MODERN RATS AND THE BUBONIC
PART 1 of 2
by Steven Neill
January 28, 2014
The course of history is often set by small events nudging it this or that way as it moves towards its climax. Occasionally however, an event so cataclysmic slams it to a different course, forever altering life as it was. Noah’s flood, the K-Pg event, the fall of Rome and WWI are all examples of history shifting events that resulted in massive death, destruction and the end of an age. As powerful and horrible as these events were, none conjure images of death, misery and horror like that which raced out of Asia and wrapped Europe in a blanket of darkness and killed some 75 million to 200 million people in the course of 5 blood soaked years. Few images have affected the human psyche more than the image of a skeleton with a sickle harvesting humans in an all-out effort to destroy the people of Europe with a disease so dreadful, even its name speaks of calamity: the Black Death.
We are told by the “Hope & Change” team occupying the White House that all is well on their watch and there is nothing to be fearful of on the horizon. According to bobble-heads like President Obama, FED Chair Bernanke, Senator Harry Reid and Congress Woman Nancy Pelosi, the economic recovery is well on its way. They claim that Uncle Sam has it all under control and as long as government keeps expanding, the potential for a calamity in America is almost zero.
there is a growing body of people who are saying America is facing
an economic free-fall unlike any experienced in history. This free-fall
will stop government payment to millions of people, destroy the
value of the US currency by unleashing hyperinflation and allow
order to breakdown as essential services stop all over the country.
These people are labeled as extremists by the main stream media
and crackpots by government officials and their warnings are ignored
by the majority of Americans. Eerily, this is the same reaction
the Europeans had to the rumors of a “Great Pestilence”
that was leaving a trail of corpses along the trade routes out of
China, India, Persia and Egypt.
“The victims ate lunch with their friend and dinner with their ancestors.” Boccacio:
The Black Death arrived in Europe borne by sails of twelve Genoese trading ships that docked at the Sicilian port of Messina following a journey through the Black Sea in October, 1347. People gathering at the docks to meet the vessels had no idea of what lurked onboard these ships. The few sailors that landed the vessels more resembled the mythical zombie than humans as they shuffled amongst the corpses of fallen comrades. Most were wracked with fever and covered by mysterious black boils which oozed blood and pus and gave their illness its name: the “Black Death.” Though the ships were immediately ordered to put back out to sea, it was already too late as the grim reaper had arrived.
Unlike anything seen before or since, the plague raced through Sicily like a hot knife through butter on its way to Italy leaving pandemonium in its wake. The Italians were terrified by the speed that it spread and the horrible way that it killed. When one family member became ill, it was almost a death sentence for everyone in the household and in no time they began to abandon family members to their fate.Soon whole families, then communities were stricken and died from the revenging menace. After attending the many victims, the local clergy often brought the dread disease back the monasteries leaving only the dead to minister to the dying.
Before long, the surrounding nations began to expel or even kill Italian travelers and refugees in fear of the disease spreading. But the plague, like a strong breeze, is not a respecter of borders and spread like wildfire. It blew through France and into England by September, then Belgium, Denmark, Germany and then Ireland by the end of 1348. Norway was infected the following year and the disease started to wane as it reached Russia in 1351. By this time, between one third and one half of the people in Europe had died in the greatest pandemic of all time.
No one at the time understood that the cause of the calamity was the microscopic bacillus bacterium. They did not understand that they were being assaulted by more than one form of the disease. Nor did they know how it was transmitted from victim to victim. The first and most common form started with a headache, and then came chills and fever, leaving them exhausted. Sometimes they also experienced nausea, vomiting, back pain, sensitivity to light, soreness in their arms and legs.
Within a day or two, hard, painful, burning lumps would appear on their neck, under their arms, and/or on their inner thighs. The lumps, which may have grown to the size of an orange would quickly turn black, split open, and ooze pus and blood.
The next stage was critical, they would either, though rarely, recover or begin to bleed internally. There would be blood in their urine, stool, and pooling under the skin, resulting in black boils and spots all over their body. Everything that came out of their body smelled utterly revolting. They would be in unbearable pain as they succumbed to the disease which usually lasted a week.
This form is carried by fleas which lived on rodents like rats and squirrels. A flea would ingest plague-infected blood from its host, and then drop off to find another host, which was generally a human. The flea would inject some of the disease bearing blood of the rat or other rodent into the new victim, spreading the disease. Unfortunately for the people of that time fleas were such a part of everyday life that no one noticed them much. In this invisible manner the plague spread from rat to human.
Another form was Pneumonic Plague. The victims of Pneumonic Plague had no buboes (lumps), but they suffered severe chest pains, sweated heavily, and coughed up blood. Virtually no one survived the pneumonic form. This form is airborne. It’s contracted by breathing the infected water droplets breathed (or coughed) out by a victim of the disease. The pneumonic form spread incredibly fast.
The third manifestation was Septicemic Plague which generally was spread by making direct contact with a carrier through open sores or cuts. Victims of Septicemic Plague always died and usually within hours of contracting it and often before any notable symptoms had a chance to develop. Another form, Enteric Plague, attacked the victim's digestive system, but it also killed the patient too swiftly for diagnosis of any kind.
Medieval Europeans had no way of knowing any of this. The causes of plague were not discovered until the late nineteenth century.
Nothing in the life of these people prepared them for the sheer volume of corpses. At first the dead were still given coffins and individual funeral services. But the number of dead forced the living to resort to mass graves. There was not nearly enough consecrated ground for each victim to have an individual plot, and so enormous trenches were dug into which layer upon layer of dead bodies were lain. The trench was topped off with a small layer of soil, and the morbid process continued. Pope Clement VI even consecrated the entire Rhone River so that corpses could be thrown into it to speed removal of the dead.The plague consumed entire households, villages and almost entire towns as it sped through Europe.
When the Black Death finally left Western Europe in 1352, the populations of various regions had been drastically reduced. Some villages were completely wiped out, while other areas remained unscathed. Italy had borne the brunt of the plague because of its vast population of merchants. The city of Florence lost almost 1/3 of its population within the first six months of infection which increased to 3/4 when the plague ended.
The Black Death was the single biggest event leading to the end of feudalism and the Medieval Age. The changes it wrought cannot be underestimated. Before this event, the Catholic Church was the power behind every throne of Europe. For nearly a thousand years, the church was where people went to for answers, direction and salvation. Now however, the Church was unable to answer the peoples questions about the plague as both saint and sinner were taken with such terrifying regularity. That the church failed to protect either the clergy or the people led to a dramatic loss of power and influence.
The conclusion the people came to was that there must be something wrong with the Church itself that warranted punishment, and began to see the plague as a sign of divine punishment. In desperation, some people turned to flagellation, the act of self-mutilation through whipping, in hope of atoning for their sins while others believed these acts would stop the dread disease. It did nothing but provide a false hope that further weakened the people’s faith in the church.
With the plague being both incomprehensible and unstoppable, a scapegoat was needed to take the blame for it, thus the Jews were chosen for that role. Since Jews were often merchants and the infected rats were carried by merchants, they were accused of poisoning wells and spreading the disease. This persecution turned bloody as Jews were tortured and executed all over Europe and it planted a seed in Europe that the Nazis would eventually harvest.
The massive depopulation resulted in an immediate economic decline, but because of the extreme loss of life there was an overabundance of goods, a decrease in their price, a surplus of jobs and consequently a rise in wages. These events caused an eventual increase in the standard of living as surfs were scarce and they could now demand wages for their work, creating a working class. All of these events paved the way for the coming Renaissance. Only it was too late for between 75 and 200,000,000 people to enjoy the results of these positive events
Ultimately, the cause of the Black Death was rats. They became the host of the fleas and then transported them from the middle of China to Ireland. It is interesting to note that if a European from 1347 were transported to today, they would see one thing that would remind them of the areas hit by the plague, plenty of rats.
Only these rats are in the form of banksters and the politicians they own and the fleas they use to spread the disease are unsustainable Wall Street Bailouts, Federal Government debt and the unlimited ability for the Federal Reserve to print money out of thin air. These combined with Chinese determination to eliminate the dollar as the world’s reserve currency are forming a storm that will rock the US to its very foundation as the end of the Petrodollar looms ominously on the horizon.
“Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.” -Dr. Henry Kissinger
With the escalation of the war in Vietnam, growth of US trade deficits and the rush to create a welfare state, the US government was running out of money while the Bretton Woods Treaty restrained the FED from just printing money. In order to be able to afford both “Guns and Butter” a new way of backing the US dollar needed to be found and that way was the creation of the “petrodollar.”
In it the US government would protect Saudi Arabia’s oil fields and in return, the Saudi’s would only accept US dollars for their oil and reinvest surplus oil revenues in US debt securities. By 1975, all of the oil producing nations of OPEC agreed to the same deal. This arrangement suited most of the world as the US currency was stable and the US always paid its debts.
Since all but a few of the nations of the world are forced to import oil, the petrodollar arrangement requires them to stockpile US dollars to pay for that oil. This in turn creates a consistent demand for the US dollar and allows the sales of bonds at lower interest rates than would otherwise be needed to attract investors. Currently most global trade is also conducted in U.S. dollars, and almost 56% of all global foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars, meaning more U.S. dollars are used outside of the United States than inside of it. The end result is the US government can afford to run higher budget deficits than other nations and goods imported to the US are cheaper than they otherwise would be.
These exporting nations traditionally reinvest most of these dollars into low risk securities that can be easily converted back into dollars when needed. Since the creation of the petrodollar, the most popular way to do this is to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. This arrangement created a system that helps artificially keep the demand for the US Government debt high and the interest on it low. This means that huge amounts of foreign money winds up being loaned to the US Treasury in the form of low interest loans.
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The artificially low interest rates created by this scheme have affected every area of borrowing in the US. For instance home buyers, many of whom have struggled since the Great Recession and global credit crisis to qualify for mortgages have their buying power greatly affected once they are approved for a loan. Buyers who obtained a $200,000 mortgage when interest rates were about 3.5 percent in April landed a monthly payment of about $900. But if rates head north to 5 percent, buyers hoping to get that same monthly payment would have to limit their mortgage to $170,000 — or $30,000 less than they could have afforded with the lower loan rate. This rise in interest also affects the buyer’s ability to purchase other consumer goods and services as over the 30-year life of a $200,000 mortgage, a home buyer would pay an additional $63,000 over the life of the loan. When one sees the difference only 1 percentage point makes, it becomes very apparent just how much a rise back to the 30 year average of 8 percent will crush the rebound in real estate. For part two click below.
2. The Black Death
3. Black Death
4. Cultural and Economic Effects of the Black Plague
5. The Black Death: Horseman of the Apocalypse in the Fourteenth Century
6. Black Death Jewish persecutions
8. Kissinger Quote
9. Guns & Butter
10. Petrodollar Warfare
11. Thinking of buying or selling? Here’s how rising mortgage rates may affect you
12. Mortgage News Daily
13. Historical Interest Rates
14. John Adams Quote
15. Nation’s former top auditor sounds the alarm on debt
16. Economist Laurence Kotlikoff: U.S. $222 Trillion in Debt
17. Fiscal Child Abuse American Style
18. A National Debt FAQ
19. National Debt Facts
20. What Happens to the National Debt When Interest Rates Surge?
21. First Signs of Hyperinflation Have Arrived
22. Bank of International Settlements (BIS): The most powerful bank in the world announces the crash
23. De-Americanize Quote
24. World should 'de-Americanize', says China following default fears
25. China calls for 'de-Americanized' world economy in wake of US shutdown, debt stand-off
26. PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves
27. China Passes U.S. to Become World’s Largest Trading Nation
28. China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation
29. China leaves behind the US as world's leading trade partner
30. China Passes U.S. to Become World’s Top Oil Importer
31. It’s Official, China’s the World’s Biggest Importer of Oil
32. Report: US-Saudi Rift Widening Over Obama Middle East Policy
33. Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran
34. U.S. and Saudis in Growing Rift as Power Shifts
35. Saudi Arabia And China Team Up To Build A Gigantic New Oil Refinery – Is This The Beginning Of The End For The Petrodollar?
36. Yet Another Massive Nail In The Dollar's Coffin
37. Singapore – China Agreement Yet Another Sign of Ongoing Decline In U.S. Dollar
38. N.Z., China May Allow Direct Currency Conversion for Trade
39. The Giant Currency Superstorm That Is Coming To The Shores Of America When The Dollar Dies
40. China, Singapore to Allow Direct Currency Trading
41. ECB Agrees on Swap Line With PBOC as Trade Increases
42. Having Crushed Their Own Currency, the Swiss Consider China's
43. For rupee boost, Govt draws up list of 23 countries for currency swap arrangement
44. Harbinger: 23 countries begin setting up swap lines to bypass dollar
45. Sven Grimm Quote
47. BRIC Countries – Background, Latest News, Statistics and Original Articles
48. About The BRICS Tern
49. Thomson Reuters Report Finds that Investment in Scientific Research, Innovation and Education Close Gap between "BRICK" and G7 Nations
50. The Global Economic Chessboard and the Role of the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa
51. Fifth BRICS Conference
52. India Sees BRICS Development Bank Agreed By 2014 Summit
53. BRICS Eye Infrastructure Funding Through New Development Bank
54. The Bricso vs. the US Dollar: What will happen to the Global Economy if BRICS Announce Launch of New Currency?
55. Top 10 Nations Hoarding Gold
56. China's Gold Hoarding Continues: Over 2,200 Tons Imported In Two Years
57. Scoops Lane
58. Does China Plan To Back The Yuan With Gold And Make It The Primary Global Reserve Currency?
59. The Next One Will Be the Big One
60. What Does A Currency Collapse Look Like?
62. How 9 Countries Completely Lost Control of Inflation
63. What Happens When a Currency Collapses? Ask Bulgaria
64. The Social Effects of Hurricane Katrina
65. Effects of Hurricane Sandy
66. When Trucks Stop, America Stops
67. Egypt’s Gathering Economic Gloom Leaves Millions Facing Food Shortages
68. American Blackout 2013
69. After Katrina, Cops Told They Could Shoot Looters
70. Greek Crisis Has Pharmacies Pleading for Aspirin As Drug Supply Dries Up
71. Police Struggle to Stop the Looting in Port-au-Prince
72. Cannibalism, Looting Reported in CAR
73. Obama’s Plan To Seize Control Of Our Economy and Our Lives
74. De-crowning the Dollar, and the 'Collapse' Ahead
75. Woodrow Wilson Quote
© 2014 - Steven Neill - All Rights Reserve