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Ring around a Rosey, or a look at how the Black Death of the middle ages is reflected in the current outbreak of a Ebola

In the middle of the 14th century, however, there seemed to be no rational explanation for it. No one knew exactly how the Black Death was transmitted from one patient to another–according to one doctor, for example, “instantaneous death occurs when the aerial spirit escaping from the eyes of the sick man strikes the healthy person standing near and looking at the sick”–and no one knew how to prevent or treat it. Physicians relied on crude and unsophisticated techniques such as bloodletting and boil-lancing (practices that were dangerous as well as unsanitary) and superstitious practices such as burning aromatic herbs and bathing in rosewater or vinegar.

Source

In many ways we can see distinct similarities between the Black Death and the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in western Africa, Like the medieval plague then     there is no known cure for Ebola now and despite all of the wishful thinking, despite all of the advances in medicine in the last 600 years we are just as powerless to stem the spread of this disease. And I am sorry to be the bringer of bad news but I think that this disease is going to have a similar effect on the population of Africa as the Plague had on 14th century Europe. We can certainly expect that the death toll will soar into the millions as efforts to contain it continue to fail.

Why do I expect such a large death toll?

This is a virus that not only spread through the exchange of bodily fluids but also remains active in the items that those fluids fall upon, thus bedding and clothing that the infected have touched becomes vectors for the disease to reach new victims. Add to that cultural practices pertaining to the care of the sick that funds family looking after their own, a low level of education, the effects of other diseases poverty and crowded living conditions and it’s not had to see just how optimistic any suggestion that the disease can be contained are. Just look to the example of the response to one man with the disease who is now gravely ill in the United States to get some idea of just how much effort is needed if you are too truly contain the infection: This level of response is just not possible in third world west Africa and so it seems inevitable to me that the infection is going to spread exponentially just as the black death spread exponentially in 14th century Europe.

So what can the modern west do to help stem the spread of the disease in Africa?

Well not much at all really, we risk losing a large number of our very skilled people if we send them into the disease hot spots firstly because the treatment that is available essentially boils down to trying to keep patients hydrated and waiting to see who has the natural ability to fight the infection.   Those brave souls who are trying to treat the currently infected are trying to do so while wearing Hazmat suits that are essentially a fancy yellow plastic bag which I’m sure you will realize is nothing short of tortuous in the tropical climate of the region. So not only do the health workers run the very real risk of contracting the infection but also they risk dying from heatstroke in the suits they try to prevent infection with. Several health workers who have caught the Ebola virus have been evacuated so that they can be treated in Western hospitals but if the numbers of infected western heath workers were to increase I can foresee the practice of repatriating them being wound back or even abandoned in the effort to contain the disease. Aid in the form of medical supplies, certainly can and should be provided but the major imperative now has to be containment, and quarantine of all parts of Africa where the disease has been found.

The Environmental bigger picture, or accepting the will of Gaia

In the natural world there are clear limits to the population of any species. Be it the amount of substance that a particular species can find or something in the environment that find them tasty and therefore limits their numbers through predation. Human beings are very clever in their ability to eat almost anything that is nourishing and in many ways we have become the apex predator in every part of the eco-system. That in conjunction with our ability to mitigate that other limit to population, disease. Has seen our numbers soar beyond 7billion souls on this small planet. I would seem to me that pandemics are one of the ways that Gaia addresses the problem of too many people on the surface of the planet. Oh humanity certainly has dodged a bullet from pandemics in the recent past. But this disease is not going to be so easily dodged. I think that it has already reached a critical mass that makes it virtually unstoppable. Heck thanks to modern air travel I will be very surprised if is even just contained on the African continent.

 

Things are going to get a great deal worse before they get better

During the Black Death whole towns succumbed to the disease they were left with only the dead in residence sometimes the dead were not even buried and it’s not hard to imagine that happening again in Western Africa if Ebola really starts to take off as I am expecting it to do.

What we need to realize is that modern medicine is good, its clever and its largely been the bringer of better lives for all of those it has touched, from the poor children spared the mortal diseases of childhood that used to take so many children well before they reached maturity to the wonders of surgery that can see the imperfections and damages to our bodies repaired and replaced in a way that would seem magical to a medieval man contemplating the plague yet here we stand in the same place as that medieval man facing a disease pandemic that we cannot stop and a death toll that we dread will be larger than anything humanity has not seen in the last six centuries.

If this danse macabre does play up a storm it will change every aspect of global human society we could well go from a place where the people desperately compete for places in the economy to one where skilled workers will be in very short supply in many parts of the planet. The mechanized west where we already have machines that enable a very small number of people to grow the crops to feed the many or to operate the machines will probably get through this upcoming disaster well enough but any society still that practices subsistence agriculture can expect the same hard times that befell Europe after the plague because there was simply not enough people to plant and harvest the crops. Those who have been worried about climate change May well find all of their concerns are moot because a world with less people on it will not be producing anywhere near the emissions growth they are so certain is the problem. On the other hand the worlds mercantile economy is likely to be severely affected by both the loss of potential customers and the cost of trying to address the disease.

One other thing that we should recognize is that many people see the world through the lens of their religion and those religions that have a millenarian tendency may well see Ebola as some sort of divine retribution for our “sins”. A faith like Islam on the other hand which places such value in the observance of a mass gathering like their Haj could well be both a vector for the spread of the disease and suffer a huge number of casualties among its faithful.

The innocent childhood game of ring around a rosey actually has its origins in the time of the black death.

The innocent childhood game of ring around a rosey actually has its origins in the time of the black death.

If clothes maketh the man ……

 (by Ray Dixon ~ fashion blogger to the manosphere)

Then Barack ‘Beige’ Obama just lost the war against the Islamic State before it even started.

obama-suit 

The ABC reports on Obama’s lack of a cunning plan:

US president Barack Obama says he has asked officials to prepare a range of military options for confronting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and foreshadowed recruiting international partners for potential military action.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

We don’t have a strategy yet.

 But I think that report could have also read:

US president Barack Obama says he has asked his wife Michelle to prepare a range of suit options before he confronts Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and has foreshadowed recruiting international clothing designers for potential (and suitable) apparel.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

“I don’t have a decent suit yet.

 I suggest he tries khaki.

 

Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia

 

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People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.

Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles.  My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly.  With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media  consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.

Cheers Comrades

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Who are the real bigots in the St Pat’s spat? or the proper way to nurture social acceptance

As its a fine Saturday morning and I think that such days are perfect for a change of pace I offer a new topic that I have come across from my subscription to “Spiked”. It concerns the refusal of the St Patrick’s day marches in New York and Boston to allow Gay activists to march under Gay themed banners in their parades. Of course our friends of the pink persuasion are screaming “discrimination” with a great deal of vim and vigour so loudly that you would think that the march organisers were planning to burn a few homosexuals at the stake as part of the celebrations. What I find most worrying about the whole thing is the same “if you don’t support the Gay agenda 110% then you are a bigot” mindset from those homosexual activists who want to hijack the ostensibly Catholic festival to promote their own cause .

 

irish_gay_protestThere have also been reports of people losing employment after it was discovered that they do not agree with gay marriage. A common theme in these reports is that the individuals involved do not appear to dislike gay people, but they have nonetheless been labelled bigots due to their objections to same-sex marriage. Rather than encouraging a live-and-let-live attitude, it appears that some supporters of same-sex marriage seek to find and root out anyone who won’t publicly accept this relatively new institution.

When lawmakers in Arizona introduced a bill last month that sought to clarify whether small business owners like wedding photographers can refuse work on religious freedom grounds, there was little consideration in the media of the legal pros and cons. Few highlighted that the existing law allows private vendors to refuse work on the grounds of sexual orientation, and thus continues after the governor vetoed the bill. Instead, the proposed law was greeted with a hysterical campaign to label it ‘anti-gay’ and ‘Jim Crow’ (an historically illiterate comparison, beginning with the fact that Jim Crow was enforced by state law and businesses that refused to obey it could be prosecuted).

These tendencies to demonise dissent are visible in the campaign against the St Patrick Day parades. There is a rush to label any disagreement with gay marriage or gay culture as out-and-out ‘bigotry’. There is a desire to not simply state that certain views of gays are wrong, but to have those views silenced. And there is an operation to target and scare corporations that are associated with such views. Gay activists threatened a campaign against corporations in Arizona, including the National Football League for holding the Super Bowl in the state, if the recent bill passed. Similarly, they pressured St Patrick’s Day sponsors like Samuel Adams and Heineken to withdraw support. This is the top-down, elite-led politics of name and shame, rather than a properly liberal campaign that draw upon popular support.

What we are witnessing is an attack on those who don’t share today’s pro-gay outlook. Some may want to opt out of this Culture War, but the war increasingly won’t allow there to be any bystanders. Instead, there is pressure to conform. Even if it does not spill over into the political or legal world, such conformism is problematic for the free flow of ideas.

The sky will not fall if gays and lesbians are allowed to march in the Boston and New York St Patrick’s Day parades. But we will create a conformist, intolerant and unfree society if we do not allow space for the expression of different views, including traditional religious teachings about homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

source

The title of the article asks Who are the real bigots in the St Pat’s spat? and I can’t avoid concluding that its the very noisy Gay activists who are using every possible way to bully people into “endorsing” to their position. I can’t help thinking that this may well back fire on them and lead to a backlash that seriously damages the hard earned public good will towards homosexuality that has been steadily been accruing over the last few years. Social acceptance can be most fragile flower that needs nurture and careful cultivation and it can be oh so easily lost if you start tearing up the field with loud and noisy tractors instead of well directed hand tools.

Cheers Comrades

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The Fate of Traitors

I suspect that after a substantial part of his bid has been served that Bradley Manning may just wish that he had been convicted of the most serious charge so that he could have had the “green dream” or an appointment with a firing squad rather than spending the rest of his life within the walls of a military prison .

click  for source

click for source

As the US military justice system is not so inclined to make sentences for multiple crimes run concurrently, choosing instead to make them cumulative its very likely that Manning will spend the rest of his life behind bars this is of course going to be a most timely reminder of the fate that awaits all traitors and oath breakers…
Now if only they could send in a Seal teem to liberate Julian  Assange from tat embassy room in London they could have a nice show trial and then…
Cheers Comrades

sadly too true

if you aid the enemy, then you are the enemy


Cue:- Richard Ryan

Death of a bird on a wire

Just a quickie on this because I am rather surprised at the popularity of the load of tosh

acrobat splat

Sarah Guyard, who media reports identified as a 31-year-old mother of two, fell to her death towards the end of the circus’s popular Ka production staged at the MGM Grand casino on Saturday.

Witnesses quoted by US media reports said Ms Guyard fell from a height of around 15 metres as she was being hoisted upwards on a wire for one of the show’s battle scenes.

It is believed to be the first fatality in the history of Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian-based animal-free circus troupe known for its offbeat performances.

“[Ms Guyard] was being hoisted up the side of the stage and then just plummeted down,” witness Dan Mosqueda told the Las Vegas Sun.

“A lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the choreographed fight.

“You could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage.”

source

Its of course a tragedy for the family of the late performer and I offer my condolences to them without reservation. However that does not alter the fact that the Cirque du Soleil is boring and pretentious and and rather “Gay” . Its rather like the ballet as far as I can see and that is no recommendation.  Sorry folks  but I’m feeling a bit cynical this morning as I’m off to the pain clinic  and I’m not really looking forward to the drive that much.

Cheers Comrades

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Waleed Aly and The Game of Drones

Like a lot of minions of the left Waleed Aly has a rather warped view of the morality of war and he is very clearly bemoaning the fact that in the age of the drone the Jihadists really have no where to hide. The sadly amusing part of his argument against drones is that that he whines about the prospect of non combatants being killed when Jihadists are taken out yet he does not say a single word about just why the strikes are both necessary and justified.  Like a lot of people who follow the religion of peace he seems incapable of enunciating any sort of criticism of the Jihadists and their “struggle” with modern secular society.  Without their ever present ideology of death to unbelievers and the establishment of a global caliphate not a single helfire missile would need to be fired from a drone.

Then in his conclusion Waleed gives us the “lack of honour ” argument about the use of drones:

click for source

click for source

Pardon me Waleed but your argument begs the question of the morality of the deliberate  targeting of civilians by the Jihadists that you are implicitly defending here.  They have killed many thousands of civilians in the name of your Prophet and your God  and yet you whine a bout the possibility of a “non combatant” being killed while in the company of a Jihadist? Call me mad if you like but when it comes to the relative virtue of each side in the war against the Jihadists the Americans come out orders of magnitude better. None the less war in all of its guises is a dirty and bloody business where nothing matters if you don’t win.  Its not a game where each side will  respect a set of rules invented by the arm chair moralists its always about that final move that will make your side prevail.

Waleed has obviously been reading too much King Arthur and not enough Game of Thrones if he thinks that you can defeat a dishonourable enemy like the Jihadists by treating war against them like a sporting competition. The currency of the Jihadists is that anything goes against the unbelievers and before the development of the killer drone the only way to destroy them required  many boots on foreign soil, now it doesn’t and I for one fully endorse the use of technology  that makes every big league Jihadist tremble with fear every time he steps out into the open, or drives from one spider hole to the next, The Jihadists started the “war on terror” so its only justice that now they should live in the terror of the unannounced death from above.

Cheers Comrades

sadly too true

Waleed needs to look at the Jihadists before he condemns the use of drones

Charles Ramsey – HERO !!

(by Ray Dixon)

“You’ve got some big testicles to pull that off, bro” (Charles Ramsey expressing surprise that his next-door neighbour was secretly keeping 3 women hostage)

I don’t know if there’s a reward for the rescue of the three women who had been held captive for 10 years in a Cleveland Ohio house but, if so, it just has to go to this bloke, next-door-neighbour Charles Ramsey.

And not just because Ramsey’s the one who answered the distressed calls of Amanda Berry and got her out of the house leading to a 911 call that then led to the rescue of the other two (and subsequent arrest of the owner and his two brothers), but also – and mainly – for this incredible and hilarious impromptu interview he gave to a TV journo soon after.

Make sure you watch it – it really picks up half way through. Ramsey’s a natural, almost a comedian. And, in my sincere opinion, he IS a true hero and deserves $1 million or more for what he’s done.

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