Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ebola and Islam the perfect storm?

I'm not a Muslim, I don't have any Muslim friends, and I'm not terribly interested in the religion except as it relates to the existence of evil in the world, so for the following discussion, I'm relying on internet look-ups and perhaps imperfect knowledge. Based on what I've learned, it seems that living the life of a Muslim means a lot of washing! Muslims have a call to prayer five times every day, but before they can pray they must be clean. The following verse is from the Qur'an, Surah 5:
O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful.
So right off the bat Muslims are already used to a much higher level of ritualistic cleanliness that goes hand in hand with the similar steps necessary to prevent Ebola infections.
Giving tips on how to reduce the chances of contracting the virus, especially in schools, a senior nurse at a primary health center at Ketu, Lagos, who declined having her name in print, urged parents and school teachers to teach the students to properly wash their hands as often as possible, avoid putting their hands in their mouths and to as much as possible, avoid shaking or having body contact with people. 
“Since the virus grows on body openings like eyes and mouth among others, and is passed through body fluids, it is important for people, especially children and their teachers, to adopt the seven steps of hand washing and wash their hands regularly since the children are prone to putting their hands into their mouths or rubbing their eyes. 
“It is not just enough to wash your hands with soap but to learn the seven steps of hand washing which allow you to thoroughly scrub your hands. Hand sanitizers can come in handy, especially when one doesn't have access to water. Though these are not the full solution but could go a long way in saving lives.”
Ebola is spread by bodily fluids like saliva, sweat, urine, blood, vomit, feces and ejaculates. Unlike colds flues and other airborn viruses, you are unlikely to catch Ebola unless there is touching, and/or close physical contact with an infected person. As a matter of etiquette Muslims only touch others with their right hand. They use their left hand to do unsanitary things, like cough into, sneeze into, wipe with, pick their nose with, etc. Their right hand is used to eat with, touch the Qur'an, and so on. Logically, if you are ritualistically conditioned to never rub your eyes, pick your nose, touch your naughty bits with your right hand and you only touch people with the right hand then you are very much less likely to spread Ebola to others.

Furthermore, Muslim women are kept in seclusion, and when they are allowed to venture outside in the accompaniment of a male member of the family, they're always covered from head to toe in thick protective clothing, so they are very much less likely to come into contact with Ebola victims. Therefore, logically, only the Muslim men are likely to infect others and even then only with their right hands, and don't forget they've already washed that hand several times today.

Finally, no sane human being would use a highly contagious disease as a weapon, for fear that the virus they intentionally spread would come back around and infect their own population along with the enemy. Notice I used the word "sane"?

For the reasons given above, it seems almost inevitable that in the coming days Ebola will be used as a weapon of terror by fanatical Islamic jihadists  to attack either Israel or the United States. Muslim daily rituals, seclusion of women, polite Muslim etiquette, and fervent maniacal belief in their own righteous invulnerability almost guarantees this ineluctable future event.

When you read the obligatory paragraphs of pablum meant to ease your mind and allay your every concern, remember that they don't bother including malevolent intent in their "Don't Worry" essay .

Saturday, September 6, 2014

One-Eyed Jack Top 20 sci-fi and fantasy authors and the best of their books

Page-Turners
Did you ever buy a book with wonderful, almost reverential, reviews, and then sit down full of expectation, anticipation and just sheer joy, but then when you actually began reading the book, nothing much seems to be happening? Pages go by. More pages go by. Oh hurrah they're throwing a big party. Everyone's having a great time. Uh-oh, somebody's messing with the fireworks. Ha-Ha-Ha stupid Pippin and Took! And more pages go by. AND NOTHING IS HAPPENING! This is supposed to be the best fantasy of all time? Seriously? Who has time to read one-hundred pages of nothing much happens? Two-hundred pages ... I've probably read more books than anybody you know. But I couldn't—I won't!—read this. Because after 3000 pages I expect something a little more earth-shaking than finally managing to throw the shiny MacGuffin into a volcano. I've read most of the books written by the authors listed below, and they wouldn't be listed below if I had ever once furiously hurled one of their most vaunted and acclaimed novels into my fireplace.


Prolific
What I want most from my favorite authors are books. You're a writer; so write! My top 20 list includes both sci-fi and fantasy authors, although they frequently cross-over from fantasy to sci-fi and vice versa. Every member of my top 20 list has a fairly lengthy bibliography.

Convenient
As Stephen King would say, the world has moved on. Libraries and book stores are next in line for the economic chopping block. It wasn't that long ago that people went to places called Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. It wasn't that long ago that people rode on wooden contraptions pulled by horses or mules. All the authors listed below have many titles available electronically. Lie in your bed, or sit on your couch and simply click a few links and presto! You'll be reading a great book.



  1. Brandon Sanderson — I first started reading Sanderson's books because he took over the Wheel of Time saga when Robert Jordan passed away before concluding his epic saga that I had been reading for more than twenty years. Sanderson did a masterful job in finishing it and tying up all the literally thousands of loose ends. The Wheel of Time is the greatest epic fantasy saga of all time. I can't praise it highly enough. Every page has something exciting happening. Sanderson's contribution to the Wheel of Time was so impressive that I started reading his other books...all of them. I haven't yet read a book by Brandon Sanderson that wasn't thrilling. Sanderson's best work in my opinion is the Stormlight Archive 01 - The Way of Kings and the Stormlight Archive 02 - Words of Radiance is equally wonderful. You can pick anything written by Brandon Sanderson and you won't be disappointed.
  2. Robert Jordan — He wrote the Wheel of Time series. From the very first page of the very first book The Eye of the World, you'll be hooked. You won't be able to put it down. I read and reread the entire series every time Jordan came out with the next sequel. Eleven books read and re-read over and over and they never got old! Robert Jordan would have been number one on my list if he'd lived long enough to complete his masterpiece. 
  3. Orson Scott Card — His book Ender's Game is widely considered to be the best science fiction book ever written. I particularly enjoyed his Ender's Shadow series featuring a lesser known character named at first simply Bean—and later known as Julian Delphiki, Jr. Recently Orson Scott Card has begun collaborating with another author—Aaron Johnston—on a series called The Formic Wars, of which three thrilling books have been written. Trust me, you'll want to read them.
  4. Terry Goodkind — The Sword of Truth series is epic fantasy that thrills from page one to ... a lot of pages later. There are currently 13 books written and I've loved them all. I particularly enjoyed book six titled: Faith of the Fallen. In it he explores a fantasy world where collectivism is the regime and degradation, starvation, and misery are the rule.
  5. George R.R. Martin — This author is at the top of every popular list. His Song of Ice and Fire series aka Game of Thrones is widely acclaimed. I have enjoyed every book—although I haven't been enjoying waiting and waiting for book six. He's got another series that is not nearly so popular as Ice and Fire, but in my opinion incredibly entertaining. It's called Wildcards. and if you liked comic-book superheroes and super-villains as a kid, you'll love this series as an adult.
  6. Lawrence Watt-Evans — His Ethshar series has always been one of my favorites. Each book is set in the same fantasy land called Ethshar, but features entirely new characters and plots. You never know where he'll go next. My favorite is called Spell of the Black Dagger, but they're all wonderful, whimsical, and escapist fantasy of the first order. 
  7. Gordon R. Dickson — He's a prolific writer who's particularly good at interweaving philosophy and fiction. My favorite work by Dickson is his Childe Cycle series and particularly book one: Dorsai! I also got a kick out of The Right To Arm Bears but for a completely personal reason that those who know me will understand and those who don't ... won't.
  8. L.E. Modesitt — Although best known for his Recluce series (Yes, that's how it's spelled.) my favorite series by L.E. Modesitt is the Forever Hero trilogy. It shouldn't be missed by anyone who considers himself a science fiction aficionado. He's written a lot of books from the Recluce series, and the Imager trilogy, to the Corean Chronicles and the Spellsong cycle. 
  9. Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle — They've each written at lot of great science fiction, but together they wrote two books that have fascinated and horrified me by equal turns. Their books feature helpful aliens we call "Moties" and if they seem lovable and friendly, well, you just need to step back and take another look. The first book The Mote in God's Eye, begins with a strange alien ship that sails into our solar system propelled by a a laser that is based light years away in a vast dust cloud, or nebula. It's a really great book, and an excellent answer to the question: in Darwin's world, what if mankind isn't the fittest?
  10. Raymond E. FeistThe Magicians Apprentice simply shouldn't be missed. It's at the top of many fantasy favorite lists with good reason. Feist doesn't waste any time boring you with pointless prose as plots and counterplots split, and re-split again and again until it seems as though a hundred different balls are being juggled at once. Then Feist takes all these separate threads—the characters and their different exigencies—and culminates the story by reweaving the tangled mess into an incredible and masterful conclusion.
  11. Piers Anthony — His Xanth series is fun and fast paced. You'll groan and groan again as puns abound. My favorite series by Piers Anthony is called the Apprentice Adept Series. It's a whimsical look at a land split into science-fiction on one side and fantasy on the other.  I also really enjoyed his much much darker series entitled: Bio of a Space Tyrant. Not for faint of heart or subject to nausea, Anthony describes a future in space that resembles a time not too long ago on the high seas when pirates and evil men ruled with cannon and sword, and rape and plunder were the order of the day.
  12. Alan Dean FosterFlinx and his mighty mini-drag Pip are just too much fun. You'll also love the fantasy realm of Foster's Spellsinger series. Foster has a lengthy bibliography and if you enjoyed Star Wars, guess what? 
  13. J.V. Jones — although this writer doesn't have the impressively lengthy bibliography that the other authors on this list have, her Sword of Shadows series is so incredibly good that there was no way I would leave her off. I've been waiting and waiting for her next, because much like George R.R. Martin when she finally delivers the next in the series, I know I won't be disappointed. 
  14. R.A. Salvatore — Have you read the Dark Elf trilogy? WTF! Get it now! Salvatore writes in elegant prose and succeeds in describing evil in such glittering perfection and yet with such monstrous thoroughness that you will be held spellbound. Imagine one good person born in hell, raised by demons. Trained to fight by a devil. That person is Drizzt Do'Urden.
  15. Dave Duncan — The first books I read by this author were from the Seventh Sword series. It was a fascinating juxtaposition of swords and gods on the one hand and the inevitable intrusion of science on the other. Later I read his four book A Man of His Word series and I can tell you that this was some incredibly suspenseful storytelling! Don't miss the next four in the same universe entitled: A Handful of Men.
  16. Steve PerryThe Man Who Never Missed, the first book in the Matador series, is the kind of book that changes you.  The person I was when I began reading that book, wasn't the same person by the end. It's not just thought provoking; it's not just entertaining. Most of us believe we're powerless. We are one vote among hundreds of millions—ultimately and statistically insignificant. The universe by Steve Perry introduces insignificant people who refuse to be ignored. All that aside the Matador series is tremendously entertaining.
  17. Frank HerbertDune a book read by millions and millions. It's considered one of the best in science fiction and with good reason. The plot is rich and interwoven with a metaphysical idée fixe called Melange. The books themselves will pull you out of yourself. You'll forget for a time who you are and find yourself transported into a malevolent world of betrayal where seemingly Darwin's survival of the fittest has run amok.
  18. Steven King — The word "prolific," is completely incapable of conveying the massive library this author has compiled. King is a workhorse and the plow he tills the soil with is a typewriter. (probably a keyboard these days) Have you read The Stand? Some might argue that it's not sci-fi because there are no spaceships or light-sabers. Some might argue that it's not fantasy because they're no elves, wizards or dragons. To me it's a crossover. The Stand is a combination of contemporary humanity combined with a disease—think Ebola—the end of the world, and finally the epic showdown between God and Satan, good vs. evil. All that in just one book. (King has written so many books that I don't think even he knows how many there are.) You have to read the seven book Dark Tower series, Firestarter, The Mist... King's ability to weave a story out of just about anything is uncanny, and often horrifically disturbing.
  19. Julian May — I first started reading her with a book called: The Many Colored Land. This book is a cross between science and fantasy. Bored twenty-first century would-be explorers could take a one-way trip back in time to the Pliocene epoch, to a particular river valley doomed to be swallowed by massive volcanic eruptions. A dead end in the distant past with a window of opportunity was available for the daring few to escape their endless ennui. No time paradoxes are possible because nothing and no life form will be able to survive the coming apocalypse. Imagine their surprise to discover they were not alone!
  20. Steve Miller & Sharon Lee — I don't enjoy romance novels. With that said, if the writers are talented and their subject is fascinating, I can be persuaded to take part. Forget that the Liaden novels are inherently romance novels. The plots are so sophisticated, thrilling, and enjoyable that the romance takes a back seat. Don't worry; there's no heaving bosoms or explicit sexual descriptions. The stories center around a world called Liaden where cut-throat entrepreneurs wheel-and-deal and those who can't cut the mustard often have their throats ... well ... you get the idea.

This list is incomplete. There are many other authors who deserve to be here. In truth if I was fair-minded enough, and stubborn enough I'd list my top one-hundred. Unfortunately there's just so much time in the day and just so much energy I have left. 

I'll finish with this thought: Song writers can fool all of the people some of the time with three minutes of violent grating noise. Painters can fool some of the people all of the time with shit in a can or piss in a jar. But when you sit down with a book, you're endeavoring to spend many hours seeking understanding of the writer's vision. We who read are not fools. We're not reading to enhance our own popularity. We read because we truly enjoy being entertained. If you write boring long-winded meandering chapters that begin nowhere and end nowhere, then the only people you'll fool are the people who claim they love Tolkien. 

P.S. Didja-ya ever notice that LOTR fans are always watching soap operas, reality shows, and Broadway musicals?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I've got a bad feeling, a helpless feeling.

Russia invades Ukraine. The Ebola plague continues to spread exponentially. ISIL forces take more territory and commit further brutal atrocities. The economy continues to stagnate, and honesty, with war and rumors of war, it's got me wondering, what's next?

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I spend my days distracted. I can't concentrate completely on any task because in the back of my mind I'm waiting. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or the sword to fall. I talk with co-workers and they also feel a similar unease. Obama fiddles while America burns or maybe he rearranges the deck chairs while America sinks. Pick your own cliché because there's something rotten in Denmark, is my feeling. Mitt Romney's famous "forty-seven percent" have already grown to more than fifty percent according to the Census Bureau. There are less people working than there are people who collect welfare.

So on the one hand it's war and rumors of war, on the other it's a plague, and all I can do is wait and worry. And while waiting occasionally I cringe as I imagine the crack of the whip or the fall of the sword. I wait blindly in the dark for the peal of thunder as the first of the Seven Seals is opened at last.
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
I've never felt this level of pressure before. I feel, believe, have a hunch, or perception that we stand at the brink.

When I was ten years old I got a miniature collie, a Sheltie, for my birthday.

One day when "Foxie" was ten months old, she got outside through a not quite shut front door while my grandmother and I were unloading groceries from the car. She made a beeline straight for the road—a fairly busy road. I watched parallelized as a car doing more than forty miles per hour ran over her, and screeched to a halt with smoking tires fifty feet down the road. It all happened in an instant. That feeling, that helpless feeling of impending doom as I waited to assess the final outcome is what I feel today, every day. Foxie wasn't run over by the tires. The car body passed over her without crushing her. She was greasy and scared and she ran yelping to me for comfort. As I gathered her up, I remember falling to the ground shuddering in relief as the adrenaline continued to pump through me. That feeling of impending doom is the feeling I feel everyday now. Back then when my arms were full of groceries and my puppy first pushed her way through the front door I was a bystander completely helpless. That's the way I feel, now.

I don't know what's going to happen. I don't think anybody does, but I've got a really bad feeling about it, a helpless feeling.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Laying blame in Ferguson is like peeling an onion

No one seems to be talking about the daily threat to life and limb that police officers endure. There is almost no reporter attempting to discuss what is really going on. This huge man, a thug, having robbed a store and beaten up the clerk, was resisting a police officer's repeated verbal commands. A thug who obviously thought the police were on to him and his criminality. It ended the way Michael Brown wrote the script of his life. There lies the blame for it all -- in a pool of his own blood. Thank goodness it wasn't the other way around, with another officer gone, trying to do his job in service to the community.

The police have every right to turn these neighborhoods into militarized zones with curfews and crackdowns. And more than that, an obligation to bring order to these inner-city cesspool plantations created by Democrat policies. Entitlement programs give rise to feral living and immorality -- especially after the people turn against law and order, equity and justice, civility and right, and stampede the businesses of others and take that which is not theirs. What do you do with an entire community of thieves?
Well, David S. Whitley, how did they become a "community of thieves?" Are you suggesting that this is their normal state of being? Furthermore, can't you see that the in-your-face provocation of cops dressed as storm troopers literally throwing their weight around, tossing tear-gas grenades, shooting rubber bullets, pushing, shoving, arresting, in ghetto neighborhoods—where they hate cops anyway—is insanely misguided, and perhaps intentionally so?

Looking at the raw numbers, the facts are clear: Police shoot civilians at four times the rate that civilians shoot cops. I'm not suggesting that this is bad. I'm not admitting that it's okay. What I'm saying is that perhaps police training should focus less on the gun and more on the people. To my mind, both Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police department are somewhat complicit in this entire destructive debacle. Isn't it possible that all of this could have been handled differently? Perhaps there wasn't an opportunity. Perhaps their wasn't sufficient training or equipment. Perhaps training officers to draw and fire as a reflex is a mistake.

I'll start with this presupposition: an individual law enforcement officer's success is defined not by how many crimes are prevented, but by how many criminals are put in prison. A patrols officer's success is not determined by how many people are obeying the speed limit, but by how many speeding tickets are handed out. Time after time in case after case law enforcement success is determined not by how many victims are hurt but by how many criminals are punished. Can't you see how horribly misguided our system is?

Not to put too fine a point on it, the job of law enforcement should be to decrease the instances of law-breaking. That is all. Instead it seems to me—albeit through my own admittedly limited viewpoint—that law enforcement has forgotten what they are actually supposed to be doing and instead are engaging in pure one-upmanship and grandstanding simply for the notoriety and the admiration of their peers. The object of law enforcement should be much more about preventing crime, and not nearly so much about solving it after it's already happened. Law enforcement should be proactive not reactive. The example in Ferguson Missouri is merely another case in point.

Lacking specific information about the Ferguson case, I'm not going to level accusations regarding the criminality of the shooting or lack thereof. I think we'll all agree however that the militarization of law enforcement has in recent years become more and more obvious and ominous to all of us who watch it happen. But there's a whole lot more to consider.

Consider the outraged population in Ferguson demonstrating peacefully. They may not yet be throwing bottles and rocks, or setting fires, but even lacking these outward signs of rage, don't believe for one second that they are not all enraged to the breaking point. The protesting blacks in Ferguson all have one thing in common: they don't like the police. In a word they HATE the police. Police have come to symbolize and represent the systemic lack of black wealth, status, and power. The black race's near inability to shape their own destinies, to live as free men, to matter at all is expressed in this animalistic chaotic self-defeating violence that just won't go away.

Now don't get me wrong. I didn't say the rioting blacks in Ferguson who blame whites in general and the police specifically are correct in their judgment. Obviously black people themselves are the primary cause of their own misery. Whether they realize it or not, they are the architects of their own ghettos and their own prisons. They've built prisons for their own minds and there they are kept—or perhaps the better turn of phrase would be—there they stay.

The liberal left's decision to "empower" women by separating the fact of fatherhood from the responsibilities of fatherhood is the single most attributable cause of their suffering. We know from countless studies that children who grow up in families lacking a father-figure have vastly lower chances of positive outcomes. Another factor that must be considered in black suffering, is the negative consequence of being a studious black. Blacks reading text-books are ridiculed and tormented by their less studious peers as "acting white." Therefore consider their lives:
  • Everyone they know lives in section 8 housing
  • No father at home
  • Everyone they know buys food with an EBT card
  • Peers ridicule anyone who succeeds at school
  • Street gang members are admired
  • Popular entertainment features profanity and violence
In the computer programming profession we have an often used acronym: GIGO. It means garbage in garbage out. Well GIGO applies to people and society also. In the ghetto it's also garbage in garbage out. We're not going to turn out civilized productive members of society from the urban jungle where we house, clothe, and feed the savages who've enchained themselves therein.

How did these urban jungles develop? It was a series of ostensibly well-meaning, but ultimately misguided decisions by our leftists in Washington. Lyndon Banes Johnson famously stated to two governors on Air Force One:
"I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."

"These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference."
So there's the picture drawn for you. There's the powder-keg all set up next to the munitions factory with the fuse sticking out. Now, some would argue that Darren Wilson lit the fuse. Others would argue that it was Ferguson police wearing their battle armor, wielding their AR-15s and arriving in their armored Humvees and half-tracks, who lit the fuse. There are plenty of people around the country who place the blame solely on a trouble-making eighteen year-old who was apparently a strong-arm robber who needed cigars to roll his marijuana blunts with. We can argue back and forth about who lit the fuse of this powder-keg but I'd like to know who the son-of-a-bitch is who made the powder-keg and put it there in the first place.

The evidence I've seen places the blame primarily on the left, on the entitlement society, on presidents past and present who continually exacerbated an ever worsening situation until today we're at the verge of a full-on race war. And maybe, just maybe that was the plan all along?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Oh noes! Computer climate models are deniers, too!

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently requested a figure for its annual report, to show temperature trends over the last 10,000 years there seemed to be an evident problem.

Zhengyu Liu from the University of Wisconsin says that data from observation suggests that the Earth is cooling while the physical data suggests the complete opposite.

The problem has been termed the Holocene temperature conundrum. It has tremendously important implications for understanding climate change and evaluating climate models. The authors have however emphasized that this does not negate the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century. The question however remains, who is right? Liu suggests that maybe none of us are completely right, he suggests a data problems or perhaps a model problem, for example some physical mechanisms may be missing from the model.
Have you ever wondered what is wrong with some people? Their actions simply make no sense, whatsoever. In the Global Warming debate, there is this cadre of hardcore die-hard left-wing maniacs nuts and moonbats, possessing a near messianic zeal to drag mankind—some of us kicking and screaming—back to our pre-industrial roots. If you look back at that pre-industrial 'golden-age,' you'll find famine, plague, pestilence, grinding poverty, high infant mortality, and early death.

They say we have to stop the carbon emissions. They say we're filling up the air with our exhalations, engine exhaust, and coal-powered electrical plant emissions. Not just the USA, but the entire world must change—and soon—or it's "pockseclipse full of pain!"



There's a term for the world these climate "scientists" want: Dystopia. It's the stuff of both history and science-fiction. But see, now that's all going to change! Now that scientists have admitted discovered that their computer models are massively costly mistakes, publicly funded catastrophes, asinine boondoggles, etc., finally they'll all go back to doing their scientific investigations using that old dust-covered relic known as the scientific method ... won't they?
The Frustrating Climate Change Memes That Just Won’t Die
By Rebecca Leber @rebleber

Whenever I write about climate change, deniers quickly respond that I have it all wrong. Global warming actually stopped over a decade ago, they say. Sometimes they even supply a chart. Yesterday, I wrote about why this argument is completely wrong and why this myth persists. I cited a NASA scientist in my defense. But the reaction was more of the same: On Twitter, some called me a liar or, at best, willfully ignorant of the giant hoax.

Really, why don’t these memes ever go away? Climate deniers twisted NASA atmospheric scientist Norman Loeb’s words last week when he tried to explain that the recent slowdown in temperature rise, something scientists have observed for a while, is very much consistent with global warming. The reason: Oceans are heating up, while surface temperatures are still at their hottest. The deniers never tell that part.
Both of the articles that were quoted in this blog were published today, August 12, 2014. One article refreshingly offers hope that actual scientists using actual scientific observation might one day somehow derail the established IPCC Pharisees riding their gravy train down to Dystopia Town.

The other article is the kind we see much more commonly. It was yet another in the litany of jeremiads lamenting we oafish global warming deniers. It was yet another mocking screed published by the same sort of dunce who persists in arrogantly flaunting their wholly unearned degrees and laurels. It was yet further evidence that a degree is a net negative. After four or more years of "higher" education, graduates walk away from these storied campuses more ignorant than the day they first walked in.

The pseudo-intellectual rabble who currently infest modern-day universities are the sort who never once in their entire lives questioned the asinine dogma handed down by latter-day climate Pharisees. Warmists decided on a goal—a drastic reduction in humanity's average standard of living. They invented a plausible rationale—CO2 was acting as a green-house gas causing increasing global temperature. Finally, they gathered together, and circled their wagons. To them measured debate consists of simply mocking anyone who questions their "science."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A little concerned about Ebola yet?

The African Ebola outbreak may or may not have caught your attention, but it would be wise to remain extremely vigilant. While the relatively light sprinkle of disease remains far away in Africa, if it spreads widely through Nigeria—the most populous country in Africa—it will become increasingly difficult to control the outbreak and the light sprinkle of disease will grow into a torrential downpour of literally biblical proportions.

All the talking heads assure us that there's nothing to worry about. Go on about your business they say. Nothing to see here. Move along. They assure us that our chances of catching Ebola are so minuscule that it might as well be an Ebola lottery ticket. The headline at the Boston Globe asks: What are your chances of getting Ebola?. Reading the story assures us that there's absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact we should be more concerned about the flu:
News about the widening Ebola outbreak seems to get more alarming by the day. So far, roughly 1,700 people have been infected and over 900 have died. Last Friday, the World Health Organization said the spread of the virus was outpacing their response. And two American doctors who contracted the disease have been taken back to the US for treatment.

If these headlines have left you wondering whether we are fast approaching a global pandemic with scenes reminiscent of movies like “Outbreak” and “28 days later,” here are two things to keep in mind.

First, while Ebola is an extremely virulent disease, its impact pales in comparison to other global killers like measles, AIDS, or even the flu.

Second, the likelihood of Ebola spreading across the US is vanishingly small. It isn't a particularly contagious disease, and in a developed country with strong health infrastructure, it probably wouldn't spread much at all.
It turns out that in the United States the mortality rate for the flu is about 15 per 100,000. That's a little over one hundredth of one percent, or one in 6666 people.

As for measles, even before the vaccine, the mortality rate was infinitesimal, but today it's not really a factor at all. Finally there's the HIV virus that causes AIDS. It is of course still a deadly disease that is incurable and often fatal. However, if you simply refrain from having unprotected sex and sharing needles, you're just not going to get it. So please allow me to dispense with patronizing reassurance number one. This Ebola outbreak is killing six out of ten. That's Russian Roulette with four chambers loaded. Comparing Ebola to the flu is like comparing a tsunami to a frog leaping off a lily-pad in some pond.

As for bromide number two: Ebola's basic reproduction number is lower then some of mankind's previous plagues, but even so it's still above one. That means that a person with Ebola on average is likely to spread it to at least one to four other people—and possibly considerably more. What that means is that if Ebola comes here, it's likely to spread—if slowly. Diseases that can spread do spread. Short of declaring martial law and forcing everyone to stay in their homes, contagious diseases are simply going to spread.

One last thing to think about. Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organization is already in the Ebola infected area. What is to prevent one or more infected terrorists from coming here and intentionally spreading the virus? The symptoms aren't visible or detectable until as many as twenty days after initial infection. Therefore, if they could spread Ebola here, why wouldn't you suppose they would? An Ebola infected terrorist feverishly trying on a hundred different shirts at Wal-Mart would be terrifyingly effective. As would a symptomatic terrorist pushing his way through a crowded subway during rush-hour.



This current Ebola outbreak may well be contained and eventually die out, but blithely publishing pacifying platitudes and bromides in that smug supercilious way that media figures do when they feel safe in their snug little cocoons does a great disservice to their readers. Don't try to scare us, but also, don't try to coddle us either.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if obsessive compulsive disorder might not be a survival trait. I've often sneered at the nervous-nellies who first swab their shopping-cart handles with a wet-wipe before touching them, but perhaps there is literally a method to their madness?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Doctor Frankenstein's social experiments

Senator Harkin of Iowa wants to allow disabled Americans into our armed forces:
[Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa] wants to push [providing disabled individuals with equality under the law] even further, including an amendment in a Senate draft of the annual defense appropriations bill last week that would require the military to study the possibility of allowing disabled individuals to enlist in the military in non-combat and support roles.

“The military now permits individuals to remain on active duty if they acquire a disability while serving their country,” Harkin said during an appropriations hearing July 17. “However, for a person with a similar disability who wants to enlist in the military and be a part of our defense establishment, they would not allow that, even if they needed the same reasonable accommodations.”

The Defense Department already follows federal law mandating “reasonable accommodations” for disabled civilian employees, but no such exceptions are made for enlistees.

“They're not going to be combat people, but we have a lot of people with disabilities who are lawyers who would like to enter the JAG Corps and be a part of our military,” Harkin said. “For every one combat person, there are 10 behind them.”
Meanwhile far from D.C. tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are inundating our borders ever since Obama advertised the big open bar party on the northern side of the border. When you ask who's to blame for the border crisis, all you get is deflection and talking points. The Democrats wanted this. Don't think for one minute that this insanity isn't by design.
Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.

Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013. In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.
Meanwhile in your own neighborhoods and at your local orphanage and foster-homes It's apparently the age of inclusion. Queue the hippy music. You want to get married to a consenting adult? Two consenting adults, three? Polygamy? Incest? You want to marry your sister? We don't care! Have a ball!
Judge Garry Neilson, from the district court in the state of New South Wales, likened incest to homosexuality, which was once regarded as criminal and "unnatural" but is now widely accepted.

He said incest was now only a crime because it may lead to abnormalities in offspring but this rationale was increasingly irrelevant because of the availability of contraception and abortion.

"A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now 'available', not having [a] sexual partner," the judge said.

"If this was the 1950s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you'd invariably have, they would say it's unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone."
America's services—schools, welfare programs, emergency medicine, and sundry social services of one kind or another—are sort of like an open bar where the drinks are free for those who're invited. Invitees are permitted to partake of the refreshments at will. The people legally here are welcome. They're expected. They paid the entrance fee, or their parents did. But, what happens when you let legions of party crashers willy-nilly into your open bar? Vandalism, hooliganism, violence, broken furniture, fires, is what you get and worst of all you also run out of booze. A party where the bar-stools are all kindling, the jukebox is smashed, and the open bar has no more booze, is about as entertaining as a quadriplegic prostitute.

I'm blind in one eye. I have been since a car accident that happened when I was twenty years old. The various armed forces wouldn't allow me to sign up with my almost insignificant disability. If you think about it, you only shoot with one eye anyway so what was the big deal? The lesson from 300 is a good place to start.



The key phrase that Leonidas explained to Efialtes was this: "We fight as a single impenetrable unit." If I was a soldier and I failed to see something because of my blindness or failed to catch something that had been thrown to me because of my poor depth perception and either of those sorts of failures caused the death or injury of a fellow soldier or soldiers, then how would those who allowed me to sign up explain their decision?

Our soldiers fight as a single unit. They expect each man to do his job. It doesn't get more life and death than a battlefield, so how can anyone justify allowing our armed forces to be compromised with a bunch of weak links? It therefore baffles me that that our politically correct leaders have sprinkled our military with a selection of weak links.

The way they've sissified basic training is an example of misguided policy makers making fair-seeming decisions with unintended yet terrible consequences. Women, homosexuals, and now disabled will all be handed an M-16 and ushered onto some battlefield, somewhere. What's wrong with that you ask? For those of you who ask "why not?", I'll ask you just this one question. What if the managers of your favorite NFL football team make the decision to put women, transsexuals, and even cripples on the line of scrimmage? Well, are you okay with that? And even if you are, do you think the other players on the team will go for it? They play as a unit. If a weak-link keeps letting the defensive tackles breeze by and the quarterback keeps getting sacked and at some point injured, what then?

What about all these "social experiments" regarding marriage? We hear the phrase "social experiment" all the time and it just sort of flies by without triggering any emotional reflex. Social experiment ... ho-hum ... yawn. Here's a social experiment for you: Get a 45 caliber revolver and load all six chambers. Then carry the gun to your kindergarten son or daughter's classroom and hide it in the toy chest. Are you awake yet? I argue that allowing these "experimental families" the opportunity to adopt someone else's child is as equally insane. Are these people serious? I'm just shaking my head in dismay at what's happening in this country.

Finally, the border situation is on everybody's mind. Tens of thousands of illegals most with children, and even some children all by themselves are pouring across the border. They don't speak English. They don't have any job skills. They aren't properly vaccinated; many harbor deadly diseases; they're hiding within their multicultural throngs a variety of murderers, rapists, drug dealers, thieves, alcoholics, addicts, etc. Dingy Harry wants them here. Obama wants them here. Nancy Pelosi and the entire left side of the political aisle all want them here. Why? Simply for their votes of course. None of these illegals bring anything else with them. They bring hungry bellies, disease, crime, and a vote. If you're voting for the same people these illegals will end up voting for, then this is your mess. You statists and progressivists might as well have shouted "OPEN BAR! COME ON IN!" to every wino in Times Square.