Ethics Roundup – July, 28th, 2011 The Heavy Hitters

CRISISJONES throws a spotlight on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. I recommend you have a look at this one.

The invaluable Ethics Sage takes on the definition of reasonable and other aspects of our most lurid recent case. Big News – The Ethics Sage (Steven Mintz) is creating a brand new blog to go with his current. Go to his web site and read about it.

The “Debt Compromise” … Another Pass for the Rich and a Fleecing for Everyone Else. This is from Washington’s Blog.

Rogue Columnist burns up the paper with an acid commentary on American (Chinese) bridges. You should read this. This kind of passion harkens back to another age of American journalism.

Homophilosophicus posts on “Death by Misadventure.” This is some of the best web writing you are likely to see – the man is eloquent. My big complaint is that he has all this talent and I hardly ever see a new post on his blog. When God gives big, you are supposed to share.




What’s Hot on the Web! (as far as I’m concerned)

Debt talks collapse, Republicans walk out over taxes

From CRISISJONES (who I hope considers me a friend)


NEXT – From American politics to the sublime world of philosophy – JP

Proving an Argument Is Logically Valid

From the web site Ethical Realism. This post is by James Grey.


Dark Side of Chinese Capitalism

Reverse Mergers, Improper Accounting, a Lack of Transparency and Poor Governance Threaten the Recent Success of Capitalism Chinese Style

From my associate, The Ethics Sage.  (You should subscribe!!)


Radioactive Dust From Japan Hit North America Days After Disaster … But Governments “Lied” About Meltdowns and Radiation

 I started warning the day after the Japanese earthquake that radiation from Fukushima could reach North America. See this, this and this.

Mainichi Daily reports today:

Radioactive materials spewed out from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant reached North America soon after the meltdown and were carried all the way to Europe, according to a simulation by university researchers.

The computer simulation by researchers at Kyushu University and the University of Tokyo, among other institutions, calculated dispersal of radioactive dust from the Fukushima plant beginning at 9 p.m. on March 14, when radiation levels around the plant spiked.

The team found that radioactive dust was likely caught by the jet stream and carried across the Pacific Ocean, its concentration dropping as it spread. According to the computer model, radioactive materials at a concentration just one-one hundred millionth of that found around the Fukushima plant hit the west coast of North America three days later, and reached the skies over much of Europe about a week later.

According to the research team, updrafts in a low-pressure system passing over the disaster-stricken Tohoku region on March 14-15 carried some of the radioactive dust that had collected about 1.5 kilometers above the plant to an altitude of about 5 kilometers. The jet stream then caught the dust and diffused it over the Pacific Ocean and beyond.
In the article above I am including the first part of a quite long and well written article. As I have written many times the crisis at the Fukushima plants does not stop no matter how little coverage it gets in the media of the United States.  James Pilant

This next article is from a writer who I very much admire. He writes from the web site: Rogue Columnist, A Pen Warmed Up In Hell. I like it. Please read it. James Pilant (P.S. If you are wondering why this is indented like the article above. It just is. WordPress offers me no button to fix it but it will let me indent it some more!)

Rules of engagement

Last night, I finished the late Alan Bullock’s magnificent book, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. It’s a reminder that no matter how much one has studied a topic, he or she can have vast new landscapes opened by the best historians as tour-guides. The book was completed just as the Soviet empire that Stalin built was falling apart, and the moment was marked by the greatest hope. Yet Bullock also reminded us of the bloody paths that contingency can create, particularly when broad social, economic and cultural forces and destabilization (“history from below”) are harnessed by evil genius (“history from above”). The book ends with a deeply moving coda of promise. But that comes after a thousand pages examining the two greatest mass murderers in history; worse, men who could move nations to do their killing.







Extreme Inequality Helped Cause Both The Great Depression And The Current Economic Crisis (via Washington’s Blog)

From Washington’s Blog

Most mainstream economists dismiss the idea that wealth inequality causes economic crises.

Of course, some ideologues will argue that even discussing inequality is waging class warfare, and smacks of an attack on capitalism.

However, the father of modern economics – Adam Smith – disagreed.

And as Warren Buffet, one of America’s most successful capitalists and defenders of capitalism, points out:

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war ….

(And as I have previously noted, radical concentration of wealth actually destroys capitalism.)

More to the point, most mainstream economists do not believe there is a causal connection between inequality and severe downturns.

But recent studies by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty are waking up more and more economists to the possibility that there may be a connection.

Washington’s Blog is an interesting web site full of writing you will not see else where. Here’s the link.

I lean toward the argument that inequality is a factor in economic downturns.

Read their post. I can’t do it justice in a few paragraphs. It’s full of graphs, multiple references and good writing. I’ve got this on my favorites.

James Pilant