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The Informed Citizen
Friday, February 18, 2005
The Strange Death of Dr. Geetha Angara

On Tuesday morning,2/08/05,Geetha Angara,age 43,of Holmdel,NJ "disappeared" from her job at the Passaic Valley Water Commission in Totawa,NJ.Her body was subsequently recovered from a 35' deep water tank-and the Passaic County Prosecutor suspects she was murdered.

Mrs. Angara,who held a doctorate in organic chemistry from NYU,had been employed by the Commission for 12 years,and was apparently well liked.Originally a native of India,she was married to a Jersey City Banker-Jaya Kumar Angara,and had 3 children.

Most of her work -the continuing evaluation of water quality-was done in her lab;but,from time to time,she would enter the basement to check the calibration of equipment,and to draw water samples from an array of hoses along one wall.

Investigators believe,while Mrs. Angara was checking samples,she was accosted,and pushed-or otherwise forced-through a 4'x4' access panel (weighing approximately 50 lbs.)
and into a 30' deep water tank-filled with very cold water.

There was no way to escape the tank,and it is believed she drowned soon after entering the water.

Pumping equipment is thought to have moved her body into a second holding tank:this one filled with water to a depth of 35'.

Investigators at first wondered if this had been some sort of tragic accident-or even a bizarre suicide-but they were confronted with the fact the access panel had been put back in place-after she entered the water.

Some 55 co-workers have been questioned,and,thus far,no suspects or motives have emerged.

Did the victim encounter someone about to poison the area's water supply ? There is no way to tell,because millions of gallons of water had to be pumped out of the tanks to recover her body,and any poisons would be in such minute amounts as to be virtually undetectable.

The death presents a continuing mystery.
Media source:
Monday, February 14, 2005

Take that,you...Barbarians !!

The Media is all agog over a recently unveiled "Great Art Project"
called The Gates.

It seems The-French-Artiste-Known-as-Christo and his faithful companion Jeanne Claude have caused 7500 "steel constructions"-draped in orange vinyl...Oops ! One must say: "draped in Saffron fabric -the color of the Dalai Lama,you know" be erected in New York City's Central Park.

The effect is quite compelling: a sort of Home Depot ad writ large.

The cost is rather compelling as well: over 20 million dollars-when one factors in the cost of NY Police Officers assigned to keep The Gates from becoming the largest graffiti display in history-
and it was all raised by private subscription.

Think about that for a moment: East Coast elitists dug deep into their trust funds to finance this ...whatever-the-hell-it-is !

Were you to approach these same people and beg them for a few bucks for food and shelter,they would not only snarl and walk away: they would call the Police Commissioner and demand that filthy beggars like you be rousted-forthwith !

This leads one to ruminate on Life's Mysteries:

This seems an appropriate place to show off with a nifty saying in colloquial French.(Thanks,Laura !) "La merde ne tombe pas trop loin du taureau."


Friday, February 11, 2005

Television executives announced plans today to launch a new enterprise: The All Scare and Scandal Network-featuring the sort of programming they are sure will appeal to the lowest common denominator-here and abroad.

"Let's face it",an anonymous executive said. "We need to appeal to folks who will be inspired by large numbers of commercials: folks who will go out there and buy some of those crappy vehicles our Advertisers are trying to unload;people who will identify with carefully-chosen "victims";people who will vote:appropriately and predictably;people who can appreciate the whole ASS thing."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Now we learn the FAA received fairly specific warnings...and pretty much blew them off,because they didn't want to disturb the customers. Published reports say there were 52 such warnings prior to September,2001.

For some reason or other, the 9-11 Commission did not share this information with the electorate prior to the elections.(Wonder why ?)

Another thing the Commission did not share was the possible "sweetheart deal" -during the Clinton administration - between the airlines and Vice President Al Gore.

A commission on airline security,chaired by VP Gore,came up with numerous recommendations-all of which would have cost the airlines big money.They bitched-and VP Gore made sure the proposals were watered down. (Some commission members complained,but their comments received little media attention.)

The airlines subsequently made large contributions to Mr. Gore's failed presidential campaign.

You don't suppose there could have been a ....(Gasp !) connection,do you ?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
The Eason Jordan Controversy

CNN executive Eason Jordan reportedly told attendees at the recent DAVOS conference American troops had targeted reporters in Iraq,and had,perhaps, killed 12.

Since then, having been challenged, he has been backwatering like crazy : " Oh, I never said that ! You know me better than that",etc.,etc.,etc.

In truth, the exact opposite of Jordan's now-denied charge is true.

Reporters in Iraq have been "targeting" American and Coalition troops,and shilling for the "heroic resistance" (I prefer to call them terrorists !) for quite some time.

The most recent incident of which I am aware occurred on Sunday,January 30,2005,when some of those "victimized reporters" positioned themselves-with cameras in perfect focus-to capture on tape the explosion of a car bomb near a polling station : an explosion, I might add, that claimed several Iraqi lives.

Remember the pictures on TV ? Run them through your mind.

Then.... BOOM ! The car explodes...and, once again,"targeted-and-victimized reporters" are complicit in multiple murder.

If you watched TV that day,you saw the proof !

UPDATE: 02/11/05 Jordan has resigned from CNN !!

Monday, February 07, 2005

By David Baron

(Book Review)

On January 16,1991,searchers found the eviscerated,partly-eaten corpse of Scott Lancaster,an 18 year old high school athlete-who had been attacked in broad daylight as he jogged near the Idaho Springs,Colorado high school.

Not far away-"guarding" the corpse-was the killer: a 100 lb female cougar.When the cougar began menacing the search party,it was brought down by volleys of rifle and pistol fire.

Subsequent autopsies of killer and victim revealed the big cat had killed the young man.Evidence found at the scene showed the cat had deliberately stalked her victim.

At the time of the killing,prevailing "wisdom" held that cougars are afraid of humans,and attacked only if cornered or harmed by the human.Prevailing wisdom was,of course,dead wrong.

David Baron's scholarly examination (sometimes a bit too scholarly !) traces the tragedy - and a number of subsequent attacks-back to their starting point: a total misunderstanding of nature by those who make and enforce environmental policy.

Nearby Boulder,Colorado-populated largely by "ultra-liberal" city folk,with a sappy,Walt Disney view of nature-had literally attracted a population of cougars by encouraging the presence of an over-abundant deer herd,which roamed the city in broad daylight: eating shrubs,gardens,and flowers,and stripping the leaves off trees.

When the big cats began arriving,the residents protected them-even after they began eating cats and dogs,and menacing humans.( A hiker was attacked by two cougars,but escaped with
only bad scratches-and nightmares-after the cats broke off their attack to run down a deer that had blundered onto the scene.)

When a nearby deer rancher hunted down and killed a 170 lb. male cougar that had killed one of his animals,the Boulderites were outraged-even though extra police patrols had been deployed to guard vulnerable school children at bus stops,and even though it was unsafe for children to play unsupervised in their own yards !

The killing of Scott Lancaster didn't even make frontpage news in nearby Boulder.For one thing,the Gulf War had just started.For another (though it seems to have been unsaid) Scott was not the child of any of Boulder's "Liberal Elite"...and the Cougar attack was shrugged off.

There have been similar attacks since-in California,Montana,and Washington.The big cats-long protected-are making a comeback all across the United States,and some are following the Boulder,Colorado pattern: they are moving around humans in daylight,and are showing no fear of them.They are eating cattle,poultry, and household pets.....and showing increasing interest in humans.
It's only a matter of time....
Thursday, February 03, 2005

During his State of the Union address,President Bush proposed certain changes to "rescue" Social Security from bankruptcy.The centerpiece of his proposal was the establishment of individually owned retirement accounts,to which workers could contribute up to 4% of their earnings. This money would come from their Social Security "premiums".

Pardon my ignorance,but it seems to me this would hasten the collapse of Social Security !

Before I propose an alternative,let's address (for the sake of my Libertarian friends) the inherent value of Social Security.

In the "good old days" before Social Security,the question of what to do about the elderly poor - (which,in real world terms,meant just about everybody too old to work any more)-was handled by
a local official called The Overseer of the Poor.If there were no relatives who could be dunned for the oldster's support-(and this was done with ruthless efficiency)-the oldster was stripped of all assets,and sent to the Poor Farm-or its urban equivalent;where he or she could be warehoused at minimum community cost,until death relieved the community of its grudgingly-accepted burden.

This is not "Socialist rhetoric". It's the way things were until shortly before I was born.I remember seeing the local Poor Farm,and I recall the dread with with it was pointed out to me.
Not far from where I live,there is still a little lane-off a busy highway-that older maps identify as "Poor Farm Road".

Social Security,although it could not completely "cure" the problems of elder poverty,did much to alleviate it,and to give our senior citizens a sense of dignity, participation,and worth.It had another benefit,which is seldom mentioned.

Without Social Security,older workers would have no choice but to keep on working until they were incapable of doing so.They would not retire-which means,those below them in seniority and experience would have little chance to advance.The result would be a totally stratified workplace. (If you thought Union Seniority rules were restrictive,imagine what things would be like if most workers refused to retire !)

A second factor,often ignored,is the impact of Social Security on the economy.Advertising agencies may concentrate their efforts on the 20-something segment of the market,but-year after year-it is Senior Citizens who help keep the economy afloat.


Here's what I suggest as a "rescue strategy" for Social Security:

  1. Every year,for a period of 10 years,the sum of one billion dollars (figure is arbitrary) should be posted to a special "Rescue Account".

  2. This would be money from the general funds-but appropriated with the express proviso it cannot be used for any other purpose,"borrowed",or otherwise tampered with .

  3. The monies thus collected would be used to buy non-voting stocks (US issues only) and bonds,in a prudent mix of stable and volatile offerings-just as any well-managed mutual fund or pension plan would buy:all dividends to be re-invested;all profits and operations to be tax-free.

  4. The Rescue Fund would be run by salaried,highly qualified,and closely accountable fund managers.

  5. Given the usual market conditions,prudent management,and freedom from taxation,it is anticipated each billion dollar investment would come close to doubling at the end of the ten year period;at which time:

This is not an overly-convoluted plan.It involves money we will eventually have to pay out in a never-ending attempt to bail-out a sinking system.Let us be prudent enough to make the investment now -while we can-instead of waiting for a later-that might not be far too late


A day-to-day account of the war on terror,geopolitics,local politics,and any other damn thing that comes to mind.

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