Tuesday, October 6, 2009

REACTIONS: Helen Caldicott vs. Vermont Yankee

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New World Notes News
Coming up October 6 (Hartford-area broadcast on WWUH 91.3):

REACTIONS: Helen Caldicott
takes on Vermont Yankee (and the nuclear
noodleheads that run it for fun and profit)


Vermont is the home of covered bridges ... maple syrup ... and an ancient nuclear power plant now seeking an operating-license renewal of 20 years. Famed antinuclear activist Helen Caldecott, M.D., speaking near the Vermont Yankee plant, explains why such facilities are killers when operating properly . . . and not nice at all when they (frequently) malfunction. A witty, scary, & funny talk.

Helen Caldicott, M.D.

Notes and Credits

Note: Broadcast schedule change: WHUS, 91.7 in Storrs--which used to air NWN at 7:30 AM on Friday--now airs it at 6:30 PM on Saturday. Listeners in Providence Plantation and eastern Connecticut can stop bemoaning their fate. Your favorite radio show hasn't been cancelled, after all. Nor has New World Notes!

About half of Helen Caldicott's hour-long speech in Brattleboro, VT (given April 10, 2009) is replayed in this week's installment. The audio is borrowed from Caldicott's radio series, "If You Love This Planet," #51 (August 2009). Link, below.

New World Notes is produced for WWUH-FM, a community service of the University of Hartford.

Song -- Tom Lehrer, "We Will All Go Together When We Go"

Series Overview -- Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Next Week -- On WWUH 91.3: Pledge Drive hour-long live special, Tuesday October 13, 12:00-1:00 PM (Eastern). Make a pledge during that hour and I'll thank you on-air. If you've already pledged (or whatever), you can still call and leave a message for me, and I'll receive it (and maybe read it aloud) a minute later.

Elsewhere & on the Internet: an Encore Performance . . . sorry . . . a re-run of NWN #16, "Women, War, & Violence," with a new introduction.

Great links. Really!

New World Notes Web page/blog: http://newworldnotes.blogspot.com/.

Hour-long Caldicott speech in Brattleboro, April 10, 2009:

Isabel Vinson, her clothes back on, now displaying not her body but an admirable lack of contrition in this funny 4-minute radio interview. (First read the "hard-hitting political analysis," below.) http://www.ewiseradiotools.com/station_files/file_1177666610__.mp3

Historian, law professor, and legal scholar Joyce Malcolm in a free public lecture, Wednesday evening, October 7, at the University of Hartford. "To Heller and Back: Is There a Right of Self-Defense?" (Free) tickets/reservation required. For details, listen to this brilliantly witty announcement (1 min 16 sec): http://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/download/36145/41329/58148/?url=http://www.radio4all.net/files/kdowst@hotmail.com/3415-1-joyce-malcolm_psa_192k.mp3.

For more info. on Malcolm, read this remarkably good info. sheet concocted by the university's P.R. office: http://hartford.edu/daily/Articles.asp?Mainid=6835&category=1

I feel a little proprietary here, as I was the one who recommended Malcolm to the public-lecture committee. . . .

And now for . . .


"Nudes, Not Nukes!"

Caldicott half- (maybe four-fifths-) seriously encouraged Brattleboro residents to hold a nude march demanding that Vermont Yankee be shut down. In fact, nude political protests are common enough in Brattleboro. Public lewd behavior is a ticket to the slammer in Vermont, as elsewhere, but public nudity itself is lawful.

Apparently nobody in Brattleboro has yet organized that march. (Better hurry, guys: the autumnal equinox went thataway!) But Benington citizen-model Isabel Vinson and photographer Remy Chevalier came up with a similar idea. The two photos, below, show (front to rear) Vinson, the Connecticut River (Yes, Hartfordites, that Connecticut River; we're downstream from the discharge pipes), and the Vermont Yankee "bomb factory," as Helen calls it.

Vermont Yankee and Isabel Vinson face off.

The lower photo was published on the front page of the Brattleboro Reformer, and the predictable howls of outrage from Offended Parents duly ensued. Why the fuss? Doesn't People put racier photos than that on its covers about 37 times a year? Ah, yes, but--if you look real closely at the Vinson photo, tilt your neck just so, and squint . . . you can see a nipple! They say.

I tried to see it ... honestly, I did. And I'm not saying it's definitely not a nipple. I'm just saying I think it's the top of a cooling tower in the background. One of the towers of Vermont Yankee that did not collapse from rust and rot and dry-rot in August 2007. Vinson herself says it's her nipple. Whatever. I'm tired of arguing. You be the judge.

Always the entrepreneur, I'm now in the process of moving to Brattleboro, where I'm setting up a storefront office. I guarantee that I'll cure any child-victim in New England of all the damage (s)he has suffered from exposure to women's nipples -- in 3 weeks--no more, no less--for only $1,500. For $1,750 I'll cover not just the nipple but the areola as well. Why take chances with the child you love?

For children who have been breast-fed, add an additional $1,500 to the price and an additional 3 weeks to the course of treatment. Damage this severe is very hard to cure, compared with the still-tragic but lesser injury done to children by leaving them in a room alone with the Brattleboro Reformer and a good magnifying glass. Why not toss in a loaded pistol and a pack of matches while you're at it, scum?!

Finally, be sure to ask about available discounts for treating TNO (traumatic nipple observation) suffered in areas where public nudity is perfectly legal (locker rooms, nudist camps, Vermont, etc.).

Note to VDMV: How about adding Live Modestly or Die! to the license plates? Apparently they tried it in Kabul, and it was a big hit. Or is that motto too close to New Hampshire's?

Note to Brattleboro Water District: I think it's time to stop adding maple syrup to the drinking water and to go back to fluoride. At least the psychotic side-effects of fluoride are well-understood and predictable!

A Brattleboro tradition

With the profits from my business treating traumatic nipple observation, I had planned to start another business: curing children of the effects of exposure to nuclear power plants. Nuke plants are just as bad as nipples, if not worse. But now I find that two people have gotten the jump on me. Apparently two pediatric oncologists are already doing outstanding work, one of them at the Royal Hospital of Sweden, in Stockholm; the other at the M.D. Anderson Clinic, in Houston. It is said that either can prolong the life of a childhood leukemia victim . . . often by 12, sometimes even by 18 months!

To judge by the expressed Parental Outrage, the effects of exposure to "routine releases" of radioactive tritium apparently aren't as bad as traumatic nipple observation. But they are harder to treat. What to do? Eureka! (he said, his eyes having moved downwards from Isabel Vinson's cooling tower). Traumatic Buttock Observation! Buttocks have got to be at least as common as nipples. Sure, per square inch, nipples are the second-deadliest visible organ of a woman's body, and buttocks far less detructive to the innocence of our children and teenagers. Per square inch. You can see where I'm going here. . . .


Christine Keeler, by Lewis Morley
(Click to remove chair)

As I type this, a verse from the 1960s comes to mind. An affair, recently ended, was revealed between the (married) Secretary of War for the U.K., John Profumo, and a young woman described as a "party girl," Christine Keeler. Keeler was said also to have been involved with a Russian senior naval attache' (in vulgar terms: spy) in London.

So far, so good, but then Profumo made an error of judgment. In March 1963--questioned about the affair in the House of Commons--the Secretary denied any improper behavior involving Ms Keeler. Public uproar over the scandal--particularly lying in Parliament(!)--weakened the Conservative government of PM Harold Macmillan.

A limerick was duly penned:

  • Look what you've done! said Christine,
    You've wrecked the whole Party machine!
    To lie in the nude
    Is not at all rude,
    But to lie in the House is obscene!

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