58 318 = COVID-19 = Vietnam

(courtesy of Na Zhu et al., & John Huotari)

58 318 names appear on the Washington Wall, those who died or remain missing. Others are excluded, at the request of family. And 14 are clerical errors: they survived the war.

https://www.nps.gov/vive/learn/historyculture/vvmoverview.htm & https://books.google.com/books?id=DFXOaOQE-5gC (Patrick Hagopian, The Vietnam War in American Memory: Veterans, Memorials, and the Politics of Healing, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst), 2009, page 474, note 44)

This figure is slightly different from the 58 220 provided by the Department for Perpetual Peace & Freedom, the DOD.

https://dcas.dmdc.osd.mil/dcas/pages/report_vietnam_sum.xhtml (Defense Casualty Analysis System, maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center)

War data are notoriously inexact, & not always made public. Similarly, problems arise in attributing death to a new disease. Nevertheless, trusted sources say the last 58 001 COVID-19 deaths have occurred since Sa21Mar. So not decades or years, but 38 days, 5½ weeks, at the rate of >10 001 deaths a week. Not exactly the message coming daily from the Bleach House.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html & https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-daily-covid-deaths?country=USA (hover over the datum point)



In Vietnam, the highest annual US deaths was 16 899, in the momentous year of 1968. That works out at 47 a day. Just last weekend, COVID-19 daily death was ~2 001 (three-day rolling average). That’s a difference of x~40. To repeat: the recent daily death rate for COVID-19 is x40 that for the worst year in Vietnam – for Amerikans that is.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus, did the 1968 work of the ‘VC’ in just the last eight days (Tu21 thru Tu28Apr). The shortest time it’s taken is six days, from each of M13, Tu14, & W15Apr.

https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics#date & https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/daily-covid-deaths-3-day-average (hover over a datum point)



Amerikans were not the only foreigners who died defending US capitalist imperialism: there were also New Zealanders, Australians, South Koreans, Taiwanese, Filipinos, Thais, Laotians, & Cambodians. A different sort of International Brigade, one could say. LBJ even asked Harold Wilson, the Labour Party prime minister of the UK, to join the invasion; a right-wing social democrat who leant to the centre, he quickly & firmly declined the offer. The ‘special relationship’ isn’t as solidarian as usually touted.



And the invisible in Constitution Gardens, the presence of absence? Estimates vary, & the wider context is the maintenance & break-up of French Indochina, & its aftermath. Think of 4 000 001. Then think again, & feel. Then act.

https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/336/7659/1482.full.pdf (co-authored by Chris Murray, at Seattle’s Washington University, the COVID-19 modeller continually cited by Fauci & Birx).

Another Vietnam connection with COVID-19 concerns Jonathan Van-Tam, a frequent official spokesman for the UK government. He’s the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, & former influenza & vaccine man with SmithKline Beecham, Roche, & Sanofi. It just so happens that his grandfather was the second-longest serving prime minister of the 1949-55 French puppet state in Vietnam before the US took over, & his uncle was the only head of that state’s armed forces.



Daniel Borgström is a dogged KPFA Local Station Board listener-delegate. He’s fond, & rightly so, of a personal vignette. It’s striking like a haiku, & there’s no better advocacy for Pacifica:

When people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps (at age 18, back in 1959), I tell them, “Because where I grew up there was no KPFA or Pacifica Radio affiliate.”

2Oct2017, http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/2017/10/kpfas-antiwar-voice.html


The pics:

• Images of SARS-CoV-2 virions (complete virus) & particles: Na Zhu et al., ‘A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China 2019’, New England Journal of Medicine, 382, 8, 20Feb2020, p. 731 (e-published 24Jan2020 – article updated 29Jan). The quasi-spherical virion has a diameter of 60-140nm, nanometres (pp. 730-1). Think of a millimetre, mm; divide it into a thousand, that’s a micrometre, μm (formerly termed a micron); within this, end-to-end, one can fit ~7-16 virions.


A digression on the matter of size. Can a SARS-CoV-2 virion pass through the filter of a N95 respirator? It’s very unlikely. (I haven’t seen a paper estimating what proportion gets thru, let alone, crucially, what’s the minimum viral load sufficient for infection.) The N95’s specification is having a 95% probability of stopping a particle of ≥0.3μm (300nm). (N95 = neutralises 95%; its European counterpart is FFP2, filtering face piece, which has a 94% rating.) But as the virion is less than half this size, even a quarter, won’t it sail thru? No. And the reason is perhaps surprising.

The rating standard of a respirator (more precisely its filter) is in terms of a particle of 0.3μm for a crucial reason: it’s the MPPS, the most penetrating particle size, in conditions other than a vacuum. And that’s the clue: Brownian motion. The virion, or the particle it’s on or the droplet it’s on or in, collides with air atoms or molecules, even before it reaches the respirator. And the filter is multi-layered: its barrier isn’t a simple sieve. It means any penetrating pathway is tortuous. So for the combination of air & filter, particles <0.3μm are largely diffused, & those >0.3μm are largely blocked. It just so happens that in air, the smallest sized particle avoiding Brownian motion is ~0.3μm: this makes it the MPPS for an air filter. And that’s why the rating standard is pitched where it is.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170005166.pdf (May2016; NASA research paper, albeit not independently peer-reviewed), & https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/409903O/respiratory-protection-against-biohazards.pdf (Apr2020; research paper by 3M (surprise, surprise), again not independently peer-reviewed); https://fastlifehacks.com/n95-vs-ffp/ (3Feb2020, updated 22Apr; dodgy-sounding URL, but useful), & https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/what-is-pm0-3-why-important/

Windrock Coal Miners Memorial Wall, Union Valley Baptist Church, Windrock Road, Windrock, Oliver Springs, Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Tennessee (gratitude to the photographer, John Huotari). Over a 1 000 miners remembered, 13 of whom died at work. Memorial cost ~$7 000. Six years in the planning & funding. Dedicated Sa17May2014. The longest continuously worked TN coalmine, 1904-1960. Union Valley . . . Baptist church . . . the names of the ex-miners present read out by the former manager (so not a union man yes, Union Valley refers to the Southern rebellion) . . . on 8Nov2016, TN voted Trump 61%, over 1.5m, winning 92 of the 95 counties (losing Memphis, Nashville, & Brownsville); Anderson County, where the mine was, 65%. Further into the hills, Trump was in the low 80s. As context, an excellent study of rule over workers & their families was made in a contiguous county, 40 miles to the north-east, in the Clear Fork valley: John Gaventa, Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley, Clarendon Press (Oxford), 1980 (link below for either viewing the PDF online or downloading it).

https://oakridgetoday.com/2014/05/18/photos-windrock-coal-miners-memorial/ & https://mega.nz/file/30oCBQqJ#troqF4UR3OpbWewlnaBP9QHixCfRXswfWdfMwdrHPYc

John Gaventa, a Tennessean, first degree at Vanderbilt in Nashville, doctorate at Oxford, lecturer at UT Knoxville, then headed the Highlander Research and Education Center (formerly the Highlander Folk School), 1993-6, before returning to the UK, to the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton. The HREC’s main office, a wooden building, was burnt to the ground, F29Mar2019, in a suspected arson attack by fascists of the ilk of Heimbach’s Traditionalist Worker Party, which had been active in nearby Knoxville: https://knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2019/04/03/christchurch-shooter-used-racist-symbol-found-at-highland-center-fire-iron-guard/3347678002/ (by Travis Dorman). On a philanthropic note, linked here is a video about the 1974-6 joint Appalachian-south Wales coalfields project he did with pioneering sociologist Helen Lewis & cinematographer Richard Greatrex: https://southernspaces.org/2015/keep-your-eye-upon-scale/.

Shell-shocked invader, Hue, 1968 (photographer: the incomparable Don McCullin);

US invaders kidnap blindfolded & bound Vietnamese girl and mother & child (photographer: unknown witness at a crime scene);

just another day’s work for the A-109 Special Forces killers, Thuong Duc, Jan1967 (US state archive; photographer: unknown witness at a crime scene);

just another day’s work (camera operators: unknown witnesses at multiple crime scenes).


Chris Albertson died one year ago

Chris Albertson, WBAI studios, 1965 (photographer: Sam Falk, New York Times)

Chris died a year ago today.


His blogs, that are still maintained:


Two of his obituaries:

https://jazztimes.com/features/tributes-and-obituaries/jazz-and-blues-historian-chris-albertson-dies-at-87/ (written by Michael West)

PacificoroniaWorld goes a lil more coronia: but why hasn’t WBAI’s x5 a week ‘Going Viral’ gone network?

. . . invisible virus . . . invisible enablers . . . invisible island . . .

(Nina Bernstein, ‘Unearthing the secrets of New York’s mass graves’, New York Times, 15May2016)

Just over six long weeks ago, on Tu10Mar, New York State had 173 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 108 were in Westchester County, all in New Rochelle. It’s just beyond the Bronx, within sight of Hart Island. Hart Island. As was said of something else way back in 1848, ein Gespenst, a spectre. Home of a million people, corpses, neatly arranged in unmarked trenches, watched over until last year by the NYC Dept of Correction, a nice lil earner, an economic opportunity, Rikers prisoners used, at 50¢ the hour in 2016, to dispose of the city’s unwanted. Public service at its best.


(superbly written by Nina Bernstein; a chilling section is on the NYC corpse market;

has three embedded vids)

In the same cold vein, we have the quality of decision-making by Governor Cuomo. He thought he had to do something about the New Rochelle case cluster, so on Tu10Mar he imposed some restrictions on the humans roaming about. But fair being fair, Andrew the Cuomo gave Viro the Virus some leeway, letting the measures come into force two days later, on the Thursday. Fair’s fair. Even Viro has rights in the land of the free. After all, it wasn’t as though anything was at stake, something urgent, some sort of public emergency. As NYS Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker said, sitting alongside Cuomo at the daily media briefing, & spreading the sugar, “we believe that the risk generally to New Yorkers is low”. Note that his NYS Dept of Health participated in the major 2019 Crimson Contagion simulation that showed how seriously deficient the US system would be in responding to a virus pandemic. Oh.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-accepts-recommendation-state-health-commissioner-new-emergency-measures-contain & https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6824-2019-10-key-findings-and-after/05bd797500ea55be0724/optimized/full.pdf#page=6

Thing is, Viro’s a virus. No cognitive capacity. No sense of reasonableness. Unable to recognise give & take. Viro simply lacked the capacity to wait 48 hours before carrying on doing what a virus does. So carry on it did. Whilst Cuomo waited to apply his measures. Viruses, eh. And the folly of humans. (Not least in accepting a positivist conception of scientific knowledge, especially of a new object.)

While Cuomo was waiting, the next day, W11Mar, the World Health Organization, those pesky globalists, declared that the disease was so wrapped around our mortal coil that it had to be recognised as a pandemic. Oh. Then two days later, F13Mar, the Very Stable Genius declared a national emergency. “Two very big words”, said he, in the Rose Garden, fresh from having kicked around in his playroom these additions to his lexicon.

New Rochelle was a healthcare disaster – for the town, the state, & beyond. The containment attempt failed miserably. This has not been adequately described & explained by any journalist. There were 108 known infected individuals. But what proportion of their ‘close contacts’ was identified, traced (found), & then tested for infection? What proportion of these was infected, subsequently placed in supported & monitored isolation? (If diagnostic tests were unavailable, were those close contacts all placed in supported & monitored quarantine, to use the CDC’s specific jargon?) In turn, what proportion of their identified ‘close contacts’ was tested, etc.? What did the rapid containment force consist in? Why did it fail? Indeed, for the ~20m of the NY Metro Area, was there a pre-existing, well-drilled, coordinated network of rapid response teams for identify-trace-test-isolate/quarantine, ITTIQ (or IFTIQ), the first line in avoiding containment? If not, why? One could go on. By comparison, with no-one to learn from, Wuhan City alone, from 23Jan, the start of the virus-suppression operation, used at least 9 000 field tracers, organised as 1 800 teams of five or more (28Feb WHO report, page 8). Who’s the ‘Third World’ country?

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/ & https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf

Cuomo’s star may be rising, contrasted with the darkening shadow of The Don, but his partial responsibility for the New Rochelle failure remains. And don’t forget, this is the man who decided in January to effectively chop future Medicaid funding for the state’s residents, shovelling responsibility, the cost, onto the cities & counties. Refusing to raise taxes, this was the thrust of his response to NYS’ fiscal crisis, announced 21Jan in his fiscal 2021 plan (year-end 31Mar2021 – the day by which Pacifica has to pay the $3.265m principal to the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC).

Meanwhile, WBAI carried on being WBAI. That was until M30Mar, 20 days after Cuomo’s New Rochelle announcement, when WBAI started a new programme, Going Viral. It broadcasts live each weekday, so now in its fourth week, at 8.45pm EDT (7.45pm CDT, 5.45pm PDT), for roughly 1½ or 2 hours. Helpfully, it’s linked from the homepage of the Pacifica meetings archive, with a ‘button’ to listen live. It also has an archive (there’s no programme for Tu14Apr).

Going Viral is presented by Jim Dingeman, Local Station Board listener-delegate, & it’s obvious from the PNB Programming Cttee he chairs that he’s a wannabe presenter, so this was his chance. Cometh the moment, cometh the man.

It started off a bit rough, made on the fly. And it’s still a bit rough. Not what Maxie Jackson, former ED, would call best practice. It’s a live conference call, with the usual four or five co-presenters all trying to speak over one another, with Otis Maclay, Pacifica’s technician-who-never-sleeps, also being asked what he thinks about the topic in hand. If Michelle were around, she’d be asked for her opinion too. But it’s more civil than the usual PNB meeting, & it is gratifying not to hear the continual grating of a ‘point of point, Madam Chair’, & suchlike.

Going Viral is admittedly a low tech production, but no other Pacifica station runs a COVID programme. So why not ask your local station manager to consider it?

https://kpftx.org/index.php; https://goingviral.news/ & https://goingviral.news/archive/index.php; also, you can drop Jim a line at the email he uses for Pacifica meetings noticing, jimdingeman@yahoo.com

Happy birthday! FJC, looking forward (NYC pun) to their $3.265m from Pacifica, is 25 years old today!

. . . “these amazing heroes”: FJC proudly advertising during the 2014 Gaza Massacre that it acts as a conduit for boosting the morale of enforcers of the colonial military dictatorship over Palestinians; ad in the NYC-area Jewish News, late July/early Aug 2014 . . . when it comes to the crunch, liberalism always breaks down, here with religio-ethnic supremacism trumping individual equality, the equal worth of human groups, & even the imperative of property rights . . .

If you must sing ‘Happy birthday, FJC! / happy birthday, FJC!’, at least repeat for more than 20secs whilst washing your hands in the proper manner, as modelled by Dr Tedros, the world’s fave Ethiopian (his day job is Director-General of one of those globalist elite organisations, the World Health Organization):

Please send celebratory greetings to Lorin Silverman, President & Treasurer of the Foundation for the Jewish Community (FJC), President & Treasurer of the Marty & Dorothy Silverman Foundation (MDSF), founder & President of F. Y. Eye, Inc., & President of National Enterprises Corp.:

fjc@fjc.org & 520 8th Ave, Floor 20, NYC 10018

MDSF: 130 East 59th St, Suite 1102, NYC 10022

info@fy-eye.org & 130 East 59th St, Suite 1102, NYC 10022

National Enterprises Corp.: 130 East 59th St, Floor 11, NYC 10022

SC Group (Silverman Charitable Group): 830 3rd Ave, Floor 6, NYC 10022 & 1501 Lexington Ave, Apt 5T, NYC 10029-7345

FJC don’t let borrowers default: they sell “potentially impaired” loans, without discount, to MDSF. The advertising broker, F. Y. Eye, Inc., has a $37 000 advertising contract with Pacifica, as part of the $3.7m loan. All this is explained in this link, which also has all the loan documents:


FJC, in their latest auditor’s report, year-ending 31Mar2019, had net assets of ~$262m, investment income of $10m ($2.6m from Pacifica & other borrowers via the Agency Loan Fund & possibly other loan arrangements), donors’ contributions of $33m, & disbursed $38m. (ALF generated $3m interest but some, ≥$0.4m, went to outside investors – p. 22 cf. p. 4; pp. 24 & 6 of the PDF.)


MDSF, in their latest 990-PF public filing, year-ending 31July2018, had net assets of ~$447m (fair market value ~$588m), investment income of $15m, interest ‘earnt’ from loans (such as those bought from FJC) of $2.4m, & disbursed $11m (including $10 000 to Forward, $42 366 to Mother Jones, & $76 800 to New Israel Fund).



To F. Y. Eye’s great credit, they have a very informative practical help page for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic – it even has a Chrome extension to watch Netflix with others:

COVID-19: Stay Informed