Nuclear Colonialism in New Mexico

❝ A proposal for New Mexico to house one of the world’s largest nuclear waste storage facilities has drawn opposition from nearly every indigenous nation in the state. Nuclear Issues Study Group co-founder and Diné organizer Leona Morgan told state legislators last week the project, if approved, would perpetuate a legacy of nuclear colonialism against New Mexico’s indigenous communities and people of color.

❝ Holtec International, a private company specializing in spent nuclear fuel storage and management, applied for a license from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the facility in southeastern New Mexico.

❝ The proposal, which has been in the works since 2011, would see high-level waste generated at nuclear power plants across the country transported to New Mexico for storage at the proposed facility along the Lea-Eddy county line between Hobbs and Carlsbad. Holtec representatives say the facility would be a temporary solution to the nation’s growing nuclear waste problem, but currently there is no federal plan to build a permanent repository for the waste.

No Plan, BTW, for permanent storage ANYWHERE ELSE!

Congressional clowns pass FAA funding bill – after 23 tries!

The U.S. Senate approved a $63 billion bill on Monday that funds U.S. aviation programs for four years and authorizes new steps for the government to modernize the air traffic system.

Senate lawmakers cleared the measure by a 75-to-20 vote, sending it to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. The House of Representatives approved it last week.

The compromise legislation sets out a blueprint for predictable funding of the Federal Aviation Administration, which receives about $15 billion annually to operate air traffic control centers at more than 400 airports. The agency also inspects commercial aircraft and oversees airline safety operations and airport improvement projects.

The agency has operated under 23 straight temporary spending bills since the previous long-term law authorizing its budget expired in 2007. The current stop-gap spending measure expires Feb. 17. A fight over federal spending prompted a partial shutdown of the FAA last summer for two weeks.

Congress has fought for the past four years over federal spending levels, fees, limits on airport uses and government subsidies for service to rural communities. Passage was assured, however, when House and Senate negotiators struck a surprise compromise last month on a provision affecting union elections at commercial carriers.

IMHO that’s what it all was about. Perish the thought our elected officials should make it easy for Americans who work at the politicized stockyards our airports have become – to exercise any right to organize for purposes of collective bargaining for wages and working conditions.

Not that Congressional Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats have a whole boatload of experience with an honest day’s work.

So, 23 tries over 4 years before our airports could count on stable funding.

Barbie grooves with tattoos

The Barbie doll has been given a make-over for her 50th birthday and been given tattoos.

The doll now comes with a set of sticker tattoos so children can make her look like their heroes, such as Jordan, Amy Winehouse or Cheryl Cole…

Customize the fashions and apply the fun temporary tattoos on you too. Choose from Barbie or Nikki dolls, both include additional fashions, tattoo stamper and tattoos.”

But parents have expressed concern.

So, would you buy this doll for your kids? What’s your answer when your daughter says, “I want a tattoo like Barbie?”

What if she’d like to be tattooed like this Barbie Doll?

US army wants to recruit more immigrants

Immigrant soldiers receiving citizenship – in Baghdad
Daylife/AP Photo by Petros Giannakouris

Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.

Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. But the new effort, for the first time since the Vietnam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the United States for a minimum of two years, according to military officials familiar with the plan.

Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.

The program will begin small — limited to 1,000 enlistees nationwide in its first year, most for the Army and some for other branches. If the pilot program succeeds as Pentagon officials anticipate, it will expand for all branches of the military. For the Army, it could eventually provide as many as 14,000 volunteers a year, or about one in six recruits.

Is this a negative commentary about the state of American education or the willingness of immigrants to do damned near anything to acquire U.S. citizenship? In peacetime it’s no big deal to keep an army staffed. In fact, there’s a whole discussion begging attention on revising the tasks of a peacetime army.

But, that’s not where our government thinks we’re at.