During my 71 years on this earth,I've seen the "unthinkable" become almost commonplace: wars ,bombings of civilian populations,famines,and genocide: lots and lots of genocide .
In Angola,a growing body of evidence suggests the recent lethal outbreak of Marburg (an Ebola - like disease) may have been triggered - deliberately and cold-bloodedly- by injecting children with vaccine,contaminated by this killer virus.
I had recently exchanged correspondence with a noted virologist;suggesting the disease might have been brought home to the infected children by diamond miners,who had been exposed to meat or excrement from infected monkeys,but my correspondent pointed something out:
Most of the 95 persons first infected were children under the age of 5; and most of this group were under the age of 1.
None of the mothers of these children was infected before the children got sick.
This suggests,very strongly,
All of those infected had been infected as a result of immunization shots of some sort.
This was why my correspondent thought contaminated needles might have been in use,but the question remains: Where did the contamination come from ?
The last Marburg eruption in this area was at least 3 years ago,and involved a group of 60 "independent" gold miners,who had been working in a cave...without government sanction.That outbreak was thought odd,and has never really been explained.
Marburg virus can live in blood samples for 3-4 weeks,but there is no literature to suggest it can survive 3-4 years - unless deliberately cultured,and kept as a living specimen.
Why would anyone deliberately inject lethal virus into children ?
Let's look at the Angola political situation again.
In the extreme north is a province called Cabinda. Cabinda is separated from the rest of Angola by the Congo (DPRC) in much the same way Alaska is separated from the United States by Canada. Call it an "accident of colonization" if you will.
Cabinda-separated or not-is endowed with huge deposits of "sweet" low-sulphur oil that is being sold to several countries by large petro-consortiums.(Texaco is one.)
Angola has mismanaged its other mineral wealth (diamonds,gold,iron,copper,bauxite,phosphates,feldspar,and uranium) and desperately needs to hang on to Cabinda.
Enter the Rebels: Two organizations, FLEC and FAC, both of which support independence for Cabinda,have recently joined forces,and have been conducting guerilla operations inside Angola-especially near Uige Province,where diamonds are available,the population is dirt-poor,and dislike of the "strong" (Stalinist might be a better term) Angolan government is high.
Coincidentally,this same Uige Province is where the Marburg outbreak began.
Infecting the children of this rebellious population would cause enormous fear:motivating many of the tribes to flee the area.It would also have the cold-blooded advantage of infecting upwards; ie: when children are sick,they require adult care,and Marburg - like Ebola - is notorious for infecting family members and other care-givers.
If this is what has happened here,we are looking at genocide - once again .
There,NP and FN met the Mother Superior,who spoke with a barely intelligible British Isles accent,and who did a great deal of clasping her hands prayerfully to her modestly clad-but-obviously ample bosom,and rolling her eyes skyward. (It seemed the brain dead girl (BDG) was not only speaking-she was reciting the Apocalypse.)
The Professor then asked the two nuns why he-an astrophysicist-had been dragged into this whole apocalyptic business.
The Flying Nun and the Mother Superior "explained" in sotto voce asides: speaking so softly and dramatically,and with such pronounced accents, that I asked my wife, "WHAT did they just say ??" (She insists I have old-age hearing loss,by the by.)
She answered sweetly: " Beats me ! They lowered their voices so much,and were speaking with such heavy accents I couldn't figure it out." I nodded sagely-knowing better than to draw attention to HER "hearing loss".(One must never suggest-by thought,word,or deed-one's wife is (Gasp!) capable of error.) But I digress.
Moving along,we deduced the strong possibility that Satanist Nash T. Bassard-imprisoned for murdering the Professor's daughter-might be the Anti-Christ.He was recruiting quite a following among his fellow inmates AND was visited by (Surprise!) one of the Evil Doctors.
We learned the foul minions of Satan were quite keen,actually,on tracking down The Miracle Baby.
We also learned The Miracle Baby was apparently NOT the Gerber Baby;that he had been born to a cloistered and virginal nun,and that he had survived the sinking of a ferry by floating on jetsam (or flotsam) for 17 hours... apparently without a diaper change !
Next thing we knew,the Professor and the Nun were flying off to Greece to search for The Miracle Baby.They were closely followed by 2 young women, who WERE NOT ALL THEY SEEMED TO BE.
(They were twins: brunette Ann Coulter look-alikes;with eyes that glowed in the dark.Hmmmm...)
At the end of the show, the Professor and the Nun were in some burned-out church in Greece,wondering if they had been led astray by EVIL FORCES.
Suddenly (EXACTLY as prophesized in the previews !) a large overhead cross came crashing down on them: dazing the Professor,and motivating the Nun to roll her eyes skyward for the 435th time.
(Fade to: Yet Another Car Commercial.)
I'm not going to mention the title of your "Best-Selling" book,because I stopped reading it about halfway through.(Fortunately, I had only borrowed it from the library .)
Okay:You started out fairly well. I was able to wade through the relationship between the heroine (Is it still all right to use that word ?) and her demandingly pregnant sister (Pregzilla),because,after a while,our heroine (Dr.Smuglisexi) was called to the scene of a probable suicide.
Once on the scene,she made some VERY sharp observations: correctly identifying the victim's condition as the result of a fall,instead of the apparent sexual assault the silly cops were fixating on.(Isn't that just like a man ? Tsk !)
Some other stuff then happened. "Pregzilla",who had insisted on her feminist right to accompany Dr. Smuglisexi to the scene of the crime,wandered off into the bushes to relieve the insistent pressure on her bladder .(Ah,the trials of Sisterhood !).
While so engaged,or-one hopes-shortly thereafter,she was accosted by a mysterious villain and stabbed - right in her very pronounced abdomen .
Sad to say,although Pregzilla survived,she lost the baby,and I learned a great deal about how everybody felt about that:Dr. Smuglisexi,their parents,the good doctor's not-quite-ex-husband (who is Police Chief),and - oh yes: even the local undertaker's feelings and complex relationships were explored.
Still, I plowed on.It was a bad night on TV, and I figured,what the hell: in for a penny,in for a pound. It was a mistake.
While folks were sorting out their complex relationships,and sharing their feelings,you Ms Writer,felt it was a good time to tell us about the security guard on campus,who used to be a cop,but had her (promising) career in law enforcement interrupted when somebody killed her lesbian twin sister, drugged her,nailed her to the floor,and raped her.
"Dang !", I thought. "There MUST be some reason why you-the Author- are telling us all this." But there wasn't.
The story then shifted to Chief Clueless (You remember him ? Dr.Smuglisexi's former husband ?) He still carries the torch for the good doctor: stops by her house,feeds her dogs and cat,and picks her dirty clothes up off the floor. While he is so engaged,there is yet ANOTHER death !
Chief Clueless races to the college campus,where he discovers the body of a young woman,who has apparently killed herself with a shotgun.(It's a pump-action 12 ga. Remington Wingmaster,by the way.) The young woman has apparently blown her head off with the thing- (The Author furnishes suitably gruesome details.Would you believe an eyeball stuck to the wall ?)
"Hmmm...!", muses Chief Clueless. "There is an expended 20 ga. shell on the floor near the body." He then starts wondering why a suicide victim would have done something so UNSAFE as to use 20 ga. ammo in a 12 ga. shotgun (!)
He does not,of course,seem to realize one cannot fire 20 ga. shells in a 12 bore shotgun. (One CAN push a 20 ga. shell up past the chamber,so it lodges in the barrel-thus creating a handheld bomb.)
He does not even wonder how someone whose head has been blown off can manually eject a fired shell from the gun-( a pump-action , as you may recall.)
I got the impression he was too busy getting in touch with his inner feelings to make much progress on this case,so I decided to get in touch with mine.
I put the book down, Ms Writer,and went into the other room to watch commercials on TV.
It was MUCH more rewarding ...and there weren't any eyeballs stuck to the wall.
I would also add more Hearing Officers,and have them set up shop right inside the detention facility.
My home county did this (they called it "have gavel,will travel")and it was an enormous success: There was no need to assign deputies and vehicles to transport detainees to court (unless the detainee was actually going to trial).
Lawyers actually had greatly improved access to their clients. Case backlogs were cut to a fraction of what they had once been.Security,it goes without saying,was terrific !
The present system,in which the detainee is given an appearance ticket and released,seems much of the reason for the immigration problem: 85% of those so released never come back for their hearings !
Deal with the immigrant "forthwith": have him/her loaded on a bus for Mexico before the expectant can give birth,and before the border crosser can vanish into the American heartland.
It would cost a lot less than thousands of new Border Agents ,and /or fleets of Global Hawks,and would probably be a lot more effective.
The real question here might be willingness. I've heard from the Left,the Right,and the Mainstream "Corporate America" is very much in favor of the status quo,and regards a never-ending flow of docile,hard-working,and disposable workers as a gift from Heaven: a gift financed by the taxpayers.
Since both major political parties are inclined to give Corporate America what it wants - in return for carefully laundered bribes (disguised as campaign contributions)- it seems unlikely any reform will occur.
Okay,class, repeat after me: "Buenos Dias,amigo." or,for our northern classmates : "Bon jour,mon ami."
A Guide to "Progressive" Posting
If you are politically progressive ,and you " want to make a difference " by posting online, there are certain ground rules worth consideration - (not that you are a person bound by mere rules , and not that there is anything wrong with following the collective wisdom of others !)
First you need a working premise : preferably one that can be alluded to – or otherwise brought up-via published news reports. The premise need not be true , or even demonstrable. It merely needs to be arguable.
Let’s use this premise : The President of the United States has failed in his Constitutional (and/or Moral) duty to ensure the badly-needed reproduction of Beluga Whales.
Good one, right ? To introduce the premise, we need a good lead-off paragraph.
The Nation’s flags are flying at half mast – ostensibly in honor of the late Pope , John Paul 3rd ,whose controversial and iron-fisted rule finally ended in death.
Many believe this intrusion of religious fanaticism into the relationship between Church and State was an attempt by President Bush (Dubya) to impose theocratic rule upon the long-suffering American people.
At this point ,even the most progressive reader may begin to wonder: "When we are going to get to those poor,endangered whales ?"
Okay, it’s time to introduce a link to a bit of verifiable published news. There is something in the Washington Post about the artificial insemination of a Beluga Whale by scientists, so let’s use that…after a fashion.
Even as a deeply divided nation groaned under the burdens of theocratic intrusion ,an unjust war ,shame over the Abu Ghraib torture disclosures , and growing uneasiness with our future, brave scientists at Mystic Sea World struggled to effect the artificial insemination of Kela : a 24 year old Beluga Whale , in an effort to save this species ; which has been ravaged by global warming, and the Administration’s cavalier disregard of the Kyoto Treaty. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19759-2005Apr1.html
The alert reader,pursuing this link,will discover this is an article about the artificial insemination of a Beluga Whale…for the convenience of Sea World,and/or the scientists studying reproduction in Belugas. There is absolutely no reference to global warming, the Kyoto Treaty , etc. – but who cares ??
I see you are beginning to get the idea, so here are a few more tips:
Use plenty of links. Opinion sites are the best.
Use plenty of words : enough to make the reader glassy-eyed. Glassy-eyed readers are more apt to "take your word" for it. ( Little pun there !)
Use the old sales trick of anticipating objections. What is the (rare) critical reader apt to ask, and how do you plan to answer ?
(Make your answers up ahead of time – don’t forget to use lots of words – so you can "cut and paste" quick responses.
Insults can be quite effective here. You can also demonstrate erudition by throwing in an occasional phrase in French.)
If you run into really tough objections , ignore them ,or change the subject . The objector will eventually go away.
A few folks have asked where I get these "notions" about politically progressive people. The best response would be to show you one a fairly typical source.
" It’s not just America that considered him (Pope John Paul II) out of touch. He was opposed to birth control; opposed to the rights of gays; opposed to the rights of women; opposed to the right to have an abortion. He made a virtue of human suffering rather than working for meaningful ways to prevent human suffering. Refused the use of condoms, even to prevent disease such as AIDS. Did little to deal with priests raping children (invited Law over and he never came home; and Law gets to vote on the next Pope).
He made a virtue of human suffering rather than working for meaningful ways to prevent human suffering.
Refused the use of condoms, even to prevent disease such as AIDS.
Did little to deal with priests raping children (invited Law over and he never came home; and Law gets to vote on the next Pope).
He did correct some of the past Catholic errors, like exonerating Galileo and apologizing to the Jewish people for his church having not condemned, and maybe even having helped their un-excommunicated communicant Adolph Hitler.
Now his church is having trouble filling pews and finding priests. I’m betting the next Pope changes some of their antiquated “rules.”