Issue  

Science versus corruption at Cambridge

Professor Adrian Owen

For almost 20 years, Professor Adrian Owen toiled away at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge before emigrating to Canada where he continued to flourish at Western University in Ontario. He became a superstar when he successfully challenged conventional wisdom –

“He devoted most of his research to the brain and used sophisticated scanners to study what was going on in the brain. Not very much when it comes to patients in a true vegetative state. They can open their eyes and look around. They can cry, grunt or smile. But they seem unaware of what is going on and are unable to see or to understand speech.”

According to a BBC documentary, it was a supposedly “vegetative” patient, Kate Bainbridge (whose name was misspelt as Brainbridge!!) who provided Professor Owen with his breakthrough moment with blazing headlines all over the world, which heralded Owen’s tenacity and brilliance:

“He showed that it was possible to use a brain scanner to find evidence of awareness. The scanner showed that the patient could react to faces. Indeed, her brain responses were no different from those of healthy volunteers.”

What ensued subsequently was a vigorous debate as to whether that response was “African magic”; a reflex; or a signal of consciousness.

Fortunately, Bainbridge (or Brainbridge) recovered partially from her near death experience while virtually knocking on the gates of heaven. She was sufficiently humble and coherent in her media interviews to give glory to the Almighty and her doctors, led by Professor Owen.

It was Roger Highfield who provided the remarkable witness statement on CNN: “Unusually for these patients, Bainbridge made a partial recovery from being vegetative six months after the initial diagnosis and described how she was indeed sometimes aware of herself and her surroundings; and was in huge discomfort.”

The lady must have the last say: “ The scan was like magic. It showed people I was in there. It found me.” The truth was that there was no African magic involved. The real challenge is whether the fresh insight into the brain can be applied to fight corruption. That is the gauntlet thrown by the forthcoming Africa Week in Cambridge. However, another dimension was injected when the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte declared on CNN’s “Vital Signs” (interview with Sanjay Gupta):

“There are 3.7 million drug addicts in the Philippines – 3.6 per cent of the population. I blame users for the breakdown of law and order (and corruption). 75 per cent of serious crimes are drug-related. I am committed to fulfilling the promise I made while campaigning for election – the eradication of the drugs and corruption menace even if it means killing all drug addicts, traffickers and criminals.”

The promoters of “Africa Week” in Cambridge insist on adopting and adapting science to combat corruption by recognizing the critical role of the following factors:

Justification, Pressure and Opportunity. The issue of sanctions (or the lack thereof) is an entirely different kettle of fish. It is known as the “Big Bite (of meat!!) Theory” which is predicated on the scale of corruption which would be so massive that there is plenty of room (and money) to take care of everybody, be they friend or foe!!

The sub-theme for this year’s Africa week in Cambridge is:
“Corruption: The Era of Strategic Patience is Over. All other options (military, diplomatic; special operations etc.) are on the table.” What is probably unknown to the general public is the profound alliance between scientists (both natural scientists and political scientists) in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Harvard University; Boston University; University of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; etc.), in the United States of America and their counterparts at the University of Cambridge, England.

For them, the common purpose is to persuade President Donald J. Trump that his much touted “America First” with its focus on domestic America is going nowhere unless it is firmly anchored on America First as the supreme world power which recognises the futility of expecting China or Russia to assist it to retain and sustain its primacy. On the contrary, both China and Russia are putative contenders for that very same position and both of them (either individually or jointly) would cynically exploit the willingness of North Korea to threaten America directly.

It is not a mere coincidence that China and Russia are former communist nations while North Korea remains defiantly communist.

The Deputy Representative of North Korea to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong could not have put matters more bluntly when he delivered the message:
“We condemn the US naval build up in the waters off the Korean Peninsula plus the US missile attacks on Syria. It has created a dangerous situation in which thermonuclear war may break out any moment on the peninsula and poses a serious threat to world peace and security.”

That is a direct threat to the global intervention by the United States of America. That is precisely what the Cambridge scientists (in the US and UK) are determined to undergird and circumscribe with a clear vision and robust strategy which recognise and superimpose the US obligation to propagate its core values and fundamental principles as the soul of democracy.

The new “sheriff in town” which Donald Trump launched with great vigour during his campaign has his work cut out in order to tackle authoritarianism as the anti-thesis of the Rule of Law; Freedom of Speech; and Civil Liberties.

Those (China; Russia; North Korea etc.) who are determined to contest against the United States of America for power are armed and dangerous.
Indeed, Kim Jong-un the ruler of North Korea has publicly declared that his nuclear missiles can hit New York (with Trump Towers as its primary target!!)

This has prompted Mike Pence the Vice President of the United States of America to declare – “We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response,

All options are on the table. History will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain,” The scientists are adamant that it is an entirely false premise to postulate that America’s engagement with the rest of the world can be limited to fighting terrorism or corruption. It is an anomaly to embark on a huge battle in a small war. What is at stake is huge and humongous.

As a footnote to a world in turmoil and ebullience, we have the following snippet from the front page of “Sunday Sun” newspaper of March 12, 2017.

Headline: “SAD TALES FROM LIBYA”
‘I sold my assets to make the trip but returned empty handed’
‘I watched Nigerian girls rounded up and burnt alive’

Tales of horror
“I hid somewhere one day, as they rounded up a group of Nigerian girls and branded them as prostitutes and burnt them. They didn’t even shoot them with guns. But they just set the house they were living in ablaze and prevented them from running out; most of them died.

In Libya once you are black they attach less value to your life. And If they suspect that you are an illegal immigrant then you are as good as a person that has been condemned to death. It is worse for the girls, because they price them as commodities in the market.”

It was left to the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pensions to bend Donald J. Trumps ears by reminding him that, by nature and disposition, he is very competitive. Hence, he would want to be a game-changer in the history and politics of the United States of America – in the same league as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president from 1933 until his death in 1945.

On assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, he galvanized Americans to regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action and asserted in his inaugural address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. On August 14, 1935 he signed the Social Security Act.

We even had to resort to the wisdom bequeathed by the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 to 1882)
“ Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”

What is not widely known is that Donald Trump won the presidency by about 100,000 votes spread across three states. On CNN, Trump’s own pollster admitted that just five countries in Michigan and Florida could have flipped the Electoral College in favour of Hilary Clinton.
It was not an easy task to pierce through America’s false reality and “alternative truths” and the absurdity of misplaced anger posturing as patriotism and masquerading as legitimate retribution. The scientists insist that it is all in the brain!!

The mandate of the retired partners of KPMG who are still waiting for their gratuity and pension was to serve as an interface between the cerebral Cambridge scientists and the brash President Donald Trump. By the same token, we were also mandated to establish a nexus between the complex intricacies of American politics and the rest of the world (particularly Africa) where corruption and lack of accountability and defaulting transparency prevail.
Ironically, the scientists went off at a tangent and took a swipe at Trump’s hair.

The poignant warning was delivered as BREAKING NEWS on Saturday Night Live:
“Researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have assessed the side effects of the hair growth stimulant (known as finasteride or dutasteride). Users can get persistent erectile dysfunction, in which they will not be able to have normal erections for months or years.”

On CNN, Dr. Stein Belknap who authored the study was not joking when he delivered the stern warning:
“They are male hormone blockers which prevent testosterone from being converted to its more active form. Studies showed the drug made prostate glands smaller by reducing the levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone in participants. Sufferers were left unable to maintain normal erection despite being given Viagra to try and solve their problems.”

However, it was not only the scientists who were giving Trump a hard time. The first salvo came from New England Patriots (American football) player Alan Branch on CNN Tonight. He said he declined to join the rest of his team on their triumphant visit to the White House on Wednesday April 19, 2017 because of President Donald Trump’s past sexist remarks that were caught on an Access Hollywood video hot microphone in 2005.

In the video, Trump is heard making offensive comments about women.
TRUMP: “I moved on her. Actually, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try to f*** her. She was married.”
BUSH: “That’s huge news.”

TRUMP: “Nancy [O’Dell – former co-host of Access Hollywood], no this was… and I moved on her. Very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture’. I took her… I moved on her like a b****. I couldn’t get there and she was married. And all of a sudden I see her. She’s now got the big phoney t*** and she’s totally changed her look.”
BUSH: “Sheesh, your girl’s hot as sh**. In the purple.”

TRUMP: “Whoa! Yes! Whoa!”
BUSH: “Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!”

[cross talk]

BUSH: “It better not be the publicist. No it’s her, it’s…”

Branch did not pull any punches (or mince his words).
“It’s disgusting the way he talks about women and I just can’t deal with it and that is why I have no interest in going and shaking his hand. I’ve gotta go back home and look my daughters in the eye, and I don’t want them to view me in a different light just because I did that.

I don’t understand still to this day, especially with how many women went out there and voted for him,” he said. “I’m a man, and I was sickened by that and it still happened. Everybody has their free choice of who they wanted, but that’s not a person I want to represent me even though he is the President of the United States. He happens to represent me, but I’m not going to go out of my way to go meet the guy when I don’t have to.

“I just felt like I had to say something just because I don’t want my daughters to see me and be like, ‘that’s my dad and he doesn’t believe in women being treated like this,’ because I don’t. I’m very against it and I’d hate for my son, you know, to see me go to the White House and act like it’s okay to do whatever you want if you’re a celebrity,”

Branch was also offended when Trump made his lewd comments –
TRUMP: “Yeah that’s her in the gold. I better use some TicTacs [breath fresheners] just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful… I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

BUSH: “Whatever you want.”
TRUMP: “Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”

The game winning touchdown.
As if that was not enough bad news, Aaron Hernandez, the former star tight end with the New England Patriots who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2015, hanged himself in prison on the same day his former teammates visited the White House.

Mr. Hernandez’s former agent, Brian Murphy raised serious doubts about the manner of his death. He was adamant on Twitter:
“Absolutely no chance he took his own life. Chico (Hernandez) was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.”
Regardless, the Souza-Baranowiski Correctional Centre (a maximum-security prison) where Hernandez was an inmate issued the following cryptic statement.

“Mr. Hernandez hanged himself using a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”

According to the New York Times:
Mr. Hernandez’s death means his murder conviction is expected to be vacated under a centuries-old legal doctrine enshrined in Massachusetts’ criminal case law.

“Aaron Hernandez goes to his death an innocent man under the eyes of the law,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, adding, “It’s as if the case never existed.”

Under the doctrine, known as “abatement ab initio,” criminal convictions are essentially nullified if a person dies before they have a chance to complete the process of appealing it, Mr. Healy said. ”The principle behind this legal doctrine is, the individual has not had the ability to clear their name,” he said.

The little-known doctrine has erased several well-known criminal convictions over the years. When Kenneth L. Lay, the chief executive of Enron, died of a heart attack in 2006 before his sentencing for fraud, the doctrine erased his criminal record and meant the government lost access to $44 million he was supposed to forfeit for restitution.

As if Donald Trump did not have enough problems already, Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University in Washington D.C. has released a bombshell by launching his new book: “The Case For Impeachment” with great fanfare. However, that is not the full story.

In September 2016, when virtually all the pollsters and politician pundits had written off Trump’s candidacy, Professor Lichtman was the only dissenting voice. He had crafted his own election prediction methodology over three decades and used it to correctly predict every presidential election since 1982. He is now predicting that Trump will become only the Third President of the United States to be impeached.

Here is a synopsis of the pre-launch leak by Julien Assange of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, the fugitive CIA consultant:
“Throughout his career, Trump has avoided accountability. As president, though, you cannot walk away from accountability. You can’t declare bankruptcy, you can’t just abandon a deal. And the ultimate accountability is impeachment.”

Professor Alan Lichtman’s new book, The Case for Impeachment, outlines eight possible reasons to impeach Trump, including his business-related conflicts of interest, his team’s connections to Russia and his involvement in previous legal disputes, such as lawsuits against Trump University. In his “most edgy” argument, Lichtman says Trump could be impeached for a “crime against humanity” based on his refusal to take action on climate change.

“There are so many bases on which Trump can be impeached,” Lichtman said. “That’s one way in which he is more vulnerable to impeachment than any other figure who has been elected for the first time to the presidency of the United States.”

The book, which was released on Tuesday the 18th of April, draws comparisons between Trump and the two U.S. presidents who have been impeached — Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 — as well as Richard Nixon, who avoided inevitable impeachment when he resigned. Johnson and Clinton were both impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted in the Senate.

“What might distinguish a Trump impeachment from that of Clinton and Johnson is that the transgressions could be more Nixonian — that is, more serious, more threatening to our constitutional order, our liberties, our freedoms and our national security,” Lichtman said.

But impeachment is a difficult process, and the act of actually removing a president from office is even harder. That’s especially true when the president’s own party has control of Congress — as Republicans do now. But Lichtman believes enough Republicans would support impeachment if any concrete evidence surfaced to show Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the election.

“I think the Russian connection would be the most likely source of impeachment,” Lichtman said. “There sure is a lot of smoke. And my own suspicion is there’s some kind of fire that’s producing this smoke. Whether it’s serious enough to warrant impeachment, we don’t know yet.”

“If the investigations do turn up some serious wrongdoing, I think even Republicans in Congress are not going to overlook it,” Lichtman added, while acknowledging “it’s a steep hill to climb.”

If a vote were to take place in the House today, all 193 Democrats and 23 Republicans would need to vote for impeachment in order for it to pass. In the Senate, 19 Republicans would have to side with all 46 Democrats and two independents in order to remove Trump from office.

While making the case for impeachment, Lichtman’s book also gives Trump a “blueprint for surviving as president” that includes fully divesting from his business interests, supporting measures to prevent climate change, hiring a fact-checker and firing chief strategist Steve Bannon. “I hope he reads this book, and I hope he does change,” Lichtman said. “ I am rooting for Trump to some extent because I am a believer in American democracy, and I would much rather see our democracy cherished and protected than see President Trump being removed.”

It is self-evident that the United States of America is at war not just with itself but with the rest of the world, including its own allies. Regardless, Americans insist that just because they are at war does not make the President King or Emperor.

As for chartered accountants (especially the retired partners of KPMG), the more determined they are to remain apolitical, the more compelling it becomes for them to be politically savvy.
Indeed even though the retired partners of KPMG have been invited to the “Africa Week” in Cambridge, England as V.I.P’s they are imbued with sufficient humility to reciprocate the gesture with a deep sense of appreciation of an excellent opportunity to learn. No knowledge is ever wasted.

In essence, Cambridge University has been at the cutting edge of lateral thinking which was pioneered by Professor Edward de Bono whose disciples have expanded its philosophy and principles sufficiently to conclude that nothing happens in isolation. It is entirely up to us to discern the links and establish the linkages. Additionally, the brain is programmed to fight corruption, reject impunity and condemn injustice. This is precisely what Africa has been forcefully and vigorously attempting to suppress!!

Aaron Hernandez was only twenty-seven years old but regardless of their grief, his family has according to District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr agreed to donate his brain in order to assist research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is a condition caused by repetitive brain trauma which has afflicted some boxers and football players.

However, none of the Cambridge scientists appears to be interested in researching into the brain of Abdullahi Shuaibu, a Nigerian who attempted to set a world record by robbing four banks in New York during his lunch breaks!!

Here are snippets of the report:
From the New York Post on the 18th April, 2017 –
Headline: “Former UN worker arrested for robbing banks during lunch break”

“A UN worker-turned-journalist found a way to make his lunch breaks pay off — by politely robbing banks around the world body’s headquarters, cops said Tuesday.

Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, of Queens, allegedly plundered about $10,000 in cash during an Upper East Side crime spree that began Feb. 27 and continued over three more Mondays. In each of two successful heists, he showed the teller a note that said, “Give me $5,000, Thank you,” police sources said.

Shuaibu also allegedly left two banks empty-handed before getting busted on Monday, following a failed robbery at the HSBC branch at Third Avenue and East 63rd Street.

Bank teller Rani Ahme, 50, said a “regular guy” in a blazer slid her a note but “did not let go of it.” “I asked, ‘How can I help you?’ and he said, ‘Check it, check it,’ looking at the note, but he did not let go of the note,” she said.

The would-be crook disappeared while Ahme ducked into the rear of the bank to alert her boss, she said. Shuaibu was nabbed outside the US Mission to the United Nations, where he’s been working out of the building’s Foreign Press Center as a State Department-credentialed reporter for the PanAfrican News Agency, police sources said.

A retired cop who works as a guard at the mission, across the street from the UN building, tipped off cops after recognizing Shuaibu in surveillance photos of the alleged bank robbery that the NYPD circulated last month.

“It wasn’t hard,” the guard told The Post. “He comes in and out of here every day.”
Shuaibu confessed following his arrest, admitting he spent all the stolen money paying bills, sources said.

He was charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery and was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Shuaibu is a Nigerian national with a valid work visa but no diplomatic immunity, sources said.

A UN spokesman said that Shuaibu worked for the organization during October and November 2013 but no longer had credentials to enter the building.
Shuaibu’s wife formerly worked for the Nigerian Mission to the UN and split from her hubby, said Kassimu Mohammed, the mission’s protocol officer.

NYPD detectives got no answer when they knocked on the door of his home in Hollis. Landlord Inosthene Delimon said Shuaibu and his wife began renting a $2,000-a month, three-bedroom town-house apartment from him about eight years ago.Delimon described the family as “good people who always paid their rent on time.”

“I never had any problems with them,” Delimon added.”
Another report from Sahara Reporters on the 19th of April reads:
Headline: “Nigerian Bank Robber Arrested In New York Not UN Employee”

“A Nigerian national who was arrested in New York on Monday for robbing four banks was not employed by the UN at the time he committed the robberies, contrary to earlier reports.

A UN security document obtained by SaharaReporters shows that the robber, Abdullahi Shuaibu, is still in possession of an expired UN pass, which he used to gain access to the premises. The document notes that he is barred from entering the UN, designating him as violent.

A UN spokesperson told DNAinfo, a local online newspaper, that Mr. Shuaibu worked at the UN as a resident correspondent in October and November 2013, after which his UN pass expired. Before that, Mr. Shuaibu worked as a UN correspondent for the News Agency of Nigeria until 2012.

The spokesperson also denied earlier reports that he was arrested at the UN headquarters. Police said he was arrested at the Foreign Press Centre, just across the street from the headquarters.

Mr. Shuaibu was docked for his crimes in a New York court on Wednesday. He was charged with stealing a total of $10,000 and ordered to be remanded on a $150,000 bond or $75,000 cash bail.

Prosecutors said the perpetrator would thank tellers for their “understanding” after robbing them.”

It was also rumoured that he had targeted Trump Towers as his next port of call. In the meantime, Paul Begala former counselor to President Bill Clinton savaged President Donald Trump relentlessly on CNN’s “AC 360” hosted by Anderson Cooper.

“President Trump is a pathological liar. He sounds like a jerk not a Commander-In-Chief. Trump is Putin’s puppet. This is a crisis in our democracy.” Perhaps we should just let the Cambridge scientists sort it all out while KPMG partners serve as United Nations observers.



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