Forget Wuhan, what about Albany?

Like most people, I read with interest yesterday's reports that someone in the federal Energy Department has concluded, albeit with "low confidence," that the Covid virus escaped from the Chinese virus lab in Wuhan.

Gee, d'ya think?

To me, it's not a coincidence that the pandemic started in a city where the Chinese had a major science facility at which they were tinkering with bat viruses. The only other plausible story is that the virus jumped from one species to another at a wild game market 10 miles away in a different part of Wuhan.

We'll never know the truth. The Chinese won't let anyone see what they have on the subject, and so the rest of the world is left to guess. I have no doubt that the meat market was a super-spreader location, but how the virus got out of the bats and into the humans is a different story.

The fact that there is no official version is telling. With 9/11, the JFK assassination, the space shuttle disasters, at least the government offered us something that we could read and call the case closed if we were so inclined. In this case, there's not even that. 

Another thing I find interesting is the timing of this leak from the Energy Department. Why now? Do you think that maybe it has something to do with our quickly deteriorating relationship with China? The spy balloons? The overtures for help from Putin? The daily confrontations in the air and on the sea in their part of the world?

But probably the most alarming aspect of this week's news is the revelation that the U.S. Energy Department (a) is itself engaged in developing biological weapons, and (b) has enough spy capabilities to make an assessment of what went on in Wuhan.

Why is a department supposedly devoted to energy engaged in either of those dirty businesses at all? Well, it's because that agency isn't really so much about energy. It's about nuclear weapons. They make the radioactive material that goes into atomic bombs. They have for 80 years. And they do it in such an environmentally destructive manner that the heads of any private company doing the same thing would go to prison for a long time.

Some friends and I got into it with the Energy birds 40 years ago, over their obscenely filthy operation on the banks of the Columbia River at Hanford, Washington. Reagan and the boys were running Chernobyl-style reactors and dumping the waste right into the ground next to the river. It's a national sacrifice zone, with all sorts of highly toxic material oozing through the ground and into the groundwater for the next 10,000 years or so.

When confronted with their misdeeds, the Energy folks proved themselves to be weasels and liars. What's so bad about nuclear waste? How do you know you even got chromosomes?

I served on an Oregon commission that was supposed to go after them, but the state "Energy" bureaucrats in Salem were in their pocket so completely that I quit after a while. It was a waste of everyone's time. At one point they even manipulated a hearing so that the outraged environmentalists were screaming at me while the federal Energy people walked around in the back of the hearing room laughing.

And so now we learn that the federal Energy Department "labs" are into biological weapons, and God knows what other kinds of weapons, too. To me, that is the takeaway from the latest news.

Beware the federal Energy labs. Besides Hanford, there's one over in Idaho near the Craters of the Moon monument; there are a couple in the East Bay called Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, and several more in the Midwest and on the East Coast. There's a handy dandy map here. The closer you live to one of these places, the more you need to pay attention to what's going on inside it.

I see on the map that there's now one in Albany, Oregon, too. Part of the "National Energy Technology Laboratory." That one's new to me. Hmmm, I wonder what the heck is going on there. It would be interesting to ask the mayor of Albany if he knows. Or even more importantly, the fire chief.

Anyway, we'll never know what really happened in Wuhan. But we can find out more about what's happening at the "national labs" near us. Don't expect the Energy Department to volunteer any information. When they do talk, trust but verify. And don't expect Salem to be any help; in fact, they'll probably be a hindrance.


  1. There is so much pollution in Albany left over from the Wah Chang years and what ever went on before them, maybe no one will notice?

    1. Ah yes, Teledyne Wah Chang, another fine nuclear citizen.

    2. There must be an Albany area pollution inspection report somewhere.

    3. Ha! With all the stuff coming out of the pulp mill (or whatever that stinky thing is by the freeway), the DOE nastiness may get drowned out.

    4. In the old days going down I-5 we would always announce 'hold your nose it's Albany' and speed up to get through it as fast as possible.

    5. It has been in Albany forever. In the 90’s the research was part of the bureau of mines. The campus is the old Lewis and Clark college across the street from West Albany. I always assumed it was connected with Ormet and Wah Chang (now ATI) who produce Zirconium and Titanium.

    6. Are they still cranking out the radioactive waste? Where are they dumping it?


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