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Monday Morning Open Thread: Fires, Floods, Nuclear Plants and Other Minutia - Gadhafi Edition

First up - our environmentally challenged nuclear plants. As in, "the environment around them is going wild."

Regarding the flooding at and around the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station - From ABC News, Nuclear Regulator: No Danger at Flooded Nebraska Plant:

That sounds - and looks - a tad scary. But our top nuclear regulators are on the job, and guess what?

Good news for Nebraska: Top Nuclear Regulator Tours Neb. Nuclear Plant.

I'd keep an eye on this until flood waters recede a bit.

Meanwhile, Wildfire threatens Los Alamos National Lab. Fires and floods. Must be the season of insanity.

In world news, just a brief blurb or two. First, the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Gadhafi and loud explosions were heard in the center of Libya's capital. Sounds like things are heating up.

Finally, French banks have agreed to roll-over their Greek debt holdings for 30 years. The deal could help ease some of the issues surrounding the Greek financial crisis.

And that's the news blurb for Monday, 27 June 2011.

If you have any news you'd like to add, please feel free to do so in comments - remember, this is an Open Thread.



Walk Away Nebraska -- Family, Children And A Law With Unintended Consequences

In a GOP stronghold state, the meaning of family values and the public interpretation of a law having several unintended consequences have hit an interesting crossroad: over the last two weeks, parents have taken advantage of a "safe haven law" that permits them to drop off children they can no longer care for at Nebraska hospitals with the request that they be taken care of.

The law was "designed to protect babies and infants from abandonment," but apparently it left a few loopholes: parents have dropped off at least seven teens, and one parent dropped off his entire brood -- nine children who ranged in age from 1 year old to 17 years of age. (According to the article, a psychologist said of the man that he lacked common sense.)

In the Chicago Tribune's online blog Triage -- the source from which this story is drawn, and is linked to at the top -- Judith Graham ends with the following quote:


The moral of this story appears to be that safe haven laws need to be very carefully and narrowly written to ensure they’re not abused by parents.

Making sure an unwanted baby finds a home where he or she will be healthy and cared for is one thing. Telling difficult teenagers or nine children "you’re not my responsibility any more" is another.

The same moral -- adjusted for context, obviously -- can be applied to most laws created at state or federal levels. If taken seriously, it might help mitigate disasters that are precipitated through purposeful misleading and carefully constructed re-interpretations of "the letter" of the law.

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