Thursday, October 23, 2014

CDC Infected with O'Sullivan's Law

Infected by Politics: The public-health profession is more committed to social justice than to sound science.
The public-health establishment has unanimously opposed a travel and visa moratorium from Ebola-plagued West African countries to protect the U.S. population. To evaluate whether this opposition rests on purely scientific grounds, it helps to understand the political character of the public-health field. For the last several decades, the profession has been awash in social-justice ideology. Many of its members view racism, sexism, and economic inequality, rather than individual behavior, as the primary drivers of differential health outcomes in the U.S. According to mainstream public-health thinking, publicizing the behavioral choices behind bad health—promiscuous sex, drug use, overeating, or lack of exercise—blames the victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Communities Program, for example, focuses on “unfair health differences closely linked with social, economic or environmental disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people.” CDC’s Healthy People 2020 project recognizes that “health inequities are tied to economics, exclusion, and discrimination that prevent groups from accessing resources to live healthy lives,” according to Harvard public-health professor Nancy Krieger. Krieger is herself a magnet for federal funding, which she uses to spread the message about America’s unjust treatment of women, minorities, and the poor. To study the genetic components of health is tantamount to “scientific racism,” in Krieger’s view, since doing so overlooks the “impact of discrimination” on health. And of course the idea of any genetic racial differences is anathema to Krieger and her left-wing colleagues. . . 
O’Sullivan’s Law:
O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time. The law is named after British journalist John O’Sullivan.
. . .
One of the reasons for this is leftist intolerance versus right-wing tolerance. Right wingers are willing to hire openly left-wing employees in the interest of fairness. Left-wingers, utterly intolerant, will not allow a non-Liberal near them, and will harass them at every opportunity. The result over time is that conservative enterprises are infiltrated by leftists but leftist enterprises remain the same or get worse.

The Barrier

This is a problem?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here Comes the Rain Again

I got a call last night from Walleye Pete asking if I was interested in a free morning of fishing, as he had no trip scheduled, and some of his commercial hook and line quota left to fill.  The weather prediction was NW at 10-15 early, rising later as a nor'easter moved in. We expected to fish Cedar Point, on the southern end of the Patuxent River.
When we met at his boat this morning, the wind was 22-26 and rising, and with intermittent rain. We tried Cedar Point rocks (above) just in time to see a bit of the sunset.  However, we couldn't safely anchor in the swell, and bailed rather quickly, retreating back to try a few locations around Drum Point, and then Solomons. At right, Solomons Island from the water.
The waves were much less back around in the river, and we tried several different areas without even a tap.
 The Patuxent River oyster tonging fleet was out. There were at least six boat scattered about, pulling up piles of shell and oyster with their patent tongs.
 We gave up after a little while and headed in.  Just inside the harbor, at the CBL dock, I spotted this ship, and persuaded Pete to swing around for a picture:
Sultana was built in the yard of renowned Boston Shipwright Benjamin Hallowell in 1767, probably as a yacht. She made one voyage from Boston to England before the Royal Navy purchased her for £292 9s 0d, named HMS Sultana, and sent back to the colonies as a coast guard vessel. At the time of purchase, her lines were taken off and a draught of the hull filed at the Admiralty. She was one of six Marblehead schooners that the Royal Navy bought.
£292! Heck I'd pay that for a nice blowboat! Well, that's 250 or so years worth of inflation for you.
. . . Sultana's first assignment once she reached Halifax was to proceed to Boston to help land General Gage’s troops in Boston for the protection of customs officials. Following that, she sailed up and down the coast of the Colonies, visiting Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and many spots in the lower Chesapeake tidewater region. On 10 October 1772 Sultana set off to England.
Sultana was sold at auction in Portsmouth on 11 August 1773 to John Hook Jr. for £85.
A new Sultana, launched in Chestertown, Maryland, in 2001, serves as an educational vessel for schoolchildren as it travels around the Chesapeake Bay. Each year there are public excursions out of Chestertown and other ports. "Downrigging Weekend" in Chestertown is always the first weekend in November. Replica sailing ships from all around the mid-Atlantic participate in sailing excursions and allow the public on board.

The replica vessel is not an exact reconstruction. It has a diesel auxiliary engine and otherwise conforms to Coast Guard regulations in order to carry passengers. The modern version is framed with osage orange and planked with oak; there is a lead ballast keel which the original did not have. She has only four guns, rather than the original eight. All work and can be fired. Within modern safety requirements, however, she was built following traditional methods as much as possible.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Pretty soon you'll get it right 100% of the time:

Wombat's Wednesday Tip

From Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 10.21.14"

Top Scientist: This Version Of Ebola Looks Like ‘A Very Different Bug’
Now U.S. scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease believes the current Ebola outbreak may be caused by an infection that spreads more easily than it did before.
Dr Jahrling explained that his team, who are working in the epicentre of the crisis in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, are seeing that the viral loads in Ebola patients are much higher than they are used to seeing.
He told ‘We are using tests now that weren’t using in the past, but there seems to be a belief that the virus load is higher in these patients [today] than what we have seen before. If true, that’s a very different bug.
‘I have a field team in Monrovia. They are running [tests]. They are telling me that viral loads are coming up very quickly and really high, higher than they are used to seeing.
‘It may be that the virus burns hotter and quicker.’
Other top scientists are making similar observations.
The following comes from a recent article posted on Washington’s Blog

The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Michael Osterholm – is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert.
Dr. Osterholm just gave a talk shown on C-Span explaining that a top Ebola virologist – the Head of Special Pathogens at Canada’s health agency, Gary Kobinger – has found that the current strain of Ebola appears to be much worse than any strain seen before … and that the current virus may be more likely to spread through aerosols than strains which scientists have previously encountered.
and worse:
When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.

The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.

Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.
Airborne infection.  The experiment was set up to make the chances good.  Hopefully most of use would not be confined that close to an Ebola patient for days on end. At least not now that I don't go to an office.

Oh goody. At this point I think the chances of further Ebola cases from Duncan's initial case are down to about 10%. Small, but not negligible. The chance of future infections from a similar occurrence seem pretty high, though, although a travel ban could lessen if not eliminate the threat. Heaven forbid that the virus become established south of our southern border, because, rationally, everyone in south of the Rio Grande would try to enter the US to get away from it, and to get treated if infected.  We already know we can't even begin to stop that flux.