Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Hits, Flu Epidemic Hits Harder ~by Legal Pub

New Years Eve Ball-Drop Tower (New York City, New York) This years flu shot apparently doesn't work well. The Center 
for Disease Control and Prevention has now officially declared an epidemic  

in its FluView report.   Specifically, 22 states (Midwest and Southeast ) have high levels of influenza activity.15 children have died from the flu so far this season.  The mortality rate for flu related deaths may be as high as 6.8 percent of those infected. Thus, epidemic levels 
have been reached peaking concern with the H3N2 virus.  The virus has apparently mutated making vaccines less effective. "What they're finding is in the predominant virus - at least, early on - it has drifted or become different from what they had predicted," according to Lenny Bernstein.  The Washington Post.  Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa of NYU told Fox, "By the time they knew that it had mutated to this extent, it was really too late to change the vaccine...They figured this out around March. That's too late for a vaccine that really comes out in October." Fox News

Nevertheless, if you have not been vaccinated yet get vaccinated as some resistance is better than none. The Washington Post   However, more importantly, spare that New Years kiss with anyone who might be effective.  Not only may that prevent chapped lips, it may also prevent a nasty experience for the start of the new year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

South Korea Nuclear Plants Cyber-hacked? ~by Legal Pub

What is Nuclear Power?We simply can't let North Korea have headlines without sharing the hacking of computer systems at South Korea’s nuclear plan!  While South Korea claims to have lost security of only non-critical data, who knows if there is risk to the safety of nuclear installations including the country's 23 atomic reactors? 

 North Korea threatened cyberattacks against industrial and social targets as part of its assault on Sony Pictures.  Furthermore, South Korea is still technically at war with the North Korea.  So is North Korea so stupid as to cause nuclear explosions?  Let's see, the fall out radiation would eventually kill all citizens of both North and South Korea...  guess that's one way to protest a bad movie. A more likely effect would simply be to shut down the nuclear power plants. Yup, that would be good news for the oil barons who have seen the price of oil plummet.  So far a South Korean blogger is under suspicion for the cyber attack.

Can it get any sillier?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas North Korea -by Legal Pub

Korea: Kim Jong Un enjoys execution of his uncle? But why?As you probably know, Sony has cancelled the opening of its new Christmas time movie whose story line included an assassination attempt on the North Korean prime minister.  While we may know nothing about the movie, it sounds like a topic that needs not be promoted.  Nevertheless, hacking into the Sony computers and threatening terrorist acts is simply bush league.  Who knows if the prime minister will ever see The Interview, but the controversial movie clips appear to be a bad attempt at humor. Grow up, North Korea.  Kim Il-Sung is the "Eternal President" of North Korea.  If your eternal preident you don't need to worry about elections and you sure as heck need to have a sense of humor. Kim IL-Sung could have handled the situation by holding a press conference exclaiming what poor taste was exhibited by those associated with the movie. He could have nicely asked patrons to boycott the movie and he would have gained world wide popularity. That is how it really works over here, and he knows that. Someone over there really needs to suggest a P.R. expert besides Dennis Rodman.

Meanwhile, China can't help but hurt its public image either.  China arrested a Korean American Christian aid worker today.  Peter Hahn, 74, is a Christian activist who was close to the North Korean border. Hahn is allegedly charged with embezzlement and counterfeiting receipts.  He is represented by attorney Zhang Peihong. More appropriate charges would likely have been promoting Christian faith but that won't sell as many papers during the holiday season.  Hahn ran a vocational school in Tumen.  It appeared that the school was a mission base camp for promoting missionaries for Christianity, not violence; nevertheless, both can be seen as evil in China.  

Christian missionaries have routinely been forced to leave China, most settling in South Korea. 
China's Foreign Ministry confirmed the charges against Hahn but labelled him as "criminally detained."  Hahn's attorney calls it "formally arrested." Perhaps a mere matter of semantics because in any event, Hahn is not free to spread the Christmas cheer as he sees fit. Another bad P.R. move in the east.

To both North Korea and China:  hire better P.R. people and help make the world a better place.

12-23-14 Update:  Sony seems no longer intimidated.  Sony originally canceled the film’s planned release after their systems were hacked and threats were made against national movie theater chains. However, two independent theater owners indicate that they  will be able to screen The Interview on Christmas Day. Sony later confirmed “a limited theatrical release” for the film in select U.S. theaters on Christmas.

If one were guessing, Sony is letting North Korea know that its engineers can do a lot more damage than North Korea can possibly imagine.  When it comes to technology, it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the Japanese!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ugly Consequences

The deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, have fueled chaos and unjustly reinforced stereo types of both police and minorities. Both killings involve an unarmed black male and one or more white police officers.  More troublesome, both involve a relatively minor crimes. No one videoed Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's  shooting of Mike Brown; however, officer Daniel Pantaleo's choking of Garner was recorded and shown to by the media. Different yet similar in that both result in the dark side of humanity.
Wilson apparently fired his gun 12 times at Brown.  Probably 5 or 6 bullets hit their mark. Was Brown trying to surrender or was he attacking the officer?  We may never know. As for Garner, he did offer some resistance to arrest when he apparently refused to be handcuffed; however, was his death from compression of his neck and chest unwarranted?
Both Garner (6-foot-3 and 350 pounds) and Brown (6-foot-5 and 289 pounds) may have played a factor leading to aggression in the officers. Regardless, however, the deaths are troublesome even if the grand juries found the actions not warranting criminal charges. However, even more troublesome are the angry protests, riots and destruction that have taken place. Non peaceful reaction by minorities only fuels the stereo type that minorities are dangerous and thus excessive force may be needed for a police officer to enforce compliance.   
A law enforcement officers job is very stressful and can at any time end in disability or death. The life of a minority growing up with the constant struggle of overcome prejudice and inequities can be taxing and also extremely stressful.  Education of both police and young males of all ethnic backgrounds need to take place with true dialogue, not shouting or violence.  A police force's diversity should be consistent with the ratio of ethnicity of the community that they serve and protect.  Funding should also be raised for mandatory body cams on officers.  Video tape of encounters would keep both officers and detainees on their best behavior and quite frankly, document behavior that is inconsistent with common sense.  
End the darkness, the violence and the ignorance.  Now is the time for education, dialogue and solutions so that the day may be near when color becomes relevant only to the crayola that one chooses to use..