Friday, October 13, 2006


The tragic events of September 11, 2001 are a wake up call to how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks. Antiterrorism experts warn, however, that crashing jet planes into large buildings isn’t the easiest or most effective way to cause panic and destruction. Biological agents can be a greater threat.

Using pathogens as weapons isn’t a new idea. More than 2000 years ago, Sythian archers dipped their arrowheads in rotting corpses to increase their deadlines. During the fourteenth century, Tartar soldiers hurled plague victim’s corpses over the walls of besieged cities in an effort to start epidemics. In 1763, British General Jeffrey Amherst ordered smallpox –infected blankets distributed to Delaware Indians during the French and Indian War. During World War II, the Japanese dropped paper bags filled with plague-infested fleas on Chinese cities, killing thousands of people.

At the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union embarked on massive biological and chemical warfare research programs. Using molecular biology techniques, these research labs combined genes and created new and more dangerous organisms than ever found in nature. Among the most lethal agents known to have been tested are anthrax.

In 1999, the Department of Defense ordered that all 2.5 million military personnel be vaccinated against anthrax, regardless of duty stations or responsibilities. Members of the military were to be vaccinated under threat of court martial. The vaccine is administered in a series of six shots.

Former Air force security specialist Jenny Enoch was diagnosed in February 2000 with fibromyalgia. “I’m in constant pain,” Enoch said, “I have chronic fatigue, I have serious concentration problems and memory loss. I was healthy and active, absolutely prior to that third shot of the anthrax vaccine.”

Army pilot Rhonda Breneman was noticed by superiors for her boundless energy and outstanding physical fitness. But weeks after her third shot for anthrax, she developed extreme gastroparesis, or paralysis of the stomach. She now lives in a state of chronic nausea, has lost 45 pounds, and has memory loss.

Army Specialist Sandra Larson had her immune system collapse in a virulent case of aplastic anemia 31/2 weeks after her sixth anthrax vaccination shot. She died two months later.

Because anthrax vaccines have never been used on a mass scale, their use by the Armed Forces is thought to be an instance of medical experimentation. The entire stockpile of anthrax vaccine is owned by the Department of Defense.

Captain John Buck is a 32-year-old emergency room doctor at Keesler Medical Center who refused the vaccine. He claimed that the germ warfare vaccine is an experimental and potentially hazardous drug that was unlawfully forced on soldiers. He was court-martialed in May 2001.

Marine spokesman, First Lieutenant Vincent Vasquez says –

“ We in the Marine Corps don’t have the luxury of deciding which order to obey and which to refuse. We obey all lawful orders, period. That’s the issue here. It’s our obligation to make sure our marines go into a combat zone with every weapon at their disposal, and the anthrax vaccine is our best weapon against this deadly threat.”

(Quoted from “Principles of Environmental Science” by W.P. Cunningham and M.A Cunningham and “Second Thoughts” by Wanda Teays)


The Deadly European Germs

Until World War II more victims of war died of microbes than of gunshot or sword wounds. All those military histories glorifying Alexander the Great and Napoleon ignore the ego-deflating truth: the winners of past wars were not necessarily those armies with the best generals and weapons, but those bearing the worst germs with which to smite their enemies.

U.S. and Australian whites bent on wiping out “belligerent” native peoples sent them gifts of blankets previously used by smallpox patients.

In the century or two following Columbus’s arrival in the New World, the Indian population is estimated to have declined about 95 per cent. The main killers were European germs, to which the Indians had never been exposed and against which they therefore had neither immunologic nor genetic resistance.

Smallpox, measles, influenza, and typhus competed for top rank among the killers. As if those were not enough, pertussis, plague, tuberculosis, diphtheria, mumps, malaria and yellow fever came close behind.

In countless cases Europeans were actually there to witness the decimation that occurred when the germs arrived. For example, in 1837 the Mandan Indian Tribe, with one of the most elaborate cultures in the Great Plains, contracted smallpox thanks to a steamboat traveling up the Missouri River from St. Louis. The population of one Mandan village crashed from 2,000 to less than 40 within a few weeks.

Eurasian germs played a key role in decimating native peoples in many other parts of the world as well. Racist Europeans use to attribute those conquests to their supposedly better brains. But no evidence for such better brains has been forthcoming.

There’s no doubt that Columbus was a great visionary, seaman and leader. There is also no doubt that he and his successors often behaved as bestial murderers. But those facts alone don’t fully explain why it took so few European immigrants to initially conquer and ultimately supplant so much of the native population of the Americas.

Without the germs Europeans brought with them-germs that were derived from their animals-such conquests might have been impossible.

(Quoted from The Arrow of Disease by Jared Diamond)


Did You Know………………… Part 2.

1) Being born involves considerable stress for the baby. During each contraction, when the placenta and umbilical chord are compressed as the uterine walls draw together, the supply of oxygen to the fetus is decreased. The baby has considerable capacity to withstand the stress of birth. Large quantities of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline are secreted, protecting the fetus in the event of oxygen deficiency. These hormones increase the heart’s pumping, speed up heart rate, channel blood flow to the brain, and raise the blood sugar level. Never again in life will such large amounts of these hormones be secreted.

2) A small number of newborns have a disorder called pelvic field defect, which in boys involves a missing penis. For many years, doctors usually recommended that these genetic boys be raised as girls and undergo castration, which was required because they were born with testicles but not a penis.

3) No matter which set of genital organs have developed in the body – whether the embryo is physically male or female – the brain’s wired-in pattern of sexual behavior is female.
Long after the genes and hormones have dictated a male body, additional sex hormones must act upon the brain and make it a male. If they do not, the embryo will develop a female brain in a male body – and the boy will grow up to act feminine.

4) Bouncing and jiggling a baby can be dangerous. The infant’s heavy but weakly supported head may be flopped back and forth so hard that brain blood vessels bleed, leading to the formation of membranes that interfere with brain growth. Many slow-learning and clumsy children with IQ’s of 90 might have been intelligent and normally mobile children with IQ’s of 120, had they not been habitually shaken and whip lashed during infancy.

5) During the elementary school years, children grow an average of 2 to 3 inches a year. At the age of 8 the average girl and the average boy are 4 feet 2 inches tall. During the middle and late childhood years, children gain about 5 to 7 pounds a year. The average 8-year-old girl and the average 8-year-old boy weigh 56 pounds.

(Quoted from Life – Span Development by John W. Santrock and The Role of the Brain by Ronald H. Bailey)


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