Monthly Archives: August 2019

On PBS tonight

Vegas PBS’ production The Test examines the history of atomic testing in Nevada, atomic tourism, and the consequences of being in Nevada’s “atomic backyard.”

The Test addresses atomic testing from the Manhattan Project’s secret laboratories to Nevada’s “Doom Towns” and the “downwinders” affected by radioactive fallout. During World War II and the ensuing Cold War, U.S. scientists were racing to keep the nation secure in the nuclear age. They knew the bomb had to be further tested, but the scientists initially lacked a full understanding of atomic weaponry’s destructive scope. Ultimately, atomic testing sites, including one in Nevada, were established. The program delves into the testing in Nevada and the rise of “atomic culture.” Highlights include “atomic tourism,” which describes how nuclear testing became a main event in Las Vegas as residents and visitors alike lined up to watch “the show.” Additionally, the production takes viewers to the present-day Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, for a tour and shows how the site is used to prepare first responders for the fight against terror and other dangers.

“The Test is part of our effort to produce programs interpreting significant events in Nevada’s history that help create a sense of place for residents and visitors,” said Vegas PBS General Manager Tom Axtell. “It is a meaningful local production resulting from a collaboration between Vegas PBS and our partners, the Atomic Testing Museum and the University of Nevada Las Vegas History Department.”

Featured interviews include Congresswoman Dina Titus, known for her expertise in the history and policies related to atomic power and the author of “Bombs in the Backyard,” and former Senator Richard Bryan, who in his early career worked at the Nevada Test Site.

No Flag on National Shrine

“Dear Pope Francis, Archbishop Gregory, and Monsignor Rossi, 

As members of the Catholic community, we implore you to stop displaying the United States flag on the bell tower of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. 

With such an enormous display on the front of the Shrine, visitors could easily assume an equivalence between church and nation. While Catholics are called to actively engage in civic life as citizens, we know that our primary allegiance is to bring about God’s Kin-dom here on earth. There are times, in fact, when our allegiance to Catholicism is in direct opposition to our allegiance to nation, such as when we must protest the taking of innocent life, whether the unborn child, the condemned prisoner, or the victim of United States military bombing missions.

Sadly, our nation’s flag has become a symbol of militarism and American exceptionalism around the world, values that our Catholic faith tradition acknowledges are antithetical to Jesus’ teachings. Since the Shrine attracts visitors from many countries, displaying it suggests that they are not one with their American brother and sister Catholics, but rather “others” in a foreign land. The Shrine needs to be a welcoming refuge, a place of safety and deep belonging for all Catholics.

For these reasons, we ask you to remove the flag permanently from the bell tower. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.”

Click here to sign the petition.

Latest podcasts!

Don’t miss the latest podcasts.

Meet the Catholic activists involved in the Kings Bay Plowshare movement.

And I was delighted to have an interesting conversation with Fr. Brian McNavish about refugees, militarism, pacifism, Just War Theory, and more!

In three short months we’ve made it to 10 episodes! Thanks for listening and if you find the content compelling, please spread the word. You can also send suggestions for future guests to