Just when you thought Fukushima was giving your sanity a breather, there's lots more human-generated hazards and madness waiting to provide us all individual meltdowns -- and that's not even counting politics.
Fukushima, again, or some more, the scoring's up to you: Reactor Number 4 has a fuel storage pool that's barely intact, in a badly damaged building, the fuel open to the sky, in a region prone to regular earthquakes. We humans ask again in unison: What could go wrong?
A portion of the Monday report from Japan's Mainichi news: "...the storage pool [is] barely intact on the building's third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area..."
Wide area indeed: Should the building and pool go down, people will be spraying away from Japan at the speed of a water-stuffed firehose. People in the western U.S. and Canada will be indoors for a long, long while. Surely these news tidbits bolster our own confidence in the U.S. decision to go ahead with new nuke plants -- first to be built since our own horror show at Three Mile Island -- while Germany and Japan phase out their own plants, allll the way out.
We could go back to worrying about Apple products created by Chinese factory sweatshops amid fears of stressed-out worker suicides, just so we can guiltily make a long-distance call or play a distancing tune. Sorry, too late! Here is a much lower blow: A 17-year-old boy in China, desperate for an iPad and an iPhone, has sold a kidney to obtain his heart's desire. The boy is suffering from renal deficiency and is reportedly deteriorating.
Apparently, few Chinese donate organs after death, leading to a cutthroat and bloodthirsty black market trade in human organs. And, please -- stop me from going on another dark tirade about the wonders of ancient Chinese medicines for a rich and superstitious few, using medicines requiring pieces and parts from animals -- usually endangered -- hacked apart by merciless poachers for a bloody day's pay.
If any of these things are not enough to make your list of Most Hideous Outrage of the Last Fourteen Seconds, stick around -- the human race has another surprise for you: Armed neo-Nazis are patroling Sanford, Florida streets -- where Trayvon Martin was gunned down -- to help quash any race riots from that event, helping calm white people's fears, so they say. It is Day 44, by the way, with no arrests yet. And, now, today: no grand jury to be selected.
Sanford police -- a group appearing challenged at best -- say there's no sign of neo-Nazis patroling their streets. To be fair, they say there's no sign of the New Black Panther Party either, a group apparently offering a citizen's arrest bounty of ten grand for George Zimmerman. Bounties? Neo-Nazis? You asking where it is you are living, too?
If you still have room to swallow more, hate monger Rush Limbaugh is still broadcasting, still clogging up public airwaves with his filth and stench, fanning all the usual flames of racism and sexism -- 24 long years now, nearly Day Number 9,000 by some counts, all at a cool million bucks a week. Hate speech is a really good, love-hate business deal -- oh, sorry. He's an entertainer. So, we should say: That's Entertainment! How Entertaining!
OK, one more: We had to laugh out our poor hearts this weekend when we schlumpy, weary, unhip clods found out about this one: The Luxury Institute. Honest: It conducts research on the luxury industry -- we had no idea there was an entire industry for devotees of the besotted rich, obsessing over the needs and wants of Rush and all the other One-Percent gangsters. A house organ for the rich! The group publishes "The Wealth Report Newsletter" among other hob-nobbery for those successful at various forms of highway robbery.
Gee, just one look at that luxurious site, it's probably enough to make some people want to love hating, or love to hate those love-hate business gigs -- just so they can get in, take a long, lingering, luxurious look around. See if they could get used to something utterly mad like that.
A tale of kidney donation, even coveting -- as a reprise from yesterday's bonus: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/332/the-ten-commandments