Friday, November 7, 2014

Banana Republic Government 101

In case you were paying close attention, you may have noticed that Sierra Leone suddenly removed 500 dead people from their country's tally Sunday. (Did those 500 people not die? Were they resurrected? Undead? Zombified? The mind boggles.) Now, another lesson on why things in West Africa are worse than you can imagine, and worse than we can know.
When the news is bad, they simply arrest the messenger:
FREETOWN (NYT) -- In what reporters in Sierra Leone denounced as an abuse of the government’s emergency powers to deal with the spread of Ebola, one of the country’s most prominent broadcast journalists was detained this week after he devoted a segment of his popular radio program to a critical discussion of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s handling of the outbreak.
The radio host, David Tam-Baryoh, was arrested on Monday following a broadcast of his weekly program “Monologue” on the independent station Citizen FM. Listeners in Freetown told the Committee to Protect Journalists that Saturday’s episode was interrupted after Mr. Tam-Baryoh interviewed an opposition spokesman who criticized the president’s response to the Ebola crisis and his supposed interest in seeking a third term in office.
According to Umaru Fofana, who reports for the BBC and the Freetown news site Politico, a senior police official said that Mr. Tam-Baryoh was arrested as a result of “an executive order signed by his excellency the president.” The same officer said that the detention would last “until it pleases his excellency” to release the reporter.

Mohamed Massaquoi, a local newspaper editor who is the president of the Sierra Leone Reporters Union, denounced the arrest as an abuse of the president’s powers. In an interview with Daniel Finnan of Radio France International, he said, “We are under health emergency, we are not under public emergency.”

The arrest was front-page news in Sierra Leone. Ms. Sylvia Blyden, a former close adviser to the president who resigned last month, has also criticized the health ministry, saying it underreported cases of Ebola.


Bezzle said...

The WHO is apparently down with the charade, as their most-recent tally is subsequently reduced (and the Wikipedia outbreak article followed suit).

So, we're to believe that Ebola has not only basically stalled in its tracks for a period of nearly ten days now, but actually gave up some of its dead.

Aesop said...

It's like Christmas in November!
Who knew that all you needed to wipe out Ebola was AN ERASER!!

Bezzle said...

The derp is strong in this one....

Tucanae Services said...

Inquiring mind kind of question.

The Chins are all over the place in Africa ravaging for resources. That likely means they have come in contact with the disease, or have they not? If they have why have we not heard about active cases in the Chin expat population? (shoot, shovel and shut up not with standing)

Shrimp said...

@ mike18xx

IDK, maybe he's on to something. If he gets it now, he still has open beds available to help him recover. If he waits to get it like everyone else, he's forced to play musical chairs and the music will have already stopped.

Anonymous said...

@ Mike18xx:
I admit that my knuckledragger level of understanding and knowledge of both virus mutation mechanisms and vaccine development is damn near nil, but in that article, they mentioned attaching a pair of genes from the Big E to a common cold virus. So I get that this may be the best way to trick the body into developing the proper antibodies, but I can't help but notice that this test monkey talked about running a fuggin marathon after being dosed. Any chance that maybe, just maybe, he might want to isolate his own damn self for a few months until this cold/ebola cocktail has a chance to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it really is safe for "distribution"? Hit the treadmill in your isolation quarters if you want to prove how fucking healthy you still are, fuckwit. Just because test monkey #1 has no short term adverse reactions does NOT imply that unwitting test monkeys #2 - 20,000, who happened to be running the race of their lives that day, are going to be hunkey dorey. From what I gather, viruses only exist in order to spread. I get it, Big Pharm has plenty of containment protocols in place, but forgive me if I have lost a bit of faith in the medical community at broad, both at their personal judgement and concern for public welfare. It almost seems that some of the very worst decisions have originated from among the "smartest" medical profs out there. And without twisting my tinfoil hat any tighter, GSK and all of the other biggens out there strike me as integral parts of the same incestuous circle jerk our "public servants" and medical experts (who have let their wisdom shine, both) have been rocking, so color me skeptical that they have only our best interests at the heart of their priorities. Carry on developing and testing, guys, but realize that actions have consequences, and despite tens of thousands of combined years of experience and billions of dollars of education, man had best be humble in the face of nature, and realize that you DKWYDK, cause she is a mighty powerful bitch if you think you have complete control over her. Oh, and she don't give two flying fucks about share prices or your future bureaucratic aspirations.

(end rant)

Very respectfully,


Aesop said...

Who would they tell?

The Chinese homeleand .gov wouldn't want them back, and neither they nor any host nation would want to acknowledge their existence, provided the outbreak stayed contained.

They'd probably set up a jungle clinic, care for them on-site, and bury the ones that didn't survive.
It's not like they could call up the PRC version of 60 Minutes when they got home, right?

Tucanae Services said...

Aesop, not that I disagree, not something the Chins would publish as a `win`. But sh$% has a way of leaking out.

Anonymous said...

**Mr. Tam-Baryoh was arrested as a result of “an executive order signed by his excellency the president.” The same officer said that the detention would last “until it pleases his excellency” to release the reporter.**

We aren't that far off....


Anonymous said...

If Ebola is to burn across the African Continent at some point a body count of the dead is irrelevant. People will start counting the living.