Republican Suggested "Sprinkling" Radioactive Waste on America
Dump radioactive waste, from airplanes, on our heads? Mix it in our drinking water? If Muslims had proposed this, it would be terrorism, and probably a fast-track to a waterboarding station in Guatanamo. But fortunately, it's not terrorism - it's science, which would conveniently help big business dispose of its garbage by dumping it on our heads or putting it in our water, but scientifically.
If Mitt Romney exemplifies the depth of elite contempt for average Americans, we can see the logical extension of this in the Koch brothers-backed candidacy of Arthur B. Robinson, running to represent Oregon's Fourth District in Congress.
"All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean - or even over America after hor-mesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases." -- Arthur B. Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 24, Number 8. April 1, 1997
"It is unfortunate that this [radioactive, Tritium-contaminated water] under San Onofre [a CA nuclear power plant] is being wasted. If we could use it to enhance our own drinking water here in Oregon, where background radiation is low, it would hormetically enhance our resistance to degenerative diseases. Alas, this would be against the law." -- Arthur Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 33, Number 9. April, 2006
Arthur Robinson has proposed, over and over again* (see footnote) in his "scientific" newsletter, getting rid of radioactive waste from nuclear reactors by putting it in the foundations of people's houses or in their home insulation, dumping it at sea, or just "sprinkling" it over America, on our heads that is.
He even had a scientific rationale for this too: "hormesis", which works in theory but was considered back in 1997 to be dubious in practice. It still is. As with global warming denialism, Robinson (who I should mention also calls the theory of evolution a "pornographic", "pseudo-scientific discipline") seemed to be laying the public relations groundwork for a big science experiment, on us.
Carbon dioxide emissions have no effect on climate! Low level radiation is perfectly safe, even beneficial! -- Mass medical experiments on unwitting Americans have been done before, to the offspring of former slaves who presumably, because of the color of their skin, were considered to be ideal human lab rats (back to the slavery theme in a moment.)
To complete the picture, Robinson's run for Congress is now backed by the billionaire fossil fuel and logging baron billionaire Koch brothers - the cockles of their hearts duly warmed, I imagine, by Art Robinson's leading role in the global warming denial business, his claims that low-level radioactivity is a health benefit, his belief that DDT is 100% safe and that Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring was a hoax (sorry, Bald Eagles, it's just the price of progress), and his apparent attitude that small amounts of whatever industrial waste gook the factories of people such as the Koch brothers spew out is in fact good for us and can be scientifically titrated out in the proper doses and added to our breakfast cereal and drinking water. It's all so very scientific.
This has not wholly escaped media notice: Back in 2010, Art Robinson made a surrealistic appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, during which Maddow homed in on Robinson's radioactive waste "sprinkling" idea and his 1994 HIV/AIDS-is-a-government-conspiracy claim (see footnote), but Maddow and other media missed the extent of the racism in Robinson's homeschooling curriculum, including content that romanticizes slavery, as well as Art Robinson's astonishingly close ties to the Christian Reconstructionism movement.
The slavery issue:
If, per Mitt Romney (and Ayn Rand), almost half of Americans are moochers and all of society's wealth and creativity indeed stems from the heroic efforts of a tiny minority of titans such as Mitt Romney, heroically creating wealth by downsizing businesses and shipping American jobs to China, then it's easy to see that some large percentage of Americans are truly lesser beings, who might be better off on a paternalistic plantation system that cared for their needs in exchange for their servitude, as slaves.
Slavery is also a beneficial thing in some of the 19th Century George Alfred Henty boys novels that Art Robinson has exhumed, from their moldy grave of British colonialist racism, to print and sell to his Christian homeschooling curriculum customers.
Back in 2010, when Arthur Robinson was first running for Congress, I put out a little story which highlighted a racist passage from one of Robinson's Henty novels, By Sheer Pluck: A Tale of the Ashanti War, in which a major figure in the novel, a naturalist named Goodenough with extensive experience traveling in Africa, informs the book's protagonist, the young Frank Hargate, that Africans have the mental capacity of children:
" "They are just like children," Mr. Goodenough said. "They are always either laughing or quarreling. They are good natured and passionate, indolent, but will work hard for a time; clever up to a certain point, densely stupid beyond. The intelligence of an average negro is about equal to that of a European child of ten years old. A few, a very few, go beyond this, but these are exceptions, just as Shakespeare was an exception to the ordinary intellect of an Englishman. They are fluent talkers, but their ideas are borrowed. They are absolutely without originality, absolutely without inventive power. Living among white men, their imitative faculties enable them to attain a considerable amount of civilization. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery." "
The issue came up during the 2010 election , in a debate between Art Robinson and Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio - whom Robinson was running against for Oregon's Fourth District. DeFazio also found a more recent statement from Robinson, that suggested racism.
The suggestion of racism, it seems, troubled Arthur Robinson enough that he included a rebuttal in his 2012 book Common Sense, that, in advance of the 2012 election, Robinson has mailed to "158,0000 voting households" in the Fourth District according to Art Robinson's website.
I was flattered, of course, that Robinson took it so seriously. In turn, to repay the favor, I've just put out a 22-page report that documents an extensive pattern of racism in the G.A. Henty books that Arthur Robinson prints, sells, and promotes to his clients (the Henty books glorify slavery, and they present Africans as savage and childlike), as well as an apparent pattern of racism inherent to the Robinson Curriculum itself.
The Robinson Curriculum features 1) a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, 2) a 1913 Oxford English dictionary, a King James Bible, and a collection of "great books", mainly from 16th-19th Century white European and North American authors, plus a smattering of 20th Century anti-environmentalist and pro-nuclear tracts, and (for an additional $75) all 99 novels of G.A. Henty, in digitized format.
Students raised on the Robinson Curriculum won't learn of the 20th Century American struggles for women's rights, including women's struggle to gain the right to vote, or of the Civil Rights movement, or of developing world movements that threw off European and British colonial rule.
They'll miss the Holocaust, too, but they will learn that environmentalism is a fraud, a scheme to impose tyrannical socialism, and they'll read, in their 1911 Britannica's, that Phrenology and Eugenics are legitimate, modern sciences. These are projects that Mitt Romney has far too little imagination to conceive of, and far too little courage to attempt -- the eradication of the 20th Century, the rehabilitation of slavery, and the repositioning of toxic waste, as America's newest health panacea.
And GOP Senator Todd Akin? Please. Ranged against Akin's espousal of a Medieval medical notion that raped women can't get pregnant (unless they want to or they enjoyed being raped), we have Arthur Robinson's extensive and intimate ties to the theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement, whose leaders want to abolish public education (Robinson himself has advocated this numerous times) and also propose the following:
Leading Christian Reconstructionists (one of them a good friend of Art Robinson's) propose mandating capital punishment, by stoning, for a range of alleged crimes including female unchastity (intercourse before marriage), homosexuality, blasphemy, witchcraft, and teenage rebellion. Because time is short, and I've written it already, here is an excerpt, below, from my new report, detailing some of Arthur Robinson's ties to Christian Reconstructionism.
"At the heart of the Christian Reconstructionism project is the Christian homeschooling movement. Not surprisingly, Christian Reconstructionists typically want to abolish public education and on this count, and many others, Arthur B. Robinson's stated policy positions coincide quite neatly with those of Christian Reconstructionists as well as with the positions of a political party closely affiliated with the CR movement, the Constitution Party - which has in the past endorsed Arthur Robinson as a candidate.
Robinson has extensive links to the Christian Reconstructionism movement, which advocates radically libertarian laissez-faire capitalism and the imposition of decentralized Christian theocratic government structures that would impose Biblical law -- including capital punishment, by "Biblical" methods such as stoning or burning at the stake, for a range of alleged crimes including witchcraft, blasphemy, adultery, female un-chastity (intercourse before marriage), homosexuality, and incorrigible teenage rebellion.
Christian Reconstructionism aims to literally reconstruct society, to create a new cultural and political order based on Biblically-derived legal principles as determined by founder R.J. Rushdoony and his fellow Reconstructionist theorists, among them Art Robinson's friend Gary North. In a 1998 article in the libertarian magazine Reason titled "Invitation To A Stoning" author Arnold Murray described Gary North's view on, well, stoning,"[Christian] Reconstructionists provide the most enthusiastic constituency for stoning since the Taliban seized Kabul. "Why stoning?" asks North. "There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost." Thrift and ubiquity aside, "executions are community projects--not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his' duty, but rather with actual participants." You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era. "That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes," North continues, "indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians." And he may be right about that last point, you know.The late theologian R.J. Rushdoony, the father of Christian Reconstructionism, claimed that African-American slaves who had been converted to Christianity enjoyed a better lot than their African ancestors, suggested reimposing slavery, was a Holocaust denier and a creationist, and maintained that the Sun rotates around the Earth.
The Robinson Curriculum website features an instructional essay on writing composition by Rushdoony (who was without a doubt a gifted writer). The curriculum website also features an extended interview, on homeschooling, of Arthur Robinson by Gary North, and an interview of R.J, Rushdoony, by Christian Reconstructionist Sam Blumenfeld with Rousas Jonas Rushdoony.
During the hour-long interview with Gary North, Arthur Robinson advocates his own Robinson Curriculum as the best Christian homeschooling curriculum but suggests that parents could get good results by using the Bob Jones University and A Beka Book curricula as well.
Both A Beka Book and Bob Jones University curricula are riddled with racism and attacks on non-Protestant fundamentalist traditions, including Catholicism, and Mormonism. One of Bob Jones University press' recent (2007) science textbooks contains the claim that only several thousand years ago humans may have lived alongside fire-breathing dragons.
In 1986, Arthur Robinson coauthored, with leading Christian Reconstructionist thinker Gary North (son-in-law of the movement's founder R.J. Rushndoony), a book on how to survive nuclear war titled, Fighting Chance: Ten Feet To Survival.
The book advocated bringing back the sort of aggressive nuclear war civil defense program that led to the US government's civil defense film "Duck and Cover" shown in US schools to schoolchildren in the 1950's and 1960's.
The Robinson Curriculum features, as one of its few books that addresses the 20th Century, a 1961 paean to great American industrialists, inventors, and financiers by John Chamberlain, The Enterprising Americans: A Business History of the United States, reprinted in 1991 by The Institute For Christian Economics, Dr. Gary North's personal publishing house."
*footnote Art Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 25, Number 4, December 1997:
"Radiation, Science, and Health, Inc., has compiled a substantial number of such studies, which all lead to the same conclusion that low-level radiation decreases cancer, lengthens life, and enhances health. The most sensible use of low-level radioactive waste is as a concrete and insulation additive in residential homes - especially in areas where there is insufficient natural radiation for optimum health."
Art Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 22, Number 9, May 1995:
"They should have just pulverized or solublized it and then dispersed it in the deep ocean where it would be so diluted as to be completely harmless and almost undetectable, but our government is determined that all radioactive waste will be stored in one large pile where it can remain dangerous for as long as possible."
Art Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 22, Number 6, February 1995:
"If radioactive waste were dissolved as water soluble compounds and then widely dispersed in the oceans, no health or other environmental risks would ever occur. "
Along different lines, in 1994 Arthur Robinson alleged a massive government conspiracy to inflate reported cases of HIV/AIDS, in order to justify "social engineering" : Art Robinson, Access To Energy, Vol. 22, Number 3, November 1994:
"U.S. government AIDS programs are now receiving $6 billion per year and are based entirely upon the hypothesis that HIV virus causes AIDS. Yet, the articles referenced above and numerous additional publications by scientists who have become involved in this controversy state that: attempts to cause AIDS experimentally with HIV have completely failed; thousands of AIDS victims are HIV-free; and HIV shows none of the classical characteristics of a disease-producing organism... ...it is increasingly improbable that the ongoing expenditure of tens of billions of dollars to chase one infectious disease could be failing so miserably if something fundamental is not wrong with the effort. ...the "epidemic'' is not growing as predicted. Only government reclassification of more and more disease types as AIDS cases has kept the numbers of victims at politically necessary levels. ...AIDS is conveniently serving as an excuse for all sorts of social engineering, especially in the public schools, that could not be sustained without a "crisis.'' "