Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Women in Power

    Roaring back from the recent 3,500 years of male-dominated rule after over at least 200,000 

years of Sun Goddesses, women have struggled and won a new era of equality over the previous 

one that started about 5,000 years ago in the temple of the Queen of Heaven in Erech, Iraq, with 

the invention of writing that greatly assisted the proliferation of thinkers, a fair share of whom 

were probably women and the growth of religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that 

demoted women to inferior roles. Men seized the opportunity to create Yahweh (Jehovah) and 

have him order in the Old Testament the expulsion of all other religions. There is no goddess 

word in the old bible.

    Artifacts dating back up to 40,000 years ago reveal widespread worship of a female creator 

who arrived in a burst of energy along with the cosmos. She goes by different names in different 

cultures including Ashtoreth, Isis, Mama, Thesis, A’akuluujjusi (Inuit), Sedna, Nammu, Gaea, 

Amana, and many others.

    About 12,000 years ago groups of women throughout the Fertile Crescent introduced 

sedentary agriculture to male mobile hunting and gathering. Settlement around temples to 

goddesses grew. This increased the status of women but men also when the settlements had to be 

defended.The fate of women has been associated with the invention of writing that occurred 

independently in:  Mesopotamia 5,400, Egypt 5,259, China 4,000, and Mesoamerica 2,650 years 

ago.

    Since 1918, women have been chosen head of state in 89 democracies. When we add re-

elections the total comes to 188 terms. The United States is yet to join this club.

To be eligible to run for president in the United States a candidate must raise $5,000 in each of 

over 20 states ($100,000). But this is only the beginning of the cost obstacle.

A great deal of faith in US politics has been lost, so there was hope that a large infusion of female 

politicians would reverse the trend. Even though Hillary Clinton won 2.1% more of the vote in 

2016 she lost to Donald Trump by electoral college inputs. Clinton spent $768 million 

on  her campaign, Trump $440 million. Voter turnout was 26th among 35 democracies studied,  

Only 19  countries are rated as full democracies, led by Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, 

Finland, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, Australia. In this study the USA ranks 25th.

A list of the world’s 50 most powerful women includes USA 28, UK 4, China 2, France 2, 

Germany 2 and 1 each from Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, India, New Zealand, Norway, 

Singapore, Spain, Taiwan. The 2020 federal election cycle in the United States started out with 

presidential candidates that totalled 6 men (Berni Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, 

Tom Steyer, Deval Patrick, Michael Bennet, and Andrew Yang) and 7 women (Elizabeth Warren, 

Kamala Harris, Marianne Williamson, Kristen Gillibrand, Rita Krichevsky, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi 

Gabbard).

    Now, for the November election we face a deluge of dropouts, leaving us with only with the 

encumbents, Donald Trump and Michael Pence. competing with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

And there is that lone Libetarian hopeful, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, still fighting for those few more votes 

to qualify for the debates. Jo opposes Trump’s border wall and immigration restrictions, arguing a 

blend of cultures is beneficial. She would allow workers to replace Social Security with a 6.2% 

payroll tax to invest in their preferred plans, reduce the high incarceration rate, and the 

militarization of police, support nuclear energy and free trade, eliminate foreign aid, sanctions, US 

participation in foreign wars. Among the many biases is the one that argues a woman can never 

get enough votes to be elected president Charlotte Whitten was top student at Queen’s University, 

Kingston, where she earned her MA as well as being the star of their hockey team and the fastest 

skater in the league. She was also  the first female editor of Queen’s Journal newspaper. She was 

voted in as Ottawa’s mayor for  two terms, 1951-56 and 1961-64. She was noted for her wit and 

her assertation “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as 

good. Luckily this is not difficult.”The exalted role of women hit a rough road with the advent of 

writing and Christianity. The Bible describes 35 false female gods. One of these is Brigid, 

goddess of the Gaels including the Tuatha De Danann of Ireland, now replaced by Saint Patrick. 

A sampling of powerful women;


Queen Boudica in 60 AD inherited her father’s Celtic Iceni kingdom in eastern England during the 

Roman takeover. Boudica was flogged, her daughters raped, and her country annexed. She 

organized a revolt of the Iceni, Trinovantes, and others, destroying Colchester built for retired 

Romans, defeating the 9th Legion and burning Londinium and Verulamium (Hertfordshire, the 3rd 

largest city in Roman Britain) killing about 75,000. Nero considered leaving Britain but 

the  Romans regrouped and were about to defeat Boudica when she committed suicide, later 

becoming a British legend.


Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1122-1204, one of the wealthiest and sought after woman in western Europe 

when she inherited Aquitaine. She married King Louis VII of France and participated in the 2nd 

Crusade. He got an annulment from Pope Eugene III after she produced two daughters and no 

sons. In 1152 she married the Duke of Normandy who became King Henry II of England. In 13 

years she bore him 3 daughters and 5 sons, 3 of whom became kings. He imprisoned her in 1173 

for helping their son Henry’s revolt and was not released until 1189 when he died.


Marie Curie, 1857-1934, born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland, then part of the Russian 

empire, became a French physicist and chemist. Wanting to obtain part of her education in Poland 

she applied to a Polish university but was rejected being a woman. She was the first woman to win 

a Nobel prize, sharing it with her husband, Pierre Curie, in 1903. In 1911 she became the only 

woman to earn a second Nobel prize. She was the first woman professor at the University of Paris.


Nazi female guards. Of the 37,000 Nazi guards who participated in the sufferings of prisoners 

10% were women, some just as cruel as the men, yet a few female guards did share their food 

with starving prisoners, enough to warrant a warning order being sent to female guards who did 

have total power over their prisoners. A total of 189 men and 10 women were hanged for war 

crimes by the British


Isle Koch, 1906-1957. was the wife of Karl Otto Koch , commandant of the Buchenwald 

concentration camp 1937-1941. He was transferred to Lublin to help establish the Majdanek 

extermination camp. Isle remained at Buchenwald. In 1943 Karl and Isle were arrested by the SS 

for embezzlement, private enrichment, and murdering prisoners who could provide evidence. Karl 

was executed in April 1945. Isle was released to her family. Known as the Beast of Buchenwald 

due  to her cruelties towards prisoners, she was tried by the U.S. military in 1947. Her most 

published  crimes were selecting prisoners with interesting tatoos to be murdered and skinned then 

having their skins made into lampshades.


Irma Grese, 1923-1945, was a beautiful, intelligent, and timid teenager who joined the Hitler 

Youth, earning rapid promotions. Known as the Beast of Belsen she whipped female prisoners 

until they collapsed then trampled them. She selected prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. She 

was hanged at age 22.


Antonina Parfenova, a Russian living in a German-occupied portion of Russia, swore allegiance to 

the Nazis for better treatment. She was given a machine gun to kill over 1,500 imprisoned 

Russians. A post-war search for her took 30 years. She was executed in 1979.


Golda Meir, 1898-1978, born Mabovitch in Kiev her family emigrated in 1906 to the USA where 

she became a teacher, She and her husband emigrated to a kitbbutz in Palestine in 1921. In 1928 

she was elected secretary of the Working Women’s Council which had her spend 2 years in the 

USA, returning in 1934. She joined the Histadrut, advancing to being head of the political 

department.Prior to 14 May 1948 when Israel was declared a state Meir went to the USA to raise 

$50 million to buy the weapons that permitted Israel to defeat the attacks from Arab nations. 

Entering politics she served as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister, then in 1969 was elected 

Prime Minister, the world’s fourth and Israel’s first and only female PM.

In one list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, the top five rare:


1. Angela Merkel has been described as leader of the free world. Born Kashner in Hamburg, 

Germany, in 1954, her family moved to East Germany where she earned a PhD in quantu

chemistry in 1986 and worked in research until entering politics in 1989. Germany was reunited 

1990. In 2005 she was appointed the first female Chancellor. She was elected for a 4th term in 

2018. In office she did reduce unemployment, did away with conscription, tried to build a Multi-

culture nation, which did not work the way she wanted so she encouraged immigrants to accept 

German values. She has been a world leader in fighting climate changes. She accepted over 1

million refugees into Germany. As only 5 of 16 state level boards are headed by women she hopes 

to remedy thisMerkel describes the Coronaviris as the biggest threat Germany has ever 

experienced. She has won international plaudits for her handling of it as she has for the German 

penal system that features rehabilitation. Police recruits are required to spend two and a half to 

four years in basic training to become an officer, with the option to pursue the equivalent of a 

bachelor’s or master’s degree in policing. Basic training in the U.S. by comparison, can take as 

little as 21 weeks or 33.5 weeks, with field training.


2. Christine Lagarde, born Lallouette in 1956 in Paris Educated in France and the USA on a 

scholarship, she held several senior governmental positions, 2005-2011. In 2009 she was the first 

woman to become a finance minister of a G8 country. The Financial Times rated her as the best 

finance officer in Europe. She was chairman of the International Monetary Fund before becoming 

president of the European Central Bank in November 2019.


3. Nancy Pelosi, born D’Alesandro in 1940, ranks 3rd. As a U.S Democrat and on her second tour 

as Speaker of the House of Representatives she is the only woman to hold this post which 

also puts her second in line after the vice president for the presidency. She was a major opponent 

of the Iraq War.


4. Ursula von der Leyen, born Albrecht in Brussels in 1968, to German parents moving to 

Hanover in 1971. She has served in the German government since the late 1990’s, first 

locally then federal. She is the longest member of Merkel’ cabinet. She has been Minister of 

Family Affairs and Youth, 2005-2009, Labour and Social Affairs, 2009-2013, Defence, 2013-2019.

She lived in Stanford, California, for 4 years while her husband was on the faculty of the 

university there.


5. Mary Barra, born Makela in 1961 in Royal Oak, Michigan, she has been General Motors’ CEO 

since 2013. She is the first woman to be CEO of a major auto maker. Her salary last year was 

$21.87 million. She is of Finnish descent.


20. Oprah Winfrey: Oprah ranks 20th in Forbes list but #1 on others. She was born in poverty in 

1954 in Mississippi to a single teenage mother. In her teens she was raped, The baby was born 

prematurely and died. Oprah was sent to Tennessee to live with Vernon Winfrey, a man she called 

her father. While in high school she found a job in radio, rising rapidly in news and talk shows, 

advancing to politics. During the 2008 election it is estimated she was worth a million votes to 

Barack Obama. Oprah is North America’s first Black multi billionaire and philanthropist.


Kamala Harris: On 11 Aug 2020, after interviewing 11 qualified women for the job, Joe Biden 

chose Kamala for his vice president running mate. Kamela was born in 1964 in Oakland, 

California, followed by a younger sister. Maya. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, had immigrated 

from India in 1960 to complete a PhD in endocrinology. She married Donald Harris, a professor 

of economics who had emigrated from Jamaica. They moved to Montreal when Shyamala got 

teaching job at McGill University. Kamala was a popular student at nearby Westmount High 

School, graduating in 1981. Her parents had divorced in 1975.Kamela went on to obtain 2 degrees 

from Howard University in Washington then a Juris Doctor from the University of California in 

San Francisco. She earned admission to the State Bar of California in 1990. She was employed as 

deputy district attorney. In 2003 she was elected to be California’s first African-American 

district attorney.There are several organizations that compile these lists and they all differ which 

means we have an increasing number of women reaching the influential stage and that we actually 

are on our way to a bias-free world. Even in Iran and Saudi Arabia we are seeing improvements. 

When we do achieve 0ne-Species-but two-Equal-Sexes mentality, we men hope that revenge will 

be outdated.




Ye Olde Scribe











Tuesday, 30 June 2020

VIEWPOINTS

     Today we are heavily involved with accusations of racism and physical harm inflicted by members of forces employed to protect our community members, who also include bad actors.  So, let me add a few comments on human nature.
     In the early 1960s I was a major based at Air Defence Command (ADC) headquarters built on the SW side of the St. Hubert (Montreal suburb) airport.  One August I was sent to Bird, Manitoba to relieve for 2 weeks, the CO of the Mid-Canada Line station.  This electronic line was designed by McGill University to detect penetrating aircraft.  Arriving at the  railway station on the line leading to Churchill on Hudson Bay I was surprised by a pretty well-dressed Cree woman who, in welcoming passengers to Bird included the advice that she did not engage in sex.  She had good reason,  Too many white men sexually abuse native women.  Days later members of my new staff invited me to share a responsibility they had accepted.  Carrying axes and saws, we canoed across a river then hiked a mile through thick forest to the well-maintained shack of Prudence, a pretty Cree woman who had not been as prudent as her name implies.  She was raising a large family of well-dressed children fathered by passing hunters.  We then selected a few trees to cut up into logs for her woodpile.  With a good vocabulary she served us cups of tea before we left.
     In 1962 I was on a 13-month stint as Military Commander of the 500-mile-long stretch of the Cape Parry sector of the 3,000-mile-long Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line along the Arctic coast of Alaska, Canada and Greenland.  Our call sign was PIN so I was known as Pinhead with the rank of major.
     Pin was built in 1955-57 consisting of 5 radar sites: a main station at Cape Parry with 2 satellite sites to the west and 2 east.  There was a weekly flight from Winnipeg and an annual sealift.  I had a staff of 5 RCAF and 2 USAF officers.  The other 125 men were hired by Federal Electric Corporation (FEC) for 18-month tours of 54-hour work weeks after which they were flown to Winnipeg for 2 weeks paid holidays during which they could quit or reenlist. We also employed 6 Inuit men housing their families in 3 duplexes, the only family housing on base.  Other families moved up from Paulatuk building from surplus FEC lumber a new village 4 miles south of us.   
   In December 1962 Jim Stephens from Scotland found many items missing while taking inventory of his Hudson Bay store so he called in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Three days later they flew in a constable who started a search of all Inuit dwellings, discovering some of them in the shack built by a new family.  He arrested the husband, confining him to the room we had provided him in the long billets block.
   That evening we had a film flown in from Winnipeg.  As usual I drove my lone truck the 4 miles to the  village to squeeze in as many Inuit as possible.  The constable also brought his prisoner, walking him back to the billets after the show.  Mounting the steps to the veranda surrounding the housing block the prisoner was ahead of the constable.  On reaching the veranda he suddenly whirled, kicking the constable where it hurts the most, quickly disappearing into the night.  It was now my responsibility.  Calling to Bob Hornal, one of my officers, we found Jim Stephens to open his HBC store to borrow two shotguns.
     We assumed the fugitive would head for the village so we quickly loaded my village passengers asking them to notify all villagers and drove to the village from where, with only moonlight to guide us, Bob and I spread out to begin a long, very cold search towards our base.  It was -30F.
     Over 2 hours of this I heard a low moan ahead of us.  I called to Bob to cover me while I veered off in a large circle to come up on the moan from the rear, finding an exhausted, bleeding, and freezing man spread across a small mound of gravel.  I shouted for Bob and we carried him to the HBC store where we and Jim stripped, washed, and redressed him with new warm clothing from HBC shelves.  By this time the constable had recovered enough to take custody, this time handcuffing him, flying him to prison 3 days later. Of course the government provided accommodation and food for the family during his internment.                               
     In the spring the circuit judge arrived to set up a formal trial using the Catholic Church and all the pomp and circumstance the old school demands including the wearing of a white wig.  The verdict?  The prison time already served was sufficient so, on the promise that  he would never steal again, he was freed.
     He and his family became real assets to the community.
Racial biases can be created everywhere.  At Cape Parry the six Inuit we employed and housed in duplexes with indoor utilities kept them in excellent repair.  Those who moved up from Paulatuk to build a new village of shacks had no electricity or plumbing so all winter used the great outdoors as toilets leaving a summer litter and stench forcing them to flee to tents, leaving a large area to avoid.  This caused many newcomers from the south to adopt a lasting view that Inuit were an inferior species.
     The village Inuit maintained dogs that were kept chained in 5 teams always ready to haul sleds.  FEC did not want them free to roam around the station.  I was warned to avoid the teams as they were vicious. Being skeptical I found that they craved love.  I began having our kitchen staff save me their scraps of bone and flesh to take to the village, finding I could walk along the 5 lines of  chained dogs, giving each of the 25 dogs a share.  This became a routine.  When they saw, or smelled, my truck coming the dogs would begin a loud welcoming.  There were 5 young, unchained dogs, one of whom was my favourite, who would wander onto base.  I was highly annoyed when the FEC chief had them shot, so for several weeks I ate my meals at the Inuit table rather than with him. 
    Another handicap is that Inuit, actually highly talented and whom we called Eskimos (eaters of raw flesh) were slow to form genuine friendships.  Coming from a long heritage of solitary hunters whose children we took every September to June to fly to Catholic or Protestant boarding schools that used a southern curriculum.  On graduation they were returned to their original homes, remote from southern employment.
     A big help to me was Jessica Green, an 82-year-old woman from the village who soon recognized my attempts to befriend the natives.  She told me “While you are on the DEW Line, I will be your Mother.”  She had a small income selling to southern visitors items like ties, wallets, and dolls made from seal skins that were cured with human urine.  To increase sales I joined a few member of my RCAF/USAF staff who purchased from the Inuit seal skins for $5 each, then fly them to Winnipeg for commercial curing, selling them back to Inuit women.  We had frequent visiting groups of military brass, university professors, and business people to whom I gave briefings, always introducing Jessica and her seal-skin offerings.  One university official asked her why she did not speak more English instead of Eskimo.  She  replied “If I were an English woman I would.  I am an Eskimo woman.”   Jessica loved her corncob pipe, well blackened from long use.  My wife, Joan, mailed me six new ones for her.  She was walking along the Arctic coast when I took the first to her,  Delighted, she threw the one she was smoking well out into the ocean.
     Jessica took a keen interest in politics.  She kept reminding me of the approaching day for the federal election vote knowing I would be sent the box for the votes of all Cape Parry Canadians.  It had snowed heavily and I could get my truck only half way to the village.  I had to climb over several large drifts carrying the box to collect all the village votes.  The villagers thanked Jessica and me for not having to walk to the station and back in deep snow to vote. 
     I had a busy military work schedule but considered it far more important to cement good inter-racial ties.  At the other end of the age group was 5-year-old Renee Ruben.  I made a habit of filling my parka pockets with oranges on my visits to the village.  Seeing me coming she would rush out shouting “Squadron Leader George!”  Giving me a hug she would extract an orange from my pocket and we would stroll across the tundra each peeling and eating an orange.  She seldom spoke so I inferred she was mentally deficient, 
     Seeing a motor abandoned for the winter. I said “There is an outboard motor.”  She replied “That is a kicker.”  What a change!  Realizing there was something she could teach me she erupted into informative  talk which dominated our future walks as she was now an equal.  She cherished the red plaid dress my wife sent her.  In the spring I mentioned the kicker to Adam Ruben who advised he knew about it and would get it working as soon as sea ice had melted. It belonged to a schooner given to Father deHurtevant and was now beached in Paulatuk.  Adam was a most likable 16-year-old boy who had several scattered girlfriends.  Frequently he would catch a seal for his dog team and leave for a week or two to visit them all.
     I was there when he started on the engine.  Soon the ground was littered with nuts, bolts. and engine parts.  Amazed, I uttered “Adam, if you get all that mess working again I will give you $1”.  He kept cleaning, re-oiling, and re-assembling, finally trying a restart.  It roared into life!  Totally amazed I gave him $2 with which he bought cigars, smoking them as he walked around the village advertising his wealth.
     Village homes were all crowded so for months I knocked when visiting then they all asked me to just walk in as I was considered a member of the family.
     I also made many valued friends among FEC employees.  Brilliant Oscar Gravitis from Latvia was special.  He had just graduated from high school when the Soviets invaded, followed by Germans, then again by Soviets.  Thousands of Latvians, including Oscar’s relatives, were sacrificed when they were forced by both sides to join hands in long lines to walk across fields, exploding mines.  Oscar also was heavily shelled while driving munition trucks in active fighting areas.
     Post war Oscar was employed by the Canadian Army that was well pleased with his work.  When the time came to repatriate Europeans, Oscar had no desire to return to Soviet-ruled Latvia, so told the Canadians he was Dutch.  His many friends arranged for him to join the Dutch who were emigrating to Canada where he accepted a job as a lumberjack, then with a radio -TV store in Hamilton, Ontario.
     Seeing a newspaper FEC ad for bulldozer operators that paid more he went to Montreal where the hiring office was.  The manager advised the last opening had just been filled and that the only current vacancies were for radicians.  Oscar whooped:  “I apply.  Radician was my original trade!”  She replied:  “You must pass an exam  which we will be giving in 4 days time,  Oscar gleefully signed up for it.
     Having no idea what a radician was he remained in the office talking to other officials, slowly learning
that radicians operated and maintained the radar domes on the DEW Line.  He raced off to a book store, bought  several books to study in his motel, then did well on the exam, was hired, and sent to Cape Parry where he watched radicians on shift, asking numerous questions before being assigned to a shift.
     Amazingly soon Oscar was recognized as a leading radician and others from across the DEWLine would call him with problems.  I had many long walks across the tundra with him as he photographed wild flowers, building an impressive library of Arctic flora.  FEC moved him to their headquarters.
     Although I did two tours in Personnel work, including one in RCAF HQ in Ottawa, I encountered only one case of anti-Black bias when a station refused to accept a Black individual I had sent them to fill a vacancy in their Personnel office, causing me to change his posting.
     So, there was bias in the RCAF.  I also learned to avoid the use of “negro” which had become a derogatory term.  I was annoyed as I considered in my right to use such terms as Limey, Frog, Yank, Canuck Jerry, Fritz, Paddy as harmless polte terms.
     In 1963 we were to experience more when we were transferred to Colorado, USA, and lived in a motel for several weeks while house hunting.  There was a wide selection of well-kept housing areas and many attractions – an excellent location for a happy tour of duty, soon marred by two puzzling incidents.  In one pleasant housing area a well-liked Army general who was serving at Pearl Harbor in 1941 when it was bombed advised “We have a Home Owners Association that does not permit negro families to establish homes here.  While still in the motel one of our young daughters was walking alone on a nearby business street.  As she passed a parked pick-up truck with two teenage black boys sitting in the back, the boys stood up to spit on her.  Our new paradise has its flaws. Puzzled and scared with spit on her she ran back to the motel.  I then realized there were no Blacks in the NORAD HQ unit to which I was assigned.
    Now needing home care nurses, I have learned much from the excellent ones I have had.  All are dedicated Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) who have been wounded by patients who become confused and violent.  One Black couple, Latisha and Tony, served me well for months but were also US Army veterans so had priority for two better-paid Post Office jobs that opened up so they moved to Texas up to take them but still keep in touch.
     My current group is led by Michele who has suffered much body-wide pain including a recent knee replacement with a second due after she recovers from this one.
      Scarlett is one of the group.  When ten years of age her gang of white friends challenged her to steal from a store a packet of chewing gum.  She did so but was caught and turned over to the police.  Taking her to a quiet area he lectured her on proper behaviour, finally asking “Do you think you did an honest thing?”.  She expressed her remorse and was set free.  This is in sharp contrast to the frequent harsher treatment of non-whites.     
    In 2019 she was in a car with Eric, her brother-in-law, a black person, driving.  He had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the car in front, stopped with hazard lights on.  Ten minutes later a young blonde woman left her car shouting foul words at them, stopping when she saw a black driver.  She raced back to her car.  Scarlett followed her to ask her to pull off the busy road, which she did into a gas station.  Scarlett heard her phone the police and her boyfriend, yelling to them that her life was in danger from a Black man. 
     They arrived at the same time and inspected both cars, finding only dust on both bumpers.  The policeman said there was no damage, so he was leaving, suggesting they do the same.  Scarlett said to the young woman you're in more danger with me than that gentle man.
     Stephanie, another nurse, had an enduring wound at age 6.  She and her 5-year-old niece were in a park with a 17 year-old white male baby sitter.  Two black boys, 13 and 12, refused to share swing sets with the girls prompting the baby sitter to race in and violently beat up the two boys causing the girls to erupt in tears.  He explained that as white girls they had priority over black boys.  The girls told their parents and that boy never babysat for them again but spent much of his life in jail for acts of violence.
     Her mother, born in Bowie, Texas, in 1943 recalls that Blacks were not allowed in her county after dark and often had to drive an extra 158 miles to avoid being caught there.  In 1953 her family moved to Wichita Falls.  A short time later the stigma was broken when a wealthy car dealer in Bowie hired two Black mechanics and housed them on his ranch well out in the country.  It was not until 1960 after segregation was abolished that her mother met her first Black person in high school.
     Stephanie has also worked at Lawton Correction Facility whose inmates included about 85 Comanche housed in racial isolation as they were claimed to be the worst of the inmates.  The administration maintained that this isolation was due to behavior-related issues, disregarding their policies on the way inmates are correctly handled.  Often they were restricted from normal daily routines and were not allowed to hold traditional ceremonies pertaining to their spiritual beliefs. They were forced into many unnecessary shake downs and tormented by many higher-ranking prison guards. The lower ranking prison guards that looked after them everyday would sometimes stand outside their cells and taunt them with their own culture making fun of them. This caused lots of frustration which led to many outburst of anger, that only helped the administration to further prove that they were a danger to themselves and others.
        Stephanie has also worked at Lawton Correction Facility whose inmates included about 85 Comanche housed in racial isolation as they were claimed to be the worst of the inmates.  Ofen they were denied normal daily routines and were not allowed to hold traditional ceremonies pertaining to their spiritual beliefs. They were forced into many unnecessary shake downs and tormented by many higher-ranking prison guards. The lower ranking prison guards that looked after them everyday would sometimes stand outside their cells and taunt them with their own culture making fun of them. This caused lots of frustration which led to many outburst of anger, that only helped the administration to further prove that they were a danger to themselves and others.
     Rick, another CNA who values helping others well ahead of money provides me with thought-provoking discussions, mainly in history, quantum physics, and plants,  He also has good data on alien visits and UFOs.  He claims that, in today’s society, we are used and controlled by money seekers like the Rothschild clan, the Illuminati, Free Masons, all successful politicians, lawyers, military personnel, pharmaceutical, firms, news media owners who have used misinformation to increase profits,  One example he uses is the billions spent to harm and outlaw the cheap and beneficial marijuana plant that can produce numerous items that the fossil fuel industry does at much higher costs and profits.  He also exposes conspiracy theories as actual fact like 9/11 being a home-grown crime.  Rick grew up frequently hearing the term ‘conspiracy theorist’, an occupation he thought ludicrous. But after 9/11 and the 9/11 truther movement began, he started uncovering for himself all the facts and evidence he could on alleged global conspiracies.  He assessed the penal system while enduring two jail sentences for possessing small quantities of marijuana made from home-grown plants. He is 51 now, still doing research on his own. He has discovered that most of the things considered conspiracy theories have already been proven as fact! He is looking forward to the near future when honest legitimate research is allowed to be broadcast on mainstream media.    A defining event in his life was growing up in a hostile environment as a result of the War on Drugs which he says is an extremely violent civil war, that has ripped apart the close binding fabric of the family unit. Pitting family members against each other in a Global Theater, aggravated by the corruption of Bankers, Government Officials, Communications Spy Systems, Corporate Criminals, Military Murderers, Judges, and Lawyers. are laughing all the way to the Bank to Worship their God of Money.
     Rick has gone through many traumatic experiences encompassing his whole being: body, mind and spirit.  He seeks wisdom and compassion to help create a new culture based on Love, Wisdom and Truth. Knowing that it is the Truth that will set us free!

Ye Olde Scribe

Friday, 10 April 2020

PANDEMICS

     Being over the age of 100 it seems likely that I am one of few active bloggers who has been alive during both the so-called Spanish Flu and the current coronavirus one. So permit me to offer some perspective.
     In spite of too many misfits of individuals, politicians, and businesses who seek profits from the hardships of others, we can be very proud of our Homo sapiens species, one of 1.3 million known and an estimated 8.3 million yet to be found and described, that have evolved on this tiny speck of matter, called a planet and hidden among trillions of galaxies created apparently out of nothing some 4.5 billion years ago with Life arriving 4.3 billion years ago and our species 200,000 years ago.  We were not capable of leaving a written record until 5,400 years ago.  Bones and artifacts are used to take us back much further, perhaps 40,000 years.  We have evolved a consciousness that urges us to find, or create, a purpose.  A consciousness that can remember and learn from past experiences.
     All species live briefly on this planet where they both co-operate with and prey on other species.  For survival, and for pleasure, our species has dominated the plant and animal kingdoms.  It is only 400 years with the invention of the microscope that we began to understand both our beneficial and fatal interactions with the immense invisible world.
     Today we are grateful to millions of humans who are risking, with thousands sacrificing, their lives to help others while we endure and try to limit the worldwide assault of the coronavirus that has evolved and multiplied rapidly to invade and confuse our immune systems with weapons so new that it may take us a year or more to develop a vaccine.  This implies an intelligence at a basic level so we are in a total war that could dwarf previous pandemics that we do need to review for guidance. 

    I was born in Canada in November 1919 during the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu Pandemic that claimed 55,000 Canadian lives out of a population of 8.5 million.  Estimates of the world toll range from 20 to 50 million deaths out of 500 million cases.  It is not known where it started but it was not in Spain.  It became a deadlier-than-war force late in the Great War of 1914-1918. Our censors downplayed the numerous deaths among Allied troops so neutral Spain with a free press was blamed.  It was called La Gripe.  Some blamed a new chemical weapon, invented and used by our enemies. Returning soldiers brought the lingering disease to North America.  I grew up among two uncles wounded in the trenches and scores of veterans with numerous ailments.  For months my parents scrubbed floors, walls, and furniture to protect me.
     Pandemics and humans have co-existed for all of recorded history.  Wikipedia describes 232.   A sample:                                                                                                                                                       
   430 BC:  The Plague of Athens:  It entered Athens through its port city of Piraeus during the Peloponnesian War, killing up to 100,000 people, resulting in a large-scale breakdown of law and order and religious beliefs.  Greeks had flooded into Athens causing over crowding that increased disease prompting the attacking superior Spartan army to retire.  Thucydides caught but survived the plague.  Pericles used his superior navy to save Athens, allowing it to recover in 15 years. 
     165-188 AD The Antonine Plague (Plague of Galen) killed up to 10 million.  It broke out during the Roman siege of Seleucia, spreading throughout Gaul then to the legions along the Rhine.  It could have been smallpox or measles.  A similar plague erupted in eastern China.
      249-262 AD:  The Plague of Cyprian, named for the Christian bishop of Carthage:  It killed a million people, and is thought to have been smallpox.  It caused severe food shortages, greatly weakening the Roman Empire.   
     541-542 AD:  The Plague of Justinian:  Killed 45% of the European and West Asian population.  It hit the Byzantine Empire especially Constantinople. 
     735-737 AD:  Japanese Smallpox Epidemic killed one third of the Japanese population. 
     1346-51; The Black Death (Great Bubonic Plague, or Pestilence) killed up to 200 million humans in Eurasia.  It entered Europe when Mongols catapulted infected bodies over the walls of Kaffa, Crimea (Caffa) in 1346  An Italian force killed 15,000 Tatars in retaking Caffa.  Merchant ships brought the plague to all of Europe carried by fleas on rats.  It also spread to China and India.
     1519-1580 saw 3 Mexican epidemics of smallpox and salmonella due to the Spanish occupation with its slave-like treatment of the natives, aggravated by periods of severe drought, killed up to 25 million.

     In the 1600s the 13 British colonies in America endured plagues including, bubonic, smallpox, typhus, and measles with death tolls up to 90% of local populations. Plagues also hit England, the Netherlands,  Malta, Austria, Vienna, Spain, Naples, China, and France.
      1720-22 Great Plague of Marseille, France, the last major attack of the Bubonic Plague in Western Europe killed 100,000 humans.  It took Marseille only two years to recover mainly because it had learned from the Plague of 1580  and built the infrastructure to combat plagues.
      2013-2016 Ebola:  In 21 months Ebola took 28,646 lives in 10 countries, 6 of them in western Africa.
     The rapid speed and range of returning plagues is quite impressive.  In 2019-2020 the dengue fever erupted to invade Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos,and Latin America, carried by multiplying mosquitoes using discarded plastic containers as breeding grounds.  There is a vaccine so only 2,500  deaths were reported.
          Viruses kill 15 million humans a year – twice as many as cancer.  If a person’s immune system does not immediately attack an invading pathogen it takes 4-9 days for the system to start working on antibodies.
     It is a war that demands constant scientific vigilance and the maintenance of world forces with a common purpose  that can be  quickly mobilized.   Could we use it to also lessen frictions among nations?

Ye Olde Scribe