To the editor: Karen Hadden’s commentary (“Don’t Get Fooled Again,” April 1, 2009) called for efforts to block the new Comanche Peak reactors, in part based on what happened at Three Mile Island. My former high school girlfriend has lived two blocks from TMI in Middletown, Pa., since 1977. She worked for the governor then, who was looking to crucify TMI’s owners for messing up his state. She likes the town, and her kids do not have green tendrils growing from their heads.
Hadden claims nuclear power is not economical. Exelon, the largest operator of nukes in the U.S., was profitable last year. By comparison, none of the major wind farm operators were profitable from direct operation, getting their profits from tax credits and subsidies.
She claims a number of problems were reported at Three Mile Island, including animal deaths and ashy flakes in the sky. Not a single claim was ever substantiated. She said people reported a number of health problems. People in this country have also reported being abducted by aliens. She did not mention that the other reactor at TMI (there were two) has run for two decades without a problem and is nearing retirement. She also did not report that France gets more than 80 percent of its power from nukes, and that country plans to build 40 new plants in the future. Funny, I thought we were supposed to be worried about carbon emissions hurting the planet and trying to be more like Europeans.
Karen Hadden and SEED make a living by convincing people to donate money to oppose nuclear power. If no one donated, she would have to get a real job. Don’t try to claim she does not have a vested interest in this.
Hadden replies: Nuclear power remains the most expensive way to generate electricity and still requires massive taxpayer subsidies. Citizens at Three Mile Island did report serious health impacts, despite the version told by industry and government. In France, a major heat wave several years ago forced the shutdown of coal plants and nuclear reactors because there wasn’t enough cool water to run them safely. And I do have a vested interest, as do we all, in safe, clean, affordable energy.
To the editor: I always thought that the problem with the Bush presidency (“Evolve, Please,” March 25, 2009) was his definition of his “constituency.” Throughout his political career, both as the governor of Texas and as the president, he always wanted to associate with those people who were smarter, richer, or more successful than him – and willing to have his relatively useless self in their presence.
In return he was willing to pander to those same people, who allowed and supported him in his various political forays.
Invade Iraq? No problem. Deregulate the stock market and financial sectors? All for it! Ship many middle-class jobs out to foreign countries? Gotta make money! Let the price of gas soak the common consumer: poor buggers. Ignore domestic natural disasters – good for decreasing the welfare rolls! And leave a mess for the next guy to fix: a classic out.
I’m just wondering: Past presidents now sit on the boards of directors of various businesses, charities, and universities, making lots of money. Clinton makes a pile of cash just in speaking engagements alone. But who in their right mind would ever hire Bush for anything? Maybe he could do some infomercials on cable?
No Longer Unsung Heroes
To the editor: I just wanted to drop a line to praise the really fantastic-on-all-points article on rural women who take stewardship of the land against those who would take what they want and leave the rotting carcass for others to deal with (“We Are Doing It,” March 25, 2009).
I’ve known about some of this work for some time, and these women are heroes who too often go unsung. Jeff Prince’s feature article was a great way both to bring the issues to a broader audience and to acknowledge that these women are the treasures of Texas – even more than the oil and gas running underground. Kudos to Jeff Prince and to you-all for publishing it.
To the editor: Thanks is due, again, to the Weekly‘s Eric Griffey, this time for his Metropolis story on the situation at John Peter Smith hospital (“Better Care for Prisoners,” April 8, 2009), an update to his earlier report on the deplorable conditions in the hospital’s inmate care unit (“Captive Care,” Feb. 25, 2009). The latest story describes the hospital administration’s promises to revamp the current protocol on the housing, care, and guarding of inmates.
Had it not been for the special kind of journalism that Griffey is so adept at, these prisoners would have had a much longer wait for humane treatment.
The stories that the Weekly publishes always have merit for the public. Some stories, like Griffey’s, that spotlight problems get local, state, and national attention … and results.