Thursday, July 9, 2020

Identifying News Media Bias

If you’re wondering what bias your news source might have, simply search your news source’s name plus the word bias.
Example: ‘Yahoo news bias’ / which will show left-center bias
Example: ‘Fox News bias’ / will show right-center for their online news, but far right for their live TV show. 
OR click on —
“Identify Media Bias”:

I suggest trying to avoid biased news sources, unless you’re going to take the time to read both sides’ versions. One way to do this in an efficient manner is to read the hard copy “The Week” magazine (not their online news). The magazine presents left, right and center on issues that are in flux.‬

OR select from:

One example of the danger that biased reporting lends itself to is that far right wing outlets are still pushing the belief that the Covid virus was ‘created’ in the Wuhan lab. It was certainly released from there as they were studying it, but they did not create it — though we can, however, berate their incompetence and the malevolence of the CCP coverup, etcetera; but, we should not let that be an excuse for ignoring our own individual and mass incompetence and malevolence. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Spirituality: Unity, Jesus Christ, et al

UNITY is Universal oneness of God, man, and all creation. The only real unity is in Spirit. It is found nowhere else because personality always strives for its own success and aims for the good of the personal man, instead of the good of all men.
Man makes conscious unity with God first at the center of spirituality, this center having its basis of action in the top of the head. The only way to establish unity with the Father-Mind is by prayer. God's name is I AM. Our name is I AM. Speaking this name in the silence, recognizing that it is God's name and ours, we establish conscious unity with Him.

“...The same transcendent spirit that moved through Jesus Christ moves in and through each one of us... If we acknowledge that Christ lives in us, we open the way for a full and complete expression of God to manifest himself through us.” That is to say that God is a transcendent power and that praying in the name Jesus Christ awakens a full and complete expression of that transcendent God in us...”

I AM That I AM “ a common English translation of the Hebrew phrase ‫אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‬, ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh – also "I am who I am", "I will become what I choose to become", "I am what I am" or "I will be what I will be" or "I create what(ever) I create". The traditional English translation within Judaism favors "I will be what I will be" because there is no present tense of the verb "to be" in the Hebrew language...”

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Spiritual: Neither Condemn Nor Condone

“All the way down the centuries, since the dawn of time, have the Great Lights in the world of men given us this same command. Think you then, that it was idle daydreaming or accident that the human side of each individual should be reminded again and again, in every age to "condemn not - judge not - criticize not?"

The Great Ones Who have guided humanity on its path to Perfection from its infancy, have throughout eons of time, reiterated those Commands; and they are still this very moment just as much Cosmic Laws to all humanity here and elsewhere as they were the very first time they were spoken forth. They apply to every human being on this planet and there is no such thing as an exception. If we will exercise our mental muscles a little it will not be difficult for us to grasp the reason back of this Cosmic Command. First, from the standpoint of each of us, for that is the nearest thing to us, we do not want to create thought forms with which we fill our own auras with anything except what is going to bring us harmony, happiness and blessings. Everyone's primary impulse in life is to be happy. That is our birthright and our Divine prerogative. Harmony is the fundamental Law of our being. Therefore, if we think, see, feel or speak an inharmony about any other part of creation, we are that moment building thought forms of mental substance and energizing them with our feeling and thought...”

“Read John 8:10-11 — 
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 

There seem to be two extremes in the Christian church when it comes to dealing with human wrongdoing. One extreme is to jump on those who have gone astray and remind them constantly of their shortcomings. You may hear about grace, but you have to crawl over broken glass to receive it.
The other extreme is to shrug your shoulders, paint a warm smile on your face, and pat the wrongdoer on the head and tell them God loves them so don’t worry about it. Grace is so cheap that it becomes worthless.
Neither approach takes human responsibility seriously enough. We are responsible for our actions and our actions have consequences. Then again, our God is able to bring good out of evil and wholeness out of brokenness. We are neither to complacently accept sin nor see it as the bedrock reality...”

Friday, July 3, 2020

AGW: Oceanic, Atmospheric CO2 Cycle

The ocean very slowly absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Simultaneously, it ‘off gases’ carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The warmer the water, the more is the ‘off gassing’ and the less it is like a sponge for CO2, because warmer water cannot hold as much carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gas levels increase in the atmosphere, the entire biosphere becomes warmer — thus; the oceans will absorb CO2 at a slower rate and ‘off gas’ at a higher rate; permafrost will melt faster and yield ever increasing amounts of methane; and, ocean ice will reflect less and less radiant energy; etcetera.

Ocean’s Carbon Balance:

Changes in Carbon Cycle:

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide:

‘AGW: Ocean Atmospheric CO2 Cycle’

Thursday, July 2, 2020

AGW: Earth’s Long Term Carbon Cycle

At the time the Earth was created and the crust fully formed, the sun was much dimmer than it is now; but, because CO2 levels were very high, the greenhouse effect kept temperatures easily high enough so that water did not freeze.

Oxygen was still only a trace gas until Cyanobacteria evolved and began consuming the carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Eventually, CO2 levels became so low that the planet completely froze over for millions of years.

After balance was restored and the Cambrian, Carboniferous and other eras came and went, a major multiple asteroid strike along the African edge of Pangea (251 mya) caused reverberations that deflected off the core and fractured the Siberian crust which triggered the major extinction event known as the Great Dying that was caused by excessive CO2 release from prolonged volcanic basaltic flows (LIPs) which, also, ignited vast coal deposits.

Since then, CO2 levels gradually decreased to Homo sapiens’ preindustrial levels. Now, we’re currently burning fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate and the elevating CO2 levels shall change our climate at an ever increasing rate. We all know this to be true — and those who claim not to are either ignorant and/or naive (or being manipulative).

‘long term carbon cycles’ 

Related postings:

Monday, June 29, 2020

COVID-19: Humility vs Hubris

To observe someone willfully and deliberately committing a wrongful act...

What would you, if you could, say to a well heeled woman who gets out of her big shiny SUV and walks into a coffee shop (not wearing a face mask) to order her coffee drink from the mask wearing barista. Everyone else (coming and going) is wearing a face mask, but she seems oblivious. Perhaps she is depending on everyone else’s wearing face masks to minimize the danger to her; but, if she’s so thoughtless and careless in this one instance, she’s likely encountered others of her own ilk and is, thus, a specific danger to the barista who likely doesn’t have health insurance. What then, when she next goes into the dry cleaners next door to be served by the next potential victim of her hubris. And when she opens her vehicle’s door, there’s an unoccupied child’s safety seat — what other lessons of entitlement are being disseminated in her home (and others like hers)?

Note: The hubris of not wearing a face mask cuts across all cultural and socio-economic lines. Fortunately, the humility of appropriate face mask usage is more commonly observed than the malevolence of the immoral behavior described above. 

Related postings:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Law of Love & Law of Karma

As your Spirit shines forth thru your Soul (which possesses your untransmuted karma), shadow images manifest within your human life.

“Of course Divine Love is the master presence and authority of the entire universe, and its law supersedes all others. However, as applied to those who will not use that Law of Love, the karmic law by its very nature must return to its sender the energy sent forth qualified by human shadow, and always gathering more of its kind with accumulated energy of the same qualification. At times, retribution for the misuses of God’s life follows like a swift arrow that action which set the cause in motion and produces the effect of returning karma.
The chalice of the heart is the generative point in man from which the gentle, Godlike feelings of Divine Love emanate; and these feelings qualify the thoughts, spoken words, and actions of each lifestream. You see, feelings account for the greatest percentage of man’s qualification of his daily allotment of energy–about 90 percent; whereas thought uses only about 10 percent. As the individual release his feelings from his heart and solar plexus, often as on swift wings, they travel around the world fulfilling the law of the circle, and they never fail to return to their source!
Therefore, watch the feelings you allow to pass through your lifestream. For they are even more important than your thoughts. It is easy to test this truth. For instance, if there is a difference between your thoughts and your feelings, most of the time your feelings will win out, because they represent the greater pressure of energy that is acting. Do you see?
So while standing watchful guard over your feelings, be sure to restrain the unhappy mood; and as quickly as you are aware of its presence, turn your attention to something pleasant in your surroundings or, better still, to one of us, and thus change that mood instantly from that which distresses you to that which gives you Light and its joyous expression.
So, to bring you divine illumination that emanates from above the stars and is sent from my heart to yours with a twinkle! again I say–
Let the twinkle of mirth
Abound on earth!
For joy is one of the virtues of Divine Love; and joy and mirth are vibrations that in your application of the Law assist you to attain much more quickly your daily as well as your ultimate victory. Such victory I AM expressing–all ways!”
Related posting:

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

COVID-19: Influence On Election

I vote. I enjoy going to the polls and being part of the civic process. I’ve served on juries. I like taking part in what’s going on, and I stay abreast of ongoing current events. 

But, this year I likely won’t be going to the polls. I’ll vote by mail — too many people aren’t wearing their face masks. This means that the Covid pandemic will give an edge to the more passionate voters.
[Note that the reactionary tendencies of conservatives may bring about a reversal of their resistant attitude about wearing face masks after the ‘fear factor’ kicks in strongly enough with ever increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections.]

Note: It’s possible that my mail-in ballot might not even be counted. If not, then that’s another ‘sign of the times’, just as having metal detectors in schools makes a clear unmitigated statement about what’s going on in ‘our’ world. Not just ‘my world’ — but yours, mine and everybody else’s.

All-Mail Elections (aka Vote-By-Mail)

Covid-19 postings:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Split Ticket Voting: Now A Thing Of The Past

Over the years, my voting strategy had evolved into the following; however, since my greatest concern is global warming, until the Democrats focus on this and drop the open borders notion, I’ll not be able to vote for them:

“Since American politics has become so irresponsibly partisan, it is probably wise to not allow either party to dominate. I, therefore, will split my ticket in the following manner:
1)Republican for upper legislative bodies
2)Democrat for lower legislative bodies
3)For Executive offices, whichever candidates are more able and willing to sustain bipartisanship, especially in regards to global warming and immigration control
4)For all other offices, whichever candidates best recognize both the danger of ‘global warming’ and of ‘open borders’.
Note: In the event that a particular individual candidate that meets the above criteria is too reprehensible to vote for, then I’ll either support the other party’s candidate for that office, a third party candidate, or do a write in vote.
To help narrow the field of choices, begin by first searching:
‘voter guide (?) county’

Note: Voting is only one aspect of influencing governance. How we spend our money, what media selections we make, what organizations we support, etcetera are others. For example, I used to support environmental groups; but, since they’ve all gone pro-immigration, I’ve dropped them. Also, for many years, I’ve tried to avoid things made in China and try not to click on any clickbait headlines. My primary news source is The Week magazine. Etcetera.”

Related posting:
Least Biased News-

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Biased & Least Biased News Sources

For least biased news sources, click on:
Then for ten categories of varying types of bias, click on the “Bias Categories Menu” icon.

Then simply scroll down the page until you see the list of links in red. Click on those that catch your eye.

For example, the first on in the list is:
9News – KUSA (
Click on it and you’ll find at the bottom of the detailed report given about this Denver TV station, you’ll find their link to click on that takes you to their website:

Each different news source is given a detailed report. At the end of each report is the link to their website.

Bookmark those that appeal to you.

Many will offer to send you their newsletter. Note that it is easy to unsubscribe at any point in time if and when you want to. By adding and deleting news sources and/or newsletters, you can curate news that fits your needs best.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Reincarnation: Re-embodiment “Keystone in the Arch of Being”

“Now, as I have earlier mentioned, it would be most beneficial if the human monad would refrain from prejudgment in matters of cosmic doctrine and even better if he could universally accept the reality of reembodiment. For it is in the acceptance of ‘this fact of life’ that he will truly discern the ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ and more easily understand his reason for being.
It is most difficult for people in any age, observing in the life span of a comparatively few short years a series of events relative to the personal self, to be able to judge the world in which they live and the society from which they have derived both bane and blessing, and then to be able to perceive matters pertaining to the spirit and properly assess them.
By correctly understanding and accepting his own reembodiment, the individual develops a cosmic sense of the continuity of self—past, present, and future—and is better equipped to see behind the surface effects of today's circumstances the underlying personal causes that stretch back across the dust of centuries.”

“Simply because men lack conscious memory of a previous existence does not deny the validity of this Truth. Many have experienced the sudden feeling of having done before that which they are doing for the first time in this life. Others recall in a flash of recognition (deja-vu) that they have seen a face or place before. Then, of course, there is ‘love at first sight’ which is to be explained by soul recognition from past lives or inner-level awareness.
Many have noted with interest the incidence of genius (that some call a "gift" or "talent") in art, music, and science, or other aptitudes that appear at an early age, indicating the soul's resumption of the broken thread of identity. Modern physicians take note of the distinct personality of babies on the day of their birth. And all over the world fascinating stories have been documented concerning people's recall of vivid scenes and experiences from a past life.
Man has been justifiably skeptical of some of this, yet Truth reveals itself not as a pseudoscience but as the very science of Being without end. Think how glorious, how full of hope life can be to all who therefore see before them not death but only self-transformation as the alchemy of positive change!—to all who see in the law of reembodiment an opportunity for the slow learners and the rebellious to recover in new dignity from error's stains, rising at last from the astral sea of identity, the personal morass of mortality, into
the morning of eternal hope and the crown of victorious Life!...”

Saint Germain On Alchemy: 
Formulas for Self-transformation
Page 287
(#319 of 509)  

Human monad -

Related postings about reincarnation:

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Karma & Group Karma

[Sanskrit karman, nominative karma, “act,” “deed,” “work”] Energy/consciousness in action; the law of cause and effect and retribution. Also called the law of the circle, which decrees that whatever we do comes full circle to our doorstep for resolution.
Paul said, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”[1] Newton observed, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
The law of karma necessitates the soul’s reincarnation until all karmic cycles are balanced. Thus, from lifetime to lifetime man determines his fate by his actions, including his thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds.

Group Karma — Energies exchanged by the members of a family, a group, a community, a nation, or a planet.
Group karma is made by individuals when they either move together or fail to move together in concerted action. This karma may be good or bad, positive or negative; that is, individuals acting as a group may misqualify energy or they may qualify it correctly to the glory of God and man. Individuals who have been tied together in the past must reembody as a group in order to work out negative group karma.

“Group Karma aka Collective Karma”

Karma: Not Just Action —

“Transmute Karma”
“Saint Germain Transmute Karma”
“Transmute Group Karma”

Related postings:

Purpose of Reincarnation (Re-embodiment)

“When correctly understood, the truth of reembodiment (stranger than the fiction of one life) provides the greatest hope for mankind. Reembodiment is neither an excuse nor a release from the full responsibility and karmic accountability for one’s errors. On the contrary, reembodiment provides for a continuation of experience on earth, which (although moving in broken sequences) is the means whereby the soul can evolve progressively toward victory, self-mastery and attainment.
It can be asked, What is the real purpose of reembodiment? Nature herself will provide the answer. When God created man in his own image, it was in the image of immortality. Man’s fall from that higher image into the bondage of the flesh resulted in a negative karmic record that, had he only had one embodiment, would have prevented his manifestation of eternal life.
The real purpose of reembodiment is to provide the opportunity—the cycles of years and events—wherein man can live and learn to do well. What a frightening thing it would be if the millions upon millions of souls who have come and gone upon this planet without having had the opportunity of hearing the teachings of the Master Jesus were without hope for a future opportunity to follow in his footsteps!”

Related postings on reincarnation:

Saturday, June 13, 2020

COVID-19: Pandemic Optimism, Pessimism and Naiveté

“Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters now believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. A Ballotpedia survey found that 42% disagree and think the worst is still to come. Another 29% are not sure.”
[Date — June 10, 2020 (select this date in the given archive for the reference).]

The bulk of pandemic optimists and those unsure are Republicans. Most Democrats believe that the worst of the pandemic is still ahead of us.
Polling finds public trust in medical scientists has increased, but only among Democrats

Partisanship on Pandemic Response

My Comment: Anyone who does not know that the worst of the Covid virus pandemic is ahead of us is naive.

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Friday, June 12, 2020

COVID-19: Self(ish) Reasons To Wear A Face Mask

Keeping in mind the asymptomatic nature of the Covid virus, it’s an especially good idea to wear a mask to protect others as well as yourself.
But, even if you’re not concerned about other people, consider that what wearing a face mask can do specifically just for you alone: 

1)Reduce the viral load that you’d be infected with otherwise, thus making your immune response less ‘dramatic’;
2)Reduce your touching of your face absentmindedly and help minimize cross contamination;
3)Reduce the hostility directed at you by others;
4)Reduce the subconscious guilt (regrets) you’d feel for endangering others by consciously and deliberately choosing to not wear a face mask. 

“The Truth About Masks”

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Thursday, June 11, 2020

COVID-19: 5th Grade Math Tells the Story

80% of new Covid cases are caused by about 10% of those who are contagious (super spreaders), hence, the problematic nature of those who do not yet properly appreciate the importance of wearing face masks. At best, only about 1/5 of Covid cases are able to be officially reported — so factor that into the news reports. Thus, if you’re in public (and, especially when you’re in an enclosed space) and you see a face mask violator, shun them with as much space as feasible. 
Note: If they’re flagrantly violating pandemic protocols and you’re in a business, retreat to a safe distance and call the store management. Let them deal with it. If they don’t, then that’s another issue.

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

COVID-19: Closer and Closer

By now, someone you know knows someone who has been infected with the Covid virus, and this ‘someone’ may not even be aware of it due to the all too often asymptomatic nature of the disease that is turning people into super carriers. 

Unfortunately, I know someone who lost two members of his extended family to the pandemic last week. Others in this particular social grouping are showing symptoms. The rest of this story will be unfolding for a long time yet.

Note: As the second wave builds, much of it will continue lie undetected under the surface like the building of a tsunami in deep water. Any notion that the worst of the pandemic is over is simple minded naiveté. 


Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Thursday, June 4, 2020

COVID-19: ‘Typhoid Mary Mentality’ of Those Who Don’t Wear Face Masks

Because of Covid-19’s often presymptomatic and asymptomatic characteristics, many people are “infected” but don’t know it. Thus, they unknowingly spread the virus by simply breathing and talking. They’re a part of the ‘Typhoid Mary’ phenomenon that is helping spread the Covid virus amongst us.

What’s morbidly interesting is that the real life Typhoid Mary was caught and eventually released on her own recognizance with the understanding of certain limitations to prevent the spreading of typhoid. She soon, however, went back to her old ways and sparked another outbreak of typhoid before being imprisoned. And she did this knowing that she was an asymptomatic super spreader of typhoid. 

Imagine now the number of people you see mingling with you in public that are not properly wearing a face mask who are asymptomatic. What we have on our hands is a growing social epidemic of coronavirus super spreaders that would make Typhoid Mary proud.

After the second wave of Covid infections really gets going, instead of violence being initiated against those trying to enforce face mask usage, it’ll be against face mask violators. As fear grips the nation when people realize that the pandemic is just getting started, those that are most obviously perpetuating it will be like lightning rods for anger.

Super Spreaders

Search: ‘Covid super spreaders’

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Sunday, May 31, 2020

COVID-19: Japan’s (and some other nations’) Success

Japan has ended its Covid-19 state of emergency by following the policy of wearing face masks, good hygiene, voluntary and not very restrictive social distancing (without large-scale testing).  They focused on finding clusters of infections and attacking the underlying causes, which often proved to be overcrowded gathering spots such as gyms and nightclubs.
Thus, the rule of thumb: the “three Cs”— avoid closed spaces, crowds, and close-contact settings in which people are talking face-to-face.

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Saturday, May 30, 2020

COVID-19: Face Mask Violators

To the degree that someone violates standard face mask protocol, they are hostile and/or naive. Those who are deliberately hostile are potentially a greater liability than those who are simply naive, but they’re all a liability. Here’s where ‘social distancing’ takes on a fuller meaning beyond mere ‘physical distancing’.

Related COVID-19 postings (by relevance):

Related COVID-19 postings (by date):

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

COVID-19: Spanish Flu Originated In China

[Note that WWI, hence WWII, came about as the result of human greed and nationalistic imperialistic ambitions.]

An article published in 2014 by the National Geographic indicates that laborers imported from China and transported across Canada was the source of what came to be known as the Spanish Flu:

“For decades, scientists have debated where in the world the pandemic started, variously pinpointing its origins in France, China, the American Midwest, and beyond. Without a clear location, scientists have lacked a complete picture of the conditions that bred the disease and factors that might lead to similar outbreaks in the future.
The deadly "Spanish flu" claimed more lives than World War I, which ended the same year the pandemic struck. Now, new research is placing the flu's emergence in a forgotten episode of World War I: the shipment of Chinese laborers across Canada in sealed train cars.
Historian Mark Humphries of Canada's Memorial University of Newfoundland says that newly unearthed records confirm that one of the side stories of the war—the mobilization of 96,000 Chinese laborers to work behind the British and French lines on World War I's Western Front—may have been the source of the pandemic.
Writing in the January issue of the journal War in History, Humphries acknowledges that his hypothesis awaits confirmation by viral samples from flu victims. Such evidence would tie the disease's origin to one location.
But some other historians already find his argument convincing.
"This is about as close to a smoking gun as a historian is going to get," says historian James Higgins, who lectures at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and who has researched the 1918 spread of the pandemic in the United States. "These records answer a lot of questions about the pandemic."

Last of the Great Plagues
The 1918 flu pandemic struck in three waves across the globe, starting in the spring of that year, and is tied to a strain of H1N1 influenza ancestral to ones still virulent today.
The outbreak killed even the young and healthy, turning their strong immune systems against them in a way that's unusual for flu. Adding to the catastrophic loss of lives during World War I, the epidemic may have played a role in ending the war.
"The 1918 flu was the last of the great plagues that struck humanity, and it followed in the tracks of a global conflict," says Humphries.
Even as the pandemic's origins have remained a mystery, the Chinese laborers have previously been suggested as a source of the disease.
Historian Christopher Langford has shown that China suffered a lower mortality rate from the Spanish flu than other nations did, suggesting some immunity was at large in the population because of earlier exposure to the virus.
In the new report, Humphries finds archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu.
He also found medical records indicating that more than 3,000 of the 25,000 Chinese Labor Corps workers who were transported across Canada en route to Europe starting in 1917 ended up in medical quarantine, many with flu-like symptoms.
The Spanish flu reached its height in autumn 1918 but raged until 1920, initially gaining its nickname from wartime censorship rules that allowed for reporting on the disease's ravages in neutral Spain.
Physicians began debating the origin of the pandemic almost as soon as it appeared, Higgins says, with historians soon joining them.
France's wartime trenches, ridden with filth, disease, and death, were originally seen as the flu's breeding ground. The flu's tendency to strike young adults was explained as the disease targeting itself to young soldiers in trenches. The theory also purported to explain how the illness spread from Europe to cities such as Boston and Philadelphia by pointing a finger at returning troop ships.
A decade after the war, Kansas was identified as another possible breeding ground, due to reports of an influenza outbreak there that spread to a nearby Army camp in March 1918, killing 48 doughboys.
But in his study, Humphries reports that an outbreak of respiratory infections, which at the time were dubbed an endemic "winter sickness" by local health officials, were causing dozens of deaths a day in villages along China's Great Wall. The illness spread 300 miles (500 kilometers) in six weeks' time in late 1917.
At first thought to be pneumonic plague, the disease killed at a far lower rate than is typical for that disease.
Humphries discovered that a British legation official in China wrote that the disease was actually influenza, in a 1918 report. Humphries made the findings in searches of Canadian and British historical archives that contain the wartime records of the Chinese Labor Corps and the British legation in Beijing.
At the time of the outbreak, British and French officials were forming the Chinese Labor Corps, which eventually shipped some 94,000 laborers from northern China to southern England and France during the war.
"The idea was to free up soldiers to head to the front at a time when they were desperate for manpower," Humphries says.
Shipping the laborers around Africa was too time-consuming and tied up too much shipping, so British officials turned to shipping the laborers to Vancouver on the Canadian West Coast and sending them by train to Halifax on the East Coast, from which they could be sent to Europe.
So desperate was the need for labor that on March 2, 1918, a ship loaded with 1,899 Chinese Labor Corps men left the Chinese port of Wehaiwei for Vancouver despite "plague" stopping the recruiting for workers there.
In reaction to anti-Chinese feelings rife in western Canada at the time, the trains that carried the workers from Vancouver were sealed, Humphries says. Special Railway Service Guards watched the laborers, who were kept in camps surrounded by barbed wire. Newspapers were banned from reporting on their movement.
Roughly 3,000 of the workers ended up in medical quarantine, their illnesses often blamed on their "lazy" natures by Canadian doctors, Humphries said: "They had very stereotypical, racist views of the Chinese."
Doctors treated sore throats with castor oil and sent the Chinese back to their camps.
The Chinese laborers arrived in southern England by January 1918 and were sent to France, where the Chinese Hospital at Noyelles-sur-Mer recorded hundreds of their deaths from respiratory illness.
Historians have suggested that the Spanish influenza mutated and became most deadly in spring 1918, spreading from Europe to ports as far apart as Boston and Freetown, Sierra Leone.
By the height of the global pandemic that autumn, however, no more such cases were reported among the Chinese laborers in Europe.
Humphries concedes that a final answer to the mystery of the Spanish flu's origins is still a ways off.
"What we really need is a sample of the virus preserved in a burial for the medical experts to uncover," Humphries says. "That would have the best chances of settling the debate."
For the last decade, experts such as Jeffery Taubenberger, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have sought burial samples across continents, seeking to find preserved samples of the virus in victims of the outbreak.
Taubenberger led a team in 2011 that looked at flu virus samples taken from autopsies of 32 victims of the 1918 outbreak.
The earliest sample found so far was from a U.S. soldier who died on May 11, 1918, at Camp Dodge, Iowa, but the team is looking for earlier cases.
A broad number of samples from flu victims before and after the pandemic might finally narrow down its origins. Essentially, scientists would need a genetically identified sample of the influenza's H1N1 virus taken from a victim who died before the first widespread outbreak of the pandemic in spring 1918 to point to a time and place as the likely origin point of the pandemic.
One from China in 1917, for example, would fill the bill.
"I'm not sure if this question can ever be fully answered," Taubenberger cautions, noting that even the origin of a smaller flu pandemic in 2009 still eludes certainty.
Ultimately, "these kinds of [historical] analyses cannot definitively reveal the origins and patterns of spread of emerging pathogens, especially at the early stages of the outbreak," Taubenberger said, of the new historical report.
In the end, however, knowing the origin of the disease might provide information that could help stop a future pandemic, making the search worthwhile.
"I would say that the takeaway message of all of this is to keep your eye on China" as a source of emerging diseases, Higgins says. He points to concerns about avian flu and the SARS virus, both arising from Asia in the last decade.
The SARS outbreak claimed perhaps 775 lives in 2003, and avian flu A (H5N1) has killed 384 people since 2003, according to the World Health Organization, which is carefully watching for signs of an outbreak of the diseases.
We have seen a lot of emerging diseases travel around the world in recent decades," Higgins says.
History has a way of repeating, he says, and research into the origins of the 1918 flu could help prevent a scourge like that from happening again.”

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