Bitcoin and the Nuclear Clean Up of Pacific Islands


Between 1977 and 1980, the US military cleaned up the Enewetak Islands of nuclear debris created by years of testing done over the islands. The reason for the cleanup By Mkupi (Magnus Mertens) [CC BY-SA 2.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commonseffort was, seemingly noble, to prepare the islands to be returned to the Enewetakians who had been displaced to allow the tests to occur. Itís good that the cleanup was ordered, but that does seem to forget the ethics of removing this people from their home in order to blow it up over and over again.

Originally, according to the New York Times, 40 million dollars was to be used for the cleanup and state-of-the-art suits and procedures were to be used to protect the health of the contractors who were to do the work. But congress, in its wisdom, decided that price was too high,ordered that the military do the work, and ordered that costs be cut as much as possible.

Tim Snider was one of the soldiers who cleaned up the island, and the NYT has a nice photo of him being suited up in protective gear. Snider says that that was the only time that he got to see that suit. A photo was snapped and the suit was whisked away. He then cleaned the nuclear fallout in shorts and a T-shirt. That was one of the cost saving devices — let the soldiers work unprotected.

Now 35-some years later, the men and women who worked on te cleanup are falling ill, and the US government is refusing to pay for their medical expenses claiming the tumors and brittle bones seen by these veterans has nothing to do with the highly-dangerous work they were required to do. The military says that all possible protective procedures were used, but that claim differs from what the soldiers themselves say.

To back up the claims of the veterans, there are the plethora of ailments they now face, if they are even still alive. To back up the claims of the US government, there is the word of the the US government, and lost records.

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So, what the hell does this have to do with Bitcoin??

Easy. The same people who ordered hapless soldiers to clean up high-toxic radioactive waste in T-shirts are the same people who are actively in the process of funneling the wealth of the nation to the top %1, destroying social safety nets wherever they exist, wreck the educational system for all who donít have the wherewithal to pay for every textbook and pencil they use.

This is no conspiracy theory. This is observing people acting in their own interests, shortsightedly, and with a complete lack of empathy or understanding of the suffering they cause.

Right now our society is transitioning from a cash-based to digital based. We use credit cards, debit cards, online payment systems, etc. When we used cash, even if we held the money in the bank, we had the option of taking the money out and making ourselves fully responsible for our financial welfare. Now that most transactions are digital, the banks and government are fully aware of and in control of every penny we spend — and if it should happen that a leader appears that, for whatever reason (our ideology, are religion, our hair color), that leader will be able to cut us off from our money at a whim and there will be no appeal.

We have already seen this as payment processors have been required to stop payments to organizations they donít like, like Wikileaks. Whether you agree with Wikileaksí project or not is immaterial If they can do it to Wikileaks, they can do it to anyone.

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