Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 5)

Ohio’s Anti-Wind Regulation Comes at a Serious Cost

by Harvey Wasserman

July 26, 2017 (originally posted at Progressive.org)

Blue_Creek_Township_wind_farm

Wind turbines in Blue Creek Township, Ohio

In the corporate war against renewable energy, a single Ohio regulation stands out.

It is a simple clause slipped into the state budget without open discussion, floor debate, or public hearings.

The restriction is costing Ohio billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

The regulation demands that wind turbines sited in the Buckeye State be at least 1,125 feet from the blade tip to the nearest property line, about 1300 feet total—nearly a quarter-mile.

Ohio’s setback rule is similar to one in Wisconsin, where progress on wind power has atrophied. Lincoln County in South Dakota just passed a requirement that turbines be at least a half-mile from any residence. And Vermont is pondering a rule change to require a setback of ten times the turbine height, which in the case of a 500-foot turbine would be nearly a mile.

Such regulations threaten to kill wind power, thus protecting corporate investments in nuclear power and fossil-fuel generators. The situation is Ohio is especially egregious.

FirstEnergy, owner of Ohio’s two dying reactors at Perry and Davis-Besse, is now strong-arming the legislature and regulators for $4.5 billion in handoutsto sustain two money-losing nukes whose electricity is far more expensive than what would come from currently approved wind projects, and whose 1,400-odd jobs would be dwarfed by the new turbine construction. Should the wind projects proceed, northern Ohio would be flooded with cheap, clean, reliable electricity that would push the two nuclear “mistakes by the lake,” as they’ve been called, even further outside the competitive pale.

Energy expert Ned Ford, based in southwestern Ohio, estimates it would take seven years or less for new wind construction to fully replace the production from Ohio’s two old reactors, and to do it at prices well below their current cost. A report by the American Wind Energy Association says proposed Ohio wind-energy projects could generate $4.2 billion in private investment, producing thousands of jobs in Ohio-based production, installation, and maintenance while generating billions in local income, much of it for badly stressed farmers.

Together, the cost to Ohio of this regulation adds up to $8.7 billion.

Proponents claim that tall turbines somehow threaten the value of neighboring properties. But the quarter-mile rule would thin out potential turbine installations to the point of making nearly all proposed wind farms economically unsustainable.

Ironically, northern Ohio has one of the world’s most potentially profitable wind regimes. The breezes coming down off the Great Lakes are strong and steady. The land is flat. The area is covered with access roads and established transmission lines. The power source is close to urban areas, such as Toledo and Cleveland, making transmission losses relatively marginal.

Major global wind companies such as Spain’s Iberdrola have long-since won approval for a fleet of Ohio wind farms whose capital investments range into the hundreds of millions, and whose construction jobs would be in the thousands, far outstripping the numbers working at the state’s residual reactors. Hundreds more jobs would come with long-term turbine maintenance.

According to Eric Thumma, director of policy and regulatory affairs for Iberdrola, the regulation “basically zones new wind projects out of Ohio.” That would include at least ten wind farms Iberdrola has had fully permitted since 2014, one of them with 304 megawatts of capacity, plus two more waiting in the wings.

Farmers in the region strongly support wind-energy projects. The footprint of a utility-scale turbine covers up just an acre of land. Farmers who host them lose a small fraction of their agricultural productivity, and access roads to build turbines can temporarily cost some crop space. But in many cases, once the windmills are in, farmers just plough over and plant those strips of soil on the usually safe bet that not much will go wrong.

Once installed, the turbines provide farmers with substantial lease payments that can even exceed what they make from actually raising crops other than electricity.

Ohio also stands to benefit from long-stalled projects slated for the middle of Lake Erie, where steady winds are among the world’s most powerful. Amidst relatively shallow waters, the sites, like those on land, are relatively close to major population centers. But while FirstEnergy beats up the legislature demanding billions in reactor subsidies, capital has been slow to flow to the offshore projects.

Recent attempts to rescind the anti-wind restriction are backed by some of the state’s strongest manufacturing, financial, and commercial interests. According to energy expert Ford, lifting the restriction could allow billions in currently stalled projects, and open the door to more. Even without the ones in the lake, Ford calculates that land-based turbines and solar panels could easily supply all Ohio’s electrical needs and make the state a major energy exporter.

In 2010, under then-Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, the Ohio legislature enacted a sweeping mandate in support of renewable energy. It was killed when Republican Governor John Kasich came to power and the GOP gained a death grip on both houses of the legislature. Many Republicans argued then (and now) that “market forces” should determine where Ohio’s energy will come from—while simultaneously demanding the uncompetitive reactors be bailed out and doing all they can to sabotage the influx of cheap renewables.

But according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Ohio has more than sixtywind-related manufacturing facilities, more than any other state. In 2016, amidst a nationwide green power boom, that industry supported between 2,000 and 3,000 Ohio jobs, more than the 1,400 at Ohio’s two decrepit nuclear plants.

So the death of Ohio’s renewable energy mandate has not only cost it cheaper long-term electric rates and countless installation and maintenance jobs, it continues to cripple the domestic infrastructure poised to produce much of the hardware for the state’s own wind farms.

It’s a lose-lose proposition. The people of Ohio deserve better.

“`

Harvey Wasserman’s most recent piece for The Progressive is “The Unstoppable Green Power Revolution.” He is author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth and co-author, with Dan Juhl, of Harvesting Wind Energy as a Cash Crop.

JIM CROW GOP STEALS ANOTHER ELECTION AS BRAIN DEAD DEMOCRATS & MEDIA SAY NOTHING

Electronic Voter Fraud, Pencil Version

Electronic Voter Fraud, Pencil Version

By Bob Fitrakis & HarveyWasserman

 

 

 

The Jim Crow GOP has stolen yet another Congressional election, this time in Georgia.   As always, the media and Democrats are saying nothing about it.

 

And now the US Supreme Court will allow secretaries of state to completely trash the ballots of anyone they choose.

 

So the Trump/GOP domination of American elections is essentially secure for the foreseeable future. Anyone believing the 2018 or 2020 elections will provide realistic opportunities to overthrow Trump/GOP control of the government is living in a dream world.

 

That dream world fits an historic pattern we outline in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www/freepress.org). Its latest incarnation has just surfaced in Jim Crow Georgia.

 

The much-hyped Congressional race between Democrat John Ossof and former Georgia GOP secretary of state Karen Handel was the most expensive in US history, costing more than $50 million.

 

It has ended with yet another victory for Jim Crow election theft as surely as if the KKK had run rampant through the countryside, lynching potential voters.

 

When the seat was vacated by a Trump cabinet pick, Ossof apparently won a run-off election. Early reports showed him with well over 50% of the vote. But as usual where electronic voting machines are involved, Ossof’s margin mysteriously fell under the majority as the evening proceeded, forcing a run-off.

 

Not one major media outlet reported that GOP secretaries of state like Handel have been using the infamous Crosscheck program to strip untold numbers of minority and other suspected Democrats from the registration rolls. As reported by Greg Palast in THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY, Crosscheck was developed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to eliminate millions of non-white voters from the registration rolls. In 2016 some 30 GOP secretaries of state used it to help put Trump in the White House.

 

Trump has since appointed Kobach to a special national commission on elections. Trump also picked J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state responsible for flipping the 2004 presidential election from John Kerry to George W. Bush. The commission will be a perfect weapon to further enhance the Republican apparatus for stealing elections.

 

Meanwhile, in their endless fund-raising e-mails and public rantings, the corporate Democrats continue to focus on alleged Russian hacking. They avoid any real attention to the Crosscheck program and other forms of homegrown Jim Crow disenfranchisement that helped cost them the presidency and innumerable seats in the state and US legislatures, giving the GOP a growing iron grip on our government.

 

They fail to mention that a data analytics firm working for the Republican National Committee “accidentally leaked the sensitive personal details of roughly 198 million citizens … on the web for nearly two weeks.” As Business Insider explained: “This is what you can use to steal an election.”

 

In Georgia, Greg Palast has reported in that a grassroots citizens’ group recently compiled some 10,000 registration forms for Korean-Americans to vote in the disputed Ossof-Handel district. The completed forms were delivered to GOP election officials, but somehow the names were never entered onto the voter rolls.

 

When registration activists complained, Georgia authorities claimed to never have received the forms. According to Palast, when the activists told election officials they had photo-copied the forms, the state launched a legal lynching, threatening the activists with criminal prosecution and destroying their voter registration organization.

 

Those 10,000 disenfranchised Korean-Americans, combined with votes stolen by Crosscheck, could easily have won the first run-off election for Ossof, and the follow-up as well.

 

This is the third consecutive Congressional election the Democrats have lost since Trump took power. They also just lost one in South Carolina.

 

Pelosi and company are trying to crow about how close they came in heavily Republican districts, many of which re growing increasingly diverse.   But those seats still belong to Trump’s Jim Crow GOP. Like Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, the party still refuses to even discuss how these critical elections were stripped with massive disenfranchisement and then, where necessary, flipped by electronic means.

 

To make matters much worse, the Supreme Court has just upheld partisan election stripping in Ohio, refusing to hear a challenge to Ohio’s Jim Crow habit of trashing ballots with minor errors on them.

 

The process has been perfected by current GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted, who regularly orders that ballots be discarded with tiny variations in details like omitting a zip code, missing a digit in a social security number, writing in legal cursive rather than roman letters.

 

Like Blackwell before him, Husted swings elections by pitching thousands of provisional, mailed-in and other suspected Democratic votes into the trash on the slightest pretext. The practice was challenged in court by the Democrats and the Northern Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. But the corporatist Roberts Supreme Court has left this electoral lynch process in place.

 

In essence this marks the death of the Democratic Party in Ohio and wherever else there’s a Trump/GOP secretary of state. Popular progressive US Senator Sherrod Brown, for example, will stand no chance for re-election in 2018 in a balloting where Husted can eliminate as many Democratic votes as he needs to flip the seat to the GOP, no matter who they run for it.

 

Major stories at Huffington Post, the New York Times and elsewhere make no mention of the trashing of those Asian-American registration forms or of the Crosscheck program stripping untold numbers of registered voters in Georgia.

 

Endless Democrat harping on Russian meddling, followed by countless fundraising emails signed by Nancy Pelosi, ignore that the party has zero chance of stopping the Trump GOP until registration forms are actually honored and votes are actually counted.

 

Neither the corporate media nor the corporate Democrats seem able to handle the inconvenient truth that our electoral system is, as Donald Trump says, totally rigged.

 

He should know. His party is the one doing it, Jim Crow-style, in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country.

 

The Democrats and their media cohorts are now beginning to mourn the weakness of the “Democrat” brand.

 

But they seem unwilling and/or unable to face the simple reality that these elections are being stripped and flipped. Until they do, there will be zero meaningful electoral challenge to the Trump catastrophe.

 

—————————

 

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of the newly issued STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT now at www.freepress.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Trump’s Genocidal Hero Andrew Jackson Might Have “Avoided the Civil War”

aj behind the donald

By Harvey Wasserman,  (Originall published by Reader Supported News on May 5, 2017)

 

onald Trump’s latest insane excursion into US history has been to claim that his great hero, Andrew Jackson, might have prevented the Civil War.

Given his racist, genocidal nature, our seventh president could only have done that by giving up slavery in the South, spreading it into the North or giving the Southwest back to Mexico.

Jackson, of course, would never have given up slavery, which was the cause of the war and the core of his fortune.

As a young man, like a cowboy driving cattle, Jackson personally drove slaves to market. He eventually owned more than a hundred of them, and defended America’s “peculiar institution” at every opportunity.

In addition to their authoritarian temperaments, Jackson and Trump share “accomplishments” such as trashing the Constitution, personally profiting from the presidency, and inciting imperial conquest. Jackson did stand for the Union against South Carolina’s threatened secession, but that was about tariffs, not slavery.

Trump rightly says Jackson was “tough.” In 1806, in one of his fourteen duels, Jackson took a bullet an inch from his heart. He then killed his opponent in a manner considered most unchivalrous, and became a social outcast for many years. The bullet stayed in his chest until his own death four decades later.

Jackson was also a pioneer homophobe. As Sen. James Buchanan of Pennsylvania openly lived with his likely lover, Sen. Rufus King of South Carolina, Jackson loudly referred to him as “Aunt Nancy.” (After King died, Buchanan became our only “bachelor president.”)

But mainstream historians have made a hero of “Old Hickory.” Born to dirt poor Irish immigrants who died early, Jackson’s hardscrabble upbringing was the opposite of Trump’s.

Trump inherited millions from his father, who was a Klan sympathizer (or member), a landlord so cruel that the legendary leftie folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a song denouncing him.

Andrew Jackson pre-dated the Klan, but would’ve killed for an estate like the one Trump inherited. And he did.

As an orphan, Jackson began his military career at age 13. Rising through the ranks as an Indian killer, he conquered the Chickasaw by recruiting their ancient rivals, the Cherokee. Jackson then turned on the Cherokee as if they had been the enemy. His racism was open, lethal, and proud.

With Trump-style “Common Man” rhetoric, Jackson promised to destroy the National Bank. He then made insider deals with the smaller banks that replaced it, enriching his backers and himself. These and other scams helped buy him his 1000-acre slave plantation in Tennessee.

When he conquered native land for the US, Jackson and his cronies somehow wound up with the best parcels. His 1830 Indian Removal Act ordered all eastern tribes to move west of the Mississippi.

The Appalachian Cherokee had an advanced tribal government, an elected leader (John Ross), a capitol, a written constitution, and much more. Most lived in private homes and ran successful farms. Some (like Ross) owned plantations and slaves. There were seven Cherokee lumber mills.

The Cherokee petitioned for statehood. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Constitution allowed no new state to be created from existing ones (Abraham Lincoln dodged that technicality in 1863 to form West Virginia).

But Marshall also ruled that the Cherokee had sovereignty (a clause later used to site casinos) and a Constitutional right to stay on their ancestral lands.

Jackson replied, Trump-style, that he would ignore the Court. Under Jackson’s successor, Martin Van Buren, federal troops forced some 14,000 Cherokee out of their homes at gunpoint. Through the summer of 1838 they were held in a concentration camp. Then, along the infamous “Trail of Tears,” they were marched hundreds of miles to Oklahoma. About 3,000 died along the way.

Jackson promised the Cherokee and other tribes the right to live in that Oklahoma territory “as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow.” Fifty years later their “excess land” was given to white “Sooners” who raced in on horseback and covered wagons to claim homesteads.

As for the Civil War, its root cause was conflict over Mexican land. Mexico abolished slavery in its 1821 revolution against Spain. But American settlers (many from Tennessee) re-established it in 1836, when (after the Alamo) they made Texas an independent republic.

Jackson died in 1845. The next year his protégé, James K. Polk, provoked a war and took from Mexico what became New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and more. US troops marched all the way into Mexico City, where young soldiers like Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant fought side-by-side. Americans like Abraham Lincoln and Henry Thoreau denounced the conquest as a “poison pill.”

The Civil War broke out when slave owners demanded the right to spread slavery into the West. California’s 1850 statehood gave free states a majority in Congress. War erupted in Kansas, where John Brown and other abolitionists battled slave owners for control.

The only way Jackson’s “art of the deal” might have avoided the Civil War was by persuading northerners to embrace slavery, or southerners to give it up. But both regions were committed to expansion, and neither wanted the other’s economic system. When Lincoln said the nation could not exist “half slave and half free,” he was tragically correct.

Of course, war might have been avoided if Jackson’s progeny had given that land back to Mexico, or restored the Carolinas to the Cherokee, or persuaded the southerners that slavery was never going to work in the West anyway. Cotton does not grow in Kansas or the Southwest, and slavery made no economic sense in the desert, corn or wheat fields.

Without the Jacksonian conquest of Mexico, the “immigrants” Trump now attacks would merely be living on their own land. The wall Trump wants to build tracks a border that did not exist before Polk overran what was once both our southern and our western neighbor.

Sorting through his often insane pronouncements about US history, Trump has seemed surprised to discover that Abraham Lincoln was actually his fellow Republican, while Jackson was a Democrat. Each was the first president from his respective party. Both were “men of the people.” But their views on slavery were, literally, at war with each other.

Trump might also note that when he retired from the presidency in 1837, Jackson found a trusted relative had squandered his wealth. Much of what he’d gouged out of slaughtering Indians and whipping slaves was gone.

Since Trump has joined Jackson in using the presidency to enrich himself, he might want to oversee his sons more carefully.

He might also try doing a better job with the economy. As Trump’s hero left office in 1837, his immediate “legacy” featured a major stock market panic followed by four years of depression.

No doubt the Great Historian would loudly blame that on the Democrats … until he realized his hero actually was one.


Harvey Wasserman’s History of the US is here at www.solartopia.org, along with Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.

 

 

Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms

mariny_590

By Harvey Wasserman

(originally published by Truth Dig on April 25, 2017)

 

Marine Le Pen is the latest fascist to be called a “Right Wing Populist” by the corporate media.

There is no such thing.

Let’s be clear: Populists are leftists. We support human rights, social democracy, peace and ecological sanity.

“Populists of the Right” are fascists. Their goal has a clear definition, as put forward by the term’s originator, Benito Mussolini: “Corporate control of the state.”

When they take power, they become National Socialists, using the government to enrich the corporations and the rich, rather than Democratic Socialists, or social democrats, using the state to serve the people.

Fascists support enriching the rich and to hell with the rest of us. They are racist, misogynist, anti-ecological, militaristic and authoritarian. They hate democracy, freedom of speech and an open media. They take power by fomenting hate and division. Le Pen, now in in the runoff for the leadership of France, is a classic fascist, as is her American counterpart, Donald Trump.

The term “populist” has a clear historical origin in the United States. It’s important we claim it.

Populist was the name taken by radical farmers in the late 1800s who fought for social and economic justice against the robber baron elite. The Morgans, Rockefellers and their ilk had captured the industrial revolution that dominated the U.S. after the Civil War.

The farmers of the South and West fought back with a grass-roots social movement. They formed the People’s Party. Its socialistic platforms demanded public ownership of the major financial institutions, including banks, railways, power utilities and other private monopolies that were crushing the public well-being.

At their national conventions in Omaha in 1892, and St. Louis in 1896, and elsewhere, they demanded an end to corporate and foreign ownership of land. They wanted a national currency based on food rather than gold and silver. They endorsed universal affordable medical care, free public education and a general guarantee of the basics of life for all humans. They demanded equal rights for women, including the vote.

They also preached racial unity, especially among black and white farmers in the South, and between native and immigrant workers in the cities.

In the political quagmire of the Gilded Age, the Populists had three huge barriers to overcome.

Their power depended first on uniting white farmers in the South and West. But many had fought each other in the Civil War. So in 1892 the party nominated for president James B. Weaver of Iowa, a former general in the Union Army. His running mate was James G. Field of Virginia, once a Confederate officer and attorney general of Virginia.

The party also had to unite the races in the South. For centuries whites had been at the throats of black slaves, and then of impoverished freedmen and women. But almost miraculously the Populists managed by the 1890s to form significant alliances between the races. A critical pioneer was Tom Watson, a Georgia lawyer the Populists chose for vice president in 1896.

The People’s Party also had to ally its primarily rural constituency with the largely immigrant working class masses of the cities. For that a radical faction wanted to nominate for president in 1896 the great Indiana labor leader Eugene V. Debs, who was imprisoned for leading a national rail strike the previous year.

But tragedy struck in the form of Congressman William Jennings Bryan. A young, 36-year-old Nebraska Democrat, Bryan adopted populist rhetoric and captured the Democratic nomination, pledging to coin silver, an inflationary move that would raise food prices and lower the real cost of mortgages.

Raised an evangelical, Bryan was a spellbinding speaker who convinced the western farmers he would bring real change. With catastrophic consequences, he got a bitterly divided 1896 Populist Convention to endorse him. Debs, who was in jail at the time, also backed Bryan, a move he later deeply regretted.

Bryan then stabbed them all in the back. He took a Maine banker for his vice president. He pointedly ignored the Populist Watson and the party’s humanist platform. And he proceeded to lose the general election to Ohio’s very corporate Senator William McKinley, a robber baron puppet. As president, McKinley promptly birthed the modern American empire with the annexation of Hawaii and a Spanish-American War that conquered Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

In the wake of betrayal and defeat, the Populist Party collapsed. The Westerners and the Southerners parted company. The southern whites, including Watson, turned on the blacks, blaming them for the 1896 defeat.

Historians often cite venal Southerners like “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman as being racist populists. But Tillman and his ilk were always Democrats, and—like Bryan—had never embraced the Populists’ programs for peace and social justice.

Debs went on to lead the Socialist Party, running for president five times. His last campaign came from his federal cell in Atlanta because another Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, had him imprisoned for opposing America’s entry into World War I.

A hero to ensuing generations of social democrats, including Bernie Sanders, Debs knew the difference between populists of the left and fascists of the right.

While devious Democrats like Bryan and Wilson filched populist rhetoric, they fought the core People’s Party beliefs in social justice and economic equality. Wilson was a vicious racist who used imperial war to crush America’s Socialist Party.

And today’s “Populists of the Right,” i.e., fascists, take it even further. They cynically spew snippets of grass-roots rhetoric to attract a working-class constituency. But they violently oppose the rights of the working class, as well as those committed to social justice, economic equality, peace and ecology.

The fascists’ divide-and-conquer scapegoating embodies the precise opposite of real populism. Their small-minded meanness of spirit and blatant greed contradict everything the People’s and Socialist Parties stood for.

Led now by France’s Le Pen, America’s Trump and so many others, the core corporate values of Kleptocracy, war mongering, racism, misogyny, homophobia and ecological contempt can be seen in sibling reactionaries throughout Europe, in Russia’s Putin, in the Philippines’ murderous Duterte and among countless corporate dictators in developing nations.

There is nothing “populist” about these thugs and thieves except the media’s use of the term to describe them.

The “F” word applies. It is FASCIST. It’s time to use it—and to reclaim the true meaning of populism, in all its humanistic glory.

 

Pocahontas Is a Great Hero Elizabeth Warren Should Embrace

ew 4 solartopia

By Harvey Wasserman, origianlly posted on Reader Supported News

22 February 17

enator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would do well to embrace our early American hero Pocahontas. She might even thank Donald Trump for making the link.

With his signature sneering, leering sexism and racism, Trump refers to the Massachusetts senator with the name of this real-life historic figure as if it were a put-down.

But Pocahontas is a true American icon. Unlike Trump, she was greatly loved by her people, and her character was impeccable. She was deeply admired in England, where she travelled with her husband and young son and then tragically passed away, having barely turned twenty.

Throughout her career, Senator Warren has referred to her lineage as including traces of both Cherokee and Delaware tribal heritage. It seems to be family lore for which she has no firm documentation. There’s no indication Senator Warren has benefitted from the possibility she may be part indigenous. Given her legendary serious demeanor, it’s extremely unlikely she made it up. But with characteristic ugliness, the Republicans have turned it into a slur.

In fact, Pocahontas was born with the name Matoaka, probably around 1596. She was the much-loved daughter of the powerful chieftain Powhatan, whose tribe occupied the tidewater region of present-day Virginia.

In 1607, as the first white settlers arrived at Jamestown, Pocahontas may have saved the life of the English adventurer John Smith. Allegedly Pocahontas’s father meant to put him to death. Legend has it Pocahontas saved Smith by stopping the execution. It’s also rumored she may have saved another white man as well.

The stories are shrouded in mystery, and there’s much about them that makes little sense. Smith was a polarizing character. It would have been very much in character for him to have alienated the Virginia chieftain, but the two men needed each other. Smith included the story of Pocahontas’s alleged intervention in memoirs that were relentlessly self-serving and doubted by some historians.

Whatever the case, the story has stuck throughout history and is revered as one of the first instances of a positive human connection between the indigenous Americans and invading Europeans.

There is no indication from Smith or any other contemporary that he and Pocahontas might have been lovers. She would have been about eleven years old when she allegedly saved him. He was probably pushing forty. The anatomically impossible characters in the Disney film are very far from credible.

In 1613, the teenaged Pocahontas was kidnapped by English settlers. While in captivity she converted to Christianity, then married a tobacco farmer named John Rolfe. The circumstances were complex, though most accounts indicate the two were in love. Their marriage prompted a “Peace of Pocahontas” between the colonists and the local tribes that lasted until her father died about a year after she did.

In 1615 Pocahontas and John Rolfe had a son they named Thomas. The following year Rolfe took the family to London, where they met the king and were welcomed at various social gatherings. She also met Smith again in what he described as a complex and not entirely loving encounter.

In March, 1617, the Rolfe family embarked for Virginia. Pocahontas took sick and died at Gravesend, on the Thames. Some of the natives on board the ship believed she was poisoned. There have been attempts to bring her body home, but the exact location of her gravesite at Gravesend has allegedly been lost.

Young Thomas returned to America. His descendants include First Lady Edith Wilson (married to Woodrow, also born in Virginia), the astronomer Percival Lowell and the actor Glenn Strange. It’s widely asserted that Nancy Reagan was also descended from Pocahontas, although the evidence is sketchy.

Pocahontas is the first indigenous female to be honored on a US postage stamp. She was revered on both sides of the Atlantic as a gentle, courageous woman of good character whose marriage helped inaugurate a rare time of peace between whites and natives. The armload of articles, books, and movies about her always exude the welcome image of a great heart.

Next time Donald Trump refers to Senator Warren as “Pocahontas,” she’d do well to proudly embrace the name and honor the real-life woman who made it famous. Perhaps she could propose a special commemoration to the Senate — if they let her speak.


Harvey Wasserman’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of US History can be had via www.solartopia.org. The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, co-written with Bob Fitrakis, is at www.freepress.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

3 Million “Alien Voters”: Figment of DT’s Imagination?

alien votes

Joan Brunwasser interviews  Harvey Wasserman

(originally published on Op-Ed News)

 

My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author, teacher, environmental and election activist. He just co-authored a piece with Bob Fitrakis: Trump’s Big Lie About 3 Million “Alien Voters” Cuts Far Deeper Than You Think 2.6.2017.

Joan Brunwasser: Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey. We last spoke several weeks before this election. And, I thought we were initially glad that DT shined a spotlight on the dysfunctional apparatus that powers our elections. Apparently, that’s not the case. Why not?

Harvey Wasserman: He was the wolf crying wolf. He yelled about a rigged election while himself rigging it.

Joan Brunwasser: You’re going to have to flesh out that very provocative statement for us, Harvey. Are you referring to the Russian involvement?

Harvey Wasserman:  By yelling about three million alleged alien voters, which as everyone knows is an utter falsehood, he distracted from the fact that millions of primarily black, Hispanic, Asian-American, Muslim and other non-millionaire citizens were denied the right to vote in this election.

This is the Big Lie at work: as the Nazis knew, if you tell one long enough, people start to believe it.

I’m glad much of the media has persistently referred to it as a false claim. It’s important they do that.

But his people are persistently making the claim and it’s very dangerous.

It masks the fact that millions were in fact DISENFRANCHISED from voting in this election, as shown by Greg Palast’s BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY and others.

It’s also important to remember that Clinton won the five key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the exit polls but not the official vote count, a sure sign of electronic manipulation.

And then, Jill Stein and the Greens were throughout abused during the recounts, with no help from the Democrats.

So, this was a fascist stolen election and Trump’s screams are a brilliant smokescreen.

Joan Brunwasser: Trump being capable of executing such a “brilliant smokescreen” may be a stretch for many voters who view him as irrational and narcissistic, at best. Our readers might not be familiar with the voter suppression that was carried out throughout the country. Ohio, where you and your colleague and co-author, Bob Fitrakis, live, was particularly hard hit. What can you tell us? How does voter suppression happen, especially on such a large scale?

Harvey Wasserman:  Trump’s rantings may or may not have to do with covering up Russian involvement. We don’t know if the Russians hacked the electronic voting machines or the poll books. It’s possible.

But the real hacking is homegrown. There are 30 GOP Secretaries of State who used the CrossCheck program to strip hundreds of thousands of black, hispanic, Asian-American,Muslim and other non-millionaires from the voter rolls.

So when Trump bleats about three million “alien” voters what’s he’s covering up is the millions of AMERICAN voters who were stripped from the rolls.

Joan Brunwasser: Why is no one having a total hissy fit about this? This is pretty darn serious. Where was Clinton? Where’s the press?

Harvey Wasserman:  Clinton and the corporate Dems may be hushed because what Trump did to them, they did to Bernie. Bernie was the rightful winner of the primaries. The Superdelegates played the role of the Electoral College. The [corporate] Dems don’t want to give up the ability to steal elections themselves, especially primaries. They clearly prefer having Trump in the White House to having Bernie there.

Joan Brunwasser: Two questions here: Is this just a case of sour grapes because Bernie didn’t get the nomination? And how can you say that the corporate Dems would prefer Trump to Bernie?

Harvey Wasserman:  Well, however it happened, the grapes are sour indeed.

Our studies show Bernie was the rightful winner. (For a full discussion, see our book THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 via www.freepress.org; a full summary will appear in our upcoming THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS.) There’s no doubt the leadership of the DNC conspired to prevent him from getting the nomination. There was stripping of voters in both CA and NY, and indications of electronic flipping as well. And they used the Super delegates like a form of the Electoral College at its worst.

Did they prefer Trump to Bernie in the White House? There are many ways to speculate on different outcomes in this election. But one fairly obvious conclusion is that if Hillary had taken Bernie as her VP, which seems the obvious and gracious thing to have done, she would have won. The army of grassroots activists would have been there, as with Obama in 2008 and 2012, to make sure this lunatic did not get into the White House. So you tell me”.why didn’t she do it?

And where has she gone now? Hillary has virtually disappeared since the day after the election. Just like Gore and Kerry after they won their elections and then said nothing about election theft or the EC. It’s as if they never existed, and here we are stuck with the catastrophic aftermath. There’s got to be a better way.

Joan Brunwasser: Before we discuss our options, you didn’t answer the age-old question, where is the press?

Harvey Wasserman: The media can’t seem to handle the idea that our elections are a total sham. There was some coverage of disenfranchisement leading up to the 2016 election. But not much. And no follow through. The reality that our voting machines are totally rigged is simply “conspiracy theory” in their eyes. And they are unwilling to make the slightest effort to research the realities.

Joan Brunwasser: Sadly, you appear to be right. Which brings us to possible paths of action. I read something encouraging from the Jill Stein camp regarding their lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Would you care to discuss that for a moment?

Harvey Wasserman: What Jill Stein’s brave campaign made clear is that the electoral system is completely corrupted and impenetrable. Even in a state like Pennsylvania, which has a Democratic governor.

Nationwide, our elections are simply a bad joke. They need to be reformed from top to bottom, with universal automatic voter registration, a four-day holiday for voting, ample places to vote, hand-counted paper ballots, automatic recounts at no charge to candidates and abolition of gerrymandering, the Electoral College and corporate money in campaigns.

It’s a simple, clear agenda but a monumental task to win. On the other hand, without it, we have nothing resembling a democracy.

Joan Brunwasser: Do you want to talk about Jill Stein’s lawsuit?

Harvey Wasserman: Over the coming months and years, you can expect to see numerous lawsuits by many democracy advocates. There will be referenda and other campaigns to fix this problem. The corruption of this system is deeply embedded in our body politic, but so was the British empire, slavery, legal segregation, the war in Vietnam and much more.

I also expect to see the rapid shutdown of all nuclear power plants, hopefully before the next one explodes, and the conversion of our civilization (if it can be called that) to 100% renewable energy.

So let’s just remember our great activist history and honor it and get the job done,. I think everyone who intends to go to a march or rally in the Trump Era should knock on ten doors before they do. Then, we will win!!!

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PETITION! ASK CLINTON & THE DEMOCRATS TO FUND 2016 RECOUNTS

clinton

Please sign and share  this petition posted at Move.On.org

To be delivered to Hillary Clinton & Democratic Party, Democratic nominee & party officials

WE ASK HILLARY CLINTON AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO FUND PRESIDENTIAL RECOUNTS IN FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN, AND ALL OTHER APPROPRIATE STATES.

WE ALSO ASK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO FUND RECOUNTS IN US SENATE RACES IN PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN AND MISSOURI, AND ALL OTHER APPROPRIATE ELECTORAL RACES.

##############

Hillary and the Democrats Must Fund a Recount & Challenge the Electoral College Delegations

hrc-4-solartopia

by Harvey Wasserman

 

Hillary Clinton’s victory in the 2016 presidential popular vote count keeps climbing.

With more than 2,000,000 votes still uncounted in California alone, her public triumph over Donald Trump may ultimately reach 2.5 million votes or more.

There’s a widespread assumption that the Electoral College vote is a done deal.

But a series of key swing state recounts could change control of the presidency, as well as the Senate and Supreme Court. So could a Congressional challenge to the key Electoral College delegations.

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party must do justice to the public will. They must fund the recount effort, not only for the presidency, but also for at least three key senate races where exit polls indicated Democratic victories.

Congressional Democrats in the current House and Senate also must challenge the certification of the key Electoral College delegations in disputed swing states that could decide control of the White House.

Sign our petitions at solartopia.org and elsewhere to help make this happen.
Despite the current reporting, exit polls showed Clinton the likely winner in the critical swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with Michigan extremely close. Those states, if allocated to Clinton, would rightfully (and legally) change the outcome of this election.

We also question the outcomes in three key Senate races—-Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Missouri—-where exit polls showed Democrats winning. These three seats could determine control of the Senate and thus the nature of the Supreme Court for decades to come.

The vote count in all those states and many more is extremely suspect. If this election were held in a foreign country, the State Department would not certify it.

Thanks to the reporting of Greg Palast (gregpalast.com) and others, we know that millions of mostly black/Hispanic/Asian-American/Muslim citizens were stripped of their right to vote in those and 30 or more other states around the US. Thanks to the research of Bev Harris, Jon Simon and others, we know that the electronic vote count throughout the country is also highly suspect ( black box voting ). Computer expert J. Alex Halderman and election attorney John Bonifaz have joined many others in calling for recounts.

The details of this election are still being uncovered. An evolving overview is currently available at www.solartopia.org. By no means have the final words been written on an outcome where millions of Americans were stripped from voter rolls while the vote count was flipped with “black box” electronic machines.

Those who say otherwise should more than welcome a national recount, with special focus on the swing states that hold the deciding Electoral College votes. Until those swing states are recounted, the Electoral College delegations should not be allowed to cast votes for the presidency.

The incumbent Republican Governor of North Carolina was declared the loser in his race for re-election, but is now challenging that defeat. He may also try to to use a loophole in North Carolina law to get the Republican-controlled legislature to give him the governor’s mansion again even if he’s found to be the official vote count loser.

In 2000, a full recount of the Florida popular vote (which was stopped by the US Supreme Court before it could be finished) would have rightfully put Al Gore in the White House rather than George W. Bush. Gore won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 ballots, a fraction of Hillary Clinton’s current lead. He rightfully won the Electoral College vote, but was deprived of a full and timely recount. That must not be allowed to happen in 2016.

In Ohio 2004, US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined US Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Cleveland, since deceased) to challenge the Ohio delegation to the Electoral College. More than 100,000 votes are still uncounted from that election. In an election officially decided by 118,775 votes, more than 300,000 voters were stripped from Ohio’s registration rolls amidst serious questions about the electronic vote count, indicating Kerry rightfully won Ohio’s 2004 Electoral votes and thus the presidency.
But despite a federal court order, no legitimate recount was ever held.

Any US Senator in conjunction with a US Representative has the Constitutional right to challenge the seating of an Electoral College delegation. It is the obvious responsibility of the Democratic Party to now exercise this right to the fullest extent.

We recall, of course, that GOP candidate Donald Trump reserved the right the inspect the outcome of this presidential election before he would accept it. Ask yourself what Donald Trump would now be doing had he won the popular ballot by more than 2,000,000,000 votes while losing in the Electoral College. Would he meekly do nothing while Hillary Clinton walked into the White House?

The Green Party is now raising money for recounts in the key swing states ( the Guardian ) .

But Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party have the readily available resources and the sacred duty to stand for those who voted for them. They need to fund these recounts. They need to challenge these Electoral College delegations in Congress.

The stakes could not be higher.

Please sign these this petition at moveon.org and demand they finally come forward ( http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ask-clinton-the-democrats ):

WE ASK HILLARY CLINTON AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO FUND PRESIDENTIAL RECOUNTS IN FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN, AND ALL OTHER APPROPRIATE STATES.

WE ASK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO FUND RECOUNTS IN US SENATE RACES IN PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN AND MISSOURI, AND ALL OTHER APPROPRIATE ELECTORAL RACES.

This petition can also be reached at www.solatopia.org.
————————————————-

Harvey Wasserman co-wrote (with Bob Fitrakis) THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org), along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and the upcoming AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH: THE ORGANIC SPIRAL OF US HISTORY, due out in 2017.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A HIGH LIKELIHOOD OUR WEBSITES WILL BE CRASHED AS WE GATHER PETITIONS. PLEASE KEEP TRYING.

After Cubs Win, It’s Time for Chief Wahoo to Go

 

chief-racial-slur

by Harvey Wasserman

The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. They beat the team of Chief Wahoo and it’s long past time for him to depart.

With a rare comeback victory from being down three games to one, the Cubbies have ended the longest World Series drought in baseball history, beating the Cleveland Indians, the team with the second-longest drought. Not since 1908 have the Windy City north siders done this.

Congratulations especially to team president Theo Epstein, who put together the team that in 2004 ended the curse of the Red Sox, who had not won a World Series title since 1918. Now he’s done it again in Chicago. How my native Boston let the best baseball operations guy and the best manager (Terry Francona) leave town at the same time is beyond me.

But the real loser this year is Chief Wahoo, and it’s time to bury him forever.

The Cleveland Indians have been soiled for decades with the most cringeworthy logo in all of sports. It is an obscene cartoon that is beyond degrading. I will not describe it in detail. Cover up the feather and it could be an insult to every racial or ethnic group on the planet.

The team name “Indians” is also in contention. It’s a complicated discussion. If Cleveland really wants to “honor” Native Americans, as team ownership says, why not choose a local tribe, like the Shawnee or Erie or Wyandot, and pay them a royalty?

At least Cleveland’s team is not the R*****ns, that pathetic football team in Washington, D.C. How any public franchise could bear such a vile, racist name is beyond tolerance, especially in the nation’s capital.

Dan Snyder, the grotesque, embarrassing owner of the R*****ns, has reconfirmed his inexcusable, pig-headed commitment to keeping the name.

He should follow the sterling example of the owner (Abe Saperstein, now deceased) of Washington’s professional basketball team, whose name he changed from the Bullets in reaction to gun violence. They’re now the Wizards, a terrific choice.

Snyder could open the name change up to the public, hold a contest, a national discussion, and a local vote, and make a ton of money while doing it. All those new jerseys and good feelings and general exposure would be priceless. Instead he clings to a racist “tradition” and confirms his ultimate loser status by putting truly lousy teams on the field, year after year.

In fact, Snyder is now the ultimate argument for public ownership of all major sports franchises, which is long overdue. I am part-owner (two shares) of the Green Bay Packers, America’s Real Team because it is owned by members of the public. Our nation needs to end the shame of our beloved major league sports clubs being owned by billionaires who shuffle them around like portable slave plantations. They manipulate public funding for stadiums designed to serve the corporate elite. They treat the players like chattel. They ignore and abuse the public investment while expecting massive subsidies and royal treatment.

Every community in which a major sports team operates should own and run that franchise.

And Cleveland can join the civilized world by forcing the Indians to change their name and bury that awful logo. It was painful seeing it on the sleeves and helmets throughout this gorgeous World Series. The logo’s presence was a terrible blot on an otherwise wonderful sporting event.

It should not be allowed to happen again. Cleveland needs to take a leap of good faith, bury Chief Wahoo, and get a new name.

#######

Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at solartopia.org. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at prn.fm. He edits nukefree.org.

NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change

by Harvey Wasserman  

The New York Times published an astonishing article last week that blames green power for difficulties countries are facing to mitigate climate change.

The article by Eduardo Porter, How Renewable Energy is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course, serves as a flagship for an on-going attack on the growth of renewables. It is so convoluted and inaccurate that it requires a detailed response.

nukeboosting timesOur planet is burning up from fossil fuels and being irradiated by decrepit money-losing reactors that blow up. Blaming renewable energy for all that is like blaming the peace movement for causing wars.

~

As Mark Jacobson, director of Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, pointed out to me via email:

The New York Times article “suffers from the inaccurate assumption that existing expensive nuclear that is shut down will be replaced by natural gas. This is impossible in California, for example, since gas is currently 60 percent of electricity supply but state law requires non-large-hydro clean renewables to be 50 percent by 2030. This means that, with the shuttering of Diablo Canyon nuclear facility be 2025, gas can by no greater than 35-44 percent of California supply since clean renewables will be at least 50 percent (and probably much more) and large hydro will be 6-15 percent. As such, gas must go down no matter what. In fact, 100 percent of all new electric power in Europe in 2015 was clean, renewable energy with no new net gas, and 70 percent of all new energy in the U.S. was clean and renewable, so the fact is nuclear is not being replaced by gas but by clean, renewable energy.

“Further, the article fails to consider the fact that the cost of keeping nuclear open is often much greater than the cost of replacing the nuclear with wind or solar. For example, three upstate New York nuclear plants require $7.6 billion in subsidies from the state to stay open 12 years. To stay open after that, they will need an additional $805 million/year at a minimum, or at least $17.7 billion from 2028-2050, or a total of $25.3 billion from 2016 to 2050. If, on the other hand, those three plants were replaced with wind today, the total cost between now and 2050 would be $11.9 billion. Thus, keeping the nuclear plants open 12 years costs an additional $7.6 billion; keeping it open 34 years costs and additional $25.3 billion, in both cases with zero additional climate benefit, in comparison with shuttering the three plants today and replacing them with onshore wind.”

Gideon Forman, climate change and transportation policy analyst at David Suzuki Foundation, also shared his dismay on the Times piece:

“The notion that non-renewable power sources are necessary is questionable at best. Some scientists believe that, over the next few decades, renewables could provide all our power. One is Stanford Prof. Mark Jacobson. He has done modeling to show the U.S. could be entirely powered by renewables by 2050.

“Porter is wrong to claim that nuclear produces ‘zero-carbon electricity.’ If we look at the full nuclear cycle, including production of uranium fuel, we find it involves considerable carbon emissions. Jacobson and his co-author, Mark A. Delucchi, have written, ‘Nuclear power results in up to 25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy, when reactor construction and uranium refining and transport are considered.’

“Porter says if American nuclear plants were replaced with gas-fired generators it would lead to 200 million tons of additional CO2 emissions annually. But it’s wrong to suggest that nuclear could only be replaced by natural gas. A full suite of renewables—along with energy storage and conservation programs—could meet demand, certainly in the not very distant future.

“Porter suggests that nuclear power can ‘stay on all the time.’ But of course, nuclear plants, like all generators, are sometimes out of service for maintenance. This downtime can be considerable. For example, it is expected that from 2017 to 2021, Ontario’s Pickering nuclear station will require back-up almost 30 percent of the time.”

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, called the Times piece “outrageous.” He told me:

“The Times piece continues the paper’s long record of minimizing and downplaying—not recognizing and indeed often denying—the deadly impacts of nuclear power. It’s been a shameful journalistic dysfunction. As Alden Whitman, a Times reporter for 25 years, told me, ‘there certainly was never any effort made to do’ in-depth or investigative reporting on nuclear power. ‘I think there stupidity involved,’ he said, and further, ‘The Times regards itself as part of the establishment.” Or as Anna Mayo of The Village Voice related: ‘I built a full-time career on covering nuclear horror stories that the New York Times neglected.'”

So where do I stand on the Porter piece? Here are my eight biggest complaints:

1. Though viewed as the “journal of record,” the Times has been consistently pro-nuclear. Its slanted coverage has served as an industry bulwark for decades. A long-time atomic beat reporter, Matt Wald, went straight from the Times to a job with the Nuclear Energy Institute, the primary public relations front for the reactor industry. The Times has a long history as a cheerleader for nuclear power dating back to the atomic bomb era, when it consistently denied health problems from radioactive fallout. It also denied health problems resulting from radiation releases at Three Mile Island, and much more. Now it has taken a major role in defending the nuclear industry from the renewable energy revolution that is driving it to bankruptcy while bringing a tsunami of reactor shut downs. It’s these shut downs that now seem to worry the paper.

2. The primary technological transition in the world of electric power today is from fossil and nuclear fuels (King CONG: Coal, Oil, Nukes, Gas) to a Solartopian system based on green power. But there’s a deeper shift going on: from centralized, grid-based corporate control to decentralized citizen-based community control. When nuclear power and its apologists defend continued operations at dangerously deteriorated reactors, they are more broadly defending the power and profits of huge corporations that are completely invested in a centralized grid. When they argue that renewables “can’t do the job,” they’re in fact working to prolong the lives of the large generators that are the “base load” basis of a corporate grid-based supply system.

3. But that grid is now obsolete. What strikes the ultimate terror in utility boardrooms is the revolutionary reality of a decentralized power supply, free of large generators, comprised instead of millions of small photovoltaic (PV) panels owned by individuals. Industry sources have widely confirmed that this decentralized, post-grid model means the end of big utilities. Thus when they fight against PV and for nuclear power, they are fighting not for the life of the planet, but for the survival of their own corporate profits.

4. Some utilities do support some renewables, but primarily in the form of large centralized grid-based solar and wind turbine farms. Pacific Gas & Electric said it will replace the power from the Diablo Canyon nuke plant with solar energy. But PG&E is simultaneously fighting rooftop solar, which will allow individual homeowners to disconnect from the grid. Germany’s transition from fossil-nukes to renewables has also been marked by conflict between large grid-based wind farms versus small community-based renewables.

5. PG&E and other major utilities are fighting against net metering and other programs that promote small-scale renewables. The Koch Brothers’ American Legislature Exchange Council (ALEC) has spread a wide range of taxes and disincentives passed by the states to make it ever-harder to go solar. All this is being done to preserve the grid-based monopolies that own large fossil/nuclear facilities.

6. The idea that nuclear power might fight climate change, and that environmentalists might support it, is a recent concoction, a disgraceful, desperate load of utility hype meant to defend the status quo. Fukushima, unsolved waste problems and the plummeting price of renewables have solidified the environmental community’s opposition to nuke power. These reactors are dirty and dangerous. They are not carbon-free and do emit huge quantities of heated water and steam into the ecosphere. The utility industry can’t get private liability insurance for them, and relies on the 1957 Price-Anderson Act to protect them from liability in a major catastrophe. The industry continually complains about subsidies to renewable energy but never mentions this government protection program without which all reactors would close.

7. Not just nuke power but the entire centralized fossil/nuke-based grid system is now being undermined by the massive drops in the price of renewable energy, and massive rises in its efficiency and reliability. The critical missing link is battery technology. Because the sun and wind are intermittent, there needs to be energy storage to smooth out supply. Elon Musk‘s billion-dollar Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada and many other industrial ventures indicate major battery breakthroughs in storage is here today.

8. Porter’s NY Times piece correctly says that the massive amounts of cheap, clean renewables flooding the grid in Europe and parts of the U.S. are driving nuclear power plants into bankruptcy. At least a dozen reactor shut downs have been announced in the U.S. since 2012 and many more are on their way. In Japan 52 of the 54 reactors online before the Fukushima disaster are now closed. And, Germany has pledged to shut all its reactors by 2022.

But Porter attacks this by complaining that those nukes were supplying base load power that must be otherwise—according to him—shored up with fossil burners. Here’s his key line:

“Renewable sources are producing temporary power gluts from Australia to California, driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power.”

But as all serious environmentalists understand, the choice has never been between nukes versus fossil fuels. It’s between centralized fossil/nukes versus decentralized renewables.

Porter’s article never mentions the word “battery” or the term “rooftop solar.” But these are the two key parts in the green transition already very much in progress.

So here is what the Times obviously can’t bring itself to say: “Cheap solar panels on rooftops are now making the grid obsolete.” The key bridging element of battery back-up capability is on its way. Meanwhile there is absolutely no need for nuclear power plants, which at any rate have long since become far too expensive to operate.

Spending billions to prop up dying nuke reactors for “base load” generation is pure corporate theft at the public expense, both in straight financial terms and in the risk of running badly deteriorated reactors deep into the future until they inevitably melt down or blow up.

Those billions instead should go to accelerating battery production and distribution, and making it easier, rather than harder, to gain energy independence using the wind and the sun.

All this has serious real-world impacts. In Ohio, for example, a well-organized shift to wind and solar wasderailed by the Koch-run legislature. Some $2 billion in wind-power investments and a $500 million solar farm were derailed. There are also serious legal barriers now in place to stop homeowners from putting solar shingles and panels on their rooftops.
Meanwhile, FirstEnergy strong-armed the Ohio Public Utilities Commission into approving a huge bailout to keep the seriously deteriorated Davis-Besse nuke operating, even though it cannot compete and is losing huge sums of money. Federal regulators have since put that bailout on hold.

Arizona and other Koch-owned legislatures have moved to tax solar panels, ban solar shingles and make it illegal to leave the grid without still paying tribute to the utilities who own it. Indeed, throughout the U.S. and much of the western world, corporate-owned governments are doing their best to slow the ability of people to use renewables to rid themselves of the corporate grid.

For an environmental movement serious about saving the Earth from climate change, this is a temporary barrier. The Times and its pro-nuke allies in the corporate media will continue to twist reality. But the Solartopian revolution is proceeding ahead of schedule and under budget. A renewable, decentralized energy system is very much in sight.

The only question is how long corporate nonsense like this latest NY Times screed can delay this vital transition. Our planet is burning up from fossil fuels and being irradiated by decrepit money-losing reactors that blow up. Blaming renewable energy for all that is like blaming the peace movement for causing wars.

The centralized King CONG grid and its obsolete owners are at the core of the problem. So are the corporate media outlets like the New York Times that try to hide that obvious reality.

““““

Harvey Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH can be found at this very website:  www.solartopia.org, where his
AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH: THE ORGANIC SPIRAL OF US HISTORY is soon to arrive. He editswww.nukefree.org and hosts the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show at www.prn.fm
.

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