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Rape is complex
(Re: “Ending rape,” News, Nov. 20.) If we really want to prevent the crime of sexual assault, and I feel that the civilized world does, we need to take a more holistic (i.e., not castration) approach to the problem. The diverse responses to the recent sexual assaults in Boulder indicate a complex topic, not that Boulder is still stuck in the “blame the victim” mode. Sexual assault has been mostly a women’s issue and therefore has been examined by women for women, leading to even more polarization of the issue. Women will always advocate more for victims of sexual assault, but when it comes to understanding the motives in order to prevent it, we need to employ more men on the subject.
To answer, “What in the world gives someone the idea that it’s OK to do something sexual to someone without their consent?”: men’s natural desires and reactions. I’m not going to be popular for saying it, but rape is natural. The fact that men are the perpetrators in the vast majority of sexual assaults only confirms this. Have you ever sat in the park and watched two squirrels going at it? You know she doesn’t want any part of that! And you can look on up the evolutionary chain and see the same behavior. Men, generally the more dominant of the two sexes, will use physical strength to meet their goals. To deny them of this is to deny them of who they are.
Now hold on. I’m not justifying rape. We are not squirrels. We have laws and norms and should be punished for our crimes, including sexual assault. To have a law and not enforce it is as bad as having no law at all. But the reason that rapists don’t have diagnosable mental disorders is because they don’t necessarily have mental disorders. They are no different than the impulsive shoppers that led to this credit crunch — except they are guilty of a much more personal crime.
It is unfair to blame the victim of sexual assault just like we can’t blame global warming for the disaster in New Orleans. Did global warming lead to warmer sea-surface temperatures that caused an increased storm intensity that made landing in an area where the natural vegetation buffer had been stripped by development, near a city that lies below sea level and where the population consists of a disproportionate number of citizens unable to fend for themselves, and the government is too paralyzed to prevent, let alone mitigate, the situation?
Milos Novotny/via Internet
A nuke is a nuke
(Re: “Affordable nukes,” Danish Plan, Nov. 20.) I was disturbed when I read Paul Danish’s article titled “Affordable nukes.” He states the case for so-called “baby nuke plants” on the basis that they are more affordable and nearly invisible, versus installing unsightly and large-scale solar thermal plants. This led me to the Hyperion website, to find out more about the Hyperion Power Module (HPM). They claim their new power module is clean, safe, affordable and reliable.
Let’s look at the facts:
1. Clean and safe: Nuclear power is not carbon free, no matter what size the reactor is. Fossil fuels are used nearly every step of the way. Greenhouse gases are emitted during mining and milling uranium, transporting the “baby nuke” to and from the site, and transporting the radioactive waste to safe pastures (except, there are no “safe pastures” anywhere on the planet). Nuclear accidents haven’t contributed to the health and well being of anyone, anywhere.
2. Affordable: To make baby nukes affordable, wouldn’t we need to source the uranium locally to keep the costs down? Did you know that uranium companies have been snooping around Colorado, digging test wells for in-situ leach uranium mining throughout the state? In-situ leach uranium mining may be the cheapest method of extracting uranium but it uses tremendous amounts of water pumped from the aquifer. If the uranium companies succeed in leaching uranium in Weld and Larimer counties, it could irreversibly contaminate their aquifers (to understand in-situ leach uranium mining, see www.nunnglow.com/uranium-mining/in-situ-leaching.html). Water is our most valuable resource in Colorado. What happens to those downstream?
3. Reliable: Uranium is a non-renewable resource, therefore, it is not reliable. The supply of uranium is already in decline. Certainly, Hyperion is referring to being able to supply energy 24/7, but reliability also refers to an ensured supply.
I beg to differ that baby nukes are the answer. Why take a chance on such dangerous technology? However, if you are so invested in this, Paul, should we test one in your backyard?
“Affordable nukes” — “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.” No matter what size or shape, it’s still a nuke.
In response to Paul Danish’s assertion that a new, unproven technology has made nuclear power “affordable” overnight and we should bank our future on it, I propose the following criteria be met before there is any further investment in nuclear power:
First, if nuclear is safe, let the Price-Anderson Act expire. Since no underwriter would touch nuclear, even with an absurd liability cap, the U.S. government had to exempt nuclear operators and contractors from liability.
Second, if nuclear is commercially viable, repeal the recently passed loan guarantees and subsidies. Before the present banking crisis, no private lender would touch nuclear.
Third, repeal the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, also known as the Screw Nevada Act. If nuclear is clean and green, why shouldn’t the government own the waste it generates?
Fourth, the energy inputs required for the production of nuclear fuel from ore to fuel pins has always exceeded that of the electricity
produced. Is that different now?
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