[ RadSafe ] RE: Proliferation

BLHamrick at aol.com BLHamrick at aol.com
Fri Jul 11 20:45:37 CDT 2008

Correcting the Franklin quote:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little  temporary  
deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
In a message dated 7/11/2008 6:41:37 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
BLHamrick at aol.com writes:


I don't think the choices you outline below are the  only  choices.  I think 
that this generation perceives the  suicide attacks of the  last 10 or so 
to be something unique in  the history of mankind.  I  think this is a 
misperception. I  think the  Kamikaze pilots of World War II were regarded 
with similar  
fear  and disbelief.  I expect one would find a repetition of  these type of  
attacks throughout history, if one were inclined to  look.

I think we need to be more realistic in our threat  assessment.   Whoever has 
an advantage in this world will always  be a  target.  Whether it's the 
of suicide bombers, or  rogue nuclear  weapons, and whether from a 
predominantly Muslim  community, or  Japanese community, or the Communists, 
or the  Timothy  
McVeigh's of our own country, we will always be at risk, so  long as we have  
something of value.  The question for us, in my  opinion, is not how we  
we are all safe for all time (which is  not possible), but how, in  the face 
of so many people's fears, do we  maintain those things which made  this 
great to begin with  (our freedom, our rule of law, our checks and  balances, 
and our  tolerance of difference).

To bring this back around to radiation  safety, I think that this country  
spent a ridiculous amount of  money looking for an ineffective weapon (i.e.,  
an RDD), while  failing to adequately address planning for the aftermath of a 
potentially significant event (i.e., an IND).  I believe we have done  this,  
because finding radioactive material in any form is easy,  while finding an  
actual IND or planning for it's potential  detonation is difficult.  One of  
reasons we keep chasing  our tails in this manner is because it is  
expedient to  act as though one is protecting the public by "picking  the  
low-hanging fruit" (i.e., the RDDs).  By doing this, in the end,  we  aren't 
adding anything to the public health and safety; in  fact, we  are diverting 
resources from issues that do have a health  and safety  impact.  We are 
ourselves in the name of  protecting ourselves, and  apparently hoping the 
public never knows  the difference.  That's insulting  to the profession of 
physics and insulting to the public, in my  opinion.

I think  this country is destroying its greatest value by succumbing to  
and I'm terribly sorry to see that happening.

Barbara L.  Hamrick

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a  little  temporary 
deserve neither liberty." - Benjamin  Franklin

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." -  Franklin  Roosevelt

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