Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #46

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #46

…The Campbells is free! The Campbells is free!’ are the cries for joy…

Escape2

“Are you sure the cabin is empty?!” demands Pigface of his night watchman, whose tending of his duties has lapsed this evening into morning. “They’re on the lamb with three brats and a useless old woman. They can’t be far! Get the dogs, you damn fool, whilst the trail is still warm!” 

The baying of a trio of converted coonhounds brings sleep to a raucous halt for the rest of these renaissance cavemen of the 19th century. The lamps in the overseers’ quarters, as well as the mansion are lit room by room. Looking out the window of his bedroom, Jefferson Smythwick sees a line of torches heading northwest across his recently harvested fields. When word of the Campbell flight reaches him, he orders every available man to the search.

The news spreads like wildfire from farm to farm on the plantation. ‘The Campbells is free! The Campbells is free!’ are the cries for joy, resounding and inciting. Those workers who remain take up the torch as well; not to aid in the capture of the Campbells, rather to band together in revolt. Within the hour of 2 A.M., the light generated by scores of burning buildings illuminates the Midway landscape better than the coming clouded sunrise could hope to.

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There are sporadic rifle shots amidst the chaos, but they are drowned out by the explosions coming from the dynamite shed. The explosive used in stump removal craters straight down to the bedrock.

It feels like a Florida quake after all, epicenter, just outside of Midway. Fort Sumter South shakes to the depth of its old Southern ways, the sound of freedom echoes far and wide. From the slave traders on the Gold Coast in West Africa to the slave markets in Atlanta, Georgia.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Slave Trade

Episode #46


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Christopher Columbus Bio – WIF Confidential

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Fascinating

Facts About

Christopher Columbus

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…

 The elementary school lyrics were the first exposure most students had to the Italian explorer. The line would prove to be some of the only truth told to students about Christopher Columbus and the nature of his explorations into the New World. Was he out to prove that the world wasn’t flat? Was he, in fact, the first man to discover the New World? And how exactly does one discover a place that has millions of inhabitants? Sit back and let the TopTenz team give you the 10 facts about Christopher Columbus that you may not know…

10. Did He Care if the Earth was Flat?

Do you remember being in elementary school and your teacher telling you that Columbus was out to prove the Earth wasn’t flat? We do. For many schools around the United States, teachers used the Flat Earth theory to engage students about the heroic expeditions of Columbus. However, the idea that Columbus was out to prove the Earth was round is just a myth.

Yes, for a period, human beings believed that the world was flat; however, ancient philosophers like Pythagoras came to understand that the world was round in the 6th century BC. You might remember Pythagoras from the Pythagorean theorem… or don’t remember him or geometry much at all. Nonetheless his work, authenticated by Aristotle centuries later, made it very clear that the world was, in fact, round.

What is true is that Columbus underestimated the circumference of the Earth, thinking that Europe was much wider than it was and that Japan was farther from the coast of Asia than it actually was. As a result, Columbus had the false belief that he could reach Asia by going West – a massive miscalculation that led to his discovery of a “New World.”

9. He Struggled Finding Funding for his Voyage

The more one learns about Christopher Columbus, the more his presence in the annals of history seems like a massive insult to the great explorers and thinkers of earlier periods. However, he was persistent. Columbus lobbied European Monarchs and was denied, lobbied, and was denied. That process continued for nearly a decade, with advisers to the Kings and Queens of Europe remarking that Columbus’s math was not just wrong, but embarrassingly wrong. However, Columbus remained steadfast in his beliefs and he was rewarded.

Finally, with the Spanish wars against the Moors coming to an end, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella agreed to finance the voyage. Columbus would sail from Palos, Spain, with three small ships… which we know by now he commanded with misguided maps and calculations. Who could have guessed that this man would make a discovery that would reshape the world?

8. He Wrecked his Ship

The Santa María was the largest of the three ships that embarked on Columbus’s voyage to… ahem, ‘Asia’. And even then, records show that the Santa María was not a particularly large ship, comparable today to a cruising yacht. The Santa María was only about 100 tons with a single deck and three small masts. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean proved fine for Columbus and his men, but the return journey was where tragedy struck.

As children, we probably all asked our parents to hold the steering wheel. How hard could it be? We’d beg and plead and almost always be met with a resounding “No!” That wasn’t the case on the Santa Maria. On the Christmas Eve, 1492, a cabin boy took the wheel and crashed into a coral reef on the northern coast of Hispaniola, close to present day Haitien, Haiti. After two sleepless nights, Columbus had decided to sleep and the crew followed, thinking that the calm night could bring no trouble. They couldn’t have been more mistaken.

Christmas was spent salvaging the remaining cargo, leaving Columbus to return to Spain aboard the Nina. Before leaving, Columbus instructed the crew to build a settlement on the remains of the ship which, they named “La Navidad.” Nearly 40 crew members were left behind at La Navidad, the first European settlement in the New World.

In the fall of 1493, Columbus returned to the settlement and found that none of the crew were alive, describing the La Navidad settlement as being “ burned to the ground.”

7. He Returned to Spain in Shackles

Unfazed by the destruction of his former crew members’ settlement, Columbus decided to rebuild the settlement in a different location. Promising riches to crown and crew member alike, Columbus and his brothers would rule the new settlement with savage cruelty. Believing the island had  great quantities of gold, Columbus forced the native workers into slavery, exploring and mining for gold and rebuilding the settlement. Failure to comply was met with death or the chopping off of limbs.

Convinced that he had found the outer islands of China, Columbus left the encampment for Spain. On his return, he would find the settlement in disarray. Colonists had become embittered with the management of Columbus’s brothers – with some Spanish colonists even being executed at the gallows. The lack of gold and riches also led to many believing that they had been lied to. As a result, colonists complained to the monarchy and a royal commissioner dispatched to the new colony arrested Columbus and brought him back to Spain in chains.The arrest would not hamper Columbus’s explorations, as he would not only be granted his freedom, but also the finances for a fourth voyage.

6. An Eclipse was his Savior

If finding uncharted territory by accident wasn’t enough for you, Columbus would be the beneficiary of even more good fortune while stranded in Jamaica.

 On his fourth and final journey, Columbus promised King Ferdinand the gold that he had so far been unable to fully deliver. In 1502, Columbus set sail, traveling along the eastern coast of Central America – again believing that he was close to find a route to the Indian Ocean. That, he would not find. What he would find was devastating winds; gusts that would wreck one of his ships. Columbus and his men became stranded on the island of Jamaica, where the men’s demands of gold would irritate the natives and lead to their refusal to feed Columbus and his men. Left with little options, Columbus consulted his almanac, realizing that an eclipse was on the horizon. He sought out the natives’ chief and warned him that his God was angry at the lack of food provided for him and his men. He told the natives that a sign would soon come that displayed his God’s anger.

On February 29, 1504, an eclipse would terrify the native population into providing food and trading with Columbus and his party. Months later a rescue party would arrive and Columbus and his men were taken back to Spain.

5. First to Discover New World?

It seems that our Genoese explorer has gotten more credit than he is due. Researchers have confirmed that Christopher Columbus was not the first man to lead a voyage to the Americas. That distinction goes to a Viking, by the name of Leif Erikson.

The exact date is unknown, but scholars put Erikson’s voyage around the year 1000 AD. Son of Erik the Red, Leif Erikson sailed to what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland, but didn’t settle in the area deemed “Vinland.” After staying for a few years, Erikson and his party returned to Greenland, where he described his travels. Proof of the voyage was uncovered by Norwegian Helge Instad and Anne Stine Instad, who found an ancient Norse settlement.

Less plausible theories suppose that an Irish Monk in the 6th century was the first to discover the Americas in a wood-framed boat covered in animal skin. Another theory holds that in the 15th century, Zheng He, a fleet Admiral who had explored Southeast Asia, India, the Persian Gulf, and the East Coast of Africa had also visited the Americas 71 years before Columbus. The best piece of evidence for this claim was the discovery of an old Chinese map that displays an understanding of the world that predates European knowledge of the Americas. Since the map has been revealed, scholars have questioned its authenticity while others remain convinced that Zheng He did, in fact, explore the “New World” before Columbus. It’s not hard to imagine that in some schools in Far East Asia, it was Zhen He “who sailed the ocean blue.”

4. His Adventures After Death

Although we have questioned his mental acumen, what cannot be questioned is Columbus’s adventurousness in his pursuits and explorations. Those qualities would seem to continue into death, as the deceased bodies of Columbus and his son, Diego, were shipped across the Atlantic to Hispaniola (on the request of his daughter-in-law). They were to be interred in a Santo Domingo cathedral.

Nearly 200 years later, when the French captured the island, the Spanish dug up the bodies of both Columbus and his son and shipped them to Seville via Cuba. Upon further examination, a box with human remains and Columbus’s name was discovered at his original resting place in Santo Domingo in 1877. The finding led to the DNA testing of the remains in Seville, which confirmed that some of the remains were those of Columbus. What are we to make of the box in Santo Domingo bearing Columbus’s name, containing human remains? The Dominican Republic has refused to let their findings be tested, so it is entirely possible that parts of Columbus are spread across the Old and New World.

3. Columbus – Slave Trader

“Only a few hundred were left.” That’s all that remained of the Taino population 60 years after first contact with Columbus. Conservative estimates hold that more than 250,000 inhabited the Dominican Republic before his arrival. It’s a startling figure to consider when contemplating the impact of Columbus on the native populations of the New World.

On Columbus’s first trip, he ordered six of the natives to be seized, stating in his journal that he believed they would be good servants. Other accounts depict Columbus and his men riding on the backs of natives like they were horses. Unable to find large quantities of gold, Columbus enslaved many of the native population, brutalizing them in his quest for the riches of the island. Any form of rebellion led to massive bloodshed – with Columbus even ordering their dismembered bodies to be paraded through the streets. Ultimately, it was the disease brought on by the Spanish that killed off most of the population. However, the Taino people live on in their language: Words like “canoe, hammock,  barbeque, and hurricane” have their origins in the Arawak tribe’s tongue.

2. Columbus was Very Religious

Despite his cruel and inhumane acts, Columbus was a fervent Christian. He believed that his voyages were God’s will, and consequently he would go on to name many of the lands he “discovered” biblical names.

The voyages across the Atlantic were not without biblical influence, as Columbus made sure the crew observed religious rites. Every time they turned the half-hour glass, they exclaimed “blessed be the hour of our Savior’s birth/blessed by the Virgin Mary who bore him/and blessed by John who baptized him.” It is also alleged that despite the crude manner of ship life, Columbus never cursed.

His religious feeling were so strong that upon landing on the American mainland and seeing four rivers flowing from the landmass, he was convinced that he had encountered the Garden of Eden.

1. Columbus Brought Syphilis to the New World

Recent reports have come to suggest that Columbus had an even greater impact on world history than we’ve given him credit for. According to skeletal evidence, Columbus and his crew not only introduced the Old World to the New World, but to syphilis as well. It appears that like Vegas, what happens in the New World will stay in the New World… except for venereal disease.

The sexual nature of the syphilis epidemic made it especially contentious in finding its origins.The first known epidemic of syphilis took place in the Renaissance era (1490s). One of the most notable initial cases was its infection of the army of Charles the VIII after he invaded Naples. The disease would go on to devastate Europe, resulting in 5 million deaths.

While still just a widely held theory, scientists believe they were able to prove the disease’s origin by comparing 26 strains of treponemes from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands. The results were that the “strains that caused the sexually transmitted disease originated recently, with their closest relatives being germs collected in South America. In other words, it seems to have come from the New World.”


Christopher Columbus Bio

– WIF Confidential

Africa Undiscovered

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Top Tenz from WIF

Top Tenz from WIF

Top 10 Obscure Facts about Africa

Everybody Needs to Know

Africa’s 19th richest man, Jim Ovia concluded in a recent interview that a man’s wealth means nothing – it’s what he does with it that is truly important. A walking paradox to many people’s notion of what an African is, Ovia is a sophisticated cosmopolitan, a polished and worldly gentleman. The sadly-surprising subject of African billionaires shines light on how there are a multitude of other misrepresented facts on Africa that needs sharing as well. Some of the most sensitive topics regarding Africa and her history have been unnaturally twisted to suit the propaganda and ramblings of Afrocentrics, shady politicians, and complete racists. The fact of the matter is that …

10. Africa is NOT Poor

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We all know that Africa has her fair share of problems, such as an obvious lack of infrastructure, high amount of refugees, high illiteracy rate, corruption, disease, and horrendous famines. Africa’s issues have led to overall low standards of living, life expectancy, and human development.

The truth however, is that while many African people are indeed poor, the African continent in itself is exceptionally rich. It’s rich in resources, fertile land, fresh water, minerals, oil — you name it. In fact, certain African countries are some of the highest mineral and metal exporters in the world, and a few nations have even formed trade blocks to promote their exports. From cars, electronics and jewelry to electricity and oil, Africa’s natural resourcesliterally make the world go round.

9. The Apartheid Struggle Wasn’t Exclusively Black vs. White

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Apartheid was the racial segregation system enforced through legislation by South Africa’s then-ruling National Party from 1948 to 1990. While many are under the impression that apartheid was only fought by black people, the fact is that there were thousands of white anti-apartheid activists. The era even saw the birth of various peaceful and radical resistance movements, such as the Black SashEnd Conscription Campaign, the National Union of South African Students and the African Resistance Movement – all spearheaded by white people. While some sadly planted bombs to get their message across, most of these movements held protests, vigils, plotted strategy, and ran offices throughout the country where support, advice and direct (illegal) assistance were given to black people.

8. Africa has a Ton of Forgotten History

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Many believe that Africa has no history apart from being colonized, plundered, and pilfered. The reality could not be further from the truth. Apart from the magnificent ancient Egyptian monuments in the north, Africa’s other historic sites are just as spectacular and even mysterious, as the ruins oftentimes only yield clues as to its true splendor.

The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are the largest stone ruins in Sub-Saharan Africa. A designated World Heritage site, its towers and structures were built out of millions of rocks, all perfectly balanced on top of each other. Thriving in the 11th century, the rock dwellings spread over 200 square miles. To the West, you have Timbuktu which, by the 12th century, already had three universities teaching more than 25,000 students, libraries, and an infrastructure that would put modern engineers to shame. Fes, Morocco’s 3rd largest city, has existed since 808 AD, and has been called the “Athens of Africa.” The madrasa Al-Qarawiyyin is, in fact, the world’s oldest running educational facility. And do not forget the outstanding rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in East Africa’s Ethiopia, in use since the 12th century. As you can see, the real Africa is rich with history, diversity and culture.

7. Africa has Some of the Most Impressive Greek and Roman Ruins Out There

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The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first Europeans to explore Africa, with Phoenician traders founding Carthage around 800 BC, and Alexander the Great founding Alexandria in 331 BC. As Rome continued its expansion and occupation of North Africa’s coastline, the whole area was eventually unified into the Roman system.

But among the most impressive ancient Greek and Roman ruins in the world are the ancient cities of Cyrene and Leptis Magna in Libya, Africa, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The great city of Cyrene was founded in 631 BC by Greek colonists. Impressive even by modern standards, it had various temples ( including the Temple of Apollo and the Temple to Zeus,) altars, fountains, theaters, and an extensive necropolis featuring rock-hewn tombs that lined the roads leading out of the city. Meanwhile, the ancient city of Leptis Magna is the epitome of Roman Severan urban planning. At its pinnacle, the city’s buildings and immense wealth made it the third-most important city in Africa. The unspoiled ruins include the city’s marketplace, amphitheater, arches, forum, and the spectacular Severan Basilica.

6. The Blood Diamond Trade Doesn’t Just kill Africans

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Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, many people in the world are aware of the blood diamond trade of 2006. For those still unsure of what it means – blood diamonds normally come from war-zones or conflict areas in Africa where they are mined (often through forced labor) and sold to finance terrorism, or to further the objectives of insurgents and warlords. The miners, which include women and children, are essentially used as slaves and suffer every imaginable form of inhuman and degrading cruelty – including bodily mutilations or being hacked to death. When one looks at the horrific statistics, the term becomes painfully clear. Almost 3.8 million deaths can be attributed to diamond-fueled civil wars – eight times more than all the soldiers who died in the US military over the past 70 years.

And if you thought the trade only had African victims, think again. A UN-backed court found that Al Qaeda is spending their terror funds on untraceable illegal diamonds, and have been using the blood diamond trade to finance many of their operations since 1998.

5. Africa Does Not Belong to the “Black” Race

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The complex history of human migration in Africa goes back thousands of years. We know that modern humans started leaving Africa roughly 70,000 years ago. But at least two populations migrated back around 45,000 years ago. These people became the forefathers of the Berber people, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. After the Arab invasions, the Islamic influence spread through almost every aspect of Berber society, to the extent that many people nowadays regard the Berbers as Arabian instead of African, despite the persecution and oppression they have had to endure.

The major differences between North and Sub-Saharan Africa’s linguistic, religious, and cultural development are the result of the barrier created by the Sahara Desert. In South Africa, the indigenous Khoisan or Bushmen are also physically distinct from other African tribes, as are the Pygmies from Central Africa. The vast majority of tribes throughout Sub-Saharan Africa’s ancestors actually migrated from West Africa in what historians call the “Bantu Migrations.”

4. There were Brutal Indigenous African Wars

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There is a widespread Utopian belief that African societies lived in fulfilled and perfect harmony, without wars and oppression and with limited desires, until the European invasions started in the 15th century. This mythical archetype has led to a major socialistideology on the continent that continues to blind its leaders and cripple its economies to this day.

But truth be told, Africa’s military history is one of the oldest in the world. Each and every region in Africa had their ages of great empires. To the West, the Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, and the Kénédougou Kingdom all rose and fell. To the East, the Axumite Empire, Zagwe Dynasty, and Solomonic Dynasty were all involved in wars that saw them conquer and fall. North Africa saw the Egyptians dominate the land of Kush. In the South, the migrating Bantu-speaking tribes arrived from the Great Lakes area and displaced the Khoisan around the 5th century. The great Kingdom of Mutapa’s capital was established after the local Tavara was annihilated, and the San were brutally uprooted by the multitude of Nguni clans, which were ultimately forcibly united by Shaka Zulu.

3. Decolonization Played a Depressing role in Africa’s Modern Issues

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From the 15th century on, Portugal, Spain, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany all laid claim to certain parts of the continent — during the Berlin Conference of 1884, Africa was officially and fully divided between the colonial powers. From the 1950’s to the 1970’s, African countries regained their independence, and African rulers shaped their country’s by either working with or against the European powers.

Unfortunately, the 70 years of official colonization (plus the hundreds of unofficial years beforehand) completely changed the political, economical, and social structures of the African societies. National borders and territorial boundaries, as decided by the European powers, were left in place. This led to various turf-wars and ethnic conflicts. Weak administration of resources, misrule, patrimonialism, and a general lack of education crippled economic development, while Africa’s integration into the global economy saw prices of exports in essence decided by the West. In many instances, foreign aid was only provided once leaders agreed to changes that would benefit those giving aid; even today, the aid oftentimes only serves to fuel civil wars.

2. The African Slave Trade was More Extensive Than We were Taught

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Slavery in Africa has existed for hundreds of years. Historically, slaves were mostly treated as servants, and not as belongings. It also took many forms that do not necessarily fit in with our modern notion of slavery. For example, people could become slaves to repay a debt or pay for a criminal offense.

The well-known Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade flourished from the 15th to the 19th century and took about 12 million slaves from Africa. Surprisingly, according to official records, Great Britain received more than 3 million slaves, whereas the US only got 305,326. However, more than one slave trade blossomed during Africa’s history. The Arab Slave Trade moved over 17 million slaves via the trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes to the East, for example.

And yes, it is a fact that quite a few West African empires thrived on the slave trade. The Oyo Empire (Yoruba), Asanti kingdom, and the kingdom of Dahomey were all actively involved in procuring and selling slaves. In fact, their economies became so dependent upon the trade that their kingdoms ultimately collapsed after the abolition.

The true kicker here is that there was also a Barbary Slave Trade, flourishing between the 16th and 19th century. During the Barbary raids, more than 1.25 million Europeans were kidnapped from Italy, France, Spain, England, and even Iceland, and sold as slaves in North Africa. These European slaves had no hope of buying back their freedom like the Africans taken to America, and instead died as slaves, oftentimes from disease, abuse and starvation.

1. We Really ARE All Africans

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When it comes to the origin of modern man, scholars agree to disagree. The two main theories are called the “Out-of-Africa” and “Multiregional” models. According to the Out of Africa Theory, modern humans evolved solely in Africa and migrated to the rest of the world, replacing the Neanderthals and other earlier human species about 70,000 years ago. The Multiregional Theory contends that the pre-modern Homo erectus left Africa almost 2 million years ago, and that all modern humans slowly evolved in separate regions all over the world.

Apart from the archaeological and anatomical evidence that supports the Out of Africa Theory, the past two decades saw remarkable growth in our abilities to study and analyze DNA. The Genographic Project, launched in 2005, mapped modern man’s migration from Africa by collecting DNA samples from thousands of individuals all over the world. Their findings were remarkable. Apart from confirming that modern man indeed evolved in Africa, they also found that the amount of our genetic variations are so low that all modern humans probably came from as little as 10,000 to 40,000 ancestors. In fact, by studying the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA of several individuals (from the Bushmen to the Yakut in Siberia,) scientists now know that we all probably share two common ancestors – a male ancestor from Africa that lived around 140,000 years ago and a female ancestor from Africa that lived about 120,000 years ago.

Africa Undiscovered