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Monday, May 16, 2005

What Does This Mean? 


You've simply got to love Mother Russia: they're the truest capitalists out there (so much so that they use mafia tactics and federalist intervention to make some capitalists more powerful than others) so it is no surprise that Russian bigwigs are heavily involved in the UN Oil for Food Scandal. But just what the hell does it all mean?
Almost one third of the oil allocations granted under the United Nations' 1996 to 2003 Iraqi Oil-for-Food program went to Russian parties or individuals, according to a US Senate report detailing alleged misuse of the program.

"The allocations awarded to the Russian Presidential Council were part of a larger scheme to influence the policy of the Russian government towards Iraq and UN sanctions," said a summary of the findings of the Senate subcommittee heading the inquiry, chaired by Republican Norm Coleman.

"Massive allocations were also granted to Russian politicians, the pro-Kremlin Unity Party, and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to name but a few," said a summary of the 300-page report detailing Russian involvement in the tainted program which is to be released Monday.

The subcommittee also underlined involvement by US oil company Bay Oil which acted as an intermediary. Bay Oil representatives were indicted in April in the United States.

According to the subcommittee, oil allocations for Russia would probably have ended up in the United States.

Can someone explain, because I'm lost. These guys worked out some sort of deal with the Iraqis and, presumably, the UN, to get a lion's share of these petrol-dollars flowing in and out of Iraq. But then we read that Bay Oil is involved and, in the last line, that most of the Russian allocations would eventually have wound up in the US. Um, ???. Does John Bolton know about this? Is this the kind of thing he's going to the UN to clean up? Who is Bay Oil? Why would the Russian allocations wind up here - would they be sold to US consumers or were US companies involved?

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We Knew It Would Be the Mosquitoes 


Those sons of bitches are too evil and sinisterly designed not to be responsible for our inevitable, grotesque demise as a race. I knew it as a seven year-old in New Hampshire, lying in bed those summer months, hearing that too-loud buzz ring unnaturally in my ear. A split second as the little monster hovers by my face, a sickening frequency that can instantly awaken the deepest sleeper, in and out, seizure inducing, sonofabitch mosquito. If you've seen Microcosmos and you remember the very last scene -- that brooding, maniacal music -- you'll know what I'm talking about. Damn mosquitoes. And in Cambodia ("oh, great!" readers sigh. "If it comes from Cambodia, you know it has to be good, right?!") it seems mosquitoes are turning people into zombies. Yeah. Zombies. Yes. The living dead. In Cambodia. Like, for real. (Thanks, Nick, who can always find the scoop on the living dead.)
There has been a small outbreak of “zombism” in a small town near the border of Laos in North-Eastern Cambodia.
The culprit was discovered to be mosquitoes native to that region carrying a new strain of Malaria which thus far has a 100 percent mortality rate and kills victims in fewer than 2 days.

After death, this parasite is able to restart the heart of its victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believed to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

Cambodian officials say that the outbreak has been contained and the public has no need to worry.

General Ary Serey had this to say, "We have obtained samples of this new parasite and plan to learn how it starts the heart and other major organs of the deceased. We intend to use this to increase the quality of life for all."

Oh, good. Yeah. I guess all I really need to know about this particular minor zombie outbreak is that the Cambodian general says it's all under control, and that his army will use this for the good of mankind. Phew!

I don't know if it's because of all the disaster movies that we have this paranoia, or if the disaster movies stem from our paranoia, but it seems only fitting that civilization will crash because of some horrific, momentous, cinematic something like alien attack, enormous earthquake or, what-the-hell, fucking zombies. I mean now that we know they've got them in Cambodia I reckon zombie plague is as good a candidate as any other. The only question is whether knocking their heads off with cricket bats will suffice as a defense. That remains to be seen.

So, seriously! Ought we to be concerned at all that there are zombies in Cambodia? Is this worth my already-stretched-thin global anxiety? I almost hope this plague just sneaks up from under our noses and becomes, like, the next big thing. Zombies, man. Makes the cable bill look pretty darn insignificant.

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