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Radiation is everywhere! (And we're all gonna die.)
A story of Fukushima radiation is making the rounds, reported variously as <a href="http://nypost.com/2013/12/22/70-navy-sailors-left-sickened-by-radiation-after-japan-rescue/" source="NY Post" author="Laura Italiano and Kerry Murtha">Navy sailors have radiation sickness after Japan rescue</a> and <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/12/27/ronald-reagan-cancer-sue-tepco-fukushima-radiation/" source="EcoWatch" author="Brandon Baker">70+ USS Ronald Reagan Crew Members, Half Suffering From Cancer, to Sue TEPCO For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning</a> (with a re-post at <a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/70-us-navy-sailors-sue-fukushima-radiation-poisoning">AlterNet</a>). Other source cited in the articles are the <i>Washington Times</i> and <i>FOX News</i>, paragons of journalistic integrity. The user comments on the article are uniformly horrible and make you despair for mankind. They are a cornucopia of stupidity. Helen Caldecott is cited heavily in the comments and historically her statements have ranged from hyperbolic to outright false. All of the articles include a quote from a sailor that <iq>[m]y thyroid is so out of whack that I can lose 60 to 70 pounds in one month and then gain it back the next.</iq> I am not a doctor but I don't think that can be true. It sets off warning bells, at the very least. That the mainstream media isn't reporting this story doesn't at all mean that it's not true. There are plenty of places that usually report stories that are deliberately ignored---and they're not reporting this either. That makes me more than a bit suspicious. Instead, personal and heavily one-sided activist sites and blogs are cited as sources. If you bother to check those sources, you find that they all reference each other, all citing the same statistics, which seem to have no verifiable or reliable source. Buried at the end of one of the articles cited above is this nugget, though, <bq>San Diego Judge Janis L. Sammartino dismissed the initial suit in late November, but Garner and a group of attorneys plan to refile on Jan. 6.</bq> No detail is given as to <i>why</i> the case was dismissed. It's a safe assumption that the case was thrown out for lack of evidence or validity, rather than because of a worldwide conspiracy. The case was thrown out of court in November and news that it will be appealed in January is reported without a hint of restraint. I'm not passing any judgment on other stories about Fukushima but I'm not buying this particular one.