Alleged Instigators of Capitol Riot Indicted For Sedition but Questions Remain About Government Infiltration and Incitement

By Jeremy Kuzmarov Covert Action Magazine Leaders of the far-right Proud Boys group, including its national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, have been …

Alleged Instigators of Capitol Riot Indicted For Sedition but Questions Remain About Government Infiltration and Incitement

Alleged Instigators of Capitol Riot Indicted For Sedition but Questions Remain About Government Infiltration and Incitement

By Jeremy Kuzmarov Covert Action Magazine Leaders of the far-right Proud Boys group, including its national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, have been …

Alleged Instigators of Capitol Riot Indicted For Sedition but Questions Remain About Government Infiltration and Incitement

What the Dalai Lama is thinking:

Every day, we drive 150 species of plants and animals to extinction, expand the deserts by 50,000 hectares, and spew 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gases into the air. Essentially, we are fighting a World War Three against nature. Religions have not been able to stop this development. 2016 was the warmest year on record. The Himalayan glaciers and the polar ice caps are melting. What can secular ethics accomplish in these circumstances? What are the core tenets of secular ethics?

An Appeal to the World by the Dalai Lama 2017

Do you or I think about this on a daily basis? That is my question, and I believe it is an important question. I will admit to you, I don’t think about it every day. I think about it often, and try to do what I can do, but I don’t think about often enough.

I guess I should stop here and say that the Dalai Lama was born in Tibet. It is believed that he is the reincarnation of a previous Dalai Lama, and he is therefore both the political and spiritual leader of the country. When he was a teenager, one night the Chinese invaded in the middle of the night. The people around him got him and his family out, and many other Tibetans were able to escape with them, by climbing down the terribly high mountains into India, and India supported them and gave them refuge and a place where they could live in exile.

The Chinese still claim Tibet as their own. They have destroyed many of the Tibetan temples; they have killed and raped many of the monks and nuns who felt they were called to stay in Tibet.

To me, the saddest thing was that the world did nothing to stop China in this horrific invasion and takeover.

The Dalai Lama believes that humans can get by without religion, but not without inner values; not without ethics.

The difference between ethics and religion is like the difference between water and tea. Religion-based ethics and inner values are more like value. The tea that we drink is made mostly of water, but it contains other ingredients as well. Tea leaves, spices, perhaps a little sugar, and, at least in Tibet, a pinch of salt, and that makes it more substantial, more lasting, something that we want to drink every day. No matter how it’s prepared, its main ingredient is always water. We can live without tea, but not without water. Likewise, we are born without religion, but not without the basic need for compassion, and not without the fundamental need for water.

I see with ever-greater clarity that our spiritual well being depends not on religion, but on our innate human nature, our natural affinity for goodness, compassion and caring for others. Regardless of whether or not we belong to a religion, we all have a fundamental and profoundly human wellspring of ethics within ourselves. We need to nurture that shared ethical basis. Ethics, as opposed to religion, are grounded in human nature, and that is how we work on preserving creation. Empathy is the basis of human co-existence. It is my belief that human development relies on compassion and not competition. This is scientifically proven. We must learn that humanity is all our big family.



A New Meaning to “Russian Roulette”

The U.N. Chief Antonio Guterres has called for an end to military activity around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Complex after the plant was hit five times.

Moscow and Kyiv again blamed each other for the renewed shelling that hit the plant’s administration office and fire station today.

This was serious enough that the U.N. Security Council met to discuss the situation. Russia seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in March after invading Ukraine on February 24.

The plant is still run by its Ukrainian technicians. Ukraine’s Energoatom said that the area was struck multiple times today, including the site where radioactive materials are stored.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement the Ukrainian shelling had partly damaged a thermal power plant and splashed pools that form part of the reactors’ cooling systems.

Mr. Guterres urged the withdrawal of military personnel and equipment and for no more forces or equipment to be deployed. He called for Russia and Ukraine not to target the facilities or the surrounding area. “The facility must not be used as part of any military operation,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement. “Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area.”

The United States backed the call for a demilitarized zone around the plant, Bonnie Jenkins, the U.S. under-secretary for arms control and international security told the U.N. Security Council today. She said, a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “cannot wait any longer.”

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy accused Russia of using the nuclear power plant “to threaten the entire world.

“Only a full withdrawal of the Russians from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station and the restoration of full Ukrainian control of the situation around the station can guarantee a resumption of nuclear security for all of Europe.”

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi addressed the U.N. Security Council today at the request of Russia. Mr. Grossi said he is ready to lead an IAEA mission to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station as soon as possible.

Russia and Ukraine will need to cooperate.

“We believe it is justified for IAEA representatives to go to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as quickly as possible, even before the end of August,” said Russia’s U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. He also said that the world was being pushed “to the brink of nuclear catastrophe comparable in scale to Chernobyl.”

U.N. spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric has said the U.N. has committed to doing everything possible to getting the IAEA technicians to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

It is easy to make statements about Chernobyl and Nuclear Weapons and it is very dangerous to play chicken with Ukraine using an active Nuclear Power Plant.

If either country accidentally or with forethought strikes the actual Power Plant and damages it, the results would be catastrophic and widespread, as the potential fallout could impact any part of Europe. Where such devastation might occur is dependent only upon the prevailing weather patterns, since the Ukrainian Power Plant sits pretty much in the center of Europe. It also sits beside the Dnieper River, which could be contaminated should a reactor leak occur, carrying potentially deadly irradiated water to other parts of Ukraine and Europe, running as it does to the Black Sea. The potential for deaths directly due to a reactor core meltdown is high, but the possibility of heavily radioactive water travelling all the way to the Black Sea, and thereby affecting crops, livestock and people for a huge swath of Europe would be even more devastating.

This is a game of Russian Roulette with the lives of thousands, if not millions. This is a game you can only play once, and no one can win.



Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station

Living in a Picture Postcard

We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Photography is one of my passions. I thought I would show you a little bit of the Blue Ridge.

I hope that you enjoy them.

Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2020
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2018
Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio
Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2021
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2019
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2018

Do you want to benefit from a Muslim Society?

A Guest Blog

What would you think if a top ally of a candidate for a major government office said that he represents a major movement which is for Muslims only. What would be your reaction if he said, “We don’t want people who are nonbelievers. They don’t have to leave, they’re not going to be forced to convert. But you’re going to enjoy the fruits of living under a Muslim Society under Muslim laws and under a Muslim culture and you can thank us later.”?

Would it be any better if it were a Hindu society, with Hindu laws and Hindu culture?

Buddhist society, with Buddhist laws and Buddhist culture?

What if he said that we are living in an “explicitly” Jewish country?

An explicitly Atheist country?

I would think that you, like me, would be appalled. I should say, for the record, that I happen to be Jewish. And being told that I, a natural-born citizen of the United States of America, live in an explicitly Jewish country would send shivers of horror down my spine.

Of course, you say, no one has said that.

What Andrew Torba, major supporter of Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano and founder of far-right social media site Gab, has said:

“We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country. We’re not saying we’re going to deport all these people or whatever. You’re free to stay here. You’re not going to be forced to convert or anything like this because that’s not biblical whatsoever. But you’re going to enjoy the fruits of living in a Christian society under Christian laws and under a Christian culture and you can thank us later.”

Explain to me how changing that to “Christian” instead of “Muslim” or “Jewish” or “Hindu” or “Buddhist” or anything else makes anything about that statement better. Makes anything about that statement right or acceptable in any way.

That’s the point of the United States, isn’t it? That we are a country that accepts ALL faiths? All creeds?

As the First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

I would hope that those people who are so vocal about defending their interpretation of the Second Amendment would be equally vociferous in defense of the First Amendment.

I therefore extend a welcoming hand from the left to all those who still believe in ALL Amendments, not just the Second.

And then there’s rape and incest

Rape happens in several ways. One category is stranger rape. One category is date rape. One category is gang rape. One category is that a woman thinks she might want to have sex with this young man or woman, but as things move along, she changes her mind, whether from fright or disgust or any other reason that comes to her mind. The last form of rape is incest. Incest is a horror performed by a monster; the worst type of horror is perpetuated against a child by a parent, an aunt or uncle, a sibling or a cousin.

In all of these situations, a female, be it an adult woman, a teenage woman, or a child, can get pregnant. And the female has been victimized. She has the right to choose to make a decision if she wants to give birth to this baby or if she doesn’t, and she chooses an abortion.

What has been done to him or her was without their consent. That translates into he or she did not “ask for it”. He or she did not “want it”. He or she was not strong enough to fight the rapist off. He or she was told, “If you tell Mom, I’ll beat you up.” Or, “if you tell Dad, I’ll tell everyone at school that you wanted it.”

So, on a day that began like every other day in this person’s life, a stranger, a date, multiple strangers, or a family member, forces themselves into their body for power, control, pleasure, or just because they can.

That victim will never be the same.

If she’s a woman, she has to go the hospital. They’ll do a rape test. She has to be examined, which is kind of like being raped again. She has to go over the event for the police, step by step, including description — what did he do next? What did he do after that? What did you do? Did you fight? What did you think about while he was inside of you? And if he’s found, which is a good thing, she has to go to court and do it all over again, with his defense attorney asking her questions, too. Well, why didn’t you do this if you didn’t want it? When he was testifying, he said you smiled at him, and he thought you were asking him for it. Question after question after question, while a jury of her peers, strangers that she doesn’t know, will convene in a room and decide if she’s telling the truth, or if he’s telling the truth.

In the meantime, her primary care doctor calls, and wants to see her in a couple of weeks. No, it’s nothing, just wants to check on her, make sure everything’s going all right; so she says yes and she goes.

The jury finds him Not Guilty.

Her doctor does a pregnancy test, among the other tests, but she’s so fragile, he doesn’t tell her. He has her make a follow-up appointment to make sure that her bruises and sores are healing properly, and when she goes in to see him next, he tells her that she is pregnant.

She doesn’t have a boyfriend, and all her mind can think is oh, no, oh, no. Oh my god, this can’t be happening, how can I have his child growing inside me. Oh, no.

She’s crying but she wants to scream. She says, “I’ve got to get rid of this. I can’t have this inside me. You don’t understand, it was so awful.”

And the doctor uses his most gentle voice and says to her, “If this was before 2022, you could’ve had an abortion. But you can’t, now.”

She says, “I can’t? But I was raped!”

He sighs and says, “I know. But the laws got changed. You can have the baby and give it up for adoption. I can look and see if there’s a state nearby where an abortion in the case of rape is legal, but you can’t get a legal abortion here, for any reason.”

She stares at him, quietly, for a moment, stands up and walks out of the office, to her car, not sure whether she hates the rapist more, or the government more. The government who has taken over control of her body.

She was 10. It was a cold night, her mommy tucked her all up in bed with her favorite doll Anabell. She whispered some funny things to Anabell, who laughed very hard, and the warm bed was starting to make her very sleepy.

Her daddy came in. She hated it when her daddy came in to her bedroom at night, because it meant that he wanted to play games, and he said to her “How’s my little honeypot? Let’s play a game tonight.”

A tear slid out of her eye and down her cheek, and she said, “No, daddy, no. It hurts me, daddy.”

He said, “Don’t be such a baby. It’s not going to hurt you.”

The next morning, it took a long time for mommy to get her out of bed for school. She was in the bathroom for a long time, and she was still in her pajamas when she came out, and said “Mommy, I don’t feel good.”

As her mother’s hand felt her forehead for a fever, she said, “Well, tell me what’s wrong.”

The little girl did not look into her mother’s eyes. She mumbled, “I just don’t feel good. Can I stay home from school?”

Her mother gave in and let her stay home. She didn’t feel good the next day either.

When her mother did the laundry, she noticed a little bit of pink on her underpanties, and called the pediatrician to make an appointment. After an examination, the pediatrician sent the child out with the nurse to play, and he and the mother had a conversation.

“What men are in your family?”

“Just my husband. And, you know, my year-old son.”

“Someone has been trying to penetrate your daughter. That is what has caused the bloody discharge, and her not wanting to go so school. It’s painful.”

The doctor had the nurse bring her back in, and the three of them talked about good touches and bad touches, and found out that daddy had been playing games in the night. Games that were bad touches.

When daddy came home after work, all of his clothes and possessions were packed up and waiting for him in the garage, where his car usually was parked. He started yelling and screaming.

Mommy said, “I know what you’ve been doing, and this is it. You’ll never touch her again.”

In six weeks, there was a follow up with the doctor, and he did a pregnancy test, and the little 10-year-old girl was pregnant.

Mommy said, “She can’t have a baby, she can’t be pregnant.”

And the doctor shook his head and said, “Yes, I’m so sorry, but she is pregnant.”

“Well, we’ll get her an abortion.”

“We could have, last year. But not this year. It’s illegal for her to have an abortion this year.”

And the mother just sobbed her heart out. “My baby. My baby. Doctor, what will we do?”

He said, “The best we can do, is for me to find a state where they will do abortions for incest on children, and you take her there and get an abortion for her.”

“Isn’t that going to be hard?”

The doctor replied, “Yes, it will be hard. And yes, this is yet another reason why taking your husband to court is so important. I’ll do my best to find a good clinic for your daughter. Now, go home, and hug her and tell her how much you love her.”

These are hypothetical situations, that could begin happening around our country, as women and girls begin to face the consequences of what is done to their bodies.

Undoing Roe v. Wade is horrifying, but to include no abortions for instances of rape and incest will destroy the lives of these women and children.

Write to your Congressmen and women. Tell them it’s not what you want.

March and picket, whether you’re a thumb or not.

Abortion protesters in Atlanta




Are you a thumb? Am I a thumb?

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz might think so. He has presented a new theory that some women look like a thumb, and need therefore not concern themselves with advocating for abortion rights. Yes, you read that right.

Gaetz gave a speech at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa over the weekend. In his speech he said “women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions,” at “pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies”. Gaetz remarks were his latest dig at reproductive rights activists, since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person’s right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction. In other words, to choose an abortion, instead of giving birth. Pro-Choice was the term we used to indicate that whatever a woman would choose to do with her pregnancy would be legally supported by her government.

Gaetz has suggested, that instead of marching at rallies, unattractive women should “march for like an hour a day” and “get the blood pumping”. Gaetz said, “have you watched these pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies? The people are just disgusting. Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions. Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb. These people are odious from the inside out. They’re like 5′-2”, 350 lbs., and they’re like ‘give me my abortion or I’ll get up and march and protest’.

“A few of them need to get up and march. They need to get up and march for like an hour a day. Swing those arms. Get the blood pumping. And mix in a salad.”

Gaetz’ remarks were swiftly condemned for his sexist and misogynist commentary.

Matt Gaetz crystalizes right wing policy platforms 100 days from the midterm elections: “only hot women will have rights.”

How did it become acceptable in the United States of America, whatever your views on abortion, whatever your gender or size, for this comment to be said in public to a crowd of Americans who laugh uproariously?

It’s not okay to say these things. Sex, intercourse and pregnancy don’t just happen to beautiful men and women, they happen to people who are attracted to one another and care for one another. It happens to people who respect one another, are attracted to each other’s minds, their goals and ambitions. It happens to people who share common ground, and it happens to people to have respect for the same ideals, not just for her body measurements and his physique and how well he played sports when in school.

This is the most disgusting, unAmerican and misogynistic words that I have ever heard come out of the mouth of an elected official, and I have been working for the rights of women and children since the 1970’s. I have heard some pretty misogynist remarks come out of the mouths of elected officials, but this takes the cake. This shames him, his parents, his family and shames what America stands for.



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Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images