

Here is the URL for the new animation:
http://animatedsoftware.com/environment/nbec/nbec.swf

Tomorrow (Friday, October 31st, 2007) I go in for my bladder surgery
at 11:30 am (surgery is scheduled for 90 minutes later). We'll let
you know how it went as soon as it's over, but I'm told that
sometimes it turns into a longer stay, so don't worry if no emails
come through for a few days. It won't prove a thing!

Lastly, THANK YOU to the dozens of people who wrote (and my apologies
for not responding individually -- YET). Thank you for your prayers,
concerns, encouragement, and suggestions. I feel loved and I am in
good spirits.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


===========================================
Please visit these additional web sites (all created by "Ace" Hoffman):
===========================================

POISON FIRE USA: An animated history of major nuclear activities in
the continental United States, including over 1500 data points,
accurately placed in time and space:
www.animatedsoftware.com/poifu/poifu.swf

How does a nuclear power plant work (animations of the two typical
U.S. reactor designs):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/nukequiz/nukequiz_one/nuke_parts/reactor_parts.swf

Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology / "The Demon Hot Atom," a
look at the history of nuclear power:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hotwords/index.htm

NO NUKES IN SPACE (what was on board Columbia?):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/mx/nasa/columbia/index.swf
or try:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/mx/nasa/columbia/index.html

SCE Memo / One Bad Day At San Onofre (roll mouse over ONE BAD DAY and
leave it there for a minute or two to watch an animation of several
disastrous events take place at San Onofre):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/2005/sce_memo/sce_memo_2004.html

List of every nuclear power plant in America, with history, activist
orgs, specs, etc.:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist.htm

List of ~300 books and videos about nuclear issues in my collection:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/mybooks.htm

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/tenw/nuke_war.htm

Depleted Uranium: The Malignant Bullet:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environment/du/dumb.html

Trouble in Paradise:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/tip/tip.html


Animated Periodic Table of the Elements:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/apt.html

Selected Pump Animations with full frame control:
www.animatedsoftware.com/elearning/ProductDemos/FourPumpGroups/FourPumpGroups.html

"All About Pumps" educational software tutorial:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/elearning/All%20About%20Pumps/aapumps.swf

"Statistics Explained" educational software tutorial (co-author):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/elearning/Statistics%20Explained/statexpl.swf

"The Heart: The Engine of Life" educational tutorial about the human
heart, originally written in 1984 and released for the first time in
1986 (co-author):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/elearning/Engine%20of%20Life/eolife.swf

All four of the educational products require passwords to be entered once:

ZINC (for the Animated Periodic Table)
MR. PUMP (for All About Pumps)
ANOVA (for Statistics Explained)
AORTA (for The Engine of Life)

The programs also ask for a "login ID," but that can be anything in
the current releases.

Tritium Explained (why "Low Level Radiation" can be
disproportionately harmful):
http://animatedsoftware.com/environment/tritium/2006/EPATritiumStandard.htm

Nuclear Power Kills: Here's How:
http://www.counterpunch.com/hoffman06272007.html

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RE: Comments about your NO NUKES IN SPACE web site (ver. 2003.02.16.002) (follow-up)

August 29th, 2007

Dear Readers,

THANK YOU very kindly for your many comments, suggestions and prayers
for my health. I am honored and grateful beyond words.

Rather than answer each of the dozens of letters individually, which
I will try to do later, when I got up this morning I had a follow-up
from William Emrich regarding NASA's nuclear follies, so I answered
that. His letter and my response are shown below.

Warmest regards,

Ace

==========================================================
To: "Emrich, William J. (MSFC-ER24)" <Bill.Emrich@nasa.gov>
==========================================================

cc: "NASA comments" <comments@www.hq.nasa.gov>

August 29th, 2007

Dr. Emrich,

Thanks very much for the response (shown below).

1) You wrote: "Plutonium is no more poisonous than lead" (when ingested).

Here's just one quote (coincidentally seen yesterday in the book
PLUTONIUM: A History of the World's Most Dangerous Element, by Jeremy
Bernstein (Joseph Henry Press, Wash, DC): "[Plutonium] is fiendishly
toxic, even in small amounts." -- Glenn Seaborg. Furthermore, there
is NO logic in your comparison to a gallon of water being used to
"drown hundreds of people." Plutonium is a carcinogen down to the
last atom -- both as an extraordinarily reactive heavy metal, AND as
a radioactive substance.

2) I presented the facts, and you didn't dispute them! You just
didn't like them! As to the "percentage of total atmospheric
contamination" which plutonium represents, the late Dr. John Gofman wrote:

"I am prepared to defend, before any scientific body, and under oath
in full public view, my estimate that ONE MILLION people (perhaps
only 500,000 or as many as two million) in the Northern Hemisphere
have been irreversibly condemned to die of lung cancer from those 5
tons of plutonium. Indeed, were it not for the fact that by far MOST
of the plutonium fell either upon the oceans or uninhabitable land,
the figure of one million would be enormously larger." ("Irrevy" by
J.W. Gofman, 1979, page 39.)

(Below (bottom) is my own recent obituary of Dr. Gofman, who died
earlier this month. Are your credentials half as good?)

3) You don't deny Plutonium-238 WOULD be especially dangerous if it
were released to the atmosphere. What you do deny is that your
little GPHSs, RTGs, RHUs, etc. ever fail. Evidently you failed to
read the DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement for Cassini, which
estimated that ONE THIRD OF THE PLUTONIUM PAYLOAD WOULD BE VAPORIZED
in a flyby reentry accident. This was revised downward in the FINAL
EIS by ASSUMING -- utterly without proof -- that the falling bird
would tumble "just so" so that none of the RTGs would get smashed by
other parts of the spacecraft during reentry. (However, the
supplemental documentation admitted, very subtly, that NONE -- NONE
-- of the RHUs -- each with 2.7 grams of plutonium on board -- would
survive reentry.) That revision of the EIS was repulsively
dishonest. And YOU surely know the truth about the so-called
testing, which, again according to the EIS and other documentation
for Cassini from NASA itself, clearly did NOT reach the temperatures
or pressures that could be reasonably expected. Yes, some GPHSs
would probably survive a reentry. Maybe even most of them. But
others would not. I'd call this one an outright lie on your
part. The RTG containment system you are so proud of would ONLY work
if all three RTGs (in the case of Cassini) were released from the
spacecraft during reentry and none of them banged into any other
parts on the way in. And the RHUs would still have vaporized in any case.

4) "No practical way to generate sign power in the outer regions of
the atmosphere." I assume you meant outer reaches of the SOLAR
SYSTEM and I'm not sure what you mean by "sign" power, but like so
many other NASA scientists, you were obviously careless in that
sentence. In any case, your claim (as I understand what you meant)
is a specious one, since fuel cells could generate the power when
needed at ANY distance from the sun, and even Cassini, which went as
far out as Saturn, could have been solar powered with the technology
available at the time -- you would just have had to carry less
experiments. So the plutonium was UTTERLY UNNECESSARY.

Lastly, my article about tritium is of particular use to people who
live near nuclear power plants and suffer from groundwater
contamination by tritium, where the EPA limit is sometimes reached
and even exceeded. Your comment proves you believe that dilution
solves everything. That is the most absurd view any scientist can
take in this day and age. We know the planet is small, crowded, and
finite, and we ALSO know (with nearly absolute certainty such that
even the BIER VII report could not deny it) that even one atomic
decay can lead to cancer. There is no "threshold."

Your claim that my essay on tritium and K-40 which I sent you
previously "seems biased" is UTTERLY without scientific
credibility. You've basically already admitted it's simply outside
your area of expertise. This after libeling me as if you knew what
you were talking about, and using official NASA email to do so.

Of course, I don't expect you to keep up this conversation, because,
of course, you've said you don't have time. There's never enough
time, but yesterday I learned I have tumors in my bladder and Friday
I go in for surgery. If I can find the time to write this, why can't
YOU find the time for HONEST debate instead of more NASA-sanctioned libel?

Sincerely,

Ace

At 07:17 AM 8/29/2007 -0500, "Emrich, William J. (MSFC-ER24)"
<Bill.Emrich@nasa.gov> wrote:
>I rather doubt that anything I say would convince you about the
>safety of nuclear systems in space and I don't have the time or
>inclination to debate you extensively on the matter. However, I
>will point out a couple of half truths in your article.
>
>1) 2.7 grams "of Pu" is millions of lethal doses
>
> This may be technically true, but it's also true that a gallon
> of water could drown 100's of people. The statement on your website
> is misleading and scaremongering. If you could somehow divide the
> plutonium up and magically place it in people's lungs you might
> have a point, but that scenario seems rather unlikely. By the way,
> the plutonium must get into your blood stream to do damage which is
> usually occurs by way of the lungs. Just eating it won't do it
> since little of it is absorbed through the GI tract. Plutonium is
> poisonous but studies have shown that it is no more so than lead,
> so you would have to eat a bit of it to get you sick.
>
>2) Atmospheric weapons testing - 9000 Ci of Pu238
> SNAP 9A - 17000 Ci of Pu238
>
>Also true, but again misleading. Little of the atmospheric
>radioactive contamination was due to Pu238. The fission process
>normally produces little Pu238. Most of the atmospheric
>contamination was due to other isotopes. The total atmospheric
>radioactive contamination from all sources is at least 10000 times
>that from Pu238 + Pu239. Ref: UNSCEAR (2000) (Pu238 and Pu239 were
>not separated in this report). The total increase in atmospheric
>contamination due to SNAP 9A in percentage terms is quite small
>contrary to what you imply.
>
>3) If the plutonium vaporizes in the atmosphere it is especially dangerous...
>
>In the current GPHS units the plutonium will not vaporize. The
>plutonium pellets are clad in iridium (m.p. > 4400 F) to prevent
>radiation release and are encased in a woven graphite impact
>shell. The graphite impact shells are then inserted in high
>strength graphite heater blocks. We (me included) have done
>extensive testing of these units under conditions considerably more
>severe than any explosion/reentry scenario the unit could ever
>conceivably encounter and no release or destruction of the graphite
>impact shells occurred. These units are tough, and it is virtually
>impossible to vaporize them.
>
>There are other problems in various statements on your web page, but
>I don't have time to go into all of them. That is your job. Please
>be fair in the future in your objections and don't make things seem
>more dangerous than they really are.
>
>Note that there is no other practical way to generate sign power in
>the outer regions of the atmosphere. Solar energy is just too dim
>out there. Solar panel would be huge and impractical to incorporate
>in any probe using rockets in our current launch system inventory.
>
>
>
>Dr. Bill Emrich
>
>Ps. Your article below also seems similarly biased and implies that
>tritium is all over the place wrecking havoc. I don't know where
>you think all this tritium is located, but it isn't in the
>environment. What little is produced typically comes from power
>plants and having worked in a nuclear plant some years ago, I know
>great pains were taken to keep the radioactive water completely
>contained within the primary coolant circuit. In the time I was
>there the extensive monitoring system installed at the plant did not
>record any detectable level of tritium released to the
>environment. It may interest you to know that a coal burning plant
>normally releases considerably more radioactive materials into the
>environment than does a nuclear plant simply because coal itself
>contains trace amounts of radioactive nuclides.
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Russell 'Ace' Hoffman [mailto:rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 3:59 PM
>To: Emrich, William J. (MSFC-ER24)
>Cc: NASA comments
>Subject: Re: Comments about your NO NUKES IN SPACE web site (ver.
>2003.02.16.002).
>
>At 03:12 PM 8/28/2007 -0500, "Emrich, William J. (MSFC-ER24)"
><Bill.Emrich@nasa.gov> wrote:
>
> >I work on these projects for NASA and I have never seen such a bunch
> >of half truths and outright lies. Your irresponsibility defies
> >description. You may not like what we are doing, but you should at
> >least be truthful and honest in your objections.
> >
> > Re: NO NUKES IN SPACE
>
>==========================================
>My response:
>==========================================
>August 28th, 2007
>
>Mr. Emrich,
>
>Gosh! Official libel, sent from a nasa.gov email address.
>
>I did not lie, and if you can find any errors or "half-truths" in
>ANYTHING I've ever written, let's see them. Let's see your proof.
>
>Below is an essay about tritium and K-40, and a link to another essay
>about tritium. Surely it would not be too great a task for you to
>give me credible scientific proof that I am in error in any statement
>shown below (or anywhere else). Of course, if you can only say it's
>outside your area of expertise, then that begs the question: On what
>do you base your assurance that radiation is safe? Some other
>arrogant government toadie?
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Russell "Ace" Hoffman
>Carlsbad, CA
>
>
>=============================================
>It's all about the DNA:
>=============================================
(This essay and Dr. Gofman's obituary were included in the letter to
William Emrich but are not included here.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh, the people I'll meet!

August 28th, 2007

Dear Readers,

Each year in America, about 12,000 people die of bladder cancer. I
might become one of them.

I found out today I have a lot of "dots" (as the doctor called them)
in my bladder. Almost surely cancer, and almost as surely malignant.

Something tore a little during the scope exam, and I passed "tons" of
blood along with as much urine as possible. The pain was
indescribable. After taking a Flomax pill, it started to flow pink,
and now it looks normal in color and hurts a lot less -- but wants to
happen every couple of minutes! I can't get through one edit pass of
this document!

The operation is scheduled for this Friday. Under anesthesia,
they'll go in and try to scrape off ALL the "dots." If they
puncture the bladder, which happens about 1% of the time, that's a
complication. If they don't get it ALL, or it comes back, THAT's a
complication (they'll give me medication to try to clear out whatever
the surgeon misses).

And if everything goes well, they tell me the scope they used about
eight hours ago won't hurt as much, after they've done it over and
over and over. Every three months for about six times, then every
six months for about six times, then every year for as long as I live.

What a personal introduction to cancer! My dad had it, my older
brother died of complications from leukemia, and now me.

My dad fought across Europe on the ground during WWII. He survived
numerous battles and endured terrible hardships along the way. He
died a year ago this same coming Friday. Dad once wrote to me:
"Getting old is not for wimps!" I'm learning how right he was -- and
I'm only 51!

I have one article I hope to finish by Friday. I edited it for
months (and have since ignored it for a few months, too, so when I
pick it up I can read it with as fresh an outlook as possible). It's
an introduction to atoms and radiation for the lay person. Several
nuclear physicists have already seen it.

And I have an animation called Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer which I
hope to release as the last thing I do before I go to the hospital
for the operation (the exact time has not been scheduled). I'll want
to update it later if I get the chance. I've been working on it for
two or three weeks and wasn't planning to release it any time soon,
but under the circumstances, I hope to post it online before I go get
my insides scraped out.

And speaking of that, while ANY operation has risks associated with
it, this whole thing is not supposed to necessarily be a death
sentence. A lot of people live for years after being at this
stage. Maybe I'll be one of THOSE.

If the outcome is not so good, well, there are a lot of cool people I
hope to meet when and if I get to heaven. If there's a heaven. We
all have our doubts, our beliefs, and our faith.

I've made arrangements for a final goodbye to be sent if anything
goes really wrong, I actually wrote something a few years ago which
I'll try to find and clean up which would be "just perfect for the
occasion." Its theme is simply that one day you'll wake up, and
everything will be different. Everything will look the same, but it
won't be. It will be your last day on earth.

I certainly hope Friday isn't mine. Fortunately, the odds are: I'll be back!

Bless you all for receiving these newsletters all these years. In
lieu of well-wishes, please write your Congressperson and ask them to
re-examine nuclear power in light of all we've learned!

Sincerely,

Ace

Re: Comments about your NO NUKES IN SPACE web site (ver. 2003.02.16.002).

August 28th, 2007

Dear Readers,

One has to wonder how much money we (citizens) have paid this person
to attack members of the public with such libel as is shown below in
the letter from William J. Emrich, a NASA employee.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

======================================
NASA employee's letter to me:
======================================

At 03:12 PM 8/28/2007 -0500, "Emrich, William J. (MSFC-ER24)"
<Bill.Emrich@nasa.gov> wrote:

>I work on these projects for NASA and I have never seen such a bunch
>of half truths and outright lies. Your irresponsibility defies
>description. You may not like what we are doing, but you should at
>least be truthful and honest in your objections.
>
> Re: NO NUKES IN SPACE

==========================================
My response:
==========================================

August 28th, 2007

Mr. Emrich,

Gosh! Official libel, sent from a nasa.gov email address.

I did not lie, and if you can find any errors or "half-truths" in
ANYTHING I've ever written, let's see them. Let's see your proof.

Below is an essay about tritium and K-40, and a link to another essay
about tritium. Surely it would not be too great a task for you to
give me credible scientific proof that I am in error in any statement
shown below (or anywhere else). Of course, if you can only say it's
outside your area of expertise, then that begs the question: On what
do you base your assurance that radiation is safe? Some other
arrogant government toadie?

Sincerely,

Russell "Ace" Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


=============================================
It's all about the DNA:
=============================================

August 7th, 2007

Dear Readers,

You are highly organized and very complicated. You are intricate,
delicate, and beautiful. You are unique. One could even say that
God has signed off on YOUR design: His "Certificate of Authenticity"
is your unique DNA sequence. It describes you and only you, and
makes you human.

Estimates vary (some are as low as 10 trillion), but according to
many highly-qualified reference sources, there are about a hundred
trillion ( 1 X 10^14) living cells in your body. Nearly all of them
(except red blood cells and a few other specialized cells) have a
nearly-perfect copy of your DNA in them. Each copy is so perfect, it
can be distinguished from the DNA of all other humans even with the
crude technologies of today.

YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOUR DNA ALL YOUR LIFE. You have a number of
tools to do this with: First, the DNA is attached to histones, which
are protein structures which give it added stability. Next it is
coiled tightly in on itself, not all strung out, which further
protects it from damage. Next, it's inside the nucleus of the cell,
and -- ideally -- only "approved" atoms or molecules get into the
nucleus of a cell. The nucleus is usually near the center of the
cell, so it's further protected by the body of the cell and the cell
wall, which, like the wall of the nucleus, evolved to stop all
DETECTABLE unwanted intruders. (Radioactive elements masquerade as
non-radioactive elements until the moment of decay. Your body cannot
tell them apart until it is too late.) All your cells are protected
collectively by many layers of dead skin cells, as well as by
hair. All this helps to protect your DNA from anything that might
harm it. Even outside your body, the earth's atmosphere, its ozone
layer, and its magnetic field, all help protect your DNA from the
violent radiation in space.

Although skin protects everything inside it from much of the
radiation outside your body, other parts of our bodies are designed
specifically to BRING the outside world inside us -- to provide you
with the air, water and nourishment you need to live. But ingestion
and inhalation is also how many radioactive substances get inside
your body, and thus, your lungs and your gut are especially
vulnerable to many of radiation's effects.

Indeed, NONE of your biological protection systems work perfectly,
which is why it's so important, as humans, to also use our BRAINS to
protect our DNA. We choose not to eat poisons, for example, so as
not to harm any of this stuff. ANY assault against your DNA should
be done with "INFORMED CONSENT." OTHERWISE, YOU ARE NO BETTER OFF
THAN A DOG IN A LABORATORY EXPERIMENT.

A single copy of your DNA is close to 100 billion ( 1 X 10^11) atoms
long, arranged in about three billion "bases." (There are just four
different kinds of bases.) About 97% of your DNA has no known
function. The other 3% is arranged to form about 30,000 different
genes. Genes are the genetic basis of our individual (and
collective) traits. About half of the genes code for protein
synthesizers (some code for more than one). Your DNA is further
organized into 23 paired sequences called chromosomes.

If stretched out, a single copy of your DNA would be about six feet
long. If laid end-to-end, the roughly 100 trillion copies of your
DNA in your body would go around the world over four million times.

Each individual cell is, itself, a highly organized structure. Each
cell is an extremely effective chemical manufacturing plant, capable
of making tens of thousands of DIFFERENT protein molecules as
needed. Your RNA controls this, and your RNA is a product of your
DNA. A typical protein molecule can have 2300 non-hydrogen atoms
(plus lots of hydrogen atoms) and is incredibly intricate in design
(imagine the number of POSSIBLE designs of a molecule with so many
atoms). Billions of proteins are created, modified and destroyed
every second in your body.

Each cell is a part of a body-wide Internet, which communicates from
one cell to another, or from one set of cells to other sets of cells,
via chemical and electrical signals. Often, the complex protein
molecules described above are used for this information transfer.

While your cells are dividing and replicating their DNA, the DNA is
particularly vulnerable to damage. Stomach cells divide about every
three days. This is one reason your gut is so susceptible to
radiation damage. Nearly all of your body's cells will divide over
and over during your life. It's supposed to happen flawlessly. Cell
death without cell division also occurs -- it happens to about 50 to
70 billion cells per day in the average adult body -- but it is a
pre-planned, carefully organized, highly controlled, and properly
timed event. Unplanned cell death is just one of MANY hazards from
radioactive materials.

Ionizing radiation CAN destroy ANY chemical bond, thus, it CAN damage
the DNA directly. But it is much more likely that the atomic decay
will create "free radicals" (atoms or molecules with unpaired
electrons) which roam inside your body and wreak havoc over and over,
until something (an anti-oxidant) captures the free radical.

In addition to DNA damage, each atomic decay inside your body can
destroy thousands of chemical bonds. These bonds are normally 100%
secure, solid, and reliable (except when your body intentionally
makes or breaks them).

Radiation randomly damages your body, and its effect sometimes
multiplies by numbers which appear to be gross exaggerations --
billions, trillions, etc.. But that's what causes varying degrees of
cellular and / or system disfunction, including damaging the
information transport systems within your body. Sometimes it kills you.

Less than a microgram (a thousandth of a milligram) of radioactive
Polonium-210 (an alpha emitter with a half-life of 138 days) was all
that was needed to kill British citizen (and former Russian spy)
Alexander Litvinenko. Enough was spilled along the way to
contaminate dozens of places and thousands of people, and to be
tracked all the way from London to Moscow via several commercial airliners.

So don't underestimate how important the nuclear industry's promise
of containment really is. Even a single atom of radioactive material
can be a fatal amount.

Ever since the dawn of the nuclear age, the billions-of-years-old
trend towards DECREASING radioactivity has ceased, and a sharp and
unrestricted INCREASE has begun. This increase is in the form of
minute particles which are not only invisible to the naked eye, they
are UNDETECTABLE by ANY human sense organ, even in LETHAL
DOSES. This makes it very easy to hide the damage whenever and
wherever it occurs, especially if you believe (as pro-nukers do) that
simply diluting radioactive materials renders them harmless. IT DOES
NOT. It just spreads them around.

Before World War II, background radiation was estimated to be under
100 mRem per person per year.

Then, Alamogordo and the nuclear age began, and up it went. 160,
180, 200, 240, 280, 320, 360, 380 mRem. Reports calling "normal
background radiation" 400 mRem per person per year have even been
found recently! You can watch the creep in the public literature
over the past sixty years.

The human contribution is due to atomic bomb blasts in war and in
endless weapons testing, the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and the
incomplete sequestering afterwards of the unused weapons stock, as
well as from operating nuclear power plants, nuclear experiments gone
awry, failed plutonium space launches, uranium and plutonium
processing and reprocessing (now called "recycling"), planned
releases, unplanned releases, illegal dumping, LEGAL DUMPING,
inadequate containment, and a thousand other things. Once ANY
radiation gets out into the environment, the pro-nukers and the
government (a subset of pro-nukers) call it ALL "background
radiation" or even "natural background radiation."

There is nothing you can do about most of your true (or "real")
"natural" background radiation exposure. One major component that
CAN be mitigated and should be is your Radon exposure. Sometimes as
little as a fan or open window in the right place in a house, to
remove contaminated basement air, suffices to get it out of your
house (and into your neighbor's airspace). Radon has a relatively
short half-life of about 3.8 days.

Another source of "natural" (not manmade) radiation is Potassium-40
(K-40). When citizens express concern about man-made radiation,
pro-nukers often try to confuse the citizen by asking: "Aren't you
worried about K-40?"

According to the Health Physics Society (the radiation-tolerant
"protection" arm of the nuclear industry) the amount of K-40 in the
average adult body is 17 milligrams and the average adult daily
intake of radioactive potassium (K-40) is about 0.39 milligrams.

You cannot reduce your intake of potassium without serious health
consequences, and a portion of your potassium intake WILL be K-40
(not much; only about 0.0117% of all potassium on earth is K-40 and
it's pretty evenly distributed among the two stable natural isotopes
of Potassium: K-39 (93.2581%) and K-41 (6.7302%)).

Your body doesn't need its potassium to be radioactive, but YOU can't
separate it out easily or cost-effectively. Your body does not store
excess potassium, so no matter how much you eat, you'll still retain
about 17 milligrams of K-40.

But, to really understand how natural radioactive Potassium (K-40)
compares to other radiation you might be (or ARE) exposed to, you
need to look at more than just the weight.

Potassium-40 has a very long half-life of over a billion years
(1.277 X 10^9 years). It decays mainly by beta emission
(89%). According to the Health Physics Society web site, 17
milligrams of K-40 has an "activity" of 120 nanoCuries (4.4
kiloBecquerels), which is a measure of the amount of radiation given
off by a substance. One Bq is one nuclear decay or other
transformation per second. One Curie = 37,000 million Bq..

How often an atomic breakdown occurs is certainly one basic factor to
consider in trying to determine the relative hazards of various
radioactive assaults, but by itself it can give an inadequate picture
of the relative damage that any particular type of atomic breakdown can do.

Potassium-40 represents about 5% of your "natural" internal radiation
burden, as measured in Curies or Becquerels. But there are other
ways to measure the relative damage -- for example: Rads and Grays
consider energy absorbed per gram. Rems (Roentgen equivalent man)
and Sieverts add in a factor for estimated biological
damage. Another, slightly better, way is by using the Relative
Biological Effectiveness (RBE) factor, which tries to guess the
potential damage more accurately by paying attention to which
specific organs are being irradiated. But RBE still isn't a very
good measure, mainly because the tables of values are largely
guesswork and underestimates.

ALL ejected electrons (beta particles), whether they start as
"high-energy" beta particles or as so-called "low-energy" or "soft"
beta particles, eventually reach that lower energy level, and the
VAST MAJORITY of the damage is done at that so-called "low" energy
level. This phenomenon is known as "Bragg's Curve" and is actually
USEFUL in radiation therapy medicine: The phenomenon is used to aim
radioactive particle beams at tumors buried inside the body. But
"soft beta rays" is a term the pro-nukers made up to describe what is
really a very deadly atomic bombardment by what they call
"low-energy" beta particles. In fact, a 6 KeV beta particle (the
average energy of a tritium atom's ejected beta particle) does about
the same amount of damage to biological systems as a 500 KeV beta
particle does (the average energy of a potassium atom's ejected beta
particle), all other things being equal.

Shocking? Consider a magnet passed over a bunch of nails. If you
pass it over them quickly, it will not pick any of them up. But when
you pass the magnet over them slowly, the pull of the magnet has time
to interact with the iron in the nails and can lift them against gravity.

The beta particle (an ejected electron) has a charge of "negative
one." It pulls on anything that has a positive (opposite) charge and
pushes on anything with a negative (similar) charge. A beta particle
is a very small sub-atomic object: About 1/1840th the mass of a
single proton or neutron in an atomic nucleus. When ejected from the
nucleus of an atom, the beta particle has a lot of energy and is
traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light. For
example, a 6 KeV beta particle (typical from tritium) is ejected at
about 0.15 c (15% of the speed of light). A 500 KeV beta particle
(typical from potassium) is ejected at about 0.86 c (86% the speed of light).

At those high speeds, the beta particle's charge does not have time
to cause disruption of other electrons (pushing) or atomic nucleuses
(pulling) as it passes by them.

But, as the beta particle slows down, it has TIME to interact with
things it passes near to. And THAT'S when it does most of its
damage. It knocks other electrons out of their orbits and damages
molecules by exciting (energizing) their atoms and rearranging them.

The tritium atom was probably part of a water molecule. If so, when
it decays it leaves a vicious OH radical floating around, too. The
beta particle, once it slows down, often is captured by an O2
molecule (a pair of oxygen atoms in solution), creating a "super
oxide radical."

In the case of tritium, as opposed to potassium, the left-over
element after the beta particle is ejected (Helium-3) is ALSO
particularly nasty at first, because it has the recoil energy of the
equal-and-opposite reaction to the ejected electron (beta
particle). It flies back, away from whatever molecule it was in,
where it was masquerading as a normal hydrogen atom until the moment
of decay. Hydrogen atoms are used just about everywhere in your
body, for many different tasks.

The recoiling atom, now a helium atom, weighs almost 6,000 times as
much as the released beta particle. The recoiling helium atom can
damage other molecules it bangs into, especially if it happens to hit
a hydrogen atom. Your body (and the universe) has more hydrogen
atoms than any other, so such collisions are not uncommon.

The beta particle, after it is released from one of the two neutrons
in the nucleus of the tritium atom, has a negative charge. At the
moment the beta particle is released, one neutron becomes a proton,
and the tritium atom goes from being hydrogen to being helium -- but
with just one neutron, which is one less than normal helium
(99.99986% of all helium on earth has two protons and two neutrons in
its nucleus).

The process of creating the helium atom has destroyed whatever it was
a useful part of when it was a hydrogen atom, bonded to something and
involved in one of life's processes.

The new helium atom (formerly a hydrogen atom) needs two electrons
(instead of one) to fill its electron shells. It probably has one,
and will quickly steal a second one from just about any other atom
that happens to be nearby.

The helium atom is not radioactive and chemically is extremely
inert. Your body doesn't use helium for anything (probably because
its electron bonds are so strong, it doesn't combine with other
elements to make useful new molecules).

Tritium has a radiological half-life of about 12.4 years, and the
United States' EPA standard for tritium in drinking water allows 740
atomic breakdowns per second per liter. Your body has about 40
liters of water, so the EPA thinks that adding a burden of about
30,000 additional atomic breakdowns PER SECOND to your body -- just
from tritium alone -- is PERFECTLY OKAY!

This compares with 4,400 atomic breakdowns per second for all 17
milligrams of K-40 in your body, which doesn't have nearly as many
additional effects.

Is K-40 dangerous? Certainly. But it's unavoidable, and a
relatively small risk.

On the other hand, the EPA limit for tritium in drinking water is
unquestionably too lax. The nuclear industry is probably
UNDERESTIMATING the death toll from tritium by hundreds (two orders
of magnitude) if not thousands (three orders of magnitude), and they
are ALL entirely preventable deaths (the pre-nuclear level for
tritium was less than a thousandth of the EPA legal limit). The
standards are based on the damage to healthy adult males -- the LEAST
SUSCEPTIBLE of all possible groupings. FOR THE UNBORN, INFANT, OR
CHILD, THESE ATOMIC BREAKDOWNS ARE MUCH MORE SERIOUS.

About 1/2 of all humans get cancer some time in their life. Either
the cancer is destroyed or removed, they die of it, or they have it
when they die of something else. About 1/4 to 1/3 of all people
living today will die of cancer. Besides causing death, the
radioactive assault causes neuromuscular damage, cardiovascular
damage, fetal deformities, premature aging, etc. etc. etc..

In the case of tritium, nearly all the burden is created by
easily-replaced human activities and is COMPLETELY avoidable. The
tritium burden is especially harmful because of the ADDED effect of
the resultant "hot" helium atom, the creation of the OH free radical,
the sudden loss of the hydrogen atom, and several other effects
particular to tritium, which can permeate ANY part of the human
body. In other ways, other radioactive elements are WORSE than
tritium: For example, Strontium collects in bones and teeth of the
unborn, while Cesium collects in soft tissue, including muscle and
women's ovaries and breasts. But by many measures, tritium is the
worst of all.

When estimating radiation damage from different sources, one needs to
be very specific. Pro-nukers don't like to get bogged down in
details. They don't like to look their little devil in the eye.

The BIER VII report (Supplement two), after years of study, was
forced to conclude that there is no safe dose of ionizing
radiation. Numerous scientists I've spoken to over the years
concur. As one recently put it: "I just can't see how shooting a
projectile through a biological system can be safe. It's not harmless at all!"

To excuse a tremendous and unnecessary manmade radiation burden
simply because there is ANY natural and unavoidable radiation burden
is, in a word, inexcusable. Your K-40 exposure does not excuse your
tritium exposure. ALL radiation exposure is damaging and sometimes
even a single exposure can be fatal.

Dr. John W. Gofman, one of the most eminent nuclear physicists and
medical doctors of our time, put it this way: "ANY DOSE IS AN OVERDOSE."

Don't let anyone smudge your DNA -- your personal combination of
"Certificate of Authenticity," operating manual, and fundamental
building block. Your DNA is the nano-code within you which builds
all the nano-machines which ARE you.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

URL for previous tritium essay:

Tritium Explained (why "Low Level Radiation" can be
disproportionately harmful):
http://animatedsoftware.com/environment/tritium/2006/EPATritiumStandard.htm

Bonus essay: Nuclear Power Kills: Here's How:
http://www.counterpunch.com/hoffman06272007.html

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dick Cheney, now it's YOUR turn to resign!

August 27th, 2007

Mr Vice President,

You are a walking disaster. You have destroyed the American Dream
for millions of Americans and destroyed the hopes and aspirations of
whole nations. Your energy policy is a crock of pro-nuclear secret
deals -- there's nothing in it for the common man.

You probably had a large hand in the precipitating events leading to
the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. I suspect you specifically wanted
Carol Lam fired, lest she investigate your former friend and
colleague Randall "Duke" Cunningham's involvement in the attempted
murder of two anti-nuclear activists when he tried to commit suicide
by smashing his car at high speed head-on into the one I was driving
on November 25th, 2005. He didn't know at the time who his victims
would be. But by now I'll bet YOU know who they were.

Is there no limit to the depths of your crimes? Violating civil
liberties, lying to the American people, and showing favoritism for
your old uranium mining cronies in Wyoming are all just tips of icebergs.

Resign, Mr. Cheney! Resign so that the American people do not have
to fear you will step in if, God forbid, anything were to happen to
the president.

Such as HIS resigning!

I charge you with obstruction of justice, Mr. Cheney. I charge you
with high crimes and misdemeanors. I charge you with violating MY
civil rights. I charge you with trying to cover up for political
reasons an attempted murder by then-Congressman Cunningham.

Step aside and have your heart checked out. It seems to be missing entirely.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My favorite scientist

August 26th, 2007

On August 15th, Dr. John W. Gofman died of heart failure at 88.

He was the best, and so naturally, the nuclear industry hated him,
denounced him, tried to discredit him, and, whenever possible, ignored him.

They hated him because they could not disprove his theory that low
level radiation was a lot more harmful than officially recognized,
and potentially deadly down to the last radioactive atom. He spent
decades developing statistical proofs based on epidemiological
studies. He turned out to be right.

They hated him because he had been one of their own -- and in fact,
one of their best.

During World War II, while still a graduate student at Berkeley,
Gofman isolated the first usable quantities of Plutonium-239, for use
in the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bombs that were
used at the end of the war.

By 1978 (when he had to submit an affidavit in a nuclear case) he had
published over 150 scientific papers on the following topics:

(1) Lipoproteins, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.
(2) Ultracentrifugal discovery and analysis of the serum lipoproteins.
(3) Characterization of familial lipoprotein disorders.
(4) The determination of trace elements by X-ray spectrochemical analysis.
(5) The relationship of human chromosomes to cancer.
(6) The biological and medical effects of ionizing radiation, with
particular reference to cancer, leukemia, and genetic diseases.
(7) The lung-cancer hazard of plutonium.
(8) Problems associated with nuclear power production.

At the time his honors and awards included the Gold-headed Cane Award
as a graduating senior from UC Med. School in 1946, the Modern
Medicine Award in 1954 for outstanding contributions to heart disease
research, the Lyman Duff Lectureship Award of the American Heart
Association in 1965 for research in atherosclerosis and coronary
heart disease, the Stouffer Prize (shared) in 1972 for outstanding
contributions to research in arteriosclerosis, and in 1974, the
American College of Cardiology selection as one of 25 leading
researchers in cardiology of the previous quarter century.

He also was Associate Director of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory from
1963 to 1969 and holds three patents. One is on the slow and fast
neutron fissionability of Uranium-233, one is on the sodium uranyl
acetate process for separation of plutonium from uranium and fission
products from irradiated fuel, and one is on the columbium oxide
process for the separation of plutonium from uranium and fission
products from irradiated fuel.

Regarding nuclear weapons testing, he wrote:

"I am prepared to defend, before any scientific body, and under oath
in full public view, my estimate that ONE MILLION people (perhaps
only 500,000 or as many as two million) in the Northern Hemisphere
have been irreversibly condemned to die of lung cancer from those 5
tons of plutonium. Indeed, were it not for the fact that by far MOST
of the plutonium fell either upon the oceans or uninhabitable land,
the figure of one million would be enormously larger." ("Irrevy" by
J.W. Gofman, 1979, page 39.)

Dr. Gofman's estimates were based on the concept that a given
quantity of plutonium, if divided among 1, 2, or any number of
people, will have (statistically speaking, of course) approximately
the same effect, that is, that on average one person will die from a
"lethal dose" of plutonium, whether that plutonium is all given to
one person or divided out among many people.

He was co-discoverer of Uranium 233 and the first of the three
patents in his name, on the slow and fast neutron fissionability of
Uranium 233, was described by former AEC chairman Glenn T. Seaborg as
being worth in the neighborhood of "a quatrillion dollars" to the
nuclear power industry.

Gofman also developed (in 1943) the chemical techniques to deliver
the first milligram-quantities of plutonium to J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Prior to that, all anyone had were microgram quantities, but "Oppy"
needed milligrams, and he went to Gofman for it, who was a graduate
student at Berkeley at the time. Gofman produced more than twice the
amount his friend "Robert" needed and was able to keep the rest to
play with for himself. (Okay, Okay. It wouldn't be my choice of toy either.)

Gofman was the Chairman of the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility,
which he founded in 1971. CNR is a non-profit, educational group
organized to provide independent analyses of the health effects and
sources of ionizing radiation. Gofman was also Professor Emeritus in
Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley.
While at Livermore National Lab in 1963 he established the Biomedical
Research Division where he examined the health effects of radiation
and studied chromosomal origins of cancer. He authored six books on
the health consequences of ionizing radiation -- in 1981, '85, '91,
'94, '98 and '99, with various updates into the new millennium.

Scientific studies conducted over the past few decades have borne out
Gofman's warnings. Even the latest "BIER" study (BIER VII) agrees
that there is no safe dose -- no threshold -- below which radiation
is not harmful and cannot cause cancer, leukemia, heart problems,
birth defects, and literally hundreds of other ailments.

I met Dr. Gofman after he spoke in New York City, around 1979 or
1980. I sent him several of my first essays on nuclear power, which
he approved of. We spoke by phone occasionally after that, but often
at length when we did speak, and he always remembered the details of
the previous conversations far better than I did -- and yet I was the
one in awe, hanging onto every word! His mind was amazing. He
counted as his friend -- not just his colleague and certainly not
just his adversary -- such men as Glenn Seaborg. The last time
Gofman and I spoke was probably about 10 years ago, and at that time,
nearing 80, he was working feverishly on additional epidemiological
studies of the health effects of x-rays given by the medical
community. Since then, average dose rates for individual medical
procedures have continued to drop, as better technology has been
developed and the dangers of "LLR" (low-level radiation) has become
more and more undeniable. That trend continues, but slowly.

Activists have used Gofman as a "litmus test" to determine who the
spies, infiltrators, agitators, provocateurs, and paid disrupters are
in their group. These people will always tell you that "Gofman has
been discredited."

In fact, Gofman never was discredited, and his research
stands. Radiation is dangerous down to the last decay, and Gofman is
our hero. His work on the Manhattan Project should have made him a
hero to the rest of society, as well, but America doesn't like anyone
who questions the standard dogma of the nuclear age, so he was never
recognized for his contributions to our understanding, or his vital
contributions to the war effort.

An American icon and unsung hero had faded away.

Rest In Peace, John. We loved you.

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

(Portions of the above were created from previous essays about Dr. Gofman.)

====================================================
The URL for CNR is:
====================================================

http://www.ratical.org/radiation/CNR/


====================================================
Below is the New York Times' obituary, in which many of Gofman's
accomplishments are ignored or downplayed and he's portrayed more as
an activist than as a scientist, which is utterly ridiculous:
====================================================

New York Times
August 26, 2007

John W. Gofman, 88, Scientist and Advocate for Nuclear Safety, Dies
By JEREMY PEARCE

Dr. John W. Gofman, a nuclear chemist and doctor who in the 1960s
heightened public concerns about exposure to low-level radiation and
became a leading voice against commercial nuclear power, died on Aug.
15 at his home in San Francisco. He was 88.

The cause was heart failure, his family said.

In 1964, while he was director of the biomedical research division at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Dr. Gofman
helped start a national inquiry into the safety of atomic power. At a
symposium for nuclear scientists and engineers, he raised questions
about a lack of data on low-level radiation and also proposed a
wide-ranging study of exposure in medicine and the workplace, from
fallout and other sources.

With a colleague at Livermore, Dr. Arthur R. Tamplin, Dr. Gofman then
looked at health studies of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
as well as other epidemiological studies, and conducted his own
research on radiation's influences on human chromosomes. In 1969, the
two scientists suggested that federal safety guidelines for low-level
exposures be reduced by 90 percent.

The findings were contested by the Atomic Energy Commission, and the
furor made Dr. Gofman a reluctant figurehead of the antinuclear
movement. In 1970, he testified in favor of a legislative bill to ban
commercial nuclear reactors in New York City and told the City
Council that a reactor in urban environs would be "equal in the
opposite direction to all the medical advances put together in the
last 25 years."

Both he and Dr. Tamplin left Livermore in the 1970s, and Dr. Gofman
went on to become an expert witness in radiation-exposure lawsuits
and help found an advocacy group, the Committee for Nuclear
Responsibility, based in San Francisco. In an unsuccessful project,
he and others called for a five-year federal moratorium on new
nuclear power stations, citing problems in the safe storage of
radioactive waste. Yet, for all his efforts as a nuclear gadfly, he
did not oppose the building of nuclear missiles.

"Because we live in a dangerous world," he said in 1993, "I think the
only thing you have is the deterrence value" of such weaponry.

Dr. Gofman's appearance in the nuclear debate surprised some
colleagues, since a thrust of his earlier research had been in
cardiology. In the late 1940s and '50s, he and his collaborators
investigated the body's lipoproteins, which contain both proteins and
fats, and their circulation within the bloodstream. The researchers
described low-density and high-density lipoproteins and their roles
in metabolic disorders and coronary disease.

In his earliest work, while still a graduate student at the
University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Gofman studied nuclear
isotopes and helped to describe several discoveries, including
protactinium-232, uranium-232, protactinium-233 and uranium-233. He
also helped to work out the fissionability of uranium-233.

John William Gofman was born in Cleveland. He graduated from Oberlin
College, and received a doctorate in nuclear and physical chemistry
from Berkeley in 1943. Dr. Gofman went on to earn a medical degree
from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1946.

He joined Berkeley in 1947 and retired as professor emeritus of
molecular and cell biology in 1973.

With Egan O'Connor, he wrote a book, "X-Rays: Health Effects of
Common Exams" (1986). He also wrote "Radiation-Induced Cancer from
Low-Dose Exposure: An Independent Analysis" (1990).

Dr. Gofman's wife, Dr. Helen Fahl Gofman, a pediatrician, died in 2004.

He is survived by a son, Dr. John D. Gofman, an ophthalmologist, of
Bellevue, Wash.

------

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Re: Wow... just wow.

===========================================================
At 04:42 PM 7/10/2007 +0000, "Amy Meister" <ringshadow at hotmail.com> wrote:
===========================================================

>Ok, so while meandering around online, I managed to find your website.
>
>I continue to be shocked and awed by the absolute idiocy of this country.
>
>Speaking as a radiation worker, your website is doing nothing but
>continuing fears that are left over from the '50s. I've been in
>containment, looked into spent fuel pools, and I say now: there is
>little any hostile force could do to create a major radiological
>crisis from a power plant.
>
>If NOTHING else, Three Mile Island should prove that even when
>everything goes wrong, up to and including the fuel melting, the
>accident is contained and people can walk next to containment safely.
>
>Furthermore, the NRC is an organization almost independent of the
>rest of the government. They are not shy about shutting plants down
>that they think are not making the cut. Not ONLY that, there are
>other regulatory committees at work. It would do you well to look up
>INPO, and WANO. And perhaps do some research into the industry.
>
>Also, if you knew ANYTHING about the alternate power sources you are
>suggesting, you'd know that they are not truly viable alternatives.
>
>Your fear mongering will only work on the ignorant.
>
>Have a nuclear day.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Amy Meister
>Nuclear contractor
>
>________________________________________________________________

August 22nd, 2007

Dear Ms Meister,

Thank you for your email regarding the nuclear industry's
self-perpetuating "co-ops" for training newbies and reviewing
operator errors, design failures, and how to lie to the public (and
to government) about the dangers of so-called "low-level
radiation." INPO and the world-version, WANO, are nothing more than
cabals of criminals, now that you mention it.

Sometimes the NRC won't get involved because they're too lax (this
comes as no surprise to me but obviously is a big shock to you) and
the operators KNOW they have to work some problems out for themselves
and they need each others' help. Like, how to explain to the public
that Three Mile Island was both a big accident ("as bad as it can get
in America" according to Amy Meister (isn't that what you're saying
in your letter, above?)) and a tiny accident that didn't actually
amount to anything but raised blood pressure for Edward Teller (and
isn't that ALSO what you are saying, above?). Never mind the
billions that have been paid out in "shut up or we'll take the money
back!" deals that never made it to court to become Supreme Court test
cases. Never mind a lot of things.

INPO was formed in the wake of a near-miss, not a worst-case
scenario. The changes after TMI have been compared -- by a pronuker
-- to the improvements at NASA after the Apollo 1 fire. What
improvements? The ones that doomed the crews of Challenger and
Columbia? And what of the exponential increase in space debris which
IS already occurring, as space junk crashes into space junk?

Pro-nukers just don't get it. They think technology -- their
technology -- is ALWAYS good and always misunderstood. As if any of
you really even TRY to grasp ALL the important issues -- the economic
issues, the biological ones, and so forth. Each pro-nuker relies on
other pro-nukers to fill in the full picture. So they (you) won't
look at a three-year-old child with leukemia who lived a dozen miles
from a nuclear power plant -- downwind, even -- and ever wonder if
there is any connection. Because after all, the child was more than
10 miles away, so therefore it couldn't possibly be the plant's
fault. Even in a meltdown the child wouldn't have been evacuated.

But you've already admitted in your letter, though not in so many
words, that you're NOT a medical biologist specializing in cellular
and sub-cellular measurements of the damage from radiation, and,
especially, the epidemiological basis for the current standards.

Below is an article with a very specific complaint: Namely, that the
standards for tritium are way too lax.

http://animatedsoftware.com/environment/tritium/2006/EPATritiumStandard.htm

Are you technically qualified to answer it? If so, then let's
talk. But if not...

Interesting how your letter didn't mention how close to a meltdown
Davis Besse came in March 2002 (and that wasn't the first time
Davis-Besse nearly suffered a meltdown).

The industry wants the public not to know about Davis-Besse's
"near-miss," mainly because it plainly shows the incompetence of the
industry AND the NRC. To even so much as mention it is, undoubtedly,
"fear mongering" to you.

And you would surely call it fear-mongering to mention that there are
10s of thousands of nuclear weapons, any ONE of which could destroy
any nuclear facility it happens to go off near. However, despite
your wishes to the contrary, telling the public the truth is NOT
fear-mongering.

If the public knew the truth about nuclear power, you'd be shut down
immediately.

WHEN the public knows the truth, you'll be shut down forever.

Hopefully you'll reconsider your position at some point, as I have
tried to reconsider mine. Letters like yours don't help since they
contain no actual correction to anything I've written.

Some URLS of additional things I've created are given below.

Best wishes,

Ace

===========================================
Please visit these additional web sites (all created by "Ace" Hoffman):
===========================================

POISON FIRE USA: An animated history of major nuclear activities in
the continental United States, including over 1500 data points,
accurately placed in time and space:
www.animatedsoftware.com/poifu/poifu.swf

How does a nuclear power plant work (animations of the two typical
U.S. reactor designs):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/nukequiz/nukequiz_one/nuke_parts/reactor_parts.swf

Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology / "The Demon Hot Atom," a
look at the history of nuclear power:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hotwords/index.htm

NO NUKES IN SPACE (what was on board Columbia?):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/mx/nasa/columbia/index.swf
or try:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/mx/nasa/columbia/index.html

SCE Memo / One Bad Day At San Onofre (roll mouse over ONE BAD DAY and
leave it there for a minute or two to watch an animation of several
disastrous events take place at San Onofre):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/2005/sce_memo/sce_memo_2004.html

List of every nuclear power plant in America, with history, activist
orgs, specs, etc.:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist.htm

List of ~300 books and videos about nuclear issues in my collection:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/mybooks.htm

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/tenw/nuke_war.htm

Depleted Uranium: The Malignant Bullet:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environment/du/dumb.html

Nuclear Power Kills: Here's How:
http://www.counterpunch.com/hoffman06272007.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good riddance, Mr. Rove! Et tu, Cheney?

August 13th, 2007

Dear Readers,

Karl Rove is reportedly going to resign as White House Deputy Chief
of Staff effective August 31st, 2007.

That removes a lynchpin from Bush's regime. AND I MOST CERTAINLY DO
MEAN "REGIME."

Good riddance, Mr. Rove! What do you know about Carol Lam's
firing? Was it to prevent the pursuit of MY Cunningham case? Tell
the truth, now, Mr. Rove!

Resigning seems to be the American Way to admit -- without admitting
anything -- that you have committed crimes for which you would be
punished if you tried to stay in office. Just resign, and move
on. As a speaker, Karl Rove will be in extremely high demand on the
corporate rubber-chicken circuit. My guess is he'll be able to
command OVER $100,000 per event.

And why? Because people love to hear a talk man who had power, lost
it, kept his dignity, and is cheerful about it all along. And Karl
Rove, for all the mass murders and other sins he commits, always,
ALWAYS has a smile. And pretends to have his dignity. And
pretending is close enough to the real thing for Corporate America.

The Bush Regime is crumbling all around its leader. But unless
Alberto Gonzalez and Dick Cheney ALSO resign, Bush still has people
who can do his dirty work (Gonzales) and his thinking (Cheney) for him.

Bush must be stripped bare, and then forced by popular demand to
resign in naked shame. Until he's gone, we Americans are the ones in shame.

Meanwhile, Congress, with near-record-low approval ratings -- worse
even than Bush's -- is currently on a month-long vacation, which came
shortly after they loudly condemned the new Iraqi government for
taking a break from their virtually useless, totally thankless task
in the no-water, no electricity, no safe-passage summer heat in
Baghdad, a war zone.

Perhaps Congress should take a hint from Rove and ALSO resign. We
can just have all new elections this November and try again to get
honest leaders in Government. Honest government is the root of
democracy, and we are a long way from it, but with Rove's
resignation, we are making some progress, at last.

Exposing Dick Cheney's secret pro-nuclear energy plan is the next big
task that Congress should take on. The secret energy plan has
already resulted in a completely ILLEGAL deal with India to sell them
American nuclear fuel and reactor technology, and let them use our
nuclear reprocessing facilities (which we now intend to rebuild,
using French-controlled foreign corporations). The deal with India
was made DESPITE India's flagrant violations of the world's
non-proliferation treaties.

Cheney should resign, and so should Bush. Then we can put them on
trial for treason.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Re: Resign, Mr. Bush! Resign!

To: "Holly Harrington" <HMH1@nrc.gov>

August 7th, 2007

Dear Ms Harrington,

Regarding your request (shown below, top) to be removed from my email
distribution list, the letter you responded to had PLENTY to do with
nuclear power plants -- as do 99% of my letters (many of which,
frankly, I HAVEN'T been bothering to send to the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, but I can rectify that).

If the NRC was realistic about the dangers of low-level radiation,
and of war-caused nuclear "accidents," and of human frailty, and of
economic reality, and of alternative energy choices, then YOU would
shut down ALL the NPPs immediately.

Below is an essay about the dangers of low-level radiation -- never
before made public; I've been working on it for months. It is
written for the lay person, so surely any NRC staff member should be
able to read it and understand it, as well.

I ask you personally to read it carefully -- as will hundreds of
others, who will be "cc'd" this letter. It is UTTERLY relevant to
the work of the public affairs office of the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (your office).

After reading it, please tell me what you think about low-level
radiation in light of the points the essay makes. Has it changed
your viewpoint about radiation at all?

When deciding how to respond to THIS letter, I ask you NOT to discuss
the contents of the essay with other Nuclear Regulatory Commission
staff or other government employees, or outside contractors or
contacts of any sort. It is the DUTY of EACH of you to know these
basic facts about radiation. What is written below, or something
very similar, SHOULD be in your employee handbook. YOU -- evidently
by yourself -- are denying my right to speak to the NRC about these
very issues. Justify yourself. Justify your libel of my work.

Because if YOU don't understand the dangers of low-level radiation --
or the connection between nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants,
and how the latter is both a producer of the former, and a TARGET of
the former, then how can YOU possibly tell me my previous essay was
inappropriate for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission? It is this
very lack of understanding that makes the NRC ineffective in
protecting our lives.

Furthermore, the NRC regulates virtually ALL radioactive source
material, including Depleted Uranium, one of the subjects of that
newsletter. The NRC should stop licensing Depleted Uranium to our
munitions manufacturers for use in bombs, bullets and shells, or for
use in armor, helicopter blades, missile control surfaces and
counterweights, and nor should the NRC be licensing its use as an
outer casing for nuclear weapons.

Thank you in advance for your attention in this matter, and I will
NOT be removing the NRC from my email distribution list. I'm trying
to change the NRC most of all, so removing your syndicate -- oops, I
mean agency -- from the list would be utterly inappropriate.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Accompanying documents (2):
1) Your email to me this morning.
2) Essay about protecting human DNA.

==============================================================
At 08:22 AM 8/7/2007 -0400, "Holly Harrington" <HMH1@nrc.gov> wrote:
==============================================================

Re: Resign, Mr. Bush -- Resign!

Dear Sir:

Please remove us from your e-mail list. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

Holly Harrington
Office of Public Affairs

==============================================================
It's all about protecting YOUR DNA:
==============================================================

August 7th, 2007

Dear Readers,

You are highly organized and very complicated. You are intricate,
delicate, and beautiful. You are unique. One could even say that
God has signed off on YOUR design: His "Certificate of Authenticity"
is your unique DNA sequence. It describes you and only you, and
makes you human.

Estimates vary (some are as low as 10 trillion), but according to
many highly-qualified reference sources, there are about a hundred
trillion ( 1 X 10^14) living cells in your body. Nearly all of them
(except red blood cells and a few other specialized cells) have a
nearly-perfect copy of your DNA in them. Each copy is so perfect, it
can be distinguished from the DNA of all other humans even with the
crude technologies of today.

YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOUR DNA ALL YOUR LIFE. You have a number of
tools to do this with: First, the DNA is attached to histones, which
are protein structures which give it added stability. Next it is
coiled tightly in on itself, not all strung out, which further
protects it from damage. Next, it's inside the nucleus of the cell,
and -- ideally -- only "approved" atoms or molecules get into the
nucleus of a cell. The nucleus is usually near the center of the
cell, so it's further protected by the body of the cell and the cell
wall, which, like the wall of the nucleus, evolved to stop all
DETECTABLE unwanted intruders. (Radioactive elements masquerade as
non-radioactive elements until the moment of decay. Your body cannot
tell them apart until it is too late.) All your cells are protected
collectively by many layers of dead skin cells, as well as by
hair. All this helps to protect your DNA from anything that might
harm it. Even outside your body, the earth's atmosphere, its ozone
layer, and its magnetic field, all help protect your DNA from the
violent radiation in space.

Although skin protects everything inside it from much of the
radiation outside your body, other parts of our bodies are designed
specifically to BRING the outside world inside us -- to provide you
with the air, water and nourishment you need to live. But ingestion
and inhalation is also how many radioactive substances get inside
your body, and thus, your lungs and your gut are especially
vulnerable to many of radiation's effects.

Indeed, NONE of your biological protection systems work perfectly,
which is why it's so important, as humans, to also use our BRAINS to
protect our DNA. We choose not to eat poisons, for example, so as
not to harm any of this stuff. ANY assault against your DNA should
be done with "INFORMED CONSENT." OTHERWISE, YOU ARE NO BETTER OFF
THAN A DOG IN A LABORATORY EXPERIMENT.

A single copy of your DNA is close to 100 billion ( 1 X 10^11) atoms
long, arranged in about three billion "bases." (There are just four
different kinds of bases.) About 97% of your DNA has no known
function. The other 3% is arranged to form about 30,000 different
genes. Genes are the genetic basis of our individual (and
collective) traits. About half of the genes code for protein
synthesizers (some code for more than one). Your DNA is further
organized into 23 paired sequences called chromosomes.

If stretched out, a single copy of your DNA would be about six feet
long. If laid end-to-end, the roughly 100 trillion copies of your
DNA in your body would go around the world over four million times.

Each individual cell is, itself, a highly organized structure. Each
cell is an extremely effective chemical manufacturing plant, capable
of making tens of thousands of DIFFERENT protein molecules as
needed. Your RNA controls this, and your RNA is a product of your
DNA. A typical protein molecule can have 2300 non-hydrogen atoms
(plus lots of hydrogen atoms) and is incredibly intricate in design
(imagine the number of POSSIBLE designs of a molecule with so many
atoms). Billions of proteins are created, modified and destroyed
every second in your body.

Each cell is a part of a body-wide Internet, which communicates from
one cell to another, or from one set of cells to other sets of cells,
via chemical and electrical signals. Often, the complex protein
molecules described above are used for this information transfer.

While your cells are dividing and replicating their DNA, the DNA is
particularly vulnerable to damage. Stomach cells divide about every
three days. This is one reason your gut is so susceptible to
radiation damage. Nearly all of your body's cells will divide over
and over during your life. It's supposed to happen flawlessly. Cell
death without cell division also occurs -- it happens to about 50 to
70 billion cells per day in the average adult body -- but it is a
pre-planned, carefully organized, highly controlled, and properly
timed event. Unplanned cell death is just one of MANY hazards from
radioactive materials.

Ionizing radiation CAN destroy ANY chemical bond, thus, it CAN damage
the DNA directly. But it is much more likely that the atomic decay
will create "free radicals" (atoms or molecules with unpaired
electrons) which roam inside your body and wreak havoc over and over,
until something (an anti-oxidant) captures the free radical.

In addition to DNA damage, each atomic decay inside your body can
destroy thousands of chemical bonds. These bonds are normally 100%
secure, solid, and reliable (except when your body intentionally
makes or breaks them).

Radiation randomly damages your body, and its effect sometimes
multiplies by numbers which appear to be gross exaggerations --
billions, trillions, etc.. But that's what causes varying degrees of
cellular and / or system disfunction, including damaging the
information transport systems within your body. Sometimes it kills you.

Less than a microgram (a thousandth of a milligram) of radioactive
Polonium-210 (an alpha emitter with a half-life of 138 days) was all
that was needed to kill British citizen (and former Russian spy)
Alexander Litvinenko. Enough was spilled along the way to
contaminate dozens of places and thousands of people, and to be
tracked all the way from London to Moscow via several commercial airliners.

So don't underestimate how important the nuclear industry's promise
of containment really is. Even a single atom of radioactive material
can be a fatal amount.

Ever since the dawn of the nuclear age, the billions-of-years-old
trend towards DECREASING radioactivity has ceased, and a sharp and
unrestricted INCREASE has begun. This increase is in the form of
minute particles which are not only invisible to the naked eye, they
are UNDETECTABLE by ANY human sense organ, even in LETHAL
DOSES. This makes it very easy to hide the damage whenever and
wherever it occurs, especially if you believe (as pro-nukers do) that
simply diluting radioactive materials renders them harmless. IT DOES
NOT. It just spreads them around.

Before World War II, background radiation was estimated to be under
100 mRem per person per year.

Then, Alamogordo and the nuclear age began, and up it went. 160,
180, 200, 240, 280, 320, 360, 380 mRem. Reports calling "normal
background radiation" 400 mRem per person per year have even been
found recently! You can watch the creep in the public literature
over the past sixty years.

The human contribution is due to atomic bomb blasts in war and in
endless weapons testing, the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and the
incomplete sequestering afterwards of the unused weapons stock, as
well as from operating nuclear power plants, nuclear experiments gone
awry, failed plutonium space launches, uranium and plutonium
processing and reprocessing (now called "recycling"), planned
releases, unplanned releases, illegal dumping, LEGAL DUMPING,
inadequate containment, and a thousand other things. Once ANY
radiation gets out into the environment, the pro-nukers and the
government (a subset of pro-nukers) call it ALL "background
radiation" or even "natural background radiation."

There is nothing you can do about most of your true (or "real")
"natural" background radiation exposure. One major component that
CAN be mitigated and should be is your Radon exposure. Sometimes as
little as a fan or open window in the right place in a house, to
remove contaminated basement air, suffices to get it out of your
house (and into your neighbor's airspace). Radon has a relatively
short half-life of about 3.8 days.

Another source of "natural" (not manmade) radiation is Potassium-40
(K-40). When citizens express concern about man-made radiation,
pro-nukers often try to confuse the citizen by asking: "Aren't you
worried about K-40?"

According to the Health Physics Society (the radiation-tolerant
"protection" arm of the nuclear industry) the amount of K-40 in the
average adult body is 17 milligrams and the average adult daily
intake of radioactive potassium (K-40) is about 0.39 milligrams.

You cannot reduce your intake of potassium without serious health
consequences, and a portion of your potassium intake WILL be K-40
(not much; only about 0.0117% of all potassium on earth is K-40 and
it's pretty evenly distributed among the two stable natural isotopes
of Potassium: K-39 (93.2581%) and K-41 (6.7302%)).

Your body doesn't need its potassium to be radioactive, but YOU can't
separate it out easily or cost-effectively. Your body does not store
excess potassium, so no matter how much you eat, you'll still retain
about 17 milligrams of K-40.

But, to really understand how natural radioactive Potassium (K-40)
compares to other radiation you might be (or ARE) exposed to, you
need to look at more than just the weight.

Potassium-40 has a very long half-life of over a billion years
(1.277 X 10^9 years). It decays mainly by beta emission
(89%). According to the Health Physics Society web site, 17
milligrams of K-40 has an "activity" of 120 nanoCuries (4.4
kiloBecquerels), which is a measure of the amount of radiation given
off by a substance. One Bq is one nuclear decay or other
transformation per second. One Curie = 37,000 million Bq..

How often an atomic breakdown occurs is certainly one basic factor to
consider in trying to determine the relative hazards of various
radioactive assaults, but by itself it can give an inadequate picture
of the relative damage that any particular type of atomic breakdown can do.

Potassium-40 represents about 5% of your "natural" internal radiation
burden, as measured in Curies or Becquerels. But there are other
ways to measure the relative damage -- for example: Rads and Grays
consider energy absorbed per gram. Rems (Roentgen equivalent man)
and Sieverts add in a factor for estimated biological
damage. Another, slightly better, way is by using the Relative
Biological Effectiveness (RBE) factor, which tries to guess the
potential damage more accurately by paying attention to which
specific organs are being irradiated. But RBE still isn't a very
good measure, mainly because the tables of values are largely
guesswork and underestimates.

ALL ejected electrons (beta particles), whether they start as
"high-energy" beta particles or as so-called "low-energy" or "soft"
beta particles, eventually reach that lower energy level, and the
VAST MAJORITY of the damage is done at that so-called "low" energy
level. This phenomenon is known as "Bragg's Curve" and is actually
USEFUL in radiation therapy medicine: The phenomenon is used to aim
radioactive particle beams at tumors buried inside the body. But
"soft beta rays" is a term the pro-nukers made up to describe what is
really a very deadly atomic bombardment by what they call
"low-energy" beta particles. In fact, a 6 KeV beta particle (the
average energy of a tritium atom's ejected beta particle) does about
the same amount of damage to biological systems as a 500 KeV beta
particle does (the average energy of a potassium atom's ejected beta
particle), all other things being equal.

Shocking? Consider a magnet passed over a bunch of nails. If you
pass it over them quickly, it will not pick any of them up. But when
you pass the magnet over them slowly, the pull of the magnet has time
to interact with the iron in the nails and can lift them against gravity.

The beta particle (an ejected electron) has a charge of "negative
one." It pulls on anything that has a positive (opposite) charge and
pushes on anything with a negative (similar) charge. A beta particle
is a very small sub-atomic object: About 1/1840th the mass of a
single proton or neutron in an atomic nucleus. When ejected from the
nucleus of an atom, the beta particle has a lot of energy and is
traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light. For
example, a 6 KeV beta particle (typical from tritium) is ejected at
about 0.15 c (15% of the speed of light). A 500 KeV beta particle
(typical from potassium) is ejected at about 0.86 c (86% the speed of light).

At those high speeds, the beta particle's charge does not have time
to cause disruption of other electrons (pushing) or atomic nucleuses
(pulling) as it passes by them.

But, as the beta particle slows down, it has TIME to interact with
things it passes near to. And THAT'S when it does most of its
damage. It knocks other electrons out of their orbits and damages
molecules by exciting (energizing) their atoms and rearranging them.

The tritium atom was probably part of a water molecule. If so, when
it decays it leaves a vicious OH radical floating around, too. The
beta particle, once it slows down, often is captured by an O2
molecule (a pair of oxygen atoms in solution), creating a "super
oxide radical."

In the case of tritium, as opposed to potassium, the left-over
element after the beta particle is ejected (Helium-3) is ALSO
particularly nasty at first, because it has the recoil energy of the
equal-and-opposite reaction to the ejected electron (beta
particle). It flies back, away from whatever molecule it was in,
where it was masquerading as a normal hydrogen atom until the moment
of decay. Hydrogen atoms are used just about everywhere in your
body, for many different tasks.

The recoiling atom, now a helium atom, weighs almost 6,000 times as
much as the released beta particle. The recoiling helium atom can
damage other molecules it bangs into, especially if it happens to hit
a hydrogen atom. Your body (and the universe) has more hydrogen
atoms than any other, so such collisions are not uncommon.

The beta particle, after it is released from one of the two neutrons
in the nucleus of the tritium atom, has a negative charge. At the
moment the beta particle is released, one neutron becomes a proton,
and the tritium atom goes from being hydrogen to being helium -- but
with just one neutron, which is one less than normal helium
(99.99986% of all helium on earth has two protons and two neutrons in
its nucleus).

The process of creating the helium atom has destroyed whatever it was
a useful part of when it was a hydrogen atom, bonded to something and
involved in one of life's processes.

The new helium atom (formerly a hydrogen atom) needs two electrons
(instead of one) to fill its electron shells. It probably has one,
and will quickly steal a second one from just about any other atom
that happens to be nearby.

The helium atom is not radioactive and chemically is extremely
inert. Your body doesn't use helium for anything (probably because
its electron bonds are so strong, it doesn't combine with other
elements to make useful new molecules).

Tritium has a radiological half-life of about 12.4 years, and the
United States' EPA standard for tritium in drinking water allows 740
atomic breakdowns per second per liter. Your body has about 40
liters of water, so the EPA thinks that adding a burden of about
30,000 additional atomic breakdowns PER SECOND to your body -- just
from tritium alone -- is PERFECTLY OKAY!

This compares with 4,400 atomic breakdowns per second for all 17
milligrams of K-40 in your body, which doesn't have nearly as many
additional effects.

Is K-40 dangerous? Certainly. But it's unavoidable, and a
relatively small risk.

On the other hand, the EPA limit for tritium in drinking water is
unquestionably too lax. The nuclear industry is probably
UNDERESTIMATING the death toll from tritium by hundreds (two orders
of magnitude) if not thousands (three orders of magnitude), and they
are ALL entirely preventable deaths (the pre-nuclear level for
tritium was less than a thousandth of the EPA legal limit). The
standards are based on the damage to healthy adult males -- the LEAST
SUSCEPTIBLE of all possible groupings. FOR THE UNBORN, INFANT, OR
CHILD, THESE ATOMIC BREAKDOWNS ARE MUCH MORE SERIOUS.

About 1/2 of all humans get cancer some time in their life. Either
the cancer is destroyed or removed, they die of it, or they have it
when they die of something else. About 1/4 to 1/3 of all people
living today will die of cancer. Besides causing death, the
radioactive assault causes neuromuscular damage, cardiovascular
damage, fetal deformities, premature aging, etc. etc. etc..

In the case of tritium, nearly all the burden is created by
easily-replaced human activities and is COMPLETELY avoidable. The
tritium burden is especially harmful because of the ADDED effect of
the resultant "hot" helium atom, the creation of the OH free radical,
the sudden loss of the hydrogen atom, and several other effects
particular to tritium, which can permeate ANY part of the human
body. In other ways, other radioactive elements are WORSE than
tritium: For example, Strontium collects in bones and teeth of the
unborn, while Cesium collects in soft tissue, including muscle and
women's ovaries and breasts. But by many measures, tritium is the
worst of all.

When estimating radiation damage from different sources, one needs to
be very specific. Pro-nukers don't like to get bogged down in
details. They don't like to look their little devil in the eye.

The BIER VII report (Supplement two), after years of study, was
forced to conclude that there is no safe dose of ionizing
radiation. Numerous scientists I've spoken to over the years
concur. As one recently put it: "I just can't see how shooting a
projectile through a biological system can be safe. It's not harmless at all!"

To excuse a tremendous and unnecessary manmade radiation burden
simply because there is ANY natural and unavoidable radiation burden
is, in a word, inexcusable. Your K-40 exposure does not excuse your
tritium exposure. ALL radiation exposure is damaging and sometimes
even a single exposure can be fatal.

Dr. John W. Gofman, one of the most eminent nuclear physicists and
medical doctors of our time, put it this way: "ANY DOSE IS AN OVERDOSE."

Don't let anyone smudge your DNA -- your personal combination of
"Certificate of Authenticity," operating manual, and fundamental
building block. Your DNA is the nano-code within you which builds
all the nano-machines which ARE you.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Monday, August 6, 2007

Resign, Mr. Bush -- Resign!

To: "George Bush" <president@whitehouse.gov>
cc: <counterpunch@counterpunch.org>, "Abdul-Rahman Ubraheem"
<alenizy9403@yahoo.com>, "Charley Clark" <clarkc006@hawaii.rr.com>

August 6th, 2007

Dear Mr. President,

Today I received a phone call from Charley Clark, 80 years old, a
Nagasaki veteran, and now the president of Irradiated Veterans of
America. He has had ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE CANCERS removed from his
face, He's lost one eye, and his two daughters have genetic
defects. He's paying a direct price for America's use of nuclear
weapons. His division (2nd Marine) was the FIRST Marine division
into Nagasaki after The Bomb. He arrived there 45 days after Fat Man
was dropped. He is a victim of the world's first nuclear war.

AND it's not like he hadn't ALREADY paid a high price to defend
America. He was already a hardened combat veteran when he went into
Nagasaki -- like all the Marines who went there. Good men who could
be trusted. He arrived at first light on 23 September, 1945.

Access was via a 5 mile river bed. About 4 miles out from the city,
the stench of the 70,000 dead -- mostly women and children -- was so
powerful the Marines used their shirtsleeves to try to mask it. The
stench was far worse than anything they had smelled on Iwo Jima or
Saipan. More than 60 years later it still caws at his throat, just
thinking about it.

Our Marines were told exactly NOTHING about radiation before going
into Nagasaki, and nothing while they were there, either. They spent
the time clearing radioactive debris and trying to help the local
populace rebuild the city. And wiping dust from their faces. And
drinking from the local, contaminated, radioactive water-source,
which was delivering "60 rads" along with the water. Charley Clark
stayed in Nagasaki until 18 December, 1945 -- nearly three months.

The pimples that became carcinomas started much later. "I have to
get four stitches removed tomorrow" he told me, "and four more put in
somewhere else on my face at the same time. It never stops." Ouch,
Mr. President!

But according to the government, Charley Clark's suffering could NOT
have been caused by being stationed in Nagasaki soon after the first
-- and last -- plutonium bomb was ever used on a human population
center. The radiation would have subsided to nothing serious in 45
days, according to the government.

A 20 kiloton fission bomb produces several pounds of deadly
radioactive fission products. Roughly 15% would be Strontium-90,
with a half-life of 28.8 years, and an even larger percentage would
be Cesium-137, with a half-life of 30.2 years (which, by the way,
decays into Barium-137, half-life about 156 seconds (and a gamma emitter)).

Additionally, Fat Man only had an efficiency of about 14%, so there
would have been lots of radioactive plutonium and uranium isotopes
around, too (and still are).

45 days was NOT enough! 1000 years is not enough! EVERYONE is a
victim, to some extent, of Nagasaki. All of humanity suffers the
pangs of radioactive decay within our bodies every day -- what a way
to remember Nagasaki! But how can you deny proper compensation to
our own soldiers?

Or to ANYONE who has been unjustly harmed by war? Regarding the
correspondence shown below, I ask that you invite Hisham Ubraheem,
nine years old, with tetraplegia, to testify to Congress about the
need for proper infrastructure in Iraq. The rebuilding MUST start
immediately -- by Iraqis, for Iraqis! I believe the war will be over
as soon as we withdraw. If you are looking for a name for our
maneuver, call it, "reassessing the cost-effectiveness of agitating a
dragon." You make many pronouncements about who is fighting a
civilized war. But that's all they are -- pronouncements. War is
uncivilized. You coerced a few countries to join you, including one
led at the time by your lapdog Blair, but you NEVER had true global
support for "Shock and Awe" and its aftermath. (Imagine! The British
PM YOUR lapdog! How low has society fallen when THAT can happen?!?)

Mr. Bush, you have managed to prove that democracy doesn't work in
America. You and the Congress must start doing what the people
want: Make peace, not war. Rebuild our infrastructure. Turn to
clean, renewable energy (which does NOT include nuclear
energy). Assure FREE education for ALL. Offer universal health
care. End poverty. Clean the environment. Tell us no more lies.

All this was within your power to give America and the world, but in
all cases, you gave us LESS, not MORE. Except the lies -- you gave
us more of those.

On a personal basis, you violated my civil rights AND my sensibilities.

Hisham's father would like: "To bring Hisham to speak in front of
Congress so that they will see, hear, and feel the real tragedy of
the war." Please invite him! Let the scientists who claimed
"655,000 dead in Iraq" come defend their numbers in Congress, so our
representatives and the American people can understand that Hisham is
but one of millions.

Mr. Bush, I cannot think of a rule of decency you and / or Dick
Cheney have not violated, including failure to recognize, let alone
atone or apologize for, your mistakes.

So PLEASE change your ways. Don't be fooled by what is said by those
who love you unflinchingly, and trust you no matter what. YOU are
part -- a large part -- of a cult, an "evil empire" to use
Reagan-speak, the likes of which the world has never seen. You have
condemned to death, through nuclear pollution, through war, and
through the aftermath of war, more people than Hitler, more than
Stalin, and more than Mao, combined. Full radioactive steam ahead
for the nuclear industry will kill millions. India has been
guaranteed meltdowns recently, using American corporations-supplied
nuclear fuel and equipment. We should have -- and could have -- sold
them wind turbines, instead.

Mr. Bush, stop killing MY family. We are all related, or don't you
believe in Adam and Eve OR evolution? Either way, we are ALL
related. So stop killing MY FAMILY.

Your actions are SUICIDAL, too, because one morning, you will wake up
and hate yourself, if you do not change your ways. What Randall
"Duke" Cunningham did to cause his actions on November 25th, 2005 in
San Marcos, California wasn't half as bad as what you are doing, and
sooner or later, the walls WILL crumble around you, and you WILL
realize that justice WILL prevail. For Hisham, 9, AND for Charley, 80.

Sincerely,

Ace

P.S. Please visit my blog:
www.acehoffman.blogspot.com

=========================================================
Sent to: abdul-rahman ubraheem <alenizy9403@yahoo.com>
=========================================================

(Re:) Re: Unsolicited suggested grammatical corrections for your web site

August 5th, 2007

Dear Dr. Ibraheem,

Thank you again for your letter (shown below). It is an honor to be
able to communicate with you.

Regarding your story about the ultimate grief, I ask: Does not the
child suffer more even than the mother, even if for less time? The
child, who thought he was safe in his mother's arms, until the pain
of death told him different, coming before even experiencing 99.99%
of the joy of life. The child cannot express his pain, and the
mother can, and adults can no longer think like children, but we can
think like other adults (and men think they can think like women), so
it is easier to identify with the mother's grief, than the child's.

When my parents (divorced ~30 years at the time and now both dead)
buried my older brother more than a decade ago, I heard it said that
the grief of a parent burying a child is, indeed, the greatest
grief. (My brother died in his 30s of complications from leukemia, a
disease which became rampant only recently in history, perhaps
because of the nuclear age's damage to our cells.)

The grief of the parents is horrific, but I wish to side with the
child: Surely it hurts the child to see the grief THEY are causing
their parents! It must grieve Hisham to know he is causing YOU
tremendous grief! The greatest injustice is what this war is doing
to Iraqi children. Mr. Bush and his "neocons" have no idea how many
Hishams there are. That is as close to not caring about an
individual as I can imagine -- to not even count them!

Mr. Bush's army is fighting for a principle, but I'm not sure WHAT
principle. I've talked to numerous soldiers. They actually want to
help Iraq. (The ones I've talked to lately don't think they can.)

The American soldier always had ONE principle he could be sure he
(usually a he, not a she) was fighting for -- and that was the
principle of upholding the rules of war! The code book! It said, in
essence, "If you follow these rules, then later on, humanity, for the
most part, will not detest you for what you are doing now, regardless
of which side ends up being considered 'right.' You are a
soldier." Among many things, the "code book" prohibits the torture
of prisoners, the murder of surrendering troops, and the wholesale
killing of civilians (it seems that war these days always happens
amongst civilian populations, and thus, by definition, war IS the
approved killing of at least SOME civilians. So it seems, that it is
only a matter of knowing when to stop.)

This military rule book is very, very important. Every soldier is
supposed to have read it and is supposed to adhere to it
utterly. They cannot obey illegal commands. They cannot poison the
land. They cannot use poison gas.

And yet, it comes to pass, that violating the rules of war becomes
the way of war! Depleted Uranium, as I mentioned before, produces
utterly illegal poison gas and poisons the land. We have heard about
illegal and widespread coercion of prisoners. On all sides, of course.

How do these violations occur? The story of the use of Depleted
Uranium is this: If you admit that low level radiation is dangerous,
then ALL low-level radiation is dangerous. Not just DU but emissions
from nuclear power plants, and even medical x-rays are a much greater
risk than once thought. The releases from Chernobyl, also, are more
catastrophic than the pro-nuclear industry assumes -- they still say
only about 28 people died because of Chernobyl -- the "heroes" of the
fire department and so forth, who fought to save the reactor while
absorbing hundreds of rems.

If they admitted any of this, a trillion-dollar industry -- the
ENTIRE nuclear power industry -- would be RUINED!

They much prefer pretending that Depleted Uranium is "safe." Then,
the nuclear industry can give their Uranium-238 waste to the military
for use as bullets, bombs, shells, and armor! And they don't care if
some U-235 and Pu-239 and so on are mixed in!

All this happens because the truth about the dangers of so-called
"low-level radiation" cannot be faced in ANY of 40+ countries, which
now have nuclear weapons and / or nuclear power plants, which all
have people making money from the nuclear industry.

One lie leads to another lie, which leads to another. When does war
become palatable for one society? When it is cost-effective? When
it is "right"? How can "right" be defined when children by the
thousands are dying and being maimed, good people like Hisham?

George Bush's Pentagon refuses to count the Iraqi dead. Mr. Bush had
NOT assured the American public that 655,000 Iraqi civilian dead is
not too high a number. But last year a scientific study estimated
the number that high, and just as likely to be higher as lower. And
it has probably grown by tens of thousands since then! But instead
of assuring the American public that this war is WORTH 655,000 of
your citizens dead, and 3,500 of our own, he says the report is not
credible! But the study IS credible, and probably even
"conservative" in its estimate.

I suspect that the delay that you write about will, these days, only
cause the typical American citizen to say, "but I bet it's like that
at Walter Reed Medical Hospital for our own veterans, after what I've
been hearing about paint coming off the ceilings, and rats, and
filth, and overcrowding and -- yes -- delays!"

And besides, they might add, OUR bridges are falling down,
too. Never mind that yours fall down because we bombed them, and
ours are falling down through neglect, and our veteran's hospitals
are crumbling because of neglect, not war-time conditions not of our making.

Had we not gone to war, all our bridges, and all our dams, could have
all been fixed. And all our rail lines could have been electrified
AND repaired. And all our veterans' hospitals could have been
refurbished and rebuilt, too.

All that, just with the money we lost (spent) fighting "an army of
one" (Saddam). A personal grievance between George Bush and Saddam
Hussein resulted in perhaps a million dead, and millions more like Hisham.

Of course, had we not gone to war, we would NOT have used the money
to make America better. We would have bought more Hummers,
instead. But we COULD HAVE done all those things. And all our
bridges and all yours would now BOTH be intact. And your son would
be playing with his toys, instead of just looking at them.

If George Bush does not care about me -- a U. S. citizen -- and he
does not care about 655,000 Iraqi dead (as of the time of the
report), and he does not care about a quarter of a million U.S.
soldiers who will ALL have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, then I
don't think he will care about Hisham. But I will ask him to bring
Hisham to Congress anyway, to testify about the delays that Iraqis
are incurring when trying to get medical care after errant bombs land
among children.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


At 03:10 PM 8/4/2007 -0700, abdul-rahman ubraheem
<alenizy9403@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Dear Ace
>Good day
>
>I am happy to read your messege , indeede I read it many times
>thinking of every word & statement of it . Once they've asked one
>pereson what is the ultimate grieve that one may face , and the
>answer is that killing a mother's child while she is holding him
>between here arms is the deepest pain that one may suffer.
>Dear friend what ever l writ or speak it will never be able
>toexpress my deep grieve for the moment when l recieved my three
>children with their hot blood in the casuality department at the
>hospital where l work in , how can l explain a feeling of a father
>searching for his youngest sons amongest the innocent civilain
>victims and then he forund him thrown on the ground because thsy
>thoyght that he is dead!!!! Yes dear Ace Hisham was transported from
>the street where he was injured to the hospital in the trunk of the
>car because he thought he is dead !!! And then it took 2 hours to
>transpot him from the street to the hospital which is only 2km away
>& then 8 hours to transport him to Baghdad which is only 100 km away
>& 55 days to bring him to Jordan ????Why all this delay in
>transporting a war victim child ?? Do you know why my friend ?? This
>is because of the presence of the American military army in the
>streets that delay evacuating those innocent victims ??? l met the
>person responsible for the medical issue in iraq & asked him to help
>my son , he needs an urgent surgery in a specialized center , and
>there was no response , l've spend almost one year here in Jordan
>asking for an NGO , or any country to take us with Hisham to
>continue his treatment , no repaly ?? Can you tell this story to any
>congress man ??? Did they accept that for an animal & not a human
>being??? Do they want Hisham to give his testimony infront of the
>congress so that they will feel of the real crimes that are going on
>in Iraq under the umberalla of Democracy , Freedom , Liberaty , and
>these bullshits word that do'nt worth the suffering of one moment of
>any of my sons .
>Dear friend l do'nt want to bather you but l feel that you are
>understanding my situation , l have many stories of my son Hisham
>during the time of his illness , l write it in a note book & use to
>read it between now & then and cry for him for us , for this world
>of criminals that no one can punish them for their real crimes
>against civilian peoples , let me tell you one of these stories ,
>Hisham likes playing with the toys too much '' and that before his
>injury of coarse '' , and then after that he use to ask me every
>morining to push him on his wheel chair in front of his toys , and
>he keeps looking on them then l saw a line of tears on each side of
>his face , then he ask me to take him back to hsi bed !!!! Do you
>know what he says with himself while he looked to the toys . he
>says'' why l could'nt touch all these toys and l could'nt paly with
>them ??? what have l done ??? who is responsible ??
>
>Dear friend , tell any of the congress men that you know that Hisham
>is ready to speak about his story , story of an Iraqi war injured
>civilain child , that was injured without any cause , badly treated
>, and still now he is unable to recieve the treatment & care that he
>needs ??? Shall they listen to him ?? what will be their decision
>after that ?? To stay or to leave ??
>
>Thanks a lot friend , I hope that you will find the way to express
>your reall feeling to help other innocent human beings in a
>civilized , developed , democratic , humanatranian country ?
>
>
>Dr.A.M.Ibraheem ; Hisham's father
>
>Russell 'Ace' Hoffman <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com> wrote:
>August 3rd, 2007
>Dear Dr. A. M. Ibraheem,
>Thank you for your response (shown below). I have no good answer for you.
>Lately, I have not felt our democracy has been much to be proud
>of. For decades, I have looked for way for a citizen to make a
>difference here, mainly because of my opposition to nuclear power and
>nuclear weapons. So I know that having overwhelming scientific data,
>as well as logic, humanity, and economics (to name only a few
>advantages of a non-nuclear future) on my side has not been
>enough. The nuclear corruption runs too deep, so I've never called
>THIS democracy a complete success, and I've always asserted that its
>failures kill people needlessly.
>I know that THIS senseless war is only one mistake we've made. I
>know that those in power, even in a so-called democracy like mine,
>abuse their power. I've spent a lot of time learning these sad lessons.
>I know that our media in America are little better than uninformed
>sheep. The worst Russian Cold War government parrots in Moscow could
>do less damage than our own ignorant press does by not knowing truth
>when they see it, and not exposing lies when they don't. At least in
>Russia, everybody knew the press was controlled by the
>government. Here, where the press is supposedly free of government
>influence, many citizens assume the press is also free of influence
>by powerful corporate interests such as the nuclear industry, some of
>which actually OWN major press outlets. In reality, the American
>press are free from neither influence, and most are further
>debilitated by a lack of understanding of what the real issues are.
>I am free to write my thoughts. I can send them to the president,
>but he does nothing different after getting them. I wrote him
>opposing torture, and instead he made it the law of the land!
>They say the first casualty of war is truth. Citizens here are told
>many things about what is going on in Iraq, only some of which are
>true. Democracy is no more than a sham if the pubic does not have
>access to the truth. One word from you about the situation in your
>country is worth many books by American bystanders who don't know
>what's really going on. This is the power of the Internet -- to cut
>through the Poliburos and political machines and red tape and delays
>and get to the truth.
>As citizens of democracies, perhaps all you or I can do is tell the
>truth. I think that's why you posted the story of what happened to
>your sons and their friends. I think that was what made America
>become a "super-power." But we've abused that power. We have laws
>requiring us to be reasonably truthful in our business affairs, and
>nearly totally truthful if we win public office. These laws are
>sometimes flagrantly disobeyed, though. But at least we have the laws.
>For years, our businesses, for the most part, delivered what they
>promised around the world, and, perhaps, so did our politicians. At
>least, more so than other countries' businesses and politicians
>delivered. But times have certainly changed! If you do business
>with Americans now, you might be dealing with a secret government
>agency which wants to, for example, buy you out and steal your
>assets. Or a business that might want to do the same thing. Or you
>might make a good, fair deal with us, only to have a "treaty" broken
>later (ask the American Indians if we ever did a thing like that!).
>In ANY specific case, Americans are no better than anyone else -- we
>rob, cheat, and steal as much as the next world's citizen. But I
>think that all it really took to make us the sole remaining
>super-power was a little more honesty than the next guy, which was
>Russia, where honesty in government, or business, is almost
>unheard-of. If you want to get screwed, do business with the Russians.
>The degree of difference may be very small, indeed. My own
>Congressman, in 2005, tried to commit suicide by smashing the car he
>was driving, directly into another car -- MINE!!!
>Our leadership is human.
>Surely you do not think the American police, the FBI, the Department
>of Justice, or the Congress (of whom this man was a member in good
>standing at the time of the attack) have given my wife (who was in
>the car with me the night of the attack) and I the justice we
>deserve for this incident? So I am very, very well aware of how
>corrupt our seemingly-democratic system really is. California is
>famous for its "celebrity justice," and my wife and I are victims of
>a corrupt system which favors those already in power. THIS is
>democracy? Well, you called it that, not me!
> From what I hear, corruption is rampant in Iraq right now, and is
>one of the reasons Baghdad still has so little electricity, running
>water, etc.. All the American contractors are complaining that they
>cannot find anyone to make an honest deal with there. But we also
>know that the contractors themselves are often corrupt.
>I can call the Congressional switchboard and leave a message for my
>Congressperson (Brian Bilbray), telling him what I think he should
>do. I don't think he will listen, but, because his predecessor tried
>to kill my wife and I, I believe he will not be entirely able to
>ignore my message -- if he acts against it, he will do so knowing
>that is exactly what he is doing. Pretending to ignore his constituents.
>Given that circumstance, WHAT should I tell U. S. leaders the Iraqi
>people want America to do? As a citizen here, where the truth about
>what Iraqis want has not been made public in years, I have no idea
>what to say. So even if the system worked perfectly, I would be at
>a loss. I can assume every Iraqi citizen just wants us to "get out
>now." But is that what is best for Hisham and his brothers?
>Democracy depends on truth, and truth depends on knowledge. All I
>have is a sliver of hope that Democracy might some day work, after
>all its many failures. I have no knowledge that it will, only hope
>and desire, probably both of which are unreasonable.
>Given all that, please advise -- and thank you again for your correspondence.
>Warmest regards,
>Ace
>At 02:09 PM 8/3/2007 -0700, Dr.A.M.Ibraheem wrote:
> >Dear Russell
> >Good day
> >
> >You've asked a very good question '' Do you, in the thick of it,
> >have any suggestions on what American civilians can do to help end
> this war?
> >I do'nt know what to say , I asuume that your country is an ideal
> >example of the DEMOCRACY , while they say that we in the third
> >world or middle east as a civilian are under the compulsion of our
> >govermnets rules which means that the only choice we have is to obay
> >orders of our govermnts '' dectatoric rules '' , so I think if you
> >life in a civilized , democratic country you should already know
> >what to do to defend the innocent civilian victims that are paying
> >from the military thinking of those that have the political
> >desicions in your countries . My dear you should teach us what to do
> >in our countries instead of asking us what to do in your country ,
> >but let me tell you something , I believe that if any one wants to
> >do something he believe in it he always will find the ways how to do it .
> >
> >
> >Many thanks friend for your nice words.
> >
> >
> >Dr.A.M.Ibraheem ; Hisham's father
> >
> >Russell 'Ace' Hoffman wrote:
> >August 3rd, 2007
> >Dear Dr. Ibraheem,
> >Thank you for your response to my letter (shown below).
> >Usually, it seems that the most innocent victims among us pay the
> >highest price for war. Warriors never pay the full cost of war, in
> >money OR lives -- warriors have, after all, only one life to give,
> >while the civilian deaths they cause can go on for many generations,
> >as the Deleted Uranium (for example) continues to poison the
> >land. Was the shrapnel that hit your son DU?
> >Usually, civilians -- innocent by definition -- actually pay MOST of
> >the cost of war. In THIS war, civilian deaths are apparently 100
> >times or 200 times as many as the number of U.S. soldiers dead, and
> >apparently 10 or 20 times the number of "insurgents" killed. Yet
> >this is called "precision bombing in order to minimize civilian
> casualties"!
> >Bombs miss because they are poorly made and hard to aim, they miss
> >because the "targeting coordinates" were entered incorrectly into
> >the machine, they miss because the person giving the coordinates to
> >be bombed misreads the map. They miss because someone purposefully
> >gave bad information. They miss just because "something went wrong."
> >And when their bombs miss the targets, they say, "that's the
> >unfortunate price of war," if they say anything at all.
> >At the Marine base near where I live, a soldier was convicted
> >yesterday of murdering an Iraqi civilian.
> >I think Hisham was probably going to become a doctor. How many
> >lives could he have saved in the course of a 50+ year career? But
> >instead, before he knew anything about war, he became a victim of it.
> >It is very hard for American civilians to understand what "typical"
> >Iraqis think these days. I assume most Iraqis want us to leave, but
> >I fear increased bloodshed if we do, too. Do you, in the thick of
> >it, have any suggestions on what American civilians can do to help
> >end this war?
> >Thank you again for your letter.
> >Sincerely,
> >Ace Hoffman
> >Carlsbad, CA
> >At 01:59 AM 8/3/2007 -0700, abdul-rahman ubraheem
> > wrote:
> >>Dear Ace Hoffman
> >>Good day
> >>
> >>Many thanks for your suggestions & corrections that you've
> >>mentioned , l'll try to fix that very soon & if you've any further
> >>suggetions please let me know , Hisham is not only my son I believe
> >>that he is a son of any human beings that believes in humanity &
> >>refuses violence & unjustice for any person , after all he is only
> >>an innocent severely war injured child , so he needs any kind of
> >>help wether moral , by words or support , many thanks .
> >>
> >>
> >>Dr.A.M.Ibraheem ; Hisham's father
> >>Russell 'Ace' Hoffman wrote:
> >>August 2nd, 2007
> >>To Whom It May Concern,
> >>I saw a link (which didn't actually work, but I figured out how to
> >>fix it) to your web site from www.counterpunch.org , which
> >>occasionally publishes my essays.
> >>Upon visiting your web site, I felt compelled to correct the
> >>English, which I have done (below). Please accept this gesture as
> >>a friendly attempt to make the information more accessible to those
> >>who visit the site.
> >>Sometimes there were several choices of how to correct the
> >>English. I hope you like what I decided to use (in the first
> >>paragraph, I assumed he had lived there all his life). Also, I am
> >>not an English professor, so these corrects may in fact, be wrong,
> >>but I believe they are worthwhile improvements for readability,
> nothing more.
> >>I hope for the best for young Hisham and his brothers and friends.
> >>Sincerely,
> >>Ace Hoffman
> >>Carlsbad, CA
> >>
> >>Hisham.A.Mohammed is a 9 Years old Iraqi. He has lived in Alanbaar
> >>province, Alramadi city, in the west of Iraq, all his young
> >>life. He was a very active & clever boy, & he loved his school very much.
> >>
> >>Hisham loved playing football in his free time, helping his mother
> >>with her house work, & he loved playing with his brothers.
> >>
> >>
> >>The Angel
> >>
> >>
> >> Hisham is like an angel, he has very good stock, he loves life &
> >> he loves people. He also loves every thing good & beautiful in
> >> our life, he's really like an angel, as there are angels in the
> >> heavens there are also angels on the earth; Hisham is really one of them.
> >>
> >>On Wednesday March 22nd 2006 at 10:30 in the morning Hisham was
> >>playing in front of his house with his brothers & the neighborhood
> >>children. Around a dozen children were playing. They were near
> >>the end of their first semester break. Hisham was very happy. He
> >>didn't know what was happening in our world.
> >>Suddenly the children were struck by a missile explosion in the
> >>road, & everything went black. One child died and six children were
> >>injured, including Hisham and two of his brothers.
> >>
> >>
> >>What happen to Hisham
> >>
> >>
> >>Hisham suffered multiple injuries to his body as a result of
> >>shrapnel from the explosion. The most serious one resulted in
> >>injury to the right side of his neck, causing a fracture of the
> >>right pedicle of C5 & C6, with multiple fragments of bone within
> >>the spinal canal, which caused a spinal cord injury resulting in NO
> >>MOVEMENT IN HIS FOUR LIMBS (TETRAPLEGIA). As you see in the
> >>picture, he is always in bed in the hospital, without any movement.
> >>What could Hisham have done to deserve spending the rest of his
> >>life lying moveless in a hospital bed or in a wheel chair ??????
> >>
> >>WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ??
> >>WHO CAN HELP ??