Tweedledum & Tweedledumber

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you’re at all familiar with our mayoralty woes (embarrassingly, people all over the world are) & have heard the latest development in the soap opera, you’ll not be surprised to hear me mention Tweedledum & Tweedledee.

(Or maybe Tweedledum & Tweedledumber.)

But I’m betting you haven’t heard what John Gofman (Dr. Gofman, that is, both PhD & MD) said about Tweedledum & Tweedledee vis-à-vis politics.

In a scathing essay about “screwers & screwees” in his brilliant book Irrevy: An Irreverent, Illustrated View of Nuclear Power (published in 1979 by the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility), Gofman says:

“If the laws don’t seem to be achieving the goals dreamed of by the screwees, they can turn Tweedle-dum out of office and elect Tweedle-dee. When Tweedle-dee turns out to be a carbon copy of Tweedle-dum, then there is always the privilege of electing Tweedle-dum’s cloned brother.”


Read more of what he had to say about how things work in the real world (i.e., about screwers & screwees) here.

Amazing coincidence! I heard the latest Ford news while on my way home from a meeting of the Durham Nuclear Health Committee (I'm not even going to go there, okay?) that was held at the University of Ontario Institute for Technology - home to 2 “Tweedles” I encountered during a nuclear hearing a couple of years ago.

One of these UOIT profs said to the panel at that hearing that the good thing about nuclear waste is that, unlike the nuclear material that is still in the ground (as though all the man-made nuclear waste from nuclear projects actually pre-exists, in the ground), we know where it is.

I’m not making this up!

Apparently this fellow does not understand about uranium “daughters” & the uranium decay chain.” [More info on uranium here & here.]

Or that (for the sake of our own safety & survival) uranium needs to be left in the ground.

Because it becomes unimaginably more dangerous & toxic when we mine it &/or use it to generate energy. Effectively, we cannot clean it up.

Uranium 235 Half-life

Going to be very considerate here & not go dig up the names of the 2 UOIT Tweedles (though it’s awfully tempting to do so).

At any rate, the names Tweedledum & Tweedledee, & Tweedledum & Tweedledumber, & TWD 1 & TWD 2 & finally, the Tweeds/Tweedles (all of which I've used as nicknames for the 2 UOIT profs) – give me a bit of a chuckle.

Given the crazy stuff going on in the world these daze, a person needs her chuckles!


p.s. Check out this article about John Gofman, a man who began his career working to isolate the first milligram of plutonium but later became vociferously anti-nuclear. He had not only a PhD, but also an MD, & did amazing work.

& was very funny, to boot!

p.p.s. lots of great Gofman quotes here

p.p.p.s. my postings about the Darlington New Build hearings in March-April 2011 here.

p.s. # 4: I found the transcript for April 4th, Tweed day. It's here    Start reading on Pg. 14 & prepare to have your mind blown! No kidding.

p.s. 5: Here is what he said - the Provost & VP Academic of UOIT:  “Radioactive materials come from the ground. And what is proposed in most waste disposal proposals, is to return it to the ground after it has been treated to some degree, either the fuel has been reprocessed to be used—to be reused in different types of nuclear reactors or very similar types of nuclear reactors that we have today. But the only difference between radioactive materials that we will safely dispose of in the ground somewhere in North America is that we know where it is. The radioactive material that we have not used, we do not know where it is. So there is radioactive material throughout the earth’s crust. It’s just the difference of knowing where it is as opposed to where it is not.” (But do go to the link I provided & read all the stuff he & his colleague said. These men are teaching young people at a university!!)

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “It’s not really fair to ask for an objective opinion from anyone who has a vested interest in what they’re selling.” – Alan Cassels, pharmaceutical policy researcher

Back-up Q of the D: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

** Lots of quotes about politics/democracy here

** Lots of nuke quotes here

** All nuke-related postings on this blog listed/linked here

** ‘Quotation Central!’ section has tons of quotes too!