Friday, March 17, 2017

TRUTH UNDER SEIGE?



Has truth met its waterloo in TrumpWorld?  Given the fusillade of alternative "facts," the facade of relativistic rhetoric, the obscurantist sophistics of the likes of Sean Spicer?  Given the mouthpieces of Trumpworld such as Sean Spicer, Kelly Anne Conway, Steven Miller and, God forbid, Sarah Huckabee Sanders? 

Possibly never before have such scurrilous speakers of the language used political discourse to prevent language from pursuing truth, what the Greeks of Socrates' time called the "Logos."  What we see happening in TrumpWorld and manifested daily by his mouthpieces is Orwellian doublespeak literallyHere today in American politics, fiction becomes truth, life verifies art.  

Possibly only comedy can deal with and expose the untruth of TrumpWorld.  We see much of this on late night TV.  Much of what we see obscured politically regarding real issues is complicated by the triviality of issues such as Trumps claims regarding 4-5 million illegal voters, assertion of record breaking crowds at his inaugural, accusation of Obama's illegal wiretapping at Trump tower, accusing British Intellegence of spying on the Whitehouse, quibbling over deceptive distinctions such as "literal" vs "serious" statements by the so-called President, etc., etc.  Such trivial if not eccentric claims are red meat for comedy but an anaesthesia for democratic discourse.

Of course, this superstructural obscurantism does point to some non-trivial issues such as what is implied by Trump's accusation of Obama committing a felony.  But sadly such as this is tantamount to a child not recognizing the serious implications of his words. So truth is not in sorting out the sophistries of the "reality TV light show" of Trump's lackeys and sycophants. The truth is in the infrastructural issues.  The truth of infrastructural actions is what must be attended to such as the infamous "Muslim Ban." 

The infrastructural issues point to the real issues and the truths we should be concerned with.  The real issues are these:  Firstly, the dismantling of the state department while dramatically increasing an already wasteful pentagon.  Within an ideology of Economic Nationalism, as General Mattis has warned, ‘if we disengage the state department and suspend diplomacy you will have to buy him more bullets.  So is Bannonist ideology intending military diplomacy and abandoning negotiation even though Trump claims to be the great negotiator?  Does Economic nationalism mean opportunistic military interventionism?

Secondly, will Trump pay for the medical, educational and social needs of the people, the very people who voted for him, prior to the ushering in of his promised golden age of the return of good jobs and prosperity to the homeland?  The real needs of people will not be satisfied by Economic Nationalist pipedreams.

Thirdly, will Bannonism enable the alt-right white Christian cultural vision to perpetuate the regressive culture war?  Or will the Bannon-believers wake up to the inevitable and only true populist vision for America, namely a multi-cultural reconstitution of community and local culture?  Possibly Trump could awaken to his own liberal-cultural tendencies and instincts and fire Bannon thus eliminating his insidious, obfuscating alt-right influence in the administration.

Fourthly, will the contradiction between egregiously wasteful spending on “the Wall,” and the military be reconciled with the promise to cut the deficit.  

Fifthly, can democracy be salvaged while Wall Street invades Washington in the form of Goldman Sachs populating the Trump administration and Billionaires bankrolling the expropriation of democratic politics from its local roots and lifeblood?  Can democracy be salvaged as business is conflated and confused with government and diplomacy?  Mass manipulation of an essentially under-educated populace does not a democracy make?  Trump’s base is not “deplorable” as Hillary Clinton exclaimed.  Their choices are regrettable or even lamentable.  They will themselves eventually regret and lament their choice of Trump.  They will discover that stoking the fires of white identity politics does not address their real needs and interests, nor promote their real political power which lay in uniting with “left-wing populism."

Lastly will the virulent behemoth of two-party politics finally be declared the 800 lb. gorilla in the political room.  Trump is neither conservative nor Republican.  Bernie Sanders was not really Demcratic nor liberal nor really even “socialist.”  Present party politics obscures the interests of the people and enervates their own possible political initiative.  The “revolution” required in American politics can’t be carried out while thinking in the obsolete bi-polar categories of left-right, liberal-conservative, Republican-Democrat, red state-blue state, white vs black, Christian vs Muslim, rich vs poor, people vs politicians, welfare vs workers, etc.  Obviously the supposed conflicts used to divide us are more determinative than the commonalites that unite and can harmonize us.  But Legislators are meant to harmonize the interests that unite the many rather than politicize unnecessary pseudo-conflict polarities that ultimately enrich and empower the few.  We thereby need a revolution in thought and political education in order to pursue and unconceal the real issues of truth.

Has truth met its Waterloo?  Not at all.  We must simply know where to look for it, how to articulate it and give it the light of day. The democracy needs "citizen legislators" who will reappropriate the republic and democratize the intelligence of the people. 

Sunday, March 05, 2017

TRUMP BEYOND TRUTH



WHY ARE TRUTH AND FACT NOT IMPORTANT TO TRUMP?  …… It may well be that Trump just doesn’t pay attention to the facts for whatever reason whether narcissism, arrogance, ignorance.  He may not pay attention to truth because, like most people, he doesn’t see a difference between truth and facts whether those of his or others.  On the other hand, a better explanation may be that the liberal discourse generally shapes a body of fact and consequent truth that has had bad consequences for America as Trump sees it.  

He and Bannon are moving the narrative away from the validity of this discourse.  These Economic Nationalists see themselves creating a new narrative which requires a structural transformation of state and society.  It is within and as a consequence of this re-structuration that the narrative of new values will emerge.  Or possibly, as they probably see it, old values that must be renewed, a conservative culture that must be rehabilitated.   

So the globalist liberal media becomes the enemy of the people because their discourse narrates a “violence” against the re-valuation of state and society, trade and foreign relations, community and culture.  Trump’s “truths” are the values of the predominantly white working class who have not been allowed an identity politics as they perceive it.  There obviously still cling to white identity politics the regressive tendencies of racism, sexism, zenophobia and religious charvinism.  But for the Trumpists this will be tolerated in order to make the transition to a new populist polity.    

This is not my populism but the populism that won him the election and could sustain him through a second term.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

PROTO-FASCIST DECONSTRUCTION OR POPULIST DECENTRALIZATION

So what exactly is happening in the wonderful world of Washington?  At the current Conservative Political Action Conference Steve Bannon, Chief Advisor and member of the National Security Council, announced the "deconstruction" of the "administrative state."  What does he mean?

Bannon put it in practical terms: The cabinet members were picked not to manage and improve the function of the various agencies such as the EPA.  They were explicitly picked to dismantle and thus disengage the agencies from their intended functions.  This is not simply a matter of deregulation of constraints on business.  It is a matter of the destruction, not even the 'de-construction' of the public function of these agencies in the name of the interests of the people as a whole.

In the case of education, to decentralize education and return its control to the states and communities is one thing.  But to "de-construct" the purpose of the agency in the name of destroying public education is another.  To decentralize the EPA may however amount to the destruction of the function of the EPA in that communites or even states may not have the leverage or power to combat the negative effects of the big corporations.  

What, moreover, would it mean to de-construct the Justice Department?  What does it mean to deconstruct the intelligence agencies?  What does it mean to deconstruct defense?  Can these central functions be decentralized?

Obviously Bannon paints which such a big brush that he hasn't thought through what part of the "administrative state" he wants to "deconstruct."  He hasn't thought through the difference between dismantling the mission of such as the EPA and decentralizing the function.  Decentralization based upon the principal of subsidiarity, namely, "all that can be done at home should be done at home," would be a selective process if not specialized process of populist principle.  If the "administrative state" presumes to take over the cultural life of the communities/regions, then this needs to be decentralized and returned to the people.  But when decentralization is conceived as a wholesale deconstruction of the state, then this is simple governmental incompetence or a cover for more nefarious and idiosyncratic or selective "deconstructions" in the name of achieving certain political ends such as job creation, deregulation of corporate controls, re-writing trade relations, disenfranchising voters, etc.

Autocracy is not a vehicle of decentralizing deconstruction even if we did know what could and should be decentralized.  What the people need to think about is what they can and should take control of such as education, monitoring the quality of their environment, what's happening to their tax monies, the state of the democracy, etc.  They need to think about the democratizing function and the democratization of intelligence and character.  Business and corporations can't set the standards of the values of communities/regions.  We have to decide and secure how we want to live our lives qualitatively culturally.  Economic issues construed according to certain political ideologies can't drive the democratic discourse at the community level.  Yes, all politics is local politics.  The citizen is first a local citizen.  We can think globally and act locally.  But we also live locally.

The obscurantist rhetoric of the Trump circle can't be allowed to distract the people from the positive articulation of what quality of life we want.  What needs to be deconstructed is their sophistic misdirection away from what they are doing and what the big picture of Bannon's "Economic Nationalism" really means in terms of what they are really doing.  It is not clear that our present "globalism" is better or worse than this neo-economic nationalism especially in terms of job creation and national economic sovereignty.

Is this a hidden agenda of neo-fascism that we see happening here?  Is the battle with and over the Press a ruse or is it a feeler for what the Trumpists can get away with in securing autocratic control?  Will this new deconstructed State serve us or will we serve it?

Friday, November 11, 2016

WHAT IS FASCISM?

A recent Truthout article, "The Fascist in November" claims that Trump is a Fascist.  Of course this is nothing but misplaced historical concreteness.  If as the authur, William Rivers Pitt, claims, Fascism is the merger of state and corporations, then we've had fascism for some time.  Of course, at most ours is not a structural fascism but a functional fascism.  But that does not make Trump more fascist than Obama or the Clintons.  But to cast allegations such as this is an easy and transparently polemical way to avoid concrete, political and historical analysis.  It is at best lazy thinking but more likely ideologically and culturally crippled thinking.

For those dissatisfied with this election outcome (and how could one not be?), this is the time for action.  Part of such action, and at this point in our viciously anti-intellectual history, is developing a real democratic discourse with a theoretical heart.  We can no longer, if we ever could, hope for a political silver bullet, to save the day.  Government is one of those silver bullets.  But parliamentary democracy is dead. 

It is time for a new grassroots movement to unite the neo-populist right and left.  It is time to go beyond the embarrassingly smug, self-righteous political correctness that wants to sum up our problems in terms of such bureaucratic and also polemical categories as racism, sexism, fascism, religious chauvism, militarism, etc.  Whereas Trump's detractors want to reduce him to these categories, this is simply another way of not moving forward practically and theoretically.  

Trump has called out the ideological function of political correctness and provides the opportunity to think beyond it and go beyond our so delicate pseudo-sensitivities to the suffering of others.  Let's stop reducing the causes of our suffering to the symptoms attacked by the political correctness police.  Let's move on to the real causes such as the oligarchs running the show and the corporations corrupting the law, culture, and the value and virtue of community.

So all you sobbing Clinton supporters out there can take comfort in the words of Gandhi: "When I despair," said Mahatma Gandhi, "I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall."

If Trump is one of the tyrants, then, if Gandhi is right, he will fail.  So far Clinton is more implicated in murder.  Witness her support of Iraq war. She has proved herself to be quite capable of imperialist tyranny. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Perversion of Political Correctness: Divide and Conquer in the Name of Unity

The Democrats ideologically re-invoke the myth of the melting pot and how we should all just get along, respect one another and presume political and cultural unity.  I think a reverse psychology is at work here.  The very attempt to end discrimination, hatred, ethnocentrism, etc., without addressing the question of the integrity, identity, needs and interests of the mass of Americans at the infrastructural level is simply mind and emotion control, further dividing us.  In other words, we are discouraged from expressing or even admiting to ourselves what we really feel, believe, want.  The new myth serves the purpose of effectively homogenizing the pseudo-political populace to the end of easy manipulation and control, easily mobilized for war and consumption, especially the consumption of war.  The liberal media machine generates endless false political issues and discourses for public consumption.  We remain drastically dumbed down, deluded and endlessly essentially disenfranchised especially politically.

The dump-Trump movement within the Republican Party purports to be "offended" by Trumps out-of-bounds behavior.  They are really terrified that he will crash the party of the insiders.

In fact the putative liberal compassion and sense of justice further serves to divide and conquer.  It's not convincing and doesn't solve our social/cultural problems.   In the name of justice if not civility, the Liberals suppress the undercurrent of suffering, exclusion and opposition to a system that self-righteously postures itself in the mode of Christian loving kindness but propagates economic policies and laws that preserve the imbalance of power, wealth and knowledge.  The divisions, anger, hatred, ignorance of the other, remain.

The Republicans and Democrats, best characterized as the "Republicrats," have the same essential infrastructural interest and global concerns.  The fear regarding Trump is not really his supposed authoritarianism, crassness, supposed lack of sensitivity, lack of compassion or political incorrectness but the fear that he won't play ball with the 1% and their political lackeys like the Clintons, the Bushes, the Koch brothers and other elites of the political class.

The Republicrats want us to act as if there is a cultural unity when such multi-cultural integration and re-constitution of community is a long way off if ever.  Life in contemporary America is threatening, insecure, fragile and hard to believe in.  

So I suggest Trump should be allowed to crash the party and enable the possibility that our real divisions be dealt with materially and not psychologically.  Especially the division of the mass from the 1% and their financial control of economy and politics.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Wondrous Irony of Bill Gates

Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout by choice.  Apparently that great institution hampered his creativity.  It's ironic that his contributions to the Common Core fiasco contradict his actual life choices.  Why should Gates now choose to impose a draconian standardization mode for education that suppresses if not destroys the very conditions of creativity that his own life attests to.  Given that Gates was instrumental in conceiving if not actually helping to write the Core curriculum, it seems he now chooses to impose his own self-contradictory values on the nation.  Possibly power does corrupt and add a lot on billions of dollar on top of that and it corrupts absolutely. 

Moreover Gates seems to find no qualms in utilizing a cancerously over-centralized national government to carry out his misguided megalomania.  Even though the US Constitution gives the central government no powers to oversee let alone invade and colonize public education, Gates as well as the government conveniently ignore this.  Thomas Jefferson warned against the incursion of central government in education.  He warned that such incursion would lead to the standardization of thought and the death of diversity of thought, thus the death of democracy thereby.

The Core Curriculum is in no way about fostering creativity, critical thinking, autonomy or social responsiblity.  It is about mass control, fueling our success in the global economy and catering to the needs and demands of corporatism.  The curriculum may be standardized but a child cannot.  There may be a common curriculum but this is no "common child." 

The control of education must be returned to localities.  Educational revolution is community revolution and returning thereby the very locus of control of democracy itself to the community.  All politics is local politics.  And all education is local education.

Arne Duncan, Czar of Education, claimed there was a confusion of standards in the States.  The only confusion was in his struggle to find a way to homogenize and centrally control education.  Of course one way to do it is to reduce it to a method of control and domination and institute that through a bureaucratically centralized regime in Washington that has managed to expropriate education from the lives of people and the learning experiences of children. 

We are losing our kids and turning them over to the new "Big Brother."  Let the revolution begin and take back your children.  I wonder where Bill Gates kids go to school and what curriculum they are subjected to.  I'll bet it's not the "common core."  Chances are that he will not subject his own children to this mass "socialization" experiement, which is sure to fail.  The sooner the better.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

  The following is a Forbes article on a vision for higher education.  I follow up with a critque of this "vision."

SUNY Signals Major Push Toward MOOCs and Other New Educational Models

March 20, 2013, 4:55 am
The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday endorsed an ambitious vision for how SUNY might use prior-learning assessment, competency-based programs, and massive open online courses to help students finish their degrees in less time, for less money.
The plan calls for “new and expanded online programs” that “include options for time-shortened degree completion.” In particular, the board proposed a huge expansion the prior-learning assessment programs offered by SUNY’s Empire State College.
The system will also push its top faculty members to build MOOCs designed so that certain students who do well in the courses might be eligible for SUNY credit.
Ultimately, the system wants to add 100,000 enrollments within three years, according to a news release.
Even before the SUNY announcement, it had already been a big week for nontraditional models for awarding college credit. The U.S. Education Department on Monday said it had no problem with spending federal student aid on college programs that give credit based on “competency,” not the number of hours students spend in class.
Empire State College’s prior-learning assessment programs operate on a similar principle. Students who can demonstrate that they have acquired certain skills can get college credit, even if they did not acquire those skills in a college classroom.
The new SUNY effort will aim to copy the Empire State model across the system, said Nancy L. Zimpher, the chancellor.
“This resolution opens the door to assurances to our students that this kind of prior-learning assessment will be available eventually on all our campuses,” said Ms. Zimpher in an interview.
SUNY is just the latest state system to use novel teaching and assessment methods to deal with the problem of enrolling, and graduating, more students.
Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington have enlisted Western Governors University, a nonprofit online institution that uses the “competency” method, to help working adults in those states earn degrees. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are building programs aimed at helping their own adult students redeem their on-the-job skills and knowledge for credit toward degrees. And California may soon use MOOCs to deal with overcrowding in some courses at its public colleges and universities.
Ms. Zimpher said the prior-learning expertise at Empire State would make it possible for the New York system to undertake the new effort without calling in outsiders.
“Usually when you have an outside vendor, it’s to deliver something that you don’t know how to do,” she said. “In our case we actually know how to do this, and we know how to do it well.”

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                                       THE LIMITS TO EDUCATIONAL EFFICIENCY


       With the “real winners” in the “coming revolution in higher education,” there will also be real losers.  The real question is whether the real winners are worth the cost in terms of real losers.  More specifically, the question is whether what is lost in this so-called revolution is worth losing it.  But what is that which will be lost?
       To answer that question, however, what the author of the above Forbes article values, intends and finds expendable with respect to education has got to be considered.  The highest values here, of course, something called educational “productivity.”  This should stop us in our tracks immediately to ask the question whether this is even the language within which such a problem as “educational revolution,”(like to or not) should be discussed.  But before we ‘reach for our guns,’ let’s not lose sight of a value underlying the productivity interest.  That value would be “efficiency.”  Thirdly, our author seems to value “high quality pedagogy,” which we can’t argue with.  But of course for him/her/them such pedagogy will come from Berkeley, Cambridge or MIT.  There doesn’t seem to be much room here for we poor, ignorant smucks who teach at community colleges.  But Kolowich shows his hand in the following paragraph:
    Institutions of higher education reflect the labor markets they serve, and in most countries there is tremendous pent-up demand among both students and private employers for a new kind of education. Both sides of the labor market, as well as national governments focused on long-term economic growth, want education that is less expensive, responsive to changing economic conditions, and delivered to students at their pace. “
       This new “business model” of education is an instrumentalized education.  It is one that serves business and industry.  Of course our anonymous authors give lip service to the Humanities by invoking ‘Shakespeare’ as one of the offerings in the new educational revolution, but of course, the professor must come from Cambridge.  This is education with efficiently packaged modules to impart profitable knowledge, useable knowledge.  This is education is service of the profit motive.
Our author pays lip service to such “rebundling” of education in the interests of “local demand.”  Again of course this is business demand, industry demand, market demand.  But the real concern for localities is not whether such ‘education’ serves the economic needs of local economies.  The real concern, or, more real concern, is the loss of community education and local educators who can lead the processing of such mass education at the level of local political needs, democratic needs and scholarly needs.
Once we have whittled down the international faculty to the truly great minds who can teach us all, who is left to lead local discourse as to the virtues of such globally centralized if not elitist education.  The educational “big brothers” who will conduct universally applicable education will not be personally interested in nor apprised of the local issues, whether economic or political.  Nor should they be.  But neither should they be permitted the privilege of speaking for the applicability or relevance of knowledge, whether economic or humanistic, to my real local community or other real local communities.  Kolowich emphasizes “critical national needs” and international needs places the primacy of local need in the shadows of the driving force of globalism and macroeconomic forces that leave localities either jumping on the bandwagon or perishing. 
There seems to be no political issue here at all.  It seems that educational revolutions can take place which unilaterally transform local educational “needs” and interests without consulting local voices.  Education is revolutionized technologically as if this interpretation of educational technology is universally applicable and beneficial without consideration for its “localized” meaning and effect.
Only the “rock stars” of education will be given the right and privilege to educate “us.”  The big loser here will be locally interpreted and practiced education.  That is, an education which can take account of the need for community education as political education in the interest of local power and self-determination will be crushed under this Orwellian vision of “mass” education.  Unfortunately it will likely be a mass education which will create masses, masses indifferent to local uniqueness and integrity.  Just as mass democracy occludes the nature of democracy, mass globalized education will drop education out of the picture of genuine learning, discourse and the contextualization of such learning within places and times and for real people.  
       The so-called winners will be the presently disenfranchised masses of third world countries which “the markets” want to colonize.  Such ‘colonization’ will be at the expense of real, local community autonomy, self-understanding and self-determination. 
       The global educational village will become the global educational reservation or concentration camp.  My advice to all you professors who are not “rock stars” in celebrity academia is to get your resumes out or start taking some of these new online courses from some really efficient teachers.  Then you may get a new job in the highly educated mass market of the brave new economy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SOCIAL JUSTICE and POVERTY

We have a new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina.  He stands first and foremost for social justice, especially in his concern for the poor.  Poverty will be his focus.  Hopefully, the notion of  'poverty' will be expanded beyond the economistic reduction which the media has already begun to accentuate.  Poverty is not only about material impoverishment but, in the extreme, also spiritual impoverishment.  More specifically and to the point one could be no more impoverished than when one has been sexually abused as a child by a priest of the Catholic Church.

If this Pope does not take seriously child abuse, this spiritual scourge that eats at the foundations of Catholicism and the heart of Christianity, then he will rank no more highly than any within the lineage of Popes thus far.  Until now no Pope has taken the corruption of abuse seriously.  Why?  It continues.  Cover-ups continue.  Lack of compassion continues.  Systematic deferral of the problem continues.  Paying the problem to go away continues.  Dealing with this paramount issue has not even begun.

Facing and dealing with the issue of child abuse will shake the foundations of this church.  They know this.  If they confront the infinite depth of this sin, the structure will shift beyond imagination.

Interestingly Bergoglio takes the name of Francis. Francis was never ordained, preached poverty and repentance.  The patron saint of nature.  Will Bergoglio vow poverty?  Repent?  Respect the Environment?

Will Bergoglio impoverish "poverty?"  Or will he deal with the absolute curse of "poverty" as a whole? When 'poverty' is understood in its robust and deeply rooted sense it will enable dealing with the desecration of innumerable children by sexual abuse, the denigration of the environment by materialism run amok and the decay of the very essence of the spirituality of the religious life itself.

Jesus said that what we do to the least of them, we do unto him.  Who could be lesser than the child?  Who more innocently vulnerable?  Bergoglio could make himself "naked" like Francis.  He could make the Chruch "naked" to its loss of its own soul.

Like the proverbial 'Emperor,' the Church has no clothes.  And as the fable goes, it took a child to speak the truth, an abused and forgotten child.




Saturday, December 08, 2012

RADIOACTIVE NIAGARA?

Even Low-Level Radioactivity Is Damaging, Scientists Conclude

Science Daily (Nov. 13, 2012) — Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society's journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health.
The review is a meta-analysis of studies of locations around the globe that have very high natural background radiation as a result of the minerals in the ground there, including Ramsar, Iran, Mombasa, Kenya, Lodeve, France, and Yangjiang, China. These, and a few other geographic locations with natural background radiation that greatly exceeds normal amounts, have long drawn scientists intent on understanding the effects of radiation on life. Individual studies by themselves, however, have often only shown small effects on small populations from which conclusive statistical conclusions were difficult to draw.
"When you're looking at such small effect sizes, the size of the population you need to study is huge," said co-author Timothy Mousseau, a biologist in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina. "Pooling across multiple studies, in multiple areas, and in a rigorous statistical manner provides a tool to really get at these questions about low-level radiation."
Mousseau and co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud combed the scientific literature, examining more than 5,000 papers involving natural background radiation that were narrowed to 46 for quantitative comparison. The selected studies all examined both a control group and a more highly irradiated population and quantified the size of the radiation levels for each. Each paper also reported test statistics that allowed direct comparison between the studies.
The organisms studied included plants and animals, but had a large preponderance of human subjects. Each study examined one or more possible effects of radiation, such as DNA damage measured in the lab, prevalence of a disease such as Down's Syndrome, or the sex ratio produced in offspring. For each effect, a statistical algorithm was used to generate a single value, the effect size, which could be compared across all the studies.
The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.
"There's been a sentiment in the community that because we don't see obvious effects in some of these places, or that what we see tends to be small and localized, that maybe there aren't any negative effects from low levels of radiation," said Mousseau. "But when you do the meta-analysis, you do see significant negative effects."
"It also provides evidence that there is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation," he added. "A theory that has been batted around a lot over the last couple of decades is the idea that is there a threshold of exposure below which there are no negative consequences. These data provide fairly strong evidence that there is no threshold -- radiation effects are measurable as far down as you can go, given the statistical power you have at hand."
Mousseau hopes their results, which are consistent with the "linear-no-threshold" model for radiation effects, will better inform the debate about exposure risks. "With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there's an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it's only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level," he said. "But they're assuming the natural background levels are fine."
"And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants, medical procedures, and even some x-ray machines at airports."
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==
lou ricciuti,
http://www.ask.ne.jp/~hankaku/english/niagara_fall.html,
http://www.iicph.org, www.artvoice.com, Union of Concerned Scientists,
** Niagara Falls - Lewiston - Porter, New York, "Los Alamos East,"
* The free world's largest ore-to-metal uranium production center.
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Scroll to reference: "Sites and Contractors - Appendix A,"

** "Electro Metallurgical Company (Niagara Falls, New York), a subsidiary of Union Carbide, was the MED's largest ore-to-metal uranium production plant. From 1942 to 1953, the plant processed uranium tetrafluoride (green salt, UF
4) into uranium metal. The plant was also called the Union Carbide and Chemical Electro-Metallurgical Division Works." http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/new/findingaids/epidemiologic/orise/app.html,
United States Department of Energy - Office of Health, Safety and Security,
Office of Human Radiation Experiments, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.
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** In Western New York state more than a dozen commercial production and experimental Manhattan Engineering District (MED) -- Manhattan Project, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), US-ERDA - Energy Research and Development Agency, USDOE - Department Of Energy, and GoCo [government owned, contractor operated] related manufactories, foundries and laboratories.
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Local-to-Soil Burials include: Element 94 - Pu from Human Radiation Experiments (HREX) and related lab equipment, one-third to one-half of the world's mined supply of radium 226 and related uranium residues and processing wastes including Sengier's Congolese -- Afrimet K-65 (60-65% uranium), Apollo Lunar Project moon fuel & mass- perchlorate production, burn-offs and burials, Tom Brokaw's "disposed-of" office, irradiated heavy-equipment Case 450 front-loader buried whole, 38' diameter metallic Hortonsphere (suspected early experimental reactor use), along with burials of graphite, zirconium and other reactive, solid, sintered, powdered metallic, chemical and radiological materials.