I support ANONYMOUS in their actions against government corruption announced today. Read my announcement of my support with links to their video specifying how the Internet War against government corruption has begun.
Archive for the ‘World Issues’ Category
Osama Bin Laden is dead. A small surgical strike by an American special forces team took him out in a wealthy neighborhood in Abbottabad, a town in Pakistan on May 1, 2011. The hunt is over!
How appropriate he was taken out on May Day – an international celebration of the unity of working people. It was the relentless dedication of thousands of dedicated workers in the intelligence community and military as well as in governments around the world, dedicated to bringing him to justice for the murder and maiming of thousands and the threats against millions of workers, along with retired persons, housewives, disabled and children, of all religions, races, and nationalities, that led to this outcome. We thank them! Our world is a little safer today. The message is clear. Terrorists can not hide!
Justice has been done and Bin Laden will now answer to his victims. He has been buried at sea in accordance with Muslim religious customs out of great respect to his religion, which he ignored and denigrated by stating that his cause was a holy war. Even in death, he was given more respect than he gave to his victims. This will prevent his final resting place from being a place of sick celebration.
We must NEVER blame the Muslim religion. Bin Laden was a terrorist murderer who murdered Muslims as well as Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others without regard to race, age, religion, nationality or morality.
The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said it best:
“Osama bin Laden, as we all know, had the very grave responsibility of spreading division and hatred amongst the people, causing the death of countless of people, and of instrumentalizing religion for this end,” he said. “In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace.”
It is my prayer that this act of justice will unite the world, bring a measure of closure to his victims and remind us all that diplomacy, debate, compassion, understanding, civil discourse and gentle non-violent protest and persuasion will solve the world’s problems and allow the peoples of the world to move forward.
There is no place for violence and war in a modern world. They are destructive and move us backwards instead of forwards.
Let us all pray that our leaders come to understand this fact that was so well understood by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and the many peaceful protesters in recent years on the streets of towns in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Madison and elsewhere.
To the people of the world – UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL – IN PEACE
Today is a good day! Peace be with you all!
Note: Abbottabad is a wealthy suburban area about a mile from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, in northern Pakistan. This proves that terrorists can hide ANYWHERE, even in our best neighborhoods, next door to us. The neighbors report that the people living in the large house with 12-18 foot walls and barbed wire were secretive. The fact they burned their garbage and had no telephone, Internet, or other connections with the outside world was a tip-off to the intelligence community.
It is not unusual for family compounds in wealthy areas of Pakistan to be fortified due to the terrorists activites. Neighbors would not necessarily be tipped-off by the fact this huge house/compound in that part of the world was fortified. Many retired military brass live in that community. What better place to hide than right in front of the face of your enemy – the least likely place that anyone would look for him!
We must all start to know our neighbors better. In America surveys have shown that 70 % of people do NOT know their neighbors. This was very different 50 years ago. It is time that our communities reverse this trend. Terrorism cannot survive if our communities are knowledgeable and united. I call upon our churches, community organizations, clubs and municipalities to be creative about reversing this sad trend. It truly takes a community and not individuals alone to fight terrorism and keep the peace.
Let International Court at Hague Prosecute High U.S. Officials for Torture, Pardon Those Below Cabinet LevelJuly 12, 2009
I support President Obama in denouncing torture. I wish to share the following view with our administration, especially Attorney General Eric Holder:
We can not lead the world from a moral high ground if we violate our own fundamental principles. This only leads to more hate against America from around the world. This produces a more dangerous world. Under NO circumstances can we compromise our ethical principles. If we do so, then our enemies have reason to torture our soldiers when captured in war and we have NO ethical ground to stand upon.
I believe that America committed war crimes when then subjected prisoners to torture and renditions. However, our country should not be distracted by and be caused to spend a huge amount rehashing this issue. It is not an American issue. It is an issue for the world to be concerned about.
Therefore, I believe that President Obama should grant blanket pardons to all that participated in such crimes who are below cabinet level rank and urge the International Court at the Hague to do the same. We should let the International Court at the Hague decide whether to prosecute U.S. officials at the cabinet level or above, as this amounts to a crime against humanity that the world should be concerned about. If we request that others be prosecuted for war crimes, we should accept the fact that at times our officials should also be prosecuted for war crimes.
The word “pandemic” raises great fear and trepidation due to the experience of the 1918 “flu pandemic”, “Spanish flu”, that killed over 40 million people around the world, more than war killed. The average persons equates “pandemic” with a “deadly disease”. Our government, the CDC, and the WHO have not adequately explained to the public and press that pandemic does NOT EQUAL deadly disease.
The 1918 flu pandemic was caused by the same family of virus A/H1N1 that is spreading around the globe this past month. There are hundreds of members of this family (strains) each which are unique but related. H1N1 was the family for the “seasonal flu” strains that infected people yearly from 1918 to 1957 when a new family emerged as the seasonal flu. Each year the dominant strain rearranged a bit causing a new strain to emerge in the same family of virus.
In 1977 the H1N1 family emerged again, but has not necessarily been the dominant family in the seasonal flu. There have been several families causing the yearly flu strain. This means that most people born before 1957 have a partial resistance to the A/H1N1 family which might explain why mainly young adults are getting sick with the presently mild A/H1N1 family-new this year strain or “swine” or “Mexican” flu.
So it is not the fact that it is an H1N1 family virus that scared the public health officials. It is the fact that this year’s strain was emerging at an unusual time and was coming from the Americas, in addition to the fact that it contained both swine and bird genes, as well as the fact that it was spreading so very quickly from person to person as well as tending to infect young healthy adults and causing deaths in a few of these people. Therefore it had some similarity to the pattern in the 1918 pandemic. As the scientists and the public health officials DO NOT UNDERSTAND what causes a flu to become really deadly and toxic this made the public health community very nervous.
In the U.S. influenza (the strain going around that year – called ‘seasonal’ flu for the kind of illness not the strain) infects about 30,000,000 people a year (10% of the population) and kills about 30,000 per year on the average. Generally the deaths are among the very old and very young who are already sick or fragile with chronic illness or congenital disease. Of note, the child that recently died in Texas was a chronically ill and fragile child.
Well, how do they pick what strains to make vaccine to every year. A new vaccine is needed every year because last year’s strain does not fully protect against the new strains that emerge each year as the virus has a tendency to rearrange taking components from other strains each year. The public health authorities and experts meet every year in around February to March and look at the strains that were spread around the previous year and guess at which strains will be around this year. Then they instruct the manufacterers to make a virus to a mix of strains that they think will occur the next fall. The guess is usually pretty good, but 1 out of 3 years they guess wrong and the vaccine is not completely effective. This year they had not expected this new A/H1N1 family – new strain to emerge so it was not included in the list. They are racing to include it or in the alternative if it is too late to include in the “seasonal vaccine’, then to make a vaccine specifically to this new strain. The vaccine should be ready between September and December. The vaccine however is not a cure all and can have complications – dozens of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrom an illness that causes paralysis and puts you on a respirator in intensive care occurred after the last “swine flu” vaccine was distributed.
The 1918 flu was unusual because it emerged in the spring as a very mild illness and then re-emerged in August as an intensely deadly illness. My grandfather during 1918 had this flu but he was in his thirties and recovered. He described people dying suddenly on the street – literally falling on the street with blood foaming out of their mouths. He also described getting on a troop train and young 18 year old soldiers going into massive respiratory failure, foaming blood at the mouth and dying during the few hours it took the train to get to its destination. It was very rapid onset and deadly and death was often due to a rapid onset and toxic viral pneumonia instead of from bacterial complications that often cause deaths in seasonal flu among the fragile. There were so many bodies they were stacked like cord wood in morgues and hospitals and on military bases where up to 80 % of the troops died. Herses in some cities stretched for miles with continuous funerals for weeks. A study revealed that closing schools in 1918 may have slowed the spread of the pandemic. The goal in closing schools is not to prevent people from getting sick but to slow the spread of the disease so that public health officials have time to mobilize, such as to distribute Tamiflu and masks. It is uncertain if masks are actually useful as most people don’t use them correctly and take them off frequently because they are uncomfortable.
It is my opinion that preventing the spread right now is foolish. I would encourage people to get exposed to this presently mild illness so as to build up herd immunity in the population while the illness is mild. You will also avoid the chance of complications from the vaccine in the fall and from medications. Then if per chance it should evolve and becoming deadly in the fall many people will at least be partially immune and we can use the medication (Tamiflu and Relenza) for the very ill and use the vaccine that is being developed in a more targeted fashion. Closing schools, businesses, and public events, when the illness is very mild, to me seems foolish and just deprives the kids of an education. I would encourage the medically fragile, severe asthmatics, and elderly who are chronically ill to stay home or avoid crowds for at least a few more weeks.
The most important thing to do to protect yourself against catching the influenza virus, not just now, but every year, particularly in the winter, is to WASH YOUR HANDS frequently. Washing/sanitizing schools is a waste of money, except it will remove bacteria that can cause infections. Influenza virus is very fragile and dies after a few hours at most on any surface. It is useful to sanitize things that people touch frequently like knobs on bathroom sinks and door handles several times a day during the flu season especially.
I do not see the present “pandemic” which just means it has spread across the continents any differently than I see the yearly seasonal strains at the moment. Pandemic does not tell you anything about the seriousness of the strain. It only tells you how widespread it has become. It is an epidemiologic term not a medical term that describes the toxicity or seriousness of the disease.
Excess use of Tamiflu will only cause the flu strain to become resistant sooner. I urge not using it for mild illness in the healthy. Also remember that Tamiflu has complications including delusions. People on it should be around a family member who can help them if they become confused and delusional and should consider not driving unless they know they don’t have this complication.
What we can do is only limited by our will and our imagination. We must think out-of-the-box. We must work together and resolve our differences. We use a very small portion of our intellectual potential. Anything is possible when there is respect, cooperation, long-term vision, and love for our fellow man – no matter his condition or position in our lives. Nothing is set in concrete. The fundamental beauty of man is our adaptability and creativity. It is a pity that it is usually wasted in petty materialism, bias, totalitarian restrictions, and hatred built by centuries of defamation. Man does not evolve in small steps, but there are significant leaps. I believe strongly, we are about to make one. Join in our national discussion – send me your suggestions for solutions to problems of our times. For a discussion of health care problems see: