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I have been rather slack about posting to this blog of late, for a couple a reasons, firstly its the season for spending more time with the family , secondly I have been far more focused on my car projects , in particular getting my sports car sorted and fitted with a new manual transmission because the auto I had in it was sounding like a bag of nails and running very badly. having to make a clutch peddle and ensure it works properly took longer than I expected and then I also had to alter the gearshift so that I falls conveniently to hand. The wrenching gods even made the speedo cable a problem as the corolla cable had an incomparable fitting for my Smiths speedo. I solved that one with a short length of fuel line and some hose claps to splice the last inches of my existing cable outer to the end of the Corolla cable.
Any way its time to get back too it but I just feel compelled to share this picture that was posted to my face book time line:
Its nice to see that companies are waking up the the “halal” scam and not letting the politically correct ninnies extort them into endorsing the pernicious ideology of Islam.
Why on earth are the ambos and fireies allowed to use work vehicles for such activities is what I want to know along with the abuses you cite in your . as usually comprehensive article there is the other part of the tactic namely create a pretext for industrial action in the lead up to the election and then sing loud and long that the evil Tories can’t or won’t fix the problem.
Its enough to make anyone hot under the collar Comrade Yale
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.
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.
While the Jihadists may claim to be working for Allah I tend to think that Ebola is gift from Gaia and really it was to some extent inevitable that such a pandemic would arise now that the human population has grown so much .
n the worst-case scenario, Liberia and Sierra Leone could have 21,000 cases of Ebola by September 30 and 1.4 million cases by January 20 if the disease keeps spreading, without effective methods to contain it. These figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported.[…]
At least one aid group working in Liberia is already shifting its focus to teaching people about home care and providing materials to help. Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “I believe inevitably this is going to move into people’s houses, and the notion of home-based care has to play a more prominent role.” He said there could be 100,000 or more cases by the end of 2014.
“Where are they going to go?” Isaacs asked. “It’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”
Though providing home-care kits may seem like a pragmatic approach, some public health authorities said they were no substitute for beds in isolation or containment wards.
But Frieden said that home care had been used to help stamp out smallpox in Africa during the 1960s. The caregivers were often people who had survived smallpox themselves and were immune to it. Some experts have suggested that Ebola survivors might also be employed to care for the sick.
Police are carrying out terror raids across western Sydney.
NSW Police said the operation, which was still ongoing on Thursday morning, was the result of a counter-terrorism operation also involving the Australian Federal Police.
Officers have raided properties in Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.
Hundreds of police officers are believed to be involved in the operation.
A number of arrests have been made, but police would not specify how many.
It is understood that raids are also being carried out in Brisbane.
Further updates were expected later on Thursday morning.
Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.
In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.
Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.
“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.
“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.
For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way. In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?
I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy. Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.
I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.
One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable nor is it to be expected that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another. While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.
Its of course too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of dyed in the wool extreme lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.
I expect there are readers of the Sandpit who are waiting for my next words of wisdom. Well I’m it a bit of a waiting mode too. I have finally connected up our new water-tank I have set it up so that it can both equalize with the house tank and with a bypass that allows me to fill it above what would be the full to the brim level of the house tank. So naturally I’m waiting for it to rain now and the Gods are trying hard to mock my hubris.
In terms of my car building hobby its been a case of one step forward and a couple back. I want to swap out the Honda carbs I have on my sports car for a pair of SUs which I naturally want to rebuild. Naturally enough the mob I order a full kit form have the kit I want on back-order, due late this month. Likewise after a great deal of thought I have decided to fit a manual gearbox . The normal wisdom would be to go for a five speed but I have a very limited budget so I’ve bought a 4 speed out of a KE70 Corolla and guess what I’m waiting for that to be delivered by courier from the importer I bought it from. Those of you who are familiar with my car may be wondering why I chose that particular gearbox well its the manual alternative to the Auto that I currently have in the car which means the adapter plate I made for that box will work for the manual. All I have to do is get a Pulsar flywheel, a Corolla clutch plate make a clutch peddle and of coarse that will all need a bit of finessing . Which means you guessed it more waiting as I try to source all that I will need and waiting between the small amount of time that my pain issues will allow me to tinker with this stuff. What this all means is more waiting…
Hell is the eternal sojourn in a waiting room, where the magazines are filled with print that is just a tiny bit to small to read and the TV plays eternal advertorials for consumer crap that promises far more than it can ever deliver.