Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I Had a Dream...

I stood in The Showers. It was my dream so I should know if I was clothed or not, but I don't. Besides what I'm wearing isn't an issue. I've got my determination. Nothing is going to stop me from finding my son and flaying the bastard to took him. Nothing in my heart but love and hate and they are both working towards the same goal. Maybe compatable goals in this case.

Whatever string of logic or clues had led me there was gone. I had lost the scent so I stood taking it all in, searching for some spoor, some scent or sound that I could follow.

At first I thought everything had been cleaned with German efficiency. There wasn't a spot on the white (offwhite, maybe the color of bleached bone?) tiling, the grout was all clean. The bronze floordrains sparkled, some big old German word prominent in the casting. "Fussilschluss" or something very similar.

The first two letters were a message to me. "FU". Maybe I was, but at this point it was just another moot point. I'll deal with that later. The "SS" was appropriate to. Nazi gas chambers with cast bronze SS's prominint on the floor. All you had to do was look at them and there they were. That's when I realized what this was. A whole level of Hell as a tribute to Hitler's final solution and I was in the middle of it, looking for a clue.

SS is also the last two letters of my name. It also occurred to me that this was a message, "FU, it's the end of you". Not yet. This is my dream and I'm not dead, not yet. I need to find my son.

The bronze floor drains were about 18 inches in diameter with 1-1/2" openings in it. Probably all the better to wash away any waste or vomit the gassed made while convulsing on the Zyklon B.

So there I stood, looking in all directions for a clue where my son was taken. Nothing but a tribute to mankind's most documented and villified act. The miasma of oppression and misery was so thick, it obscured my vision in the distance. This I knew was product of where I was, not the recreated atmosphere of the actual gas chambers.

Ever wonder what would happen if you were in hell and "things went to hell"?

From the floor grates came gurgling, burgling sounds. Seemed that hells sewers had backed up and were going to flood the gas chambers.

The gas chambers are kind of dreary. Greyscale is all you need to see a Nazi gas chamber. The gore that come up throught the grates reminded me that I dream in color. At each floor grate grew a pile of gore. Chopped flesh, no chunk larger than 3/8 of an inch. Romero could have learned how to flow blood from these piles.

In the piles I noticed details. Finger tips and teeth seemed to be the only things small enough to make it through the grinders. Children's finger with small child sized nails and juvenile teeth.

I knew what was coming next. Then a pile drew my attention as it became top heavy and a side collapsed and avalanched down into an aluvial fan on the floor at my feet. A finger tip who's every curve I know laid there, eye level with me. I picked it up, knowing what it ment.

The curve of the nail, the full roundness of the tip, the profile of the cuticle. It was the tip of the middle finger of the right hand of my son. I clip and file his nails at least once a week. It's either that or rename him Wolverine.

I started to have an emotional reaction, then some voice of reason seemed to call out, in my mind. While I was in a tribute to the Nazi gas chambers, it made no sense to not use them. Why not use them?

Then it hit me. There were no corporeal bodies here in hell. There was no one to kill. Everyone was already dead and judged.

Then what was I looking at in my hand? It was such a bloody mess, I couldn't tell.

Next thing I knew the fingertip was clean and I could taste blood in my mouth. It wasn't till I woke up that I figured out how I cleaned the gore off the fingertip.

Looking at it now, clean, I could see that the nail was more flat, the edge more jagged, the whole color was just a hue to yellow to me my son's and I realized that my son was not being held in hell for if he was, they'd know exactly what he looked like.

It was here that I woke up, disoriented. The clock said 4:08 and the sunlight coming through the window could have been am or pm here in Alaska in the summer. The blood in my mouth from cleaning the finger tip still tasted real and there it was, blood in my spit. The tip of my tonge was sore, seems I had bitten and sliced it. Probably during my 'emotional' reaction when I thought all was lost.

And there he slept, inthe classic pose, palms together, hands under his cheek between my wife and I, he having crept into bed with us sometime earlier in the night.

My dreams are usually mundane. This one by far being the goriest ever.

Having written this, I think I now know two of the orgins of it and what it means, but I'm sure there is more.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Act of War?

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has recently stated that he wants to see oil at $170/barrel (or was it $190/barrel?) since at that price he believes the economy of the United States will fail. He's been doing a good job of raising the price of oil so far. Only time will tell just how high it'll go. But is it an Act of War?.

Some will argue that the US is an empire. Not a military empire, but a financial empire with a military arm. It makes sense that one would attack a financial entity with a financial weapon.

Then I see stuff like this and this and wonder if the guy knows what he's talking about or if he's just spouting inflammatory speech.

I suspect that while the US does have the "strongest economy in the world" it does have a fair share of vulnerabilities. I also suspect that the little economies, like those found in Europe, will suffer far more than ours.

If oil goes high enough that we start to suffer, and I'm talking more than paying a few more bucks at the pump, that countries with Arms (and that's a capital "A") and armies will be hurting. I'm guessing that the French will be threatening to do something (again) and the Whermacht will shake the dust off it's boots and cause some to argue that Clauswitz is still applicable.

So I wonder how far Iran has to go with it's financial attacks for one to be considered an act of war. I've read that WWI was fought because the Brits were loosing ground to the German colonization of the New World and the Brits figured they'd have the advantage in a military conflict since they didn't like the competition in a financial/territorial one. It don't know how true that is, but it does make one think and wonder about the parallels today.

Is a financial attack an act of war? Probably depends on who the President/Chancellor/Prime Minister/King is.

Ugly Bags of Mostly Pus

I'm reading the first book I've read in months. I needed to read. I was having withdrawl. Bad withdrawl.

It's The Demon in the Freezer, a non-fiction telling of the recent history of smallpox, from just before it's eradication from the general population to the present day.

Richard Preston mostly writes about hazardous diseases and genetic engineering of weapons. His fiction is as good as his non-fiction.

Probably the most disgusting thing I've ever read was his multi-page synopsis of how ebola kills a person. Depending on the aggressiveness of the smallpox, it can come in anywhere from a close second to a distant second. There are hemorrhagic strains of the disease.

It's brutal. In a severe case, the pustules can overlap each other till your skin seperates from your body (it's as painful as you can imagine) and your skin holds a sea of pus that your body floats in.

I could post 20 blog entries on this. Every few pages of the book, I just have to shake my head and take a deep breath.

I look at my smallpox vaccination scar. At one time it was in the middle of my upper arm. Now it's faded and on my shoulder. I'm sure my resistance to smallpox has faded much much more than the scare. Would my physician think me paranoid if I asked for smallpox vaccinations for me and my family?

Back when President Ronald Reagan was calling the USSR the "Evil Empire" they had a stockpile of 20 tons of weaponized smallpox while claiming that they only held a small amount for scientific research. Not only were they growing it, they were hardening it and 'heating it up' by brute force methods and genetic engineering. They've also developed and tested aerosol dispersal systems on MIRV vehicles on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Maybe Reagan knew just how evil they were.

Then when the USSR fell, the smallpox talent followed the money, be it dinars or wons. Some went to Iraq, some went to North Korea. Most of the scientists probably bought samples with them.

It is a documented fact that in 1997, Iraq was working on bioweapons. The Iraqi scientists claim that they were trying to modify camelpox to affect humans, but the inspectors had reason to suspect (some machinery labels read "smallpox").

I don't know what would be worse. A weaponized smallpox or camelpox modified to infect humans. When a virus jumps species, it's usually very fatal to it's new host. For example, AIDS/HIV is carried by green monkeys, but is often fatal to humans.

Evidence suggests the Iraqi smallpox program went back to 72-73, if not longer.

Iraq had WMD. We just gave them time to hide them.

Medical Costs

What's the saying, Dentists are Doctors who flunked out of medical school and Doctors are all the guys who couldn't make it into vet school? Just don't point this out as you are going in for a root canal...

Who makes more? Vets make more than Docs and Docs make more than Dentists. Kinda explains the priorities.

So you'd expect the vet bills to be higher than the doctor bills for comparable treatments and surgeries, right? Not so. I have a coworker who's German Shephard was crippled by a moose (moose often mistake any big dog for wolves and crush them into the dirt with their antlers). The dog has his hip and knee repaired and a shattered femur wired together. Totla cost was just over $1,200.

The surgeon's bill for a human to get thier knee repaired is $14,000 alone. Add in the anesthesiologist's bill, the rest of the operating team, and you bill is probably between $40-$60K.

No one sues for malpractice for a pet, do they (maybe in Hollywood)? Is that the difference in costs? Is it that simple?

Is it really the lawyers getting rich while we have expensive medical costs?

Is it so hard to imagine a world where a sore arm after a vitamin shot isn't grounds for a malpractice suit and everyone can affort medical costs without needing a $1000 deductable per family member health insurance that costs over $400/month?