Skip to content

Weapons-grade Kafkatrapping

In Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”, the protagonist Josef K. is accused of crimes the nature of which are never actually specified, and enmeshed in a process designed to degrade, humiliate, and destroy him whether or not he has in fact committed any crime at all. The only way out of the trap is for him to acquiesce in his own destruction; indeed, forcing him to that point of acquiescence and the collapse of his will to live as a free human being seems to be the only point of the process, if it has one at all.

This is almost exactly the way the kafkatrap operates in religious and political argument. Real crimes – actual transgressions against flesh-and-blood individuals – are generally not specified. The aim of the kafkatrap is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt in the subject, a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator’s personal, political, or religious goals. Ideally, the subject will then internalize these demands, and then become complicit in the kafkatrapping of others.

Here’s the link explaining Kafkatrapping


Nancy Pelosi’s False Assumptions About Gun Law

Statism is a system of institutionalized violence and perpetual civil war. It leaves men no choice but to fight to seize political power—to rob or be robbed, to kill or be killed. When brute force is the only criterion of social conduct, and unresisting surrender to destruction is the only alternative, even the lowest of men, even an animal—even a cornered rat—will fight. There can be no peace within an enslaved nation.
– Ayn Rand, “The Roots of War,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 36  –

‘Much ignorance stems from false assumptions about reality.’

Arizona -( Nancy Pelosi is ignorant about the state of gun laws. It is not surprising. Many people base their decisions about guns and laws on ignorance. It is possible that she is lying.

I suspect ignorance. Most Progressive decisions about guns are made from false assumptions about reality.

Once those assumptions have been internalized, there is no need for further thought or learning about guns and gun laws.

Those decisions have already been made. The assumptions are obvious in the following statement from Nancy Pelosi.


“Far from making Americans safer, this deadly, extreme Republican bill would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places and would inexplicably try to make the weakest and most dangerous state concealed-carry laws the law of the land in all 50 states,” she said.

The assumption is that more guns in public places make those places more dangerous. She does not need evidence to support her assumption. It is an assumption, an article of faith, something that is intuitively obvious to her.

Readers will recognize it from a hundred comments about guns and gun laws from those who fear guns and want more gun laws. The assumption is, simply, more guns, more danger. Reality is far more nuanced and subtle. More guns do not mean more danger. More guns can mean less danger.

A fairer reading of this assumption could be: If you know nothing about guns, more guns will seem to mean more danger. The more you know about guns, the less dangerous they will seem.

Former Speaker of the House Pelosi goes on to say the proposed law would invite concealed weapons into schools, churches, bars and public lands.

If the concealed-carry bill is approved by the House and Senate and signed into law, key state and local laws protecting against gun violence could be overridden, Pelosi said, “inviting concealed weapons into schools, churches, bars and public lands.”

Guns do not have volition. Inviting a gun into a bar results in no action. The gun will simply stay where it has been left until someone moves it to another place.

Attributing volition to inanimate objects is an old animist belief that Western Society overcame hundreds of years ago. Nothing in the bill changes where guns may legally be possessed. That is left up to state law, which is not changed. If Arizona forbids the open carry of guns in bars, the bill does not change that.

People who can legally possess and carry guns have shown themselves to be much less dangerous than people in society as a whole.  Some studies have shown that more guns make areas less dangerous.

Other studies have shown more guns do not make a difference. No credible study shows that more legal guns in public areas make those areas more dangerous.

Most will notice that Nancy Pelosi ignores the Constitution, the Second Amendment, and the rule of law. Progressives do not believe in the Constitution, the Second Amendment and the rule of law.

They believe in the power of government. Constitutional arguments mean little to them because they believe the Constitution is almost meaningless.

They express this by saying the Constitution is a “living document” or that it has to be interpreted for today’s society.

Those words simply mean the Constitution only means what they want it to mean when they want to use it for their purposes.

Nancy Pelosi cannot afford to become educated about guns and gun laws. To do so would be dangerous to her position in the Democrat Party. She might not be able to lie as convincingly as she can speak from ignorance.

[Byline Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.] (edited)
13 December 2017

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against…

We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
– Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged,  1957 –


1, 2, 3, what are we fighting for? Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, ’bout the War in Afghanistan… well, maybe a little.

Now, for the rest of the story…

Obama’s Afghan Policy Is Tantamount to Treason


This article appears in the April 9, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review

American physical economist and statesman Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. is demanding President Barack Obama’s immediate impeachment or resignation from office, for crimes that are “tantamount to treason,” starting with his Afghanistan policy. “American soldiers are being sent to Afghanistan to be shot by an enemy that the President is defending,” LaRouche charged. “By refusing to go after the opium trade, which is the logistical and financial backbone of the Taliban insurgency, the Obama policy is giving those narco-insurgents a free hand to kill American soldiers.”

President Obama’s personal complicity in the opium treachery was demonstrated on March 28, 2010, when he made a 24-hour unannounced visit to Kabul, to scold Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his government’s “corruption,” but never mentioned the opium and heroin trade, which accounts for over 90% of the world’s supply, and bankrolls the very Taliban insurgency that the Administration purports to be combating.

“American soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, fighting an enemy that thrives on the opium trade, that the President refuses to target,” LaRouche declared. “That kind of policy is tantamount to treason, and warrants the President’s immediate impeachment. It cannot be tolerated.”

LaRouche also called for the immediate dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, who has been pivotal in the disastrous Obama policy.

In stark contrast to the Obama policy, the Russian government has called upon the United States and NATO to collaborate on a full-scale war on the Afghan opium and heroin trade, which is the backbone of a global narco-insurgency, now running wild in Eurasia and the Americas, and which has been the cause of at least 1 million drug deaths from Afghan heroin overdoses over the past decade alone, according to United Nations data.

Two weeks before President Obama’s Kabul visit, Victor Ivanov, the head of the Russian federal anti-narcotics agency, spoke at a conference in Kabul, demanding a comprehensive campaign to eradicate the Afghan opium trade. Ivanov cited UN statistics, showing that the Afghan opium trade generated at least $65 billion a year in criminal revenue, and was the principal source of funding for the Taliban insurgency, as well as terrorist organizations operating across Eurasia, into the Russian North Caucasus.

As reported on Russian television on March 15, 2010, Ivanov’s call was explicitly challenged by a British military officer, Richard Connelly, who was quoted: “Nobody knows better than Afghan politicians do, the history of their people and their way of life. Therefore the best thing is for them to decide themselves, what to do with the plantings. Without participation from the international forces.”

Such rhetorical nonsense has been used by the British for the past decade, to aid and abet the Afghan opium trade, which is the lifeblood of Britain’s offshore financial operations, centered in such locales as Dubai and the Cayman Islands, where the drug profits are laundered and invested.

A week after his Kabul speech, on March 24, 2010, Ivanov presented a detailed proposal at the NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels (see Documentation), for a comprehensive international campaign to wipe out the drug scourge, starting with the eradication of Afghan opium, of trafficking organizations, and of the money-laundering infrastructure. The Ivanov proposal was summarily rejected by the U.S. and NATO.

LaRouche Targets London

Then on March 29, suicide bombers carried out two attacks on the Moscow subway system, killing 38 people and injuring 100. Russian security services linked the attacks, as well as follow-on attacks in the North Caucasus region, to Chechen-based terrorists, who are part of the global apparatus bankrolled by the Afghan opium and heroin trade.

LaRouche identified the strategic objectives behind the terrorist attacks on Russia, in a statement on March 31: “Based on the facts presented, from what we believe to be competent sources, this is a threat to the Russian people, in order to demonstrate that the Russian government cannot protect the people. It’s an attempt to discredit the Russian government, and show its vulnerability. I am looking at complicity, behind the scenes, by British intelligence.

“This is not a couple of loose nuts. This action has a mission orientation. That mission is to discredit the government’s ability to provide security, and it is particularly aimed at Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways.”

Indeed, the recent attacks come from the same Caucasus-based Anglo/Saudi-sponsored networks, funded by the Afghan opium trade, who were responsible for the November 2009 bombing of the Moscow-St. Petersburg Nevsky Express Train.

In the wake of the U.S. and NATO rejection of the Ivanov proposal, and particularly the Moscow subway bombings, the Russian government has responded with appropriate anger. Moscow knows perfectly well that the refusal of the Obama Administration to move against the Afghan opium trade guarantees that the terrorist networks targeting Russia will have the logistical and financial support to continue their destabilization.

LaRouche characterized the Obama policy, particularly following the President’s Kabul visit, as a radical “phase shift” in the global strategic situation. Coming just days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton successfully completed year-long negotiations with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on a nuclear arms reduction treaty, President Obama’s Kabul trip and the associated refusal to take on the Afghan opium apparatus, represented sabotage of the potential for U.S.-Russian cooperation, a potential that cannot be repaired so long as President Obama remains in office.

While the nuclear arms reduction treaty is still scheduled to be signed in Washington in the coming days, the damage has been done.

GOP Psycho-Sexual Impotence

To be sure, the U.S. government’s policy of de facto support for the Afghan opium apparatus did not begin with of President Obama. Successive U.S. administrations, going back to 1979, have either boosted the Afghan opium trade, or turned a blind eye to its presence. When the George W. Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld explicitly rejected proposals from some of his top military commanders to wipe out the opium trade.

Under the U.S. occupation, the Afghan opium business skyrocketed, to the point that, as of 2007, Afghanistan was producing 95% of the world’s opium and heroin. In 2007 alone, Afghanistan produced 8,200 metric tons of opium, 160% of world consumption!

LaRouche noted: “The Afghan opium and heroin trade, which is synonymous with the Taliban insurgency, is not entirely new. While the current White House policy of collusion with the Afghan drug lords demands that President Obama be sent to early retirement, it is equally the case that the Bush Administration followed the same disastrous recipe. As the result, the Republican Party is completely impotent, to fight against President Obama’s Afghan treachery. The Bush legacy hangs around their neck.”

An Open Secret

In March 2009, Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan—and a former business partner of drug legalizer George Soros—announced that the Obama Administration was abandoning all efforts at opium eradication in Afghanistan, claiming that the program was “inefficient,” “costly,” and was driving Afghan farmers into the arms of the Taliban. While Holbrooke was echoing the longstanding British policy of sabotaging any meaningful anti-narcotics effort in Afghanistan, evidence was accumulating that the Afghan opium trade was the lifeblood of the Taliban and allied insurgencies, and that any counterinsurgency strategy that did not start with its eradication was doomed to fail miserably.

Several months after the Holbrooke announcement, the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), a Congressionally established and publicly funded research agency, published a 36-page dossier, “How Opium Profits the Taliban,” by Gretchen Peters, which spelled out how the Taliban had evolved into a narcotics cartel. From the local level to the Taliban top leadership, widely believed to be operating out of Quetta, Pakistan, near the Afghan border, the insurgency is now synonymous with the narcotics trade.

And with that total integration, a level of brutality, previously not seen, has taken hold. Peters, a former ABC News correspondent in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the author of a 2009 book on the Taliban and the Afghan opium trade, wrote: “The drug economy brings an increased level of brutality—a viciousness that seems far more senseless to many who live under it…. The Taliban, which used to ban TV entirely, began releasing a grisly video series showing their fighters beheading men they accused of spying for the Americans. It culminated in an April release featuring a knife-wielding child executioner who looked barely 12 years old. There were also reports of Taliban soldiers gouging out eyes or gutting enemies they captured in battle.”

In her USIP study, Peters wrote: “Opium has long played a supporting role in the Afghan conflict, and today the drug trade has moved to center stage. Not only have narcotics corrupted the Afghan government, they have also begun to transform—through deepening ties between insurgents and drug traffickers along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border—the nature of the insurgency from one based on ideology to one increasingly driven by profit. Insurgent commanders from the district level up to the top leadership have expanded their involvement vertically through the drug trade…. As the core Taliban in the south and other extremist groups such as al-Qaeda have become more closely tied to crime along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, levels of violence have increased. Additionally, insurgents have diversified into other criminal activities, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion, and, in some areas, human trafficking. The more complex the criminal networks become, the more difficult it will be for the coalition of foreign forces in Afghanistan to fight them.”

Opium Politics

The Peters USIP study was based exclusively on publicly available material, and on interviews with scores of Afghan eyewitnesses to the transformation of the Taliban into a narco-terrorist organization, in the mold of the Colombian FARC or the Peruvian Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso).

An even more widely circulated profile of the Taliban and the Afghan opium and heroin trade appeared on March 30, 2010 in, written by Alfred McCoy, author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972).

McCoy began his exposé with a devastating account of the U.S. military mission in Helmand Province, the center of the Afghan opium enterprise:

“After a year of cautious debate and costly deployments, President Obama finally launched his new Afghan war strategy at 2:40 am on February 13, 2010, in a remote market town called Marja in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. As a wave of helicopters descended on Marja’s outskirts spitting up clouds of dust, hundreds of U.S. Marines dashed through fields sprouting opium poppies toward the town’s mud-walled compounds.

“After a week of fighting, U.S. war commander Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal choppered into town with Afghanistan’s vice-president and Helmand’s provincial governor. Their mission: a media roll-out for the general’s new-look counterinsurgency strategy based on bringing government to remote villages just like Marja.

“At a carefully staged meet-and-greet with some 200 villagers, however, the vice-president and provincial governor faced some unexpected, unscripted anger. ‘If they come with tractors,’ one Afghan widow announced to a chorus of supportive shouts from her fellow farmers, ‘they will have to roll over me and kill me before they can kill my poppy.’

“For these poppy growers and thousands more like them, the return of government control, however contested, brought with it a perilous threat: opium eradication.

“Throughout all the shooting and shouting, American commanders seemed strangely unaware that Marja might qualify as the world’s heroin capital—with hundreds of laboratories, reputedly hidden inside the area’s mud-brick houses, regularly processing the local poppy crop into high-grade heroin. After all, the surrounding fields of Helmand Province produce a remarkable 40% of the world’s illicit opium supply, and much of this harvest has been traded in Marja. Rushing through those opium fields to attack the Taliban on Day One of this offensive, the Marines missed their real enemy, the ultimate force behind the Taliban insurgency, as they pursued just the latest crop of peasant guerrillas whose guns and wages are funded by those poppy plants.”

McCoy’s account of the new Obama/McChrystal counterinsurgency doctrine graphically exposed the folly of the current U.S. strategy. The bulk of the report, however, catalogued the consequences of a 30-year war, waged on Afghan soil, which transformed a once-stable, remote agricultural nation into the world’s opium field. As the normal economic life of the nation was disrupted, the farmers found themselves at the mercy of the opium lords, who in many cases forced them to produce at the point of a gun.

When the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996, Afghanistan was already producing 75% of the world’s opium. The Taliban regime collected an estimated $100 million a year in revenue from taxes on the government-sanctioned opium crop. Heroin labs in and around the city of Jalalabad boosted the Taliban’s take.

McCoy reported:

“During the 1990s, Afghanistan’s soaring opium harvest fueled an international smuggling trade that tied Central Asia, Russia and Europe into a vast illicit market of arms, drugs and money-laundering. It also helped fuel an eruption of ethnic insurgency across a 3,000-mile swath of land from Uzbekistan in Central Asia to Bosnia in the Balkans.”

In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Omar ordered a ban on opium production, for reasons that are still hotly debated. Almost overnight, poppy production, and with it, the Afghan economy, collapsed—by 94%.

The temporary rift between the Taliban and the legions of opium lords who had secured the group’s consolidation of power in Kabul, benefitted the Bush Administration, in October 2001, when Bush launched the invasion of Afghanistan, to overthrow the Taliban and drive al-Qaeda, literally, underground. Opium lords who had prospered under Taliban rule prior to July 2000, lined up behind the Bush-Cheney invasion, and by the end of the first year of the U.S. occupation, opium production had soared back up to 3,400 metric tons. By 2007, Afghanistan was producing 93% of the world’s opium, estimated by the UN at 8,200 metric tons.

The Generals Speak

If journalists like Peters and McCoy are capable of documenting the true state of affairs, where is the U.S. government?

Not all of America’s top military commanders have adopted General McChrystal’s “Made-in-London” mantra that the U.S./NATO coalition must first defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda military forces, before taking on the opium trade. Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.), who served President Bill Clinton as head of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, has conducted a series of fact-finding missions to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and has published his reports in memoranda to Col. Michael Meese of West Point.

General McCaffrey’s latest mission to Afghanistan was in November 2009. His December 5, 2009 report featured the following blunt assessment of the opium plague in Afghanistan and its implications for the U.S. mission there:

“The $3.4 billion opium crop of 7,700 metric tons (2008) produces weapons and supplies for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, corrupts the police and civil authorities, diverts land from food (two million drug workers) and has addicted a significant percentage of the population. Left unaddressed—the heroin menace will defeat our strategic goals in this campaign.

“Afghanistan is now the most damaged narco-state on the face of the earth. There are at least 920,000 drug users causing abject misery among widows, orphans, the unemployed, the poor. A new UN study will soon suggest there may be as many as two million drug users….

“The current notion that we can ignore the growers as simple farmers trying to survive—and focus our counter-drug strategy only on law enforcement against the cartels—is painfully naive. These huge criminal Afghan heroin operations if not defeated will corrupt legal governance, addict the population, distort the economy, and funnel immense resources to the Taliban and terrorist groups.

“The solution is three-pronged. First, work on alternative livelihood agricultural crops. Second, have the Afghan political leadership confront the opium issue as un-Islamic and one that destroys their culture. Third, destroy the crops. Without the last—nothing will work [emphasis added].”

Adm. James Stavridis, the current head of the U.S. European Command and the NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR), has echoed McCaffrey’s assessment, and delivered a de facto endorsement of Russian anti-narcotics chief Ivanov’s warning that the terrorist threat across all of Eurasia is inextricably tied to the Afghan opium and heroin trade.

Addressing a conference of American ambassadors from the Black Sea region at his Stuttgart, Germany headquarters on April 1, Stavridis declared, “When I look at the [Caucasus region] in general, as we see with the recent subway bombings … I’m worried about that as a zone of terrorism.” As reported in Stars and Stripes on April 3

“During Thursday’s conference, Stavridis and his diplomatic counterparts looked for ways to better coordinate efforts to promote cooperation in the region. The flow of narcotics, particularly heroin from Afghanistan, human trafficking, and weapons smuggling, are some of the factors that contribute to growing instability in an area where regional rivalries have historically limited cooperation.

“For instance, he said, more needs to be done regarding heroin flowing into the region from Afghanistan. Stavridis said that heroin is to blame for the deaths of some 30,000 Russians last year between the ages of 18-24. ‘That in and of itself is a humanitarian disaster,’ Stavridis said. ‘And the profit and the money from that goes right back to the Taliban in Afghanistan.’ Heroin made from Afghanistan poppy crops generates from $100 to $400 million each year for the insurgency.”

Admiral Stavridis focussed on the need for greater American-Russian cooperation, including on Afghan drug production and its consequences across Eurasia.

The Heart of the Beast

LaRouche today called for an immediate and massive American eradication program, to replace the failed McChrystal “counterinsurgency” strategy. “Bomb the poppy fields now,” launch a full-spectrum war on drugs, including to top-down elimination of such British offshore dirty-money havens as Dubai and the Cayman Islands. “It is the British opium war policy, now targeting all of Eurasia and all of the Americas, to sustain an already hopelessly bankrupt British offshore financial empire, that is the true enemy.”

LaRouche warned that the global dope trade and the flows of dirty money are the lifeblood of the London-centered financial system. “London will react desperately the moment they see the United States and Russia working together to take down their dope empire,” he said.

As for the program to defeat and replace Dope, Inc., LaRouche presented it concretely in 1985, when he outlined a 15-point war plan.[1]

LaRouche warned, in the current context, that London is already putting in place an option of assassinating President Obama, as a means of throwing the United States into chaos. He also warned that the United States and Russia, in combination, must deliver an unmistakable, preemptive message to Israel: Under no circumstances are you to attack Iran. London’s other chaos option is to get Israel to bomb Iran, creating an even bigger global disaster.

“Only a strong alliance between Washington and Moscow,” he said, “which would be instantly joined by both China and India, can bring down the British offshore financial empire of drug money, terrorism, and unbridled speculation. That is why President Barack Obama, who has shown himself so far to be a pawn of the British financial interests, must be removed from office, through prescribed Constitutional means.”

[Byline Jeffrey Steinberg]
Copyright Schiller Institute, Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved
Accessed on 14 December 2017

See Also

Profile: McCaffrey, Barry

“Show me the man and I will show you the crime” — Witch Hunts, Trotskyism, and Stalinist Tactics…

Access any media outlet for recent updates.

Communist Programming

Case in Point – USA Today: Trump is ‘not fit to clean the toilets’ at Obama’s presidential library

If you said a man would do anything for donations, no one would assume you were saying he was a literal whore. The fact that that’s where some people’s minds go says more about their sexism than about Trump. And USA Today seems to have missed the massive Clinton team effort to say exactly the same thing only a lot meaner by the Clinton team just a couple of weeks ago when Gillibrand briefly left the plantation and criticized Bill Clinton for his sexual assault allegations. Notice how USA Today doesn’t include Bill Clinton in the contrast.

And talk about offensive, such an attack on a president whether you like his politics or not is extremely unseemly and completely unprofessional. – Weasel Zippers

Trotskyism, a Marxist ideology based on the theory of permanent revolution first expounded by Leon Trotsky (1879–1940), one of the leading theoreticians of the Russian Bolshevik Party and a leader in the Russian Revolution. Trotskyism was to become the primary theoretical target of Stalinism in Russian Communist circles in the 1920s and 1930s. […]

The development of the Soviet Union’s productive forces was controlled by the Communist Party, which in the 1920s was becoming increasingly bureaucratized. Trotsky in 1924 launched an attack on the bureaucracy, the so-called Bolshevik Old Guard. He called for more democracy outside and within the party, which meant more dependence on the rank and file workers at their plants and within the party cells. He opposed the conception of a monolithic party and called for more freedom for various trends of thought as long as they adhered generally to the party program.


Encyclopædia Britannica (edited)
Accessed on 14 December 2017

Wait there’s more …

The show trials that took place in Stalin’s USSR had a very specific purpose for Stalin. The show trials were not held in secret but were, as their title suggests, in the open with foreign journalists invited and were there to prove to those in the USSR who were interested that ‘enemies of the state’ still existed despite the ‘Red Terror’ and that state leaders such as Stalin were at risk. There is little doubt that those who faced a show trial were going to be found guilty and they served the main purpose of Stalin – to get rid of anyone who might be a potential rival to him as leader.

The excuse, if one was needed, that sparked off the purges and the show trials was the murder of Seigei Kirov. He was the Bolshevik Party’s leader in Leningrad and many believed that he would succeed Stalin on his death. However, Kirov faced several huge problems – he was popular with the people (more popular than Stalin?), good looking and very good at his job. Such a man brought Stalin’s paranoia or jealousy to the surface. It could be the case that Stalin felt threatened by the young man in Leningrad but they always went on summer holiday together which indicates the opposite. However, Kirov was someone who was willing to stand up to Stalin and argue against what he wanted even in public. He may have been, in the mind of Stalin, a party functionary but he was his own independent thinker and not someone who agreed with Stalin simply because it was Stalin. Kirov was also a man who was not scared to voice his beliefs in public.

(Edited excerpt)  Read more…

[Citation: C N Trueman, “The Show Trials in the USSR”]
The History Learning Site, 25 May 2015.  Accessed on 14 December 2017

See Also

Robert Mueller Adopts Stalinist Tactics

The Moscow Purge Trials (1936-38): Selected Links & Bibliography

Wake up America!

Biological Health Hazard – Leptospirosis Outbreak (Public Health Threat): Thailand

Thailand: Leptospirosis sickens eight in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Map of Thailand

Map of Thailand based on a UN map. Source: UN Cartographic Section via Nations Online Project.

The Director General of the Department of Disease Control is advising the public to avoid flood waters after eight people contracted the bacterial infection, leptospirosis, in Nakhon Si Thammarat province in southern Thailand, according to a Krob Krua Kao report (computer translated).

In addition, the Director advises people to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms like fever and body aches.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by the corkscrew shaped organism, Leptospira. It goes by several other names depending on the locale; mud fever, swamp fever, sugar cane and Fort Bragg fever, among others. It is a disease of both humans and animals.

The rat is the main host to Leptospira. However, other animals such as cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals can carry the bacterium.

People become infected by direct or indirect contact with the urine of these animals. Contact with urine-contaminated water is extremely important. Contaminated food and soil containing animal urine are other potential sources of infection.

The bacterium enters through contact with skin. Especially through cuts or breaks in the skin and through mucous membranes like the eyes.

Found worldwide, it was long considered an occupational disease (miners, farming, vets, and sugarcane harvesting and sewer workers), it is increasingly associated with recreational water sports and camping.

Symptoms of leptospirosis, if present,  appear in up to 4 weeks after exposure. Sometimes the person will show no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.

According to the CDC, Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure (jaundice) or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.

Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample.

The infection can be treated with antibiotics (penicillin and doxycycline), especially if started early in the disease. For very ill patients, intensive care support and IV antibiotic may be necessary.

According to the Thai Bureau of Epidemiology, from Jan. 1 through Dec. 11, there has been 3257 cases reported from 66 provinces, including 59 fatalities.

[Byline Robert Herriman]

13 December 2017
Outbreak News Today

Biological Health Hazard – Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV infection outbreak): Mexico

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus have increased by 900 percent so far this winter season [2017-18] in Mexico.

Published Date: 2017-12-11 10:35:01
Subject: PRO/EDR> Respiratory syncytial virus – Mexico: case surge
Archive Number: 20171211.5492478

Date: Thu 7 Dec 2017
Source: Contramuro [in Spanish, trans. Mod.MPP]

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus have increased by 900 percent so far this winter season [2017-18] in Mexico. According to the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), they have treated 100 people to date this season, whereas during the entire year last year [2016] they reported only 10 cases. The respiratory syncytial virus is the causative factor of diseases such as pneumonia

The INER indicated that they do not have accurate and precise statistics at the national level, but they have noted that this virus and _Pneumococcus_ [bacteria] are the most frequent causes of respiratory diseases during the winter season.

Among the symptoms seen are those similar to those of a common cold, such as fever, joint and muscle pain, as well as cough, difficulty breathing, and whistling when breathing [wheezing]. These symptoms can occur both in children and adults, so the absence of treatment can trigger serious problems, such as bronchitis or more severe respiratory symptoms that can even lead to death. The respiratory syncytial virus can be easily transmitted from one person to another, by direct contact [including shaking hands] or by touching infected objects [such as door-knobs, etc.]

Hence, one should avoid crowds, being near smokers or smoking. If you are suffering any disease, you should cover your mouth. In the case of young children, they can contract it through contact with toys or surfaces that have been infected with the virus. The INER recommends washing hands frequently and not sharing eating utensils, so the spread of the virus can be prevented.

During the current winter season no deaths have been reported. At the moment there is no vaccine against this virus; there is only one treatment available that relies on passive immunization, through administration of a monoclonal antibody. During the winter season there is a 20 percent increase in the number of patients seen by INER for respiratory issues. Hence, the Institute is calling for the population, especially children less than 5 years of age to be protected.

Communicated by:

[The report above does not specify the age groups that are effected; RSV associated illness is generally self limiting, but the virus is associated with serious outcomes, especially in infants and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults (

Despite the recognized importance of RSV as a cause of respiratory illness, the information regarding the epidemiology of this virus in Latin America, particularly among adults, is limited.

In a cohort study at 5 hospitals in Mexico City and one in San Luis Potosí from 2010-14, conducted by the Mexican Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network (La Red), out of final sample size of 5629 subjects there were 570 (10.7 percent) cases with RSV infection.

The study also reported a distinct seasonality with increased number of cases in fall and winter months ( The study also reported nearly 5 percent cases with RSV infections were adults, highlighting the importance of this pathogen in adult respiratory illness.

It is important to understand that there is a considerable overlap in the influenza and RSV seasons, and the interest in RSV etiology for pneumonias, particularly in adults, is fairly recent. Further studies can help evaluate the individual and cumulative impact of these 2 pathogens and guide appropriate planning and vaccination policies once an RSV vaccine also becomes available. – Mod.UBA

HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Mexico:]

See Also

Respiratory syncytial virus – Chile 20170829.5282054
Respiratory syncytial virus – UK: (Scotland) fatal, nosocomial, cancer hospital 20170111.4756273

Respiratory syncytial virus – Thailand: (NR) 20161028.4589251
Respiratory syncytial virus – USA (02): (IL) increased incidence 20160317.4100041
Respiratory syncytial virus – USA: (WI) increased prevalence, RFI 20160224.4047554
and other items in the archives

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Nuclear Event – (Manual Reactor Scram) Unanalyzed Condition, Hot Shutdown: Clinton Power Station, Unit 1, Illinois

North America – USA | State of Illinois, Clinton Power Station, Unit 1
Location: 40°10’20.0″N 88°50’06.0″W
Present Operational Age: ~30 years

Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) – RPS ACTUATION – CRITICAL
50.72(b)(3)(v)(C) – POT UNCNTRL RAD REL
50.72(b)(3)(ii)(B) – UNANALYZED CONDITION
50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) – ACCIDENT MITIGATION

Nuclear Event in USA on Saturday, 09 December 2017 at 13:48 [CST].


“At approximately 1347 [CST] on 12/09/17, the Main Control Room received annunciators that indicated a trip of the 4160 V 1A1 breaker 1AP07EJ, 480V XFMR 1A and A1 breaker. Numerous Division 1 components lost power (powered from unit subs 1A and A1). The Division 1 containment Instrument Air isolation valves had failed closed by design due to the loss of power. Due to the loss of containment instrument air, several control rods began to drift into the core as expected and, by procedure, the reactor mode switch was placed in the shutdown position at 1353 [CST]. All control rods fully inserted.

“Also due to the loss of power, the Fuel Building ventilation dampers failed closed by design. With the normal ventilation system secured, secondary containment differential pressure rose to slightly greater than 0 inches water gauge which exceeded the Technical Specification requirement of greater than 0.25 inches vacuum water gauge at 1348 [CST]. The Control Room entered EOP-8, Secondary Containment Control. Secondary Containment differential pressure was restored within Technical Specification requirements at 1351 [CST] by starting the Division 2 Standby Gas Treatment system.

“This event is being reported as a manual actuation of the Reactor Protection System (RPS) and as a Condition that Could Have Prevented Fulfillment of a Safety Function.

“The cause is currently under investigation. The NRC Resident has been notified.”

The licensee informed the NRC Resident Inspector.


“During a review of plant logs it was identified that the primary to secondary containment differential pressure was identified to be outside of Technical Specification limits of 0 plus or minus 0.25 psid at 2009 on 12/9/17 due to the primary containment ventilation system dampers closing as a result of the loss of power. This parameter is an initial safety analysis assumption to ensure that primary containment pressures remain within the design values during a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). As a result, this condition is reportable as an unanalyzed condition that significantly degrades plant safety.

“The NRC Senior Resident Inspector has been notified.”

Notified the R3DO (Stone).


“During the post transient review of the trip of the 4160 V 1A1 breaker 1AP07EJ, 480V XFMR 1A and A1, it was identified that the unplanned INOPERABILITY of the Low Pressure Core Spray (LPCS) system due to the loss of power to the injection valve constitutes an event or condition that could have prevented fulfillment of a safety function and is reportable under 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) for Accident Mitigation. The High Pressure Core Spray (HPCS) remained available to perform the core spray function, if necessary, during a design basis Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA), however HPCS and LPCS are each considered single train safety systems.

“The NRC Senior Resident Inspector has been notified.”

Notified the R3DO (Stone).

Source: NRC  Event Number: 53110

Nuclear Event – Manual Reactor Trip – Multiple dropped control rods: Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (Unit 2), Tennessee

North America – USA | State of Tennessee, Rhea County, Spring City, Watts Bar Nuclear Plant
Location: 35°36’10.0″N 84°47’22.0″W
Site Operational Age: ~32 years

Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) – RPS ACTUATION – CRITICAL

Nuclear Event in USA on Monday, 11 December, 2017 at 08:57 [EST].


“While operating at 97% power, the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor was manually tripped at 0857 EST on December 11, 2017 due to multiple dropped control rods. All control and shutdown bank rods inserted properly in response to the manual reactor trip. All safety systems including Auxiliary Feedwater actuated as designed. The plant is stable with decay heat removal through Auxiliary Feedwater and the Steam Dump System.

“The cause of the dropped rods is being investigated.

“The manual actuation of the Reactor Protection System (RPS) is being reported as a four hour report under 10 CFR 50.72 (b)(2)(iv)(B). The actuation of the Auxiliary Feedwater System (an engineered safety feature) is being reported as an eight hour report under 10 CFR 50.72 (b)(3)(iv)(A).

“The NRC Senior Resident Inspector has been notified for this event.”

No safety or relief valves lifted during this event.

Source: NRC  Event Number:  53112