Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

4/01/2020 BREAKING NEWS: Trump RESIGNS In The Middle Of Coronavirus Briefing.

Apparently he had just submitted his resignation letter to the White House and the rest of the country... on Twitter.

Happy First Day Of April.  This has been my first attempt at this sort of celebration that I can remember.   If it wasn't perfect, it wasn't meant to be.  I used to think the first of April was a cruel, mean-spirited holiday.

I think, as I learned more and more about how this world is put together, I have changed my mind.  A little.  I certainly meant no spirits cruelty, but to liven up the bleakness.

Stay well, stay safe.  Stay alive. 

Keep your head,  and - keep fighting.

Be seeing you.

AWESOME VIDEO: Al Jazeera Presents "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky, Narrated By Amy Goodman, Animated By Pierangelo Pirak


Noam Chomsky - The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine

According to American linguist and political activist, Noam Chomsky, media operate through 5 filters: ownership, advertising, the media elite, flak and the common enemy. 

Follow #MediaTheorised, an online project by Al Jazeera English’s media analysis show The Listening Post 

Facebook: /AJListeningPost
Twitter: @AJListeningPost
Narrated by Amy Goodman, Executive Producer of Democracy Now!
Designed and animated by Pierangelo Pirak

Be seeing you.

San Onofre: Guess They Got Those Radiation Monitors Up And Running Just In Time

"San Oh, No! Fre" - a Faustian Original

On the anniversary of the Japanese Tsunami and Radiological Incident At Fukushima, San Onofre installed shiny new tech to monitor their waste.

San Onofre nuclear plant installs radiation monitoring system

Three monitors feed information directly to the California Department of Public Health’s Radiologic Health Branch, which will post a monthly report on the data to the department’s website for the public to access. The readings will also be sent to California State Parks and the city of San Juan Capistrano. 

 A fourth monitor, located near a parking lot at the plant, has also been installed to provide a baseline reading as a means to compare the data.

Read more

That was three weeks ago.  Now this.

About 7,000 Gallons of Wastewater from SONGS Spills into Pacific
By Shawn Raymundo , San Clemente Times, March 27, 2020

Roughly 7,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater from the sewage treatment facility at the San Onofre power plant was released more than a mile out into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday morning.  According to the Hazardous Materials Spill Report that Southern California Edison filed with the governor’s office on Wednesday, the release of the partially treated sewage was caused by an influx of water at the treatment facility.  SoCal Edison, the owner the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, said the spill, which was released through the plant’s Unit 2 conduit, was a non-radiological release.

Read more

Of course, there is No Harm To Human Health from the recent spill...  We know because a) we are told and b) we believe it.  


Be seeing you.

US Data Shows NINEFOLD Increase In Cancer Risk On Nuclear Ships

"USS Ray-gun."  A Faustian original.

You see, it was a legal ploy to get out of admitting that those aboard the USS Reagan were put in harm's way by coming to the aid of Japan after the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns.  Compare them to other crews aboard other nuclear subs.  It backfired.

by Chris Busby

“Their move was to compare the matched “unexposed” control group with the Ronald Reagan group. There were 30% more cancers in the control group after adjusting for age. But what I did was to compare the control group with the National population, using data on cancer rates by age group from the SEER database…. The result showed an astonishing 9.2-fold excess of cancer in the sailors on nuclear-powered vessels. There were 121 cancers predicted on the basis of the national rates, and 1119 reported by the DTRA study. For the Reagans it was about 6-fold with 46 reported and 7.76 expected. Now this result is astonishing. I wrote my study up for a good scientific peer reviewed journal, and it was published last week…. You can find it on if you can’t afford the journal cost.” 

read more at Counterpunch

by Christopher Busby

"The USA Defense Threat Reduction Agency provided data in 2014 on the health status, including cancer, of the 4,843 sailors on the nuclear-powered United States Ship (USS) Ronald Reagan over the 2.55-year period from May 12, 2011 to Dec 31, 2013. Also provided were data on a matched control group of 65,269US Navy personnel. Examination of the control population relative to the US national data gives a relative risk for all malignancies of RR = 9.2 (95% CI 8.48<9.2<9.96). The result suggests a significant cancer risk associated with serving on a nuclear-powered ship, one which is not predicted by the science underlying current radiation protection legislation."

Be seeing you. 

CORONAVIRUS: "This Is For Real."

Workers from Brooklyn Hospital loading bodies into a refrigerated 18 wheeler. Source: video (below).


For reference, to the right are screenshots of an entrance to Brooklyn Hospital, 155 Ashland Place.

One could say, those are not that many bodies.  To that I say, look at the size of the truck.



Be well.  

Stay well.  

Stay inside.

Be seeing you.

US Coronavirus: Listen To This. Now.

(Original title: "Contaigous Crossroads: Close Cutting Coronavirus Critique Catalogs Careless Calumny's Cruel Consequences, Champions Creativity, Caution, Common-Sense Compliance"*)

Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United States will know someone who has been infected. Like World War II or the 9/11 attacks, this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon the nation’s psyche.
The first paragraph.

Full text is in the audio below.   LISTEN TO IT. 

It is important.  (Crucial, I would say, given the title….)*

I have included the first paragraph in its entirety, above, after which I am posting a short overview summary of the transcript, below, written by my laptop (yes, you read that right, 'by').  For your convenience.  In case it helps you in your task to convince other people to listen. (Didn't I hear you say you wanted to do that?)  Just make sure all of you maintain six feet social distance....

Funny how that is the same recommended distance of feet of earth above you when you are buried...

Whatever you do, please:


How the Pandemic Will End:
The U.S. may end up with the worst 
COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. 
This is how it’s going to play out.

Joan Wong — Story by Ed Yong — March 25, 2020

A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable... 

...Rich, strong, developed, America is supposed to be the readiest of nations. That illusion has been shattered. Despite months of advance warning as the virus spread in other countries, when America was finally tested by COVID-19, it failed.

...Instead, a health-care system that already runs close to full capacity, and that was already challenged by a severe flu season, was suddenly faced with a virus that had been left to spread, untracked, through communities around the country.

...Those tests have been slow to arrive because of five separate shortages: of masks to protect people administering the tests; of nasopharyngeal swabs for coll
ecting viral samples; of extraction kits for pulling the virus’s genetic material out of the samples; of chemical reagents that are part of those kits; and of trained people who can give the tests. 

...Instead, Trump has repeatedly played down the problem, telling America that “we have it very well under control” when we do not, and that cases were “going to be down to close to zero” when they were rising. 

...If Trump stays the course, if Americans adhere to social distancing, if testing can be rolled out, and if enough masks can be produced, there is a chance that the country can still avert the worst predictions about COVID-19, and at least temporarily bring the pandemic under control. 

...But it would also come at a terrible cost: SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and fatal than the flu, and it would likely leave behind many millions of corpses and a trail of devastated health systems....

...It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. 

...Inequalities will widen: People with low incomes will be hardest-hit... Diseases have destabilized cities and societies many times over, “but it hasn’t happened in this country in a very long time, or to quite the extent that we’re seeing now,” says Elena Conis, a historian of medicine at UC Berkeley. 

...Health-care workers will take time to heal: One to two years after SARS hit Toronto, people who dealt with the outbreak were still less productive and more likely to be experiencing burnout and post-traumatic stress. 

...But “there is also the potential for a much better world after we get through this trauma,” says Richard Danzig of the Center for a New American Security. ...

Listen to the full report, above
or read more -- this was merely a tease -- and, unlike here, includes hyperlinks --
This story is parrt of The Atlantic's Covid-19 Pandemic Coverage.

In any event, I set the summarize software on the least detailed setting on purpose. 

This is to make you listen to the audio or, if you really prefer reading a transcript (& let me say again, the audio is really, really excellent) or, for some reason you dislike British Accents, well then you will have to hop on over to The Atlantic and read it there.                                                        
They have announced that their entire archive of Coronavirus coverage has been made publicly available, for free,  and will remain so for the length of this crisis.

That might be quite a bit longer than most people think.

So, for a full text of this excellent, please-make-all-your-friends-read-it presentation, or if you wish to see the graphic on your right in all its  spectacular detail, just follow the read more links (at the end of the summary, above) to the article at the The Atlantic.  

Please share widely.  

Be seeing you.

*The title was even longer than that.  A monstrosity which I wrote as a meditative exercise so as not to do any Unnecessary Freaking Out.  Freaking Out, when not unequivocally determined to be the Best Course of Action, is always a bad idea.)

Did DPRK Boast Zero Cases After Executing Infected? | An Experiment In Translated Proxied News

"Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides Firepower Strike Drill of Long-range Artillery Sub-units of KPA on Front"
Source: Wikipedia (with Faustian post-processing)

Saw Story On:  Twitter
Verification Method:  Search Engine Via Proxy, Machine Translated Results
Short Answer:  “Not exactly.”  
Confidence: High

Here is the first tweet I saw on the subject, referencing a rather sensational report in the IBTimes:

Craig Child (@CraigChild) March 22, 2020

which became: 

When they go to work? Nice touch. Source please. Mine is here.

The memes and gifs that you can imagine ensued, and knowing human nature, I decided to see if I could settle the question.
Mr. Hinky Dink
for the best proxies

Thirteen proxies later, I found one that not only worked but hailed from a relatively unbiased country — well, in theory.  Taiwan may be biased politically, but I consider that balanced by the fact that I was searching in Chinese.  I am sure the proxy afforded little real anonymity but I pressed on, emboldedned by the lack of the connection having been reset while the page was still loading.  Often even such slim footholds reveal a clear path to a viable datapoint.  I think that is the case here.
There were not as many relevant search results as I had hoped, as there would be, well, if the subject were not North Korea.  (Incidentally, why did Donald Trump reach out to Kim Jong-Un to offer pandemic assistance?  Is that a thinly veiled insult?  We have made such an offer to no one else — and almost every other country is more in need.). For a complete record of the searches, with translation, go here.

However there was one, MSN China, and it is appended, with its translation.*  Screenshots are from the archived copy. (and an h/t to Archive Today for ongoing excellence, accessibility, and ambidirectional ease of use).  Fulltext in both languages here.

Archive Today's Screenshot

©  風傳媒 提供 © Provided by Wind Media "Although the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan is raging and North Korea has already issued a "locking country order", the limp people walking on the streets of Pyongyang still seem to have nothing to wear. (Associated Press)"

Violation of the quarantine order, Kim Jong-un: Shoot me! North Korea has executed the offending officer, and so far has no confirmed diagnosis of pneumonia in Wuhan
Li Zhongqian 2020/2/14   © Provided by Wind Media

The outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan (COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus pneumonia) has so far. More than 60,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed, and 1491 people have died unfortunately, especially China and its surrounding countries. However, North Korea, which has close contacts with China, has so far maintained an excellent record of "0 confirmed diagnosis", which is rare. However, the South Korean "East Asia Daily" pointed out that the North Korean leader, Kim Kim Jong-un, ordered the violator of the quarantine to kill him in order to control the epidemic, and an official who was still in isolation went to the public bath to take a shower. He was tragically shot.
North Korea closed the border to all foreign tourists as early as January 22 to prevent the spread of the virus. The New York Times states that almost all foreign tourists coming to North Korea enter China through China, and most tourists are actually Chinese Tatars. A Beijing news source also said that North Korea issued an emergency notice of Wuhan pneumonia and suspended all Chinese tourists. Judging from North Korea ’s unconfirmed diagnosis so far, it seems that Kim ’s “locking country order” did indeed have the desired effect.

©  風傳媒 提供 雖然武漢肺炎疫情肆虐,北韓也早已祭出「鎖國令」,但平壤街頭往來的行人似乎依舊沒什麼人戴口罩。(美聯社)
© Courtesy of Wind Media Although Wuhan ’s pneumonia epidemic is raging and North Korea has already issued a “lock nation”, pedestrians on the streets of Pyongyang still seem to be wearing masks. (Associated Press). (Caption theirs. Where are the masks promised by the caption?!?)

 "Yonhap Associated Press" pointed out that because North Korea has been subject to sanctions from the international community for a long time, the level of treatment and prevention of diseases is low, so it will take the simplest and most effective way to prevent the epidemic. When the SARS epidemic broke out in China in 2003, North Korea also suspended the route from Pyongyang to Beijing and Sinuiju Customs was closed, but North Korea did not suffer from SARS that year.

The East Asia Daily reported on the 13th day that after North Korea officially blocked its borders on January 30, it issued an "unconditional quarantine order" for people who had entered China and had contacts with Chinese Tatars for half a month. Kim Kim Jong-Unt specifically ordered that "military law" be applied whenever he dared to leave the designated quarantine area, including that all citizens of the country and foreign Tatar soldiers living in North Korea must comply unconditionally.

©  風傳媒 提供 武漢肺炎疫情肆虐,北韓)的平壤機場正在加強消毒。(美聯社
© Provided by Wind Media The pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan is rampant, 
and Pyongyang Airport in North Korea is stepping up disinfection. (Associated Press)

The "East Asia Daily" stated that an official from Rosin, North Korea, who had recently visited China ignored the "army order" of Chairman Jin Jinjin and ran to the public bath to take a bath. Except this
In addition, there is also a large university in North Ping An who concealed the fact that he had visited China. After being discovered, he has been lowered. He is currently being thrown to the farm to work, but always saves his life .
The North Korean puppet is said to have extended the quarantine period from two or two weeks to one month a month, hoping to completely ban the introduction of the disease.
At present, the global epidemic of Wuhan pneumonia is still the most serious in China, with a total of 63,914 confirmed diagnoses and 1,489 deaths. In countries other than China, Japan (252 cases), Singapore (58 cases), Thailand (33 cases), and South Korea (28 cases) are the most serious. Countries with more than 10 cases but less than 20 cases include Malaysia (19 cases), Taiwan (18 cases), Vietnam (16 cases), Germany (16 cases), Australia (15 cases) Examples), the United States (15 cases), France (11 cases). Outside of China, only one death has occurred in the Philippines and the other in Japan.


It appears the individual violated a strict quarantine or shelter-in-place order, by attempting to sneak off to a public bath, and that violation was the reason for his rather severe punishment.

Still seems severe to the Western sensibility, but that is not quite the same as the story going around on twitter.  Not so many GIFs and memes would have been made, had this context been given.

It is, however, only a machine translation...

But then you have this chronicle of a response in some ways superior to the West:

N.K. quarantines about 10,000 people for potential infection by new coronavirus
By Koh Byung-joon  11:27 March 09, 2020

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has placed around 10,000 people under quarantine over coronavirus concerns and released about 40 percent of them as they showed no symptoms, according to state media reports.
North Korea has not reported an outbreak of COVID-19, which emerged in neighboring China in late December, but it has intensified anti-virus efforts by tightening its borders and toughening quarantine criteria and procedures.
According to North Korea media reports, Pyongyang has put 2,420 people under quarantine in South Pyongan Province, 3,000 in North Pyongan Province, 1,500 in Kangwon Province and 2,630 in Jagang Province.

The total could exceed 10,000 if around 380 foreigners staying in Pyongyang are included, though Pyongyang has not unveiled official numbers of quarantined people.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said on Monday that quarantine is currently being lifted on people who came into contact with people from other countries in accordance with relevant guidelines.
"To block the flow and spread of the infectious disease, it is important to ensure a complete preventive sealing-off of all quarantine facilities ... (as well as to) well establish treatment measures and lift quarantine strictly in accordance with what is stipulated in the guidelines," the newspaper said.

The paper also emphasized that quarantine is being lifted according to relevant guidelines for foreigners stationed in Pyongyang, public servants, interpreters and drivers at high risk of having been exposed.

In mid-February, North Korea doubled the quarantine period for at-risk people to a month. Those who might have been exposed to entrants from foreign countries have been isolated at home or designated facilities for more than 40 days.

The North has taken relatively swift preventive efforts amid concerns that it is highly vulnerable to the new coronavirus, as it shares a long and porous border with China and lacks key medical supplies and infrastructure to test and treat infected people.

Despite its repeated claims that it has no infections, worries persist that the North might be concealing an outbreak that could spiral out of control.

This is one of several photos the Korean Central News Agency released on March 4, 2020, to show North Korea's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. 

(For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)*

Unlike Philipino drug dealers, those infected with COVID-19 are NOT, I repeat NOT, being shot.

At least it appears that way.  

(Here's looking at you, Snopes.
You get paid to do this, I don't)

I welcome anyone with a tip of a decent working proxy in either Korea (or on the Chinese Mainland), or who has passable or better fluency in Chinese, to drop me a comment if I am off the mark here.  

Even better, tell me what is going on in this video, to which I was led and which may actually be relevant:


This just in -- 

North Korea deals with coronavirus by EXECUTING patient 
who ditched quarantine to go to public bath 

simultaneously more sensational & more informative...
and in English.


I am posting anyway.  I suspect others may find it interesting to benefit from my possibly superfluous efforts.

Be seeing you.

*(Section 107 of the Copyright Act assures me that “the fair use of a copyrighted work… for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright)