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Word out of Japan is not good. Meltdown remains a real possibility. I understand radiation levels are increasing even in Tokyo, though they are no way alarming at this time.

Still, this scenario must be horrifying to those living and present on the island. Historic memories are recalled, and this must heighten the fear.

I am nearly numb from the pictures and the numbers. Severe quakes still continue to come ever few hours. People are washing up on shore in numbers that sear the mind. One can but wonder how relief workers can carry on. I have no words, just prayers and agonized thoughts.

Meanwhile, things continue to be bleak for rebels forces in Libya. Qaddafi’s mercenaries are gaining ground at every turn it seems. Promises of amnesty are seen for what they are, mere lies. No one doubts that Qaddafi intends to destroy everyone connected with the rebel uprising. While everyone seems on board with a no-fly zone, none is so far implemented.

If Qaddafi gets away with this slaughter, they other tyrants will become emboldened that they too can simply murder opposition without concern for anything more than words from the International Community. This is simply immoral.

I have no doubt that there are no easy solutions, but we cannot merely sit back and watch this horror. The countries of the world must address this issue of rogue states and decide on a strategy and then implement it. Otherwise, these things will continue as they have so far decade after decade.

Pfc. Bradley Manning is incarcerated at Quantico, Va, for allegedly turning over WikiLeaks material. I have no opinion on that frankly, although I’m predisposed to think that the more we the public knows the better. The whole idea of “secret” smacks to me of convenience whereby leadership in any country can do all manner of things intolerable to average folks in the name of “national security.”

In any event, what is happening to Mr.Manning is unconscionable and immoral. He is being kept in solitary confinement, being allowed to “walk around a room in shackles for one hour per day.” His clothes are taken from him and night, and not returned until he is “inspected” the next day. I don’t know if he is allowed any media material, books, TV or the like.

What I can tell you is this. When I was a law student, I did an in-depth study of the death penalty in Michigan, my home state. I learned that the death penalty was deliberately avoided in favor of solitary confinement, for the precise reason that it was considered more cruel.

After using it for some years, the head of the penal system begged the legislature to allow some time in general population for those prisoners. Solitary confinement tended to produce death or insanity within about three years.

Efforts to see Manning by many, the latest I believe being Dennis Kucinich, have been rebuffed.

If we are a compassionate people, a moral people, we should be contacting our representatives in Congress.

It gets more and more painful to report how Republican legislators and their Rethug Governors are putting in place a world that is safe for corporate greed to have the day, and at the same time tax the poor.

In Michigan, the GOP passed legislation allowing the Governor to declare “economic states of emergency” in any town and move in, cancelling contracts (labor), seizing assets and selling them, and firing elected officials.

Further cuts are made against the poor and working class by cancelling a $500 child tax credit, credits for seniors and other such things, all the while cutting corporate taxes by 86%. Yes, you read that right. When added all up, the taxes fall most harshly on the poorest, while the richest people in the state suffer only 0.1% increase.

This is what you get from Republicans. They do the bidding of their corporate masters.  

And just because the news is so god-awful terrible today, this: