List of Previous Titles

Sunday, October 26, 2014



There have been, and there are currently so many violent engagements going on at the same time, it's difficult to keep up. Hong Kong has been added to Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, and all the Arab Spring  regions; plus the United States has had its problems, and of course, there is always the tension between the two Koreas, that the world took its eye off the most likely place that will be the start of World War III, Pakistan and India.

These two nations are in perpetual conflict with 230 nuclear warheads between them, and the will to use them, as crazy as that is.

I apologize for bringing up the subject. I was going to write this week about the abusive situation that exists for men who have prostate problems. However, this subject has forced itself front and centre, so we had better give it our attention.

India and Pakistan are both very volatile nations, and will likely always have some source of irritation between them. The region that is most vexing to both countries is Kashmir. Both countries claim that it is lawfully theirs.  As it is unresolved, Kashmir is cut in half with both countries controlling one half each. The line that seperates the sides is called The Zero Line. It is something like the line between North and South Korea, only there have been three wars fought between the two countries over who controls Kashmir since 1947.

The Zero Line is fiercely defended with more than 650,000 totally committed troops deployed, with the slighest thing the cause of someone getting killed.  Forty-seven thousand people have lost their lives without any declaration of engagement at The Zero Line.

Dr. Kent Moors, a super consultant to 27 governments, and a hugely decorated individual person has written a book, entltled The Great Game, that I have purchased and am awaiting receipt of, in which he explains why he says that a nuclear war between these two countries is simply a matter of when, not if. In the nuclear standoff between America and Russia the M.A.D. principle operated. M.A.D. means Mutually Assured Destruction. If either side were to be so stupid to fire a missile with a nuclear warhead at the other, the result would be the end of all life forms on earth, except the cocroaches. Yet, the Russians did do a provocative thing during the Cuban Missile crisis that led to President Kennedy giving the order that would have led to the loss of all life on the planet.

In the case of Pakistan and India, this would be considered a holy war, and it certainly does not help that there are eight radical Islamic factions involved, including Al-Qaeda and The Taliban, so the M.A.D. principle is not operating at all.

The main sore point at the moment is over water. The Indus River starts in India and runs into Pakistan. Over the years India's population has grown to such a staggering size that after India has taken it need for water there is a shortage in Pakistan.  Probably the only reason war has not broken out as yet is because the United States is franticlly working behind the scenes to develop an effective industrial method to produce all of India's water needs from the sea. If this can be achieved, and scientists are close, this would allow India to allow Pakistan to exclusively use the Indus River.

Should war break out again between the two countries, it is almost certain that it will be nuclear. India has developed a missile with a range of 3,417 miles, so it is sure to draw other countries into the fray. The loss of life will be something unbearable and economic disaster around the world will be unsustainable.

This information was provided by Dr. Moors, a source that is very credible as he is involved as a facilitor trying to hold back the tide.

This is more bad news, but it seems we live in a world of bad news. The moral of this story is to live life as though today is the last day. I don't mean to be maudling, indeed, I am calling for us to look on the bright side  of life and enjoy the moment.

God, give me the serenity to change the things I can; the grace to accept the things I cannot change, and the commonsense to know the difference!

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bermuda takes a One-two Punch, and survives!

The only way to understand what one of these is like, is to experience it for yourself!

The sense of guilt is great when you know that your family, friends and countrymen are experiencing hell in a very personal way, and you, or in this case, I was experiencing a beautiful, warm 30 degree Valencia day. My home country, Bermuda has had one hellish week. First, there was Tropical Storm Fay that came to visit. Normally, that would not be cause for concern, except that Bermuda hasn't had to deal with a hurricane for such a long time that our flora and fauna had the chance to grow thick, lush  and green. So, the winds of Fay, such as they were did a lot of damage to the environment.

Fay turned out to be what boxers call the setup for the knock out punch, because the very next weekend, October 17/18, a real big hurricane, the worst in Bermuda's history came whistling in like a right-hander from Mohammed Ali. No-one could say how Bermuda would likely weather this storm. There were no precedents. The advice was stay indoors, keep your head low and stay put. Perhaps good advice would have also been to cover your head with a pillow. This was not so much to protect your head from falling objects as to shut out the sound. Watching from Spain through web cameras we could, and did turn off the sound, but no-one in Bermuda could do that.

The terror of a hurricane is the unrelenting high pitched sound that I found could drive me insane. I moved from Bermuda in 1999 for the purpose of new challenges. I wasn't thinking that I would not have to hear another hurricane, but as time has passed that aspect of my life has settled down, although I'm not free of that kind of stress. Here in Spain we do fire and floods, so that is not much of an ideal option.

I don't have all the stastics as yet, but a category Four hurricane means sustained winds well over 200 kms per hour. How much more is a matter for conjecture as many wind measurement meters were simply blown away. The height of the hurricane came at night when the tide was also high, so the storm surge must have been awful, although no-one would have seen it. In fact, no-one saw anything although the damage was extensive.

Bermuda homes are very sturdily built with hurricanes in mind, but this one, which is probably the pre-cursor of what's to come, was unlike anything that had been seen before.

When it was over my family sent me an all-clear message. They had all survived and not one person was killed during the storm, although some little people chose that period to enter into the world. They must have thought, this is one noisy place. It seems that everybody took the advice to hunker down, even boat owners who tend to go see how the boat is doing. That choice always has to be made. Stay at home with the family, or leave them to their own fate and go look after the boat; as though there was really something a person could do.

It is said that come November, it's time to remember. Time to remember the hurricane season. The island was almost there when it got hit, twice in one week. Now we have some kind of idea of what the good folk of Western Somerset, in England went through when they coped with conveyor belt storms over many weeks.

Mother Nature can pack a mean punch when she wants to. Duck!

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola: Our Obligations

A World of Risk

Spain has the dubious distinction of having produced the very first person outside Africa to contract the Ebola virus. The patient is a nurse who somehow became infected in spite of the fact that she wore the Haz-Mat suit and knew the protocols to avoid contamination. Now, I think that as she struggles against the virus, everyone in Spain is with her, saying in our minds, "Come on Teresa, you can beat it!" She has to beat it, because the health care community are rioting in the street. How could this have happened? We can't have a situation where care givers refuse to treat patients out of fear for their own lives. There has already been one case where a caregiver has refused on the basis of lack of training.

I survived the last killer plague, AIDS, through dumb luck. Like most people, I had no idea a killer was on the loose until the news broke that my activities over the last ten years might have put me at risk. AIDS first appeared as a homosexual illness, but then quickly mutated into both homosexual and hetrosexual threats. I would like to say that I survived due to prudent and sensible actions on my part, but that would not be correct.

Ebola has been around for a long time, during which there have been several outbreaks and containments, always in Africa. The latest outbreak has so far been the worse, and now it has spread into Europe and The United States of America. Now, Ebola has our attention because its in our backyards and we are personally at risk.

As a natural part of our daily lives we pass all sorts of nasties between one another. During the flu season we see how fast that gets passed around through coughing and sneezing, and the simple handling of money. It is just unavoidable. Normally these things are not deadly, although people have died because of complications, but Ebola is another matter. This is deadly!

We here in Spain are a long way away from panic stations, but we should start now to develop behaviour, as it is our obligations to protect one another, and especially to protect ourselves. What should we be doing?

We should replace the Japanese style bow for the handshake.
We should carry a small bottle of disinfectant to use for the health of our hands.
We should use the plastic gloves that are provided in supermarkets to handle fruits and vegatables.
We should use air kisses to replace kissing on the cheeks.
We should think about using face masks when mixing with large groups of people to avoid sneezing into densely packed spaces of people. This would also have the added benefit of not taking in other people's sneeze droplets.
When moving among large groups of people we should use latex gloves when touching the railings on steps, doorknobs, escalators, etc. Equally important is not to allow the exposed side of the glove to touch naked skin. Wear the gloves when visiting your doctor's office.

There will be other commonsense things that perhaps we can do to stop the virus, but keep in mind that transmission is through coming into contact with human bodily fluids, and every minute of every hour of each day we gleefully exchange bodily fluids with selected mates. However, one of those  fluids might include freshly placed infected sweat from  the infected person ahead of you who has a fever and sweaty palms. Touch that with your exposed hands and it will be Gotcha!

Ebola is a complicated subject. I think it is probably in your interest to Wikipedia the topic to gain a broad understanding of what we all face. It would be a grave mistake to think that this deadly virus can't get out of control in a modern society with soap and hot and cold running water. We though that about AIDS.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a person who was infected, but who survived because the virus has somehow passed from his blood, is still infectious for up to three months in his seman. You might indeed want to celebrate the all clear signal to him, but think condoms!

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What is Ebola?

People of the World

It was only a few years ago that the subject of the ever growing world's population was top of the agenda. I had a chat about it over a cup of coffee.  My friends and I were concerned that if the prediction of 10 billion people worldwide by 2050 should prove to be correct, we feel certain that that would be an unsustainable number for the world to support.

We examined the strain that six to seven billion was placing the globe under. We thought that a fifty percent increase would bring with it food wars, and wars for space to live comfortably. We looked at Hong Kong and Tokyo, and other high density places and it is obvious that people were not meant to be so crammed together.

We started talking about what happens when there are too many pigeons, or wild boar, or rabbits. Governmental authorities routinely order a culling to take place to bring the numbers back down to a more orderly level. We thought that in the past there had been a natural culling of people through the two world wars. Of course, it was not thought of as that at the time the wars took place, but nevertheless the effect was the same. We have not had such a catistrophic event since World War two, but yet there has been a steady process through terroristic events that has sent people to early graves. The logic that has people killing one another is insane. I'm fairly sure that if you could sit the terrorist down and demand that he explain himself, I think he would say he really didn't know why he was doing the things he was.

So, what is Ebola?

In that conversation between friends mentioned earlier, we left it that Mother Nature was likely to intervene, because 7, 8, 9 or 10 billion people were just too many for the enviroment to support. We appear to be living in chaos, but under closer inspection it is a perfect form of chaos, and when things go too far either left or right of centre we can rely on Mother Nature to step in and put things right.

Ebola will become a worldwide pandemic, and it will kill off a major part of the existing world population. Because it has to do that in order that the world  is able to survive. It comes at a time when people are living longer because of medical advancements that give promise to life to a maximum of 150 years, up from 120 years. But then offsetting that promise are terrorists and Ebola, which is being called the Black Man's Revenge; as well as the White Man's virus, over reliance on antbiotics. This is quietly killing many people for whom antbiotics no longer have any value.

It will be man's ability to face the challenge and stop it in its tracks, just as has been done against AIDS. However, by then a very large percentage of us will have gone onto the next adventure, perhaps in another Universe.

I'm sure it is no coincidence, but at present there is a television series running called, "The Last Ship." Watching the series gives me the Heebie Jeebies. Not once do they mention the word, Ebola, but its theme runs throughout.

This may not be the best way to leave this column, but the truth is, " That what will be, will be!

Copyright (c) 2014   Eugene Carmichael