October 31, 2014

Dogs of War on A&E

Jack Kemp forwards this:


http://www.christianpost.com/news/dogs-of-war-new-ae-series-captures-intense-journey-of-ptsd-military-veterans-as-theyre-matched-with-shelter-dogs-128417/

'Dogs of War:' New A&E Series Captures 'Intense' Journey of PTSD Military Veterans As They're Matched With Shelter Dogs


ByBenge Nsenduluka,CP Reporter
October 21, 2014|1:45 pm
Dogs of War(PHOTO: Courtesy/GraceHillMedia)
Stephanie, a 25 year-old wife, mom and veteran haunted by memories of her year as a prison guard in Iraq, is paired with service dog Atticus in A&E’s 'Dogs of War,' a new docuseries following war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as they are paired with shelter dogs trained to help them adjust to life after combat.

The A&E network will soon debut "Dogs of War," a new docu-series about war veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the service dogs that help them adjust back into life after combat.
The show, which premieres on Veteran's Day next month, is based on married couple Jim and Lindsey Stanek and their nonprofit organizationPaws and Stripes. The organization provides service dogs to wounded military veterans, and each episode will chronicle the journey of one or two PTSD veterans as they are paired with man's best friend.
"This series is full of raw, real and intensely emotional moments that don't often get a spotlight in mainstream media," David McKillop, General Manager and Executive Vice President of A&E said in a press release.
The pets provided to the veterans are all adopted shelter dogs that are trained in rehabilitation. The series captures the many ways in which the dogs assist military vets in their struggles with PTSD.
 
Jim, a former veteran who served three tours in Iraq, decided to launch Paws and Stripes after experiencing his own struggles with PTSD upon returning home from combat. At one point, he found himself on the brink of homelessness and on a long waiting list to be paired with a service dog, which only added to his ordeal.
In a bid to make the recovery process easier for other war vets, Jim's organization adopts unwanted dogs from kill shelters and trains them before pairing them with veterans at little to no cost.
"Each veteran's story of survival is humbling and we are proud to create a series that captures the light at the end of the tunnel for these heroes," McKillop said.
"Dogs of War" is produced by Custom Productions, Inc. and Redtail Media, LLC for A&E Network.
The show premieres on A&E on Nov. 11, 2014.(Veterans Day)

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RI flooding not WV’s fault

Paul Driessen

Climate experts Tom Harris and Bob Carter have written another fine essay – this one examining the battle between two Democratic Senators. Sheldon Whitehouse of seaside Rhode Island is blaming Joe Manchin’s coal producing and using state of West Virginia for causing "dangerous manmade global warming” that Mr. Whitehouse says will cause widespread flooding and destruction in coastal communities.

As Harris and Carter make clear, global warming ended 18 years ago, the alleged connection between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change has been wildly exaggerated, ice packs are not melting, and humans have no control over the natural forces that actually do control sea levels. Senator Manchin, they suggest, should resist Senator Whitehouse’s nonsensical demand that West Virginians sacrifice their livelihoods and living standards in a vain and King Canute-like attempt to stop the seas from rising.

RI flooding not WV’s fault

Whitehouse is misguided on sea level rise: seacoasts won’t be flooded due to coal burning

Tom Harris & Bob Carter

It must have taken the patience of Job for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to participate in Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s climate change tour of the Ocean State on October 10. Whitehouse promised Manchin that he would go to West Virginia to learn about the coal industry if Manchin would come to Rhode Island to view the supposed effects of global warming on sea-level.

It is important to put the concerns of the two senators in perspective.

On the one hand, Manchin is fighting for the survival of West Virginia’s coal sector, his state’s most important industry, the source of 95% of its electricity, and the foundation for thousands of jobs in dozens of communities. The state’s use of abundant, domestically mined coal gives West Virginia the 7th lowest electricity costs in America – at about one-half the price in California, New York, Rhode Island and several other states.

But West Virginia’s coal sector is under siege from increasingly damaging Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. Those rules have meant total coal production in West Virginia declined 9% between 2012 and 2013, a period during which 17% of the Mountain State’s coal mines closed, and coal employment decreased 6.4% for a loss of 3,457 jobs already. Even before the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan regulations, which Whitehouse promotes, come into force, the EPA and Obama Administration’s "war on coal” has already cost West Virginia billions of dollars.

Senator Manchin, in other words, is concerned about the immediate, real-world impacts of climate change regulations on real people, families and businesses in his state.

Senator Whitehouse has a different perspective and is apparently not concerned about the cost of EPA emission regulations. Rhode Island gets none of its electricity from coal, having chosen less-carbon-intensive natural gas as its preferred source of power.

As a result, the state has the 7th highest electricity prices in the continental United States. The impact of these high prices on hospitals, schools, churches, businesses and families is significant.

The White House, of course, shares Senator Whitehouse’s perspective. Neither seems worried that, under the EPA rules, electricity prices will "necessarily skyrocket,” as Obama put it when describing his energy plans as Democratic candidate for president in 2008.

Mr. Whitehouse is, however, worried about the hypothetical future impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired power stations on "global temperatures.” He believes this will cause "dangerous” sea-level rise along Rhode Island’s coast. Mr. Whitehouse does not hide the fact that, because of these beliefs, he sees his mission as "more or less” to put the coal industry out of business.

If it were known with a high degree of probability that dangerous human-caused sea-level rise was right around the corner, then Mr. Manchin might have reason to sacrifice his constituents’ livelihoods to help save Rhode Islanders from being submerged. But this is not the case.

The September 2013 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change states: "Sea-level rise is not accelerating. The global average sea-level continues to increase at its long-term rate of 1–2 mm/year [0.04-0.08 inches/year] globally” – or four to eight inches over the next century.

As it happens, sea-level rise on the coast of Rhode Island is slightly faster than the global rate – about a tenth of an inch per year in Newport, for example – or ten inches over the next 100 years. Nonetheless, such a slow rate of rise is relatively easy to adapt to, and certainly not worth ruining West Virginia’s economy on the off-chance that it would make any difference to coastal conditions in Rhode Island.

Bear in mind that sea levels have already risen nearly 400 feet since the end of the last Pleistocene Era ice age some 12,000 years ago.

The conflict between the two senators arises because of Mr. Whitehouse’s outmoded belief that rapid CO2-driven global warming is occurring. This, he believes, will cause accelerated glacial melting, the ocean volume to expand, and global sea-level to rise quickly. That in turn would subject low-lying coastal areas of Rhode Island to increasingly intense peak-tide or storm-surge flooding.

Drastically reducing our CO2 emissions is necessary to avoid this looming crisis, he asserts.

However, every step in Whitehouse’s chain of reasoning is either wrong or misleading and based on computer models that falsely assume rising atmospheric CO2 levels will cause rapid global warming. In reality, no global (atmospheric) warming has occurred for the last 18 years, even though CO2 levels have risen 9% during this time.

Neither has there been significant ocean warming since at least 2003. As a consequence, the ocean is not expanding and cannot be causing extra sea-level rise. In fact, the global rate of sea-level rise has actually decreased over the last decade.

The only way the sort of sea-level rise feared by Mr. Whitehouse is possible is if massive quantities of the Antarctic and Greenland ice-caps melted. Not only did that not happen even during the two-degree warmer Holocene Optimum, five to nine thousands years ago, but both the Greenland and Antarctic ice fields have been expanding in recent years.

Moreover, rates of modern sea-level change are controlled by the volume of water in the ocean (which is dependant on worldwide volumes of land ice at any given time), by dynamic oceanographic features such as movements in major ocean currents, and by the uplift or subsidence of the solid earth beneath any measuring station. Humans control none of these factors.

Senator Whitehouse should recognize that Rhode Island’s coastal management problems are his own state’s responsibility, not those of West Virginians. As sea-level continues its natural slow rise along Rhode Island’s coast, flooding due to peak tides and storm surges will continue much as it has for the past century. The way to cope with any small increase in the magnitude of these events is to apply and strengthen current strategies that increase coastal resilience.

In his June 4, 2008 speech on winning the Democratic primaries, President Obama said, "If we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment ...when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Senator Whitehouse may still believe this pious dream. However, Senator Manchin must resist the nonsensical demand that West Virginians sacrifice their livelihoods and living standards in a vain and King Canute-like attempt to stop the seas from rising.

_____________

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (www.ClimateScienceInternational.org). Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia

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October 30, 2014

Ebola Can be Communicated through Sneeze Droplets, Scientist Claims

Timothy Birdnow

The Center for Disease Control has quietly admitted you can indeed catch Ebola from sneeze droplets. According to the New York Post:
http://nypost.com/2014/10/29/cdc-admits-droplets-from-a-sneeze-could-spread-ebola/

"Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.

"If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through "droplets.”

"Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person,” the poster states."

End excerpt.

Who is Dr. Meryl Nass? I found this bio of her.http://www.ahrp.org/about/Nass.php

I am uncertain how credible she is as a source, but I also think her point should not be ignored. She blogs at this site. http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/

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Travel Bans from Ebola Countries Growing

Timothy Birdnow

Here is a list of 23 countries that have imposed travel bans from Ebola stricken areas as of October 23.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-health-ebola-travelban-idUSKCN0IC2MK20141023

These are primarily in Africa and the Carribean. It should be pointed out that since this list was compiled.

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Ebola About to Burn through Islamic World?

August 5, 2014 – Ebola Virus: Saudi Arabia Bans Hajj Pilgrims From ...
Timothy Birdnow

An interesting thing happened to me at the doctor's office yesterday. I went in for my checkup and the receptionist asked me two questions 1."Have you been to the Arabian Peninsula in the last three months?" and 2. "Have you had contact with Ebola?" The aid then repeated this line of questioning, only instead of Arabia she asked if I had visited West Africa. (I asked if Southern Illinois counted and got just a ghost of a smile from her; Illinois - at least southern Illinois - is known for lots of rednecks.)

At any rate, the first question caught me by surprise, and I asked the receptionist why Arabia. She said she had no idea, just that they gave her that question to ask.

Two points occur to me about this; first, Sharia Law was aiding the spread of Ebola in Africa thanks to personal, hands-on burial practices. As I chronicled here at The Aviary:
http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/islamic_burial_practices_spreading_ebola

"from IBD:

"When Muslims die, family members don't turn to a funeral home or crematorium to take care of the body. In Islam, death is handled much differently.

Relatives personally wash the corpses of loved ones from head to toe. Often, several family members participate in this posthumous bathing ritual, known as Ghusl.

Before scrubbing the skin with soap and water, family members press down on the abdomen to excrete fluids still in the body. A mixture of camphor and water is used for a final washing. Then, family members dry off the body and shroud it in white linens.

Again, washing the bodies of the dead in this way is considered a collective duty for Muslims, especially in Muslim nations. Failure to do so is believed to leave the deceased "impure" and jeopardizes the faithful's ascension into Paradise (unless he died in jihad; then no Ghusl is required).

Before the body is buried, Muslims attending the funeral typically pass a common bowl for use in ablution or washing of the face, feet and hands, compounding the risk of infection.
Though these customs are prescribed by Shariah law, they're extremely dangerous and should be suspended. Mosque leaders must step in to educate village Muslims about the dangers of interacting with corpse."

End excerpt.

Islam is unhygenic. It allows child marriages, multiple sex partners (for men), genital mutilation for women, cannibalism under certain circumstances. An Iman recently said it was o.k. to have sex with your wife hours after she dies. Nice."

End

And the other reason to worry about Islam and Ebola? Well, it is compulsory on every Muslim the world over to make the Hajj and over 15 million pilgrims make the annual trek. If Ebola were to break loose in Mecca during peak time, much of the Islamic world could be infected.

Imagine an epidemic of Ebola in the Islamic world; terrorists would recruit them as biological weapons, blowing up infected individuals in public to spread the infection. You would have to wear Racal positive pressure suits whenever you went outside to protect from contagion from splattering suicide bombers.

Saudi Arabia bans Ebola-stricken countries from hajj pilgrimage | The ...

Then too, perhaps this is a Divine plague sent to punish the followers of the Prophet for what they have been doing? Yahweh promised the Jews "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you" and in the Book of Matthew Jesus promised his disciple Simon "That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Yet Islam - especially the current incarnation of political Islam - hates and curses both Jew and Christian alike. Jews have largely disappeared from all Middle Eastern countries save Israel, and many ancient Christian peoples have been butchered or forced to flea from Al Qaeda and Isis and other Islamists. At some point the Most High is going to have enough and start smiting. Frankly, were I He I would have went to smoting long ago.

Perhaps this is a part of the Divine Plan (well, everything is, but perhaps in a direct way) and perhaps it's something that won't happen, a panic over a disease that will never really endanger the human race in any appreciable way. I don't know. But it is obvious that the authorities are concerned that the Arabian Peninsula is ready to burn with it. If it isn't already there. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/08/05/Saudi-tested-for-Ebola-as-epidemic-spreads.html

Well, one thing you can say, at least the Arabs always wear protective clothing. And Saudi Arabia had the good sense to ban pilgrims from infected regions from coming on the Hajj. http://article.wn.com/view/2014/10/03/Saudis_ban_hajj_pilgrims_from_Ebola_countries/ Too bad Americans aren't following suit.

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October 29, 2014

October 27 Testimony to State Board of Education

A.J. Cameron forwards this:


Below is a copy of my testimony presented to the Missouri State Board of Education at yesterday's public hearing regarding the progress of academic standards development by the work groups. My primary concern was the appearance of bias given by past actions of the State Board and the partnership of the National Association of State Board of Education with the corporations who stand to profit from the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Below is the testimony I submitted.

Mary Byrne, Ed.D.
Springfield, MO


INTRODUCTION
President Herschend, members of the board, I appeared before this State Board of Education in January of this year to ask that you reverse the board’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards because the process by which they were adopted was inconsistent with ethical and responsible governance (that is, governors, including Missouri’s governor, having signed a memorandum of agreement committing states to ". . . the development and adoption of a common core of state standards before they were written), and lacked the statutory authority to adopted privately owned, copyrighted materials as public policy. At that time, little was known about the National Association of State Boards of Education’s involvement in the agreement to cooperate with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association, and the U.S. Department of Education in promoting the Common Core State Standards Initiative; however, since January, additional information has been found that calls into question an apparent conflict of interest that inhibits the ability of this board to make unbiased decisions about academic standards developed by work groups constituted by HB 1490.
EVIDENCE
The following is evidence to support my concerns:
  • Page 3 of the Common Core Standards Memorandum of Agreement to develop and adopt a common core of state standards signed by Governor Nixon in June 2009 describes a National Policy Forum to include signatory organizations and names the National Association of State Boards of Education among them. It’s justified to assume that members of this board, though not all, were aware of the Governor’s agreement at that time.
  • Page C-0 of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Application (the grant program that provided four assurances to the U.S. Dept. of Education including the adoption of common standards and aligned assessments) shows the signature of Dr. Bert Schulte as the Chief State School Officer who is under the direction of the State Board of Education.
  • A 2010 990 filed by the National Association of State Boards of Education reads as follows:
    . . . in 2009 48 states and 3 territories agreed to participate in the process of creating a set of common core standards . . . they must adopt 100% of the common core k-12 standards in english language arts and mathematics and begin assessment on the common core state standards within three years . . .NASBEis an equal partner with the Council Of Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association on the Common Core Standards Initiative the three organizations are working closely together to facilitate the dialogue related to standards adoption and implementationthe focus of this effort is to engage state boards of education, other governing bodies, . .NASBE conducted four regional conferences from January-March of 2010 to give state boards an opportunity to gain an information infrastructure of materials and resources on the common core as well as prepare state boards for the policy and advocacy work that will be essential to a smooth approval process of the common core standards the conferences are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.(italics added) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds millions of dollars in grants in the state of Missouri.
  • In 2012, Missouri State Board of Education President Peter Herschend received the Distinguished Service Award from the NASBE.
  • Annual and Platinum Level Partners identified on the NASBE website (http://www.nasbe.org/about-us/partners/) include a list of corporations that benefit from contracts awarded to develop, administer, score, and report student performance on tests aligned to the new standards; sales of instructional material and personnel development programs to teach content associated with the grade level sequence of the standards; and provide interventions to schools associated with poor test results. Among these are Pearson, ETS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, ACT, College Board, WestEd, Wireless Generation and others. Missouri contracts with several of the above testing companies.
CONCLUSION
Although NASBE’s "Public Education Positions for 2014 states, "The adoption of any common standards by individual states must not be a condition for the receipt of federal aid.” That point was disregarded from the outset of the standards adoption process. Further, the association of the Missouri State Board of Education with the National Association of State Boards of Education and its partners, as well as the relationship of the board with the governor, is a concern in its ability to evaluate the standards developed by the academic workgroups of Missouri’s education professionals and teachers. Please be reminded that your first duty is to uphold the compact Missouri has with its citizens, that is, Missouri’s constitution; and that Article IX of our constitution promises, public education is for, "A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people,” [that is, a liberal arts education as envisioned by our founders; not workforce development envisioned by Washington DC-based trade organizations and their partners] for the gratuitous instruction of all persons in this state . . .”

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Government Plans to Bring Ebola-Infected Foreigners to U.S.

Timothy Birdnow

The State Department has been quietly laying plans to bring Ebola-infected foreigners to America for treatment. According to the Washington Times:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/28/state-department-plans-to-bring-foreign-ebola-pati/

"'The United States needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis,” says the four-page memo, which lists as its author Robert Sorenson, deputy director of the office of international health and biodefense.

More than 10,000 people have become infected with Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the U.S. has taken a lead role in arguing that the outbreak must be stopped in West Africa. President Obama has committed thousands of U.S. troops and has deployed American medical personnel, but other countries have been slow to follow.

In the memo, officials say their preference is for patients go to Europe, but there are some cases in which the U.S. is "the logical treatment destination for non-citizens.”

The document has been shared with Congress, where lawmakers already are nervous about the administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak. The memo even details the expected price per patient, with transportation costs at $200,000 and treatment at $300,000.

End excerpt.

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October 28, 2014

Ebola Survival Rates on Wet and Dry Surfaces and as an Aerosol


Timothy Birdnow

Filoviruses - the Ebola family and Marburg - can live as long as 46 days on a dry surface at reduced temperatures.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04778.x/pdf

Abstract
Aims: Filoviruses are associated with high morbidity and lethality rates in
humans, are capable of human-to-human transmission, via infected material
such as blood, and are believed to have low infectious doses for humans.
Filoviruses are able to infect via the respiratory route and are lethal at very low
doses in experimental animal models, but there is minimal information on
how well the filoviruses survive within aerosol particles. There is also little
known about how well filoviruses survive in liquids or on solid surfaces which
is important in management of patients or samples that have been exposed to
filoviruses.
Methods and Results: Filoviruses were tested for their ability to survive in different liquids and on different solid substrates at different temperatures. The
decay rates of filoviruses in a dynamic aerosol were also determined.
Conclusions: Our study has shown that Lake Victoria marburgvirus (MARV)
and Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) can survive for long periods in different liquid
media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks. The decay rates of ZEBOV and Reston ebolavirus
(REBOV) plus MARV within a dynamic aerosol were calculated. ZEBOV and
MARV had similar decay rates, whilst REBOV showed significantly better
survival within an aerosol.
Significance and Impact of the Study: Data on the survival of two ebolaviruses
are presented for the first time. Extended data on the survival of MARV are
presented. Data from this study extend the knowledge on the survival of filoviruses under different conditions and provide a basis with which to inform
risk assessments and manage exposure to filoviruses.
End abstract.

And here is an interesting point about aerosol decay rates for the different viruses:

"Data produced in this study have shown that MARV,
ZEBOV and REBOV have total decay rates in small particle aerosols of 4Æ81, 4Æ29 and 2Æ72% min)1, respectively.

There was a significant difference between the decay rates
of ZEBOV and MARV when compared to REBOV
(P < 0Æ01, ancova), but no significant difference between
the decay rates of ZEBOV and MARV (P > 0Æ05,
ancova). To our knowledge, this is the first time the
decay rates of the genera Ebolavirus have been reported."

Many factors affect the inactivation rate of viruses in
aerosols, such as relative humidity, the suspending fluid
from which the virus is sprayed and the system used to
measure aerosol decay. It is challenging to therefore compare directly the inactivation rates determined in this

study with published data generated under different conditions for other viruses. However, in this study the average decay rate of the bacterial tracer (used to distinguish
between physical and viability losses within the Goldberg
Drum) was 1Æ42% min)1, which was comparable to the
1Æ5% reported elsewhere (Ehrlich and Miller 1971; Larson
et al. 1980). Inactivation rates for filoviruses within
aerosols determined in this study were much lower than
values for MARV in aerosols reported by the FSU scientists (Belanov et al. 1996), but comparable with values

studies are from human clinical isolates, whereas REBOV
is nonpathogenic in humans. This might suggest that the
factors that cause a decrease in virulence in humans also
contribute to an increase in aerostability. In the future,
sequence analysis, protein structural information and
characterization of protein expression from the filoviruses
after aerosolization may yield further insight into the survival characteristics of the viruses.

This study has shown that human pathogenic filoviruses
may survive in an aerosol in the dark to detectable levels
for at least 1Æ5 h. If filoviruses were deliberately (Borio
et al. 2002; Leffel and Reed 2004), or accidentally aerosolized during normal laboratory or clinical practices

(Dimmick et al. 1973; Bennett and Parks 2006), they may
pose a significant threat to humans, as they are able to
remain infectious over a significant period of time. The
results presented in this study are able to provide basic
survival data on which hazard management, risk assessments, decontamination and control measures can be implemented to help prevent infection and transmission of
disease.

End quote.

Get that? The viruses can survive in an aerosolized form in the dark for over an hour. Granted, the aerosolizing process employed in laboratory conditions is a bit different than what one would find in nature, but it is definitely food for thought.


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Dangers of Airborne Transmission of Ebola

Timothy Birdnow

Here is an example of what I was trying to get through to that Robert Woodman character at Tea Party Nation.
http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Headline/ebola-mutation-contagious-spread/2014/09/19/id/595742/

According to the Newsmax article:

"There is a real possibility that Ebola could mutate into a virus that is as spreadable as the flu, one of the nation’s top Ebola researchers tells Newsmax Health.

"I don’t want to be an alarmist, but the possibility of Ebola becoming an airborne virus clearly has to be taken into account,” said David Sanders, associate professor of biological sciences at Purdue University.

"Ebola does share some of the characteristics of airborne viruses like influenza and we should not disregard the possibility of it evolving into something that could be transmitted in this way,” added Sanders, whose work on Ebola led to his participation in the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention Program.

U.S. health officials have largely dismissed Ebola as posing a major threat inside American borders.

Testifying before a Congressional subcommittee this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top White House infectious disease advisor, said it was very unlikely Ebola would mutate in a way that would make it transmittable through the air like flu.

That’s "not something I would put at the very top of the radar screen,” he said.

But Sanders disagrees. "I want the facts to be clear. It’s important that we not get the idea that this can’t happen,” he said, adding, "When people say that it is impossible for this virus to mutate, this is simply not true.”

According to Sanders, a key factor in the successful mutation of a virus centers on how it enters and exits the body. Sanders led a research team that established the Zaire form of the Ebola virus, which is the one involved in the West Africa epidemic, could enter the mucus-lined cells that line the human airway in much the same way the flu virus does.

He pointed to the flu as an example of how a virus can mutate so that it can infect different species and be transmitted in different ways.

Originally, flu was a virus that lived in the gastrointestinal tract of aquatic birds, like ducks and geese. But it mutated into a disease that spread easily among humans, gaining entry to the human body through airways, which have a mucus lining that is similar to that in the gastrointestinal tract of birds.

To pose a major threat in the U.S., the Ebola virus would have to mutate so that it could survive outside the body for a significant length of time like influenza can, Sanders said.

"This is not how the Ebola virus is currently known to spread, but there is evidence that it has some of the necessary components for respiratory transmission,” he said.

End excerpt.

Yes, this is just the word of one researcher, but it is something that should concern us. We really don't want Ebola to leave Africa.

I cannot fathom how anyone could oppose restricting air travel from the infected areas and quarantining aid workers. Whether one thinks it is a waste of resources right now, is it any more of a waste than our government has indulged in the last few years?

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School has Kids Secretly Inventory Parent's Medicine Cabinets

Timothy Birdnow

A school district in Mapleton Utah had middle schoolers snooping in their parents' medicine cabinets. According to Thomas Lifson at American Thinker:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/10/public_school_assigns_students_to_inventory_parents_medicine_cabinets.html

"In Mapleton, Utah, a middle school teacher assigned students to take an inventory of their parents’ medicine cabinets, and fill out a form reporting back "medication names, what the medication is being used for and if it’s still being used.” KSL radio reports:

'What’s in your medicine cabinet? It's a pretty personal question, but that was the assignment students in one health class at Mapleton Junior High School brought home.

Concerns were raised when a copy of the assignment started circulating on social media websites. Nebo School District officials said not only was the assignment a violation of privacy, but also state HIPPA laws.

"This was an innocent mistake," said Lana Hiskey with Nebo School District. "It was part of a health unit. (The teacher) wanted parents to know how to clean their medicine cabinets."


End excerpts.

This "innocent mistake" could have easily been avoided had the teacher in question simply sent home a permission form. That she (he?) failed to inform parents on the purpose of the exercise and ask if it was acceptable is monumentally unsound judgement and quite suspicious, having a smell of the Third Reich or Stalinist Russia.

Who doesn't have something embarassing in their medicine cabinet? Athlete's foot cream, medication for menstrual cramps, medicine to treat the heartbreak of psoriasis (I'm dating myself with that one), anti-inflammation medicine for herpes sores, etc. While most people have innocent medicines in their cabinet, they still have the potential for misunderstanding; a cold sore medicine may be thought to be for genital herpes, for instance. This is a personal space.

There is an increasing tendency by schools to have children spy on parents and report to the authorities. This is a very bad, dangerous habit. It is also deeply rooted in the Common Core philosophy (we should get A.J. Cameron to weigh in on this.)

Everyone should remember Orwell's novel 1984; Winston's neighbor - a very dutiful citizen - wound up at the Ministry of Love, turned in by his children. That's where such things could lead.

If this was an "innocent mistake" it makes a profound statement about the judgement of the people being hired to educate and protect our children.

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Ebola Denier Reverts to Type

Timothy Birdnow

Here is what is likely the final chapter with Robert H. Woodman. See the entire thread here http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/arguing_ebola_with_an_overeducated_antagonist and here http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/e-bowl-a-ing_and_trolling_borders_and_quarantines



He blew up after I dressed him down in the last post. Here is his reply to me and my final comments:

Timothy,

Typical. Take one point I made. Ignore all the qualification and context surrounding it. And attack. Very Swift-like. Perhaps even a bit like an Alinskyite. Meh. I'm not impressed.

You don't read papers scientifically. For that matter, you don't really read past the abstract to know if the paper has any real meat in it or if the conclusions are justified by the evidence presented. I don't know if you don't know how to do that, can't learn how to do that, or just don't care. At this point it doesn't matter. I've wasted quite a bit of time that could be used reading papers relevant to my current research or discussing said research with people who can dissect papers intelligently with me.

I'm done with this discussion.

End

And my reply:

Robert, you have shown your true colors. You insulted me in every single comment you have made here then get mad when I point out that you are essentially a troll. I'm far from impressed with you either.

The fact is, you simply dismiss any science that does not fit your preconceptions, then you attack people saying they don't read papers. By papers you mean the ones that you consider valid. Why would I argue with you over this? There are others you could look up; I found the two I gave you quite easily. You choose not to bother. In case you missed it, my original post was not a discussion about current research on Ebola. It was about a politicized response, and the folly of not taking basic efforts to keep a deadly disease out. Even if everything you say is true, and Ebola is no worse than HIV or athlete's foot or whatnot, it still bespeaks a monstrously bad policy. What other illnesses have come into America thanks to open borders? We know there are quite a few sick children (and adults) coming up from Central America. You and people like you want to invite everyone to come here. How long can we keep from having a major epidemic of something?

You ignore all that, prefering to zero in on the transmission rate of Ebola, a disease that is in the process of mutating and has shown signs it can be transmitted via airborne routes. You simply dismiss the papers presented to you that do not fit with your beliefs. (Yes, I read them, and know how the methodology and whatnot.) You are just angry I didn't agree to fight on your battlefield.

I am sorry you are so angry, but you've been that way through the entire discussion and you have barely been able to contain yourself. (Reminds me of Obama; he hates being challenged on his views too.) Why so mad? 

End.

This Woodman fellow wanted to get lost in the minutae of these scientific papers. He undoubtedly knew he has the edge there and would quickly lose the audience in a discussion of statistical sampling and the like. I've encountered this trick with Global Warming types and whatnot before. It's a magician's trick; the hand is quicker than the eye. I posted two excellent papers for him and he dismissed them out of hand because they didn't say what he wanted them to say, and he attacked the methodology and the like. He was hard pressed to attack the earlier paper by Jaax, Jarling, and company (these guys are top Ebola researchers) but he went after the latter quite aggressively. That is why I posted the entrire abstracts for both; I wanted to give the readers an idea of what they were saying, so he couldn't twist it. He tried anyway - and blew his stack when I didn't bite.

In the end this guy is really just a troll, a very educated one, but still a troll.

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October 27, 2014

It's all in the hands; Feminists and digit ratios.

Timothy Birdnow

Feminists aren't real women, according to a paper in Frontiers in Pschology.
http://www.motls.blogspot.com/2014/10/paper-feminists-are-authoritarians-with.html

According to Lubos Motl

"Feminist activist women are masculinized in terms of digit-ratio and social dominance: a possible explanation for the feminist paradox (by Guy Madison, Babe Ulrika, John, and Michael)'

The answer is that the feminists mean something else by the word "women" because the members of the feminist movement have significant differences from the true, typical, feminine women. In some sense, the paper is a somewhat more rigorous description of the well-known observation that feminists are ugly yelling men-like bitches.

Some of the methods of psychology are not terribly quantitative or rigorous from a hard scientist's viewpoint, of course, so you shouldn't expect particle physics here. The authoritarian character of the feminist activists was measured using the "directiveness scale" – i.e. calculated from answers to a collection of questions such as "Do you like to boss people around?". The answers "Yes" were significantly more represented among the feminist activists in comparison with the women in the strict sense. It can't be surprising. You could even claim that many if not all activists, and not just the feminist ones, are likely to tend to boss people around.

But there was another measurement in the paper that looks more science-like or rooted in biology. It's about the digit ratio. Look at the length of your #2 index finger L2 and the #4 ring finger L4 and compute the ratio L2/L4 (it will probably be similar for both hands)"

And indeed feminists tend to have digit ratios, well, Lubos explains:

"Males are the blue dashed curve in the middle with the ratio equal to 0.97±0.04 or something like that. But while the mean value for normal women is higher, 0.99 or so, the mean value of the feminist activists is lower, 0.95 or so. These are half-a-sigma deviations but this half-a-sigma becomes visible with a sufficiently large sample that they claim to have measured (although, of course, I would stress that psychologists are more likely to make errors in basic statistics than hard scientists).

Because the feminist curve is actually located on the opposite side of the men's curve than the women's curve, the difference between the women and the feminists is larger than the difference between men and any other group, comparable to 1 sigma. That's analogous to the difference of 15 points between the Ashkenazi Jews' IQ and the IQ of the general population."

End excerpt.

So feminists are rather like a third sex, a particularly angry and obnoxious one.

Indeed, authoritarian personalities and the less intelligent seem to have smaller ratios, so perhaps feminism is a function of stupidity and tyranny?

I wonder about Hillary Clinton's ratios.

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E-Bowl-a-ing and Trolling; Border's and Quarantines

Timothy Birdnow

I have been engaged in an argument with a troll on Tea Party Nation over Ebola. http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/ebola-in-new-york-why-borders-matter?xg_source=activity&id=3355873%3ABlogPost%3A2940725&page=1#comments I chronicled the argument in a previous blogpost at The Aviary. http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/arguing_ebola_with_an_overeducated_antagonist

Here is my reply to Dr. Woodman:

Robert Woodman, you amaze me; you argue passionately to endanger the public health and then call ME immoral! It is immoral to allow people who may have been exposed to a devastatingly lethal illness to wander around loose. You conveniently ignore the point that this disease mutates, and what may not be so easily transmittable now could become so. Again, is it so hard to make someone who has chosen to expose themselves to a lethal virus wait ten lousy days? Your passion in this instance is beyond puzzling.

Yes, I would favor quarantining Amish who have been exposed to measles if there was a danger to the general public. There isn't because we have a vaccine for it. You are ignoring this little fact; there is no vaccine for Ebola at present. The stakes are too high.

You are welcome to use that doctor's bowling ball, or shoes, however. I think I'll pass.

Yes, Ebola is not generally BELIEVED to be airborne, and the majority of research suggests this is the case. But it is a far too dangerous illness to take the chance.

It can definitely be spread between species through the air. http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/121115/srep00811/full/srep00811.html Why are you so confident that it cannot, will never become airborne?

Here is the abstract:

# Hana M. Weingartl1, 2,
# Carissa Embury-Hyatt1,
# Charles Nfon1,
# Anders Leung3,
# Greg Smith1,
# Gary Kobinger

eceived
25 April 2012
Accepted
28 September 2012
Published
15 November 2012

"Ebola viruses (EBOV) cause often fatal hemorrhagic fever in several species of simian primates including human. While fruit bats are considered natural reservoir, involvement of other species in EBOV transmission is unclear. In 2009, Reston-EBOV was the first EBOV detected in swine with indicated transmission to humans. In-contact transmission of Zaire-EBOV (ZEBOV) between pigs was demonstrated experimentally. Here we show ZEBOV transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques without direct contact. Interestingly, transmission between macaques in similar housing conditions was never observed. Piglets inoculated oro-nasally with ZEBOV were transferred to the room housing macaques in an open inaccessible cage system. All macaques became infected. Infectious virus was detected in oro-nasal swabs of piglets, and in blood, swabs, and tissues of macaques. This is the first report of experimental interspecies virus transmission, with the macaques also used as a human surrogate. Our finding may influence prevention and control measures during EBOV outbreaks."

End

And yet we are being told by the CDC (and you) that there is nothing to see here, move along...

Again Dr. Woodman, this is uncharted territory, and we dare not play around with it. This isn't chcken pox, or measles.

Here is an impassioned argument in favor of erring on the side of caution.
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/commentary-healt...

Again, I would point out that the modern method of funding research is likely to generate results that the funders are seeking. The government is the primary funder, and gets the results it wishes. That is why there is so much nonsensical crap put out these days; global warming research, or studies on why lesbians are fat, or the dating practices of homosexual men in Buenos Aires. Naturally you will find plenty of research saying Ebola is perfectly safe, until it's not.

We are told we should panic over global warming - a marginal effect if there ever was one - but not worry about a disease that liquifies your guts and makes you bleed out of your eyes. But don't worry! The CDC is on the case!


Here is the reply from Robert Woodman:

Timothy,

I neglected to mention this: the CIDRAP article is suggesting the possibility of aerosol transmission within a healthcare setting, where the contact distances between patient and healthcare professional are extremely close. This is not the same as suggesting that there is a generalized possibility of airborne transmission. The authors don't suggest a generalized possibility of airborne transmission, only that within the context of a healthcare setting, aerosols might be a factor in transmission. They suggest, first, that the matter be studied intensively, and, second, that healthcare workers use extreme caution by selecting maximally protective PPE.

Again, there is no suggestion in that article that a generalized airborne transmission route exists for Ebola virus.

Also, with an R0 (infectious potential) of 2, Ebola simply will not spread very far, if at all, in a country with our level of medical care and medical infrastructure.


Timothy,

You and I are not going to agree on this. You do not appear to understand things like relative risk, calculation of transmissibility, and evolution. You certainly seem to have far more fear of this situation than is warranted.

You (once again) missed key points in the paper by reading only the abstract. I'm going to point them out to you:

1. The authors themselves state in their paper that "

he design and size of the animal cubicle did not allow to distinguish whether the transmission was by aerosol, small or large droplets in the air, or droplets created during floor cleaning which landed inside the [non-human primate] cages (fomites)." page 2. In other words, Timothy, the researchers could prove indirect transmission from pigs to cynomolgus macaques (non-human primates standing in for humans), but they could not prove the precise type or route of transmission. The idea that genuine airborne transmission such as is seen with influenza occurs with Ebola virus is not proven.

2. The space design for this experiment was large as animal studies go, but it wasn't huge. Read the results section from pages 1-2. Distances are small as human considerations go. An inadequately protected clinical worker and family members living in the same room with the patient might be at risk in this distance, but not people at a larger distance.

3. Pigs are unusually efficient generators of short range large aerosol droplets than other species, page 3, citing reference 17. In other words, if any species is going to be able to cause airborne transmission of Ebola virus, it is pigs.

4. The authors have conducted highly similar research investigating transmission of Ebola virus from infected macaques to non-infected macaques. No indirect transmission was observed! See page 3.

Thus, Tim, what has been proven is that pigs infected with Ebola virus can transmit the virus indirectly to non-human primates (thus, presumably to humans). The evidence suggests, but is not conclusive, that the transmission was by aerosol droplets over a short range. The evidence does not suggest that the virus has any sort of generalized potential to be transmitted by aerosol.

I am passionate about two things in this debate. First, I intensely dislike the misuse and abuse of scientific facts to generate fear in people and to score points in some arcane sideshow of politics. I live, love, eat, sleep, work, and breathe biochemical and biological science. I'm an average scientist in knowledge and ability, but I am highly passionate about my fields. Second, I generally dislike Juvenalian satire, because I find it gross, immoral, and vicious. My educational coursework required that I read a fair amount of satire, including Swift's "modest proposal." Aside from Orwell (1984, Animal Farm) and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, I have found no Juvenalian satire that I enjoy, though I dutifully read it and reported on it in various literature classes as I was required to do so. I have, however, immensely enjoyed the Horatian style of satire, particularly that of C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain. Thus, you hit two of my hot buttons with your proposal and aroused my passionate ire.

Had you simply said, "I propose a 21 day quarantine for everyone coming from any country where Ebola is currently epidemic," I probably would have left you a comment saying, "This isn't necessary from a scientific or medical standpoint" and left it at that, not bothering to comment further. You hit my hot buttons, though, and I'm not willing to back down in that kind of conflict.

I also would point out to you another thought about this disease, Timothy. It appears to matter where you get treatment for the disease. West Africa has suffered catastrophic infrastructure collapse, and it has a 70% mortality rate for Ebola virus disease. Europe and the United States were not fully prepared for this disease, and yet, so far, the mortality rate has been well below 70%, because we have better supportive care and a stronger medical infrastructure. Maybe what we need for Africa is a mini-"Marshall Plan" to rebuild their medical infrastructure so that we don't have to fear the next epidemic that originates from there.

End

And my reply:

Robert Woodman, you said;

"The authors don't suggest a generalized possibility of airborne transmission, only that within the context of a healthcare setting, aerosols might be a factor in transmission."

In a close setting, like an airplane? Robert, you are still talking about airborne transmission.

The point, Robert, is that this disease has certain capabilities that the CDC and our government is trying to dismiss. I've given you two papers now suggesting that yes, Ebola could be airborne. I could hunt up more but the readers get the point. You want to dismiss this because of an agenda of your own. The fact is that Ebola in America will be under very different environmental pressures than in Africa, and being it is a disease quick to mutate there is the chance that it could turn into something quite transmissible. The wisest course of action is to keep it out of here. Sadly, your sense of morality seems to constrain you from the most fudnamental purpose of any nation, to restrict entry.

I'll say this again; we have no moral obligation to allow people exposed to Ebola to come here. That is the liberal viewpoint, this whole "citizens of the world" business. Liberals believe we should take our lumps, suffer from things that could be avoided because we have no right to be free of them. There is a masochistic streak in the Left, a holdover from Puritanism. We should be punished for our wealth, for our prosperity, for our security. This is clearly a part of your own thinking on the "immorality" of closing down flights and quarantining people.

Your suggestion of a Marshall Plan for Ebola only buttresses the case. Oh, and it wouldn't work; these countries are politically unstable, socially divided, and economically backward. The MP worked in Europe solely because it was a case of rebuilding an already modern economy AND we essentially controlled the political situation there.

Robert, there is no rational case NOT to close access at this point, at least not from our perspective.

As to your assertion that I do not understand these things, is it perhaps not a function of your own failure to graps the point I am trying to make? I really don't know how to make it any plainer; this disease has the potential to mutate, and it could become airboren. Even if it doesn't there is still risk in being with an infected individual, especially if they crash in public. I am not willing to risk American lives to salve your conscience.

This was politicized by the Administration and CDC from the beginning. In point of fact I held almost no opinion on the subject until the director of the CDC opened his cake hole; I recognized a load of bat guano when I saw it. There are clearly political considerations at work in the government policy. Open borders are a critical part of the Administration's overall plan to fundamentally remake America. And open borders dovetail with the left's sense of social justice. WE aren't the ones who made this a political fight.

No Administration in the past would have flinched from taking these simple precautions. But the HIV epidemic changed the way disease is addressed, and political correctness has overtaken rational policy. And there are lots of infected people with only the slightest hope of survival - coming to the United States. If we keep the country wide open we will have more and more of them. Liberia had the sense to close their own borders...

As you say we are not going to agree. I have a healthy dose of skepticism where our government and especially the current Administration are concerned. You apparently hold a "don't worry be happy" view and think we have a moral duty to allow people to come here.

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The Special Treatment Homosexuals Demand

By Selwyn Duke

There is one particular thing that illustrates better than anything else the unreasonableness — and some would say gall — of homosexuality activists. It’s not demanding that bakers, shirt printers and wedding planners be party to events and expression deeply contrary to their principles, as offensive as that is. What I speak of is something even more fundamental, something again brought to light by the recent Vatican synod on the family.

As many know, the synod made news with an unwisely released and widely misrepresented mid-term report containing language that the secular media interpreted as signaling Church capitulation on the matter of homosexuality (an excellent article on this by Paul Bois is found  HYPERLINK "http://www.truthrevolt.org/commentary/bois-dont-be-fooled-pope-francis-will-never-capitulate" \l "comment-1646325882" here). And when it emerged that the language was the handiwork of just one or two individuals and was roundly rejected by the bishops, melancholia — and Machiavellianism — defined the media. "What a shame it is that the Church rejected the more welcoming tone,” we heard. "We thought tolerance and deference to the times were winning out, but then the voices of prejudice quashed progress.” They thought? Insofar as these leftists think at all, they do it all wrong.

The media’s notion that the Catholic Church isn’t "welcoming” to people with same-sex attraction (PSSA) is at best due to ignorance, at worst driven by insidious manipulation. Just consider the following  HYPERLINK "http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm" passage — which expresses a long-held Church position — from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
What about that sounds "unwelcoming”? Let me add that for nigh on 20 years I’ve attended Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days in parishes all over my area and in other parts of the country, and I have never, ever heard a priest rail against homosexuality; in fact, lamentably, I can’t even remember a priest mentioning it during a sermon, let alone talking "about these issues all the time,” as one rather prominent Catholic put it last year. In other words, the notion that priests are smoking PSSA out of churches with fire-and-brimstone, acid-tongued preaching is a media assumption — and invention.

It’s also quite stupid. Does anyone think the Church turns away adulterers, fornicators, artificial-contraception users or self-gratifiers? So why would anyone think it’s at all different with PSSA? In accordance with Jesus’ saying that "the healthy are in no need of a physician,” that God rejoices more over one lost sheep found than 99 who were never lost, the Church’s business is attracting sinners. And, of course, since she teaches that we’re all sinners, she’d have to close her doors if her market were confined to angels.

The reality is that homosexuality activists and the media (redundant, I know) are guilty of projection. They’d have us believe that the Church and other traditionalists can’t stop talking about PSSA, when they’re the ones who cannot. Much like a man who rains down unprovoked blows upon another and then screams "Why are you so violent!?” when the victim merely raises his arms to block, they start a fight and then are shocked when others defend themselves; not only that, they then portray their offensive against tradition as defense and the defense of it as offensive.

But the Church exercises no double standard. Her teaching lists homosexual behavior as just one of many behaviors at variance with God’s plan for man’s sexuality. It’s homosexuality activists who have the double standard, and this brings us to what they really want. Since the Church has always welcomed PSSA, the issue is not one of accepting "homosexuals.”

The activists want the Church to accept homosexuality.

Perhaps this is stating the obvious for many, but framing this properly illustrates its absurdity. The activists want a special dispensation from Church sexual teaching — and, of course, this can be applied to all of traditionalist Christianity — for their particular behavior. But consider where this leaves us:
Is the Church supposed to say adultery is a sin, fornication is a sin, self-gratification is a sin, viewing pornography is a sin, but homosexuality is, what? A lifestyle choice, sort of like living on a houseboat?
This would be comical to anyone who didn’t fail at mastering childhood categorization problems (i.e., what things belong together?). It would be like saying that devil’s food cake didn’t belong with sugar cookies, petits fours, Napoleons and ladyfingers in the category of desserts because it’s the favorite of some corpulent, Jabba the Hut-looking slob who’ll feel better about himself if it’s classified as a vegetable.
So in essence, what homosexuality activists are asking is that the Church scrap all of its sexual teaching to accommodate their wishes. It doesn’t matter that the teaching is the product of ages of thought, scholarship, discernment and divine revelation; that it’s promulgated in numerous official documents such as Humanae Vitae; or that it’s considered infallible, as it reflects Truth. You want it gone? We’ll get right on that for ya’.

To echo Bois in the earlier referenced article, that’s not happening — end of story.
Insofar as some PSSA are sincere in their conflation of acceptance of their behavior with acceptance of themselves, the psychology is no mystery. They identify so closely with their sin that there is little, if any, separation between it and themselves on an emotional level; thus, they view any rejection of their sin as a rejection of themselves. This is why I’ve generally avoided using the term "homosexual” in this article: the word too often carries the implication that it defines the person who thus identifies himself. And this is why homosexuality activists can, in certain cases, quite sincerely equate their movement with that of black civil rights. They tend to see their sexual impulses as integral to who they are and "homosexual” as their master status in the same way many blacks believe their race defines them (not that we should be consumed with race, either).

Yet there is even more going on when the Church is labeled "unwelcoming.” Some in the media do truly conflate the sin with the sinner; others are simply so ignorant of Catholic teaching and realities on the ground that they actually believe the fire-and-brimstone stereotype. But then there are the vile propagandists. They know something, something Bois mentioned when writing, "

he Catholic Church has lost its prominence in the West due to cultural acceptance of homosexuality and [‘gay marriage’].” And, no, that’s not the only reason. But it is a big one.

Think about it: if you can successfully portray rejection of homosexual behavior as analogous to rejection based solely on skin color — if "homophobia”="racism” — the Catholic Church=the KKK. Of course, I don’t believe this, but it is how people imbued with homosexuality doctrine will view it.

This explains not only the utility of misrepresenting the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, but also why this tactic is ideal not just for homosexuality activists but all anti-Christian agitators. The more you can cast the Church as a fire-and-brimstone rejecter of PSSA, the more you push it into the hate-group category in modernists’ minds (note that overseas "hate speech” laws often prohibit criticism of homosexuality). And since the Church cannot bend on definitive teaching, she can do nothing to extricate herself from this category. It’s brilliantly devious — some would say devilish.

The good news is that "a lie has speed, but Truth has endurance,” as the proverb goes. Leftists are fond of saying about the Church, and traditionalists in general, that they’re on the wrong side of history. But the Church has been around for 2000 years and has often found herself on the "wrong side of history” — until that history became history and we found out it wasn’t history at all but just current events. And the Church will be around long after the current current-event commissars, and their ideas, are dust.


HYPERLINK "mailto:selwynduke@optonline.net" Contact Selwyn Duke,  HYPERLINK "https://twitter.com/SelwynDuke" follow him on Twitter or log on to  HYPERLINK "http://www.SelwynDuke.com" SelwynDuke.com

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October 26, 2014

Mo. Board of Ed Meeting

A.J. Cameron forwards this:

If at all possible, please plan to attend the State Board of Education's public hearing about the development of academic standards this coming Monday, and plan to share your concerns.

See information about the location of the hearing immediately below. Read further to down the thread to see Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel's notice of concern to the State Board about the size of the hearing location and Mr. Van Zandt's (attorney) response to their e-mail.

The press will be there -- I hope you will too.

Mary Byrne

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It’s rarely about the environment anymore

Paul Driessen

Big Green ideologues continue to run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda. These Radical Greens, in and out of government, seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties. They know they will rarely be held accountable for the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They know their wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.

They have shuttered coal mines, power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. Now they are targeting ranchers … and fracking. Meanwhile they allow renewable energy programs to completely avoid the endangered species and other environmental laws that are imposed with iron fists on mining, ranching and other industries. The November elections give us our first opportunity to strike a blow for freedom and prosperity.

It’s rarely about the environment anymore

It’s about slashing our energy use, free enterprise, job creation, living standards and freedoms

Paul Driessen

Back in 1970, when I got involved in the first Earth Day and nascent environmental movement, we had real pollution problems. But over time, new laws, regulations, attitudes and technologies cleaned up our air, water and sloppy industry practices. By contrast, today’s battles are rarely about the environment.
As Ron Arnold and I detail in our new book,  HYPERLINK "http://www.cfact.org/2014/10/16/cbg/" Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-Earth money machine, today’s eco-battles pit a $13.4-billion-per-year U.S. environmentalist industry against the reliable, affordable, 82% fossil fuel energy that makes our jobs, living standards, health, welfare and environmental quality possible. A new Senate Minority Staff Report chronicles how today’s battles pit poor, minority and blue-collar families against a far-left " HYPERLINK "http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=8af3d005-1337-4bc3-bcd6-be947c523439" Billionaires Club” and the radical environmentalist groups it supports and directs, in collusion with federal, state and local bureaucrats, politicians and judges – and with thousands of corporate bosses and alarmist scientists who profit mightily from the arrangements.

These ideological comrades in arms run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy, as well as nuclear and even hydroelectric power. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda.

They seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and wealth. They know they will rarely, if ever, be held accountable for the fraudulent science they employ and the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They also know their own  HYPERLINK "http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2014/10/04/rfk-jr-wants-me-jailed--as-a-war-criminal-n1900518/page/full" wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.

These Radical Greens have impacted coal mines, coal-fired power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. They have largely eliminated leasing, drilling, mining and timber harvesting across hundreds of millions of acres in the western United States and Alaska – and are now targeting ranchers. In an era of innovative seismic and drilling technologies, they have cut oil production by 6% and gas production by 28% on federally controlled lands.
Meanwhile, thanks to a hydraulic fracturing revolution that somehow flew in under the Radical Green radar, oil production on state and private lands has soared by 60% – from 5 million barrels per day in 2008 (the lowest ebb since 1943) to 8 million bpd in 2014. Natural gas output climbed even more rapidly. This production reduced gas and gasoline prices, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in hundreds of industries and virtually every state. So now, of course, Big Green is waging war on "fracking” (which the late Total Oil CEO Christophe de Margerie jovially preferred to call "rock massage”).
As  HYPERLINK "http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=3e7a0b8a-9cf3-4b0e-ad31-30ac8ae3763d&c=a3c106f0-2926-11e4-b2ce-d4ae5292c2ac&ch=a54ef9f0-2926-11e4-b321-d4ae5292c2ac" Marita Noon recently noted, Environment America has issued a phony "Fracking by the Numbers” screed. It grossly misrepresents this 67-year-old technology and falsely claims the industry deliberately obscures the alleged environmental, health and community impacts of fracking, by limiting its definition to only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured. For facts about fracking, revisit a few of my previous articles:  HYPERLINK "http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/what-really-drives-anti-fracking-zealots" here,  HYPERLINK "http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2011/10/01/what_the_frack_is_going_on_here/page/full" here and  HYPERLINK "http://sppiblog.org/news/fractured-fairy-tales" here – and another new  HYPERLINK "http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=beed1c2e-1210-48f1-8367-f967fab49c38" US Senate

Moreover, when it comes to renewable energy, Big Green studiously ignores its own demands for full disclosure and obfuscates the impacts of technologies it promotes. Wind power is a perfect example.
Far from being "free” and "eco-friendly,” wind-based electricity is extremely unreliable and expensive, despite the mandates and subsidies lavished on it. The cradle-to-grave ecological impacts are stunning.
The United States currently has over 40,000 turbines, up to 570 feet tall and 3.0 megawatts in nameplate output. Unpredictable winds mean they generate electricity at 15-20% of this "rated capacity.” The rest of the time mostly fossil fuel generators do the work. That means we need 5 to 15 times more steel, concrete, copper and other raw materials, to build huge wind facilities, transmission lines to far-off urban centers, and "backup” generators – than if we simply built the backups near cities and forgot about the turbines.
Every one of those materials requires mining, processing, shipping – and fossil fuels. Every turbine, backup generator and transmission line component requires manufacturing, shipping – and fossil fuels. The backups run on fossil fuels, and because they must "ramp up” dozens of times a day, they burn fuel very inefficiently, need far more fuel, and emit far more "greenhouse gases,” than if we simply built the backups and forgot about the wind turbines. The environmental impacts are enormous.

Environmentalists almost never mention any of this – or the outrageous wildlife and human impacts.
Bald and golden eagles and other raptors are attracted to wind turbines, by prey and the prospect of using the towers for perches, nests and resting spots, Save the Eagles International president Mark Duchamp  HYPERLINK "http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/submissions/submission-to-USFWS-2014.html" noted in comments to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As a result, thousands of these magnificent flyers are slaughtered by turbines every year. Indeed, he says, turbines are "the perfect ecological trap” for attracting and killing eagles, especially as more and more are built in and near important habitats.
Every year, Duchamp says, they also butcher millions of other birds and  HYPERLINK "http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/new/us-windfarms-kill-10-20-times-more-than-previously-thought.html" millions of bats that are attracted to turbines by abundant insects – or simply fail to see the turbine blades, whose tips travel at 170 mph.

Indeed, the death toll is orders of magnitude higher than the "only” 440,000 per year admitted to by Big Wind companies and the USFWS. Using careful carcass counts tallied for several European studies, I have estimated that turbines actually kill  HYPERLINK "http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/paul_k._driessen_.pdf" at least 13,000,000 birds and bats per year in the USA alone!

Wildlife consultant Jim Wiegand has written several articles that document these horrendous  HYPERLINK "https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/voice-dead-eagles-iii/" impacts on raptors, the devious methods the wind industry uses to  HYPERLINK "https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/hiding-avian-mortality-altamont-pass/" hide the slaughter, and the many ways the FWS and Big Green collude with Big Wind operators to exempt wind turbines from endangered species, migratory bird and other laws that are imposed with iron fists on oil, gas, timber and mining companies. The FWS and other Interior Department agencies are using worries about sage grouse and White Nose Bat Syndrome to block mining, drilling and fracking. But wind turbines get a free pass, a license to kill.

Big Green, Big Wind and Big Government regulators likewise almost never mention the human costs – the sleep deprivation and other health impacts from infrasound noise and constant light flickering effects associated with nearby turbines, as documented by  HYPERLINK "http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-turbines-noise-and-health/" Dr. Sarah Laurie and  HYPERLINK "http://wcfn.org/2014/10/20/infrasound-in-the-news/" other researchers.

In short, wind power may well be our  HYPERLINK "least%20sustainable%20energy%20source" least sustainable energy source – and the one least able to replace fossil fuels or reduce carbon dioxide emissions that anti-energy activists falsely blame for  HYPERLINK "http://www.cfact.org/2014/09/18/cfact-report-climate-hype-exposed/" climate change (that they absurdly claim never happened prior to the modern industrial age). But of course their rants have nothing to do with climate change or environmental protection.

The climate change dangers exist only in computer models, junk-science "studies” and press releases. But as the "People’s Climate March” made clear, today’s watermelon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside) do not merely despise fossil fuels, fracking and the Keystone pipeline. They also detest free enterprise capitalism, modern living standards, private property … and even pro football!

They invent and inflate risks that have nothing to do with reality, and dismiss the incredible benefits that fracking and fossil fuels have brought to people worldwide. They go ballistic over alleged risks of using modern technologies, but are silent about the clear risks of not using those technologies. And when it comes to themselves, Big Green and the Billionaires Club oppose and ignore the transparency, integrity, democracy and accountability standards that they demand from everyone they attack.

The upcoming elections offer an opportunity to start changing this arrogant, totalitarian system – and begin rolling back some of the radical ideologies and agendas that have been too institutionalized in Congress, our courts, Executive Branch and many state governments. May we seize the opportunity.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( HYPERLINK "http://www.CFACT.org" www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

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Obama's War on U.S. Energy

By Alan Caruba

September 19th was an anniversary you did not read or hear about in the nation’s news media. It marked six years—2008—since the first permit application for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was submitted to the federal government. Can you imagine how many jobs its construction would have created during a period of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis? President Obama is universally credited with delaying it.

Thomas Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance, pointed out that World War II, the construction of the Hoover Dam, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition all took place in less time. In a September Forbes article, he noted that "Earlier this year a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 65 percent of Americans support building the pipeline, while only 22 percent oppose it. In Washington three-to-one margins are usually referred to as mandates.”

In contrast, in March 2013 the then-Interior Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, boasted "In just over four years, we have advanced 17 wind, solar, and geothermal projects on our public lands.” It is not these projects that Americans depend upon for energy. The opposite is a stark explanation why coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy remain the heart blood of the economy.

The Daily Caller reported in July that the "U.S. Bureau of Land Management is currently sitting on a backlog of 3,500 applications that need approval to move forward on drilling for oil and natural gas on federal land,” just part of Obama’s war on U.S. energy. http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/01/blm-has-backlog-of-3500-oil-and-gas-drilling-permits-awaiting-approval/

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels met 82% of U.S. energy demand in 2013.

Petroleum, primarily used for transportation, supplied 36% of the energy demand in 2013. Natural gas represented 27%. Coal represented 20% and generated almost 40% of all electricity. In the six years since Obama took office that is a loss of 10%!

The much ballyhooed "renewable sources” of energy, justified by the false claim that carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming or climate change, are a very small part of the nation’s power providers. Wind power represented 1.6% and solar power represented three-tenths of 1%! Hydropower supplied 2.6% making it the largest source of so-called renewable energy.

Politically, it has been Democrats advocating renewable sources and siding with the President’s delay of the oil pipeline and the Environmental Protection Agency’s assault on coal-fired plants to produce electricity. By contrast, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has been busy putting forth legislation to fix aspects of our energy problems and needs.

Some of the bills that were introduced included H.R. 2728: The Protecting State’s Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act; H.R. 3: The Northern Route Approval Act (regarding the keystone XL Pipeline; H.R. 1900: The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act; H.R. 2201: The North American Energy Infrastructure Act; and H.R. 6: The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, intended to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas to our allies around the world. The global market is growing at a colossal pace.

These bills will likely all die in the U.S. Senate, controlled by the Democratic Party. The Nov 4 midterm elections can change that if enough Republicans are elected to gain control.

It’s not just natural gas that is helping the economy improve. The Financial Times reported in late September that "The U.S. is overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid petroleum, in a sign of how its booming oil production has reshaped the energy sector.” Why? "The U.S. industry has been transformed by the shale revolution, with advances in the techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling enabling the exploitation of oilfields, particularly in Texas and North Dakota.”

The only places you won’t find oil drilling are on federally controlled lands. The same holds for coal and natural gas.

This is in keeping with a virtual war on U.S. energy waged from the White House. Consider what we have witnessed:

# Obama has refused to let the Keystone XL pipeline be built.

# Billions wasted on loans to renewable energy companies, many of which like Solyndra and Solar Trust of America went bankrupt.

# Obama made electric cars like the Chevy Volt part of his energy policy, providing subsidies but their high cost and low mileage capacity has resulted in few sales.

# Obama and the EPA advocated a cap-and-trade tax on greenhouse gas emissions when there has been no global warming for 19 years and carbon dioxide plays no role whatever in the Earth’s climate.

# The Obama administration terminating the construction of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada despite nearly $15 billion already spent on this necessary repository.

These are just a few examples, but in the meantime, the U.S. still requires that a valuable food commodity, corn, be turned into ethanol, an automotive fuel additive, that (a) reduces the millage in every gallon and (b) increases its cost at the pump. As Seldon B. Graham, Jr., a longtime energy industry consultant and observer, notes that "Ethanol production peaked in 2011 at 6% of total oil demand.” Favoring replacing imported foreign oil with American oil, Graham says "Americans would have saved $64.7 billion on the oil price since 2009.”

Americans are afflicted by a President and his administration that for political and environmental reasons are costing them trillions in needless, senseless energy costs, loans and subsidies, and efforts to impose laws that have no basis whatever in science.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

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October 25, 2014

Mike Brown, a Joker, a Smoker, and a Midnight Toker

Timothy Birdnow

Big Mike Brown, the Gentle Giant, had THC, the narcotic in marijuana,T in his system when he was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/how-would-marijuana-have-affected-michael-brown-it-s-difficult/article_af1408ef-6e49-5713-814a-5bd41bb0b869.html"

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks:

"but what does that mean?"

They conclude:

"Toxicology tests are generally used to determine whether someone has used the drug, not as a way to identify any potential effects, experts said. There is no general consensus on a connection between marijuana levels in the blood and prior or subsequent impairment"

End excerpts.

The P-D then goes on to dismiss any notion that dope was a major factor in the crime, saying it relaxes people and whatnot.

Brown had used it just a few hours before the incident. And had it on his person. And probably was using the cigars to roll fat joints.

While clinical evidence may be lacking, I would offer some anecdotal evidence.

Try this huyttp://newswithviews.com/Kincaid/cliff861.htm

The guy who shot up the Canadian parliament was a pothead.

As Cliff Kincaid argues:

"There is no hint of jihad here, only anti-police violence. But the role of marijuana in this violent confrontation deserves extensive coverage, not just a footnote. Trayvon Martin, the black juvenile delinquent shot and killed after he assaulted anti-crime activist George Zimmerman, also smoked marijuana regularly.

The latest White House fence-jumper, Dominic Adesanya, had a "substance abuse” problem as well. A clearly deranged individual, he told officials he smoked marijuana "sometimes, but not everyday.”

Do we see a pattern here?

Other such cases involving marijuana and violence include Jerad and Amanda Miller, who killed two cops; Maryland mall shooter Darion Aguilar; would-be Obama assassin Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez; Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell; killer student Jeff Weise; child killer Joseph Smith; and Vladimir Baptiste, a psychotic pot user who drove his truck through the headquarters of WMAR-TV in Towson, Maryland."

End excerpt.

Adrianne Peterson, the school shooter in Nevada, had been smoking pot before he went on his rampage. And two people were shot at a pot rally in Colorado.

Jared Loughner, the kook who shot Gabrielle Giffords, was a pothead. So was James Holmes, the "Joker" shooter at the premier of the Batman movie. http://www.laweekly.com/informer/2012/07/23/james-holmes-smoked-marijuana-took-vicodin-reports

I could go on and on, but you get the point; pot use has been at the core of numerous mass shootings and acts of terrorism. It is little surprise; everyone recognizes the paranoia-inducing quality of marijuana, and while it relaxes it also makes people delusional.

So yes it probably has quite a bit to do with it. Mike Brown was high, and probably spoiling for a fight. If the rest of these dopies were willing to kill why wasn't the Gentle Giant?




Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Iranian Woman Executed for Killing Rapist, Following Sharia

Timothy Birdnow

Iran has executed a woman who killed a man trying to rape her.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/iran-hangs-woman-for-killing-alleged-rapist/article_3fe43e3c-198c-5d69-a66c-412294e84f78.html

Now, had this woman NOT resisted her attacker she would have been executed for that failure; you can't win under Sharia law (at least if you are a woman or other unprotected class.)

Granted, the claims are that she bought a knife in advance and supposedly tweeted she was going to do this, but why? The Islamic system isn't exactly designed to protect the unclean - like women.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:31 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Alien Vote

Timothy Birdnow

What we've known all along; massive voting by aliens - both legal and illegal - has probably tipped the balance in favor of Democrats in numerous elections.
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/10/votes_from_noncitizens_could_decide_the_election.html

As quoted from the The Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/10/24/could-non-citizens-decide-the-november-election/

" Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.

An alternative approach to reducing non-citizen turnout might emphasize public information. Unlike other populations, including naturalized citizens, education is not associated with higher participation among non-citizens. In 2008, non-citizens with less than a college degree were significantly more likely to cast a validated vote, and no non-citizens with a college degree or higher cast a validated vote. This hints at a link between non-citizen voting and lack of awareness about legal barriers."

End excerpt.

I've always believed that voter i.d. is no catch-all; it's too easy to get a fake i.d. in this country. The solution, one advocated even by some conservatives, is to have a national i.d. with biometrics. That disease is worse than the cure in my humble opinion; it means we have become servants of the Federal government, with all of our data on file. A national i.d. would inevitably lead to the kind of totalitarianism seen in places like North Korea. It would be extra-Constitutional. It's a terrible idea.

BUT I don't oppose voter i.d.; it may scare off some of the more skiddish illegals. Some. And there are those who wouldn't be able to acquire a fake in time, thus reducing the amount of illegal voting.

The problem is the vast number of aliens - bot legal and illegal - in the country to begin with. This wouldn't be a problem if we would be strict with border enforcement and would limit the number of legal aliens permitted here. While there is a need for legal residency for some aliens, certainly, we do not need the vast numbers currently here. But the Democrats and their RINO allies certainly do; they need the power base, and they need to breed out the thorny old American character. If the American People won't let them play king then perhaps it's time to import a new American People?

History is replete with "invasions" that obliterated the native inhabitants of a given country. Japan was once owned by a people called the Ainu, who now reside in a tiny portion of Hokkaido. You had the Canaanites who are gone. The Britons - gone from the majority of what is now England, confined to the peninsula of Wales. The Roman Empire fell because of unrestrained immigration. The native Americans now reside in small pockets of reservations. Is that the fate of the Anglo-Americans?

It will be if we continue in this way.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:03 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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