LHormone de croissance humaine, le scandale inutile (French Edition)

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  1. Lutte contre le dopage : avoir une longueur d'avance (Rapport)
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Pour Jean Gabriel. Ces commentaires correspondent. Le Prof. Certains parlements, comme tation. Nous avons eu la chance que cela soit devenu un objectif. Le plus connu est le Fonds national suisse. Nous constatons aussi que les interruptions volontaires de grossesse sont deux fois plus nombreuses chez les adolescentes migrantes que chez les Suissesses. Mais par quel processus un organe peut-il se transformer en pansement?

Environ trois semaines avant son accouchement au CHUV, la future maman se voit donc proposer de faire don de son placenta.

Lutte contre le dopage : avoir une longueur d'avance (Rapport)

Ont-ils Jean-Jacques Cheseaux. Ma jambe et la tumeur aussi? Au cours des cinq ans qui suivent, Lisa Meneghelli subit deux autres amputations. Olivier Borens. Comme le souligne le Prof. The climatologists also investigated the effects of a nuclear war fought with the vastly more powerful modern thermonuclear weapons possessed by the US, Russia, China, France, and England. Some of the thermonuclear weapons constructed during s and s were times more powerful than an atomic bomb. Yet today, each of the approximately strategic weapons deployed by the US and Russia is 7 to 80 times more powerful than the atomic bombs modeled in the India-Pakistan study.

The smallest strategic nuclear weapon has an explosive power of , tons of TNT, compared to an atomic bomb with an average explosive power of 15, tons of TNT. Strategic nuclear weapons produce much larger nuclear firestorms than do atomic bombs. A war fought with hundreds or thousands of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons would ignite immense nuclear firestorms covering land surface areas of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles.

So much sunlight would be blocked by the smoke that the noonday sun would resemble a full moon at midnight. Under such conditions, it would only require a matter of days or weeks for daily minimum temperatures to fall below freezing in the largest agricultural areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Freezing temperatures would occur every day for a period of between one to three years. National Research Council of the U. National Academy of Sciences; their work essentially supported the initial findings of the studies. The idea of nuclear winter, published and supported by prominent scientists, generated extensive public alarm and put political pressure on the US and the Soviet Union to reverse a runaway nuclear arms race which, by , had created a global nuclear arsenal of more than 65, nuclear weapons.

Nuclear winter was subject to criticism and damning articles in the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Yet the scientists did not give up. In , they returned to their labs to perform the research I have previously described. Their new research not only upheld the previous findings, it found that the earlier studies actually underestimated the environmental effects of nuclear war. After the initial series of studies were published in and , the scientist from Rutgers, Dr. Robock, and Dr. Toon of the University of Colorado, made a series of requests to meet with members of the Obama administration.

The scientists offered to brief the White House about their findings, which they assumed would have a great impact upon nuclear weapons policy. Their offers were met with indifference. Finally, after a number of years of trying, I have been told that Drs. Robock has the impression that neither Holdren nor Gottemoeller think the nuclear winter research is correct. But it is not only Holdren and Gottemoeller who reject the nuclear winter research.

Or maybe they just choose not to accept the new scientific research on nuclear winter, despite the fact that it has withstood the criticism of the global scientific community. Do they realize that the launch-ready nuclear weapons they control constitute a self-destruct mechanism for the human race? Mainstream corporate media, including the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post, engage in anti-Russian, anti-Putin rhetoric that surpasses the hate speech of the McCarthy era. The US has renewed the Cold War with Russia, with no debate or protest, and has subsequently engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, as well as threatening military action against China in the South China Sea.

Apparently there is now some debate about this, however, Russia has responded by moving its latest air defense systems to Syria, and it stated it would shoot down any US or NATO planes that attempted to attack the Syrian Armed Forces. Russia has also sent its only aircraft carrier, along with all of its Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet to the Mediterranean, in its largest surface deployment of naval vessels since the end of the Cold War. This force includes hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. Petersburg, the second largest city of Russia.

The Mark 41 launch system used in the Aegis Ashore systems can be used to launch a variety of missiles, including long-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles. In other words, the US has built and is building launch sites for nuclear missiles on the Russian border. This fact has been widely reported on Russian TV and has infuriated the Russian public.

In June, Russian President Putin specifically warned that Russia would be forced to retaliate against this threat. While Russian officials maintain that its actions are normal and routine, Russia now appears to be preparing for war. On October 5, Russia conducted a nation-wide civil defense drill that included 40 million of its people being directed to fallout shelters. Reuters reported that on October 7, Russia had moved its Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, which borders Poland. While the US ignores the danger of nuclear war, Russian scholar Stephen Cohen reports that the danger of war with the US is the leading news story in Russia.

Cohen states:. Just as there is no discussion of the most existential question of our time, in the American political class — the possibility of war with Russia — it is the only thing being discussed in the Russian political class. These are two different political universes. I conclude from this that the leadership of Russia actually believes now, in reaction to what the United States and NATO have said and done over the last two years, and particularly in reaction to the breakdown of the proposed cooperation in Syria, and the rhetoric coming out of Washington, that war is a real possibility.

My own personal assessment of the state of the nuclear danger today is that it is profound. The United States is sleepwalking towards nuclear war. This is a recipe for unlimited human disaster. We must return to the understanding that nuclear war cannot be won, and must not be fought. This can be achieved if we listen to the warnings from the scientific community about the omnicidal consequences of nuclear war.

Robock, L. Oman, G. Stenchikov, Toon, R. Turco, A. Robock, C. Bardeen, L. Mills, O. Turco, D. Kinnison, R. Toon, J. Lee-Taylor, A. Stenchikov, O. Toon, C. Bardeen, R Turco. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. Or que constatons nous? Il suffit de lire, mais le veut-on? Que voulons-nous pour nos enfants? Comment pouvons- nous vivre ensemble et faire ensemble? Fayard, p. Qalandia is one of the busiest checkpoints through which Palestinians with the required work documents can travel from the occupied Palestinian territories to Israel.

In the early hours of the morning, Palestinian men and only a handful of women rush to beat the long lines and frequent Israeli closures at the checkpoint entrance. Such activity seems incongruous in the predawn hours, when the stark neon lights of the checkpoint are the only illumination for these harried workers. The warehouse-like checkpoint looks like a cattle pen on the inside: Metal bars on either side and above form a narrow chute, enclosing and herding the workers—many of whom have traveled from villages more than an hour away—toward the point where their documents will be checked by Israeli officials.

They then wait on the Israeli side for transport from their employers. But starting in January , gun-toting private security guards joined the soldiers and police. Today, there are 12 checkpoints in the West Bank and two on the Gaza border that use such guards. Israel is slowly privatizing its occupation.

Many of the Palestinians we speak to are unaware of the changes. He has slicked-back hair and wears a gray T-shirt. We speak to her and her friends just outside the chaotic Qalandia terminal. Sometimes you have to wait for an hour. People take it [security] as a job. Reham explains her own experience. As the sun rises on another hot August day, its rays hit the separation wall near the Qalandia checkpoint; on it, one can see ads for apartments in Palestine.

Coffee sellers do a roaring business among those waiting in line. But even if more muscle is needed, why not just send more soldiers? But after the second intifada, I started to notice that there is a different type of tactic: using private Israeli forces and companies at checkpoints, guarding the barrier, doing security on the barrier and in the jails. Also guarding the settlements. This move was part of a global trend, from Iraq to Colombia, in which private security and military companies increasingly began to assume state functions.

Most companies started with more mundane operations but ended up carrying out those involving violence. He believes this is one of the main reasons Israel has turned to these companies. Instructions regarding Israeli or international law are easier to escape via private forces. It was one of the first high-profile killings carried out by private security guards at a West Bank checkpoint. Not long afterward, the justice ministry announced that it was dropping an investigation into the killings without charging anyone. However, an Israeli court placed a gag order on the case partially lifted in October , making it impossible to see footage of the shootings and prove the security guards were at fault.

The family of the victims were given no recourse to justice. In this way, privatized occupation enforcement serves the interests of the Israeli state. When we approached the guards, they scowled at us and told us to leave. Black smoke from burning rubbish, collecting near the separation wall, wafted through the air. From its founding in until the Six-Day War in , Israel was supported by much of the global left, which saw it as a socialist nation committed to social justice and equality. Until the mids, Israel had one of the smallest wealth gaps in the West for Jews , with the welfare state providing decent support for its Jewish population.

But by the mids, the gap between rich and poor had skyrocketed. Of course, after Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza in , the state never considered granting universal welfare coverage to Palestinians in the newly conquered territories. Palestinians under occupation were subject to military rule, a policy that continues to this day. From the late s, right-wing governments in Israel, led by the Likud Party, argued that dismantling the welfare state was the best way to liberalize the economy.

Indeed, the US military industry encouraged the Israelis to privatize their weapons industry. Today, the results of outsourcing are clear. But the Israeli public is paying a high price. But not everybody is suffering. The world is changing, and borders are coming back big-time. But that involvement, as well as the amounts of money being made, have increased dramatically in the past decade.

HRW reports that there are 20 Israeli-administered industrial zones in the West Bank, covering about 1, hectares, with Israeli settlers overseeing the cultivation of 9, hectares of agricultural land. This is one of the contradictions of privatization. While Israeli state transgressions of international law are generally ignored by its biggest benefactor, the United States President Obama just gave Israel its largest-ever military-aid package , the BDS movement has claimed some key victories in terms of pressuring the private sector over affiliations with human-rights abuses in Palestine.

This poses the question of whether the privatization of the occupation is making Israel more susceptible to international opprobrium, including boycotts. The security company G4S, the biggest private-sector security employer in the world, announced in that it was leaving Israel within three years and terminating its contracts with the Israeli prison system. In , the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that plans for fully private prisons were unconstitutional.

But many of the systems and products used in prison—from cameras to doors to alarm systems—are made or managed by private corporations. Barack Obama, an indecisive and weak President, delegated all presidential responsibility for the Libya war to his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Blumenthal is the slick lawyer who defended then-President Bill Clinton in the Monika Lewinsky and other sex scandal affairs when Bill was President and facing impeachment.

For many it remains a mystery just why Washington decided that Qaddafi personally must be destroyed, murdered, not just sent into exile like Mubarak. Little is known in the West about what Muammar Qaddafi did in Libya or, for that matter, in Africa and in the Arab world. It was not a personal decision of Hillary Clinton to eliminate Qaddafi and destroy his entire state infrastructure. She was merely another Washington political tool implementing the mandate of those oligarchs.

Since the US dollar abandoned gold exchange for dollars in the dollar in terms of gold has dramatically lost value. By the prospect of sovereign control by a growing number of African and Arab oil states of their state oil and gas revenues was causing serious concern in Wall Street as well as the City of London. It was huge liquidity, in the trillions, they potentially no longer controlled.

The timing of the Arab Spring, in retrospect, increasingly looks tied to Washington and Wall Street efforts to control not only the huge Arab Middle East oil flows. It is now clear it was equally aimed at controlling their money, their trillions of dollars accumulating in their new sovereign wealth funds. I was first told of this plan in early , at a Swiss financial and geopolitical conference, by an Algerian with extensive knowledge of the project. Documentation was scarce at the time and the story remained in my mental back-burner. In the months prior to the US decision, with British and French backing, to get a UN Security Council resolution that would give them the legal fig-leaf for a NATO destruction of the Qaddafi regime, Muammar Qaddafi had been organizing the creation of a gold-backed dinar that would be used by African oil states as well as Arab OPEC countries in their sales of oil on the world market.

Had that happened at the time Wall Street and the City of London were deep into the financial crisis of , the challenge to the reserve currency role of the dollar would have been more than serious. It would be a death knell to American financial hegemony, and to the Dollar System. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank for the recent decades have been the Washington instruments to suppress African real development.

Gaddafi had called upon African oil producers in the African Union and in Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make the gold dinar their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars. Qaddafi was moving forward, as head of the African Union, at the time of his assassination, with a plan to unify the sovereign States of Africa with one gold currency, a United States of Africa. In , a Pan-African Parliament of 53 nations had laid plans for an African Economic Community — with a single gold currency by African oil-producing nations were planning to abandon the petro-dollar, and demand gold payment for their oil and gas.

The four African member-states of OPEC—Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, a giant oil producer and the largest natural gas producer in Africa with huge natural gas reserves, and Libya with the largest reserves—would be in the new gold dinar system. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

The risk to the future of the US dollar as world reserve currency, if Qaddafi had been allowed to proceed—together with Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab OPEC and African Union members— to introduce oil sales for gold not dollars, would clearly have been the financial equivalent of a Tsunami. The Qaddafi dream of an Arabic and African gold system independent of the dollar, unfortunately, died with him. The Eurasian gold system emerging now poses an entirely new quality of challenge to American financial hegemony. As SouthFront forecasted on October 28, the Jaish al-Fatah militant coalition, led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch has not been able to deliver a devastating blow to the Syrian government forces and to break the siege of eastern Aleppo.

Fatah al-Sham-led attempt to cut off the Ithriyah-Aleppo Highway also failed. The Syrian military also deployed reinforcements from the Syrian Army Tiger Forces and its commander, Major General Suheil Al Hassan, arrived the city to coordinate military operations against the joint terrorist forces. By October 31, Al Hassan—led forces, supported by the Syrian Air Force, have repelled attacks on the Minyan area and the Apartment Project, retaken the al-Assad Neighborhood and made a series of counter-attacks in the Apartment Project.

The advance was synchronized with operations of the Kurdish YPG in the same area. These areas had been controlled by the Jaish al-Islam militant group. The liberation of Tell Kurdi and Tell Sawwan decreases significantly the militant-controlled area near Damascus and sets a foothold for advance on Duma, the last major militant stronghold in the region.

On October 28, the government forces took control of the Air Defense Battalion hill between Deir Khabiyan and the th Regiment in Western Ghouta and splitted the militant-controlled area into two separate pockets. On October 31, the government delegation arrived to the town to negotiate with members of the FSA, Jaish al-Islam and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham terms and conditions of their surrender.

Three Russian attack submarines armed Kalibr cruise missiles have joined a Russian naval taskforce heading towards Syria. The Royal Navy has been reportedly tracking two nuclear-powered Akula-class submarines and a diesel-powered Kilo-class submarine. The subs entered the North Atlantic from portsaround Murmansk and joined the Admiral Kuznetsov battle group as it sailed down the North Sea last week.

The Kuznetsov and its battlegroup are now off the north African coast. The mainstream media speculates that the subs will deliver missile strikes on peaceful targets in Aleppo city. The pro-government forces on the battlefield are supported by the Syrian Arab Air Force. The Apartment Project, the Al-Assad Neighborhood its length is about 1,4 km , the areas west of the Apartment Project and Minyan remain the main scenes of clashes.

Experts note that the jihadists have concentrated a high number of experienced troops, artillery, rocket launchers and military equipment at a restricted front in western Aleppo. To do this, they had been pushed to use almost all their resources from the rear bases in Idlib province.

Chine | jcdurbant | Page 2

If Jabhat al-Nusra is not able to achieve a decided success in clashes with the government forces soon, this will lead to its total collapse as a powerbroker in the war. On October 31, the video also appeared on Youtube, showing the advanced Russian-made T main battle tank MBT involved in clashes with militants in the Minyan area in western Aleppo. Both forces are seeking to set a foothold to capture the strategic town of Al-Bab. The recent Kurdish operations in northeastern Aleppo were coordinated with the Syrian army and military sources say that Moscow increased military supplies to the YPG in the area.

A sociopath is a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminally greedy, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility, empathy or social conscience. Sociopaths never sincerely apologize nor are they capable of exhibiting remorse for wrongs that they have committed.

A paranoid person or group exhibits excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of other individuals or groups. A xenophobe is a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures. A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument. Once upon a time, there was a megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader who was attempting to rise to political power in his politically-divided, post-war nation.

This deeply flawed demagogue, who was worshipped by millions of rabble-rousing, beer-drinking, racist, sexist, gun-toting, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, uber-nationalist, xenophobic white supremacists, professed that his goal in running for national office was only to make his supposedly-weak, supposedly under-militarized country great again. This sometimes charismatic political leader was one of the richest persons in the country but was often joked about by courageous comedians of the time.

He was sometimes regarded as a buffoon, but he impressed his followers at his frequent campaign stops by dramatically flying in to his political rallies on a private airplane. This leader often used inflammatory and hate-filled language in his speeches, actually inciting violence among his listeners, and was thus widely covered by the press as an aberration in the struggling, once-civilized, democratic nation. He amassed a devoted coalition of angry, under-employed, xenophobic white supremacists, especially among the millions of psychologically-wounded combat veterans from the last war who were easily recruited to participate in street-fighting for the cause — indeed, even a violent revolution.

His followers revered and exuberantly pledged allegiance to the flag. His nation had suffered the loss of a recent war that had essentially bankrupted the nation — both economically and morally. The lost war had resulted in serious economic challenges. In fact, in order to start the war, the political and military leaders of the nation secretly conspired to orchestrate a false flag operation that falsely alarmed the nation into war-readiness.

After the Big Lie operation had been accepted as truthful by the masses thanks to the corporate-controlled media that never questioned the deception the soon-to-be-unjustly-invaded nation was accused of provoking a war and the brain-washed, duped electorate endorsed the invasion. This particular megalomaniacal political leader had successfully purged from his adopted right-wing party many of the old establishment leaders that had originally been somewhat centrist. He had seemingly come out of nowhere and gained notoriety and political momentum after a sudden, world-wide economic collapse and recession that had been created by powerful Wall Street speculators and predatory investors.

Instead, he blamed the disastrous situation on liberal democratic party members who had taken on the impossible situation of economic depression and massive unemployment that they had not been responsible for in the first place. This megalomaniac and his followers were citizens of one of the most advanced, cultured, literate and highly Christianized nations the world had ever known.

The nation was also highly militarized. Because the nation was regarded as blessed by god, the citizens naturally thought that aggressive action against any dissenters among them was needed, even to the point of banishment, imprisonment, deportation, execution and torture. In other words, the followers of this sociopathic demagogue — who had a history of being a serial liar and wanted to increase his already significant wealth and power — abandoned all logic and truly believed that the leader could actually — mostly by himself — make his country great again.

But the historical similarities between what seems to me to be an American friendly fascism and a distinctly unfriendly German fascism do indeed exist and it is not just the fault of Donald Trump. Indeed, Donald Trump probably has never taken the time to study ANY history books at all, so one cannot claim that he is following the historical playbook of fascist dictators.

What he is doing is just the nature of demagogues. And the historical similarities between the psychological aberrations of the fascist fuehrer Hitler and the various leaders behind what is becoming a reality in America do exist. Therefore, in the interest of educating those who are open-minded enough to sit still for some historical enlightenment, the remainder of this essay will try to make some of the connections between what has been said in this political season and what might be in store for America.

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The commentary below is mine but the criteria are from established documents that are easily available in the literature. I invite readers to do their own psychological evaluations. Recall that both sociopaths and fascists are not to be trusted with political power, military power or economic power. They both consistently lie and deceive and may not even realize that they are doing it.

It is also important to understand that, for all intents and purposes, sociopaths are incurable and need to be isolated from society. In each of the seven categories I have added, in red, a few examples from the life and times of Donald Trump that supports his qualifications for being diagnosed a sociopath. Readers should make their own determinations and the implications for becoming president. The disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for — and a marked inability to abide by — societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.

According to the DSM, only three of the seven are required to qualify for the diagnosis. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest. On one of his many appearances on the Howard Stern Show, Trump actually laughingly admitted to being a sexual predator — in the presence of his approving daughter Ivanka and son Donald, Jr.

Clinton — as has been true of a multitude of other high-profile politicians in both major political parties — has been accused of financial irregularities and email irregularities. Repeated lying, conning others for profit or pleasure, or the use of aliases. Being impulsive or failing to plan ahead.

Within two years all three casinos had to declare bankruptcy. Repeated assaults on others. Recall his numerous sexual assaults, his infamous attack on the owner of a professional wrestling association during a match and his verbal assaults on foreigners, Muslims, Mexicans, protestors, assorted minorities, the disabled and the media. Reckless disregard for the safety of others. Failure to honor financial obligations.

Recall his numerous bankruptcy filings that stiffed a multitude of creditors and workers that then resulted in dozens of downstream bankruptcies of smaller businesses. Rationalizing the pain he or she has inflicted on others. Clinton on one occasion expressed joy over the murder of Muamar Gadhafi. Clinton scores 2 or 3.

This disorder is characterized by a behavior or fantasy of grandiosity, a lack of empathy and a need to be admired by others. Narcissistic individuals have an unrealistic or inflated sense of self-importance, an inability to see the viewpoints of others, and are hypersensitive to the opinions of others as indicated by five or more of the following nine traits:.

Stein and Sanders score zero. Many of his columns are archived at. Eligibility begins at age The national average is far lower. Whether it would have changed the results is unknown. Trump and Hillary are the most widely reviled presidential aspirants in US history. What to make of it? Undergrads enter Harvard and other colleges as teenagers, young and naive as I was when entering the college long ago.

You come here with a skull full of mush. You leave thinking like a lawyer. College and graduate school taught me to think. Learning and comprehension mostly came later. The older I get, the greater my understanding of world and national issues. Back then, students had none of the advantages available today — no computers, no Internet. Daily writing I dearly love now was a dreaded chore back then — requiring research by rolodex cards and library stacks, a time-consuming process.

The stakes are huge — possible war on Russia with Hillary empowered or improved bilateral relations under Trump. Nothing matters more than saving humanity from the scourge of catastrophic thermonuclear war able to kill us all. A real-time demo of the most devastating election theft mechanism yet found, with context and explanation. Demonstration uses a real voting system and real vote databases and takes place in seconds across multiple jurisdictions. Over subcontractors and middlemen have the access to perform this for any or all clients.

It can give contract signing authority to whoever the user chooses. All political power can be converted to the hands of a few anonymous subcontractors. It learns its environment and can adjust to any political environment, any demographic. It runs silently, invisibly, and can produce plausible results that really pass for the real thing. Vaccine ingredients other than the engineered viral antigen are most often believed to be the primary culprits to adverse vaccine reactions.

Although Pandermrix was pulled from the market, it should never have been approved and released in the first place. This is a classic case of regulatory negligence by health officials and the WHO which promulgates flu vaccines around the world. Like all vaccines, which are now commonly fast tracked through government health regulatory bodies for rapid release upon the public, it should have been tested more thoroughly and more rigorously reviewed. The failure of proper regulatory oversight has resulted in Joshua and other British citizens becoming disabled for life.

The British government has paid out over 63 million pounds to cover lawsuits to Pandermrix victims. Glaxo has never admitted its flu vaccine caused brain damage. Sarah Behie was 20 years old after receiving the flu shot. Three weeks later her health deteriorated dramatically. Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a not uncommon adverse effect of influenza vaccination, four years later Sarah remains paralyzed from the waist down, incapable of dressing and feeding herself, and rotting away in hospitals and nursing homes.

Today tens of thousands of infants, toddlers, children and adults across the nation are increasingly becoming victims of vaccine injuries. No national debate is initiated because regulatory malfeasance within federal health agencies has aligned its self interests with pharmaceutical profits rather than serving the public health. Flu vaccines are perhaps the most ineffective vaccine on the market. Or at least this is the rationale stated by the agency. Yet regardless of how infective and useless FluMist has been, it has remained on the market since , and in the CDC recommended it as its flu vaccine of choice for children.

Both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated are at risk. David Brownstein has noted that as far back as , the Journal of the American Medical Association reported increased risks of febrile disorders greater than placebo associated with the live vaccine. Other adverse effects include pericarditis, congenital and genetic disorders, mitochondrial encephalomyopathy or Leigh Syndrome, meningitis, and others.

Yet when has the CDC ever been truthful with the public? The development and promotion of the influenza vaccine was never completely about protecting the public. It has been the least popular vaccine in the US including among healthcare workers. Instead, similar to the mumps vaccine in the MMR, it has been the cash cow for vaccine makers. Determining the actual severity of any given flu season is burdened by federal intentional confusion to mislead the public. However, validating this claim is near impossible because the CDC does not differentiate deaths caused by influenza infection and deaths due to pneumonia.

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On its website, the CDC lumps flu and pneumonia deaths together, currently estimated at 55, The large majority of these were pneumonia deaths of elderly patients. To date there is only one gold standard clinical trial with the flu vaccine that compares vaccinated vs. This Hong Kong funded double-blind placebo controlled study following the health conditions of vaccinated and unvaccinated children between the ages of years for days. The trial concluded the flu vaccine holds no health benefits. Among the vaccinated children, there were flu cases compared to 88 among the unvaccinated; there were other non-influenza virus infections, including rhinovirus, coxsackie, echovirus and others, among the vaccinated versus 88 with the unvaccinated.

This single study alone poses a scientifically sound warning and rationale for avoiding the vaccine. It is worth noting that there are approximately distinct viruses that are misdiagnosed as influenza and produce flu-like symptoms. Nevertheless we are more susceptible to flu-like infections during the colder months when there are less daylight hours. In a later study by Dr. Danuta Skowronski in Canada, individuals with a history of receiving consecutive seasonal flu shots over several years had an increased risk of becoming infected with H1N1 swine flu. The wise man knows he knows nothing when it comes to influenza, so you always have to be cautious in speculating.

There is strong evidence suggesting that all vaccine clinical trials carried out by manufacturers fall short of demonstrating vaccine efficacy accurately. And when they are shown to be efficacious, it is frequently in the short term and offer only partial or temporary protection.

According to an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Infectious Diseases, the only way to evaluate vaccines is to scrutinize the epidemiological data obtained from real-life conditions. In they found that vaccinating adults against influenza did not affect the number of people hospitalized nor decrease lost work. According to Dr. Tom Jefferson at the Cochrane Collaboration, it makes little sense to keep vaccinating against seasonal influenza based on the evidence.

There is also substantial peer-reviewed literature supporting the supplementation of Vitamin D. In his article Doshi questions the flu vaccine paradigm stating:. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated.

A significant body of research proves that receiving the flu shot does not reduce mortality among seniors. This is the basic rule of the game. Revel understood once and for all that this game was not for him and it was the end of his political ambition. Which proved to be a blessing: had politics swallowed him at that early stage in his life how much poorer the world of ideas and letters would have been. And one could have said exactly the same about his close friend Mario Vargas Llosa, who — luckily for literature — was defeated in presidential elections in Peru.

Dead writers who were also friends never leave us: whenever we open their books, we hear again their very personal voices and our old exchanges are suddenly revived. I had many conversations and discussions: different opinions are the memorable spices of friendship with Revel; yet what I wish to record here is not something he said, but a silence that had slightly puzzled me at the time. The matter is trifling and frivolous for which I apologise , but what touches me is that I found the answer many years later, in his writings. I told him that one scene had impressed me, by its acute psychological insight into the truth that love-making without love is but a very grim sort of gymnastics.

He stopped abruptly and gave me a long quizzical look, as if he was trying to find out whether I really believed that, or was merely pulling his leg. Many years later, reading his autobiography, I suddenly understood. When he was a precocious adolescent of 15, at school in Marseilles, he was quite brilliant in all humanities subjects but hopeless in mathematics. Every Thursday, pretending to his mother that he was receiving extra tuition in maths, he used to go to a little brothel.

He would first do his school work in the common lounge and, after that, go upstairs with one of the girls. One Thursday, however, as he was walking up the stairs his maths teacher came down. I belatedly realised that, from a rather early age, Revel had acquired a fairly different perspective on the subject of our chat. Bashing an elderly nun under an obscene label does not seem to be a particularly brave or stylish thing to do. Besides, it appears that the attacks which are being directed at Mother Teresa all boil down to one single crime:she endeavors to be a Christian, in the most literal sense of the word—which is and always was, and will always remain a most improper and unacceptable undertaking in this world.

She occasionally accepts the hospitality of crooks, millionaires, and criminals. But it is hard to see why, as a Christian, she should be more choosy in this respect than her Master, whose bad frequentations were notorious, and shocked all the Hitchenses of His time. Instead of providing efficient and hygienic services to the sick and dying destitutes, she merely offers them her care and her love.

When I am on my death bed, I think I should prefer to have one of her Sisters by my side, rather than a modern social worker. She secretly baptizes the dying.

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The material act of baptism consists in shedding a few drops of water on the head of a person, while mumbling a dozen simple ritual words. Either you believe in the supernatural effect of this gesture—and then you should dearly wish for it. Or you do not believe in it, and the gesture is as innocent and well-meaningly innocuous as chasing a fly away with a wave of the hand. If a cannibal who happens to love you presents you with his most cherished possession—a magic crocodile tooth that should protect you forever—will you indignantly reject his gift for being primitive and superstitious, or would you gratefully accept it as a generous mark of sincere concern and affection?

Jesus was spat upon—but not by journalists, as there were none in His time. In my book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa In Theory and Practice, I provide evidence that Mother Teresa has consoled and supported the rich and powerful, allowing them all manner of indulgence, while preaching obedience and resignation to the poor. Nobody was happy anyhow. That vote, quite apart from its importance in separating Church from State in the Irish Republic, had an obvious bearing on the vital discussion between Irish Catholics and Protestants as to who shall make law in a possible future cooperative island that is threatened by two kinds of Christian fundamentalism.

Evidence and argument of this kind, I have discovered, make no difference to people like Mr. Instead, they make vague allusions to the gospels. Here I can claim no special standing. The gospels do not agree on the life of the man Jesus, and they make assertions—such as his ability to cast demonic spells on pigs—that seem to reflect little credit upon him. However, when Mr.

Did he ever accept a large subvention of money, as did Mother Teresa from Charles Keating, knowing it to have been stolen from small and humble savers? Did he ever demand a strict clerical control over, not just abortion, but contraception and marriage and divorce and adoption? On my related points—that Mother Teresa makes no real effort at medical or social relief, and that her mission is religious and propagandistic and includes surreptitious baptism of unbelievers—I notice that Mr.

Leys enters no serious dissent. Leys must try and make up his mind. To represent her as a woman defiled with spittle for her deeds or beliefs is—to employ the term strictly for once—quite incredible. But it accords with the Christian self-pity that we have to endure from so many quarters Justice Scalia, Ralph Reed, Mrs. Dole these days. Other faiths are taking their place in that same queue, to claim that all criticism is abusive, blasphemous, and defamatory by definition.

Leys may not care for some of the friends that he will make in this line. Or perhaps I misjudge him? Also, given that I have been criticizing Mother Teresa since she was middle-aged and publicly denounced the senile Khomeini in his homicidal dotage , can he advise me of the age limit at which the faithful will admit secular criticism as pardonable?

Not even the current occupant of the Holy See has sought protection from dissent on the ground ofanno domini. If Mr. Hitchens were to write an essay on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, being a competent journalist, he would no doubt first acquaint himself with Buddhism in general and with Tibetan Buddhism in particular. In this respect, his strong and vehement distaste for Mother Teresa reminds me of the indignation of the patron in a restaurant, who, having been served caviar on toast, complained that the jam had a funny taste of fish.

The point is essential—but it deserves a development which would require more space and more time than can be afforded to me, here and now. However, I am working on a full-fledged review of his book, which I shall gladly forward to him once it comes out in print. Finally, Mr. Hitchens asked me to explain what made me say that The Missionary Position is an obscene title. His question, without doubt, bears the same imprint of sincerity and good faith that characterized his entire book. Therefore, I owe him an equally sincere and straightforward answer: my knowledge of colloquial English being rather poor, I had to check the meaning of this enigmatic title in The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Oxford University Press, , 2 vols.

But Mr. Hitchens having no need for such a tool in the exercise of his trade probably does not possess a copy of it. It will therefore be a relief for his readers to learn that his unfortunate choice of a title was totally innocent: when he chose these words, how could he possibly have guessed what they actually meant? It was conducted via correspondence between Daniel Sanderson, the editor of the Newsletter, and Pierre Ryckmans. China Heritage Quarterly takes pleasure in reproducing it here with permission and adding it to our archive related to New Sinology.

Discussing the tension between intellectual creativity at universities and the creep of managerialism that has increasingly benighted the life of the mind at universities he made the following observation:. Near to the end of his life, Gustave Flaubert wrote in one of his remarkable letters to his dear friend Ivan Turgenev a little phrase that could beautifully summarise my topic.

Throughout his career, Ryckmans has combined meticulous scholarship and a vigorous public engagement with contemporary political and intellectual issues. His elegant yet forthright style is evident in these responses to questions submitted by the CSAA Newsletter. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? What kind of family life did you have as a child? Pierre Ryckmans: I was born and grew up in Brussels; I had a happy childhood. To paraphrase Tolstoy: all happy childhoods are alike— warm affection and much laughter—the recipe seems simple enough.

DS: Was China in any way an element of your childhood? Was there, for instance, any scope to study Chinese history or politics, or the Chinese language, at school? This seems an unusual combination. What drew you to these subjects? Were you influenced particularly by any of your teachers? At university, personal contacts, intellectual debates and exchanges with friends and schoolmates many of whom came from Asia and Latin America were far more important, enriching and memorable than most lectures.

Lately I noted with pleasure that John Henry Newman already made a similar observation in his great classic The Idea of a University How was this visit arranged? What was your impression of the New China at that time? Did you ever return to the PRC? If so, under what circumstances?

Do you think that some experience of living in China is necessary for the scholar of China? The voyage—smoothly organized—took us to the usual famous spots, climaxing in a one-hour private audience with Zhou Enlai. My overwhelming impression a conclusion to which I remained faithful for the rest of my life was that it would be inconceivable to live in this world, in our age, without a good knowledge of Chinese language and a direct access to Chinese culture.

DS: What did you do after completing your undergraduate degree? Did you progress directly to further study? Did you ever consider a career outside the academy? PR: I started learning Chinese. Since, at that time, no scholarship was available to go to China, I went to Taiwan. I simply wished to know Chinese and acquire a deeper appreciations of Chinese culture. DS: I would like to learn something about your PhD. What was your topic? Why was it important to you? PR: Loving Western painting, quite naturally I became enthralled with Chinese painting and calligraphy — and I developed a special interest for what the Chinese wrote on the subject of painting: traditionally, the greatest painters were also scholars, poets, men of letters — hence the development of an extraordinarily rich, eloquent and articulate literature on painting, philosophical, critical, historical and technical.

We are often tempted to do research on topics that are somewhat marginal and lesser-known, since, on these, it is easier to produce original work. How should one paint? Among all my books, this one, first published forty years ago, has never gone out of print—and, to my delight, it is read by painters much more than by sinologists! It was a happy period of intense activity—living and learning in an environment where all my friends became my teachers, and all my teachers, my friends. If he is happy, it is because his wishes have not been granted. How did this come about?

What was your role? Can you tell me a little about the atmosphere at ANU during your early years there? Thus, with my wife and four very young children, we moved to Canberra for what was supposed to be a three-year stay, but turned out to become our final, permanent home. Professor Liu was not only a great scholar, he was also an exquisite man; for me, working in his department till his own retirement fifteen years later was sheer bliss—it also coincided with what must have been the golden age of our universities. Later on, the atmosphere changed—for various politico-economic and other reasons—and I took early retirement.

The crisis of Higher Education is a vast problem, and a world phenomenon; I have spoken and written on the subject—there is no need and no space to repeat it here. DS: The s were a period of great political division within the field of Chinese Studies, and across society at large. The iconoclasm of the Cultural Revolution was attractive to many in the West. This was followed in by the equally controversial Chinese Shadows. Both these works stirred considerable debate in Europe.

What was the reaction in Australia, particularly within the Chinese Studies community? Were you ever attracted to the Maoist experiment yourself? PR: My own interest, my own field of work is Chinese literature and Chinese painting.


When commenting on Chinese contemporary politics, I was merely stating common sense evidence and common knowledge. But at that time, this may indeed have disturbed some fools here and there—which, in the end, did not matter very much. DS: Do you think political engagement is a necessary part of the intellectual life?

The political views of the greatest philosopher on earth may well be more silly than those of his ignorant housekeeper. Can you comment on the changes you saw within Chinese Studies at those institutions, and in Australia more generally, during that time? PR: I am poorly informed on more recent developments I left academic life sixteen years ago. When things began to change education becoming mere training and took an orientation that corresponded no longer to what I always believed a university ought to be, I opted for early retirement.

In front of younger colleagues who keep bravely fighting the good fight, I feel like a deserter, ill-qualified to make further comments. DS: It is perhaps a reductive question, but I wonder whether you could tell me what it is about the literature of China that you find appealing? PR: The virtue and power of the Chinese literary language culminates in its classical poetry. Chinese classical poetry seems to me the purest, the most perfect and complete form of poetry one could conceive of.

Furthermore, like painting, it splendidly occupies a visual space in its calligraphic incarnations. It inhabits your mind, it accompanies your life, it sustains and illuminates your daily experiences. DS: Why, in your opinion, is the study of China necessary in Australia? Or, indeed, is it necessary at all?

PR: Why is scholarly knowledge necessary in Australia? And why culture? DS: A large proportion of your writing has been aimed at a general readership. Do you think academics, and China scholars in particular, bear a responsibility to communicate with the public?

PR: Sidney Hook said that the first moral obligation of an intellectual is to be intelligent. Regarding academics and China scholars one might paraphrase this statement and say that their first duty is to master their discipline. Yet communicating with the public is a special talent; very learned scholars do not necessarily possess it.

DS: Though based in Canberra, you continue to take part in European political and cultural life through your writings in French. Do you think your physical distance from Europe affects your approach to these issues? Mote, China and the Vocation of History in the Twentieth Century—A Personal Memoir; and for bedside reading, I keep constantly dipping into two huge collections of sardonic aphorisms gloriously incorrect! DS: When you reflect on your career as a whole, what makes you proudest? PR: Regrets? Usually what we regret is what we did not do.

Let me think about it. Do you think Australian scholars have particular strengths or weaknesses when it comes to the study of China? PR: As I said earlier, I left academe some sixteen years ago. I am really not in a position to assess the current state of Chinese Studies in Australian universities. PR: May cultural exchanges further develop! In our capital city, ANU seems particularly well placed for discharging this important task. PR: First of all, learn the Chinese language to the best of your ability and spend as much time as possible in a Chinese-speaking environment.

Language fluency is the key which will open all doors for you—practically and spiritually. You know perfectly well, answers Leys. And so on and on. What interested me about this exchange was not the relative merits of the arguments put forth by two writers who had at least one thing in common—a love of George Orwell and G. Chesterton, possibly for the same reasons, to which I shall return a little later. Leys describes this event as a kind of epiphany.

He is sure that philistinism does not result from the lack of knowledge. Indeed, he did what he did precisely for that reason. Classical Beijing, much of it built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was deliberately planned to reflect this order. It survived almost intact until the s. Apart from a few pockets, such as the Forbidden City, nothing of this old city remains. Critics over the years have attacked Leys for being an elitist, a Western mimic of Chinese literati, an aesthete who cares more about high culture than people, more about walls and temples than the poor Beijingers who had to live in dark and primitive alleys, oppressed by absolute rulers and feudal superstition.

But this misses the point. On the contrary, he lamented the fact that Maoists decided to smash the extraordinary artifacts of the past instead of the attitudes that made feudalism so oppressive in the first place. The stones were destroyed; many of the attitudes, alas, remained, albeit under different rulers. Iconoclasts, not only in China, are as enthralled by the sacred properties of the objects they destroy as those who venerate them. This much we know. But Leys goes further. Yet beauty, as Leys himself insists, is rarely neutral. Leys quotes Guo Moruo, one of the most famous mandarins of the Chinese Communist revolution, on the city walls in Sichuan where the scholar and poet grew up.

Guo was a Communist, but not a vandal. He paid a common price for his love of the wrong kind of beauty. Persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, he was forced to declare that his books were worthless and should be burned. The point about the walls is, of course, not merely aesthetic, nostalgic, or even to do with awe. His targets are never uneducated barbarians, people too ignorant or stupid to know what they are doing.

The objects of his devastating and bitterly funny barbs are fellow intellectuals, often fellow academics, most often fellow experts on China, people who faithfully followed every twist and turn of the Chinese Communist Party line, even though they knew better. Such people as the writer Han Suyin, for example, who declared that the Cultural Revolution was a Great Leap Forward for mankind until she observed, once the line had changed, that it had been a terrible disaster.

I recognize the type, since they were to be found among the Dutch professors who taught me Chinese literature and history at Leyden University in the early s, when the Cultural Revolution was still raging. But China, whose unique culture my professors spent their lives studying, was different. Ordinary Chinese, one world-famous expert of early Chinese Buddhism explained to us, loved the revolutionary operas that replaced the popular classical operas, which were banned.

In any case, was it not a smug illusion to think that we were so free in our Western democracies? And yet, in the fierce debate that followed, they kept curiously aloof. They simply dismissed Leys. One conspicuous feature of the European Maoists in the s was their obliviousness to actual conditions in China.

The Chinese were discussed almost as an abstraction. Leys, who cared deeply about the Chinese, became a hate figure in Paris. I remember watching him on a French television chat show. The host, Bernard Pivot, asked him why he had decided to take on what seemed like the entire Parisian intellectual establishment. Leys replied with one word: chagrin—grief, sorrow, distress. He fell in love with Chinese culture when he visited China as part of a student delegation in After studying law at the Catholic university in Louvain, Leys became a scholar of Chinese, living for several years in Taiwan, Singapore, and in Hong Kong, where he made friends with a young Chinese calligrapher who, in a traditional flourish of stylish humility, named his own slum dwelling the Hall of Uselessness.

Few, if any, contemporary scholars of Chinese write as well about the classical Chinese arts—calligraphy, poetry, and painting—let alone about European literature, ranging in this collection from Balzac to Nabokov. None, so far as I know, have written novels as good as his Death of Napoleon. Leys is perhaps unique in that his prose in English is no less sparkling than in French. Was it a matter of excusable ignorance about what was then a very closed society? But he is surely right in claiming that his insights into the Maoist terrors inflicted on the Chinese people owed very little to superior expertise.

They cultivate illusions out of idealism—and also out of cynicism. So one looks the other way. This aspect of dealing with China, or any other dictatorship where interests might be at stake, has not changed. Well, not long, as it turned out. Businessmen, politicians, academics, and others soon came flocking back.

Orwell has served as a model for many soi-disant mavericks who like to depict themselves as brave tellers of truth. The case for Chesterton, as Hitchens acknowledged in his very last article, is a little more complicated. Whatever one thinks of euthanasia or homosexual marriage, lust surely has very little to do with it. His jokes were irrefutable; he could invent at lightning speed surprising short-cuts to reach the truth. If the names are not correct, if they do not match realities, language has no object.

If language is without an object, action becomes impossible—and therefore, all human affairs disintegrate and their management becomes pointless. If this reading is right, Confucius wanted to strip the language of cant, and reach the truth through plain speaking, expressing clear thoughts. This was a revolutionary idea; the right to rule would no longer be a matter of birth, but of intellectual and moral accomplishment, tested in an examination system theoretically open to all. We commonly assume that speech preceded the written word.

In a way this is still true. The same custom persists not only in Japan but even in North Korea, where words of the Great Leader, or his son, the Dear Leader, or soon, no doubt, his son, General Kim Jong-un, are to be seen everywhere. To be sure, words are used to obfuscate and lie, as well as to tell the truth. Leys believes that grasping the truth is largely a matter of imagination, poetic imagination.

Fiction often expresses truth more clearly than mere factual information. Leys identifies a basic difference between the Chinese and what he calls, perhaps a bit too loosely, the Western traditions. Classical Chinese poetry or paintings do not set out to mimic reality, to make the world look real in ink, or in poetry to express new ideas or come up with fresh descriptions.

The aim is, rather, to make art into a manifestation of nature itself, or indeed vice versa—the found object in the shape of a perfect rock, for instance. This is almost impossible to convey in translation, because the same images expressed in another language can lose their spark and easily become banal or incomprehensible.

Western artists often arrived by instinct at a similar understanding of art. Claudel was a devout Catholic, and thus perhaps like Chesterton especially dear to Leys, who makes his attachment to the Roman Church quite clear. But in this, as in other matters, Leys has a cosmopolitan spirit. Although keen to stress Chinese uniqueness in many respects, Leys also stretches himself as far as he can to find common spiritual ground between East and West.

He is sensitive to the spirituality of many other traditions though perhaps not so tolerant of people who reject organized religion per se, hence his spat with Christopher Hitchens. Or at least, when it comes to spirituality, plain speaking clearly reaches its limits. The spiritual truth of Chinese art—and not only Chinese art—often lies in what is left unsaid or unpainted, the spaces deliberately left blank. In modern Western art, one thinks of the early paintings White on White, say by Malevich. But then he came from a Russian tradition, which also sees artworks as spiritual objects.

And yet the word remains. India and Europe are full of historic churches, temples, cathedrals, castles, forts, mosques, manor houses, and city halls, while contemporary China has almost nothing of the kind. European travelers already complained in the nineteenth century of the fatalistic indifference displayed by Chinese toward their ancient monuments.

People in the Chinese cultural sphere, and perhaps beyond, did not traditionally share the common Western defiance of mortality. The idea of erecting monumental buildings meant to last forever would have seemed a naive illusion. Everything is destined to perish, so why not build impermanence into our sense of beauty? The Japanese took this aesthetic notion even further than their Chinese masters: the cult of cherry blossoms, for example, fleetingness being the essence of their unique splendor.

Chinese capital cities in the past were frequently abandoned, and new ones established elsewhere. What is considered to be historic in China is the site, not the buildings that happen to be there at any given time. But if even the strongest works of man cannot in the end withstand the erosion of time, what can? Sometimes memories replace great works of art. Leys mentions the legendary fourth-century calligraphy of a prose poem whose extraordinary beauty was celebrated by generation after generation of Chinese, centuries after the original work was lost. Indeed, it may never even have existed.

With a civilization built on such an adaptable, supple, constantly self-replenishing, and indeed beautiful basis, who needs big city walls? But I would not wish to end my tribute to a writer I much admire on such a note of sacrilege. You, sons of Han, whose wisdom reaches ten thousand years, no tens of tens of thousands of years, beware of such contempt. Pierre Ryckmans parlait peu des raisons de son exil en Australie, mais …. Il a voulu le dire haut et fort.

Remember that no one living in a free society ever has a full understanding of life in a regimented society. Look at China through Chinese spectacles; if one looks at is through foreign glasses, one is thereby trying to make sense of Chinese events in terms of our own problems. Learn something about other Communist countries.

Study the basic tenets of Marxism. Keep in mind that words and terms do not have the same meaning in a Marxist society as they do elsewhere. Keep your common sense: the Chinese may have the particular characteristics of Chinese, but they are human beings, and therefore have normal reactions of human beings. People are not less important than issues; they are probably more so. A group may adopt the programme of those who oppose it in order to retain power. Do not believe that you know all the answers. China poses more questions than it provides answers. Do not lose your sense of humour.

A regimented press is too serious to be taken very seriously. Above all, read the small print! Le couple eut quatre enfants : Etienne, Jeanne, et des jumeaux, Louis et Marc. Dix lignes seulement, mais dix lignes assassines. Are Books Useless? Are books essentially useless? I suggest that we indeed subscribe to such a conclusion. But so long as we remain aware that uselessness is also the hallmark of what is truly priceless. The other day, I was reading the manuscript of a forthcoming book by a young journalist — a series of profiles of women living in the Outback — farmer wives battling solitude and natural disasters on remote stations in the bush.

In this passing remark, there is something which I find simply heartbreaking.

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And on what ground would we dare to challenge her view? Oddly enough, this disarming remark on the uselessness of literature unwittingly reduplicates, in one sense, a provocative statement by Nabokov. In fact the brave woman from the outback here seems to echo a sardonic paradox of the supreme literate aesthete of our age. And yet even Professors of Literature, when they are made of the right mettle, but find themselves in extreme situations — divested of their titles, deprived of their books, reduced to their barest humanity, equipped only with their tears and their memory — can reach the heart of the matter and experience in their flesh what literature is really about: our very survival as human beings.

I know of one Professor of Literature at least, who would be qualified to teach the good woman from the outback how, even for people in her situation, particularly for people in her situation, there may be a very real need for reading Shakespeare. The name of that Professor is Wu Ningkun.

He is an elderly Chinese scholar. Nearly 50 years ago, moved by patriotism, he gave up a promising, and cosy, academic career in the United States where he was teaching English literature, and returned to China, knowing that his talents and expertise were sorely needed there. But under Maoism, there was no place in China for refined, cultivated and cosmopolitan minds. He was immediately suspected, ostracised, persecuted, and for the next 30 years became a victim of the totalitarian paranoia that sees humanist culture as a betrayal, intelligence as an ideological crime, and presumes that whoever reads T.

Eliot in the original must be a dangerous international spy. He has written a book about his experiences, A Single Tear , which is, to my mind, the best written and most essential reading on a subject on which so much has already been published, and yet so little is understood. The darkest depth of his ordeal was reached when he was sent to a labour camp in the barren wilderness of North-Eastern China, close to the Siberian border.

Around him, many inmates were crushed to death by the horrors of the camp — they were dying of starvation, brutal treatment, exhaustion and despair. Under such conditions, physical resilience was not enough to stay alive — one needed spiritual strength. Wu Ningkun sustained his spirit with poetry. He had succeeded in smuggling with him two small books: a copy of Hamlet and a collection of the Tang dynasty poet, Du Fu.

Formerly, he had only studied Shakespeare; now, for the first time, he was truly reading it.