In 1955 the U.S. detonated a nuclear weapon. Men nearby huddled in fear, praying for their lives. Some died instantly. Others lost their sight or had the skin ripped off their bodies. However, these were not enemies of the U.S. They were Americans.
Now on the second leg of an epic U.S. tour -- to be followed in Asia and Europe -- Bonnie Raitt has taken it to a new level. Reading through the show-by-show reviews of her performances is like being witness to an ecstatic coronation.
The light shining on the safety of nuclear energy as a result of the Japanese nuclear crisis has been of such powerful wattage that it's even flushing safety issues with nuclear weapons labs and manufacturing facilities out of hiding.
You may be pro-nuclear, or anti-nuclear, pro-Obama, anti-Obama or somewhere in the middle. But with the developments in Japan, the only thing safe is to start paying close attention to developments here at home.
"The Great Atomic Power" was first recorded in 1952, the year that the hydrogen bomb was first tested. The song may have provided some comfort for those listeners aware that the nuclear arms race was at its height.
We're under the gun: we need to make use of the nuclear taboo as a springboard to disarmament before its expiration date. But there exists another nuclear taboo against discussing the destruction caused by nuclear weapons.
No matter the short term benefits to security, when the West severs the ties that bind disarmament to nonproliferation, it further undermines the trust of the developing world and long-term prospects for international security.
Whether or not we disarm has no bearing on the plans of states that hope to acquire or develop nuclear weapons. Whether or not disarmament discourages proliferation is immaterial -- it's our only recourse.
Perhaps bewitched by Tea Party-style incoherence, Republicans guided by Jon Kyl have placed themselves in the unlikely position of bucking the national defense establishment, to which traditionally they've been joined at the hip.
Even as we were prosecuting Nazis at Nuremberg for their barbaric behavior, including their notorious medical experiments on death camp inmates, we were, it turns out, conducting our own medical experiments on a vulnerable and unsuspecting population.
If threatened with nuclear attack, should a state, especially one that characterizes itself as founded on a respect for human rights, threaten to retaliate, thus ensuring massive loss of life on its own as well as the aggressor's side?