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The Informed Citizen
Saturday, May 28, 2005

Freedom is not a "default" setting,or bundled software we are born with.

It is not something one can download from the Net.

In every generation,Americans have stepped forward to lay their lives on the line: sometimes for their own nation;sometimes for people in other nations-and there have usually been some to voice bitter opposition to the good deeds of others.

There have always been those who feel freedom is best achieved by hunkering down: by pulling our heads into a shell,so we cannot see or hear injustice;by pulling in our legs,so we will not be tempted to go to someone's aid.

There was,perhaps,a time when such a course was possible: the time before airplanes,intercontinental missiles,and nuclear weapons.

There are others who feel we can best achieve freedom by surrendering ours to an international organization: one that has proven-time and time again-it favors governments organized along Stalinist lines;an organization that has demonstrated repeatedly it is willing to "overlook" genocide-if the price is right.

Finally,there are those who have set aside Communism and its attendant revolutions in favor of "incremental progressive change".

Revolutions are so...unpredictable. Quite often,those who seize power are apt to turn on those who helped them do so.

Modern Progressives remember well the lessons of Russia,China, and Cuba,where the "intelligentsia" were the first to meet the revolution's firing squads.

As you listen to them attack and smear whichever administration is in power -( This year, it's the Republicans;but a glance at their published archives will show they hate Democrats with equal fervor !)-keep in mind the sort of future they plan for all of us.

Think : Bureaucrats' Paradise: a world awash in regulations-and regulators; a world in which everything is gray.

Imagine a world that looks an awful lot like the typical Motor Vehicle agency,or clinic waiting room.

Progressives dream of a world in which all are equal-but they are a bit more equal than others; an anthill, in which all labor for the greater glory of the State...and its Progressive Leaders.

A world,in short,run by and for Progressives.

Freedom is not a default setting . Be wary of those who would delete it from our lives !

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Marburg : Malice or Malpractice ?

I entered some correspondence today,concerning possible origins of the Angola Marburg epidemic: an outbreak that started among very young children,and that is killing anywhere from 89% to 99% of those it infects-(depending on whose stats you trust.)

This was the response I got.

" I think if you check back, previous Marburg epidemics have been in places where there weren't any children, e.g. gold-mining camps.

WHO has reported that traditional healers are re-using non-sterilized syringes & needles to give their medicines to victims, hence spreading the disease, also some local doctors have not been using proper precautions & have become exposed.

Clearly there was an index case who caught the virus somewhere out there, went to hospital and started a chain of contamination.

But ProMed won't get into speculation about where & how the index case got it from, in the absence of any hard evidence."

It would seem ProMed,which is ( I believe) maintained by the Federation of American Scientists,has now adopted the ludicrous proposition that :

  1. There was an adult Marburg patient;
  2. Needles were stuck in this patient for incomprehensible reasons;
  3. The self-same needles were then used to inject the (now dead) children-again for incomprehensible reasons;
  4. Maybe the "native healers" (witchdoctors) were responsible.

I've given serious thought to other possibilities,including this one :

The infection began with children who were in some sort of daycare/nursery situation. (Angola is definitely the sort of place where both parents must hustle if the family is to survive.)

Powdered milk and/or powdered protein drink was served to the children.This is very common in 3rd world countries.

The powder was contaminated-with Marburg , by unknown means.When the children drank it,their doom was sealed.

There was a case a few years ago in the back-country of India:children were dying mysteriously.The mystery poison killing them was finally identified as a mycotoxin:the product of a fungus,which had contaminated their powdered milk.

This case was "baffling" to the world medical community,until proper testing was done.

So how did our hypothetical Marburg get into our equally hypothetical powdered milk ?

I doubt we'll ever know.There is no way to construct a "chain of evidence" on bulk stores of powdered milk,and thereby establish whether malice or "malpractice" was involved.

Clearly,there is little interest in the origins of this outbreak;nor is there likely to be,as long as the World Health Organization can shrug and (inferentially) blame "native healers".

I wonder what WHO will say when this 90% killer virus breaks out of Africa,and starts killing White people ?

Addendum: There is now a running " Marburg Surveillance" thread on Free Republic,which can be accessed here.


You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on ...

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous
sketch, "Who's on first?" might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm
thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write
proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say
I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with
some straight answers, OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of
your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie, I also want to watch reels 2, 3 and
4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What
do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue "w"?
ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there are three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It
pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even
part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial
bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. May I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

(Things That Go Bump in the Night)

I'm at that age when you wake up - long before dawn-and can't get back to sleep.

You lie there- thinking of things that went wrong;of things you should or should not have done.Sometimes you think about things others have done : things like Abu Ghraib.

About a year ago,an Army Reservist,who was under investigation by the Army for prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison, decided to attack his accusers by sending detailed graphic photos of prisoner abuse to the Media.

Keep in mind,the Army had become aware of the abuse some months earlier,and horrified commanders had demanded an investigation.I can only speculate here,but it would seem the Reservist "went public" in order to smear those same horrified commanders.

As the world knows,it was a very successful smear.

Every Media outlet with circulation goals to meet,or an editorial axe to grind saw to it that the American public received an almost unending barrage of Abu Ghraib photos and stories.

The story was a great hit in the Middle East as well.Virtually every Middle East outlet,from the nominally friendly to the openly hostile,made Abu Ghraib "page one,above-the-fold" news.

Now comes the nasty part.

While American editors and publishers were trading "high fives"-and ,perhaps,gloating over the prospect of destroying President Bush's re-election chances,al-Qaeda and the Muslim Botherhood were using the revelations as a recruiting tool:perhaps the most effective recruiting tool since the arrival of the Crusaders in the Middle Ages.

We've seen the horrifying results of that recruitment drive:spiraling numbers of American, Coalition,and Iraqi casualties,and huge numbers of civilian losses.

The jihad al-Qaeda brought into Iraq is now spreading like cancer into Europe,Asia,Africa,and South America,and may soon erupt -again - in our land.

Yesterday,many American editors and publishers congratulated each other for their "courage" in bringing us the Abu Ghraib story.Some,thinking perhaps of market share,expressed disappointment it had all ended so soon."Just the tip of the iceberg" was a typical comment.

Not one expressed concern over the human cost of their "great crusade".<p>

You'll pardon me if I don't join in the cheering.

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

03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 /

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