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Sunday, October 25, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jan 2, 2010 9:47 PM PST

This essay is devoted to Dian Fossey, who was murdered for trying to save an intelligent species that lives in harmony with its environment but stands in the way of “progress” and profit. Perhaps like many traumatized individuals, she found it easier to understand and to communicate with animals other than the naked ape.

There was an interesting article in the paper yesterday. It seems that scientists believe they have discovered why the Tasmanian devil is rapidly facing extinction if no cure is found for the devastating illness that has wiped out 70 percent of the population since 1996. It has been called the “devil facial tumor disease” and is known to be a cancer spread by the devilish habit of biting one another on the face. The cancer was found to originate in the nerve cells of the beasts, giving rise to the hope that scientists may find a cure or vaccine that will save the devils from self-annihilation.

I find interesting parallels between the decline of the devils and the predicament in which the Masters of the Universe who control international finance find themselves as a result of their voracious appetites and tendency to viciously attack not only innocent prey but themselves, when prey are scarce due to their unrestrained, aggressive hunting style that tends to produce periods of scarcity of targets for their depredations. A perfect example is the way in which Goldman-Sachs and their alumni arranged to take down the weakened Bear-Stearns and then turned on their other chief rival Lehman Brothers in a coordinated pack attack.

The devil that is Goldman-Sachs is a clever beast, but an animal nonetheless and therefore no match for humans if we put our minds to eliminating the scourge. Matt Taibbi has laid out their hunting habits in clear terms in a series of lucid articles in Rolling Stone magazine. If the people of America were to elect a proper team of trappers in the Senate, it would be an easy task to trap the pesky varmints and put an end to their marauding ways. It is no loss that their competitors were eliminated, as the bait was the promise of easy riches without end and it was simply the result of Darwinian natural selection that they were eliminated due to their maladaptive trait of unrestrained greed.

At the risk of straining the analogy, it is interesting to note that the disease affecting the devils is transmitted by biting each other and that the disease arose in nerve cells, whose function is supposed to be to regulate behavior of the organism. How fitting it is that the disease of the nervous system of the financial industry is beginning to decimate the population of major financial houses, at least in America. I wonder how long it will be before the disease spreads to European and other houses of finance that have not been kept in order. Certainly, some of them are not looking well and if some are on government life support, kept tenuously alive by infusions of taxpayer money while a cure that will save unregulated capitalism is desperately sought.

I suspect that it is karmic law that biting the hand that feeds you leads inevitably to retribution by the God that guides the invisible hand of the unregulated free market. The avatar is the God of greed and Buddha is laughing as Shiva continues to dance the eternal dance of destruction and re-creation. Let us pray that our leaders will find Enlightenment and realize that their political fates are entwined with the social, physical and moral health of the nation that they have abandoned for their own selfish purposes.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Founder, Soldiers For Peace International

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