Posts Tagged ‘Salon’

ma-ma-ma-my-corona copy

In other words, Fouchier’s research took a flu virus that did not exhibit airborne transmission, then infected a number of ferrets until it mutated to the point that it was transmissible by air.  (in 2012)

 

I’ve been pursuing this story for several months, but I’d like to be paid for the research. Remember the seemingly innocuous term “animal passage.”

Sam Husseini beat me to the punch at Salon:

Did this virus come from a lab? Maybe not — but it exposes the threat of a biowarfare arms race

 

Despite objections, Fouchier’s article was published by Science in June 2012. Titled “Airborne Transmission of Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Between Ferrets,” it summarized how Fouchier’s research team made the pathogen more virulent:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1 virus can cause morbidity and mortality in humans but thus far has not acquired the ability to be transmitted by aerosol or respiratory droplet (“airborne transmission”) between humans. To address the concern that the virus could acquire this ability under natural conditions, we genetically modified A/H5N1 virus by site-directed mutagenesis and subsequent serial passage in ferrets. The genetically modified A/H5N1 virus acquired mutations during passage in ferrets, ultimately becoming airborne transmissible in ferrets.

Ahd there’s quite a bit more in the Salon piece:

The Guardian ran a piece in 2014, “Scientists condemn ‘crazy, dangerous’ creation of deadly airborne flu virus,” after Kawaoka created a life-threatening virus that “closely resembles the 1918 Spanish flu strain that killed an estimated 50m people”:

images (3).jpg

Trump and allies approach World War III in Syria, on literally no evidence

What she found there was a chemical laboratory. Here is some of what she wrote, not quite a month before the Army of Islam’s final rout:

The chemical facility lies only a few dozen meters away from the current military frontline and was liberated as recently as Monday. [This would have been March 12.] The lab is surrounded by farmlands — the last place one would expect to find this stash. I see fields of wheat, green peas, beans and chickpeas scattered liberally in a conflict area Western media dubs a “starvation siege.” The building itself is shell-pocked and littered with debris, like so many of the structures I pass in Shifouniyeh and other towns in Eastern Ghouta where war rages.

But the sight inside is astounding. Upper rooms packed with electronic hardware, basements outfitted with large boilers, shelves filled with chemical substances, corners heaving with blue and black canisters (reportedly containing chlorine), chemistry charts, books, beakers, vials, test tubes and all the paraphernalia familiar to the average student of science. And then, in several corners, piles of pipe-shaped projectiles — clear munitions of some sort.

There’s one real standout in an upper room of the facility. It’s a newish looking piece of equipment with “Hill-Rom Medaes Medplus Air Plant” written on its front. A cursory Google search pulls up several interesting facts immediately — the machine is some kind of air or gas compressor, it’s a US-manufactured product, and Saudi Arabia put out tenders for this device in 2015.

13507126w.jpg

the-powers-that-be-deep-state

 

He makes a specious claim:

Well, first of all, it is not a conspiracy. It is something that operates in broad daylight. It is not a conspiratorial cabal. These are simply people who have evolved [into] a kind of position. It is in their best interest to act in this way.

 

Not everything about the deep state operates “in broad daylight.” That’s ridiculous. And there are many conspiratorial cabals. They may not be the people he is talking about, but they certainly exist.

Controlled by shadow government: Mike Lofgren reveals how top U.S. officials are at the mercy of the “deep state”

augusto_pinochet_1448177c

 

Salon covers US support for mass murderers…

35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists

Unfortunately, with a headline like that they chose to put an image of marijuana at the top, of all things.  Nice job associating pot with fascists and terrorists, Salon.  Whoever chose that picture is an idiot.

reagan_ghostbusters-620x412

Kieran Kelly recommended this Salon article — which is actually a revisionary look at the films of Harold Ramis.*

Baby boomer humor’s big lie: “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack” really liberated Reagan and Wall Street
Harold Ramis was a master of subversive comedy. But the politics of “Caddyshack” and rude gestures have backfired

* I am not in complete agreement with anyone concerned.  While the films could be criticized for their targets and execution, I don’t think the writer makes his case.  The terminology used displays some dissonance, and he rejects a nuanced, complex reading of the films.

“And that makes for a pretty liberal film, right? I mean, who else makes fun of country club grandees except for us lefty authority-questioners?

Well, free-market conservatives do.”

Here the writer steeps his clumsy criticism in the pop left/right knee jerkism we’ve come to expect out there in the mainstream.  Presenting his false argument about “authority-questioners”, it’s almost condescending.  Authority isn’t a virtue.

The reason these movies stand out and endure is because they have complexity.  They aren’t meant to tell you want to think, but to give you the opportunity to do so.  Without that complexity and challenge, there’s no classic.

Perhaps the article’s best dig is:

“The kind of liberation the rude gesture brings has turned out to be not that liberating after all, but along the way it has crowded out previous ideas of what liberation meant—ideas that had to with equality, with work, with ownership.”

Here, the author, Thomas Frank, almost makes his point.  But the dissonance, in light of what he argued previously, sinks his argument.  How he can lay all of this on Ramis and Company, in the context of a farcical comedy, is unclear.   But work and ownership, Frank says, are intrinsic to his idea of liberation.

Like the Ghostbusters?

Frank just decried the idea of the small business startup, but now he’s in favor of work and ownership.  Well make your mind up, Frank.

“Here the martinet is none other than a troublemaking EPA bureaucrat; the righteous, rule-breaking slobs are small businessmen—ghost-hunting businessmen, that is, who have launched themselves deliriously into the world of entrepreneurship.”

Yes, work and ownership.  In fact bureaucracy and the EPA itself can have problems, misdirected activities, harm.  That’s the nature of power and authority, and in this case unaccountable power: the EPA man is not the one facing jail.  Reading too much into this EPA angle may be biasing any fair interpretation of the film.

The EPA bureaucrat made a unilateral decision that was disastrous while choosing ignorance over the consequences of said decision.  It is that kind of reasoning that is the true target, not the Environmental Protection Agency or the concept of reasonable regulations.  That’s the distinct difference that received no mention.

In some ways I agree with Frank that these films chose some easy targets and largely symbolic middle fingers.  That would make them less effective, in the political context, not more.  Trying to pin the Reagan era on Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and friends is too much of a stretch to be taken seriously.  The photo (above) that Salon chose to go with seems a tad dishonest in its complete dissing of Ramis and his widely beloved works.

Unthinking lefties are as unpalatable to me as unthinking right wingers, and perhaps were to Ramis too.  We must confront these challenges and the myriad opposing ideas, even in comedy, if we’re to stand the test of time.

tenet3-460x307

The state of the cover-up:

Former FBI agents say the agency’s bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers

Some explanation is needed.

What low-level CIA operatives are told and what high-level strategists actually want to have happen are not necessarily the same thing.

Former counter-terrorism “Czar” Richard Clarke has let the cat out of the bag.  The CIA top leadership all knew that Al Qaeda hijackers were living in the US, and for 16 months, they let them.  Even one week before 9/11 this info was kept hidden from high-level people like Richard Clarke and the head of FBI.

Clarke, the good insider, floats a tailor made excuse that CIA’s intentions were pure and that they only wanted to turn these hijackers into double agents.  This story has nothing supporting it.  What’s more, CIA actions allowed the hijackers to succeed in their mission, rendering whatever excuses that can be concocted moot.

It is entirely possible that low-level CIA people were fed this story, while the upper people were okay with a “new Pearl Harbor” event.  The Project for a New American Century is aimed at the top decision makers, the politicos in the white house, political appointees, not the grunts carrying out orders.  The orders to allow the hijackers to operate freely could be justified by this recruitment meme, even more conveniently when Saudi agents like Omar Al Bayoumi could be said to be handling the contacts.  All that CIA people needed to do was to keep it quiet, and not tell the FBI — despite being legally required to do so.

So the cover story that a recruitment operation is the highest priority, and that Saudi “allies” are carrying it out — because CIA isn’t supposed to operate domestically, of course — convinces low-level personnel that they’re doing the right thing.

Only, they weren’t doing the right thing at all.  The hijackers weren’t recruited.  The Saudis supported 9/11 hijackers, and for all we know were happy that they succeeded in their mission, with Bandar Bush and the PNAC gang popping champagne that night.  This “new Pearl Harbor” event opened the floodgates to endless war and imperial expansion.