Saturday, January 06, 2007

Apocalypso - Giant Snails Eat Caribbean Island


If you haven't been to Barbados in the Caribbean, delay no longer. Giant snails are ravenously devouring the paradisaical island in the stream. Hundreds of thousands, if not billions and billions, of giant African Land Snails (Achatina fulica) emerge from their sub-terrainian lairs to attack the central parish of St. George.

Although stampedes are rare, farmers have seen the snails swarming over the agricultural heartland consuming sugercane, banana, and papaya crops. The African snails grow to gargantuan proportions. Many snails 4 inches by 10 inches have been found.

David Walrond, emergency response office chairman said,

We saw snails riding on each other's backs and moving in clusters...You're just crunching the shells as you're walking through...It's not difficult to kill them...
...presumably because the snails are not extremely fast nor light on their foots. Walrond's Anti-Snail Brigade venture out on nightly assaults spraying pesticides in gullies and other cool, low areas where the snails are believed to engage in diurnal bacchanalian revelries. Giant African Snail intel is apparently difficult to obtain as human infiltration into the snail cells is impossible and snails are notoriously (and honoably) loyal to their comrades negating any hopes of developing a turncoat.

Vigilantes have also been countering the snail onslaught in a desperate attempt to reclaim their land. Allaby Small, a 66 year old farmer, has taken to igniting bonfires at night to kill the snails and stop the zombie-like encroachment upon his house. Small frets the sanils will find a way under the roof of his home.

Liberal groups advocate tolerance and inclusivness of the African Snails into the dominant human culture. Indoctrinational seminars are being held in the public elementary schools to demonstrate the peaceful nature of the beautiful mollusk interlopers. Organizers recognize their efforts do not with approval from most islanders and limit the assemblies to easily influenced school children. They also confiscate all salt, butter, and garlic that may be brought in by intolerant specieists.

The slimy turban-shaped beasties also carry diseases like meningitis and other horrible maladies. Government entomologist, Ian Gibbs warns,
At present the snail is regarded as an agricultural pest, but in other parts of the world it is also a very important public health pest.
Barbados is trying to prevent an ecological disaster. The African Snails threaten the food and water supply, and can lead to a rat population explosion. Rats prey on the fast breeding snails, the only thing they do fast. Unfortunately, the rats bring their own deadly diseases. When the snails are sanctioned with extreme prejudice, they leave their huge shells behind which fill with water providing breeding ponds for mosquitoes.

The Giant African Snail invasion is not just a Barbadan problem. The snails are known to have emmigrated to St, Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and other Caribbean islands. If the Caribbean islands do not receive the aid of the international community, and fail to check the Gastropodinal illegal alien intrusion, the island gems of the Carribean Sea face an apocolypse of "Gibsonian" proportions.




Sources:
AOL News
Barbados Ministry of Agriculture
The Osama bin Laden Banana Boat Song
(actually, the last one is off topic, but I thought it funny.)



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jerry Ford: A Swell Guy

President Ford was sent to his final resting place in Grand Rapids, Michigan today. Every good thing possible to say has been said about the man and his non-elected presidency. We are taught not to speak ill of the dead, but through the entire funeral proceeding, I've had an uneasy feeling. Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily, stimulated my eggnog clogged noggin as to why. And he pointed out that Ford's criticism of the current President in interviews with Bob Woodward, one of the Watergate reporters, to be released after Ford's death, allows equal criticism of Ford's record.

Farah asks in a commentary today, "Was Ford ever right about anything?" The commentaries of this blogger are in brackets following the thoughts of Farah.

His repeated insistence to a shocked New York Times reporter that Eastern Europe was not under domination by the Soviet Union. It is hard to recall or imagine a presidential statement more out of touch with reality, one that illustrated a willingness to accommodate and appease evil in the world for the sake of "stability."

His pompous attempt to insinuate himself as a vice presidential candidate and, worse, a kind of "co-president," with Ronald Reagan during the 1980 Republican National Convention.

His role on the Warren Commission, which seemed to leave open more questions about President John F. Kennedy's assassination than it answered. [Ford personally changed the autopsy report with his own pen. He moved the location of a bullet wound from Kennedy's back between the shoulder blades to the neck thereby fueling conspiracy theories and reducing the veracity of the Warren Commission Report.]

His decision - probably a quid pro quo for gaining the presidency in the first place - to pardon Richard Nixon for his Watergate crimes. [Only ten days before granting the pardon, Pres. Ford declared that the special prosecutor should proceed against "any and all individuals". A year before, Ford asserted, "I do not think the public would stand for it." By granting the pardon, Ford eliminated the probable prosecution of Nixon and delaying a beneficial check on future Presidential misconduct. I am still puzzled how a pardon can be granted to an individual who has been neither indicted nor convicted of a crime. Since it's apparently possible, can I get a Presidential pardon for a crime to be named, but not committed, later?]

His sloppy exit from Vietnam - a retreat that ultimately resulted in the slaughter of millions in Southeast Asia. [The American phase of the VietNam War officially ended January 27, 1973 with the signing of The Paris Peace Accords. President Ford signed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974 on December 30. The Foreign Assistance Act was a compromise bill that provided far too little money to the Republic of South VietNam thereby ensuring the eventual fall of the arguably democratic government there.

Ford, in a television speech April 23, 1975, declared an end to both the Vietnam War and all US aid to the Rep. of S. VietNam. Helicopter evacuations continued without break as North Vietnamese tanks broke through the Saigon outlying city defenses. Very early on the morn of April 30, the remaining US Embassy Marines, diplomats, and VietNamese supporters ignominiously evacuated Saigon aboard an Air America (CIA) helicopter landing repeatedly on an apartment rooftop as civilians poured over the embassy walls, inundating its grounds unsuccessfully attempting to escape the Communist onslaught. Within months, the new Communist regime of a united VietNam began rounding up hundreds of thousands of supporters of the South VietNam government. People suspected of treason and collaboration with America were also arrested and sent to re-education camps where thousands were killed or otherwise perished. The final sell-out of VietNam was complete.]


His signing of the Helsinki Accords, a desperate act of capitulation to Soviet Union aggression.

His appointment of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who has nothing but contempt for the U.S. Constitution.

His presiding over unprecedented inflation and recession at home - an economy so weak, it set the stage for the election of one of the worst presidents in American history, Jimmy Carter.
Most grievous, in my opinion, was Ford's green-lighting of Indonesia's invasion of East Timor and the subsequent killings of Christians by Muslims in 1975. Henry Kissenger, Ford's Secretary of State, for years insisted the subject of East Timor never came up in discussions with Indonesian President Suharto. According to State Dept declassified memos, East Timor and Suharto's intentions to invade did come up.

East Timor had been a colony of Portugal for two centuries and decolonisation in Portuguese Timor began in 1974 following the Carnation Revolution in that Iberian nation. West Timor had been a Dutch colony since 1640. The Dutch eventually lost control of the colony after WWII when they faced guerrilla republican war resulting in the Republic of Indonesia in 1950. With more pressing concerns in Mozambique and Angola, Portugal essentially abandoned East Timor which unilaterally declared independence November 28, 1975. The people of East Timor are predominantly Roman Catholic Christians and Portugese speaking. Indonesia is the fourth largest nation and the largest Muslim nation in the world.

On December 6, 1975, Ford and Kissinger flew to Jakarta to meet with dictator Suharto to discuss the situation in Asia, and US-Indonesia economic relations. They also assured Suharto that invading East Timor was not going to be a problem in America. In one of the State Dept memos, beginning at the bottom of page 8, Suharto tells Ford and Kissinger he wants to speak of the problem of East Timor. Kissinger had already told Suharto arms shipments would continue, that it would be okay to construct an M-16 production plant in Indonesia.

Suharto to Ford and Kissinger: "We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action."

Ford: "We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have."

Kissinger: "You understand that the use of US made arms could create problems. We could have technical and legal problems, you are familiar, Mr President, with the problems we had on Cyprus although this situation is different.

It depends on how you construe it: whether it is in self defense or is a foreign operation. It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly. We would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens happens after we return [to Wash. D.C.]. This way there would be less chance of people talking in an unauthorized way. The President will be back on Monday at 2:00 PM Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly, but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned."
President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger flew back to Washington, D.C. Indonesian President Suharto, emboldened by the highest ranking officials in the US, launched his invasion of East Timor some 16 hours later. The invasion and occupation by Indonesian forces or affiliated proxy forces took the lives of 200,000 East Timorese, roughly a third of the local population, . US arms sales to the Suharto government continued until President Clinton stopped them in September 1999.

The bloodletting continues today under the watchful eyes of the United Nations.

The UN Security Council created UNMIT in August to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people – or 15 percent of the population – to flee their homes.
The Secretary General's special representative for East Timor, Atul Khare says the security situation has much improved, particularly since the deadly violence earlier this year, much still remains to be done.

And now, after all these years, one of the events the Indonesian invasion was supposed to prevent according to the State Dept memos may actually happen. Yesterday, January 1, 2007, the government of PM Fraser in Canberra, Australia was been warned that VietNam and China may intervene in East Timor.

Legacies, like coins, have two sides. Such is the reverse side of President Gerald Ford's legacy. But, never mind. We are not supposed to remember such things. We are only to remember that Jerry was such a swell guy.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

This Just In...




It's been three days, and Saddam is still dead!












The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, January 01, 2007

6 Weird Things About Me Meme

Now that I've been chosen TIME's Person of the Year 2006, thousands of people are asking to know more about me. Okay, it's only Bernie at Planck's Constant and it's just another dumb meme, but given an opportunity to be a legend, even in my own mind, I should jump at the chance.

Because the meme comes from Bernie, the rules are simple:


List 6 weird things about oneself then find 6 poor shlubs to tag. When you tag someone you need to leave a comment that says "you've been tagged!" in their comment section, point them to your blog post explaining the rules and laugh quietly to yourself that you've helped propagate another meaningless meme.
1. I'm still afraid of vampires.

2. I like to eat mashed banana sandwichs. Mash a banana, mix in mayonaise, spread it on white bread, and eat it. It's really, realy good and very, very white.

3. I know all the words to "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies and sing along when it's played on the radio.

4. I've never had a Starbucks coffee.

5. Sometimes I see events in dreams before they occur in reality.

6. My first pets were two cats I named Bucket and Shovel.

Alternates:

a. I think ISHTAR is a really funny movie.

b. For a long time, I believed Tylenol was a bathroom cleanser


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.