Confessions of a Control Freak

I expect he will return now and then to his uber-control ways but it is nice to see a confession such as this – grin

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

It’s my way or the highway. And it has always been that way. Sometimes, the highway part happened literally. I don’t know when it started. I didn’t even know about it until recently.

Hi. You probably know my name since most of you have been reading this blog for two years. But I’m Elie Fares. And I’m a control freak.

You know those friends who always choose a restaurant and wouldn’t go except to that restaurant? Well, I’m one of those people. Annoying, definitely. But you can’t escape them nonetheless and frankly, I have no clue why. My plans have to go through all the time. It’s not because I’m bossy and I like to lead groups, which I like to do. It’s because, in my head, my plans are always the ones that should be going because, well, I planned them.

The above, ladies and gentlemen, is part of…

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The Gun Report: October 16, 2013 –

19-year-old Dina Dicochea was shot and killed by her boyfriend in Florence, Ariz., Monday afternoon. Police said 20-year-old Ramiro Delcid accidentally shot the victim while trying to scare her with his .38-caliber pistol while they sat in his company work truck. The suspect said he pulled the trigger thinking the gun was unloaded, but one bullet remained and Dicochea was shot in the chest. He was arrested.

via The Gun Report: October 16, 2013 –

Avian Flu Diary: mBio: PEDV – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – An Emerging Coronavirus

And USDA approved Smithfield Ham being bought by a Chinese firm – great – not!

In summary, we report here the emergence of PEDV in the United States and detailed genetic and phylogenetic analyses of the complete genomic sequences of three emergent U.S. PEDV strains from Minnesota and Iowa. The findings that the emergent U.S. PEDV strains are most closely related to Chinese G2a strains suggest that the emergence of the PEDV in the United States likely originated from China. However, the exact source of the origin is difficult to identify at this point. The finding that the emergent PEDV strains in the United States share unique genetic features with a bat coronavirus further suggests a possible evolutionary origin of PEDV from bat species and potential cross-species transmission. The information presented in this study will guide the current control measures to stop the ongoing spread of PEDV in the United States and also provides important clues for the development of an effective vaccine against the emergent PEDV strains.

(Continue . . . )

Whether the result of an introduction from China, or evolutionary events here in the United States, pig producers are now confronted with at least three new variants of this virus.  PEVD has the potential to cause extensive economic damage to pork producers across the nation.

via Avian Flu Diary: mBio: PEDV – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – An Emerging Coronavirus.

U.N. Security Council calls for polio immunization campaign in Sudan | Vaccine News Daily

The United Nations Security Council called on Friday for an emergency vaccination campaign against polio in South Kordofan, Sudan.

Members of the Council expressed concern over the serious threat of a polio outbreak in Sudan. An epidemic has already begun in the Horn of Africa and continues to spread.

The U.N. Security Council called on the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North to come together to allow for safe passage of humanitarian aid workers to implement the emergency vaccination campaign. The campaign is supported by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children’s Fund.

via U.N. Security Council calls for polio immunization campaign in Sudan | Vaccine News Daily.

Cockroach farming becoming China’s fastest growing, ickiest industry: Shanghaiist

\”I thought about raising pigs, but with traditional farming, the profit margins are very low. With cockroaches you can invest 20 yuan and get back 150,\” Wang Fuming said. In fact, the going rate for a pound of cockroaches is anywhere from $20 to $89 USD, up from $2 in 2010. In other words, the recession has been created a roach-bubble.

via Cockroach farming becoming China’s fastest growing, ickiest industry: Shanghaiist.

Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National

The war in Syria has changed so much. The loss of innocence, the phrase so often used to lament the effect of war on the young, has affected the whole country. What was, just two years ago, one of the safest countries in the Middle East is now a war zone. No part of Syria is untouched by violence. As these photographs from Dimitar Dilkoff show, children have been dragged to the front line and the experience of war has escaped few.

It is in these photographs that we see the truth of the Syrian conflict. These are not the terrorists and foreigners of Bashar Al Assad’s fiction. These are the boys and girls of the country, the future men and women of Syria, now begging, fighting, hiding, and surviving, merely for demanding the right to live in freedom.

These are the children of Syria’s war. Boys and girls who cannot go to school, cannot play in the streets safely, cannot live a normal life. These are children who are now breadwinners, whose fathers are dead or vanished, who hear their mothers mourn in the dark hours of the night, children who can no longer remember the voices of their dead friends. It is they who must line up, small elbows jostling, in the filth of refugee camps, edging forward in never-ending lines to bring food and water back to their families, or dodge the snipers and the sadists of Assad’s armies to buy bread from the few bakeries the regime has not bombed.

What makes these images so heart-breaking is how old these children look. In their faces is written the pain of the last two years of the revolution, the terrifying reality of children becoming adults, brutalised into maturity, seeing things no adults should see and feeling things no child should know.

These are the faces of a lost generation. The faces of the millions who have fled Syria or fled their homes for safe haven within their former country, boys and girls whose entire childhoods have been swept away by, as the war poet Wilfred Owen wrote, the monstrous anger of the guns.

* Faisal Al Yafai, opinion writer for The National

via Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National.

Mosques and Politics in Egypt


Nothing reflects the essence of Islam better than the pilgrimage to Mecca. It sums up the faith in a nutshell; humility, reflection, and most importantly, equality. In the haj, women stand side by side with men; the rich stand alongside the poor; brown people alongside white. All are equal in the journey toward redemption. All pilgrims have to perform the same rituals and endure the same suffering. Arguments, bickering, hatred, resentment, and revenge are qualities Muslims must abandon to avoid spoiling their pilgrimage.

 Sadly, outside the pilgrimage season, divisions, conflicts, and even wars between Muslims have been a recurring theme since the early days of Islam. The death of Caliph Osman , and then later the conflict between Caliph Ali and Muawyia were crucial events that planted the seeds of division among Muslims.

 It is pointless to reopen the narratives of past tragedies; however, it is paramount to acknowledge the…

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Americas MexicoBlog: Mexico’s Streets of Fire

As flames engulfed the policeman’s legs and arms, his comrades stood by watching, stunned. A steady barrage of rocks bounced off the wall of plastic shields flanking him.

By nighttime on October 2nd in Mexico City, 111 policemen, protesters and journalists had been injured and 102 people arrested during the annual march to commemorate a student massacre in 1968.

Street protests have long been a staple of Mexican politics and culture, a powerful outlet for millions of people who feel alienated from the political class. But over the last year, they have become more frequent, volatile and violent, analysts say, a response to major domestic policy shifts and growing alienation among the young and unemployed. The makeup of the protesters is also shifting, with men who refer to themselves as anarchists unleashing their fury during some marches.

via Americas MexicoBlog: Mexico’s Streets of Fire.

Second Look Behind the Headlines

Culture War, Class War

Culture War is Class War disguised. The Wealthy Elite--the "Filthy Rich"--foment Culture War in society to distract and cover their real economic motives. Culture War, Class War explores the resulting cultural divide--how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they choose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.


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