Calling Jimmy Carter

Mother’s Alert [www.] is circulating the following notarized statement by Jane Rickover, daughter-in-law of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the “father” of the US nuclear navy.

“In May 1983, my father-in-law… told me that, at the time of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, a full report was commissioned by President Jimmy Carter. [Rickover] said that the report, if published in its entirety, would have destroyed the civilian nuclear power industry because the accident at Three Mile Island was infinitely more dangerous than was ever made public. He told me that he had used his enormous personal influence… to persuade [Carter] to publish the report only in a highly ’diluted’ form. The President himself had originally wished the full report to be made public. In November 1985, my father-in-law told me that he had come to deeply regret his action… to suppress the most alarming aspects of that report.”

To request the release of the full TMI report contact Jimmy Carter [The Carter Center, 4453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307, (404) 331-3900,].

And a Pack of Cough Drops

When public relations whiz Sarah Datz was asked to explain why the Rite Aid drugstore chain sells cigarettes, she responded: “We’re in a retail business and our job is giving our customers a choice… It’s important for customers to make their own lifestyle and product choices.” The EcoMole is looking forward to Rite Aid’s new “lifestyle aisles” stocked with absinthe, ecstasy, crystal meth and medical marijuana.

Welcome to the Big Leagues

Co-opting the press begins early. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program (the “Pulitzers of College Journalism”) not only offers $400,000 in prize money, it also offers young reporters a corrupting taste of the good life. As EcoMole Matt Palmquist revealed in the SF Weekly, the winners were booked into $520-a-night rooms at the Palace Hotel and fêted with exotic cuisine. As one invitee confided, the experience “strips away your idealism and replaces it with a sense of superiority.”

US Planned to Nuke the USSR

In the darkest days of the Cold War, a group of US generals plotted a sneak nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. The plot, uncovered by British intelligence in 1951, is revealed in Nottingham University Professor Richard J. Aldrich’s book The Hidden Hand. A confidential memo from Vice-Admiral Eric Longley-Cook warned that the US had “fixed” the date for the attack “for mid or late 1952.” The London Telegraph reports that “a succession of British officers… returned from visits to America expressing alarm over the apparent conviction among their US counterparts that they should attack Russia.” Longley-Cook reported that, while the Russians were too cautious to start a war themselves, one US general insisted that “we can afford… to create a wilderness in Russian without serious repercussion on Western civilization.” Longley-Cook warned: “It is doubtful whether, in a year’s time, the US will be able to control the Frankenstein monster which they are creating. There is a definite risk of the USA becoming involved in a preventative war against Russia, however firmly their NATO allies object.” Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.

What a Jolt

Engineers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory came up with a marvelous solution to California’s energy woes: Reduce utility voltage by 2.5 percent and save the equivalent of 500 megawatts. The two major southern California utilities immediately agreed to the plan but northern California’s Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) complained that reducing power would damage appliances. When this was shown not to be the case, PG&E sheepishly revealed the real reason it couldn’t comply: the utility had already been secretly supplying power to customers at reduced voltage all along! Consumers may wish to demand a refund.

The National Park Avenue Hilton?

When San Francisco’s Presidio Army Base became the country’s largest urban national park, there was a catch: the park had to become “self-financing” or it would be sold to private developers. The Presidio Trust, which administers the park, has been criticized for seeking to finance the Presidio’s survival by commercializing the park. In a letter dated June 2000, developers at Western Pacific Properties were caught secretly salivating: “The prospect of being able to develop a world-class lodge at the Presidio comparable to the Inn at Spanish Bay is certainly compelling.” The letter was addressed to the Presidio Trust’s deputy director for planning.

Meet the Whale Flacks

The head of Japan’s fisheries has justified the killing of minke whales by referring to them as “cockroaches.” He could have taken some coaching from Alan Macnow, president of Tele-Press Associates (TPA), the New York firm that handles publicity for the Japanese Whaling Association and the Japan Fisheries Association according to the O’Dwyer’s Directory. Macnow’s signature graced an infamous 1997 “environmental manifesto” that called for less federal regulation and the defense of property rights. The manifesto was authored by Consumer Alert, which PR Watch identifies as “a front group that has been funded by Monsanto, Philip Morris and Exxon.”

The Starbucks Stops

Here After the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) pointed out that Starbucks was serving its clientele genetically engineered foods and non-organic coffee beans, the giant java chain fired back with a New York Times ad proclaiming that it was “proud to partner with TransFair USA,” a supplier of “fair trade” coffee. OCA Director Ronnie Cummins was unimpressed. “Your so-called ‘enormous commitment’ to… buying Fair Trade coffee,” he wrote to Starbucks CEO Orin Smith, “amounts to a grand total of one-tenth of one percent of your company’s total coffee purchase.”

Mr. Pentag(Enr)on

Secretary of the Army Thomas White wants to hire for-profit companies to provide gas and electricity to US military bases. Locally owned utilities would likely be pushed aside in favor of large energy brokers like Texas-based Enron, which already has a $25 million contract to power the Fort Hamilton army base in New York. Enron also hopes to supply power to a naval base, seven Air Force bases and Fort Bliss, Texas. What makes this move a bit unseemly is that White is a former brigadier general and was (prior to his appointment) a vice chairman of Enron and the proud owner of $25 million in company stock. As former Army Major Jeffrey Whitman told the AP, “It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Mole Kiss:

To Franciscan nuns (and sisters) Dorothy and Gwen Hennessey (age 88 and 68 respectively), Catholic nuns Elizabeth Anne McKenzie (71) and Miriam Spencer (75), Quakers Bill Houston (72) and Hazel Tulecke (77) and 20 other nonviolent protestors who were handed jail sentences for walking onto the grounds of the US Army’s notorious Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, Georgia. WHISC (better known as the “School of the Assassins”) trained such luminaries as Manuel Norriega (Panamanian strongman, CIA asset and drug-runner) and Roberto D’Aubisson (the Salvadoran politician who masterminded the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero). For peacefully protesting the training of such murderers, these prisoners of conscience were sentenced to serve six months in prison.

Mole Nip:

To US Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth, the judge who sentenced them.

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You Make Our Work Possible

We are standing at a pivotal moment in history, one in which education and advocacy around the climate emergency, public health, racial injustice, and economic inequity is imperative. At Earth Island Journal, we have doubled down on our commitment to uplifting stories that often go unheard, to centering the voices of frontline communities, and to always speak truth to power. We are nonprofit publication. We don’t have a paywall because our mission is to inform, educate and inspire action. Which is why we rely on readers like you for support. If you believe in the work we do, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Green Journalism Fund.

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