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May 10, 2012

On Japan's secret and horrifying Unit 731 and the secret plan to bomb America with plague

They tested the plague bombs on Chinese villages and killed hundreds of thousands of people. During World War II, Japan plotted to unleash a plague on the United States
Japan's Unit 731 is one of the best kept and most horrifying secrets of World War II. Unit 731 experimented on Japanese and Chinese civilians as well as Russian and American POWs during the Second Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s and throughout World War II. Led by the enigmatic Dr. Shiro Ishii, Unit 731 committed thousands of macabre experiments and infected hundreds of thousands with the plague in China. Most of the scientists involved with Unit 731 escaped trial and entered mainstream society at the end of the war due to an agreement with Allied commanders, but a few are speaking of the horrors they committed in their old age. . . . Vivisection of hundreds of civilians occurred on the campus, with a lack of anesthesia and a live specimen believed essential to this group of scientist soldiers due to their desire to study the body prior to decomposition. In addition to opening up the bodies, the scientists often removed organs to observe the effect on an individual. At least one experiment removed a prisoner's stomach and then connected the esophagus to the intestines of the subject. Unit 731 also performed forced inseminations and gave doses of syphilis under the guise of a vaccination. The group also observed how live human bodies froze in real time and how the body crumpled in extreme pressure experiments. Several successful attacks carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army used plans devised by Unit 731. The plan consisted of dropping ceramic pots containing rice and wheat mixed with fleas carrying the plague on villages in Southern China. The pots, attached to parachutes and tossed from planes, indirectly killed hundreds of thousands Chinese civilians. . . .

May 04, 2012

This Day in Labor History: May 4, 1886 -- The Haymarket Square Riot

The men convicted and hanged for the Haymarket bombing were likely innocent. The police had no evidence and six of the men were nowhere near the riot. No one knows who threw the bomb. The police didn't care. They just rounded up the local heads of the labor movement and railroaded them all the way to the gallows. This Day in Labor History: May 4, 1886 - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
On March 4, 1886, during a protest march against police brutality in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, a bomb went off in the middle of a group of policemen, killing 7 officers. The aftermath of the Haymarket bombing showed the fear American capitalists had of working-class ideologies, the lack of civil liberties during the Gilded Age, and the tenuousness of labor organizations during these years of class formation. The mid-1880s saw the native-born working class struggling to understand the new labor system of the Gilded Age. With the promises of mutually respectful employer-employee relations at the center of early Republican free labor ideology shown to be a farce and workers living increasing desperate lives in dirty and dangerous factories and condemned to poverty, the American working-class sought to even the playing field between employer and employee. The Knights of Labor promised the eight-hour day; in a period when labor looked for a single panacea to solve all problems rather than a deep class analysis of labor-employer relations, the working-class jumped to the idea. The Knights, led by Terence Powderly, grew rapidly in the mid-1880s, even though Powderly didn’t really envision the organization as a radical challenge to capitalism. Still, “Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Sleep, Eight Hours for What You Will” became the slogan for a million or more Americans. But Powderly’s control over the organization was tenuous and with the Knights defined as open to all workers, it meant that anarchists and other radicals could easily join and then try to convert workers to their cause. The center of 8-hour organizing was in Chicago, where small numbers of radicals began organizing workers to demand the 8-hour day and threaten a general strike if denied. On May 1, 1886, between 300,000 and 500,000 workers walked off their job around the nation. Probably 80,000 of those workers were in Chicago. The police responded with sadly predictable violence. On May 3, police murdered 6 strikers at the McCormick Harvesting Machine plant. The McCormick workers had been battling with their employer for a year, who had hired Pinkertons to beat them. They combined their already existing struggle with the 8-hour day to become some of the most respected working-class militants in the city. Responding to the murders, labor called a march to protest police violence the next day at Haymarket Square, which somewhere between 1000-3000 people attended. . . .

April 25, 2012

The "Myth" of Sustainable Meat?

Two weeks back a lot of blogs (including our own...

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