Monday, December 10, 2012

Governments Are Only Human, After All


Random Factoids:

On this day in History, December 10, 1869, Wyoming territorial legislators passed a bill that is signed into law granting women the right to vote

On this day in History, December 10, 1778, John Jay, the former chief justice of the New York Supreme Court, was elected president of the Continental Congress.


Smallpox sufferer in
United States, 1912
Girl infected with smallpox.
Bangladesh, 1973
By 1897, smallpox had largely been eliminated from the United States. In Northern Europe a number of countries had eliminated smallpox by 1900, and by 1914, the incidence in most industrialized countries had decreased to comparatively low levels.

The World Health Organization certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979.

In 1986, the World Health Organization first recommended destruction of the virus, and later set the date of destruction to be 30 December 1993. This was postponed to 30 June 1999. Due to resistance from the US and Russia, in 2002 the World Health Assembly agreed to permit the temporary retention of the virus stocks for specific research purposes.

Some scientists have argued that the stocks may be useful in developing new vaccines, antiviral drugs, and diagnostic tests, however, a 2010 review by a team of public health experts appointed by the World Health Organization concluded that no essential public health purpose is served by the U.S. and Russia continuing to retain virus stocks, and that destroying existing stocks would reduce the risk involved with ongoing smallpox research; the stocks are not needed to respond to a smallpox outbreak.

Despite the World Health Organization's recommendation that all smallpox virus stocks be destroyed, it is probably that some stocks remain in the hands of some governments and other institutions -- in other words, in the hands of human beings.

And therein can lurk the gravest danger of all.



The acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, esp. as a result of political indoctrination.

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
--George Orwell


Birthday: December 10, 1928
Date of Death: May 13, 1972

Dan Blocker was an American actor best remembered for his role as Eric "Hoss" Cartwright in the NBC western television series Bonanza.

Birthday: December 10, 1914
Date of Death:  Sep 22, 1996

Dorothy Lamour was an American film actress. In 1936, she moved to Hollywood and began appearing regularly in films for Paramount Pictures. The role that made her a star was Ulah (a sort of female Tarzan) in The Jungle Princess (1936). She wore a sarong, which would become associated with her. While she first achieved stardom as a sex symbol, Lamour also showed talent as both a comic and dramatic actress. She was among the most popular actresses in motion pictures from 1936 to 1952.

She is best remembered for appearing in the Road to... movies, a series of successful comedies starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Some of Lamour's other notable films include John Ford's The Hurricane (1937), Spawn of the North (1938; with George Raft, Henry Fonda, and John Barrymore), Disputed Passage (1939), Johnny Apollo (1940; with Tyrone Power), Aloma of the South Seas (1941), Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942), Dixie (1943; with Bing Crosby), A Medal for Benny (1945), My Favorite Brunette (1947; with Bob Hope), On Our Merry Way (1948) and a supporting role in the best picture Oscar-winner The Greatest Show on Earth (1952; with Charlton Heston). Her other leading men included William Holden, Ray Milland, James Stewart, Jack Benny, and Fred MacMurray.

Birthday: December 10, 1911
Date of Death:  Mar 20, 1974

Chester Robert "Chet" Huntley was an American television newscaster, best known for co-anchoring NBC's evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, for 14 years beginning in 1956.

Birthday: December 10, 1952
Age:   59 years old

Susan Dey is an American actress, known primarily for her roles in film and television. Her more prominent parts came as elder daughter, Laurie Partridge, on the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, and as Grace Van Owen, a California assistant district attorney and judge on the dramatic series, L.A. Law, a role she played from 1986 to 1992.


Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
--Thomas Paine

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