SUNDAY ANYAWU AND THE MECHANICS OF HUMAN INTERACTION CUM INTELLIGENCE

“…Hannah Arendt, contesting some Socratic Philosophers, especially Plato…argues that in the modern era, contemplation has become insufficient and meaningfulness lie in the active life. The active life is actualized not in the private realm of the social/private concerns nor characterized by bodily necessities, but in the public realm where engagement with the world through discussions, debates and the free expression of opinions take place…for in the public life…we rediscover the truth known to ancient Greeks that action is the supreme blessing of human life…”


(An excerpt from the Abuja Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 5, 2015, page 105, being the best philosophy project in the University of Port Harcourt with the title: “An Assessment of the Notion of Revolutionary Action in the Philosophical literature of Hannah Arendt” by Sunday Anyawu).

As far as I am concerned Mr Sunday A. is not just a researcher, a philosopher but also a good actor. I remember watching him and his crew in Abuja replay a drama that left Philosophy students in Nigeria gathered in Iseluku, astounded. He is also one of the first class scholars who dared to tell the story of women philosophers (in his case, Hannah Arendt) in the midst of male/Western philosophies. 
You know what? He didn’t just emerge with the best project among his classmates, he also believes in that “philosophy of public action.”  Those friends of mine who seemed excited at how I speak in class halls, etc ought to meet Sunday, who is one of the liveliest orators I have encountered. I am also excited to note that, Dr. Pius Ekpe who moderated my first project on Aquinas also moderated Sunday Anyawu, a good blend of brains and talents. 
In Sunday , one sees, not just the audacity of the mechanics surrounding the perfect knit of ideas, but also a spirited mix of human relationship done rightly.
 Sunday’s input in the academic world is a singular reminder that knowledge, though communal albeit intangible, should be shared and approached from a power which only humans have. His, is a reminder that an intelligent man/woman should appreciate the truths too that efface not only from books, but also from human dialogues!


Author: David Francis E.

THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN AFFAIR AND THE RESTLESS ACHE OF SILENCE

 

In the most recent weeks in Hollywood, the entertainment mogul named Harvey Weinstein has been in the news (both local and International) for a series of sexually related crimes for more than ten years. Though there are many in the entertainment industry who perhaps are gawned by doubts at the absurdity of this story, we shouldn’t be found wanting either at acknowledging the stories that accompanied Harvey. This is the journey of this writ.

The “allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Mr. Weinstein disclosed this month in The New York Times and The New Yorker, had prompted other women to share their accounts of his alleged abuse, set off criminal investigations, roiled the entertainment world and triggered a social media movement of women from other industries and backgrounds telling their stories.”

NBC news in Megyn Keily Today, brought to the public, the story of Lauren Sivan (one of the ladies harassed by Harvey). The then 23 year old actress Katherine Kendall in 1993, said in CNN, Intelligent Conversations, that “a naked Weinstein [had] chased me.” Angelina Jolie in1998 and during those times she appeared in a movie titled “Playing by Heart,” had noted (in TMZ Live), that “Harvey Weinstein came to me…”

Image of Angelina Jolie by Vanity Fair.

These advances were also reported by McGowan Blake (in People TV) in Peninsula Beverly Hills. Jessica Barth on her encounter with Harvey Weinstein (CNN Live) on Almataz Bur News Network, had also reported that she was harassed amidst the excitement. In an audio interview, the then 21 year old actress in 2011, Erika Rosenbaum also reported to CBC News that she was sexually harassed by Harvey. Lupita Nyong, according to variety.com/2017/film/news/lupita-nyongo-harvey-weinstein-sexual-harassment-1202594789/ also narrated how she was sexually harassed by Weinstein.

The following are the ladies identified to have been sexually harassed by Harvey:

 

1) 1984 – Tomi Ann Roberts.

 

2) 1990 – Sophie Dix; Louise Godbold; Kate Beckinsale.

 

3) 1991 – Laura Madde

 

4) 1994 – Gwyneth Paltron; Florence Darel.

Lupita Nyong

5) 1995 – Mira Sorvino

 

6) 1996 – Judith Godreche

 

7) 1997 – Asia Argento; Claire Forlani.

 

8) 1998 – Zelda Perkins.

 

Heather Graham

 

9) 2000 – Romola Garai

 

10) 2003 – Dawn Dunning

 

11) 2004 – Lucia Stoller.

 

12) 2007 –  Lauren Sivan.

 

13) 2010 – Emma de Cauunes.

 

14) 2014 – Emily Nestor

 

15) 2015 – Lauren O’ Connor; Ambra Battilana; Cara Delevingne etc.

With about thirty women sexually harassed by Weinstein, one cannot but agree that he is not just a sex addict but a predator. Many of those ladies interviewed, spoke of their first encounters with Harvey. They spoke of him first as having intelligent conversations with them; an amazing conversation which had given way swiftly to a demeaning, disgusting and manipulative Harvey.

Laura Madden, a former employee, who said Mr. Weinstein prodded her for massages at hotels in Dublin and London since 1991, said he had a way of making who objected feel like an outlier. “It was so manipulative,” she said in an interview. “You constantly question yourself – am I the one who is the problem?”(cf.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html).

 Harvey’s wife, Marchesa, a fashion designer, in an interview with Inside Edition announced: “my heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions, I have chosen to leave my husband…”

 

This divorce perhaps could suggest to us the later acknowledgement by Harvey: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”

It was indeed painfully honest when in an interview, Quentin Tarantino, the Hollywood director most closely tied to Harvey Weinstein, who had known for decades about the producer’s alleged misconduct toward women, now feels ashamed he did not take a stronger stand and stop working with him. In the interview, Mr. Tarantino issued several calls to action. In its treatment of women, Hollywood has been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated,” he said. “We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/movies/tarantino-weinstein.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur). 

“From the outside, it seemed golden — the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact,” said Mark Gill, former president of Miramax Los Angeles when the company was owned by Disney. “But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all,” he added, referring to Mr. Weinstein’s treatment of women.

This is why we should be even more worried at how such a hurricane happened silently among A-list actresses, actors and producers, and in a world where freedom of expression is/ought to be upheld. Why did it take years for one person to finally break the ice? Does it in fact count if someone raped or sexually harassed loads of women or just one? 

Through these revelations in the Hollywood industry, it is the case that there is a Harvey Weinstein in Bollywood, in Ghollywood, in Nollywood,  etc, in educational and religious institutions as well as in the music industry. There is a Harvey Weinstein somewhere, using the privileges accrued to him to assault, abuse or violate women. But we mostly are not always aware of it. Why? Because such a Harvey Weinstein is also very smart, intelligent, and is the kind of guy who forces you to realize that the system (whether educational, religious, entertainment, etc) expects you to succumb to such ridiculous advances.

Such a Harvey Weinstein would be sure to remind you that your success tomorrow is indeed dependent on not just how fucked you’ll be, but also in how quiet you must be. Such a Harvey Weinstein stands behind pulpits, in Oscars, in lecture halls, in studios, to be a constant reminder that society will always fear the myth of the untouched filthy rich man with ‘thirty pussies’ of tears and abuse.

 

It is high time our many Harveys are revealed. It is time to break the ice. It is time to speak up! It is time to heal this restless ache of silence.

DR. ANDREW EKPENYONG: THE LABORATORY PRIEST

By Anthony Udoh

​Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong is an Assistant Professor of Physics in Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in the US. It’s a Jesuit owned university. Fr Andrew joined the faculty in 2014. He teaches Quantum Mechanics, Radiation Dosimetry, Nuclear Instruments and Methods as well as General Physics. His research is in the field of biomedical physics with a translational focus . For instance, he has developed microfluidic mimetics enabling in vitro modelling of the human pulmonary microcirculation with potential impact on the clinical management of lung diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer metastasis. A Creighton alumnus, Fr Andrew earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and did postdoctoral work at Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany.

His Academic qualifications are:

PhD in physics; University of Cambridge, UK, 2012.

MS in physics; Creighton University, USA, 2007.

BD in Theology; Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy, 2003.

BA in Philosophy (focus: Philosophy of Science), University of Uyo, Nigeria, 1998

BPhil in Philosophy; Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy, 1998.

He is also a certified and Full Member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).

He earned First Class degrees in his B. Phil., B. A., and B. D. examinations.

His Research and Scholarship Interests:

He has observed that almost all the vital signs are biophysical properties: blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, etc. Therefore, with collaborators from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, the School of Medicine, Creighton University, as well as international collaborators in the UK and Germany, he has developed and used novel biophysical tools to discover new biomarkers that provide diagnostic information and new therapeutic options. He has addressed the physician’s wish list in order to improve disease diagnosis, patient monitoring, drug development and testing, etc. While these efforts seek to improve biomedicine using principles and tools of physics, his aim is also to advance the physics of complex systems such as living matter. In particular, he seeks to understand how biological cells function as mechanical units, with material properties.

Talk by Andrew

His Current Research Projects:

  1. The Physics of Cancer: role of cell mechanics in metastasis. 2. Impact of radiotherapy on cell mechanical properties.
  2. Cellular response to gravity and microgravity.

  3. Impact of chemotherapy on cell mechanical properties.

  4. In vitro modelling of microcirculation for clinical studies involving COPD, sepsis, ARDS, ALI and Sickle Cell Anaemia.

He has published a good number of articles in magazines, and especially in his University’s journal and other international and peer reviewed journals on medical physics and related fields.

A major discovery about a set of immune cells, published in the journal Science Advances, started with a Creighton University physics professor going a little farther on an experiment than was initially planned.

“First author on the paper, the Rev. Andrew Ekpenyong, MS’08, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, was a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge in 2011, working with a team of medical doctors and scientists studying the stiffness of cells when he noticed something strange about a certain type of immune cell — the neutrophil. The more Ekpenyong pulled the cell with an optical stretcher — a special kind of dual-beam laser invented by Jochen Guck, PhD, a co-senior author on the paper — the smoother and more rounded the cell became.

Neutrophils, a special kind of white blood cell, are the human body’s version of the Wild West desperado, shooting first and asking questions later, when foreign objects enter the body. Through cell signaling, neutrophils are first on the scene in such instances, going from a round, smooth and quiet cell to a rough-edged, activated one in an instant. It can take a neutrophil up to an hour to regain its quietude, but as Ekpenyong noticed, manipulation with the optical stretcher can speed the process of depolarization down to about one minute.

“It was just one of those cases where you start out to do one thing and take just one or two steps further for a bit of fun or further insight, and you have something else,” said Ekpenyong, who earned a master’s degree in physics from Creighton and joined the faculty in 2014 after post-doctoral work at Technical University of Dresden in Germany with Guck. “One of the lead researchers I was working with saw the video I had taken, jumped from his chair, left the room and beckoned his medical colleague to take a look.”

That researcher is Edwin Chilvers, PhD, a professor of respiratory medicine in Cambridge’s Department of Medicine. For Chilvers, another co-senior author on the paper, the discovery has implications across a broad spectrum of maladies, most notably acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute lung injury (ALI).

In those cases, activated neutrophils have become stuck in the lungs’ tiny capillaries, leading to a host of life-threatening problems. Scientists have been searching for a chemical means of calming the cells, but to no avail. Ekpenyong’s physics-based approach has led to his development of a microfluidic device that mimics the body’s microvascular system by squeezing and stretching the neutrophils into their tranquil state, after they are activated.

The challenge now, Ekpenyong said, will be to find a way to translate this discovery into a clinical application, something at which Cambridge and Dresden researchers are already hard at work.”

Journal Reference:

Andrew E. Ekpenyong et al. Mechanical deformation induces depolarization of neutrophils. Science Advances, June 2017

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614160543.htm

His Publications and Presentations include:

Ekpenyong AE (2007) Basics of Physics for Senior Secondary Schools 3 Vols, Spectrum Books, Ibadan, Nigeria., Spectrum Press, 3, 777, 2007.

Ekpenyong AE (2005) On the Many Faces of AIDS: Biblical, Medical, and Moral Perspectives on HIV/AIDS. Temavic, Calabar, Nigeria., Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice, 2005.

He has made academic presentations at conferences in the US, Germany, Italy and the UK!

At a personal level, he loves sports, especially soccer, and also plays the organ!

I know he also spends time in the laboratory in his leisure time and in the chapel!

In fact, I remember once he joked with me that his daily routine consists in “moving from the oratory to the laboratory and back as many times as he was able in a day”.

FR Andrew has been working towards building model Research Laboratories across sub-Saharan Africa, through a non-profit, non-governmental organization he co-founded ‘the Science and Technology Network for Human Advancement’, SATNHA. He told me once: “For me, the rest of my life is an opportunity to give back”. And he’s doing exactly this!

( All photos are from physicsweb.creighton.edu/dr_andrew_ekpenyong)

He is presently coordinating efforts to build three state-of-the-arts Hospital and Research Centres in Uyo, Ogoja and Calabar Dioceses. They are called JOSEPH UKPO HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE (JUHRI)!

This is as a tribute to Archbishop Ukpo who graciously gave him the rare and unusual opportunity to study physics, his lifelong dream and desire!

The unit in Uyo is in Ibiono Ibom and is at about 35% completion. It’s a huge project and it’ll entail a lot of resources!

MOST OF THE INFO HERE HAVE BEEN DERIVED FROM HIS CV HE SENT TO THE AUTHOR (ANTHONY UDOH, a graduate of Philosophy and Theology from the University of Uyo, Nigeria and Urbannia, Rome, respectively) SOMETIME AGO AND HIS PERSONAL CHATS AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH HIM, BEGINNING IN NOV. 2014. SOME COULD ALSO BE ACCESSED FROM THE UNIVERSITY WEBSITE: www.creighton.edu

From the Publisher:

Once again in the sands of time, we have, revealed to us the capacities and abilities of the human mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Priest, a Nun, an atheist, a Muslim or belong to a minority. While the majority of African Pastors travel between frail fame, ‘congregational expansion’ and theatrical displays, the story of Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong is even more relevant in 21st century Africa and in Nigeria,  the birth place of this laboratory priest.

Continue reading DR. ANDREW EKPENYONG: THE LABORATORY PRIEST

“THE LIES OF MOTHER TERESA AND THE MANUFACTURE OF A CATHOLIC HERO

By David F. EFFIONG

One of the arguments supporting Euthanasia includes the reduction or elimination of pain and misery; Against Euthanasia is to care and love, but above all, the need for social support and relief. Mother Teresa surely, showed no support for the dying except offering prayers and medals. It came to be known that her hospitals were houses for the dying. Involved in shady business practices, her clinics received millions of donations yet the conditions of medical care, systematic diagnosis and nutrition were in a sorry state. 

 But the other story, the rather popular story of Mother Teresa, is the story of her selfless service to humanity, her heroism and her faith. For “by canonizing some of the faithful as saints, i e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived holy lives by God’s grace, the Church gives her members models and intercessors.” After all, “the saints have always been a source of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history” (A Concise Catholic Catechism).” But who was Mother Teresa really?

 Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , the future Mother Teresa, was born on 26 August 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, to Albanian heritage. After spending her adolescence deeply involved in parish activities, Agnes left home in September 1928, for the Loreto Convent in Rathfarnam (Dublin), Ireland, where she was admitted as a postulant on October 12 and received the name of Teresa, after her patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux. She made her final profession as a Loreto nun on 24 May 1937, and hereafter was called Mother Teresa.On 10 September 1946, on a train journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, Mother Teresa received what she termed the “call within a call,” which was to give rise to the Missionaries of Charity family of Sisters, Brothers, Fathers, and Co-Workers. The content of this inspiration is revealed in the aim and mission she would give to her new institute: “to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls” by “labouring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.” On October 7, 1950, the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially erected as a religious institute for the Archdiocese of Calcutta. On 1 February 1965, Pope Paul VI granted the Decree of Praise to the Congregation, raising it to Pontifical Right (www.catholic.org/clife/teresa/).

In the words of Literary critic and sinologist Simon Leys, are we talking about the Mother Teresa who,  endeavouring to be a Christian, accepted “the hospitality of crooks, millionaires, and criminals” to remind us of Christ’s relations with unsavory individuals,” or the Mother Teresa who “is less interested in helping the poor than in using them as an indefatigable source of wretchedness on which to fuel the expansion of her fundamentalist Roman Catholic beliefs?” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Missionary_Position:_Mother_Teresa_in_Theory_and_Practice) This article therefore, hopes to inquire into the life of Mother Teresa through assessment and analysis of the writings of certain individuals, the Catholic Church, witnesses and scholars. 

Most of the criticisms levelled against Mother Teresa came from Christopher Hitchens  Concerning the canonization of Mother Teresa, the situation in India, and her reactions to the poor, Christopher Hitchens in his book titled, “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice,” had this to say: “This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty . She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti  (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating  of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own Order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?” (www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html)

But to really understand the tone of Hitchen’s criticisms and the Church’s story of poverty or of being poor, is to journey into the past. The past, filled with stories of saints and desert Fathers like Anthony of Egypt, Pacomius, Francis of Assisi, Benedict, etc. St. Alphonsus Liguori in his book titled “The Will Of God” (4th edition, Dublin 1939, pg. 22-33) had written thus, “we should endeavour to be resigned to these accidents of nature which come to us from without; as when there is great cold, heat, rain, scarcity, pestilence, and the like, we should take care not to say: “what intolerable heat! What horrible cold! What a misfortune! What an unhappy lot! What a wretched season!” Or other words expressing repugnance to the will of God. We should will everything to be AS IT IS, since God arranged all things. Alphonsus would further write that uniting one’s self to the Divine Will (on cases of illness) is of much more advantage than health.” One should for him, suffer with patience the pains and infirmities which God sends.

Thomas à Kempis, author of the book titled, “My Imitation of Christ” (Revised translation illustrated by John J. Gorman, NY: 1954), had also written: “The better you dispose yourself for suffering, the more wisely you’d act, and the more your merits.” History however, is rich with this way of life in a ‘fattened’  Church whose blessedness is not alien to poverty.

Franz Jalics, in his book titled, “The Contemplative way” (Germany, 2006, pg 49 – 57) wrote extensively about the Church’s ‘kind’ of poverty. He narrates: “This contrast of the helplessness of man and the omnipotence of God shows the full meaning of poverty. Man has to become empty, so that God may fill him. There is nothing negative and destructive in this poverty because it leads to the fullness of God. But for Jesus, even this is not enough yet. He continues the conversation and confirms once again the radicalism of this emptiness. “A camel will rather go through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the Kingdom of God.””

Surprisingly, Mother Teresa was not just satisfied with claims of being empty of treasures, she had constantly reminded the suffering ones entrusted to her that Jesus was pleased. Mother Teresa believed that “pain, means Jesus is near you.” And “Suffering is an opportunity to share in the passion of Christ.” It is recorded that she told a patient who had been suffering that, “pains are kisses from Jesus,” to which the patient had replied, “please tell Jesus to stop kissing me.” 

With 517 missions in 100 Countries at the time of her death, conditions in the Missionaries of Charity’s hospices were deplorable. Teresa for poverty’s cruel sake, refused to introduce the most basic methods of hygiene, even going so far as to re-use needles without sterilization.
C. Hitchens was invited by the Vatican to speak about Teresa and he noted that, “it was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn’t working to alleviate poverty. She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, “i’m not a social worker. I don’t do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the Church.””

In another reaction following the canonization of Mother Teresa as a Catholic hero, Christopher Hitchens would remind us that in such action, “we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud. And a Church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.”

Was Christopher Hitchens mistaken? Or was he even more concerned that Mother Teresa, had opposed abortion and birth control in India whose population is now “1,344,046,762 as of Tuesday, August 8, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates (India population is equivalent to 17.86% of the total world population. India ranks number 2 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population)?” (www.worldometers.info/world-population/india-population/).

Or was he concerned that Teresa was not a humanitarian? Or was he infact concerned about the atmosphere of secrecy and denial in the Catholic Church which causes many crimes to breed freely?

To further substantiate and expand the criticisms leveled by Hitchens, the Université de Montreal gave an official press release after peer-review namely:

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. The paper will be published in…the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” says Professor Larivée, who led the research. “The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.”

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa. After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96% of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa.

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not taken into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”
“Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. ‘Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?’”
.” . .In 1969, [Muggeridge] made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: ‘I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing—direct murder by the mother herself.’

. . . Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. [ JAC: As I recall, it took only a year.] The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. “What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivée and his colleagues ask” (cf.https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/tag/mother-teresa/). You can check other reports on Mother Teresa here at www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/mother-teresa-myth_n_2805697.html.

The questions asked even today by concerned scholars, journalists, humanitarians and Catholics include: 

  • Was Mother Teresa really a hero or she was manufactured by a Church to whom she served?
  • Why was the illiteracy of an expanding population of India not a priority to Teresa, as suffering for Christ was?
  • Was Mother Teresa really interested in the empowerment of women or in the enrollment of wealth into the Church?
  • Was her canonization orchestrated by the media or her ‘fans’ or by the patience of inquiry?

    Photo credit: Google image.

    HOW A C-GRADE TERM PAPER LED TO A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

    By David F. EFFIONG



    In 1982, a college undergraduate student, Gregory Watson  discovered that the proposed amendment could still be ratified and started a grassroots campaign. Watson was also an aide to Texas state senator Ric Williamson. He was a sophomore at the University of Texas-Austin in 1982 and he needed a topic for a government course. Watson researched what became the 27 Amendment and found that six states had ratified it by 1792, and then there was little activity about it. Watson concluded that the amendment could still be ratified, because Congress had never stipulated a time limit for states to consider it for ratification. Watson’s professor gave him a C for the paper, calling the whole idea a “dead letter” issue and saying it would never become part of the constitution.
    Undeterred, Watson started a self-financed campaign to get the amendment ratified. He wrote letters to state officials, and the amendment was ratified in Maine in 1983 and Colorado in 1984. The story appeared a magazine called State Legislatures , and an official from Wyoming, reading the magazine, confirmed his state had ratified the amendment, too, six years earlier. (Cf. blog.constitutioncenter.org).
    *****************

    The key word here is RESEARCH. You would notice that Watson self-financed a campaign to get the Amendment ratified. Watson was ‘ipso facto,’ CONVINCED he was doing the right thing. 
    How many students (both undergraduates and post graduates) who study in Nigeria can boast of doing their projects alone at first and research at best? How many students can make a project of theirs worth reading and referenced? How many of those projects and term papers ever live the dusty library shelves to finding relevance in the society? How many folks even see the need to make a text book out of these materials? Or do folks believe, and rightly so, that the ‘status quo’ these materials enjoy at the hands of arm chair scholars and praise-singing relatives is indeed the end of all things education? 
    Education is never dusty! 

    Plagiarism and unoriginality stinks like goat shit!
    *********

    The question now is WERE YOU OR ARE YOU PROUD OF YOUR TERM PAPER OR PROJECT? I hope you’d be honest…