Friday 2 January 2004

Unbelievably absurd

A mad-cow burger in your fast food joint
It is incredible, it beggars belief, but the truth is, until the 30th of December 2003 mad cow meat has been put into the food chain. Though not all downer cattle is presumed sick or infected, it is amazing that any non-perfect animal is slaughtered for food.
Traditionally, that is a complete abomination for the want of a stronger word, both the Jewish and Islamic religions forbid the use of blemished animals in food or sacrifices, if those still exist.
One remembers that in rural Nigeria we never used blemished animals even for the sacrifices to the god of iron; supposed to protect adherents from motor accidents. In that instance dogs are sacrificed for appeasement.
With this revelation, one wonders where else issues like this abound and in what countries this kind of practise is sanctioned and abetted.
This brings us to the issue of Zero-risk again. One should simply contend that zero-risk is only valid for what science knows, which in many cases does not constitute full scientific proof of zero-risk, but is limited to the extent of scientific knowledge at that point in time.
Gone are the days when the scientist, politician or even the station master was the authority on any issue. One cannot validate time on the station clocks again, since on railway company decided there were 66 seconds in a minute a few years ago, to account for tardy timekeeping.
The Youth
In fact, one does really hope that those days are gone, but no, they have not. More and more, people seek information and authority from other sources rather than make the judgements themselves based on the analysis and assessment of the information presented to them.
Last year, during the Dutch electioneering campaign, a number of web sites sprung up helping people to decide what their political leanings and affiliations were.
To the extent that they were advised about which party to vote for people in their 20s and 30s if they are liberal, conservative, radical or anarchist to which one should add utterly clueless.
Herein, lies the danger of democracy, a vote in the hands of the clueless, ending up electing a clueless party - then it was the Pim Fortuyn Lijst party that became the second largest in the Dutch parliament based on a sympathy allegiance owing to Pim Fortuyn being gunned down 9 days before.
The government lasted 6 months with the wrangling that tore the PFL to bits reminiscent of a fish-wife's brawl, hand-bagging each other into a state of comatose.
Then, there is the issue of discomfort when being addressed as gentleman or lady. Why anyone should feel strange at the appellation escapes one. However, society has evolved into a monster lacking in integrity, trust or honesty.
The rarity of having friends who are good at timekeeping, keeping their word or being principled is striking.
Well, one is fortunate to have a good few worthy friends as gentlemen; however, strangers make no attempt to give a good impression of integrity, the first step to creating a trust-worthy setting for acquaintance leading to friendship.
One would explore that further in another rant.
One has been in Berlin for 3 nights and spent a cold uneventful New Years Eve looking for a concert or some culture entertainment at the great risk of betting blown away by exuberant kids tossing fireworks with reckless abandon.
Anyway, the beauty of Berlin stems from the historical two cities of the East and West which were divided by the Berlin Wall which came down in 1989. Then it is the only city in about 50 years where such a large architectural project of buildings has been erected to befit the status of a capital city.
If you have never been - I would be your guide soon. 

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