Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm Depressed

There is so much to be depressed about.

ISIS (or ISIL), a group of religious fanatics, is marching through Syria and Iraq, beheading, crucifying, and killing all whose beliefs they find offensive.  Sadly, they are using hardware that the U.S. gave to the Iraqi army, whose soldiers fled when ISIS approached their positions. In the meantime, the U.S. is showing its impotence with air strikes that don't seem to be doing much.  Turkey is standing by idly as ISIL is taking over the border town of Kobane.  By the time we take serious action, it will be too late.

Israel's action on the Gaza Strip might have achieved its military objectives, but 2100 Palestinians were killed.  In recent interviews in the border regions, hatred between the Israelis and Palestinians is heating up, which will undoubtedly set the stage for future conflict.  During an interview of Palestinian school children, rockets flew overhead from Hamas positions.  They cheered, exclaiming that they hoped the missiles would hit the United States. 

Russia claims it is not supporting the rebels in Eastern Ukraine.  Remember those insignia-less soldiers driving unmarked military vehicles in Crimea who Putin claimed were not Russian?  They were.  Satellites clearly show tanks crossing the Russian border to Eastern Ukraine.  Igor Girkin, the self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, boasted about shooting down a plane on Russian social media before he knew it was a commercial airliner. Later, against all objective evidence, Putin claimed that the Ukrainian military had targeted the jet.  The rebels left the bodies to rot in the fields and prevented Dutch authorities from recovery operations.  The rebels, however, found the time to desecrate the bodies -- removing jewelry, rings and other valuables.

Putin continues to lie about Russia's involvement as the west allows this unjust war to rage.  The fighters are fired up by a vision of making a worldwide Slavic utopia.  Putin, who is clearly lying, is getting away with this farce, laughing at the impotence of the west, whose leaders care more about losing automotive contracts than they care about a new and dangerous Russia.  Putin is able to get away with his actions at home by controlling the press and firing playing on Russian nationalism.

If humans don't kill each other, Ebola has come on the scenes to finish the job.  This deadly disease
has found its way into Monrovia, with a metropolitan area of almost a million people with high population density, making it more likely that the virus will spread.  Based on the known numbers of infected individuals, the virus' incubation period, and transmission rates, the number of people estimated to contract Ebola in the next month exceeds the number of available beds.  Western aid in adding to facilities will not be enough.

Closer to home, a person who helped treat Thomas Eric Duncan (the first case diagnosed in the U.S.) may be the first person to contract the disease while in the United States. The health care worker is from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and tested positive on Saturday after reporting a low-grade fever Friday. The CDC is working to confirm the diagnosis.  Will an Ebola outbreak hit the U.S.?

Now that I have finished grading an exam and writing an NSF proposal, I can spend some time doing research, which will happily distract me from the ills of the world.

Good night...

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