Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 1-15-2022
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
As tensions for potential conflict increase by our military and diplomatic blustering people react. Fortunately this time the reaction was to wait and see, not simply to strike out.
Within minutes, US Northern Command and the Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) dismissed those initial readings and assessed that the missile posed no direct threat to the mainland of the United States. The test weapon -- which sources say was a less maneuverable version of a hypersonic glide vehicle designed to evade missile defenses -- splashed down harmlessly in the sea between China and Japan, thousands of miles away from threatening America.
But in those few moments of uncertainty, the situation escalated quickly enough that the Federal Aviation Administration, which is part of a routine interagency discussion whenever there is a missile launch of this kind, grounded some planes on the West Coast around 2:30 p.m. PST on Monday for about 15 minutes.
The grounding forced air traffic controllers to hold some aircraft on the ground, while briefly diverting others in the air, according to air traffic control recordings, but controllers were at a loss when asked to explain to pilots what had caused the grounding. Some controllers erroneously referred to it as a national ground stop, something which hasn't been seen since 9/11.
The question, now, is what sparked that initial burst of urgency -- and perhaps, why the FAA reacted the way that it did.
A US official said the ground stop was not communicated through the FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center, based in Warrenton, Virginia, and instead went straight to regional centers on the West Coast.
A favorite link of mine to watch the world.
Earth Wind Map a global view of wind, weather, ocean and pollution conditions
A link to Flightradar24 a global flight tracking service with real-time information of aircraft around the world.
After 900 nuclear tests on our land, US wants to ethnically cleanse us’: meet the most bombed nation in the world
Native-American nation's land was turned into a nuclear test site. Now, they suffer from illnesses
'The most nuclear bombed nation on the planet’ is the unwanted accolade claimed by the Shoshone Native American tribe. This has had devastating effects for the community, and RT spoke with one campaigner fighting for justice.
“They are occupying our country, they are stealing our opportunities and we are expected to die because of that. We are still trying to grapple with and understand what happened to us, and find ways to stop it, correct it and prevent it happening in the future.”
Shoshone land stretches from Death Valley in the Mojave Desert in eastern California to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. But in 1951 the US started nuclear weapons testing on Western Shoshone territory, at the Nevada Proving Grounds (now known as the Nevada National Security Site). The Shoshone can now lay claim to be the most nuclear-bombed nation on the planet.
Over a period of just over 40 years, there were 928 tests conducted there – around 100 in the atmosphere and more than 800 underground – resulting in nuclear fallout of around 620 kilotons, according to a 2009 study. In comparison, there were 13 kilotons of fallout when Hiroshima was bombed in 1945.
A prime example of how the Shoshone’s life has been eradicated came in 1971 with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses Act. As Zabarte explained: “Politicians in Washington DC defined our Indian horses as wild and started coming after our ranchers, who have a guaranteed right as hunters or herdsmen under the treaty to have livestock.
“The United States Bureau of Land Management determined our horses, our cows, our livestock were destroying the land. But the land was destroyed by nuclear weapons testing fallout and the United States government blamed the Shoshone people.”
Despite the obvious sense of injustice, he feels an obligation to warn Americans who live in or go through the Shoshone nation of the danger it presents.
“My grandfather always said, ‘don’t kick up dust’ because of the radioactive fallout. I care for these people because of that treaty of peace and friendship, and have an obligation to provide aid and comfort to other Americans passing through. But I watch them kick up dust in their off-road vehicles and they are quite likely exposing themselves. There is plutonium in a lot of the roofs of their houses, too.”
The key for Zabarte is awareness. The more people know the history of the land and understand the issue, there greater the chance of meaningful action. That could involve providing medical surveillance and advising the next generation how to protect themselves.
If another country decides to send bomb - these are the most likely targets
Nuclear Target Map
What is on your mind today? (Responses to Covid questions and dialog to be conducted at The Dose diary)