Flu of misinformation and hypocrisy

An article from Ovi magazine

Conspiracy theories are not my thing and I have to admit that I always laughed at most of them. After all, turning to conspiracy theories means that you’re having problems accepting logic, ignoring how crazy any theory might sound. Back in the eighties when HIV AIDS stormed into our lives, especially when the first celebrities were caught in the storm, conspiracy theories blossomed. CIA had created the virus and lost control; there was even a laboratory somewhere in the USA that had created the virus as a lethal weapon against gays. Everybody seemed to forget that even cancer has existed throughout history, but doctors only identified it the last three centuries, and started focusing on it and doing research.

Humanity has experienced a lot of illnesses throughout history, many of them lethal. Illnesses often also became the focus of superstition, for instance the plague was blamed on Satan and heretics during the medieval period, instead of the lack of hygiene in the growing cities. Recently, Robert Mugabe, Africa’s caricature Hitler, blamed British intelligence for the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, instead of his own inability to help the people with basic needs such as clean water and food. The common factor in these cases, and I suppose in the majority of all cases, is not any kind of conspiracy theory, but the lack of necessary action. With this I mean distributing the right kind of information to deal with the problem – which points directly at the states and this is not … a conspiracy theory!

There is no conspiracy theory behind the swine flu and scientists have, often cynically, used their logic to explain in detail how the flu started and how it expands. They have exhibited studies and statistics that are not new – there is nothing new about swine flu – and they have explained defences and all that with the help of the World Health Organization, WHO. Doctors have been warned and informed on local levels, and most of them are prepared to deal with it. But despite all the information, people have stopped eating pork, and the number of flu victims is increasing internationally, adding one dead in USA and twelve in Mexico.

When I wrote that people have stopped buying pork meat, I was not joking. Actually the US Government, joined by Russia, China and another fifteen countries, have imposed restrictions on pork products imports from Mexico – I suppose you never know what a well made pork chop might give you. The best of all was when American Vice President Joe Biden said in a televised interview that he would not let his family fly by plane or be in an enclosed public place, like a cinema, while this thing is still going on. Biden’s interview was broadcast in the news all around the world. I saw them in Finland, and especially these comments gave the message that if the American vice president prefers to keep his family indoors to protect them, I better not move from my room!

The swine flu, according to most scientists, is not lethal, and I trust they know what they are talking about. Its lethality depends on the prevention and treatment of suspected patients, as well as the patient’s immune system. But apart from babies and very young people, or if somebody has serious problems with their immune system, swine flu is not the only enemy. So here we have, once again, misinformation and mishandled situations, from the very people that are obliged to protect us from exactly these situations, leading us to widespread panic!

Because how is anybody supposed to react to Biden’s comments and the American administration’s restrictions on import of pork products from Mexico, if not with panic?

The Mexican government correctly demands explanations from the governments of the states that put on these restrictions. The Mexicans are demanding explanations based on a scientific basis, highlighting the fact that consumers are not likely to check the origin of the pork steak or pork sausage they buy from the supermarket – they will just quit buying any pork product! Amazing! The EU on the other hand, tries to be clever by using marketing tricks and changing the name of the flu from swine flu to …a novel flu virus! Wow, that will definitely solve all the problems! Personally I have to admit that I have never seen a sausage or a pork steak sneeze at me, and if I ever see that I will definitely start believing that aliens have taken over the main governments and that together with Hoover they are all responsible for J.F. Kennedy’s assassination!

What the World Health Organization has failed to protect us from is the flu of misinformation and hypocrisy!


A letter to a failed EU

An Article from the Ovi magazine

Dear Mr. President of the European Union, dear Mr. and Mrs. Commissioners and dear Mr. and Mrs. National representatives of the 27 nations in the European Parliament, I know you have been really busy with the relationship between the EU and Russia and constantly worrying about who is going to be the next president of the USA, so you have missed something basic: European citizens are being led to bankruptcy fast, here and now, and you haven’t done anything to prevent it.

In the name of European Unity and a better future we saw you all hurrying an expansion from 17 countries to 27 without preparing both, not the 17 neither or the 10 new ones. Poland did fantastic negotiations trying to take the best from Europe ignoring – and this is not Poland’s fault – that what they took and what they negotiated somebody has to pay for and in this case it is the citizens of the European Union, including the Polish citizens who became overnight the other members of this union. Ironically, part of these things that their government earned supposedly for them they now have to pay themselves. How? The glorious V.A.T. of course!

Careful, I’m not against the European expansion, on the contrary, I believe that the European Union should include every single European country to be considered a real European Union, after all the things that unite us are much, much more than the things that separate us; and I hope the missing countries like Serbia and, yes, Russia will also join soon. Regarding Turkey, I have my objections which have nothing to do with religion or my personal origins – something that has been wrongly pointed before – , but with the fact that Turkey is not a European country and if we make Turkey a member of the EU then there is no reason for not accepting Morocco and Egypt who would love to become members of the EU, or Israel and replace the UN with EU.

Turkey can have a special economic relationship with EU but this where everything should stop. And be careful, here I’m not judging how close or how far away Turkey is for what Europe points as criteria for a candidate member regarding democracy, human rights, respect to others and many more unanswered issues.

But to return to our theme, at the same time the European Commission was hurrying into an unprepared expansion they were also establishing a common currency, the Euro. What they were dreaming of was a currency that could bring a balance between Europe and the USA that would, firstly, help the exports that were suffering over the last few years and help the passage between people and products inside the European Union. Obviously missing again the greediness of an uncontrolled market full of multinational companies, with no organized protection for the consumer in fear of inflation with a result the consumers, the citizens of this union find themselves with prices increasing locally from 20% to 100%.

Approximation, that’s the name of the crime because it was a crime. Something that cost 89 cents with the old national currency in a period of months became one euro. And then most of them with excuses like the cost of adaption to the new currency have increased the prices another 20%.

The cost of life for a family with one kid where both parents must work – this is another failure of the system – suddenly became sky-high because, aside from the supermarket bill, the cost of land followed to make it sometimes impossible to cope with the rent or a loan that would really match the needs of the family, which was then followed by poor salaries and the blackmail of unemployment. The choice of the word was correct; unemployment has been used often from the employees as blackmail for pathetic and low salaries with the cover of the states.

In the name of the profit of the shareholders, companies fire hundreds of workers. I’m sorry but this is crossing the line, because some fat ass makes money sitting on his sofa eating hamburgers and he didn’t like the amount of the profit he did that evening hundreds of people lose their job. Am I a cynic? How far am I from the truth? This was supposed to be the union of the European citizens, not the union of the multinational industries and companies with the European citizens as the cheap labor.

The oil prices were the final hit. The increasing oil prices have become the next excuse of increasing all the prices from 25% to 50%. All the prices, from the milk I get from the supermarket to the shoes got higher in one night. The excuse? Oil prices! So the supermarkets want to tell me that they were totally empty last night and they filled their shelves this morning but due to the cost of oil and because the trucks that brought them those products this morning, please don’t forget this small detail, everything happened this morning; they had to increase the price of milk. Of course my salary remains the same! Again I suspect all has to do with a greedy market and stock holders you missed to control or put some rules on their games.

What can you do? Are you seriously asking me? When you applied for the damn job, when you asked for my vote you had read the job description and you had assured me that you were going there to protect me and help me. Well you failed and you screwed me! Because in the beginning I had to use my credit card but things kept getting more expensive and my salary the same, so I had to take the loan and things kept going more expensive and the time came for the payback you told me that the law says that … I lose my house!

You failed to protect the simplest elements that give every citizen of this union a life with dignity, you failed to protect the European citizen of the visual enemy, a greedy multinational market that you were oblige to control. You led people to poverty and I’m sorry to say you are fully responsible for that. All my life I believed that you shouldn’t ask what the state does for you but what you do fir the state and I was thinking the same about the European Union since I strongly believed that this union of people and effects was there for our common prosperity. But that meant that you would fulfill your side of the deal and you failed me, so don’t expect me now to do my part.

Actually, at this moment, my worry is not what I’m doing for the state but if my kid will find food on the table and I feel insecure in the world you have create for me and my child!