Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Who can claim to be surprised by this one?



Very important interview with Aaron Mate putting the final touches on the end of the Russia-gate story.....

If you are committed to the truth, no matter your 'party affiliation', then you should watch this one.

It's all come out now - and it is a very sad ending to this bankrupt effort by the Democrats.

Bruce

May 2, 2014 Massacre in Odessa remembered



May 2, 2020, marks the 6th anniversary of the fascist-led massacre of scores of progressives at the House of Trades Union Hall on Kulikovo Square in Odessa, Ukraine. To date, not one of the perpetrators of this heinous crime has been punished. The Ukrainian government has never allowed an independent international investigation.  Instead relatives of the victims are still being repressed.

On May 2, 2016 I went to Odessa along with Regis Tremblay and Phil Wilayto.  The three of us, all from the US, made this trip in order to stand with the families of the May 2, 2014 victims.

On May 5 Regis and I made the video above.

You can see more about the story here.

All of this resulted from the US-NATO orchestrated coup d'etat in Kiev, Ukraine in 2014.

See this film trailer produced by Oliver Stone.  Joe Biden, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland and other high-level operatives in the US government have been implicated for their roles in the coup.


In the barracks: G.I. resistance movement during Vietnam war




This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and internal resistance.

In the 1960's an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This part of the movement didn't take place on college campuses, but in barracks, on aircraft carriers and in the jungles of Vietnam.

When I joined the Air Force in January of 1971, after my training, I was sent to Travis AFB in northern California.  Travis was an airlift base for the war in Vietnam.  GI's would come from all over the country to board the big transport planes to fly to the war zone.  When the planes returned they brought back the walking wounded as well as body bags that were lined up along the runway just across the street from my office.

In the barracks, when I checked in the first day, the guy in the Orderly Room looked down a long list on a clipboard and said to me, "I'm sorry man, we've only got one room left.  We'll get you out of there as soon as we can.  Grab your bags and follow me."

We walked down the long dark hallway on the ground floor of the barracks to the last room on the left side.  He kept apologizing to me.  I thought it might be a broom closet with a cot in it.  When he opened the door my eyes were drawn to anti-war posters all over the wall.  There was a blue refrigerator in the room which I later learned was not allowed.  It turned out to be the room of one of the leading G.I resistance movement organizers in the barracks.  They wanted to keep him isolated while they worked on their plan to kick him out.

The Orderly Room forgot about me.  My roommate was not eager to have me there, especially after he learned that in 1968 I had volunteered to work on the Nixon for President campaign while living outside Eglin AFB in northwest conservative Florida - the panhandle.   My step-father, career Air Force, was stationed at Eglin.  (He had been stationed in Okinawa during the Korea War and was also sent to Vietnam.  His job was photo-reconnaissance - worked on the cameras for Pentagon spy planes.)

Frequently at night there would be a knock on the barracks room door and white guys would enter with chairs.  They sat in a circle and would talk about the war and pass around the latest underground newsletter called 'Travisty'.  For the first couple of months I sat in a corner but was listening and read their anti-war materials.  I had a good heart and was always open to hearing new things - but had grown up mostly living behind the barbed wire air base fences so I was generally dumb and politically naive. I eventually pulled my chair into the circle and smoked marijuana for the first time. (The drugs came back inside body bags from Southeast Asia and were widely distributed on the base and beyond.)

Most weekends there were small protests just outside the base front gate.  We were warned not to go out there.  The OSI (Office of Secret Investigation) would be out there taking photos.  Any G.I.'s caught at the protest would be punished.  I was too afraid to go but it made we ask questions - I thought the war was about 'freedom and democracy'?  What if I wanted to go out there and just see what is going on?  How could that be wrong or illegal?

Some G.I.'s would come to Travis and refuse to get on the airplanes.  One night a guy who was refusing to go to the war sat on a roadside curb on the base and cut his penis off.

On other nights the knock on the door would revel Black Panthers with chairs and I learned about racism across America and at Travis.  Some of the resisting black men were in the base jail while resisting whites were mostly 'punished' in much easier ways - obviously white privilege.  The Black Panthers organized a march to the jail and when that didn't bear any justice they organized a riot in the barracks compound.  I learned alot, and was deeply challenged, during those days.

My roommate worked in the base gym handing out basketballs and towels.  He didn't have to wear a uniform, just a shirt with 'Base gym' lettered on it.  In fact he had no uniform at all.  He eventually got kicked out and had to borrow my uniform, with my name on it, for his court-martial.

How lucky I was to have landed in that room.  It was a blessing and a source of liberation for me.  It set me on a path that I still walk today.  I will always be grateful to those courageous guys who helped turn my head and heart toward the good road.

Bruce

Friday, May 01, 2020

American dream: Living on the edge



Homelessness, hunger and shame: poverty is rampant in the richest country in the world. Over 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line, twice as many as it was fifty years ago. It can happen very quickly.

Many people in the United States fall through the social safety net. In the structurally weak mining region of the Appalachians, it has become almost normal for people to go shopping with food stamps. And those who lose their home often have no choice but to live in a car. There are so many homeless people in Los Angeles that relief organizations have started to build small wooden huts to provide them with a roof over their heads. The number of homeless children has also risen dramatically, reaching 1.5 million, three times more than during the Great Depression the 1930s. A documentary about the fate of the poor in the United States today.

We closed the commentary section because of too many inapproriate comments.

~ DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The origins of May Day


By Eric Chase (IWW)

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Jack London's The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860's, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn't until the late 1880's that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers' lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.

A variety of socialist organizations sprung up throughout the later half of the 19th century, ranging from political parties to choir groups. In fact, many socialists were elected into governmental office by their constituency. But again, many of these socialists were ham-strung by the political process which was so evidently controlled by big business and the bi-partisan political machine. Tens of thousands of socialists broke ranks from their parties, rebuffed the entire political process, which was seen as nothing more than protection for the wealthy, and created anarchist groups throughout the country. Literally thousands of working people embraced the ideals of anarchism, which sought to put an end to all hierarchical structures (including government), emphasized worker controlled industry, and valued direct action over the bureaucratic political process. It is inaccurate to say that labor unions were "taken over" by anarchists and socialists, but rather anarchists and socialist made up the labor unions.

At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after May 1, 1886." The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike "at the root of the evil." A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that "whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave."

Despite the misgivings of many of the anarchists, an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor. As more and more of the workforce mobilized against the employers, these radicals conceded to fight for the 8-hour day, realizing that "the tide of opinion and determination of most wage-workers was set in this direction." With the involvement of the anarchists, there seemed to be an infusion of greater issues than the 8-hour day. There grew a sense of a greater social revolution beyond the more immediate gains of shortened hours, but a drastic change in the economic structure of capitalism.

Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public's eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.


The names of many - Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg - became household words in Chicago and throughout the country. Parades, bands and tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets exemplified the workers' strength and unity, yet didn't become violent as the newspapers and authorities predicted.

More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.

For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the "anarchist-dominated" Metal Workers' Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.

Full of rage, a public meeting was called by some of the anarchists for the following day in Haymarket Square to discuss the police brutality. Due to bad weather and short notice, only about 3,000 of the tens of thousands of people showed up from the day before. This affair included families with children and the mayor of Chicago himself. Later, the mayor would testify that the crowd remained calm and orderly and that speaker August Spies made "no suggestion... for immediate use of force or violence toward any person..."

As the speech wound down, two detectives rushed to the main body of police, reporting that a speaker was using inflammatory language, inciting the police to march on the speakers' wagon. As the police began to disperse the already thinning crowd, a bomb was thrown into the police ranks. No one knows who threw the bomb, but speculations varied from blaming any one of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur working for the police.

Enraged, the police fired into the crowd. The exact number of civilians killed or wounded was never determined, but an estimated seven or eight civilians died, and up to forty were wounded. One officer died immediately and another seven died in the following weeks. Later evidence indicated that only one of the police deaths could be attributed to the bomb and that all the other police fatalities had or could have had been due to their own indiscriminate gun fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was never identified, it was the police, not the anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.

Eight anarchists - Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg - were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state's claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth.

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe and Schwab, were pardoned six years later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice. Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre, big business and government conducted what some say was the very first "Red Scare" in this country. Spun by mainstream media, anarchism became synonymous with bomb throwing and socialism became un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers' Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.

Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public's memory by establishing "Law and Order Day" on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out [workers] struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.

Words stronger than any I could write are engraved on the Haymarket Monument:

    THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.

Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted - people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we'll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

'We will be huggers of trees'



Vandana Shiva, a world-famous environmental activist from India.

Her latest book is entitled "One Earth, One Humanity vs. the 1%". 

She talks about her opposition to big multinationals such as Monsanto for their nefarious influence on agriculture. But Shiva also singles out billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg for criticism - calling them 'bio-pirates'. 

"When Bill Gates pours money into Africa for feeding the poor in Africa and preventing famine, he’s pushing the failed Green Revolution, he’s pushing chemicals, pushing GMOs, pushing patterns", she tells FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Discussing a must see film



Academy award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and associates discuss their new documentary, 'Planet of the Humans,' a film that says we are selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.

The reality is that Wall Street demands for 'endless growth' is destroying our Mother Earth.

You can find the free film here

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

History lesson: Operation Paperclip & Nazi operatives to America



Author Annie Jacobsen presents a slideshow about her book, Operation Paperclip, and takes questions from the audience.  Paperclip was the secret Pentagon program to smuggle more than 1,600 Nazi's into the US at the end of World War II.

In Germany the Nazis had a concentration camp called Dora where 40,000 Jews, French resistance fighters, homosexuals, communists and other prisoners of war (including a black American GI) were brought to build the V-1 and V-2 inside a mountain tunnel called Mittelwerk. By the time the slaves were liberated by the allies, over 25,000 had perished at the hands of the Nazi rocketeers.

Hitler's military liason to von Braun's rocket team was Maj. Gen. Walter Dornberger. Several times Dornberger and von Braun met with Hitler requesting more money and more slaves so they could step up the rocket production effort. Hitler was anxious to use the rockets to terrorize European cities like London, Paris and Brussels toward the end of the war as the Nazi army began to lose. Dornberger and von Braun showed Hitler films of the V-2 rocket launches to prove they were making significant progress.

Dornberger came to the U.S. along with von Braun's rocket team during Operation Paperclip. According to author Jack Manno in his book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995, Dornberger was appointed as a vice-president at Bell Aviation Corporation in New York and served on the first 'military oversight committee' that ensured that NASA was controlled by the Pentagon from the first days. It was Dornberger who first came up with the idea of 'missile defense' as an offensive program that would have nuclear powered satellites orbiting the planet and able to hit targets on Earth.

Kurt Debus, the chief of V-2 launch operations in Hitler's Germany, later became Chief of Operations for NASA at Cape Canaveral. When tourists converge on the Kennedy Space Center they will pass by a portrait of the former German SS member that hangs in the entrance in honor of Debus's service as the center's first director.

In a book called The Hunt for Zero Point, respected military journalist Nick Cook talks much about the "black" (the Pentagon's secret) budget. For 15 years Cook had been a defense and aerospace writer for Jane's Defence Weekly, which some consider the bible of the international weapons community. Cook spent 10 years researching secret military programs in the U.S. and believed that well over $40 billion a year is spent on these programs outside the purview of Congress. Cook states, "It [black programs] has a vast and sprawling architecture funded by tens of billion of classified dollars every year. The height of its powers was probably in the Reagan era. But it has not stopped since then. In fact, under the Bush administration it [had] something of a resurgence. Stealth technology is a primary example...research into anti-gravity technology...has been going on for quite some time."

Cook traced the roots of the U.S.'s secret programs back to the Nazi scientists brought to the U.S. after WW II in Operation Paperclip. He states, "We know the size and scope of Operation Paperclip, which was huge. And we know that the U.S. operates a very deeply secret defense architecture for secret weapons programs...it is highly compartmentalized...and one of the things that's intrigued me over the years is, How did they develop it? What model did they base it on? It is remarkably similar to the system that was operated by the Germans - specifically the SS - for their top-secret weapons programs."

"What I do mean," says Cook, "is that if you follow the trail of Nazi scientists and engineers who were recruited by America at the end of the second world war, the unfortunate corollary is that by taking on the science, you take on - unwittingly - some of the ideology...What do you lose along the way?" 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Must watch: Nuclear war becomes automatic



I have a San Quentin prisoner friend who calls every couple of weeks.  Last night he called and insisted that we watch 'Fail Safe' so we paid $4 online and saw this movie.  I'd heard of it before but had never seen it.  I'd strongly urge everyone to watch it.

Sidney Lumets powerful and shocking film Fail Safe opened in 1964. Released just after Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe was a serious wake up call during the Cold War. 

Henry Fonda plays the president of the US who must make the tough decisions when technology takes over and limits human options to prevent nuclear war.  With the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) we are going to increasingly turn over life and death decision making to robots and computers.

Let this be a warning.

You can pay online to see Fail Safe here

Bruce

Bernie’s Political Funeral


By Kathleen Wallace

The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign always had a destination that was not the White House.

I’ll admit that I anticipated it playing out in a slightly different manner. The wildcard in all of this was COVID-19, but like all good disaster capitalists, the DNC, with the help of the Obama faction, used it to their advantage. I anticipated a contested convention, maybe a little latte-level rioting……but even that didn’t come to fruition. Sanders flamed out like a crappy defective Roman candle.

I counted myself as a Sanders supporter, of course that statement is interchangeable with “I decided to be an amateur piñata again since it had only been 4 years since I had the shit beat out of me with a stick by the neoliberal establishment. Mmmmm…….. want me some of that again.”

I assume for many like myself, Sanders was a huge compromise, but one we signed on for anyway.

His stances weren’t really that radical—hell, they would most likely not even raise one hair of an eyebrow in most other western nations. It’s testimony to how far right our government has slid that this guy was bandied about as a commie menace. Like he needed the 1980 US Hockey team to take him down. The reactionary damage from the Republicans has been solidified and was magnified surreptitiously through the Clinton and Obama administrations. Many seem to understand the brazen assault during Republican administrations, but the Democrats were like a thief from your family, living in your own house and by virtue of that, not really suspected readily of doing such things. Now we find ourselves in this craggy-ass rugged individualistic Randian state—all problems are the fault of the individual; society has no obligation to do anything for anyone. Sociopaths and corporations thrive.

Now Sanders definitely had problematic behavior in terms of being a member of Empire Inc. (despite a few good takes)—overall he was a clear part of the imperialist team. He didn’t show signs of any radical beliefs that would truly upset the ongoing death march of capitalism. I believe he was a bit of an FDR in that he might have thrown enough bones to the working class to have staved off unrest. The unmitigated greed necessary to not even allow that much change will surely be looked upon as one of the pivotal moments in American history. It of course begs the question—what would have happened without FDR’s New Deal? Misery for sure (short-term) but would something radical have been propelled forward without it? What would this time look like now if a more overt rebellion had ensued? I always thought it was a given that these measures were good and kind, but now I know the whole system is pure trash and always was—it’s seductive though, when you see people suffer through healthcare disparities and debt, you want them to be helped because you’re not a monster. Sanders was a siren song for immediate relief, or at least the illusion of it. Certainly, it’s a trap a lot of people with empathy fall into. It’s terrifying to consider complete collapse when you know so many will suffer—you don’t know what will emerge on the other side. It could be far worse. By the same token, backing Sanders and other milquetoast types could be like pulling off a band aid for decades and then generations—the pain is always there, but you’re able to continue functioning as a proper member of the state, there for them to feed off of. I don’t pretend to know the right way to proceed, but sometimes I’m weak and want the suffering to be mitigated. That could perhaps be at the expense of a truly needed systemic overhaul that might bring real change. I just don’t know, but that is basically why I supported Sanders. I’m just tossing around ideas, not solutions or decrees.

The sheer lunacy of participating in something so completely and fully rigged isn’t compatible with self-esteem though, and a lot of Bernie supporters, who overall are good and genuine people, merely wanted a better life for everyone. These supporters are feeling humiliated and played. Because they were. And they didn’t deserve it. All they wanted was a fair vote and media that was at least somewhat unbiased. They received neither. I really hoped the DNC wouldn’t take the path of dodgy apps in Iowa and causing by whatever means, the mismatches in exit polling extreme enough to indicate fraud. I was not surprised that they did this, but even I was taken aback by their use of voters as hostages. Encouraging in-person voting during a pandemic is an evil that I didn’t consider they would utilize. What else is in their bag of tricks? Kindergarten poisonings? Jesus DNC—you’re some sick fucks. Tom Perez, what the hell are you?  I’m sure that factored into Sanders dropping out when he did. Continued in-person voting would surely increase, umm……. plague issues. The slight traction he could have continued to have in advancing things like universal healthcare during a pandemic wasn’t even allowed to continue. This is a system that has nothing left to offer but wasted time and money from people who can’t afford either.

One thing perplexing about the current situation is this: Does the DNC really even want to win? Continued, generalized venom abounds in their treatment towards the left and even Sanders exudes petulant bitchiness towards his own previous staffers and surrogates. I’m thinking in particular of his statement in regard to Briahna Joy Gray when asked about her refusal to endorse Biden. He snarkily said “She is my former press secretary—not on the payroll.” One shouldn’t be surprised though, because he did the same treatment to surrogate Zephyr Teachout. She had an op-ed piece awhile back saying that Biden had a corruption problem. Bernie apologized….to Biden.  Bernie is very good at letting down his supporters. He would be the dad you come home to and complain that a bully beat you up. He would listen with attention and care, but then march you over to the bully’s house to apologize for sinking to the bully’s level.

More along the lines of do they really want to win???  The Biden campaign had an unbelievable sticker to pull in the vote, I guess….one that showed “plutocrat” and “socialist” crossed out and replaced with “proud democrat”. The inevitable conclusion is that they don’t want the Bernie supporters who identify with socialism and are fueling up to come off as distasteful to the Independent voters who decide general elections. I’m sure the plutocrats aren’t concerned. They win no matter what. The conclusion I come to is that they are ready to lose, in fact are fine with it, as their class will be protected. Despite the obvious embarrassing optics of a Trump presidency, the meat of it is that these types do well under his policies. It’s seeming to be a lot like theater and being continuously dismissive to the left, to the point of overt hostility will keep voters away from Biden. It’s too much to have been played in a rigged process and then to have literal insult added on. The continued gaslighting coming from a progressive talking-points babbling Obama the last few days is enough to replace all the worlds ipecac syrup. But it won’t make Charlie Brown try again for Lucy’s football. Just once I wish Charlie Brown would have beat the shit out of Lucy for that. That might make Lucy stop. Voting for Biden won’t make them stop.

For a time, it looked like they would push a Mayor Pete on us after New Hampshire. He seemed to have the Obama-esque method of flowery nothing-speak down pat. He also carried with him a virtue signaling token for the liberal voter, the of being gay—like Obama being biracial signaled a progressive notion that had no concrete benefit to anyone, but you could “feel” progressive backing him if you were an older voter—as if you were doing something noble ignoring the fact that he wasn’t lily white. Actual leftists have moved beyond that kind of optics only candidate.  Anyway, Mayor Pete for whatever reason, didn’t take, so they went with the guy who seems completely out of his gourd. During this primary fiasco I had a very off-putting dream/nightmare that I went to see my disturbed mother in the nursing home she resides in. While visiting her, I noticed one of the other residents was Joe Biden. I kept trying to tell people after the visit that he wasn’t a good choice for president as he lives at a nursing home in Oskaloosa, Kansas, but nobody would believe me. I woke up and thought “yeah, that’s about right.” That Cassandra thing all over again. The DNC choosing to elevate a character like Biden looks a lot like not caring if you win or lose. He’s that flawed of a candidate.

I did hope that having Bernie in the mix during the primary would also help others come to the conclusion that they matter—that they don’t deserve crippling debt, but I’m thinking COVID-19 is doing more for the left than any Sanders campaign. Suddenly the people who matter as far as keeping us going are being called heroes. Sure, it’s mostly empty platitudes, but the people doing those jobs know it’s fucking true. The notion that they didn’t deserve a living wage even though they are keeping the rest of us alive and fed now seems a bit more obscene than before.  It’s obvious who matters to society and who is needed. The people with bullshit jobs can sit it out, but they are typically the ones making the largest sums of money. This is evidence that is difficult to overlook. It’s evidence of structural dumb-fuckery that exists for no reason other than to keep a medieval class stratification in place. And the sheer incompetence of our government is in full view as healthcare workers wear garbage bags. In this case the emperor has on no clothes and the rest of us have homemade cloth masks. This is not the stuff of a normal society. Nothing is owed to those who treat us in this manner. This would have been evident with or without some of us taking part in the doomed heartbreak of another Sanders run.

The world is in turmoil and the fakery is known. What a bizarre ride we are all on, but if I ever, ever show signs of getting emotionally invested in any of these staged political theatrics….you know like Bernie 2024……..forget the piñata pretense and just hit me with the nearest large stick to the point of euthanasia.

~ Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Dr. Boyle: COVID-19 is a bio-warfare agent



SARS-CoV-2 — A Biological Warfare Weapon?

April 26, 2020

Francis Boyle, a former advisory board member for the Council for Responsible Genetics, is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

His educational background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, a juris doctor (lawyer) degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in political science. For decades, he’s advocated against the development and use of bio-weapons, which he suspects COVID-19 is.

In fact, Boyle was the one who called for bio-warfare legislation at the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, and the one who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed into law by George Bush Sr.

In our first, March 8, 2020, interview, Boyle shared his views on the origins of the novel corona-virus, SARS-CoV-2. Here, we continue our discussion, as more details have emerged about this virus. One of the criticisms raised since our last interview is that Boyle has no formal training in virology. When asked what makes him qualified to speak about this particular virus, he says:

“I went to the University of Chicago, which is one of the top five universities in the country, if not the world. There I took their bio pre-med sequence, which was biochemistry, population biology and genetics, and got straight A’s.

I was in there competing with all the University of Chicago bio pre-med students for grades and my biochem lab partner went to Harvard Medical School.

I won the University of Chicago’s Sigma Zi award and prize in biology for my graduating year. They gave out one per year and it usually went to seniors, but in my case, they had to make a special exception because I was a graduating junior.

So, yes, I’m not a scientist, but one of the reasons the Council for Responsible Genetics asked me to get involved was that my knowledge in this field was well-known to my life science friends there on the Harvard faculty, and that’s how I got involved here.

I had basic rudimentary training, actually very good training, at the University of Chicago, and my professors there, professor friends at Harvard in the life sciences, I guess they vouched for me. So, when I was asked to join shortly after CRG was founded in 1983, I agreed to do so and they asked me to handle their biological warfare work.”

SARS-CoV-2 — A Biological Warfare Weapon

“Novel corona-virus” means it is a new virus not previously known to previously infect humans. The currently held conventional view is that SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted through animals (zoonotic transmission), specifically bats. Boyle dismissed this notion in our initial interview, and still refutes the idea.

While a widely-cited paper, published in the Nature journal on February 3, 2020, claims to establish that SARS-CoV-2 is a corona-virus of bat origin that then jumped species, the work of one of the authors of that paper, Shi Zhengli, actually involved the weaponization of the SARS virus. (Another Nature paper published that same day reiterates the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is zoonotically transmitted.)

However, according to Boyle, other scientific literature establishes that this is indeed an engineered synthetic virus that was not transmitted from animals to humans without human intervention.

For starters, a Lancet paper published February 15, 2020, by physicians who treated some of the first COVID-19 patients in China showed that patient zero, the one believed to have started the transmission, was nowhere near the Wuhan seafood market.

What’s more, there were no bats sold in or even close to the market. At least one-third of the patients reviewed also had no exposure or links to that market. This data supports the counter-hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 was not zoonotically transmitted but is in fact an engineered virus.

Even U.S. politicians and intelligence agencies are starting to say they believe the virus leaked from the Wuhan BSL4 lab. In our first interview, Boyle discussed published research establishing that the novel corona-virus is SARS, which is a weaponized version of the corona-virus to begin with Wuhan BSL4 lab, with added gain-of-function capabilities that increases its virulence (makes it spread easier and faster).

“I also went through the scientific article where the Australian health board working with Wuhan … genetically engineered HIV into SARS,” Boyle says. “So, that is all verified in scientific papers. In addition, it seems to me that they took that back to the [Wuhan] BSL4 and applied nanotechnology to it.

The size of the molecules are maybe 120 microns, which indicates to me we are dealing with nanotechnology. That’s [something] you need to do in a BSL4. Biological weapons nanotechnology is so dangerous, people working with it have to wear a moon suit with portable air …

We also know that one of the cooperating institutions [to Wuhan BSL4] was Harvard, and that the chairman of the Harvard chemistry department, [Dr. Charles Lieber], a specialist in nanotechnology, set up an entire laboratory in Wuhan where [according to reports] he specialized in applying nanotechnology to chemistry and biology.

My guess is, based on what I’ve read in the literature, that they tried to weaponize all that together. And that is SARS-CoV-2 that we are dealing with now.

So, it’s SARS, which is genetically engineered bio-warfare agent to begin with. Second, it has gain-of-function properties, which makes it more lethal, more infectious. It has HIV in there. That was confirmed by an Indian scientist … and it looks like nanotechnology [has been used]… An MIT scientist who did a study found that it traveled 27 feet through the air. And that, I guess, was in lab conditions.

That, I think, is why it’s so infectious, and that is what I believe we are dealing with here … [This is] why the 6-foot [distancing suggestion] by the CDC … is preposterous. Even doubling that will do you no good. If there is nanotechnology, it floats in the air …

I am not saying that China deliberately released this, shooting itself in the foot. But it was clear they were developing an extremely dangerous unknown biological weapon that had never been seen before, and it leaked out of the lab.

And as you see in the Washington Post, U.S. State Department officials … [reported] back to Washington that there were inadequate safety precautions and procedures in that lab to begin with. We also know that SARS has leaked out of other Chinese biological warfare labs. So right now, I believe that is what happened here …

I personally believe that until our political leaders come clean with the American people, both at the White House and in Congress and our state government, and publicly admit that this is an extremely dangerous offensive biological warfare weapon that we are dealing with, I do not see that we will be able to confront it and to stop it, let alone defeat it.”


The Origin of SARS-CoV-2

While Boyle made the origin of SARS-CoV-2 clear in our initial conversation, as I started reading some of the literature it really was shocking because one of the primary investigators on the 2015 paper from the University of North Carolina — “A SARS-like Cluster of Circulating Bat Corona-viruses Shows Potential for Human Emergence” — was Dr. Shi Zhengli, a virologist who in 2010 had published a paper discussing the weaponization of the SARS virus.

Normally, while the corona-virus found in bats may be SARS, it typically does not infect humans as it does not target the ACE-2 receptor. The infectious agent causing the current pandemic is called SARS-CoV-2 — SARS standing for “serious acute respiratory infection” and CoV-2 indicating that it’s a second type of SARS corona-virus known to infect humans. 

SARS-CoV-2, of course, contains the genetic modification to attach to ACE2 receptors in human cells, which allows it to infect them. Zhengli’s publications show that she engineered this bat corona-virus into one that crosses species and infects humans. She has in fact been working on this for more than 10 years.

“That is why I said SARS was a bio-engineered warfare weapon to begin with,” Boyle says. “And that is what … [the University of] North Carolina and … the Australian lab were trying to make even more dangerous with the gain-of-function and the HIV. So … SARS was a biological warfare [agent]to begin with, it leaked, and that is the origin of the [COVID-19] epidemic.”

In addition, an Indian paper that ended up being withdrawn due to intense political pressure, shows a specific envelope protein from the HIV virus called GP41 was integrated in the RNA sequences of SARS-CoV-2. In other words, the implication is that the HIV virus was genetically engineered into SARS.

So, in summary, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be a bio-engineered bat corona-virus — which was initially benign and non-transmittable to humans. Zhengli then genetically modified the virus to integrate spike proteins that allows the virus to enter human cells by attaching to ACE-2 receptors. That was the first modification.

The second modification was to integrate an envelope protein from HIV called GP141, which tends to impair the immune system. A third modification appears to involve nanotechnology to make the virus light enough to remain airborne for a long time, apparently giving it a range of up to 27 feet.

Nanotech Expert With Wuhan Connection Arrested

While the BSL4 lab in Wuhan may have leaked the virus, its creation does not appear to be limited to the Chinese. As noted by Boyle in his comment above, the chairman of the Harvard department of chemistry, nano-science expert Dr. Charles Lieber, was arrested earlier this year by federal agencies, suspected of illegal dealings with China.. Lieber has denied the allegations.

The Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) allegedly paid him $50,000 a month from 2012 to 2017 to help establish and oversee the WUT-Harvard Joint Nano Key Laboratory. He also received another $150,000 a month in living expenses from China’s Thousand Talents program. The problem was, Harvard officials claim they had not approved the lab and didn’t know about it until 2015. Boyle comments:

“The cover story here — that Harvard didn’t know what was going on — is preposterous. I spent seven years at Harvard. I have three degrees from Harvard. I spent two years teaching at Harvard.

Of course Harvard knew that its chair of the chemistry department had this lab in Wuhan, China, where he was working on nanotechnology with respect to chemical and biological materials. That’s been reported. They didn’t say what the materials were. In addition, it has now been reported that Harvard was a cooperating institution with the Wuhan BSL4.”

Researchers Working on Gain-of-Function to Spanish Flu

If you think SARS-CoV-2 is bad, be glad it’s not the weaponized version of Spanish flu, which has also been in the works, according to Boyle. He says:

“[The University of North Carolina’s] work was existentially dangerous and they knew it at the time. If you read the UNC scientific article16 [co-written by] the Wuhan BSL4 scientist [Shi Zhengli] … it says, ‘Experiments with the full-length and chimeric SHC014 recombinant viruses were initiated and performed before the GOF research funding pause and have since been reviewed and approved for continued study by the NIH.’

It says recombinant … So, they admit it was gain-of-function [research]. [The research] was paused by NIH [National Institutes of Health]. Why was it paused by NIH? Because there was a letter put out by large numbers of life scientists at the time saying this type of gain-of-function work … could be existentially dangerous if it got out in the public. Therefore, it had to be terminated … [But] the NIH was funding this in the beginning …

A footnote here: I read the NIH’s pause letter to the University of North Carolina, and UNC was doing two gain-of-function research projects. The other one was with Dr. [Yoshihiro] Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin, who had resurrected the Spanish flu virus for the Pentagon.

He, according to the pause letter, was also there doing gain-of-function work on the flu virus — one could only conclude it was the Spanish flu virus. It did not say the Spanish flu, but they also put a gain-of-function pause on that type of deadly research …

I mean, the Spanish flu, we all know what that is, so imagine giving the Spanish flu gain-of-function properties, making it even more lethal and more infectious. That’s exactly what was going on there at that UNC lab …”

Disturbingly, while the NIH halted funding of this kind of gain-of-function research on lethal pathogens in 2014, it reauthorized it in December 2017, and Boyle suspects Kawaoka’s work may have been restarted as well, although he’s not found proof of it yet.

“So, this was existentially dangerous work that was going on at that UNC lab. Everyone knew it, NIH funded it, NIAID under Dr. Fauci funded it as well. They knew exactly how dangerous this was. They paused it and then they resumed it,” Boyle says.

Can Violations of Bio-warfare Treaty Be Enforced?

As mentioned, Boyle is a professor of international law and drafted an international treaty on bio-warfare agents and weapons. That law is still in force, and would provide life imprisonment for everyone involved in the creation and release of SARS-CoV-2, were it officially concluded to be a bio-warfare agent.

“If you read that UNC article, it says exactly it was dealing with synthetic molecules … And in my biological weapons anti-terrorism act of 1989, I specifically criminalized — by that name — synthetic molecules.

That is why, at first, the whole synthetic biology movement … was set up by the Pentagons DARPA. They funded the whole thing. And it’s DARPA money that is behind synthetic biology, gene drive and all the rest of it.

And that is why at the first convention of synthetic biologists, in their final report, one of their key recommendations was the repeal of my biological weapons anti-terrorism act, because they fully intended to use synthetic biology to manufacture biological weapons …

The law still applies. It provides for life imprisonment for everyone who has done this … all the scientists involved at the University of North Carolina and everyone who funded this project, knowing that it was existentially dangerous — and that includes Fauci and [people at]the NIH … UNC, Food and Drug Administration … the Dana Harvard Cancer Institute at Harvard … the World Health Organization …”

So, just how would we get that process of justice going? Boyle explains:

“There are two ways. First, you’re going to have to pressure the Department of Justice to prosecute these people. That might be very difficult to do. Federal statutes require indictments to be brought by U.S. attorneys. However, just with respect to North Carolina, state law applies there too. I haven’t researched North Carolina law; however, I was originally hired here to teach criminal law and I taught it for seven or eight years …

To have criminal intent, one of the variants of criminal intent is the demonstration of grave indifference to human life. And that is the criminal intent necessary for homicide.

So in my opinion, and my advice would be, if we can’t get [attorney general William Pelham] Barr to sign off on prosecuting these people, that the district attorney, state’s attorney, attorney general out there in North Carolina, institute and indict everyone involved in this North Carolina work for homicide.

And that could include up to and including murder, malice of forethought. Again, one of the elements can be manifestation of grave indifference to human life. And it’s clear from this article [the 2015 UNC paper], they knew it was gain-of-function, they paused it because it was existentially dangerous, it was then re-approved and they continued it.

So, I think a good case could be made, certainly, for indicting these people under North Carolina law by North Carolina legal authorities, if the federal government is not going to do it for us, under my law [the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989]. But again, I want to make it clear, I haven’t research North Carolina law.”

Time to Shutter All BSL4 Laboratories?


Boyle is adamant that all BSL3 and BSL4 laboratories must be closed down and all bio-warfare work with lethal pathogens ceased. “They are all existentially dangerous,” he says. “This is a catastrophe waiting to happen. And it is now happened. Here we are. It’s staring us in the face.”

Certainly, COVID-19 is nowhere near as devastating as the Black Death or the Spanish flu of 1918, both of which exacted a shocking death toll, all without the aid of synthetic molecules and nanotechnology.

The very idea that any of these horrific illnesses might be brought back in turbo-charged form should be terrifying enough for the world to unite in saying “No thanks; we don’t want or need that kind of research going on.” What value have these dangerous laboratories provided to date compared to the risk they are exposing all of us to?

In closing, while Boyle believes COVID-19 has the ability to become a serious pandemic killer, I strongly disagree. Based on all the data I’ve seen so far, I believe he’s wrong on this point, and I suspect the death toll due to economic hardship and emotional stress will be far worse than the disease itself. 

Returning to normal?


So what actually
is normal?

Is normal endless
US-NATO military
war games?

Seven US wars
currently underway,
that's normal?

Is it normal
that Mother Earth
is thrashing about
in toxic shock?

Is normal
massive profits
for health insurance,
resource extraction,
weapons production
corporations?

Is normal
the string of US
bio-warfare labs
around the globe
(particularly along
Russia's border)?

Is normal
the choking
traffic snarls
in major cities
around the globe?

Is it normal
that the oceans
are collapsing,
sea-life threatened?

Is normal
the growing
amount of aluminum
in our soil
and our bodies?
Where does it come from?

So let's talk about
a new normal......

End the wars
convert the war machine,
public transit rather
than electric cars,

Conservation
and rejection
of consumerism

Free health care for all
Free public education
Shut down
fossil fuel industry

Stop glorifying
the growth culture
as if it were
inscribed in the bible

Walk, ride a bike,
spend time with your family,
pets, garden

Tax the rich
and giant corporations
Stop the oligarchs
control of Congress.
Reject the mafia-style
control of Washington.

Forget about planning
war in space.
Cut that budget.

Take care of every human
on Earth,
which would lead to the
stabilization of
global population

Once we do these things
then maybe we can
talk about normal.

When we truly listen to,
and embrace,
indigenous wisdom,
become
Earth-centered
spiritual beings
again,
then we might be heading
back toward
some kind of 
new normal.

Bruce

Sunday song - plus bonus poetry