We Are Still Here. We Are Still Trying

We are still here. We are still trying
2015 Remembrance Ceremony at Hiroshima

I consider August 10 to be a red-letter day. A day of celebration on the calendar of the uniting world. On August 10, 2019, humanity has gone 74 years without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. I have written about the wondrous date of August 10 here, here and here. I had a fleeting thought of purchasing a cake with seventy-four candles, and passing out slices to strangers. I have a whole year to plan for next year.

I consider the period between August 6 and August 10 to be a season of contemplation of nuclear weapons, a season of hope for nuclear restraint. I discovered some things I didn’t know during this season that I would like to share.

We are still here. We are still trying

We are still here. We are still trying
Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945

Bing Crosby won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1945, for his performance in the movie “Going My Way.” But Joseph Stalin gave an even more amazing performance at the Potsdam Conference of 1945. America was hoping to secure Russia’s assistance in defeating Japan. The first successful atomic bomb test was on July 16, 1945. America was planning to use the atomic bomb. Harry Truman didn’t trust Stalin, but couldn’t not tell him about the atomic bomb, and keep him as an ally. US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes writes of the occasion:

“He [Truman] said he had told Stalin that, after long experimentation, we had developed a new bomb far more destructive than any other known bomb, and that we planned to use it very soon unless Japan surrendered. Stalin’s only reply was to say that he was glad to hear of the bomb and he hoped we would use it. I was surprised at Stalin’s lack of interest. I concluded that he had not grasped the importance of the discovery. I thought that the following day he would ask for more information about it. He did not. Later I concluded that, because the Russians kept secret their developments in military weapons, they thought it improper to ask about ours.”

Stalin gave an entirely convincing performance of nonchalance and ignorance. Historian Michael Gordin writes:

Yet, as is now abundantly clear in evidence from the Soviet archives, Truman misjudged his opponent. Stalin knew quite a lot. On August 7, the day after the destruction of Hiroshima by the Little Boy uranium bomb, [Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Molotov (now back in Moscow) met with U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman. He told the American: “You Americans can keep a secret when you want to.” Harriman observed “something like a smirk” on Molotov’s face, and later noted that “the way he put it convinced me that it was no secret at all . . . The only element of surprise, I suppose, was the fact that the Alamogordo test had been successful. But Stalin, unfortunately, must have known that we were very close to the point of staging our first test explosion.” Harriman’s intuition was correct.

A number of Manhattan Project employees, such as Morris Cohen, Klaus Fuchs, Harry Gold and David Greenglass, conducted espionage for the Soviet Union. That’s why Stalin knew quite a lot.

The most difficult decision

(Original Caption) 8/8/1945- Washington, DC- President Harry Truman gets a report on the bombing of Japan from Secretary of War Henry Stimson, President Truman (left) upon his return from the “Big Three” conferences, received from Secretary Stimson personally the results of the Atomic bombing of Japan.

We are still here. We are still trying. Many words have been written about Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb. I recently read Harry Truman’s diary entry from that time.

“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.

Anyway we “think” we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling – to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.

This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital [Kyoto] or the new [Tokyo].

He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.”

I confess to know very little about Secretary of War Henry Stimson. I grasp from what little I have read that he sincerely believed the use of a nuclear weapon would end the war with a minimum casualties and damage. He presented evidence for this idea in the February 1947 issue of Harper’s magazine. There are many people who consider the bombing of Hiroshima to be a war crime. All I know is that anyone who feels that way is obligated to read and respond to Henry Stimson’s presentation.

I spoke to a number of people about this between August 6 and August 10. Most people I spoke with seemed to recognize the difficulty of President Truman’s decision. Most people I spoke with seemed to recognize that whatever decision Truman made, it could have turned out much worse than it did.

A relatively unreported event

The German U-boat U-234, carrying uranium oxide to Japan

We are still here. We are still trying. The German U-boat U-234 left Norway in April of 1945, heading for Japan. Its passengers included civilian engineers and scientists and two Japanese naval officers. Its cargo included 50 lead cubes with 9-inch sides, and “U-235” painted on each cube. The uranium oxide contained in these cubes could have yielded 7 pounds of Uranium 235. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima contained 140 pounds of Uranium 235. But the explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb was created by less than two percent, or about 2 pounds, of the uranium it contained.

Japanese scientists understood the physics of an atomic bomb. Japanese engineers understood the engineering required to build the atomic bomb. They were hindered by a shortage of uranium. The Los Angeles Times reports the widow of a Japanese nuclear scientist as saying, “If we’d built the bomb first, of course we would have used it. I’m glad, in some ways, that our facilities were destroyed.”

What about the alternatives?

We are still here. We are still trying. People who are unhappy about America’s use of the atomic bomb on Japan are obligated to consider the alternatives. Nazi Germany contemplated building an atomic bomb. They had access to uranium mines in conquered Czechoslovakia. Maybe it was a good thing for the world that they drove so many physicists to other countries. Japan contemplated building an atomic bomb. They had scientists and engineers, but not uranium. What if the war in the Pacific dragged on, and the Japanese built a bomb with the uranium from the U-234?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

How Many Times Must The Warheads Be Dropped?

“Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind” – Bob Dylan, Blowin’ In The Wind

How many times must the warheads be dropped?

I wish to confess my neglect, and offer remediation. What have I neglected? On August 10, 2017, the human family observed 72 years without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. I have had an annual custom of observing this happy occasion here, here and here. I did not observe this in either 2016 or in August of 2017. But humanity has gone 72 years, 3 months and 10 days without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. By “nuclear weapon” I mean either a fission weapon or a fusion weapon. America used fission weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nations of the world have only tested fusion weapons, also called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs. No nation has used a fusion weapons in warfare since November 1, 1952. My people have refrained from using our most destructive weapon for almost 65 years.

How many times must the warheads be dropped? I regret to inform you that the human race has only gone one month and sixteen days since the last nuclear test, conducted by North Korea. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, has recently been decertified by President Trump. I confess to not knowing whether or not this is a good thing. I feel that all I can do is keep watching.

How many times must the warheads be dropped? I am pleased to share with you the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ICAN’s efforts resulted in a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Yes, I understand that nations with nuclear weapons opposed this treaty. Yes, I understand that the treaty isn’t technically in force, as it requires ratification by 50 nations. We’re currently at 3. Yes, I’m aware that it is unclear who is going to enforce the provisions of this treaty. But we have to start somewhere.

“The man or woman of Knowledge is watching—watching without coming to fixed conclusions, watching without condemning the world, watching without losing hope, watching without becoming jaded or cynical, watching without blaming leaders or individuals or nations, watching the changing landscapes of the world, looking for the signs that the world is giving to indicate how, where and when the Great Waves [of Change] will strike.”

How many times must the warheads be dropped? Hopefully two.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Prefer To Think We’re Getting Better

MAZDA_Zoom-Zoom_Stadium_Hiroshima(March_8,_2015) I prefer to think we're getting betterWhile the world has been recalling the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, I prefer to celebrate a different anniversary. Monday, August 10, 2015, marks 70 years without humanity using a nuclear weapon in warfare. Furthermore, humanity has gone 2 years, 5 months and 28 days without a nuclear test. The last confirmed test was conducted by North Korea in February 2013. The Hiroshima Carp baseball team are playing a game in Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium in the above picture. The Clover Garden of Nagasaki is in the picture below.

Clover Garden of Nagasaki. I prefer to think we're getting better

I prefer to think we’re getting better

There is yet another positive development I wish to consider. The United States tested a hydrogen bomb on November 1, 1952. A hydrogen bomb or a thermonuclear weapon, uses the energy from a primary nuclear fission reaction to compress and ignite a secondary nuclear fusion reaction. The result is greatly increased explosive power when compared to single-stage fission weapons. Therefore, one could refer to atomic bombs as fission weapons, and hydrogen bombs as fusion weapons. A Russian hydrogen bomb tested in 1961 had roughly 1,350–1,570 times the combined power of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I prefer to think we’re getting better. Russia tested a fusion weapon in 1955. The UK tested a hydrogen bomb in 1957. China tested a fusion bomb in 1967. France tested a hydrogen bomb in 1968. Therefore, humanity has gone 47 years without a nation developing a fusion weapon. Therefore, each of the above nations has gone a number of years without using their most destructive weapon. I consider this to represent a certain evolution on the part of both humanity. Perhaps I shall celebrate the non-use of fusion bombs by these nations in the future.

I prefer to think we’re getting better. There is a certain concern in my world that certain nations with fission weapons (Pakistan and North Korea) will not refrain from using them. There is a certain concern in my world that certain nations (Iran and Saudi Arabia) will acquire fission weapons in the not-too-distant future. What am I going to do about this? Shall I cry out in protest? Shall I advocate certain political positions and policies? Shall I engage and confront certain individuals and organizations?

I prefer to think we’re getting better. I am working on becoming a stronger and better human being. I am taking the Steps to Knowledge. Knowledge is described as “the deeper intelligence that the Creator of all life has placed within each person to guide them, to protect them and to lead them to their greater accomplishments in life.” I am not in denial. I am not simply trying to project a preferred outcome. I am seeing what is transpiring, and I am altering my conclusions regularly as the situation changes. I seek to contribute strength of character and strength of faculties of mind. I am watching—watching without coming to fixed conclusions, watching without condemning the world, watching without losing hope, watching without becoming jaded or cynical, watching without blaming leaders or individuals or nations, watching the changing landscapes of the world.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Offer Thanks For Our Accomplishment

Hiroshima Today. I offer thanks for our accomplishmentThe Chinese Zen master Yunmen Wenyan (862-949) is reported to have said “Every day is a good day!” I believe he meant that every day was an opportunity to practice and to be attentive. The days before the results appear are just as important as the days after the results appear.

I offer thanks for our accomplishment

I agree with Yunmen Wenyan. However, I believe that today, August 10, 2014, is a particular day for gratitude and celebration. For what do I offer thanks? What do I celebrate today? We (and by “we” I mean “the human family”) have gone exactly 69 years without detonating a nuclear weapon in warfare. I consider that an achievement.

Nagasaki from Hamahira. I offer thanks for our accomplismentI realize some people might think I have low standards for accomplishment. I will add another cause for gratitude. Humanity has gone 69 years without detonating a nuclear weapon in warfare. We have also gone almost one year and six months since the last test of a nuclear weapon, conducted by North Korea in 2013. North Korea is the only nation on Earth to have conducted a nuclear test after 1998. While the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is not technically in force, its terms generally being honored. The seven nations other than North Korea that have conducted nuclear tests, have not conducted a nuclear test since 1998.

A gentleman whom I consider to be reasonably well-informed recently asked me about the current radiation levels in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Hiroshima Peace Museum reports “Today, the background radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the same as the average amount of natural radiation present anywhere on Earth. It is not enough to affect human health.” There is a certain amount of naturally occurring background radiation, as this chart shows.

Radiation Doses. I offer thanks for our accomplisment

Please note that this chart is a logarithmic chart, which means the normal yearly background dose is roughly equivalent to 10 mammograms. This post might be helpful in explaining the significance of a sievert.

I wrote a post on this subject a year ago. There is a picture of Nagasaki in that post, which I believe is looking at Nagasaki from the opposite direction of the picture in this post. I am pleased to commemorate a year without the detonation of a nuclear weapon, either in warfare, or as a test. I offer thanks for our accomplishment.Hiroshima Today2

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.